American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
User avatar
cinephile
Posts: 3469
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:50 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby cinephile » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:40 pm

treenapolits wrote:I guess the reason I am grasping for validation to go to American is because it appears to have the most advanced study of women's rights law in the nation and/or world, with the most advanced law degree available, as well as with the longest history to go along with it (only school founded by women, as a women's law school when other law schools in D.C. would not admit women). Since that's the main interest I have in studying the law, there really isn't any other option that appears as supportive for me in that field. Also since it is in D.C. that is a selling point for me.

For whoever asked here are some examples of a job. http://www.victimrights.org/about-vrlc/staff-bios


But it's not going to happen. American has far too many students that it can't place. You have to expect to be the typical student - and the typical student won't find a job.

So the solution is to go to a better school, where even the average student finds employment. If you go to the best school possible (HYS, or at least T14) you'll be able to get the job you want. Don't throw away your future. If you go to American, you'll be regretting it.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby romothesavior » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:05 am

timbs4339 wrote:Vermont Law School is the top school for "Environmental Law." Tons of people go off to Vermont to study environmental law assuming that this means employers will want to hire them. But if you want to work in Environmental Law, you should to to YHS, and then CCN, and then MVPB, because the firms or the EPA are not hiring from Vermont no matter how highly they are ranked in environmental law. In fact, you can go to those schools and not take a single environmental law class and end up working in environmental law. What your school is known for has almost no relevance to hiring.

Absolutely this. Great point. Similarly, the best law schools in the country to practice "women's law" are Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. Then the rest of the T14. And then it gets to the point where the odds of you getting a job doing this become very slim.

Ti Malice
Posts: 1955
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:55 am

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby Ti Malice » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:10 am

treenapolits wrote:I guess the reason I am grasping for validation to go to American is because it appears to have the most advanced study of women's rights law in the nation and/or world, with the most advanced law degree available, as well as with the longest history to go along with it (only school founded by women, as a women's law school when other law schools in D.C. would not admit women). Since that's the main interest I have in studying the law, there really isn't any other option that appears as supportive for me in that field. Also since it is in D.C. that is a selling point for me.


People have been abundantly clear with you about why the things you think carry weight are actually completely inconsequential when it comes to finding the kind of work you want. Law school is not humanities graduate school. You don't go to law school to get specialized education in a particular area, because your "concentration" carries absolutely no weight in legal hiring. None. There are about three LLM programs in the entire country that are viewed as useful to non-foreign students, and that one isn't one of them. And absolutely no one is going to care about AU's history. The fact you think this stuff matters shows that you're completely willing to be duped by clever advertising targeted at naive prospective students who will not seriously inform themselves before taking on a quarter-million dollars of debt. If you want a deep education in women's rights, apply to PhD programs in women's studies. You'll still probably be jobless at the end, but at least you can get a school to pay you for your time instead of having to light $250K in non-dischargeable loan money on fire.

All that said, it seems pretty unlikely that any of us are going to overcome your profound confirmation bias and get you to consider the facts dispassionately. You know what you want to hear, and you'll be damned if reality is going to interfere with that. It's really a shame, because everyone here is actually trying to help you avoid what would quite likely be a financially catastrophic decision.

treenapolits
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby treenapolits » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:07 am

.
Last edited by treenapolits on Mon May 06, 2013 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
cinephile
Posts: 3469
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:50 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby cinephile » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:12 am

treenapolits wrote:Then I guess I'll have to get a job in the field while I am in law school. Out of ccuriosity, what is your personal experience in what you've stated? Have you not gotten a job as a result of going to a lower-placing law school, or do you know people who haven't? Just trying to figure out where the clear conviction is coming from.


This is so crazy. You won't be able to get a "job in the field" while you're in school. Even if you're going part-time, you need to get that job now. It sounds to me like you're not interested in working hard. You just want everything to fall into place. If you actually were committed to your purported career goals, you'd be working towards them rather than taking the path of least resistance and going to a terrible school with zero prospects. Clearly, you don't want a job. You just want to waste three years in DC doing nothing.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby romothesavior » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:14 am

treenapolits wrote:Then I guess I'll have to get a job in the field while I am in law school. Out of ccuriosity, what is your personal experience in what you've stated? Have you not gotten a job as a result of going to a lower-placing law school, or do you know people who haven't? Just trying to figure out where the clear conviction is coming from.

DATA. Cold, hard, indisputable data shows that American University is an awful law school for job placement. Most of us are also 2Ls, 3Ls, and recent grads who've been through this thing and know how it works.

Serious questions: why did you even come to TLS if you are going to dismiss everything you've been told? This is some of the worst fishing for validation I've ever seen.

timbs4339
Posts: 2733
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:24 am

You can't work more than 20 hours per week during law school- ABA regs. You shouldn't (and sometimes can't) work at all during 1L. Public interest employers are going to be much more impressed by candidates who have several years of full-time work experience in the field. That's why if you want to work in women's rights, you need to go get a job in women's rights. People with degrees in women's studies, or with JDs and an interest in women's rights are a dime a hundred.

I know many people who can't get jobs, out of many schools higher ranked than American, and with job goals that are less demanding than your highly sought after field. Forget about jobs paying enough to service their debt.

But you don't even need my anecdotes. All you need is the LST statistics. The logical inference when you see a school with a 35% overall placement rate is that the school sucks at placing people into jobs, and those jobs probably aren't that good. Not that the 35% who get jobs are all getting their first-choice positions or that American has cornered the women's rights law market. If American could place people into a saturated, highly-sought after field like women's rights law, they'd have an employment rate approaching 100%.

treenapolits
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby treenapolits » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:31 am

.
Last edited by treenapolits on Mon May 06, 2013 6:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

timbs4339
Posts: 2733
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:46 am

treenapolits wrote:I think you will be hard-pressed to find data on the specific field I am looking at. The link here also shows some jobs available http://www.victimrights.org/about-vrlc/staff-bios, and as you will see, many of these women went to third and fourth-tier law schools (gasp!).

If the jobs are not available, it is possible to start non-profits that also do work in the field. The need is everywhere.
I do have experience in the field, as well as connections in the area, and I'm not looking at law school as a statistical gamble -
I am looking at the whole picture. Gaining the best "humanities" education in women's rights law, in addition to a degree in Public Affairs and women's politics, will give me the background necessary to achieve my goals, regardless of whether it will be immediately attainable out of school or well-paying.

Thank you all for your advice, it has definitely made me look at the logistics and obstacles to overcome as well as the necessity of focusing on networking and grades while in school. Whether I go into the field now or after law school, it will be a long process attaining significant experience. You're right, getting any job in 1L is not a great idea.


The data shows that American's placement is bad. From that, you can infer that the placement for those who are getting placed is also bad.

Anecdotes are not data. It is idiotic to take a 250K gamble on going to law school to work as a victim's rights attorney because there are simply very few jobs in that area relative to the number of students who are interested in it. It is likely you will not work in this field after law school at all.

What kind of experience and connections do you have? Not internships, not recs from professors. Do you have full-time work experience in the field?

treenapolits
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby treenapolits » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:58 am

.
Last edited by treenapolits on Mon May 06, 2013 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

timbs4339
Posts: 2733
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:00 am

treenapolits wrote:I will hopefully not have to pay anything for the schools (JD and MPP at American), and might be stuck with some debt.


treenapolits wrote:I have full-time life experience in the field. I will attain work experience upon graduating from school and during summers. If the jobs aren't available as legal advocate, I will work in a research or analysis field instead and gain experience, possibly volunteering as an advocate.

Let me clarify: I will not be paying for any of this. If I do have to, I will go to another lower-ranked school for free. Does that change anything?


What does this mean?

treenapolits
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby treenapolits » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:03 am

.
Last edited by treenapolits on Mon May 06, 2013 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

timbs4339
Posts: 2733
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:06 am

treenapolits wrote:It means that if it will be necessary for me to take out a loan, I will not attend American. You've warned me against it and it's gotten through to me. Does this change your opinion on attending the school if it were debt-free?


It doesn't change my opinion on the school itself or the job prospects. But unless it is going to be an objective financial strain on some third-party, it changes my opinion on the viability of your decision. Worst case scenario you leave with a worthless degree and no debt and have spent three years studying something you seem to be interested in. Tons of people do that every year.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby romothesavior » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:12 am

I probably wouldn't go to American even for free, but you seem hell-bent on it, so better to do it for free than with a ton of debt. I'd rather be jobless without debt than jobless with a mountain of debt. If you can get out of there without debt, then knock yourself out. But like timbs said, it doesn't change the fact that I think you have a very, very small chance of getting a legal job in the field you want.

Of course, if you're talking about a spouse or parents paying for the degree, then hell no. That would be the height of selfishness and wastefulness.

User avatar
philosoraptor
Posts: 708
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:49 am

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby philosoraptor » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:17 am

romothesavior wrote:Serious questions: why did you even come to TLS if you are going to dismiss everything you've been told? This is some of the worst fishing for validation I've ever seen.
This. OP, it doesn't matter whether you view law school as a statistical gamble; that's exactly what it is. It doesn't matter whether you've got some idealistic, abstract goal in mind; you won't get a job unless you go to a school where that's an option AND you have real experience over several years.

Since you seem to think we don't know what we're talking about, I am very close to one of my law school classmates, at a school that's much, much better than American, who is absolutely dedicated to something close to the type of work you're talking about. She had to have exactly the right kind of experience and connections, which usually meant working multiple jobs and internships during the school year. Even with all her credentials, rejection after rejection came in, and it seemed likely that she would graduate without a job and be stuck in unpaid limbo indefinitely. At the last minute (that is, last week), an amazing job came through for her, the kind that would have been impossible but for the connections that she had worked so hard to build.

If you go to American (or any TTT), you are stacking the deck against yourself from the beginning. You seem not to be worried about being unemployed at graduation, but how are you going to pay rent and eat without a job? Keep in mind that even if you do tons of work on women's issues during the school year and the summer, it's all going to be unpaid. There's always a chance you might beat the odds, but in this tight job market, why wouldn't you improve those odds while you still can?

Under no circumstances should you go to any school as bad as American or worse for free.

treenapolits
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby treenapolits » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:24 pm

.
Last edited by treenapolits on Mon May 06, 2013 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Ruxin1
Posts: 1284
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:12 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby Ruxin1 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:26 pm

treenapolits wrote:Maybe transferring after the 1st year would be a good idea, then - GWU has a high piblic service and employment ranking.


So impressive flame.

treenapolits
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby treenapolits » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:31 pm

.
Last edited by treenapolits on Mon May 06, 2013 6:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Ruxin1
Posts: 1284
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:12 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby Ruxin1 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:32 pm

treenapolits wrote:Well since I'm not going to do any better on the LSAT, it would seem getting started in school and attempting to transfer would save the most time.


I understand this wanting to save time angle I really do, but this isn't undergrad, the decisions you make now will affect the next 50 years of your life.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby romothesavior » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:36 pm

treenapolits wrote:Well since I'm not going to do any better on the LSAT, it would seem getting started in school and attempting to transfer would save the most time. Also GWU is the better option it sounds.

Transferring law schools is not easy or convenient. Going to law school banking on a transfer is a really, really bad idea.

Why don't you think you'll improve on the LSAT ?

User avatar
deuceindc
Posts: 247
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:11 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby deuceindc » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:38 pm

treenapolits wrote:Well since I'm not going to do any better on the LSAT, it would seem getting started in school and attempting to transfer would save the most time. Also GWU is the better option it sounds.


Someone else can address the transfer issue.

GWU is better than AU, but still not worth sticker (IMHO). 20% of c/o 2012 is employed by the school, they're making $10/hr while interning and trying to find employment.

Also if those staff bios reflect the work you want to do, don't go after an MPP. Two of those women have MPPs, but all of them have JDs. You need a JD to do what they do.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby romothesavior » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:46 pm

Just go wherever you want. No use wasting keystrokes trying to convince you anymore. The stubbornness, naivete, and confirmation bias ITT is incredible even by TLS standards. In 3-4 years when you and your friends are all struggling to find even the most menial of legal work, you can't look back and say you weren't amply warned.

timbs4339
Posts: 2733
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:54 pm

romothesavior wrote:Just go wherever you want. No use wasting keystrokes trying to convince you anymore. The stubbornness, naivete, and confirmation bias ITT is incredible even by TLS standards. In 3-4 years when you and your friends are all struggling to find even the most menial of legal work, you can't look back and say you weren't amply warned.


Eh, once the no debt portion came out I became kind of ambivalent. Higher education as a form of conspicuous consumption by the rich is probably one of the only revenue streams I'm willing to let the law schools keep.

Of course if OPs parents make 60K and are refinancing their home mortgage twice to pay for this massive boondoggle it's a different story.

User avatar
worldtraveler
Posts: 7669
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:47 am

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby worldtraveler » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:18 pm

I don't understand why you made the thread if you didn't want any advice. The advice in this thread is actually some of the best and most reasonable I've seen on TLS, too.

treenapolits
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Re: American University School of Public Affairs vs. Suffolk Law

Postby treenapolits » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:03 pm

.
Last edited by treenapolits on Mon May 06, 2013 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: chasima and 5 guests