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SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:50 am
by HenryHankPalmer
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2016-2017 Entering Class Information
GPA Median: 3.67
LSAT Median: 161

Important Dates
Early Admissions Deadline: November 15
Regular Decision Deadline: February 15

Wanted to get this started. I am considering submitting my App in the next week or so with my June LSAT Score. Will update.

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:30 am
by principalagent
Potentially checking in

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:11 pm
by ammsps093
Checking In! :)

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:44 pm
by doglawin
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Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:31 am
by Roy McAvoy
Current student willing to answer questions.

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:39 pm
by VetteLife
Checking in as well, can't wait to hear back from SMU 8)

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:34 pm
by HenryHankPalmer
I'm planning on submitting by the end of this week, wanted to get it in as early as possible because I have heard that they are notoriously slow.

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:37 pm
by HenryHankPalmer
Roy McAvoy wrote:Current student willing to answer questions.

1. Do you remember what the elapsed time was between your file going complete and you receiving your admissions decision?
2. Any particular advice for incoming 1Ls?
3. How have the BigLaw hiring numbers rebounded since the crash?
4. All things considered, how happy are you with your decision to attend SMU?

Sorry to throw the four most basic 0L questions at you like that. I have talked to the admissions office and alumni a ton, but I haven't gotten many chances to talk to current students.

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:00 pm
by Roy McAvoy
HenryHankPalmer wrote:
Roy McAvoy wrote:Current student willing to answer questions.

1. Do you remember what the elapsed time was between your file going complete and you receiving your admissions decision?
2. Any particular advice for incoming 1Ls?
3. How have the BigLaw hiring numbers rebounded since the crash?
4. All things considered, how happy are you with your decision to attend SMU?

Sorry to throw the four most basic 0L questions at you like that. I have talked to the admissions office and alumni a ton, but I haven't gotten many chances to talk to current students.


1. First week of December. I submitted pretty early, just about as early as the app was open.

2. Go to class and find a strategy that works for you. Outlining was a total waste of time for me but for some people they absolutely had to. Also, CSO will feed you a lot of stuff about needing to network and meet attorneys and most people will brush it off, but it works. Don't be afraid to email someone out of the blue and ask them if you can buy them coffee or a beer and ask for advice. Lots of people want to help you if you know who to ask. Plenty of other people won't respond, and that's okay. They're just busy. This is basically the only piece of their advice that will be useful to you.

3. Can't say for sure because I don't know how good they were before. If you want biglaw in Dallas and you're in the top 15-20%, you have a chance. The people I know in the top of the class who want it were able to get it. If your grades are lower, temper your expectations. There are still plenty of good jobs out there. If you want biglaw outside of Dallas, your chances are probably going to be better if you go to UT. This is obviously not absolute, and I know people who are going to Houston/Austin/San Antonio. That's mostly out of self-selection - the majority of your classmates are coming to SMU because they want to practice in Dallas.

4. I'm fine with it. I'll have manageable debt with scholarships and generally not blowing loan money on shit, I'll have a job in the practice area I want, and in the area I want. I expected it to open some doors for me to accomplish my goals, and I think it has. I didn't really buy into the T14 or bust mentality, and wanted to go to a school in an area I want to live for a price I was ok with. I did, and it worked out, so I don't have anything to complain about.

I can expand on this later if you have any more questions. I'm in class right now, so I could have been a little more thorough I'm sure. 3LOL and all that, I guess.

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:26 am
by kalvano
I’ll chime in - SMU grad willing to answer questions the best I can. However, I’ve been out of school for several years now, so I don’t know how relevant my admissions experience will be.

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:08 pm
by UT2017
Checking in, too!

Unfortunately, I take the LSAT in December, so I won't be able to apply until early January. Best of luck to everyone!

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:57 pm
by HenryHankPalmer
Just submitted! I don't expect to hear anything for awhile.

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:13 am
by hotdog96
In regards to the optional statement regarding diversity, how much do you think this helps? I have a solid DS but it is only 1 page, not the 2-3 they ask for

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:51 am
by HenryHankPalmer
hotdog96 wrote:In regards to the optional statement regarding diversity, how much do you think this helps? I have a solid DS but it is only 1 page, not the 2-3 they ask for

I was a little confused by the way it is discussed in the application instructions, so I ended up calling admissions and talking to them about it. Basically, it is a scholarship essay. It is required for the Dean's scholarships and the other merit scholarships that don't have their own separate application process. I ended up submitting my DS, and tweaked it for SMU a little bit, but it came out to a page and a half so I really hope they aren't sticklers for that 2-3 pages thing. I tried to expand it, but it diminished the quality of the essay so I figured that a solid page and a half was better than three pages of rambling nonsense.

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:56 am
by hotdog96
HenryHankPalmer wrote:
hotdog96 wrote:In regards to the optional statement regarding diversity, how much do you think this helps? I have a solid DS but it is only 1 page, not the 2-3 they ask for

I was a little confused by the way it is discussed in the application instructions, so I ended up calling admissions and talking to them about it. Basically, it is a scholarship essay. It is required for the Dean's scholarships and the other merit scholarships that don't have their own separate application process. I ended up submitting my DS, and tweaked it for SMU a little bit, but it came out to a page and a half so I really hope they aren't sticklers for that 2-3 pages thing. I tried to expand it, but it diminished the quality of the essay so I figured that a solid page and a half was better than three pages of rambling nonsense.


Good to hear because that is exactly what I did. I ended up at about a page and 2/3. Expanding to a full two pages definitely would've diminished quality for me as well.

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:58 am
by HenryHankPalmer
hotdog96 wrote:
HenryHankPalmer wrote:
hotdog96 wrote:In regards to the optional statement regarding diversity, how much do you think this helps? I have a solid DS but it is only 1 page, not the 2-3 they ask for

I was a little confused by the way it is discussed in the application instructions, so I ended up calling admissions and talking to them about it. Basically, it is a scholarship essay. It is required for the Dean's scholarships and the other merit scholarships that don't have their own separate application process. I ended up submitting my DS, and tweaked it for SMU a little bit, but it came out to a page and a half so I really hope they aren't sticklers for that 2-3 pages thing. I tried to expand it, but it diminished the quality of the essay so I figured that a solid page and a half was better than three pages of rambling nonsense.


Good to hear because that is exactly what I did. I ended up at about a page and 2/3. Expanding to a full two pages definitely would've diminished quality for me as well.

Glad we are in the same boat. Some of the current students/alumni on this board might be able to offer more insight about how much of a role it actually plays. Have you submitted?

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:15 am
by hotdog96
HenryHankPalmer wrote:
hotdog96 wrote:
HenryHankPalmer wrote:
hotdog96 wrote:In regards to the optional statement regarding diversity, how much do you think this helps? I have a solid DS but it is only 1 page, not the 2-3 they ask for

I was a little confused by the way it is discussed in the application instructions, so I ended up calling admissions and talking to them about it. Basically, it is a scholarship essay. It is required for the Dean's scholarships and the other merit scholarships that don't have their own separate application process. I ended up submitting my DS, and tweaked it for SMU a little bit, but it came out to a page and a half so I really hope they aren't sticklers for that 2-3 pages thing. I tried to expand it, but it diminished the quality of the essay so I figured that a solid page and a half was better than three pages of rambling nonsense.


Good to hear because that is exactly what I did. I ended up at about a page and 2/3. Expanding to a full two pages definitely would've diminished quality for me as well.

Glad we are in the same boat. Some of the current students/alumni on this board might be able to offer more insight about how much of a role it actually plays. Have you submitted?


I plan on submitting once sept scores are released. Would also love to hear some insight from current students/other applicants

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:10 am
by hotdog96
Just submitted last night!

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:54 am
by RHaros
Checking in! Taking my retest in Decmember, but this school is definitely my top choice for law school!

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:39 am
by HenryHankPalmer
My app still hasn't gone complete, but apparently it takes forever for them to actually process it.

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:03 pm
by thisiswater
In my final year at SMU, happy to answer any questions. I know nothing about mock trial or the lit parts of the school, but I am involved in LR, a few minor clubs and I'm going into big law after I finish.

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:34 am
by ebrook93
thisiswater wrote:In my final year at SMU, happy to answer any questions. I know nothing about mock trial or the lit parts of the school, but I am involved in LR, a few minor clubs and I'm going to into big law after I finish.


What's the earliest you know of anybody getting a decision?

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:08 am
by HenryHankPalmer
thisiswater wrote:In my final year at SMU, happy to answer any questions. I know nothing about mock trial or the lit parts of the school, but I am involved in LR, a few minor clubs and I'm going to into big law after I finish.

I know it has been asked to death on this forum, but the number seems to oscillate all over the map so here goes: what is the BigLaw cutoff at SMU? I have heard everything from top third to top 10%. ABA disclosures make it look like its closer to 20-25%.

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:55 pm
by thisiswater
HenryHankPalmer wrote:I know it has been asked to death on this forum, but the number seems to oscillate all over the map so here goes: what is the BigLaw cutoff at SMU? I have heard everything from top third to top 10%. ABA disclosures make it look like its closer to 20-25%.


Not every SMU student will agree with this, but, in my opinion, you should assume it is top 10% and make your decisions based on that. It's probably looser for some, but unless you are from Dallas I wouldn't assume you are one of those people. SMU is a very Dallas school largely populated with Dallas students that are going to work in Dallas law offices. Your classmates will have connections (both firm and client side) that out-of-area students can't really hope to replicate, and I've seen those networks help my classmates land jobs.

ebrook93 wrote:
What's the earliest you know of anybody getting a decision?


Sorry, absolutely no clue on this.

Re: SMU Dedman School of Law c/o 2021 Applicants (2017-2018)

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:06 pm
by ebrook93
Does anybody know if the status checkers change in any way when our application is under review or a decision has been made? According to LSN, they started releasing decisions around this time last year.