observationalist wrote:My comment about contacting Vermont students wasn't meant to suggest you should attend one of those schools... sorry for the confusion on that. I just thought it would be a good idea for you to speak with people who have the same interests as you but are a few years further along, and see what they're up against. It would help make you more informed before you start applying (though to what extent I can't say).
When I said I might be an exception it's because I basically saw my 1L NGO internship lead to more work during law school, which then let to me getting work after law school on a project basis. But I also received a post-grad stipend from Vanderbilt that allowed me to relocate abroad, and I had some amazing profs with a lot of NGO experience who were willing to fight for me to get through to the NGOs down here in Chile, and I also found separate work on legal education reform that was entirely fortuitous in how it came about. Combined it's a lot of work but none of the jobs are by themselves a fulltime legal gig... it's mostly policy work for which being a nonpracticing lawyer is helpful. So I can't really say I am a true example of someone who turns an NGO gig into a legal job or not. Rather I'm just scraping away and gaining experience before we return to the states and I need to look for FT legal work.
That said I still think it's possible for people to do right out of law school. It just shouldn't be something you plan on doing. If you can find small-shop enviro firms who can train and mentor you while you're still in law school you may be better off than only focusing on NGOs and hoping a position or funding opens up for you.
Sounds like you've had some cool experiences, and congrats on your success so far!
I'm definitely not planning on getting a PIEL job right out of law school in the sense that I won't be disappointed if I have to do something else for awhile first. But I do see myself being happiest in PI for the long term.
So when you mention environmental boutiques/small-shop firms, do you mean I should try to do a summer at such a firm instead of both 1L and 2 summers with NGOs or agencies?