« on: February 12, 2006, 05:53:15 PM »
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.