So you want to do PI?

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
User avatar
SnakySalmon
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:48 am

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby SnakySalmon » Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:23 am

baloneydanza wrote:Man, I wish I'd seen this thread before I applied. Anyway, a few questions

1) I'm very interested in PI (especially more policy-oriented work at a top non-profit like the ACLU), but I'm also the kind of person who likes to keep their options open. How difficult is it to get into PI from biglaw and vice versa? Including government jobs. Ultimately I see myself in PI, as I don't think my conscience could deal with biglaw forever, but if I have to bypass biglaw altogether to have a shot at something like the ACLU or SPLC, then I'd want to know.
1a) What kind of hustling would I have to do to get to a top non-profit?
2) So far, the highest ranking school I've been admitted to is Harvard. I've been awarded a little over half of my tuition costs from Penn, and I'm waiting to hear back from NYU and Yale. These are the 4 schools I'm most interested in. From a PI standpoint, which school would be best to attend if cost was no obstacle? And what if it is an obstacle?
3) Why isn't working for a union PI?


Disclaimer: Am 0L

1: My understanding is that it can be difficult to get back to biglaw if you've had a lot of time in PI. They don't generally feel that your experience is super transferable, but you're also not going to be comfortable taking a starting level position at the firm and taking orders from people younger than you. They're is also a vague idea that you might not want to work the hours they expect.

Going the other way to non-profits seems to be mostly a matter of convincing them that you're sincere in wanting to, and it's not a matter of you being unable to cut it in biglaw. It's also obviously important that your experience be in a field related to what they do, which isn't that likely to be the case at biglaw.

It's also worth noting that it's hard to move from some kinds of PI to other related kinds. The go to example is that Legal Aid really dislikes seeing prosecutors applying to them, for obvious reasons.

1A: OP seems to cover this pretty well. You'll want to do all of your law school internships with non-profits or the government, which will fuck you over with biglaw. You'll want SLIP for DoJ for example.

2: Yale is obviously the best if you get in and cost doesn't matter, with HLS being second best. The Fed clerkship you may get out of it will help you with the prestige PI. If cost does matter, it depends on how much money you get at the other schools.

3: Same reason working as a lawyer for the company isn't. A union's job is to make money for its workers, which is great, but isn't particularly PI. Obviously, in practice, most liberals (including myself) are going to respect lawyers who work for the AFL-CIO, but the distinction between them and the ACLU or civil servants should be pretty clear.

User avatar
spleenworship
Posts: 4421
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:08 pm

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby spleenworship » Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:49 am

Go to Y or H. Don't worry about cost. Get job at any kind of law office you want: PI, big law, whatever. Enjoy.

Decide whether you want to do PI or biglaw over 1L thanksgiving break.

User avatar
worldtraveler
Posts: 7664
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:47 am

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby worldtraveler » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:44 pm

baloneydanza wrote:Man, I wish I'd seen this thread before I applied. Anyway, a few questions

1) I'm very interested in PI (especially more policy-oriented work at a top non-profit like the ACLU), but I'm also the kind of person who likes to keep their options open. How difficult is it to get into PI from biglaw and vice versa? Including government jobs. Ultimately I see myself in PI, as I don't think my conscience could deal with biglaw forever, but if I have to bypass biglaw altogether to have a shot at something like the ACLU or SPLC, then I'd want to know.
1a) What kind of hustling would I have to do to get to a top non-profit?
2) So far, the highest ranking school I've been admitted to is Harvard. I've been awarded a little over half of my tuition costs from Penn, and I'm waiting to hear back from NYU and Yale. These are the 4 schools I'm most interested in. From a PI standpoint, which school would be best to attend if cost was no obstacle? And what if it is an obstacle?
3) Why isn't working for a union PI?


Yale is by far the best, same as for big law. If cost is no issue, go to the highest ranked school.

Why are you only interested in top non-profits? Is it that you want prestige or a specific kind of work?

Union work does qualify under some LRAPs, but not all. I believe it doesn't qualify for PSLF though.

User avatar
twenty
Posts: 3153
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby twenty » Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:18 pm

3: Same reason working as a lawyer for the company isn't. A union's job is to make money for its workers, which is great, but isn't particularly PI. Obviously, in practice, most liberals (including myself) are going to respect lawyers who work for the AFL-CIO, but the distinction between them and the ACLU or civil servants should be pretty clear.


Everything else you said is pretty much spot-on, but just to clarify, when I mentioned unions/religions organizations/partisan organizations are not "PI" I don't necessarily mean that they're "not inherently in the interest of the public" as much as I mean that the vast majority of LRAPs, minus H and Y, will not cover them. PSLF will not forgive your debt, so you can not count on using it after ten years in your job.

baloneydanza wrote:1) I'm very interested in PI (especially more policy-oriented work at a top non-profit like the ACLU), but I'm also the kind of person who likes to keep their options open. How difficult is it to get into PI from biglaw and vice versa? Including government jobs. Ultimately I see myself in PI, as I don't think my conscience could deal with biglaw forever, but if I have to bypass biglaw altogether to have a shot at something like the ACLU or SPLC, then I'd want to know.


If you're going from PI to biglaw, you better be gunning for partner track harder outside the firm than the associates inside firm. This can happen from super prestigious trial work (i.e, AUSA), but put yourself in the firm's shoes. The firm can hire an untrained 1L for 145k a year, or they can hire an "untrained" you for 230k+ a year. On rare occasion, PI/govt people will become partners at biglaw. A few former congressmen come to mind. At that level, your background better be bringing in a lot of business.

Going from biglaw to PI, however, is far more common. Seeing as many PI positions require a year or more of post-graduate legal experience, biglaw can be a way to soften that up. A lot of times biglaw folks will do pro bono work in a specific PI-oriented field in order to maximize their ability to lateral over. There is a reason people don't do this more often, though. PI work typically involves very low salaries, and 3+ years in biglaw will usually qualify one for a cushy in-house counsel spot for more than double the money the PI gig would have offered. After you're making 200k+ a year, it seems unfathomable to drop down to 55k~ a year.

This is most likely to "work" if you're trying to get into state government (and to a lesser extent, federal government). Fedgov takes laterals at GS14 for most of its attorney spots, which ends up being slightly less well-paid than the in-house counsel position. State governments, on the other hand, can start laterals anywhere from 80k in states like Arkansas and Maine to 120k+ in California, and most of those go up to 130k-170k.

1a) What kind of hustling would I have to do to get to a top non-profit?


The rules for a top non-profit are going to be pretty similar to the rules for top government -- get good grades at HYS, get on law review, try for a federal clerkship. You don't need to spend every waking moment gunning for a specific spot like at a low-prestige gig, but ideally some volunteer/summer experience picked up along the way would be an asset. "Gunning" at this level looks very similar to gunning for biglaw.

User avatar
LSL
Posts: 2177
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:58 pm

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby LSL » Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:50 pm

worldtraveler wrote:
Union work does qualify under some LRAPs, but not all. I believe it doesn't qualify for PSLF though.


This is TCR unfortunately. But yes also that some school LRAP's do allow you forgiveness (Berkeley, I think? Not sure, but I have seen it).

baloneydanza
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:44 am

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby baloneydanza » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:53 pm

twenty wrote:
If you're going from PI to biglaw, you better be gunning for partner track harder outside the firm than the associates inside firm. This can happen from super prestigious trial work (i.e, AUSA), but put yourself in the firm's shoes. The firm can hire an untrained 1L for 145k a year, or they can hire an "untrained" you for 230k+ a year. On rare occasion, PI/govt people will become partners at biglaw. A few former congressmen come to mind. At that level, your background better be bringing in a lot of business.

Going from biglaw to PI, however, is far more common. Seeing as many PI positions require a year or more of post-graduate legal experience, biglaw can be a way to soften that up. A lot of times biglaw folks will do pro bono work in a specific PI-oriented field in order to maximize their ability to lateral over. There is a reason people don't do this more often, though. PI work typically involves very low salaries, and 3+ years in biglaw will usually qualify one for a cushy in-house counsel spot for more than double the money the PI gig would have offered. After you're making 200k+ a year, it seems unfathomable to drop down to 55k~ a year.

This is most likely to "work" if you're trying to get into state government (and to a lesser extent, federal government). Fedgov takes laterals at GS14 for most of its attorney spots, which ends up being slightly less well-paid than the in-house counsel position. State governments, on the other hand, can start laterals anywhere from 80k in states like Arkansas and Maine to 120k+ in California, and most of those go up to 130k-170k.


Yes, the money is incredibly enticing. As strong as my convictions for a more equitable distribution of resources are, I also have to deal with the reality that society isn't equal and that more money = more comfort and security (to an extent). I think if I end up doing biglaw I'll burn out and dislike myself, my work, and the companies I work for, at which point I suppose I could attempt to enter PI. I'd probably find the pay cut daunting even if I could still live comfortably, and I don't know how difficult it would be to get a job coming from biglaw. Plus, I'd probably have to worry about loans if they weren't already paid off. But then again, I don't know how I'll react. Maybe I'll like biglaw or discover that pro bono work is enough to hold me over, as doubtful as that sounds.

What do people who burn out usually end up doing?

I guess what I'm trying to figure out is how reasonable/possible it would be to get a feel for biglaw, even if just for a summer during law school, but end up pursuing PI during school or a few years down the line. With my goals in mind, would I be better off just doing PI from the start? If only we lived in a communist society then I wouldn't have this dilemma :p

worldtraveler wrote:Yale is by far the best, same as for big law. If cost is no issue, go to the highest ranked school.

Why are you only interested in top non-profits? Is it that you want prestige or a specific kind of work?

Union work does qualify under some LRAPs, but not all. I believe it doesn't qualify for PSLF though.


I wouldn't say I'm ~only~ interested in them, I just figure that I might as well try aiming for them if I have the opportunity [edit: I should make it clear that I also feel very strongly about the issues for which they advocate]. Plus, I'm not as knowledgeable about other organizations. I didn't mean to imply that if I don't get ALCU/SPLC/Public Citizen(?) then I'd prefer biglaw; I am open to government (kinda) and lesser-known non profits. Interestingly, for whatever reason I'm more concerned about my school's prestige than my job's.

Thanks for the help, all.

User avatar
BlueLotus
Posts: 2428
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:07 pm

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby BlueLotus » Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:22 pm

Is now too early to choose a fellowship sponsor? I do have an org in mind, but have not brought up the subject with them yet. Or should I wait until a couple of weeks into my internship, and see if my 2L summer employer would take me on?

throwaway1901
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby throwaway1901 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:47 pm

I know biglaw looks bad on a resume for PI, but how about plaintiff side work?

User avatar
BlueLotus
Posts: 2428
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:07 pm

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby BlueLotus » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:54 pm

throwaway1901 wrote:I know biglaw looks bad on a resume for PI, but how about plaintiff side work?


An alum of my school worked at a L&E (plaintiff's side) firm for 2L, and is now working as a staff attorney at a legal aid org for farmworkers. This was pre-ITE, tho.

User avatar
JCougar
Posts: 3175
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby JCougar » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:40 pm

throwaway1901 wrote:I know biglaw looks bad on a resume for PI, but how about plaintiff side work?


Nothing wrong with that at all. People constantly bounce between the two.

The Dark Shepard
Posts: 450
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:49 pm

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby The Dark Shepard » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:37 am

Fantastic thread! Thanks twenty!

User avatar
JazzieShizzle
Posts: 151
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:47 am

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby JazzieShizzle » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:14 pm

I just finally finished reading this entire thread! Thanks so much twenty for creating it and everyone else who contributes!

I'll be starting law school in the fall and hope to land an ADA job upon graduation. I'm deciding between Temple, Villanova, Brooklyn, and Cardozo. In that order. Anyone have any advice/insight for me? Fortunately I have the GI Bill paying a huge chunk of the expenses, so money isn't an issue so much. Which school do you think will put me in the best position to get my dream job?

Nomo
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:06 am

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby Nomo » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:21 pm

JazzieShizzle wrote:I just finally finished reading this entire thread! Thanks so much twenty for creating it and everyone else who contributes!

I'll be starting law school in the fall and hope to land an ADA job upon graduation. I'm deciding between Temple, Villanova, Brooklyn, and Cardozo. In that order. Anyone have any advice/insight for me? Fortunately I have the GI Bill paying a huge chunk of the expenses, so money isn't an issue so much. Which school do you think will put me in the best position to get my dream job?


Will the GI Bill make any of those schools free for you? If not are there any schools you could make free? Your military experience is the main thing that will help you get a PI job, especially if you count government work.

User avatar
worldtraveler
Posts: 7664
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:47 am

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby worldtraveler » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:28 pm

JazzieShizzle wrote:I just finally finished reading this entire thread! Thanks so much twenty for creating it and everyone else who contributes!

I'll be starting law school in the fall and hope to land an ADA job upon graduation. I'm deciding between Temple, Villanova, Brooklyn, and Cardozo. In that order. Anyone have any advice/insight for me? Fortunately I have the GI Bill paying a huge chunk of the expenses, so money isn't an issue so much. Which school do you think will put me in the best position to get my dream job?


Do you want to be in Philly or NY?

User avatar
JazzieShizzle
Posts: 151
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:47 am

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby JazzieShizzle » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:53 pm

Nomo wrote:
JazzieShizzle wrote:I just finally finished reading this entire thread! Thanks so much twenty for creating it and everyone else who contributes!

I'll be starting law school in the fall and hope to land an ADA job upon graduation. I'm deciding between Temple, Villanova, Brooklyn, and Cardozo. In that order. Anyone have any advice/insight for me? Fortunately I have the GI Bill paying a huge chunk of the expenses, so money isn't an issue so much. Which school do you think will put me in the best position to get my dream job?


Will the GI Bill make any of those schools free for you? If not are there any schools you could make free? Your military experience is the main thing that will help you get a PI job, especially if you count government work.

I'm at 90% GI Bill eligibility (I think), so the only school that is free after GI Bill and scholarship deductions is Villanova. Temple would only be a couple hundred though. Brooklyn would be <$5k and Cardozo would be just under $15k, which is why it's last on my list. (These numbers are all per year)

worldtraveler wrote:Do you want to be in Philly or NY?

I'm from NY, but I think I would be happy in either place. I haven't lived in NY for the past few years though. I left because the high col wasn't worth it to me, but now I want to be closer to home. Philly is close enough to home, and I think a more livable city for low income people such as myself.

Temple has been my top choice from the start and still is by a long shot. I'm just having a hard time letting go of NY. Brooklyn has a clinic with Brooklyn DA and they're hooked up with the Brooklyn Mental Health Court. Cardozo has a prosecutor practicum that sounds pretty great.

I'm just paranoid I'll make a decision I'll regret down the road.

Nomo
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:06 am

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby Nomo » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:59 pm

JazzieShizzle wrote:
Nomo wrote:
JazzieShizzle wrote:I just finally finished reading this entire thread! Thanks so much twenty for creating it and everyone else who contributes!

I'll be starting law school in the fall and hope to land an ADA job upon graduation. I'm deciding between Temple, Villanova, Brooklyn, and Cardozo. In that order. Anyone have any advice/insight for me? Fortunately I have the GI Bill paying a huge chunk of the expenses, so money isn't an issue so much. Which school do you think will put me in the best position to get my dream job?


Will the GI Bill make any of those schools free for you? If not are there any schools you could make free? Your military experience is the main thing that will help you get a PI job, especially if you count government work.

I'm at 90% GI Bill eligibility (I think), so the only school that is free after GI Bill and scholarship deductions is Villanova. Temple would only be a couple hundred though. Brooklyn would be <$5k and Cardozo would be just under $15k, which is why it's last on my list. (These numbers are all per year)

worldtraveler wrote:Do you want to be in Philly or NY?

I'm from NY, but I think I would be happy in either place. I haven't lived in NY for the past few years though. I left because the high col wasn't worth it to me, but now I want to be closer to home. Philly is close enough to home, and I think a more livable city for low income people such as myself.

Temple has been my top choice from the start and still is by a long shot. I'm just having a hard time letting go of NY. Brooklyn has a clinic with Brooklyn DA and they're hooked up with the Brooklyn Mental Health Court. Cardozo has a prosecutor practicum that sounds pretty great.

I'm just paranoid I'll make a decision I'll regret down the road.


Just do an externship with the DA you want to work for. You'll probably be able to do that regardless of which school you go to. The differences in curriculum are essentially meaningless.

User avatar
twenty
Posts: 3153
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby twenty » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:07 pm

Unfortunately, Manhattan DA is very prestige-whorish, far more so than Kings County. If you want to go for Manhattan DA, you should probably retake the LSAT and go for NYU, which, when combined with your GI Bill, seems like a pretty solid way to go.

Philly's DA office has cut back a lot on entry level hiring in recent years, but spots are certainly still available for those who are persistent. Temple > Villanova, but not by too much.

User avatar
JazzieShizzle
Posts: 151
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:47 am

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby JazzieShizzle » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:18 pm

twenty wrote:Unfortunately, Manhattan DA is very prestige-whorish, far more so than Kings County. If you want to go for Manhattan DA, you should probably retake the LSAT and go for NYU, which, when combined with your GI Bill, seems like a pretty solid way to go.

I agree that would be a great option, but I don't think it's a good option for me.
Let's say I go to Cardozo and participate in their prosecutor practicum with Manhattan DA. Would that give me an edge in getting hired by them, or will all the positions go to NYU grads?
BLS appeals to me because I would love to work in a mental health court, and BLS provides that opportunity.

My fear w/NY is that all the T14 grads will get all the jobs and there will be nothing left for Fordham, Cardozo and Brooklyn grads, let alone the rest of the NY schools.

twenty wrote:Philly's DA office has cut back a lot on entry level hiring in recent years, but spots are certainly still available for those who are persistent. Temple > Villanova, but not by too much.

This is good to know. From what I understand, Temple is best for gov jobs (me) and Villanova has a slightly wider reach and is better for firm jobs. However, if jobs in my target market have dried up, that could change how I approach this decision.


I'm not set on any particular office or city. I do want to settle down and stay wherever I choose to go to school though, so I am putting a ton of thought into this decision. I have the best feeling about Temple. I want to make a decision based off more than a feeling though, of course. Temple has an ITAP program I think I could really benefit from and they seem very connected with the Philly DA's office. I also rationalized that NY is more oversaturated, hypercompetitive, and expensive so Philly would provide a better quality of life long term. Also, being jobless in Philly is much less disastrous than being jobless in NYC. Something to consider in case I end up being one of those unemployed statistics.

User avatar
twenty
Posts: 3153
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby twenty » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:05 pm

JazzieShizzle wrote:Let's say I go to Cardozo and participate in their prosecutor practicum with Manhattan DA. Would that give me an edge in getting hired by them, or will all the positions go to NYU grads?


The latter. For point of reference, Cardozo has had 175 alumni become partners at large law firms, but only 30~ become ADAs at Manhattan in the entire history of the school. That should give you some idea of just how hard it is to get into Manhattan DA from Cardozo. Roughly 2000 people apply for 25-40 slots each year, which comes out to a 2%-1.25% selection rate. Kings has an even lower selection rate, (<1%) but Kings doesn't care about school prestige or grades nearly as much as they care about hustle and dedication.

BLS appeals to me because I would love to work in a mental health court, and BLS provides that opportunity.


MHC in Brooklyn very rarely hires, but they do like hiring out of BLS for some reason. I'm sure clinics and externships will drastically improve your chances of getting in, but I would probably not count on this at all if you don't have some serious 0L work experience in mental health. Hiring officials will eagerly turn down HLS grads for BLS grads that show interest, but also overwhelmingly prefers hiring individuals with significant pre-law experience in the field.

My fear w/NY is that all the T14 grads will get all the jobs and there will be nothing left for Fordham, Cardozo and Brooklyn grads, let alone the rest of the NY schools.


That's less true once you start going for Bronx/Queens/North of Bronx. It becomes significantly less true once you're 1-2 hours outside NYC. Those jobs are definitely still there for those who hustle.

twenty wrote:Philly's DA office has cut back a lot on entry level hiring in recent years, but spots are certainly still available for those who are persistent. Temple > Villanova, but not by too much.

This is good to know. From what I understand, Temple is best for gov jobs (me) and Villanova has a wider reach and is better for firm jobs. However, if jobs in my target market have dried up, that could change how I approach this decision.


The firm placement difference between Temple and Villanova is going to be pretty marginal. I'd probably make this choice based on personal preference and cost.

Jazzie, I do like you a lot -- you're definitely one of the better posters on this site. I appreciate that you don't like the idea of retaking the LSAT, but I feel like you're very much settling right now for something that may not be in your best interest. Tons of people with mediocre numbers are getting full rides at BLS/Temple/Villanova/etc. without even touching their GI bills just because legal hiring is very tough to break into right now. I mean, heck, when Kings has a <1% hire rate and Philly DA isn't that much better, you can know that even if you strike out at everything, you're in a better place being unemployed when you pass the bar if you're a UPenn graduate rather than if you're a Villanova graduate.

User avatar
BlueLotus
Posts: 2428
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:07 pm

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby BlueLotus » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:04 pm

twenty, how will visiting away as a 3L in a lower-ranked school in the market i wanna target look? aiming for pd/legal aid in philly, so i hope to visit away at temple, which is a solid TT, but significantly lower-ranked than my current school.

User avatar
twenty
Posts: 3153
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby twenty » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:54 am

BlueLotus wrote:twenty, how will visiting away as a 3L in a lower-ranked school in the market i wanna target look? aiming for pd/legal aid in philly, so i hope to visit away at temple, which is a solid TT, but significantly lower-ranked than my current school.


When legal aid and PD especially aren't super particular about credentials, having local access to a market you're specifically targeting can really only be a good thing -- with a few notable caveats. First, there may be some huge disadvantage to visiting student status (like missing out on a scholarship you may have) or something similar. Second, as a 3L, you may be a little late in the game to be targeting Philly PD. Obviously there's no time like the present to gun for legal aid/PD, but make sure your post-graduation financials are all locked down before you embark.

User avatar
BlueLotus
Posts: 2428
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:07 pm

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby BlueLotus » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:47 pm

twenty wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:twenty, how will visiting away as a 3L in a lower-ranked school in the market i wanna target look? aiming for pd/legal aid in philly, so i hope to visit away at temple, which is a solid TT, but significantly lower-ranked than my current school.


When legal aid and PD especially aren't super particular about credentials, having local access to a market you're specifically targeting can really only be a good thing -- with a few notable caveats. First, there may be some huge disadvantage to visiting student status (like missing out on a scholarship you may have) or something similar. Second, as a 3L, you may be a little late in the game to be targeting Philly PD. Obviously there's no time like the present to gun for legal aid/PD, but make sure your post-graduation financials are all locked down before you embark.


I would be paying in-state and living with parents. Did my 1L summer and Philly and will be doing my 2L summer there as well. Don't particularly like my current school/city. :|

User avatar
worldtraveler
Posts: 7664
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:47 am

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby worldtraveler » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:37 pm

BlueLotus wrote:twenty, how will visiting away as a 3L in a lower-ranked school in the market i wanna target look? aiming for pd/legal aid in philly, so i hope to visit away at temple, which is a solid TT, but significantly lower-ranked than my current school.



I would say to do it and try to intern with a philly organization while you are there.

I also think that for PI, no one pays too much attention to ranking and people especially don't pay attention to any school that isn't in the top 15 or so. They're all treated pretty much the same.

And your resume will still say your current school, so you're probably fine.



I will also add that I think one thing PI people often overlook is a state trial clerkship or a magistrate clerkship. These are a lot less competitive than other clerkships but can give great experience or be a way to get some postgrad experience before trying to work with legal aid or a similar place.

User avatar
JazzieShizzle
Posts: 151
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:47 am

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby JazzieShizzle » Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:14 pm

Thanks so much for your thoughtful response, twenty. I read it over and over and really thought about everything you said and did some of my own supplemental googling.

I was already leaning more towards Philly, and everything you said just pushed me further in that direction. Cardozo doesn't seem to be a good option at all, even if I had to pay zero tuition. I was counting on their prosecutor practicum to provide valuable experience and also serve as a sort of extended interview- more time to make a good impression and be a familiar face when I'm in their applicant pool. Seems like it would be a waste of time to make personal connections with them though. Yeah, the experience would be awesome, but I think it would make more sense to spend the time with an agency that might actually lead to a real job afterwards. Brooklyn Law seems a bit less hopeless, but I think it would only be worth going for free. I am so grateful that the GI Bill pays a housing allowance, but the whole entire reason I left NY in the first place is because of the ridiculous cost of living. I should probably not forget that I won't always have GI Bill paying my rent. So, I'm pretty sure Philadelphia will be my new home :)

As for the LSAT... I edited this part out. If you didn't read it and you're really dying to know, feel free to PM me.

User avatar
LSL
Posts: 2177
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:58 pm

Re: So you want to do PI?

Postby LSL » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:12 pm

Anyone constantly floating back and forth between whether they want to be doing gov't work (more stable, better paying work) vs. non-profit work (a little less job security, lower pay, more interaction with clients and "the fight on the ground")? I feel like I change my mind constantly on this, ugh.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: acr, packerboy31489 and 3 guests