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Thread: Advice in re Schools

  1. #1
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    Advice in re Schools

    Hi all,

    I'm finishing up Law School at Boston College and unfortunately took until I was 27 to realize my calling to do urban planning, specifically parks development in the urban setting.

    I'm currently living in Boston and I am strongly considering getting my MURP after I finish here. That said some of my colleagues at the law school share my interest and one in particular has his MURP already. His advice suggested that I wouldn't learn anything through my MURP that I won't pick up in law school.

    This got me wondering... will my experience through law school suffice to find the planning jobs I'm interested in? Especially that first one?

    Or should I still go for my MURP, try to develop local connections where I'm studying and go from there?

    I'm having the hardest time finding any inroads to urban planning that don't seem to derive from a program or alumna already involved in it.

    Any advice in terms of how useful/applicable a JD can be considered in the field, and whether I should consider my potential MURP program based primarily on developing regional contacts to foster my career later?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    Certainly your law degree will be useful as a planner, but law school would not suffice for taking some classes and getting experience in planning. I've seen quite a few people in planning with law degrees- most often at city management levels, dealing with housing or program management.

    I'm not sure how you'd get into parks planning. You should network around and do some informational interviews. If you can afford it, interning would help. It's not clear how a law degree would be a direct help to that area, so you'll need some other experience first.

  3. #3
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    Yah other than Brownfield redevelopment, zoning, and land use I don't think my JD is directly applicable. I think I just am seeing my loan debt balloon and the idea of 2 more years of education without a job is a little intimidating. Thanks for the thoughts, sort of fit mine as well.

    I'm also considering relocating and had sort of assumed I should look at studying where I would want to live... is this the right approach or would I be better off getting a higher profile degree (so to speak) and have opportunities wherever? I have the enviable position of being able to relocate for school and have it not drastically upset my stucture. I just don't think I want to move again after this ha!

  4. #4
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    Yikes I can't believe you dropped all that $$ on BC law!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    Why not work in land use law? I work with several firms on my Boston projects, and while they don't do site planning, they do have some input and assess zoning compliance and permitting strategy. Goulston & Storrs is huge in that area.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2008
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    Don't Bother

    Don't bother with a planning degree. I suggest you just try to get a job planning. A JD is a much more respected degree. JDs end up being the bosses of planners. Why go backwards?

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