Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

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Nova
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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby Nova » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:56 pm

Texas is objectively the best state in America for practicing law. No income state tax. Market paying salary. Ridiculously low COL. Thriving Economy. Attractive people.

Case closed.

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okinawa
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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby okinawa » Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:01 pm

Void wrote:
okinawa wrote:
gmoney71313 wrote:TBH I have never been, so I would be happy to share my misconceptions with you. The reason I would prefer not to settle down in Texas is NOT the culture, but instead more of the climate. It may seem like a cop out, but I love my greenery.


I think less than 10% of Texas is even desert. Just stay away from the northernmost part and the El Paso area and you'll have plenty of greenery.


Do you have photos of this "greenery?" A Texan forest, perhaps?


I know you're joking but East Texas actually does have a few forests, mostly pine I believe. If OP isn't against the culture and just doesn't want to live in a desert, Austin and anything east of that is probably just fine. Though a number of those CA schools mentioned are actually in the desert so who knows.

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:02 pm

gmoney71313 wrote:TBH I have never been, so I would be happy to share my misconceptions with you. The reason I would prefer not to settle down in Texas is NOT the culture, but instead more of the climate. It may seem like a cop out, but I love my greenery.

I would actually accept this answer. Its hot in Texas and the scenery pales in comparison to some other places. I currently live in Seattle and even as a Texan I can say there is nothing in Texas that compares to the beauty of the PNW. Although I hate that there all these lakes, rivers and the ocean but they're all too damn cold to swim in.
Void wrote:
okinawa wrote:
gmoney71313 wrote:TBH I have never been, so I would be happy to share my misconceptions with you. The reason I would prefer not to settle down in Texas is NOT the culture, but instead more of the climate. It may seem like a cop out, but I love my greenery.


I think less than 10% of Texas is even desert. Just stay away from the northernmost part and the El Paso area and you'll have plenty of greenery.


Do you have photos of this "greenery?" A Texan forest, perhaps?

There is greenery in Texas, especially east Texas. These are two of my favorite state parks as proof of our greenness.
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/garner
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks ... ales-falls

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:05 pm

okinawa wrote:
Void wrote:
okinawa wrote:
gmoney71313 wrote:TBH I have never been, so I would be happy to share my misconceptions with you. The reason I would prefer not to settle down in Texas is NOT the culture, but instead more of the climate. It may seem like a cop out, but I love my greenery.


I think less than 10% of Texas is even desert. Just stay away from the northernmost part and the El Paso area and you'll have plenty of greenery.


Do you have photos of this "greenery?" A Texan forest, perhaps?


I know you're joking but East Texas actually does have a few forests, mostly pine I believe. If OP isn't against the culture and just doesn't want to live in a desert, Austin and anything east of that is probably just fine. Though a number of those CA schools mentioned are actually in the desert so who knows.

Houston and Dallas are also some of the biggest legal markets in the country with tons of huge business headquarters in both. I recently read that is Texas were its own country it would have the 14th largest GDP in the world.

gmoney71313
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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby gmoney71313 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:08 pm

there is nothing in Texas that compares to the beauty of the PNW


no disrespect, just my biased opinion

Houston and Dallas are also some of the biggest legal markets in the country with tons of huge business headquarters in both


Any idea of the quality of PD offices in those areas? Huge business isn't really my thing

Void
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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby Void » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:22 pm

If you're interested in working some capital cases it's a good place to be, because the state is pretty much constantly killing people down there.
Last edited by Void on Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gmoney71313
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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby gmoney71313 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:35 pm

More questions, what schools provide a good amount of regional clout, PNW and otherwise?

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:41 pm

gmoney71313 wrote:
there is nothing in Texas that compares to the beauty of the PNW


no disrespect, just my biased opinion

Houston and Dallas are also some of the biggest legal markets in the country with tons of huge business headquarters in both


Any idea of the quality of PD offices in those areas? Huge business isn't really my thing

I wish I could answer this for you because I want to do PD in Dallas but I don't know. I want to contact someone in the Dallas PD office but they don't have any emails listed on their website. I did read an article saying that a lot of the PD's were quitting because of crazy caseloads but it's from 2008 so who knows what could have changed since then.

http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2 ... s-are.html
Void wrote:If you're interested in working some capital places it's a good place to be, because the state is pretty much constantly killing people down there.

This is very true. UT has a Capital Punishment Clinic that would be awesome to get on.

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:44 pm

gmoney71313 wrote:More questions, what schools provide a good amount of regional clout, PNW and otherwise?

I think if you want to practice in PNW, UW is probably the only school worth going to. Maybe U Seattle if you got a great scholarship. Neither of them have the greatest employment scores on LST thought.

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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby gmoney71313 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:00 pm

Are any schools in Oregon worth considering? Lewis and Clark or U of O? My only concern with UW is that their grant money isn't the best and neither is their LRAP. I'll still apply, but I figure that i have a better chance of getting good $$$ at somewhere like Lewis and Clark. Also, I'm having trouble figuring out PD office quality and amount of job prospects.

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:01 pm

gmoney71313 wrote:Are any schools in Oregon worth considering? Lewis and Clark or U of O? My only concern with UW is that their grant money isn't the best and neither is their LRAP. I'll still apply, but I figure that i have a better chance of getting good $$$ at somewhere like Lewis and Clark. Also, I'm having trouble figuring out PD office quality and amount of job prospects.

If any school in Oregon is worth it, it's Lewis and Clark and I'd only consider going there on a full ride. I think it's probably comparable to Seattle U.

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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby gmoney71313 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:17 pm

Since Lewis & Clark is by far the best in Oregon, wouldn't they dominate the the regional jobs, and thus be 'better' than Seattle U? Or is it that UW extends its reach to these markets?

Void
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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby Void » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:23 pm

gmoney71313 wrote:Since Lewis & Clark is by far the best in Oregon, wouldn't they dominate the the regional jobs, and thus be 'better' than Seattle U? Or is it that UW extends its reach to these markets?


You need to contact someone in the region who knows wtf he's talking about. Try finding a current student at one of them here on TLS

Edit: I say this because there's really no way to get a sense of this kind of thing from looking at rankings or LST. For instance, I went to school in a state with a T14 school in it, but I happen to know that a regional second tier school actually carries a lot of weight with the local PDs, because its generally considered the best school in the region for producing smart, capable trial attorneys who don't think they're too elite to get their hands dirty. If I were a 0L and deciding between this T14 and T2 people on TLS would have told me that I was nuts for considering the latter, but they would have been wrong.

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okinawa
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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby okinawa » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:45 pm

gmoney71313 wrote:Since Lewis & Clark is by far the best in Oregon, wouldn't they dominate the the regional jobs, and thus be 'better' than Seattle U? Or is it that UW extends its reach to these markets?

And what if the year that you graduate, Oregon cuts its budget and isn't hiring new PDs? Are they even a state with an established office, or do they appoint solos/other practitioners? If you go to a school with a very localized reputation, you might be shut out of all PD positions if the single office in the state (like some smaller states have) isn't hiring 3Ls when you graduate.

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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby gmoney71313 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:51 pm

okinawa wrote:
gmoney71313 wrote:Since Lewis & Clark is by far the best in Oregon, wouldn't they dominate the the regional jobs, and thus be 'better' than Seattle U? Or is it that UW extends its reach to these markets?

And what if the year that you graduate, Oregon cuts its budget and isn't hiring new PDs? Are they even a state with an established office, or do they appoint solos/other practitioners? If you go to a school with a very localized reputation, you might be shut out of all PD positions if the single office in the state (like some smaller states have) isn't hiring 3Ls when you graduate.


Bold is the info I'm having trouble locating

gmoney71313
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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby gmoney71313 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:08 pm

Thoughts on schools in Colorado? There's only two of em... CU and Denver

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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby gmoney71313 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:40 pm

Ok so I've got my list down to 29 schools. Let me know if any I should 86 and why or if there are other schools I should consider. I pulled out a map of the US and made a list of the states I'd consider living in. Some of the schools on the list below do not belong to any of these states, but I am considering applying due to their reach and/or T14 status.

CA - Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, USC, UC Davis, UC Hastings, UCI (7)
OR - Lewis & Clark (1)
WA - UW, Seattle, Gonzaga (3)
CO - CU, Denver (2)
PA - UPenn, Penn State, Temple (3)
MI - Michigan (1)
WV - WVU (1)
VA - UVA, W&M (2)
MA - BC, BU (2)
CT - UConn (1)
Other - Columbia, Chicago, NYU, Duke, Northwestern, Wake Forest, GWU (7)

Don't pull any punches, give me some constructive or even destructive criticism, it is all greatly appreciated.

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okinawa
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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby okinawa » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:00 pm

Do you have a fee waiver? If so, just apply to all of them and then relax. It's still way too many schools but at least you won't be second guessing yourself. If you are actually paying to apply, I'd strike:

gmoney71313 wrote:CA - Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, USC, UC Davis, UC Hastings, UCI (7)
OR - Lewis & Clark (1)
WA - UW, Seattle, Gonzaga (3)
CO - CU, Denver (2)
PA - UPenn, Penn State, Temple (3)
MI - Michigan (1)
WV - WVU (1)
VA - UVA, W&M (2)
MA - BC, BU (2)
CT - UConn (1)
Other - Columbia, Chicago, NYU, Duke,Northwestern, Wake Forest, GWU (7)


because that list will leave you will enough options to probably get adequate financial aid and reach to the areas you like. Also, why not Georgetown, if you're willing to be in that area?
Last edited by okinawa on Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby gmoney71313 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:05 pm

I havn't solicited any fee waivers yet, and i am planning to apply to GULC, idk how it slipped my mind esp with its terrific pi program. Is it too early to ask for waivers since apps havnt came out yet?

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:09 pm

okinawa wrote:Do you have a fee waiver? If so, just apply to all of them and then relax. It's still way too many schools but at least you won't be second guessing yourself. If you are actually paying to apply, I'd strike:

gmoney71313 wrote:CA - Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, USC, UC Davis, UC Hastings, UCI (7)
OR - Lewis & Clark (1)
WA - UW, Seattle, Gonzaga (3)
CO - CU, Denver (2)
PA - UPenn, Penn State, Temple (3)
MI - Michigan (1)
WV - WVU (1)
VA - UVA, W&M (2)
MA - BC, BU (2)
CT - UConn (1)
Other - Columbia, Chicago, NYU, Duke, Northwestern, Wake Forest, GWU (7)


because that list will leave you will enough options to probably get adequate financial aid and reach to the areas you like. Also, why not Georgetown, if you're willing to be in that area?


I would actually leave DU on the list for Colorado because they give full-rides and they have a good trial program. The PD system in Colorado is also well regarded.

Void
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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby Void » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:08 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:
okinawa wrote:Do you have a fee waiver? If so, just apply to all of them and then relax. It's still way too many schools but at least you won't be second guessing yourself. If you are actually paying to apply, I'd strike:

gmoney71313 wrote:CA - Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, USC, UC Davis, UC Hastings, UCI (7)
OR - Lewis & Clark (1)
WA - UW, Seattle, Gonzaga (3)
CO - CU, Denver (2)
PA - UPenn, Penn State, Temple (3)
MI - Michigan (1)
WV - WVU (1)
VA - UVA, W&M (2)
MA - BC, BU (2)
CT - UConn (1)
Other - Columbia, Chicago, NYU, Duke, Northwestern, Wake Forest, GWU (7)


because that list will leave you will enough options to probably get adequate financial aid and reach to the areas you like. Also, why not Georgetown, if you're willing to be in that area?


I would actually leave DU on the list for Colorado because they give full-rides and they have a good trial program. The PD system in Colorado is also well regarded.


I'd pull UConn off your list- not because it isn't a good school, but because CT public defender is almost never hiring, and the best you can hope for is to volunteer until you eventually get some kind of hourly position with no benefits for a year or more until you are finally even considered for a full time position.

gmoney71313
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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby gmoney71313 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:13 pm

Void wrote:
Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:
okinawa wrote:Do you have a fee waiver? If so, just apply to all of them and then relax. It's still way too many schools but at least you won't be second guessing yourself. If you are actually paying to apply, I'd strike:

gmoney71313 wrote:CA - Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, USC, UC Davis, UC Hastings, UCI (7)
OR - Lewis & Clark (1)
WA - UW, Seattle, Gonzaga (3)
CO - CU, Denver (2)
PA - UPenn, Penn State, Temple (3)
MI - Michigan (1)
WV - WVU (1)
VA - UVA, W&M (2)
MA - BC, BU (2)
CT - UConn (1)
Other - Columbia, Chicago, NYU, Duke, Northwestern, Wake Forest, GWU (7)


because that list will leave you will enough options to probably get adequate financial aid and reach to the areas you like. Also, why not Georgetown, if you're willing to be in that area?


I would actually leave DU on the list for Colorado because they give full-rides and they have a good trial program. The PD system in Colorado is also well regarded.


I'd pull UConn off your list- not because it isn't a good school, but because CT public defender is almost never hiring, and the best you can hope for is to volunteer until you eventually get some kind of hourly position with no benefits for a year or more until you are finally even considered for a full time position.

Thanks, very helpful info that id otherwise have trouble finding out

SPerez
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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby SPerez » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:19 pm

There's also the Federal Defender's Office, http://www.fd.org/.

My two cents is that you need to pick a place you want to live. I know you probably don't feel ready to make that decision because you're young, mobile, etc., but outside the top 20 or so schools are regional. Applying all those schools in random places is only going to make your decision harder because odds are you will get into them and will still be facing the same questions when it comes time to decide.

The comment about how PD's view grads of "elite" schools is probably pretty accurate. If you're not one of the lucky few to get a spot in a clinic or get good work experience on your own, then you're not going to be trained how to practice law. The schools that are known for that are regional and pretty much never the top school in their region. If you're interviewing outside your school's region, chances are good the person interviewing you won't be familiar with your school. If you go to the elite school, they'll probably assume you're smart but don't know anything practical.

Your numbers are good enough to go to law school for free (or close to it) at the top regional school anywhere in the country. If you're dead set on being a public defender (which, IMHO, is a REALLY narrow career goal; you should also be open just to general criminal defense work where you could then do as much pro bono as you want), then I'd recommend what others have said and really look at schools that have strong clinical programs, lots of ties to the local legal community (for internships, networking), and lots of skills courses. From what I've heard, getting in with PDs, prosecutors offices, etc. is a lot more about your skills and experience than the name on your diploma.

*Shameless Plug Alert*
Texas Tech actually has a public defender clinic, the Caprock Regional Public Defender Office. Basically, our 3rd year students serve as the PDs for clients in many rural counties out here in West Texas, places that don't have enough attorneys to serve the population. I don't know of any other program like it. We're also home of the Innocence Project of Texas (yeah, y'all assumed that was in Austin at UT, didn't ya? :) ). The Caprock students have done so well defending clients that some counties have ended their relationship with the clinic because our students are beating their prosecutors too often. I'm sure other law schools have similar clinics.

Of course, any criminal defense clinic (which many schools have, I imagine) will get you the experience you need. There's also both trial and appellate work so in law school you'll want to look into which you might prefer to specialize in.

Dean Perez

Void
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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby Void » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:17 pm

SPerez wrote:
If you're dead set on being a public defender (which, IMHO, is a REALLY narrow career goal; you should also be open just to general criminal defense work where you could then do as much pro bono as you want)

Dean Perez


Sorry, Dean, but this bothers me. First of all, many aspiring public defenders are far more attracted to the prospect of serving the indigent and public service in general than specifically to the field of criminal law. Secondly, many public defender employers are generally only interested in hiring those who have a genuine commitment to protecting the indigent, and spend lots of time and energy screening out applicants who just want to practice criminal law- even if specifically narrowed to the defense side. I should know- I've been to several post-grad PD interviews where my grades came into question, because they were good. "You have good grades. Wouldn't you rather find a job at a private firm where you will make more money?"

In lots of states, applicants for PD positions can be hurt, rather than helped, by broadening their focus- especially in the direction you suggest. If OP needs to expand his options for some reason, he would probably be better off doing so in the direction of other public interest areas like Legal Aid. But if he wants to be a public defender, what's wrong with going to law school with that specific goal? Sure, it might not work out for him, but that's a risk assumed by every LS applicant after 2008, regardless of the focus or breadth of their aspirations.

SPerez
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Re: Too Many Applications... Prospective PD

Postby SPerez » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:44 pm

Void wrote:
SPerez wrote:
If you're dead set on being a public defender (which, IMHO, is a REALLY narrow career goal; you should also be open just to general criminal defense work where you could then do as much pro bono as you want)

Dean Perez


Sorry, Dean, but this bothers me. First of all, many aspiring public defenders are far more attracted to the prospect of serving the indigent and public service in general than specifically to the field of criminal law. Secondly, many public defender employers are generally only interested in hiring those who have a genuine commitment to protecting the indigent, and spend lots of time and energy screening out applicants who just want to practice criminal law- even if specifically narrowed to the defense side. I should know- I've been to several post-grad PD interviews where my grades came into question, because they were good. "You have good grades. Wouldn't you rather find a job at a private firm where you will make more money?"

In lots of states, applicants for PD positions can be hurt, rather than helped, by broadening their focus- especially in the direction you suggest. If OP needs to expand his options for some reason, he would probably be better off doing so in the direction of other public interest areas like Legal Aid. But if he wants to be a public defender, what's wrong with going to law school with that specific goal? Sure, it might not work out for him, but that's a risk assumed by every LS applicant after 2008, regardless of the focus or breadth of their aspirations.



My point was more just that in an environment where jobs are scarce, it's a good idea to be open to other similar areas. Not to mention that a lot of people THINK they know what they want to do before they start law school, only to get turned on by something else in law school. I don't know OP, of course, but I mention it more for others that might be reading. Also, your first job out of law school isn't your last job. Careers progress and even if you aren't able to find your dream job right out of law school, it doesn't mean you can't get there.

I wasn't saying one shouldn't have a goal or purpose in law school. Student just sometimes take internet research way too literally and unnecessarily limit their options. Taking a criminal defense clinic would give you the same skills that a PD would be looking for. I don't claim to have any insight into PD hiring, but I find it hard to believe that one would harm their chances by doing a general criminal clinic if their background otherwise indicated a commitment to the indigent. (Not to mention, unless you're like a mob lawyer or work in Hollywood, my sense is that most criminal defense attorney clients are still pretty damn poor...again, that's in addition to taking however many pro bono court appointments you want to do as service.)

I'm not surprised by the questions you've reported getting. The biases and assumptions that go with high grades (e.g. law review/top 10% = clerkship/BigLaw, valuing money over helping people) are much farther from the values of PD's than general criminal defense, I'd imagine, though.




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