Jump to content

MPA/MPP or Law?

Tealeaf guy

Recommended Posts

Hi guys I have a real interest in politics and I am considering doing a masters in its related field.The problem is that a masters in political science is not going to get me jobs very easily so its not really a viable option.For that matter I am  considering doing a masters in public affairs.But i m confused if i should do a masters in public affairs or do law. Ideally law would be the best option but i m not American and a the law system is different in my country and I cannot enroll as a lawyer here with a JD.But the other dilemma i face is that  I am not too keen on learning economics or calculus.And both the MPP and MPA are quant heavy.


So what do you think is the right option? Anyone with good advice on this?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mom is a law professor, and my brother went through law school a few years ago, so I've been privy to a lot of their discussions: the take away point I've heard is "don't go to law school unless you want to become a lawyer!"


Law school is, in general, much more expensive than getting an MPA. But even with financial aid, there are still lots of problems with the field. Lawyers have been massively over produced and supply far outweighs demand. Unless you can get into a top school, don't assume you'll have a job practicing law when you get out. And there in lies the problem, you're then stuck competing with a law degree, and no specific policy work experience, for policy jobs AND you have no law experience either. 


The flip side is: fewer people applied to law school in 2012 than were turned away in 2011. Seriously, it's crazy how far enrollment as plunged. So if you want to get into a top school, now is the time to apply because better schools are taking applicants with lower scores due to a dearth of talent entering the field.The other thing to consider is how well you do on the LSAT: law schools take the LSAT far more seriously than policy schools take the GRE. 


Plus lawyers have a very high median age. While the market is terrible now, by 2020 it should turn around provided the US hasn't had another financial meltdown by that point (rental backed subprimesque securities created by Blackstone have just been stamped AAA). 


Final thoughts: an MPA is great if you want to work in government or for a non-profit. Policy jobs will be harder to get. Political scientist positions are set to grow significantly slower than average according to the DOL. 

Edited by TimB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use