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American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:44 pm
by madea
Hi everyone. I have been offered a $100k scholarship at American University Washington College of Law. My goal is to be a Counsel on Capitol Hill - I already have Hill employment so I'm not really concerned about finding employment once I graduate. Student loan repayment (and, worst case scenario, student loan forgiveness) will be my friend. Any thoughts?

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:47 pm
by sparkytrainer
Employment SHOULD scare you. Unless you have a signed contract with your future employer, you don't have squat. 3-4 years is a long time on the hill. 50% of all American grads WILL NEVER WORK AS LAWYERS. Not for pennies. NEVER. That should scare the living hell out of anyone thinking about attending.

What is your COA? If its not free, American is not worth it. That place is a dumpster fire.

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:51 pm
by cavalier1138
I'm also confused about why you aren't worried about employment unless you don't particularly care whether you're employed as a lawyer after graduation.

I also highly doubt that counsel on the Hill are coming from American. I'm sure there are exceptions, but that seems like a competitive enough position that most students at AU are going to be boxed out.

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:52 pm
by Cogburn1984
sparkytrainer wrote:Employment SHOULD scare you. Unless you have a signed contract with your future employer, you don't have squat. 3-4 years is a long time on the hill. 50% of all American grads WILL NEVER WORK AS LAWYERS. Not for pennies. NEVER. That should scare the living hell out of anyone thinking about attending.

What is your COA? If its not free, American is not worth it. That place is a dumpster fire.


Serious question. LST reports that 50 % of AU graduates haven't found work as lawyers up to 9 months after graduating, do we know with certainty that these people never find any kind of legal employment. Not defending AU by any means, but that statement seems unsupported.

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:55 pm
by madea
cavalier1138 wrote:I'm also confused about why you aren't worried about employment unless you don't particularly care whether you're employed as a lawyer after graduation.

I also highly doubt that counsel on the Hill are coming from American. I'm sure there are exceptions, but that seems like a competitive enough position that most students at AU are going to be boxed out.

Every office on the Hill is very different but in many, probably most, offices, Hill experience is more valuable than the prestige of your school. I have been working here now for a fairly long time.

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:56 pm
by cavalier1138
madea wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:I'm also confused about why you aren't worried about employment unless you don't particularly care whether you're employed as a lawyer after graduation.

I also highly doubt that counsel on the Hill are coming from American. I'm sure there are exceptions, but that seems like a competitive enough position that most students at AU are going to be boxed out.

Every office on the Hill is very different but in many, probably most, offices, Hill experience is more valuable than the prestige of your school. I have been working here now for close to a decade.


And how many people in counsel positions got their JD at American?

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:58 pm
by sparkytrainer
Cogburn1984 wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:Employment SHOULD scare you. Unless you have a signed contract with your future employer, you don't have squat. 3-4 years is a long time on the hill. 50% of all American grads WILL NEVER WORK AS LAWYERS. Not for pennies. NEVER. That should scare the living hell out of anyone thinking about attending.

What is your COA? If its not free, American is not worth it. That place is a dumpster fire.


Serious question. LST reports that 50 % of AU graduates haven't found work as lawyers up to 9 months after graduating, do we know with certainty that these people never find any kind of legal employment. Not defending AU by any means, but that statement seems unsupported.


You are right this is how the statistic works in this case, but it generally seems to be from experience that if you don't get a legal job within 9 months of graduating, you are likely to never practice. There are exceptions, but this minority tends to be so small as fairly irrelevant.

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:59 pm
by of2273
Unrelated to your question, but how/when did you find out about your scholarship? You're the first person I've heard mention a scholarship from AUWCL.

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:59 pm
by madea
cavalier1138 wrote:
madea wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:I'm also confused about why you aren't worried about employment unless you don't particularly care whether you're employed as a lawyer after graduation.

I also highly doubt that counsel on the Hill are coming from American. I'm sure there are exceptions, but that seems like a competitive enough position that most students at AU are going to be boxed out.

Every office on the Hill is very different but in many, probably most, offices, Hill experience is more valuable than the prestige of your school. I have been working here now for close to a decade.


And how many people in counsel positions got their JD at American?

Looking at Legistorm - a lot.

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:59 pm
by sparkytrainer
madea wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:I'm also confused about why you aren't worried about employment unless you don't particularly care whether you're employed as a lawyer after graduation.

I also highly doubt that counsel on the Hill are coming from American. I'm sure there are exceptions, but that seems like a competitive enough position that most students at AU are going to be boxed out.

Every office on the Hill is very different but in many, probably most, offices, Hill experience is more valuable than the prestige of your school. I have been working here now for a fairly long time.


have you considered all the people with hill experience at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, the rest of the t13 schools, plus the better DC schools of GT and GW that will ALL get a shot at these jobs before someone at American? Because there are a significant number of former hill staffers in the t13 alone that would all go back and can't because of the competitiveness of these jobs.

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:02 pm
by madea
sparkytrainer wrote:
madea wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:I'm also confused about why you aren't worried about employment unless you don't particularly care whether you're employed as a lawyer after graduation.

I also highly doubt that counsel on the Hill are coming from American. I'm sure there are exceptions, but that seems like a competitive enough position that most students at AU are going to be boxed out.

Every office on the Hill is very different but in many, probably most, offices, Hill experience is more valuable than the prestige of your school. I have been working here now for a fairly long time.


have you considered all the people with hill experience at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, the rest of the t13 schools, plus the better DC schools of GT and GW that will ALL get a shot at these jobs before someone at American? Because there are a significant number of former hill staffers in the t13 alone that would all go back and can't because of the competitiveness of these jobs.

I appreciate your point, and it's a very good one. I did things a bit backwards and secured the employment first before my diploma. I should have clarified in the op that I have applied as a part-time student and will be keeping my job as I go to school.

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:05 pm
by sparkytrainer
madea wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:
madea wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:I'm also confused about why you aren't worried about employment unless you don't particularly care whether you're employed as a lawyer after graduation.

I also highly doubt that counsel on the Hill are coming from American. I'm sure there are exceptions, but that seems like a competitive enough position that most students at AU are going to be boxed out.

Every office on the Hill is very different but in many, probably most, offices, Hill experience is more valuable than the prestige of your school. I have been working here now for a fairly long time.


have you considered all the people with hill experience at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, the rest of the t13 schools, plus the better DC schools of GT and GW that will ALL get a shot at these jobs before someone at American? Because there are a significant number of former hill staffers in the t13 alone that would all go back and can't because of the competitiveness of these jobs.

I appreciate your point, and it's a very good one. I did things a bit backwards and secured the employment first before my diploma. I should have clarified in the op that I have applied as a part-time student and will be keeping my job as I go to school.


This is unclear to me. I would imagine you aren't a Counsel on the hill as you are not currently a lawyer, so you have a different job now than the one you want. So someone has promised you advancement to a legal counsel job once you complete your degree, correct?

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:12 pm
by madea
sparkytrainer wrote:
madea wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:
madea wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:I'm also confused about why you aren't worried about employment unless you don't particularly care whether you're employed as a lawyer after graduation.

I also highly doubt that counsel on the Hill are coming from American. I'm sure there are exceptions, but that seems like a competitive enough position that most students at AU are going to be boxed out.

Every office on the Hill is very different but in many, probably most, offices, Hill experience is more valuable than the prestige of your school. I have been working here now for a fairly long time.


have you considered all the people with hill experience at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, the rest of the t13 schools, plus the better DC schools of GT and GW that will ALL get a shot at these jobs before someone at American? Because there are a significant number of former hill staffers in the t13 alone that would all go back and can't because of the competitiveness of these jobs.

I appreciate your point, and it's a very good one. I did things a bit backwards and secured the employment first before my diploma. I should have clarified in the op that I have applied as a part-time student and will be keeping my job as I go to school.


This is unclear to me. I would imagine you aren't a Counsel on the hill as you are not currently a lawyer, so you have a different job now than the one you want. So someone has promised you advancement to a legal counsel job once you complete your degree, correct?

Yes, I am not currently a Counsel but I have a gig waiting for me if/when I graduate. Details (like $) are murky and I'm not comfortable pushing the subject for a variety of reasons - but as I mentioned worst case scenario I have loan repayment to fall back on.

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:16 pm
by sparkytrainer
madea wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:
madea wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:
madea wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:I'm also confused about why you aren't worried about employment unless you don't particularly care whether you're employed as a lawyer after graduation.

I also highly doubt that counsel on the Hill are coming from American. I'm sure there are exceptions, but that seems like a competitive enough position that most students at AU are going to be boxed out.

Every office on the Hill is very different but in many, probably most, offices, Hill experience is more valuable than the prestige of your school. I have been working here now for a fairly long time.


have you considered all the people with hill experience at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, the rest of the t13 schools, plus the better DC schools of GT and GW that will ALL get a shot at these jobs before someone at American? Because there are a significant number of former hill staffers in the t13 alone that would all go back and can't because of the competitiveness of these jobs.

I appreciate your point, and it's a very good one. I did things a bit backwards and secured the employment first before my diploma. I should have clarified in the op that I have applied as a part-time student and will be keeping my job as I go to school.


This is unclear to me. I would imagine you aren't a Counsel on the hill as you are not currently a lawyer, so you have a different job now than the one you want. So someone has promised you advancement to a legal counsel job once you complete your degree, correct?

Yes, I am not currently a Counsel but I have a gig waiting for me if/when I graduate. Details (like $) are murky and I'm not comfortable pushing the subject for a variety of reasons - but as I mentioned worst case scenario I have loan repayment to fall back on.


Okay so just admit you dont have a gig waiting for you. If details are murky and not written down and signed by all the parties, then you are taking a risk for a chance at a job. You do not have guaranteed employment and you should not expect to have that job waiting for you. Do you know anything about repaying 100-200k in loans? Because that would be your future.

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:13 pm
by cavalier1138
Yeah, if it's "murky," then you don't have details. This sounds like a recipe for disaster, even if you think that you're totally going to love being saddled with $200k+ in debt for the next ten years.

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:12 am
by Johann
madea wrote:Hi everyone. I have been offered a $100k scholarship at American University Washington College of Law. My goal is to be a Counsel on Capitol Hill - I already have Hill employment so I'm not really concerned about finding employment once I graduate. Student loan repayment (and, worst case scenario, student loan forgiveness) will be my friend. Any thoughts?

seeing as how youd be part time and need a local school for your shoehorn into the counsel gig, its either gtown or american. if you trust the people that tell you youre good, id roll with american. you could get burned, but PAYE/IBR loan repayment will minimize the harshness of that downside. worst case scenario, you stay in your current job and pay 8ish% of your income to loans for 10 years before complete forgiveness.

if hill counsel is your true dream and much more important thany our current gig, id go for it.

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:47 pm
by madea
Johann wrote:
madea wrote:Hi everyone. I have been offered a $100k scholarship at American University Washington College of Law. My goal is to be a Counsel on Capitol Hill - I already have Hill employment so I'm not really concerned about finding employment once I graduate. Student loan repayment (and, worst case scenario, student loan forgiveness) will be my friend. Any thoughts?

seeing as how youd be part time and need a local school for your shoehorn into the counsel gig, its either gtown or american. if you trust the people that tell you youre good, id roll with american. you could get burned, but PAYE/IBR loan repayment will minimize the harshness of that downside. worst case scenario, you stay in your current job and pay 8ish% of your income to loans for 10 years before complete forgiveness.

if hill counsel is your true dream and much more important thany our current gig, id go for it.

Thank you for this information, Johann.

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:16 pm
by globetrotter659
Sounds like OP has been hired as a Legislative Assistant with the possibility to be “promoted” to a Legislative Counsel after obtaining a JD. The question for you is whether the debt is worth being a Leg Counsel versus an LA. In some offices there is no substantive difference between a Legislative Counsel and a senior LA.

Also if American has LRAP, check whether it’s applies to non-JD required Hill jobs.

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:28 pm
by pancakes3
if the job is in hand, why go to AU? why not take more scholly at a lower ranked school like Catholic or UDC?

conversely, if you're all-in on PAYE or PSLF why worry about schollys at all? Why not make a push for GW/GULC?

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:28 pm
by madea
globetrotter659 wrote:Sounds like OP has been hired as a Legislative Assistant with the possibility to be “promoted” to a Legislative Counsel after obtaining a JD. The question for you is whether the debt is worth being a Leg Counsel versus an LA. In some offices there is no substantive difference between a Legislative Counsel and a senior LA.

Also if American has LRAP, check whether it’s applies to non-JD required Hill jobs.

You are right on the money. I am a Legislative Assistant for a wonderful U.S. Senator who can make me a Counsel with the snap of a finger.

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:42 pm
by sparkytrainer
madea wrote:
globetrotter659 wrote:Sounds like OP has been hired as a Legislative Assistant with the possibility to be “promoted” to a Legislative Counsel after obtaining a JD. The question for you is whether the debt is worth being a Leg Counsel versus an LA. In some offices there is no substantive difference between a Legislative Counsel and a senior LA.

Also if American has LRAP, check whether it’s applies to non-JD required Hill jobs.

You are right on the money. I am a Legislative Assistant for a wonderful U.S. Senator who can make me a Counsel with the snap of a finger.


key: "can" is not "guaranteed with a signed contract".

Re: American University WCL ($100k scholarship)

Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:09 pm
by historyminor
You should talk to some current staffers who are going to school at George Mason, Georgetown, and other places at night to get a sense of whether they think the JD is worth it. If your goal is to be a Committee Counsel, you probably need it. And yes, there are influential Committee Counsel who did not go to HYS. However, if you're looking at staying in a personal office, the JD doesn't seem strictly necessary, and you might do better for yourself investing the time and money elsewhere. There are some LAs and LDs who have done some pretty impressive stuff in law-heavy issue areas and don't have JDs. Their experience is probably more valuable to a lobbying firm or another Member than someone with a JD who hasn't done those things.