Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

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ahnhub
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Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby ahnhub » Wed May 02, 2012 6:22 pm

Dean Schizer just released this statement called 'The Job Market For Our Students':
http://www.law.columbia.edu/magazine/62 ... r-students

Nothing all that new substance-wise, but it's interesting to see a law school dean address the current job market head-on.

edit: also, I think there's a typo when he's talking about which classes got no-offered the most

CanadianWolf
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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed May 02, 2012 9:03 pm

Interesting read. Great to see that Columbia will offer a three year joint JD-MBA degrees program.

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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby LSAT Blog » Wed May 02, 2012 9:06 pm

A brief timeline for those interested in what's going on at Columbia:

On 3/11, the New York Post published an article suggesting Columbia, NYU, and Fordham presented their employment figures in a misleading manner:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/c ... khlWFCzasJ


On 3/17, the New York Post published a letter to the editor from a spokeswoman at Columbia Law:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/le ... tHn3Av3dAJ


On 4/17, the ABA announced that they're planning to release Class of 2011 employment data much faster than they've typically released such data (perhaps as soon as June):

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/04/18/com ... ement-data


On 4/19, the Columbia dean published the essay to which the OP linked.

On 4/19, Columbia *also* updated its website with employment info for the Class of 2011:

http://www.law.columbia.edu/careers/emp ... statistics


On 4/29, the NYPost published a new article about this update:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/s ... BYztswEQRJ


On 5/1, I emailed Columbia Law about the number of 2011 graduates with school-funded positions (fellowships) still in such positions 9 months after graduation. I learned that ALL of them were (38/38):

http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/co ... ubles.html

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thelawyler
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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby thelawyler » Wed May 02, 2012 9:12 pm

Every dean should be required to give a "State of the Market" address.

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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed May 02, 2012 9:14 pm

And sign it under oath ?

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Pato_09
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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby Pato_09 » Wed May 02, 2012 9:32 pm

That is why Columbia is Columbia. Be honest, recognize the problem, and do anything possible to solve it.

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thelawyler
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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby thelawyler » Wed May 02, 2012 10:02 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:And sign it under oath ?


In blood.

ahnhub
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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby ahnhub » Wed May 02, 2012 10:22 pm

I was pretty surprised that none of the 38 law-school funded graduates had been able to find full-time work 9 months after graduation--it's telling, because when c/o 2011 stats came out Columbia's looked pretty darn good (lots of Biglaw/clerkships). I'm still not shocked, considering what happened to c/o 2011--but honestly, it is a little deflating. Columbia looks a little less stellar.

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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby KevinP » Wed May 02, 2012 10:42 pm

ahnhub wrote:I was pretty surprised that none of the 38 law-school funded graduates had been able to find full-time work 9 months after graduation--it's telling, because when c/o 2011 stats came out Columbia's looked pretty darn good (lots of Biglaw/clerkships). I'm still not shocked, considering what happened to c/o 2011--but honestly, it is a little deflating. Columbia looks a little less stellar.

This sums up my thoughts exactly. I'm still very excited to be heading to Columbia since I'll be in a much better position than most, but I do worry about potentially striking out.
Last edited by KevinP on Wed May 02, 2012 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pato_09
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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby Pato_09 » Wed May 02, 2012 10:45 pm

KevinP wrote:
ahnhub wrote:I was pretty surprised that none of the 38 law-school funded graduates had been able to find full-time work 9 months after graduation--it's telling, because when c/o 2011 stats came out Columbia's looked pretty darn good (lots of Biglaw/clerkships). I'm still not shocked, considering what happened to c/o 2011--but honestly, it is a little deflating. Columbia looks a little less stellar.

This sums up my thoughts exactly. I'm still very excited to be heading to Columbia since I'm in a much better position than most, but I do worry about potentially striking out.


Yeah, most being like 99% of law students. I would say that is pretty good.

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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby ahnhub » Wed May 02, 2012 10:50 pm

KevinP wrote:
ahnhub wrote:I was pretty surprised that none of the 38 law-school funded graduates had been able to find full-time work 9 months after graduation--it's telling, because when c/o 2011 stats came out Columbia's looked pretty darn good (lots of Biglaw/clerkships). I'm still not shocked, considering what happened to c/o 2011--but honestly, it is a little deflating. Columbia looks a little less stellar.

This sums up my thoughts exactly. I'm still very excited to be heading to Columbia since I'm in a much better position than most, but I do worry about potentially striking out.


You know, my guess is part of it may have been the mind-set of the students. A lot of people go to Columbia expecting Biglaw and when the crash happened many students may have just refused anything less than six-figure job (and honestly, paying 250K I wouldn't blame them).

It looks like c/o 2013 had a roughly 85% of getting a Biglaw offer--through OCI alone. That is light-years ahead of what c/o 2011 faced. But still, I think we need to go in with reasonable expectations and know what all the possibilities are.

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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby timbs4339 » Thu May 03, 2012 12:09 am

Pato_09 wrote:That is why Columbia is Columbia. Be honest, recognize the problem, and do anything possible to solve it.


This is just wrong. OCS did their best to hide the problem from students and stick to their story that everything was ok and we were just as good as Harvard. There was almost no institutional response to the crisis in terms of changing the gameplan at EIP and beyond and students who struck out were treated like lepers. OCS is heavily criticized among the c/o 2011 and 2012.

ahnhub wrote:
KevinP wrote:
ahnhub wrote:I was pretty surprised that none of the 38 law-school funded graduates had been able to find full-time work 9 months after graduation--it's telling, because when c/o 2011 stats came out Columbia's looked pretty darn good (lots of Biglaw/clerkships). I'm still not shocked, considering what happened to c/o 2011--but honestly, it is a little deflating. Columbia looks a little less stellar.

This sums up my thoughts exactly. I'm still very excited to be heading to Columbia since I'm in a much better position than most, but I do worry about potentially striking out.


You know, my guess is part of it may have been the mind-set of the students. A lot of people go to Columbia expecting Biglaw and when the crash happened many students may have just refused anything less than six-figure job (and honestly, paying 250K I wouldn't blame them).

It looks like c/o 2013 had a roughly 85% of getting a Biglaw offer--through OCI alone. That is light-years ahead of what c/o 2011 faced. But still, I think we need to go in with reasonable expectations and know what all the possibilities are.


Wrong. Try again.

Signed, CLS 3L who struck out at EIP

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Kirk
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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby Kirk » Thu May 03, 2012 1:35 am

In reading the article about Columbia, I found myself asking, if +85% of the class is securing employment what is the deal with the other 15%. Low GPA, bad interviewing skill, or . . . ?

I realize that the big picture is comprised of 40,000 grads trying to fill 20,000 openings, but when focusing on CCN and PVB, accounting for only [est.] 2,400 of the openings, what turns an elite law degree into a ticket to nowhere?

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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby timbs4339 » Thu May 03, 2012 2:18 am

Kirk wrote:In reading the article about Columbia, I found myself asking, if +85% of the class is securing employment what is the deal with the other 15%. Low GPA, bad interviewing skill, or . . . ?

I realize that the big picture is comprised of 40,000 grads trying to fill 20,000 openings, but when focusing on CCN and PVB, accounting for only [est.] 2,400 of the openings, what turns an elite law degree into a ticket to nowhere?


There are a number of things that can contribute to striking out AT EIP. EIP is the best way to get jobs and so striking out there is really going to put you behind the curve. There usually have to be a few of the following present.

- Medianish grades or below
- No work experience/other hook like foreign language fluency or IP
- Improper bidding (wrong market, too selective firms)
- Average interviewing

Then there are some things that can really sink you standing alone. This includes truly bottom feeder grades (multiple B-'s, a C) or a very bad personality (as in can't hold a two minute conversation). I would say the people in the latter category make up no more than a handful of CLS students, maybe less than 5 percent.

Now I know two people who managed to get biglaw as a 3L without working at a highly ranked Vault firm and "trading up." Both worked at smaller firms- one volunteered for the resume line. I know a few others including myself who managed to pull pretty good offers (that would be considered an excellent outcome at most schools) doing various things although we will not be making the 160K salary and didn't get the nice 30K summer salary to help reduce debt (I'm still kicking myself for that). I also know several people who at this present time are still unemployed and will likely graduate in about two weeks without a job lined up. I would say that is about 5% of class, or 20 people. I will add that the likely income if you begin the 3L school year without an offer is that you will end up unemployed. I am one of the lucky few I know who managed to pull something during 3L.

I engaged in a pretty extensive job search over the last few years, so I am a good resource in being unemployed at CLS. Ask away.

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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby rayiner » Thu May 03, 2012 2:25 am

Kirk wrote:In reading the article about Columbia, I found myself asking, if +85% of the class is securing employment what is the deal with the other 15%. Low GPA, bad interviewing skill, or . . . ?

I realize that the big picture is comprised of 40,000 grads trying to fill 20,000 openings, but when focusing on CCN and PVB, accounting for only [est.] 2,400 of the openings, what turns an elite law degree into a ticket to nowhere?


It's a combination of the nature of legal hiring and also the nature of people.

(1) grades matter most at grade-selective firms. That is to say a low-GPA will keep you out of a grade selective firm, but a middling GPA won't necessarily help you, relative to a low GPA, at a firm that isn't grade-selective. Out of the 2000-2500 SA spots in NYC, just under half are at V10 firms, which are all fairly grade-selective. The result is that people who don't have GPA's competitive for a V10 (usually top 1/3-ish) are all largely competing for the same jobs at places that don't really care about their GPA. I think rather few people have GPA's low enough to keep them out of a firm, especially within the T14 where the bottom end of the grade distribution is numerically compressed. Firms don't see a 3.1 and a 3.2 that differently, but it can represent a pretty big difference in class rank.

(2) lots of people at law school have no survival instinct. Just see the TLS threads that pop up (hay gais, should I schedule a vacation in the middle of my SA?). They're not necessarily bad interviewers, they're just not particularly memorable or adept. Columbia's statistics look pretty good, but what they don't show is how much the # of callbacks of dropped since back in the day. It's not just that offer rates out of OCI are down from 98% to 85%, it's that median folks are going 3-4 callbacks -> 1 offer rather than 6-9 callbacks -> 2-3 offers. This means that most people are just on the edge of getting a job. At this point, it doesn't take a feat of epically bad interviewing to lose out. Just being consistently not memorable can be enough.

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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby lonerider » Thu May 03, 2012 5:41 am

.
Last edited by lonerider on Sat May 10, 2014 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby keg411 » Thu May 03, 2012 8:24 am

rayiner wrote:(2) lots of people at law school have no survival instinct. Just see the TLS threads that pop up (hay gais, should I schedule a vacation in the middle of my SA?). They're not necessarily bad interviewers, they're just not particularly memorable or adept. Columbia's statistics look pretty good, but what they don't show is how much the # of callbacks of dropped since back in the day. It's not just that offer rates out of OCI are down from 98% to 85%, it's that median folks are going 3-4 callbacks -> 1 offer rather than 6-9 callbacks -> 2-3 offers. This means that most people are just on the edge of getting a job. At this point, it doesn't take a feat of epically bad interviewing to lose out. Just being consistently not memorable can be enough.


This is why everyone should not stop hustling and mass mailing until you get an offer. I picked up a lot of late callbacks and would not have gotten an offer if I didn't do so. Seriously, don't assume that you're just going to pwn OCI no matter your grades/WE. Because all of the stuff you hear about vague notions of "fit" are totally real. And you have no freakin' clue if you're going to click with interviewers until you walk in the room.

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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby Bronck » Thu May 03, 2012 3:50 pm

keg411 wrote:
rayiner wrote:(2) lots of people at law school have no survival instinct. Just see the TLS threads that pop up (hay gais, should I schedule a vacation in the middle of my SA?). They're not necessarily bad interviewers, they're just not particularly memorable or adept. Columbia's statistics look pretty good, but what they don't show is how much the # of callbacks of dropped since back in the day. It's not just that offer rates out of OCI are down from 98% to 85%, it's that median folks are going 3-4 callbacks -> 1 offer rather than 6-9 callbacks -> 2-3 offers. This means that most people are just on the edge of getting a job. At this point, it doesn't take a feat of epically bad interviewing to lose out. Just being consistently not memorable can be enough.


This is why everyone should not stop hustling and mass mailing until you get an offer. I picked up a lot of late callbacks and would not have gotten an offer if I didn't do so. Seriously, don't assume that you're just going to pwn OCI no matter your grades/WE. Because all of the stuff you hear about vague notions of "fit" are totally real. And you have no freakin' clue if you're going to click with interviewers until you walk in the room.


I really don't understand the presumption so many people have that they will get a position. That's just a naive misunderstanding of how the current legal market operates.

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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby Ruxin1 » Thu May 03, 2012 3:52 pm

Bronck wrote:
keg411 wrote:
rayiner wrote:(2) lots of people at law school have no survival instinct. Just see the TLS threads that pop up (hay gais, should I schedule a vacation in the middle of my SA?). They're not necessarily bad interviewers, they're just not particularly memorable or adept. Columbia's statistics look pretty good, but what they don't show is how much the # of callbacks of dropped since back in the day. It's not just that offer rates out of OCI are down from 98% to 85%, it's that median folks are going 3-4 callbacks -> 1 offer rather than 6-9 callbacks -> 2-3 offers. This means that most people are just on the edge of getting a job. At this point, it doesn't take a feat of epically bad interviewing to lose out. Just being consistently not memorable can be enough.


This is why everyone should not stop hustling and mass mailing until you get an offer. I picked up a lot of late callbacks and would not have gotten an offer if I didn't do so. Seriously, don't assume that you're just going to pwn OCI no matter your grades/WE. Because all of the stuff you hear about vague notions of "fit" are totally real. And you have no freakin' clue if you're going to click with interviewers until you walk in the room.


I really don't understand the presumption so many people have that they will get a position. That's just a naive misunderstanding of how the current legal market operates.


optimism bias

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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby LSAT Blog » Thu May 03, 2012 8:16 pm

Ruxin1 wrote:optimism bias


See also: Dunning-Kruger effect

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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby chris0805 » Fri May 04, 2012 8:41 am

LSAT Blog wrote:A brief timeline for those interested in what's going on at Columbia:

On 3/11, the New York Post published an article suggesting Columbia, NYU, and Fordham presented their employment figures in a misleading manner:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/c ... khlWFCzasJ


On 3/17, the New York Post published a letter to the editor from a spokeswoman at Columbia Law:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/le ... tHn3Av3dAJ


On 4/17, the ABA announced that they're planning to release Class of 2011 employment data much faster than they've typically released such data (perhaps as soon as June):

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/04/18/com ... ement-data


On 4/19, the Columbia dean published the essay to which the OP linked.

On 4/19, Columbia *also* updated its website with employment info for the Class of 2011:

http://www.law.columbia.edu/careers/emp ... statistics


On 4/29, the NYPost published a new article about this update:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/s ... BYztswEQRJ


On 5/1, I emailed Columbia Law about the number of 2011 graduates with school-funded positions (fellowships) still in such positions 9 months after graduation. I learned that ALL of them were (38/38):

http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/co ... ubles.html


Speaking only to the school-funded fellowships:

I'm sure many of those graduates would have liked BIGLAW, but a number of them were looking for that (now unfortunately rare) paying public interest job for a recent graduate. With the latter group, they will likely use up their fellowship for the entire period.

First, for the social justice pathways (which I think are most or all of those fellowships) you make a moral commitment to the placement that you will work there for the period of the fellowship. If you get an offer during the fellowship, you can negotiate to break the commitment and still leave on good terms, but that can be a little risky for someone who wants to work in that kind of PI, which is usually a small legal community. It has happened in the past (at least twice), and some students discuss this early on with the potential placement before there's any agreement. Second, that placement might have an opening for you, either on a term basis or permanent basis, at the END of the fellowship. There are no PI organizations that I know of that will say, "hey, I know you're getting money from your school, but since we're going to offer you a spot at the end of the fellowship, we'll just start paying you now. DOUBLE SALARY! YEA!"

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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby LSAT Blog » Fri May 04, 2012 11:29 am

chris0805 wrote:Speaking only to the school-funded fellowships:

I'm sure many of those graduates would have liked BIGLAW, but a number of them were looking for that (now unfortunately rare) paying public interest job for a recent graduate. With the latter group, they will likely use up their fellowship for the entire period.

First, for the social justice pathways (which I think are most or all of those fellowships) you make a moral commitment to the placement that you will work there for the period of the fellowship. If you get an offer during the fellowship, you can negotiate to break the commitment and still leave on good terms, but that can be a little risky for someone who wants to work in that kind of PI, which is usually a small legal community. It has happened in the past (at least twice), and some students discuss this early on with the potential placement before there's any agreement. Second, that placement might have an opening for you, either on a term basis or permanent basis, at the END of the fellowship. There are no PI organizations that I know of that will say, "hey, I know you're getting money from your school, but since we're going to offer you a spot at the end of the fellowship, we'll just start paying you now. DOUBLE SALARY! YEA!"


You make an excellent point. Those who wish to continue in PI may be lucky enough to get hired by that very organization. However, I wonder how many of these PI organizations have the budget to hire fellows after the fellowship money runs out.

In cases where it's clear that the organization's not able to hire, I'd think they'd be understanding of the legal market's realities and be happy for the fellow who found a permanent job before the fellowship money ran out. Would they really expect the fellow with debt to pass up a permanent job while the clock is ticking? (And are the PI organizations really in a position to "require" the fellows work the full terms when they're not paying for the work?)

In the c/o 2010, 5/10 fellows left their fellowships prior to the 9-month mark.

(Columbia hasn't responded to my inquiry on how many of the 9 c/o 2009 fellows left prior to the 9-month mark.)


From http://www.law.columbia.edu/careers/emp ... statistics:

Columbia wrote:In 2009, we offered nine such fellowships...In 2010, we offered 10 of these government and public interest fellowships. For the Class of 2011, as the job market tightened, we further increased the number of government and public interest fellowships to 38. As a result of these opportunities, graduates have engaged in challenging legal work at a broad range of public interest organizations and government departments. We are pleased that the skills, networking opportunities, and experience gained during this fellowship year help graduates obtain permanent employment, in many cases, even before the fellowship ends.
(Campos wrote about this yesterday.)

This seems to suggest that finding employment prior to the end of the fellowships (perhaps, even prior to the 9-month mark) is not uncommon and may even be desirable (i.e., not unseemly).

But how does 4 out of 38 qualify as many? Or were they only talking about the c/o 2010?

(I learned via email from Columbia that 4 of the 38 c/o 2011 fellows have found permanent work since the 9-month mark passed.)

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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby keg411 » Sat May 05, 2012 2:48 pm

chris0805 wrote:Speaking only to the school-funded fellowships:

I'm sure many of those graduates would have liked BIGLAW, but a number of them were looking for that (now unfortunately rare) paying public interest job for a recent graduate. With the latter group, they will likely use up their fellowship for the entire period.

First, for the social justice pathways (which I think are most or all of those fellowships) you make a moral commitment to the placement that you will work there for the period of the fellowship. If you get an offer during the fellowship, you can negotiate to break the commitment and still leave on good terms, but that can be a little risky for someone who wants to work in that kind of PI, which is usually a small legal community. It has happened in the past (at least twice), and some students discuss this early on with the potential placement before there's any agreement. Second, that placement might have an opening for you, either on a term basis or permanent basis, at the END of the fellowship. There are no PI organizations that I know of that will say, "hey, I know you're getting money from your school, but since we're going to offer you a spot at the end of the fellowship, we'll just start paying you now. DOUBLE SALARY! YEA!"


So how did Michigan start with 70 people in post-grad fellowships and end up only have 8 left in the program at the 9-month mark?

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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby chris0805 » Sun May 06, 2012 10:32 am

I don't know anything about Michigan's program or what/where their fellows do/go so I can't comment on it at all.

With SJP, many fellows discuss the possibility of leaving early when they propose their fellowship to the host organization. Some host organizations say "sure, we totally understand," while others say "well, we're only interested if you're actually willing to work for X amount of time." As I was saying, I know of 2 people personally who left early on good terms for another place. If the placement is clear they only want to host you if you'll see out your term though, some students might want to think about (1) how bad breaking a moral commitment would be perceived and (2) if they should find another placement.

You have to remember a fellow can be a lot of work for an organization. Recent grads with no experience who aren't even officially members of the bar aren't this tremendous resource of quality labor. If they stay for a few months, you can train them, get them acclimated to the work, and then, assuming they stay longer, actually get something useful out of them. I'm sure many grads are not finding employment right after their fellowship, and the more students taking fellowships from the school, the worse the job situation probably is. I do know people that took fellowships with the intention of staying the entire time, people that left, and people who got hired by the host organization for term (1 year) or permanent employment. But I graduated in 2010, and I think things may be even harder this year.

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Re: Columbia Law Dean Writes an Essay about the Job Market

Postby LSAT Blog » Mon May 07, 2012 11:41 am

Good points all. Then I suppose we *really* need to know:

the number of students in school-funded positions in which leaving prior to the 9-month mark would be considered acceptable




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