Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

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Nova
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby Nova » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:24 pm

I didnt bring my car. Bus system is legit. Comes every 10 minutes or so and can take you where ever.

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minnbills
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby minnbills » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:16 am

timeandspace11 wrote:This has been great a help so far. I have recently considered University of Minnesota and plan on sending in my application next week.

My question was already touched on but i was hoping someone may be able to go into more detail. I wont have a car during law school and I was hoping someone could describe the ease of getting around without one.

Also are there good employment prospects outside of Minnesota?


Ditto to Nova. You don't need a car. It's helpful but the bus system is really good. If you live near campus there is a UMN bus system as well.

People regularly place out of state. As we discussed earlier, though, UMN doesn't place well into NYC or Chi biglaw, or any of the other biglaws. So keep that in mind. If you have an IP background or you're an excellent student you can make it, but I wouldn't come here if your goal was going to a big firm in NY.

That said, there are plenty of people (40-60% of a class is typical) who work outside MN.

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ThreeRivers
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby ThreeRivers » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:02 pm

Ditto to nova / minn.

I was worried about moving here without a car, hasn't been a problem at all. Tbh, I kind of enjoy not having one in a lot of ways (don't have to worry about gas, parking, car maintenance, etc..)

I think in general, umn is good for staying in the area or returning home.

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timeandspace11
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby timeandspace11 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:16 pm

minnbills wrote:
timeandspace11 wrote:This has been great a help so far. I have recently considered University of Minnesota and plan on sending in my application next week.

My question was already touched on but i was hoping someone may be able to go into more detail. I wont have a car during law school and I was hoping someone could describe the ease of getting around without one.

Also are there good employment prospects outside of Minnesota?


Ditto to Nova. You don't need a car. It's helpful but the bus system is really good. If you live near campus there is a UMN bus system as well.

People regularly place out of state. As we discussed earlier, though, UMN doesn't place well into NYC or Chi biglaw, or any of the other biglaws. So keep that in mind. If you have an IP background or you're an excellent student you can make it, but I wouldn't come here if your goal was going to a big firm in NY.

That said, there are plenty of people (40-60% of a class is typical) who work outside MN.




Great to hear thats the case. Like many people, I find the big law paycheck alluring, but if I was able to get decent financial aid and come out with manageable debt., I would be perfectly happy doing something else. Chicago would be a great place to end up. NU is a reach, and the other schools don't seem to have good employment prospects.


I also just wanted to know how the nightlife scene is? I dont expect it to be New York and I know I'll be studying quite a bit but having a solid nightlife is decently important to my enjoyment of a city.

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minnbills
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby minnbills » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:47 pm

timeandspace11 wrote:Great to hear thats the case. Like many people, I find the big law paycheck alluring, but if I was able to get decent financial aid and come out with manageable debt., I would be perfectly happy doing something else. Chicago would be a great place to end up. NU is a reach, and the other schools don't seem to have good employment prospects.

I also just wanted to know how the nightlife scene is? I dont expect it to be New York and I know I'll be studying quite a bit but having a solid nightlife is decently important to my enjoyment of a city.


Yeah the problem with Chi is that the firms out there don't need to come out here to fill their classes. But if you're from the chi-area a UMN degree will take you back for legal jobs.

There is a decent night life scene, depending on what you want. I don't go clubbing and know nothing about that, but there are lots of bars. There are at least 6 within a few blocks of the law school, probably 15-20 within the general area.

If you're really into nightlife I'd recommend coming down here first and checking it out. Maybe other UMNers can be more helpful with this too.

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ThreeRivers
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby ThreeRivers » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:55 pm

I come from a city of a similar size and the night life there was similar to the night life here I guess. I'd actually rate the previous city better in terms of night life, but that's probably just because I'm more familiar on what the best spots are there... here there's been a lot of "hey let's just check out this random place," which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't.

I'm also not really into clubs, but I enjoy bars and there seems to be a good variety of all types here. I went to a club once, and it was a typical club

Hard for me to compare to BIG city nightlife when I've never really experienced it lol.

I think you can have a goodnight life while attending UMN (that is until about this point in the semester. I'm probably not going to go out the rest of the semester :( ).

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timeandspace11
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby timeandspace11 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:16 pm

This has all been great info so far. Thank you!!

I also wanted to know how important you all think the personal statement is. I saw on LSAC they prefer anywhere from 2-5 pages.

I have been tailoring mine to the schools I want to attend and the one I wrote for University of Minnesota is roughly 2 pages. Do they prefer them to be longer?

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minnbills
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby minnbills » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:22 pm

timeandspace11 wrote:This has all been great info so far. Thank you!!

I also wanted to know how important you all think the personal statement is. I saw on LSAC they prefer anywhere from 2-5 pages.

I have been tailoring mine to the schools I want to attend and the one I wrote for University of Minnesota is roughly 2 pages. Do they prefer them to be longer?


It's hard to say how important it is. Of course all adcomms claim it's important- but many schools (UMN among them) seem to have very formulaic approaches to admissions. Just look at the admissions graph on LSN.

My best guess is they just want a taste of your writing ability. Whatever you do, just conform to the requirements they set out. I don't remember what those are, but I think my PS was 2 pages.

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ThreeRivers
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby ThreeRivers » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:07 pm

timeandspace11 wrote:This has all been great info so far. Thank you!!

I also wanted to know how important you all think the personal statement is. I saw on LSAC they prefer anywhere from 2-5 pages.

I have been tailoring mine to the schools I want to attend and the one I wrote for University of Minnesota is roughly 2 pages. Do they prefer them to be longer?

It won't matter much unless it raises a red flag (is a horrible essay) OR if your numbers are well above UMN's range they seem to have a trend of YP'ing... so I'd imagine showing a legitimate interest can help combat that if you're lucky enough to be in that situation

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kd5
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby kd5 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:19 am

Current 2L chiming in here, taking a break from studying for exams...

Without giving away too much (hopefully), here's where I'm coming from:

- Grew up in the Midwest, and I plan to stay here
- First quartile, journal, didn't have trouble finding work over my 1L summer
- Did well at OCI this past fall; accepted an offer at one of the 12 or so local "Big Law" (really Mid Law) firms for an SA position

Regarding some of the questions already asked:

MN does seem to love splitters. I had a just-okay GPA and an above-75% LSAT, and I got a nice scholarship. A friend had an LSAT score in the 150s and a great GPA (plus I'm sure great everything else, like essay, relevant work experience, etc.) and she got in (pretty sure she pays sticker though). You've heard this before, but make sure they really know why you want to come HERE as opposed to another school.

There are some great professors here, but some are more universally well-loved than others. From what I've heard and from my own experience, I'd say that you're probably missing out if you don't take classes/clinics with at least half of the following, at least for the experience (in no particular order):

- Matheson
- Carpenter
- Moriarty
- Feld
- Burkhart
- Hasday
- Clary
- Befort
- Cox

I'm sure I'm forgetting (or don't know enough about) some other great professors too - these just get talked about in the most positive terms, IMO, and I've had half of them. There are a lot of professors who you'll either love or hate, depending on your learning style, but who are definitely worth taking if you think you'll be in the "love" category: I'd put Younger, Okediji, Goodwin, Monahan, and Erbsen in this group.

People also love George Jackson, who's one of our librarians but teaches a class on advanced legal research.

Many of the legal writing adjunct professors are fantastic, and I had a great legal writing experience with my student instructor as well. There are also some great adjunct professors in general, like Roen (who teaches Evidence and several skills-based courses), some seminar-only profs, and the local judges who come in to teach classes like Trial Practice (I have a friend who took a class with one of our current MN Supreme Court Justices).

Live in or near Uptown if you can. Most people I know who chose to live really close to the law school during 1L (i.e. GrandMarc, apartment buildings nearby) regretted it. The public transportation is pretty damn good, most of the time.

It's true that the legal market here is a bit full in the Twin Cities, but there still seem to be spots in every field for at least some grads every year. If you want NY or Chi, you'll probably be out of luck, but it's not impossible if you have connections, luck, etc. If you have significant ties to another state, (especially another Midwest state), you have at least a fair shot there. Even my friends from CA seem to be doing pretty well finding work back on the coast with their MN credentials. I think a lot depends on your ties though. If you're thinking of coming here because you want to practice in the Twin Cities, don't turn down Northwestern, UChicago, etc. as they still seem to place fine in the local firms (although that may be because of preexisting ties those candidates had to MN, so I guess I don't know how the cause/effect works there).

Don't get me wrong though - I have plenty of 2L friends and too many 3L friends who have no idea what they'll be doing yet, and I'm sure some will strike out completely. The overall LST stats seem accurate enough. Hard to say if 2011 was an outlier or not, obviously. The career center is very anxious to help, but that doesn't mean they're effective at helping. Use their services but don't rely on them exclusively - my best tips/connections came from reaching out to students who were successful at OCI previously and going for coffee with local lawyers, going to networking events, etc. Friend everyone you can appropriately friend on facebook and/or LinkedIn. Connections seem to be responsible for a lot more jobs than Symplicity.

Other random thoughts:

The local beer is great.

The student body is a mix of genuinely-friendly and acting-friendly-to-fit-in, IMO. It's a small enough legal community that people will remember if you're an ass.

The Cities are very liberal, the local music scene is fantastic (especially if you like indie rock, hip hop, or folk/bluegrass), and you're in good company if you're a sports nut. Drama nuts are good too - the law school has T.O.R.T. and downtown has a nice theater district (Book of Mormon will be here in February, we had Lion King and Phantom and some other good stuff last year).

Lots of political opportunities if you want to work on campaigns, volunteer, that sort of thing. Pretty damn LBGTQA(etc.)-friendly area.

There are still GOP, libertarian, religious, etc. groups at the law school that do pretty well and bring in speakers regularly.

Minnesota has a ton of businesses, and both the business school and the corporate institute at the law school make sure that we get at least a healthy dose of opportunities to network there and learn more about business law. Plenty of dual-degrees with the MBA program and with programs like BioEthics (lots of medical and medical device companies here).

Like anywhere else, hard science backgrounds will get you very far, even if you're not near the top of your class.

If anybody has personal questions (specifics about OCI, professors, journals, that sort of thing), PM me. If anybody has 2L-geared questions (about the OCI process, petitioning, 1L summers, classes, etc.), feel free to ask. I don't disagree with any of the answers already given. ThreeRivers, minnbills and Nova (am I forgetting anybody?) seem to be having largely the same experience I had as a 1L.

Sorry for any typos. My brain is fried from outlining.

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timeandspace11
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby timeandspace11 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:39 am

kd5 wrote:Current 2L chiming in here, taking a break from studying for exams...

Without giving away too much (hopefully), here's where I'm coming from:

- Grew up in the Midwest, and I plan to stay here
- First quartile, journal, didn't have trouble finding work over my 1L summer
- Did well at OCI this past fall; accepted an offer at one of the 12 or so local "Big Law" (really Mid Law) firms for an SA position

Regarding some of the questions already asked:

MN does seem to love splitters. I had a just-okay GPA and an above-75% LSAT, and I got a nice scholarship. A friend had an LSAT score in the 150s and a great GPA (plus I'm sure great everything else, like essay, relevant work experience, etc.) and she got in (pretty sure she pays sticker though). You've heard this before, but make sure they really know why you want to come HERE as opposed to another school.

There are some great professors here, but some are more universally well-loved than others. From what I've heard and from my own experience, I'd say that you're probably missing out if you don't take classes/clinics with at least half of the following, at least for the experience (in no particular order):

- Matheson
- Carpenter
- Moriarty
- Feld
- Burkhart
- Hasday
- Clary
- Befort
- Cox

I'm sure I'm forgetting (or don't know enough about) some other great professors too - these just get talked about in the most positive terms, IMO, and I've had half of them. There are a lot of professors who you'll either love or hate, depending on your learning style, but who are definitely worth taking if you think you'll be in the "love" category: I'd put Younger, Okediji, Goodwin, Monahan, and Erbsen in this group.

People also love George Jackson, who's one of our librarians but teaches a class on advanced legal research.

Many of the legal writing adjunct professors are fantastic, and I had a great legal writing experience with my student instructor as well. There are also some great adjunct professors in general, like Roen (who teaches Evidence and several skills-based courses), some seminar-only profs, and the local judges who come in to teach classes like Trial Practice (I have a friend who took a class with one of our current MN Supreme Court Justices).

Live in or near Uptown if you can. Most people I know who chose to live really close to the law school during 1L (i.e. GrandMarc, apartment buildings nearby) regretted it. The public transportation is pretty damn good, most of the time.

It's true that the legal market here is a bit full in the Twin Cities, but there still seem to be spots in every field for at least some grads every year. If you want NY or Chi, you'll probably be out of luck, but it's not impossible if you have connections, luck, etc. If you have significant ties to another state, (especially another Midwest state), you have at least a fair shot there. Even my friends from CA seem to be doing pretty well finding work back on the coast with their MN credentials. I think a lot depends on your ties though. If you're thinking of coming here because you want to practice in the Twin Cities, don't turn down Northwestern, UChicago, etc. as they still seem to place fine in the local firms (although that may be because of preexisting ties those candidates had to MN, so I guess I don't know how the cause/effect works there).

Don't get me wrong though - I have plenty of 2L friends and too many 3L friends who have no idea what they'll be doing yet, and I'm sure some will strike out completely. The overall LST stats seem accurate enough. Hard to say if 2011 was an outlier or not, obviously. The career center is very anxious to help, but that doesn't mean they're effective at helping. Use their services but don't rely on them exclusively - my best tips/connections came from reaching out to students who were successful at OCI previously and going for coffee with local lawyers, going to networking events, etc. Friend everyone you can appropriately friend on facebook and/or LinkedIn. Connections seem to be responsible for a lot more jobs than Symplicity.

Other random thoughts:

The local beer is great.

The student body is a mix of genuinely-friendly and acting-friendly-to-fit-in, IMO. It's a small enough legal community that people will remember if you're an ass.

The Cities are very liberal, the local music scene is fantastic (especially if you like indie rock, hip hop, or folk/bluegrass), and you're in good company if you're a sports nut. Drama nuts are good too - the law school has T.O.R.T. and downtown has a nice theater district (Book of Mormon will be here in February, we had Lion King and Phantom and some other good stuff last year).

Lots of political opportunities if you want to work on campaigns, volunteer, that sort of thing. Pretty damn LBGTQA(etc.)-friendly area.

There are still GOP, libertarian, religious, etc. groups at the law school that do pretty well and bring in speakers regularly.

Minnesota has a ton of businesses, and both the business school and the corporate institute at the law school make sure that we get at least a healthy dose of opportunities to network there and learn more about business law. Plenty of dual-degrees with the MBA program and with programs like BioEthics (lots of medical and medical device companies here).

Like anywhere else, hard science backgrounds will get you very far, even if you're not near the top of your class.

If anybody has personal questions (specifics about OCI, professors, journals, that sort of thing), PM me. If anybody has 2L-geared questions (about the OCI process, petitioning, 1L summers, classes, etc.), feel free to ask. I don't disagree with any of the answers already given. ThreeRivers, minnbills and Nova (am I forgetting anybody?) seem to be having largely the same experience I had as a 1L.

Sorry for any typos. My brain is fried from outlining.


This is excellent information, thank for doing this!!

I have a few questions if you dont mind.

How frequently if at all do students from out of state get offered in state tuition? Is it easy to become a Minnesota resident after a year?

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kd5
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby kd5 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:55 am

How frequently if at all do students from out of state get offered in state tuition? Is it easy to become a Minnesota resident after a year?
Here's what the residency application materials say about being counted initially as a resident (will have resident status for 1L):
Resident status is granted to students who:
• Are permanently residing in Minnesota; and
• Have been continuously present in the state of Minnesota for
at least one calendar year prior to the first day of class attendance
at the University. During that one year period, the student must
not have attended any other Minnesota post-secondary educational
institutions.
So basically, if you live in MN for at least a year before you start classes, you're good - you just have to be living here to work or something, not to attend school.

There are also reciprocity states:
The University has reciprocity agreements with Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Manitoba. If you are a resident of any of these states or province, you may qualify for reciprocity tuition at the University, which is less than nonresident tuition and in some cases comparable to resident tuition.
Getting resident status from UMN for 2L and/or 3L is, according to most sources, not terribly easy. Things that supposedly help a lot (in order of how much they're supposed to help):

- Working as a research assistant or in some other position on UMN staff
- Buying property in MN (like a house or a condo or something)
- Having a spouse working in MN, paying state taxes

Things that might also help:

- Being registered for everything in MN, (voting, license, vehicle registration, etc.)
- Having family in the state
- Staying over the summer(s) to work in MN, rather than going back to your original state to work
- Landing an OCI job with a MN firm (many of the local firms have high or 100% offer rates in recent years for their summer associate classes, so the school can bet that you'll probably stay in MN and that you're likelier to be on the wealthier end of the alumni list)
- Filing MN state tax returns
- Having any previous education connections with MN (high school, undergrad, etc.)

It's worth mentioning that I had a recent conversation with a 3L friend who said it was easy to get residency status in his case, and that was based on factors from the last list alone.

Sorry I can't be more definitive than that. The only way to be 100% sure is to move here a year early to work before law school.

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Nova
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby Nova » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:46 am

kd5 wrote: Getting resident status from UMN for 2L and/or 3L is, according to most sources, not terribly easy. Things that supposedly help a lot (in order of how much they're supposed to help):

- Working as a research assistant or in some other position on UMN staff
- Buying property in MN (like a house or a condo or something)
- Having a spouse working in MN, paying state taxes

Things that might also help:

- Being registered for everything in MN, (voting, license, vehicle registration, etc.)
- Having family in the state
- Staying over the summer(s) to work in MN, rather than going back to your original state to work
- Landing an OCI job with a MN firm (many of the local firms have high or 100% offer rates in recent years for their summer associate classes, so the school can bet that you'll probably stay in MN and that you're likelier to be on the wealthier end of the alumni list)
- Filing MN state tax returns
- Having any previous education connections with MN (high school, undergrad, etc.)

It's worth mentioning that I had a recent conversation with a 3L friend who said it was easy to get residency status in his case, and that was based on factors from the last list alone.

Sorry I can't be more definitive than that. The only way to be 100% sure is to move here a year early to work before law school.


As an OOSer, TYTYTYFT

wwapd
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby wwapd » Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:30 pm

How common/easy is it for students to get hired by firms in places like San Francisco or Seattle right after graduating? Do people ever get hired by New York or DC firms fresh out of law school? I guess I am asking how portable is a law degree from the university of Minnesota?

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Nova
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby Nova » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:35 pm

wwapd wrote:How common/easy is it for students to get hired by firms in places like San Francisco or Seattle right after graduating? Do people ever get hired by New York or DC firms fresh out of law school? I guess I am asking how portable is a law degree from the university of Minnesota?


http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school= ... b=location

http://www.law.umn.edu/careers/career-f ... -2011.html

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minnbills
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby minnbills » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:16 pm

wwapd wrote:How common/easy is it for students to get hired by firms in places like San Francisco or Seattle right after graduating? Do people ever get hired by New York or DC firms fresh out of law school? I guess I am asking how portable is a law degree from the university of Minnesota?


If you have connections to the area you can make it out. Otherwise, the general rule is that unless you're going T14 (and really T6) you should go to school in the region in which you want to practice.

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kd5
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby kd5 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:47 pm

wwapd wrote:How common/easy is it for students to get hired by firms in places like San Francisco or Seattle right after graduating? Do people ever get hired by New York or DC firms fresh out of law school? I guess I am asking how portable is a law degree from the university of Minnesota?

Among those who are hired by big firms (which is, IIRC, only a bit above 10% of each class at MN), this is the exception, not the rule. There's at least one fellow 2L I know is going to be a summer associate with a NY firm, but that student has NY connections.

Come here if you want to practice in MN or if you think your grades + connections in another state are enough to help you there. "Connections" doesn't necessarily mean knowing people in the legal market (although that would be a big plus). It mostly seems to translate to "convincing reasons you'd want to live and work in that state."

Really good grades help, but it's very hard to know as a 0L where you'll fall on the curve. So, in case of bad grades, be ready to either start your career in MN or transfer if you're set on working for a firm in another state.

Alternately, if you're not from MN and you want to work in MN, you may need convincing reasons (besides "I love the Twin Cities so much!") for why you want to stay here and not go practice in your home state.

bags716
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby bags716 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:03 pm

kd5 wrote:
wwapd wrote:How common/easy is it for students to get hired by firms in places like San Francisco or Seattle right after graduating? Do people ever get hired by New York or DC firms fresh out of law school? I guess I am asking how portable is a law degree from the university of Minnesota?

There's at least one fellow 2L I know is going to be a summer associate with a NY firm...


Just thought that I'd add I know of at least four 2Ls who will be working in NYC this summer.

mnb827
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby mnb827 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:06 pm

2L chiming in on leaving MN: To get outside MN, you need good grades and a willingness to go look. I had offers in NYC, MN, and DE, and callbacks in Chicago and WI. You can get out, but you really need to put in a LOT of work into OCI applications. Science backgrounds help (I have a bachelor only and it helped). I actually chose to stay in MN with a firm here, and I'm from way south originally. I know several other 2Ls who turned down "better" opportunities in NYC or similar markets to stay in the midwest.

Caveats:
You probably won't get out of MN 1L summer
You definitely need to be top 25%, and more like top 5% or top 15% + science background to get out of the midwest
Its difficult to get into small/mid-level markets in the South from MN (think Houston, Dallas, Tampa, etc.) No one has heard of MN

I'm happy to provide more information/help if people are interested.

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ph14
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby ph14 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:55 am

Can any Minnesota law students with access to an outline/exam database please pm me?

playhurling
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby playhurling » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:34 pm

Anyone able to offer current advice on UMN/WM/UST? Will be staying in MN long term, so I want to know how these stack up for job prospects. Obviously impossible to accurately predict, but specifically how they might be positioned between now and 2016 when I would graduate.

I know UMN is highly ranked, but with such a competitive student body I figure it might be harder to get a high class rank. And with the cost of attendance (don't know yet what amount of scholarship might be offered for any of these) a major factor, is it worth it to spend more for a MN degree and end up with a lower class rank, compared to spending less for a WM/UST degree and having a higher rank? (I know this is based on the assumptions that WM/UST have a less competitive student body and would likely offer more scholarship than MN, which is largely based on hearsay). I know being in the MN market adds significant value to a WM degree, and UST seems to be working really hard to attract top professors and develop their career center.

Any advice is greatly appreciated, either here or PM to discuss in more detail.

PS I don't have a specific area of focus in mind, but am interested in International, Health, or Business, and have 4 yrs experience in class action services. Don't know how I could potentially leverage that towards a legal career.

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kd5
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Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby kd5 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:25 pm

playhurling wrote:Anyone able to offer current advice on UMN/WM/UST? Will be staying in MN long term, so I want to know how these stack up for job prospects. Obviously impossible to accurately predict, but specifically how they might be positioned between now and 2016 when I would graduate.

I know UMN is highly ranked, but with such a competitive student body I figure it might be harder to get a high class rank. And with the cost of attendance (don't know yet what amount of scholarship might be offered for any of these) a major factor, is it worth it to spend more for a MN degree and end up with a lower class rank, compared to spending less for a WM/UST degree and having a higher rank? (I know this is based on the assumptions that WM/UST have a less competitive student body and would likely offer more scholarship than MN, which is largely based on hearsay). I know being in the MN market adds significant value to a WM degree, and UST seems to be working really hard to attract top professors and develop their career center.

Any advice is greatly appreciated, either here or PM to discuss in more detail.

PS I don't have a specific area of focus in mind, but am interested in International, Health, or Business, and have 4 yrs experience in class action services. Don't know how I could potentially leverage that towards a legal career.

1. When it comes to chances of getting a full-time legal job after graduation, UMN takes it hands down with a 58.6% on LST. WM (39.7%) and UST (38.8%) are almost tied. When it comes to type of job, you have the best shot at Twin Cities biglaw (firms with 200+ that tend to pay $110k to first-year associates) if you go to UMN. Word of mouth has it that WM and UST are more and more disregarded by these local firms, which get plenty of applicants from UMich, UChi, Iowa, Madison, Northwestern, etc. to fill their ranks. Anecdotal: my upcoming summer class only has local students from UMN - the rest are from out-of-state t20.

2. To get OCI interviews at many of the bigger firms, you need to be in the top 25% or top 1/3 at the UMN. I can't speak from personal experience, but I've heard that you need to generally be higher in your class at WM and UST in order to get those same interviews (or at least to stand the same chance). Look at the numbers again: UMN places 12.3% of its graduates at firms with 101+ partners, compared to 2.5% from WM and 3.7% for UST.

3. Depending on your numbers, UMN might give you a pretty nice scholarship/discount. You can look at the admissions thread for this cycle to get an idea of what LSAT and GPA you need to get a good scholarship. I'm a 2L, and my year 168 seemed to be the magic LSAT score where the better scholarships started.

4. If I had to attend one or the other, I'd pick WM over UST in a heartbeat. This is because it seems to have a better reputation in the legal community here than UST and I've run into tons of successful (read: judges, lawyers with big firms, judicial clerks, gov. attorneys, etc.) WM alums and almost no UST alums (I could count them on one hand). WM places a much higher percentage of grads in judicial clerkships as well (at the state/local level, almost on a par with UMN).

To sum up, the biggest advantages UMN offers are a significantly better shot at a job in general (~60% vs. ~40%), a better shot at local biglaw, and a better shot at being able to practice outside MN (see above for advice on that).

Health and business are big here. There are more Fortune 500 companies in MN than any other state, and business litigation practice groups are usually the biggest at the bigger local firms. A lot of MN companies are in the medical device business, so health could factor in nicely.

Good luck with your decision - I'm obviously biased in favor of UMN, but the numbers don't lie (well, not the numbers I linked from LST anyway).
Last edited by kd5 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

eric922
Posts: 311
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:05 pm

Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby eric922 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:19 pm

First of all thanks to everyone for doing this. As for my question, how insular is the market and MN in general? I am from the South, but have no desire to practice or live here. I know it sounds weird, I just don't fit in to the culture and really am not very happy here. I don't even like the weather as weird as it sounds I like colder weather. While NYC is my dream city I've done something about what I would do if I didn't get into a T14 or if I felt the debt was too much. I could see myself living and working in the Twin Cities. If I decided to go to UMN and made good grades would I find it difficult to get a job?

playhurling
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:38 am

Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby playhurling » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:05 pm

Thanks KD5, great information and advice.

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kd5
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:57 am

Re: Minnesota Law 1L taking questions

Postby kd5 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:26 pm

eric922 wrote:First of all thanks to everyone for doing this. As for my question, how insular is the market and MN in general? I am from the South, but have no desire to practice or live here. I know it sounds weird, I just don't fit in to the culture and really am not very happy here. I don't even like the weather as weird as it sounds I like colder weather. While NYC is my dream city I've done something about what I would do if I didn't get into a T14 or if I felt the debt was too much. I could see myself living and working in the Twin Cities. If I decided to go to UMN and made good grades would I find it difficult to get a job?

It depends on what kind of job you're talking about, but many of the 12.3% of UMN grads who go into biglaw (firms with 100+ lawyers) land here in the cities, and the majority of UMN graduates stay in-state to practice.

If you get good grades (top 25% or better, probably), you have a shot at OCI. You need reasons for wanting to stay in Minnesota, and it will help if you are upfront and clear about wanting to practice here when applying for local jobs. Liking the weather isn't enough, but there are lots of reasons to want to live in the Twin Cities. Having any family in or near Minnesota helps. Working in the Cities for your 1L summer helps. If you're married, having a spouse who lives with you and works in MN helps.

That said, if you're after a MN "biglaw" job, being in the top 25% isn't a guarantee, and neither is making Law Review. Things are okay here, but you're still looking at a 40% chance of ending up without a full-time legal job after graduation, regardless of where you're from.




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