MPP/MPA programs and work experience

<p>After long considering law school, I've just begun researching MPP/MPA programs. It seems like this is a better route for my career objectives.
So, I just completed an MA in philosophy (because I really wanted to spend a couple years doing philosophical research). The work experience I have was primarily during this time doing mostly research (RA) but also a little teaching (TA) on the side. In my searched, College Confidential tended to have a lot of good information. Does anyone here have a sense of how much/what kind of work experience I shoud acquire to get into the better MPP/MPA programs? I'm looking mainly in the west coast (UCLA, U Wash, USC, Cal Poly, Pepperdine), but I don't know enough details about specific schools yet.
I'd just like to know if I should spend one year or two years getting work experience, or if my research experience should count. How much weight is put on work experience? It sounds like a good amount, but any info from people who have a sense of admissions and the field would be fantastic..</p>