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Author Topic: Hamline or St. Thomas (MN)?  (Read 8147 times)

NMUZ

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Hamline or St. Thomas (MN)?
« on: February 07, 2009, 06:09:49 PM »
I have been accepted to both with no money.  For those of you that say don't go, just don't respond.  I am between corporate and health law.  I know that if I am sure about health law Hamline is better because it has a concentration.  But overall which one is better and which one is landing me a job outside of graduation? 

SplorkyFish

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Re: Hamline or St. Thomas (MN)?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2009, 10:50:34 PM »
Hamline has a better network now because it used to  be a good school and UST just started their law school, but UST is really investing heavily in the law school.  I'd choose UST.

ManWithoutQualities

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Re: Hamline or St. Thomas (MN)?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2009, 08:09:45 PM »
I've gotten into Hamline and William Mitchell and St. Thomas (all 3 with money - Hamline the largest, St. Thomas the smallest).

Despite the larger money gift, I'm not really considering Hamline...I just don't think the job prospects are strong enough.

My sense is that UST is definitely the choice for you here, especially if money is not an issue.

I'm inclined to pick UST for myself too.

NMUZ

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Re: Hamline or St. Thomas (MN)?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2009, 09:48:00 PM »
Yeah, I didn't score high enough on the LSAT to get money, but I scored average on my ACT and am doing well enough in my UGRAD.  I think I am leaning more towards UST right now too, and will be going out there for UST's ASD and also visiting Hamline while out there and will hopefully make a choice after that

jbakguy

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Re: Hamline or St. Thomas (MN)?
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2009, 02:39:59 PM »
I am at one of your choices (don't want to say exactly which) if you have any questions about the programs, let me know and i would be happy to answer.
.

ihateusernames

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Re: Hamline or St. Thomas (MN)?
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2009, 06:20:23 PM »
I'm in a similar situation to ManWithoutQualities.  I have a full-ride at Hamline, 75% at Mitchell, and 50% at UST... though UST is reconsidering in light of Hamline and Mitchell's offers.  Being a Minnesota lifer I would have no reservations about receiving my education at Hamline or Mitchell, provided you do well and rank in the top 20-25% of your class.  That puts you in a good position to snag a solid job, not the biggest firms, but you won't be stuck doing contract work at $20 per/hr.  As it stands currently, the same goes for UST.  Right now, Hamline and Mitchell have much bigger alumni networks.  Don't buy the BS that UST has a "big" alumni network because of their MBA... that's not going to help you get a job in the legal profession.  However, UST has sooooooooo much money.  If they keep giving large monetary incentives to draw top students away from Hamline and Mitchell, we could see UST continue to rise (a large portion of a law schools ranking being LSAT and UGPA).  I don't think Tier 2 status is inconceivable for UST.  UST could definitely wind up as the 2nd best law school in the state.  Or they might not.  I'm not much of a gambler.  Unless UST brings their scholarship offer up to, or very close to, Hamline's, I'll be at Hamline next year.  I'm not confident enough that UST will continue to rise to make a 45-50k bet.  However, if UST matches the full-ride... I'll take it, just on the chance that they keep rocketing up the rankings.  Tier 3's are Tier 3's.  Right now Hamline is equally as good as St. Thomas, with a bigger alumni network.  I would generally say follow the money for these three schools, and if it is roughly equal, maybe take a chance on a school with a smaller alumni network that is making big strides. 

JurisdDoctor33

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Re: Hamline or St. Thomas (MN)?
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2009, 07:33:30 PM »
I would seriously reconsider the way you evaluate your three options.  You've referred to the US NEWS rankings, while 3 may sound better than 4, I assure you that means absolutely nothing in the local legal market.  And I say local legal market because your degree will not travel far, honestly most national firms only hire tier 1 grads, otherwise most midsize and smaller firms recruit almost exclusively from a regional pool. You've mentioned top 25% as an attainable level to assure some sort of job security, I do not want to scare you, but nothing is guaranteed.  In fact, most of the larger firms will announce that they "prefer" the top 25%, however some will actually require top 10% standing to simply apply, and long story short, very few individuals at my school landed firm jobs outside of the top 10-15%.  Another factor that you need to take into consideration is where graduates of these three schools work.  Check out the local law firms websites, and count the number of alums from the school you are applying to.  Firms to consider [Largest 10 firms in no order](dorsey, faegre, robins, gray plant, lindquist, oppenheimer, briggs, felhaber, leonard, winthrop, etc...)  Also check with the public defenders office, the attorney generals office, and local county attorneys offices.  In addition, the LSAT means nothing, in fact, it is hardly used in the computation of the USNEWS rankings.  With that being said, if that is something that really concerns you, than you should be aware that Mitchell and UST both have 156 average LSATs, while Mitchell's UGPA is 3.5X whereas UST is 3.3X.  All things considered, no law firm will ever ask you what your LSAT was.  Bottom line is, if you are planning to work at a larger firm, those where offers of employment have been historically reliable (not the case right now) then you would be doing yourself a huge disservice if you attend Hamline.  Honestly, check with these firms and you will be shocked to see how few hamline grads actually work there.  If your goal is not to work in one of these firms, then Hamline would be just fine.  As far as UST is concerned, they have placed decently in recent years in some of these firms, but I guarantee you that Mitchell has outplaced them by at least 2-1.  If it is not apparent by now, I am a Mitchell student. You should seriously consider Mitchell as a viable option if you plan to practice in MN. As a close to this rant, I will offer you the following:  (1) there are more practicing attorneys in the state of MN from than any other law school [good chance you will be interviewing with one) (2) there are more sitting judges in the state of MN from Mitchell (Including the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court) than any other school (3) Mitchell has close to 15K alumni - far and away the largest base in MN (4) Alum, Warren Burger - former chief justice of the US Supreme Court.  In the grand scheme of things, if you perform well at any of these three schools, you will likely have opportunities presented to you.  Choose the one that most closely aligns with your future aspirations. 

Good Luck!!!

SplorkyFish

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Re: Hamline or St. Thomas (MN)?
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2009, 12:43:05 AM »

ihateusernames, if nobody changes their offer, I would say WM.  If UST matches WM's offer, it's really up in the air IMO.  Huge alumni network for William Mitchell vs. better faculty for UST.  If the money looks close to the same when final offers are in, visit both schools and figure out which one you'd enjoy yourself at more. 

NMUZ

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Re: Hamline or St. Thomas (MN)?
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2009, 11:06:19 PM »
I visited both Hamline and St. Thomas (ASD) this weekend and have pretty much decided on attending St. Thomas.  There are many reasons for my decisions I will do my best to list them in no specific order except for how they came to mind.  1. Location, I love that St. Thomas is downtown Minneapolis compared to Hamline being north of downtown St. Paul.  2. Law building, hands down goes to St. Thomas, the building is amazing, it feels like a corporation by its openess and structure.  3. Faculty, St. Thomas is attracting some great faculty from the top schools in the nation and are still not done hiring faculty and will expand another 5 or 6 adding about as many courses.  4. Curriculum, I was worried about the religion aspect at St. Thomas, but I like how they incorporate it in their curriculum.  They promote ethics and giving back to the community, also, the law school has a policy that all first semester of first year classes have a graded midterm to give students feed back on their study habits.  I really like this idea because it gives all of the students a better chance to suceed.  5. Community, during the ASD I at breakfast with the dean and spoke for about 10 minutes with the associate dean.  Both were easy to talk to and were very willing to spend the time to get to know the admitted applicants.  The students there also could not stop raving about how the students treated each other.  6. Mentor program, I know that this is not the same as having a strong alumni base, but it is nice.  Over 500 attorneys in the twin cities have taken part in the program and are coming around to the law school.  I had lunch with the marketing director and he explained that the peer review was the only thing holding UST back in T3.  According to him, their lsat puts them in T2 and their rate of alumni giving ranks #2 in the nation.  He believes that with another year or two the law school will be in T2.  7. Reputation, I beleive that UST is on the rise.  Their dean came from UIUC and knows what it takes to establish a good law school.  The law school also has the money to put these ideas to use and I think they are going to become the #2 law school in the state.

I did not apply to William Mitchell and do not know much about it.  I have heard that they have a good alumni base in the twin cities and I wish that St. Thomas had this too.  I do believe though that other things matter when hiring occurs and I think that in three years the two law schools will be equal if not a slight advantage belonging to St. Thomas.

Talk Is Cheap

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Re: Hamline or St. Thomas (MN)?
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2009, 11:45:43 PM »
I wouldn't go to either of them if I had to pay full tuition.