Public Interest vs. BigLaw

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coldshoulder
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Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby coldshoulder » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:13 pm

I'm extremely torn. Part of me wants the prestige and money associated with big law, the career prospects, the city living.
But a huge part of me (from my sociology background), is interested in using a legal degree to actual make a difference in the community, but still be able to pay off loans and live well.

This is probably a question asked constantly, I just need some guidance. I feel like spiritual/emotional fulfillment might be worth more than economic fulfillment.
I suppose the best question is this, what are the best types of public interest jobs, and what's the best way to reach them? And what is the best method of paying off debt with a relatively low paying job?

Thanks guys, I'm a total newb to the PI world, my gratitude in advance for your replies.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby blsingindisguise » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:46 pm

I keep telling myself to stop with the cynicism, but you sound like someone who will wind up going for biglaw. You seek the vague "spiritual fulfillment" of public interest without any real sense of what it entails. You'll either go for the money, or you'll spend a year at some legal aid and face the disappointing realization there's no heavenly halo over you or your clients (some of whom, incidentally, will strike you as awful people). And I don't fault you for this.

Less cynical version: there's no harm in trying a PI internship or two, and it's still possible that some specific area of PI law will grab you. But vague desires for "spiritual fulfillment" and "helping people" tend to crumble pretty quickly in most cases.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby blsingindisguise » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:47 pm

Also, you won't be able to "live well" on any starting PI salary. The closest you can get might be something like NYC Corp Counsel -- starts at a relatively luxurious $60K, but you may be defending the city against slip-and-falls or defending cops against civil rights suits, and that may not meet your definition of making a difference in the community.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:01 pm

coldshoulder wrote:I'm extremely torn. Part of me wants the prestige and money associated with big law, the career prospects, the city living.
But a huge part of me (from my sociology background), is interested in using a legal degree to actual make a difference in the community, but still be able to pay off loans and live well.

These are actively competing interests, or they at least can be. You need to really plan well to have a shot at something even approaching both.

coldshoulder wrote:This is probably a question asked constantly, I just need some guidance. I feel like spiritual/emotional fulfillment might be worth more than economic fulfillment.

Just to make you aware... many PI lawyers burn out after a few years and quit. They may leave the profession entirely. It's not just the low pay, but it's the institutional problems that they feel like they can't solve, no matter how much they fight, and the constant influx of screwed-over clients, some of whom they can't help. Not all of PI is like this, but it can be rough, and you have to be really dedicated and able to take satisfaction in the victories you do get, even though they don't come often.

coldshoulder wrote:I suppose the best question is this, what are the best types of public interest jobs, and what's the best way to reach them?

This depends on your interests. If you have a very strong sense of moral justice, you could try to become a public defender or prosecutor (depending on which side of the line you fall). If you're looking for a more general sense of helping people out and feeling good, there are areas of civil and administrative law where you can make a positive difference in individual lives (employment law, family law, etc). There's also regulatory work for federal or state agencies, which typically falls under the PI umbrella as well.

coldshoulder wrote:And what is the best method of paying off debt with a relatively low paying job?

Two methods regularly come up:

1) LRAP. Loan Repayment Assistance Programs. These are programs offered by the school you attend, and as such their strengths and weaknesses vary by school. Up in the HYS range they tend to be really awesome and pay off your debt in full if you're in a qualifying job and below a certain threshold income; through the T14 there are less awesome programs that contribute at least part of what you owe in order to help you out; it seems to drop off pretty rapidly from there. Because these are financed by the school, it depends on how much money the school has to put towards this program, which is why the most prestigious schools (with the biggest endowments) have the best programs.

2) IBR. Income Based Repayment plans. This is offered by the federal government; you can consolidate all federally-backed loans you get (Stafford, GradPLUS, etc.) and make payments that are based on your income instead of how much you owe. Typically, PI people who took the max loan amounts will have IBR payments so small they don't even cover the owed interest. However, the real benefit of IBR is that it forgives any outstanding debt, tax-free, after 10 years (120 months) of PI work. If you end up only making the minimum IBR payments and still have $200K in debt after 10 years, it's all forgiven. Some are skeptical about whether this will last, or be axed by Congress in the pending budget bloodbath, though.

coldshoulder wrote:Thanks guys, I'm a total newb to the PI world, my gratitude in advance for your replies.

The fact that you're new to it concerns me a little. However, I wish you the best of luck, and hope that this really is the beginning of someone embracing a life of service that's about more than simply collecting a paycheck.

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Borhas
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby Borhas » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:04 am

A lot of law schools now use the LRAP in combo with the IBR forgiveness program. Meaning, the LRAP would reimburse you for a large portion or even all of your portion towards the IBR minimum payments.

sullidop
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby sullidop » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:20 am

Go for biglaw, throw your conscience a bone with occasional pro bono, profit. If it's killing you after a few years leave for PI. You can move from biglaw to PI but not the other way...well not unless you're Sandy Cohen.

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Veyron
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby Veyron » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:24 am

coldshoulder wrote:I'm extremely torn. Part of me wants the prestige and money associated with big law, the career prospects, the city living.
But a huge part of me (from my sociology background), is interested in using a legal degree to actual make a difference in the community, but still be able to pay off loans and live well.

This is probably a question asked constantly, I just need some guidance. I feel like spiritual/emotional fulfillment might be worth more than economic fulfillment.
I suppose the best question is this, what are the best types of public interest jobs, and what's the best way to reach them? And what is the best method of paying off debt with a relatively low paying job?

Thanks guys, I'm a total newb to the PI world, my gratitude in advance for your replies.


This is not a problem you are likely to face.

curiousgeorges
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby curiousgeorges » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:25 pm

sullidop wrote:Go for biglaw, throw your conscience a bone with occasional pro bono, profit. If it's killing you after a few years leave for PI. You can move from biglaw to PI but not the other way...


With respect, speaking as a practicing attorney a few years out, this is extremely poor advice for someone who really intends to end up in PI after a few years (though it may be fine for someone who is going to stay in BigLaw, but comforts themselves with the thought that they could someday leave to act on their conscience.) I heard this advice repeatedly as an HYS student in the good years of the middle of the past decade (think, '03-'07, somewhere in there). Go to a firm, get "good training," pay off your loans, establish a savings buffer, and then jump ship to the noble world of public interest do-gooders.

This advice forgets one thing: the people who wanted to do PI all along? They will have been doing it during all the years the BigLaw types were focused on "profiting." They'll have taken the right positions their 1L and 2L summers, they'll have applied during their 3L year for the right post-graduation fellowships (Skadden, EJW, etc.), and they'll be ideally positioned to transition to full-time salaried positions after their fellowships run out. Many will have been developing their language skills, especially in Spanish or French, the entire time. They're likely to have many of the following things by their "mid-level" years: direct client service experience, administrative or in-court experience, "fluency" in relevant statutes and caselaw, language skills, a strong set of networking contacts, and a compelling tale to tell of their commitment to their area. Meanwhile, you show up as a midlevel Biglaw refugee, and you're likely to get grilled on the following:
- How much direct (human) client service experience do you have;
- Why are you committed to our cause, and what in your background PROVES that you are committed;
- If you are so committed to our cause, why weren't you here earlier;
- How many languages do you speak fluently (depending on the subject matter and their needs);
- Why on earth should we hire you, even if you can pick up the caselaw and client service skills that we need, over someone who has already been doing this work and can hit the ground running;
- How can we trust that you're ready to make the financial sacrifices and stick around for a long time, given that you were already seduced by the money once.

I'm speaking from bitter personal experience, as someone whose desire for a public interest career is now sincere, that (especially in a down economy), it is extremely difficult to compete effectively against people who have demonstrated their commitment all along. And, as much as that disadvantages me, I must admit there is a fairness to that: the people who have an advantage, especially in this tight economy, are people who stood ready to sacrifice for the cause(s) they believed in all along. My resume is solid enough (good grades at HYS, highly respected firm known for its interest in pro bono, prominent clerkship), but it has the flaw that it just does not show full-time commitment to the work in question -- and employers are explicitly telling me that my combination of pro bono work, non-legal volunteer work, academic study, publications, and conference talks given in their field just does not outweigh their desire for full-time direct services work in the field. The uniform advice I've received is to demonstrate my commitment by volunteering into the field if I'm really serious about it.

I'm not telling this story to whine or moan: I made my choices, they've collided with the economy, and I need to fight my way onto the career path I want. But I'm telling this story in the hopes that it will shake even one person out of the delusion that "going to biglaw and jumping to public interest" is an organic, fluid move. It's not. I'm sure we all know people who have made the move successfully (even though they have often been flexible either as to public interest subject matter, geography, salary, or all of the above). But frankly, there are probably many more who give up and stick to biglaw or other commercial work (midlaw, small-law, in-house, etc.). The public interest world is highly ideologically-driven - and is not always inclined to be forgiving of those who have not consistently and overtly worked to advance their causes.

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Veyron
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby Veyron » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
sullidop wrote:Go for biglaw, throw your conscience a bone with occasional pro bono, profit. If it's killing you after a few years leave for PI. You can move from biglaw to PI but not the other way...


With respect, speaking as a practicing attorney a few years out, this is extremely poor advice for someone who really intends to end up in PI after a few years (though it may be fine for someone who is going to stay in BigLaw, but comforts themselves with the thought that they could someday leave to act on their conscience.) I heard this advice repeatedly as an HYS student in the good years of the middle of the past decade (think, '03-'07, somewhere in there). Go to a firm, get "good training," pay off your loans, establish a savings buffer, and then jump ship to the noble world of public interest do-gooders.

This advice forgets one thing: the people who wanted to do PI all along? They will have been doing it during all the years the BigLaw types were focused on "profiting." They'll have taken the right positions their 1L and 2L summers, they'll have applied during their 3L year for the right post-graduation fellowships (Skadden, EJW, etc.), and they'll be ideally positioned to transition to full-time salaried positions after their fellowships run out. Many will have been developing their language skills, especially in Spanish or French, the entire time. They're likely to have many of the following things by their "mid-level" years: direct client service experience, administrative or in-court experience, "fluency" in relevant statutes and caselaw, language skills, a strong set of networking contacts, and a compelling tale to tell of their commitment to their area. Meanwhile, you show up as a midlevel Biglaw refugee, and you're likely to get grilled on the following:
- How much direct (human) client service experience do you have;
- Why are you committed to our cause, and what in your background PROVES that you are committed;
- If you are so committed to our cause, why weren't you here earlier;
- How many languages do you speak fluently (depending on the subject matter and their needs);
- Why on earth should we hire you, even if you can pick up the caselaw and client service skills that we need, over someone who has already been doing this work and can hit the ground running;
- How can we trust that you're ready to make the financial sacrifices and stick around for a long time, given that you were already seduced by the money once.

I'm speaking from bitter personal experience, as someone whose desire for a public interest career is now sincere, that (especially in a down economy), it is extremely difficult to compete effectively against people who have demonstrated their commitment all along. And, as much as that disadvantages me, I must admit there is a fairness to that: the people who have an advantage, especially in this tight economy, are people who stood ready to sacrifice for the cause(s) they believed in all along. My resume is solid enough (top 15 percent HYS, highly respected firm known for its interest in pro bono, top-of-the-line clerkships), but it has the flaw that it just does not show full-time commitment to the work in question -- and employers are explicitly telling me that my combination of pro bono work, non-legal volunteer work, academic study, publications, and conference talks given in their field just does not outweigh their desire for full-time direct services work in the field. The uniform advice I've received is to demonstrate my commitment by volunteering into the field if I'm really serious about it.

I'm not telling this story to whine or moan: I made my choices, they've collided with the economy, and I need to fight my way onto the career path I want. But I'm telling this story in the hopes that it will shake even one person out of the delusion that "going to biglaw and jumping to public interest" is an organic, fluid move. It's not. I'm sure we all know people who have made the move successfully (even though they have often been flexible either as to public interest subject matter, geography, salary, or all of the above). But frankly, there are probably many more who give up and stick to biglaw or other commercial work (midlaw, small-law, in-house, etc.). The public interest world is highly ideologically-driven - and is not always inclined to be forgiving of those who have not consistently and overtly worked to advance their causes.


This site has a strong liberal bias, the career path you have described is not a big problem for conservative or libertarian PI orgs.

curiousgeorges
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby curiousgeorges » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:36 pm

Veyron wrote:This site has a strong liberal bias, the career path you have described is not a big problem for conservative or libertarian PI orgs.


Fair enough: to be clear, I am a moderate who has focused on "liberal" public interest causes. I have little-to-no insight into the hiring requirements of conservative and libertarian organizations. That said, now that you mention it: I have a couple of classmates who are libertarians who were able to move to advocacy organizations after biglaw, which is consistent with what you say.

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paratactical
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby paratactical » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:37 pm

Get into the good graces of important partners in your biglaw office by volunteering to help with their pet pro bono projects.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Veyron wrote:This site has a strong liberal bias, the career path you have described is not a big problem for conservative or libertarian PI orgs.

Fair enough: to be clear, I am a moderate who has focused on "liberal" public interest causes. I have little-to-no insight into the hiring requirements of conservative and libertarian organizations. That said, now that you mention it: I have a couple of classmates who are libertarians who were able to move to advocacy organizations after biglaw, which is consistent with what you say.

I don't really understand any attempt to politically distinguish different kinds of PI politically. PI, pretty much by definition, is providing a service that society has decided either can't or shouldn't be paid for by the individual needing the service. Often the person is facing opposition from a more well-funded and self-interested adversary. That's the "public interest", and i can't imagine a situation where that isn't considered "liberal" by somebody.

I have no idea what "conservative" or "libertarian" PI even is. That's not to disparage either political orientation, just to say that I don't see a public interest that either of them "own" exclusively.

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bilbobaggins
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby bilbobaggins » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:55 pm

Is it a little harder to get by on a PI salary? Sure. Is it impossible to make decent money right off the bat at a PI job? Not at all.

I guess I don't get the whole "prestige" thing when it comes to Biglaw. It's not really worth much if you don't like your work and the only people who really care are other Biglaw lawyers and/or people who are obsessed with judging others based on their wealth. Neither of these groups are very interesting people.

Doing things simply because they pay well is usually a recipe for personal unhappiness and lack of fulfillment. I came from a business background to law school because I wanted to change the type of life I led. Before I entered I probably sounded as vague "spiritual fulfillment" and unsure as you do now. After two years of solid crim work while in law school I can say it was definitely the right choice for me. Try and work with real clients at the earliest possible moment in law school and you'll probably get a better idea about the type of work that will drive you and satisfy you and then pursue that field.

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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby Wholigan » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:06 pm

Accidentally deleted my post while trying to edit.

Basically I linked to this website on conservative PI orgs.

--LinkRemoved--

Some of them seem to fit into the mold of traditional PI - like advocating for employees who believe their rights have been violated by union activity, or those who believe their freedom of religious expression is being violated due to the gov't trying to be PC. But really, a lot of the orgs described as "conservative public interest" might be more aptly called think tanks, in that it is difficult to see them having many clients who can't pay for the legal service needed.

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esq
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby esq » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This advice forgets one thing: the people who wanted to do PI all along?

I'm not telling this story to whine or moan: I made my choices, they've collided with the economy.

I would take this guys advice with a grain of salt. Almost universally every practicing attorney who you will talk to will tell you that big law, and thus big law summer associate positions during law school, are the brass ring that all students are trying to grab ahold of. Thus getting these gigs shows that you are one of the best and brightest in your class. It also shows PI that you are one of the brightest, which is why they will want to hire you. It's about getting things done with most PI groups, which is why they too want the brightest, not some schmuck who loves the homeless more than you do.

So why is a lateral move to PI a very realistic thing from biglaw? Well, it's because even those who want to do PI all along, and even some of those who end up in it, are fighting to get into big law. It's all economics, $30-60k compared to $100+k makes a big difference to someone trying to pay off their law school debt. My cousin recently made the switch from big law, to the Phoenix DA's office. He can focus on it now because his debt level is lower, and they love him for the work ethic he picked up through big law.

While some unemployed attorneys like Anonymous will probably have a harder time getting into PI because of the economy, it's not a gimme anymore, it's probably because they question whether he can get the job done more than anything else. Remember, he is not making a lateral transition here. He is going from fired to trying for PI. This is the reason that his "desire for a public interest career is now sincere." He wants a paycheck, and the PI groups know it.

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Veyron
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby Veyron » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:13 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Veyron wrote:This site has a strong liberal bias, the career path you have described is not a big problem for conservative or libertarian PI orgs.

Fair enough: to be clear, I am a moderate who has focused on "liberal" public interest causes. I have little-to-no insight into the hiring requirements of conservative and libertarian organizations. That said, now that you mention it: I have a couple of classmates who are libertarians who were able to move to advocacy organizations after biglaw, which is consistent with what you say.

I don't really understand any attempt to politically distinguish different kinds of PI politically. PI, pretty much by definition, is providing a service that society has decided either can't or shouldn't be paid for by the individual needing the service. Often the person is facing opposition from a more well-funded and self-interested adversary. That's the "public interest", and i can't imagine a situation where that isn't considered "liberal" by somebody.

I have no idea what "conservative" or "libertarian" PI even is. That's not to disparage either political orientation, just to say that I don't see a public interest that either of them "own" exclusively.


Conservative and libertarian (CL) PI is so rare that I'm not suprised that you are unfamiliar with it. After all, we actually care about making money. Organizations like Cato do hire lawyers tho. The main thing that distinguishes cl PI from other types are the causes (preventing governmental infringment of personal, corporate, taxpayer rights rather than helping individuals get access to government benifits, trying to impose more restrictions on corps, etc.) On the really conservative end you may see some anti-gay marrage stuff. CL PI is often better funded than other sorts of PI and often pays better.
Last edited by Veyron on Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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AreJay711
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby AreJay711 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:15 pm

Veyron wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Veyron wrote:This site has a strong liberal bias, the career path you have described is not a big problem for conservative or libertarian PI orgs.

Fair enough: to be clear, I am a moderate who has focused on "liberal" public interest causes. I have little-to-no insight into the hiring requirements of conservative and libertarian organizations. That said, now that you mention it: I have a couple of classmates who are libertarians who were able to move to advocacy organizations after biglaw, which is consistent with what you say.

I don't really understand any attempt to politically distinguish different kinds of PI politically. PI, pretty much by definition, is providing a service that society has decided either can't or shouldn't be paid for by the individual needing the service. Often the person is facing opposition from a more well-funded and self-interested adversary. That's the "public interest", and i can't imagine a situation where that isn't considered "liberal" by somebody.

I have no idea what "conservative" or "libertarian" PI even is. That's not to disparage either political orientation, just to say that I don't see a public interest that either of them "own" exclusively.


Conservative and libertarian PI is so rare that I'm not suprised that you are unfamiliar with it. After all, we actually care about making money. Organizations like Cato do hire lawyers tho.

http://www.ij.org

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Veyron
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby Veyron » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:16 pm

[/quote]
http://www.ij.org[/quote]

Yep, that too.

DAisaka09
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby DAisaka09 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:18 pm

my question is how can you set up your summer employment to have both options? Ideally I would like to take the money and run since you can always move from big law back into government or PI work but the reverse is not necessarily true. But if i miss biglaw is there a profitable way to set up PI as a backup? Does showing commitment toward PI eliminate chances at Big Law?

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Veyron
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby Veyron » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:32 pm

DAisaka09 wrote:my question is how can you set up your summer employment to have both options? Ideally I would like to take the money and run since you can always move from big law back into government or PI work but the reverse is not necessarily true. But if i miss biglaw is there a profitable way to set up PI as a backup? Does showing commitment toward PI eliminate chances at Big Law?


Drrrrrr, do PI first summer, do it 2nd summer if you miss the Biglaw train.

Jeesh, use your brain. How are you going to be a lawyer if you aren't even cunning enough to think that up?

DAisaka09
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby DAisaka09 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:45 pm

that's what i thought, thanks for confirming that for me. I just wanted to know if big firms would look unfavorably at 1L summer PI work.

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Veyron
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby Veyron » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:49 pm

DAisaka09 wrote:that's what i thought, thanks for confirming that for me. I just wanted to know if big firms would look unfavorably at 1L summer PI work.


Not unless you worked for greenpeace and want to work for a firm with a large oil and gas practice or something.

In fact, some PI orgs are involved in pretty big deal commercial litigation (not that a firm will care all that much - really, firms don't care what you do your 1L summer like, at all - but it might give you some insight into which way you really want to go).

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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:53 pm

edit
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:56 pm

Veyron wrote:Conservative and libertarian (CL) PI is so rare that I'm not suprised that you are unfamiliar with it. After all, we actually care about making money. Organizations like Cato do hire lawyers tho. The main thing that distinguishes cl PI from other types are the causes (preventing governmental infringment of personal, corporate, taxpayer rights rather than helping individuals get access to government benifits, trying to impose more restrictions on corps, etc.) On the really conservative end you may see some anti-gay marrage stuff. CL PI is often better funded than other sorts of PI and often pays better.

Looking at the provided links, and reading this, most of this sounds more like "policy" work, which is kind of a gray area for PI. Is it really "public interest" if you're doing things not to help individuals but only to further a political cause, and if you're well-funded? As you mentioned yourself, these organizations are often better funded than other PI. There are "liberal" PI orgs that do largely policy work, but this isn't where most PI jobs are even on that end of the political spectrum.

The bulk of actual PI jobs involve day-to-day work providing assistance to individuals in need, usually by enforcing regulations and statutory benefits. That's because there are more people needing such daily help than there are good ways to challenge policies in the courtroom. These aren't really things I would have typically thought of trying to label as any political party, but I guess (given what I said earlier) conservatives and libertarians would tend to look at these jobs as "liberal" jobs. After all, they're more likely to label such regulations and benefits a "governmental infringement on personal rights", so of course they wouldn't want to dedicate themselves to helping people get access to them.

It's not hard to see why, even with a broad definition of PI, there are far fewer "conservative" or "libertarian" PI jobs. Instead of trying to help every person in America get access to benefits, they're often trying to just eliminate the benefits, and whether you think that's right or wrong, it's just not as much work.

seatown12
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Re: Public Interest vs. BigLaw

Postby seatown12 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:08 pm

esq wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This advice forgets one thing: the people who wanted to do PI all along?

I'm not telling this story to whine or moan: I made my choices, they've collided with the economy.

I would take this guys advice with a grain of salt. Almost universally every practicing attorney who you will talk to will tell you that big law, and thus big law summer associate positions during law school, are the brass ring that all students are trying to grab ahold of. Thus getting these gigs shows that you are one of the best and brightest in your class. It also shows PI that you are one of the brightest, which is why they will want to hire you. It's about getting things done with most PI groups, which is why they too want the brightest, not some schmuck who loves the homeless more than you do.


Not all students are trying to grab the "brass ring" of Biglaw, many are actively positioning themselves for a career in a specific PI field, and those students will have an advantage over people whose only claim to fame is a higher GPA and five years in the most prestigious basement in NYC.

Have you ever even applied for a PI job? In fact, had any of the practicing attorneys you claim to have spoken to?

The user you quoted gave perhaps the most on-point advice regarding PI careers ever to appear on this site.




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