Best Public Interest Law Schools

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ChaotiCait
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby ChaotiCait » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:11 pm

I think you have to look a little closer at NYU's program though. While with many others you would have to keep that low salary for 10 years, NYU will pay your loans off in 3 years. Looking at an example, someone with no aid making around 48,000 would have payments around $60 a month, and have their loans gone in three years. Then you're free to do whatever you want with no possible financial consequences.

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beef wellington
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby beef wellington » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:13 pm

ChaotiCait wrote:I think you have to look a little closer at NYU's program though. While with many others you would have to keep that low salary for 10 years, NYU will pay your loans off in 3 years. Looking at an example, someone with no aid making around 48,000 would have payments around $60 a month, and have their loans gone in three years. Then you're free to do whatever you want with no possible financial consequences.

I think you're confusing NYU forgiving the loans they give you for LRAP for the balance of your federal loans. No way are all your federal loans paid off in three years.

ChaotiCait
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby ChaotiCait » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:19 pm

Yeah, in the LRAP FAQ it says that "LRAP loans are forgiven once participants accrue 36 months of eligibility in the program. At the end of the year during which a participant reaches 36 months of eligibility, all outstanding LRAP loans made by the program will be forgiven, and loans made in subsequent years to such participants will be forgiven annually." So you're right about the three years.

edit: I didn't take out loans for UG, I'm going to need a brightly colored chart to figure all this out =P

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glowhard
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby glowhard » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:39 am

crackberry wrote:Yale
Stanford
NYU
Boalt


+1. These schools are the ones that have emerged during my obsessive research of PI programs as schools with a real focus (not a "yeah we do that here too!" focus) on PI. Students I've talked to have mentioned that the large PI communities means more support from classmates and institutional support (like from career offices) for PI people.

Also, I'm really unclear on the new federal program... how do programs "dovetail" with the gov't loan repayment? Can anyone take one LRAP and explain how it's been modified?

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beef wellington
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby beef wellington » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:44 am

glowhard wrote:
crackberry wrote:Yale
Stanford
NYU
Boalt


+1. These schools are the ones that have emerged during my obsessive research of PI programs as schools with a real focus (not a "yeah we do that here too!" focus) on PI. Students I've talked to have mentioned that the large PI communities means more support from classmates and institutional support (like from career offices) for PI people.

Also, I'm really unclear on the new federal program... how do programs "dovetail" with the gov't loan repayment? Can anyone take one LRAP and explain how it's been modified?

Boalt's new one requires students to be doing IBR instead of the regular 10 year repayment plan. Basically schools can afford to have much higher caps now because with IBR, LRAP recipients' payments aren't nearly as high so the schools can afford to support more people. "Dovetail" might not be the right word really, the programs I listed above are simply the most generous, and all but Y and S have been updated since CCRAA.

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chris0805
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby chris0805 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:05 am

glowhard wrote:
crackberry wrote:Yale
Stanford
NYU
Boalt


+1. These schools are the ones that have emerged during my obsessive research of PI programs as schools with a real focus (not a "yeah we do that here too!" focus) on PI. Students I've talked to have mentioned that the large PI communities means more support from classmates and institutional support (like from career offices) for PI people.

Also, I'm really unclear on the new federal program... how do programs "dovetail" with the gov't loan repayment? Can anyone take one LRAP and explain how it's been modified?


As a 3L who chose Columbia (not always famous for its PI focus) and has been EXTREMELY happy with my experience, I would caution against putting too much stock in whether a school graduates 10 % or 6 % into public interest positions. Just about every T10 school has immense public interest resources, including a separate public interest career office. Having more supportive students around you is great, but when externship/internship/clinic/pro bono opportunities are equal, you actually might prefer a couple less similar minded students.

Not only that, I feel like I know almost all of the public interest students here, which is actually really cool. We're not used to competing for resources that much, and it's a really supportive environment, even if we're only 5 or 6 percent of the class instead of 9, 10, or even 11 percent.

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glowhard
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby glowhard » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:00 pm

That's funny- I was going to mention that as I've been looking at schools, Columbia has been able to match every other "top PI" school in terms of clinics/externships, resources, etc. The only area they fell short was the "percentage of class doing PI," and you made a good point that this might be a good thing. Chris, do you think that Columbia's just especially good at this, or do you think that Chicago, Penn, etc are the same way? I'd also be interested in hearing more about PI at Columbia.

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badfish
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby badfish » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:08 pm

CLS & NYU have comparable LRAP programs (I think CLS is slightly more competitive in terms of $ cap). On the other hand, I think NYU generally puts more money into the PI program in the way of having a separate p.i. employment office. NYU might also have the edge in terms of clinics but that is debatable at best. Either way, I can't over-emphasize the importance of being in NYC and having the opportunity to partake in 2L fall and spring internships at the national headquarters of the p.i. organization of your choice.

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ccs224
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby ccs224 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:01 pm

There are a lot of threads and info about LRAP out there, though I still don't understand most of it. Besides LRAP, what would people consider the major factors in choosing a school for PI? Location, percentage of grads going into PI and clinics have been offered. Other considerations?

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beef wellington
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby beef wellington » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:23 pm

ccs224 wrote:There are a lot of threads and info about LRAP out there, though I still don't understand most of it. Besides LRAP, what would people consider the major factors in choosing a school for PI? Location, percentage of grads going into PI and clinics have been offered. Other considerations?

I think much like biglaw, once you get past the top schools your opportunities will be pretty similar and it's a question of where you want to practice (the exception would be some really specific niche program). In all the reading I've done I haven't found anything that would make a PI ranking look too much different from the USNWR ranking beyond the factors you already mentioned. But I'd definitely like to hear if someone else has a different take.

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ccs224
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby ccs224 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:38 pm

beef wellington wrote:
ccs224 wrote:There are a lot of threads and info about LRAP out there, though I still don't understand most of it. Besides LRAP, what would people consider the major factors in choosing a school for PI? Location, percentage of grads going into PI and clinics have been offered. Other considerations?

I think much like biglaw, once you get past the top schools your opportunities will be pretty similar and it's a question of where you want to practice (the exception would be some really specific niche program). In all the reading I've done I haven't found anything that would make a PI ranking look too much different from the USNWR ranking beyond the factors you already mentioned. But I'd definitely like to hear if someone else has a different take.


Well, I would say that for environmental law, which is where most of my limited knowledge is coming from, there are a few schools that way outperform their overall rankings, and they are the usual suspects. If you look at staff bios for Earthjustice, they have a lot of T14 grads, but also a large amount from Vermont. Waterkeepers, though much smaller, tends to take a lot of Pace grads (relative to the size of the organization, not the size of Pace's alumni population, of course). If you're looking to work for a national organization, I would hazard a guess that being located in a national center (SF, DC, NYC) for such work would be beneficial if you aren't in a T14, though I'm not sure if this can be corroborated.

What do people think about the importance of clerking or working on a journal for landing a good PI gig?

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beef wellington
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby beef wellington » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:42 pm

ccs224 wrote:
beef wellington wrote:
ccs224 wrote:There are a lot of threads and info about LRAP out there, though I still don't understand most of it. Besides LRAP, what would people consider the major factors in choosing a school for PI? Location, percentage of grads going into PI and clinics have been offered. Other considerations?

I think much like biglaw, once you get past the top schools your opportunities will be pretty similar and it's a question of where you want to practice (the exception would be some really specific niche program). In all the reading I've done I haven't found anything that would make a PI ranking look too much different from the USNWR ranking beyond the factors you already mentioned. But I'd definitely like to hear if someone else has a different take.


Well, I would say that for environmental law, which is where most of my limited knowledge is coming from, there are a few schools that way outperform their overall rankings, and they are the usual suspects. If you look at staff bios for Earthjustice, they have a lot of T14 grads, but also a large amount from Vermont. Waterkeepers, though much smaller, tends to take a lot of Pace grads (relative to the size of the organization, not the size of Pace's alumni population, of course). If you're looking to work for a national organization, I would hazard a guess that being located in a national center (SF, DC, NYC) for such work would be beneficial if you aren't in a T14, though I'm not sure if this can be corroborated.

What do people think about the importance of clerking or working on a journal for landing a good PI gig?

Good point, forgot about environmental.

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Holly Golightly
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby Holly Golightly » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:45 pm

beef wellington wrote:
ccs224 wrote:There are a lot of threads and info about LRAP out there, though I still don't understand most of it. Besides LRAP, what would people consider the major factors in choosing a school for PI? Location, percentage of grads going into PI and clinics have been offered. Other considerations?

I think much like biglaw, once you get past the top schools your opportunities will be pretty similar and it's a question of where you want to practice (the exception would be some really specific niche program). In all the reading I've done I haven't found anything that would make a PI ranking look too much different from the USNWR ranking beyond the factors you already mentioned. But I'd definitely like to hear if someone else has a different take.


I kind of feel like this is the case, also. Obviously if you have a specific field within PI that you want to go into (I do), then look for schools with specific concentrations/journals/clinics in that field. Otherwise, I think the normal USNWR prestige fits into PI jobs, as well. And after that, the one big consideration that people like us need to always look at is the quality of the school's LRAP.

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badfish
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby badfish » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:53 pm

Within the t-14's you should probably look at professors who you want to work with. In PI professors can be huge in helping to hook you up with people they know.

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Havaianas
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby Havaianas » Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:28 pm

When evaluating LRAPs - I have been placing a lot of emphasis on income cap and the rules for when you can qualify (only within 2 years after graduating, any time w/in ten years postgrad, if you can go in and out of qualification). Looking at those factors Boalt looks GREAT. I'm not really sure what small print I should be paying attention to... Any suggestions?


Boalt - must apply within 3.5 years, then you can reenter whenever you qualify, up to 100k
Stanford - within 5 years, sliding up to 80k
Georgetown - within 2 years, up to 75k (GULC "assistance" on a sliding scale after 75k)
Duke - anytime you're eligible within ten years, up to 60k
UTexas - within 2 years, up to 50k


Also can anyone talk about Harvard's LIPP?

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MeTalkPrettyOneDay
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby MeTalkPrettyOneDay » Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:42 pm

badfish wrote:[NYU has] a separate p.i. employment office.
So does CLS :D

orphanarium
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby orphanarium » Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:53 pm

...
Last edited by orphanarium on Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

BenJ
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby BenJ » Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:00 pm

Havaianas wrote:I know this probably sounds really naive - but is PI really so competitive that you need to have a T6 or at least T20 degree? It seems like so few people go into PI and it obviously doesn't make anyone rich - so why not just go to the school that gives you $$$ and/or a school with a good LRAP?


The only schools with good LRAPs are also top schools, as they're the only schools with money to throw around. Of course, not all of the top schools have good LRAPs (*cough* Chicago), but no one outside of the T14+4 has an even semi-decent one.

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WrappedUpInBooks
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby WrappedUpInBooks » Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:32 pm

I went to NYU's ASW, and their current base (under which you pay NOTHING on loans) is a little over $50,000, and the cap is $30,000 higher than that. You pay 40% of your salary over the base.

The base/cap is raised every year, and there are bumps of 10% at 4 and 7 years out to account for career progression.

They also said that they have no plans to dovetail with the federal IBR program anytime soon.
Last edited by WrappedUpInBooks on Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Havaianas
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby Havaianas » Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:34 pm

BenJ wrote:
Havaianas wrote:I know this probably sounds really naive - but is PI really so competitive that you need to have a T6 or at least T20 degree? It seems like so few people go into PI and it obviously doesn't make anyone rich - so why not just go to the school that gives you $$$ and/or a school with a good LRAP?


The only schools with good LRAPs are also top schools, as they're the only schools with money to throw around. Of course, not all of the top schools have good LRAPs (*cough* Chicago), but no one outside of the T14+4 has an even semi-decent one.


Yeah the whole thing seems kind of crazy that I could feasibly go to Boalt at sticker - work in PI, govt or a 501c3, have a baby and take maternity leave and not have any debt by the time 35. Like all of that for freeeee?!
It seems crazy to take even a half scholarship at a school with a crappy LRAP if you really think you may be interested in PI

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chris0805
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby chris0805 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:47 am

Havaianas wrote:
BenJ wrote:
Havaianas wrote:I know this probably sounds really naive - but is PI really so competitive that you need to have a T6 or at least T20 degree? It seems like so few people go into PI and it obviously doesn't make anyone rich - so why not just go to the school that gives you $$$ and/or a school with a good LRAP?


The only schools with good LRAPs are also top schools, as they're the only schools with money to throw around. Of course, not all of the top schools have good LRAPs (*cough* Chicago), but no one outside of the T14+4 has an even semi-decent one.


Yeah the whole thing seems kind of crazy that I could feasibly go to Boalt at sticker - work in PI, govt or a 501c3, have a baby and take maternity leave and not have any debt by the time 35. Like all of that for freeeee?!
It seems crazy to take even a half scholarship at a school with a crappy LRAP if you really think you may be interested in PI


LRAPs are a GREAT deal. I know, I'm about to take advantage of one. Still, you don't want to overstate things too much. At Boalt, you will unlikely go for sticker and get it for completely "free."

For Boalt to be "free," you will will need to make 120 payments (10 years plus whatever maternity leave you take), never earn more than 65K and (1) take advantage of the Federal IBR or (2) take out less than 100K.

I want to add that (according to my advisers), PI students often end up making a little more than I expect. With that said, yes, it is crazy to take a half a scholarship at lower ranked school if you're in at T10 with a strong LRAP (assuming you want to do PI).

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beef wellington
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby beef wellington » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:43 am

[strike]Just FTR Boalt got rid of their 100k cap as long as you're doing IBR.[/strike]
nm, Chris got it right in his post
Last edited by beef wellington on Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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rolark
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby rolark » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:33 am

orphanarium wrote:
Havaianas wrote:When evaluating LRAPs - I have been placing a lot of emphasis on income cap and the rules for when you can qualify (only within 2 years after graduating, any time w/in ten years postgrad, if you can go in and out of qualification). Looking at those factors Boalt looks GREAT. I'm not really sure what small print I should be paying attention to... Any suggestions?


Boalt - must apply within 3.5 years, then you can reenter whenever you qualify, up to 100k
Stanford - within 5 years, sliding up to 80k
Georgetown - within 2 years, up to 75k (GULC "assistance" on a sliding scale after 75k)
Duke - anytime you're eligible within ten years, up to 60k
UTexas - within 2 years, up to 50k


Also can anyone talk about Harvard's LIPP?


Thanks for the insight. Does anyone know about how U Mich is for PI?

In general, I think Michigan is pretty good for PI. I'm interested in PI and I've been talking with students that are very happy with the PI offerings there.

Their LRAP is pretty good. Less than $36k you pay nothing; you pay 35% of any income over that. Any legal job counts except clerkships.

The big draw for me is that, though I someone might be paying more per month than a place like Berkeley which uses the government IBR, the loans will get paid back much faster. Rather than waiting for that 10 year mark when the huge amount of debt will be lifted, this system will take a bigger bite of the loans every month. (I think this is the main consideration for comparing a school with a IBR system and one with a traditional LRAP.)

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roundabout
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby roundabout » Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:15 am

This is such a helpful thread- thank you. I feel like all the advice I get is to just go to the best school I was accepted to, but I've been wondering if this is definitely true for PI.

The notion of PI being just as competitive, if not more competitive, as BigLaw is absolutely true, from what I hear.

I'm committed to PI, but I'm so worried that something will happen in the next ten years (a job change, job loss, whatever) that will render me ineligible for an LRAP, and I'll be stuck with all this debt.

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Havaianas
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Re: Best Public Interest Law Schools

Postby Havaianas » Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:41 am

roundabout wrote:This is such a helpful thread- thank you. I feel like all the advice I get is to just go to the best school I was accepted to, but I've been wondering if this is definitely true for PI.

The notion of PI being just as competitive, if not more competitive, as BigLaw is absolutely true, from what I hear.
I
'm committed to PI, but I'm so worried that something will happen in the next ten years (a job change, job loss, whatever) that will render me ineligible for an LRAP, and I'll be stuck with all this debt.


I know I love this thread too.
Yeah I'm definitely worried about that last point too that's why I really like those programs that let you go in and out whenever you're eligible




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