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At A Glance

Smu Dedman School of Law

A superior legal education requires a curriculum that is rich in substantive courses and practical skills training. We offer a broad range of specialized courses in the areas of antitrust, bankruptcy, commercial, corporate and securities, employment, environmental, health care, financial institutions, intellectual property, international, litigation (including alternative dispute resolution), real estate, and tax law. Public law is also a vital component of our curriculum, with extensive offerings focusing on administrative, constitutional, criminal, civil rights, and international public law. Our clinical and externship programs provide our students with many opportunities to apply classroom instruction to practical settings and to observe the ways in which the law directly affects both individual clients and the societal environment.

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Smu Dedman School of Law's Full Profile

Program At a Glance

Total Program Enrollment 822
Incoming LSAT Scores (25th-75th Percentile) 157 - 164
Incoming GPA (25th-75th Percentile) 3.3 - 3.81
Bar Exam First Time Pass Rate 87.12%
Percent Employed (9 Months After Graduation) 93.17%
Tuition $44,017

Overview

Overview

About Smu Dedman School of Law

A superior legal education requires a curriculum that is rich in substantive courses and practical skills training. We offer a broad range of specialized courses in the areas of antitrust, bankruptcy, commercial, corporate and securities, employment, environmental, health care, financial institutions, intellectual property, international, litigation (including alternative dispute resolution), real estate, and tax law. Public law is also a vital component of our curriculum, with extensive offerings focusing on administrative, constitutional, criminal, civil rights, and international public law. Our clinical and externship programs provide our students with many opportunities to apply classroom instruction to practical settings and to observe the ways in which the law directly affects both individual clients and the societal environment.

Reviews

Boasting “a great program…great size…in a city with great opportunity,” the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University has it all. “The local legal community draws heavily from the law school, and with a little initiative, a law student can easily network with numerous lawyers and judges in the area and beyond.” “Diverse course offerings” in “everything from the philosophical to the tediously practical” define the curriculum here, and “The legal clinics are absolutely amazing.” Externships and schol­arly journals are abundant. Students say there are plenty of opportunities to get involved: “We have consistently won national moot court and mock trial competitions over the past two years, and the school has a great Trial Advocacy program co-taught by practitioners and judges.” A unique JD/MA program allows students to study economics as well as law, and students have the opportunity to study abroad in Oxford each summer. Academic complaints often revolve around the legal writing program, which “needs a massive overhaul” and, “while informational, [can] feel more like fifth grade English in the way [it is] approached.” Fortunately, the “very distinguished” yet “easily approachable” professors “are very receptive to students and concerned with [their] learning” and “make an effort to be available.” They are “demanding of their students,” but “interesting and entertaining in the classroom.” Professors “make the classroom experience fun,” gushes one student. “My civil proce­dure exam was one of the funniest things I have ever read, with witty undercurrents and subtle political satire.” Opinions of the administration vary considerably. Some students say the deans seem “distant at times, but whenever you need them, they’re available and helpful.” Others tell us that the administration “does not care about the students” and gripe about “bureaucratic inefficiencies.” Job prospects are very promising for SMU grads. Career Services is “actually con­cerned with helping you find a job.” “Dallas is a wonderful market that pays salaries on par with New York, but the quality of life is so much better,” according to students. “If you want to stay and practice in Dallas, you could not go to a better school.” SMU’s “exceptionally strong relationship with the Dallas legal market” provides an “extensive network of attorneys” “in every field imaginable.” “The alums are very supportive and willing to help out.” “A lot of doors are opened by attending the SMU Dedman School of Law, regardless of your class rank.” “I was able to secure a six-figure job without being on law review or moot court,” says a 3L. “There is definitely a huge hurdle” for students to face who do not want to practice in Texas, though. The “gorgeous” campus is full of “very pretty, collegiate-looking brick buildings” and “nestled in one of the nicest, most affluent neighborhoods in the Dallas area.” “The law school itself is further cloistered away from the rest of the university and, once inside, it is easy to forget you are sitting in the middle of a bustling metropolis.” “Large oak trees provide shady walkways, and outdoor study places are ample.” “The majority of class­rooms are “very comfortable and accommodating,” and the “nearly flawless” wireless signal is “strong in every corner of the law school.” The library is “amazing,” “both with regard to holdings and ease of use.”

- The Princeton Review

Academics

Academics

Degree Programs Offered

Graduates Last Year: 68

Description: A program that prepares lawyers educated outside the United States to understand U. S. or Canadian law and jurisprudence.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

Graduates Last Year: 13

Description: An advanced, professional study of tax law and taxation procedures in U.S. or Canadian jurisdictions affecting individuals and corporations.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

Graduates Last Year: 260

Description: A program that prepares individuals for the independent professional practice of law, for taking state and national bar examinations, and for advanced research in jurisprudence. Includes instruction in the theory and practice of the legal system, including the statutory, administrative, and judicial components of civil and criminal law.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
Judicial Law Clerks
Assist judges in court or by conducting research or preparing legal documents.
Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers
Conduct hearings to recommend or make decisions on claims concerning government programs or other government-related matters. Determine liability, sanctions, or penalties, or recommend the acceptance or rejection of claims or settlements.
Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators
Facilitate negotiation and conflict resolution through dialogue. Resolve conflicts outside of the court system by mutual consent of parties involved.
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates
Arbitrate, advise, adjudicate, or administer justice in a court of law. May sentence defendant in criminal cases according to government statutes or sentencing guidelines. May determine liability of defendant in civil cases. May perform wedding ceremonies.
Law Teachers, Postsecondary
Teach courses in law. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Graduates Last Year: 2

Description: An advanced, professional program of the U.S. legal system, Constitution law, and jurisprudence. Includes instruction in legal history, legal sociology, philosophy of law, Constitutional law, legal procedure, and related topics.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

Graduates Last Year: 1

Description: An advanced, professional program of the U.S. legal system, Constitution law, and jurisprudence. Includes instruction in legal history, legal sociology, philosophy of law, Constitutional law, legal procedure, and related topics.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

Joint Degree Programs Offered

JD/MBA, 4 years; JD/MA (Economics), 4 years.

Faculty Information

Total Faculty 97
Full-Time Faculty 37
Deans, Librarians, and Others Who Teach 8
Part-Time Faculty 52
Faculty Gender 70% Male
29% Female
Student Teacher Ratio 15 : 1

Accreditation

Accredited by American Bar Association

Student Body

Student Body
Gender Breakdown 58% Male
42% Female
Student Diversity
Percentage
White 72%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0%
Multi-racial 2%
International 0%
Hispanic/Latino 9%
Ethnicity Unknown 3%
Black or African American 4%
Asian 9%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%

Finance

Finance

Sticker Price

On-Campus Off-Campus
Stated Tuition $44,017 Same as On-Campus
Housing N/A N/A
Books N/A N/A
Total (before financial aid) $44,017 $44,017

Financial Aid

Admissions

Admissions

Application Information

Deadline for Regular Decision: February 15

Average Age Admitted: 23

Incoming Class

Smu Dedman School of Law's entering class of 2012 enrolled having these exam grades:

Exam Enrollment Type 25th - 75th Percentile
LSAT Full-Time 157 - 165
LSAT Part-Time 157 - 161
LSAT Total 157 - 164

Smu Dedman School of Law's entering class of 2012 enrolled having these college GPA's:

Enrollment Type 25th - 75th Percentile
Full-Time 3.34 - 3.84
Part-Time 3.21 - 3.72
Total 3.3 - 3.81

Admission Considerations

Very Important: Undergraduate GPA, Personal Essay

Also Considered: Recommendations

Admission Requirements

Required: Personal Essay, Undergraduate GPA, Standardized Test Scores

Optional: Recommendations, State Residency, Interview, Work Experience, Extracurricular Activities

Outcomes

Outcomes

Bar Exam Results

Percent Reporting 96%
First Time Pass Rate 87%
Avg. Pass Rate In This State 86%

Campus Recruitment

Number of Employers Recruiting on Campus 250
First Year Recruitment Time Summer
Second Year Recruitment Time Summer

Employment

Percent Employed (9 Months After Graduation) 93%
Average Starting Salary $80,000
Job Sector Number of Graduates Percent of Graduates
Firm Sized 2-10 74 27%
Firm Sized 11-25 27 10%
Firm Sized 26-50 12 10%
Firm Sized 51-100 5 2%
Firm Sized 101-250 4 1%
Firm Sized 251-500 14 5%
Firm Sized 501+ 24 9%
Business Industry 69 25%
Government 21 8%
Public Interest 2 1%
Federal Clerkship 9 3%
State Clerkship 3 1%
Academia 4 1%
Unemployed Number of Graduates Percent of Graduates
Unemployed, Not Seeking 9 3%
Unemployed, Seeking 6 2%
Pursuing Graduate Degree 5 2%

Top Employment Locations

State Percent Employed
OK 1%
CA 1%
TX 93%
International 0%

Famous Alumni

Well known alumni of Smu Dedman School of Law include:

  • David B. Dillon - CEO and Chairman, The Kroger Company
  • Edward B. Rust Jr. - Chairman & CEO, State Farm Insurance
  • Bill Hutchison - President, Hutchison Oil & Gas
  • Michael Boone - Founding partner, Haynes & Boone

Associations & Memberships

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