T-14 and Litigation

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Onthebrink
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T-14 and Litigation

Postby Onthebrink » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:28 pm

So I am as sure as an 0L can be (No worries if you are laughing at that, I am too) that I want to be a trial attorney. I have had a great cycle so far and have a good chunk of the T-14 to choose from though I am still waiting to hear back from the HYS crowd. I know some TLS people have had summers at the USAO and that others are interested in things like the DOJ Honors Programs. I would love to do something of that nature and my question is whether or not going to the more highly ranked schools like CCN over MPVB makes a substantial difference in my job prospects for serious trial work out of law school or if I can make a decision based on $$$?

lawyerwannabe
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Re: T-14 and Litigation

Postby lawyerwannabe » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:33 pm

Onthebrink wrote:So I am as sure as an 0L can be (No worries if you are laughing at that, I am too) that I want to be a trial attorney. I have had a great cycle so far and have a good chunk of the T-14 to choose from though I am still waiting to hear back from the HYS crowd. I know some TLS people have had summers at the USAO and that others are interested in things like the DOJ Honors Programs. I would love to do something of that nature and my question is whether or not going to the more highly ranked schools like CCN over MPVB makes a substantial difference in my job prospects for serious trial work out of law school or if I can make a decision based on $$$?


Two general things most people will probably tell you on here regarding government hiring:

(1) Choosing a school based on government hiring is probably a poor choice (see going to school for academia; but see Yale).

(2) With that said, HYS gives you by far the best chance at such jobs. However, outside HYS, I do not believe that CCN would give you any advantage for such jobs in comparison to MVP. So, if not HYS, I would take the money given your overall career aspirations.

timbs4339
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Re: T-14 and Litigation

Postby timbs4339 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:45 pm

You should also consider a school's placement into biglaw firms that send a lot of their graduates into government work after a few years. If you want to go USAO that's almost a better route to take than trying to get DOJ straight out of law school. The people at my T6 who want to be dedicated trial lawyers are starting out in biglaw firms like Paul Weiss or Quinn. You may not get very good trial experience as an associate at those firms but you will be well-positioned to move into government or boutique trial firms after a few years.

Federal public defenders/state and city prosecutors also do substantial trial work very early on into their careers if you want to do criminal work.

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vanwinkle
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Re: T-14 and Litigation

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:53 pm

1) HYS (especially H) can be incredibly helpful in terms of USAO/DOJ/other-fed positions. Even over other T14 it can make a difference. Networking matters, especially since you probably can't get a job at DOJ straight out of law school (see #2 below), but if you start out at a law firm or elsewhere, being from HYS can help you when trying to lateral into government. There are a lot of HYS alums in hiring positions throughout the federal government.

2) Federal hiring is miserable right now. DOJ's Honors program (which is the only way for new grads to get hired into DOJ positions) got eviscerated last year due to budget concerns; not only did they drastically cut the number of positions, but a greater percentage of openings were for term (temporary, typically two-year) positions. Some divisions didn't even participate in Honors last year, which means they didn't hire any new grads.

3) HYS have excellent LRAP programs which would help you repay your debts if you took a government job. You should research the salary cutoffs and details for each, but they can make the debt manageable, which can make attending these schools a better idea than going to lower T14 even with $$$.

4) Because of shrinking job availability, and people favoring the perceived job stability of government work, fed jobs are insanely competitive right now. You should consider other options, such as litigation practices at law firms, which will give you experience and allow you to continue applying to federal job openings as an experienced attorney. Keep your options open, and don't focus too narrowly on one outcome. Even getting where you want might require going somewhere else first, especially ITE.

bdubs
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Re: T-14 and Litigation

Postby bdubs » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:16 am

Follow the scholarship dollars in the T14 and pray for good grades. Be ready to go to plan B though, and be somewhere that you are comfortable with what plan B entails.

jml8756
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Re: T-14 and Litigation

Postby jml8756 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:23 pm

And FWIW, Northwestern has the best trial ad program out of the T-14.

bdubs
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Re: T-14 and Litigation

Postby bdubs » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:23 am

jml8756 wrote:And FWIW, Northwestern has the best trial ad program out of the T-14.


Do not choose based on this. Yes, Bartlit Beck sponsors some moot court or something, but it's not worth choosing a law school over. There are way, way more important things.




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