if you look at the fundamentals of St. Thomas i think you'd quickly change your mind. they breezed through ABA accreditation ahead of schedule, they have an incredible Dean (Mengler) who has brought a good deal of talent to the law school (from UM, Mitchell-Prof Hamilton for example was a full tenure prof at Mitchell and bailed to go to St. Thomas, and schools too numerous to mention-check out their web site), they have an insane amount of money and a well established alumni network inside Minneapolis/St. Paul (especially within the busiiness community), the campus is brand new and right smack in the middle of a vibrant city. i have no doubt St. Thomas will quickly out rank both Hamiline and William Mitchell and establish itself as the alternative to UMN, i predict it begins in USNWR as a T3 but quickly moves up to T2. the hard facts are that WM and Hamline have been (for years) and will probably remain T4 schools.
Comments like this make me laugh.
FACT: old reputations die hard, and new ones are long in being built.
FACT: the difference between T4 and T2 and T3 is not as big as pre-laws tend to think it is.
St. Thomas will probably debut at T4, because no newly accredited school has ever debuted anywhere else.
Look at Ave Maria, for example. That school has been around for about ten years and still only one
of the big firms in Detroit recruits there. Even Detroit Mercy, a school that has been T4 for years
gets more attention from the big Detroit firms. Why is that? Lawyers are risk averse, and hire what they are familiar with, which means schools they've hired from in the past whose students they've had good experiences with.
Another case in point: my own school has risen from T4 to T2 since the beginning of the USNEWS rankings, yet job prospects have been affected only slightly. The school has been around a long, long time and job prospects are still best in the surrounding area and surrounding states and that will never change. Also, many employers still prefer students from the top schools in the local area and surrounding states over students from my own school.
That isn't likely to change either
Even though the school has had improved success at placing the very, very top students
nationally, job prospects aren't all that different for the average student compared to say, 10 or 20 years ago.
There is no way to predict how well you will do in law school. Ask anyone in law school. If anyone or any school tries to tell you it is "on the rise" I'd be very,very skeptical of that statement.
For most people, if cost is equal, the best choice is going to the school with the best local reputation NOW, not what you think the reputation might be in 10 or 20 years.