William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

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Joe Biden
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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby Joe Biden » Sat May 02, 2009 2:14 am

MSP1 wrote:TJP just put so much good stuff in his post that I'd be doing a disservice by not commenting. Sorry for the multiple responses on my part.

LSAT 25-75 Range
William Mitchell 150-157
Hamline 150-156
St Thomas 154-160


I would submit that Mitchell's numbers here are wrong. The entering class of 2008 had a median LSAT of 156, which would make it hard for 157 to be the 25th percentile.

Ranking
Peer-
William Mitchell 1.9
Hamline 2.0
St Thomas 1.9
Lawyers/judges-
William Mitchell 2.3
Hamline 2.4
St Thomas 2.6


And these numbers are just wild, absolutely wild. I fail to see how any attorney or judge worth their salt would consider a law school that had only been in existence for ten years and had graduated only five classes a "better" (albeit only slightly better) institution than Mitchell. That goes for Hamline too, although not to the same extent (thirty-seven years as opposed to ten). But even Hamline has some state judges on the bench in Minnesota and a lone federal judge. Not one single St. Thomas grad has a judgeship anywhere in the United States, and not one of their grads is a shareholder/partner/senior attorney in any firm or legal entity. How did the respondents even come to the above conclusion? Mindboggling.

Then again, I think that for schools outside the T14, it's just luck of the draw on these assessments. Maybe one of the respondents for this year's rankings had met a St. Thomas administrator and liked him/her. (It could be that random.) Conversely, all the guys who founded William Mitchell--despite their damn impressive resumes--have been dead for seventy or eighty years, so it's tough for them to continue talking up the school to the current bar. That's something that Mitchell needs to shore up, and it's inexcusable, considering the school's history.



TLSers aren't the only people who are familiar with the reputation and job prospects of law schools. Many people in the legal profession are familiar with the quality of education law schools provide.

Here is a problem with William Mitchell. Only 13.4% of the William Mitchell faculty is full-time. Go look through the adjunct faculty bios for William Mitchell profs. Many of them work in small or midsized firms and graduated from T3 or T4 law schools, including William Mitchell. 0.3% of William Mitchell grads are employed in academia, and I would be willing wager that those grads either (a) teach at William Mitchell or (b) teach undergrad classes.

An overwhelming majority of law school professors went to Harvard, Yale, Stanford or UChicago. That means that most schools, you have professors who are full-time profs, who were at the top of their class at HYS UChicago and are regularly published in law journals, have had significant work experience, etc. This is not the case at William Mitchell.

For the record, 17% of St. Thomas graduates have judicial internships, while only 13% of William Mitchell grads have judicial internships. You claimed that no St. Thomas grads have judicial internships, and that is false. Personally, I would not attend either schools, but that is neither here or there. I understand you want to put a positive spin on things for your school, but please be honest with the stats you provide.

Those assessments are not accidental. When you look at the employment prospects, tuition, faculty, etc. the assessments seem pretty accurate.

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Joe Biden
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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby Joe Biden » Sat May 02, 2009 2:27 am

JurisDoctor33 wrote: PI for example, entitles you to 33-40% of your clients recovery...doesn't take that much to get this type of practice off the ground.


Is this a joke?

Image

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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby Joe Biden » Sat May 02, 2009 2:33 am

MSP1 wrote:I'd like to address JD33's point about William Mitchell's U.S. News Ranking. The whole Tier 4 thing is pure ridiculousness. Someone's employed the methodology without the reputation scores (40% of the raw overall score) and WM ends up being a high Tier 3. I'll find that link and post it later.

But even further, WM is really reluctant to "game" the rankings like other schools do. By this, I mean that they're not going to create jobs for unemployed graduates in the law school library so they can report 100% employment rates nine months after graduation (although WM's performance on this criterion is pretty good, normally in the 90th percentile and up).

They also appear to have a high student to faculty ratio (24:1 is the number people keep throwing out there) because there are only forty-nine FT profs and something like 300 adjunct faculty. U.S. News stops counting adjunct faculty toward the student:faculty ratio after a certain number, way below 300. With just over a thousand students, it gives the appearance that the school is overrun and no one ever gets any personal attention. That couldn't be further from the truth. I never had any problems doing walk-ins with profs and they were always easily accessible.

The other problem with the Tier 4 ranking--and it's an admittedly subjectone one--is that it just doesn't accurately reflect WM's reputation. Here's one example: in the thirty-year period from 1980 to 2010, there will have been six CJs of the Minnesota Supreme Court. Three of them graduated from WM, two from the U of M, and one from YLS. If we looked at any other state high court, would you find another "Tier 4" school with similar numbers? I tend to doubt it. Would you find another "Tier 4" law school with grads placed in the same position as a T-25 and a T-2 law school? Possibly, but it seems like a long-shot. If someone wants to dig up the actual numbers, be my guest, but I think my point is a valid one: WM doesn't get as much respect as it deserves.

I bring all these things up because I believe that WM is a Top 100 law school, somewhere in the 85-100 range. Under the current ranking regime, it's just a matter of the school taking additional steps to reflect that reality.


No legitimate law school puts students to work in the library to "game" the rankings. Every T1 or T2 law school I know of has a very prestigious law library staff. First of all, no law library has a large enough staff to "game" the numbers. Secondly, most law library staff I know are very accomplished academically, i.e. they graduated with honors from a very reputable law school. If a law school graduates 200 students every year, and the law library has five full time attorneys on staff and most of the staff have had their jobs for 5-10+ years, how does that manipulate any employment statistic?

40% of William Mitchell students are part-time, which is an incredibly high number. If there was a place to "game" the rankings, before USNews changed its part-time methodology this year, the part-time program was it.

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby Mr. Matlock » Sat May 02, 2009 2:41 am

:roll:
Jesus Joe... Did a William Mitchell graduate steal your girlfriend? I mean, WTF? You seem to be putting a lot of effort into a school and city that I assume you know very little about despite what your numbers indicate. Don't you have finals you need to be prepping for?

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Joe Biden
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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby Joe Biden » Sat May 02, 2009 2:53 am

Mr. Matlock wrote::roll:
Jesus Joe... Did a William Mitchell graduate steal your girlfriend? I mean, WTF? You seem to be putting a lot of effort into a school and city that I assume you know very little about despite what your numbers indicate. Don't you have finals you need to be prepping for?


Honestly, I don't have any problem with William Mitchell. In fact, I have never even seen the school. Like I said previously, it is probably a fine school. I finished a final today and was unwinding before bed. I decided to browse TLS and read a little bit. It appears that some of the contributors in this thread, from William Mitchell, have given out a lot of blatantly false information.

A lot of prospective law school students put a lot of value in the information that is given out on this forum. It is evident from this thread that many 0Ls are listening to the William Mitchell alumni. I thought it was only fair to provide some accurate information for 0Ls. Law school is a major investment of both time and money. If someone is going to attend a law school they deserve to know what they are getting into. The dissemination of inaccurate and erroneous information is damaging and harmful to 0Ls.

Sorry if I offended you Matlock. I really wasn't trying to be a prick in this thread. As a 0L I relied very heavily on information provided by others when choosing a law school. I am grateful all of the information I received was accurate. I was trying to pass on the favor by providing accurate numbers. Some of the posts in this thread, by people who claim to William Mitchell alumni, are not only inaccurate, but their inaccuracies are so egregious they almost rise to the level of bald faced lies.

I stuck up for the Drexel Dean in another thread, because she was giving out accurate information. I am not a T3 or T4 hater. I do believe that giving out information that is nothing short of a lie deserves a correction.

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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby Mr. Matlock » Sat May 02, 2009 3:09 am

Joe Biden wrote:
Mr. Matlock wrote::roll:
Jesus Joe... Did a William Mitchell graduate steal your girlfriend? I mean, WTF? You seem to be putting a lot of effort into a school and city that I assume you know very little about despite what your numbers indicate. Don't you have finals you need to be prepping for?


Honestly, I don't have any problem with William Mitchell. In fact, I have never even seen the school. Like I said previously, it is probably a fine school. I finished a final today and was unwinding before bed. I decided to browse TLS and read a little bit. It appears that some of the contributors in this thread, from William Mitchell, have given out a lot of blatantly false information.

A lot of prospective law school students put a lot of value in the information that is given out on this forum. It is evident from this thread that many 0Ls are listening to the William Mitchell alumni. I thought it was only fair to provide some accurate information for 0Ls. Law school is a major investment of both time and money. If someone is going to attend a law school they deserve to know what they are getting into. The dissemination of inaccurate and erroneous information is damaging and harmful to 0Ls.

Sorry if I offended you Matlock. I really wasn't trying to be a prick in this thread. As a 0L I relied very heavily on information provided by others when choosing a law school. I am grateful all of the information I received was accurate. I was trying to pass on the favor by providing accurate numbers. Some of the posts in this thread, by people who claim to William Mitchell alumni, are not only inaccurate, but their inaccuracies are so egregious they almost rise to the level of bald faced lies.

I stuck up for the Drexel Dean in another thread, because she was giving out accurate information. I am not a T3 or T4 hater. I do believe that giving out information that is nothing short of a lie deserves a correction.

:lol:
You have a peculiar way of unwinding! :lol:
I'll be honest in saying I don't know their specific placement numbers outside of what the NLJ 250 reports (pg 10 of 11): http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/composite.pdf
I do have a lot of family in the area and can state from their knowledge that WM is a highly regarded school in Minnesota. They also do well in house at 3-M, Honeywell, and other corporate headquarters in Minneapolis. So I disagree it's anywhere NEAR the level of school that Cooley is. :wink: It's a solid T-3 school IMHO, and I'll leave it at that.

Good luck with the rest of your finals.

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Joe Biden
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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby Joe Biden » Sat May 02, 2009 3:18 am

Mr. Matlock wrote:
Joe Biden wrote:
Mr. Matlock wrote::roll:
Jesus Joe... Did a William Mitchell graduate steal your girlfriend? I mean, WTF? You seem to be putting a lot of effort into a school and city that I assume you know very little about despite what your numbers indicate. Don't you have finals you need to be prepping for?


Honestly, I don't have any problem with William Mitchell. In fact, I have never even seen the school. Like I said previously, it is probably a fine school. I finished a final today and was unwinding before bed. I decided to browse TLS and read a little bit. It appears that some of the contributors in this thread, from William Mitchell, have given out a lot of blatantly false information.

A lot of prospective law school students put a lot of value in the information that is given out on this forum. It is evident from this thread that many 0Ls are listening to the William Mitchell alumni. I thought it was only fair to provide some accurate information for 0Ls. Law school is a major investment of both time and money. If someone is going to attend a law school they deserve to know what they are getting into. The dissemination of inaccurate and erroneous information is damaging and harmful to 0Ls.

Sorry if I offended you Matlock. I really wasn't trying to be a prick in this thread. As a 0L I relied very heavily on information provided by others when choosing a law school. I am grateful all of the information I received was accurate. I was trying to pass on the favor by providing accurate numbers. Some of the posts in this thread, by people who claim to William Mitchell alumni, are not only inaccurate, but their inaccuracies are so egregious they almost rise to the level of bald faced lies.

I stuck up for the Drexel Dean in another thread, because she was giving out accurate information. I am not a T3 or T4 hater. I do believe that giving out information that is nothing short of a lie deserves a correction.

:lol:
You have a peculiar way of unwinding! :lol:
I'll be honest in saying I don't know their specific placement numbers outside of what the NLJ 250 reports (pg 10 of 11): http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/composite.pdf
I do have a lot of family in the area and can state from their knowledge that WM is a highly regarded school in Minnesota. They also do well in house at 3-M, Honeywell, and other corporate headquarters in Minneapolis. So I disagree it's anywhere NEAR the level of school that Cooley is. :wink: It's a solid T-3 school IMHO, and I'll leave it at that.

Good luck with the rest of your finals.


When you look at median starting salaries, along with average indebtedness, Cooley and William Mitchell are pretty on par.

So far as in house jobs, I assume most of the people you are referring to acquired those jobs after they had at least a few years experience. It is difficult to go in house coming directly out law school, regardless of where you go. If someone has 10-15 years of solid work experience after law school, in house positions are going to be an option, even from T3 and T4s. That does not help them before they get that in house job, when they have the noose of loan repayment around their neck.

0Ls need to be aware of what they are getting into. I don't want to talk anyone out of law school. T3 and T4 schools can be excellent opportunities, but people need to know what they are getting themselves into. A T3 or a T4 at 30k/year is probably not a good idea. Furthermore, alumni should be honest when attempting to influence 0Ls.

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Joe Biden
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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby Joe Biden » Sat May 02, 2009 3:25 am

MSP1 wrote:1. Dan Kleinberger; teaches Contracts and Agency/Partnerships/LLCs. He is legitimately one of the smartest people I've ever met and he has the hardware to back it up (undergrad + PBK Harvard; J.D., Yale). If you're familiar with the "Examples & Explanations" series, he's the author of their books on A/P/LLCs. You won't find too many professors from supposedly Tier 4 law schools with that credential. He's also the co-reporter (co-author) of the new Uniform Limited Partnership Act.

2. Peter Knapp; teaches Evidence and Trial Advocacy. He uses humor in such an effective way that even the dryest subjects--i.e., Evidence--become entertaining. Directs Mitchell's Trial Advocacy curriculum, which really teaches you how to litigate by breaking the process down into its component parts and studying both procedure and strategy. He's also no slouch academically (undergrad and J.D., Harvard)

3. Greg Duhl; teaches UCC 2, 4, and 9. He's new as of this last academic year, so I never had him, but the students I know rave about his classes. Like Knapp, he's excellent at making dry subjects enjoyable. He's also well-connected within the transactional community, as he's the managing editor of The Business Lawyer, the ABA Business Section's monthly publication. Apparently, he uses his research assistants to help with the publication. And again, he's obtained pretty solid academic credentials (undergrad Yale; J.D., Harvard)


HYS or UofC alumni, with honors, plus an LLM, doctorate, etc. is the norm for most law school professors. Almost all law school professors are published in law reviews, etc. Many law school professors have written supplements, text books, etc. This is the norm, not an outstanding faculty. Top faculty in law school include potential SCOTUS nominees (Pamela Karlan at Stanford), federal judges (Richard Posner at U of C), etc. Let's be honest, the professors you named are in the minority as well, since only 13.4% of William Mitchell professors are full-time.

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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby MSP1 » Sat May 02, 2009 10:53 am

Joe Biden wrote:
MSP1 wrote:1. Dan Kleinberger; teaches Contracts and Agency/Partnerships/LLCs. He is legitimately one of the smartest people I've ever met and he has the hardware to back it up (undergrad + PBK Harvard; J.D., Yale). If you're familiar with the "Examples & Explanations" series, he's the author of their books on A/P/LLCs. You won't find too many professors from supposedly Tier 4 law schools with that credential. He's also the co-reporter (co-author) of the new Uniform Limited Partnership Act.

2. Peter Knapp; teaches Evidence and Trial Advocacy. He uses humor in such an effective way that even the dryest subjects--i.e., Evidence--become entertaining. Directs Mitchell's Trial Advocacy curriculum, which really teaches you how to litigate by breaking the process down into its component parts and studying both procedure and strategy. He's also no slouch academically (undergrad and J.D., Harvard)

3. Greg Duhl; teaches UCC 2, 4, and 9. He's new as of this last academic year, so I never had him, but the students I know rave about his classes. Like Knapp, he's excellent at making dry subjects enjoyable. He's also well-connected within the transactional community, as he's the managing editor of The Business Lawyer, the ABA Business Section's monthly publication. Apparently, he uses his research assistants to help with the publication. And again, he's obtained pretty solid academic credentials (undergrad Yale; J.D., Harvard)


HYS or UofC alumni, with honors, plus an LLM, doctorate, etc. is the norm for most law school professors. Almost all law school professors are published in law reviews, etc. Many law school professors have written supplements, text books, etc. This is the norm, not an outstanding faculty. Top faculty in law school include potential SCOTUS nominees (Pamela Karlan at Stanford), federal judges (Richard Posner at U of C), etc. Let's be honest, the professors you named are in the minority as well, since only 13.4% of William Mitchell professors are full-time.


Say it ain't so, Joe! Two things first:

1. The Bard said it best when he penned the words, "the lady doth protest too much." You may or may not be a lady, but people won't take you seriously if you're all histrionic about this thread.

2. William Mitchell is sufficiently off the beaten path of law school discussion that you wouldn't have invested this kind of time (and compared us to Cooley, ouch!) unless you had an axe to grind. What's the story? Bitter and unemployed law school grad? All-around misanthrope?

I can tell you that I actually am a Mitchell grad and I do have considerable knowledge of the school and its programs. (You'll also notice that I'm not a knee-jerk cheerleader; I haven't always been kind to my alma mater in this thread because Mitchell isn't the perfect law school.) In any event, I'll try to address each of your posts in turn, in the hopes of showing you why I'm not selling a bill of goods to prospective law students.

--------------------------

Take note of the fact that I never singled out these three professors as the best legal educators in all the land. I don't believe the President will be nominating any of them to SCOTUS in the near future. Then again, I would humbly submit that you're using an unrealistically high benchmark for what it takes to be a "good" prof. How many of the 181 ABA-approved law schools employ people with the potential to be on SCOTUS? Four? Five? I mean, it's just laughable for you to even bring that up.

And because turnabout is fair play, here's an interesting question for you: if as you claim HYSCC grads-turned-profs are a dime a dozen at every law school, what makes the education I received at William Mitchell inferior to the one someone else received at Fordham? Or at Emory? Or even UVA? Aren't we learning from people who attended the same schools and have the same resumes?

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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby MSP1 » Sat May 02, 2009 11:11 am

Joe Biden wrote:
Mr. Matlock wrote:
Joe Biden wrote:
Mr. Matlock wrote::roll:
Jesus Joe... Did a William Mitchell graduate steal your girlfriend? I mean, WTF? You seem to be putting a lot of effort into a school and city that I assume you know very little about despite what your numbers indicate. Don't you have finals you need to be prepping for?


Honestly, I don't have any problem with William Mitchell. In fact, I have never even seen the school. Like I said previously, it is probably a fine school. I finished a final today and was unwinding before bed. I decided to browse TLS and read a little bit. It appears that some of the contributors in this thread, from William Mitchell, have given out a lot of blatantly false information.

A lot of prospective law school students put a lot of value in the information that is given out on this forum. It is evident from this thread that many 0Ls are listening to the William Mitchell alumni. I thought it was only fair to provide some accurate information for 0Ls. Law school is a major investment of both time and money. If someone is going to attend a law school they deserve to know what they are getting into. The dissemination of inaccurate and erroneous information is damaging and harmful to 0Ls.

Sorry if I offended you Matlock. I really wasn't trying to be a prick in this thread. As a 0L I relied very heavily on information provided by others when choosing a law school. I am grateful all of the information I received was accurate. I was trying to pass on the favor by providing accurate numbers. Some of the posts in this thread, by people who claim to William Mitchell alumni, are not only inaccurate, but their inaccuracies are so egregious they almost rise to the level of bald faced lies.

I stuck up for the Drexel Dean in another thread, because she was giving out accurate information. I am not a T3 or T4 hater. I do believe that giving out information that is nothing short of a lie deserves a correction.

:lol:
You have a peculiar way of unwinding! :lol:
I'll be honest in saying I don't know their specific placement numbers outside of what the NLJ 250 reports (pg 10 of 11): http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/composite.pdf
I do have a lot of family in the area and can state from their knowledge that WM is a highly regarded school in Minnesota. They also do well in house at 3-M, Honeywell, and other corporate headquarters in Minneapolis. So I disagree it's anywhere NEAR the level of school that Cooley is. :wink: It's a solid T-3 school IMHO, and I'll leave it at that.

Good luck with the rest of your finals.


When you look at median starting salaries, along with average indebtedness, Cooley and William Mitchell are pretty on par.

So far as in house jobs, I assume most of the people you are referring to acquired those jobs after they had at least a few years experience. It is difficult to go in house coming directly out law school, regardless of where you go. If someone has 10-15 years of solid work experience after law school, in house positions are going to be an option, even from T3 and T4s. That does not help them before they get that in house job, when they have the noose of loan repayment around their neck.

0Ls need to be aware of what they are getting into. I don't want to talk anyone out of law school. T3 and T4 schools can be excellent opportunities, but people need to know what they are getting themselves into. A T3 or a T4 at 30k/year is probably not a good idea. Furthermore, alumni should be honest when attempting to influence 0Ls.


1. Your first job is not your last. A lot of law students and new lawyers don't seem to get this. If you start off working at a job for $70K per year, it doesn't mean you're condemned to earning $70K per year until you die. Lateralling [sic] into a new law firm or going in-house after a couple years is entirely possible, provided you work hard and...network. :shock: Crazy as it sounds, it's often the intangibles like networking that can make the difference. Anyway, Mr. Matlock is right, there are solid contingents of Mitchell grads at 3M, Cargill, Honeywell, etc.

2. Who these days is legitimately planning to pay off law school loans in ten or fifteen years? Twenty to twenty-five is much more realistic, even for grads of top 100 law schools. Plus no lender will force you to pay everything within ten years. They want their money, not for you to file bankruptcy. They're willing to work with you to find a manageable repayment plan.

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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby MSP1 » Sat May 02, 2009 11:37 am

Joe Biden wrote:
MSP1 wrote:I'd like to address JD33's point about William Mitchell's U.S. News Ranking. The whole Tier 4 thing is pure ridiculousness. Someone's employed the methodology without the reputation scores (40% of the raw overall score) and WM ends up being a high Tier 3. I'll find that link and post it later.

But even further, WM is really reluctant to "game" the rankings like other schools do. By this, I mean that they're not going to create jobs for unemployed graduates in the law school library so they can report 100% employment rates nine months after graduation (although WM's performance on this criterion is pretty good, normally in the 90th percentile and up).

They also appear to have a high student to faculty ratio (24:1 is the number people keep throwing out there) because there are only forty-nine FT profs and something like 300 adjunct faculty. U.S. News stops counting adjunct faculty toward the student:faculty ratio after a certain number, way below 300. With just over a thousand students, it gives the appearance that the school is overrun and no one ever gets any personal attention. That couldn't be further from the truth. I never had any problems doing walk-ins with profs and they were always easily accessible.

The other problem with the Tier 4 ranking--and it's an admittedly subjectone one--is that it just doesn't accurately reflect WM's reputation. Here's one example: in the thirty-year period from 1980 to 2010, there will have been six CJs of the Minnesota Supreme Court. Three of them graduated from WM, two from the U of M, and one from YLS. If we looked at any other state high court, would you find another "Tier 4" school with similar numbers? I tend to doubt it. Would you find another "Tier 4" law school with grads placed in the same position as a T-25 and a T-2 law school? Possibly, but it seems like a long-shot. If someone wants to dig up the actual numbers, be my guest, but I think my point is a valid one: WM doesn't get as much respect as it deserves.

I bring all these things up because I believe that WM is a Top 100 law school, somewhere in the 85-100 range. Under the current ranking regime, it's just a matter of the school taking additional steps to reflect that reality.


No legitimate law school puts students to work in the library to "game" the rankings. Every T1 or T2 law school I know of has a very prestigious law library staff. First of all, no law library has a large enough staff to "game" the numbers. Secondly, most law library staff I know are very accomplished academically, i.e. they graduated with honors from a very reputable law school. If a law school graduates 200 students every year, and the law library has five full time attorneys on staff and most of the staff have had their jobs for 5-10+ years, how does that manipulate any employment statistic?

40% of William Mitchell students are part-time, which is an incredibly high number. If there was a place to "game" the rankings, before USNews changed its part-time methodology this year, the part-time program was it.


It's a poorly kept secret that some law schools--yes, even top 100 law schools--will hire unemployed graduates to simply work in the library until they find something else. This doesn't include the law librarian and official staff featured on a school's website. I'm talking about people who work at the circulation desk and reshelve books, the so-called "lackeys." Some law schools also find place-holder positions for unemployed grads in other departments, like alumni relations or human resources or the bookstore. When many top 100 law schools graduate classes of 200 students or less, doesn't it seem arithmetically possible for ten to fifteen students to make a difference?

Also take note of the fact that USNWR isn't exactly puritanical about its methodology for determining who is employed and who is not. From their website:

For the nine-month employment rate, 25 percent of those whose status is unknown are counted as employed. Those who are unemployed and not seeking jobs are excluded from the calculations and are not counted as unemployed.

And if Mitchell was gaming the rankings with its part-time program before, which I doubt, they certainly aren't now. It's a moot point.

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Joe Biden
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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby Joe Biden » Sat May 02, 2009 2:40 pm

MSP1 wrote:
Joe Biden wrote:
MSP1 wrote:1. Dan Kleinberger; teaches Contracts and Agency/Partnerships/LLCs. He is legitimately one of the smartest people I've ever met and he has the hardware to back it up (undergrad + PBK Harvard; J.D., Yale). If you're familiar with the "Examples & Explanations" series, he's the author of their books on A/P/LLCs. You won't find too many professors from supposedly Tier 4 law schools with that credential. He's also the co-reporter (co-author) of the new Uniform Limited Partnership Act.

2. Peter Knapp; teaches Evidence and Trial Advocacy. He uses humor in such an effective way that even the dryest subjects--i.e., Evidence--become entertaining. Directs Mitchell's Trial Advocacy curriculum, which really teaches you how to litigate by breaking the process down into its component parts and studying both procedure and strategy. He's also no slouch academically (undergrad and J.D., Harvard)

3. Greg Duhl; teaches UCC 2, 4, and 9. He's new as of this last academic year, so I never had him, but the students I know rave about his classes. Like Knapp, he's excellent at making dry subjects enjoyable. He's also well-connected within the transactional community, as he's the managing editor of The Business Lawyer, the ABA Business Section's monthly publication. Apparently, he uses his research assistants to help with the publication. And again, he's obtained pretty solid academic credentials (undergrad Yale; J.D., Harvard)


HYS or UofC alumni, with honors, plus an LLM, doctorate, etc. is the norm for most law school professors. Almost all law school professors are published in law reviews, etc. Many law school professors have written supplements, text books, etc. This is the norm, not an outstanding faculty. Top faculty in law school include potential SCOTUS nominees (Pamela Karlan at Stanford), federal judges (Richard Posner at U of C), etc. Let's be honest, the professors you named are in the minority as well, since only 13.4% of William Mitchell professors are full-time.


Say it ain't so, Joe! Two things first:

1. The Bard said it best when he penned the words, "the lady doth protest too much." You may or may not be a lady, but people won't take you seriously if you're all histrionic about this thread.

2. William Mitchell is sufficiently off the beaten path of law school discussion that you wouldn't have invested this kind of time (and compared us to Cooley, ouch!) unless you had an axe to grind. What's the story? Bitter and unemployed law school grad? All-around misanthrope?

I can tell you that I actually am a Mitchell grad and I do have considerable knowledge of the school and its programs. (You'll also notice that I'm not a knee-jerk cheerleader; I haven't always been kind to my alma mater in this thread because Mitchell isn't the perfect law school.) In any event, I'll try to address each of your posts in turn, in the hopes of showing you why I'm not selling a bill of goods to prospective law students.

--------------------------

Take note of the fact that I never singled out these three professors as the best legal educators in all the land. I don't believe the President will be nominating any of them to SCOTUS in the near future. Then again, I would humbly submit that you're using an unrealistically high benchmark for what it takes to be a "good" prof. How many of the 181 ABA-approved law schools employ people with the potential to be on SCOTUS? Four? Five? I mean, it's just laughable for you to even bring that up.

And because turnabout is fair play, here's an interesting question for you: if as you claim HYSCC grads-turned-profs are a dime a dozen at every law school, what makes the education I received at William Mitchell inferior to the one someone else received at Fordham? Or at Emory? Or even UVA? Aren't we learning from people who attended the same schools and have the same resumes?


1) I have no axe to grind with William Mitchell. My information came off of the USNews and William Mitchell websites. I read through this thread, read all of the hype you were giving William Mitchell, immediately knew your numbers were incorrect and made a point to correct them. There are several 0Ls in this thread who have stated you have had influence on their decision. You are giving out information that is factually incorrect, as I have pointed out in previous posts. Your incorrect information that effects people's lives deserves correction.

2) When I brought up professors that are excellent, at HYSCCN, there are professors who are Supreme Court candidates, federal Court of appeals candidates, top academic scholars in the field of their expertise, etc. At T1 and T2 schools HYS U of C grads with LLMs, who are published frequently are a dime a dozen. That is a fact, everyone on this board knows it.

3) You claim all professors are equal because they were taught by the HYS educated professors? Come on, that is laughable. That is like saying all attorneys are equal. The faculty at William Mitchell is very weak. Only 13.4% of the faculty is full-time. The rest of the faculty are adjunct professors who are criminal defense, personal injury, etc. attorneys in Minneapolis. I am sure they are fine attorneys and professors, but your assertion that William Mitchell has a top faculty is erroneous.

You can claim the legal education at William Mitchell is equal to that of Fordham, but there are plenty of people on this board who know better. The faculty, facilities, career path, etc. are polar opposites for the two schools. You are destroying your own credibility by even making the claim that William Mitchell is on par with Fordham. It is like Cooley creating their own rankings and claiming to be on par with Harvard.

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Joe Biden
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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby Joe Biden » Sat May 02, 2009 2:47 pm

MSP1 wrote:1. Your first job is not your last. A lot of law students and new lawyers don't seem to get this. If you start off working at a job for $70K per year, it doesn't mean you're condemned to earning $70K per year until you die. Lateralling [sic] into a new law firm or going in-house after a couple years is entirely possible, provided you work hard and...network. :shock: Crazy as it sounds, it's often the intangibles like networking that can make the difference. Anyway, Mr. Matlock is right, there are solid contingents of Mitchell grads at 3M, Cargill, Honeywell, etc.

2. Who these days is legitimately planning to pay off law school loans in ten or fifteen years? Twenty to twenty-five is much more realistic, even for grads of top 100 law schools. Plus no lender will force you to pay everything within ten years. They want their money, not for you to file bankruptcy. They're willing to work with you to find a manageable repayment plan.


1) William Mitchell grads are not averaging 70k/year when they graduate. Median private sector is 60k/year as I pointed out previously, and the average public sector is in the 40s.

2) Many law school grads are paying off loans in a few years. People are paying off students loans with a few BigLaw bonuses. At least you are finally being more realistic about the job prospects from William Mitchell.

So far as your bankruptcy statement, you are not able to discharge student loans.

Other than that, you haven't really refuted any of the numbers or facts I have presented. I am happy some of the 0Ls in this thread are getting a more realistic picture of what they are getting themselves into at William Mitchell.

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Joe Biden
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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby Joe Biden » Sat May 02, 2009 2:53 pm

MSP1 wrote:
Joe Biden wrote:
MSP1 wrote:I'd like to address JD33's point about William Mitchell's U.S. News Ranking. The whole Tier 4 thing is pure ridiculousness. Someone's employed the methodology without the reputation scores (40% of the raw overall score) and WM ends up being a high Tier 3. I'll find that link and post it later.

But even further, WM is really reluctant to "game" the rankings like other schools do. By this, I mean that they're not going to create jobs for unemployed graduates in the law school library so they can report 100% employment rates nine months after graduation (although WM's performance on this criterion is pretty good, normally in the 90th percentile and up).

They also appear to have a high student to faculty ratio (24:1 is the number people keep throwing out there) because there are only forty-nine FT profs and something like 300 adjunct faculty. U.S. News stops counting adjunct faculty toward the student:faculty ratio after a certain number, way below 300. With just over a thousand students, it gives the appearance that the school is overrun and no one ever gets any personal attention. That couldn't be further from the truth. I never had any problems doing walk-ins with profs and they were always easily accessible.

The other problem with the Tier 4 ranking--and it's an admittedly subjectone one--is that it just doesn't accurately reflect WM's reputation. Here's one example: in the thirty-year period from 1980 to 2010, there will have been six CJs of the Minnesota Supreme Court. Three of them graduated from WM, two from the U of M, and one from YLS. If we looked at any other state high court, would you find another "Tier 4" school with similar numbers? I tend to doubt it. Would you find another "Tier 4" law school with grads placed in the same position as a T-25 and a T-2 law school? Possibly, but it seems like a long-shot. If someone wants to dig up the actual numbers, be my guest, but I think my point is a valid one: WM doesn't get as much respect as it deserves.

I bring all these things up because I believe that WM is a Top 100 law school, somewhere in the 85-100 range. Under the current ranking regime, it's just a matter of the school taking additional steps to reflect that reality.


No legitimate law school puts students to work in the library to "game" the rankings. Every T1 or T2 law school I know of has a very prestigious law library staff. First of all, no law library has a large enough staff to "game" the numbers. Secondly, most law library staff I know are very accomplished academically, i.e. they graduated with honors from a very reputable law school. If a law school graduates 200 students every year, and the law library has five full time attorneys on staff and most of the staff have had their jobs for 5-10+ years, how does that manipulate any employment statistic?

40% of William Mitchell students are part-time, which is an incredibly high number. If there was a place to "game" the rankings, before USNews changed its part-time methodology this year, the part-time program was it.


It's a poorly kept secret that some law schools--yes, even top 100 law schools--will hire unemployed graduates to simply work in the library until they find something else. This doesn't include the law librarian and official staff featured on a school's website. I'm talking about people who work at the circulation desk and reshelve books, the so-called "lackeys." Some law schools also find place-holder positions for unemployed grads in other departments, like alumni relations or human resources or the bookstore. When many top 100 law schools graduate classes of 200 students or less, doesn't it seem arithmetically possible for ten to fifteen students to make a difference?

Also take note of the fact that USNWR isn't exactly puritanical about its methodology for determining who is employed and who is not. From their website:

For the nine-month employment rate, 25 percent of those whose status is unknown are counted as employed. Those who are unemployed and not seeking jobs are excluded from the calculations and are not counted as unemployed.

And if Mitchell was gaming the rankings with its part-time program before, which I doubt, they certainly aren't now. It's a moot point.


All you have to do is look at the percentage of grads reporting their employment, and the fields where they are employed. Less than 50% of William Mitchell grads are employed at graduation. What is your OCI like? I do not know of any school that employs law grads in the library shelving books to "game" the numbers. I would love to hear someone who attends a T1 or T2 school to qualify your statement. Can you give us ONE specific example of this? Name ONE school where we can find this, because at my law school, and every law school I know of, this does not happen. I honestly laughed to myself when I read the bookstore bit. :roll:

At least you are not arguing with the numbers I have presented. If I knew someone who could live at home, had a decent scholarship to William Mitchell, could graduate with little debt, loved the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, the person absolutely wanted to be an attorney, etc. I would tell them to go for it. My beef isn't with William Mitchell, it is with the skewed view and numbers you have given in this thread.

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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby MSP1 » Tue May 05, 2009 3:56 pm

Joe, sorry for the delay in my response, but it’s the busy season at my office and I wanted to consider your comments thoroughly before I got back to you. You've brought up a ton of good stuff. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to address all your issues at the same time, so you’re going to have to tune in tomorrow for the next installment. I do the best I can.

Here is a problem with William Mitchell. Only 13.4% of the William Mitchell faculty is full-time. Go look through the adjunct faculty bios for William Mitchell profs. Many of them work in small or midsized firms and graduated from T3 or T4 law schools, including William Mitchell.


You’ve twice pointed out that only “13.4%” of William Mitchell’s professors are full-time faculty, while the remainder is made up of personal injury attorneys and solo practitioners who graduated from Mitchell and other “T3 and T4 law schools.” I don’t need an advanced degree to figure out that you think the quality of legal education at Mitchell is poor. However, your conclusion is wrong because it’s based upon information that’s incomplete and inaccurate. (Since you go to another law school, there’s no reason for you to be intimately acquainted with William Mitchell’s curriculum, so I don’t blame you too much for the first.)

Mitchell has forty-nine full-time professors and approximately 400 adjunct and affiliated faculty (according to the website). Anyone crunching the numbers would see that the percentage you used is correct, but they wouldn’t see why there are so many adjuncts. The number is just a number; it doesn’t tell the whole story. William Mitchell requires all 1Ls to take Legal Writing and all 2Ls to take Trial Advocacy, courses which require many adjunct professors for small-group class. So while your large-group Legal Writing or Advocacy class may have fifty to sixty students, your small-group class—where you handle the nitty gritty details of your assignments—will only have eight to ten students. A 1L class of 300 students would require at least sixty adjunct professors (each small-group class has two) to successfully manage the course. The same numbers apply to Advocacy. You also have to take into account elective courses at Mitchell, like its General Practicum and Business Practicum. Local attorneys offer their services to judge students’ performances on projects that involve the attorneys’ practice areas. General Practicum and Business Practicum often need upwards of forty “adjunct professors” each per semester. And we also can’t forget other electives like Advanced Trial Advocacy or William Mitchell’s various clinics, all of which use dozens of adjuncts to assist in the course. So those 400 individuals aren’t teaching doctrinal courses. That’s what the forty-nine full time profs are for. Instead, the adjuncts are usually assisting in the small-scale portion of large courses or periodically teaching seminars.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Mitchell employs some adjuncts to teach “normal” law school courses. However, this is predominantly done for (a) summer courses; (b) rare instances where a faculty member moves into the administration and cuts down on his or her course load; and (c) when a course is so popular that the registrar adds another section.

We have an adjunct that teaches Labor Law, but take note of the fact that he’s a YLS grad, a former federal appellate clerk, and an adjunct not just at William Mitchell, but also at UMN and (previously) Northwestern.

--LinkRemoved--

Same goes for Corporate Finance. That class sometimes needs two sections, and this back-up prof is a Stanford Law grad (with distinction, Law Review notes and comments editor), former Sixth Circuit clerk, former AUSA in SDNY, and former adjunct at Cardozo.

http://www.faegre.com/showbio.aspx?Show=1786

And then there’s Fed. Courts/Jurisdiction. Our dean used to teach that class, but he couldn’t once he accepted his new position. Instead, the school uses a local attorney who graduated Order of the Coif from Cornell (also a Law Review editor, and look, he worked on Gratz and Grutter).

http://www.maslon.com/CM/AttorneyBios/M ... Carthy.asp

Is it such a terrible thing to learn from these kinds of practitioners? I think not.

And that dovetails nicely into the second problem I have with your conclusion, your characterization of these adjuncts as a bunch of ambulance chasers or attorneys with law degrees from sub-par schools (or both). If you bothered to look at the list William Mitchell puts on its website, you’d see that many of them have stereotypically “good” academic credentials, regardless of where and how they choose to earn their living as a lawyer. Here are some examples, along with the courses they assist in teaching:

* Cynthia Bremer (Business Practicum), special counsel at Fulbright & Jaworski (J.D., WUSTL)
* Martin Burke (Advocacy), senior counsel at Blackwell & Igbanugo (J.D., Chicago)
* Michael Cromett (Minnesota Criminal Procedure), Assistant State Public Defender (J.D., magna, UMN)
* Thomas Fabel (Criminal Law), senior partner at Lindquist & Vennum (J.D., Chicago)
* Joan Humes (Pre-trial Lit), former Chief Civil AUSA for D.Minn., now with United Health Group (J.D., UMN)
* Ryan Johnson (Health Law Organization and Finance), partner at Fredrikson & Byron (J.D., magna, UMN)
* Bruce Willis (General Practicum), former MN CoA judge (J.D., HLS)
* Steven Wang (Legal Writing), associate at Meagher & Greer (J.D., cum, UMN)
* Brynn Vaaler (Securities Regs), senior partner at Dorsey & Whitney (J.D., magna, UMN)
* Kathryn Grosdider (Legal Writing and Advocacy), Attorney at Law (J.D., Wisconsin)
* Josh Jacobson (Advocacy), Attorney at Law (J.D., cum, NYU)
* John Jacobson (Indian Law), Jacobson Buffalo Schoessler & Magnuson (J.D., Chicago)
* Jeff Keyes (Death Penalty Seminar), U.S. Magistrate Judge (J.D., Michigan)
* John Koneck (Finance of Commercial Real Estate), senior partner at Fredrikson & Byron (J.D., YLS)
* Terry Louie (Legal Writing), DHS (J.D., Penn)
* Donna Magarian (Poverty Law), Attorney at Law (J.D., GULC)

I could list more, but it would make this already long post even longer.

So in sum, I think your conclusion about Mitchell’s educational quality—based upon the number you cited and the inference you drew from it—is pretty hollow. In reality, the adjuncts aren’t idiots, they’re not ambulance chasers, and they’re not teaching Torts or Contracts. I don't think all this makes Mitchell a T14 school, but I've never argued that. You even quoted me as saying that Mitchell should probably be in the 85-100 range. I stand by that statement.

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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby Joe Biden » Wed May 06, 2009 4:38 am

I never said all adjuncts are crappy. In fact, I will go a step farther and point out Kathleen Peters, who is adjunct faculty at William Mitch, one of the top attorneys in the United States (Robins Kaplan Miller Cerisi) and a William Mitchell grad. Sure, there are excellent faculty at William Mitchell. However, adjunct faculty are unable to put in the hours that full-time professors do. On top of that, there are many other adjunct faculty at William Mitchell who do not have these stellar credentials.

My writing section had 15 students, my professor is full-time faculty and only taught two writing sections per semester. We needed a full-time professor to teach LAWR, because that was a class where students were constantly utilizing the professors office hours. I don't see how a part-time person could adequately teach this class. You stated that some of the adjuncts teach writing and that is very frightening.

Look, William Mitchell has competent people teaching there, but William Mitchell does not have a T1 or T2 faculty. Please take the time to look at the faculty bios for T1 and T2 schools. Almost all of the faculty at most T1 and T2 schools have the credentials of William Mitchell's best professors.

The scariest stat for William Mitchell is I that only 40% of students have jobs upon graduation. This, in and of itself, is a good reason for a school to be TTT. Again, does William Mitchell even have OCI?

Personally, I do not think William Mitchell is a bad school. Some William Mitchell alumni are extremely successful, look at Kathleen Peters or Martin Lueck. These are two of the best attorneys in the United States who both graduated from William Mitchell. However, William Mitchell is a solid TTT, not a T2. With that said, I don't think there is any way William Mitchell is worth 30k+/year.

I understand your vigor in defending your school, but be honest with yourself and others. You are portraying William Mitchell in an inaccurate light, and it is unfair to 0Ls. Be honest with 0Ls and the ones planning on going to William Mitchell will still go there; their numbers don't make them solid T1 or T2 candidates in many instances. At least if you are honest with 0Ls, they will not be resentful when they graduate unemployed.

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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby Joe Biden » Wed May 06, 2009 5:25 am

The William Mitchell curve is 2.67. While William Mitchell only recommends a curve, the deans will "sit down" with any professor who has grades that are "out of whack," before the grades are formally submitted.

I would strongly advice any prospective scholarship student to take a hard look at what their scholarship GPA requirement is and figure out if it is reasonable. If you are unable to pay full sticker, or don't want that kind of debt, William Mitchell may not be for you. William Mitchell graduates students with the kind of debt where you need to work BigLaw to make your loan payments. Unfortunately, for grads, only a very small percentage of grads will have that option available.

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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby waitingsux » Wed May 06, 2009 2:46 pm

Joe Biden wrote:The William Mitchell curve is 2.67. While William Mitchell only recommends a curve, the deans will "sit down" with any professor who has grades that are "out of whack," before the grades are formally submitted.
From what I understand, starting this year, professors must grade on a curve.

Joe Biden wrote: I would strongly advice any prospective scholarship student to take a hard look at what their scholarship GPA requirement is and figure out if it is reasonable. If you are unable to pay full sticker, or don't want that kind of debt, William Mitchell may not be for you. William Mitchell graduates students with the kind of debt where you need to work BigLaw to make your loan payments. Unfortunately, for grads, only a very small percentage of grads will have that option available.


I have looked into scholarship retention at Mitchell and I'm satisfied with the school's numbers. 80% of merit scholarship recipients keep their scholarships after their first year. Of the 20% that don't, 80% get their grades back up so that by their third year they have their scholarship back.

Quit hating.

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Joe Biden
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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby Joe Biden » Wed May 06, 2009 3:29 pm

waitingsux wrote:
Joe Biden wrote:The William Mitchell curve is 2.67. While William Mitchell only recommends a curve, the deans will "sit down" with any professor who has grades that are "out of whack," before the grades are formally submitted.
From what I understand, starting this year, professors must grade on a curve.

Joe Biden wrote: I would strongly advice any prospective scholarship student to take a hard look at what their scholarship GPA requirement is and figure out if it is reasonable. If you are unable to pay full sticker, or don't want that kind of debt, William Mitchell may not be for you. William Mitchell graduates students with the kind of debt where you need to work BigLaw to make your loan payments. Unfortunately, for grads, only a very small percentage of grads will have that option available.


I have looked into scholarship retention at Mitchell and I'm satisfied with the school's numbers. 80% of merit scholarship recipients keep their scholarships after their first year. Of the 20% that don't, 80% get their grades back up so that by their third year they have their scholarship back.

Quit hating.


I want to see your source for this stat, because I absolutely do not believe it. Those numbers do not add up.

Slightly over 50% of William Mitchell students get some kind of scholarship. It should be noted that this number is pretty low. If the curve is a 2.67 and students are required to maintain a 2.7 to keep their scholarships, that means that if every scholarship student does better than every non scholarship student, which I absolutely do not believe, some scholarship students are still losing their scholarship money. If your numbers are correct, that means no one without a scholarship should attend William Mitchell because they have no chance of being toward the top of the class. Furthermore, if one section has more scholarship students than not, which will happen if there is a random distribution of students into sections, there is no way that many scholarship students are retaining their scholarships.

I go to a T2 with one of the better T2 placements; BigLaw is actually a realistic possibility. I would not go to any T2 for 30k+/year. In fact, there are very few T1s I would go to for 30k+/year. Hell, 15k/year isn't worth the investment at a T2, which is why I went where I had a scholarship and grant that brought my tuition to under 10k/year. Anyone who is shelling out 15k+ for a TTT or TTTT is insane, which almost everyone at William Mitchell is doing since less than 3% of students receive scholarships of 50%+.

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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby JurisDoctor33 » Thu May 07, 2009 12:25 am

Joe Biden wrote:
JurisDoctor33 wrote: PI for example, entitles you to 33-40% of your clients recovery...doesn't take that much to get this type of practice off the ground.


Is this a joke?

Not sure what is so funny about this? You've been bashing Mitchell left and right, yet at the same time you admit you have no experience or knowledge of the Minneapolis market. I was simply pointing out that if you've got the gumption to start a practice, you can find viable and meaningful ways to earn an income. You can belittle PI work if you want, that's fine; but there is a reason you take torts first year, people get hurt and they need effective advocates. However, based on your demeanor PI work is clearly beneath you...probably a good thing...I gather the victims of the 35W bridge collapse deserve better than you anyways. In any case, you've expressed your concerns that OL's are taking erroneous advice, yet have been constantly offering your own advice about a market/school you know nothing about. I understand your desire to express your opinion regarding attending the "highest" ranked school...really I do. I don't mean to offend you, but I propose you offer some sincere questions about Mitchell, as that was the original poster's intention.

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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby JurisDoctor33 » Thu May 07, 2009 12:37 am

Joe Biden wrote:
MSP1 wrote:I'd like to address JD33's point about William Mitchell's U.S. News Ranking. The whole Tier 4 thing is pure ridiculousness. Someone's employed the methodology without the reputation scores (40% of the raw overall score) and WM ends up being a high Tier 3. I'll find that link and post it later.

But even further, WM is really reluctant to "game" the rankings like other schools do. By this, I mean that they're not going to create jobs for unemployed graduates in the law school library so they can report 100% employment rates nine months after graduation (although WM's performance on this criterion is pretty good, normally in the 90th percentile and up).

They also appear to have a high student to faculty ratio (24:1 is the number people keep throwing out there) because there are only forty-nine FT profs and something like 300 adjunct faculty. U.S. News stops counting adjunct faculty toward the student:faculty ratio after a certain number, way below 300. With just over a thousand students, it gives the appearance that the school is overrun and no one ever gets any personal attention. That couldn't be further from the truth. I never had any problems doing walk-ins with profs and they were always easily accessible.

The other problem with the Tier 4 ranking--and it's an admittedly subjectone one--is that it just doesn't accurately reflect WM's reputation. Here's one example: in the thirty-year period from 1980 to 2010, there will have been six CJs of the Minnesota Supreme Court. Three of them graduated from WM, two from the U of M, and one from YLS. If we looked at any other state high court, would you find another "Tier 4" school with similar numbers? I tend to doubt it. Would you find another "Tier 4" law school with grads placed in the same position as a T-25 and a T-2 law school? Possibly, but it seems like a long-shot. If someone wants to dig up the actual numbers, be my guest, but I think my point is a valid one: WM doesn't get as much respect as it deserves.

I bring all these things up because I believe that WM is a Top 100 law school, somewhere in the 85-100 range. Under the current ranking regime, it's just a matter of the school taking additional steps to reflect that reality.


No legitimate law school puts students to work in the library to "game" the rankings. Every T1 or T2 law school I know of has a very prestigious law library staff. First of all, no law library has a large enough staff to "game" the numbers. Secondly, most law library staff I know are very accomplished academically, i.e. they graduated with honors from a very reputable law school. If a law school graduates 200 students every year, and the law library has five full time attorneys on staff and most of the staff have had their jobs for 5-10+ years, how does that manipulate any employment statistic?

40% of William Mitchell students are part-time, which is an incredibly high number. If there was a place to "game" the rankings, before USNews changed its part-time methodology this year, the part-time program was it.


For what it is worth, this student seems to think that schools do in fact hire recent grads to fudge their numbers:

--LinkRemoved--

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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby JurisDoctor33 » Thu May 07, 2009 12:47 am

Joe Biden wrote:I want to see your source for this stat, because I absolutely do not believe it. Those numbers do not add up.

Slightly over 50% of William Mitchell students get some kind of scholarship. It should be noted that this number is pretty low. If the curve is a 2.67 and students are required to maintain a 2.7 to keep their scholarships, that means that if every scholarship student does better than every non scholarship student, which I absolutely do not believe, some scholarship students are still losing their scholarship money. If your numbers are correct, that means no one without a scholarship should attend William Mitchell because they have no chance of being toward the top of the class. Furthermore, if one section has more scholarship students than not, which will happen if there is a random distribution of students into sections, there is no way that many scholarship students are retaining their scholarships.

I go to a T2 with one of the better T2 placements; BigLaw is actually a realistic possibility. I would not go to any T2 for 30k+/year. In fact, there are very few T1s I would go to for 30k+/year. Hell, 15k/year isn't worth the investment at a T2, which is why I went where I had a scholarship and grant that brought my tuition to under 10k/year. Anyone who is shelling out 15k+ for a TTT or TTTT is insane, which almost everyone at William Mitchell is doing since less than 3% of students receive scholarships of 50%+.


First of all, the required curve is 2.72, not a big deal, but I know you are big on accurate information. Secondly, not sure where your financial aid information is coming from, but it is inaccurate. http://officialguide.lsac.org/SearchRes ... BA6942.pdf

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Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby MSP1 » Thu May 07, 2009 11:34 am

Joe, you certainly have made things interesting around here. I'd like to answer your most recent post to me.

I never said all adjuncts are crappy.


That's true; you didn't expressly state that all adjunct professors at every school are terrible. I simply inferred from your comments that you thought all of William Mitchell's adjuncts were terrible (and I don't necessarily think it was an unfair inference).

Sure, there are excellent faculty at William Mitchell.


Thank you. I think the school has some excellent faculty members as well.

However, adjunct faculty are unable to put in the hours that full-time professors do.


This is also generally true, although I never felt like any adjuncts I had were difficult to get a hold of if I needed them. (More on this later.)

On top of that, there are many other adjunct faculty at William Mitchell who do not have these stellar credentials.


If by the absence of "stellar credentials" you mean that they attended William Mitchell, then yes, anyone could see that a fair number of adjuncts listed on the website are alumni. However, that fact alone doesn't mean that they’re unsuccessful, unintelligent, or unqualified. You already picked out two, Kathleen Peters and Martin Lueck. Here are some other examples, which I've grouped together by employer for easier reading:

* Greg Allen, 3M
* James Baker, 3M
* Jason Asmus, Briggs & Morgan
* Matthew Boos, Fredrikson & Byron
* Lynn Jokela, Fredrikson & Byron
* Ed Matthews, Fredrikson & Byron
* Courtney Candalino, Novartis
* Patricia Cangemi, U.S. Attorney's Office
* Mike Dees, U.S. Attorney's Office
* Erika Mozangue, U.S. Attorney's Office
* Walter Duffy, Faegre & Benson
* Will Stute, Faegre & Benson
* Katherine Golden, M.A. Mortenson (formerly w/ Faegre & Benson)
* Daniel Enebo, Cargill
* Tim Eschweiler, Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly
* Ray Faricy, Lindquist & Vennum
* April Hamlin, Lindquist & Vennum
* Pat Gallagher, Fulbright & Jaworski
* Marjorie Griffing, Ecolab
* Hon. Jill Halbrooks, MN CoA
* Hon. Gordon Shumaker, MN CoA
* David Herr, Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand
* Ken Jorgensen, Dorsey & Whitney
* Kristen Larson, US Bancorp
* Catherine McEnroe, Leonard, Street & Deinard
* Becky Thorson, Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi
* Steve Silton, Hinshaw & Culbertson

And I could go on. Regardless, I get the impression that you think a law graduate must work in BigLaw or some other equivalent organization to be considered successful, and that is a highly debatable proposition.

My writing section had 15 students, my professor is full-time faculty and only taught two writing sections per semester. We needed a full-time professor to teach LAWR, because that was a class where students were constantly utilizing the professors office hours. I don't see how a part-time person could adequately teach this class. You stated that some of the adjuncts teach writing and that is very frightening.


Not just some of the adjuncts, but a majority of the adjuncts are used for Legal Writing and Trial Advocacy. Perhaps it's frightening to you because it's different from your own law school experience. I can appreciate that. However, I think Mitchell's writing program is actually quite rigorous and turns out successful students. My Legal Writing prof was a junior partner at one of the NLJ 250 firms in Minneapolis and I learned more from him in three hours a week than anyone else who had the opportunity to influence my draftsmanship. And I can't speak for other Mitchell students/alums, but he was always available to our class for questions, 24 hours a day. The guy was a machine.

Besides, I know from discussions with UMN students that they use a similar procedure (large group with prof, small group with adjunct). The concept isn't that radical. What's really frightening is that their Legal Writing course is pass/fail. Pass/fail? For legal writing, one of the most critical skills you can have as a lawyer? That seems absolutely crazy to me, especially given the fact that UMN is considered a fine law school.

Look, William Mitchell has competent people teaching there, but William Mitchell does not have a T1 or T2 faculty. Please take the time to look at the faculty bios for T1 and T2 schools. Almost all of the faculty at most T1 and T2 schools have the credentials of William Mitchell's best professors.


Right away, we can dispense with any more talk of first tier law schools. I really don't understand why you keep bringing them up, as I've never argued that William Mitchell has a first tier anything (faculty, USNWR ranking, etc). Honestly, examine this thread with a fine tooth comb and I'm certain you'll come up empty in that regard. I don't even think Mitchell has a high second tier faculty, or deserves a high second tier USNWR ranking. It's not Florida, it's not Brooklyn, it's not Miami, it's not even New Mexico. I identified a very particular set within the second tier where I think William Mitchell belongs, namely, those law schools ranked 85-100.

If you don't believe me, let's compare full-time faculties, since you suggest most of their professors are equal to Mitchell's best (and that's assuming that your sole criterion for quality is where a professor earned his or her law degree). Here's how William Mitchell breaks down. I'll list the law schools with more than one alumnus/a represented first (from highest to lowest in USNWR rank), with the number in parentheses, and then the remainder, in no particular order, all of which have only one alumnus/a.

William Mitchell
Yale (3)
Harvard (6)
Michigan (2)
UMN (7)
Iowa (3)
Wisconsin (2)
William Mitchell (4)

Temple, Fordham, WUSTL, Boston U, Chicago-Kent, Cornell, Brooklyn, DePaul, GULC, OSU-Moritz, Indiana (Bloomington), Indiana (Indianapolis), Stanford, George Washington, Drake, Chicago, Duke

Now let's compare that to the absolute bottom of the range I mentioned earlier, the three schools tied for 100th: Gonzaga, Maine, and Hofstra.

Gonzaga
NYU (2)
Boston U (2)
Iowa (2)
Washington (2)
Wisconsin (3)
Gonzaga (8)
Idaho (3)

Connecticut, UCLA, Yale, Chicago, UMN, Tulane, Montana, South Dakota, Kentucky, Tulsa, Texas, GULC, DePaul, North Dakota, Alabama, American U, Rutgers-Camden

Maine
Yale (2)
Harvard (3)
Wisconsin (2)
Maine (3)

NYU, Michigan, New Mexico, Western New Engladn, Chicago, Illinois, Drake, Chicago-Kent, Boston U, Stetson, Case Western, UNC, Boalt, George Washington, Notre Dame

Hofstra
Yale (8)
Harvard (4)
Stanford (4)
Columbia (6)
NYU (5)
Chicago (3)
GULC (2)
Hofstra (3)

Emory, Penn, UNC, Cornell, UVA, Louisville, Boston U, Georgia, Illinois, California Western, George Washington, American U

What conclusions can we draw from these statistics? Well first, if I was a Hofstra grad, and we were using your rubric for determining faculty quality, I'd be wicked pissed that my school is ranked so low. Do you see how many profs they have from T14 schools?

Putting that aside, I'd notice that the faculty composition at William Mitchell is pretty similar to Maine and Gonzaga in terms of the number of "qualified" professors. In fact, you could make an argument that Mitchell has more "qualified" professors than the other two.

And just because Hofstra seems to be an outlier (probably due to its location and who it needs to compete against), let's go straight to the middle of the 85-100 set and see if the numbers still hold:

Catholic U (Columbus) (ranked #93)
Yale (2)
Harvard (6)
Columbia (3)
Penn (2)
Duke (2)
UVA (3)
GULC (2)
George Washington (2)
Wisconsin (2)
Catholic U (11)

UMN, Indiana (Bloomington), Boston U, Boalt, Stanford, Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, NYU, Michigan, Fordham, Lewis & Clark, UC Hastings

It seems apparent that Columbus goes a little deeper from some of the T14 schools, but Mitchell's not too far away. Also take note of the fact that (God forbid) Columbus employs eleven of its own graduates on the faculty, more than any other law school, and the fact that they're also in a hyper-competitive geographical area.

I don't want to crunch the numbers for the entire 85-100 set, but if you did, I think you'd see that Mitchell's faculty is comparable.

The scariest stat for William Mitchell is I that only 40% of students have jobs upon graduation. This, in and of itself, is a good reason for a school to be TTT. Again, does William Mitchell even have OCI?


Yes, William Mitchell has OCI. If my memory serves me correctly, these are some of the organizations that participate:

Dorsey & Whitney
Faegre & Benson
Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi
Briggs and Morgan
Leonard, Street & Deinard
Lindquist & Vennum
Fredrikson & Byron
Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly
Winthrop & Weinstine
Gray Plant Mooty
Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand
Bowman & Brooke
Merchant & Gould
Cargill
Bassford Remele
Messerli & Kramer
Minnesota Att'y General
U.S. Attorney's Office

This isn't complete; it's just the places I can think of off the top of my head. And while some of the private ones aren't NLJ 250 firms, their first-year salaries are still around $120K, the Minneapolis-St. Paul equivalent to $160K in NYC, DC, Chicago, etc. If the number of Mitchell grads working in NLJ 250 law firms appears low (ergo, only a small small minority can get well-paying jobs), it's only because some of these places don't have enough attorneys to make the list.

I understand your vigor in defending your school, but be honest with yourself and others. You are portraying William Mitchell in an inaccurate light, and it is unfair to 0Ls. Be honest with 0Ls and the ones planning on going to William Mitchell will still go there; their numbers don't make them solid T1 or T2 candidates in many instances. At least if you are honest with 0Ls, they will not be resentful when they graduate unemployed.


Joe, I believe I have been honest thus far in discussing the merits of William Mitchell. The school does some things well and others not so well. There's definitely room for improvement. Just to show you that I'm sincere, I'll recap the instances in this thread where I've been less than kind:

[Job prospects] depend on how you came into William Mitchell and how you left it. By that I mean whether you got any scholly $ to begin with and whether you had good marks during your three/four years. I know of one Mitchell graduate with six-figure debt and no job prospects. He graduated very near the bottom of the class.


As for the middle, I'd say that people graduating in the 50th percentile from William Mitchell--if they've been involved with extra-curriculars and have taken advantage of networking opportunities--will most likely land decent first jobs. Nothing spectacular, but you won't be destitute.


If you want to work in BigLaw outside Minnesota for your first job, your chances are much better at the U of M.


I readily concede that a J.D. from William Mitchell doesn't have anything close to the portability of the same degree from a T14 law school (but then again, I've never argued that in this thread). I also readily concede that even a summa graduate from Mitchell can't get their first job in Big Law in a traditionally big market.


I'll tell you straight off the bat that in 2008, Mitchell instituted a new curve for 1L courses. Now, the median is expected to be at a 2.72 GPA. (Personally, I don't think the school is doing itself any favors by being so ruthless with grading, but I'm not in charge.) So if you need a 2.7 to keep your scholarship, than you have to stay in the top-half of your class. Be prepared to work hard for that. Being a spectacular Political Science/History undergrad student doesn't have a direct correlation to success as a law student. Moreover, I discovered at school that some people have a natural aptitude for the law and others need to really work at it. Those that have the natural aptitude and the masochistic work ethic are most likely going to be the ones at the top. Now I'm not trying to scare you off--I just want to be candid about the law school experience.


I hate to rip on my own school, but there's no point in being dishonest about it--Mitchell needs way more money for scholarships. I mean, the endowment is paltry compared to some of the other schools I've read about. With that being the case, you should feel very lucky to have almost a full scholarship.


And if that's not honest enough for you, Joe, here's some absolutely brutal honesty: those in the bottom half at Mitchell will have a tough time finding good jobs (maybe even a job, period, for several months). However, all hope is not lost. Those people simply have to network like hell with every lawyer they meet. They have to join every club, reach for every rung, and do everything in their power to make the connections that will help them in their future career.

And maybe once people start recognizing that Mitchell is truly an all-around solid law school, that won't have to be the case.
Last edited by MSP1 on Sat May 09, 2009 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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waitingsux
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:14 pm

Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby waitingsux » Thu May 07, 2009 4:06 pm

Joe Biden wrote:
waitingsux wrote:
Joe Biden wrote:The William Mitchell curve is 2.67. While William Mitchell only recommends a curve, the deans will "sit down" with any professor who has grades that are "out of whack," before the grades are formally submitted.
From what I understand, starting this year, professors must grade on a curve.

Joe Biden wrote: I would strongly advice any prospective scholarship student to take a hard look at what their scholarship GPA requirement is and figure out if it is reasonable. If you are unable to pay full sticker, or don't want that kind of debt, William Mitchell may not be for you. William Mitchell graduates students with the kind of debt where you need to work BigLaw to make your loan payments. Unfortunately, for grads, only a very small percentage of grads will have that option available.


I have looked into scholarship retention at Mitchell and I'm satisfied with the school's numbers. 80% of merit scholarship recipients keep their scholarships after their first year. Of the 20% that don't, 80% get their grades back up so that by their third year they have their scholarship back.

Quit hating.


I want to see your source for this stat, because I absolutely do not believe it. Those numbers do not add up.

Slightly over 50% of William Mitchell students get some kind of scholarship. It should be noted that this number is pretty low. If the curve is a 2.67 and students are required to maintain a 2.7 to keep their scholarships, that means that if every scholarship student does better than every non scholarship student, which I absolutely do not believe, some scholarship students are still losing their scholarship money. If your numbers are correct, that means no one without a scholarship should attend William Mitchell because they have no chance of being toward the top of the class. Furthermore, if one section has more scholarship students than not, which will happen if there is a random distribution of students into sections, there is no way that many scholarship students are retaining their scholarships.

I go to a T2 with one of the better T2 placements; BigLaw is actually a realistic possibility. I would not go to any T2 for 30k+/year. In fact, there are very few T1s I would go to for 30k+/year. Hell, 15k/year isn't worth the investment at a T2, which is why I went where I had a scholarship and grant that brought my tuition to under 10k/year. Anyone who is shelling out 15k+ for a TTT or TTTT is insane, which almost everyone at William Mitchell is doing since less than 3% of students receive scholarships of 50%+.


Joe-
Your numbers are totally wrong. 34% of full time students receive some type of scholarship from Mitchell, not 50%. (http://officialguide.lsac.org/SearchRes ... BA6942.pdf)

I got my numbers about scholarship retention from an admissions official at Mitchell. I suppose they could be lying to me but I just don't think they're that evil. In order for me to keep my 85% scholarship at Mitchell, all I need to do is stay in the top half of the class. I’ve done a bit of poking around, and feel confident that I can do so.

I think you are right that 0Ls should be careful in attending Mitchell, or any law school. Still, given your lack of knowledge of the mn legal market and Mitchell, you are not qualified to attack the school’s reputation.

Again, quit hating.

MSP1
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:57 pm

Re: William Mitchell Graduate, taking questions.

Postby MSP1 » Thu May 07, 2009 4:26 pm

And I apologize in advance, but this is a catch-all post to correct some claims made by the Vice President in earlier entries.

0.3% of William Mitchell grads are employed in academia, and I would be willing wager that those grads either (a) teach at William Mitchell or (b) teach undergrad classes.


You're partly correct. As mentioned above, there are four full-time faculty members at Mitchell who are alumni of the school. The other four in academia (that I know of) are:

Laura Underkuffler, Cornell Law School
http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/faculty/bio.cfm?id=344

Donald Gjerdingen, Indiana University Law School
http://info.law.indiana.edu/sb/page/normal/1410.html

Erik Jensen, Freeman Spogli Institute (Stanford)
http://fsi.stanford.edu/people/erikjensen/

Tim McGuire, Arizona State University J-School
http://cronkite.asu.edu/faculty/mcguirebio.php

For the record, 17% of St. Thomas graduates have judicial internships, while only 13% of William Mitchell grads have judicial internships. You claimed that no St. Thomas grads have judicial internships, and that is false.


I never said that no UST law graduate had ever obtained a judicial clerkship. I said no UST law graduate had ever been appointed a judge.

The faculty at William Mitchell is very weak.


Well, we already took care of that one above.

Only 13.4% of the faculty is full-time. The rest of the faculty are adjunct professors who are criminal defense, personal injury, etc. attorneys in Minneapolis.


Hmm, that one got put to bed too.

You can claim the legal education at William Mitchell is equal to that of Fordham, but there are plenty of people on this board who know better. The faculty, facilities, career path, etc. are polar opposites for the two schools. You are destroying your own credibility by even making the claim that William Mitchell is on par with Fordham. It is like Cooley creating their own rankings and claiming to be on par with Harvard.


I don't think that the legal education at William Mitchell is equal to Fordham's. I don't think it's on par with Harvard. My question to you that prompted this response was meant to be ironic, pointing out the callousness of your claim that T6 law grads cum professors are a dime a dozen. You had said:

HYS or UofC alumni, with honors, plus an LLM, doctorate, etc. is the norm for most law school professors.


As we saw above, it's not the norm at all. These T6 grads with bristling resumes aren't exactly overrunning all the top 100 schools. So If I went to a school whose faculty was completely stuffed with these kinds of people, I'd feel pretty fortunate.




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