JD vs. MPA

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

Which should I choose for a career in legislative advocacy?

Washington University School of Law (or another non T14 regional law school)
10
16%
Princeton University - Wilson School of Public Affairs (or another T5 Public Affairs Program)
51
84%
 
Total votes: 61

SweeneyTodd
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby SweeneyTodd » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:21 pm

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Last edited by SweeneyTodd on Mon May 24, 2010 3:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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evilgenius
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby evilgenius » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:24 pm

kittenmittons wrote:Honestly the fact that you've been accepted to Princeton MPA and nothing better than WUSTL JD should tell you all you need to know about the quality of MPA.


Thats an unjust assumption. WUSTL was actually the highest ranked law school that I applied to, and I was admitted with $. Based on LSP (they had WUSTL as 'deny') and advice from others I didn't even waste $ trying for T14. In hindsight I should've taken a chance with the T14.

Lysis
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby Lysis » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:24 pm

rolark wrote:
cavebat2000 wrote:A Masters of Public Administration is supposed to be the public sector equivalent of the MBA, only it has no where close to the prestige. When you graduate you supposedly qualified to manage a government/non-profit program or office.

A JD qualifies you to practice law, not to manage government programs, though JD's very often find themselves managing stuff in government, but that is probably more of a function of the incredible number of lawyers that make up the various agencies of the federal government

The point is that the two degrees are not even close to the same. They serve different purposes, are miles away in prestige, job opportunities, and pay. The education itself is vastly different, with law school being a serious challenge and the MPA being a challenge to an orangutang, though that is probably insulting to our hairy friends.

If you really can't decide, go to a law school with a joint JD/MPA program.

Just a quick note. Princeton's WWS uses "MPA" to refer to what most other schools refer to as "MPP." Regardless, the first degree is more policy oriented and the second degree is more management oriented. For the second degree (MPP for Princeton, MPA for almost everywhere else) you usually need much more experience because the management part is what it's about.


+1. The WWS MPA is a respected credential in policy circles, and entails a fairly heavy quantitative component (so I'm not sure the orangutan comparison is fair).

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General Tso
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby General Tso » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:27 pm

kittenmittons wrote:Honestly the fact that you've been accepted to Princeton MPA and nothing better than WUSTL JD should tell you all you need to know about the quality of MPA.


yup...there's a reason why law schools and MBAs are so competitive...it's because they open up real job opportunities (at least in normal economic times). it is very difficult to get a job with the federal gov't, and having a shiny Princeton/SAIS/SIPA/Walsh degree on your resume doesn't always help. At my UG a top foreign service officer told us they don't even give much preference to people with degrees from places like Gtown.

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englawyer
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby englawyer » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:32 pm

imo, getting positions where you actually make an impact (policy or whatever else) requires power and connections; otherwise you will just be an "analyst" or something working for one of those people. a JD is the better degree for both, although MBA is the best. of course if you already have the connections through family wealth or whatever, maybe MPA makes sense.

i have seen forums where policy-degree people wonder how JDs get cool positions like POTUS and i think its because JDs are usually more power/status hungry and have channels open that will satisfy those desires. biglaw partners often serve on the board of directors for companies, non-profits, etc. and other types of high-power roles, so for whatever reason it seems like law is a field where you can accumulate the necessary connections.

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kdw94780
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby kdw94780 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:33 pm

Sweeney Todd, if you didn't get into T14 this app season, why are you doling out advice anyway to this person not to go to law school if it's not T14 lol plzzzzzzzzzzzz

detljgh
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby detljgh » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:41 pm

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Last edited by detljgh on Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kittenmittons
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby kittenmittons » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:42 pm

detljgh wrote:so competitive? Find me a law school other than yale that's as competitive as the Woodrow Wilson school and then we'll talk. 900 self selected applicants for 85 admits this year. It is not on par with ANY other public policy program, save MAYBE harvard's kennedy school. It is worlds ahead and so are the career opportunities. And all the OP's law school cycle shows is that he isn't an LSAT wizard. Law school admissions are the only ones who use such concretely defined metrics for admission. I got a 177 and am cleaning up with law schools, I also demolished the GRE and couldn't even get on the waitlist at Princeton. And there are many others like me...

Sorry about your tiny pink score bro

cavebat2000
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby cavebat2000 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:43 pm

detljgh wrote:
cavebat2000 wrote:
detljgh wrote:Dude, don't listen to any of the people on here they don't know what they're talking about. The Woodrow Wilson school, if you somehow managed to get in with numbers that couldn't do you better than Washington University (I'm skeptical), is hands down the best program in the country and will get you WHATEVER job you want in government, consulting, or foreign service when you are done. They accepted something like 8% of applicants this year, and even that is deceiving because the high application fee and grueling application means only the most competitive students even bother applying. Oh yeah, and I have to assume you haven't received your aid package yet because they fully fund all their students and usually even offer a stipend. So go to Princeton and if you want to go to law school after, that is one of those mythical softs that will actually be your ticket to a top law school afterwards.

I would trade all of my T-10 acceptances with $$ for your Woodrow Wilson admit. I was rejected last week...


ROFL. Go right ahead. Going to an MPA program over a t-10 law school is probably the worst decision you will ever make in your life.

*edit* unless you don't want to practice law. In that case, why does this thread even exist?



Haha you're a dummy, kid. Do some research first before you start spewing bad advice.


Did you even read my previous post? I am probably one of the most qualified people on these boards to offer advice in this area. I am graduating from a top 10 MPA program, the highest ranked in Washington D.C., and have decided to go to law school because of how much a joke MPA programs are. I think it is you who needs to do some research.

detljgh
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby detljgh » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:47 pm

kittenmittons wrote:
detljgh wrote:so competitive? Find me a law school other than yale that's as competitive as the Woodrow Wilson school and then we'll talk. 900 self selected applicants for 85 admits this year. It is not on par with ANY other public policy program, save MAYBE harvard's kennedy school. It is worlds ahead and so are the career opportunities. And all the OP's law school cycle shows is that he isn't an LSAT wizard. Law school admissions are the only ones who use such concretely defined metrics for admission. I got a 177 and am cleaning up with law schools, I also demolished the GRE and couldn't even get on the waitlist at Princeton. And there are many others like me...

Sorry about your tiny pink score bro


Bros do a lot of things. They don't make 6500 posts on a message board in 6 months from their mother's dimly lit basement.

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evilgenius
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby evilgenius » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:50 pm

kittenmittons wrote:
detljgh wrote:so competitive? Find me a law school other than yale that's as competitive as the Woodrow Wilson school and then we'll talk. 900 self selected applicants for 85 admits this year. It is not on par with ANY other public policy program, save MAYBE harvard's kennedy school. It is worlds ahead and so are the career opportunities. And all the OP's law school cycle shows is that he isn't an LSAT wizard. Law school admissions are the only ones who use such concretely defined metrics for admission. I got a 177 and am cleaning up with law schools, I also demolished the GRE and couldn't even get on the waitlist at Princeton. And there are many others like me...

Sorry about your tiny pink score bro


Umm maybe folks don't read through the entire thread. WUSTL is the highest ranked school that I (the OP) applied to, so that's why I used it as an example.

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General Tso
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby General Tso » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:54 pm

detljgh wrote:so competitive? Find me a law school other than yale that's as competitive as the Woodrow Wilson school and then we'll talk. 900 self selected applicants for 85 admits this year. It is not on par with ANY other public policy program, save MAYBE harvard's kennedy school. It is worlds ahead and so are the career opportunities. And all the OP's law school cycle shows is that he isn't an LSAT wizard. Law school admissions are the only ones who use such concretely defined metrics for admission. I got a 177 and am cleaning up with law schools, I also demolished the GRE and couldn't even get on the waitlist at Princeton. And there are many others like me...


Okay, yeah. Princeton is the cream of the crop as far as public affairs goes, I get that. But most of the rest are just cash cows.

(I may be a little biased b/c this prick I went to school with has been bragging on facebook about his SIPA and SAIS acceptances...maybe I shouldn't let my ill will towards him cloud my opinion of fed govt work)

SweeneyTodd
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby SweeneyTodd » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:54 pm

kdw94780 wrote:Sweeney Todd, if you didn't get into T14 this app season, why are you doling out advice anyway to this person not to go to law school if it's not T14 lol plzzzzzzzzzzzz


The OP has made it clear that he/she wants to attend the best school possible in applying to Princeton. I don't think it's too bad to assume there may be some federal government or national non-profit career goals. Getting into areas like that tends to require a T14 JD, or even a graduate degree from a school like Princeton (or other highly respected programs). At the end of the day it's also about who you know...so a non T14 regional school JD can work out perfectly and save alot of money for the OP if career goals aren't fed or national non-profit.

For my situation, I have a master's degree and have been working for the past 3.5 years. I knew what school I wanted to attend from the beginning of my app cycle, it is not a T14 and it is regional. However, when T14 schools sent me fee waivers, I applied. I am very happy with my cycle :D . I am at the end of my cycle and have been accepted to and will be attending my #1.

Hmm, what is the meaning of "lol plzzzzzzzzzz"? I'm not worried about your blatant WUSTL trolling. Nothing in my posts was to bash WUSTL. If that's where you choose to attend for law school, then go ahead. But the OP asked a question, I gave my advice. Don't get all huffy just because the poll is in favor of Princeton MPA over WUSTL Law. :roll:


Edit:

I forgot to add that your decision to spell a word with a "z" instead of "s" could probably say something about your poor reading comprehension. Nowhere in my post did I tell OP NOT to attend law school if it wasn't T14. I said if you're gonna get the MPA get it from Princeton. I also clearly said if you're not attending a T14, attend a law school with a great alumni network and/or great clinics related to your area of interest.
Last edited by SweeneyTodd on Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

detljgh
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby detljgh » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:55 pm

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Last edited by detljgh on Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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nyjfanjmk
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby nyjfanjmk » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:55 pm

I'm curious, is there a point to getting a JD/MPP/MPA? I understand that the degrees are completely different in terms of subject material, but I'd think that a law degree can lead to an eventual career in policy, no?

APimpNamedSlickback
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby APimpNamedSlickback » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:00 pm

x
Last edited by APimpNamedSlickback on Sun May 09, 2010 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kittenmittons
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby kittenmittons » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:03 pm

detljgh wrote:
kittenmittons wrote:
detljgh wrote:so competitive? Find me a law school other than yale that's as competitive as the Woodrow Wilson school and then we'll talk. 900 self selected applicants for 85 admits this year. It is not on par with ANY other public policy program, save MAYBE harvard's kennedy school. It is worlds ahead and so are the career opportunities. And all the OP's law school cycle shows is that he isn't an LSAT wizard. Law school admissions are the only ones who use such concretely defined metrics for admission. I got a 177 and am cleaning up with law schools, I also demolished the GRE and couldn't even get on the waitlist at Princeton. And there are many others like me...

Sorry about your tiny pink score bro

Bros do a lot of things. They don't make 6500 posts on a message board in 6 months from their mother's dimly lit basement.

I still drink my Keystone and pop my collar bro. I just do it in the dark.

Enjoy boalt

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flyingpanda
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby flyingpanda » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:12 pm

APimpNamedSlickback wrote:hey guys, GROW UP. not everyone wants to be "employed" or is worried about "bigfuckingdebt" after graduation.

IF YOUR HEART IS INTO A MPA, GO FOR IT OP. FORGET THE HATERS!!!!

good luck.


Hey man, you seem like you really know what you're talking about. What do you feel about an MBA/history masters. Will this combo open doors for me?

09042014
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby 09042014 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:14 pm

aznflyingpanda wrote:
APimpNamedSlickback wrote:hey guys, GROW UP. not everyone wants to be "employed" or is worried about "bigfuckingdebt" after graduation.

IF YOUR HEART IS INTO A MPA, GO FOR IT OP. FORGET THE HATERS!!!!

good luck.


Hey man, you seem like you really know what you're talking about. What do you feel about an MBA/history masters. Will this combo open doors for me?


Forget the MBA. Just pay sticker for the MA.

APimpNamedSlickback
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby APimpNamedSlickback » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:16 pm

x
Last edited by APimpNamedSlickback on Sun May 09, 2010 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby 09042014 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:17 pm

APimpNamedSlickback wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
aznflyingpanda wrote:
Hey man, you seem like you really know what you're talking about. What do you feel about an MBA/history masters. Will this combo open doors for me?


Forget the MBA. Just pay sticker for the MA.


desertfox, your wisdom is unsurpassed. take me under your wings and show me your ways?


Don't deposit at HLS, and instead apply to Northeastern in Cultural Anthropology.

MellonCollie
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby MellonCollie » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:19 pm

If the MPP is funded (with living stipend?), defer WUSTL and go. If it doesn't look like your ideal is going to happen for you after a year, drop out and go to law school.

It's not as though WUSTL is a great bet these days either.

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kittenmittons
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby kittenmittons » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:21 pm

MellonCollie wrote:If the MPP is funded (with living stipend?), defer WUSTL and go. If it doesn't look like your ideal is going to happen for you after a year, drop out and go to law school.

It's not as though WUSTL is a great bet these days either.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ynsvBbeBrU

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j.wellington
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby j.wellington » Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:14 pm

I want to do public policy too and I gave this quite a bit of consideration. I ultimately decided to just apply for the JD, but I actually regret not hedging myself on that one. Just my thoughts:

Don't listen to whoever said you have to go to Princeton for it to mean anything. There are a lot of good programs out there, and the key – just as with law school – is going to school in the area you want to work. A lot of the better programs have very strong connections with the city and state governments in the area and you'll be first in line for internships, which can of course turn into full-time gigs if you do well. I know people at the Evans School at UW and the Humphrey Institute at MN, and I've heard great (objective) things about them. If by "working in government" you mean D.C., then yes, you should probably look at GW, NYU, Princeton or other incestuous east coast yuppie factories.

The big advantages of an MPA, of course, are the cost and the intensity. You'll spend less, do less work and likely be done in two years instead of three. If you know (know!) that you want to work in public policy, these are huge plusses, and you're probably just wasting your time in law school. The downside is that you really are paying for a networking opportunity. Unless you're doing something very technical, you don't learn much from your public policy classes that you wouldn't learn on the job, but you can't get a job without an advanced degree. So it's a bit of a waste depending on how you look at it.

Since public policy and the law are intertwined, a JD can be valuable for the former, and you will learn a lot more stuff. But the upside of a JD is also the downside: you can practice law. It'll give you many more job options than an MPA ever would, but it's also probably easy to get sucked into a legal job you don't really want just to pay off your loans. You can tell yourself that you'll veer off into public policy when the time's right, but you might find it hard to switch horses at a certain point. I'm hoping to claim a niche as a 3L that can lead more directly into a public policy career, but I accept the the possibility that I'll just be another lawyer. If you want to go to law school, I'd be prepared to accept that too.

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kdw94780
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Re: JD vs. MPA

Postby kdw94780 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:24 pm

SweeneyTodd wrote:Edit:

I forgot to add that your decision to spell a word with a "z" instead of "s" could probably say something about your poor reading comprehension. Nowhere in my post did I tell OP NOT to attend law school if it wasn't T14. I said if you're gonna get the MPA get it from Princeton. I also clearly said if you're not attending a T14, attend a law school with a great alumni network and/or great clinics related to your area of interest.


Kiss my azzzzzz




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