Yeah, as noted, there's never anything wrong with extra info, I just think it's vital that the OP understands the placement differential b/t HLS and lower T14 schools. I'd be surprised if any HLS grads had much difficulty with SEC/Justice jobs, given that most HLS grads are seeking the top biglaw jobs. Either way, there's no question that it's harder from GULC, where many students are seeking such jobs.
I'm also not sure how networking with other students would help much in obtaining government jobs -- it would seem internships, etc., would be the key for this, along with the most impressive degree possible.
I think you are making an unwarranted assumption that employers examine applicants in comparison only to their classmates and not to a larger pool of applicants from all schools.
Actually, I'm not. I'm rather making the warranted assumption that employers DO examine applicants in comparison to the larger pool, where HLS is basically the cream of the crop. If they only compared them to their classmates, then this might be an argument for choosing GULC, as he'll probably do better relative to them than he would in the more competitive HLS student body. You may or may not be making this unwarranted assumption, but it's not clear.
Indeed, all other things being equal, a school that sends more students to a particular agency may give its students the upper hand; the school has strong ties to the agency and its students are a known quantity.
It might, except that a HLS degree is far more marketable than a GULC degree in pretty much every context. It strains credibility to think that the SEC or DOJ would choose yet another less-qualified GULC applicant over an HLS applicant simply because GULC applicants have already flooded their organization with resumes and entry-level employees. (Do D.C. Biglaw firms prefer GULC applicants over HLS grads just because GULC students have already flooded those firms? No.) The people who run these agencies aren't stupid, and they know which schools have the most rigorous entrance requirements, and the most competent graduates (generally speaking). If anything, being a more rare HLS applicant would add desired diversity to their organization, even if they were peer schools -- which they're clearly not.
I'm not saying that this is enough to overcome the real advantage Harvard students have over students from other schools in general.
It's not, trust me. I know plenty of students from both schools who have tried to do government work, and it's far easier for the HLS grads.
I just think your reasoning is faulty.
That's because you apparently misunderstood the actual reasoning at work here. No biggie.
FWIW, the advantage is at least in part due to the fact that Harvard's OPIA is so strong -- and such a priority for the school.)
Not really. The advantage is primarily because employers at the SEC and DOJ, just like the employers at top biglaw firms, know HLS is a better and more impressive school, and therefore prefer to hire from there. It's pretty simple, really.
Also, it's obvious you have never looked for a public sector job if you don't believe networking is valuable (for both internships and post-grad jobs).
It's more obvious that you've never attended HLS (or know anyone who has) if you think an HLS student has to "network" with other students to obtain a public sector job. This might be more of an issue at a school like GULC.
No, I am an immature female in my 30s. But having been out of school for a long time and having deep roots in my community don't stop law school from occasionally being alienating. I am very thankful for my friends, who make studying, applying for jobs, student organizing, and just being at school easier. I imagine the same will be true for the OP.
Most mature males over 40 I know are either fairly independent emotionally, or have a wife / s.o. that fulfills their emotional needs. They don't tend to need hand-holding in the grad school context, and they're not likely to sacrifice career prospects in order to acquire a theoretically more supportive academic environment. (Men, of course, are different from women in many ways.)
That said, the OP is welcome to clarify his own thoughts on the matter, and give us more guidance as we attempt to provide advice. I just know, as a male who knows many other males, that this wouldn't generally be an area of concern for us.
But bottom line, it will be easier for him to obtain the desired jobs from HLS, and he should be aware of this as he balances it against other considerations, whatever they may be. We're not helping him if we pretend otherwise.