T7-T14 for PI?

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Best school for NorCal PI?

UPenn
11
27%
UVA
4
10%
U Michigan
10
24%
Duke
0
No votes
Northwestern AJD
4
10%
Georgetown
2
5%
UCLA
10
24%
 
Total votes: 41

bml7
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T7-T14 for PI?

Postby bml7 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:30 pm

Hoping to get some advice on choosing schools in the T7-T14 range, interested in PI type work in Northern California, dinged by Berkeley so trying to decide between:

UPenn
UVA
U Michigan
Duke
Northwestern AJD
Georgetown
UCLA (I know it's not T14 but since I want to work in CA ...)

I've heard from some but not all of these schools but I'm including them all rather than reposting multiple times as I get decisions. The AJD program is only 2 years so I'm strongly leaning toward it and saving a year over going to a slightly higher ranked school. Thoughts?

Georgetown seems great for PI but since I don't want to work in DC does it still make sense given their job placement #s? Or should I ignore those since I'm not looking for Big Law anyway?

Other than PI and general job placement in NorCal, I'd prefer a school that is less hyper competitive and more collaborative (as much as this is possible in law school, I guess with a curve that doesn't lead to Lord of the Flies). I'm also curious about how much of a school's undergrad culture is echoed by its law school (for example, is Duke Law plagued by the kinds of attitudes that keep getting its undergraduates into trouble for racism and sexism?). Any other things I should be taking into consideration?

bml7
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Re: T7-T14 for PI?

Postby bml7 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:55 pm

Why Michigan over Penn?

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Doorkeeper
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Re: T7-T14 for PI?

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:11 pm

Whoever gives you the highest scholarships and/or has the best LRAP program.

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Redamon1
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Re: T7-T14 for PI?

Postby Redamon1 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:41 am

Doorkeeper wrote:Whoever gives you the highest scholarships and/or has the best LRAP program.


Agreed. If the money is equal, I'd probably go with a school that has strong non-PI placement as well, just as a plan B. You never know: (1) your interests might change and (2) you might not end up with the PI job you want, especially if you'd be open to taking another kind of legal job in NorCal so that you can live there.

bml7
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Re: T7-T14 for PI?

Postby bml7 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:51 am

Redamon1 wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:Whoever gives you the highest scholarships and/or has the best LRAP program.


Agreed. If the money is equal, I'd probably go with a school that has strong non-PI placement as well, just as a plan B. You never know: (1) your interests might change and (2) you might not end up with the PI job you want, especially if you'd be open to taking another kind of legal job in NorCal so that you can live there.


I'm waiting to hear about financial aid and that'll factor a little into my decision but $ and LRAP are not an issue. I do agree with your advice about non-PI placement though, which leads me back to NU and its great placement #s.

canarykb
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Re: T7-T14 for PI?

Postby canarykb » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:03 am

I'm a 0L also interested in PI. I was told by a law school professor that NorCal is incredibly competitive for PI (and PI is already very competitive), with Stanford really dominating the market, and Berkeley with a strong regional pull as well. I think if you KNOW you want to be in California, it might be better to go to UCLA for the regional connections. He argued that outside schools outside the T6 aren't that nationally portable, although its obviously done.

I'd also look at the California placement on LST: http://www.lstscorereports.com/?r=ca . Of the T14 you mentioned, NU has the most (10.1%) employed in CA.

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rinkrat19
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Re: T7-T14 for PI?

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:08 am

I wonder if PI is a case in which the NU AJD might actually hurt your chances of employment, since you don't have the summer work that the 3-year students do, and summer PI work is pretty important for showing PI employers your commitment.
Probably if you have a decent pre-law school PI resume you'd be ok, but otherwise I might be concerned.

Just speculation.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: T7-T14 for PI?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:22 pm

I would not do the Northwestern program. The above poster is right that it will be a disadvantage to have less summer experience. The increased course load will also give you less time to do internships or volunteer work during the semesters. Experience and demonstrated interest are really important for public interest hiring, so plowing through six semesters of coursework in two years is not the right way to prioritize your time and energy. Even beyond that, my sense is the two-year program is especially business-minded. I think overall it will not set you up well to do public interest work.

I'd also not worry much about firm placement because you won't have a chance to change your mind and go to a firm unless you do so during your first year—which would seem unlikely if you're in fact dedicated to public interest. That's just how firm hiring works. It might matter somewhat, only to the extent you will be competing for jobs with people in your class who are not going to large firms.

I'd want to be in an urban environment, for the internship and volunteer opportunities, so Penn has a leg up there. Michigan has a good rep for being a public interest-friendly environment, and Ann Arbor is big enough and near enough to Detroit to probably give you good opportunities in that regard as well. I'd skip UVA and probably Duke. UCLA could be a good choice, though the biglaw placement is probably sufficiently weaker that you'll be facing increased competition for non-biglaw jobs from your classmates.

bml7
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Re: T7-T14 for PI?

Postby bml7 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:47 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:I wonder if PI is a case in which the NU AJD might actually hurt your chances of employment, since you don't have the summer work that the 3-year students do, and summer PI work is pretty important for showing PI employers your commitment.
Probably if you have a decent pre-law school PI resume you'd be ok, but otherwise I might be concerned.

Just speculation.


I have a few years of PI WE already so that'll help but I do worry about having less 1 summer of work than most law students.

dixiecupdrinking wrote:I would not do the Northwestern program. The above poster is right that it will be a disadvantage to have less summer experience. The increased course load will also give you less time to do internships or volunteer work during the semesters. Experience and demonstrated interest are really important for public interest hiring, so plowing through six semesters of coursework in two years is not the right way to prioritize your time and energy. Even beyond that, my sense is the two-year program is especially business-minded. I think overall it will not set you up well to do public interest work.

I'd also not worry much about firm placement because you won't have a chance to change your mind and go to a firm unless you do so during your first year—which would seem unlikely if you're in fact dedicated to public interest. That's just how firm hiring works. It might matter somewhat, only to the extent you will be competing for jobs with people in your class who are not going to large firms.

I'd want to be in an urban environment, for the internship and volunteer opportunities, so Penn has a leg up there. Michigan has a good rep for being a public interest-friendly environment, and Ann Arbor is big enough and near enough to Detroit to probably give you good opportunities in that regard as well. I'd skip UVA and probably Duke. UCLA could be a good choice, though the biglaw placement is probably sufficiently weaker that you'll be facing increased competition for non-biglaw jobs from your classmates.


Thanks for the detailed response - really helpful. I've heard some of the things you've mentioned about NU being more business-minded and Michigan being somewhat more PI friendly so it's good to have some confirmation. I'm going to try to visit some of the schools and then decide.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: T7-T14 for PI?

Postby bizzybone1313 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:56 pm

OP, according to TLS, Duke doesn't have a problem of racism on its campus. A while back, I created a thread that asked which T-14 schools have the most conservative campuses. I asked the question in an attempt to try to stay away from the most intolerant campuses. TLS didn't take too kindly to my theory: more conservative campus= more racist/intolerant culture.

09042014
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Re: T7-T14 for PI?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:44 pm

Why do you want to do law school for PI? Why not just do PI?

I understand the iffiness about the NU program. But, you can definitely still do internships and clinics. NU has some pretty good clinics for PI, Enviro, Wrongful Convictions, children and family justice, international human rights and a couple others. You can also do a full semester somewhere else.

But I'm sure other top schools in big cities have good clinics too.

I'd look at the LRAP's. NU's is pretty good. So it georgetowns. I'm sure they all are though.

bml7
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Re: T7-T14 for PI?

Postby bml7 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:39 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Why do you want to do law school for PI? Why not just do PI?


The type of PI work I want to go into is in the legal field.

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worldtraveler
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Re: T7-T14 for PI?

Postby worldtraveler » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:22 am

bml7 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Why do you want to do law school for PI? Why not just do PI?


The type of PI work I want to go into is in the legal field.


What type? The more specific you are, the more people can help you. There are also some schools that have better clinics and faculty in some PI fields than in others.

And Northwestern AJD is a terrible idea for PI. You need summer internships.

I also don't really see how LRAP isn't a consideration.




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