Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

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dardardelight
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Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby dardardelight » Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:54 am

Hi, all. I already know what I want to do as a lawyer, at least straight out of law school: work for the E.P.A. or D.O.E. as an attorney, specifically in a China-related capacity.

I went to a terrific liberal arts college and became fluent in Chinese, and am finishing a master's degree at D.C.'s best university, where I study Asian Studies. More specifically, my interests are in energy policy, global oil & gas market, domestic utilities market, climate change negotiations, and U.S.-China energy cooperation. I speak fluent Chinese as well.

I am aware that Vermont Law is ranked like 12234324 in the country, and that specialized rankings mean nada. I have done some linkedin browsing, and it seems like Vermont law grads who have carved out a resume focused on energy/environmental law are, however, very well represented in the E.P.A. and D.O.E. There are endless opportunities for me to pursue this rather niche legal field at VLS, given their environmental and energy law institute and U.S.-China energy partnership. I am *almost* certain that I will excel at a school like this and graduate within the very top portion of the class. I do not want to work in biglaw right away, but want to rather do some gov work either in regulatory or litigation-- and then perhaps move into some boutique firm 7-10 years after graduating.

GW at sticker (or maybe 10-20k $ after some negotiating) is another option. Of course, I'd have a shot at biglaw coming out, assuming I finish in the top third or so. There are also plenty of opportunities for gov externships in fed agencies like FERC, DOE, and EPA. There is an energy and environment program here. I'm just thinking that excelling at Vermont can put me in the same place as being a slightly above average GW student -- given that my post graduation target is a federal agency dealing with env/energy matters in a capacity that deals with China.

FYI -- my parents are willing to foot the bill. But I know that after they do, they'll give me so much shit for wanting to do gov work in light of all the debt. And they'll passive-aggressively force me into the biglaw direction / make me feel guilty. If I go to Vermont, I will be liberated -- knowing that if I do well, I can get to where I want to be in D.C. after 3 years. ( I will also be looked down upon my prestige-loving persian relatives who will see me have gone from a masters at gtown sfs to the 109th best law school in the country-- but who gives a shit, right? ) My parents have already payed for 4 years of undergrad and a 3 semester masters program, all at private institutions-- so I'd give them a retirement earlier than expected.

Any thoughts? Please-- this is a big decision for me. Anybody with inside knowledge of EPA / DOE hiring? Do vermont grads literally need to be top 5 in their class to have a shot? If I'm fluent in Chinese already and have a master's and previous experience with energy/environmental matters, do I have enough softs to land me a job coming out of GW, even if I'm an average student? Please shine a light, TLS community.
Last edited by dardardelight on Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby Mal Reynolds » Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:59 am

lol

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dardardelight
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby dardardelight » Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:03 am

what's funny? this "pipe dream" of an idea? the fact that I'm toggling between two seemingly terrible choice? Or was it the persian comment hahah?

I'm looking for serious responses though...

I'm not a quixotic dumbass -- just looking for people who know Vermont's hiring situation with epa, doe, etc.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby Mal Reynolds » Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:08 am

Vermont law is #2 in environmental law programs. Why settle for second best?

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dardardelight
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby dardardelight » Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:11 am

(tied for number 1) but who the fuck cares? Apparently me..

Mal Reynolds
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby Mal Reynolds » Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:15 am

Lewis and Clark is listed first though, and I suspect it's due to more than alphabetical reasons.

03152016
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby 03152016 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:19 am

vermont is one of the worst law schools in the country, possibly the world

usnwr "specialty rankings" are a device to help schools promote themselves in exchange for establishing the primacy of usnwr rankings

make no mistake about it – only half of vermont law school grads actually find full-time legal jobs within 9 months of graduation

a shocking 29% are underemployed

if you want prestigious pi, aim for hys, nyu, berkeley

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dardardelight
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby dardardelight » Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:35 am

Yeah, I'm aware of the stats.. and it is daunting. How hard can it be out-competing a bunch of peeps who got 150's on their LSAT though?? ( i know how much of a douche comment that was) But seriously, I'm going in with an uber focused goal, all the resources I need at my disposal, etc. Of course, all these resources are at GW/GULC as well -- but are they worth sticker?

Realistically, best school I'm getting into is GULC at sticker. Can we stick to the hypothetical in the original post?

03152016
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby 03152016 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:39 am

are your parents rich
if they are, and they're footing the bill entirely, you'd be literally insane to choose vermont over gulc

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dardardelight
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby dardardelight » Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:54 am

Yeah they're not filthy rich.. but they're willing to support me all the way. Does this justify taking advantage of the support? I know that if I go to gw/gulc, I'll have this lingering feeling that going to VLS for free, with a very focused curriculum, excellent grades, continuation of my china 'stuff', etc can def get me to the same gs-11 entry level attorney position at EPA's office of general counsel.

03152016
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby 03152016 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:01 am

play the tape forward

what if you're on the wrong side of that 54/46 split in four years, wondering what you could have done differently
everyone thinks they're going to kill it in law school

a_fireinside
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby a_fireinside » Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:07 am

Vermont
Last edited by a_fireinside on Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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dardardelight
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby dardardelight » Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:20 am

Oh wow, that's some great insight. Thanks a_fireinside. Yeah-- I need people to keep me in check as I'm getting some wild ideas about going to schools for free.

Any optimistic stories about VLS?

a_fireinside
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby a_fireinside » Sat Dec 13, 2014 6:09 am

One of my friends who is a 3L, top of the class, and on the law review ended up with a federal clerkship. All others I know are still looking for jobs. However, because I was not a JD student, I do not know %'s of jobs post 2L, or 3L prior to taking the bar, or after taking the bar.

Also, I would assume that if you went to GULC and your obvious proximity to the EPA, DOE (FERC), you would have better chances at internship/externships.

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pancakes3
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby pancakes3 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:36 am

Obligatory: GPA/LSAT, and hometown ties?
Optional: Instead of USNWR rankings, have you looked at http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/vermont/2013/ ?
Observations: If your parents can foot 3 years of GULC sticker then I would say, yes. They're filthy rich.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby Ron Don Volante » Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:59 am

Holy shit

180 flame

just in case it's not -- quoting for posterity

dardardelight wrote:Hi, all. I already know what I want to do as a lawyer, at least straight out of law school: work for the E.P.A. or D.O.E. as an attorney, specifically in a China-related capacity.

I went to a terrific liberal arts college and became fluent in Chinese, and am finishing a master's degree at D.C.'s best university, where I study Asian Studies. More specifically, my interests are in energy policy, global oil & gas market, domestic utilities market, climate change negotiations, and U.S.-China energy cooperation. I speak fluent Chinese as well.

I am aware that Vermont Law is ranked like 12234324 in the country, and that specialized rankings mean nada. I have done some linkedin browsing, and it seems like Vermont law grads who have carved out a resume focused on energy/environmental law are, however, very well represented in the E.P.A. and D.O.E. There are endless opportunities for me to pursue this rather niche legal field at VLS, given their environmental and energy law institute and U.S.-China energy partnership. I am *almost* certain that I will excel at a school like this and graduate within the very top portion of the class. I do not want to work in biglaw right away, but want to rather do some gov work either in regulatory or litigation-- and then perhaps move into some boutique firm 7-10 years after graduating.

GW at sticker (or maybe 10-20k $ after some negotiating) is another option. Of course, I'd have a shot at biglaw coming out, assuming I finish in the top third or so. There are also plenty of opportunities for gov externships in fed agencies like FERC, DOE, and EPA. There is an energy and environment program here. I'm just thinking that excelling at Vermont can put me in the same place as being a slightly above average GW student -- given that my post graduation target is a federal agency dealing with env/energy matters in a capacity that deals with China.

FYI -- my parents are willing to foot the bill. But I know that after they do, they'll give me so much shit for wanting to do gov work in light of all the debt. And they'll passive-aggressively force me into the biglaw direction / make me feel guilty. If I go to Vermont, I will be liberated -- knowing that if I do well, I can get to where I want to be in D.C. after 3 years. ( I will also be looked down upon my prestige-loving persian relatives who will see me have gone from a masters at gtown sfs to the 109th best law school in the country-- but who gives a shit, right? ) My parents have already payed for 4 years of undergrad and a 3 semester masters program, all at private institutions-- so I'd give them a retirement earlier than expected.

Any thoughts? Please-- this is a big decision for me. Anybody with inside knowledge of EPA / DOE hiring? Do vermont grads literally need to be top 5 in their class to have a shot? If I'm fluent in Chinese already and have a master's and previous experience with energy/environmental matters, do I have enough softs to land me a job coming out of GW, even if I'm an average student? Please shine a light, TLS community.

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deadpanic
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby deadpanic » Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:12 am

Assuming this is real, these are both horrible options. Other than American U, GW at sticker might be one of the worst options you could sign up for. Vermont may not even be around in a few years but at least it would not cost 200k+.

Do you know how many people graduate from GW law? Most every GW grad will never work for the EPA or DOE. Many of those would love to have a legal job period, especially one at a competitive federal agency. It is not like these grads have not thought of this or were not qualified. These are highly competitive jobs and GW grads will not have much of a shot at them. Even from GULC you probably won't have much of a chance.

Retake.

mvp99
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby mvp99 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:16 am

I have a higher LSAT than most = I will end up at the top of the class

Nop.

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Elston Gunn
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby Elston Gunn » Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:36 am

I'd do what you can to get to GULC at sticker if your parents are paying. Being in D.C. for networking purposes is going to be important if you want a real shot at the kind of jobs you're looking for. Though having the language skills and focused background will give you a better shot at these jobs than the TLS hive mind will say, it's still going to be a tough mountain to climb. You'll want to meet as many FERC, EPA, DOE, boutique energy firms, etc. lawyers as you possibly can, start interning at these places as soon as is possible and develop relationships. If you really know what you want, have the background, and gun for it immediately and incessantly, I actually think this is probably reasonably doable from GULC, though I wouldn't know.

I also wouldn't worry too much about your parents "pushing you in the Biglaw direction" from GW. The overwhelming odds are that you won't have that option. You're also of course better off working out these details ahead of time: Make clear to your parents what you want before they agree to pay.

If you somehow end up with the grades for big law (esp. DC big law), you would be foolish not to take it, at least for the summer. Almost everywhere will let you split with government and you don't have to commit until you know whether you've gotten a government job full time.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:18 pm

VLS strikes me as a school where the few people at the top who get jobs punch significantly above the school's weight - but that this is a very very small number and the options for the remaining few are very very slim.

I do know VLS grads working in government, some with federal agencies doing environmental work. I think it's possible to be competitive for these jobs coming out of VLS, and I think there is some association of VLS with environmental stuff.

HOWEVER, 1) I don't know a lot of VLS grads, and 2) a lot of that is probably due to self-selection, in that people who have environmental experience/connections/goals go to VLS for the environmental stuff, and those people would probably have been able to do well at any other (better) law school.

And if you swing and miss (likely), your options are going to be very very poor.

jarofsoup
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby jarofsoup » Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:32 pm

deadpanic wrote:Assuming this is real, these are both horrible options. Other than American U, GW at sticker might be one of the worst options you could sign up for. Vermont may not even be around in a few years but at least it would not cost 200k+.

Do you know how many people graduate from GW law? Most every GW grad will never work for the EPA or DOE. Many of those would love to have a legal job period, especially one at a competitive federal agency. It is not like these grads have not thought of this or were not qualified. These are highly competitive jobs and GW grads will not have much of a shot at them. Even from GULC you probably won't have much of a chance.

Retake.


Entry-level candidates period do not have much of a shot at them. Even if you go to Harvard or Yale its like 3 to 4 positions that usually go to former judicial clerks.

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dardardelight
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby dardardelight » Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:21 pm

wow thanks guys.. hopefully I can get into gtown, even part-time, and not look back.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby TheSpanishMain » Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:19 pm

dardardelight wrote:wow thanks guys.. hopefully I can get into gtown, even part-time, and not look back.


Even GULC doesn't give you a great shot at your goals, fyi. Not saying it's impossible, but if this is all you're interested in doing as a lawyer, you may want to give a policy related job serious thought.

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pancakes3
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby pancakes3 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:45 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:
dardardelight wrote:wow thanks guys.. hopefully I can get into gtown, even part-time, and not look back.


Even GULC doesn't give you a great shot at your goals, fyi. Not saying it's impossible, but if this is all you're interested in doing as a lawyer, you may want to give a policy related job serious thought.


Going to law school so you can "work for the E.P.A. or D.O.E. as an attorney, specifically in a China-related capacity" is like joining the air force because you want to be an astronaut.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Vermont Law (full-ride) vs. GW sticker

Postby TheSpanishMain » Sat Dec 13, 2014 6:15 pm

pancakes3 wrote:
TheSpanishMain wrote:
dardardelight wrote:wow thanks guys.. hopefully I can get into gtown, even part-time, and not look back.


Even GULC doesn't give you a great shot at your goals, fyi. Not saying it's impossible, but if this is all you're interested in doing as a lawyer, you may want to give a policy related job serious thought.


Going to law school so you can "work for the E.P.A. or D.O.E. as an attorney, specifically in a China-related capacity" is like joining the air force because you want to be an astronaut.


Perfect analogy.




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