NYC public policy jobs - pls advise!

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OperaSoprano
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NYC public policy jobs - pls advise!

Postby OperaSoprano » Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:57 pm

I took some time off job hunting after OCI in an attempt to figure out what I really want to do. I have a great internship in house that I really love, but I know that this company and others like it rarely hire new graduates, and I am now relatively certain I don't want to go to a firm (the exception would be a small firm with lots of structure and a supportive work environment.)

I've been meeting with various people at school and work who know me well, and my dean of career services thinks I should look into a public policy position. She says she sees me happiest where I can research and write in an environment that is not extremely high pressure (these were her descriptive words, not mine!) and she knows I have always loved public interest work.

My thought was that these jobs are nearly impossible to come by without an HYS JD or massive connections. I have people who will recommend me, but most of my connections are in my previous field (fashion). I love being in law school, and almost wish I could pursue a joint (or subsequent) degree, but with the amount of debt I am taking on, unless I can be sure of speedy forgiveness, I probably shouldn't. My family's circumstances have changed and they will be able to help me if I ever need it, but they are not paying my tuition and I wouldn't want them to.

What makes the most sense? I have honestly never been as happy as I have been during my years of law school, and it seems crazy to think I'm really halfway. I know my career won't be normal or linear (it already is the farthest thing from that) and I only envy my firm-bound classmates their foreknowledge of where they will be going. I am proud of what I've done here academically, though like anyone, I could stand to improve. LRW was a bit of an epic fail. :lol: I don't need an outsize salary. All I know is that I want to stay here in New York.

Please give me advice, tough love, etc. Specific recommendations are much appreciated! My school gave me the UofA Public Policy Handbook, which I've been going through.

TL:DR- I need career advice! Am flexible, but want to stay in NYC. <3 for help!

Renzo
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Re: Please talk to me about public policy jobs

Postby Renzo » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:01 am

If I were going to take a policy job in NY, I'd chase the National Employment Law Project, the NYPIRG, and the Consumer Union (the latter is upstate... don't know if that counts).

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Please talk to me about public policy jobs

Postby OperaSoprano » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:15 am

Renzo wrote:If I were going to take a policy job in NY, I'd chase the National Employment Law Project, the NYPIRG, and the Consumer Union (the latter is upstate... don't know if that counts).


Hi Renzo! I have to be in NYC, because I'm going to take a class this summer as well. I am pretty sure NYPIRG comes to the PILC Fair, and I am registered. I will do some more research on the former two. Do you know people who have worked there?

Renzo
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Re: Please talk to me about public policy jobs

Postby Renzo » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:18 am

OperaSoprano wrote:
Renzo wrote:If I were going to take a policy job in NY, I'd chase the National Employment Law Project, the NYPIRG, and the Consumer Union (the latter is upstate... don't know if that counts).


Hi Renzo! I have to be in NYC, because I'm going to take a class this summer as well. I am pretty sure NYPIRG comes to the PILC Fair, and I am registered. I will do some more research on the former two. Do you know people who have worked there?

None of them. I know someone who knows someone who knows someone at NELP, but that's about it.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Please talk to me about public policy jobs

Postby OperaSoprano » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:28 am

Renzo wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:
Renzo wrote:If I were going to take a policy job in NY, I'd chase the National Employment Law Project, the NYPIRG, and the Consumer Union (the latter is upstate... don't know if that counts).


Hi Renzo! I have to be in NYC, because I'm going to take a class this summer as well. I am pretty sure NYPIRG comes to the PILC Fair, and I am registered. I will do some more research on the former two. Do you know people who have worked there?

None of them. I know someone who knows someone who knows someone at NELP, but that's about it.


Did you hear good things about the organization? I always like to talk to someone to get a sense of it, especially if I can manage a first interview. Do you think they'd mind about my background? Employment law is relevant in a variety of contexts, I think.

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Re: Please talk to me about public policy jobs

Postby Renzo » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:32 am

OperaSoprano wrote:
Renzo wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:
Renzo wrote:If I were going to take a policy job in NY, I'd chase the National Employment Law Project, the NYPIRG, and the Consumer Union (the latter is upstate... don't know if that counts).


Hi Renzo! I have to be in NYC, because I'm going to take a class this summer as well. I am pretty sure NYPIRG comes to the PILC Fair, and I am registered. I will do some more research on the former two. Do you know people who have worked there?

None of them. I know someone who knows someone who knows someone at NELP, but that's about it.


Did you hear good things about the organization? I always like to talk to someone to get a sense of it, especially if I can manage a first interview. Do you think they'd mind about my background? Employment law is relevant in a variety of contexts, I think.


We should talk IRL about NELP; I don't know anyone to put you in touch with, but I kind of worked on something with them indirectly and I can tell you what I know.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Please talk to me about public policy jobs

Postby OperaSoprano » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:37 am

Renzo wrote:
We should talk IRL about NELP; I don't know anyone to put you in touch with, but I kind of worked on something with them indirectly and I can tell you what I know.


That would be lovely!

<3

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Borhas
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Re: Please talk to me about public policy jobs

Postby Borhas » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:40 am

looked into PMF?
http://www.pmf.gov/

Renzo
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Re: Please talk to me about public policy jobs

Postby Renzo » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:41 am

Borhas wrote:looked into PMF?
http://www.pmf.gov/

I may be wrong, but isn't the President in DC?

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Please talk to me about public policy jobs

Postby OperaSoprano » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:45 am

Renzo wrote:
Borhas wrote:looked into PMF?
http://www.pmf.gov/

I may be wrong, but isn't the President in DC?


I lol'd, but I think this program is only for graduating 3Ls, so it would be too early to apply, right?

A&O
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Re: NYC public policy jobs - pls advise!

Postby A&O » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:56 pm

I know the people at NELP. Excellent people. Excellent organization.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: NYC public policy jobs - pls advise!

Postby OperaSoprano » Wed Dec 22, 2010 3:21 pm

A&O wrote:I know the people at NELP. Excellent people. Excellent organization.


Thank you, A&O. I am thinking I will apply and hope they don't look askance at my background, because I genuinely am interested and would very happily spend my summer there.

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vamedic03
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Re: NYC public policy jobs - pls advise!

Postby vamedic03 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:10 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:I took some time off job hunting after OCI in an attempt to figure out what I really want to do. I have a great internship in house that I really love, but I know that this company and others like it rarely hire new graduates, and I am now relatively certain I don't want to go to a firm (the exception would be a small firm with lots of structure and a supportive work environment.)

I've been meeting with various people at school and work who know me well, and my dean of career services thinks I should look into a public policy position. She says she sees me happiest where I can research and write in an environment that is not extremely high pressure (these were her descriptive words, not mine!) and she knows I have always loved public interest work.

My thought was that these jobs are nearly impossible to come by without an HYS JD or massive connections. I have people who will recommend me, but most of my connections are in my previous field (fashion). I love being in law school, and almost wish I could pursue a joint (or subsequent) degree, but with the amount of debt I am taking on, unless I can be sure of speedy forgiveness, I probably shouldn't. My family's circumstances have changed and they will be able to help me if I ever need it, but they are not paying my tuition and I wouldn't want them to.

What makes the most sense? I have honestly never been as happy as I have been during my years of law school, and it seems crazy to think I'm really halfway. I know my career won't be normal or linear (it already is the farthest thing from that) and I only envy my firm-bound classmates their foreknowledge of where they will be going. I am proud of what I've done here academically, though like anyone, I could stand to improve. LRW was a bit of an epic fail. :lol: I don't need an outsize salary. All I know is that I want to stay here in New York.

Please give me advice, tough love, etc. Specific recommendations are much appreciated! My school gave me the UofA Public Policy Handbook, which I've been going through.

TL:DR- I need career advice! Am flexible, but want to stay in NYC. <3 for help!


What about NYLAG? They do a lot of affirmative litigation.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: NYC public policy jobs - pls advise!

Postby OperaSoprano » Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:34 pm

vamedic03 wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:I took some time off job hunting after OCI in an attempt to figure out what I really want to do. I have a great internship in house that I really love, but I know that this company and others like it rarely hire new graduates, and I am now relatively certain I don't want to go to a firm (the exception would be a small firm with lots of structure and a supportive work environment.)

I've been meeting with various people at school and work who know me well, and my dean of career services thinks I should look into a public policy position. She says she sees me happiest where I can research and write in an environment that is not extremely high pressure (these were her descriptive words, not mine!) and she knows I have always loved public interest work.

My thought was that these jobs are nearly impossible to come by without an HYS JD or massive connections. I have people who will recommend me, but most of my connections are in my previous field (fashion). I love being in law school, and almost wish I could pursue a joint (or subsequent) degree, but with the amount of debt I am taking on, unless I can be sure of speedy forgiveness, I probably shouldn't. My family's circumstances have changed and they will be able to help me if I ever need it, but they are not paying my tuition and I wouldn't want them to.

What makes the most sense? I have honestly never been as happy as I have been during my years of law school, and it seems crazy to think I'm really halfway. I know my career won't be normal or linear (it already is the farthest thing from that) and I only envy my firm-bound classmates their foreknowledge of where they will be going. I am proud of what I've done here academically, though like anyone, I could stand to improve. LRW was a bit of an epic fail. :lol: I don't need an outsize salary. All I know is that I want to stay here in New York.

Please give me advice, tough love, etc. Specific recommendations are much appreciated! My school gave me the UofA Public Policy Handbook, which I've been going through.

TL:DR- I need career advice! Am flexible, but want to stay in NYC. <3 for help!


What about NYLAG? They do a lot of affirmative litigation.


I have heard of them, but don’t know specifics. I really am thinking I don’t want to litigate- that is on my mind right now. I will look into the group, though- thank you. Do you know people who have worked there?

BTW, I am on my way to Heathrow right now, but will try to keep checking the thread.

Anonymous User
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Re: NYC public policy jobs - pls advise!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:06 am

I once worked at NYLAG. You must be thinking of the Special Litigation Unit. This sort of work is a lot of grunt work, as well as a lot of interesting research, studies, and briefing. I think the best way to get involved with them is if you can find your own funding from some sort of fellowship, and then find someone there who works in an area of interest for you.

My impression is that working in policy is akin to academia... you'll need some sort of credentials or experience that will make someone feel justified in paying you to do homework.

Are you looking into government work? Sounds like a lot of agencies need lawyers to do work that is more policy-oriented.

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Re: NYC public policy jobs - pls advise!

Postby OperaSoprano » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:I once worked at NYLAG. You must be thinking of the Special Litigation Unit. This sort of work is a lot of grunt work, as well as a lot of interesting research, studies, and briefing. I think the best way to get involved with them is if you can find your own funding from some sort of fellowship, and then find someone there who works in an area of interest for you.

My impression is that working in policy is akin to academia... you'll need some sort of credentials or experience that will make someone feel justified in paying you to do homework.

Are you looking into government work? Sounds like a lot of agencies need lawyers to do work that is more policy-oriented.


Thank you! I could be, but it would be city government work, since location is important to me. Do you think there would be much policy work at this level?

I also had the feeling that a fellowship is a good way to get started because of the general dearth of entry level hiring. It would also be an end run around the need for ridiculous credentials I don't have.

A&O
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Re: NYC public policy jobs - pls advise!

Postby A&O » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:09 am

NELP: Unless you have very impressive credentials and a demonstrated interest and substantive background in the work they do, you are probably not going to get anything from them.

Fellowships: Also significantly difficult to get. Take a look at this year's Skadden fellows. There are a few from non-T14s, but it's obvious that going to one of their favored T14 schools is extremely beneficial in the selection process. Aside from that, the project proposals are extremely detailed and substantive. Fellowships are extremely competitive.

This stuff is always what intrigues me about people who don't catch something out of OCI and say, "I'll just do public interest instead," (I'm not accusing you, OperaSoprano, of doing this). Public interest is probably more difficult and arduous to do than BigLaw, and often the process for obtaining a fellowship or getting an entry-level position will require you to have interest and experience in the work the organization does. Typically, those who pursue public interest as a "back-up" won't have this experience, so they fail miserably.

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observationalist
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Re: NYC public policy jobs - pls advise!

Postby observationalist » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:39 am

This may seem like an unorthodox way to start out, but if you check out NYPIRG's softball schedule you'll find a number of organizations that do mixed legal/policy work: http://www.slowpitchstats.com/php/softb ... sonID=7676

In addition, definitely follow up with the Metropolitan Arts Society... and contact their new Menapace Fellow to see if she has any suggestions for you and would be willing to talk over the phone or in person.

Keep searching... your resume is definitely strong enough to show you're not an OCI burnout, and I'm sure Fordham will do whatever they can to get you in somewhere.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: NYC public policy jobs - pls advise!

Postby OperaSoprano » Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:49 am

A&O wrote:NELP: Unless you have very impressive credentials and a demonstrated interest and substantive background in the work they do, you are probably not going to get anything from them.

Fellowships: Also significantly difficult to get. Take a look at this year's Skadden fellows. There are a few from non-T14s, but it's obvious that going to one of their favored T14 schools is extremely beneficial in the selection process. Aside from that, the project proposals are extremely detailed and substantive. Fellowships are extremely competitive.

This stuff is always what intrigues me about people who don't catch something out of OCI and say, "I'll just do public interest instead," (I'm not accusing you, OperaSoprano, of doing this). Public interest is probably more difficult and arduous to do than BigLaw, and often the process for obtaining a fellowship or getting an entry-level position will require you to have interest and experience in the work the organization does. Typically, those who pursue public interest as a "back-up" won't have this experience, so they fail miserably.


Oh, in many ways I was the opposite. I wasn't planning on OCI, but people said it would be a waste if I didn't do it, and all my friends seemed so excited about their bid lists and their callbacks. It all seems like a hazy memory now, though if anything, it probably improved my interviewing skills. I just took the rejections personally when I shouldn't have.

I am 100% in agreement that PI is more arduous to land than biglaw. For one thing, the hiring process seems a lot less streamlined and a lot less focused on new graduates, absent those in programs like the Skadden Fellows. (FTR I do know we had two Skadden Fellows in last year's graduating class.) I am giving this a lot of thought, and hope that I will have a resume to show that public interest work was important to me from the very beginning. I wasn't sure of my goal when I came to law school, but I sure as hell knew it wasn't biglaw. I got sidetracked and now I am back to figuring it out.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: NYC public policy jobs - pls advise!

Postby OperaSoprano » Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:52 am

observationalist wrote:This may seem like an unorthodox way to start out, but if you check out NYPIRG's softball schedule you'll find a number of organizations that do mixed legal/policy work: http://www.slowpitchstats.com/php/softb ... sonID=7676

In addition, definitely follow up with the Metropolitan Arts Society... and contact their new Menapace Fellow to see if she has any suggestions for you and would be willing to talk over the phone or in person.

Keep searching... your resume is definitely strong enough to show you're not an OCI burnout, and I'm sure Fordham will do whatever they can to get you in somewhere.


You are a genius. I think you should keep being this awesome forever. Thank you!

.. and I will, once I am back home. I'll PM you again to talk. I am off now, since I need to explore London for a bit. :D

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observationalist
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Re: NYC public policy jobs - pls advise!

Postby observationalist » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:16 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:
observationalist wrote:This may seem like an unorthodox way to start out, but if you check out NYPIRG's softball schedule you'll find a number of organizations that do mixed legal/policy work: http://www.slowpitchstats.com/php/softb ... sonID=7676

In addition, definitely follow up with the Metropolitan Arts Society... and contact their new Menapace Fellow to see if she has any suggestions for you and would be willing to talk over the phone or in person.

Keep searching... your resume is definitely strong enough to show you're not an OCI burnout, and I'm sure Fordham will do whatever they can to get you in somewhere.


You are a genius. I think you should keep being this awesome forever. Thank you!

.. and I will, once I am back home. I'll PM you again to talk. I am off now, since I need to explore London for a bit. :D


No probs




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