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Messages - midjeep

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Incoming 1Ls / Re: 1L Summer Work
« on: January 17, 2006, 11:54:13 PM »
Also remember that the sooner you send out your applications, the greater your chances at getting a clerkship before grades even come out. If you have a high undergrad GPA as well as strong ECs, some firms will hire you outright because they dont want to wait. Being in a top ranking school helps a lot, but the local market of  your law school is also a major boost (especially if there arent too many competiting schools in your area). I would imagine that getting a clerkship in DC would be hell since there are over 8 local schools to deal plus the Ivies.

I sent out over 60 applications (30 of which are large firms in Dallas that hire 1Ls, 15 small to midsized firms, and 15 in my hometown). Still waiting on the responses though.

Last question. Did the call come from a 214 area code?

Yes, that is the correct number.

Congrats on those that got in. Last year SMU spent a week or so with acceptances. If you dont get a call, dont get discouraged, I think a large chunk of the results will be deferrals (which still sucks but isnt the end of the word). Good luck to the rest that are still waiting!

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: How competitivve is UT Austin?
« on: January 15, 2006, 11:23:04 PM »
Not familar with UT, but I would call SMU competitive. No real backstabbing here, but people are not going to lie around and not work hard for their grades/ranking. SMU might be a bit more competitive than UT since our median gpa is 3.0 and we are not as prestigious outside of Texas as UT. We are definitely not as competitive as say Baylor, but I dont think you will be more misreable at UT than at SMU.

I just came across this chart on the BYU website. Looks like it is a good starting off point for applying to schools based on LSAT/GPA numbers.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: SMU?
« on: January 11, 2006, 01:19:32 AM »
Don't know about the internships, but since it is in a great legal market, I would bet its not a problem. 

I love Boston Legal...watched that episode today actually.

Do you think SMU is just sitting on the acceptances and rejections and is giong to mail them out all at once? 

SMU is very particular with their admissions. Notifications will be sent out at the end of January, but if you are accepted, you will be notified via the phone around the 20th. (at least this was the case last year)

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: SMU?
« on: January 11, 2006, 01:17:46 AM »
suzyQ, i understand.

i've done a little research into SMU, and it's grown quite nicely on me. i'm making a risky assumption that i'll be admitted, and am hoping for a nice scholarship package.

to those who attend, i'm sorry if this was asked already, but how about summer internships? how well do SMU students do in securing internships after 1L, etc.

Well Im in the middle of sending out 1L letters now but 1L summers at biglaw firms are difficult to get regardless at which school you go to. We do have Spring OCI, but only a limited number of firms attend and most people use it for practice anyway. SMU only has one study abroad (in Oxford) and about 35 students attend. I'm hoping for an internship for the first part of the summer and then go to Oxford during the second part. A lot of students go for a GPA boost since there isnt a curve (you actually get the grade you earn).

As far as 2L summers are concerned, SMU has GREAT prospects in the DFW area. We are a top corporate law school and according to career services, the big firms in Dallas have slots reserved for only SMU grads. Placement may not be high in areas like Houston and Austin, but it's because most students want to remain in Dallas and dont even attempt to search for jobs in those markets. The people that already have ties to those areas that go to SMU dont have trouble getting jobs in Houston and Austin.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: SMU?
« on: January 10, 2006, 12:52:51 PM »

Y'all don't have to pay for parking?? That's not fair. I applied to SMU, I doubt I get in -- but will seriously consider going if I do. Is there really a sense of hostility towards the SMU undergrad population there? My friend said it was blatant during her tour/visits. I know it seems a lot of people that are from Dallas, but went away to Vandy, NWstern, Ivies, etc. come back to SMU for law if they want to practice in DFW. So they kind of hold up their noses to the people that went to SMU. I was just curious if that was true.

We do get somewhat annoyed at the undergrads, but it is not an SMU thing. When you have a memo due and your behind on outlining and you hear an undergrad at Starbucks bitching about how hard the Rudementary Math Quiz next period is going to be, you just want to female dog slap them. Those of us that arent rich also shake our heads the types of cars the undergrads drive.....I mean, come on, a brand new CL600? Re-damn-diculous! I will be driving my Accord until the wheels fall off. Oh and the only time law students really interact with the undergrad is during tailgate (which doesnt help the image). The frat guys in ties and the sorority girls in dresses and pearls also dont help the "daddies little brat" image. Academically, the Ivy Leaguers dont look down on SMU as a whole. They know its a good else do the students here stay so rich. ;) But for the most part, we really dont talk about the undergrad and only visit yall when we hit the gym every 3 months.

As far as eating is concerned, there are OK places around the area but not within walking distance. Personally, I am SICK of Jimmy Johns and the places on Mockingbird are too far. All of us get off for lunch at noon and have an hour for lunch. It's just annoying when the only places around are Geoffs, Pizza Hut, Jimmy Johns, Bubbas, bad sushi, and bad mexican restaruants. Additionally, the places on campus are always crowded during our lunch period and our cafeteria really sucks too. I just wish there were more fast food places near our side of campus (most places are sit down).

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: SMU?
« on: January 10, 2006, 12:37:28 PM »
midjeep - Get ready for the barrage (sp?)!   :D  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)

Thank you!!

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.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: SMU?
« on: January 09, 2006, 06:34:35 PM »
Make sure you actually come and visit the school. I love SMU and glad I am going to school here, but it has a "youll love it here, or youll hate it here" effect on people. Most of the students are from Texas and I would wager that 90% are from the South. Additionally, there are a lot of straight-from-undergrad students and many of them are the Greek types. However, even though the students are young they arent dumb and students study their ass off. Personally I thought most of the folks here were legacies who would blow off their grades because of their parent's connections but that was definitely not the case.

There is not much diversity here however groups intergrate well here. There are many minority student groups here but I like the fact that everyone hangs out with eachother outside of school. Keep in mind, the sections have 90 people in them and there are many clicks around. The professors in my section are brilliant and are known throughout Texas (ask anyone in the legal profession about Dorsaneo, he wrote the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure).

As far as hiring is concerned, SMU has a HUGE advantage in Dallas. All the major firms have reserved spots solely for SMU grads. I'm in the middle of sending out resumes and the like out for my 1L summer and Spring OCI is in a few months so I dont have any first hand experience yet.

SMU is also harder than most law schools as well. First years have to take 16 HOURS a semester and LWRA is graded (6 classes)., I think most schools require 13-15 hours for first years. It is very stressful, but we will know more during any 1L clerkships, plus our 2nd and 3rd years will be easier.

The area around SMU campus is very nice but expensive. I dont like the fact that there are no decent resturants near campus to go to during lunch. If you dont know, Highland Park is the most expensive area in Texas. My apartment is a one bedroom and $800/month...expensive but compared to DC it is very cheap. The students here are also very rich (especially the undergrad). Many of the students drive Range Rovers, BMWs, Mercedes, and the like but the students are usually down to earth. The buildings are very nice but the library and some of the class rooms are very bleak (I usually study at Starbucks and other coffee shops). The whole law school is now wireless and the computers in the computer center have been upgraded as well. Warning: Stay away from AIM chat rooms during class, it gets addicting but can be helpful when you get called on in class. People feed each other answers online all the time, so I would just keep it on just in case.

What others said about the location of the law school is also true, it is sequesterd from the undergrad which is good. We have our own parking garage as well (which never gets full and its free). The only time I ever visit the undergrad is working out at the gym and when I picked up my parking sticker.

Let me know if you have any questions. I wont sugarcoat things b/c I dont want people to come here under false pretences and then female dog the whole time they are here. ;)

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Interesting WSJ Biglaw Article
« on: January 06, 2006, 02:31:21 AM »
The National Jurist had a whole magazine entitled "I Quit!" It lists all the top major firms and their attrition rates. The worse is Miller & McCutchen with a -58% attrition rate last year.

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