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Overall School Rating
22 Ratings

4 out of 5 Stars

10
2 Stars
0
1 Star
0

8 Student Reviews (4 star). See all 22 reviews.

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“1L”
July 2018CURRENT STUDENT
Uppers

Endless support from Career Services, professors are always willing to help students

Downers

1L course load was very heavy and not manageable if you want to do well in grades

Comments

Being located in Dallas is a huge advantage, the legal market is great right now and firms recruit straight from SMU.

Would You Recommend

Yes

“Highly Recommend SMU Dedman School of Law”
March 2015FORMER STUDENT
Uppers

SMU Dedman School of Law is a great school! The professors are very distinguished and the legal clinics are second to none!

Downers

Without scholarships, an education from SMU Dedman School of Law comes with a hefty price tag.

Comments

SMU is a great school! A lot of doors are opened by attending the SMU Dedman School of Law due to strong alumni connections dedicated to seeing students succeed.

Would You Recommend

Yes

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Smaller class sizes combined with very prestigious professors. The more central law courses tend to be more theoretical, while procedural and smaller electives are more practical

Quality of Life

Great resources, accessibility, and location but expensive tuition

Admissions

Standard: LSAT, Cumulative undergraduate GPA, Personal statement, optional letters of recommendation

Level

3L

Graduation Year

2011

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Admissions

Median lsat score is a 164. Most applications are processed through LSAC, and each student is automatically considered for scholarship.

Level

2L

Graduation Year

2013

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Almost all of the professors are excellent - great teachers, very knowledgeable, and accessible. The Socratic method is definitely a bigger focus 1L year, with some of the upperclass courses being more lecture style. The 1L legal research and writing course is very demanding, but it seems to prepare us well for clerkships. Academic advising is lacking - I'm not really sure that there's any point person to go to to talk about planning your course work. The registrar can help you make sure you are meeting your degree requirements, but that's about it. The school is competitive because of the quality of the students, but almost everyone is competitive with himself, and not openly competitive with other students. Most students are very willing to share notes and outlines, and help each other out. It's a very collegial environment.

Quality of Life

The campus is pretty. The facilities are older, but nice aesthetically. The cost of living is higher than most places in Texas, but lower than most large cities elsewhere in the US.

Admissions

The applications process is pretty standard. They ask for all the usual information, as well as an essay. There seem to be quite a few scholarship opportunities, from both the school and private groups. However, this is probably necessary since the tuition is on the expensive side.

Level

3L

Graduation Year

2011

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Quality of Life

The facilities are a bit old, but the neighborhood is fantastic.

Level

Other

Graduation Year

2011

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

I have found the general quality of classes to be exceptional. The full-year legal writing program the first year provided very practical experience such that employers over the summer have noticed the ability of SMU students to write well organized and thoughtful memos. Generally, the classes and professors provide a good mix of the foundational theory with anecdotal practical application. A mild Socratic method is the norm--students will be called on to discuss cases, but teachers are generally far from adversarial and there is no need to stand up. There is a decent variety of classes and subjects, though scheduling has drawn the ire of some daytime students due to what can appear to be a disproportionately night-time heavy schedule of in-demand classes to accommodate night students. I've found the faculty to be excellent. The majority of my professors have had at least some degree of experience in practice, either in firm work or government work. As someone focused on a transactional practice, the professors have been excellent in corporate fields of study: Greg Crespi (Business Enterprise) and Chris Hanna (Tax) in particular. The student body is very collegial for a law school with a forced curve and significantly worse employment prospects for those outside the top 25%-33%.

Quality of Life

Overall, the facilities are great. Since SMU is in the Park Cities area of Dallas, it is fairly picturesque--almost a bubble. The students at SMU make a huge difference: they are generally very nice people who care about relationships with colleagues. While competition always exists, I would say SMU is one of the best I've heard of at balancing relationships and competition.

Admissions

The application was fairly standard and was available for online submission. The essay questions were generic enough that I was able to use a personal statement that I had used in other applications. In addition to a general personal statement question, the school gave me the option to write an essay to explain particular reasons I wanted to come to SMU. This was helpful to explain my personal ties to Dallas and intentions to stay in the DFW area after graduation. The school provided me with a scholarship offer automatically by letter without further application. In addition, the school offers a number of very attractive full-tuition scholarships (which are very competitive): Hatton Sumners, Sarah Hughes (Minority), and Ray Hutchison scholarships. The Sumners and Hughes require a separate application and certain pre-qualifications. Despite the availability of generous scholarships, I've found--as have my classmates--that the financial aid office fails to be very helpful and accommodating to students seeking any loans.

Level

2

Graduation Year

2011

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

There are a lot of good professors at SMU and a few really great ones. Most employ the Socratic method, although not as much in upper division courses. The class size is generally 20-60 students for upper division courses (1L classes are about 100). The students generally seem to get along very well, and although the atmosphere can be intense, it is not unpleasantly competitive. Research opportunities are available with professors, and many judges in the DFW area offer internships/externships. SMU also has numerous study abroad opportunities; the most popular is an exchange program with Oxford.

Quality of Life

SMU's facilities are very nice. They easily date back to the '60s, but the school has done a good job of adapting them with technology (wi-fi, digital projectors, laptop power ports, etc.). The library is staffed with very knowledgeable people and has an extensive collection. The computer labs are modern and accessible. Crime is not a big concern. The grounds are very beautiful. Generally, the atmosphere is very pleasant.

Admissions

Fairly standard admissions process

Level

3

Graduation Year

2010

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Uppers Downers Comments Would You Recommend

Academics Quality of Life Admissions Level Graduation Year