Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists => Topic started by: JKessler on April 05, 2009, 04:07:42 PM

Title: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: JKessler on April 05, 2009, 04:07:42 PM
I have recently been accepted to South Texas College of Law in Houston (4T school), which is not nationally known, but it has a great reputation for trial advocacy in Houston. I also was accepted to Baylor in Waco (1T school). I've heard that in Texas there really isn't a major difference between the two schools, although Baylor is ranked waaaaay higher than STCL. Im stumped on where to go- I have heard both good and bad things about both. Does anyone know anything about either school? Reputation, regionally vs nationally? PLEASE, help me!!
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: nealric on April 05, 2009, 04:17:25 PM
If tuition is the same or reasonably close, Baylor by a long  shot. Their reputations are NOT the same in the Texas legal community.
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: rekopter on April 05, 2009, 04:17:36 PM
Baylor, easily. Don't even think about it.
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: JKessler on April 05, 2009, 04:36:20 PM
The tuition is about $10,000 difference, Baylor being the more expensive. What is the difference though? Do you have some more insight? Thanks!
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: SamE397 on April 05, 2009, 04:50:44 PM
The primary difference will be that Baylor probably has a stronger alumni network and more prestige. Also, Baylor may offer more courses. Everyone on here will probably lean towards Baylor because it does have a much better rep nationally. I can tell you from personal experience though that the difference between non-elite schools in terms of job prospects is greatly exaggerated by rankings. That said some T4 schools do have very high attrition rates and high unemployment. So do some research, the official guide to ABA law schools will be your friend in this task. Here's the link http://officialguide.lsac.org/. Also I would recommend talking to a LSD poster by the name of penni_rose they will know more about Baylor and might know more about South Texas.
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: vap on April 05, 2009, 05:00:22 PM
Baylor generally has a better reputation in Texas.  But there isn't a signficant difference in the employment stats reported by the schools: http://www.law.com/img/nlj/charts/composite.pdf.  Note, however, that STCL has a much higher unemployment rate.
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: Changed Name on April 05, 2009, 05:07:51 PM
For a $30,000 difference, I think this is a no-brainer for Baylor.  I don't mean to devalue the sum of money, but in the larger scheme of things $30,000 isn't that much.  Especially considering that this is your future on the line, you'd want to take the better of the two choices.  How can you determine "better"?  Rankings don't mean that much always (the difference between 37 and 45 is negligible, if there is any difference at all), but they do help categorize schools.  There's just a huge gap between T2 and T4 schools.  There's nothing wrong with any school, as long as you go in understanding what you're getting.  But for this price difference, you should just take the better option (and sadly, rankings might be the key).
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: BikePilot on April 05, 2009, 07:16:58 PM
Baylor has a pretty good rep nationally, outside of Texas you'll find that many people haven't even heard of South Texas College of Law. If there aren't very special circumstances that would make the latter really good for you (full scholarship plus good faculty and placement for exactly what you want to do), I'd recommend Baylor.

A huge factor when looking at schools that is often overlooked is the nature of the student body. Your class-mates will to a very large extent determine the depth and pace of the course and you stand to learn a huge amount from them. My guess is that Baylor is more selective and that its student body would be considerably more motivated and engaged with the material. 
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: Contract2008 on April 06, 2009, 07:34:12 PM
Why didn't you apply to UH, or at least Texas Tech.  You can pay instate tuition for these two and UH is considered better than Baylor and Texas Tech is considered better than South Texas and both UH and Tech are much lower in cost especially if you're instate. 

What are poeple thinking applying to non-tier 1 private schools and having to pay full price?  Debt is going to stay with you for years and years to come, invest wisely and get bargains from public schools. 
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: AustinBerkeley on April 06, 2009, 08:12:47 PM
Without a doubt, I say Baylor.

Granted, it kinda depends on what you want to do after LS, but no matter what you'll have many more options at Baylor than South Texas.  Outside of Texas, no one has heard of STCL, but even within Texas it doesn't have that great of a reputation (especially compared to Baylor).

Also, I think that Baylor would be a lot less competitive of an environment than STCL.  At 4T schools, everyone is trying to prove themselves to prospective employers, plus the schools themselves are known to weed out a percentage of the class every year.  While I still think there would be competition at Baylor, I think it would be a lot less cutthroat than at STCL.

Just my two cents.  Hope it helps.
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: KennyPowers on April 11, 2009, 07:43:18 PM
This should really be an easy choice. Unless you want to work in Houston, STCL does not have too many prospects in Texas. Baylor is a much more recognized school throughout the state and it also is known for taking a very practical approach to teaching law. Baylor also has the highest 1st time bar passage rate in the state (I believe it is around 98%).
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: Contract2008 on April 11, 2009, 08:20:12 PM
This should really be an easy choice. Unless you want to work in Houston, STCL does not have too many prospects in Texas. Baylor is a much more recognized school throughout the state and it also is known for taking a very practical approach to teaching law. Baylor also has the highest 1st time bar passage rate in the state (I believe it is around 98%).

Most people pass the bar. So, having a high passage rate shouldn't be a concern to most people unless you're in the bottom of your class or at Texas Southern. 
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: Ninja1 on April 12, 2009, 01:01:03 AM
Baylor, though I suspect this is a flame.
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: jer on April 22, 2009, 08:13:39 PM
if you're really hard up for cash and don't want the student loans and you already have a job lined up then you can take a pass on baylor.
but, if you're like everyone else, the best bet is try to go to the highest ranked place that accepts you unless you just really don't want to move there for school.
baylor is like boot camp and has a great reputation for cranking out law students who are ready to go to court.
baylor has a great rep in texas, and their graduates spread out all over texas since nobody really stays in waco.
good networking and great reputation.
and the money really doesn't matter in the big picture.
you'd probably be better off with baylor
if you end up at smu, i've got tons of outlines
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: penni_rose on April 24, 2009, 08:54:25 AM
It seems that everyone here is saying Baylor and I do see that as a good answer, but I told you why I passed on Baylor.

STCL is not as bad as everyone says it is and it seems to place decently in Houston, but if you want to go to any other city, it's not a good choice. I'm fairly certain that's what I told you in my PM. At the time, though, I didn't realize that the tuition was only $10k different. I was thinking it would be close to 20. I didn't really research it and only know about STCL from people I know who went there. For 30k total debt, I would go to Baylor despite all of the reasons that I listed for not going there myself.

Baylor is a more respected school in the market, but the curriculum is very different. It is a hard school and prides itself in being one, so make sure you're aware of that from the start. I gave up Baylor to go to UT and have been told a few times since that Baylor is considered (by some Texas attorneys) the best law school in the state because of it's curriculum.
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: nealric on April 24, 2009, 09:11:52 AM
Quote
and have been told a few times since that Baylor is considered (by some Texas attorneysBaylor Alums) the best law school in the state because of it's curriculum.


Fixed it for ya  ;)
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: just some guy on April 24, 2009, 09:43:30 AM
Quote
and have been told a few times since that Baylor is considered (by some Texas attorneysBaylor Alums) the best law school in the state because of it's curriculum.


Fixed it for ya  ;)

I can see how litigators might feel that way about Practice Court, but you'd have to be a bit delusional (or on the Baylor payroll) to claim superiority to UT.
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: armyjag on April 24, 2009, 09:58:09 AM
if you're serious, and not BSing, PL me.  I go to STCL. 
All I would say is, if you want to do criminal work and you're cool with living in Houston or east/south Texas, then come here. 
Otherwise, go to Baylor and enjoy drinking at George's when you're not at fun baptist ice cream socials.
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: just some guy on April 24, 2009, 10:05:04 AM
if you're serious, and not BSing, PL me.  I go to STCL. 
All I would say is, if you want to do criminal work and you're cool with living in Houston or east/south Texas, then come here. 
Otherwise, go to Baylor and enjoy drinking at George's when you're not at fun baptist ice cream socials.

Outstanding idea. Big Os for everyone.
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: armyjag on April 24, 2009, 10:16:53 AM
Yeah, it's odd.  Considering the epic $h!tholeness that Waco is (I think arguably it's the worst city in America for a population of about 100K), there's some cool food there, between George's, Bari's III, and that Vietnamese place next to campus; it's a survivable town.
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: penni_rose on April 24, 2009, 10:20:47 AM
Quote
and have been told a few times since that Baylor is considered (by some Texas attorneysBaylor Alums) the best law school in the state because of it's curriculum.


Fixed it for ya  ;)

I can see how litigators might feel that way about Practice Court, but you'd have to be a bit delusional (or on the Baylor payroll) to claim superiority to UT.


I totally agree with this, which is why I'm going to UT, even though Baylor offered a lot of money.

The people who have told me how great Baylor is mostly went to STCL, by the way.
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: Contract2008 on April 24, 2009, 10:37:19 AM
Baylor is considered below UT, UH, and SMU, but above Texas Tech and South Texas.
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: vap on April 24, 2009, 03:43:39 PM
Baylor is considered below UT, UH, and SMU, but above Texas Tech and South Texas.

IMO, if an applicant doesn't have a scholarship to Baylor, I think Tech is a better choice.  Baylor has marginally better NLJ250 placement (about 4% vs. 8%) and clerkship placement, but the last time I checked tuition was more than double.
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: armyjag on April 24, 2009, 04:14:07 PM
Baylor is considered below UT, UH, and SMU, but above Texas Tech and South Texas.

IMO, if an applicant doesn't have a scholarship to Baylor, I think Tech is a better choice.  Baylor has marginally better NLJ250 placement (about 4% vs. 8%) and clerkship placement, but the last time I checked tuition was more than double.

I'm just curious, but where do you live?  Are you in Texas?  Tuition, of course, would depend on in-state classificiation, but moreover, Lubbock is a five-hour drive from Dallas, let alone Austin, SA, and Houston.  There are far more BU grads here in Houston.  I think there's a distinct feeling that TTU feeds nicely into Amarillo big law.  That said, I'd pay double not to live in Lubbock.
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: nealric on April 24, 2009, 04:21:53 PM
Quote
   I think there's a distinct feeling that TTU feeds nicely into Amarillo big law.

The concept of Amarillo biglaw is a distinct oxymoron.
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: vap on April 24, 2009, 04:59:55 PM
Baylor is considered below UT, UH, and SMU, but above Texas Tech and South Texas.

IMO, if an applicant doesn't have a scholarship to Baylor, I think Tech is a better choice.  Baylor has marginally better NLJ250 placement (about 4% vs. 8%) and clerkship placement, but the last time I checked tuition was more than double.

I'm just curious, but where do you live?  Are you in Texas?  Tuition, of course, would depend on in-state classificiation, but moreover, Lubbock is a five-hour drive from Dallas, let alone Austin, SA, and Houston.  There are far more BU grads here in Houston.  I think there's a distinct feeling that TTU feeds nicely into Amarillo big law.  That said, I'd pay double not to live in Lubbock.

Haha.  I don't think you're the only one. 

I've visited Lubbock, and I don't think it's that bad.  I'm from Dallas.  I wouldn't mind saving $45K-$50K (or whatever the diff would be) to live in Lubbock for 3 years.  I don't think their grads are stuck in west Texas.  It looks like Baylor has about 250 more lawyers in Harris County, but the numbers are roughly equal for Dallas, Tarrant, Travis, and Bexar. http://www.texasbar.com/Content/NavigationMenu/Other_Services/Research_and_Analysis/Research_and_Analysis_Department.htm.  My guess, however, is that Baylor has a slight "major city" edge strictly by the number of lawyers if you adjust for graduating class of each school.  Nonetheless, even if we assume that such an edge is based on mobility afforded by the degree (no unknown confounding factor), I don't think the added mobility is worth the cost.  But that's just my two cents.

Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: armyjag on April 24, 2009, 06:03:09 PM
I guess my snarky attitude about west Texas wasn't distinct enough there about the Amarillo biglaw. 

TTU has a much larger enrollment than Baylor, by about 200 according to US News.  I don't know how long that has been going on for, but I think that helps show the mobility that Baylor would afford vice TTU.  I think Travis County is explained by state government hiring. 

I can't wait for University of North Texas to start the law school in a couple of years.  Maybe Denton biglaw will become the hot item?

Also, do you want to have to drive 30 minutes from campus to buy booze?  That's too high a transaction cost in November and April for my mind.
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: penni_rose on April 24, 2009, 06:06:14 PM
Baylor is considered below UT, UH, and SMU, but above Texas Tech and South Texas.

IMO, if an applicant doesn't have a scholarship to Baylor, I think Tech is a better choice.  Baylor has marginally better NLJ250 placement (about 4% vs. 8%) and clerkship placement, but the last time I checked tuition was more than double.

I'm just curious, but where do you live?  Are you in Texas?  Tuition, of course, would depend on in-state classificiation, but moreover, Lubbock is a five-hour drive from Dallas, let alone Austin, SA, and Houston.  There are far more BU grads here in Houston.  I think there's a distinct feeling that TTU feeds nicely into Amarillo big law.  That said, I'd pay double not to live in Lubbock.


Not if my other option was Waco!
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: armyjag on April 24, 2009, 06:14:52 PM

[/quote]

Not if my other option was Waco!
[/quote]

Well, all things considered, I'd rather be in Austin than Houston. 
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: penni_rose on April 24, 2009, 06:28:10 PM


Well, all things considered, I'd rather be in Austin than Houston. 
[/quote]

Me, too. That's why I didn't apply to U of H. I mean, I'd rather be in Dallas than Houston. I'd rather be in Austin than anywhere else.
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: vap on April 24, 2009, 08:28:08 PM
I can't wait for University of North Texas to start the law school in a couple of years.  Maybe Denton biglaw will become the hot item?

If that school gets off the ground, it will be in Dallas.
http://untsystem.unt.edu/lawschool-2/index.html
Title: Re: Texas Schools: 1T vs 4T
Post by: armyjag on April 25, 2009, 05:42:27 AM
I can't wait for University of North Texas to start the law school in a couple of years.  Maybe Denton biglaw will become the hot item?

If that school gets off the ground, it will be in Dallas.
http://untsystem.unt.edu/lawschool-2/index.html

Thanks for destroying my hopes and dreams...geez. haha