Big Myth?

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Anonymous User
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Big Myth?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:14 pm

Quick question -- one of the things I've gleaned from this board is that PI orgs generally like to see a strong commitment to their cause, i.e. spend both summers doing PI work, etc. So, let's say someone works for a firm doing litigation,then decides to switch it up a bit, does that mean PI orgs are out of the question since they'll interpret your private sector employment as a lack of commitment to their respective cause(s)? (I'm thinking Brennan Center and ACLU in particular!) Gov't work, i.e. ADA or AUSA is def. not out of the question, though, correct?

Jessep
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Re: Big Myth?

Postby Jessep » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:40 pm

Most of the people on these boards are law students, so will just be passing along what they've heard (or worse they'll be guessing).

I'd contact alumni who are working in these types of organizations and ask them. They will provide the best info.

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Borhas
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Re: Big Myth?

Postby Borhas » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Quick question -- one of the things I've gleaned from this board is that PI orgs generally like to see a strong commitment to their cause, i.e. spend both summers doing PI work, etc. So, let's say someone works for a firm doing litigation,then decides to switch it up a bit, does that mean PI orgs are out of the question since they'll interpret your private sector employment as a lack of commitment to their respective cause(s)? (I'm thinking Brennan Center and ACLU in particular!) Gov't work, i.e. ADA or AUSA is def. not out of the question, though, correct?


I don't know but you can still do pro-bono work while at a firm

not sure if that's enough, but it seems like a decent compromise

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Grizz
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Re: Big Myth?

Postby Grizz » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Quick question -- one of the things I've gleaned from this board is that PI orgs generally like to see a strong commitment to their cause, i.e. spend both summers doing PI work, etc. So, let's say someone works for a firm doing litigation,then decides to switch it up a bit, does that mean PI orgs are out of the question since they'll interpret your private sector employment as a lack of commitment to their respective cause(s)? (I'm thinking Brennan Center and ACLU in particular!) Gov't work, i.e. ADA or AUSA is def. not out of the question, though, correct?


I know for a fact AUSA is definitely in play, at least in the district I live in in FL. They want people with experience, and many of them get this experience at firms. I don't think it would be different for other districts as well.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Big Myth?

Postby Kohinoor » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:23 pm

Jessep wrote:Most of the people on these boards are law students, so will just be passing along what they've heard (or worse they'll be guessing).

or have worked in those organizations and spoken to the lawyers there.

Anonymous User
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Re: Big Myth?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:44 pm

I worked for an ACLU affiliate during my 1L summer. I asked the Legal Director there this question, and she said that working for any prosecutor's office would disqualify you. I asked her about DOJ Civil Rights, and she said it wouldn't be an autoding in this administration but it might at other times. She implied that any government experience was looked at unfavorably.

Now, this was one affiliate, so I don't know how it is elsewhere. I'm trying to go the government route now anyway (ACLU was interesting, but not what I want to do).

Renzo
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Re: Big Myth?

Postby Renzo » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:48 pm

I worked last summer at a similarly prestigious PI organization, although one with a different mission than ACLU/Brennan Ctr.

Of about 30 full-time lawyers and graduate fellows nationwide, one had come from a firm. He said he came with specific substantive knowledge at a time when the organization really needed it, and was also basically interrogated about why, if he really cared, had he gone to a firm in the first place.

By comparison, there were two former S.Ct. clerks, a former (still adjunct) law professor, and three one-time political appointees, all of which had always been in PI or gov't.

The lesson I took was that it's not impossible to go to prestigious PI via biglaw, but there are no shortage of extremely qualified applicants, so you'll be facing still competition from people who won't have to prove that they are "true believers." And what the above poster said is true--if you worked for anyone that might look remotely like they are associated with the other side, consider it an autoding.

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underdawg
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Re: Big Myth?

Postby underdawg » Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:38 pm

yeah some PI places are cult-like and auto-ding for lots of crap. i'm guessing others are more reasonable. biglaw is a big plus for most government work though, and a prerequisite for AUSA, at least in NYC. i would guess that for all fed gov stuff, biglaw is a very good thing to have on your resume since they care a bit more about "prestige" than state.




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