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Author Topic: 2nd Best School in Texas  (Read 1225 times)

dolemite01

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2nd Best School in Texas
« on: June 28, 2007, 02:33:45 AM »
I am taking the LSAT in September, just started studying and on Practice Tests score roughly 155-165 range, hopefully that will increase slightly.  My GPA at undergrad is a 3.5 but when added to my jr college it gets down to a 3.2.

I'm not a URM, I have a somewhat unique situation, Non traditional student, two kids, worked full time while pursuing degree, come from single parent home and mother never completed past sixth grade, so I am first college educated in family.

However, I am also a realist.  I currently live in Austin, wife works here as a RN for past six years at the local hospital and we both have strong desire for me to get into UT, we have not bought a house yet because we know there's a possibility we will have to move.

The real question is, if I score in the 160s-170 range and I don't get into UT, what would be considered the 2nd best school in Texas?

I moved to Austin from Waco about 8 years ago, and it's pretty much determined that I will have to move and that's just the cost of doing business, so any city such as Houston, Dallas, etc does not bother me in terms of decision.

I've read all the rankings websites, scoured the internet, etc. but all in all those are just numbers, and facts, one thing about UT that I've heard from repeated law firms (the work I did involved working with numerous law firms) is that UT is a great school but I should move out of Austin upon graduation as a lot of UT people stay and it floods the market, if that has validity I cannot say for sure of course.

But what in your opinion would be 2nd best, since a good reality check is that UT is a slim chance?

Thanks for your help in advance.
154 LSAT, 3.05 / 3.48 Degree, 27 with two kids, worked full time to support family, came from an extremely rough background that included poverty and first college graduate in family including extended...white male....

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Re: 2nd Best School in Texas
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2007, 09:24:47 AM »
If it were me, and I was interested in practcing only in Texas, I would be looking at Baylor. From what they sent me in the mail and fromdiscussion on this board, it seems like they try to prepare their students the best they can for practcing inside the state. That is pretty much the main focus of their marketing. It also seems like they are good about giving away money. I've also read from some that U-Houston is also pretty good for in state Texas practice. I also think Houston is a state school, so tuition is lower (and that is absolutley something you should consider) I have no idea what the median numbers are for these schools. I know that SMU is ranked pretty good in USNews, but I don't know anything about it.

However, I'm pretty sure (and someone can correct me) that UT is one of the state schools that has to have a ceartin percentage of their students from inside the state. Therefore, you aren't competing with everyone: only the people inside your state for those spots. If you end up in the mid 160s, you might have a chance coming inside the state and if you apply early. That being said, I think you are taking the correct path in looking at other options.

kirkcameronsgf

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Re: 2nd Best School in Texas
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2007, 10:06:57 AM »
It kind of depends where in TX you'd like to practice as well.  If you're planning on settling in Houston, then U of H would be the best bet.  If Dallas, then SMU.  If Austin (and not UT)..  good luck.  :)

I would think a 165 in-state will at least get you a shot on UT's waitlist if nothing else.

iscoredawaitlist

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Re: 2nd Best School in Texas
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2007, 10:13:00 AM »
People see UT's in-state requirement and assume that makes it much easier for in-state residence. It may help a little, but the boost is almost imperceptible. When the number was 20% of students could be out of state, then it probably was bigger, but at 35%... The simple fact is that UT can get qualified in-state people a lot easier than it can get out of state qualified people. Someone with a 3.8 and a 169 may very well choose to go to UT if that person is from Texas. It's extremely unlikely that someone with the same numbers from, say, New York will make the same choice. The result is that they have a much, much higher yield from Texans which means that overall acceptances end up going out just about the same way.

Anyway, someone with a 3.5 and a 165 probably will make the wait list if in-state, but I wouldn't hold your breath on getting in.

As for the actual question posed, it's got to be U of H or SMU unless you're the very specific kind of person who likes Baylor's "boot camp" litigation training.

legaldad

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Re: 2nd Best School in Texas
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2007, 10:25:50 AM »
Regarding a job once you graduate, University of Houston and SMU are virtually tied in the job placement statistics (well below UT but well above Baylor and Texas Tech).  Texas Tech is just slightly behind Baylor on the job placement statistics (published in the career prospects section of U.S. News for each law school, Vault statistics, etc.) and the other Texas law schools are some distance behind Baylor/Texas Tech. 95 to 98 percent of graduates from all four schools have jobs within nine months of graduation so you won't starve.

By the way, SMU even more so that Baylor appears to toss merit scholarship money to lots of students (see the financial aid/tuition section of U.S. News).  Though it may be a mis-print in U.S. News, the average debt for SMU Law graduate is only $25 K and it's not only due to its image that law students from well-off families go there.

To echo prior remarks - if it's Houston you want U of H is it; if it's Dallas then SMU. Texas Tech is prominent  for west Texas and appears to place well in the DFW area (with a large alumni base).  Baylor Law places its graduates in Houston and DFW as well (though I'm on mushy ground here since this is more anecdotal info).

Based purely on tuition only (and not factoring in scholarships), Texas Tech and U of H are bargains.  With the scholarship dollars factor my guess is SMU would get you closer in out-of-pocket expenditures to Tech/U of H and then Baylor.

legaldad

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Re: 2nd Best School in Texas
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2007, 10:45:24 AM »
Round 2 on comments for prospective law school applicants who don't have a specific location in Texas where they want to practice, do a side-by-side comparison of University of Houston Law School to SMU and Texas Tech to Baylor.  Baylor and Texas Tech are both litigation oriented and have more "practical" curriculums with high first time bar passage rates (though Baylor has the highest bar passage rates among Texas law schools consistently).  If scholarship dollars don't come your way, U of H or Texas Tech could save you a boatload of money and yet get you an equivalent job to what you may have gotten from SMU or Baylor (again not factoring in the locations within Texas).  For instance, U of H in 2006 placed 11.3 percent of its graduates in Vault 100 law firms while SMU placed 4.5 percent, Baylor 1.9 percent, and Tech 1.6 percent.  This is only one among many statistics but does say U of H on almost any quantitative job placement factor is toe-to-toe with SMU and far exceeds Baylor.  

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Re: 2nd Best School in Texas
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2007, 11:09:15 AM »
People see UT's in-state requirement and assume that makes it much easier for in-state residence. It may help a little, but the boost is almost imperceptible. When the number was 20% of students could be out of state, then it probably was bigger, but at 35%... The simple fact is that UT can get qualified in-state people a lot easier than it can get out of state qualified people. Someone with a 3.8 and a 169 may very well choose to go to UT if that person is from Texas. It's extremely unlikely that someone with the same numbers from, say, New York will make the same choice. The result is that they have a much, much higher yield from Texans which means that overall acceptances end up going out just about the same way.

Anyway, someone with a 3.5 and a 165 probably will make the wait list if in-state, but I wouldn't hold your breath on getting in.

As for the actual question posed, it's got to be U of H or SMU unless you're the very specific kind of person who likes Baylor's "boot camp" litigation training.

I didn't realize that their instate requirement was this low. For some reason I thought it was around 40%. This certainly changes things. Of course saying you might score between 160-170 is a pretty big range as far as getting admitted.

iscorda: does UT have seperate watilists like UVA does (instate proiorty/regular)?

iscoredawaitlist

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Re: 2nd Best School in Texas
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2007, 11:17:29 AM »
sorry, that was probably a confusing way to put it. the requirement is 65% in-state minimum 35% out of state maximum

sladkaya

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Re: 2nd Best School in Texas
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2007, 11:19:43 AM »
Disclaimer: all of this is based on my personal impressions of each school and conversations with recent grads and attorneys in Austin/Dallas/Houston.  I'm not claiming this to be gospel.

UofH has no trouble placing its grads in Houston, which is the biggest legal market in Texas.  If you don't mind settling in Houston and can reasonably expect you'll place in the top half of you class, go to UH.  SMU may help you make more connections, just based on their average demographic, but unless you get a good scholarship, the cost is very high.

Baylor is expensive and so rigorous that it's hard to do well unless you study around the clock (problematic when you have a family).  Plus, it's harder to get the same job from Baylor as a similarly ranked UH/SMU grad, due to smaller alumni network.  Shoot, a big-time partner at one of the firms I work with is a Baylor grad and the firm still doesn't recruit at Baylor!  And it gets 3-5 ppl/year each from UH and SMU, for what that's worth.

Texas Tech is a decent school, but the location and small alumni network makes it difficult for them to place grads on par with schools mentioned above.  

Just study very hard for the LSAT, read through all of the advice on the LSAT board, do at least 20 practice tests (recent, of course) and get the highest score you can.  Don't make the school selection process or personal statement topics, etc. keep your mind off what's important now.  Take the test, then do all the other things while you wait for your score.
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legaldad

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Re: 2nd Best School in Texas
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2007, 12:13:23 PM »
In response to Vaplaugh's post, the 2006 Vault 100 job placement figures by law school came from the lawfirmaddict material on the blogspot.com website (my thanks to Quail! for making me aware of this website):


http://www.lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/ (2006)

http://www.lawfirmaddict2007.blogspot.com/ (2007)on job placement