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Author Topic: SMU ASW?  (Read 6820 times)

czarevich

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Re: SMU ASW?
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2008, 02:01:58 PM »
I'm going to SMU unless UT decides to let me in off WL.

goodword and contract2008 - don't rain on my parade. (I can experience that in other threads aplenty)

I'm also going to SMU unless Northwestern decides to let me in by some miracle (Not going to happen).

If you don't mind working in DFW (Which is a plus for me) and you don't get into UT (also me) SMU is a great choice. I've been able to get to know a bunch of the attorneys that work at my firm and each of them (even the recent t14 grads) have said to me that you canít really go wrong with either school as long as you want to stay in the state. I even had a Northwestern grad tell me that if she had realized that she was coming back to Texas at the time, she might have taken a full ride at UH.  Texas firms like to hire fellow Texans. Please realize that in no way am I equating the opportunities that a UT grad will have vs. an SMU grad. The UT gradís choices will probably be better but the prospects for schools in the state below UT are not as dire as some would have you believe. SMU and UH do well in their respective markets. 

I do wish the school would try harder to increase its national reputation. With the resources that they have and their excellent location it would be feasible for them to push their ranking considerably higher. They do not seem like they are really committed to doing it in my opinion. As it stands right now, itís still a good choice.

I'll be at the ASD on Friday. Anyone else? 


I think most schools with similar rankings including SMU are trying to boost their national rankings.  If you ask attorneys in DFW that went to the school in the '90's, most will say that they attended SMU before it became what it is today.  SMU's LSAT range and GPA range continue to increase.  Perhaps, they might try and recruit from other places besides Texas and Orange County, CA though. 

BLUE EYED MONSTER

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Re: SMU ASW?
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2008, 03:43:49 PM »
I'm going to SMU unless UT decides to let me in off WL.

goodword and contract2008 - don't rain on my parade. (I can experience that in other threads aplenty)

I'm also going to SMU unless Northwestern decides to let me in by some miracle (Not going to happen).

If you don't mind working in DFW (Which is a plus for me) and you don't get into UT (also me) SMU is a great choice. I've been able to get to know a bunch of the attorneys that work at my firm and each of them (even the recent t14 grads) have said to me that you canít really go wrong with either school as long as you want to stay in the state. I even had a Northwestern grad tell me that if she had realized that she was coming back to Texas at the time, she might have taken a full ride at UH.  Texas firms like to hire fellow Texans. Please realize that in no way am I equating the opportunities that a UT grad will have vs. an SMU grad. The UT gradís choices will probably be better but the prospects for schools in the state below UT are not as dire as some would have you believe. SMU and UH do well in their respective markets. 

I do wish the school would try harder to increase its national reputation. With the resources that they have and their excellent location it would be feasible for them to push their ranking considerably higher. They do not seem like they are really committed to doing it in my opinion. As it stands right now, itís still a good choice.

I'll be at the ASD on Friday. Anyone else? 


I think most schools with similar rankings including SMU are trying to boost their national rankings.  If you ask attorneys in DFW that went to the school in the '90's, most will say that they attended SMU before it became what it is today.  SMU's LSAT range and GPA range continue to increase.  Perhaps, they might try and recruit from other places besides Texas and Orange County, CA though. 

Fair enough. The statement I made was mainly in comparison to my dealings with WUSTL who is pouring a ton of money into their recruitment process and seems to be having quite a successful year. While I donít think SMU is a top 20 school, they do have similar or better placement and salary stats to schools ranked above them. I know those arenít the only categories that the rankings take into account but would argue that those are the main two that matter to most applicants (myself included).   

I think it's a great school - I just get sick of reading these threads where everything is copasetic and then some jerk interrupts the happy with some negative comment (presumably under the guise of being "helpful" - really just to be nasty). It's like - move along, move along. I've heard and read and researched the negatives of this process ad nauseum - I don't need some twerp to pipe up and make some unqualified comment about my prospects. End rant.

Youíre right. I realize that some people may not be up to speed but most of us are not going to drop a ton of money on a school without doing the requisite research. That can be frustrating. Trying to talk someone out of a school (unless they are literally throwing their life away) is almost never a good idea.

Changed Name

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Re: SMU ASW?
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2008, 04:07:13 PM »
I figure I'll put my few cents in also. I'm seriously considering SMU because I was offered a nice scholarship. I think it's a great school and dominates in its market. I understand that those at the bottom of their class may struggle. However, that is the case at MOST law schools.

Anyone here going on the 18th?

Poetgirl80

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Re: SMU ASW?
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2008, 05:11:21 PM »
sigh-- I'm still waiting to hear back

Betty_Crocker

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Re: SMU ASW?
« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2008, 01:33:34 AM »



I do wish the school would try harder to increase its national reputation. With the resources that they have and their excellent location it would be feasible for them to push their ranking considerably higher. They do not seem like they are really committed to doing it in my opinion. As it stands right now, itís still a good choice.

I'll be at the ASD on Friday. Anyone else? 


I will rain in my 2-cents here. All law schools try to increase  their "national" rep, but the best thing that helps a school's national exposure is if the graduates move out of the state. As of last year's class, 92% stayed in state. Now that the pay rates of the big firms in Dallas and Houston are the exact same as the firms in New York and Chicago, fewer SMU grads are going to want to leave a city that they are already established in. Plus, since the COL in Dallas is a lot better than Chicago or NYC, that $160K/year salary can be stretched pretty far.

Unfortunately, there are no statistics available to see how many SMU grads stayed in state because they couldn't find jobs elsewhere or if they really didn't look. I know three SMU grads that moved to Florida, DC, and Oklahoma because that is where they wanted to work, and they got these jobs before they graduated.

Honestly I don't know what a law school can do to become more nationally known. I know SMU solicits prospective students from across the country with materials and fee waivers and it visits grad school fairs around the US.

Betty_Crocker

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Re: SMU ASW?
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2008, 02:11:41 AM »

Go to the Graduate or Student Discussion board, you will see that a 2007 SMU graduate is unemployed and seeking employment and he said that he is not alone.  Many of his class mates are still unemployed. 




You can find this kind of stuff about almost every law school in the country - that some students are having trouble finding a job. Law students can be way over dramatic when it comes to finding a job and it is because of the way people get jobs. Typically only big firms hire before graduation and the big firms in Dallas will go as deep as the top third of the class of SMU when hiring. I am a 3L at SMU, in the top third, and I don't have a job yet, but I am not panicking. It sucks that a lot of my friends have solid offers and getting $160K or more per year, but I always remind myself that I haven't even graduated yet. For example, government jobs can't give you an offer UNLESS you pass the bar FIRST. Plus, under the reciprocity agreement that career services has with most of the law schools, we can access the job banks at other schools via the BYU job bank. I have seen the job postings at UT-Austin, Tulane, and Vandy and they fair no better than SMU with job postings. In fact, the UT job bank has a lot of postings for legal recruiters rather than the direct jobs, whereas SMU does not allow recruiter postings. Now if you are in the bottom quarter of the class, then finding a job will be difficult but not impossible. Furthermore, 80% of the grads will not be at their same firm 5 years out of graduation. I think a lot of students have the mindset of people in the non-lawyer field. In the regular job market, in 5 years you will be closer to the same pay level as you started and if you move jobs, you will transfer to a job that pays the same as your old job. In law, after you work for five years, it is not uncommon for you to transfer up to a larger firm and go from a firm paying $60K/year to a firm that pays $210K/year and vice versa. Remember that the whole job game is relative. Most of the students who female dog about not finding a job are comparing themselves to people who are in the top 10% and working at a huge firm. If they realized how they fair in comparison to schools like Baylor, UofH, Texas Wesleyan, and OU they would realize that they are not in such a bleak position and would stop over-dramatizing their situation. I'm sorry to say, but law students LOVE to complain and LOVE to spout out their grievances to any ear that will hear them. I find it funny how people say career services suck - if the name of the department was "Career Placement" then I agree that they do suck. But career services is just a service, it facilitates the hiring process by helping firms get in contact with its students and helps students with interviewing and resumes. They are not going to cold call every firm in the country, or Dallas for that matter, and see if they have jobs available - that is the responsibility of the student. If the whining student doesn't have the initiative to actively seek jobs, then that is their problem. Take their warnings and complaints with a grain of salt; heck, take my perspective with a grain of salt. Just note that not every student will be 100% happy with their job outlook and their time at their respective school. I received over 50+ rejection letters from firms I have been applying at. Yeah it's frustrating, yeah it's disheartening, and yeah it takes time. But it is a necessary evil that the majority of law students across the law school are dealing with.     

Betty_Crocker

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Re: SMU ASW?
« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2008, 02:41:50 AM »
Sorry for this blatant shout-out, but there were some complaints about SMU's ASW last year and I don't think the format changed much this year. A couple people were complaining that the students weren't very social and that the school was very impersonal. This year should be better, but it depends on if the weather cooperates this year (I hear that there might be some storms again like last year, so it might be a bust). Typically, y'all will attend a brief meeting introducing you to the school and you will meet Dean Attanasio, Dean Camp, Karen Sargent, and some of the law professors. You will get a tour of the buildings and will then sit in on a first-year class. At lunch, the whole law school typically will have lunch outdoors in the Quad (next to the rotunda) with food from The Hamburger Man. Then you will probably have a Q&A session with a couple of current students and there might be a few presentations on student life and there might be something on job outlook.

My recommendation is that you should talk with students during lunch and get a candid take on law school that is unbiased. I know it seems intimidating, but if the student is not rushed, most people will be more than happy to chat with you. My biggest pet peeve is listening to a student female dog and moan about attending their law school when they could have avoided the issue if they conducted legitimate research BEFORE they attending the school. No one is going to try and trick you to attend SMU, but you should ask questions about stuff you are concerned about before you decide to attend. For example, if you are really interested in public service and you didn't get a scholarship to attend SMU, it is probably not the best option for you.

Also, I don't know if this is open to prospective students, but try and attend the APIL auction that starts at 7PM on Friday night. It is an auction to help fund SMU's public service program. It is supposed to be pretty entertaining and students can buy group dinners, Rangers games, rounds of golf, etc with a law school professor. Last week we had a crawfish boil held in the Quad with crawfish, beer, and bands. In a few weeks we will have Barristers Ball (Law School Prom) and some other social events. I also recommend visiting the gym on the main campus, it is new, surprisingly large considering the number of students at SMU, and really nice on the inside. I only mention this kind of stuff because ASW does not do a good job at showing off the fact that students are active outside of law school and that there are events sponsored by the school other than the student law organizations.

Sorry for the random comments, but I hope y'all will consider this stuff if you come and visit for ASW and that you get the most for your trip. Just take the initiative to ask the questions and meet the people you want to meet.   

BLUE EYED MONSTER

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Re: SMU ASW?
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2008, 03:00:19 PM »
Sorry for this blatant shout-out, but there were some complaints about SMU's ASW last year and I don't think the format changed much this year. A couple people were complaining that the students weren't very social and that the school was very impersonal. This year should be better, but it depends on if the weather cooperates this year (I hear that there might be some storms again like last year, so it might be a bust). Typically, y'all will attend a brief meeting introducing you to the school and you will meet Dean Attanasio, Dean Camp, Karen Sargent, and some of the law professors. You will get a tour of the buildings and will then sit in on a first-year class. At lunch, the whole law school typically will have lunch outdoors in the Quad (next to the rotunda) with food from The Hamburger Man. Then you will probably have a Q&A session with a couple of current students and there might be a few presentations on student life and there might be something on job outlook.

My recommendation is that you should talk with students during lunch and get a candid take on law school that is unbiased. I know it seems intimidating, but if the student is not rushed, most people will be more than happy to chat with you. My biggest pet peeve is listening to a student female dog and moan about attending their law school when they could have avoided the issue if they conducted legitimate research BEFORE they attending the school. No one is going to try and trick you to attend SMU, but you should ask questions about stuff you are concerned about before you decide to attend. For example, if you are really interested in public service and you didn't get a scholarship to attend SMU, it is probably not the best option for you.

Also, I don't know if this is open to prospective students, but try and attend the APIL auction that starts at 7PM on Friday night. It is an auction to help fund SMU's public service program. It is supposed to be pretty entertaining and students can buy group dinners, Rangers games, rounds of golf, etc with a law school professor. Last week we had a crawfish boil held in the Quad with crawfish, beer, and bands. In a few weeks we will have Barristers Ball (Law School Prom) and some other social events. I also recommend visiting the gym on the main campus, it is new, surprisingly large considering the number of students at SMU, and really nice on the inside. I only mention this kind of stuff because ASW does not do a good job at showing off the fact that students are active outside of law school and that there are events sponsored by the school other than the student law organizations.

Sorry for the random comments, but I hope y'all will consider this stuff if you come and visit for ASW and that you get the most for your trip. Just take the initiative to ask the questions and meet the people you want to meet.   

Good stuff. I'll be sure to report back with my impressions after attending on Friday.

jer

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Re: SMU ASW?
« Reply #28 on: April 04, 2008, 11:29:03 AM »
haven't been on lsd much this yr....but if anyone has any questions about smu or ends up here, let me know.
i'd be happy to offer suggestions on where to find a place to live and how to stay sane during 1L.
our finals start may 1st and end may 9th, then i start my summer associate position may 12th.
i'm a 1L but got lucky and landed a sweet summer associate position that pays very well, so i'll go from being camped out at the library to partying like a rock star for the summer

Betty_Crocker

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Re: SMU ASW?
« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2008, 05:01:00 PM »
Betty - you're avatar makes this thread NSFW.





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