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Messages - jvan2619

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1
Thank you for your reply fener.  Your feedback was great.

Keep in mind that my pros and cons were in comparing the schools (i.e. WM’s facilities are much “older, etc.)  On the faculty question…their Website listed 36 Full Time faculty and over 200 (I stopped counting at 200) adjunct and affiliated faculty which had me concerned since I hadn’t seen such high numbers at other institutions, but like I said is also a pro since they have strong ties to the legal community.

I am very glad to hear that you didn’t get the “unhappy students” vibe!  That is great news, as it is a large concern for me.  Did you go to one of the Admitted Students Days?  That was where I was when I (and another fellow LSD’er) got that feeling – BIG time.  I am truly glad to hear that you did not feel that way.  Anyone else on this subject?

Also to fener, great question on the connection between the law school and St. Thomas’s other programs.  They do have a strong connection with the other graduate schools – including business – but I’ll have to look in to it more. 

Fener – what are your other “pros” for WM?  Thanks again-

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Hey all!

Before you blast me, yes I realize they are both tier 4 schools :)

I posted this topic on the pre-law side awhile back, but am looking for feedback from current students as I try and make a final decision.  I would love to hear any input you all may have on these two schools or on the characteristics of each that I have listed below and the importance they should play in my decision.

Low-down on me: late 20s, married, 10 month old, engineering background, looking to stay in Minneapolis area after graduation, not interested in big-law. 

First up...William Mitchell

Pros:
-  HUGE alumni base (10k+...4k+ listed in martindale.com)
-  Warren Burger as an alumni
-  Wonderful clinical programs
-  "Practical" approach to school (i.e. their rep is that they teach you how to actually practice law rather than theory)
-  Flexible scheduling (PT, FT and PT day after the first year)
-  Great career services team
-  Recently got a large endowment
-  Very reputable legal writing program
-  Summer in Excellence Program for incoming 1Ls
-  Large selection of classes
-  Strong employment and bar passage rates
 
Cons:
-  Went to their Admitted Students Day and didn't see many "happy" people
-  Large school and sections --> high student to faculty ratio
-  Older facilities
-  Most professors are adjunct (this could be a pro or con, but I listed it as a con since the professors are rarely on campus)

Next, University of St. Thomas

Pros:
-  Now ABA approved
-  Lots of excitement around their program
-  Large local alumni base OTHER THAN from the law school
-  Caring professors and administration
-  Students all seem very happy
-  Mid-terms given to balance grades
-  Strong employment and bar passage rates
-  Awesome, brand-new facilities
-  Three core classes during first semester instead of four (pro or con?)

Cons:
-  Just got ABA approval
-  Lower selection of classes
-  Small number of law alumni
-  Unestablished

Any thoughts from the panel???  Thank you in advance...

3
Ivan-  I also am entering law school in the Fall and actually just bought the Civil Procedures E&E.  Like you, I haven't seen a real "con" to getting a jump on learning the terminology, etc.  I am already out of school and have a boring job that affords me a lot of time during the day to do so.

best of luck!

The school I will most likely attend actually has a summer intro course for entering 1Ls.  Anyone know about these and if they are worth it?

4
Current Law Students / Re: Any parents out there?
« on: March 02, 2006, 06:52:48 AM »
You are awesome!  I know it sounds lame, but I think I've been looking for someone to tell me that a schedule (like the one you have) will "work".  I realize that every one studies differently, etc., but I really wanted to know that I won't have to completely give up my "life" for school. 

Is there typically an Academic Success office at each school?

When you all study at home, do you have an office and shut the door?  Again, another lame question, but I was thinking that a set up like that would work best. 

I don't have my final schedule yet - we put in our selections over the summer - but know that the three different sections are divided up as:

-  Early classes (start at 9 AM each day)
-  Later classes (end at 4 PM each day)
-  Mix (this is also the laptop section for what it's worth)

Does one of these typically fit better for families?

Seriously, I can't tell you how much you all are helping me out :)

5
Current Law Students / Re: Any parents out there?
« on: March 01, 2006, 02:09:06 PM »
Again, great points.

racheles05 - they actually let you choose basic times of the day during 1L, but not your classes.  I.e. they have a ton of different sections...mostly mornings...mostly afternoons...early evening...late evening, etc. 

I hadn't thought about the fact that I might be getting in to the "it's ok to go PT" mindset.  Maybe I would do better if it wasn't an option. 

I am also THRILLED to hear lostMyMonkeys say that Friday nights and Saturdays are "no school time".  That is really something that I want to stick to - for my own sanity, my marriage, and my little girl. 

People have told me that if you get in to the mindset of dividing up your schedule in to "school time" and "family time" that it is easier to focus.  Have you all found that?

Sorry for all of the questions...you all are being UNBELIEVABLY helpful :)

6
Current Law Students / Re: Any parents out there?
« on: March 01, 2006, 06:42:26 AM »
Great points ladies.  Especially about the downside of PT.  Thanks...

For a little bit more background, the two schools I have narrowed my selection down to are both in the same tier at this point - the one I mentioned in a previous post though seems to be getting ready to "move up" in the rankings.  Additionally, their PT program includes the option of day or evening PT with Saturday classes also offered.  My reason for looking at schools that offer the option of more flexible schedules is twofold:

1)  In case I have to go back to working full time...hubby owns his own business.  It is doing very well right bow, but I want to make sure that if I HAVE to go back to work I can still do law school.

2)  In case we have another baby - which I know would be next to impossible based on how I envision law school, but at least I could potentially have the option of switching to PT if I need to.

3)  If the number of hours I am spending outside of school is affecting my daughter or marriage TOO much.  I know that I will be doing a lot of studying outside of normal business hours, but as many people on this board have stated, you really won't know how much you'll be studying until you get there and see HOW you study.

Does this make more sense or should I be taking a stronger look at it?

Again, thank you for all of the advice.

7
Current Law Students / Re: Any parents out there?
« on: February 28, 2006, 06:51:07 AM »
I second that :)  It's always great to get support from others...especially when friends hint at the fact that they think you are selfish for wanting to go to l-school :) 

I really appreciate everyone's feedback on this.  My husband and I know it will be a hard few years, but life is hard :)  We'll make it through.  We spent the last three years opening our own business and working seven days a week so we know what it is like to sacrifice.

One more question...although it sounds like a real cop out to say this...I'm trying to decide between a higher ranked school that only offers full time, and a lower ranked school that offers extremely flexible schedules.  I'm leaning towards the latter.  Does this make sense to you all?

Keep up the great work ladies!  It will all be worth it in the end :)

8
Current Law Students / Any parents out there?
« on: February 27, 2006, 08:38:13 AM »
I assume there are, but was hoping you could give some advice to an incoming 1L on how you manage both law school and family.  Here is a little background on me if it helps:

-  Married w/ 8 month old daughter
-  Hubby works FT
-  Attending a tier 4 school FT
-  Not working during 1L

I know that time management is key, but seriously, ANY advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.  :)

If this topic has already been discussed please let me know...I couldn't find a thread on it.

9
Hey struggles!  I am allowed to take off however much time I "need" - basically we are playing it by ear.  The doctor has to medically release me before I can go back.  When I found out I was pregnant, we assumed that I would only get a couple of days off but once I talked to the Dean of Students things really opened up.  Basically they said that women have babies all the time and - as you know - you can't plan or predict what will happen.  For instance, they used the example of a c-section...if you have one, there is NO way you'll be back in a few days or week.  Or if you have a baby who doesn't sleep (which my 18 month old was, so I never got to rest).  All of the professors have been awesome - they all have children and know what it entails.  They've all left it up to when I feel ready to come back.

Ok...I've rambled on.  Long and the short of it is they give you the amount of time you "need" but the longer you are out..the more you miss...the more you have to make up.  In my case, reviews for finals start two weeks after baby comes so if I miss those I'll be behind and it's hard to catch up.  My plan is to try and be back for those, but only take the number of finals on time that I feel comfortable with.  The rest I'll take the first few weeks of summer.  The longer I take off, the more I'll miss basically.

There are 3 girls in my school who are pregnant that I know about - one who is due the week before me but is a 2L.  Apparently a girl graduated last year who had FOUR children while in school!  (one set of twins)  I look at it as there will NEVER be a perfect time to have children.  Once law school is over, you are proving yourself as an associate...then trying to set up for partner...etc.  We hope to have four children total, and are just thrilled that we can HAVE children (since we want them) and will take them whenever they come. 

The biggest challenge with pregnancy is learning to manage your time so that you can use the hours you feel well/aren't tired productively.  YOU CAN DO IT!

Feel free to shoot me an email - I'd love to share more info with you :)  When we were thinking about having another baby during 1L everyone said we were nutts...all I wanted was for someone to tell me that it was alright and would all work out.  So far it's been great!

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Thanks archival!  We're pretty pumped about it :) 

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