ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

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gma221
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby gma221 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:35 pm

worldtraveler wrote:Why are you going to law school? Is there something you want to do in the non-profit world that you can't do already?

You will most likely be giving up 3 years of salary to make the same salary you were before law school, with even less chance of having a job.


It's not necessary to go to law school to do advocacy work, which is what I'm doing now, but I'd like to be more directly involved in policymaking/reform. I worked for a public policy organization in NYC right out of college, and while most of my peers didn't have law degrees, many of the management-level staff members did. I considered getting an MPA/MPP instead, but I really want to get into the nitty-gritty of the law. I feel good about my choice to pursue a law degree (and I've given it years of thought), I just don't know how to reconcile my career plan with my desire to stay in Oregon. I feel like my job options will be severely limited here no matter where I go to school, so I should probably choose a school that has a solid reputation throughout the west coast (if not nationally). Thanks for helping me think this through.

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gma221
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby gma221 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:44 pm

JCougar wrote:While I don't think you should take NYU at sticker given your career aspirations, L&C is quite the drop off. What about applying to Berkeley or USC/UCLA? Berkeley does seem to have good public interest connections, especially on the West Coast, and it's a lot closer to the area you want to practice in. At the same time, if you got in to NYU, you should be able to snag a sizeable (75% or so) scholarship from USC/UCLA or U. Washington. Or even Davis/Hastings.


I applied to Berkeley and Stanford, but both are equally unlikely because I have a low-ish GPA. (If I do get into either, I will likely attend barring a drastic difference in cost from NYU.) I visited the University of Washington about a year ago and didn't really like the feel of it (or of Seattle in general), but in retrospect it was incredibly stupid of me not to apply there. I guess I'll just have to see how it goes with the options I do have. Thanks for your input.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:49 pm

gma221 wrote:
JCougar wrote:While I don't think you should take NYU at sticker given your career aspirations, L&C is quite the drop off. What about applying to Berkeley or USC/UCLA? Berkeley does seem to have good public interest connections, especially on the West Coast, and it's a lot closer to the area you want to practice in. At the same time, if you got in to NYU, you should be able to snag a sizeable (75% or so) scholarship from USC/UCLA or U. Washington. Or even Davis/Hastings.


I applied to Berkeley and Stanford, but both are equally unlikely because I have a low-ish GPA. (If I do get into either, I will likely attend barring a drastic difference in cost from NYU.) I visited the University of Washington about a year ago and didn't really like the feel of it (or of Seattle in general), but in retrospect it was incredibly stupid of me not to apply there. I guess I'll just have to see how it goes with the options I do have. Thanks for your input.


I'm pretty sure you can still apply at U.W. I wouldn't attend unless they gave me a huge scholarship, but if you're in at NYU, that might be just what you get.

NYU has a good LRAP, but simply getting a permanent public interest job at this point is difficult. It takes a ton of networking. It would be a lot easier to do that if you found a school closer to where you want to practice. Too bad about your GPA, because Berkely is probably the best option for what you want to do. They might let you in anyway if you wait it out, visit the campus/admissions office, and let them know you're in at NYU but would rather go there.

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worldtraveler
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby worldtraveler » Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:08 pm

gma221 wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:Why are you going to law school? Is there something you want to do in the non-profit world that you can't do already?

You will most likely be giving up 3 years of salary to make the same salary you were before law school, with even less chance of having a job.


It's not necessary to go to law school to do advocacy work, which is what I'm doing now, but I'd like to be more directly involved in policymaking/reform. I worked for a public policy organization in NYC right out of college, and while most of my peers didn't have law degrees, many of the management-level staff members did. I considered getting an MPA/MPP instead, but I really want to get into the nitty-gritty of the law. I feel good about my choice to pursue a law degree (and I've given it years of thought), I just don't know how to reconcile my career plan with my desire to stay in Oregon. I feel like my job options will be severely limited here no matter where I go to school, so I should probably choose a school that has a solid reputation throughout the west coast (if not nationally). Thanks for helping me think this through.


I think you have to really consider whether you want to be in Oregon or have the career you want. Really working on policy reform and being effective would require you to be in DC in all likelihood. One of the downsides of elite PI work is you have very little control over where you can get a job and where you live.

The other problem is that policy jobs usually require an elite degree. This means you will have a ton of debt. Sure you have LRAP/IBR but committing yourself to 10 years is not something to take lightly.

Basically you have three choices.

1. Go to a regional school for free, possibly work in PI in Oregon or get involved in policy making at a state level.

2. Go to NYU or another top school, take out huge loans, work in policy reform (hopefully), and have little control over where you live.

3. Forego law school, stay with the job you have and continue being an advocate.

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gma221
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby gma221 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:40 am

JCougar wrote:I'm pretty sure you can still apply at U.W. I wouldn't attend unless they gave me a huge scholarship, but if you're in at NYU, that might be just what you get.

NYU has a good LRAP, but simply getting a permanent public interest job at this point is difficult. It takes a ton of networking. It would be a lot easier to do that if you found a school closer to where you want to practice. Too bad about your GPA, because Berkely is probably the best option for what you want to do. They might let you in anyway if you wait it out, visit the campus/admissions office, and let them know you're in at NYU but would rather go there.


Ah, you're right about UW. I assumed the deadline was Feb. 1, but it's actually March 15. That's a relief. I'll still keep my fingers crossed for Berkeley, though. :)

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gma221
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby gma221 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:01 am

worldtraveler wrote:I think you have to really consider whether you want to be in Oregon or have the career you want. Really working on policy reform and being effective would require you to be in DC in all likelihood. One of the downsides of elite PI work is you have very little control over where you can get a job and where you live.

The other problem is that policy jobs usually require an elite degree. This means you will have a ton of debt. Sure you have LRAP/IBR but committing yourself to 10 years is not something to take lightly.

Basically you have three choices.

1. Go to a regional school for free, possibly work in PI in Oregon or get involved in policy making at a state level.

2. Go to NYU or another top school, take out huge loans, work in policy reform (hopefully), and have little control over where you live.

3. Forego law school, stay with the job you have and continue being an advocate.


Yeah. Bleh. I can confidently rule out option 3. I'd go with 2 in a heartbeat if I were single, but my current situation makes it a little more difficult/scary. As a married person, I'll probably get screwed when it comes to LRAP, too. Those factors make option 1 more tempting than it normally would be. But then there's this. :shock:

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mr. wednesday
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby mr. wednesday » Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:40 am

gma221 wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:Why are you going to law school? Is there something you want to do in the non-profit world that you can't do already?

You will most likely be giving up 3 years of salary to make the same salary you were before law school, with even less chance of having a job.


It's not necessary to go to law school to do advocacy work, which is what I'm doing now, but I'd like to be more directly involved in policymaking/reform. I worked for a public policy organization in NYC right out of college, and while most of my peers didn't have law degrees, many of the management-level staff members did. I considered getting an MPA/MPP instead, but I really want to get into the nitty-gritty of the law. I feel good about my choice to pursue a law degree (and I've given it years of thought), I just don't know how to reconcile my career plan with my desire to stay in Oregon. I feel like my job options will be severely limited here no matter where I go to school, so I should probably choose a school that has a solid reputation throughout the west coast (if not nationally). Thanks for helping me think this through.


You could likely get a perfectly sufficient amount of law by getting your MPP or MPA and auditing a con law class. Or just reading a few books. The vast majority of law school coursework is not going to be helpful for policy making, and if you never intend to take the bar, you should seriously seriously seriously consider not going to law school. A quarter of a million dollar degree that takes three years of your life is not something you get because you want a better sense of how a topic works that will be tangential to the work you want to do.

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Otunga
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Otunga » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:46 am

mr. wednesday wrote:
gma221 wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:Why are you going to law school? Is there something you want to do in the non-profit world that you can't do already?

You will most likely be giving up 3 years of salary to make the same salary you were before law school, with even less chance of having a job.


It's not necessary to go to law school to do advocacy work, which is what I'm doing now, but I'd like to be more directly involved in policymaking/reform. I worked for a public policy organization in NYC right out of college, and while most of my peers didn't have law degrees, many of the management-level staff members did. I considered getting an MPA/MPP instead, but I really want to get into the nitty-gritty of the law. I feel good about my choice to pursue a law degree (and I've given it years of thought), I just don't know how to reconcile my career plan with my desire to stay in Oregon. I feel like my job options will be severely limited here no matter where I go to school, so I should probably choose a school that has a solid reputation throughout the west coast (if not nationally). Thanks for helping me think this through.


You could likely get a perfectly sufficient amount of law by getting your MPP or MPA and auditing a con law class. Or just reading a few books. The vast majority of law school coursework is not going to be helpful for policy making, and if you never intend to take the bar, you should seriously seriously seriously consider not going to law school. A quarter of a million dollar degree that takes three years of your life is not something you get because you want a better sense of how a topic works that will be tangential to the work you want to do.


I think if OP doesn't aim to sit for the bar, then he/she probably shouldn't do law school. It doesn't appear motivated enough. If OP were truly dedicated to getting an elite policy job, then perhaps it's worth it, but that's assuming having a JD credential significantly helps and that the debt won't get too ridiculous. It looks like that OP should go to LS in Oregon for free if at all, so it depends on the level of job OP wants. To me, that option lacks appeal if there's a serious desire to do DC or something. But of course I know shit all about policy work. Either way, it's something OP has to think about a lot if NYU and lots of debt is on the table.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Dr. Review » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:36 am

Otunga wrote:I think if OP doesn't aim to sit for the bar, then he/she probably shouldn't do law school. It doesn't appear motivated enough. If OP were truly dedicated to getting an elite policy job, then perhaps it's worth it, but that's assuming having a JD credential significantly helps and that the debt won't get too ridiculous. It looks like that OP should go to LS in Oregon for free if at all, so it depends on the level of job OP wants. To me, that option lacks appeal if there's a serious desire to do DC or something. But of course I know shit all about policy work. Either way, it's something OP has to think about a lot if NYU and lots of debt is on the table.


Bedsole wrote:Just to keep the advice as practical as possible, please limit advice posts to post-grads (although jobless 3Ls may have some input).

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Otunga
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Otunga » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:43 am

Bedsole wrote:
Otunga wrote:I think if OP doesn't aim to sit for the bar, then he/she probably shouldn't do law school. It doesn't appear motivated enough. If OP were truly dedicated to getting an elite policy job, then perhaps it's worth it, but that's assuming having a JD credential significantly helps and that the debt won't get too ridiculous. It looks like that OP should go to LS in Oregon for free if at all, so it depends on the level of job OP wants. To me, that option lacks appeal if there's a serious desire to do DC or something. But of course I know shit all about policy work. Either way, it's something OP has to think about a lot if NYU and lots of debt is on the table.


Bedsole wrote:Just to keep the advice as practical as possible, please limit advice posts to post-grads (although jobless 3Ls may have some input).


Crap, I had just gotten myself up and believed I was posting in an independent thread. I should come back at another point with questions myself. :P

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:22 am

I have to agree with the hivemind here. Three years of connections and work experience in your field are going to matter much more than the RAP and Pennoyer. No, it doesn't teach you how to think, whatever that means.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:33 am

gma221 wrote:
JCougar wrote:I'm pretty sure you can still apply at U.W. I wouldn't attend unless they gave me a huge scholarship, but if you're in at NYU, that might be just what you get.

NYU has a good LRAP, but simply getting a permanent public interest job at this point is difficult. It takes a ton of networking. It would be a lot easier to do that if you found a school closer to where you want to practice. Too bad about your GPA, because Berkely is probably the best option for what you want to do. They might let you in anyway if you wait it out, visit the campus/admissions office, and let them know you're in at NYU but would rather go there.


Ah, you're right about UW. I assumed the deadline was Feb. 1, but it's actually March 15. That's a relief. I'll still keep my fingers crossed for Berkeley, though. :)


Good luck. Visiting the school usually doesn't hurt.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:46 am

gma221 wrote: As a married person, I'll probably get screwed when it comes to LRAP, too. Those factors make option 1 more tempting than it normally would be.


I didn't even think about this. Yes, IBR will be affected by your spouse's income. All the more reason not to go to NYU (as good of a school as it is) and try and leverage that acceptance into a better scholarship from a school that's more local.

The more I think about your goals, the more I think you should focus on less cost rather than more prestige. For every applicant, there's a constant tension between these two. Prestige matters for Biglaw, Article III clerkships, and some prestigious PI...but prestigious PI is very rare and scattered about the country. Prestigious PI is stuff like the Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU, and any number of top-notch civil rights firms (a sizable chunk of such are in the San Francisco area, which is why Berkely is a decent option). But these employers are even more selective than biglaw...if you don't go to Berkeley or better, you're SOL. The policy jobs are all in DC, and are a little less selective (T20 or so), but they require a ton of networking.

There's likely a few state-level equivalent jobs in Oregon, but for these, going to a local school and having no debt is probably best. I'd still go to the best local school possible...which is why I would at least apply to UW and see what they give you, and maybe USC/UCLA if that's not too far.

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gma221
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby gma221 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:18 pm

mr. wednesday wrote:You could likely get a perfectly sufficient amount of law by getting your MPP or MPA and auditing a con law class. Or just reading a few books. The vast majority of law school coursework is not going to be helpful for policy making, and if you never intend to take the bar, you should seriously seriously seriously consider not going to law school. A quarter of a million dollar degree that takes three years of your life is not something you get because you want a better sense of how a topic works that will be tangential to the work you want to do.


I totally get where you're coming from, but the policy area I'm interested and have experience in is criminal justice, so I view a law degree as more than tangential. When I said I was interested in "non-litigation PI," what I really meant was I don't plan on becoming a prosecutor or criminal defense attorney.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby patogordo » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:34 pm

Unless your employer is offering you a major promotion if you get a JD I don't think there are any situations where the value proposition of three years of law school at any expense is worth it if you don't intend to practice. Even then I'd want my employer to pay for it.

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gma221
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby gma221 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:35 pm

JCougar wrote:
gma221 wrote: As a married person, I'll probably get screwed when it comes to LRAP, too. Those factors make option 1 more tempting than it normally would be.


I didn't even think about this. Yes, IBR will be affected by your spouse's income. All the more reason not to go to NYU (as good of a school as it is) and try and leverage that acceptance into a better scholarship from a school that's more local.

The more I think about your goals, the more I think you should focus on less cost rather than more prestige. For every applicant, there's a constant tension between these two. Prestige matters for Biglaw, Article III clerkships, and some prestigious PI...but prestigious PI is very rare and scattered about the country. Prestigious PI is stuff like the Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU, and any number of top-notch civil rights firms (a sizable chunk of such are in the San Francisco area, which is why Berkely is a decent option). But these employers are even more selective than biglaw...if you don't go to Berkeley or better, you're SOL. The policy jobs are all in DC, and are a little less selective (T20 or so), but they require a ton of networking.

There's likely a few state-level equivalent jobs in Oregon, but for these, going to a local school and having no debt is probably best. I'd still go to the best local school possible...which is why I would at least apply to UW and see what they give you, and maybe USC/UCLA if that's not too far.


I really appreciate your input -- it's very helpful in attempting to reach a reasonable conclusion about all this. I'll come back with an update once I hear from the rest of the schools!

lawschool2014hopeful
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby lawschool2014hopeful » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:41 pm

1 of my friends is thinking of going to Loyola law in Cali for music law at sticker I believe (she is doing some music talent stuff), I looked at their employment breakdown in ABA it doesnt look horrific as I first assumed it to be.

Am I wrong in thinking it is not that bad?

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worldtraveler
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby worldtraveler » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:43 pm

lawschool2014hopeful wrote:1 of my friends is thinking of going to Loyola law in Cali for music law at sticker I believe (she is doing some music talent stuff), I looked at their employment breakdown in ABA it doesnt look horrific as I first assumed it to be.

Am I wrong in thinking it is not that bad?


That sounds like a terrible idea unless she already has crazy connections.

rad lulz
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby rad lulz » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:44 pm

m
Last edited by rad lulz on Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby ManoftheHour » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:45 pm

lawschool2014hopeful wrote:1 of my friends is thinking of going to Loyola law in Cali for music law at sticker I believe (she is doing some music talent stuff), I looked at their employment breakdown in ABA it doesnt look horrific as I first assumed it to be.

Am I wrong in thinking it is not that bad?


Two of my friends went there at sticker but at least they were PD gunners. One made it. The other one is a 2L.

How is THIS "not that bad?":

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=loyola

41.1 - 8.3 (school funded jobs) = 32.8 %

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BlueLotus
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby BlueLotus » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:21 pm

I'm at a T30 but aiming for PI (PD/Legal Aid) in the Philly area. Thoughts on doing a visiting year at Temple during 3L? I would be claiming in-state tuition and living with parents.

lawschool2014hopeful
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby lawschool2014hopeful » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:33 pm

Well according to this

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school= ... class=2011

at least 50% of class is hired in a legal job? and 80% have some sort of job?

I mean it just seems like alot better than what I would expect from a TTT.

palbatron
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby palbatron » Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:05 pm

Out of curiosity, assuming the goal is decent employment after graduation, what are thoughts on MSU College of Law with a King scholarship (full ride, group of 20 students, collaboration with dean, etc.)?

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BlueLotus
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby BlueLotus » Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:20 pm

palbatron wrote:Out of curiosity, assuming the goal is decent employment after graduation, what are thoughts on MSU College of Law with a King scholarship (full ride, group of 20 students, collaboration with dean, etc.)?


Any stips to the scholly? (i.e. have to be top 1/3 or you lose it)

palbatron
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby palbatron » Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:25 pm

BlueLotus wrote:
palbatron wrote:Out of curiosity, assuming the goal is decent employment after graduation, what are thoughts on MSU College of Law with a King scholarship (full ride, group of 20 students, collaboration with dean, etc.)?


Any stips to the scholly? (i.e. have to be top 1/3 or you lose it)



Only stips are that you maintain a 3.5 GPA or you are removed from the program (but you can still have the full-ride as long as you are in good academic standing). I'm looking at this along with a full ride to Kent and 32k/yr to Loyola, with other schools to hear from, but I know Kent was already mentioned in this thread. Looking to stay in the Midwest region (I'm from Michigan).




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