Law School Discussion

A Difficult WUSTL Decision

A Difficult WUSTL Decision
« on: June 02, 2010, 11:16:46 AM »
I'm a native Texan, and looking at a wonderful offer from SMU (about 75% tuition), which would give me a great chance of staying in Texas.  However, my ultimate plans are to work in Austin/San Antonio, so it would require plenty of networking.  SMU in Dallas is somewhat of the "safe" choice, offering a surefire way of staying in Texas, but little opportunity to grow or take positions out of state.

On the other hand, I have been accepted at WUSTL (35% tuition) and loved my visit to the school.  I feel it's a better academic and social environment, and I'm not overly debt-averse.  The clinics are particularly awesome.  That being said, I would never want to practice in the midwest outside of Chicago.  I would prefer to work in Texas, California, or Virginia, none of which WUSTL has particularly strong ties to.  In addition, I feel that WUSTL would be much more academically demanding and would decrease my chance of being in the top 30% or so.

There are plenty of variables, but the heart of the argument is that I love WUSTL but don't want to be caught in the midwest.  Is the risk worth it? 


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Re: A Difficult WUSTL Decision
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2010, 11:46:19 AM »
In my opinion as a person with only one year of law school experience so take it with a grain of salt is that about 90% of the time you end up where you go to school.  The majority of people at my school and neighboring bay area schools ended up with jobs in the bay area.  A few people are working in different states or countries, but the vast majority end up around their school. 

It is certainly not impossible to go to WUTSL and pass the bar in a state you want to live and work in an area you want to live in.  However, it will certainly be more difficult to find a job in Texas or California  from WUTSL than it would be from a law school based in Texas. Just like it will be difficult for me to find a job outside of California or even the bay area for that matter coming from a school in the Bay Area. 

On the other hand you only get one shot at your law school experience and you will never get those 3 years back and if you really think WUTSL will provide you with a better education then it might be a better choice. It sounds like  you have a feeling for WUTSL and sometimes it is best to go with your gut.   

Again I am only a 1L in transition to 2L so I am sure there is better advice out there, but it is just my opinion.


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Re: A Difficult WUSTL Decision
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2010, 03:55:07 PM »
WUSTL makes absolutely no sense in your case.

Although WUSTL gets a high USNEWS ranking, the ranking does not reflect its job prospects, which are really not much better than SMU's. Most Texans (especially those from Dallas) think SMU is a better shcool- and they are the ones who would hire you.