Establish interest in public interest?

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spqr351

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Establish interest in public interest?

Postby spqr351 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:17 pm

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Last edited by spqr351 on Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mr. Archer

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Re: Establish interest in public interest?

Postby Mr. Archer » Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:28 pm

It wouldn't hurt to volunteer if you have the time and financial means, but it wouldn't be absolutely necessary. You can join public interest groups at law school and do volunteer opportunities there as well. It looks like your goals are more about government jobs. That's public interest but different from other PI jobs like public defense, non-profit, or DA. So your work experience will be helpful.

cavalier1138

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Re: Establish interest in public interest?

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:24 am

Mr. Archer wrote:That's public interest but different from other PI jobs like public defense, non-profit, or DA.


This point cannot be stressed enough. PD offices, NGOs, etc. want you to have a lot of clinical experience and commitment. A lot of government offices, by contrast, want you to have a few years at a firm under your belt.

That said, you can easily establish your commitment/work experience for PI in law school. The fact that you worked for specific groups before law school gives you a slight bump (especially if you intend to go back to that organization), but good internships and good clinical work in the field during school is much more important. For most government jobs, your grades and other honors will still carry the most weight.

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spqr351

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Re: Establish interest in public interest?

Postby spqr351 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:21 pm

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Last edited by spqr351 on Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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twenty

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Re: Establish interest in public interest?

Postby twenty » Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:57 pm

Or should I find some way to volunteer in the 10 months before starting 1L?


This is a good plan.

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bretby

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Re: Establish interest in public interest?

Postby bretby » Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:55 pm

spqr351 wrote:A position with the state AG, a city attorney, or small-time, local-office federal agency (IRS, FDA, FCC Etc.)has a lot of appeal to me. In other entries on TLS, the collective wisdom has been that candidates for these positions need to show a sincere track record of public service... how does one establish this? After UG I worked for 18 months in two peon political capacities, and for the last two years as GM at a for-profit government contractor. Is this enough to establish sincere interest? Or should I find some way to volunteer in the 10 months before starting 1L?

Local ties are no problem, as I'm going to LS in the town where I've lived my whole life, minus 4 years at a well-known regional school with a lot of alumni in town.


I'm not sure how much volunteer work would be open to someone not yet in law school at the sorts of places you mention (or even at PD offices, etc.), so I don't know how helpful it would be. Unless you speak a foreign language - esp. Spanish, but depending on where you are other languages might be equally in demand - and you can help attorneys with intakes/interviews. If you have time to volunteer, I would recommend doing this as it gives you insight into different work environments that will be very helpful as you look around for your 1L summer.

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Re: Establish interest in public interest?

Postby Nebby » Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:57 am

The collective wisdom concerns what you do during law school. Do government internships and externships during law school. Nothing you can do until you're in law school, imo.

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mjb447

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Re: Establish interest in public interest?

Postby mjb447 » Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:17 am

Nebby wrote:The collective wisdom concerns what you do during law school. Do government internships and externships during law school. Nothing you can do until you're in law school, imo.

Agreed. Volunteer for your own edification if you want (though I might take time away from the law while I still can), but, if you go into law school intending to focus on public interest or government jobs, you'll find sufficient opportunities to distinguish yourself on this basis once you're there.

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zot1

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Re: Establish interest in public interest?

Postby zot1 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:31 pm

Interest depends on what you're ultimately hoping to do.

If you apply to a federal agency doing civil work, having six internships/externships with the local DAs/PD office won't do you good.

I strongly recommend you take time off before law school if you can. People only care about your legal experience, UNLESS the experience you can gain now is so unique and substantive that it would matter.

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zot1

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Re: Establish interest in public interest?

Postby zot1 » Wed Nov 09, 2016 4:51 pm

Someone wrote:
zot1 wrote:I strongly recommend you take time off before law school if you can.


I feel like three years of substantive work experience post-UG, plus two years of overseas, pre-grad volunteerism is more than enough time and life experience to make a decision about going to law school...


Someone posted the above and then deleted. To be clear, I'll respond:

My point, when you read it in context, was that OP didn't need to do the extra stuff he was thinking of. I took the summer off before law school and it was great. Time off before three years of schooling is a blessing.



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