Antitrust Law Options

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jazzmonky
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Antitrust Law Options

Postby jazzmonky » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:19 pm

Hey everyone! Long time lurker, first time poster here. I was hoping to get some advice, and I hope this is the right place.

I am a recent graduate from a top public university with a major in Economics and a 3.35 LSAC scale GPA. I have a strong upward trend (my last two years being much better than the first two). I have not taken the LSAT yet although I am testing around 170. I should have pretty good LOR too, in case that helps. Anyways, I am interested in Antitrust Law and I wanted your opinion on the best way to pursue that career.

I am getting a MS in Applied Economics from JHU starting this summer in hopes that the analytical chops will supplement my legal education for antitrust. Are there certain schools that would be best for working in DC for antitrust? And are there any good part-time programs for this? I know Mason and GT have good PT programs, as does GWU. I have a decently-paying job and am hoping to mitigate large tuition costs by working while in school (at least for the first year).
I am not opposed to going to law school full-time, but I am really averse to taking out massive student loans. I guess I am looking to see what the downsides are for going part-time and whether they outweigh the benefits of lessened debt, particularly for this field.

Thanks for all the help!

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deadpanic
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Re: Antitrust Law Options

Postby deadpanic » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:25 pm

George Mason gives you almost zero chance in working in antitrust law so you should rule that out completely. It is likely a waste of your time to even attend GM for 3 years. The Masters is probably not going to help that much.

If you want to work for the DOJ in the Antitrust division, you are pretty much going to need HYS to have a good shot. Georgetown may give you a shot, but the odds are not great. Outside of that, you will need to be at a big firm to work on antitrust cases defending businesses. Look at Law School Transparency for GT's big firm score.

Anything to reduce your debt load is good, so I would recommend keeping your job. However, I can't really comment if this affects your OCI chances at a place like Georgetown, so I will let someone else answer that.

timbs4339
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Re: Antitrust Law Options

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:56 pm

I had a friend who desperately wanted to do antitrust and could not find a job (high grades from CCN). DOJ Antitrust is likely out, they may hire one person every year or every five years. I know FTC had an honors program, but that is going to be tough to get into. The best thing would be to go to a T10 school and try to get a job with a DC firm. The problem with GT PT is that there's a significant risk that you won't have the grades to compete in the hyper-selective DC market.

jazzmonky
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Re: Antitrust Law Options

Postby jazzmonky » Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:35 pm

I appreciate the responses!
So it seems that if I want to practice antitrust, I am going to need to go to a big firm since a government job is nearly impossible to snag. With my numbers I am sure HYS will be out of the question even if I rock the LSAT, but I will still be shooting for a T-10 and hope to get some money.
At this point is it pretty much going to be big law or bust if I want to pursue this field? Is there anything else I can do?

timbs4339
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Re: Antitrust Law Options

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:18 pm

jazzmonky wrote:I appreciate the responses!
So it seems that if I want to practice antitrust, I am going to need to go to a big firm since a government job is nearly impossible to snag. With my numbers I am sure HYS will be out of the question even if I rock the LSAT, but I will still be shooting for a T-10 and hope to get some money.
At this point is it pretty much going to be big law or bust if I want to pursue this field? Is there anything else I can do?


Unfortunately.

I've heard of state AG offices with antitrust units, but I can't imagine those places would have much impact since it's almost exclusively federal law. Good places to intern though:

http://www.ag.ny.gov/antitrust/antitrust-enforcement
http://oag.ca.gov/antitrust

I also highly doubt those agencies hire direct from law school because it is such a specialized area.

redsoxfan1989
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Re: Antitrust Law Options

Postby redsoxfan1989 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:22 pm

timbs4339 wrote:
jazzmonky wrote:I appreciate the responses!
So it seems that if I want to practice antitrust, I am going to need to go to a big firm since a government job is nearly impossible to snag. With my numbers I am sure HYS will be out of the question even if I rock the LSAT, but I will still be shooting for a T-10 and hope to get some money.
At this point is it pretty much going to be big law or bust if I want to pursue this field? Is there anything else I can do?


Unfortunately.

I've heard of state AG offices with antitrust units, but I can't imagine those places would have much impact since it's almost exclusively federal law. Good places to intern though:

http://www.ag.ny.gov/antitrust/antitrust-enforcement
http://oag.ca.gov/antitrust

I also highly doubt those agencies hire direct from law school because it is such a specialized area.


At least my home state, the AGO is mostly staffed with attorneys with biglaw or DA level experience. It is possible to get a job in the securities division in the Secretary of State's office with the right connections, but that's not quite antitrust.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Antitrust Law Options

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:47 pm

deadpanic wrote:George Mason gives you almost zero chance in working in antitrust law so you should rule that out completely. It is likely a waste of your time to even attend GM for 3 years. The Masters is probably not going to help that much.

detljgh
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Re: Antitrust Law Options

Postby detljgh » Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:40 pm

Current clerk/antitrust specialist here. Take most of these comments with a grain of salt. Yes, most of the places that will allow you to do high level antitrust work (biglaw and fed gvt) also value pedigree, so T14 is very helpful. But the "HYS of bust" attitude is way off-base, even for DOJ Antitrust (my year, I believe 3 of the 8 honors hires were from Michigan and another 2 were from Chicago). In fact, due to some weird connections (mostly Commissioner Wright), George Mason is actually the single best-represented school among entry-level employees at the FTC. These positions are slightly less competitive than DOJ or BigLaw on the whole and probably have slightly less mobility/cachet, but they are great jobs that allow you to do high-level antitrust work in your first year out of law school.

This is an area that many people express interest in but few actually know much about once they start talking. If you come to law school with antitrust as your singular focus and you can express to employers that you understand it and that you will be good at it (your Masters WILL help you here, I promise), you will outperform your combination of school and class rank.

jazzmonky
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Re: Antitrust Law Options

Postby jazzmonky » Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:22 pm

Thanks guys.

Detljgh, it's good to hear you think there's some leeway in terms of career paths (I'd personally like to work for the government if I'm not burdened by six-figure debt coming out of law school). Do you have any advice for an aspiring antitrust lawyer (which schools are best, any classes I should look out for, etc), given my credentials?
I've already taken an antitrust course in undergrad (taught by a prominent economist) and have attended an ABA Antitrust Annual Spring Meeting...I'm fairly certain this is the field I want to go into.

detljgh
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Re: Antitrust Law Options

Postby detljgh » Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:48 pm

Best schools probably track your best choices generally--HYS then T14, but I think GMU is a legitimate consolation prize here if you can get a good scholarship. The most extensive antitrust offerings among top schools I believe were found at Harvard, Chicago, and Michigan with NYU not far behind those three. Most of the rest had very little when I was choosing a school.

Make no mistake, federal hiring is tough. DOJ Antitrust is a blood sport and FTC is not all that far behind. One difference is that you usually do not need a clerkship for the FTC. I think that the single best thing you can do to get your foot in the door for the competitive hiring programs is to split your 1L summer between the two agencies. It is slightly less competitive because very few people know they want antitrust after first semester, and it can really help you make some connections as well as signal your antitrust focus for 2L/Honors hiring.

If federal positions don't work out, some of the bigger states have vibrant practices in their AG offices, so look into those too (whether through the ABA Steigler fellowship or on your own).

detljgh
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Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:49 pm

Re: Antitrust Law Options

Postby detljgh » Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:00 pm

Also, antitrust on the whole is certainly not 'almost exclusively federal' as one of the other posters said. Mergers maybe, but almost every state has competition provisions in their consumer protection laws and they sometimes go beyond the federal laws. There is almost no state preemption of conduct statutes.




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