Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: WoooooSTL on August 21, 2006, 02:07:03 AM

Title: MPP/MPA Programs
Post by: WoooooSTL on August 21, 2006, 02:07:03 AM
I'm a bit torn between applying to law school or heading down the path of getting a masters in MPP or MPA.

How hard is it to get into the prestigious MPP or MPA programs? I don't want an academic track, as I'd rather not teach. Also, scholarship money wouldn't be a huge issue, I just need to get in.

Would a MPP or MPA from a prestigious school help me get into a t10 later down the road?

What steps can I take now to get into one of these prestigious MPA/MPP programs?

Do these forums want work experience, or do they disfavor students coming directly out of undergrad?

Is there a forum for MPP/MPA admissions?

Sorry for all the questions on my first post. Thanks in advance!!!

-CAR
Title: Re: MPP/MPA Programs
Post by: jalong on August 21, 2006, 08:52:59 AM
I was looking into doing a joint JD/MPA and had a million questions on the subject as well. Surprisingly, there seems to be no resource for prospective MPA students that comes anywhere close to tooks that prospective law students have available. There is no public affairs school discussion that I am aware of.

Have you looked into a joint degree? If you wanted to get both, you would save yourself a year of school. Harvard's Kennedy School will even take your LSAT score if you apply to both, which works to my advantage, perhaps yours too.

My understanding of the highly ranked policy schools, is that work/life experience is quite important. Take a look at the Harvard and Princeton websites and check out the profiles of some of their students, its like: Nagesh was the prince of Jamunda when rebel warlords killed him. He rose from the dead and now studies at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School. Princeton also got in trouble because too many of their students took high paying private jobs, despite receiving scholarship money for public service type programs. So, they are likely going to be careful, so that they are comfortable that you will be doing some public service. One way to help them believe that you will do public service? Having already done some public service.

Depending on what your career goals are, another thing to consider is that in many well regarded law schools, you can take classes at the university's other schools and those classes can count towards your JD. So again, you could go to Harvard Law, take a few classes at the Kennedy School, maybe a course at the Business School, and graduate with your JD. So now you have a law degree, and can honestly say that studied public policy as well.
Title: Re: MPP/MPA Programs
Post by: John Galt on August 21, 2006, 06:33:23 PM
I'm likely gettin a JD/MPP. hit me up if you have specific questions.
Title: Re: MPP/MPA Programs
Post by: fishdancer on August 23, 2006, 09:20:52 PM
Other than KSG and Princeton/Woodrow Wilson, I'm not sure how hard it really is to get into a top MPP program. I'm very familiar with 2 of the top 6 and there's plenty of people in both of those programs right out of college, so maybe they did and interesting internship or too, but few people are very impressive. Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, working as a staffer on the Hill and working for a non-profit are common work experiences for those who have it. There's also a lot of people with non-policy backgrounds - finance, biology.

Being in a top 10 MPP/MPA program probably won't help you get in to a top 10 law school. A lot of the top schools have a good percentage of students (~10%) who already have grad degrees so you won't stand out that much. Being in a top law school probably won't help much with admission to an MPP program. The only time it might matter is if you're applying to either the JD or MPP program at the school where you're already doing one of those degrees, so you'd make your study a dual degree - for yield purposes, you're more likely to attend than someone who wouldn't save a year by attending that law/MPP school specifically.

In the case of dual degrees, you can apply for the second degree during the first year of the other degree, so you don't have to make that decision until then. Or you can apply to both programs at the same time and it won't be a problem to defer one for a year. Also, in some cases, you can do a dual degree even if the MPP is at a different school than the JD - like MPP at KSG and law at a few different law schools (Berkeley, Michigan, NYU and Georgetown, or a few on a case-by-case basis).
Title: Re: MPP/MPA Programs
Post by: John Galt on August 23, 2006, 11:39:53 PM
I've been looking into MPP programs as well, but I'm in the opposite boat. I'm hoping getting into a top law school will provide some more clout in applying for an MPP program.

I have some decent experience which would get me a close look at some great MPP programs, but nothing to overawe.

John Galt: If you don't mind my asking, where are you pursuing your MPP? Did you apply to the program before/during/after beginning law school?

I applied to KSG and was admitted. I'm working with Yale to get a Dual Degree program worked out.
Title: Re: MPP/MPA Programs
Post by: jalong on August 24, 2006, 08:33:11 AM
Does anybody know of MPA/MPP programs that accept your LSAT if applying for joint degree? I know KSG does, anybody else?

I did great on the LSAT, but really don't have the energy required to get up to speed on the GRE before I want to start sending in apps.
Title: Re: MPP/MPA Programs
Post by: CILover on August 26, 2006, 02:36:06 PM
University of Maryland, University of Denver, and University at Albany will also accept the LSAT in place of the GRE.

Title: Re: MPP/MPA Programs
Post by: queencruella on August 26, 2006, 03:57:41 PM
IU-Bloomington also accepts the LSAT in place of the GRE.

You do not need work experience to enter an MPA/MPP program, but you will put yourself at a serious disadvantage  by doing so because you're competing for the same jobs against people who do have considerable work experience already. While the quality of the jobs people have held aren't usually that impressive (if they were, they probably would still be at those jobs, wouldn't they?), having at least some relevant skills gained from prior jobs will put you at a big advantage over people who haven't done anything.
Title: Re: MPP/MPA Programs
Post by: WoooooSTL on August 26, 2006, 04:02:17 PM
Thanks for the replies.

Other than GPA and testing scores what sort of things should I do to make my application to P-ton or KSG competitive straight out of undergrad?
Title: Re: MPP/MPA Programs
Post by: Christine on August 31, 2006, 09:40:08 PM
bump
Title: Re: MPP/MPA Programs
Post by: Electric Counterpoint on September 03, 2006, 04:51:58 PM
I guess I'm curious: what kinds of jobs are you after with a JD/MPP? I'm vaguely interested in international law, but if I got into it I'd rather try to find a nonprofit/NGO job than a biglaw one (money and job prospects be damned!). I'm wondering whether a second degree would open those doors...
Title: Re: MPP/MPA Programs
Post by: NClawdad on September 04, 2006, 07:56:01 PM
I guess I'm curious: what kinds of jobs are you after with a JD/MPP? I'm vaguely interested in international law, but if I got into it I'd rather try to find a nonprofit/NGO job than a biglaw one (money and job prospects be damned!). I'm wondering whether a second degree would open those doors...

I recently had a candid conversation with someone high in the administration of my school who is getting their MPA, mostly because it is being paid for by the University (he is an assoc. vice chanc.). I told him of about my career goals, mainly that I was interested in doing land use/environmental/zoning stuff, and he completely convinced me to forego the MPA. He said that it was useful to him because he was already doing PA work, so it provided some clarity. The JD will open all the doors that an MPA/MPP will open, and then some.

One thing useful that I have done is to search the websites of local firms and read the bio's. I found that finding a joint MPP/JD or MPA/JD on the roster was very rare. As this official told me, don't clutter up your plan with unnecessary steps and don't go any farther into debt than you have to.

If you want to be an administrator of a non-profit or gov. agency, you won't necessarily benefit from the dual degree. I will get my MPA (I am taking some courses now, as I am a University employee and get them for free), only if it is completely financed by someone else, preferably an executive MPA after I am in practice.

I, because of my interest in land use/zoning, am going to work toward a certificate in GIS. That may end up being more valuable to me than an MPA ever would be.
Title: Re: MPP/MPA Programs
Post by: Electric Counterpoint on September 04, 2006, 09:48:57 PM
Thanks for the advice. I guess I've heard of the divide between "education" and "credentialing," but I'm still at the point where I'm clawing madly for any reason at all to prolong my schooling -- it's what I'm used to, etc. etc. I'm glad at least that most dual degree programs I may decide to pursue give you until the end of your first year to apply.
Title: Re: MPP/MPA Programs
Post by: jalong on September 05, 2006, 08:51:35 PM
That assumes you already possess the knowledge an MPP/MPA program would teach you. While that is true for some people, it may not be true for everyone.

Do you mean to tell me that people go to school to learn stuff, not just get a piece of paper? My mind is blown.
Title: Re: MPP/MPA Programs
Post by: thestradgirl on November 18, 2006, 05:15:55 PM
bump