midjeep - Get ready for the barrage (sp?)! I was hoping you would wander over here.
- What did you think of your first semester? How did it compare to your expectations?
- Did you see any instances of "back-stabbing" or any other negative competitive moments?
- Like I said in a previous post, I am interested in governmental work after I graduate. MustangAlum mentioned that SMU does focus on the biglaw type jobs (and I assumed that); is this true? Or is it just that students take the higher paying gigs to pay off debt?
- Will you run over to admissions and just tell them that I am practically dying to go to SMU? Pleeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaasssssse eeeeeeeee!
- What were your numbers and when did you hear (if you don't mind)
SMU was a lot tougher than I anticipated. The number of classes we have to take as well as the legal writing assignments took me off-guard. There are two day sections and one night section for the 1Ls. I'm kinda upset with my section because it seems like all the gunners were thrown in here. The recipients of the two highest scholarships are in my section as well as the Fullbright scholar. We have the more distinguished professors, however, we cover FAR more material than the other sections (for example, we covered the entire crim law book for our final while section 2 only went over 3/4ths). Section 2 is also the "party section" and I have only seen a few of them in the library at any time during the semester. Supposedly, SMU randomly places students in the two day sections, but our course work is definitely harder than section 2. Though it's hard at first and hard to get into the law school "groove," it is managable.
The students here also exceeded my expectations, both intellectually and socially. As I said earlier, the students here are intellegent and well versed. A number of the students here turned down acceptances at Texas and Vanderbilt and they are still happy with their decision.
The students are very friendly and most students share outlines and notes. During class we feed each other answers during Socratic on AIM and go out on "Bar Review" and other social engagements. There was one instant of book hiding (someone took all the Shepard's Guides for California during a writing assignment, but it wasn't detrimental to anyone's grade. The only other "bad" experience involved a study group. Apparently, some of the "elitist" gunners were taking applications from people to join their study group. That is the exception and the majority of students role their eyes at this. For the most part, have the "we are all in this together" mentality and we really support one another. During finals we joke around, we roam around and sit in at different study sessions, and play Street Fighter on Super Nintendo in the foyer of the library. Law school anywhere is worse than high school. You see everyone everyday, there are 90 people in your class (legal writing 24) and most people here are outgoing. Clicks get formed, relationships happen, and there is a ton of gossip going on.
SMU does focus on corporate law and so does the Career Services Office, but that is due to the nature of the surrounding city. There are not that many government offices here in Dallas as there are in say DC, NY, or even Austin. Dallas is very white collar and many Fortune 500s have their HQs in the Metroplex. That said, it is not impossible to be involved in governmental work coming out of SMU. The DYLA (Dallas Young Lawyers Assocation) is very good about providing judicial clerkships to SMU students. Texas would be a better option for you for government jobs, but if you don't get in, SMU is still a good option since we offer a ton of different courses (one of the reasons why I chose to go here). Debt can be high, but a lot of the students have scholarships and many are rich to begin with so they just follow their parent's track.
I'm sure I annoyed the admissions office when i applied so I wont risk your chances by annoying them more
. I had a 3.76 and 154 and I was accepted in the first round (I think around January 20). Dont know why I was accepted, I am a white guy from Texas so I didnt add much diversity in that retrospect, but I did a ton of ECs during my undergrad as well as worked full time. I also worked at a number of internships too.
All in all, I am very happy that I was accepted and decided to attend. Good luck with where ever you end up going.