Monday, April 2, 2012

Employment Outcomes II: What We Know About School-Funded Temporary “Bridge” Positions At First-Tier Law Schools =The Faculty Lounge

The Faculty Lounge: Employment Outcomes II: What We Know About School-Funded Temporary “Bridge” Positions At First-Tier Law Schools:

Bernard Burk (above) takes a look at  the boost that law schools give to their grads employment rates by giving them post-graduate fellowships or stipends.  Because those are counted in the US News 9 month post-grad employment rates, it is a case of how true numbers can mislead, as Brian Tamanaha puts it.  
One of the consequences of the student debt burden is that the consequences of not having a job as a lawyer are great.  Schools do all they can to help.  Many students work for modestly paid fellowships after graduation.  That saves students from blank spaces on their resumes and gives them useful experience.  But they can't pay any loans on these modest stipends.  It also helps the school report a better number for the US News totem pole - which highlights employment rate 9 months after graduation.  Brian Tamanaha recently suggested that such jobs should be excluded from the 9 month reported employment rate.  I agree with that suggestion
When I graduated from law school I didn't know what I wanted to do, so while waiting for bar exam results I worked for a few months loading trucks at a big warehouse where friends of mine were left-wing union activists.  Frankly, nothing new for me.  I had grown up on tales of On the Irish Waterfront of Brooklyn, riding home from high school on the LIRR with my grandfather who worked on the President Street piers.  I had long gone to morning shape-ups for warehouse jobs during breaks.  The point is that I didn't need any money!  Because Rutgers Law School had cost me $1,000 for all three years! 

When I got my "first job" - as a Business Rep at Actors Equity - reviewing contracts and handling grievance arbitrations (which did not require a JD) I made $13,500 - six times a full year's tuition at Boston College Law School!  Today that would take $250,000!
So is this all the fault of the Republicans?  NO.  Because Republicans like Nelson Rockefeller built the New York State University system!  It is the result of the politics of resentment which gained enormous fuel from the southern strategy of the Nixon years.  That campaign solidified the transformation of the Republican Party into the party of white male resentment, hostile to government spending on the social programs of the `War on Poverty'.  The hostility to such government spending became a general anti-tax philosophy which steadily restricted support for public universities, helping to drive the inflation of college tuition. - GWC

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