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Author Topic: Good enough for SMU part time?  (Read 4027 times)

Holden Caulfield

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Re: Good enough for SMU part time?
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2008, 11:33:23 PM »
in general, are there any glaring disadvantages to applying PT? does SMU still allow you opportunities for summer internships and law review?

No disadvantages. They absolutely allow PT students just as many opportunities for summer internships and law review.

OasisFan

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Re: Good enough for SMU part time?
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2008, 12:37:20 PM »
how come their 25th percentile is a 152?  It seems strange that a 158 is the lowest possible score you can have and still be competitive when clearly people with much lower scores got admitted...any insight?

hopeful1985

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Re: Good enough for SMU part time?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2008, 12:42:12 PM »
in general, are there any glaring disadvantages to applying PT? does SMU still allow you opportunities for summer internships and law review?

No disadvantages. They absolutely allow PT students just as many opportunities for summer internships and law review.

Thank you so much for your reply Holden. That's great to know! Do you know if this is the norm for schools or do they really approach it differently in terms of the disadvantages of doing PT?

Betty_Crocker

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Re: Good enough for SMU part time?
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2008, 02:02:52 PM »
in general, are there any glaring disadvantages to applying PT? does SMU still allow you opportunities for summer internships and law review?

No disadvantages. They absolutely allow PT students just as many opportunities for summer internships and law review.

Thank you so much for your reply Holden. That's great to know! Do you know if this is the norm for schools or do they really approach it differently in terms of the disadvantages of doing PT?

PT programs vary by school. I think SMU has one of the most relaxed requirements in the country. You can transfer into the day program, same law review requirements (i.e. no reserved slots for night students), you can take day programs after your 2nd year, etc. A lot of full time students are annoyed with the program because the evening students are on the same curve. It hurts us because a lot of the evening students are not gunners and don't care as much about grades as the daytimers. Plus a lot of folks in the evening program will start off having a job, but will quit as soon as they start law school - thus defeating the point of having an evening program to cater to students who have to work.

As far as OCI and summer associate jobs are concerned, evening students typically do no worse than the daytimers with similar class rankings/GPA. While there might be a slight stimga attached to part-time students, I don't think it really affects job prospects. People who do have trouble getting jobs with the bigger law firms in the evening programs, are typically the older students (over 35 years old). Firms don't think these folks will be around long enough to justifiy the sunk costs and a lot of the senior associates/partners don't like having new associates significantly older than them.   

Holden Caulfield

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Re: Good enough for SMU part time?
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2008, 02:24:44 PM »
how come their 25th percentile is a 152?  It seems strange that a 158 is the lowest possible score you can have and still be competitive when clearly people with much lower scores got admitted...any insight?

It's 152 just because it is, and what do you mean by competitive? 158 should get you into the PT program, but I also know a couple of people who got into the FT program with less than that.

OasisFan

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Re: Good enough for SMU part time?
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2008, 06:37:55 PM »
I had your same GPA and a 162 LSAT and I applied for full time and part-time.  They let me in part-time with 12,000  a year.  My guess is if you get a 158-160 you should get in, if you're 161-162 you should get some scholarship, if you're 163+ you should get a hefty scholarship for PT.
On a side note it took SMU FOREVER to notify me and I think others had the same problem last year.

I was referring to this...If a 152 is the 25th percentile, you can probably get lower than a 158 and still be competitive thats all I was saying.  You probably have to have something like a higher GPA or something to off-set but you get the idea.

czarevich

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Re: Good enough for SMU part time?
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2008, 09:37:12 AM »
in general, are there any glaring disadvantages to applying PT? does SMU still allow you opportunities for summer internships and law review?

No disadvantages. They absolutely allow PT students just as many opportunities for summer internships and law review.

Thank you so much for your reply Holden. That's great to know! Do you know if this is the norm for schools or do they really approach it differently in terms of the disadvantages of doing PT?

PT programs vary by school. I think SMU has one of the most relaxed requirements in the country. You can transfer into the day program, same law review requirements (i.e. no reserved slots for night students), you can take day programs after your 2nd year, etc. A lot of full time students are annoyed with the program because the evening students are on the same curve. It hurts us because a lot of the evening students are not gunners and don't care as much about grades as the daytimers. Plus a lot of folks in the evening program will start off having a job, but will quit as soon as they start law school - thus defeating the point of having an evening program to cater to students who have to work.

As far as OCI and summer associate jobs are concerned, evening students typically do no worse than the daytimers with similar class rankings/GPA. While there might be a slight stimga attached to part-time students, I don't think it really affects job prospects. People who do have trouble getting jobs with the bigger law firms in the evening programs, are typically the older students (over 35 years old). Firms don't think these folks will be around long enough to justifiy the sunk costs and a lot of the senior associates/partners don't like having new associates significantly older than them.   

It seems like if the evening students were not "gunners" and didn't "care as much about their grades," then it would only help the day students since you are on the same curve.  Also, I don't really think that anyone that goes to law school cares less about their grades than others.  Surely, the evening program students have families, jobs, or just a little more wisdom that gives them more breadth than the average 22 year old law student with nothing better to do than stress about 1L grades. 

Betty_Crocker

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Re: Good enough for SMU part time?
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2008, 10:15:55 AM »
in general, are there any glaring disadvantages to applying PT? does SMU still allow you opportunities for summer internships and law review?

No disadvantages. They absolutely allow PT students just as many opportunities for summer internships and law review.

Thank you so much for your reply Holden. That's great to know! Do you know if this is the norm for schools or do they really approach it differently in terms of the disadvantages of doing PT?

PT programs vary by school. I think SMU has one of the most relaxed requirements in the country. You can transfer into the day program, same law review requirements (i.e. no reserved slots for night students), you can take day programs after your 2nd year, etc. A lot of full time students are annoyed with the program because the evening students are on the same curve. It hurts us because a lot of the evening students are not gunners and don't care as much about grades as the daytimers. Plus a lot of folks in the evening program will start off having a job, but will quit as soon as they start law school - thus defeating the point of having an evening program to cater to students who have to work.

As far as OCI and summer associate jobs are concerned, evening students typically do no worse than the daytimers with similar class rankings/GPA. While there might be a slight stimga attached to part-time students, I don't think it really affects job prospects. People who do have trouble getting jobs with the bigger law firms in the evening programs, are typically the older students (over 35 years old). Firms don't think these folks will be around long enough to justifiy the sunk costs and a lot of the senior associates/partners don't like having new associates significantly older than them.   

It seems like if the evening students were not "gunners" and didn't "care as much about their grades," then it would only help the day students since you are on the same curve.  Also, I don't really think that anyone that goes to law school cares less about their grades than others.  Surely, the evening program students have families, jobs, or just a little more wisdom that gives them more breadth than the average 22 year old law student with nothing better to do than stress about 1L grades. 

The evening students will eventually be on the same curve as the day time students, thus resulting in a significant drop in their GPA. By the same curve, I mean that all three sections (1, 2 and the evening section) follow the same grade distributions. For example, before grades come out, all three professors who teach the same subject will meet together to determine the same curve. Thus, if the contracts professors all decide that there should only be two A's given in their respective class, there will only be 6 A's in contracts for the entire school for that semester. But there will probably more papers in the day time sections that deserve "As" (if they were compared to the "A" papers in the evening section) than the evening sections. I'm not saying that all the people in the evening program are dumber than the day students, but the admission stats speak for themselves. If you look at my graduation class (May 2008), hardly any evening students received summa or magna cum laude distinctions or were Order of the Coif, but there were more cum laudes given to evening students than day students. So it seems to me that after the first two years (when the evening students have to start competing with day students for grades as they are then in the same classes), the evening students will start experiencing a grade drop and will start getting grades that are closer to their level in law school. What stinks is that there are probably a couple of day time students who would have been in the top half of their class if they would have been a 1L in the evening section and vice versa. 

czarevich

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Re: Good enough for SMU part time?
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2008, 12:39:52 PM »
I think your logic is flawed.  While the admissions statistics may show a lower GPA/LSAT distribution amongst the evening programs than the day program, those are only predictors of success.  A day student with high numbers does not have some sort of inane ability in law school.  Also, I know for a fact that the valedictorian of SMU law school this year happened to be an evening student with a family and a full-time job, not some slacker that is taking the easy way out.  I would venture to say that about 95% of the evening students are exactly the type of older, working students for which the program was intended.  Although, there are a few part-time day students that I would question in terms of their work ethic. 

okayplayer

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Re: Good enough for SMU part time?
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2008, 01:04:34 PM »
in general, are there any glaring disadvantages to applying PT? does SMU still allow you opportunities for summer internships and law review?

No disadvantages. They absolutely allow PT students just as many opportunities for summer internships and law review.

Thank you so much for your reply Holden. That's great to know! Do you know if this is the norm for schools or do they really approach it differently in terms of the disadvantages of doing PT?

PT programs vary by school. I think SMU has one of the most relaxed requirements in the country. You can transfer into the day program, same law review requirements (i.e. no reserved slots for night students), you can take day programs after your 2nd year, etc. A lot of full time students are annoyed with the program because the evening students are on the same curve. It hurts us because a lot of the evening students are not gunners and don't care as much about grades as the daytimers. Plus a lot of folks in the evening program will start off having a job, but will quit as soon as they start law school - thus defeating the point of having an evening program to cater to students who have to work.

As far as OCI and summer associate jobs are concerned, evening students typically do no worse than the daytimers with similar class rankings/GPA. While there might be a slight stimga attached to part-time students, I don't think it really affects job prospects. People who do have trouble getting jobs with the bigger law firms in the evening programs, are typically the older students (over 35 years old). Firms don't think these folks will be around long enough to justifiy the sunk costs and a lot of the senior associates/partners don't like having new associates significantly older than them.   

It seems like if the evening students were not "gunners" and didn't "care as much about their grades," then it would only help the day students since you are on the same curve.  Also, I don't really think that anyone that goes to law school cares less about their grades than others.  Surely, the evening program students have families, jobs, or just a little more wisdom that gives them more breadth than the average 22 year old law student with nothing better to do than stress about 1L grades. 

The evening students will eventually be on the same curve as the day time students, thus resulting in a significant drop in their GPA. By the same curve, I mean that all three sections (1, 2 and the evening section) follow the same grade distributions. For example, before grades come out, all three professors who teach the same subject will meet together to determine the same curve. Thus, if the contracts professors all decide that there should only be two A's given in their respective class, there will only be 6 A's in contracts for the entire school for that semester. But there will probably more papers in the day time sections that deserve "As" (if they were compared to the "A" papers in the evening section) than the evening sections. I'm not saying that all the people in the evening program are dumber than the day students, but the admission stats speak for themselves. If you look at my graduation class (May 2008), hardly any evening students received summa or magna cum laude distinctions or were Order of the Coif, but there were more cum laudes given to evening students than day students. So it seems to me that after the first two years (when the evening students have to start competing with day students for grades as they are then in the same classes), the evening students will start experiencing a grade drop and will start getting grades that are closer to their level in law school. What stinks is that there are probably a couple of day time students who would have been in the top half of their class if they would have been a 1L in the evening section and vice versa. 

I don't know about your grad year (which was the first night class to graduate), but my class ('10) is absolutely rocking it right now.  Half of SMU Law Review is comprised of night students, yet the night section is only 1/3 of the total class.  I'm sure it ebbs and flows, but I think you would be surprised at the quality of student in the night program whose "numbers" were pedestrian at best.

As far as getting jobs, this cycle has been great for those in the 30+ range, I know of 10 night students off the top of my head that have BIGLAW jobs lined up for the summer.  I have also heard on numerous occassions (from law firms), that the night program's rep is starting to grow around town as a source for high quality candidates.