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Author Topic: University of Minnesota: Polar Law 2012!  (Read 2793 times)

mbw

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University of Minnesota: Polar Law 2012!
« on: March 13, 2009, 02:41:58 PM »
Time to start the thread. 

Any current students around to answer questions?  Did anyone go to last week's ASW?

I'm in a lynch mob?  I had no idea.  This is really worrying; I really don't have time for another extra-curricular activity.

space for rent.

nerfco

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Re: University of Minnesota: Polar Law 2012!
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2009, 04:04:37 PM »
LOL, polar law.

Talk Is Cheap

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Re: University of Minnesota: Polar Law 2012!
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2009, 04:23:34 PM »
UMN is always here...watching...waiting...

Yes, we can take questions.

no634

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Re: University of Minnesota: Polar Law 2012!
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2009, 05:32:34 PM »
I presented at last week's ASW! I was one bumbling guy talking about quality of life in the Twin Cities. :D

mbw

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Re: University of Minnesota: Polar Law 2012!
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2009, 06:04:59 PM »
Okay guys, how well do non-trads fit in with the twenty-somethings?  Is there lots of mingling?

How many sections are there?  I thought I read somewhere that there are 4, but LSAC states two large ones and one smaller one.

Is the five classes per semester workload overwhelming?  I have friends with only three classes per semester, and they can't imagine five.

Do you find 2Ls and 3Ls to be supportive and helpful, sharing old outlines and exams?  Do most professors provide old exams?

How would you rate Career Services so far?  I know you both are firm-bound, but do any of your friends with Public Interest foci feel well served?

I have to admit that I read through the No634 archives, J., so I feel like I have a good basis of info.  And I'll be coming up in a few weeks to find a house for us (we're moving in May to get the kids/spouse settled in.) Of course, I don't have a winter coat (all in storage) and we're currently camped next to Lake Kissimmee, so it'll be a bit of a adjustment again.

TIA!
I'm in a lynch mob?  I had no idea.  This is really worrying; I really don't have time for another extra-curricular activity.

space for rent.

grajmahal

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Re: University of Minnesota: Polar Law 2012!
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2009, 12:18:30 PM »
Hew MBW - I am a non-trad 1L at UMN this year.  Here is some info for you

The twenty-something integration question is a non-issue.  Nobody seems to care much, aside from the occasional good-natured old-guy joke. Many of my friends are 10-15 years my junior and nobody cares.  You will fit right in, to the extent that you want to.

There is much mingling, including events planned by your section or for everybody.  One is a weekly 'bar review' that is quite well attended.  It is announced in the weekly satirical paper, the bar review weekly.  WWW.barreviewweekly.com.

there are 5 sections, A,B,C,D, and E.  each has about 45 students, and they are carefully constructed to distribute the nontrads, the  non-native speakers, the geniuses, etc. evenly distributed.

The workload is what it is - it is the same for everyone, so while it may seem daunting, it is not that bad.  The legal writing class, which is a 1 credit pass/fail, somewhat paradoxically takes up the most time.

1Ls don't have a lot of contact with 2Ls and 3Ls.  Where you do, you can get some advice, maybe an outline or something.  They teach our SSGs, which stands for Structured Study Group - a sort of an adjunct class session to talk about the class.  There they can be quite helpful.  SSGs are optional.

If you are looking for help or advice on finding a house, let me know. I have some that I rent out.

Welcome to the twin cities!!




no634

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Re: University of Minnesota: Polar Law 2012!
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2009, 12:26:40 AM »
Iím going to respectfully disagree with my classmate!
1) Mingling: this is section specific. In my section the early 20-somethings and the 30-somethings are in distinct groups. There are smaller cliques as well.  But itís not exactly high school, so few people are completely ostracized.

I've only been to one bar review. It was horribly attended.

2) Sections A-E. I disagree about the distribution. Every section has its own character because students aren't well distributed. I have a large number of older students in my section. There is another section that is basically animal house. Maybe the other three sections have equal distributions?

3) work load is section specific as well. My first semester 2 of my classes were only with my section (Civil Procedure, Torts) the other 2 classes were my section combined with another section (Constitutional Law, Contracts).
In legal writing our section was subdivided into groups of 8 or 9. Each small section had a student instructor and an attorney instructor. This is for individual attention. Again, things vary by which subgroup you fall in. I love my attorney-instructor and student instructor but one of my housemates is unsatisfied with her attorney-instructor because he gives her no feedback. Everything is ďfine.Ē
ÖAnd some of my classmates love their attorney-instructor but  think their student instructor is mean and condescending. Again, full spectrum.

What I mean by section-specific is that some professors will have quizzes, and midterms, or heavy/light reading assignments. For conlaw I only read about 10 pages a day. But for contracts it was 30 dense pages...

4) 2L and 3Ls: I think upperclassmen are very supportive, but they will not seek you out. The upperclassmen that I know are either housemates or people I know through student organizations. I think sharing old exams is probably against school policy (they donít let you leave with them), although a lot of exams are on reserve in the library. And make your own outline. The studying value of an outline comes from making it, not from the finished product.

Some professors provide exams, others donít. Newer professors who didnít have old exams generally provided a practice exam as an ungraded midterm.

5) Career Services Ė career services is off limits for 1Ls until November, so you will hear a lot from MJF (Minnesota Justice Foundation) which is BASICALLY the public law career office.   There are also clubs like the Asylum Law Project that allow 1Ls to have public-law experience.

For coats I found H&M to be the best. I overspent on a coat at Burlington Coat Factory in Miami, and wore my $40 H&M coat most days. I would buy winter clothes now while they are all on sale!

And god, you must think the school is nuts if your going off my blog...

mbw

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Re: University of Minnesota: Polar Law 2012!
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2009, 09:21:20 AM »
Thanks both of you for the input.  And, no, J., I don't think the school is nuts from your blog - seems pretty normal, and since it's been over a decade since I stepped foot on any university campus (as a student), it makes me somewhat relieved that things haven't changed too much.  And J., thanks for the winter coat recommendations, but being from Maine and all, I'll be ordering my winter gear from LL Bean - they'll revoke my Maine citizenship if I don't.  :D

A few more questions, if you don't mind.  How is the competitiveness factor - do you think that the relatively high curve (3.2 IIRC) facilitates a less competitive, more collegial environment?  Also, is it really as non-diverse as it appears on paper?  I'm rather thrilled to be at a school/in a city with a decent NDN population, but I'm hoping other URMs/minorities are decently represented as well.  Is there a non-trad student's association (I know at some schools it's called "O.W.L.S.".)  Do most students hail from the Midwest or is it a truly national population?

Do you both like most of your professors?  Are they easily approachable?  Do students freely utilize office hours?

How's Minneapolis public transportation?  We're looking for housing out in Uptown or Linden Hills, and we don't plan on picking up a second car unless absolutely necessary, so I'll be riding the bus a lot (although I hope to bike in during the fall/spring.)  However, if driving is necessary at times, is there adequate parking near the law school?
I'm in a lynch mob?  I had no idea.  This is really worrying; I really don't have time for another extra-curricular activity.

space for rent.

Talk Is Cheap

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Re: University of Minnesota: Polar Law 2012!
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2009, 06:13:40 PM »
I would also agree that the character of the different sections is quite distinct. You could have an awesome brotherhood of the greatest law students ever to walk through Mondale Hall, like our glorious section, or you could be a bunch of unhinged loons like those crazies in Section B.  ;)

Competitiveness, I've found, is almost nil. I'm sure there will be some if you go out looking for it. I've found the overall attitude among classmates to be quite congenial.

I honestly haven't noticed more than a couple of self-identified Native Americans at the school. There are a lot in the city, if you want to hang out in the aptly-named "Indian Projects" and get shanked. Compared to undergrad, law school is really whitebread. Don't come in expecting great diversity, it's simply not here.

That being said, geographic diversity is more than I thought it would be. I guess it's a testament to the quality of the school that so many out-of-staters want to come to our simple little Midwestern law school.

I liked all of my professors as people. Some of them are better teachers than others. Some really suck at teaching. I think they all make an effort to be available, whether it's only at office hours or whatever, or more. Some profs last semester went out for social drinking with students after class if kids asked them...really all depends on the person.

Public transportation always gets rave reviews...I personally hate it and don't use it anymore, but that's just me. Objectively, they do a good job, and if you're in the city proper, you will be able to get around just fine. Uptown will be a lot more bus-accessible than Linden Hills, but Linden Hills is going to be a lot nicer for a family to live in that Uptown, which is pretty active and full of students, artsty-fartsy types, etc.

Is our curve really 3.2? That would suck...I'm pulling for a nice even 3.0! I think it vacillates from year to year and isn't calculated until after spring semester.

I'll echo 634 on career services...they're not really terribly concerned with 1Ls. As such, you're pretty much on your own as far as finding summer employment. I'll withhold my final judgment of them until I can rate the 2L interview cycle process, though.

no634

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Re: University of Minnesota: Polar Law 2012!
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2009, 11:50:10 PM »
Ditto on the minorities - although the school has a good chunk of Asian students.

Many professors invite students to lunch or coffee if you can drag 2-3 other classmates along.