Penn Students Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
gobosox
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby gobosox » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:42 pm

PennBull wrote:
gobosox wrote:Can someone give me a quick synopsis of how the Penn OCI works? Namely, I am interested in the reach of the OCI, as a prospective student. I'm wondering if they have PI groups there and how the Boston legal markets are represented. I know Penn said there is a separate "PI OCI" but other than that, I'm clueless.


OCI is for law firm jobs and a few government jobs. Public interest employment is an entirely different path and we have a more diverse array of resources for that (including, yes, a PI OCI but I wouldn't count on that).

Boston is decently represented. All of the major Boston firms come. I had a CB to Ropes & Gray (with no Boston ties like, at all).


Do the PI people get any love? I've heard two schools of thought:

1) Since Penn seems to be trying to reshape its image and cater towards PI people, and since everyone seems to go BigLaw, if you want to go PI, you'll get a ton of resources to help.
2) Since so many people want to go BigLaw, Penn caters their resources toward that, so if you want to go PI, you're SOL.

Can anyone lend any credence to either notion? Or just pontificate for a bit about PI?

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ymmv
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby ymmv » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:06 pm

gobosox wrote:
PennBull wrote:
gobosox wrote:Can someone give me a quick synopsis of how the Penn OCI works? Namely, I am interested in the reach of the OCI, as a prospective student. I'm wondering if they have PI groups there and how the Boston legal markets are represented. I know Penn said there is a separate "PI OCI" but other than that, I'm clueless.


OCI is for law firm jobs and a few government jobs. Public interest employment is an entirely different path and we have a more diverse array of resources for that (including, yes, a PI OCI but I wouldn't count on that).

Boston is decently represented. All of the major Boston firms come. I had a CB to Ropes & Gray (with no Boston ties like, at all).


Do the PI people get any love? I've heard two schools of thought:

1) Since Penn seems to be trying to reshape its image and cater towards PI people, and since everyone seems to go BigLaw, if you want to go PI, you'll get a ton of resources to help.
2) Since so many people want to go BigLaw, Penn caters their resources toward that, so if you want to go PI, you're SOL.

Can anyone lend any credence to either notion? Or just pontificate for a bit about PI?


Please take all this as my purely anecdotal impression:
There seems to be plenty of support for the PI-minded, even if they do make up a smaller percentage of the student body than at, e.g., NYU. Obviously that career path tends to be less guided than the biglaw OCI route, but TPIC (Toll Public Interest Center) are at least as helpful as CP&P, probably more so, and Penn's been building a much stronger alumni network in government and PI areas over the past couple decades. There's also an extremely heavy emphasis on pro bono here, and I know a number of people who have ultimately found their jobs through those activities. There are a TON of PI-oriented networking events around campus, which can mean plenty of opportunities to learn about practice area options early on in much the same way biglaw people can through firm events, except that PI people will rely much more heavily on those connections leading to interviews and employment.

That said, the PI/gov market is reputed to be incredibly competitive thanks in part to all the hiring freezes, and my purely subjective assessment is that the few students at Penn who don't graduate with jobs tend to be a mix of PI folks and would-be-biglaw folks who completely struck out at grades and/or OCI. But it's a very small number of students in that boat, and it's difficult to assess the prospects of those who do graduate with PI jobs since they're going to so many eclectic areas of practice.

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PennBull
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby PennBull » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:16 pm

gobosox wrote:Do the PI people get any love? I've heard two schools of thought:

1) Since Penn seems to be trying to reshape its image and cater towards PI people, and since everyone seems to go BigLaw, if you want to go PI, you'll get a ton of resources to help.
2) Since so many people want to go BigLaw, Penn caters their resources toward that, so if you want to go PI, you're SOL.

Can anyone lend any credence to either notion? Or just pontificate for a bit about PI?


In short:

Three years ago I'd lean (2), but, as a 3L I've seen Penn dramatically improve their PI presence. Everything the poster above me I'd agree with.

And yeah, I actually do think that because our classes tilt towards biglaw, that there is more attention able to be given to the PI students who want with our awesome TPIC staff. I also agree that TPIC might actually be better at helping students find jobs than CPP, believe it or not.

I also like to add the caveat that any PI person should take advantage of our OCI and go through the whole process. Two reasons: 1.) If you spend a summer at a firm and get an offer, my rule they have to allow you a much longer deadline to accept that offer (I think like, March or something) if you say you are looking for PI work; in my view, it would be a good idea to secure employment at a firm and commence the 3L job search in PI. But, more importantly, 2.) law firms do a TON of PI work, and are often well connected/do work with the more prevalent PI organizations out there. A lot of firms have a real dedicated interest in it too, not just keeping up appearances. By working for a firm, you could do work directly for a PI org, building up work product and relationships with some of the best PI attorneys out there. After a few years in the most intense legal atmosphere, and with relevant work experience in PI, you're a super attractive candidate for PI positions than some person just graduated from law school.

But those are just my two cents. In general, Penn's PI work has been awesome the last couple of years and, based on my friends' experiences, you get a lot more individual attention from some awesome PI folks.

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Nelson
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Nelson » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:33 pm

gobosox wrote:
PennBull wrote:
gobosox wrote:Can someone give me a quick synopsis of how the Penn OCI works? Namely, I am interested in the reach of the OCI, as a prospective student. I'm wondering if they have PI groups there and how the Boston legal markets are represented. I know Penn said there is a separate "PI OCI" but other than that, I'm clueless.


OCI is for law firm jobs and a few government jobs. Public interest employment is an entirely different path and we have a more diverse array of resources for that (including, yes, a PI OCI but I wouldn't count on that).

Boston is decently represented. All of the major Boston firms come. I had a CB to Ropes & Gray (with no Boston ties like, at all).


Do the PI people get any love? I've heard two schools of thought:

1) Since Penn seems to be trying to reshape its image and cater towards PI people, and since everyone seems to go BigLaw, if you want to go PI, you'll get a ton of resources to help.
2) Since so many people want to go BigLaw, Penn caters their resources toward that, so if you want to go PI, you're SOL.

Can anyone lend any credence to either notion? Or just pontificate for a bit about PI?

PI jobs don't really rely on OCI, which is basically all CP&P can help you with.

TPIC is a decent resource and does a lot to support PI financially and institutionally in terms of summer funding, events, fellowships, etc. But really where you get advice on jobs and connections is through other PI-minded people in pro bono groups, plus clinics/externships and your summer work.

It would help to know what kind of PI you're interested in doing because most career paths aren't as cut and dried as the firm route.

gobosox
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby gobosox » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:59 pm

Nelson wrote:
gobosox wrote:
PennBull wrote:
gobosox wrote:Can someone give me a quick synopsis of how the Penn OCI works? Namely, I am interested in the reach of the OCI, as a prospective student. I'm wondering if they have PI groups there and how the Boston legal markets are represented. I know Penn said there is a separate "PI OCI" but other than that, I'm clueless.


OCI is for law firm jobs and a few government jobs. Public interest employment is an entirely different path and we have a more diverse array of resources for that (including, yes, a PI OCI but I wouldn't count on that).

Boston is decently represented. All of the major Boston firms come. I had a CB to Ropes & Gray (with no Boston ties like, at all).


Do the PI people get any love? I've heard two schools of thought:

1) Since Penn seems to be trying to reshape its image and cater towards PI people, and since everyone seems to go BigLaw, if you want to go PI, you'll get a ton of resources to help.
2) Since so many people want to go BigLaw, Penn caters their resources toward that, so if you want to go PI, you're SOL.

Can anyone lend any credence to either notion? Or just pontificate for a bit about PI?

PI jobs don't really rely on OCI, which is basically all CP&P can help you with.

TPIC is a decent resource and does a lot to support PI financially and institutionally in terms of summer funding, events, fellowships, etc. But really where you get advice on jobs and connections is through other PI-minded people in pro bono groups, plus clinics/externships and your summer work.

It would help to know what kind of PI you're interested in doing because most career paths aren't as cut and dried as the firm route.


I'm not quite sure, to tell you the truth. A lot of things interest me, which are as diverse as being a clerk for a judge to BigFed to DA to public defender to DOJ Honors. I want to be in the courtroom and part of the law. I am debating between Gtown and Penn for those, and wondering if Penn's reputation is worth its location for networking purposes. I think living and working in DC for three years would be really helpful.

Again, any pontification would be appreciated!

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PennBull
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby PennBull » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:02 pm

gobosox wrote:I think living and working in DC for three years would be really helpful.


It's not. Go to the better school.

Mr.Esquire
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Mr.Esquire » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:28 pm

Did anyone in here get in with a sub 3.3? above 3.0 of course.

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PennBull
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby PennBull » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:32 pm

Mr.Esquire wrote:Did anyone in here get in with a sub 3.3? above 3.0 of course.


yeah

http://penn.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/1314

gobosox
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby gobosox » Thu May 01, 2014 12:37 am

PennBull wrote:
gobosox wrote:I think living and working in DC for three years would be really helpful.


It's not. Go to the better school.


Can you elaborate?

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B.B. Homemaker
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby B.B. Homemaker » Thu May 01, 2014 12:41 am

gobosox wrote:
PennBull wrote:
gobosox wrote:I think living and working in DC for three years would be really helpful.


It's not. Go to the better school.


Can you elaborate?

That would be Penn. Pick a metric, chances are it bears out.

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ymmv
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby ymmv » Thu May 01, 2014 12:49 am

gobosox wrote:
PennBull wrote:
gobosox wrote:I think living and working in DC for three years would be really helpful.


It's not. Go to the better school.


Can you elaborate?


DC represents an incredibly tough job market to break into, and you'll have a much better chance of finding employment there from a higher-caliber school. Everyone and their mother seems to want to work in DC, for whatever reason, and there are relatively few employers compared to NY. Georgetown students are, to put it crassly, left to pick up the scraps of whatever jobs are left after Harvard and the rest of the upper totem pole have their pick.
It's not easy to get a DC job from Penn, especially without ties and stellar grades, but in most cases your chances would probably be a lot better than at GULC. Frankly, the only good reason I think of to pick GULC over Penn might be a full ride vs. sticker, but even that's not a 100% obvious decision.

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PennBull
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby PennBull » Thu May 01, 2014 10:14 am

gobosox wrote:
PennBull wrote:
gobosox wrote:I think living and working in DC for three years would be really helpful.


It's not. Go to the better school.


Can you elaborate?


The marginal benefits of being in DC do not even come close to making up for the employment disparity between the two schools.

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Trig
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Trig » Thu May 08, 2014 1:12 pm

What does everybody think of the on campus housing? Also, am I correct in assuming all utilities are included?

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Nelson
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Nelson » Thu May 08, 2014 1:33 pm

Trig wrote:What does everybody think of the on campus housing? Also, am I correct in assuming all utilities are included?

There is no reason to go with on campus housing. You can find much better for much cheaper with relatively little effort. If you can visit or know someone in the area who can check places out for you (or you're brave), some time on Craigslist can find you great bargains. Otherwise, you're better off going with one of the off campus buildings that cater to Penn grad students.

POTUS2044
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby POTUS2044 » Thu May 08, 2014 3:40 pm

Nelson wrote:
Trig wrote:What does everybody think of the on campus housing? Also, am I correct in assuming all utilities are included?

There is no reason to go with on campus housing. You can find much better for much cheaper with relatively little effort. If you can visit or know someone in the area who can check places out for you (or you're brave), some time on Craigslist can find you great bargains. Otherwise, you're better off going with one of the off campus buildings that cater to Penn grad students.


It is definitely the cheapest place that is within 1-2 blocks of school though, if that is a priority to you. I didn't but I know some people did appreciate that proximity.

But places can be had for about half the price if you go 4 or 5 blocks west or north, or a little bit less and a much more fun location 12-15 blocks east

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Trig
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Trig » Thu May 08, 2014 4:10 pm

POTUS2044 wrote:
Nelson wrote:
Trig wrote:What does everybody think of the on campus housing? Also, am I correct in assuming all utilities are included?

There is no reason to go with on campus housing. You can find much better for much cheaper with relatively little effort. If you can visit or know someone in the area who can check places out for you (or you're brave), some time on Craigslist can find you great bargains. Otherwise, you're better off going with one of the off campus buildings that cater to Penn grad students.


It is definitely the cheapest place that is within 1-2 blocks of school though, if that is a priority to you. I didn't but I know some people did appreciate that proximity.

But places can be had for about half the price if you go 4 or 5 blocks west or north, or a little bit less and a much more fun location 12-15 blocks east


Is that the City Center area?

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PennBull
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby PennBull » Thu May 08, 2014 4:24 pm

Trig wrote:Is that the City Center area?


Yes

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lastsamurai
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby lastsamurai » Fri May 09, 2014 3:54 pm

Laptop suggestions? I'm not a Mac person - I just need the thing to be functional

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PennBull
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby PennBull » Fri May 09, 2014 3:58 pm

lastsamurai wrote:Laptop suggestions? I'm not a Mac person - I just need the thing to be functional


I actually loved my netbook because it was cheap and so portable. Broke spring semester but it was my fault.

Other than that, refurbed shit on newegg is all you need. Save your money for beer. If you don't care for an apple product, don't get one

A few people bought Surfaces and fucking love them, fwiw

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ymmv
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby ymmv » Fri May 09, 2014 4:23 pm

lastsamurai wrote:Laptop suggestions? I'm not a Mac person - I just need the thing to be functional



Woot.com has quality laptops and netbooks at great discounts several times a week - just subscribe to the daily emails to keep track. Just be sure to read reviews of individual models. Newegg and other similar sites have great bargains on a regular basis.
Don't be afraid of refurb from Dell or HP - the quality control is often better than with the off-the-shelf computers, and you can get a mid- to high-end machine in the $200-300 range that way. Avoid replacement plans like the plague: they are a scam and a statistically huge waste of cash.

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lastsamurai
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby lastsamurai » Fri May 09, 2014 4:59 pm

Thanks guys - what does it seem like most people have to take their exams on?

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ymmv
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby ymmv » Fri May 09, 2014 5:12 pm

lastsamurai wrote:Thanks guys - what does it seem like most people have to take their exams on?



MacBooks are the clear majority, but the people with newer Windows-based notebooks don't seem to have many issues. Older Windows machines seem to have a lot of problems with ExamSoft due to its unbelievably shitty quality as a piece of software, and some people have had to leave exams for tech support or backup laptops as a result. Shouldn't be an issue if you get something with decent processing power.

penn0Ler
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby penn0Ler » Wed May 14, 2014 10:59 am

Can anyone speak to what mix of grades is needed to get cum laude or magna? I know cutoffs are essentially impossible to find, but some data points would be nice. I hear rumors that the curve in individual classes matters, while others say that it doesn't. Graduation is coming soon enough, but I'm still curious since I'm thinking about applying for a clerkship down the line.

notgreat
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby notgreat » Sat May 24, 2014 9:38 am

Recently finished 1L at Penn.
Last edited by notgreat on Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Nelson
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Nelson » Sat May 24, 2014 4:52 pm

notgreat wrote:Recently finished 1L at Penn. I have a few questions for all of the wise upperclassmen and recent grads.

PM'd.

Also bump for all of the lurkers now that it's bidlist season. I got some of my best advice for my bidlist from 2L/3Ls on TLS so feel free to PM folks on TLS. Shout out to Pennbull, hope you're doing OK with the bar.




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