Analyzing a School's Government/PI Prospects

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Aeroneous
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Analyzing a School's Government/PI Prospects

Postby Aeroneous » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:25 pm

I've been looking over the ABA statistics trying to get a decent idea for which schools place well in PI and Government, but I'm not sure what the best indicator should be (been a while since Stats). I've ranked schools based on percentage of graduates placed in PI/Government, but then several high ranking schools like Yale end up relatively far down the list. I'm sure a lot of this is due to the fact that more students at higher ranked schools choose BigLaw. So what should be considered more indicative, the percentage of the graduating class placed in PI+Government or the total number of students placed? Would it be a safe to assume the only reason some lower ranked schools do better in this area is because it's one of the only options available, or are there some schools that just place really well in PI/G?

Also, when it comes time I will make sure I only consider schools in regions I have ties to, would like to work in, and have the numbers for. I'm not making a choice purely off numbers.

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dr123
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Re: Analyzing a School's Government/PI Prospects

Postby dr123 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:30 pm

--LinkRemoved--

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Aeroneous
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Re: Analyzing a School's Government/PI Prospects

Postby Aeroneous » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:42 pm

dr123 wrote:http://www.equaljusticeworks.org/pre-law/guide


Thanks a lot! That's a great tool.

timbs4339
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Re: Analyzing a School's Government/PI Prospects

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:10 am

You should remember a couple of things:

1) Yale and Harvard/Stanford send a lot of their graduates into prestigious, hard to get clerkships, which means their employment stats for recent grads will be skewed accordingly. That's why when looking at biglaw placement we use a school's biglaw + Article III clerkship rate, as it gives a better picture of how deep in the class firms will go. However, you shouldn't assume that PI/gov't grads won't want those jobs.

2) You've already hinted at this, but biglaw is almost a prereq for some kinds of PI/gov't work. A lot of people do biglaw for a few years and then jump over to government agencies. I interned for a well-respected bureau of a state AG office and they had a "2 year rule"- no new hires without two years of experience, preferably biglaw litigation.

3) It's important to know what kind of PI/gov't work. Federal? State? Local? Impact litigation (big cases) or direct legal services (Legal Aid)? Some PI/gov't places can be extremely selective, moreso than biglaw, certain civil rights firms or government organizations come to mind. Others are less selective on grades/school, but will want to see a background or interest in that field.

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Aeroneous
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Re: Analyzing a School's Government/PI Prospects

Postby Aeroneous » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:09 pm

timbs4339 wrote:You should remember a couple of things:

1) Yale and Harvard/Stanford send a lot of their graduates into prestigious, hard to get clerkships, which means their employment stats for recent grads will be skewed accordingly. That's why when looking at biglaw placement we use a school's biglaw + Article III clerkship rate, as it gives a better picture of how deep in the class firms will go. However, you shouldn't assume that PI/gov't grads won't want those jobs.

2) You've already hinted at this, but biglaw is almost a prereq for some kinds of PI/gov't work. A lot of people do biglaw for a few years and then jump over to government agencies. I interned for a well-respected bureau of a state AG office and they had a "2 year rule"- no new hires without two years of experience, preferably biglaw litigation.

3) It's important to know what kind of PI/gov't work. Federal? State? Local? Impact litigation (big cases) or direct legal services (Legal Aid)? Some PI/gov't places can be extremely selective, moreso than biglaw, certain civil rights firms or government organizations come to mind. Others are less selective on grades/school, but will want to see a background or interest in that field.


Thank you for the insight. I had already assumed your first point was true, but you brought up some new information for me in your second point.

With regard to which type of PI/G work, I would say that I'm actually most interested in local. State would be a distant second, and I have little to no interest in federal. With the GI Bill and money I will have saved up, I'll be able to go through law school with negligible debt. I have no desire to make a huge salary, although for practical reasons I would not turn down a few years of BigLaw experience if I were able to get it (especially given what you mentioned in your second point). I have some decent ties to some local government positions, but I don't want to count entirely on those.

Thanks again. I appreciate all the info I can get.




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