« on: February 24, 2007, 06:01:36 AM »
Thanks, bigfatbox. In response:
> Try talking to local attorneys and see what they have to say.
I've done so, and they mostly seem to agree that Mitchell is the most established.
> What other schools are you looking at?
All in MN, but the U of MN dinged me (though I am employed there now).
> Have you visited any of these schools?
Took the LSAT at Mitchell, have seen them all. I plan to attend a St. Thomas "admitted students" day on March 2nd. I think it's a good school, whether or not one is Catholic - a bit equivocal about religion, but who better to equivocate than lawyers? Not dogmatic, more into social justice. Eager to be inclusive. The parent institution is massive and growing, with a new business school next to the law school. I like that the law school is a fifteen minute skyway walk from Minneapolis courts and most Minnesota law firms. My concern is that St. Thomas is over ten miles from my St. Paul home, whereas Hamline is half the distance and Mitchell a quarter the distance.
Rush hour traffic between Minneapolis and St. Paul gets bad, and downtown parking near St. Thomas, even when subsidized, is expensive, whereas Hamline and Mitchell are in/near residential areas where street parking is free. The Hamline neighborhood is kind of mixed - not deadly, but a bit risky a night. Mitchell's neighborhood is tony Summit Avenue, near restaurants and century-old mansions, brownstones, victorians, many churches. I like the idea of studying in a coffeehouse above Garrison Keilor's bookshop or having a beer at W.A. Frost, etc. Those are a bit north of Mitchell on Selby, a bit west of the Cathedral. I love Saint Paul.
Ambience aside, time is the concern. I must cross the Mississippi (twice from Minneapolis) to get home for dinner with my wife and preschooler, then hit the books again when he's down around 8 pm. From what I hear, most of you youngsters will be in the library (or bar) while I'm playing hide and seek or teaching my son to swim.
> What are your career goals?
That's the tricky part. I will stay in MN. I'd like to be a prosecutor, or something public, but the pay isn't so great and it's looking like I'll have to borrow $100k+. I may litigate or whatever to get established. IP looks interesting, and I know that Mitchell has a few respected profs in that, but Criminal and IP are very different tracks. I guess that is not something I must decide until mid-2008. I imagine that many folks in Criminal started in the trenches handling DWI and traffic ticket or juvenile cases. Nobody hands a baby lawyer a major felony.
As to scholarships, none yet, but I have not yet heard from Hamline. If they offer me a nice one, that could be enough to swing me over from St. Thomas and Mitchell.