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Messages - OingoBoingo

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As a University of Minnesota student I am pretty familiar with the Twin Cities' law school scene, so I feel like I can add something of value to this topic.  I'm sorry if I repeat what others have said but I don't have time to read all of these posts.  I went to William Mitchel's open house last year just for fun and really enjoyed it.  The facility was nice and they were very inviting.  However, I would not go there for a couple of reasons (they are completely subjective, but just to add some info for those considering these two schools).  First, it's located in Saint Paul, which is a very nice area but also very quiet.  I much prefer the atmosphere of a city, but If this is for you, you're in luck.  Second, it's got an older student body because it is known for it's 4 year night program and for being very accomodating of older students.  Thus, I probably wouldn't recommend it for someone coming straight out of undergrad, as I am (The day classes may be a much younger croud, I have no idea and it is something you may want to research.  Also, if you have a lot of work experience, this might be a plus).  Third, it is solely a law school so you won't meet anyone there who is not a law student.  This is a major negative to me because it does not have a college atmosphere, but again, some may prefer this.

Saint Thomas, on the other hand, has a lot of things going for it, in my opinion.  First, it's located in downtown Minneapolis.  Not only that, it is in the nicest part of the city, just blocks from the Nicollet Mall area for those familiar with the area.  Second, having not visited many law schools but having look at many websites, I am going to guess this is the nicest facility in which one can study law in the country.  I took my Kaplan class there and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  Third, Saint Thomas University (made up of the law school downtown and the college in Saint Paul) has an enormous amount of money.  Just look at the building alone and you will know what I mean.  if this school fits your number now, I would consider it like a good stock pick - consider yourself buying low because I believe this school will become more and more prestigious and selective.  Don't forget that they have a top 20 law school in the University of Minnesota about a mile away, along with William Mitchell and Hamline also in the Twin Cities from which they can steal faculty.  And I wouldn't worry too much about the religious component of the school.  Obviously, every Catholic University is going to put a little emphasis on faith, but I know lots of people who go to Saint Thomas undergrad for the sole reason that it is a respected regional school.  Of all the people I know who go there, none are particularly religious, so I would not spend too much time worrying about being indoctrinated.  Hope this helps those considering these two schools!

Thank you for your perspective! I feel the same way about StThomas - I enjoyed the whole stock market analogy. I am about 85% sure (as my wife says) that I will attend. I agree - the campus environment is very tolerant of people of varying backgrounds, whether they be religous or not. I am an older student myself (33), married yet I still prefer the feel of Minneapolis over STPaul (so does my wife). And yes, they do have boatloads of money - just look at the cherry wood all over their school. Them seem to have hired excellent faculty and I expect that trend to continue.

Oingo

522
Incoming 1Ls / Re: What makes more sense?
« on: February 12, 2006, 02:12:50 PM »
Yup, I'm from Minneapolis...I'll be going to William Mitchell... They offered me significantly more grant money than St. Thomas or Hamline... So it wasn't really a tough choice at all...

After a HORRIBLE day here yesterday (that included my inept boss blaming me for his own idiotic actions - and there's a paper trail to back that one up), I decided that I will definitely be out of here the day before Memorial Day weekend. And I am also looking for a new temp job - just in case I could find happiness elsewhere :)

Prior to reading about the tuition grant from William Mitchell, I was going into HUGE amounts of panic over debt. Now it doesn't seem as big of a deal to go into a little debt for the summer...

I'm in the same situation, except with StThomas (offering me a signifiacnt scholarship). I am wondering when to quit too - I wish I could quit on Memorial day weekend! My wife and I have a house to sell and a baby on the way so I guess we are in a different situation  ;D  I will most likely quit sometime in July so as not to shoot ourselves in the foot with healthcare coverage.

Oingo

523
You're kidding, right?  You must be out of you mind.

To be very honest, every prospective employer would take a UMN grad in top three quarters over a top grad at any other Minneapolis Law School.


You need to know that the school is VERY WELL regarded in the area. Their graduates compare favorably to UMinn grads.

I would hope that you are talking undergrad here.  St. Thomas looks like it will be a decent law school but that doesn't mean it can hold a candle to UMN especially before its even approved.  St. Thomas is a REGIONAL school, UMN is a NATIONAL school. 

That being said my boyfriend goes to St. Thomas Law school and I went to St. Thomas for undergrad.  St. Thomas does have a good reputation in the twin cities and lots of undergrad and MBA alumni.  I actually had a job in undergrad calling alumni with law degrees and asking for their financial support to get the law school up and running and most were VERY supportive.  I would imagine that this support would carry over now that the law school is operational and on its way to being approved. 

My boyfriend is happy with his decision to go to St. Thomas and says that the professor are really great, easy to talk to outside of class but still push you and make you think.  He is only a 1L but so far has been impressed.

You're kind of highjacking the thread. Besides, given what Megan has said your response doesn't make much sense. Do you have any (first person) experience with William Mitchell or St Thomas?

Oingo.

524
I would hope that you are talking undergrad here.  St. Thomas looks like it will be a decent law school but that doesn't mean it can hold a candle to UMN especially before its even approved.  St. Thomas is a REGIONAL school, UMN is a NATIONAL school.  

Megan - I made no such claim. In fact I said that StThomas is a school with regional pull ("expect to stay in Minneapolis"). StThomas will most likely be fully ABA approved at the end of the current semester. If we are talking about a graduate who is willing to stay in the Twin Cities for a few years after graduation then attending Uminn doesn't necessarily confer the same advantage.

To answer both you and jvan2619 - I have spoken to a recent Uminn grad and a few current 2L's. Both commented favorably on the knowledge of StThomas students. They were favorably competing for some of the same jobs at medium to large size firms in the area. I have NO idea who got hired where but it was clear that employers in the area have a positive attitude towards StThomas students.

I do not dispute that you will have more opportunities if you attend UMinn (no doubt in fact).William Mitchell also appears to have a strong alumni network (its graduates do well in the area). I am less certain about Hamline (simply do not know much about the school). With all that said, I am of the opinion that you really make your own bed, so to speak. Whereever I end up I will have to make opportunities happen for myself.

Oingo

525
Thank you for starting this thread!

I will probably attend StThomas this Fall. I visited campus two weeks ago (during Minneapolis's recent warm spell) and I came away impressed. You need to know that the school is VERY WELL regarded in the area. Their graduates compare favorably to UMinn grads. I met with two Uminn students (one just finished his JD/MBA) and both said that the schools graduates do very well in the Minneapolis/StPaul area. Don't read into the whole Martindale thing too much - most if not all the top firms in the state interview StThomas grads. Just realize what you already know - StThomas is a school with regional pull - expect to stay in Minnesota for a few years after graduation (although they do have grads working in 10 or so other states - including Wisconsin).

You ARE NOT relegated to a career in public interest work although a big part of the StThomas mission is to serve the public welfare (as students you are expected to do 50 hours of "pro bono" work a year - most do more).

It all comes down to determining which school is a better fit. Although I applied to Hamline and William Mitchell, the yes from StThomas was enough to make me strongly consider moving the wife and dog to the Twin Cities. I haven't heard from WM or Hamline yet (I expect to any day now). I do not think an acceptance from either of them will hold much sway at this point. I will agree with others and say that WM sure is in a purty part of StPaul though :)

I got the real sense that the students enjoyed being there and the professors enjoyed teaching. I attended a Constitutional Law and a Property Law class - most students were volunteering answers in Con Law. The Prop Law class was full Socrates - I watched someone get flushed for 20 mins - gentle flushing though :)

Oingo

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