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Messages - MondaleHall

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Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Minnesota 1L taking questions
« on: December 31, 2004, 09:44:55 AM »

just so you can get a grasp of the lens I am looking through, i grew up in a crummy city (Albany, NY) went to college in a small town (Amherst, MA) worked in NYC for six years. I have spent many weekends visiting Chi and Boston as well  as living outside pittsburgh for a summer.

Minnesota has got everything you would need and continues to grow at a steady rate. It is not as buzzing as NYC (still my favorite city) but the people in general are very friendly here. It is easier to meet random people here in bars for example. It is not as diverse as NYC, but is certainly not homogenous...the restaurants here are fairly weak, I think.

Overall, I really like it...plenty of things to do and the summers are supposed to be fun if you take advantage of the lakes (bring bug spray)...cost of living is reasonable (a bit cheaper than Chicago). I like it, but you may not, try and visit us if you can.

The weather is the weather. If weather is going to be a major distraction for you, you may want to reconsider law school in general. Don't take that the wrong way; you will need to focus almost exclusively on your studies to do as well as you can, so you will need to be able to block out all possible distractions. Collins Byrd likes to say that all you need to know is that the library has air conditioning and heat!

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Minnesota 1L taking questions
« on: December 31, 2004, 09:33:02 AM »
AKL, to answer your questions

1) I have some major concerns about the school though. First of all how national is it? is there on campus recruiters from all over the country (specificly the pacific nw and cali)?

Minnesota is quasi-national. Obviously its strengths are in the Twin Cities—where a majority of graduates stay initially (some self selection here rather than job opportunity restriction)—but we have some good connections with biglaw on the coast and in Chicago. But MN’s strength is in the Midwest. If you have strong preferences for geographic areas outside the Midwest, you need to do additional research. At an absolute minimum, you have to be willing to work in Minnesota if necessary. Pacific NW we are a weaker than we would like (straight from Dean Johnson’s mouth), we are better in California than many give us credit for. Realize that you are assuming some risk coming to Minnesota if these are your preferred destinations.

2) How high in the class do you need to finish to get a job with OCI, and are there job options from U of M after your first year.

I am in the job hunt now, so I will let you know. I am focusing on Minneapolis opportunities.

Generally, to have the best shot outside of Minnesota you need to be at least in the top third, probably even top quarter or even higher for places like NYC. We definitely get biglaw OCI, but it is not like we send a lot of people to these places every year.

You should do some more research on this, I am just a 1L without any real experience with the law school job hunting mechanism, so my impressions could be off in a significant way.

3) One of the reasons i moved away from minnesota was that it was so cold, i guess that hasnt changed much, so i dont think theres any point to asking if its still cold, cause i know it is.

Next question!

4) are the students at the school friendly and social, and is it easy to make connection within the class? Do they split the first year group into sections?

I am really impressed with the collegiality and friendliness of the student body. I am a little older than the median age, (I’ll be 29 in a few weeks, median is like 24) but have had little problem getting along with anybody. Everybody shares notes and trades outlines. We have a weekly bar review where we hit a local watering hole every Thursday.

The school also does a lot to relieve exam pressure by setting up ta sessions with 2ls and 3ls  and scheduling practice exams with answer discussion by professors immediately after.

4) Whats the deal with the laptop requirment?

You have to get one through the schools program and are expected to take your finals on it…I am writing to youfrom the laptop, an IBM thinkpad

there has been some dissatisfaction with the program in terms of costs (500 per year and we don’t own it afterward) and getting what was advertised. The law school student council is investigating and will probably have some proposals for the administration next semester so the details may change.

5) Are the carrels in the library reserved, or can you choose one?

They are initially reerved for 2Ls and 3Ls and LLMs. Any that are left over are distributed via a lottery to 1Ls. Anybody is allowed to use carrels when the “owner” is not sitting there. The library also has private study rooms that are pretty easy to reserve, even during study period and exams.

6) Is the fact that the building is pretty drab depressing, or does the fact that its huge, and has so many resources make up for it?

the building is a minus in my view. Definitely functional, but not as comfortable as it could be. The law school was designed during the energy crisis of the ‘70s and the dim lighting in some parts harkens back to that era of conservation.

The library is fine, but really needs a makeover to make it a great place to study.

There is a story that the building is modeled after a state prison, and that the company that built it offered to build the state two buildings for the price of one and the second building was the law school, but I have yet to figure out if that is really true or an urban legend.

7) Do they split the first year group into sections?

Yup, there are 5 sections of about 55 each. You will have a least one semester of a class with just your section (and as many as three if you are lucky) but the majority of classes are taught two sections at a time. All my classes this semester were 110 people. The benefit of that was I got to know people in other sections really well than I otherwise would have. My property class next semester will be only my section of 55. Legal writing is taught by an adjunct and a student assistant and you are broken into 12 person sections for that.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Full Tuition Scholarship @ Iowa!!!!
« on: December 30, 2004, 07:09:23 PM »
It is a tough call. It has good placement in Chi definitely.

I just decisded that I would be banging my head against the wall in Iowa City my 2 and 3L year, so I decided to go to UMN instead, which gave me a great package as well, but less than a full ride.

I really liked Iowa and the students there, though. Nice law school building also.

best of luck, at least you know now that you can't make a bad choice!

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Minnesota 1L taking questions
« on: December 30, 2004, 07:05:59 PM »

I read your post, but need to log off to meet a friend, will tackle your question tomorrow.

loider than bombs: was that directed at me?...I don't know anybody named downy, can you give me more details?

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Minnesota 1L taking questions
« on: December 30, 2004, 07:03:18 PM »

my old job was as an investment backer so it was just like my old job in terms of hours.

plus I read fairly slowly

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Minnesota 1L taking questions
« on: December 30, 2004, 07:01:22 PM »

law school is much more rigorous than undergrad. you need to be ready for class everyday to get the most out of it

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Minnesota 1L taking questions
« on: December 30, 2004, 06:31:24 PM »
reading the thread now...

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Minnesota 1L taking questions
« on: December 30, 2004, 06:28:05 PM »
no, b or b+ is just the mid point. half get higher and half get lower.

At minnesota last year only 18% or so get a- or higher and 18% get c+ or lower and the rest are somewhere in the b range of grades. Most law schools I bet mandate a similar distribution of grades

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Full Tuition Scholarship @ Iowa!!!!
« on: December 30, 2004, 06:23:29 PM »

I actually had the opportunity to accept a full ride to Iowa last year but ultimately had to turn it down: a really tough decision.

do they still mandate that you have to rank in the top 25% in your class to keep the scholarship?

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Minnesota 1L taking questions
« on: December 30, 2004, 06:21:43 PM »

law school was basically a full day affair for me every day.

I would show up at the law school just before class and stay until I fisnished my work for the next day. that meant often until 9pm or later.

weekends I would try and get ahead, but usually worked five or six hours both sat and sunday.

One thing that I would highly recommend is to keep your apartment a safe haven. what I mean by that is I never did any law school related work in my apt. I would do it all in the library, so when i got home I could just relax and watch TV, without having to worry about school.

If you do your work during the semester and work hard, the exam period doesn't have to be stressful. Everybody inevitably puts off their outlining and that is where the stress comes in. You probably will work the same amount during exams, unless you are behind and really have to kick it into gear.

I made time for social events. I would always go to the law school "bar review" on thursday night, and I bought season tix for the UMN hockey season. I also went to some Twins and Vikings games and also took in a play at the Guthrie. Work hard, but play hard.

you can definitely take a weekend off here and there and be okay...

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