Not in it or the $$$$

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Triceratopz
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Not in it or the $$$$

Postby Triceratopz » Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:52 pm

I am going to law school with the ultimate goal of public defense/ policy/community organizing or something along those lines. I have no intention of making tons of money when I graduate, I am only hoping to get a job doing what I want to do.

How important is prestige for these kinds of jobs? How important is location of the law school?

My sig other is going for his Phd and has no idea where he will end up working since the job market for professors is pretty shitty. I am hoping to be able to find a job wherever he ends up down the line. If my goal is a job like the ones listed above does it matter as much what kind of law school I go to?

I've gotten into schools in the T16-T50 (so far) with varying scholarships. I have savings and no matter where I go will likely graduate with little to no debt but seeing as how I will probably not be making $$$$$$ at the end of the day I'd rather take the larger scholarships if its not going to largely impact my particular career goals.

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chuckbass
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Re: Not in it or the $$$$

Postby chuckbass » Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:54 pm

If the ultimate thing for you will end up being the geographic portability of your degree, you need to go to a national school, which essentially means a T14.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Not in it or the $$$$

Postby JohannDeMann » Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:55 pm

Triceratopz wrote:I am going to law school with the ultimate goal of public defense/ policy/community organizing or something along those lines. I have no intention of making tons of money when I graduate, I am only hoping to get a job doing what I want to do.

How important is prestige for these kinds of jobs? How important is location of the law school?

My sig other is going for his Phd and has no idea where he will end up working since the job market for professors is pretty shitty. I am hoping to be able to find a job wherever he ends up down the line. If my goal is a job like the ones listed above does it matter as much what kind of law school I go to?

I've gotten into schools in the T16-T50 (so far) with varying scholarships. I have savings and no matter where I go will likely graduate with little to no debt but seeing as how I will probably not be making $$$$$$ at the end of the day I'd rather take the larger scholarships if its not going to largely impact my particular career goals.


dont spend your savings until you know where youre gonna be working. you may be working pslf eligible jobs and blowing your savings would be dumb if so. max the loans, dont spend a penny of your own money

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Not in it or the $$$$

Postby JohannDeMann » Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:56 pm

just go wherever is cheapest in the area that has the most likely chance of you landing there with the best employment outcomes

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swampman
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Re: Not in it or the $$$$

Postby swampman » Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:04 pm

Generally, the schools in the range you're applying to will have minimal recognition/respect outside the region they're in. If you're planning on leaving the region you got them in, none of them is better than another. In terms of your specific career goals:

Public defense - very competitive. The school rank matters less than experience, and connections with the individual office can be key. People generally take these jobs wherever they can get them. Your chances of being able to get one in whatever city your SO ends up in are not great, even with awesome experience, regardless of the school range.
Legal aid - also competitive, and you should focus on this right off the bat if you're interested in it (mixing it with PD is okay, but you'll want to specialize quickly for a good chance at a job).
Policy - a JD won't help much with these jobs, and a JD from outside the T14 will help even less.
Community organizing - absolutely no reason to get a JD.

Don't pay any money for a JD given your goals. Even better, don't go to law school at all, at least until the SO settles on a city and you figure out your career goals.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Not in it or the $$$$

Postby JohannDeMann » Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:07 pm

swampman wrote:Generally, the schools in the range you're applying to will have minimal recognition/respect outside the region they're in. If you're planning on leaving the region you got them in, none of them is better than another. In terms of your specific career goals:

Public defense - very competitive. The school rank matters less than experience, and connections with the individual office can be key. People generally take these jobs wherever they can get them. Your chances of being able to get one in whatever city your SO ends up in are not great, even with awesome experience, regardless of the school range.
Legal aid - also competitive, and you should focus on this right off the bat if you're interested in it (mixing it with PD is okay, but you'll want to specialize quickly for a good chance at a job).
Policy - a JD won't help much with these jobs, and a JD from outside the T14 will help even less.
Community organizing - absolutely no reason to get a JD.

Don't pay any money for a JD given your goals. Even better, don't go to law school at all, at least until the SO settles on a city and you figure out your career goals.


Yah just wait 8 years before you start school so wait 10 years before you live. Jesus fucking christ stop with utter bullshit advice. Putting your life on hold waiting for someone to become a prof is stupid as fuck

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deadpanic
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Re: Not in it or the $$$$

Postby deadpanic » Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:08 pm

This is extremely vague. You don't seem to know exactly what you want other than something in public interest.

If you want to be a PD, I would go to your state flagship for free and gun like hell from day one to be a PD, knowing the possibility that you may not be hired due to budgets or luck.

You don't need a law degree to be a community organizer.

What are your numbers? Where do you want to work? Ties? Total COA of schools you have been admitted to?

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swampman
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Re: Not in it or the $$$$

Postby swampman » Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:10 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:Yah just wait 8 years before you start school so wait 10 years before you live. Jesus fucking christ stop with utter bullshit advice. Putting your life on hold waiting for someone to become a prof is stupid as fuck

Going to a T1 school when you have no idea what region you want to practice in or if you even want to practice law is stupid as fuck.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Not in it or the $$$$

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:16 pm

Waiting 8 years isn't realistic but if the SO is halfway through a PhD waiting another year for things to clear up isn't a bad idea. OP's goals are pretty consistent with Johann's second post where he said go to a top school in the area you want to practice for as cheap as possible. But right now OP doesn't have much idea where that could be.

timbs4339
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Re: Not in it or the $$$$

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:16 pm

Public service/public interest, like any type of legal job, has a prestige hierarchy. Jobs with the ACLU, the Department of Justice, the Innocence Project, some of the federal public defender offices, are very prestigious and it helps to have a T13 degree and work experience in the field. Jobs with a public defender or DA's office in any large city are going to be competitive as well.

If you're willing to live in a rural area, it's easier to get a PD position.

As for "policy"- that's way too amorphous to give you any specific advice, but those jobs are harder to get than you may think (I have a couple of friends from my class at Columbia who wound up in low-paid policy positions). Doing any policy job is going to be vastly different than being a PD when you are literally in court on day one, so think about what kind of work environment you want.

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leslieknope
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Re: Not in it or the $$$$

Postby leslieknope » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:23 pm

If you're interested in policy you're much better off getting an MA.

/was deciding between an MA and a JD

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Not in it or the $$$$

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:24 pm

swampman wrote:Generally, the schools in the range you're applying to will have minimal recognition/respect outside the region they're in. If you're planning on leaving the region you got them in, none of them is better than another. In terms of your specific career goals:

Public defense - very competitive. The school rank matters less than experience, and connections with the individual office can be key. People generally take these jobs wherever they can get them. Your chances of being able to get one in whatever city your SO ends up in are not great, even with awesome experience, regardless of the school range.
Legal aid - also competitive, and you should focus on this right off the bat if you're interested in it (mixing it with PD is okay, but you'll want to specialize quickly for a good chance at a job).
Policy - a JD won't help much with these jobs, and a JD from outside the T14 will help even less.
Community organizing - absolutely no reason to get a JD.

Don't pay any money for a JD given your goals. Even better, don't go to law school at all, at least until the SO settles on a city and you figure out your career goals.


This entire post is correct.

BigZuck
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Re: Not in it or the $$$$

Postby BigZuck » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:35 pm

Any chance we could talk you out of law school and/or him out of a PhD?

Neither sound like a particularly good idea a majority of the time and doubling down seems like it might be a particularly bad idea. Not caring about money is fine (as long as you don't need it to live or pay down debt) but you also have to worry about the degrees paying off (or, at least, getting you a job of some sort that you couldn't get otherwise)

If you can figure out some geographic stability and a specific reason for you to get a JD then this might start making some sense.




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