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Texas Lawyerwanted to know which state law schools produced the most marketable graduates, so we went straight to the hiring sources. The 25 largest Texas firms were asked to grade the Lone Star State’s law schools in Texas Lawyer‘s first — and very unscientific — law school ranking survey. Hiring partners, employment directors, recruiting directors and managing partners graded the schools in 20 areas on a scale from one to five (with five being the highest score). Responses were averaged to compile a final score in each area. All the answers were averaged to comprise an overall ranking. Of the 25 largest firms — as determined by Texas Lawyer‘s June 25, 2001, “100 Largest Firms in Texas” survey — 15 responded. The firms do not recruit at all nine Texas law schools, meaning the firms answered only for those schools with which they were familiar. We received no responses on Texas Wesleyan University and, therefore, were unable to include it in this survey. UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SCHOOL OF LAW UT’s law school set the mark for other Texas law schools in this year’s survey with a score of 4.66 overall — only .34 away from a perfect 5. Of the 15 survey participants, 14 answered the question relating to the firm’s general “like” or “dislike” for a particular law school. All 14 respondents gave UT a 5 in that category. UT law students scored a 4.85 on their communication and interpersonal skills. And, the school scored a 4.8 average from 15 respondents on the efficiency and helpfulness of its law school’s career services office. The office has an “organized, knowledgeable staff” that is “very efficient,” commented one survey participant. Its lowest marks came in the areas of past successes firms have had in the number of graduates they’ve hired from the school and in the students’ knowledge of the firms during the interviewing process. UT scored a 4.4 and a 4.36 respectively in those categories. One respondent commented that “some students were not well prepared” in their knowledge of the firm. Another negative comment reflected a perceived negative attitude toward smaller-sized firms by UT’s career services office. “Smaller and medium-sized firms tend to get lost in the shuffle,” the responding firm noted. SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY DEDMAN SCHOOL OF LAW Ranking No. 2 is SMU’s Dedman School of Law with an overall score of 4.12. SMU received its highest marks — two 4.5s — in the categories involving available resources at the career services office for students to learn about firms and in the knowledge students had of the firms during the interviewing process. The school also received two 4.4s for its students’ abilities to work within teams and their ability to hit the ground running. The law school received its lowest marks in the areas of success firms have had in retaining students from that school (3.67) and in the past success firms have had in terms of the number of graduates hired from this school (3.62). The only comment passed on from a respondent regarding SMU was about the organization of its on-campus interview process. “Materials need to be sent out earlier in the spring,” the firm said. BAYLOR UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW Baylor placed third overall with a 3.88. The school’s highest grades were in its students’ abilities to work within a team (4.4), their leadership potential (4.3) and their ability to hit the ground running (4.3). Baylor’s lowest marks were in the areas of past success firms have had in terms of the number of graduates hired (3.25), the success firms have had in retaining Baylor grads (3.36), long-term successes firms have had with Baylor law students (3.42) and Baylor’s ability to meet overall recruiting needs in terms of the number and quality of its students (3.42). Comments regarding the efficiency and helpfulness of Baylor’s law school services office were positive. “[The office is] extremely helpful and [offers] very personalized attention.” Its on-campus interview process also was commended. “[They're] always on schedule [and] monitor student promptness.” Another respondent suggested, “During crucial interviewing days, it would be helpful to have a live person answer the phone instead of having to leave a voice message.” UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON LAW CENTER UH’s law school came in fourth place with an overall score of 3.78. Its highest marks were in its students’ abilities to work with a team (4.33), their knowledge of the firms when interviewed (4.25) and their knowledge/application of legal ethics (4.18). It didn’t do so well on the organization of its on-campus interview process (3.31) or on its core curriculum (3.42). Other marks included two 3.83s in the areas of its students’ strategic thinking skills and their analytical/problem-solving skills. One respondent commented that UH’s career services office is “not as organized as the other schools where we recruit.” Another respondent disagreed and said the office was “very accommodating and easy to work with.” Yet another respondent said the office was “understaffed but efficient.” ST. MARY’S UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW St. Mary’s ranked fifth with an overall score of 3.58. The law school’s high marks were for the available resources in its career services office for students to learn about firms (4.5) and its students’ knowledge/application of legal ethics (4.67). The school also scored well in the areas of firms being successful in retaining St. Mary’s grads (4.33), its students’ willingness to relocate (4.33) and its students’ abilities to work within teams (4.25). The law school scored low in its students’ analytical/problem-solving skills (2.67), the overall value firms perceive for recruiting dollars spent there (2.6) and the law school’s perceived ability to meet overall recruiting needs in terms of the number and quality of students (2). TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW Texas Tech’s law school came in sixth place with an overall score of 3.38. The law school received three 4s in the available resources at the career services office for students to learn about firms, the students’ knowledge of particular firms when interviewed and its students’ knowledge/application of legal ethics. Other marks included a 3 in the school’s core curriculum and a 3.83 in the success firms have in retaining students from the law school. Lower marks were a 2.67 in the overall value firms perceive for recruiting dollars spent at the school and a 2.33 in the school’s perceived ability to meet overall recruiting needs in terms of the number and quality of its students. The only comment the school received was that its career services office’s technology “needs to be updated.” SOUTH TEXAS COLLEGE OF LAW Seventh place belongs to South Texas’s law school, which earned an overall score of 3.28. South Texas received two 4s in the available resources at the career services office for students to learn about firms and the students’ knowledge of particular firms when interviewed. The school also received a 3.83 in its students’ abilities to work within teams and a 3.8 in its students’ knowledge/application of legal ethics. Low scores came in five areas: firms’ general like or dislike of the school (2.83); students’ leadership potential (2.8); long-term success firms have had with students hired from the school (2.75); overall value for recruiting dollars spent at this school (2.63); and the school’s perceived ability to meet overall recruiting needs in terms of the number and quality of its students (2.38). The only comment South Texas’ law school received was about the organization of its on-campus interview process. “If a firm does not have a full schedule, it should not be forced to interview in 30-minute increments.” TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY THURGOOD MARSHALL SCHOOL OF LAW Eighth place goes to TSU’s law school with an overall score of 2.8. The school’s highest mark of a 4.5 came in its students’ perceived knowledge and application of legal ethics. It received three 4s in its core curriculum, its students’ abilities to work within teams and their willingness to relocate. The school received two 1.5s in firms’ general like or dislike of the school and in the firms’ perceived overall value for recruiting dollars spent at the school. Other low scores were a 1.33 for long-term successes firms have had with students hired from the school and a 1.25 for the law school’s perceived ability to meet overall recruiting needs in terms of the number and quality of students. TSU’s law school received one comment that its career services office’s technology “needs to be updated.” Related chart

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