« on: April 17, 2007, 11:33:48 PM »
As a second year at SMU, I need to say something about Admitted Day. Most of the events planned for the day/weekend were canceled due to weather. Normally we have Hamburger Man in the quad, where you would have witnessed the camaraderie and student interaction first hand. Secondly, all the first years were in the process of turning in their open briefs (the only legal research and writing grade for 3 hours of credit - basically it was like turning a semester long project that determines your entire grade). So those students were probably not in the mood to woo prospective students and were probably hating law school at that time (I know I did).
I agree with your assessment regarding SMU's placement in Dallas. Most people that pick SMU do so because they want to remain in Dallas; others simply choose to remain because there is a really good legal market here, the cost of living is low compared to other large cities, and the big firms here pay well and require fewer billable hours than the DC and NYC firms of the world.
Since I was not on your tour, I can't view the context of the "SMU is better than UT" experience you had. All of us here recognize that UT is the better school in Texas, especially considering the professors they have there as well as the high caliber students that attend there. But we are regarded well in Dallas, do well research and writing wise, and win many moot court/mock trial competitions around the world. For example, UT does not use grades for legal research and writing. Furthermore, UT students on law review do not receive academic credit for their work on law review. Also, the big firms in Dallas and Houston rank SMU summer clerks higher than UT clerks on the quality of their memos and their work ethic in general. Again, UT is a better school reputation wise, but SMU is still a good law school in Texas.
Also, just note that not all people have the same experiences as you did at SMU. I also visited W&L before I went to SMU and while I agree it has a nice environment, it is far from perfect. Take the anti-homosexual attacks that were happening at the W&L law school campus a few months ago - again all law schools have eye sores. SMU is definitely a regional school - you want to practice somewhere other than the South, then SMU is probably not the school for you.