Immigration law: JD or BIA accreditation?

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Lamullinga
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Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:53 pm

Immigration law: JD or BIA accreditation?

Postby Lamullinga » Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:45 pm

Hi,

I'm preparing to take the LSAT and hopefully start LS next year, but I'm not sure if this would be the best option. I want to go into (not employment-based) immigration law, ideally in public interest. I'm well aware this is not the most lucrative option, but it's the only thing I would want to do.

On the other hand, I've been working as a BIA accredited representative (see http://www.justice.gov/eoir/ra.htm for info on the BIA program) for the last few years. This has allowed me to gain experience while representing clients, and despite not having a JD. Thus, I don't know if it would make sense to still go for the JD.

My hesitations are mainly financial. I have a good job (which I love :D ) at a nonprofit and get paid pretty well (considering the industry), but would have to give it up and get into debt to pursue a JD. Even if a PT/evening program and/or scholarships are an option, I would still need loans. I've been looking at salaries for immigration attorneys in the nonprofit sector and they are not very far from what I make now (often 5-10k difference). I know that likely in the long run it would be better to have a JD to access better job prospects, etc., but would it be worth it?

The other thing is timing. It's a very interesting time for immigration law and I may be "missing out" when I start school :( I'm also 30 years old, which is not the worst age, but I'm not looking forward to looking for entry-level jobs when I'm 34-35.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

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twenty
Posts: 3153
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: Immigration law: JD or BIA accreditation?

Postby twenty » Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:00 pm

You might be able to swing enough money from a part time program to make it worth it. If you're in Washington, DC, early decision to GWU's PT program comes with a full ride. Other than getting a full ride to a PT program, there's no way I'd consider law school though.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Immigration law: JD or BIA accreditation?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:32 pm

Are you sure that it's a full tuition "full ride" scholarship ? Or is it just consideration for a Presidential Scholarship of some amount that may well be less than full tuition ?

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twenty
Posts: 3153
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: Immigration law: JD or BIA accreditation?

Postby twenty » Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:22 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Are you sure that it's a full tuition "full ride" scholarship ? Or is it just consideration for a Presidential Scholarship of some amount that may well be less than full tuition ?


Unless they're lying on their website, it's full tuition.

http://www.law.gwu.edu/Admissions/apply ... early.aspx

"Applicants admitted through this early admission program will be awarded a full-tuition scholarship."




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