Tulane or Ohio State for Environmental Law

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oh77io

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Re: Tulane or Ohio State for Environmental Law

Postby oh77io » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:12 pm

Nebby wrote:
oh77io wrote:
Nebby wrote:I'm an attorney in the field you're interested in, and below are some quick thoughts:

(1) Only school rank matters, not speciality rankings.
(2) Relevant environmental law experience (internships, externships, clinics) is more important than a bunch of environmental law classes or an environmental law certificate program.
(3) If you're not going to a T10 school, then your ability to get an environmental law job is going to be restricted to the region your law school places in.
(4) I work at a environmental law organization that focuses on the Midwest, and of the entry-level attorneys we've hired in the past three years: 1 went to Yale, 2 went to Harvard, 1 went to Columbia, 2 went to NYU, and 1 went to Berkeley. The situation is similar for the national organizations like NRDC, Sierra Club, and Earthjustice.
(5) Entry-level work in the federal government is even more of a crapshoot than enviro nonprofits, because they'll hire from lower ranked schools therefore your competition is even more fierce.

Getting an entry-level job in environmental law is tough. Every year, there are a handful of individuals who went to T6 law schools, obtained relevant environmental law experience in law school, was on their school's environmental law journal, got good grades, and was still unable to get hired entry-level.

I would recommend, if at all possible, retaking the LSAT and try to improve your score as much as possible. It would require you to put off law school for another year, but it's going to be tough reaching your goals from either Tulane or tOSU.


Thank you for your insight. I guess I grossly underestimated the impact that geographic location (outside of T10 schools as you said, anyway) has on job prospects. Again, coming from a science background, this concept is really hard for me to understand but it is what it is so I must accept it.

I have a question (or two) for you since you're in the environmental law field. What are the prospects for someone like me if I did end up choosing between Tulane and OSU? Work in a regional environmental law firm and then hopefully work my way up to something at the federal gov or NGO level, or would that be a pipe dream? What if I got in at George Washington (I'm waitlisted) or Georgetown (I'm "on hold")? Those schools are in DC so I would think the regional issue would be moot since I would be happy working in DC (although I know the competition there is fierce).


It would be possible to work at a law firm from both Tulane and OSU, which would provide experience that could be used to lateral to the federal/state gov or NGO level. The law firms you'd get jobs at would either be Midwestern or Southern/TX.

Most people that work in environmental law (NGO or government) lateraled in from law firms because there are a lot more opportunities to do environmental law in the private sector.


Thanks again for the insight. I admit that posting this topic on the TLS forum has left me feeling a little bummed, but I'm glad I asked. I certainly have a lot to think about now...

mcmand

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Re: Tulane or Ohio State for Environmental Law

Postby mcmand » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:27 pm

oh77io wrote:Thanks again for the insight. I admit that posting this topic on the TLS forum has left me feeling a little bummed, but I'm glad I asked. I certainly have a lot to think about now...


Don't feel hopeless. Nobody is saying this is impossible for you, just that there are unique challenges that you'll have to work through and that it's not a linear path for most. I actually think your rationale for law school generally (moving into the legal side of a field you're already in and like) isn't a bad one. Usually these sorts of threads devolve into dissecting some 22 year old's pie-in-the-sky dreams that aren't even remotely tethered to experience, realistic goals, or reality in general.

Chin up, do some more research and see how your other school apps go, and talk to your spouse about how you two can make this happen for you, including waiting/retaking.
Last edited by mcmand on Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

oh77io

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Re: Tulane or Ohio State for Environmental Law

Postby oh77io » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:49 pm

mcmand wrote:
oh77io wrote:Thanks again for the insight. I admit that posting this topic on the TLS forum has left me feeling a little bummed, but I'm glad I asked. I certainly have a lot to think about now...


Don't feel hopeless. Nobody is saying this is impossible for you, just that there are unique challenges that you'll have to work through and that it's not a linear path for most. I actually think your rationale for law school generally (moving into the legal side of a field you're already in and like) isn't a bad one. Usually these sorts of threads devolve into dissecting some 22 year old's pie-in-the-sky dreams that aren't even remotely tethered to experience, realistic goals, or reality in general.

Chin up, do some more research and see how your other school apps go, and talk to your spouse about how you two can make this happen for you, including waiting/retaking.


I'm not feeling hopeless, just a little deflated. Shifting my focus away from schools with environmental programs opens things up quite a bit, so it's not all bad just unexpected. For now, I'm going to hold onto the hope that my softs are enough to push my application into the yes column for my reach schools and then adjust accordingly if that doesn't happen.

sparkytrainer

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Re: Tulane or Ohio State for Environmental Law

Postby sparkytrainer » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:00 pm

oh77io wrote:
mcmand wrote:
oh77io wrote:Thanks again for the insight. I admit that posting this topic on the TLS forum has left me feeling a little bummed, but I'm glad I asked. I certainly have a lot to think about now...


Don't feel hopeless. Nobody is saying this is impossible for you, just that there are unique challenges that you'll have to work through and that it's not a linear path for most. I actually think your rationale for law school generally (moving into the legal side of a field you're already in and like) isn't a bad one. Usually these sorts of threads devolve into dissecting some 22 year old's pie-in-the-sky dreams that aren't even remotely tethered to experience, realistic goals, or reality in general.

Chin up, do some more research and see how your other school apps go, and talk to your spouse about how you two can make this happen for you, including waiting/retaking.


I'm not feeling hopeless, just a little deflated. Shifting my focus away from schools with environmental programs opens things up quite a bit, so it's not all bad just unexpected. For now, I'm going to hold onto the hope that my softs are enough to push my application into the yes column for my reach schools and then adjust accordingly if that doesn't happen.


Unfortunately they wont. Schools really only care about the numbers. I wish it was more holistic, but that just isn't the case. But I am glad you are reassessing your options!

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Redamon1

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Re: Tulane or Ohio State for Environmental Law

Postby Redamon1 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:13 am

Nebby wrote:I'm an attorney in the field you're interested in, and below are some quick thoughts:

(1) Only school rank matters, not speciality rankings.
(2) Relevant environmental law experience (internships, externships, clinics) is more important than a bunch of environmental law classes or an environmental law certificate program.
(3) If you're not going to a T10 school, then your ability to get an environmental law job is going to be restricted to the region your law school places in.
(4) I work at a environmental law organization that focuses on the Midwest, and of the entry-level attorneys we've hired in the past three years: 1 went to Yale, 2 went to Harvard, 1 went to Columbia, 2 went to NYU, and 1 went to Berkeley. The situation is similar for the national organizations like NRDC, Sierra Club, and Earthjustice.
(5) Entry-level work in the federal government is even more of a crapshoot than enviro nonprofits, because they'll hire from lower ranked schools therefore your competition is even more fierce.

Getting an entry-level job in environmental law is tough. Every year, there are a handful of individuals who went to T6 law schools, obtained relevant environmental law experience in law school, was on their school's environmental law journal, got good grades, and was still unable to get hired entry-level.

I would recommend, if at all possible, retaking the LSAT and try to improve your score as much as possible. It would require you to put off law school for another year, but it's going to be tough reaching your goals from either Tulane or tOSU.


All of this. TBH, the employment road from Tulane or OSU would be so steep you may feel deflated after graduation, and potentially in debt. You might end up wondering why you left a successful (?) career as an environmental scientist. Postponing by yet another year sucks, as does retaking the LSAT, especially as a working professional. If law is really want you want to do, consider taking several weeks/months of vacation and/or unpaid leave to study for the LSAT and give it your absolute best—then take it from there. Think of it as an investment. In case it helps, I had to take the LSAT three times (and head to law school later than I wanted) because work kept me too busy the first two tries to get the score I needed. Good luck!

oh77io

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Re: Tulane or Ohio State for Environmental Law

Postby oh77io » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:21 am

Redamon1 wrote:
Nebby wrote:I'm an attorney in the field you're interested in, and below are some quick thoughts:
(1) Only school rank matters, not speciality rankings.
(2) Relevant environmental law experience (internships, externships, clinics) is more important than a bunch of environmental law classes or an environmental law certificate program.
(3) If you're not going to a T10 school, then your ability to get an environmental law job is going to be restricted to the region your law school places in.
(4) I work at a environmental law organization that focuses on the Midwest, and of the entry-level attorneys we've hired in the past three years: 1 went to Yale, 2 went to Harvard, 1 went to Columbia, 2 went to NYU, and 1 went to Berkeley. The situation is similar for the national organizations like NRDC, Sierra Club, and Earthjustice.
(5) Entry-level work in the federal government is even more of a crapshoot than enviro nonprofits, because they'll hire from lower ranked schools therefore your competition is even more fierce.
Getting an entry-level job in environmental law is tough. Every year, there are a handful of individuals who went to T6 law schools, obtained relevant environmental law experience in law school, was on their school's environmental law journal, got good grades, and was still unable to get hired entry-level.
I would recommend, if at all possible, retaking the LSAT and try to improve your score as much as possible. It would require you to put off law school for another year, but it's going to be tough reaching your goals from either Tulane or tOSU.


All of this. TBH, the employment road from Tulane or OSU would be so steep you may feel deflated after graduation, and potentially in debt. You might end up wondering why you left a successful (?) career as an environmental scientist. Postponing by yet another year sucks, as does retaking the LSAT, especially as a working professional. If law is really want you want to do, consider taking several weeks/months of vacation and/or unpaid leave to study for the LSAT and give it your absolute best—then take it from there. Think of it as an investment. In case it helps, I had to take the LSAT three times (and head to law school later than I wanted) because work kept me too busy the first two tries to get the score I needed. Good luck!


Thanks for the feedback and commiseration. I'm not ruling out taking the LSAT again. I'm going to wait and see what happens with the schools I applied to before making a decision. Since posting this thread and realizing the importance of location and the lack of importance of specialization in law school, I've reexplored schools and applied to some that I hadn't previously considered. I've also accepted that going straight from law school to the federal government or a big nonprofit may not be how my career path looks - maybe I have to start at the state level and work my way up. Lots to think about...



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