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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Echos Myron
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Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:53 pm

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

Post by Echos Myron » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:40 pm

Kümmel wrote:
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.
Tangential but how difficult do you think the path from direct services (legal aid/PD) to impact lit?
Anecdotally, I know / know of a few people who have done it, but I’m wondering if it’s just anecdata
Also, they were at Bronx Defenders / PDS / Philly Defender Association etc and were T13/HYS. Do you think I’m your experience that most people that go direct services to impact lit work in “prestigious” direct services orgs and went to T13 law schools?

negusdahabesha
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:27 pm

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

Post by negusdahabesha » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:42 pm

Echos Myron wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:40 pm
Kümmel wrote:
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.
Tangential but how difficult do you think the path from direct services (legal aid/PD) to impact lit?
Anecdotally, I know / know of a few people who have done it, but I’m wondering if it’s just anecdata
Also, they were at Bronx Defenders / PDS / Philly Defender Association etc and were T13/HYS. Do you think I’m your experience that most people that go direct services to impact lit work in “prestigious” direct services orgs and went to T13 law schools?
I would like to know this too! I'm lucky enough to be attending a t13 next year, but I'd much prefer to end up in impact lit by way of direct services and not biglaw

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Kümmel
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Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:07 pm

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

Post by Kümmel » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:43 pm

Echos Myron wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:40 pm
Kümmel wrote:
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.
Tangential but how difficult do you think the path from direct services (legal aid/PD) to impact lit?
Anecdotally, I know / know of a few people who have done it, but I’m wondering if it’s just anecdata
Also, they were at Bronx Defenders / PDS / Philly Defender Association etc and were T13/HYS. Do you think I’m your experience that most people that go direct services to impact lit work in “prestigious” direct services orgs and went to T13 law schools?
I don't think it's difficult at all -- but I don't think difficult is the right word. It's really just an independent basis. MOST PDs don't go to those offices with the idea that they want to do impact lit down the line. Most don't think they'd ever do impact lit. A lot of the change happens organically. You've been doing trial work 8 years and have 2 kids and don't think its sustainable for you so you start looking for appeals work/policy/impact and someone's friend works somewhere and that's a good exit. Places like PDS, BxD, and even LAS also have special lit/impact lit arms that people will start splitting their time between or doing rotations in.

At the end of the day going to a T13 is always going to give you some boost, and sure working at more "prestigious" PD offices will help, but it's going to come down to really what you want to be doing and what you've already done. There are state PDs who've been at an office 5+ years and go clerk for a federal judge as a way of transitioning out. The only thing I can say for sure is that if you want to really do impact lit/policy work then you should just gun for that and not try and use PD work as a stepping stone, because you'll likely just end up overwhelmed and unhappy.

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