Law School Discussion

Advice: SMU ($$) v. WUSTL (Probably Nothing) *Update*

Re: Advice: SMU ($$) v. WUSTL (Probably Nothing)
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2008, 06:54:48 PM »
As it stands, I'd lean toward SMU in your situation, but don't be surprised if WUSTL offers you 10-15k per year with that LSAT.  If cost is comparable, I would probably go WUSTL.

Re: Advice: SMU ($$) v. WUSTL (Probably Nothing)
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2008, 06:59:08 PM »
I'd go to SMU and try to be at the top of the class. It's a close call though.

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Re: Advice: SMU ($$) v. WUSTL (Probably Nothing)
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2008, 07:00:24 PM »
Wow. This has been pretty much split down the middle. Thatís exactly how I feel. To answer a question, I just want to make sure I end up in Texas long-term. If itís Dallas great but if not we could be really happy in Austin (Hometown) or even San Antonio (I realize those markets are tiny). 

It feels strange having my life play out on a message board. Thanks so much for all the opinions. If anybody else has one, bring it on.

Re: Advice: SMU ($$) v. WUSTL (Probably Nothing)
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2008, 07:09:17 PM »

Background: Iím a lifelong Texas resident with significant ties to Austin and Dallas. I have been living in Dallas for about two years since undergrad. I have been married for a while but am only 25 so no kids or anything holding us back. My wife has a great job with a little bit of notoriety that she LOVES and is likely to advance in if we stay. That being said, she is willing to move if it is worth it.

I got into SMU with a scholarship that will cut tuition by more than half. I was also recently admitted to WUSTL but a scholarship is far from a sure thing because I have splitter numbers. Unless a lot of you full ride guys turn it down I doubt there will be any money left over for me.


SMU.  You are still looking at a Top 50 school, for those who really care.  No LS is worth uprooting a happy wife, even if she is willing to move.  Unless she is truly excited about an opportunity to move, stay where you are and where you have a support system.  BTW, my answer would stay the same even if SMU had no money on the table.

What do you want to do after law school?

Good Luck,
from an uprooted (but eventually happy) wife

Re: Advice: SMU ($$) v. WUSTL (Probably Nothing)
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2008, 07:23:26 PM »
Go to SMU. WUSTL will not give you a significant boost in Texas, and maybe no boost at all in Dallas. It's definitely not worth paying more and uprooting your family. If this was something just a tad more prestigious like UT or Vanderbilt, then it might be wise to go, but there is a significant gap between them and WUSTL.

Re: Advice: SMU ($$) v. WUSTL (Probably Nothing)
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2008, 07:48:06 PM »
Wow. This has been pretty much split down the middle. Thatís exactly how I feel. To answer a question, I just want to make sure I end up in Texas long-term. If itís Dallas great but if not we could be really happy in Austin (Hometown) or even San Antonio (I realize those markets are tiny). 

It feels strange having my life play out on a message board. Thanks so much for all the opinions. If anybody else has one, bring it on.


If you are not just focused on Dallas alone in Texas, you should go to WUSTL.

Re: Advice: SMU ($$) v. WUSTL (Probably Nothing)
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2008, 08:57:04 PM »
If you look at the numbers, I think SMU still makes more sense

the schools have almost identical bar passage rates (SMU 88, WUSTL 90), but the big diference being....The Texas Bar is significantly harder than the Missouri Bar. Texas has 80% passage rate to Missouri's 88%.  WUSTL educations their students 2% higher than the state's average while SMU performs 8% better.  It seems to me that SMU is training attourney's better equipped to pass the Texas bar and succeed in Texas, if not better educated attourney's overall.

And regardless of the "options" of WUSTL, the fact is most graduates do indeed stay in Mizzou.  Also, 98% of all graduates have a job with a median of 85000 from SMU(admittedly 100000 from WUSTL).  But the fact that your wife has a pretty sucessful job in the area and if you would like to practice in Dallas, I dont think you should get scared about people saying that only the top SMU grads get the kind of jobs that they want.  Unless you hear that from a Dallas employer, then I think the numbers speak for themself.

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Re: Advice: SMU ($$) v. WUSTL (Probably Nothing)
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2008, 09:21:40 PM »
If you were single, it would be a toss-up.  With a happy, employed wife in Dallas - SMU is the better choice...

and I am a card carrying hater of SMU.

Re: Advice: SMU ($$) v. WUSTL (Probably Nothing)
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2008, 10:07:28 PM »
the schools have almost identical bar passage rates (SMU 88, WUSTL 90), but the big diference being....The Texas Bar is significantly harder than the Missouri Bar. Texas has 80% passage rate to Missouri's 88%.  WUSTL educations their students 2% higher than the state's average while SMU performs 8% better.  It seems to me that SMU is training attourney's better equipped to pass the Texas bar and succeed in Texas, if not better educated attourney's overall.

I think you may be making too many assumptions here.  First, Texas also has many more "lower standards" schools than Missouri, UMKC being the only one with a 75th percentile LSAT below 160.  This may have some affect on bar passage rates in Texas and the perceived difficulty of the examination.  This could also be offset by the number of people taking the exam in Texas.

Second, I think it is reasonable to assume that a higher percentage of students at WUSTL are taking the bar in states other than Missouri and I think it is also reasonable to assume that these students are probably in the top half of the class.  I think it is safe to say this is not the case for SMU, I would guess they have close to 100% of those at the top of the class staying in Texas. 

As far as difficulty of the exam, I have no clue, but if 90% of those who sit for the bar in the home state pass the exam, I think the student body at the institution has prepared fairly well.

Quote
And regardless of the "options" of WUSTL, the fact is most graduates do indeed stay in Mizzou.  Also, 98% of all graduates have a job with a median of 85000 from SMU(admittedly 100000 from WUSTL).  But the fact that your wife has a pretty sucessful job in the area and if you would like to practice in Dallas, I dont think you should get scared about people saying that only the top SMU grads get the kind of jobs that they want.  Unless you hear that from a Dallas employer, then I think the numbers speak for themself.

The only figure I have to back my comments up are from WUSTL, but from what I hear only 30% of the class stay in St. Louis.  I would probably agree that over half the students of WUSTL stay in Missouri, but 25-40% of the class has alternatives outside of Missouri.

You also used the term "all graduates" when referring to median salaries.  The salary figures are compiled by the schools themselves and are only as accurate as the information provided by graduates in surveys.  Some schools have a very low response rate from graduates (not saying it is the case here) but the median is almost definitely not based on dataset of all graduates salary information. 

All of this said, I think SMU is the choice that makes the most sense to me if I was in this situation.

Re: Advice: SMU ($$) v. WUSTL (Probably Nothing)
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2008, 10:12:52 PM »
If you look at the numbers, I think SMU still makes more sense

the schools have almost identical bar passage rates (SMU 88, WUSTL 90), but the big diference being....The Texas Bar is significantly harder than the Missouri Bar. Texas has 80% passage rate to Missouri's 88%.  WUSTL educations their students 2% higher than the state's average while SMU performs 8% better.  It seems to me that SMU is training attourney's better equipped to pass the Texas bar and succeed in Texas, if not better educated attourney's overall.

And regardless of the "options" of WUSTL, the fact is most graduates do indeed stay in Mizzou.  Also, 98% of all graduates have a job with a median of 85000 from SMU(admittedly 100000 from WUSTL).  But the fact that your wife has a pretty sucessful job in the area and if you would like to practice in Dallas, I dont think you should get scared about people saying that only the top SMU grads get the kind of jobs that they want.  Unless you hear that from a Dallas employer, then I think the numbers speak for themself.

The bar passage logic used by this poster is idiotic. By his logic, St. Johns does a better job of educating their students than Fordham does. By his logic, Florida CoasTTTTal does a better job of educating their students than Florida State.

More importantly, using this logic, OP should be at Baylor and not SMU.

Also foolish is his use of "employment" numbers. Anyone who knows about law school admissions knows that those numbers are pure puffery and only reflect the limited number of people who actually respond to the questionnaire.

In this case, the numbers do not at all speak for themselves.