William Mitchell College of Law
Founded in 1900, William Mitchell is a private law school in St. Paul, MN which serves about 1,000 law students and offers both part-time and full-time JD programs.
Admissions & tuition
The admissions process at William Mitchell College of Law is about what you'd expect from similarly ranked law school. Last year, they accepted 56% of applicants, of whom a respectable 38% opted to attend. Between 2001 and the present, William Mitchell has averaged an acceptance rate of over 50%. Among last year's full time matriculating applicants, the median GPA and LSAT score was 3.49 and 156. The middle 50% of full time matriculating applicants had GPAs and LSAT scores ranging from 3.29 to 3.67 and 154 to 159, respectively. Students with numbers at or above the 75th percentiles could potentially be in the running for major scholarships. As for the sizable part time class, admissions standards are a bit more lax. Its medians were 3.26 and 150, with 25th to 75th percentile ranges of 2.95 to 3.48, and 147 to 154.
Tuition at William Mitchell College of Law is, as with all private schools, not cheap. For the current academic year, the cost is about $32,500 for full-time students and a bit over $23,000 for part-time students. These figures include only tuition, not other costs such as living expenses, books and loan fees. Roughly 33% of William Mitchell students receive some form of grant aid, about 1% attend on full-ride scholarships, and 16% receive half-tuition or more. Students graduate with an average of $81,500 in loans.
William Mitchell students take the following classes during 1L: Two parts each of property and torts, and a special class that is essentially legal writing called "Writing and Representation: Advice and Persuasion" or WRAP. 2Ls are required to take two semesters of constitutional law and a class on professional responsibility. Mitchell offers specialized courses designed to help students pass the Minnesota Bar Exam, as well as a number of joint degree programs including a JD/MPA. Academic attrition is a concern at William Mitchell: Most recently, 9.1% of 1Ls did not make it back for a second year. Students will have to work extra hard to develop relationships with their professors, because the student-to-faculty ratio is an unimpressive 20.1-to-1.
Employment prospects & bar passage
William Mitchell graduates do pretty well on the Minnesota bar: Most recently, 90.3% of them passed, in line with the statewide average of 91.1. Between 2001 and the present, 88.5% of Mitchell graduates have passed the bar on their first try, only 1.2% fewer than the statewide average during that time span.
Employment prospects, as with those of most Tier 2 and 3 law schools, are mainly regional. Those wishing to work in St. Paul will have a much easier time finding a job than those wishing to work elsewhere. In fact, not a single law firm from New York, California or Washington DC participates in William Mitchell's OCI process. While not likely, biglaw is a possibility, as about 5% of William Mitchell graduates find themselves working for NLJ-250 firms. Eventually, almost all Mitchell grads do find some kind of work: 90% of the most recent graduating class had work within 9 months of graduation (a statistic that portends doom for those graduating in the bottom 10% of the class). For those working in the private sector, the median starting salary was $60,000; those doing public sector work started at a median of $45,000.
Quality of life
Saint Paul, MN is a thriving city of 287,000 people; it adjoins with Minneapolis to create the 3,500,000-person Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, one of the business, culture and legal centers of the Midwest. There are plenty of attractions specific to St. Paul, including the Science Museum of Minnesota and the NHL's Minnesota Wild. Between Minneapolis and St. Paul, it is unlikely that law students will find much to be lacking, except possibly for warm weather.
William Mitchell College of Law offers full-time and part-time programs, and is a potentially compelling choice for students wishing to practice law in or near Minnesota. Students should carefully balance the regional job prospects against the substantial loan debt with which they'll likely be graduating.
William Mitchell College of Law
875 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55105
Application Deadline: 5/1
Application Fee: $50
LSAT median: 156 (FT), 150 (PT)
GPA median: 3.49 (FT), 3.26 (PT)
2009-2010 Tuition: $32,340 (full time), $23,400 (part-time)
Median private sector salary: $60,000 (Class of 2008, 72% reporting)
Bar passage rate: 90.3%