The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
User avatar
minnbills
Posts: 3153
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby minnbills » Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:57 pm

bjsesq wrote:Felhaber starts at 100k, the three you mentioned at 110, Winthrop and Briggs at 120. I agree that Greene is among the most selective of the Minneapolis firms, i.e., is difficult to pull off straight out of law school.


Thanks, I get the sense that the GreeneEspel trend (hiring later as opposed to right out of the gate) is fairly par for the course in MSP for firms outside Dorsey, Robins, and Faegre. Is that a fair assumption?

User avatar
bjsesq
TLS Poet Laureate
Posts: 13383
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:02 am

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby bjsesq » Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:12 pm

minnbills wrote:
bjsesq wrote:Felhaber starts at 100k, the three you mentioned at 110, Winthrop and Briggs at 120. I agree that Greene is among the most selective of the Minneapolis firms, i.e., is difficult to pull off straight out of law school.


Thanks, I get the sense that the GreeneEspel trend (hiring later as opposed to right out of the gate) is fairly par for the course in MSP for firms outside Dorsey, Robins, and Faegre. Is that a fair assumption?


Not really. Felhaber, Briggs, Winthrop, Maslon, Fredrikson, and Oppenheimer all have summer programs.

the_real_mckoy
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:07 pm

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby the_real_mckoy » Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:12 pm

MinnesotaBigLaw11 wrote:An additional note: Please keep your debt down if you want to work in the upper midwest. I often find laterals and law students with over 100k in debt that cannot afford work in the area. We don't and will never pay the high salaries as the law firms and companies on the coasts. If you want to work in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, etc., you'll want to have lower debt payments, as we don't pay the same costs. So if you go to Cornell, BC, BU, or any other top private school, keep your debt low. You'll be happy in the end.


I agree that law schools on the coast are not cheap. But even a resident of MN who attends UMN, and (like the vast majority of the class) is not awarded a meaningful scholarship has to borrow $150,000.

http://www.law.umn.edu/prospective/tuition.html

User avatar
minnbills
Posts: 3153
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby minnbills » Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:49 pm

the_real_mckoy wrote:
MinnesotaBigLaw11 wrote:An additional note: Please keep your debt down if you want to work in the upper midwest. I often find laterals and law students with over 100k in debt that cannot afford work in the area. We don't and will never pay the high salaries as the law firms and companies on the coasts. If you want to work in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, etc., you'll want to have lower debt payments, as we don't pay the same costs. So if you go to Cornell, BC, BU, or any other top private school, keep your debt low. You'll be happy in the end.


I agree that law schools on the coast are not cheap. But even a resident of MN who attends UMN, and (like the vast majority of the class) is not awarded a meaningful scholarship has to borrow $150,000.

http://www.law.umn.edu/prospective/tuition.html



Damn they raised 1L in-state tuition from $28,824 to $34,817. That really sucks.

Hopefully they're handing out more in merit aid this cycle than last but that's a tough pill to swallow.

User avatar
ThomasMN
Posts: 300
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:38 pm

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby ThomasMN » Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:26 am

minnbills wrote:
the_real_mckoy wrote:
MinnesotaBigLaw11 wrote:An additional note: Please keep your debt down if you want to work in the upper midwest. I often find laterals and law students with over 100k in debt that cannot afford work in the area. We don't and will never pay the high salaries as the law firms and companies on the coasts. If you want to work in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, etc., you'll want to have lower debt payments, as we don't pay the same costs. So if you go to Cornell, BC, BU, or any other top private school, keep your debt low. You'll be happy in the end.


I agree that law schools on the coast are not cheap. But even a resident of MN who attends UMN, and (like the vast majority of the class) is not awarded a meaningful scholarship has to borrow $150,000.

http://www.law.umn.edu/prospective/tuition.html



Damn they raised 1L in-state tuition from $28,824 to $34,817. That really sucks.

Hopefully they're handing out more in merit aid this cycle than last but that's a tough pill to swallow.


I feel you; when I saw the tuition increase the U's position on my list of potential law schools definitely dropped. Given the current job market in Minnesota it seems reckless to take the U with anything but a half scholarship.

I know an associate at Greene Espel if you are interested in the firm at all. Just hit me up on Skype Bills.

User avatar
minnbills
Posts: 3153
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby minnbills » Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:37 am

ThomasMN wrote:I feel you; when I saw the tuition increase the U's position on my list of potential law schools definitely dropped. Given the current job market in Minnesota it seems reckless to take the U with anything but a half scholarship.

I know an associate at Greene Espel if you are interested in the firm at all. Just hit me up on Skype Bills.


I'll be on periodically today

MinnesotaBigLaw11
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:29 pm

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby MinnesotaBigLaw11 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:08 pm

minnbills wrote:
MinnesotaBigLaw11 wrote:An additional note: Please keep your debt down if you want to work in the upper midwest. I often find laterals and law students with over 100k in debt that cannot afford work in the area. We don't and will never pay the high salaries as the law firms and companies on the coasts. If you want to work in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, etc., you'll want to have lower debt payments, as we don't pay the same costs. So if you go to Cornell, BC, BU, or any other top private school, keep your debt low. You'll be happy in the end.


Thanks. This question may be a bit more difficult to answer.

Outside of the big firms like Dorsey, Robins, Faegre and others' who have satellite offices in MSP, what is the next level as far as firm size, starting pay et cetera. The common thread you'll hear on TLS is that there is no such thing as "midlaw."

To clarify, for firms like MossBarnett and GreeneEspel, how would you classify them? I've heard firms like this really only take laterals or clerks. How do they fit into the picture? Sorry if this is a bit of dumb question, but I'm just trying to get a better understanding of what the landscape is like in the twin cities.


There are a number of large law firms in Minneapolis that are not in the AM Law 100, but that are still very respectable. Using NALP Directory, you should be able to get a clear picture of the different firms that will be hiring law students. Also, there are a number of firms that don't participate in OCI but will hire laterals down the road.

Minnesota has between ten and twenty respectable firms with between 25-800 (assuming the Faegre/Baker merger happens) attorneys. While we don't have traditional biglaw in Minnesota, we have three or four AMLaw 100 firms in town that I would consider super-regional, along with a number of outstanding mid-sized firms and smaller boutiques.

Also, I agree with the above poster regarding debt from Minnesota. If you attend any school in Minnesota with the goal of remaining in the state, you should try to keep your debt down. It is highly unlikely you'll make enough at a Minnesota firm to pay off the same amount of debt as someone from a coastal school going to a national firm in a big market. However, if you keep your debt down, you can live very well in Minnesota on a law firm or in-house salary.

tinlawman
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:52 pm

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby tinlawman » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:39 am

I was wondering if you could answer a question about IP law. The field seems interesting to me, but people always say that you have to/should have a hard science degree. While I do have a Biology degree from a respected university, my GPA isn't great, and I don't think I know that much about biology. I also don't think I want to do legal work that involves what I learned in classes like biochemistry, cell biology, etc...
So I was just wondering how much of the practice of IP law actually involves the hard sciences. Also, if you are going into IP law, do law firms care about your undergrad GPA?

MinnesotaBigLaw11
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:29 pm

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby MinnesotaBigLaw11 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:28 pm

You'll want a hard science degree to do patent work. Otherwise, you may still have a shot at IP work. However, it is uncommon to find IP attorneys without some hard science background.

Ljsmith2
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:43 pm

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby Ljsmith2 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:32 am

1L at a Midwest T-14. Grew up in the Midwest and would like to practice in WI or MN. What are prospects for a 1L summer associate position at a MN firm? Which firms seem to hire 1Ls? Also, how far in a T-14 class do MN firms generally go?

Thanks!

User avatar
bjsesq
TLS Poet Laureate
Posts: 13383
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:02 am

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby bjsesq » Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:33 am

Ljsmith2 wrote:1L at a Midwest T-14. Grew up in the Midwest and would like to practice in WI or MN. What are prospects for a 1L summer associate position at a MN firm? Which firms seem to hire 1Ls? Also, how far in a T-14 class do MN firms generally go?

Thanks!


2L at NU who went through OCI recently. Prospects are heavily dependent on connections to the area (for MN, anyway. No idea about Wisconsin.) At OCI we had: Dorsey, Briggs, Maslon, Lindquist, Anthony Ostlund. Requesting resume drops: Faegre and Fredrikson. Responding to mass mails: Felhaber and Robins Kaplan. Oppenheimer said it wanted resumes, and promptly vanished into the mist. The cutoff point for a shot at a callback seemed to be median across the board. As to 1L's: no idea. If any of them do, I would be shocked if they hired more than one or two of them.

MinnesotaBigLaw11
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:29 pm

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby MinnesotaBigLaw11 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:14 am

You'll find that most 1L summer associate positions are typically reserved for minority students. There are usually only a few 1L summer associate positions available at the large Minnesota firms, but they are available.

Note: Every firm understands that students typically do non-profit and government work over their 1L summer. It is nothing to be worried about.

MinnesotaBigLaw11
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:29 pm

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby MinnesotaBigLaw11 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:30 pm

Taking questions again this week.

User avatar
ThomasMN
Posts: 300
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:38 pm

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby ThomasMN » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:23 pm

I am going to be attending UVA Law and was wondering what I could do maximize my chances of coming back to the Twin Cities area?

Ljsmith2
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:43 pm

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby Ljsmith2 » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:45 am

I'm wondering how firms compare grades from different schools. They must give some weight to the "rank" of the school, right? Is it just a matter of how deep they go in the class, (i.e. consider lower grades at a better school)?

Thanks.

MinnesotaBigLaw11
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:29 pm

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby MinnesotaBigLaw11 » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:08 am

Thomas - As long as you have a decent amount of Minnesota on your resume, most firms will give you an interview coming from UVA so long as you do pretty well in law school. Keep your grades up and you'll do well. I don't believe Minnesota firms attend UVA's OCI, but you can direct apply or attend some of the Chicago fairs where Minnesota firms often attend.

LJSmith - We certainly go deeper into the class at some schools over others, but it isn't much different. You have to do well in law school to get biglaw from any school. I discussed this in more detail in my first few posts on this thread.

MNbound
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:42 pm

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby MNbound » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:45 pm

Hello MNBigLaw11, I have a few questions about a scenario I'm likely to face. I'm applying to all 4 MN law schools this cycle. I'm a UMN grad with a 165 and 3.6 and a year of work experince with Americorps.

This situation, based on previous years applicants is likely to put me into a situation where I will have to choose between WM at close to or full scholarship, St. Thomas at full scholarship, or UMN, if I even get in, with no scholarship. Given the current MN legal market, what would you choose?

I am also interested in the Labor and employment field, what are your thoughts on it in the MN legal market, and in general?

MinnesotaBigLaw11
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:29 pm

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby MinnesotaBigLaw11 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:27 pm

MNbound wrote:Hello MNBigLaw11, I have a few questions about a scenario I'm likely to face. I'm applying to all 4 MN law schools this cycle. I'm a UMN grad with a 165 and 3.6 and a year of work experince with Americorps.

This situation, based on previous years applicants is likely to put me into a situation where I will have to choose between WM at close to or full scholarship, St. Thomas at full scholarship, or UMN, if I even get in, with no scholarship. Given the current MN legal market, what would you choose?

I am also interested in the Labor and employment field, what are your thoughts on it in the MN legal market, and in general?


I think this is something you are going to have to consider very seriously. I would take my time and figure out the finances. If you can manage to graduate from Minnesota with under 100k in student loans (preferably less than 60k), then I would suggest going to Minnesota. It is a fantastic unviersity and law school and it will offer you better employment chances. However, if your debt at graduation is going to be high from Minensota, I would suggest taking the scholarship at St. Thomas.

Firms in Minnesota will go deeper into the class at Minnesota than at St. Thomas, but they won't go much deeper. Typically, you need to be in the top 10% of your class from St. Thomas, and the top 15-20% of your class from Minnesota in order to obtain a large firm summer associate position. These are very broad generalizations, but I just want to point out that you have to do well at either to obtain a good summer associate position.

I would recommend is thinking worst case scenario: would you rather be unemployed at graduation with a significant student loan obligation, or would you rather be unemployed at graduation with no student loan obligations? While it is difficult to imagine yourself going through a worst case scenario, sometimes it is the best way to be prepared. There are a significant number of unemployed law graduates with debt obligations that are having a tough time right now, and most of them would probably give you the same advice.

One other thing to note is that even if the worst case scenario does not occur, you may obtain legal work for a company rather than a law firm, at which point your salary will be in the 60k range. You'll want a lower monthly debt payment obligation in order to live comfortably after taxes (high in Minnesota) and your student loan payment.

Hopefully the market turns around in the next few years so you won't need to consider these things, but Minnesota is a fairly saturated market right now.

MNbound
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:42 pm

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby MNbound » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:04 am

I noticed that you suggested St. Thomas without mentioning William Mitchell. If the price tag is the same, why is St. Thomas preferable to WM? I know that their ranked the same now but from what I've heard, William Mitchell is considered the #2 school in Minnesota, did I hear wrong? or is it hard to discern between the two?

MinnesotaBigLaw11
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:29 pm

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby MinnesotaBigLaw11 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:36 am

WM and Hamline are also good schools, but they are both slightly below UST, which itself is below the University of Minnesota. Other schools you may want to consider are Iowa and Wisconsin. We discussed schools earlier in this thread if you want to see the discusssion on the topic.

dougroberts
Posts: 223
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:18 am

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby dougroberts » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:09 am

MinnesotaBigLaw11 wrote:WM and Hamline are also good schools, but they are both slightly below UST, which itself is below the University of Minnesota. Other schools you may want to consider are Iowa and Wisconsin. We discussed schools earlier in this thread if you want to see the discusssion on the topic.


Only issue with UST is that its so new that many firms are still hesitant on hiring their grads. Some of the largest firms in MN ($110K+) have had success, whereas others (that pay $100K+) are taking a wait-and-see approach (I know of a few in this later category). So, if you're interested in MN "biglaw," then consider the placement of UST, WM, and Hamline grads. Check out the websites and see how many grads of each school are working there. This may change as UST gets older (and I think UST is heading in the right direction), but as of right now, and at least for the next 5-10 years, WM has higher placement and lay prestige in MN.

dougroberts
Posts: 223
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:18 am

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby dougroberts » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:11 am

MinnesotaBigLaw11,
How's the economy as you see it? Do you see certain practice areas picking up?
What do you think the economy will be like for grads in 2012 or 2013 in MN?

dougroberts
Posts: 223
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:18 am

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby dougroberts » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:14 am

minnbills wrote:Outside of the big firms like Dorsey, Robins, Faegre and others' who have satellite offices in MSP, what is the next level as far as firm size, starting pay et cetera. The common thread you'll hear on TLS is that there is no such thing as "midlaw."


MN's version of biglaw are Dorsey, Robins, and Faegre (which pay $110K).
After that, you have MN's medium-sized firms (W&W, Maslon, etc.) which generally pay $100K-$110K (but W&W pays $120K).
And then there's tons of smaller firms (roughly 25-50 lawyers). I think their pay will vary considerably.

MinnesotaBigLaw11
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:29 pm

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby MinnesotaBigLaw11 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:35 pm

How's the economy as you see it? Do you see certain practice areas picking up?
What do you think the economy will be like for grads in 2012 or 2013 in MN?

The economy isn't as bad as it was in 2008/2009. Things have certainly picked back up. The larger firms in town are doing well (my firm is very busy in most practice groups). I couldn't tell you whether things will stay this way, get better or get worse. If the last few years tell us anything, it is that the economy is unpredictable.

As for WM and Hamline, like I said, they are great schools, but the largest firms in Minnesota go deeper into the class at Minnesota and UST. I don't think it really matters all that much, to be honest. You need to do well at any of the Minnesota schools to get a position in biglaw. The most important thing for biglaw in Minnesota is grades, not school.

dougroberts
Posts: 223
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:18 am

Re: The Minnesota Legal Market - UMN, WM, UST, HM, Iowa/Wisc

Postby dougroberts » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:57 am

MinnesotaBigLaw11 wrote:The most important thing for biglaw in Minnesota is grades, not school.


And scholarships in case you don't make it!




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: FutureLitigator, Google [Bot] and 3 guests