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Do I Need It?

OhNo71OhNo71 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
Hi there,

I'm a rising college junior and am contemplating law school. I've always been set on a career in politics and government, and intend to get started at the state level and go from there. I have the connections, experience, and requisite skills (I tend to think) you'd expect at this point in life, and could probably work my way in.

The thing I am uncertain about is law school. A preponderance of the nation's elected officials have some background in law, whether it be a JD or LLM. From my research, it's the select few you come across who went straight from undergrad into their careers.

I do not intend to practice. At least privately. I have some friends/contacts who are DAs and others who work in Governor's offices and in AG offices. I've have always been interested in practicing in a public interest setting such as that, but that is the extent of it, but in which case I would need it.

It begs the question whether or not a law school degree is an antiquated formality for working in government, or is still more necessary than we tend to think.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Thanks.

Replies to: Do I Need It?

  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 28,374 Senior Member
    It depends on what you want to do. You could major in political science and then see after you graduate if you want to go on. You don't need to decide now.
  • OhNo71OhNo71 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    I currently am majoring in Political Science. I love it. I'm just having trouble determining whether there's a functional use to going on, or if it's just to look the part.
  • HappyAlumnusHappyAlumnus Registered User Posts: 1,083 Senior Member
    Don't go to law school unless you want to be a lawyer. It sounds like you don't want to be one.
  • APOLAPOL Registered User Posts: 1,779 Senior Member
    I tend to disagree with HappyAlumnus on this. There is some merit to attending law school if you plan to run for public office, because understanding regulations, and policy will often come into play. DD worked in DC prior to going to T14 law school. It was from her work experience that led her to apply and then go to law school.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,138 Senior Member
    There is some merit to attending law school if you plan to run for public office, because understanding regulations, and policy will often come into play.

    I would suggest then, that it would be even more valuable to go work in the real world to better understand the real impact of those regulations and policies. :-)


  • HappyAlumnusHappyAlumnus Registered User Posts: 1,083 Senior Member
    An MPP is a route to a career in government. It takes less time (and thus less tuition) than a JD, and the admissions standards are more applicant-friendly than a JD. So if I wanted a career in government, I'd get an MPP, such as from Harvard's Kennedy School.
  • TempeMomTempeMom Registered User Posts: 2,683 Senior Member
    Law school is fine --IF you can pay for it without loans. If you need to go in real debt--no.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,138 Senior Member
    ^^It may be "fine" but its also a waste of 3 years of a life. Even if the school is 100% free to the student -- and few are -- there is still the opportunity cost to attend.
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