Best Law School for Criminal Defense

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Dominican_Lawyer
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Best Law School for Criminal Defense

Postby Dominican_Lawyer » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:07 pm

I would like to know if there is any consensus on which law schools are best for people looking to enter the realm of criminal defense and/or other public service types of law? Also if there isn't a big difference between the T-14 and other lower ranked schools would it make the most sense for someone to go to a lower ranked and probably more affordable option especially because of the probable low starting salary for crim. defense/public service.

thsmthcrmnl
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Re: Best Law School for Criminal Defense

Postby thsmthcrmnl » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:32 pm

Yale

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SilverE2
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Re: Best Law School for Criminal Defense

Postby SilverE2 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:36 pm

Lower ranked schools often are not more affordable.

So no.

senorhosh
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Re: Best Law School for Criminal Defense

Postby senorhosh » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:41 pm

SilverE2 wrote:Lower ranked schools often are not more affordable.

So no.

scholarships

CanadianWolf
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Re: Best Law School for Criminal Defense

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:42 pm

Clinical experience is very important for one wishing to practice in the field of criminal law. Most lawyers practicing criminal law are in solo practice or in very small law firms.

Dominican_Lawyer
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Re: Best Law School for Criminal Defense

Postby Dominican_Lawyer » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:04 pm

SilverE2 wrote:Lower ranked schools often are not more affordable.

So no.

I meant more affordable because lower ranked school are presumably easier to get merit scholarships from. Also do you think then that if i use us news rankings i should check under the "clinical training" and "trial advocacy" rankings?

rad lulz
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Re: Best Law School for Criminal Defense

Postby rad lulz » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:08 pm

A school in a market you have ties to that has PD/DA offices you can intern at AND where those office actually have the budget to hire new ADAs and APDs. Also the school had better be real cheap.

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JCFindley
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Re: Best Law School for Criminal Defense

Postby JCFindley » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:13 pm

Dominican_Lawyer wrote:
SilverE2 wrote:Lower ranked schools often are not more affordable.

So no.

I meant more affordable because lower ranked school are presumably easier to get merit scholarships from. Also do you think then that if i use us news rankings i should check under the "clinical training" and "trial advocacy" rankings?


Yes and no.....

Criminal defense usually means you get experience first as a DA or PD. As such, your pay may be low or it may be pretty good depending on where you are. (Pretty good being relative BTW.) Anyway, clinical training and trail advocacy can be an important part of showing you are true to the "cause." That said, if the school still places poorly or has no local feed, or the local market it feeds sucks, or or or it wouldn't be worth attending no matter how good those things are. I played a witness at a trial advocacy competition over the weekend and the most impressive team I saw came from a school that does not place that well in its market. I have no doubt the team members will get good jobs but what about the 98% of the school that didn't "play" at this level?

So, yes, a lower ranked school that is free because you get $$$ COULD be a great choice but don't go too low on that scale of schools. No matter HOW great a clinical or trail add rating might be Savannah or Charlotte will NEVER be a better choice than UNC or UGA.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Best Law School for Criminal Defense

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:16 pm

First, I would recommend reading through some of this thread: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=155423 .

In general, for people who really want to do public interest work there is a debate between limiting debt as much as possible or biting the bullet and attending a top ranked school with a good LRAP (so something like BU/BC/Fordham on full ride compared to sticker at NYU). This conversation has happened a decent amount on TLS--I'd recommend searching for them.

legalmindedfella
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Re: Best Law School for Criminal Defense

Postby legalmindedfella » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:17 pm

I think clinical resources/PI networking is pretty damn important for criminal defense work if it's in the "public defender" mode; don't know anything about white collar defense, I imagine clinic work is very helpful, but ultimately the key there is going to be securing big law at a firm with a good white collar practice.

At any rate, I'm at NYU, great clinic and PI resources for this stuff, and my friends going the public defender route are in good shape. Might be better than some other T14 options.




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