How hard is it to get into BigFed? (Retake for HYS)

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rad lulz
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed?

Postby rad lulz » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:01 pm

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rad lulz
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed?

Postby rad lulz » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:03 pm

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ssanonymous
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed?

Postby ssanonymous » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:04 pm

rad lulz wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
ssanonymous wrote:
twentypercentmore wrote:My agency is only allowed to hire people with authorization from the POTUS, VPOTUS, or the Secretary.

Long story short, don't count on bigfed.


wow.


The sequester is causing furloughs of CURRENT employees. They can't afford new ones. Honors hiring will be a joke this next year.

Turning down big lawl is a recipe for graduating unemployed ITE.

It's always interesting to me seeing PI/govt TRUE BELIEVERS in the OCI breadline with everyone else

And listening to their rationalizations

"Oh but XYZBIGFIRM has a GREAT pro bono program"


Well, it seems like they have no choice. If they want to transition to govt, apparently they have to sell their souls to corporate for awhile. I'm facing this reality. I guess I hadn't realized how difficult it was to break into govt

Big Dog
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed?

Postby Big Dog » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:06 pm

Getting into Fed Gov is actually all about this:

1. Who did you know when you interned in XYZ agency?

2. Do they like you?

3. Are you grades above a 3.0 at a decent law school, or the one that they went to?

4. Hiring freeze/sequester?


The Fed is full of prestige hoes; the higher the better. Getting your Step 1 is easier from HYS. :)

SportsFan
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed?

Postby SportsFan » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:07 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
ssanonymous wrote:
twentypercentmore wrote:My agency is only allowed to hire people with authorization from the POTUS, VPOTUS, or the Secretary.

Long story short, don't count on bigfed.


wow.


The sequester is causing furloughs of CURRENT employees. They can't afford new ones. Honors hiring will be a joke this next year.

Turning down big lawl is a recipe for graduating unemployed ITE.

TITCR. Unless you're graduating with little debt, its not worth the risk.

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ssanonymous
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed?

Postby ssanonymous » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:09 pm

rad lulz wrote:
ssanonymous wrote:
Right, but I'm interested in what the market is likely going to look like 3 years from now sans sequester. But it does sound like connections > HYS.

Let me get my crystal ball that can divine the federal budget


Cute. It's more like, what's the market USUALLY like for big fed? The sequester is not the norm. Doesn't matter anyway. Bottom line? It's really freaking difficult.

Now I'm trying to decide whether I should take a Fulbright and retake for HYS or enroll at Berkeley and take this outside scholarship I've been awarded. Leaning towards the latter. HYS aren't a guarantee with my GPA and I'm not sure how much I can improve my LSAT score. This outside scholarship + the others I've been awarded make Berkeley close to free, so I should consider myself lucky.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:16 pm

I think going to Berkeley for nearly free would not create enough of a significantly lower shot at bigfed to justify paying the money for HYS (especially since HYS isn't a sure thing here). I think if you gun for bigfed from the start your chances from Berkeley won't be *that* different from HYS.

(Keep in mind, though, that my context is the lower T1 trenches, so fine distinctions between HYS and T10 are sort of lost of me.)

09042014
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:22 pm

ssanonymous wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
ssanonymous wrote:
Right, but I'm interested in what the market is likely going to look like 3 years from now sans sequester. But it does sound like connections > HYS.

Let me get my crystal ball that can divine the federal budget


Cute. It's more like, what's the market USUALLY like for big fed? The sequester is not the norm. Doesn't matter anyway. Bottom line? It's really freaking difficult.

Now I'm trying to decide whether I should take a Fulbright and retake for HYS or enroll at Berkeley and take this outside scholarship I've been awarded. Leaning towards the latter. HYS aren't a guarantee with my GPA and I'm not sure how much I can improve my LSAT score. This outside scholarship + the others I've been awarded make Berkeley close to free, so I should consider myself lucky.


Hiring has been shit since the crash in 08. And going forward I don't think you can count any budget increases. Nobody thinks Democrats retaking Congress in 2014 is a real possibility. So until 2017 at a minimum, Tea Party bros will be preventing any big spending increases. You'd be class of 2017, so I'd wait if you only want Fed. Gov.

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Rahviveh
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed?

Postby Rahviveh » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:04 pm

rad lulz wrote:It's always interesting to me seeing PI/govt TRUE BELIEVERS in the OCI breadline with everyone else

And listening to their rationalizations

"Oh but XYZBIGFIRM has a GREAT pro bono program"

But I cant help the poor if im one of them
so i get rich and give back to me thats the win win

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MyNameIsFlynn!
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed?

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:08 pm

rad lulz wrote:
ssanonymous wrote:
ssanonymous wrote:
twentypercentmore wrote:My agency is only allowed to hire people with authorization from the POTUS, VPOTUS, or the Secretary.

Long story short, don't count on bigfed.


wow.

The sequester is causing furloughs of CURRENT employees. They can't afford new ones. Honors hiring will be a joke this next year.

Turning down big lawl is a recipe for graduating unemployed ITE.


Right, but I'm interested in what the market is likely going to look like 3 years from now sans sequester. But it does sound like connections > HYS.

Let me get my crystal ball that can divine the federal budget


We all know there is a not-insignificant and growing chorus of GOPers who want to cut not just budgets but entire federal agencies. Think about how the 2014 midterm will go for Senate Dems. I think if the GOP gains seats that will tell us a lot about the prospects for federal govt hiring in the next few years.

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twenty
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed?

Postby twenty » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:18 pm

I've also noticed that a lot of folks on this board have very little understanding of BigFed life, apart from DOJ/SEC honors.

- Stability/longevity. If you got BigFed out of law school, there is nothing stopping you from making it a 20-30 year long career. Pay currently caps out at 155k unless you want to go to DC and go for the executive thing. Even AUSAs only make 155k max. Even now, with what could easily be seen as the worst economic climate of the last 100 years, none of the attorneys here have any fear for their jobs.
- Working conditions. The only people that are still in the office at 8:00 PM are investigators (Special Agents specifically) and non-federal employee contractors. That said, you don't get to bill dinners to the client, and our cafeterias suck. So you spend far more time at home (even the attorneys here are only working about 50 hours a week max) than Biglaw, but the quality of life while you're here is probably worse.
- You're in a crappy spot where you make too much for LRAP, but less than BigLaw.
- Telework (being able to work from home 2-3 days a week) is kind of great.
- By far, the biggest reason agency attorneys leave is because they don't like the work. Our agency (actually, most agencies) doesn't farm out the day to day employment law/complaints/union schemes crap. In particular, most of our kids coming straight from law school have the impression they'll be advising multi-million dollar contracts, doing criminal litigation (wtf?), tax law advisory, transactions, etc. It's a pretty big disappointment when they're spending most of their time working out the legal ramifications for a supervisor that awarded "fully successful" performance reviews to a minority employee while awarding "outstanding" to a non-minority employee.*

(*true story)

09042014
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:27 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:I've also noticed that a lot of folks on this board have very little understanding of BigFed life, apart from DOJ/SEC honors.

- Stability/longevity. If you got BigFed out of law school, there is nothing stopping you from making it a 20-30 year long career. Pay currently caps out at 155k unless you want to go to DC and go for the executive thing. Even AUSAs only make 155k max. Even now, with what could easily be seen as the worst economic climate of the last 100 years, none of the attorneys here have any fear for their jobs.
- Working conditions. The only people that are still in the office at 8:00 PM are investigators (Special Agents specifically) and non-federal employee contractors. That said, you don't get to bill dinners to the client, and our cafeterias suck. So you spend far more time at home (even the attorneys here are only working about 50 hours a week max) than Biglaw, but the quality of life while you're here is probably worse.
- You're in a crappy spot where you make too much for LRAP, but less than BigLaw.
- Telework (being able to work from home 2-3 days a week) is kind of great.
- By far, the biggest reason agency attorneys leave is because they don't like the work. Our agency (actually, most agencies) doesn't farm out the day to day employment law/complaints/union schemes crap. In particular, most of our kids coming straight from law school have the impression they'll be advising multi-million dollar contracts, doing criminal litigation (wtf?), tax law advisory, transactions, etc. It's a pretty big disappointment when they're spending most of their time working out the legal ramifications for a supervisor that awarded "fully successful" performance reviews to a minority employee while awarding "outstanding" to a non-minority employee.*

(*true story)


But you get to cop dat PLIF ten year payout.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:45 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:- By far, the biggest reason agency attorneys leave is because they don't like the work. Our agency (actually, most agencies) doesn't farm out the day to day employment law/complaints/union schemes crap. In particular, most of our kids coming straight from law school have the impression they'll be advising multi-million dollar contracts, doing criminal litigation (wtf?), tax law advisory, transactions, etc. It's a pretty big disappointment when they're spending most of their time working out the legal ramifications for a supervisor that awarded "fully successful" performance reviews to a minority employee while awarding "outstanding" to a non-minority employee.*

(*true story)

It was definitely kind of eye-opening to realize how many of the fedgov jobs are really just like being in-house attorneys to the agency, and just HOW MUCH employment/personnel stuff that entailed. (At least, that was my sense going through various applications.)

And yes, PSLF all the way!

jarofsoup
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed?

Postby jarofsoup » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:08 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:I've also noticed that a lot of folks on this board have very little understanding of BigFed life, apart from DOJ/SEC honors.

- Stability/longevity. If you got BigFed out of law school, there is nothing stopping you from making it a 20-30 year long career. Pay currently caps out at 155k unless you want to go to DC and go for the executive thing. Even AUSAs only make 155k max. Even now, with what could easily be seen as the worst economic climate of the last 100 years, none of the attorneys here have any fear for their jobs.
- Working conditions. The only people that are still in the office at 8:00 PM are investigators (Special Agents specifically) and non-federal employee contractors. That said, you don't get to bill dinners to the client, and our cafeterias suck. So you spend far more time at home (even the attorneys here are only working about 50 hours a week max) than Biglaw, but the quality of life while you're here is probably worse.
- You're in a crappy spot where you make too much for LRAP, but less than BigLaw.
- Telework (being able to work from home 2-3 days a week) is kind of great.
- By far, the biggest reason agency attorneys leave is because they don't like the work. Our agency (actually, most agencies) doesn't farm out the day to day employment law/complaints/union schemes crap. In particular, most of our kids coming straight from law school have the impression they'll be advising multi-million dollar contracts, doing criminal litigation (wtf?), tax law advisory, transactions, etc. It's a pretty big disappointment when they're spending most of their time working out the legal ramifications for a supervisor that awarded "fully successful" performance reviews to a minority employee while awarding "outstanding" to a non-minority employee.*

(*true story)


If you live in D.C. there is always that revolving door. Everyone is in and out of big law in a lot of the agencies.

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The Brainalist
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed?

Postby The Brainalist » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:49 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:- It's a pretty big disappointment when they're spending most of their time working out the legal ramifications for a supervisor that awarded "fully successful" performance reviews to a minority employee while awarding "outstanding" to a non-minority employee.*

(*true story)


For the uninitiated, this is also what is known as "the practice of law." It is really only the biggest law firms that give attorneys the luxury of only working on sexy, sophisticated, high-dollar matters all the time. The attraction to government for young attorneys is not that you get the biggest cases right away, it is the opportunity to get real, personal responsibility for your own cases early on, you get to do so on someone else's dollar, and you can do it without any of the drawbacks of having to build a client base etc.

Honestly, if you are disappointed because you have to advise a management level person on a potential suit for employment discrimination, I'm not sure the practice of law is for you. That's probably towards to high-end of most legal work AND is the practical application constitutional and federal law that everyone romanticizes. It ain't all gonna be Brown v. Board of education. 99.9% of discrimination cases look like this.

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Postby Myself » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:11 am

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ssanonymous
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed?

Postby ssanonymous » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:13 am

ajax adonis wrote:
ssanonymous wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
ssanonymous wrote:
Right, but I'm interested in what the market is likely going to look like 3 years from now sans sequester. But it does sound like connections > HYS.

Let me get my crystal ball that can divine the federal budget


Cute. It's more like, what's the market USUALLY like for big fed? The sequester is not the norm. Doesn't matter anyway. Bottom line? It's really freaking difficult.

Now I'm trying to decide whether I should take a Fulbright and retake for HYS or enroll at Berkeley and take this outside scholarship I've been awarded. Leaning towards the latter. HYS aren't a guarantee with my GPA and I'm not sure how much I can improve my LSAT score. This outside scholarship + the others I've been awarded make Berkeley close to free, so I should consider myself lucky.


Wait, you have the opportunity to do Fulbright? Why wouldn't you take that? It sounds like a great opportunity and can sorta make up for any low GPA you have.


I think people think these fellowships matter when they don't (at least for law schools). If your numbers aren't there, softs won't save you. My friend with a Truman and Marshall only landed a T-20.

As for not taking the Fulbright (I really want to!), but the fellowship I got this year comes with a hefty scholarship which makes Berkeley appealing/affordable. And while I can reapply for the fellowship next year, it's extremely competitive so there's no guarantee. Funnily enough, without the fellowship, I most certainly would've turned down Berkeley and reapplied... maybe that's the smarter decision.

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

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ssanonymous
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed?

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

ajax adonis wrote:
ssanonymous wrote:
I think people think these fellowships matter when they don't (at least for law schools). If your numbers aren't there, softs won't save you. My friend with a Truman and Marshall only landed a T-20.

As for not taking the Fulbright (I really want to!), but the fellowship I got this year comes with a hefty scholarship which makes Berkeley appealing/affordable. And while I can reapply for the fellowship next year, it's extremely competitive so there's no guarantee. Funnily enough, without the fellowship, I most certainly would've turned down Berkeley and reapplied... maybe that's the smarter decision.


Why can't you do the Fulbright, and in the meantime, or even after the fellowship, retake the LSAT/reapply to Boalt?


I'd lose the fellowship and the scholarship money. It's either Boalt + fellowship/$$$ or Fulbright and retake for HYS. I don't know if Boalt or the fellowship will take me again next year.

Myself
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Postby Myself » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:19 pm

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ssanonymous
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed?

Postby ssanonymous » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:51 pm

Yeah... it's really tough. If I somehow got a 172+ with a 3.76 GPA, would i have any shot at HYS?

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Nelson
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed?

Postby Nelson » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:17 pm

ssanonymous wrote:Yeah... it's really tough. If I somehow got a 172+ with a 3.76 GPA, would i have any shot at HYS?

A shot, but not a good one.

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RSterling
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed? (Retake for HYS)

Postby RSterling » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:28 pm

Is your Fulbright to a competitive country? Ie UK, France, Germany? If so, I'd definitely take it. Those are arguably draw as many high-quality applicants as a Marshall or Truman, and I doubt that Berk would deny you next year if you took a Fulbright year on top of whatever got you in this year.

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jbagelboy
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed? (Retake for HYS)

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:19 pm

Go to Berkeley -- this is silly.

As for prestige, fulbright is aight but its not Rhodes or Watson.

Im 3.7x with 172 and WLd at the big guys (didnt apply to Y would definitely be reject) with what I consider to be solid softs for those schools. Its far from guaranteed.

Edit: as a caveat, however, if you have a really cool fulbright project and you feel like you could use some time off school, this conversation comes secondary, its your life and you should do what will make you happy and interested -- maybe you wont want LS after a year. Just dont turn down Berkeley with the expectation/hope of doing better that your current deal another cycle.

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ssanonymous
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Re: How hard is it to get into BigFed? (Retake for HYS)

Postby ssanonymous » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:01 pm

jbagelboy wrote:Go to Berkeley -- this is silly.

As for prestige, fulbright is aight but its not Rhodes or Watson.

Im 3.7x with 172 and WLd at the big guys (didnt apply to Y would definitely be reject) with what I consider to be solid softs for those schools. Its far from guaranteed.

Edit: as a caveat, however, if you have a really cool fulbright project and you feel like you could use some time off school, this conversation comes secondary, its your life and you should do what will make you happy and interested -- maybe you wont want LS after a year. Just dont turn down Berkeley with the expectation/hope of doing better that your current deal another cycle.


idk, I think I have some pretty solid softs and a strong PS. I would like to take time off, but not at the expense of this other fellowship that comes with scholarship money (which I'd argue is pretty competitive in that two Rhodes scholars were interviewed with me).

RSterling wrote:Is your Fulbright to a competitive country? Ie UK, France, Germany? If so, I'd definitely take it. Those are arguably draw as many high-quality applicants as a Marshall or Truman, and I doubt that Berk would deny you next year if you took a Fulbright year on top of whatever got you in this year.


I don't think so. It's in the Middle East. Though I have something on my resume that would imply I'm a "high-quality" applicant, and it didn't help a whole lot. Well, maybe it helped with Berkeley.

I'm leaning towards Berkeley. I keep changing my mind since I hate giving up on something I've wanted for ages, but I'm sure living in the Bay Area will be great. Plus Berkeley is great for public service, and IF I have to sell out, I'd rather sell out at a CA firm. Although if I had a solid shot at HYS, I'd drop it all and retake.




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