francescalegge wrote:If I can't get an entry level job out of law school, I probably can't get one out of grad school either. Three years of law school (or four for a joint degree) gives me some time to earn a degree, learn a fourth language, and take internships abroad during the summers. It also gives me access to professors, both inside and outside the law faculty and other professional connections I can use in the future. I can't afford to do unpaid internships (or even "paid' internships) if I'm not in school, so it has that advantage as well.
My first question to you is: have you tried to get a job in the field yet? I mean honestly tried- given it six months of searching? The best time for you to look for a job in your preferred field is right now since it seems like you are currently in a decent paying job.
If you take away anything from that thread, it's that international HRL types apply to law school after they already have significant, full-time, relevant work experience. They don't show up at law school and then hope to get the work experience after law school or during it.
I understand that it's more difficult to secure a job in a highly in-demand field like international policy than it is to find some fancy sounding joint degree program to accept you. That is because these schools are desperate for your money- they don't really care whether it works out for you. But you're not someone who is graduating from UG and is going to be out on the street in 6 months if you don't either find a job or go to law school.
francescalegge wrote:So far I have been able to use my education to do those things: intern for international human rights organizations in Europe, becoming fluent in a second language and adequate in a third, and live abroad for three years, intern at a law firm. Unfortunately, it's not enough. You're absolutely right. Which is why I'd like to take my education further.
First, only the first and the last of those things has any relevance to your education. You can learn foreign languages on your own time, and you can live abroad by getting a job there.
Second, the education is not the problem. The problem is that you don't have any relevant work experience nor have you seemed to have made a concerted effort to find any. Internships during school are not substitute for work experience. Work experience is a prerequisite. There is not a sliding scale where with enough letters next to your name an international HR org is going to hire you.
Also, to be clear, I don't have any particular wish to be an attorney but law school also means I CAN be (fingers crossed that the job market improves - maybe I'll study cyber law). It's just another qualification, which doesn't hurt. If it doesn't work out, so what? I could do public interest legal work for 50K a year and maybe have some of my student loans forgiven. Or the dreaded doc review. Or legal research. Or whatever. I KNOW I'm taking a risk here
Cyberlaw is another of those areas that a bunch of kids with no experience go to law school hoping to study and then they find out that the only orgs that do that kind of work want people with tech experience. You need to pick more realistic career paths. Have you thought about landlord-tenant law? Criminal law? Even something like biglaw?
Please try to tell someone who is 200K in debt and working a 40K job or working in a 20K school-funded job that their JD "doesn't hurt." It's three years of your life that you could be using getting actual experience. I can't stress this enough- you could actually be getting experience in your chosen career path before plopping down money on law school.
Finally, you said you didn't want to be an attorney. Now you say you're open to the concept in the likelihood the joint-degree program doesn't get you to where you want to be. So which one is it? Are you dead set on IHR, or do you just want a white-collar job?