PI Work Straight Out Of Law School?

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upalittletoolate
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PI Work Straight Out Of Law School?

Postby upalittletoolate » Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:06 pm

Just a quick question- I'm absolutely sure that I want to do PI work for the majority of the rest of my life. That said, do most people who do this type of work (at a high level- DOJ, top NGOs, etc.) typically go into it straight out of law school? Or is it better to establish yourself as a respected attorney (biglaw, private practice) first? I don't mean the usual "make lots of money and pay off my loans first" route, but more along the lines of actually getting a top PI job (rated by effectiveness, not salary) by showing I'm worth hiring. Just looking for some thoughts on the matter, or if anyone knows someone who took either route and is doing well.

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The Kid
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Re: PI Work Straight Out Of Law School?

Postby The Kid » Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:58 pm

I have a similar question: if I do PI work during my summers, would that be a potential turn off for private employers when I graduate? And what about the reverse situation (i.e., private practice while in school, PI later)?

Some people say your summer internships should convey your real interests. Others say that what really matters for one to land good jobs, private or PI, is good grades. I´d like to know.

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johnnyutah
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Re: PI Work Straight Out Of Law School?

Postby johnnyutah » Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:58 pm

The Kid wrote:I have a similar question: if I do PI work during my summers, would that be a potential turn off for private employers when I graduate? And what about the reverse situation (i.e., private practice while in school, PI later)?

Some people say your summer internships should convey your real interests. Others say that what really matters for one to land good jobs, private or PI, is good grades. I´d like to know.

Both are correct. Grades generally matter most, but a demonstrated interest in PI work is extremely, sometimes prohibitively, important for many public interest organizations.

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johnnyutah
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Re: PI Work Straight Out Of Law School?

Postby johnnyutah » Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:00 pm

upalittletoolate wrote:Just a quick question- I'm absolutely sure that I want to do PI work for the majority of the rest of my life. That said, do most people who do this type of work (at a high level- DOJ, top NGOs, etc.) typically go into it straight out of law school? Or is it better to establish yourself as a respected attorney (biglaw, private practice) first? I don't mean the usual "make lots of money and pay off my loans first" route, but more along the lines of actually getting a top PI job (rated by effectiveness, not salary) by showing I'm worth hiring. Just looking for some thoughts on the matter, or if anyone knows someone who took either route and is doing well.

A select few grads from top schools get jobs at the DOJ after graduation, but it's most common to get work experience first. The same goes for top NGOs. If you do want to do PI right after law school, the most realistic way is to get funding from a fellowship. If you can bring in the money for your own salary, it is very possible to get good PI jobs right out of law school. You have to be really diligent on this, though.

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upalittletoolate
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Re: PI Work Straight Out Of Law School?

Postby upalittletoolate » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:04 pm

johnnyutah wrote:
upalittletoolate wrote:Just a quick question- I'm absolutely sure that I want to do PI work for the majority of the rest of my life. That said, do most people who do this type of work (at a high level- DOJ, top NGOs, etc.) typically go into it straight out of law school? Or is it better to establish yourself as a respected attorney (biglaw, private practice) first? I don't mean the usual "make lots of money and pay off my loans first" route, but more along the lines of actually getting a top PI job (rated by effectiveness, not salary) by showing I'm worth hiring. Just looking for some thoughts on the matter, or if anyone knows someone who took either route and is doing well.

A select few grads from top schools get jobs at the DOJ after graduation, but it's most common to get work experience first. The same goes for top NGOs. If you do want to do PI right after law school, the most realistic way is to get funding from a fellowship. If you can bring in the money for your own salary, it is very possible to get good PI jobs right out of law school. You have to be really diligent on this, though.



Thanks! That's the vibe I was getting after looking into a few of the jobs I really want to pursue. Thought it's always fun talking to someone who wants to know my future goals and saying "well, I actually want to do public interest work. yeah, I won't make as much as most lawyers, and there's not too much prestige involved. I'll have to work my tail off just to get an interview with them though, and there's a pretty big chance they won't even take me."




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