Nelson wrote: JamesDean1955 wrote:
Nelson wrote:Agreed 100% with everything that PennBull said. I have no problem with CP&P (as a 1L who hasn't done OCI yet). They've been pretty helpful to me and they've brought in new staff recently to help people interested in PI (Tory Messina is great). Not sure what people expect from career services besides helping with OCI, some interview prep/resume advice, and putting you in touch with some alums.
I don't really buy the whole less people go into PI from Penn than other schools. There is a small but committed minority of people who want to do PI. I think this is pretty typical. The job stats we have don't suggest that significantly fewer people from Penn are going into PI than peer schools. PI is just a damn hard path where you have to make your own opportunities happen (instead of using OCI) and it's really hard to pursue if you have a significant loan burden.
Even with TollRAP/IBR/PSLF? I thought that was a huge advantage of PI work.
Also, how hard is it for a Penn student with no public interest background before law school to get a PI position? Assuming they have good grades and get involved with PI/pro-bono stuff throughout law school, are they at any sort of disadvantage to people who have been saving refugees before coming to law school?
In my opinion, LRAP is overrated by 0Ls and career services people. Remember that on IBR, your loans just keep gaining interest and the principle does not decrease. That means that if you leave the program at any time, for any reason, you're going to have as much loans as the day you entered. That's fine if your loan burden is relatively modest. It's horrible if you have six figure debt. You're straightjacketing yourself to "qualifying employment," the definition of which is very narrow. Then you have to hope you manage to get 10 years (sounds like a long time to me) in qualifying employment and that the feds are still in the business of eating six figures of your student debt + interest. Neither IBR or Penn's program is guaranteed in any way.
As for getting into PI, it's obviously easier with a demonstrated commitment to public service before law school. That said, it's not hard to get involved with pro bono orgs on campus and do PI your 1L summer to start building a resume and making connections. A bigger barrier to pursuing public interest without a pre-law school background in it is that you have no idea what you want to do, who to talk to, or how to find that stuff out. People with previous PI involvement usually have a clear goal going in.
As far as LRAP is concerned, I think the Public Interest Center does a good job of outlying the requirements and informing students about the financial planning they need to make. Also, the public interest minded students I know will easily meet the employment criteria based on their goals. I think a few students who want to do public interest coming in willfully go work for a firm for the first few years (important sidenote
: law firms do a TON of public interest work, and working for a firm is a fantastic way to make actual working connections with top public interest organizations, as opposed to sitting in an interview room with them trying to convince them through words that you're a good fit).
IBR is definitely fool's gold. It's okay for those who strike out at OCI or whatever and have to take a shitty job, because it helps you have a decent take-home salary. That said, it's just like paying the minimum balance on a credit card. Not recommended at all.
Getting employed in public interest is not something I'm well-versed in, but Penn has a seemingly endless array of opportunities for all students who go to school here to build up an impressive public interest resume in the three years that you're here.