Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

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mettasutta
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby mettasutta » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:26 pm

worldtraveler wrote:
Lotus24 wrote:I am interested in several different fields mentioned by worldtraveler, namely policy or advocacy with NGOs...probably focusing on issues in Latin America. I'm fluent in Spanish(I'm half Latino) and currently work in D.C. in domestic microenterprise that focuses on Latino entrepreneurs. My undergrad was Latin American Studies and I've pretty much been focused in that field since graduating 5 years ago.

I'm looking at AU vs. UConn in-state tuition. I already posted another thread about my decision, and am just wondering if folks think all these international opportunities and externships at AU really build your resume and help you in terms of career development. I understand it's not T14 and is up against the much higher ranked GULC but since these are my options, I'm concerned with the issue at hand. My hesitation after attending AU's ASD is that so many people are interested in international and human rights law there that the competition for the (albeit many) opportunities in the field there will be over the top. Also, it looks like their human rights summer session and their externships are potentially available to visiting students from other schools. Anyone know about any of this?


What is the price difference between these two? Does AU have a good LRAP?

Just based on your description, I'm tempted to say go to UConn. You don't need a school to set up internship and externships for you. I don't know who started this myth, but it needs to stop. There are a few programs that you can only get into if your school has a program for it. The vast majority of internships are ones you get through your own applications. I got my 1L internship from literally googling "international human rights law intern." Why more people do not do this, I don't know.

As to my knowledge, AU gets a lot of students interested in int'l positions yet in my opinion, they do not have a great track record in placing graduates in positions with NGOs and the like. The one non-T14 I've seen place a considerable amount of people in these kinds of positions is Fordham.

The main advantage of AU is its location in DC, meaning you can do externships during the year.


Tahirih was founded by Layli Miller-Muro AU grad, lol (back in the '90s--obviously much different than the current hiring climate for AU grads)

I'm not sure why Lotus24 is still considering AU at full sticker over in-state at UConn after basically everyone in her "choosing a law school" thread warned against it.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby worldtraveler » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:27 pm

SBL wrote:I hate both internationalism (seriously, I've never been outside the country and the thought of even applying for a passport makes me want to puke) and human rights (I only buy clothes made in sweatshops), but I appreciate that this thread will be relevant to many people who are not me and thus thank WT for starting it.



You make...so much more sense now. :D

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Eugenie Danglars
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby Eugenie Danglars » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:28 pm

worldtraveler wrote:With immigration, there are really a lot of opportunities but the pay is pretty bad. Keeping your debt low or a good LRAP are important. Really look at clinic opportunities. You will want to do an immigration clinic while in school, and have externship opportunities. If I were you, I would pick NU for the LRAP, although I don't know the details of their LRAP.
Also keep in mind that some immigration work is difficult to get. You will likely need a fellowship to start straight out in that field, and those go to top students at the top schools. I don't know much about the immigration opportunities in Chicago or Boston, maybe somebody else does. Finding connections while you're in school is crucial, so you should check that out.


Thanks for the tips- I am going to NU in the end. I'm pretty good with connections- I am tight with some alums from my UG who are in the field now, so hopefully they can help me out down the road. I did choose NU for the LRAP since I know I won't be making much money- it's possible that they'll pay all my loans for me! Crazy!

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Xifeng
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby Xifeng » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:30 pm

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Last edited by Xifeng on Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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20160810
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby 20160810 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:50 pm

Kinda serious question: As someone who has been PI gung-ho since day 1 (or at least since I can remember you on TLS, which is probably before you started law school), how do you feel about all the people that suddenly discover their passion for PI after striking out with firms at OCI?

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worldtraveler
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby worldtraveler » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:16 am

SBL wrote:Kinda serious question: As someone who has been PI gung-ho since day 1 (or at least since I can remember you on TLS, which is probably before you started law school), how do you feel about all the people that suddenly discover their passion for PI after striking out with firms at OCI?


I don't really think about them too much, because I don't think it has any impact on me. They may apply for the same jobs, but we will have completely different resumes, and that's obvious to PI places.

I also find it ironic that as much as some people get all hot and bothered about 1L firm jobs and stuff like that, sometimes that's not the best idea. There are people who get a 1L firm job with a solo or small firm (or something else very non-public interesty), then strike out at OCI, and then want to apply for public interest jobs. People who did a public interest job 1L summer are better off; they can legitimately claim that's what they wanted to do all along and not have employers see right through it.

Really, I find it odd that people view PI as a back up. A lot of public interest jobs are just as competitive as firms, yet they often look at different qualifications. If I tried to apply to a firm right now, they would probably laugh at me, and that's okay.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if people really think PI might be a back up or if there is a 1% possibility they may end up doing it in the future, then they should keep their resume diverse enough to convince someone that they actually care.

gnomeo
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby gnomeo » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:47 am

I'm also a fan of this thread :)

I'm down to NYU and Columbia (Would have loved Boalt though). I'm more interested in international environmental law (if it exists), but I could certainly see myself pursuing human rights and immigration once I get to school. From what I've read and my visit to campus, NYU seems more beneficial for a future PI/government career, but Columbia isn't weak there and is probably more prestigious.

Would you say NYU is really better for what I want to do, assuming equal debt either way?

mettasutta
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby mettasutta » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:18 am

OK, I could see how getting a DC IHR PI job would be difficult from BC, but how about a Boston-based org that focuses on immigration law? Would I be really taken much less seriously than a GULC/Cornell grad?

Also, regarding quality of life, how are PI jobs (not just IHR) like? What are the typical hours/week? Is there a much greater respect for work/life balance than in BigLaw?

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observationalist
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby observationalist » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:25 am

gnomeo wrote:I'm also a fan of this thread :)

I'm down to NYU and Columbia (Would have loved Boalt though). I'm more interested in international environmental law (if it exists), but I could certainly see myself pursuing human rights and immigration once I get to school. From what I've read and my visit to campus, NYU seems more beneficial for a future PI/government career, but Columbia isn't weak there and is probably more prestigious.

Would you say NYU is really better for what I want to do, assuming equal debt either way?


Other than the differences in class makeup between the two schools (which I think is important for someone in your position), it probably comes down to where you want to end up. Pick a country and start looking up bios of domestic lawyers in both prestigious private and PI jobs: see where they studied law in the U.S. It will give you a good idea of what law schools are known among the legal community in that country. Here in Chile both NYU and Columbia are well-known, as is American (strong/unique Chile connections there, including study abroad/externship offerings where my SO works), Arizona (also strong Chile connection), and the CA schools because of the cultural ties. Building a resume with domestic organizations located in well-known markets (e.g. NY/DC/LA) will help as well, so you're fine with staying in NYC.

In terms of NYU's LRAP, my SO is getting a check for a few thousand dollars from the school every month to cover her loan payments and is paying a very small percentage of her salary, which nearly doubles her earnings. A program like NYU's is very well-suited to pursuing low-income PI work abroad, particularly if you end up in a country where the salaries/COL are significantly lower. Equal debt isn't equal if one of the schools will literally begin paying most of it off for you after graduation.

[WT, feel free to provide contrary advice about school reps. I'm coming from one specific country down here and I would expect other schools have strong reputations elsewhere.]

And international environmental law does exist... it's what I'm doing. But the career trajectory is a lot less certain than other outcomes and I doubt I would have ended up in this same spot if my work experience and school connections didn't fortuitously lead me here. I recommend gaining as much knowledge/work experience about domestic environmental law while you're in school so that you have something to offer an NGO when you graduate. This assumes you are fluent in another language and can get the kind of work/school credentials sought after in whatever region you're looking to work. I have an advantage in the job market here because of my ties to and understanding of how things work in the U.S. It puts me about on the same level as a local attorney with a competitive LLM from the U.S. who's a few years out of law school. One last point to consider is that most countries don't grant reciprocity for U.S. attorneys who want to practice law, so you may find yourself limited to policy work unless you can jump through the right hoops. For Chile I would need to 1) get my degree validated by a law school here and 2) become a citizen, which takes about five years and also would involve marrying a citizen. So unless our plans change I will not be practicing law until we return to the U.S.

roxydoxy
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby roxydoxy » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:07 am

tag

czelede
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby czelede » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:16 pm

tagging too. worldtraveler: as someone who may be attending Boalt this fall, I find your insight is very valuable :)

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worldtraveler
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby worldtraveler » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:19 pm

mettasutta wrote:OK, I could see how getting a DC IHR PI job would be difficult from BC, but how about a Boston-based org that focuses on immigration law? Would I be really taken much less seriously than a GULC/Cornell grad?

Also, regarding quality of life, how are PI jobs (not just IHR) like? What are the typical hours/week? Is there a much greater respect for work/life balance than in BigLaw?


Look up those organizations and see where the attorneys went to school. I'm not familiar with anything in Boston so I'm not sure. It's also not a huge PI market like NY, DC, or SF so there will be fewer opportunities.


The quality of life really varies and so do the typical hours. Some work just as hard as at a firm. Last summer I put in 60-70 hours a week early on for a big project, and then was doing about 30 by the end. It's a question you would really have to explore with specific places.

jpfrawg
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby jpfrawg » Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:21 pm

gnomeo wrote:I'm also a fan of this thread :)

I'm down to NYU and Columbia (Would have loved Boalt though). I'm more interested in international environmental law (if it exists), but I could certainly see myself pursuing human rights and immigration once I get to school. From what I've read and my visit to campus, NYU seems more beneficial for a future PI/government career, but Columbia isn't weak there and is probably more prestigious.

Would you say NYU is really better for what I want to do, assuming equal debt either way?


At NYU, both env & immigration law get a ton of attention. There is a clinic & a journal devoted to env law, and the student groups are very active. People that want to do env work seem very happy here. There are also two imm clinics here, and they're well known to be very intense.

NYU is very PI friendly, even if it's not friendly on the wallet.

I'm happy to field questions about the NYU HR clinics (they're different from the env & imm clinics).

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barrotmartin
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby barrotmartin » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:59 pm

tag.

062914123
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby 062914123 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:20 pm

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Last edited by 062914123 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

VikingsFan13
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby VikingsFan13 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:08 am

Amazing thread! And very informative! Thanks a lot OP.

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twenty
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby twenty » Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:59 pm

Not sure if OP is still around, but if so, what are you doing now? I think everyone knows the progression of 2L SA -> Offer -> 3/4 years go in house, but I'm not super familiar with how PI plays out over the long haul.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby worldtraveler » Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:26 pm

I did a joint degree so I'm still in school and graduating in the spring.

Next year is a bit complicated, because I had an offer to do refugee policy work in a developing country, but now I am getting married and due to visa issues I have to stick around in the US for a year or two. I think I am staying at Berkeley to work for another department on campus as a researcher and lecturer.

There is no straight trajectory for how PI works, especially international PI.

Hanntastic
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby Hanntastic » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:09 am

I know a few people have brought up the Northwestern LLM in hr program. What are people's thoughts on attending the joint JD/LLM vs a higher ranked T14 like NYU or Columbia?

HJL
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby HJL » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:33 pm

Hi, I'm a Canadian student interested in going into international, immigration and human rights law. I am asking this question preemptively as I am only now completing my third year of an undergraduate degree. However, I have been reading a lot about NYU's international law programs and am finding them very attractive for when I'm applying to law schools next year.
Bit of background: I am doing a degree in Global Development Studies with a minor in Philosophy, am currently completing a full year study abroad in Ghana which includes a 12 week internship with a law and development focused consulting firm, and have a 3.7 GPA.
Is there any point in me applying to NYU Law right out of undergrad? I know the majority of their students are coming directly from a bachelor's degree and would have much more real world experience.
Furthermore, is there any benefit to me getting a degree at NYU instead of UofT law or McGill, as far as employment possibilities with organizations such as the ICC and UN (I know employment chances with these institutions is slim, but would it raise my chances at all)?
Thanks for any advice

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worldtraveler
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby worldtraveler » Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:11 pm

HJL wrote:Hi, I'm a Canadian student interested in going into international, immigration and human rights law. I am asking this question preemptively as I am only now completing my third year of an undergraduate degree. However, I have been reading a lot about NYU's international law programs and am finding them very attractive for when I'm applying to law schools next year.
Bit of background: I am doing a degree in Global Development Studies with a minor in Philosophy, am currently completing a full year study abroad in Ghana which includes a 12 week internship with a law and development focused consulting firm, and have a 3.7 GPA.
Is there any point in me applying to NYU Law right out of undergrad? I know the majority of their students are coming directly from a bachelor's degree and would have much more real world experience.
Furthermore, is there any benefit to me getting a degree at NYU instead of UofT law or McGill, as far as employment possibilities with organizations such as the ICC and UN (I know employment chances with these institutions is slim, but would it raise my chances at all)?
Thanks for any advice


Go get more real world experience. You literally have no chance for a UN or ICC job without it.

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observationalist
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby observationalist » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:00 am

worldtraveler wrote:
HJL wrote:Hi, I'm a Canadian student interested in going into international, immigration and human rights law. I am asking this question preemptively as I am only now completing my third year of an undergraduate degree. However, I have been reading a lot about NYU's international law programs and am finding them very attractive for when I'm applying to law schools next year.
Bit of background: I am doing a degree in Global Development Studies with a minor in Philosophy, am currently completing a full year study abroad in Ghana which includes a 12 week internship with a law and development focused consulting firm, and have a 3.7 GPA.
Is there any point in me applying to NYU Law right out of undergrad? I know the majority of their students are coming directly from a bachelor's degree and would have much more real world experience.
Furthermore, is there any benefit to me getting a degree at NYU instead of UofT law or McGill, as far as employment possibilities with organizations such as the ICC and UN (I know employment chances with these institutions is slim, but would it raise my chances at all)?
Thanks for any advice


Go get more real world experience. You literally have no chance for a UN or ICC job without it.


Agreed. Experience like working in Ghana looks good. Keep doing that. You need to delve further into building up contacts and work experience. People don't get jobs at the UN from a school like NYU because they have NYU law on their resume; they get jobs because they're experienced (for their age) professionals who also have NYU law on their resume.

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dcg2120
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby dcg2120 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:13 am

Woah. I had to double-check that I was still on TLS when I found this thread.

Anyways, since this looks like a safe space to come out: I am also interested in working in international environmental policy/law. Ideally I'd like to work with an environmental NGO that has a global reach--the NRDC or similar. I would also be interested in working with the State Department but it is my understanding that the legal positions there are very selective. I have very little work experience (1 year out from UG), but it is focused on global sustainable development issues and environmental politics (internship related to SusDev, various paid and unpaid research projects, possibly a publication by the end of the year).

I am lucky enough to be choosing between Harvard, Columbia, NYU, and Berkeley. My question for observationalist and anyone else who has an idea is: how much should I weight the prestige of the school against the prestige of its international and environmental programs? Harvard obviously wins the prestige contest (and the LRAP contest, but as I read it my preferred work would be eligible for LRAP at all of these schools). I'm told NYU is the best pick for international law, though they seem to be focused on human rights. Columbia has the Center for Climate Change Law but otherwise seems pretty corporate-focused. Berkeley is supposed to be good for international and environmental stuff but I know very little about it.

I've stalked some of the people whose jobs I want, and it seems like most of them are from NYU, Berkeley and other schools well known for their environmental programs (UC Boulder, UVT). Do you think this is self-selection (i.e. Harvard grads could get these jobs but prefer others) or does school specialization give a definite advantage in these fields?

HJL
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby HJL » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:07 pm

observationalist wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:
HJL wrote:Hi, I'm a Canadian student interested in going into international, immigration and human rights law. I am asking this question preemptively as I am only now completing my third year of an undergraduate degree. However, I have been reading a lot about NYU's international law programs and am finding them very attractive for when I'm applying to law schools next year.
Bit of background: I am doing a degree in Global Development Studies with a minor in Philosophy, am currently completing a full year study abroad in Ghana which includes a 12 week internship with a law and development focused consulting firm, and have a 3.7 GPA.
Is there any point in me applying to NYU Law right out of undergrad? I know the majority of their students are coming directly from a bachelor's degree and would have much more real world experience.
Furthermore, is there any benefit to me getting a degree at NYU instead of UofT law or McGill, as far as employment possibilities with organizations such as the ICC and UN (I know employment chances with these institutions is slim, but would it raise my chances at all)?
Thanks for any advice


Go get more real world experience. You literally have no chance for a UN or ICC job without it.


Agreed. Experience like working in Ghana looks good. Keep doing that. You need to delve further into building up contacts and work experience. People don't get jobs at the UN from a school like NYU because they have NYU law on their resume; they get jobs because they're experienced (for their age) professionals who also have NYU law on their resume.


That much I was assuming anyways, I know that real world experience will do me more good than anything else. Thanks for the confirmation though. That does not, however answer my actual question, which was is there any point or real advantage to me applying to NYU right out of an undergraduate degree, with said goal in mind.

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observationalist
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Re: Thread for people wanting to do international human rights

Postby observationalist » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:32 pm

HJL wrote:
observationalist wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:
HJL wrote:Hi, I'm a Canadian student interested in going into international, immigration and human rights law. I am asking this question preemptively as I am only now completing my third year of an undergraduate degree. However, I have been reading a lot about NYU's international law programs and am finding them very attractive for when I'm applying to law schools next year.
Bit of background: I am doing a degree in Global Development Studies with a minor in Philosophy, am currently completing a full year study abroad in Ghana which includes a 12 week internship with a law and development focused consulting firm, and have a 3.7 GPA.
Is there any point in me applying to NYU Law right out of undergrad? I know the majority of their students are coming directly from a bachelor's degree and would have much more real world experience.
Furthermore, is there any benefit to me getting a degree at NYU instead of UofT law or McGill, as far as employment possibilities with organizations such as the ICC and UN (I know employment chances with these institutions is slim, but would it raise my chances at all)?
Thanks for any advice


Go get more real world experience. You literally have no chance for a UN or ICC job without it.


Agreed. Experience like working in Ghana looks good. Keep doing that. You need to delve further into building up contacts and work experience. People don't get jobs at the UN from a school like NYU because they have NYU law on their resume; they get jobs because they're experienced (for their age) professionals who also have NYU law on their resume.


That much I was assuming anyways, I know that real world experience will do me more good than anything else. Thanks for the confirmation though. That does not, however answer my actual question, which was is there any point or real advantage to me applying to NYU right out of an undergraduate degree, with said goal in mind.


Not sure who would be a good resource for answering your question on NYU vs. McGill or another top Canadian program, but my point (and I think worldtraveler's) was basically no, get some relevant work experience and then go for law school. There are plenty of other ways to pursue a meaningful career at the international level that don't require taking yourself out of the workforce for 3 years and typically assuming a huge amount of debt that will be difficult to pay off. From what I saw a lot of the real standouts at a school like NYU were the ones who came in on named scholarships and were more or less targeted because of their credentials and ability to compete against similar students in the T-6 for highly competitive post-grad grant positions.

Basically keep pursuing work in the field until you would already be competitive, and then (if you determine it's still worth the cost and time out of the workforce) aim for one of the scholarship programs to avoid paying sticker for law school and use the opportunity to expand your existing network and hopefully set yourself up for something nice after law school. Law school gets less risky the more you manage to set yourself up with a strong professional network before you get there.




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