Friday, April 25, 2014

Law Schools to the Rescue with Fellowships!

Check out the title of this article on CNN Fortune:
When grads are jobless, schools come to the rescue
We all know that stupid lemmings can't read past the second, so the positive spin of heroism is a thing of beauty.

Let's get some choice quotes:
Schools say that the post-graduate programs they fund help ease graduates into a brutal legal job market and support lawyers interested in public interest law, which is much less lucrative than the private sector. "Law school is more expensive, and so it is becoming more of a financial sacrifice to go into public service," Paul Mahoney, dean of UVA Law, told Fortune.
See?  Fellowships aren't just giving you something to do while waiting for that six-figure private sector job, they're exposing graduates to the public sector jobs that no one wants to sacrifice for.

Law schools:  again saving students from their own engulfing sense of selfishness.

But wait, there's more!
 "Part of our motivation for ramping up the amount of funding for these programs is the realization that if you get a foot in the door, a year or two years in, you're an experienced person who can compete with other lateral candidates."
How soon until we see a law school tracking their fellowship results and bragging about 98% placement in FT/BR jobs 9 months after the fellowship ends?  Because, when given the opportunity to hire actually-experienced people, and someone working a couldn't-get-a-job-elsewhere fellowship, I have no doubt the employer will choose the fellowship-refined individual.  One of my primary reasons for believing this is, of course, that once you have legal experience, you're basically set for life, constantly employable, and destined to enjoy hot tubs filled with cash, booze, and Russian models.

But what about the economics?  Aren't these gifts of resume-worthy experience expensive for our nation's treasured law schools?  Calling everyone's favorite law school economist:
William Henderson, a professor at Indiana University School of Law, argues that if law schools are trying to game the rankings in this way, they've picked an awfully expensive way to do it. "You have to have the cash to give them full-time bar-required jobs," he says.
If only law schools had a ready way to have increasing annual revenue coming in every year.

Until then, we'll just have to live with law schools being magnanimous towards recent graduates conveniently within one year of their graduation.


  1. Increase their annual revenue every year? All that they have to do is branch out. Instead of being merely the Bumblefuck U Skule of Law, become the Bumblefuck U Skule of Law and Bowling Alley.

  2. Ah, fellowships. Volunteer full-time, recent grad, preferably at some social justice oriented law office, and the law schools will recognize your contribution by refunding maybe 10% of the money they swindled from you over the preceding three years. These refunds are called "stipends."

    But do not count on the foot-in-the-door thing working out. It should, in theory, but it does not. You see, "fellowship" "lawyers" (yes, both words merit ironic quotes) give off all sorts of signals that communicate desperation and failure. They do makework assignments you invent to keep them busy, and pathetically ask to work late. They are more than happy to fetch the coffee. They desperately network with everybody in the office. They oh-so-casually hint that they would love a salaried position after their trickle of fellowship money runs dry, Nobody in the office respects these ridiculous inexperienced fools; therefore, they will not be hired in the unlikely event that a position becomes available.