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Author Topic: Top 20 school vs. FREE top 100 school  (Read 4801 times)

,.,.,.;.,.,.

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Re: Top 20 school vs. FREE top 100 school
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2009, 01:49:53 PM »
Texas, no question.  It's by far the more prestigious and respected non-T14, with the possible exception(s) of Vandy and UCLA.

I have a friend here at Chicago whose wife graduated from Texas Law, and she managed to get a big firm job in DC, followed by a lateral offer here in Chicago.  She did well there, but, from what I gather, not top 10% or anything.  You would be silly to pass up UT.

casper13

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Re: Top 20 school vs. FREE top 100 school
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2009, 05:23:06 PM »
Trust me, the part where it's in Austin is appealing, especially considering that I live in Austin.


Staying in your place and not moving>>>>>>>Driving up the 35 and dealing with Waco

JasonJones

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Re: Top 20 school vs. FREE top 100 school
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2009, 05:47:15 PM »
I had a very similar situation. I talked to several contacts at Patton Boggs and Haynes Boone in Dallas about this. The way it was presented to me several times was if you want to go biglaw, you need to be in the top third at UT. If you go to Baylor, Houston, or SMU, you better be in the top 5-10% or they won't bother talking to you. That was the deciding factor for me as far as Texas schools are concerned. Plus just look at average starting salaries and it wont take you long to make up the difference. Plus, Waco...

Betty_Crocker

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Re: Top 20 school vs. FREE top 100 school
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2009, 04:27:06 PM »
As an SMU Law alum, I recommend UT hands down. Even though Baylor is a really good litigation school and is highly regarded in Texas, UT opens so many more doors for you in the future. I know the debt is a bit disconcerting, but if you are really interested in litigation, you will probably want to get a good clerkship at a federal court or the Texas Supreme Court. Judges are more prestige whores than the big law firms, so UT will definitely give you a bump over a Baylor, SMU or UH graduate. Plus, you say you don't want to live outside Texas NOW, but stuff can change in the future. A UT JD is a lot easier to shop around outside of Texas than a Baylor JD.

Also, for the sake of full disclosure, you don't HAVE to be in the top 5-10% at Baylor, SMU or UH to secure a Biglaw firm job in Texas. Most of the these Biglaw firms in Texas will go as deep as the top 25% at all three schools; but it is true that those firms will go deeper in the class at UT. I know a couple of people in my graduating class at Baker Botts, Weil, HayBoo, V&E, and Locke who were barely in the top 1/3 at SMU. I'm sure it's also the same at Baylor and UH.

But as I already said, definitely go to UT notwithstanding the Baylor scholarship. You should also check the fine print on that Baylor scholarship too. Baylor is notorious for giving over half the class a scholarship that all requires the students to be in the top half of their class. I'm not a math wiz, but I can tell you that there will be several students who will lose their scholarship because they were outside of the top 50%. Now if you really want to move to a smaller town and work in a small firm or set up your own shop in Texas, then I would recommend being debtfree and getting the litigation skills you will obtain at Baylor. 

penni_rose

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Re: Top 20 school vs. FREE top 100 school
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2009, 01:28:36 PM »
Okay, so here's where it gets real interesting. I was pretty sure that I'd go to UT anyway, but then I visited both schools. Without even thinking about the scholarship, I had a better feeling about Baylor. The class waa more interesting (the prof was WAY better than the one they recommended I see at UT), the staff was much more helpful, the facilities seemed like they would meet my needs better, and I just overall felt good about it when I left.

Would that change any of your minds? I know that it's not as prestigious a school, but isn't about the school that is more comfortable for you?

Also, I know I don't want to leave Texas. I've lived outside of Texas in the past and I hated being so far away from my family. My husband also made it clear that he wouldn't leave with me again.

Betty_Crocker

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Re: Top 20 school vs. FREE top 100 school
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2009, 11:10:13 AM »
Okay, so here's where it gets real interesting. I was pretty sure that I'd go to UT anyway, but then I visited both schools. Without even thinking about the scholarship, I had a better feeling about Baylor. The class waa more interesting (the prof was WAY better than the one they recommended I see at UT), the staff was much more helpful, the facilities seemed like they would meet my needs better, and I just overall felt good about it when I left.

Would that change any of your minds? I know that it's not as prestigious a school, but isn't about the school that is more comfortable for you?

Also, I know I don't want to leave Texas. I've lived outside of Texas in the past and I hated being so far away from my family. My husband also made it clear that he wouldn't leave with me again.

Well now it's a personal preference issue. If you are prepared for Baylor's "bootcamp" style of teaching and Baylor's employment prospects in comparison to Texas, then go for the school that you like. Just make sure you understand Baylor's law school experience BEFORE you attend. I think very highly of Baylor, but it gets slammed on law student satisfaction surveys and I think it's because the students were not fully prepared for what Baylor's law school was going to be like. Remember, your 3L will be one of the hardiest years (and that is completely opposite of other schools). But, Baylor probably has the best professors in Texas when it comes to teaching and interest. During Bar/Bri, we were exposed to different law professors around Texas. The professors who taught Evidence and Texas Procedure were the best and they were both from Baylor. Baylor will definintely teach you how to be a lawyer. Just remember that if you want to have better career options after graduation, you are going to have to be top 10% at a very competitive school at Baylor, while you only need to be in the top-third to top-50% at Texas. 

penni_rose

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Re: Top 20 school vs. FREE top 100 school
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2009, 09:40:03 PM »
So, now it's looking like UT will be giving me some sort of scholarship. I don't know how much yet, but it makes me happy. SMU mentioned a scholarship today too, but, again, I don't know how much. Let's see what happens.

Contract2008

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Re: Top 20 school vs. FREE top 100 school
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2009, 11:27:47 PM »
Okay, so here's where it gets real interesting. I was pretty sure that I'd go to UT anyway, but then I visited both schools. Without even thinking about the scholarship, I had a better feeling about Baylor. The class waa more interesting (the prof was WAY better than the one they recommended I see at UT), the staff was much more helpful, the facilities seemed like they would meet my needs better, and I just overall felt good about it when I left.

Law school is not a vacation spot.  It's not about feel good. It's not about having nice staff; you're not at a restaurant and even if you were, you should focus more on the food as long as the service is not horrible or plan rude. 

Outside the top 14, there are no law school more prestigous than UT, maybe with the exceptions of Vandy and UCLA.  Within Texas, UT is the clear winner.  Outside of Texas, UT is the only winner among all law schools in Texas.  With today's economy, which might last for three or more years, having that extra edge can mean one job offer or no offer at all.