Texas A&M...

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cav900

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Texas A&M...

Post by cav900 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:02 am

I have looked up several forum threads from years past on A&M but thought I'd start a fresh one to see what people are thinking/saying now.

Let's discuss what pretty much everyone already knows.

1. UT and SMU have a pretty strong claim on the job market in Dallas
2. It's been argued that the job market in Fort Worth/ Arlington is also growing and that solid A&M grads will have opportunities in these markets.
3. A&M doesn't have an extraordinary alumni "base"
4. A&M just keeps climbing and climbing. They were not even ranked in the top 140 some 5 or 6 years ago. Now they are 4 rankings away from SMU
5. Regardless of A&M comparable ranking to SMU, they still don't have the clout that SMU has
6. A&M has finally propelled a few grads into several clerkships and even into the D.C. market.

Which of the above are incorrect or misunderstood?
What other points or ideas are relevant to someone trying to understand what exactly is going on with A&M and it's potentially unstoppable rise to at least say... a ranking in the top 35 or so?

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cavalier1138

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Re: Texas A&M...

Post by cavalier1138 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:22 am

cav900 wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:02 am
2. It's been argued that the job market in Fort Worth/ Arlington is also growing and that solid A&M grads will have opportunities in these markets.
Anything can be argued. Unless that particular job market couldn't attract grads from the more established Texas law schools, I don't know why it would change much. But more importantly, it doesn't matter if it's only an opportunity for "solid" A&M grads, because those grads are the ones who already had job opportunities.
cav900 wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:02 am
4. A&M just keeps climbing and climbing. They were not even ranked in the top 140 some 5 or 6 years ago. Now they are 4 rankings away from SMU
To go directly to your question: This is an example of a "misunderstood" point. USNWR rankings are not actually proxies for job opportunities, and climbing the rankings doesn't actually demonstrate that a school is offering its graduates better jobs. At most, this means that A&M might squeeze into the middle band of Texas law schools. In that case, the best outcome is likely going to be that all schools in that band take a hit to their job numbers as offers spread out to accommodate the additional school.
cav900 wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:02 am
5. A&M has finally propelled a few grads into several clerkships and even into the D.C. market.
Similar to argument 2, this is irrelevant to almost every student attending A&M. Only the top students at the school will ever have a shot at these opportunities.

More importantly, you need to be very wary of relying on the dramatic improvements in job numbers that you'll currently see for these schools on LST. The last few years saw a big uptick in hiring, and schools like this were the ones to benefit most from that. We still don't know what effect COVID has really had on hiring, but in the event of another slump, schools like A&M are going to take the hardest hit.

TL;DR Stop hoping that an "upward trend" in the rankings will impact your own job prospects if you go to A&M now. Focus on whether A&M is a good match for your career goals at the price you'd be paying.

cav900

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Re: Texas A&M...

Post by cav900 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:31 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:22 am
cav900 wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:02 am
2. It's been argued that the job market in Fort Worth/ Arlington is also growing and that solid A&M grads will have opportunities in these markets.
Anything can be argued. Unless that particular job market couldn't attract grads from the more established Texas law schools, I don't know why it would change much. But more importantly, it doesn't matter if it's only an opportunity for "solid" A&M grads, because those grads are the ones who already had job opportunities.
cav900 wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:02 am
4. A&M just keeps climbing and climbing. They were not even ranked in the top 140 some 5 or 6 years ago. Now they are 4 rankings away from SMU
To go directly to your question: This is an example of a "misunderstood" point. USNWR rankings are not actually proxies for job opportunities, and climbing the rankings doesn't actually demonstrate that a school is offering its graduates better jobs. At most, this means that A&M might squeeze into the middle band of Texas law schools. In that case, the best outcome is likely going to be that all schools in that band take a hit to their job numbers as offers spread out to accommodate the additional school.
cav900 wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:02 am
5. A&M has finally propelled a few grads into several clerkships and even into the D.C. market.
Similar to argument 2, this is irrelevant to almost every student attending A&M. Only the top students at the school will ever have a shot at these opportunities.

More importantly, you need to be very wary of relying on the dramatic improvements in job numbers that you'll currently see for these schools on LST. The last few years saw a big uptick in hiring, and schools like this were the ones to benefit most from that. We still don't know what effect COVID has really had on hiring, but in the event of another slump, schools like A&M are going to take the hardest hit.

TL;DR Stop hoping that an "upward trend" in the rankings will impact your own job prospects if you go to A&M now. Focus on whether A&M is a good match for your career goals at the price you'd be paying.
Good post. Sobering and easily understood. :)

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HenryHankPalmer

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Re: Texas A&M...

Post by HenryHankPalmer » Thu Feb 04, 2021 2:17 pm

The above is all correct. I strongly urge anyone not to go to A&M with unreasonable expectations. It may have pulled itself above St. Mary's/Tech/South Texas in the rankings, but employers still view it in that category. And, to make things worse, there aren't a lot of A&M grads in big firms that can push for hiring from their alma maters (unless they are very benevolent Wesleyan grads).

Fort Worth has a handful of "big" and mid-sized firms, but those firms are selective and pretty provincial (ie., they really prefer people that are Ft. Worth born and raised).

Aside from the tippy-top of the class, A&M is highly unlikely to lead you to Biglaw, a federal clerkship, or even a job at a firm like Kelly Hart. So, if those are your goals, you would be best served to hold out for Texas, or maybe Baylor or SMU.

cav900

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Re: Texas A&M...

Post by cav900 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 4:50 pm

Hey, thanks again for the response.

I should have mentioned that I'm primarily interested in public interest. Ideally, criminal defense/ prosecution. Not sure if it's strange to strongly weigh both options but that's where I'm at right now.

As mentioned, A&M is not churning out people into big law but they do seem to get a disproportionate amount of grads into public interest. I think SMU grads placed as low as 3% into public interest and A&M placed roughly 20% if I remember correctly. May have read the numbers wrong...

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