worldtraveler wrote:I don't go to Columbia so I can't really comment on their career services. However, I think law schools in general do a pretty poor job with public interest career services. The first problem is just lumping everything "public interest" together. Getting a job with the UN or with legal aid are entirely different, and law schools tend to treat it as if all public interest students need to do the exact same things. They often assign one person to advise on just everything that isn't a firm. That doesn't make it PI.
I think some students expect far too much hand holding, and I've had people ask me who helped me find a summer job, where I got a list of places to apply, etc. to make me think that a lot of students aren't prepared to find their own jobs and expect career services to do way too much hand holding. However, there are things like fellowship applications, which can be fairly complicated and a school should be prepared to help candidates. They also could give better contacts for alumni and get people started on the job search.
THIS + 1 Million. I'm a recent CLS grad (on lunch break from my PI Job that I love... no I'm serious), and CLS provided a TON of opportunities for me. The school is in NYC, it has many ways to get involved, and I loved it. That said, the "advising" wasn't always mind-blowing, but I'm not sure what I'd want them to do for me anyway. They had lists of pro-bono/clinic/externship stuff; I picked things that interested me and did them.
With that said, the turnover is worrying. I don't know WHY people keep leaving, but I can imagine its disconcerting for the students. I don't think NYU is really doing anything better in terms of advising their PI students (at least from what I hear from NYU colleagues), but they're not getting the same kind of turnover. I guess they have that going for them.
No law school is a good place for PI. That's just the truth. Don't listen to any PR. It's not what law schools see themselves for, and it's not the school's focus (well maybe at CUNY or Northeastern, but certainly nowhere in the T30). Nevertheless, compared to other schools, I loved what CLS offered me as a student, and I'm happy I got the job I did (which I have to get back to in 10 minutes).