Law School Discussion

NGOs, Public service..?

NGOs, Public service..?
« on: October 16, 2010, 07:02:02 AM »
Reading through the topics here I've seen a lot of "GO TO TOP 20 SCHOOL OR NO ONE WILL LOOK AT YOU EVER!!!11"

The thought of a prestigious firm, pulling in the 150k right out of law school is not tantalizing to me in the slightest.

I'm more interested in NGO, public service type law. Working with domestic violence victims, maybe at the Center for Reproductive Justice, ACLU..Something along those lines. How competitive are those jobs? 

Re: NGOs, Public service..?
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2010, 11:56:03 PM »
Those jobs you listed are vastly different from each other.  Getting a job helping domestic abuse victims is relatively easy, unless you want to get paid.  The ACLU and similar high-profile organizations, on the other hand, are quite selective.  Most of their lawyers graduate from top schools and spend time with big firms before joining.

Most lawyers have ambitions of helping others while not starving themselves.  As a result, the (very few) public interest jobs that actually pay more than subsistence wages are highly sought after and can be among the most competitive of all law jobs. 

If you have other sources of income, then finding a rewarding volunteer opportunity should be doable, depending on what exactly you have in mind.

An alternative to NGO jobs is government jobs.  DAs work with domestic abuse victims and certainly work in the public interest, as do the lawyers at the various public aid agencies and child welfare agencies.  Department of Justice, etc. - the state and Federal governments employ many lawyers, all of whom by definition work in the public interest.