JD/MPP vs JD/ MA for Washington D.C.

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Best for job as a good DC staffer (assuming same completion time)?

JD/MA in Political Science
JD/MA in Economics
Total votes: 3


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JD/MPP vs JD/ MA for Washington D.C.

Postby TylerT » Thu May 24, 2012 10:34 am

This is going to be long because I'll to have to explain a lot of differences in higher education systems between US and Commonwealth countries.

I'm a US citizen who's lived in Australia since 14, and consequently went to high school and is undergoing my last year of university there. I plan to move back to the States to do a JD and work in Washington D.C. as political/policy advisor and aspire to eventually fill into roles like a Congressional Chief of Staff. I won't explain the nuances of the Commonwealth system, but long story short: they offer dual bachelor's here for the same duration as a single bachelor's in America.

In six months, I'll finish my dual BA (political science)/Bachelor of Economics (AU eqiv of BA in Economics) with great grades from a university ranked in the world top 30, anticipating great LSAT's. I will likely be offered to pick an honours year for either degree (which is the Commonwealth system's single-year equivalent of a Master's for the top achievers).

So assuming no bars such as price and admission and given my undergrad degrees, what would be my best course of action for becoming a the best hill staffer I can:

1. Continue to do a Bachelor of Arts (honours) in political science, then do a JD in the US.

2. Continue to do a Bachelor of Economics (honours), then do a JD in the US.

3. Do neither, go to the US and do a MPP/JD.

Each scenario takes four years, and keep in mind I want to be able to advise on policy and politics, draft legislation and do more administrative stuff.

Thanks for your help! Sorry this was so long, but it was necessary to explain the US/AUS differences.

P.S. In the poll, I'll put degrees as their American equivalents, as so not to confuse people who just look at the poll.


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Re: JD/MPP vs JD/ MA for Washington D.C.

Postby BeautifulSW » Thu May 24, 2012 10:51 am

Just looking at the papers (and lacking any real knowledge AT ALL) I'd vote for "none of the above".

Get a J.D. from Yale. Period.

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Re: JD/MPP vs JD/ MA for Washington D.C.

Postby Doorkeeper » Thu May 24, 2012 10:58 am

It depends on what you want to do as a congressional staffer. Do you want to start as Counsel, or Legislative Aide? The JD is beneficial for Counsel, and the MA is beneficial for the LA position. After you get your initial position, rising in the staff depends on how you perform at your job, who you get to know, etc, and not your degree. The degree just gets you in the door to your first position.


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Re: JD/MPP vs JD/ MA for Washington D.C.

Postby justicefishy » Thu May 24, 2012 6:12 pm

In my experience, getting a staffer job is pretty easy. You intern for six months, do a good job, and people will find you something if you want it. A JD isn't even necessary but it does help you get into legislative aide/assistant stuff without having to climb the lower rungs first.

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