The University of Minnesota Law School requires two letters of recommendation. Applicants who are still in college or recent graduates should choose recommenders from an academic setting. If an applicant has been out of college for more than two years, letters from an employer may be submitted. The Admissions Committee is particularly interested in letters from recommenders who personally know the applicant and can provide specific examples and insight about his or her character and academic/work abilities.
7. Can you give a brief description of the life cycle of an application? What's the timeline applicants should expect?
All admission decisions are made on a rolling basis. Applicants are encouraged to complete their applications early in the application cycle (the application is available mid-August through April 1). Once an application is received, it is evaluated to determine if all the required components have been included. When an application becomes complete, the Admissions Committee begins the review process. Applicants to our binding early decision program will be notified no later than December 1, provided that they submit their application by the November 15 deadline. All other applicants typically receive a decision 10 to 12 weeks from the date an application becomes complete.
8. Which firms/organizations recruit heavily from your school? Which ones hire the highest percentage of your graduates?
Large law firms and firms of all sizes, government employers, and public interest and non-profit employers all recruit from the University of Minnesota Law School.
Approximately 60 percent of our graduates find entry-level employment in private practice. Large law firms that recruit frequently from our school include national and international firms such as Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP; Hogan & Hartson; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; Mayer Brown LLP; and Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP. Locally, all of the largest law firms hire from the University of Minnesota Law School; Dorsey & Whitney, and Faegre & Benson have hired the largest number of our graduates in Minnesota.
Each year, a large number of graduates enter government practice and judicial clerkships as well. Among these options, the highest number of graduates find employment with the Minnesota courts. A large number of graduates clerk with federal judges across the country and this year, a law school graduate will begin clerking at the U.S. Supreme Court.
In the non-profit and public interest arena, our graduates have been successful applicants for the Equal Justice Works Fellowship, Skadden Fellowship, and other fellowships. The Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis has hired several of our alumni.
9. What are some of the most common mistakes that applicants make that hurt their chances of being accepted?
The most common mistakes applicants make often result from failure to proofread or hastily putting together an application. In a large and competitive applicant pool, typos or naming the wrong law school in a personal statement can detract from an otherwise strong application. Prospective students are encouraged to choose recommenders with whom they have good relationships and who can speak specifically to the applicant's abilities as a prospective law student. While letters of recommendation are required and addenda can be very helpful, committee members may become distracted by too many supplemental letters or documents.
10. Can you describe the archetypal student for your school?
Students at the University of Minnesota Law School come to us with varied educational backgrounds and life experiences, and each brings a unique perspective to our law school community. Ultimately, we are looking for law students who are prepared and excited to engage in an innovative and academically rigorous curriculum. We seek students who will contribute positively to their communities and will become part of a worldwide network of dedicated alumni.