GWU, W&M, or UofR?

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roark614
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GWU, W&M, or UofR?

Postby roark614 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:35 am

I've applied to 6 schools: UVA, GWU, W&M, GMU, UofR, and AmericanU.
I applied about 2 weeks ago, and so far, I've heard back from GWU (admit, scholarships not offered until Feb.), W&M (admit, in-state tuition, $12,000 a year schol., potential to leverage when more offers come), and UofR (admit, scholarships not offered until March).

I'm interested in Constitutional Law and a career in public service (right now, but I know that might change) and I'm wondering, which school (out of those I've applied to, and out of those I've heard back from so far) is the best option?

Is GWU worth the extra money? Is W&M going to have enough push outside of VA?

165 LSAT, 3.37 UGPA.

All help appreciated!

timbs4339
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Re: GWU, W&M, or UofR?

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:08 pm

roark614 wrote:I've applied to 6 schools: UVA, GWU, W&M, GMU, UofR, and AmericanU.
I applied about 2 weeks ago, and so far, I've heard back from GWU (admit, scholarships not offered until Feb.), W&M (admit, in-state tuition, $12,000 a year schol., potential to leverage when more offers come), and UofR (admit, scholarships not offered until March).

I'm interested in Constitutional Law and a career in public service (right now, but I know that might change) and I'm wondering, which school (out of those I've applied to, and out of those I've heard back from so far) is the best option?

Is GWU worth the extra money? Is W&M going to have enough push outside of VA?

165 LSAT, 3.37 UGPA.

All help appreciated!


What type public service do you specifically want to do? Prosecution? Public defender? Legal aid lawyer?

As for constitutional law, I'm going to quote the foremost authority on the subject: "Listen, there are like three lawyers in America who argue Constitutional issues. They all went to Harvard and graduated in the 1970s. Did you go to Harvard? Do you have a time machine that you can use to go back to the 1970s and graduate with those guys?"

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/10/how-many ... w-student/

roark614
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Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:58 am

Re: GWU, W&M, or UofR?

Postby roark614 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:26 pm

timbs4339 wrote:
roark614 wrote:I've applied to 6 schools: UVA, GWU, W&M, GMU, UofR, and AmericanU.
I applied about 2 weeks ago, and so far, I've heard back from GWU (admit, scholarships not offered until Feb.), W&M (admit, in-state tuition, $12,000 a year schol., potential to leverage when more offers come), and UofR (admit, scholarships not offered until March).

I'm interested in Constitutional Law and a career in public service (right now, but I know that might change) and I'm wondering, which school (out of those I've applied to, and out of those I've heard back from so far) is the best option?

Is GWU worth the extra money? Is W&M going to have enough push outside of VA?

165 LSAT, 3.37 UGPA.

All help appreciated!


What type public service do you specifically want to do? Prosecution? Public defender? Legal aid lawyer?

As for constitutional law, I'm going to quote the foremost authority on the subject: "Listen, there are like three lawyers in America who argue Constitutional issues. They all went to Harvard and graduated in the 1970s. Did you go to Harvard? Do you have a time machine that you can use to go back to the 1970s and graduate with those guys?"

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/10/how-many ... w-student/


That's a fair point. And I suppose the short answer to your question is that I don't know exactly. I know that governmental law, civil rights issues, and the like interest me. I may sound naive, but a dream of mine is to work as a Congressional staffer or somethink of that ilk. I've also considered applying to the JAG corps.

And I know I don't neccesarily even need a law degree to do the former, but that really hits home my point.
I want to go somewhere where I can get my hands dirty and figure out where I fit in, but where I won't feel like I've gone to the wrong school if I decide I'd rather work in another focus area after my 1L year.

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John Everyman
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Re: GWU, W&M, or UofR?

Postby John Everyman » Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:37 pm

I know a number of congressional staffers and none of them have law degrees.

Edit: I know you mentioned that in your earlier post, just trying to hammer it home. Go out to DC and give a go of it yourself before you take on this massive debt.

also, they really don't make much money.

timbs4339
Posts: 2733
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: GWU, W&M, or UofR?

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:46 pm

roark614 wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:
roark614 wrote:I've applied to 6 schools: UVA, GWU, W&M, GMU, UofR, and AmericanU.
I applied about 2 weeks ago, and so far, I've heard back from GWU (admit, scholarships not offered until Feb.), W&M (admit, in-state tuition, $12,000 a year schol., potential to leverage when more offers come), and UofR (admit, scholarships not offered until March).

I'm interested in Constitutional Law and a career in public service (right now, but I know that might change) and I'm wondering, which school (out of those I've applied to, and out of those I've heard back from so far) is the best option?

Is GWU worth the extra money? Is W&M going to have enough push outside of VA?

165 LSAT, 3.37 UGPA.

All help appreciated!


What type public service do you specifically want to do? Prosecution? Public defender? Legal aid lawyer?

As for constitutional law, I'm going to quote the foremost authority on the subject: "Listen, there are like three lawyers in America who argue Constitutional issues. They all went to Harvard and graduated in the 1970s. Did you go to Harvard? Do you have a time machine that you can use to go back to the 1970s and graduate with those guys?"

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/10/how-many ... w-student/


That's a fair point. And I suppose the short answer to your question is that I don't know exactly. I know that governmental law, civil rights issues, and the like interest me. I may sound naive, but a dream of mine is to work as a Congressional staffer or somethink of that ilk. I've also considered applying to the JAG corps.

And I know I don't neccesarily even need a law degree to do the former, but that really hits home my point.
I want to go somewhere where I can get my hands dirty and figure out where I fit in, but where I won't feel like I've gone to the wrong school if I decide I'd rather work in another focus area after my 1L year.


I would take the above poster's advice and make a go of it in DC or working as a staffer for a local Congressperson first. Law school is not a good way to get your hands dirty- the debt is going to end up restricting your opportunity to work for little pay and try and move up in an organization.

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Mullens
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Re: GWU, W&M, or UofR?

Postby Mullens » Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:50 pm

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Last edited by Mullens on Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

roark614
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Re: GWU, W&M, or UofR?

Postby roark614 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:01 pm

Thanks everyone for the advice. Again those are all very valid points I've been heavily considering myself. Assuming I decide not to make staffing for a Congressman my life's ambition, which of those schools do you think would give me the most opportunities?

The only real definite I have is that I want to help people. So assuming I decide to go to law school to do that, for comparitive purposes, what would your suggestions be?

timbs4339
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Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: GWU, W&M, or UofR?

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:20 pm

roark614 wrote:Thanks everyone for the advice. Again those are all very valid points I've been heavily considering myself. Assuming I decide not to make staffing for a Congressman my life's ambition, which of those schools do you think would give me the most opportunities?

The only real definite I have is that I want to help people. So assuming I decide to go to law school to do that, for comparitive purposes, what would your suggestions be?


Again, your goals are very ill-defined at this point.

You seem to be very set on sort of "big time" civil rights or constitutional litigation- what is called "impact litigation." The problem, as you may suspect, is that a LOT of people also want to argue the next Brown v Board of Education. As a result jobs with the ACLU or similar nonprofits, with the few elite firms that do primarily civil rights work, are very difficult to get and usually go to people from elite law schools. So you'll need to retake the LSAT and get into a top school.

There is also "direct legal services" at organizations like Legal Aid. This is less glamorous work, but you help people in a very obvious sense of the word. You might help a battered spouse secure an order of protection, get a poor special needs student services that they are owed under federal law, or keep an immigrant from being deported. You can do this from many schools, but I wouldn't advise it without first working at a type of organization that does this kind of work as an administrative assistant or paralegal, as well as getting a very large scholarship to a regional school located in the area you want to work.

The third major category is Public Defense. That's criminal law with some categories of peripheral civil work (like civil commitments). If you don't know you want to do criminal law it's not wise to enter law school to try and get it, because it is very competitive.

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JCougar
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Re: GWU, W&M, or UofR?

Postby JCougar » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:30 pm

If GW is the best school you got into so far, you shouldn't plan on doing plaintiff's civil rights work. There is an extremely small number of firms that do that kind of work, and they mostly hire from HYS, and some from CCNB. You really need to go to Berkely or better to have a reasonable shot at this kind of work. It's harder to get into this field than it is to get Biglaw.

It also helps if you have a pre-law school background in the area you will be working in.

It's possible from other schools to get a low-level legal aid position somewhere and grind it out for 3-5 years, and then lateral in to a more prestigious civil rights firm, but you have to accumulate more than one significant career accomplishment along the way. But this process is highly unpredictable and is in no way near the norm. If you go this route, it will help if you have a very low amount of debt...but it also requires you to get into better schools or schools with a very robust LRAP.

My advice is for you to re-evaluate the kind of work you'll actually be doing if you graduate from law school and get a better grasp of what kinds of jobs are actually out there.




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