Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
fsu2013philip

New
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 2:57 pm

Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby fsu2013philip » Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:20 pm

I am 25 and work as a legislative staffer for an appropriations(budget) subcommittee for my state's legislature. I am getting good experience in my position, and would like to advance down this career track, but I am wondering if law school may help me advance quicker and allow me to gain an important perspective about this field. While I don't think it is necessary, getting a J.D. does seem like a potentially good investment given that so many lobbyists, staffers, and politicians have J.D.'s, and that one's ability to interpret the law is crucial in this area of work; however, I would have to invest 3 years, get into debt, go through the stress, risk becoming overqualified for simpler work in the future, etc.

My question: is it worth it?

Thanks

User avatar
lymenheimer

Gold
Posts: 3979
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:54 am

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby lymenheimer » Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:21 pm

no

cavalier1138

Gold
Posts: 4954
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:24 pm

Nope.

User avatar
RamTitan

Silver
Posts: 1092
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:45 pm

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby RamTitan » Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:27 pm

Sounds like you're in a pretty good spot right now for what you want to do

xiao_long

New
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:38 pm

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby xiao_long » Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:18 pm

If you feel like you need a graduate degree to stand out, perhaps an MPP from an elite university (Harvard, Princeton) would benefit you more. And it's 2 years instead of 3, and cheaper overall.

User avatar
UnicornHunter

Diamond
Posts: 13507
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 9:16 pm

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby UnicornHunter » Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:23 pm

Honestly you'll get better advice from the people you work with than anyone here. If they think you need it, they'll let you know. I wouldn't give up 3 years and pay for law school though without a specific job in mind and a good idea of how law school is going to get you there.

User avatar
do_me_a_favor

New
Posts: 91
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:27 am

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby do_me_a_favor » Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:02 pm

truth is as a forum TLS is heavily biased against going to law school, because TLS deals in generalities and really knows theyr #'s and shit (not saying i disagree with that, but it just is) and GENERALLY that advice is correct. but for some people, probably elite people, going to law school can be a good idea, in some situations, even if you dont have a clear agenda set to practice law in a particular way right now.
to give an answer specific to your case: i dont think youve given us enough information to give you advice. it could or could not be a good thing for you to do.
you do have a job at the moment in the field youre interested in working, but what is the long term ladder there? will you move up to better, different positions and continue to make more and more money? if not, you may consider going back to school in some fashion simply to make more money in the future. that is, if you can see a role for yourself practicing law.
if you can see yourself practicing law and having law as the career that makes you the money you need to make while you plot a political/lobbying career, considering doing it. this is what most successful politicians have done. many (perhaps even most) who try to do this fail, sure, but that is the route commonly used

User avatar
UnicornHunter

Diamond
Posts: 13507
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 9:16 pm

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby UnicornHunter » Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:23 am

do_me_a_favor wrote:truth is as a forum TLS is heavily biased against going to law school, because TLS deals in generalities and really knows theyr #'s and shit (not saying i disagree with that, but it just is) and GENERALLY that advice is correct. but for some people, probably elite people, going to law school can be a good idea, in some situations, even if you dont have a clear agenda set to practice law in a particular way right now.
to give an answer specific to your case: i dont think youve given us enough information to give you advice. it could or could not be a good thing for you to do.
you do have a job at the moment in the field youre interested in working, but what is the long term ladder there? will you move up to better, different positions and continue to make more and more money? if not, you may consider going back to school in some fashion simply to make more money in the future. that is, if you can see a role for yourself practicing law.
if you can see yourself practicing law and having law as the career that makes you the money you need to make while you plot a political/lobbying career, considering doing it. this is what most successful politicians have done. many (perhaps even most) who try to do this fail, sure, but that is the route commonly used


lol only failures from elite backgrounds go to law school these days.

User avatar
john1990

Silver
Posts: 1216
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:49 pm

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby john1990 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:22 am

UnicornHunter wrote:Honestly you'll get better advice from the people you work with than anyone here. If they think you need it, they'll let you know. I wouldn't give up 3 years and pay for law school though without a specific job in mind and a good idea of how law school is going to get you there.


+1

User avatar
pancakes3

Platinum
Posts: 6623
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby pancakes3 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:37 am

nah. the route to lobbying starts with a couple of years of hill experience managing stuff that people lobby for (read: defense). and nobody's hiring JDs to be staffers. do your best to get on the hill ASAP bc if you're a 30-something staffer in DC, people feel sorry for you.

User avatar
mukol

Bronze
Posts: 482
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:46 pm

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby mukol » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:30 am

Fuck no it isn't worth it.

Use your super sweet connections to shift from state level chump stuff to the real deal up on the hill.

User avatar
poptart123

Silver
Posts: 1153
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:31 pm

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby poptart123 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:38 am

Replace "J.D." with "Hill internship" and the answer is yes.

KPUSN07

Bronze
Posts: 226
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:37 am

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby KPUSN07 » Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:03 pm

What about getting into politics - running for office? JD worth it as a military vet or more going the MPP route to continue that public service trajectory?

User avatar
mukol

Bronze
Posts: 482
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:46 pm

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby mukol » Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:47 pm

KPUSN07 wrote:What about getting into politics - running for office? JD worth it as a military vet or more going the MPP route to continue that public service trajectory?


What do you mean by getting into politics? If you actually mean running for office, you don't need a JD or an MPP.

User avatar
UnicornHunter

Diamond
Posts: 13507
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 9:16 pm

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby UnicornHunter » Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:59 pm

KPUSN07 wrote:What about getting into politics - running for office? JD worth it as a military vet or more going the MPP route to continue that public service trajectory?


I assume you're not super wealthy since you're asking this question. Probably fucked TBH. Run for a local office and see what happens. If you're good your party will find you. If you're not, no degree in the world will make a difference.

User avatar
Ferrisjso

Gold
Posts: 2149
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:40 pm

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby Ferrisjso » Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:34 am

fsu2013philip wrote:I am 25 and work as a legislative staffer for an appropriations(budget) subcommittee for my state's legislature. I am getting good experience in my position, and would like to advance down this career track, but I am wondering if law school may help me advance quicker and allow me to gain an important perspective about this field. While I don't think it is necessary, getting a J.D. does seem like a potentially good investment given that so many lobbyists, staffers, and politicians have J.D.'s, and that one's ability to interpret the law is crucial in this area of work; however, I would have to invest 3 years, get into debt, go through the stress, risk becoming overqualified for simpler work in the future, etc.

My question: is it worth it?

Thanks


There are a few competitive areas where a JD is an unofficial requirement for most (paid)political job, obviously you can run for office without a JD but to be someone's chief of staff JD's are given preference even though you don't need one. In NYC this is the case and perhaps a few other big cities(LA and Chicago maybe if anyone from there or anyone else knows about that?)but if you live anywhere else(and you probably do) it is unnecessary and everything I said is just BS. Will a JD help you be better at your job? Probably but you'd have to be insane to spend that much money for information you don't need to get employment. You can still buy the textbooks law students use (and just the ones on the subjects you need to know whereas at law school you'll need to learn all of it even though most isn't relevant to your job) I feel you though, I want to go into politics myself someday (and it is my backup if my first choice of tax law doesn't work out) and in my area a JD will help with that. However regardless of where you live and if a JD would make you better at your job clearly you didn't need a JD to get your job. I'm a few years younger than you and I feel funny giving someone older than me advice but if I were you I'd just buy expensive legal texbooks on what you feel will help you advance your career without going to school. That seems like the consensus on here. I just wanted to comment to make it known that they are situations where not having a JD does hurt you getting a political job. From what you've said though you are not in one of those situations.

User avatar
Ferrisjso

Gold
Posts: 2149
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:40 pm

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby Ferrisjso » Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:37 am

fsu2013philip wrote:I am 25 and work as a legislative staffer for an appropriations(budget) subcommittee for my state's legislature. I am getting good experience in my position, and would like to advance down this career track, but I am wondering if law school may help me advance quicker and allow me to gain an important perspective about this field. While I don't think it is necessary, getting a J.D. does seem like a potentially good investment given that so many lobbyists, staffers, and politicians have J.D.'s, and that one's ability to interpret the law is crucial in this area of work; however, I would have to invest 3 years, get into debt, go through the stress, risk becoming overqualified for simpler work in the future, etc.

My question: is it worth it?

Thanks


There are a few competitive areas where a JD is an unofficial requirement for most (paid)political job, obviously you can run for office without a JD but to be someone's chief of staff JD's are given preference even though you don't need one. In NYC this is the case and perhaps a few other big cities(LA and Chicago maybe if anyone from there or anyone else knows about that?)but if you live anywhere else(and you probably do) it is unnecessary and everything I said is just BS. Will a JD help you be better at your job? Probably but you'd have to be insane to spend that much money for information you don't need to get employment. You can still buy the textbooks law students use (and just the ones on the subjects you need to know whereas at law school you'll need to learn all of it even though most isn't relevant to your job) I feel you though, I want to go into politics myself someday (and it is my backup if my first choice of tax law doesn't work out) and in my area a JD will help with that. However regardless of where you live and if a JD would make you better at your job clearly you didn't need a JD to get your job. I'm a few years younger than you and I feel funny giving someone older than me advice but if I were you I'd just buy expensive legal textbooks on what you feel will help you advance your career without going to school and potentially ruining your life . That seems like the consensus on here. I just wanted to comment to make it known that they are situations where not having a JD does hurt you getting a political job. From what you've said though you are not in one of those situations.

User avatar
UnicornHunter

Diamond
Posts: 13507
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 9:16 pm

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby UnicornHunter » Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:42 am

Wait, what? Don't buy freaking law books either.

While it may have been true at one point that a JD was an unwritten requirement for most political jobs, that is absolutely no longer the case. Probably be best to be a stat-head type, if any specialized background would help. A chief of staff is going to be doing 0 legal work. Going to law school doesn't make you smarter. If you want to do politics, work in politics. If someone tells you they'll give you a job if you get a JD (and ideally that they'll pay for it) get a JD. If not, don't get a JD. Period. No exceptions.

User avatar
Blueprint Mithun

Bronze
Posts: 456
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:54 pm

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby Blueprint Mithun » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:52 am

UnicornHunter wrote:Honestly you'll get better advice from the people you work with than anyone here. If they think you need it, they'll let you know. I wouldn't give up 3 years and pay for law school though without a specific job in mind and a good idea of how law school is going to get you there.

User avatar
mukol

Bronze
Posts: 482
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:46 pm

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby mukol » Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:02 pm

UnicornHunter wrote:Wait, what? Don't buy freaking law books either.

While it may have been true at one point that a JD was an unwritten requirement for most political jobs, that is absolutely no longer the case. Probably be best to be a stat-head type, if any specialized background would help. A chief of staff is going to be doing 0 legal work. Going to law school doesn't make you smarter. If you want to do politics, work in politics. If someone tells you they'll give you a job if you get a JD (and ideally that they'll pay for it) get a JD. If not, don't get a JD. Period. No exceptions.

BigZuck

Diamond
Posts: 11731
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby BigZuck » Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:24 pm

Ferrisjso wrote:
fsu2013philip wrote:I am 25 and work as a legislative staffer for an appropriations(budget) subcommittee for my state's legislature. I am getting good experience in my position, and would like to advance down this career track, but I am wondering if law school may help me advance quicker and allow me to gain an important perspective about this field. While I don't think it is necessary, getting a J.D. does seem like a potentially good investment given that so many lobbyists, staffers, and politicians have J.D.'s, and that one's ability to interpret the law is crucial in this area of work; however, I would have to invest 3 years, get into debt, go through the stress, risk becoming overqualified for simpler work in the future, etc.

My question: is it worth it?

Thanks


There are a few competitive areas where a JD is an unofficial requirement for most (paid)political job, obviously you can run for office without a JD but to be someone's chief of staff JD's are given preference even though you don't need one. In NYC this is the case and perhaps a few other big cities(LA and Chicago maybe if anyone from there or anyone else knows about that?)but if you live anywhere else(and you probably do) it is unnecessary and everything I said is just BS. Will a JD help you be better at your job? Probably but you'd have to be insane to spend that much money for information you don't need to get employment. You can still buy the textbooks law students use (and just the ones on the subjects you need to know whereas at law school you'll need to learn all of it even though most isn't relevant to your job) I feel you though, I want to go into politics myself someday (and it is my backup if my first choice of tax law doesn't work out) and in my area a JD will help with that. However regardless of where you live and if a JD would make you better at your job clearly you didn't need a JD to get your job. I'm a few years younger than you and I feel funny giving someone older than me advice but if I were you I'd just buy expensive legal textbooks on what you feel will help you advance your career without going to school and potentially ruining your life . That seems like the consensus on here. I just wanted to comment to make it known that they are situations where not having a JD does hurt you getting a political job. From what you've said though you are not in one of those situations.

Do you know what's actually in expensive law textbooks?

User avatar
brinicolec

Gold
Posts: 4480
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:09 pm

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby brinicolec » Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:00 pm

Regarding a political career, I think this would matter more if you have a specific platform you're trying to run on that somehow heavily relies on knowledge of the law. But I think, if you have connections/mentors, you should ask them their opinion on this.

BigZuck

Diamond
Posts: 11731
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby BigZuck » Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:17 pm

As far as the actual learnin' goes, law school is pretty much all about learning about things like implied reciprocal hereditiments and Mother Hubbard Clauses and a bunch of other useless garbage that isn't going to get anyone any close to their POTUS dreams. If you want to go to law school to acquire knowledge then RUN (don't walk!) away as fast as you can.

Now, if you want to be a lawyer, that's a different story.

User avatar
mukol

Bronze
Posts: 482
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:46 pm

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby mukol » Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:22 pm

brinicolec wrote:Regarding a political career, I think this would matter more if you have a specific platform you're trying to run on that somehow heavily relies on knowledge of the law. But I think, if you have connections/mentors, you should ask them their opinion on this use them to find opportunities to advance your political career and meet the people with the money.


Scott Walker doesn't have a 4-year degree. OP consider that.

User avatar
Ferrisjso

Gold
Posts: 2149
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:40 pm

Re: Is a J.D. worth it for a political/lobbying career?

Postby Ferrisjso » Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:51 am

BigZuck wrote:
Ferrisjso wrote:
fsu2013philip wrote:I am 25 and work as a legislative staffer for an appropriations(budget) subcommittee for my state's legislature. I am getting good experience in my position, and would like to advance down this career track, but I am wondering if law school may help me advance quicker and allow me to gain an important perspective about this field. While I don't think it is necessary, getting a J.D. does seem like a potentially good investment given that so many lobbyists, staffers, and politicians have J.D.'s, and that one's ability to interpret the law is crucial in this area of work; however, I would have to invest 3 years, get into debt, go through the stress, risk becoming overqualified for simpler work in the future, etc.

My question: is it worth it?

Thanks


There are a few competitive areas where a JD is an unofficial requirement for most (paid)political job, obviously you can run for office without a JD but to be someone's chief of staff JD's are given preference even though you don't need one. In NYC this is the case and perhaps a few other big cities(LA and Chicago maybe if anyone from there or anyone else knows about that?)but if you live anywhere else(and you probably do) it is unnecessary and everything I said is just BS. Will a JD help you be better at your job? Probably but you'd have to be insane to spend that much money for information you don't need to get employment. You can still buy the textbooks law students use (and just the ones on the subjects you need to know whereas at law school you'll need to learn all of it even though most isn't relevant to your job) I feel you though, I want to go into politics myself someday (and it is my backup if my first choice of tax law doesn't work out) and in my area a JD will help with that. However regardless of where you live and if a JD would make you better at your job clearly you didn't need a JD to get your job. I'm a few years younger than you and I feel funny giving someone older than me advice but if I were you I'd just buy expensive legal textbooks on what you feel will help you advance your career without going to school and potentially ruining your life . That seems like the consensus on here. I just wanted to comment to make it known that they are situations where not having a JD does hurt you getting a political job. From what you've said though you are not in one of those situations.

Do you know what's actually in expensive law textbooks?


No I don't (I have an idea for some of them most though I don't have a clue) Regardless, OP wanted to get a JD to learn about a few particular content areas of the law. Wouldn't learning said information through books be an efficient, cost effective alternative to going to law school when it isn't really necessary?



Return to “Law School Admissions Forum�

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Fletch23 and 10 guests