U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Texas > Dallas
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 06-11-2010, 09:05 AM
 
252 posts, read 506,954 times
Reputation: 75

Advertisements

I'm from Iowa. I am 28, have a wife and a 4 year old son. I live in Iowa. I will be starting law school in August. I have been accepted to two top law schools; Southern Methodist, and the University of Minnesota.

On paper, Minnesota is ranked higher, it costs less, and the job prospects are more lucrative and apparently more plentiful than SMU. However, being from Iowa, I am getting wary of snow. I have visited both cities, and I do feel that DFW is more welcoming with a lower cost of living. I also enjoy good TX BBQ.

The U of MN is a national school with a national market. SMU is a regional school with a regional market, however SMU is still considered a great school.

Being from Dallas, what would you reccomend? I know how Texans like to get geocentrical, but try to keep pride seperate from true analysis if possible.

FYI - either option would entail our family getting a 3BR apt in a suburb and using public transit to commute to the city for work/law school.
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-11-2010, 09:29 AM
 
11,671 posts, read 21,236,098 times
Reputation: 10057
SMU is a fantastic choice IF you want to live in Dallas or Houston after graduation. The SMU network is one of the most exclusive and most lucrative in the city. SMU's law school has an excellent track record with the big law firms in Dallas- not sure about big law in other major cities though.

SMU is in a great location for light rail useage- the DART rail runs directly up/down Central Expressway, which is the eastern border of the SMU campus. You could live in Southern Plano or Richardson (two suburbs with good public schools) and take the red line to the Mockingbird Lane station. You would have about 1-1.5 mile walk to the law school though. It is on the southwestern-most edge of campus. There may be a campus shuttle that could work- not sure?

Another option is to rent a 2 bedroom (3 br's are harder to find) in the Park Cities (suburban looking neighborhood that surrounds SMU, has tons of parks, is incredibly safe, and has the #1 public school district in Texas- Highland Park ISD). That way, you wouldn't have to commute and your family coudl live in a much better neighborhood than in the true suburbs.

Check Craig's List for Dallas housing rentals and run a search for "HPISD." This includes some, but not all of zip codes 75225 and 75205. There are many duplexes (which would allow your family access to a yard) and apartments near campus. From a quick scan, looks like the going rate for a 2/2 duplex is $1200-$1500/ month.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2010, 10:15 AM
 
Location: North Texas
2,487 posts, read 5,576,530 times
Reputation: 1690
I have family in Southern MN and feel your pain with the weather. Dallas is a great area, however I think MN would benefit yours and your family needs better. Don't get me wrong Dallas is great. But, I truly don't think you would be happy here. The cost of living is so different from MN to DFW area. Though we have a low cost, it's nothing like the North. SMU is a great school too.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2010, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,346 posts, read 5,792,682 times
Reputation: 2284
Quote:
Originally Posted by nrogers1122 View Post
On paper, Minnesota is ranked higher, it costs less, and the job prospects are more lucrative and apparently more plentiful than SMU.
...

The U of MN is a national school with a national market. SMU is a regional school with a regional market...
You've just answered your own question.

SMU is only a good choice if you intend to stay in Texas after graduation. Even then, you might just be spinning your wheels. Being from Iowa, you'll have a hard time breaking into the "good old boys" club, where what frat you were in at UT, A&M, or SMU means more than your law school grades.

Is Minnesota a fantastic law school? No - it's good, but not great. There are a lot of law schools that would be worth the extra expense and effort to attend instead. SMU isn't one of them.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2010, 10:26 AM
 
864 posts, read 2,264,100 times
Reputation: 488
Being a lawyer myself, I can tell you that you should go to a national law school or a law school where you want to practice. If you are dead set on practicing in Texas, then you should be open to SMU (Although you can still go to Minnesota and come practice here).

Otherwise given the state of the legal job market, you probably want to considering focus on a cheaper education, and in this case the cheaper education is also the better school. If Minnesota and SMU are your only choices, I strongly suggest you think hard about going to Minnesota, even though you are tired of snow (Which should be a small concern given the state of the legal practice today).

Until the University of North Texas School of Law opens up (And gets ABA accredited, IMHO it's NEVER worth going to a non-ABA approved law school), North Texas has no public law schools thus tuition is pricey, and IMHO too pricey given the state of the legal job market.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2010, 10:52 AM
 
11,671 posts, read 21,236,098 times
Reputation: 10057
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big G View Post
You've just answered your own question.

SMU is only a good choice if you intend to stay in Texas after graduation. Even then, you might just be spinning your wheels. Being from Iowa, you'll have a hard time breaking into the "good old boys" club, where what frat you were in at UT, A&M, or SMU means more than your law school grades.

Is Minnesota a fantastic law school? No - it's good, but not great. There are a lot of law schools that would be worth the extra expense and effort to attend instead. SMU isn't one of them.
Not true at all!! Getting into SMU Law in & of itself is gaining entry into the "club"- as long as you're willing to be social, go to the study groups/ happy hours, etc, which is where students make their connections.

Also, the majority of JD students at SMU did not do undergrad at UT, A&M, and other Texas schools. There is a huge variety of undergrads represented - Duke, Harvard, Georgetown, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, Tulane, USC, Stanford, Princeton, Yale, and other top state schools like Michigan, UVA, etc.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2010, 11:39 AM
 
252 posts, read 506,954 times
Reputation: 75
Default Great Point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pappy97 View Post
Being a lawyer myself, I can tell you that you should go to a national law school or a law school where you want to practice. If you are dead set on practicing in Texas, then you should be open to SMU (Although you can still go to Minnesota and come practice here).
Great point. I'm always eager to get a lawyer's perspective about the highly unique experience of law school and practicing. I had considered the option of going to Minnesota and then practicing in Texas. I'm not hardcore/deadset on practicing in Texas, but I do enjoy the DFW area and could definately see my family enjoying life there. However, aside from the snow, Minneapolis/St. Paul isn't too bad.

Perhaps this is a little too "pie in the sky", but my career ambitions are as follows. I plan to gain business insight and a book of clients working for a big firm for about 5 years, and then open up a specialized practice in whatever area I choose. Once this is established I plan to sell non-controlling interests to other lawyers in different areas which could beef up my firm's array of services. Step three would be to purchase small to medium sized firms in other cities (private equity). The point of my discussing this, is that I may be able to expand to Dallas (among other cities) from a Minneapolis Law Firm in about 10 years or so.

Going to UMN is not necessarily a fail point for living in Dallas. As you had mentioned, UMN can place me in Dallas if I get especially tired of shovelling. Perhaps, then, UMN is the better option.

The tragedy of the whole scenario is that I was planning to go to UMN, and got the call from SMU taking me off the wait list just a few days ago. I have until 6/14 to put down a deposit at SMU or risk losing my spot.

No pressure.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2010, 11:44 AM
 
864 posts, read 2,264,100 times
Reputation: 488
Quote:
Originally Posted by nrogers1122 View Post
Great point. I'm always eager to get a lawyer's perspective about the highly unique experience of law school and practicing. I had considered the option of going to Minnesota and then practicing in Texas. I'm not hardcore/deadset on practicing in Texas, but I do enjoy the DFW area and could definately see my family enjoying life there. However, aside from the snow, Minneapolis/St. Paul isn't too bad.

Perhaps this is a little too "pie in the sky", but my career ambitions are as follows. I plan to gain business insight and a book of clients working for a big firm for about 5 years, and then open up a specialized practice in whatever area I choose. Once this is established I plan to sell non-controlling interests to other lawyers in different areas which could beef up my firm's array of services. Step three would be to purchase small to medium sized firms in other cities (private equity). The point of my discussing this, is that I may be able to expand to Dallas (among other cities) from a Minneapolis Law Firm in about 10 years or so.

Going to UMN is not necessarily a fail point for living in Dallas. As you had mentioned, UMN can place me in Dallas if I get especially tired of shovelling. Perhaps, then, UMN is the better option.

The tragedy of the whole scenario is that I was planning to go to UMN, and got the call from SMU taking me off the wait list just a few days ago. I have until 6/14 to put down a deposit at SMU or risk losing my spot.

No pressure.
This even screams more about going to Minnesota. You say you want to be in a big law firm after graduation? Then you need to go to the best school possible, period. Since Minnesota is a national school, you'll have a shot at big law firms in MN and anywhere else in the country (incl Texas). At SMU, which costs more, you'll have a shot at BIGLAW in Dallas/Houston maybe Austin, but elsewhere it's tough because you'll be competing with people from national schools, like Minnesota.

As someone who did BIGLAW for my entire career until now, I can tell you that as you go down the US News and World Report law school rankings, it just gets tougher and tougher to get into BIGLAW. Since you have a plan that starts with BIGLAW, do yourself a favor and go to Minnesota, unless you have a better option than that school. Good luck.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2010, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Purgatory (A.K.A. Dallas, Texas)
5,010 posts, read 12,810,577 times
Reputation: 2414
Quote:
Originally Posted by nrogers1122 View Post
I'm from Iowa. I am 28, have a wife and a 4 year old son. I live in Iowa. I will be starting law school in August. I have been accepted to two top law schools; Southern Methodist, and the University of Minnesota.

On paper, Minnesota is ranked higher, it costs less, and the job prospects are more lucrative and apparently more plentiful than SMU. However, being from Iowa, I am getting wary of snow. I have visited both cities, and I do feel that DFW is more welcoming with a lower cost of living. I also enjoy good TX BBQ.

The U of MN is a national school with a national market. SMU is a regional school with a regional market, however SMU is still considered a great school.

Being from Dallas, what would you reccomend? I know how Texans like to get geocentrical, but try to keep pride seperate from true analysis if possible.

FYI - either option would entail our family getting a 3BR apt in a suburb and using public transit to commute to the city for work/law school.



1) Why didn't you apply to Iowa?

2) Minnesota is not a national school with a national market. It will serve you much better in the Midwest than SMU will, however.

3) If you go to SMU, you're most likely going to have to stay in Dallas for a while.

4) SMU isn't exactly convenient for public transit, which is kind of a joke in Dallas. There is a DART Rail station about a mile and a half away, but I wouldn't want to walk that in the heat / rain.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2010, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Purgatory (A.K.A. Dallas, Texas)
5,010 posts, read 12,810,577 times
Reputation: 2414
Quote:
Originally Posted by nrogers1122 View Post
Going to UMN is not necessarily a fail point for living in Dallas. As you had mentioned, UMN can place me in Dallas if I get especially tired of shovelling. Perhaps, then, UMN is the better option.

You are vastly overrating the reach of the UMN degree. It will not place you in the Dallas market.

T14 schools >> UT >> SMU >> other Texas schools >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>UMN.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Texas > Dallas
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top