GULC vs. UT for LL.M. in environmental law

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GULC vs. UT for LL.M. in environmental law

GULC
1
14%
UT
6
86%
 
Total votes: 7

HRoark_TX09
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:49 am

GULC vs. UT for LL.M. in environmental law

Postby HRoark_TX09 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:43 am

Would appreciate your feedback on this decision-- I was accepted to Georgetown's environmental law LL.M. program last week, and expect to hear back from Texas any time. If UT says yes, it will be seat deposit time soon, so I'm trying to gather as much info as possible now.

I practiced environmental law as an Air Force JAG for a few years and saw the (both real and perceived) value of the environmental law LL.M. to Federal practice. Left active duty recently and decided it was time to earn one myself, both to help me get a civil service job and to advance as a Reservist (where I'm still an environmental guy).

Total cost of attendance will be similar, except Georgetown will be about $11K more. The GI Bill/Yellow Ribbon programs are covering (some) cost of living based on location ($2,286/month in DC or $1,569 in Austin), books, and most tuition (all at UT; all but $11K at Georgetown). I have lived in both areas and can happily do either one again, although Austin is a lot less of a hassle than DC.

In a perfect world, I’d earn the LL.M., then get a Federal job in TX. It’s more likely that I’ll end up with a Federal job in DC or somewhere else not TX, then eventually move back. I like Georgetown for the solid ranking of its environmental program and the immediate internship/networking/employment opportunities that come with being in DC. I like UT for its also-excellent program and smaller size, and because it’s solid gold in TX and has a ridiculously strong alumni network there.

I understand Georgetown has better national reach, and UT is stronger in TX. What makes this hard is that I sorta want/need both. Maybe the real question is, is Georgetown worth $11K more for me? *EDIT: The thing I failed to clarify before is the one reason it would make sense for me to choose GULC-- I think I can get a Federal job faster out of there because of the DC networking and externship possibilities. That is my big push toward Georgetown and the only thing that makes this hard.* Let me know what you think.

Thanks,

HR
Last edited by HRoark_TX09 on Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

arturobelano
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Re: GULC vs. UT for LL.M. in environmental law

Postby arturobelano » Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:41 pm

You're in something resembling a unique situation on TLS, so I don't know how useful anyone is going to be on here; beyond the advice of someone who's gone through a similar situation, I think you're mostly going to get bad advice stemming from confusion over a useful non-tax LLM. That said, your decision seems pretty straightforward to me - you want to be in Texas long-term, you prefer Texas, and it's cheaper. I literally cannot think of a reason it would make sense for you to choose GULC.

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rion91
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Re: GULC vs. UT for LL.M. in environmental law

Postby rion91 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:56 pm

ut

HRoark_TX09
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Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:49 am

Re: GULC vs. UT for LL.M. in environmental law

Postby HRoark_TX09 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:11 pm

arturobelano wrote:You're in something resembling a unique situation on TLS, so I don't know how useful anyone is going to be on here; beyond the advice of someone who's gone through a similar situation, I think you're mostly going to get bad advice stemming from confusion over a useful non-tax LLM. That said, your decision seems pretty straightforward to me - you want to be in Texas long-term, you prefer Texas, and it's cheaper. I literally cannot think of a reason it would make sense for you to choose GULC.


Thank you! The thing I failed to clarify before is the one reason it would make sense for me to choose GULC-- I think I can get a Federal job faster out of there because of the DC networking and externship possibilities. That is my big push toward Georgetown and the only thing that makes this hard. (Part of me doesn't want to pass up a T14 school, but UT is #15 and tops in TX anyway, so I've resolved not let the rankings drive this one.) Maybe I should just enjoy Austin, crank out a good class rank, and chase fed jobs from TX.

I'm also getting advice from some current and former supervisors, but thought maybe there would be a few nuggets here on TLS...

BigZuck
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Re: GULC vs. UT for LL.M. in environmental law

Postby BigZuck » Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:15 pm

HRoark_TX09 wrote:
arturobelano wrote:You're in something resembling a unique situation on TLS, so I don't know how useful anyone is going to be on here; beyond the advice of someone who's gone through a similar situation, I think you're mostly going to get bad advice stemming from confusion over a useful non-tax LLM. That said, your decision seems pretty straightforward to me - you want to be in Texas long-term, you prefer Texas, and it's cheaper. I literally cannot think of a reason it would make sense for you to choose GULC.


Thank you! The thing I failed to clarify before is the one reason it would make sense for me to choose GULC-- I think I can get a Federal job faster out of there because of the DC networking and externship possibilities. That is my big push toward Georgetown and the only thing that makes this hard. (Part of me doesn't want to pass up a T14 school, but UT is #15 and tops in TX anyway, so I've resolved not let the rankings drive this one.) Maybe I should just enjoy Austin, crank out a good class rank, and chase fed jobs from TX.

I'm also getting advice from some current and former supervisors, but thought maybe there would be a few nuggets here on TLS...


Does the difference between a T14 and a "T15" matter for random LLM programs? Is there even a class rank and does it matter what it is?

(honest questions, the hivemind has taught me that only some tax LLMs matter)

HRoark_TX09
Posts: 4
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Re: GULC vs. UT for LL.M. in environmental law

Postby HRoark_TX09 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:34 pm

BigZuck wrote:
HRoark_TX09 wrote:
arturobelano wrote:You're in something resembling a unique situation on TLS, so I don't know how useful anyone is going to be on here; beyond the advice of someone who's gone through a similar situation, I think you're mostly going to get bad advice stemming from confusion over a useful non-tax LLM. That said, your decision seems pretty straightforward to me - you want to be in Texas long-term, you prefer Texas, and it's cheaper. I literally cannot think of a reason it would make sense for you to choose GULC.


Thank you! The thing I failed to clarify before is the one reason it would make sense for me to choose GULC-- I think I can get a Federal job faster out of there because of the DC networking and externship possibilities. That is my big push toward Georgetown and the only thing that makes this hard. (Part of me doesn't want to pass up a T14 school, but UT is #15 and tops in TX anyway, so I've resolved not let the rankings drive this one.) Maybe I should just enjoy Austin, crank out a good class rank, and chase fed jobs from TX.

I'm also getting advice from some current and former supervisors, but thought maybe there would be a few nuggets here on TLS...


Does the difference between a T14 and a "T15" matter for random LLM programs? Is there even a class rank and does it matter what it is?

(honest questions, the hivemind has taught me that only some tax LLMs matter)


Good questions. Honestly, multiple relatively senior JAGs and civil servants have told me that an LL.M. from any school will "check the box" just fine for Federal employment. Of course, we're all attorneys and conditioned by the hivemind to have a slavish fascination with these rankings, so an LL.M. from a "better" school can often make a more positive impression. (I've also noticed that many of the most senior people have LL.M.s from highly ranked schools.) Not sure about the separate rankings by specialty-- I for one wouldn't feel good about dumping Georgetown (#9 environmental program) for Lewis & Clark (#1 environmental program). I wouldn't pay a ton of extra money for a prestige name either, but with the GI Bill it works out mostly the same. Not sure about class rank-- If they do have it, I need a good one because it is a factor in Federal hiring. If they don't, I'll secretly be relieved but still have to study hard to learn the material.

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BVest
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Re: GULC vs. UT for LL.M. in environmental law

Postby BVest » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:23 pm

I know that UT's program is a Environmental/Energy program and tends to be pretty heavy on the energy end of that in terms of available courses. I would be sure to look at the courses from each school to see which has the offerings you like better.

Here are the UT course schedules for the last few years. They tend to duplicate themselves every spring and fall, with only a few changes.

That said, the courses you can take should not be the sole deciding factor. I know absolutely nothing about Georgetown's program, nor do I know what fed hiring is like for the positions you're trying to get. You probably know more than most people on TLS about that.

HRoark_TX09
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:49 am

Re: GULC vs. UT for LL.M. in environmental law

Postby HRoark_TX09 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:01 pm

BVest wrote:I know that UT's program is a Environmental/Energy program and tends to be pretty heavy on the energy end of that in terms of available courses. I would be sure to look at the courses from each school to see which has the offerings you like better.

Here are the UT course schedules for the last few years. They tend to duplicate themselves every spring and fall, with only a few changes.

That said, the courses you can take should not be the sole deciding factor. I know absolutely nothing about Georgetown's program, nor do I know what fed hiring is like for the positions you're trying to get. You probably know more than most people on TLS about that.


Thanks for the link. I noticed UT was energy heavy during the app process-- There's a question that pushes you into the catalog to be able to answer it well. There was enough straight environmental to cover the bases, and the energy stuff would be good for an eventual shift over to the private sector. Georgetown has a massive catalog-- Tons of environmental, but considering that you only have 24 credits to take anyway... at least there's plenty of selection. I concur it's not all about the courses, but that's definitely a factor.




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