Considering law school before getting into politics, advice?

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StringerBell88
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 1:49 pm

Considering law school before getting into politics, advice?

Postby StringerBell88 » Tue May 01, 2012 2:13 pm

Hello All,

Long time reader, first time poster here. I took my LSAT's last year, got a 176, but sat on it because with my 3.10 UGPA felt that my chances at scholly were limited and decided that going to law school and incurring heavy debt did not sound appealing. So instead, I applied to and received a position within Congress as an aide.

I have long term goals of getting into Philadelphia municipal politics and I am now at the point where I feel I would want to either A) move to Philadelphia, get a job somewhere within the City Government, establish contacts with local party officials, become active in the local politics and contemplate a run in a few years or B) apply to UPenn Law, hopefully get in, and if admitted, use my time during Law school to establish contact with local party officials, become active in local politics, work in Philadelphia legal scene for a few years and then contemplate a run. Now given those two choices, it sounds almost obvious to go with the former and eschew any debt, but the heart of my question is, if admitted to UPenn, do you feel that even with debt incurred, the contacts, experience, credibility and additional ties to the city I would get would be worth it. I go back and forth between the two choices listed above and sometimes feel that without an advanced degree, it may be harder to develop the contacts I need as a City Council/Philadelphia Government employee to successfully run for a State Rep or City Council seat in a few years, especially considering that being in a Law School environment could offer quite a lot in the form of contacts and guidance from law professors active within the community.

Of course, this question could be easily answered if I didn't get into UPenn Law, at which point, I would forgo the law school route because I am unsure of how wise the decision would be to go to 'Nova or Temple even with scholarship. Any help/advice would be great. Also, I do not want/hope I haven't come off as pretentious talking about possibly running for an elected office in the future - that is not my intent. I fully understand that such a goal is often based on so many more factors that are beyond my control, but for the options I can control - I want to make the best choice possible. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

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NR3C1
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Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 10:52 pm

Re: Considering law school before getting into politics, advice?

Postby NR3C1 » Tue May 01, 2012 11:28 pm

StringerBell88 wrote:if admitted to UPenn, do you feel that even with debt incurred, the contacts, experience, credibility and additional ties to the city I would get would be worth it.


No. If you wanna run for office, then go get contacts and exposure. You'll need votes and money, not a law degree that costs 250K and three years of lost income and work experience.

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coldshoulder
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Re: Considering law school before getting into politics, advice?

Postby coldshoulder » Tue May 01, 2012 11:31 pm

If City Council or State Rep is as far as you want to go, then don't go to law school. If you want to become a serious politician and run for US Congress/Senate or Governor, you're going to need to have a professional career outside of politics first, so law school wouldn't be a bad idea.

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sundance95
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Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: Considering law school before getting into politics, advice?

Postby sundance95 » Tue May 01, 2012 11:33 pm

NR3C1 wrote:
StringerBell88 wrote:if admitted to UPenn, do you feel that even with debt incurred, the contacts, experience, credibility and additional ties to the city I would get would be worth it.


No. If you wanna run for office, then go get contacts and exposure. You'll need votes and money, not a law degree that costs 250K and three years of lost income and work experience.

This. Also, have you done city politics? It's pretty...unique, & I'd make very sure that it is what you want to do.

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sundance95
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Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: Considering law school before getting into politics, advice?

Postby sundance95 » Tue May 01, 2012 11:34 pm

Also, I'd wager you'd make more Philly focused contacts at Temple.

atlas1886
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:12 pm

Re: Considering law school before getting into politics, advice?

Postby atlas1886 » Wed May 02, 2012 1:04 pm

This might not help in your case, but the military can provide a great background for a political career...at least where I'm from.




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