Does the school matter?

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Tot12Tator
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Does the school matter?

Postby Tot12Tator » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:44 pm

I want to be a prosecutor. My goals are to start as an ADA or JAG and eventually work into the federal government. I intern at a US Attorneys office, and the general consensus I get is the school doesn't matter. Obviously there are some schools to avoid, but they say almost any ABA accredited school will work. Does anyone here have a similar opinion? Anyone who is working in criminal law, what do you think?

And I figured I might get asked, so I'll go ahead and tell. My GPA is a 3.3. My LSAT is a 149. I've already signed up for a retake and have a study plan. I'm wanting to go Fall 2014.

Thanks

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t-14orbust
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Re: Does the school matter?

Postby t-14orbust » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:46 pm

Don't go bro - no offense, but that lsat is garbage and you can probably do better. Any school that will accept you with those numbers is not worth attending.

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guano
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Re: Does the school matter?

Postby guano » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:59 pm

Yes the school matters.
Only about 1 in 3 students attending law schools that accept an LSAT that low even have JK a in the legal field, and a large number of those either started their own law firm (which'll probably fail), have a job through family/connections, or are working for peanuts as a glorified volunteer

Don't do it. People from much better schools than you can currently get into are struggling to find jobs, let alone something like an AG's office

Redfactor
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Re: Does the school matter?

Postby Redfactor » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:59 pm

.
Last edited by Redfactor on Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bk1
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Re: Does the school matter?

Postby bk1 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:06 pm

If you want to end up in fed gov, look at this thread: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=212927 Also realize that school is very much an important factor for clerkships.

As for ADA, commitment is generally the most important thing. You generally have to get yourself in as an intern in the office you want to work for ASAP and just gun hard to turn that into full time. Even if you do that, you still may not get hired since ADA positions are subject to budgetary whims. Check out this thread: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=155423 I don't know much about JAG but since it is an PSLF-eligible job, it is competitive. Similar to ADA in that regard.

While school may not be a huge factor for ADA/JAG (I don't know for sure) they are definitely competitive jobs considering their PSLF eligibility. With your stats, it would be a huge risk to go to a law school that would accept you since you have no guarantee of an ADA/JAG job. And if you didn't get one, the kind of school that would accept you wouldn't give you a leg up in any other kind of job. If you really want to be a prosecutor or a JAG, retake the LSAT so you can go to a decent school for a reasonable amount of debt.

Tot12Tator
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:58 am

Re: Does the school matter?

Postby Tot12Tator » Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:16 pm

Thanks for the tips guys. I am retaking the LSAT. I've already signed up for October and waiting on the bibles to get here so I can start getting into it. I don't want to go to a school that would take my 149. I know I can do better than that, plus a school like that would probably accept anyone.

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bk1
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Re: Does the school matter?

Postby bk1 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:20 pm

Tot12Tator wrote:I intern at a US Attorneys office, and the general consensus I get is the school doesn't matter.

Speaking to this specifically:

Remember that hiring policies can and do vary from office to office within the USAO. Often hiring can change when a new US Attorney gets appointed since each US Attorney has their own preferences. So maybe it doesn't matter for this office, it may matter to other offices. And while school may not matter and the AUSAs you work with may be genuine in saying that, it's likely misleading. Many USAOs essentially require a federal clerkship and school very much matters for those clerkships. For example: if someone has managed to a snag a clerkship from a lower ranked school, then maybe at that point their school doesn't really matter for AUSA hiring at the office you work at, but it most definitely mattered in getting them to that point.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Does the school matter?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:27 pm

I've said this before with reference to JAG/government stuff*: do not mistake the qualifications on paper with the qualifications that actually make you competitive. The USAJobs posting might just say "A JD from an ABA accredited law school." Having that will make you qualified and eligible to apply. That's great until you realize that government jobs get way more resumes than they have openings for, and can afford to be pickier than just "well, this guy meets the bare minimum criteria, let's go with it." Ditto JAG.

*I'm an OL, but I've been in the military and worked in the federal government for several years and have seen this play out with many, many non-legal hiring boards.




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