Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

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VegasLaw702
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Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby VegasLaw702 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:29 pm

...criminal defense? I'm aware they all offer the basic courses, but is there any one in particular that is better suited for those looking to practice criminal law after graduation?

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Clearly
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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby Clearly » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:35 pm

Whichever one gives you the most $$$.

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VegasLaw702
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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby VegasLaw702 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:42 pm

Clearlynotstefan wrote:Whichever one gives you the most $$$.


+1 - Amen to that. I'm sure there isn't any special courses one could offer over the next, aside from the basics. But is there any of the T14 that have a better track record placing grads in criminal firms? Obviously I'd like to avoid rotting away in the PD office for a couple years, and going the route of DA's office first doesn't interest me either.

crit_racer
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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby crit_racer » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:57 pm

What kind of defense work are you talking about? Most criminal defense "firms" are very small unless youre talking about white collar crime, in which case all the big firms do white collar crime work. As far as defending ppl charged w/ assaults, drug crimes, etc, that's mainly small firm work. If you want thta kind of work, go to the T14 nearest the market you want to work in so that you can network w/ small firms.

Generally, PD offices or DA offices are considered really good outcomes for ppl who want to do criminal law work. Very competitive. A lot of the PD offices are on the coasts (many states don't even have them) and NY in particular has a lot of PD offices (Bronx defenders, Legal Aid Society, etc). B/c of being able to network, I would say NYU or Columbia would be good for this. Berk and Stanford if you want to try and get one on the West coast (there are lots of PD offices there too)

The only other option is trying to get into a Federal Public Defenders office or become an AUSA and deal w/ federal crim law. For these jobs, you will have to go to HYS

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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby hopin10 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:58 pm

VegasLaw702 wrote:
Clearlynotstefan wrote:Whichever one gives you the most $$$.


+1 - Amen to that. I'm sure there isn't any special courses one could offer over the next, aside from the basics. But is there any of the T14 that have a better track record placing grads in criminal firms? Obviously I'd like to avoid rotting away in the PD office for a couple years, and going the route of DA's office first doesn't interest me either.


What kind of criminal defense are you looking for, exactly? I'm a bit confused by your comment above. If you're interested in non-white collar stuff, a PD's office may be the best training you could get before striking out on your own or joining a small practice. Meanwhile, if you want to do white collar defense, you're likely looking at biglaw and maybe some boutiques.

NYU has a great array of clinics and externships focusing on criminal defense, as does Georgetown. But the rest of the T14 isn't too shabby, either.

Edit: crit_racer beat me to most of these points!
Last edited by hopin10 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

rad lulz
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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby rad lulz » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:58 pm

Yale

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VegasLaw702
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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby VegasLaw702 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:14 am

More interested in defense at the federal level, and working on cases that fall under the federal criminal code. White collar is of particular interest to me, but mainly defense at the federal level in general. I know the US attorneys office is super competitive and tough to get into, and I'd rather work the other side of the table anyway. Is the federal PD office that tough to get into? Biglaw atmosphere doesn't really appeal to me, so a smaller firm would be just fine. Oh yeah, and federal defense attorneys get to charge more than defense attorneys at the state level :mrgreen:
Last edited by VegasLaw702 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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hephaestus
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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby hephaestus » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:14 am

I've heard Yale is decent. Harvard and Stanford are good too.

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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby rad lulz » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:15 am

What kind of federal crimes do you want to defend

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bk1
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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby bk1 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:21 am

VegasLaw702 wrote:More interested in defense at the federal level, and working on cases that fall under the federal criminal code. White collar is of particular interest to me, but mainly defense at the federal level in general. I know the US attorneys office is super competitive and tough to get into, and I'd rather work the other side of the table anyway. Is the federal PD office that tough to get into? Biglaw atmosphere doesn't really appeal to me, so a smaller firm would be just fine. Oh yeah, and federal defense attorneys get to charge more than defense attorneys at the state level :mrgreen:

White collar is generally the province of biglaw and not the Fed Defender. Fed Defenders don't charge their clients.

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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby rad lulz » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:24 am

Also what gets you excited about defending federal crimes? White collar is VERY different from like defending Federal trafficking charges

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VegasLaw702
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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby VegasLaw702 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:25 am

Major drug cases, RICO cases, bribery cases, wire fraud, money laundering, medicare fraud cases, securities fraud, insider trading, felons in possession of firearms, etc. Most of the defense work at the federal level will be on white collar shit, but cases arise that would otherwise be prosecuted at the state level when committed on federal property, for example.

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VegasLaw702
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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby VegasLaw702 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:30 am

rad lulz wrote:Also what gets you excited about defending federal crimes? White collar is VERY different from like defending Federal trafficking charges


The excitement comes from being able to challenge the laws and make new laws via case law at the federal level. This can be done at the state level, but generally you bill more for fed cases than you would state cases, especially on appeals.

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VegasLaw702
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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby VegasLaw702 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:37 am

bk1 wrote:White collar is generally the province of biglaw and not the Fed Defender. Fed Defenders don't charge their clients.


Could you elaborate here? Aside from pro-bono work, I've never heard of an attorney not charging for representation. There are times when the court will appoint an attorney for the defendant and the taxpayers foot the bill, but it doesn't happen all the time. Do you mean federal PD?

pastapplicant
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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby pastapplicant » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:37 am

lol you won't be changing anything doing that...

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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby cynthiad » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:38 am

I work (not as a lawyer) at a small firm that does criminal defense, mostly white collar at the federal level. I can't remember any case where we "challenged the law." Mostly you will be negotiating plea agreements for clients. Sometimes you will go to trial, but even then you won't be "challenging the law." Even if you do appeals, cases where you successfully challenge the law and "make new laws" are rare. You should only go into criminal defense if you actually want to defend clients.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:39 am

So basically you want to join a small defense firm that focuses on federal criminal law. I know one firm like that in Austin (I think there are like 4-5 people who work in the office). Maybe there's a few more in town. You might want to be more open to other possibilities as well.

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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby rad lulz » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:41 am

,
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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby rad lulz » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:43 am

cynthiad wrote:You should only go into criminal defense if you actually want to defend clients.

Also this.

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VegasLaw702
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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby VegasLaw702 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:45 am

cynthiad wrote:I work (not as a lawyer) at a small firm that does criminal defense, mostly white collar at the federal level. I can't remember any case where we "challenged the law." Mostly you will be negotiating plea agreements for clients. Sometimes you will go to trial, but even then you won't be "challenging the law." Even if you do appeals, cases where you successfully challenge the law and "make new laws" are rare. You should only go into criminal defense if you actually want to defend clients.


I'm aware it is rare, but he asked where the excitement comes. That 1 out of 500 cases where it does happen is thrilling enough for me. Appellate work is mainly where you even have the chance for that anyway

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VegasLaw702
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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby VegasLaw702 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:50 am

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:You might want to be more open to other possibilities as well.


100% agreed. As a 0L I'm in no position to get tunnel vision on what I would like to practice, but I think it helps to at least have an idea of what direction you would like to head. It is amazing how little thought most 0Ls give this, and just "want to be an attorney".

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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby rad lulz » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:50 am

,
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bk1
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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby bk1 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:58 am

VegasLaw702 wrote:Do you mean federal PD?

That is what I said.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Consensus on which T-14 schools are best for...

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:23 am

My understanding is that federal PD doesn't generally hire out of law school - you'd have to get experience first. Also, at least where I am (flyover state, though a nice one) the defense attorneys who do CJA stuff (i.e. get appointed to do criminal defense in federal court) all take private clients as well (many of whom are facing state charges), because you can't survive on CJA appointments alone. (CJA appointments happen when federal defendants have no money for a defense attorney and the fed PD can't take the case for whatever reason. Attorneys do get paid for this but I don't think it's a lot of money, hence everyone having other clients.) That may be different in other states, I have no idea, but I'd be surprised.

And yes, usually when these attorneys have an appeal they associate with another attorney who does the appellate work. And everything rad lulz said about the two different kinds of criminal defense fits with my experience, too.

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.

Postby Myself » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:30 am

.
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