Government Procurement at GW

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FalafelWaffle
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Government Procurement at GW

Postby FalafelWaffle » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:04 pm

inb4 use search function-I did. I'm in at GW with a good amount of $$$, and interested in their Government Procurement program, which is supposed to be one of the school's strengths (though not as highly touted as their IP strength). I know things aren't looking great in DC even for people from T-14's, but would I be wasting my time taking Gov Procurement classes at GW (i.e., would it be like specializing in "international law")? I hear that there *are* jobs out there, but, if I do get shut out of the T-14 and I'm interested in government contract work, would this be a good option, or is GW's Government Procurement them selling me an empty bill of goods (or whatever idiom)?

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bender18
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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby bender18 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:25 pm

tagging this

2011Law
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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby 2011Law » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:29 pm

bender18 wrote:tagging this


+1

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FalafelWaffle
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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby FalafelWaffle » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:24 pm

bump

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dood
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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby dood » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:00 pm

im not sure about gov procurement jobs outside of firm jobs bc firms are all ive researched. but during GW 2L OCI ive interviewed with some firms that have strong government contracts/procurement practices.

1. doesnt provide u as much of a distinction as IP. i.e. many employers who come to GW OCI have IP specific interview schedules, but none that say "gov procurement only." i think difference is IP can ONLY be done by a small group of people but anyone can do gov procurement.

2. i doubt u'll get any of the breaks IP might provide u. i.e. median + IP might land u a job, but median + gov procurement prolly wont. prolly give u a little boost for a firm that specializes in that area, but u'r still gonna need top grades just to get the screeners with the big firms.

3. seems like a very local DC thing. i.e. you can practice IP anywhere, but pure gov procurement seems to be in DC...so ur specialty prolly worth even less in, say the NYC market. i could be wrong, maybe just the firms i interviewed with.

4. prolly good if you can mix it in with general corp transactional practice. i.e. when i interview i would say: "due to my work experience im very interested in contracts and shit, btw, i noticed many of the partners in ur DC office specialize in government procurement; in my previous career ive used to bid government infrastructure projects and work with military contractors, etc" btw, a quick glance at wikipedia confirms my strategy.

5. in general i wouldnt put all my eggs in the gov procurement basket. that being said, i would still take the $$$ at GW and just plan on studying my ass off 1L year - top 15% still gets ur pick of big law unless u'r hideous and/or socially incompetent.

HTH.

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FalafelWaffle
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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby FalafelWaffle » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:23 pm

dood wrote:im not sure about gov procurement jobs outside of firm jobs bc firms are all ive researched. but during GW 2L OCI ive interviewed with some firms that have strong government contracts/procurement practices.

1. doesnt provide u as much of a distinction as IP. i.e. many employers who come to GW OCI have IP specific interview schedules, but none that say "gov procurement only." i think difference is IP can ONLY be done by a small group of people but anyone can do gov procurement.

2. i doubt u'll get any of the breaks IP might provide u. i.e. median + IP might land u a job, but median + gov procurement prolly wont. prolly give u a little boost for a firm that specializes in that area, but u'r still gonna need top grades just to get the screeners with the big firms.

3. seems like a very local DC thing. i.e. you can practice IP anywhere, but pure gov procurement seems to be in DC...so ur specialty prolly worth even less in, say the NYC market. i could be wrong, maybe just the firms i interviewed with.

4. prolly good if you can mix it in with general corp transactional practice. i.e. when i interview i would say: "due to my work experience im very interested in contracts and shit, btw, i noticed many of the partners in ur DC office specialize in government procurement; in my previous career ive used to bid government infrastructure projects and work with military contractors, etc" btw, a quick glance at wikipedia confirms my strategy.

5. in general i wouldnt put all my eggs in the gov procurement basket. that being said, i would still take the $$$ at GW and just plan on studying my ass off 1L year - top 15% still gets ur pick of big law unless u'r hideous and/or socially incompetent.

HTH.


Thanks, does help. What I'm mostly wondering is--will taking Gov Proc classes hurt me? I mean, it seems interesting, and might lead to a job, but I've also heard that what matters are your grades, not the classes you took for most jobs.

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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby nigelfrost » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:33 pm

Question for clarification: are you a 1L at GW or a 0L debating about going to GW?

If you're a 1L, thinking about taking Gov't Contracts classes:
You really need to sit down and talk with Prof. Schooner or Prof. Schwartz about all this. Both men are way more qualified to talk about the pros/cons of digging deep into this program than anyone on this site could ever hope to be.

If you're a 0L, planning on going to GW:
It doesn't matter. 1L grades are infinitely more important to you right now than choice of classes. Nail those and then you can start thinking about the nuances of specialization.

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FalafelWaffle
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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby FalafelWaffle » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:03 pm

nigelfrost wrote:Question for clarification: are you a 1L at GW or a 0L debating about going to GW?

If you're a 1L, thinking about taking Gov't Contracts classes:
You really need to sit down and talk with Prof. Schooner or Prof. Schwartz about all this. Both men are way more qualified to talk about the pros/cons of digging deep into this program than anyone on this site could ever hope to be.

If you're a 0L, planning on going to GW:
It doesn't matter. 1L grades are infinitely more important to you right now than choice of classes. Nail those and then you can start thinking about the nuances of specialization.


Just a lowly 0L. I understand the gravity of 1L grades, I'm really just wondering how much (in general) the specialization of your classes matters

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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby 2011Law » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:16 pm

dood wrote:top 15% still gets ur pick of big law unless u'r hideous and/or socially incompetent.


damn. you really have to be able to socialize with other people? being a bad ass at the law (as I plan to be) doesn't cut it? can I mask my social incompetence with severe alcoholism?

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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby nigelfrost » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:29 am

FalafelWaffle wrote:Just a lowly 0L. I understand the gravity of 1L grades, I'm really just wondering how much (in general) the specialization of your classes matters


It really all depends. If you're doing something highly technical, like Tax or IP, then specialization can matter a great deal. But if the specialization is a little more generic, then it won't matter as much. Having taken a couple of Gov't Contracts courses (at GW, by the people that pretty much founded the program), I'm of the opinion that it really won't "narrow the field" of options substantially. Unless you're gunning for a post at the GAO, the firm you plan to work for/summered with has a gov't contracts practice, or a professor is hooking you up with a post-grad gov't contracts job, I'd say that a survey course to get your feet wet is about all you'd need/want. Anything after that and you've deprived yourself of taking other, more foundational courses. The GW gov't contracts program aims quite a bit at LLMs who are looking to go from general practice to more specialized practice, as opposed to pushing out JD gov't contracts lawyers.

Again, though, don't worry about this until you get in the thick of things. And certainly don't let it be a deciding factor about whether or not to accept an admin. offer from GW. I'm not suggesting your were, but you never know what pushes people over the edge with a particular school.

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FalafelWaffle
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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby FalafelWaffle » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:31 am

nigelfrost wrote:
FalafelWaffle wrote:Just a lowly 0L. I understand the gravity of 1L grades, I'm really just wondering how much (in general) the specialization of your classes matters


It really all depends. If you're doing something highly technical, like Tax or IP, then specialization can matter a great deal. But if the specialization is a little more generic, then it won't matter as much. Having taken a couple of Gov't Contracts courses (at GW, by the people that pretty much founded the program), I'm of the opinion that it really won't "narrow the field" of options substantially. Unless you're gunning for a post at the GAO, the firm you plan to work for/summered with has a gov't contracts practice, or a professor is hooking you up with a post-grad gov't contracts job, I'd say that a survey course to get your feet wet is about all you'd need/want. Anything after that and you've deprived yourself of taking other, more foundational courses. The GW gov't contracts program aims quite a bit at LLMs who are looking to go from general practice to more specialized practice, as opposed to pushing out JD gov't contracts lawyers.

Again, though, don't worry about this until you get in the thick of things. And certainly don't let it be a deciding factor about whether or not to accept an admin. offer from GW. I'm not suggesting your were, but you never know what pushes people over the edge with a particular school.


Right now it looks like GW vs. BU. I think I might want to be a G-Man, so the choice is obvious. Plus, BU might not give me $$

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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby nigelfrost » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:35 am

FalafelWaffle wrote:Right now it looks like GW vs. BU. I think I might want to be a G-Man, so the choice is obvious. Plus, BU might not give me $$


Let me be the first to welcome you to GW.

I was in the identical situation. I have nothing to compare it with, but I haven't looked back from my decision to go to GW. I don't know how differently things would have been, but I've enjoyed studying in DC and know I will enjoying working at the firm I'll be at in DC.

Best of luck!

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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby FalafelWaffle » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:36 pm

nigelfrost wrote:
FalafelWaffle wrote:Right now it looks like GW vs. BU. I think I might want to be a G-Man, so the choice is obvious. Plus, BU might not give me $$


Let me be the first to welcome you to GW.

I was in the identical situation. I have nothing to compare it with, but I haven't looked back from my decision to go to GW. I don't know how differently things would have been, but I've enjoyed studying in DC and know I will enjoying working at the firm I'll be at in DC.

Best of luck!


Much appreciated-so you're graduating? Best of luck in your legal career!

I ask everyone this-is law school as hard as they say?

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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby nigelfrost » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:18 pm

FalafelWaffle wrote:I ask everyone this-is law school as hard as they say?


1L is a little overblown, I think. Yes, it's a time-suck. Yes, it's stressful. Yes, every time you turn around there's some new, sorting mechanism/meat-grinder designed to separate the prime rib from the hamburger (e.g., moot court competitions, finals, law review, 1L job search). But you also get used to it.

People told me 2L is "easier" than 1L and I didn't find that to be the case. I was certainly more comfortable and confident than I was as a 1L, but there's just as much stupidity you have to deal with (OCI, writing your note, journal editor competitions, any part-time employment you may have). In fact, there were times where I felt more overwhelmed as a 2L than I did as a 1L.

Mostly, though, I think it's just a matter of adapting. Like anything new and unfamiliar, law school just takes time. The unfortunate part is that, for the people that take longer to adapt, law school can be a very expensive, time-consuming way of being told "You're not better than everyone else. Here's your $50K/year job. Have a nice day."

Again, best of luck!

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PomasThynchon
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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby PomasThynchon » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:36 pm

nigelfrost wrote:
FalafelWaffle wrote:I ask everyone this-is law school as hard as they say?


1L is a little overblown, I think. Yes, it's a time-suck. Yes, it's stressful. Yes, every time you turn around there's some new, sorting mechanism/meat-grinder designed to separate the prime rib from the hamburger (e.g., moot court competitions, finals, law review, 1L job search). But you also get used to it.

People told me 2L is "easier" than 1L and I didn't find that to be the case. I was certainly more comfortable and confident than I was as a 1L, but there's just as much stupidity you have to deal with (OCI, writing your note, journal editor competitions, any part-time employment you may have). In fact, there were times where I felt more overwhelmed as a 2L than I did as a 1L.

Mostly, though, I think it's just a matter of adapting. Like anything new and unfamiliar, law school just takes time. The unfortunate part is that, for the people that take longer to adapt, law school can be a very expensive, time-consuming way of being told "You're not better than everyone else. Here's your $50K/year job. Have a nice day."

Again, best of luck!


If it's not too personal, around what class rank do you have to be to have a good shot out of GW/how difficult is this to attain? There are a lot of snide comments around here so I thought I'd ask a GW student.

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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby nigelfrost » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:58 pm

PomasThynchon wrote:around what class rank do you have to be to have a good shot out of GW/how difficult is this to attain?


Tough to say. GW doesn't have direct rankings. It has two "scholar designations" based on GPA: the top 1-15% are called George Washington Scholars. The top 16-35% (maybe 33%?) are Thurgood Marshall Scholars. That creates a weird "I don't know where I am in my grouping" angst around OCI time.

Since OCI is all done through the online bidding database called Symplicity, many firms will specify what level of ranking their looking for as a criteria for hiring. Some of the top AmLaw 100 firms (i.e. 1-20) set 10-15% as their target group, while others were more general ("top 1/3rd of class" or "must have scholar designation"). Additionally, GW gives an excel document around the time of fall recruiting that shows how many students applied to a firm in past years and how many were accepted. Using this and the rankings, you can get a pretty could feel for how you stack up for a particular firm.

So, long and short of it, to have a chance at a good firm placement, you'd have to be at least top third, but more likely top 20%. Other fellow GWs may disagree with me on that, but that was my general assessment. Consider too that the criteria firms publish are really just floors as opposed to ceilings; what firms consider behind close doors with a particular candidate is anyone's guess.

Caution though: don't overlook the networking factor. I got an SA offer at a BigLaw DC firm that wasn't necessarily looking at my particular percentile (or what I'm guessing was my percentile--again GW gives no specifics). My contacts with the firm (I believe) were what pushed me over the edge. Lesson: be nice to people, make friends, and show you're someone worth working with.

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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby dood » Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:10 pm

FalafelWaffle wrote:Thanks, does help. What I'm mostly wondering is--will taking Gov Proc classes hurt me? I mean, it seems interesting, and might lead to a job, but I've also heard that what matters are your grades, not the classes you took for most jobs.


naw, it wont hurt. i highly doubt ANYONE gives more than a cursory glance at ur transcript and only at the grades. never had a interviewer ask me about a specific class, beyond "what is ur favorite class?"

outside of mandatory 1L courses, most of my friends are taking classes they are interested in, maybe with a couple courses that would be good for any practice (i.e. evidence). im probably even more "all over the place" than normal, im taking classes ranging from commercial paper to federal courts to patent appellate practice.

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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby dood » Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:14 pm

PomasThynchon wrote:If it's not too personal, around what class rank do you have to be to have a good shot out of GW/how difficult is this to attain? There are a lot of snide comments around here so I thought I'd ask a GW student.


only guarantee of big law is top 15% and NOT too hideous and/or socially awkward. true story, the only people on LR without jerbs are the really hideous or socially awkward ones. top 35% has no guarantees, at most maybe 60% success rate (just my estimate). below 35% is just luck of the draw.

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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby nigelfrost » Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:17 pm

dood wrote:Only guarantee of big law is top 15% and NOT too hideous and/or socially awkward. true story, the only people on LR without jerbs are the really hideous or socially awkward ones. top 35% has no guarantees, at most maybe 60% success rate (just my estimate). below 35% is just luck of the draw.


Totally concur.

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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby dood » Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:21 pm

2011Law wrote:
dood wrote:top 15% still gets ur pick of big law unless u'r hideous and/or socially incompetent.


damn. you really have to be able to socialize with other people? being a bad ass at the law (as I plan to be) doesn't cut it? can I mask my social incompetence with severe alcoholism?


lol. yea actually you can, but use the tampon-soaked-in-vodka-in-the-butt trick so the interviewers dont smell u. ive never done it but can support the underlying argument with my "interview experiences" with chicks at bars.

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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby PomasThynchon » Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:31 pm

It doesn't look like GW ranks outside of scholar designation (correct me if I'm wrong of course). So that means someone who barely misses the cutoff for Thurgood Marshall Scholar is equally fucked as someone way down below? I mean, I guess you have GPA's to differentiate you, but no rank...so at GW you better pray you get a scholar designation or else?

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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby nigelfrost » Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:40 pm

PomasThynchon wrote:so at GW you better pray you get a scholar designation or else?


I sat in a one-on-one, career advising session with one of GW's Career Development counselors (who shall remain nameless). This person picked up a copy of my resume as part of our review and we proceeded to have the following exchange:

Counselor: "I see you have a scholar designation..."
Me: "Yup."
Counselor: "That's good." (makes a whistling noise through teeth) "I don't know what those other folks are going to do."

I'm assuming he/she was referring to my unranked classmates. We can talk another time about my opinions of GW's Career Development counselors and their . . . aptitude, but the principle behind the verbage seems to be accurate. Keep in mind, though, there are always outliers.

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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby PomasThynchon » Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:51 pm

nigelfrost wrote:
PomasThynchon wrote:so at GW you better pray you get a scholar designation or else?


I sat in a one-on-one, career advising session with one of GW's Career Development counselors (who shall remain nameless). This person picked up a copy of my resume as part of our review and we proceeded to have the following exchange:

Counselor: "I see you have a scholar designation..."
Me: "Yup."
Counselor: "That's good." (makes a whistling noise through teeth) "I don't know what those other folks are going to do."

I'm assuming he/she was referring to my unranked classmates. We can talk another time about my opinions of GW's Career Development counselors and their . . . aptitude, but the principle behind the verbage seems to be accurate. Keep in mind, though, there are always outliers.


Yeah...they call them outliers for a reason though. I figure GW at half is a safer bet than GULC (if I get in). My cousin who went to GW many moons ago told me bluntly that at bottom of GW with half I'd be in a bad situation, bottom GULC no money I'd be fucked. I think GW, while not a sure or 100% safe bet, is a calculated risk I'm willing to make.

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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby nigelfrost » Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:16 pm

PomasThynchon wrote:Yeah...they call them outliers for a reason though. I figure GW at half is a safer bet than GULC (if I get in). My cousin who went to GW many moons ago told me bluntly that at bottom of GW with half I'd be in a bad situation, bottom GULC no money I'd be @#!*% . I think GW, while not a sure or 100% safe bet, is a calculated risk I'm willing to make.


Take the money.

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Re: Government Procurement at GW

Postby PomasThynchon » Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:21 pm

nigelfrost wrote:
PomasThynchon wrote:Yeah...they call them outliers for a reason though. I figure GW at half is a safer bet than GULC (if I get in). My cousin who went to GW many moons ago told me bluntly that at bottom of GW with half I'd be in a bad situation, bottom GULC no money I'd be @#!*% . I think GW, while not a sure or 100% safe bet, is a calculated risk I'm willing to make.


Take the money.


Candid response is appreciated. I keep getting the prestige-whore spiel.




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