Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law

Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law

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Basic Information

Southern Methodist University is located in Dallas, the state’s second-largest city. Its location and its connection with the Dallas legal community are the school's top draw. it has ranked second in a study of where partners from Dallas’ largest law firms went to school.

“SMU Dedman School of Law is located in the vibrant city of Dallas, one of the best cities in the country for young attorneys," said Dean Jennifer Collins. "Our law students are supported by an outstanding faculty, a large and dedicated alumni network that spans the globe, and comprehensive and innovative programming in the areas of career development, public interest, and academic success." 

Dallas offers an affordable cost of living and law firms salaries not to far below eastern cities like New York. That makes Dallas first among all U.S. cities in terms of buying power for recent associates, according to a study by the National Association for Law Placement.

SMU excels in employment and on the bar exam, with a 94.12 percent bar pass rate for the Class of 2015. For the Class of 2017, 85.72 percent landed jobs within 10 months of graduation. 

To prepare its graduates, the school focuses on traditional corporate law, real estate and international law, in addition to offering seven clinical programs. It also excels in intellectual property and technology law. It publishes five journals, including the nation’s only one on air law and the International Lawyer, the official publication of the international section of the American Bar Association.

SMU has one of the best law school buildings in the region, earning a B+, and an even better university campus. 

The law school received the 2017 E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award for its flagship professionalism initiative — a first-year curriculum aimed at enhancing law student's professional development. It is designed to ensure that SMU graduates are ethical, compassionate attorneys committed to civility, public service and zealous advocacy on behalf of clients. 

“Our Inns of Court program enhances the first-year experience, our Mustang Exchange Flash Mentorship program pairs students one-on-one with different mentors and networking opportunities throughout the year, and extensive experiential learning opportunities such as out ten clinics and three externship programs turn the Dallas-Fort Worth area into a living laboratory for our students,” Collins said. 

The school offers an evening program, with about 38 percent of students in that program.


Admission Profile
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75th Percentile1633.78
25th Percentile1553.39
Financial Profile
Tuition Part-time$38,323$38,323
Living Expenses
Median grant$24000
Percent receiving grants86.00%
Estimated net tuition
Employment & Bar Exam Profile
Post-grad employment 92.40%
NJ Employment85.72
Bar Passage83.98%
Academic Profile
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Business, Corporate, Banking
Criminal Law and Procedure
Employment and Labor Law
Environmental/Natural Resource Law
Estate Planning
Family Law/Child & Family
Health Law
Human Rights
Intellectual Property Law
International Law
Public Interest/Social Justice
Real Estate Transactions
Tax Law
Technology Law
Trial Advocacy