Last summer Mitchell Hamline reached out to graduates of its predecessor schools – Hamline Law and William Mitchell – to learn how they were feeling about the combination, to assess their perceptions of various services provided to alumni, and to understand more about what they’re looking for from Mitchell Hamline. Almost 2,500 legacy alumni responded, reflecting an impressive response rate of 19 percent. Here’s a summary of what we heard.
- Overall, 85 percent of alumni from both predecessor schools were very satisfied or satisfied with their law school experience, and 62 percent were very satisfied or satisfied with how well their predecessor school had kept in touch with them as alumni. (These results were consistent for both predecessor schools.)
- Almost 70 percent of legacy alumni understood why the combination occurred, and more than three-quarters said the combination was communicated to them effectively. About 70 percent of legacy alumni, however, don’t yet feel like an alum of Mitchell Hamline, given that they attended and received a diploma from a predecessor school.
- One-quarter of legacy alumni strongly agree or agree that the combined school is doing well and a large segment (about another two-thirds) are neutral about how well Mitchell Hamline is doing. The services legacy alumni find most important are educational opportunities (such as CLEs and auditing opportunities), career development services, and opportunities to help current students. The monthly alumni eNewsletter is the communication source most valued (73 percent find it extremely or somewhat valuable), and almost two-thirds expressed an interest in also having a printed alumni magazine.
- Fully one-half of legacy alumni express confidence in the school’s future, with another 37 percent neutral about the school’s prospects.
- Interestingly, there were few differences in most of the responses based on predecessor school affiliation. While more Hamline Law grads approve of the combination than William Mitchell grads, more William Mitchell grads feel like an alum of Mitchell Hamline than Hamline Law grads.
As a result of the survey feedback, Mitchell Hamline has begun identifying alumni by legacy school in class notes, in the eNewsletter, and in social media posts, and will begin publishing an alumni magazine twice a year. The school is also working with the alumni board to identify additional ways to increase alumni engagement, including opportunities to volunteer, to increase professional development services available to alumni, and to provide relevant educational and other programming.