Best for DC Market?

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JD116
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Best for DC Market?

Postby JD116 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:09 pm

Hi all,

Would appreciate any advice with my final law school decision. Currently at V10 DC firm as a paralegal in appellate practice making <50K a year and no debt. Took LSAT three times and am at a 166/3.99. No wife, no kids.

Considering:

Notre Dame at 50-60K debt at graduation

Penn at 195K debt at graduation

UVA at 200K debt at graduation (have a strong network of friends who are current 1Ls and 2Ls)

Chicago at 245K debt at graduation (have a smaller but still existent network of 1L and 2L friends)

Looking to do anti-trust/appellate work in biglaw for ~5 years and then move in-house or take on a stint at the DOJ (depending on how I do in law school). DC is preferred market for post-law school with flexibility to move to NY down the line.

Thanks in advance for the input.

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Auxilio
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Re: Best for DC Market?

Postby Auxilio » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:14 pm

I would lean towards UVA, and only because you presumably know you want to go into big law and have some sense of what it is like. That 200k is accounting for interest etc. too though right?

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JD116
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Re: Best for DC Market?

Postby JD116 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:25 pm

Auxilio wrote:I would lean towards UVA, and only because you presumably know you want to go into big law and have some sense of what it is like. That 200k is accounting for interest etc. too though right?


I think it definitely accounts for interest. I've narrowed the pool to these schools because, at some level, all of them interest me. But I'd say, based on my conservative slant, UVA, Chicago and ND stand out to me more than Penn.

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EnderWiggin
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Re: Best for DC Market?

Postby EnderWiggin » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:31 pm

Auxilio wrote: That 200k is accounting for interest etc. too though right?


JD116 wrote:
I think it definitely accounts for interest. I've narrowed the pool to these schools because, at some level, all of them interest me.


Homonyms are fun :lol:

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JD116
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Re: Best for DC Market?

Postby JD116 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:29 pm

Hahahaha boy was that a blonde moment. Love it!

BigZuck
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Re: Best for DC Market?

Postby BigZuck » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:47 pm

What's the background of people in your appellate practice group? Where did they go to school, where did they clerk, how many of them are there, etc.? And what advice do they give you when you say that you want to do appellate work?

Even if it seems attainable after all that I didn't think I'd risk 200K to try and get there, especially when you have a 4.0.

What happened with Cornell, Duke, Northwestern, etc?

Arad
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Re: Best for DC Market?

Postby Arad » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:06 pm

I would reach out to people who do appellate work and ask them what to do. They can provide much better advice than most of us...

Is Georgetown (with $$/$$$) in play? I'm not familiar with Appellate work, but as someone interested in practicing in DC, having a home-field advantage has been invaluable from a networking perspective. Keep in mind this actually involves networking. If you are too bashful to reach out to attorneys, as many people are, I wouldn't factor this in to your determination...

Personally, I would take Chicago and never look back if the difference is 50k.

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Otunga
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Re: Best for DC Market?

Postby Otunga » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:37 pm

That's WAY too much debt, but UVA seems best in this context if you're willing to take it. Since you work at a biglaw firm, I'm sure you know better than me what it's like (just somebody who's read about it).

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JD116
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Re: Best for DC Market?

Postby JD116 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:25 pm

I've consulted everyone in my practice and most people attended T-10 or Notre Dame -- granted close to all of them clerked on the Supreme Court so it's less about where they went and more about how well they did. For them, money isn't a serious consideration in their calculus. They just presume that I'd break above median and perhaps high enough in my class to obtain a federal clerkship. They all sign 300k bonuses when they join the firm which effectively eliminates their debt. Most say Chicago but also understand UVA as a suitable option. Penn gets very little support to my surprise.

As for my other options, still waiting on Georgetown to make a scholarship offer. Waitlisted at Duke. Didn't apply to Cornell or Northwestern.

I've got a good relationship with our firm's hiring partner and stellar recs from top attorneys in my practice so my relationship with the firm is likely as strong as it can get. Regardless, I need to make law review wherever I go. So I'm trying to pinpoint the best environment for me to do just that.

whysoseriousbiglaw
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Re: Best for DC Market?

Postby whysoseriousbiglaw » Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:45 am

JD116 wrote:I've consulted everyone in my practice and most people attended T-10 or Notre Dame -- granted close to all of them clerked on the Supreme Court so it's less about where they went and more about how well they did. For them, money isn't a serious consideration in their calculus. They just presume that I'd break above median and perhaps high enough in my class to obtain a federal clerkship. They all sign 300k bonuses when they join the firm which effectively eliminates their debt. Most say Chicago but also understand UVA as a suitable option. Penn gets very little support to my surprise.

As for my other options, still waiting on Georgetown to make a scholarship offer. Waitlisted at Duke. Didn't apply to Cornell or Northwestern.

I've got a good relationship with our firm's hiring partner and stellar recs from top attorneys in my practice so my relationship with the firm is likely as strong as it can get. Regardless, I need to make law review wherever I go. So I'm trying to pinpoint the best environment for me to do just that.


Ok...no offense, but clerking for the Supreme Court is like getting struck by lightning...hardly anyone does that.

I think it's risky taking out this much debt for such specific, very hard to achieve, dreams. Also 300k bonus isn't that much money in the grand scheme of things (first, you have to clerk for the Supreme Court; second, it doesn't make you rich but merely would wipe out your debt...)

For your goals you might as well only go to Harvard or Yale...

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Aeon
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Re: Best for DC Market?

Postby Aeon » Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:59 am

Notre Dame is attractive, with the low debt you would incur. However, getting a clerkship or BigLaw from there is appreciably more difficult than from a school like Penn, UVA, or Chicago.

UVA places well in DC. It is also strong at placing people into federal clerkships, and if you want to do appellate work, you pretty much need a federal circuit court clerkship.

Chicago is very good at clerkship placement and sending people to DC in general. It also offers good nationwide geographic flexibility, in case your goals might change in law school. The additional debt (nearly a 25% increase over Penn/UVA) is a negative, however.

Penn has a reputation for sending the substantial portion of its graduating class into BigLaw, but plenty of Penn graduates do clerkships, and it has decent placement in DC too (though I suspect that most people end up selecting into NY and Philly).

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Auxilio
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Re: Best for DC Market?

Postby Auxilio » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:02 am

Aeon wrote:
Penn has a reputation for sending the substantial portion of its graduating class into BigLaw, but plenty of Penn graduates do clerkships, and it has decent placement in DC too (though I suspect that most people end up selecting into NY and Philly).


Just anecdotally I get the sense Penn is putting a lot of effort into pushing DC (and clerkships) in the last couple years for whatever reason.




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