Working at a Policy Institute / Think Tank

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ChiTownFinest
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Working at a Policy Institute / Think Tank

Postby ChiTownFinest » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:42 pm

Coming from a T14 (not HYSCCN) is it realistic to have this as a [eventual] goal?

Trying to cement my post-LS goals so I can enter law school with an idea of what to focus on and get involved in.

I really enjoy policy and would like to be involved in it at some stage during my legal career. The industry seems like somewhat of a black box to me. Are "policy" jobs real?

I want to be a lawyer, and work in policy from a legal perspective. I realize that moving to DC and moving up the ranks of congressional staffers is an option, but I'm not interested in that route.

I'm sure there is information out there but I was struggling to find it. If anyone has any links/information/anecdotes they would be appreciated.

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cinephile
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Re: Working at a Policy Institute / Think Tank

Postby cinephile » Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:08 pm

I did this before law school. It's terribly, terribly boring. You sit at a desk all day, every day, with little human contact (unless you get to make a presentation). Your half hour lunch slowly turns into one hour, then two hour lunches. You start returning to work tipsy and you're worried everyone can tell. It's really not sustainable unless you hate interacting with other people.

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AreJay711
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Re: Working at a Policy Institute / Think Tank

Postby AreJay711 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:21 pm

I assume you aren't a law student so I'll give the obligatory warning: Being a lawyer doesn't really help you in policy. It might help you get in a counsel position helping draft some legislation or something, but you will just be putting other people's ideas into statute-speak.

But yeah it happens. You are just going to have to publish your work which isn't that hard if you have the discipline (someone will probably willing to take it, but not necessarily a "good" journal). These were literally the first three bios I looked at (I was looking for lawyerly sounding policy areas): http://www.cato.org/people/trevor-burrus ; --LinkRemoved-- ; http://mercatus.org/jerry-brito

cinephile wrote:I did this before law school. It's terribly, terribly boring. You sit at a desk all day, every day, with little human contact (unless you get to make a presentation). Your half hour lunch slowly turns into one hour, then two hour lunches. You start returning to work tipsy and you're worried everyone can tell. It's really not sustainable unless you hate interacting with other people.


Hmmm. I do hate people.

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cinephile
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Re: Working at a Policy Institute / Think Tank

Postby cinephile » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:30 pm

I didn't ask if you were in law school yet or not. If you're not, just get a job with a policy institute now. You'll start at the bottom, but at least you'll get to see what the work is like and if it's right for you. Probably best to do this now rather than after all the school + debt.

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snowpeach06
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Re: Working at a Policy Institute / Think Tank

Postby snowpeach06 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:39 pm

At least in the public interest realm, most people working on policy issues are lawyers. It's not necessary, but it's encouraged. And I would disagree about it being non-social. Again, the people I know are in public interest and not at a private think-tank, but they are in meetings all the time and seem to love their jobs.

ChiTownFinest
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Re: Working at a Policy Institute / Think Tank

Postby ChiTownFinest » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:35 pm

I am not in law school yet.

I do want to be a lawyer-whether I end up with a think tank job or not. I'm not opposed to law firms or gov work or a few other options... just wondering if some day after big law I would be able to transition to "policy" or if that is an "international law" type pipe dream that doesn't really exist.

Thanks for the info so far...




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