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.
Oranges55
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:43 pm

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

Postby Oranges55 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:58 pm

I was talking to two professors from UST and they said that they believed UST would be in the middle of T2 in a couple of years. Is this a realistic expectation?

nireca
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:18 pm

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

Postby nireca » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:20 pm

MinnesotaBigLaw11:

I am OOS prospective considering attending UMN in the fall. Aside from UMN, I am mainly considering schools in California and New York but my preference to be working in these areas is outweighed by my desire to strike a balance between having the strongest possible employment prospects and the minimum possible debt upon graduation. With UMN’s scholarship offer I’d be looking at approximately $80-95k in debt before interest, depending on whether or not I’d be able to obtain Minnesota residency at some point after my first year. Recently I have been favoring UMN over T2 schools which have made more aggressive scholarship offers (including one for full-tuition) but I’m no longer sure that this is justified.

UMN certainly offers strong employment prospects and the mediocre scholarship is enhanced by the relatively low cost of living in the Twin Cities area. Also, the University’s strength in health care law and bioethics further adds to UMN’s appeal, as these are areas that I am quite interested in pursuing. However, between proposed tuition hikes of 13%, the possibility of drastic cuts to the University funding (which may well necessitate still more tuition increases), and a recent decision by a leading MN firm, Dorsey & Whitney, to cut associate salaries by 10%, I am concerned that the modest advantages afforded by my scholarship and the relatively cheap cost of living may no longer be enough to justify accepting UMN’s offer.

It’s worth noting that the tuition increases proposed were mainly concerned with in-state tuition. However, I’m not sure what if effect, if any, the proposal would have on the tuition rates for non-residents. I tried to find this information but was unable to locate anything useful. Also, the proposed cuts to University funding were still being debated by the state legislature when the article was published, so it’s possible that this could come to nothing as well but the tone of the article seemed to suggest that at least some cuts were likely in store for the future. Finally, the 10% salary cuts have only been implemented at the one firm but the worry here is that other firms might follow suit.

If you could comment on these developments and put them into context it would go a long way towards helping me make a responsible decision. In case you or anyone else would like to review the news articles I am referencing, I will include them below.

Thanks in advance for your help. This thread has been extremely useful.

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/10/13-tuition-increase-1-faculty-salary-cuts-100-screwing-of-minnesota-law-students/
http://abovethelaw.com/2009/06/minnesota-protects-college-students-sticks-it-to-law-students/
--LinkRemoved--

canditiffany
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:09 pm

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

Postby canditiffany » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:56 am

I received a full tuition scholarship from Minnesota, full tuition from Illinois, and half tuition from Duke. I am from the midwest (Ohio) and would like to practice somewhere in that area (Ohio, Illinois, Indiana). I am interested in IP law and have an engineering degree. Is it worth taking on the debt at Duke considering that I would like to end up on the Midwest? If I go to Minnesota, will it be difficult to find a job in the midwest? Any help would be appreciated.

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 Apr 06, 2011 11:10 am

nireca:
I understand your concern. To be fair, the market was in a dismal state nationwide from 2008-2010. While it is coming back, I wouldn't expect to see the differential between tuition and starting salaries to get any smaller. In Minneapolis, starting salaries are not what you will see on the coasts, as we don't have any of the big coastal firms in town really driving up the market for salaries. However, you will find that UMN will charge out of state students a comparable amount of tuition as the large east coast schools. I agree this is a problem, but I don't see an end coming any time soon.

canditiffany:
As you mentioned you want to end up in Illinois, Ohio or Indiana, I would concentrate most of my efforts on recieving a full scholarship from the schools in those markets. Half tuition at Duke is outstanding and I wouldn't imagine you would run into too many problems on the recruiting front, as most law firms clamor for law students at top schools. However, you have to keep in mind that your starting salary at a large firm in the midwest is not going to be nearly as much as a top firm on the east coast. So I would still try to keep my debt down at Duke, which would probably be my choice.

eve2490
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:00 am

.

Postby eve2490 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:47 pm

.
Last edited by eve2490 on Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Apr 13, 2011 2:30 pm

Evleyn,
You are going to face an uphill battle trying to compete with law students with hard science degrees, but it is definitely still doable. Typically, if you do well in your first year, you spend a summer with the firm as a summer associate. During that time, you typically rotate through different practice groups. If you spend a portion of your summer associate position with the IP group of the respective firm and you demonstrate a significant interest, they are likely to overlook your undergraduate degree.

I also would caution against being focused on one specific practice area when entering law school. You never know what area of law you could stumble upon that ends up being of interest to you. I can tell you that I had no idea I would be doing what I do when I was in law school. An open mind is key when starting out a practice.

Good luck!

BDP
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:58 pm

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

Postby BDP » Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:06 pm

MinnesotaBigLaw11,

I am starting at UMN this fall. I am from Salt Lake City. My plans may change, but right now I want to graduate and get a job with Dorsey and Whitney in the Salt Lake office. I have two questions for you;

1.) Do you know how hard it is to get a job with Dorsey and Whitney and transfer to their Salt Lake office?
2.) What does it take to get a job with Dorsey and Whitney?

Thanks for taking the time to consider my questions.

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 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:21 pm

Do T14 kids with connections to the area still have a shot if they only have median grades? What firms would you recommend these students target?

User avatar
Tanicius
Posts: 2957
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:54 am

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

Postby Tanicius » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:12 am

BDP wrote:MinnesotaBigLaw11,

I am starting at UMN this fall. I am from Salt Lake City. My plans may change, but right now I want to graduate and get a job with Dorsey and Whitney in the Salt Lake office. I have two questions for you;

1.) Do you know how hard it is to get a job with Dorsey and Whitney and transfer to their Salt Lake office?
2.) What does it take to get a job with Dorsey and Whitney?

Thanks for taking the time to consider my questions.



Heh, were you the one Softsgalore met on the plane ride to Salt Lake ~2 weeks ago?

User avatar
Lawquacious
Posts: 2037
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:36 am

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

Postby Lawquacious » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:53 am

Edited: Post basically contained questions about comparative placement of local MN schools, but could have been presented in a more tactful manner.
Last edited by Lawquacious on Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Lawquacious
Posts: 2037
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:36 am

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

Postby Lawquacious » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:24 am

...
Last edited by Lawquacious on Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:15 am

Lawquacious wrote:I'm not necessarily questioning the fact that OP is legit (Nightrunner seems to think/know so in any case), but this thread comes off as a bit of a University of St. Thomas troll to me. The idea that St. Thomas can place up to 20% of the class in biglaw (v. UMN up to 30%) doesn't sound right to me. Perhaps it is largely a question of how biglaw is defined (and I suppose for this thread it is reasonably defined as any Minneapolis firms paying market). UMN itself barely broke 10% in terms of NLJ placement last year (http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... hbxlogin=1), and I'm fairly sure St. Thomas didn't even come close to 10% in that regard. I realize biglaw doesn't necessarily correlate with NLJ stats though, and we are talking about a limited market (really just Minneapolis is the sense I get). Yet I think I would understand a 10% "biglaw" placement differential better concerning UMN v. St. Thomas if it were 11% UMN (which was apprx. last year's NLJ placement) v. 1% St. Thomas (rather than up to 20% biglaw St. Thomas and up to 30% biglaw from UMN as cited in this thread). But again, maybe because the thread is focused on such a narrow local scope it is fully accurate.

I also wonder if the cited firm-hiring percentages for St. Thomas v. William Mitchell would be the same (with St. Thomas having slightly higher stats according to OP) if discussing firms centered in St. Paul (given that Mitchell is in St. Paul while St. Thomas is in Minneapolis). I lived in Twin Cities for a couple years recently and got the impression that Mitchell was def. the number 2 school to go to in the area (that was my sense even before temporary jump by Mitchell in rankings). Maybe I just need to be educated, but I initially got the impression OP was a St. Thomas grad because of how highly I felt the school was being spoken of (but OP explicitly stated that he is not a St. Thomas grad at one point). More power to St. Thomas though if it really does outplace Mitchell in Minneapolis or even throughout Twin Cities. I suppose I am still just a bit skeptical of this.

* I realize that the percentages of class OP is citing for 'biglaw' are estimates only and also that they vary throughout the thread. Just for clarification of what I am referring to, I reposted the OP's statement where I got the up to 20%/up to 30% distinction. I apologize for not incorporating it into this post. Not meaning to pick things to death here, but I am really curious if St. Thomas is really the better school v. Mitchell for firm placement throughout Twin Cities and if it is really as competitive with UMN as indicated.

Go
Away

User avatar
njn3
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:08 am

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

Postby njn3 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:29 am

Lawquacious wrote:
MinnesotaBigLaw11 wrote:From UST, you'll want to be in the top 10-20% to get a biglaw job. Preferably the University of St. Thomas Law Reivew or a secondary journal (JLPP, etc.). From Minnesota, you'll want to be in the top 30% to get a biglaw job, preferably on Law Review or one of the secondary journals. Litigation departments will look highly on moot court participation as well.

The decision to defer for a year is a personal decision and has to take into account all of the facts and circumstances. You can also take the test again in June and if you score high enough, you could take the year off. If you don't, you can go to UST. Just an idea that gives you some options.



Just for reference, this was the post that mentioned up to 20% St. Thomas students getting 'biglaw' and up to 30% of UMN getting the same. (sorry, would have quoted in my initial post above, but on edit didn't see an easy way to do so).


I think I can clear things up here:
First off, OP wasn't per say giving percentages of the amount of students that Actually GET biglaw. He stated that you will want to be in the top 10-20% at UST and preferably on a journal, and would want to be in the top 30% at UMN to have a good shot. He did not state that the top 20% at UST and the top 30% at UMN all get big law or can all get biglaw; I think he was really saying that these are the percentiles of your class you would need to be in to be competitive for one of those jobs...

I think Lawquacious interpreted it as the percentages of the class that get big law, when OP was really talking about the percentage you would need to be in to be competitive.

Then again I could be wrong...

Moving on now.

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 Apr 18, 2011 11:34 am

If someone takes issue with the substance of op's posts, fine. If you think someone is getting bad advice, let them know via pm. But please, can we stop cluttering up this thread with our ideas?

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

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

Postby MinnesotaBigLaw11 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:40 am

Thanks for the responses. I didn't realize that my posts would be taken as favoring certain schools over others. Yes, I generally advocate top schools over regional schools, a long with favoring a few exceptional regional schools in large markets. I didn't mean to take anything away from any school.

There are a number of great schools out there. When it comes to hiring by large firms, we typically have a select group of schools that we favor, rightly or wrongly. A large part of the preferences comes from hiring success in the past, alumni at the firms and general prestige of the university and its law school (or a single standing law school with no greater affiliation).

I didn't mean to offend anyone, and if I did, I apologize. All of the Minnesota schools are outstanding and you should be proud to be able to attend any of them.

User avatar
Lawquacious
Posts: 2037
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:36 am

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

Postby Lawquacious » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:07 pm

MinnesotaBigLaw11 wrote:Thanks for the responses. I didn't realize that my posts would be taken as favoring certain schools over others. Yes, I generally advocate top schools over regional schools, a long with favoring a few exceptional regional schools in large markets. I didn't mean to take anything away from any school.

There are a number of great schools out there. When it comes to hiring by large firms, we typically have a select group of schools that we favor, rightly or wrongly. A large part of the preferences comes from hiring success in the past, alumni at the firms and general prestige of the university and its law school (or a single standing law school with no greater affiliation).

I didn't mean to offend anyone, and if I did, I apologize. All of the Minnesota schools are outstanding and you should be proud to be able to attend any of them.



Thanks for your response, and I apologize for my previous post. It was rather harsh and unnecessarily inquisitorial. I was a bit surprised because some of the distinctions that were made went against my (very limited) understanding of the local market, but I could have just asked a direct and more polite question. I am still somewhat curious if you think that the percentage-based estimates re: MN schools (how deep into the class firms will hire) apply equally to St. Paul and Minneapolis. This is really just a matter of curiosity for me though, and I'm sure there are people with more pressing questions on here.

I hope I didn't discourage you from taking people's questions. Your willingness to take questions definitely is appreciated!

louda
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:06 am

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

Postby louda » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:59 pm

Thanks for your help and advice- it's super helpful.

I am curious about an international focus in the Twin Cities. Is there a lot of work being done with firms working in China/Taiwan/Hong Kong? How valued is Chinese language skills?

Again, 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 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:55 am

Lawquacious:
No problem. Law firms in St. Paul (there aren't many large law firms based in St. Paul, but there are a few) typically have the same hiring practices as Minneapolis law firms. There isn't really a distinction in the legal community regarding St. Paul and Minneapolis, and the practices of firms in both cities are similar, if not identical.

Louda:
Cross-border and international transactions are done at a few of the larger Minneapolis law firms, though the transactions are not what you will find in Boston, New York, San Fran or LA. China is a market that all top law firms engage, but it is a market that few if any Minneapolis firms have turned profitable. Faegre, Dorsey, etc. all have small offices in China. However, I would not engage a Minneapolis law firm if your goal is to be a member of an international practice involving China. You'll have more success at the large east coast firms that are more involved in the eastern markets.

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 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:57 am

bjsesq wrote:Do T14 kids with connections to the area still have a shot if they only have median grades? What firms would you recommend these students target?

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 Apr 19, 2011 4:27 pm

Students at the top midwestern law schools (Chicago/Northwestern/Michigan) all do well in Minnesota. You still want to be in the top half of the class, but firms are willing to go a little deeper into the class at these schools. Most firms recruit at these schools during OCI. If you don't see the firm you are thinking of, a simple phone call will usually help you get an interview.

You'll have a slightly harder time coming from Columbia/Penn/Georgetown, etc., primarily because the firms will be skeptical as to why you are interviewing. You'll want to be able to demonstrate a connection to the area. The same could be said for the other top east coast schools that aren't top ten (George Washington, Fordham, Boston College, etc.). These schools also place well into the big coastal firms, so midwestern firms will be skeptical as to why you are applying. A simple demonstration as to connections is likely all they will want to see.

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 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:42 pm

MinnesotaBigLaw11 wrote:Students at the top midwestern law schools (Chicago/Northwestern/Michigan) all do well in Minnesota. You still want to be in the top half of the class, but firms are willing to go a little deeper into the class at these schools. Most firms recruit at these schools during OCI. If you don't see the firm you are thinking of, a simple phone call will usually help you get an interview.

You'll have a slightly harder time coming from Columbia/Penn/Georgetown, etc., primarily because the firms will be skeptical as to why you are interviewing. You'll want to be able to demonstrate a connection to the area. The same could be said for the other top east coast schools that aren't top ten (George Washington, Fordham, Boston College, etc.). These schools also place well into the big coastal firms, so midwestern firms will be skeptical as to why you are applying. A simple demonstration as to connections is likely all they will want to see.

Thanks for the advice.

tamlyric
Posts: 656
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:21 pm

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

Postby tamlyric » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:52 pm

Great stuff! Thanks for all of the advice! :D

anonymous_dude
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:18 pm

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

Postby anonymous_dude » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:13 pm

Read about the layoffs at Oppenheimer today.

Is the market in Minneapolis still really weak?

anonymous_dude
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:18 pm

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

Postby anonymous_dude » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:14 pm

I guess I should rephrase. Do you see more layoffs on the horizon?

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 May 03, 2011 11:11 am

anonymous_dude wrote:Read about the layoffs at Oppenheimer today.

Is the market in Minneapolis still really weak?


Minneapolis is a smaller market with only a few large firms. The market isn't necessarily weak, but it is very competitive. The larger Minneapolis firms actually charge what would be considered midlaw rates on the coasts. They do this in order to compete with the megafirms in New York, Chicago, Boston, etc. This makes it hard for the actual midsized firms in Minneapolis to compete. When the large firms are charging discount rates in a city, the smaller firms loose their leverage on attractability, as lower rates is usually what they use to steal clients from the bigger firms.

So I wouldn't say Minneapolis is weak, but it is top heavy, with only two or three firms really dominating the market. This is the opposite of New York, Boston, etc. where there are multiple large firms and a significant number of mid-sized firms. In Minneapolis, the top firms are not considered Biglaw by most.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests