I just graduated from college and wanted to get some valuable wisdom from you guys. I am interested in a career in government, and am currently trying to figure out how to balance an interest in public policy and politics. I'd like to know if I should pursue a law degree. I think it could be useful either way - it seems like many politicians have the credential, and the degree would be helpful if I decide to focus on international law or even economic policy, among other areas. Based on your experiences, would you recommend I pursue this path? I have a genuine interest in legal issues - I am a huge dork for Oyez.org and am currently reading Jeff Toobin's The Nine, and it gets me fired up about law. Still, three years is a huge commitment of time and money, especially if I am less interested in being a practicing lawyer than in working in government and politics.
One possibility is trying to get work on the Hill eventually, while taking night classes at a DC law school. Still, I would love a top 5-10 school, and I might miss out on the upside of a full-time law school experience, e.g. law review, moot court, etc.
(By the way, speaking of Oyez - I was listening to the Bush v. Gore oral argument and was stunned when one advocate called Stevens "Justice Brennan" and then went on to address Souter as "Justice Breyer." Unbelievable! OK, just had to get that off my chest.)
Thanks for the help!