NYU (full-ride) vs. Harvard (sticker) for Clerkships/BigFed

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Should the OP take the full ride at NYU or go to Harvard?

full ride at NYU
62
65%
Harvard at sticker
33
35%
 
Total votes: 95

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Borg
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Re: NYU (full-ride) vs. Harvard (sticker) for Clerkships/BigFed

Postby Borg » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:39 pm

I'm now finishing up my time at a top school, and I can say at this point that I would have taken a full ride at CCN over H. I turned down a couple of full rides below CCN, and I'm comfortable with having done so, but paying zero tuition at NYU and being part of an elite scholarship network is better than being an anonymous person in a huge Harvard class.

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jselson
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Re: NYU (full-ride) vs. Harvard (sticker) for Clerkships/BigFed

Postby jselson » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:44 pm

Magnacromion wrote:
jselson wrote:
Magnacromion wrote:
jselson wrote:I'm making a similar decision (Butler v Harvard) with similar goals, and I'm choosing Harvard, fwiw.


Thanks. I was also offered a Butler (half tuition at Columbia), and I would generally agree with your decision, particularly if your goals are similar to mine. Half tuition at Columbia is nice, and if BigLaw is your thing, I would take the money and run. But if your goal is more elite outcomes, I think Harvard > Columbia + Butler. That said, I would probably say that Harvard < Columbia + Hamilton (full ride). I think a full ride at CCN is worth consideration, but I would take Harvard over a half ride.

Congrats on your excellent options, btw.


The Hamilton would def be tougher, but I think Ruby v HLS is the hardest for non-Biglaw goals, since Chi has outcomes in-between HLS and CLS. I'd still probably do HLS over Hamilton because LIPP is fantastic. Ruby v HLS would come down to personal preference of the school, area, class size, etc. But luckily (sadly?), I don't have to make that decision - half-scholarship at each of CCN, and HLS has the easiest CoL, so a portion of that difference is made up, especially if I get a small need-based grant.


jselson, I think I would make the same decision as you were I in your shoes. I think Harvard is TCR for you. But I hope you'll carefully research LIPP before you sign on the dotted line. Yes, LIPP's eligibility criteria are very broad. However, the dollar values of the assistance is often lacking, particularly at higher income levels. If you're making $100k or so, you might end up having to make the entire monthly payment with no assistance. IMHO, making the full payments on ~$180k worth of debt is difficult at any income level below $150k or so. You may feel differently, so just run the numbers for yourself, figure out what your monthly payments will be, and make sure you know what you're signing up for. From what I've read, LIPP isn't half as generous as many people make it out to be. Still, I think that given your options, you've made a wise choice. Congrats!


Thanks, man, congrats to you, too! I was using the LIPP estimator just now, and one thing I think it's important to remember is that it's unlikely someone going the clerkship/fed route is going to start at 100k, or even be making that 2-3 years in (unless you do private practice then lateral to govt, which at that point you'll be making enough to comfortably service your debt). By the time you begin earning the amounts that would kick you out of LIPP, you'll likely have paid off a substantial amount of the debt, so it becomes more manageable at those levels. I think any decision bout schools for someone like you who has these awesome options is going to be, as others have said, your personal valuation of risk v reward. HLS may give you a higher likelihood of success at what you want to do, but is that likelihood worth the $150k difference + a possibly more-restricted path (I'm including CoL differences between NYU and HLS?) For me, HLS was worth the likely $60-70k difference. With the $150k, I think it moves closer to 50/50 and comes down to the feel you get best from the schools. And Harvard's OCS isn't exactly shabby.

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Re: NYU (full-ride) vs. Harvard (sticker) for Clerkships/BigFed

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:46 pm

The bigfed network from Harvard right now is unrivaled among any law school, but I'm very hesitant to say that simply having the opportunity to take advantage of the network (as opposed to one being guaranteed that they will be able to tap into it) is worth $200k in loans.

Borg wrote:...paying zero tuition at NYU and being part of an elite scholarship network is better than being an anonymous person in a huge Harvard class.

You're not anonymous if you put yourself in a position to not be anonymous.

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Borg
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Re: NYU (full-ride) vs. Harvard (sticker) for Clerkships/BigFed

Postby Borg » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:07 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:The bigfed network from Harvard right now is unrivaled among any law school, but I'm very hesitant to say that simply having the opportunity to take advantage of the network (as opposed to one being guaranteed that they will be able to tap into it) is worth $200k in loans.

Borg wrote:...paying zero tuition at NYU and being part of an elite scholarship network is better than being an anonymous person in a huge Harvard class.

You're not anonymous if you put yourself in a position to not be anonymous.


I'm speaking as someone who has been very successful at a top school, and I know that it's entirely possible to be very smart and highly motivated and be at median or below. You're an idiot if you think otherwise.

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Re: NYU (full-ride) vs. Harvard (sticker) for Clerkships/BigFed

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:19 pm

Borg wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:The bigfed network from Harvard right now is unrivaled among any law school, but I'm very hesitant to say that simply having the opportunity to take advantage of the network (as opposed to one being guaranteed that they will be able to tap into it) is worth $200k in loans.

Borg wrote:...paying zero tuition at NYU and being part of an elite scholarship network is better than being an anonymous person in a huge Harvard class.

You're not anonymous if you put yourself in a position to not be anonymous.

I'm speaking as someone who has been very successful at a top school, and I know that it's entirely possible to be very smart and highly motivated and be at median or below. You're an idiot if you think otherwise.

Grades =/= Faculty and Administration connections and support.

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Borg
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Re: NYU (full-ride) vs. Harvard (sticker) for Clerkships/BigFed

Postby Borg » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:31 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:
Borg wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:The bigfed network from Harvard right now is unrivaled among any law school, but I'm very hesitant to say that simply having the opportunity to take advantage of the network (as opposed to one being guaranteed that they will be able to tap into it) is worth $200k in loans.

Borg wrote:...paying zero tuition at NYU and being part of an elite scholarship network is better than being an anonymous person in a huge Harvard class.

You're not anonymous if you put yourself in a position to not be anonymous.

I'm speaking as someone who has been very successful at a top school, and I know that it's entirely possible to be very smart and highly motivated and be at median or below. You're an idiot if you think otherwise.

Grades =/= Faculty and Administration connections and support.


You realize I've been through all this, right? I'm not saying he's not going to be successful coming out of Harvard or that he needs stellar grades, I'm saying that he will have very little debt and potentially even better faculty support at NYU as they are predisposed to helping the students who seem to have a lot of potential. In my experience, most of the faculty tends to be relatively ambivalent about average students.

Stinson
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Re: NYU (full-ride) vs. Harvard (sticker) for Clerkships/BigFed

Postby Stinson » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:35 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:
Stinson wrote:A lot of threads like this feature the mysterious magic door opening. Having no debt affects the financial viability of taking a PI job (and less so relative to having a program like LIPP), not one's ability to get such a job. It is really hard to get such a job. What doors will be open, outside of non-legal jobs I guess, though LIPP covers even those in the public sector, with no debt from NYU that will be closed with debt+LIPP from Harvard?


1) As I pointed out earlier, SAUSA.
2) Term positions (even fantastic term positions) suddenly become a lot less preferable in contrast to permanent spots if you have to be employed full time to get LIPP. These go from fellowships to many term federal spots.
3) In the event you hate law, you bomb law school, you develop schizophrenia, or you win the lottery, a free JD from NYU is a lot more flexible than an expensive JD from Harvard.
4) A lot of "PI" (not really PI, more government and military) pay quite a bit more than the minimum for LRAP, but substantially less than biglaw. According to Harvard's LIPP calculator, assuming you're making 100k a year, staying on LRAP for ten years (A 90k-100k a year salary is pretty feasible with the feds), LIPP will only pick up HALF your loans -- the other half you'll be paying. That ends up being about 130k on the low end paid by you.



First, term positions - while perhaps useful for breaking into PI - would mean more if OP had no debt. But he won't have no debt. With interest, OP will have 75 to 100k in living expenses loans coming from NYU, which on a short-term position salary he will probably need assistance to pay. So that means using NYU's LRAP, which burns you if you don't stay in PI for ten years and has the same requirement of full time employment as LIPP. Given all that, if OP goes to NYU it would probably behoove him to do a few years of Biglaw to pay off the CoL debts before looking for fed work.

Second, I agree the 100k salary scenario is not awesome, but it's less dramatic than you imply. Even with fed gov it will take a number of years to get that high. So OP will be paying half his loan payment for however many years he's making 100k/year, which won't be all ten years of repayment.

Magnacromion
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Re: NYU (full-ride) vs. Harvard (sticker) for Clerkships/BigFed

Postby Magnacromion » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:45 pm

Stinson wrote:
twentypercentmore wrote:
Stinson wrote:A lot of threads like this feature the mysterious magic door opening. Having no debt affects the financial viability of taking a PI job (and less so relative to having a program like LIPP), not one's ability to get such a job. It is really hard to get such a job. What doors will be open, outside of non-legal jobs I guess, though LIPP covers even those in the public sector, with no debt from NYU that will be closed with debt+LIPP from Harvard?


1) As I pointed out earlier, SAUSA.
2) Term positions (even fantastic term positions) suddenly become a lot less preferable in contrast to permanent spots if you have to be employed full time to get LIPP. These go from fellowships to many term federal spots.
3) In the event you hate law, you bomb law school, you develop schizophrenia, or you win the lottery, a free JD from NYU is a lot more flexible than an expensive JD from Harvard.
4) A lot of "PI" (not really PI, more government and military) pay quite a bit more than the minimum for LRAP, but substantially less than biglaw. According to Harvard's LIPP calculator, assuming you're making 100k a year, staying on LRAP for ten years (A 90k-100k a year salary is pretty feasible with the feds), LIPP will only pick up HALF your loans -- the other half you'll be paying. That ends up being about 130k on the low end paid by you.



First, term positions - while perhaps useful for breaking into PI - would mean more if OP had no debt. But he won't have no debt. With interest, OP will have 75 to 100k in living expenses loans coming from NYU, which on a short-term position salary he will probably need assistance to pay. So that means using NYU's LRAP, which burns you if you don't stay in PI for ten years and has the same requirement of full time employment as LIPP. Given all that, if OP goes to NYU it would probably behoove him to do a few years of Biglaw to pay off the CoL debts before looking for fed work.

Second, I agree the 100k salary scenario is not awesome, but it's less dramatic than you imply. Even with fed gov it will take a number of years to get that high. So OP will be paying half his loan payment for however many years he's making 100k/year, which won't be all ten years of repayment.


Both NYU's LRAP and the DOJ's Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program require only three years of service to get the money. Sure, if I ragequit in a year I'm screwed and I have to pay all of the money back. But most likely I'll want to stay in the government for at least three years before I look for exit options.

Magnacromion
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Re: NYU (full-ride) vs. Harvard (sticker) for Clerkships/BigFed

Postby Magnacromion » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:52 pm

Oh, somewhat unrelated, but does anyone know why Williams & Connolly stopped doing OCI at NYU? They do it for all the rest of the T14 except for Berkeley, plus they even do OCI at Texas and GW. IIRC, they used to do OCI at NYU several years ago. What gives?

Stinson
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Re: NYU (full-ride) vs. Harvard (sticker) for Clerkships/BigFed

Postby Stinson » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:44 pm

Magnacromion wrote:Both NYU's LRAP and the DOJ's Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program require only three years of service to get the money. Sure, if I ragequit in a year I'm screwed and I have to pay all of the money back. But most likely I'll want to stay in the government for at least three years before I look for exit options.


This is correct only in the sense that you don't have to pay NYU back for the IBR payments they made to the federal government on your behalf for those three years. NYU's LRAP minimally services your debt through IBR, it doesn't reduce it. NYU's LRAP is tied to PSLF, so unless you stay in PI for ten years, not a penny is forgiven; indeed, the balance will grow if your IBR payments aren't covering the interest.

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Re: NYU (full-ride) vs. Harvard (sticker) for Clerkships/BigFed

Postby GMGP » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:25 pm

timbs4339 wrote:Biglaw does not foreclose a clerkship. Many federal judges are switching to hiring people with a few years of work experience, and at some litigation firms people regularly leave at 1-2 years to do a clerkship. The "revolving door" from the top litigation firms to the DOJ/fed agencies is well-known. So if you aren't one of the few that can get it right out of law school, you might be able to a few years down the road.

That said, if you would absolutely despise doing biglaw you probably shouldn't go to either school. NYU because it might be the way you ultimately reach your goals, and H because if you don't get your goals, you'll need it to pay down the debt.


+1. I would advise thinking over BigFed. Clerkship -> Biglaw litigation -> Fame money success prestige power (hopefully)

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Re: NYU (full-ride) vs. Harvard (sticker) for Clerkships/BigFed

Postby Magnacromion » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:48 pm

Stinson wrote:
Magnacromion wrote:Both NYU's LRAP and the DOJ's Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program require only three years of service to get the money. Sure, if I ragequit in a year I'm screwed and I have to pay all of the money back. But most likely I'll want to stay in the government for at least three years before I look for exit options.


This is correct only in the sense that you don't have to pay NYU back for the IBR payments they made to the federal government on your behalf for those three years. NYU's LRAP minimally services your debt through IBR, it doesn't reduce it. NYU's LRAP is tied to PSLF, so unless you stay in PI for ten years, not a penny is forgiven; indeed, the balance will grow if your IBR payments aren't covering the interest.


Dayum! Good catch! They almost snuck that one right past me! I ran the numbers, though, and I don't think that would be the case for me unless I'm making a piss-poor (i.e. not BigFed) salary. If I were making about $75k per year (approximately what a DOJ Honors hire would get their first year if they came from a clerkship), the monthly payment under IBR for $80k in debt at 6.8% interest is about $720. This equates roughly to a 15-year repayment schedule, and since my salary would be less than $80k, I wouldn't have to pay a single cent out of pocket. If I add an extra $200 per month out of my pocket (which is perfectly permissible under the LRAP's terms), I'm on track to repay the loans in 10 years. BigFed also has something called ASLRP which, under certain conditions and with certain limits, would match any contribution I made toward loan repayment.

Tl;dr: Stinson has a good point, and anyone banking on NYU's LRAP should carefully run the numbers. However, if you're getting enough schollies that your debt load is low (below six figures), your loans might still be manageable under LRAP/IBR and you won't suffer negative amortization.

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Re: NYU (full-ride) vs. Harvard (sticker) for Clerkships/BigFed

Postby Magnacromion » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:56 pm

GMGP wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:Biglaw does not foreclose a clerkship. Many federal judges are switching to hiring people with a few years of work experience, and at some litigation firms people regularly leave at 1-2 years to do a clerkship. The "revolving door" from the top litigation firms to the DOJ/fed agencies is well-known. So if you aren't one of the few that can get it right out of law school, you might be able to a few years down the road.

That said, if you would absolutely despise doing biglaw you probably shouldn't go to either school. NYU because it might be the way you ultimately reach your goals, and H because if you don't get your goals, you'll need it to pay down the debt.


+1. I would advise thinking over BigFed. Clerkship -> Biglaw litigation -> Fame money success prestige power (hopefully)


Not saying I don't ever want to do BigLaw. Just saying I don't want to do BigLaw until I have enough experience that they can't treat me like their b****, and I have a good enough resume that I can ragequit anytime I want and know that I'll be able to find a new job within a few weeks.

Have a look at the bios of the appellate specialists in DC BigLaw firms with well-regarded appellate practice groups. The vast majority of them worked in the Office of the Solicitor General (or DOJ Civil Appellate, etc.) before they went to the private sector. The revolving door is definitely there, but I see it more as:

Clerkship -> BigFed -> BigLaw appellate lit -> Fame money success prestige power (-> BigFed -> BigLaw appellate lit)

In other words, I don't want to do BigLaw until they have to view me as more than a "fungible associate" and "easily replaceable". I also don't think many BigLaw shops will let an associate do 100% appellate work, whereas there are entry-level jobs in BigFed that do.

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Re: NYU (full-ride) vs. Harvard (sticker) for Clerkships/BigFed

Postby JamMasterJ » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:59 pm

you need at least 20K/yr to even make this a conversation

Stinson
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Re: NYU (full-ride) vs. Harvard (sticker) for Clerkships/BigFed

Postby Stinson » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:30 pm

Yeah, the LRAP's of all the CCN are sneaky that way. That's a good plan to deal with the interest. Also, I think PAYE (Pay as You Earn, which is the new Obama IBR) has some protections against interest compounding too much. It's still annoying that you essentially wouldn't be making progress on repayment if you leave before ten years, though, but on the other hand if you moved from say six or seven years in fed gov to big law you probably make more than enough money not to care about what remained of your CoL loans.

This is still a close choice, but none of the options is bad. I think LIPP is great because you can move between private, public, and whatever else whenever the opportunity comes, but I can't deny that in the fed gov straight from law school scenario NYU probably leaves more money in your pocket. Harvard has an advantage on getting fed gov out of law school, as with clerkships, but unlike with clerkships I'm not sure there's really solid data to quantify the advantage. And it's also true that your chance of getting fed gov will be strongly affected by factors beyond your control - i.e. whether President Ryan and Vice President Palin pass their "Who Really Needs the Justice Department Anyway? My AR-15 is all the Justice I Need!" Act of 2016 - whichever school you pick.

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Re: NYU (full-ride) vs. Harvard (sticker) for Clerkships/BigFed

Postby sinfiery » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:36 pm

2L SA + 1 year of biglaw = basically 0 debt from NYU unless I'm mistaken

Along with
Magnacromion wrote:Not saying I don't ever want to do BigLaw. Just saying I don't want to do BigLaw until I have enough experience that they can't treat me like their b****, and I have a good enough resume that I can ragequit anytime I want and know that I'll be able to find a new job within a few weeks.


being able to ragequit after a year isn't a bad deal but not sure about the resume part of it though

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Re: NYU (full-ride) vs. Harvard (sticker) for Clerkships/BigFed

Postby one_by_one » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:40 pm

.
Last edited by one_by_one on Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Magnacromion
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Re: NYU (full-ride) vs. Harvard (sticker) for Clerkships/BigFed

Postby Magnacromion » Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:09 am

one_by_one wrote:
Magnacromion wrote:
Stinson wrote:
Magnacromion wrote:Both NYU's LRAP and the DOJ's Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program require only three years of service to get the money. Sure, if I ragequit in a year I'm screwed and I have to pay all of the money back. But most likely I'll want to stay in the government for at least three years before I look for exit options.


This is correct only in the sense that you don't have to pay NYU back for the IBR payments they made to the federal government on your behalf for those three years. NYU's LRAP minimally services your debt through IBR, it doesn't reduce it. NYU's LRAP is tied to PSLF, so unless you stay in PI for ten years, not a penny is forgiven; indeed, the balance will grow if your IBR payments aren't covering the interest.


Dayum! Good catch! They almost snuck that one right past me! I ran the numbers, though, and I don't think that would be the case for me unless I'm making a piss-poor (i.e. not BigFed) salary. If I were making about $75k per year (approximately what a DOJ Honors hire would get their first year if they came from a clerkship), the monthly payment under IBR for $80k in debt at 6.8% interest is about $720. This equates roughly to a 15-year repayment schedule, and since my salary would be less than $80k, I wouldn't have to pay a single cent out of pocket. If I add an extra $200 per month out of my pocket (which is perfectly permissible under the LRAP's terms), I'm on track to repay the loans in 10 years. BigFed also has something called ASLRP which, under certain conditions and with certain limits, would match any contribution I made toward loan repayment.

Tl;dr: Stinson has a good point, and anyone banking on NYU's LRAP should carefully run the numbers. However, if you're getting enough schollies that your debt load is low (below six figures), your loans might still be manageable under LRAP/IBR and you won't suffer negative amortization.


Read the program description closer. NYU will pay off any negative amortization if you've been in qualified employment for at least three years.


Yep, saw this! So if you meet the criteria for "Negative Amortization Assistance", then when you go off LRAP, they pay down your loans to an amount equal to what they would have been if you'd been on a straight 10-year repayment plan, not IBR.

Stinson wrote:Yeah, the LRAP's of all the CCN are sneaky that way. That's a good plan to deal with the interest. Also, I think PAYE (Pay as You Earn, which is the new Obama IBR) has some protections against interest compounding too much. It's still annoying that you essentially wouldn't be making progress on repayment if you leave before ten years, though, but on the other hand if you moved from say six or seven years in fed gov to big law you probably make more than enough money not to care about what remained of your CoL loans.

This is still a close choice, but none of the options is bad. I think LIPP is great because you can move between private, public, and whatever else whenever the opportunity comes, but I can't deny that in the fed gov straight from law school scenario NYU probably leaves more money in your pocket. Harvard has an advantage on getting fed gov out of law school, as with clerkships, but unlike with clerkships I'm not sure there's really solid data to quantify the advantage. And it's also true that your chance of getting fed gov will be strongly affected by factors beyond your control - i.e. whether President Ryan and Vice President Palin pass their "Who Really Needs the Justice Department Anyway? My AR-15 is all the Justice I Need!" Act of 2016 - whichever school you pick.


TITCR. Epic. Win. :lol:

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Re: NYU (full-ride) vs. Harvard (sticker) for Clerkships/BigFed

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:05 am

Magnacromion wrote:
GMGP wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:Biglaw does not foreclose a clerkship. Many federal judges are switching to hiring people with a few years of work experience, and at some litigation firms people regularly leave at 1-2 years to do a clerkship. The "revolving door" from the top litigation firms to the DOJ/fed agencies is well-known. So if you aren't one of the few that can get it right out of law school, you might be able to a few years down the road.

That said, if you would absolutely despise doing biglaw you probably shouldn't go to either school. NYU because it might be the way you ultimately reach your goals, and H because if you don't get your goals, you'll need it to pay down the debt.


+1. I would advise thinking over BigFed. Clerkship -> Biglaw litigation -> Fame money success prestige power (hopefully)


Not saying I don't ever want to do BigLaw. Just saying I don't want to do BigLaw until I have enough experience that they can't treat me like their b****, and I have a good enough resume that I can ragequit anytime I want and know that I'll be able to find a new job within a few weeks.

Have a look at the bios of the appellate specialists in DC BigLaw firms with well-regarded appellate practice groups. The vast majority of them worked in the Office of the Solicitor General (or DOJ Civil Appellate, etc.) before they went to the private sector. The revolving door is definitely there, but I see it more as:

Clerkship -> BigFed -> BigLaw appellate lit -> Fame money success prestige power (-> BigFed -> BigLaw appellate lit)

In other words, I don't want to do BigLaw until they have to view me as more than a "fungible associate" and "easily replaceable". I also don't think many BigLaw shops will let an associate do 100% appellate work, whereas there are entry-level jobs in BigFed that do.


The problem is that your goals are extremely narrow. Now you don't want to work for the DOJ, you want to do DOJ appellate or SG. You want to do a federal COA clerkship and do DC appellate. You've got a damn good shot, better than most, but here's something you should think about: If you went to H and wound up median, what would you do?

You've got to be prepared for the fact that you might just have to take a biglaw job (oh noes! 160K!) and apply for clerkships/fed gov after a few years.




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