Real questions on PI law

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colorando
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:57 pm

Real questions on PI law

Postby colorando » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:44 pm

Couple of simple questions regarding work as an attorney

While I know the focus of people here tends to be T14 and big law I was hoping for insight from people who might have experiences outside of this realm.


First of all I have no desire to work for big law coming out of LS. I'm much more interested in public interest work, and I'm willing to accept a significantly lower salary.

But given the NYT article that came out this weekend I'm having some reservations.

My plan is to attend CU Boulder, which, as I understand it, is regionally respected, and I plan to stay west of Denver for the rest of my life. Boulder is fairly affordable instate and I'm fairly confidant that I can graduate with a manageable amount of debt.

What is the outlook for people who have similiar goals coming out of law school? What are paths that lead to a career "making a difference" with your JD?

And before it happens I'd ask people refrain from making this some flame war about a JD being only useful for T14 $$ focused jobs. I know people who practice with purpose and who are satisfied with theirs lives. Most of them are in their 40s+. I'm interested in hearing a younger graduates perspective

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Real questions on PI law

Postby Renzo » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:49 pm

colorando wrote:Couple of simple questions regarding work as an attorney

While I know the focus of people here tends to be T14 and big law I was hoping for insight from people who might have experiences outside of this realm.


First of all I have no desire to work for big law coming out of LS. I'm much more interested in public interest work, and I'm willing to accept a significantly lower salary.

But given the NYT article that came out this weekend I'm having some reservations.

My plan is to attend CU Boulder, which, as I understand it, is regionally respected, and I plan to stay west of Denver for the rest of my life. Boulder is fairly affordable instate and I'm fairly confidant that I can graduate with a manageable amount of debt.

What is the outlook for people who have similiar goals coming out of law school? What are paths that lead to a career "making a difference" with your JD?

And before it happens I'd ask people refrain from making this some flame war about a JD being only useful for T14 $$ focused jobs. I know people who practice with purpose and who are satisfied with theirs lives. Most of them are in their 40s+. I'm interested in hearing a younger graduates perspective

The answer to this question is "how many PI jobs are there in CO (and maybe including NM, WY, UT)?" The answer to that, in turn, is not very many. PI organizations that can afford to pay lawyers (even if they pay modest salaries) are clustered in really big cities. There are probably single digits of lawyers working with Colorado ACLU, a dozen or so union lawyers in Denver, a few more environmental advocates--but all of these together add up to very, very few jobs.

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MrPapagiorgio
Posts: 1747
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:36 am

Re: Real questions on PI law

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:55 pm

Renzo wrote:
colorando wrote:Couple of simple questions regarding work as an attorney

While I know the focus of people here tends to be T14 and big law I was hoping for insight from people who might have experiences outside of this realm.


First of all I have no desire to work for big law coming out of LS. I'm much more interested in public interest work, and I'm willing to accept a significantly lower salary.

But given the NYT article that came out this weekend I'm having some reservations.

My plan is to attend CU Boulder, which, as I understand it, is regionally respected, and I plan to stay west of Denver for the rest of my life. Boulder is fairly affordable instate and I'm fairly confidant that I can graduate with a manageable amount of debt.

What is the outlook for people who have similiar goals coming out of law school? What are paths that lead to a career "making a difference" with your JD?

And before it happens I'd ask people refrain from making this some flame war about a JD being only useful for T14 $$ focused jobs. I know people who practice with purpose and who are satisfied with theirs lives. Most of them are in their 40s+. I'm interested in hearing a younger graduates perspective

The answer to this question is "how many PI jobs are there in CO (and maybe including NM, WY, UT)?" The answer to that, in turn, is not very many. PI organizations that can afford to pay lawyers (even if they pay modest salaries) are clustered in really big cities. There are probably single digits of lawyers working with Colorado ACLU, a dozen or so union lawyers in Denver, a few more environmental advocates--but all of these together add up to very, very few jobs.


Agreed. What we seem to forget is that in economies like this one, it is not only the private sector that contracts. PI jobs contract as well, especially in areas that are not hubs of legal authority (DC, NYC, Cali, Chicago). You may think that going for a small market may lead to less competition, but the fact still stands that there are still fewer positions. Demand is still greater than supply, even in less competitive areas.




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