Hgs412 wrote:Thank you to everyone who has responded.
I’m trying to take a very realistic view of my credentials and my capabilities, and I am under no impression that I will be the next big thing in constitutional law, or anything even close to it. I’m not trying to get advice as to how I could land a job with the ACLU (I know I almost certainly won't), but rather trying to determine whether, coming from a school like St. John’s, there would still be any way in which I could make some sort of meaningful contribution in this area of law.
Are you all saying that even someone graduating near or at the top of the class in St. John’s (or a comparably-ranked school) would have zero chance at even modest success in this field? I know that even if I graduated at the top of the class (and I realize that’s a big “if” at this point), I would have to work much harder to network and make myself stand out if I went to St. John’s. I don’t mind working at jobs that aren’t my first choice (or even jobs that I hate) for several years if doing so will eventually take me where I want to go. So if it’s simply a case of hard work, willingness to make sacrifices and compromises, and an understanding that I will never be the next Steven Shapiro, I believe I am up for the challenge.
However, it sounds like most of you are saying that no amount of hard work will ever give a Tier 2/3 graduate a chance to land a job in which he or she could make some kind of meaningful contribution to the civil liberties legal field. Is that pretty much the consensus on this board? If that truly is the case, I would like that reality to sink in now so I am under no misapprehensions if I do decide to attend law school.
No chance, no.
However, you have a better chance having a meaningful impact on con-law just running for your local JP seat (for which no JD is required) or for state house.
Remember, tons of the top kids from all of the very top schools are willing to work for very little money (and able because of LRAP) just to have a chance to work in con-law, ESPECIALLY on the east coast.