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Author Topic: Harvard or UNC  (Read 2115 times)

BIG H2001

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Re: Harvard or UNC
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2005, 12:48:55 AM »
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But don't go to UNC.  You will not be able to find a job in DC

Do you even know anything other than what you read in a magazine?  You should go on over to Martindale and search the number of lawyers in D.C. that attended UNC.  I think that you'll find the list to be quite long.  According to career services, somewhere near 10% of UNC's graduating classes go to D.C.  If it weren't for self-selection of many residents, I'm sure that the number could be higher.  Sure, it may be easier to get to D.C. with a T14 degree, but it's not infinitely harder with a UNC degree and you can do it for exponentially less.  LRAP may help a little but it wouldn't help as much as a full scholarship to regionally strong school that places comparably well in the region. 

happy1

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Re: Harvard or UNC
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2005, 05:26:17 AM »
harvard is the clear choice.  Are you kidding me?

V00Jeff

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Re: Harvard or UNC
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2005, 05:19:09 PM »
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But don't go to UNC.  You will not be able to find a job in DC

Do you even know anything other than what you read in a magazine?  You should go on over to Martindale and search the number of lawyers in D.C. that attended UNC.  I think that you'll find the list to be quite long.  According to career services, somewhere near 10% of UNC's graduating classes go to D.C.  If it weren't for self-selection of many residents, I'm sure that the number could be higher.  Sure, it may be easier to get to D.C. with a T14 degree, but it's not infinitely harder with a UNC degree and you can do it for exponentially less.  LRAP may help a little but it wouldn't help as much as a full scholarship to regionally strong school that places comparably well in the region. 

That 10% does not get GOOD DC jobs, trust me.  Maybe the top 1-2% has a shot at DC biglaw,  but almost no UNC grads make it into good jobs in the federal govn.  Look it up: almost every single legal position of importance in the federal government is filled by H or Y grads (and the remainder are split between Chicago, Columbia, Stanford, and a handful of other top schools).  For fun, let's look up the office of solicitor general on wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Solicitor_General

In reverse order, the last ten Solictors General went to:

HLS
Boalt
Yale
Yale
Yale
Duke
Columbia
(can't tell)
HLS
Yale

Need we go continue?
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BIG H2001

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Re: Harvard or UNC
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2005, 05:34:25 PM »
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But don't go to UNC.  You will not be able to find a job in DC

Do you even know anything other than what you read in a magazine?  You should go on over to Martindale and search the number of lawyers in D.C. that attended UNC.  I think that you'll find the list to be quite long.  According to career services, somewhere near 10% of UNC's graduating classes go to D.C.  If it weren't for self-selection of many residents, I'm sure that the number could be higher.  Sure, it may be easier to get to D.C. with a T14 degree, but it's not infinitely harder with a UNC degree and you can do it for exponentially less.  LRAP may help a little but it wouldn't help as much as a full scholarship to regionally strong school that places comparably well in the region. 

That 10% does not get GOOD DC jobs, trust me.  Maybe the top 1-2% has a shot at DC biglaw,  but almost no UNC grads make it into good jobs in the federal govn.  Look it up: almost every single legal position of importance in the federal government is filled by H or Y grads (and the remainder are split between Chicago, Columbia, Stanford, and a handful of other top schools).  For fun, let's look up the office of solicitor general on wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Solicitor_General

In reverse order, the last ten Solictors General went to:

HLS
Boalt
Yale
Yale
Yale
Duke
Columbia
(can't tell)
HLS
Yale

Need we go continue?

Before we continue we should define a "legal position of importance." What exactly makes a position "important?"  Since  only a handful of people ever attain positions as high as a solicitor or attorney general, I think your perception is a bit skewed by prestige.   

I can find several UNC grads working in government positions in D.C.  Where is the objective standard for a good job and why are these jobs not considered "good?"

V00Jeff

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Re: Harvard or UNC
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2005, 07:37:31 PM »

Before we continue we should define a "legal position of importance." What exactly makes a position "important?"  Since  only a handful of people ever attain positions as high as a solicitor or attorney general, I think your perception is a bit skewed by prestige.   

I can find several UNC grads working in government positions in D.C.  Where is the objective standard for a good job and why are these jobs not considered "good?"

Fair enough.  I think you will find that the ranks of the middle-level and lower-level federal government lawyers are mainly staffed by Harvard and Yale people as well.  Let's look around ...

1) the U.S. Attorney of DC went to Boalt.
2) I can't find where the deputy solicitor general went, but Judge Roberts was Reagan's deputy solicitor general from 89 to 93, and he went to Harvard.
3) the associate attorney general went to Yale
4) the assistant attorney general heading the criminal division went to Yale
5) the assistant attorney general for the office of legal policy went to Harvard
6) the assistant attorney general for civil rights went to Harvard.
7) the State Dep's top lawyer went to Harvard
8) the Defense department's general counsel went to Harvard
9) his deputy actually got his degree from St. John's ... which marks the FIRST guy of any importance we've found from outside of the T14.   BUT he served in the army for 27 years before he got his degree, so it's not like he's your typical grad.  He also has an LLM from Georgetown.

Is that enough?  Can I go back to my reading now?

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fireplace

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Re: Harvard or UNC
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2005, 07:57:35 PM »
I think he would argue, and it also seems reasonable to me, that "named" positions like deputy such and such will naturally go to academic style, top schools without implying whether more "normal" positions -- like people who are never invited to a luncheon that includes the President -- could still be open to the "masses."

For example:
Quote
You can apply to the CIA directly or interview on campus if they come to your school. The CIA interviews on campus at UVA, Michigan, Georgetown, Howard, Harvard, William & Mary, Yale, and Duke
Quote

http://www.cia.gov/ogc/best.htm

V00Jeff

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Re: Harvard or UNC
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2005, 08:13:25 PM »
I think he would argue, and it also seems reasonable to me, that "named" positions like deputy such and such will naturally go to academic style, top schools without implying whether more "normal" positions -- like people who are never invited to a luncheon that includes the President -- could still be open to the "masses."

For example:
Quote
You can apply to the CIA directly or interview on campus if they come to your school. The CIA interviews on campus at UVA, Michigan, Georgetown, Howard, Harvard, William & Mary, Yale, and Duke
Quote

http://www.cia.gov/ogc/best.htm


Unfortunately, it's hard to really figure out the names and alma maters of these types of positions, because they're rarely reported in the internet.  However, books like "Americas greatest places to work with a law degree," along with the rumor-mill that I'm subjected to as a law school student, lend support to the idea that most of federal government agencies are very selective. 

Of course, some positions are easier to get than others.  But the ones that are harder to get are that way for a reason; they're more intellectually challenging, or they're more fulfilling, or (sometimes... the fed gov has a fairly uniform pay system, although Bush is tryign to change that) they pay more.  And clearly, you will note that the most in-demand jobs go to HLS and YLS grads.

Is it impossible to work for the federal government coming from UNC?  No.  But the odds suggest that HLS and YLS grads are much, much more likely to get these jobs (If I had to quantify it, I'd say the advantage is between 500% and 1000% for mid-range jobs and significantly higher for top jobs).  You will be hard pressed to find a job, because you will be competing with people who have both better credentials and better connections that they got in their law school(unless you are super-well-connected in DC in your own right, as you would be if you were the son of a Congressman or something).

So that's my advice.  Go to Yale or Harvard, and if you don't get in, consider Chicago if you are conservative or anywhere else in the rest of the top 10 (or so) if you're liberal.  Only go to UNC if you really are sure that you want to work in North Carolina.  Otherwise, you will be making life considerably more difficult for yourself (in fact, it might be easier for you to get a government job without going to law school than if you had gone to UNC ... by moving to DC and finding internships until you build the connections for full-time employment).
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V00Jeff

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Re: Harvard or UNC
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2005, 08:18:45 PM »
There is one good exception to my advice: if you want to be an elected representative of North Carolina -- a Rep or Senator -- you would probably do slightly better to stay in North Carolina for law school and develop contacts there.  Even then, though, HLS or YLS would not be a terrible career move. 
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fireplace

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Re: Harvard or UNC
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2005, 08:23:48 PM »
Obviously, Harvard and Yale are great.  However, if it costs you between 100 and 200 k more b/c of scholarships, living expenses, etc, and you're aiming for a job that starts at 60k a year, that's something to consider.  And I think my one example demonstrates that government agencies do hire from the "merely smart" instead of "extra superdy smart" schools.  William and Mary and Howard, both of which I'd think UNC is competitive with, obviously produce DC gov't lawyers.

But this is starting to devolve into another prestige debate, which is always heated and usually devoid of fact, but rather based on "everything I hear from everyone" -- everyone, that is, who is in the same situation.  THat's my parting advice; I'm leaving this thread.

bruin

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Re: Harvard or UNC
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2005, 09:32:33 PM »
Hey, I'm new to this board but I am just starting to get together some of my applications for Fall '06 and I am having a tough time deciding where to apply.  I noticed that people on this board can be really helpful in situations like this so I figured I'd see what other people where thinking about my situation.

Heres my stats:
GPA 3.80 from Boston University (Phi Beta Kappa, top student in my major)
LSAT 173

I know that I want to work and live in DC or the mid-atlantic south (Virginia, North Carolina) but I would be willing to try a few other places (New England, California, Colorado).  I do not want to go into Big Law or work 70+ hours a week but I do want to do something meaningful- particularly working for a non-profit or government agency in DC- therefore, money is a problem.

Heres what I have on the table- Harvard as a reach, Virginia, Duke and Georgetown as targets and UNC (I most likely will have residency) as a safety.  Now my main question is, are these enough schools even if I know I won't get into Stanford or Yale and I would rather go to Virginia than any of the other Top 14.

Also, I'm wondering for the long run whether its better to go to Harvard (in the miracle chance that I got in) or even Virginia, Duke or Georgetown at full-tuition and rack up debt or go to UNC for in-state and possibly scholarship.  How easy is the $150,000 to pay off in a $60,000 government job and would a UNC degree get me as far as a Harvard one.

Any advice is very much appreciated!

Otherwise, you should full-rides anywhere outside the T14, including UNC, and probably big $$ even from UVa, which might be your best overall bet

UVa scholarships seem to be based pretty much on LSAT scores. 173 would have given you ~$14,000/yr in this cycle.
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