Public Interest

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Arcticlynx
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Re: Public Interest

Postby Arcticlynx » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:56 pm

So what I’m understanding is that given the condition of the economy, the competition for jobs like earth justice and other PI positions that qualify for LRAPs or pay the debt of law school… If I intend to pursue PI in environmental law (which I do) than it is necessary to have a couple back-up options so I don’t end up with a bunch of debt and no job….

Hypothetically for the sake of argument, say that someone graduates from a T-30 school in the top 35% of the class and can’t find a PI job, what are the options (plans B, C, and D, ect.) and how would someone in this situation set themselves up to take advantage of those options. I’m looking for ways to buy time for a couple of years and set myself up to move bake towards environmental law (say after 4 years) without screwing up my life.

Here are some of my ideas, but I’m just basically brainstorming.

A Plan: Public Interest with Government or Non-profit focused on Environmental Law (although for the sake of this argument it could be Native America, Civil Rights or any other field of law).

B Plan: How does a clerkship look for someone in this kind of situation??? Would they need to do extensive preparation in law school in order to be considered?

C Plan: What about a dual degree, does throwing an extra year into getting masters in Environmental Science/American Studies/Sociology/etc. buy any time on the debt side? Would a dual degree open up any doors relative to just having a JD.

D Plan: I’m guessing that Big Law requires a completely different resume than Public Interest, like interning for a big firm before being a 3L… Would someone in this situation strike out with private practice or do they have a shot? Do firms even look for people with environmental experience?

E Plan: What about intellectual property is there any game there??? I know that the market for IP attorneys is a lot better than for Environmental PI?

Sorry for high jacking, but hopefully this is relevant enough to OP.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Public Interest

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:30 pm

I'm not an environmental PI type (though I went to school with lots of them) so I can't answer too completely, but a couple of things:

Plan B - top 35% from at T-30 are not the best stats for a clerkship (assuming you mean federal). There's a whole clerkship forum here - you may find it helpful to wander through that to find out a bit more. (Then again, I think you're a 0L? It's really really hard to start talking about stats before you have any grades or a school.) Clerkships are usually good things to do and desirable to employers, but in terms of your back-up plan question, judges hire very very far out. So usually, you would get hired for a clerkship for after graduation sometime between 2nd semester 2L (probably toward the end of the semester) and early 3L fall. In that sense, they're not a very good back-up, because if you find yourself at graduation without a job, you can't decide, well, I'll do a clerkship in the fall. (In terms of preparation to be considered, basically you need to get excellent grades, and probably to get on law review, or at least a journal.) I know PI types who have done clerkships; mostly they've gone on to government work. (It's not a huge sample, though.)

Plan C - a dual degree will postpone your debt (you don't have to pay while a student) and add to it (you'll take longer). Again, if you want to do a dual degree you'll have to decide that well before graduation (probably during 1L). American Studies and sociology are NOT likely to help you, job-wise, but I do know a number of people who did JD/environmental science dual degrees. One has a very good government environmental law job. The other is working for a civil litigation firm. So I can't say from experience whether the degree will help very much, but if you want to go hardcore environmental law, environmental science is likely to be more helpful than anything else.

Plan D - you don't intern for a firm, you work for a firm. Yes, generally if you you want to work for a firm after graduation, it helps to work for one your 2L summer (at least) or during the school year. You can probably transform yourself from environmental wannabe to firm wannabe, but it's like anything else - the higher your grades and the more conventional law firm achievements you have, the more options you'll have. One of the issues that environmental folks at my school ran into with firms was firms believing the environmental folks wanted only to save the seals/rainforest/world, while the firms tend to represent large corporations, who tend to be killing those things. So that's an issue, especially in certain parts of the country, where there are a lot of environmental jobs with firms, but they're all representing gas and oil companies/owners/people who want to buy gas and oil.

Plan E - sorry, I don't know anything about IP apart from the fact that generally, you need a strong science background (which I don't have - hence knowing nothing).

Arcticlynx
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Re: Public Interest

Postby Arcticlynx » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:41 pm

Wow, those arn't bad options at all. I guess clerkship could be difficult... but there is a lot more latitude with the other two than I expected, I wonder about the job market for Environmental Science/JD's in particular.

As for the the IP route I'm a Biochem Major, so I'd be really curious if anyone does know how difficult it is to get an IP job. Is passing the IP bar enough to land a job or is a lot of work experience in IP required???

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Public Interest

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:04 pm

Hmm. Hope this doesn't come across as harsh, but I didn't mean to sound especially encouraging? I suppose it depends on what your previous impression was...

The thing with the environmental science dual degree, I really can't say that it improved people's job prospects. I do get the sense, though, that a lot of people doing the degree want to go into policy-type jobs more than legal practice, and it might be particularly pertinent for that kind of work.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Public Interest

Postby Dr. Dre » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:01 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
The thing with the environmental science dual degree, I really can't say that it improved people's job prospects. I do get the sense, though, that a lot of people doing the degree want to go into policy-type jobs more than legal practice, and it might be particularly pertinent for that kind of work.


this. environmental science major is lame. Articlynx, you're better off sticking with your major.

Policy-type jobs < legal practice

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Public Interest

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:38 am

Dr. Dre wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
The thing with the environmental science dual degree, I really can't say that it improved people's job prospects. I do get the sense, though, that a lot of people doing the degree want to go into policy-type jobs more than legal practice, and it might be particularly pertinent for that kind of work.


this. environmental science major is lame. Articlynx, you're better off sticking with your major.

Policy-type jobs < legal practice

Well, at my law school university the environmental science master's is an MS, and I would say it's pretty rigorous (to this non-scientist, it looks like a lot of science). And there's nothing wrong with doing environmental policy. It's just not the same thing as practice.

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dr123
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Re: Public Interest

Postby dr123 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:41 am

Dr. Dre wrote:Would the nonprofit Earthjustice be a good place to work? (assuming you want environmental law) Also, don't mean to hijack.

http://earthjustice.org/


I know a chick who works in their Bozeman and absolutely loves it. But yea, I've heard it's ridic competitive to get a job there.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Public Interest

Postby Dr. Dre » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:15 am

dr123 wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:Would the nonprofit Earthjustice be a good place to work? (assuming you want environmental law) Also, don't mean to hijack.

http://earthjustice.org/


I know a chick who works in their Bozeman and absolutely loves it. But yea, I've heard it's ridic competitive to get a job there.


what kind of things on your cv do you need to get in?

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dr123
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Re: Public Interest

Postby dr123 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:00 am

Dr. Dre wrote:
dr123 wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:Would the nonprofit Earthjustice be a good place to work? (assuming you want environmental law) Also, don't mean to hijack.

http://earthjustice.org/


I know a chick who works in their Bozeman and absolutely loves it. But yea, I've heard it's ridic competitive to get a job there.


what kind of things on your cv do you need to get in?


Not entirely sure, I just know they don't hire regularly (as compared to say big frims that have recruitment cycles and shit) so when a position opens up a shit ton of people from all over the country apply. The chick I know is extremely intelligent/personable (probably interviews very well) and has been doing conservation/environmental advocacy type stuff since she was in high school.

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06102016
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Re: Public Interest

Postby 06102016 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:38 pm

..

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Public Interest

Postby Dr. Dre » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:52 am

what about a job as a general counsel for a environmental government agency?

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/PrintPreview/337018900

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Public Interest

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:13 am

Dr. Dre wrote:what about a job as a general counsel for a environmental government agency?

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/PrintPreview/337018900

Great job. But note you need at least 5 years of experience (and I'd bet they end up with someone with more experience than that). So you'd have to get a job/jobs before you could aim for something like that. Also, because it's a GC's job, you wouldn't really be doing environmental law - you'd be doing all the standard stuff that a GC does (admin, personnel, federal records mgmt, EEO, budget, etc.).

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Public Interest

Postby Dr. Dre » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:53 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:what about a job as a general counsel for a environmental government agency?

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/PrintPreview/337018900

Great job. But note you need at least 5 years of experience (and I'd bet they end up with someone with more experience than that). So you'd have to get a job/jobs before you could aim for something like that. Also, because it's a GC's job, you wouldn't really be doing environmental law - you'd be doing all the standard stuff that a GC does (admin, personnel, federal records mgmt, EEO, budget, etc.).


boring




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