Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Discuss comparisons of various school choices and the various metrics that inform them, including rankings, student life, location, etc.
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Nony
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by Nony » Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:56 am

Oh goodness. You’re paying top dollar to get a degree that allows you to sit for licensure in the field, and that opens the greatest number of employment doors possible. Access to legal scholars just happens along the way; it’s not really the goal. You learn much more in practice than you do in a classroom and you’re not going to be missing out, educationally, by working for a semester.

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Nebby
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by Nebby » Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:01 am

undecided2021 wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:13 am
Nebby wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:39 am
The CLS in DC externship is a great opportunity, and it is much more preferable over classes if you're trying to break into non-big law. What do you find "hard to stomach" about the program? I think your understanding of opportunity costs is in reverse. You lose absolutely nothing by not taking classes for a semester because classes neither teach you legal skills related to practice nor do they matter for entry-level hiring.

What matters for entry-level hiring in non-big law contexts is the acquisition of as many hours of legal practice experience as possible. Therefore, the more you can spend practicing law and the less taking bullshit classes, the better.

I did the CLS in DC program and it definitely provide an advantage over my peers for hiring competitiveness because I had more legal experience than most if not all current 3Ls.
What I mean is: is it deleterious to your legal education [in relation to theory or whatever] to go to DC for a semester, even though it might bolster chances at DOJ?
No. You'll acquire more legal skills and knowledge through externships than you will classes. Law school classes woefully unprepare one for actual legal practice, which is why many schools are offering more and more opportunities to gain experiential credit. The only thing law school classes teach you is how to take tests.

You have an unrealistic understanding of law school. Getting a JD and becoming lawyer is not like getting a PhD and becoming a professor. Access to "legal scholars" provides very little tangible benefits from a legal education standpoint.

DOJ wants to hire those with as much legal knowledge and experience as possible. It knows, as all other lawyers do, that law classes do a poor job of providing that compared to internships and externships, which is why it values more legal experience over classes.

The highest opportunity cost actually comes from taking classes, not the other way around. The less classées and more legal experience, the better the legal education.
Last edited by Nebby on Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Hand
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by Hand » Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:01 am

undecided2021 wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:13 am
Nebby wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:39 am
The CLS in DC externship is a great opportunity, and it is much more preferable over classes if you're trying to break into non-big law. What do you find "hard to stomach" about the program? I think your understanding of opportunity costs is in reverse. You lose absolutely nothing by not taking classes for a semester because classes neither teach you legal skills related to practice nor do they matter for entry-level hiring.

What matters for entry-level hiring in non-big law contexts is the acquisition of as many hours of legal practice experience as possible. Therefore, the more you can spend practicing law and the less taking bullshit classes, the better.

I did the CLS in DC program and it definitely provide an advantage over my peers for hiring competitiveness because I had more legal experience than most if not all current 3Ls.
Re: opportunity costs, I feel as though attending law school and NOT taking classes amounts to giving tuition dollars away. I am paying top dollar to have access to legal scholars, or at least that's my understanding. Is it the case that "the acquisition of as many hours of legal practice experience as possible" takes higher precedence over having access to legal scholars? What I mean is: is it deleterious to your legal education [in relation to theory or whatever] to go to DC for a semester, even though it might bolster chances at DOJ?
You pay top dollar for the name of the school on your degree. After a couple of semesters of listening to these alleged top legal minds you’ll likely be dying for the opportunity to do something practical.

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Nony
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by Nony » Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:54 am

undecided2021 wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:16 am
Nony wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:14 pm
Yes, lots of pertinent experience and dedication to the mission are huge for DOJ. Arguably doing something that’s a little bit more inconvenient/takes some effort that’s geared specifically to that field looks good.
Hey Nony, can I PM you to ask you something specific about this? If I post my question, it will most likely out me to anyone who ever reads my resume.
Go ahead (sorry, I didn't see this sooner!)

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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by undecided2021 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:42 pm

Thanks for all the input. I didn't realize that the JD was so laughable a degree. Not to derail, but why not simply reduce the curriculum to two years (one year?) and make the third year mandatory internship/externship/entry level position with an associated firm at a pay cut and learn on the job?

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Kümmel
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by Kümmel » Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:57 pm

undecided2021 wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:42 pm
Thanks for all the input. I didn't realize that the JD was so laughable a degree. Not to derail, but why not simply reduce the curriculum to two years (one year?) and make the third year mandatory internship/externship/entry level position with an associated firm at a pay cut and learn on the job?
$$$ + inertia

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Hand
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by Hand » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:03 pm

Kümmel wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:57 pm
undecided2021 wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:42 pm
Thanks for all the input. I didn't realize that the JD was so laughable a degree. Not to derail, but why not simply reduce the curriculum to two years (one year?) and make the third year mandatory internship/externship/entry level position with an associated firm at a pay cut and learn on the job?
$$$ + inertia
Oh they should definitely do this but it’ll never happen because they make too much money keeping it this way

Anyway, one point to add here is the advice to get as much relevant practical experience as possible holds for all public interest jobs, not just the government ones

undecided2021
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by undecided2021 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:10 pm

Takeaway: avoid classes as much as possible. Get practical experience instead. That being said, the core classes for any given field you want to practice in will still be important, I take it?

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Nebby
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by Nebby » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:46 pm

undecided2021 wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:10 pm
Takeaway: avoid classes as much as possible. Get practical experience instead. That being said, the core classes for any given field you want to practice in will still be important, I take it?
Yes

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Nebby
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by Nebby » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:47 pm

Updated to reflect new UChi testimonial

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Nebby
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by Nebby » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:50 pm

I think I need to find a way to weigh the Skadden/EJW stats to find a way to reflect different class sizes among law schools. I.e., 3 Skadden HLS students is actually less per capita than 2 Skadden UChi student per capita.

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Stranger
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by Stranger » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:21 pm

Nebby wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:50 pm
I think I need to find a way to weigh the Skadden/EJW stats to find a way to reflect different class sizes among law schools. I.e., 3 Skadden HLS students is actually less per capita than 2 Skadden UChi student per capita.
I have class sizes by year in my employment spreadsheets. I'll whip something up, maybe standardize to a 300 person graduating class.

Update: Here it is.

For that sheet, the WA column on on the Skadden and EJW sections is the average over the six years reported, but normalized to a 300 person class size. Hope this helps.

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cavalier1138
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by cavalier1138 » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:03 am

Update for the LRAP spreadsheet: NYU just added "LRAP Plus," which will go into effect for this year's graduates. It basically makes the program more like Columbia's LRAP by giving people a choice between an income-based PSLF plan and a "traditional" plan that actually pays the debt down. It also adds a bunch of perks, namely coverage for up to $30k of non-law educational debt, and an option to defer for family/hardship reasons.

Details: http://www.law.nyu.edu/financialaid/lra ... plus-works

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Nebby
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by Nebby » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:08 am

That's awesome! CLS just changed ours but all it really did was bump up the salary phase-out period by 5k

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Echos Myron
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by Echos Myron » Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:28 pm

So do NYU/CLS now have the best LRAPs aside from maybe Yale and Stanford?

Certainly they provide the most flexibility by providing both PSLF and non-PSLF options with fairly generous salary allowances, dependent allowances, etc.

It seems like NYU still has its one-time payment for those in the PSLF-integrated plan that don't make it 10 years for forgiveness. So I think their LRAP is slightly better than CLS. Either way, both are upping the ante for LRAP. Hopefully other T13s will follow their lead.

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Kümmel
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by Kümmel » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:57 pm

Echos Myron wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:28 pm
So do NYU/CLS now have the best LRAPs aside from maybe Yale and Stanford?

Certainly they provide the most flexibility by providing both PSLF and non-PSLF options with fairly generous salary allowances, dependent allowances, etc.

It seems like NYU still has its one-time payment for those in the PSLF-integrated plan that don't make it 10 years for forgiveness. So I think their LRAP is slightly better than CLS. Either way, both are upping the ante for LRAP. Hopefully other T13s will follow their lead.
It seems like NYU still has the student contribution piece to it and also the net income issue + 40% contribution vs 34.5% for cls

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Echos Myron
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by Echos Myron » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:05 pm

Kümmel wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:57 pm
Echos Myron wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:28 pm
So do NYU/CLS now have the best LRAPs aside from maybe Yale and Stanford?

Certainly they provide the most flexibility by providing both PSLF and non-PSLF options with fairly generous salary allowances, dependent allowances, etc.

It seems like NYU still has its one-time payment for those in the PSLF-integrated plan that don't make it 10 years for forgiveness. So I think their LRAP is slightly better than CLS. Either way, both are upping the ante for LRAP. Hopefully other T13s will follow their lead.
It seems like NYU still has the student contribution piece to it and also the net income issue + 40% contribution vs 34.5% for clsy
What's the student income piece? Students have to pay like 6k per year out of pocket, right? That is not great

I think the negative amortization protection offered by nyu is really nice. Only Michigan and Penn offer anything like that in their PSLF-integrated LRAPs, and it seems way less generous than what nyu offers

CLS needs to add a similar provision and they'd easily best NYU. Right now I think it's pretty close depending on how you value the marginal factors of each (i.e. The cons that you mentioned for NYU vs the negative amortization protection for the integrated lrap)

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cavalier1138
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by cavalier1138 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:11 am

Echos Myron wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:05 pm
What's the student income piece? Students have to pay like 6k per year out of pocket, right? That is not great
The "expected student contribution" is one of the more annoying calculations that NYU has its students make. It's not exactly what you said, but it's close. The best way to illustrate is by example. If my expected contribution is $15k (this is what most people's will be if they come to school without significant savings or parental resources), I don't actually have to pay $15k during school. But $15k of my COA (excluding scholarships) is not covered by LRAP. In other words, you'll always be paying something out-of-pocket on your loans if you don't reduce the amount you take out in loans by $15k over the course of school.

I wish they'd dropped that policy, but for some reason they're really attached to it. Best way to avoid it (without doing a summer at a firm) is to do paid research during the school year in 2L/3L (or to win lots of cash prizes during school). Ultimately, it's not that significant for most people; it's more of an annoyance than anything.

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Hennessy
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by Hennessy » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:09 am

Do people skip classes for the PILC fair? i don't understand, i have class from 8:30am to 3pm both days.

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Kümmel
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by Kümmel » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:21 am

Rémy wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:09 am
Do people skip classes for the PILC fair? i don't understand, i have class from 8:30am to 3pm both days.
Yes. It's the early semester and it's two days of classes -- you skip.

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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by negusdahabesha » Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:13 pm

Can anyone help me understand why so many attorneys at prestigious nonprofits/impact lit organizations did a stint in biglaw? Is that a preferred path? Does it make it easier to get to the ACLU/NAACP LDF from biglaw with plenty of pro bono? I would have thought these places wanted to see a lifelong commitment to PI, but that seems to be far from the case..

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Kümmel
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by Kümmel » Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:18 pm

There's just not a ton of entry level positions in impact lit (funding, amount of training needed, fewer positions, etc.) Most PI entry level type of gigs are in direct legal services which has a skill set that doesn't translate over to impact lit as much as other types of lit (mostly biglaw where you might have a lot of federal court lit experience or substantial pro bono lit experience in those impact orgs)

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Nebby
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by Nebby » Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:27 pm

Echoing Kummel, the biggest thing is that most impact lit orgs have very little entry-level hiring. E.g., I work in enviro impact lit, and, from my experience, across the country there's only about 10 to 15 positions available for entry level attorneys. And those entry-level postings define entry-level to include a year or two of work experience and/or clerkship experience. So not only are there few openings, they are very competitive.

The trend you're noticing has nothing to do with a preference for big law. Instead, it illustrates the reality that most folks can't get entry level jobs so they go to the place where it's easy to get entry-level jobs (biglaw) and then apply to everything that opens until they get something. Some of the time that takes years.

The confusion is confounded, too, because some biglawyers who don't know anything about PI orgs point out this trend to law students and (wrongfully) advise it means these orgs have a preference for biglaw experience. (Even some career counselors at school's without dedicated PI advisers also do this, although that might also be because they care more about post-grad stats so recommend positions that are easier to get, like biglaw).

Knowing that entry-level jobs are sparse and competitive, I always advise students to think about biglaw as a back-up and to even do a 2L SA just to get an offer, which you can later decline should you get a PI job during the 3L search. There are some students who, like me, don't want biglaw anyway, and choose to roll the dice. Either choice is solely up to the individual (there is no "right" choice).

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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by negusdahabesha » Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:37 pm

So would either of you say that, if impact lit is my ultimate goal, I should consider going through biglaw to acquire the necessary skills? Especially relative to direct services such as public defense, state AG's, etc.

Also, would you wager that people with biglaw experience are looked at more favorably than any of the above alternatives prior to making the transition to impact lit?

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Kümmel
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Re: Public Interest Megathread for T14s (employment data, resources, testimonials)

Post by Kümmel » Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:44 pm

It's a hard question to answer.

The only ideal path is trying to get a Skadden fellowship and getting your foot in the door.

If not, then two years clerking for district court and COA and then trying to go straight to impact lit is common, but you may end up at a firm for a bit.

Sure there's a ton of people who do direct legal services and then move to impact lit. It's really up to what YOU want. If all you want to do is ACLU and don't want to do direct legal services then might as well make some $ at a firm that will pretend that you can do a lot of pro bono and you just pad your resume until you can get somewhere.

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