Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

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mike_H

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Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by mike_H » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:18 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm pretty new to the forum and have never posted, but any help would be greatly appreciated...

I'm going to law school first and foremost as a first step into politics (yeah, i know it's not a great reason, but i'm firmly committed to the politics/public service route and this seems to be the most traditional/safe way of getting involved, especially in electoral politics). I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on how to decide on schools?? I somehow cranked out a 174 so have gotten into pretty much every T14 luckily (haven't heard back from HYS but looking less and less likely....), and I think I'm mainly debating between Georgetown, NYU, and Berkeley. Any advice?? THANKS IN ADVANCE!!!

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Lizface killah

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by Lizface killah » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:19 pm

Harvard or Yale.

TrojanBadger

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by TrojanBadger » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:20 pm

The best public school in the state in which you plan on running for office. Seriously, maybe the best private if it's much better, but you want to be able to play up your in-state ties, and no one involved in local politics of State XYZ will look down on a grad from University of XYZ Law School, even if it doesnt have a great national reputation

Oh, and delete this post. You'd hate for people to think you've wanted the office for the last two decades or something...

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animalcrkrs

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by animalcrkrs » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:21 pm

Nixon went to Duke. He clearly learned a lot about being law-abiding there.

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The Zeppelin

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by The Zeppelin » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:23 pm

animalcrkrs wrote:Nixon went to Duke. He clearly learned a lot about being law-abiding there.
The evidence against you is growing, Dook.

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Gargon

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by Gargon » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:24 pm

TrojanBadger wrote:The best public school in the state in which you plan on running for office. Seriously, maybe the best private if it's much better, but you want to be able to play up your in-state ties, and no one involved in local politics of State XYZ will look down on a grad from University of XYZ Law School, even if it doesnt have a great national reputation

Oh, and delete this post. You'd hate for people to think you've wanted the office for the last two decades or something...
Depends on the state. In New York, for instance, hardly anyone in office went to a SUNY school. The bigwigs are all Cornell, Columbia or other private school grads.
animalcrkrs wrote:Nixon went to Duke. He clearly learned a lot about being law-abiding there.
If the president does it that means that it is not illegal.
Last edited by Gargon on Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mike_H

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by mike_H » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:25 pm

I wish I had some idea where I'd want to run for office, but sadly that's not the case. I'm in Florida so was considering UF, but since I don't have a great idea yet, Im sure i'm better at a t14 which would offer way more flexibility in terms of location. also, i should have prefaced this by saying "aside from yale and harvard" which seem to be the best choices by a long shot, but since i went complete at harvard in october, something tells me my chances are slim...

and thanks for the advice, i'll delete this post once i get some more replies!!

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SoxyPirate

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by SoxyPirate » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:27 pm

[quote="TrojanBadger"]The best public school in the state in which you plan on running for office. [quote/]

TITCR

I think something like half of the state congress here in NC is UNC law grads.

The Governor went to NC Central Law.

I think of the senators and congresspeople from here a couple went to T14, one went to NC Central, and about half went to UNC or Wake Forest.

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hotburrito

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by hotburrito » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:29 pm

Janet Napolitano, Robin Carnahan, George Allen, and a couple of Kennedy's went to UVA. But I only know that because I'm probably going to UVA.

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TrojanBadger

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by TrojanBadger » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:29 pm

Gargon wrote: Depends on the state. In New York, for instance, hardly anyone in office went to a SUNY school. The bigwigs are all Cornell, Columbia or other private school grads.
True. The northern East Coast probably has more exceptions that states fitting the "rule" I just laid out. A more universal rule is "best law school in the state." You could do Stanford instead of Berkeley for CA, same as Chicago over Illinois.

But if you're looking for politics in Wisconsin, don't pass on UW-Madison in favor of Chicago. Don't go to Vandy over Kansas if you want to rule Wichita with an iron fist, and don't skip ASU or UA for NYU if you want to win races in Arizona. That kind of thing.

TrojanBadger

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by TrojanBadger » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:31 pm

mike_H wrote:I wish I had some idea where I'd want to run for office, but sadly that's not the case.
WOW.

Definitely edit everything to "." once you've gotten some advice.

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Rainmaker11

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by Rainmaker11 » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:46 pm

Data as of 2006: Harvard had 10 U.S. Senators, UVA 7, followed by Yale with 3.

http://www.lawweekly.org/?module=displa ... ormat=html

Try to go to a top-14 or the best school in your state.

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neskerdoo

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by neskerdoo » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:55 pm

hotburrito wrote:Janet Napolitano, Robin Carnahan, George Allen, and a couple of Kennedy's went to UVA. But I only know that because I'm probably going to UVA.

great, but this thread isn't about you

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hotburrito

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by hotburrito » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:59 pm

neskerdoo wrote:
hotburrito wrote:Janet Napolitano, Robin Carnahan, George Allen, and a couple of Kennedy's went to UVA. But I only know that because I'm probably going to UVA.

great, but this thread isn't about you
Just a reminder to take my anecdotal impressions of a certain law school's political dominance with a grain of salt.

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neskerdoo

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by neskerdoo » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:00 pm

or a spoonful of it

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hotburrito

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by hotburrito » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:02 pm

Actually it looks like they were pretty spot on.

OP - I don't think you need to edit your posts to "." as long as you don't use the internet as an excuse to be a dick.

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neskerdoo

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by neskerdoo » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:02 pm

I'm just being difficult because I hate your avatar

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hotburrito

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by hotburrito » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:08 pm

Mine might cause seizures but yours induces nightmares.

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by Snooker » Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:27 pm

trojan -

You say someone "could" do Stanford over Berkeley for politics, but Stanford travels much better than Berkeley for politics. If you intend to run for office anywhere in the south or Texas, people are going to say "eww Berkeley" and "ooh Stanford". Berkeley has such a bad political rep in the south that I'm sure nobody from Berkeley is going to be President any time soon. But Stanford is almost as respected as Harvard, it's seen as a brass-ring elite school much more so than the hippies down at Berkeley.

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by Gators08 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:46 pm

If you're thinking Florida politics than I would say UF law. If you aren't sure on politics or on where then I would say to go to the best school you can get into. From a really good school you can go to a US Attorneys Office in a state where you would consider politics. Ex-prosecutor seems to be a good thing for a politician to have on the resume.

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by TrojanBadger » Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:56 pm

Snooker wrote:trojan -

You say someone "could" do Stanford over Berkeley for politics, but Stanford travels much better than Berkeley for politics. If you intend to run for office anywhere in the south or Texas, people are going to say "eww Berkeley" and "ooh Stanford". Berkeley has such a bad political rep in the south that I'm sure nobody from Berkeley is going to be President any time soon. But Stanford is almost as respected as Harvard, it's seen as a brass-ring elite school much more so than the hippies down at Berkeley.
What part of American politics over the last 40 years has indicated to you that Southerners would like to see a guy from a "brass-ring elite school" run for office down there?

Besides, the premise of my suggestion was that he should not strive for a portable degree. Find where you want to run, and go to the best public school there. I understand a law degree from UA or ASU may not run very well elsewhere, but it's probably the best for running in Arizona. So yes, Berkeley would not be best for the South (Stanford wouldn't be much better, though). If you want portability within the south, Vandy's the way to go.

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Dick Whitman

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by Dick Whitman » Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:01 pm

TrojanBadger wrote:
Snooker wrote:trojan -

You say someone "could" do Stanford over Berkeley for politics, but Stanford travels much better than Berkeley for politics. If you intend to run for office anywhere in the south or Texas, people are going to say "eww Berkeley" and "ooh Stanford". Berkeley has such a bad political rep in the south that I'm sure nobody from Berkeley is going to be President any time soon. But Stanford is almost as respected as Harvard, it's seen as a brass-ring elite school much more so than the hippies down at Berkeley.
What part of American politics over the last 40 years has indicated to you that Southerners would like to see a guy from a "brass-ring elite school" run for office down there?

Besides, the premise of my suggestion was that he should not strive for a portable degree. Find where you want to run, and go to the best public school there. I understand a law degree from UA or ASU may not run very well elsewhere, but it's probably the best for running in Arizona. So yes, Berkeley would not be best for the South (Stanford wouldn't be much better, though). If you want portability within the south, Vandy's the way to go.
I haven't seen HYS be a detriment in the South. Tim Kaine is a Harvard Law grad. My congressman is a Yale Law grad. There are plenty of other examples. I would say HYS, the Southern T14s, the state flagship law school (for that particular state), and Vandy all offer a significant (and relatively) equal advantage in the South.

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by TrojanBadger » Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:11 pm

Dick Whitman wrote:
TrojanBadger wrote:
Snooker wrote:trojan -

You say someone "could" do Stanford over Berkeley for politics, but Stanford travels much better than Berkeley for politics. If you intend to run for office anywhere in the south or Texas, people are going to say "eww Berkeley" and "ooh Stanford". Berkeley has such a bad political rep in the south that I'm sure nobody from Berkeley is going to be President any time soon. But Stanford is almost as respected as Harvard, it's seen as a brass-ring elite school much more so than the hippies down at Berkeley.
What part of American politics over the last 40 years has indicated to you that Southerners would like to see a guy from a "brass-ring elite school" run for office down there?

Besides, the premise of my suggestion was that he should not strive for a portable degree. Find where you want to run, and go to the best public school there. I understand a law degree from UA or ASU may not run very well elsewhere, but it's probably the best for running in Arizona. So yes, Berkeley would not be best for the South (Stanford wouldn't be much better, though). If you want portability within the south, Vandy's the way to go.
I haven't seen HYS be a detriment in the South. Tim Kaine is a Harvard Law grad. My congressman is a Yale Law grad. There are plenty of other examples. I would say HYS, the Southern T14s, the state flagship law school (for that particular state), and Vandy all offer a significant (and relatively) equal advantage in the South.
True, but the south hates its carpetbaggers and loves its populists.

Besides, Kaine is the exception and not the rule. The four other lawyer-governors of the South (KY, AK, FL, MS) all went to Southern law schools, three others who went to grad school (NC, SC, GA) all went to Southern grad schools, and three more who only went undergrad (LA, AL, TX) all went to Southern universities. Only Phil Bredesen did his undegrad-only studies at HYS as well, Harvard.

If it's not detrimental, it's at least giving up a hammer you could use on a potential opponent.

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Dick Whitman

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by Dick Whitman » Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:14 pm

TrojanBadger wrote:
True, but the south hates its carpetbaggers and loves its populists.

Besides, Kaine is the exception and not the rule. The four other lawyer-governors of the South (KY, AK, FL, MS) all went to Southern law schools, three others who went to grad school (NC, SC, GA) all went to Southern grad schools, and three more who only went undergrad (LA, AL, TX) all went to Southern universities. Only Phil Bredesen did his undegrad-only studies at HYS as well, Harvard.

If it's not detrimental, it's at least giving up a hammer you could use on a potential opponent.
Well, it wouldn't be a detriment to a native. I'm not worried about it, because any question of whether or not I'm a carpetbagger will be settled the moment I open my mouth.

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Re: Best Law School for a Career in Politics?

Post by dextermorgan » Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:17 pm

Depends on the type of politics you're looking for. If you don't get into Harvard or Yale or are only looking at state politics you might be better served to go to the big state school. This is especially true in the south. Someone who goes to UNC has a better chance of being elected to local/state office in NC than someone who went to Columbia for instance.

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