Law School Discussion


« on: January 02, 2013, 12:23:21 PM »
I am top 2% with 4.0...SMU and Baylor has already accepted me...still waiting on the rest of my grades to hear back from UT...If UT accepts me, I will of course go to UT...however, if they do not, the question is, is it worth going to SMU?

Re: STCL to SMU?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 03:25:42 PM »
First off I am a little confused have you completed 1L or have you been accepted as a transfer student to those schools one semester in? It just seems odd that any school would accept a transfer before 1L was complete, but if they did good for you.

With that said I know many people that transferred from my school and were miserable and others loved it so it is a highly personal decision. I think this are some factors to consider.


SMU is in Dallas and Tulane in New Orleans and STCL is in Houston as I am sure you are well aware. Now one thing many of my friends that transferred didn't consider was the reality of being in a new city for law school in an environment where they didn't know anybody. I know nothing about your life, but if you were born & raised in Houston have family, friends, and a whole support group there leaving that may be tough. Particularly when you attend a new school where all the 1L clicks have formed.

However, if you have a personality that is really outgoing or you simply don't really care about friends etc then it may not matter.  Also make sure those are cities you want to live in when you graduate. Odds are you will develop a lot of connections at whatever school you attend for the next 3 years and where your internships etc will be. If you do not want to live in New Orleans then going to Tulane might be a bad idea. If your gf lives in New Orleans, your a huge Saint's Fan, and your uncle has a huge law firm in New Orleans you could work in it would stupid not to go.

Point being is really think about the city you will be living in and how you will manage in it this will have a huge impact on your law school career.

STCL is 26k compared to Tulane at 42k & SMU at 40k. I imagine if your in the top 2% you can get a solid scholarship offer from STCL not to transfer and possibly save yourself 70-80k accruing interest. If you attend SMU or Tulane you will paying 14-16k more in sticker a year assuming STCL doesn't give you a scholarship. Over two years that is 28-32k accruing interest at an 8% clip. If STCL gives you a 20k scholarship then you would pay 12k in tuition over the next two years opposed to 84k or 80k at SMU. I am a lawyer now and I can tell you the loans are no joke and the interest accruing on it is awful minimize it the best you can.

I think this is extremely important it sounds like you are performing extremely well at STCL and if you have friends, connections with professors, etc then it may not be worth leaving. I went to STCL for a mock trial competition and really liked the feel of the school, but that was my personal opinion. If you hate it there and want to get out then you should do it.

However, I would recommend visiting Baylor and SMU from my experiences visiting various schools during mock trials I noticed that each school has their own vibe/culture to it. Some of the schools I loved others I hated and that is my own personal feeling. So if your going to transfer to either of these schools visit them interact with students, talk to professors, see how you feel there because once you transfer there is no going back.

I'm in California and I honestly don't know what any of these schools are ranked, but I can tell you in the real world law school rankings mean very little unless it your at Harvard, Yale, etc and even then it doesn't mean a whole hell of a lot. Go into a real courtroom and see how often the attorneys mention what school they attended in a murder trial, or multi-million dollar lawsuit. I have yet to see it happen, but maybe one day it will.

Also remember U.S. News is a for-profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion and you shouldn't make a life altering choice based on it alone. U.S. News ranks more than law schools as well according to them Albuquerque, NM is the best place to live right now and South Dakota will be the best place in 2032. I am not making this up either here are the links. I personally am not going to move to Albuquerque which is #1 or Auburn, Alabama which is #2 because U.S. News says so. I am sure there are some legitimate reasons for the cities ranks, but I am not going to make a life altering move based on what a magazine says I suggest you use the same logic when deciding whether to transfer.

Re: STCL to SMU?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013, 04:14:58 PM »
I started as part time, so have actually been in school 3 semesters...baylor and smu made an exception and accepted me before my grades came in based on 2 semesters of performance (and contingent on me completing the 30 hrs, which i have)...I originally had no ties to Houston, and only attended STCL because I had poor LSAT score...Currently I have a half scholarship at STCL...I want the Big Law Job through OCI, but dont want to be restricted to Houston (in fact dont really want to work in houston at all)...i just cant determine if the extra tuition will be made up through salary by graduating from SMU as opposed to STCL

Edit* Also, I held a federal judicial internship in Houston my first 1L summer*

Re: STCL to SMU?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 07:52:28 PM »
Well if Big Law is your goal then I think UT is the only option.  I really don't think SMU or Tulane will have much in the way of big law OCI. I would highly highly recommend calling Tulane as well as SMU and asking who came for OCI and who was actually hired through it.

When I was in law school a few big law firms would come by, but never hire anyone. I am in California so pretty much unfamilar with any of these schools, but can tell you big law is very rare and at a firm like Cravath there is nobody from Tulane/SMU/or STCL. I think many law students mistakenly believe that going from the 104th to the 72nd best school will somehow drastically improve their career options.

If BigLaw is your goal I guess go to Tulane/SMU, but I would not bet on you getting a big-law job from any of those schools. It could happen, but there is a very strong chance you will end up making a huge move and spending another 70k to end up exactly where you would be from STCL.

Just my two cents and remember I or anyone else posting on this board are nothing more than anonymous internet posters so take it all with a grain of salt.

Before making this decision really ask these schools specifics about who gets jobs where. Ask how many people from the 2012 class are working in big-law and what big-law means to them.  Is Big-Law 300 people, what is the salary you are expecting, etc, etc. There are a lot of direct questions you should be asking these schools before making this big decision. Anonymous people like me can only offer a little insight, but certainly make the decision with facts directly from the source good luck.