Montana or Idaho?

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dannyboy45
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Montana or Idaho?

Postby dannyboy45 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:47 pm

So I am trying to decide between University of Montana or University of Idaho. I understand both are the only schools in their state but I am wondering if either school is better than the other. I don't think I really have a preference between either state, except that Montana is a bit closer to my family (in Alberta). Tuition is about the same but I am not sure about the differences in the legal market in each state. If anyone has any insight they could offer it would be appreciated.
If anyone has experience at either school that of course would valued.
Last edited by dannyboy45 on Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bk1
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:51 pm

Pick which state you prefer. They are better in their respective states.

If you can't decide then go visit and choose.

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mpj_3050
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby mpj_3050 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:53 pm

Can you get residency after 1L at these schools?

dannyboy45
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby dannyboy45 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:04 pm

mpj_3050 wrote:Can you get residency after 1L at these schools?

It is possible in Idaho and I am still verifying Montana's policy on in-state tuition

CanadianWolf
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:16 pm

There's a difference ? :D

P.S. I looked up the definition of a "draw" in Webster's Dictionary & it referred readers to this thread.
Do you want to live & work in Idaho or Montana ? Montana's law school building is new & nice.

trackstr26
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby trackstr26 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:05 pm

Which did you end up choosing?

dannyboy45
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby dannyboy45 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:05 pm

trackstr26 wrote:Which did you end up choosing?

Still haven't decided. Any suggestions?

examplepdf
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby examplepdf » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:06 pm

Have you visited either? Missoula is awesome.

RSM
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby RSM » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:02 pm

I am a 1L at Montana.

First, you really should visit both if they are your two options. Missoula and Moscow are wildly different, as are the campuses. Montana has a brand new building, I am not sure what Idaho's law school looks like but the rest of the campus isn't much to look at. Spend some time on Google image search, the differences are quickly apparent.

Some recent TLS'ers who have spent time at Idaho law were less than impressed.

That said, here are my impressions from one year at Montana.

The vast majority of the professors are excellent. They have practical experience, and are engaging, entertaining, and they will learn your name. I think this is true of every professor I have had this year with one notable exception and she is essentially done teaching after this semester.

You write...a lot. Reading TLS, it seems we write a lot more than many other 1Ls. So far this year we have drafted a complaint, written a legal opinion letter, two office memos, a summary judgment motion and brief, and a few other things I am surely forgetting. The class is a shit ton of work, but the writing professors are awesome, accessible, and tremendously helpful.

There is a pretty big range of ability in our class. I am sure this is true everywhere but there seem to be quite a few people in my class who could have gone to much more highly ranked schools but chose to come here because they wanted to stay in Montana, and it's a stupid idea to go anywhere else if you want to practice in Montana (I am sure this applies to ID also).

Jobs are tough at both. I am not sure exactly how many people have jobs lined up for the summer (and after, for 3Ls). People are definitely getting paid summer gigs, I am just not sure how many that have looked have been shut out. Some, for sure.

Keep in mind that there is one bigger market (Billings) and two that are roughly equal to Missoula (Helena & Bozeman). Competition is fierce for the Missoula jobs, I imagine much less so for the other locales. In Idaho, I am sure most people who get paid jobs must look well beyond Moscow.

Where do you want to end up when you are done...and why are you not looking at Canadian schools?

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JDndMSW
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby JDndMSW » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:58 am

RSM wrote:I am a 1L at Montana.

First, you really should visit both if they are your two options. Missoula and Moscow are wildly different, as are the campuses. Montana has a brand new building, I am not sure what Idaho's law school looks like but the rest of the campus isn't much to look at. Spend some time on Google image search, the differences are quickly apparent.

Some recent TLS'ers who have spent time at Idaho law were less than impressed.

That said, here are my impressions from one year at Montana.

The vast majority of the professors are excellent. They have practical experience, and are engaging, entertaining, and they will learn your name. I think this is true of every professor I have had this year with one notable exception and she is essentially done teaching after this semester.

You write...a lot. Reading TLS, it seems we write a lot more than many other 1Ls. So far this year we have drafted a complaint, written a legal opinion letter, two office memos, a summary judgment motion and brief, and a few other things I am surely forgetting. The class is a shit ton of work, but the writing professors are awesome, accessible, and tremendously helpful.

There is a pretty big range of ability in our class. I am sure this is true everywhere but there seem to be quite a few people in my class who could have gone to much more highly ranked schools but chose to come here because they wanted to stay in Montana, and it's a stupid idea to go anywhere else if you want to practice in Montana (I am sure this applies to ID also).

Jobs are tough at both. I am not sure exactly how many people have jobs lined up for the summer (and after, for 3Ls). People are definitely getting paid summer gigs, I am just not sure how many that have looked have been shut out. Some, for sure.

Keep in mind that there is one bigger market (Billings) and two that are roughly equal to Missoula (Helena & Bozeman). Competition is fierce for the Missoula jobs, I imagine much less so for the other locales. In Idaho, I am sure most people who get paid jobs must look well beyond Moscow.

Where do you want to end up when you are done...and why are you not looking at Canadian schools?


Not to mention how ridiculously cheap tuition is for in-state residents! Isn't it well under 20k?

trackstr26
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby trackstr26 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:49 am

I think both schools are very similar. I would have to agree with RSM that Montana has a few fairly large cities that have decent markets, whereas Idaho really only has the Boise area that really has any market worth mentioning... Idaho is also in a really small town (less than 20,000 including students), and Montana is in more of a urban setting (If you can call Montana urban). So with the schools being fairly similar in rank, you may want to consider how exactly you want to live (more city or more country) for the next 3 years of your life. Montana has new buildings, so that may or may not influence you (I personally wouldn't base my decision purely off of buildings though). I'm sure you will find the right fit.

RSM
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby RSM » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:21 am

JDndMSW wrote:Not to mention how ridiculously cheap tuition is for in-state residents! Isn't it well under 20k?


It's around 11k this year, I believe.

RSM
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby RSM » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:41 am

Also, to follow up, I agree that you shouldn't base your decision on buildings. But it is possible that facilities may be a proxy for the state and the schools dedication to what takes place there. Or not.

JakeL
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby JakeL » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:21 am

montana>idaho all day

CanadianWolf
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:34 am

Facilities/buildings are important in this situation. Montana has a new building & Idaho's was reported by other posters last month as being worn down. The ABA considers buildings, facilities & expenditures to be important for accreditation purposes. Absent a preference for living in Idaho, Montana seems to be the better choice in your situation.

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mpj_3050
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby mpj_3050 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:43 am

OP, did you verify that you can get Montana residency for sure? Montana really wouldn't be a bad choice with cost of living/tuition.

RSM
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby RSM » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:56 pm

My understanding is that you cannot get in-state in Montana because the requirement is that you are a "resident" for a year while not attending school more than half time. Because you must be a full time student at UMLaw, this doesn't work.

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JDndMSW
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby JDndMSW » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:13 am

RSM wrote:My understanding is that you cannot get in-state in Montana because the requirement is that you are a "resident" for a year while not attending school more than half time. Because you must be a full time student at UMLaw, this doesn't work.


Ya... I was able to get MT residency straight out of a CA h/s because my Dad lived there and claimed me on his taxes (while not paying child support). Sucked though trying to back to CA after a semester realizing states won't let you have "dual residency"...

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king3780
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby king3780 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:53 am

trackstr26 wrote:I think both schools are very similar. I would have to agree with RSM that Montana has a few fairly large cities that have decent markets, whereas Idaho really only has the Boise area that really has any market worth mentioning... Idaho is also in a really small town (less than 20,000 including students), and Montana is in more of a urban setting (If you can call Montana urban). So with the schools being fairly similar in rank, you may want to consider how exactly you want to live (more city or more country) for the next 3 years of your life. Montana has new buildings, so that may or may not influence you (I personally wouldn't base my decision purely off of buildings though). I'm sure you will find the right fit.


I don't really agree with the bolded. If we're talking population ("large cities"), Montana has Billings at 100k+ and Missoula and Great Falls around 60k. Idaho has the Boise metro area (including Meridian and Nampa which are both bigger than Missoula and Great Falls if counted independently) with about 400k and Idaho Falls and Pocatello with around 55k. A quick skim of Martindale shows there are roughly 11 firms in Montana with 10 or more lawyers (though most are scattered throughout the state just under the same name), while Idaho has about 28 firms of 10 or more lawyers. Idaho has three firms with at least 50 lawyers, Montana has one with 110+.

RSM
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby RSM » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:17 am

Idaho has about 50% more people than Montana. I didn't mean to imply that there were somehow more jobs in Montana, I am sure there are not. However, I suspect the Boise market attracts a fair number of people from Utah and BYU. I also think that it is worth at least considering that if you are Canadian and attend Idaho, and you are competing with someone from BYU at a firm in southern Idaho, you have an uphill battle.

I'm not saying this happens all the time, but the tremendous LDS presence in southern Idaho should not be overlooked, especially outside Boise.

I would still really like to hear the OPs motivations for going to ID/MT. But that person does not appear to be posting anymore so I guess this is now just a general discussion.

Alisa_5
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby Alisa_5 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:38 am

I just took a small trip up to Montana and will be a 1L there next year. I can honestly say, I'm am excited and look forward to the school, the experience and the city. All of it met my expectations and then some. I couldn't be more certain that MT is where I should be. Maybe I'll see you there! :p

RSM
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Re: Montana or Idaho?

Postby RSM » Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:23 pm

Did you sit in on a class? There have been quite a few people visiting lately, I sort of pity the people who get civil procedure. Criminal procedure seems like it would be the most entertaining by a long shot.




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