Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: A day in the life of...University of Minnesota  (Read 1796 times)

OlderandWiser

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 165
  • It's not creepy, it's kittens
    • View Profile
A day in the life of...University of Minnesota
« on: April 16, 2008, 09:25:06 PM »
Here are my thoughts on Minnesota.  I felt like this was a quick visit so its not quite as thorough as usual.   Feel free to ask me questions if there is anything I left out.  I know this is pretty long so Iíve included a brief version with just likes/dislikes at the end   Without further ado...

University of Minnesota 04/14/08

The Building: Big, really big.  A nice layout though.  Not a ton of light, a little bit dark in places.  A ton of public space for people to study, eat, hang out, whatever.  They have a really nice cafť in the basement, lots of food and beverage options.  A nice touch for when its 30 below outside.  The classrooms felt a little claustrophobic to me.  But that may be because the ones I had an opportunity to see were packed to the brim with students.  I didnít get a chance to see the courtroom except for a quick glance. 

The Classes: I sat in a Property class. It was absolutely packed in there.  I was treated to a nice piece of candy from a student running for vice-something-or-other.  The professor was good, not the most interesting ever, but very clear in her explanations.  She also was a serious Socratic type.  She wrecked some poor fellow for almost 30 minutes.  She just kept going back to him. It was rough.  But he stood up to the pressure and was eventually let off the hook.  The class was pretty engaged in the discussion.  I had to sit in the very front due to the lack of seats so I have no dea if people were typing outlines or playing cards. 

The Students: People were friendly, but a lot more serious here than at other schools.  Our tour guide was nice, and very professional, but a little tense.  That seemed to be true of all of the students I met.  People just brought up the rankings at random times and were a bit evasive when it came to questions about the level of competition.  It was also the only time I have been on a library tour where our group received dirty looks. I donít know, it just didnít feel as relaxed as some other places.  Not for me, but Iím sure many folks would like the more reserved atmosphere. 

The Administration: The same as with the students.  The administration has been helpful and professional, but not what I would call overly warm.  Not mean or rude, just not that engaging.  Almost distant in a way.  But they have always answered my questions in a prompt manner. 

The Library: Pretty much your standard library, just bigger.  I think our guide said itís the biggest law library in the country.  There was a lot of space for studying and stacks upon stacks of books.  Some natural light, but not a ton.  Open 24 hours though, which is pretty cool.  And only open to the public during certain times, another nice perk. 

The City: Minneapolis was okay.  The downtown seemed nice enough, but I stayed there on a Sunday evening and it was competely dead.  I walked several blocks in search of a restaurant and saw no one.  Not a soul.  What can I say, coming from New York City that just creeped me out a little.  But it was clean and I did find a great little bar and grill.  I enjoyed a delicious Kobe beef burger and a Bellís Amber (great Michigan beer if youíre not familiar).

Miscellaneous:
- Clinics: 19 clinics.  19!  Damn thatís a lot. They are somewhat competitive to get into.  There isnít an application process like most other schools.  If I understood the tour guide correctly you just register like you do for any other class.  There is some discussion of making the scheduling a bit more fair for clinics.  For example, 3Ls who have not done a clinic would get priority over 3Ls who have.  Not the case right not, its just by lottery.  The clinic offices were also really nice.
- Journals and Moot Court: A requirement for all 2L students.  Everyone does one or the other.  Admission is based on writing and grades.  It sounds pretty intense.  The tour guide said it was like 200 pages of reading and a 35-40 page response, due two weeks after your exams are over.  The advantage would be that everyone gets the experience so you don't have the competition for these positions that you might at other institutions. 
- Dell computers: Everyone has to get one.  You have a choice between 2.  But its mandatory that everyone get a Dell. 
- jobs: No idea.  The student didnít really talk about it much.  Sheís doing something in Minneapolis at a firm.  She told me the name, but it was completely lost on me.  I didnít get a chance to talk with any other students about this.   

What I liked: The class, the clinics

What I didnít like: the atmosphere, the building, the city


Any second now: University of Wisconsin. 


University of Washington 2011

rekopter

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 296
    • View Profile
Re: A day in the life of...University of Minnesota
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2008, 11:01:16 PM »
Great post, Thank you sir!

Papa Bear

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 404
  • Do these shades make me look fat?
    • View Profile
Re: A day in the life of...University of Minnesota
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2008, 12:04:38 AM »
You stayed in the wrong part of the city, I think. There's a bunch of restaurants/bars/etc. Also, if you stayed in downtown further from the school then pretty much everything is on the second floors of the buildings, so you won't see them from outside. Sunday night is usually pretty dead, though, and I can imagine it's very different from NY that way.

You're totally right about the school - it's dark. I call the sub-plaza "the dungeon." I spend most of my study time in the computer lab on the 4th Floor of the library where there's plenty of natural light.

IRT the people here, not to make excuses but Minnesota winters last about a month longer than most people would like them to. When I moved here from Phoenix last August I noticed how much people here like to be outside; now I know why. :) Things have lightened up a lot the last couple days now that it's getting warmer, but it's offset somewhat by the realization that finals are around the corner. Pretty much everybody I've met is super-cool, and I think first semester took the ammo out of the one or two gunners, neither of whom really bothered me that much anyway.

Let me know if you have any questions!

EDIT: PM might be better than posting right now. I'm supposed to be outlining. :)
"Facts have a well-known liberal bias."

moonpie

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 391
  • No it's not mexico
    • View Profile
Re: A day in the life of...University of Minnesota
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2008, 03:05:42 AM »
WTF. It's mandatory that you -BUY- a dell? That's ridiculous - there's no exam software that can't be run on any PC, let alone a mac on boot camp.

UMDMike

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 204
    • View Profile
Re: A day in the life of...University of Minnesota
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2008, 08:10:00 AM »
Thanks for the info!!  Is anyone going to the ASW this weekend?
University of Minnesota Law Class of 2011

OlderandWiser

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 165
  • It's not creepy, it's kittens
    • View Profile
Re: A day in the life of...University of Minnesota
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2008, 10:37:59 AM »
You stayed in the wrong part of the city, I think. There's a bunch of restaurants/bars/etc. Also, if you stayed in downtown further from the school then pretty much everything is on the second floors of the buildings, so you won't see them from outside. Sunday night is usually pretty dead, though, and I can imagine it's very different from NY that way.

You're totally right about the school - it's dark. I call the sub-plaza "the dungeon." I spend most of my study time in the computer lab on the 4th Floor of the library where there's plenty of natural light.

IRT the people here, not to make excuses but Minnesota winters last about a month longer than most people would like them to. When I moved here from Phoenix last August I noticed how much people here like to be outside; now I know why. :) Things have lightened up a lot the last couple days now that it's getting warmer, but it's offset somewhat by the realization that finals are around the corner. Pretty much everybody I've met is super-cool, and I think first semester took the ammo out of the one or two gunners, neither of whom really bothered me that much anyway.

Let me know if you have any questions!

EDIT: PM might be better than posting right now. I'm supposed to be outlining. :)

Totally true, I had never been to Minneapolis before and I think staying in the downtown wasn't the best choice.  It seemed like there were some other areas that were a bit more bustling. 

Also, what Papa Bear says about outdoor space is something I failed to mention.  There were some great outdoor spaces both in front and back of the building.  The student who gave the tour said pretty much the same thing, folks tend to gravitate outside as soon as possible. 

finally, I think I used a poor choice of words when describing the students. Maybe "intense" is closer to the mark than "tense".  Still friendly and helpful though. 

thanks for the follow up Papa Bear, its always good to have folks with a bit more knowledge and experience with the school to add to the post.  These are just my impressions from a one day visit, which isn't much time to know much of anything.   ;)
University of Washington 2011

gdogg

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
Re: A day in the life of...University of Minnesota
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2008, 01:17:55 AM »
Kinda sums up the people of Minnesota in general---"nice" but they dont warm up to you until you REALLY get to know them.  I did under grad and grad studies at "The U" (what everyone in MN calls that place, and it was great,lots of diversity to experience in Minneapolis, but certainly not the "crowds" on the streets like in NY (which made ME feel uncomfortable in NY).
Oh yeah, and the winters are a bi-otch!!!

nerfco

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 731
  • U.Chi '10
    • View Profile
Re: A day in the life of...University of Minnesota
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2008, 12:03:13 PM »
These are really nice reviews. Obviously I'm not shopping for a law school, but I enjoy reading these. Please write more of these if you visit more schools.

The Artist

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 321
  • Admit it... you got Rick Rolled.
    • View Profile
Re: A day in the life of...University of Minnesota
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2008, 04:20:20 PM »
These are really nice reviews. Obviously I'm not shopping for a law school, but I enjoy reading these. Please write more of these if you visit more schools.

co-signed.

OlderandWiser

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 165
  • It's not creepy, it's kittens
    • View Profile
Re: A day in the life of...University of Minnesota
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2008, 06:29:36 PM »
Thanks everybody.  I'm glad people enjoy reading them.  Sadly, I think I'm finished with my visits.  Although I may visit Michigan in May, but I haven't decided yet.  I'll only be about an hour away from U of M so it would be easy to swing by.  I'll post something if I head to Ann Arbor. 
University of Washington 2011