hung jury wrote:
What are these positions, exactly, and why are they undesirable?
For those curious about the long-term, full-time legal rate, here is a post I wrote
on our decision. You have to understand that we are not in a position to make stuff up just because a few schools benefit unjustly.
A few things. First, there's really no choice for the long-term, full-time rate. It's a straight calculation and this is how the definitions work. Interestingly, NALP introduced a new feature for the 2011 data. It now distinguishes among long-term jobs. They're either (a) for a definite duration of at least one year; or (b) for an indefinite duration. When we request NALP reports from schools, we will be able to distinguish things better.
Second, this is actually a more applicable criticism of our Employment Score. It is something we thought long and hard about keeping out of the score. Ultimately, there are two reasons we didn't, with one being extremely convincing (in my opinion) and the second being a reason that makes me sigh and shrug my shoulders.
(1) We cannot assume that all school-funded jobs are bar-required jobs across the board. That is, for some schools we can deduce this because too few people are in non bar-required jobs to account for all school-funded jobs. We toyed with making this assumption, but after I spoke with Jim Leipold (exec. director of NALP) about this, we decided we couldn't make the assumption. For us, it is totally compelling to keep them in because we cannot make this assumption (and need it to make the translation perfectly).
(2) If we start excluding these jobs (we did exclude solos), how do we distinguish these jobs from clerkships? It'd be absurd to exclude federal clerkships; and it'd be in advisable to distinguish between federal and state clerkships, even if the federal jobs are significantly more competitive. But the score isn't about being competitive; it's about being on a path to a career. And for many states, state clerkships serve that role. Less compelling, but still compelling in my opinion.
Although I'm being redundant here, the only schools benefiting from this are the ones who are funding their graduates in full-time, long-term jobs. These are not jobs for 6 weeks from the end of January to the middle of March. These are jobs that you work (at least) 9-5 for (at least) one year getting legitimate experience. It is not a desirable outcome, but it is the proper and only categorization using the current data.
The only ones I'm familiar pay 45k per year + bar stipend + ordinary LRAP covering (all) your loan payments for the year for students going into public service; they basically work like a Skadden or EJW fellowship. Given the state of the PI market they actually seem like a soft landing for PI students. Is this standard, or are TTTs creating 10k a year fellowships etc? I guess I look at a school like Yale with 22 of these things and a history of having non-biglaw students and it seems like maybe we're lumping a pretty diverse set of fellowships into one category. Just curious if you have info on these things.
TL;DR: See sentence in bold.
From: Dean Paul Schiff Berman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Adjustments to P2P Program
Date: June 19, 2012 9:14:12 AM PDT
Dear P2P Fellows,
I know that most of you are deeply immersed in Bar prep right now, but I wanted to reach out to you to discuss your job search as well as some necessary adjustments to the Pathways to Practice (P2P) Program in which you are currently enrolled.
As you know, the purpose of the Program is to provide some financial support in those first crucial months out in the job market when you are still waiting to be admitted to a Bar and may need volunteer opportunities in order to build your networks and get your first paid law work. To that end, I note that the support is only available to those who are actively working in P2P placements and who are regularly in contact with our Career Office to take the steps necessary to find paid work. Such regular contact must, at a minimum, include a monthly meeting (by phone or in person) beginning in August. You should know that I have recently hired a new head of our Career Office, Abe Pollack, and he is dynamic, energized, and laser-focused on getting each and every one of you some paying law job between now and December. He and our career counselors are 100 percent committed to working with you, and if you encounter any difficulties in your work with your counselor, please contact Abe as soon as possible so we can make sure you remain on track.
Also, I have now heard several anecdotal reports of graduates turning down paying work so that they can remain in the Pathways Program and hopefully find more desirable work later. This is not how the Program is intended to be used. You should jump at any paying legal work opportunity, and if it's not your ideal position, then use it as a launchpad for your next search. In order to make sure both that the incentives are properly aligned and that we can continue to fund the Program for the many students who have enrolled, <<<we will be adjusting the payments from $15 per hour to $10 per hour beginning December 1. The new funding amount will remain in place from December 1 until you have been in the Program for a full year, at which time your enrollment in the Program will end
>>>. However, it is my sincere hope that all of you will have found employment by then (or, preferably, far earlier). My advice is the same as always: follow every lead, get out in the world and meet as many people as you can at Bar events, trade association meetings, and so on, use any network you can find to make contacts, and follow up on any contacts you make. And do twice as much as expected of you in your P2P placement so people will notice you and want to hire you permanently or recommend you to others. I know it is an historically difficult job market, but we are here to help you navigate through this transition period.
My very best to each of you.
Paul Schiff Berman
Dean and Robert Kramer Research Professor of Law
The George Washington University Law School