bizzybone1313 wrote:I still don't understand why UVA is struggling to place people. What is it about UVA that makes it struggle? Why are some of the other lower T-14's not having this problem?
It's not doing worse than its peers. It's just more open about its stats and "fellowships".
If by peers you mean Mich and Berk, okay, but Penn is placing a step above, and if you have admission to Penn and UVA, I would take that into consideration. There are also some things unique to UVA that I think are pushing its employment numbers down bc they basically favor the top students getting tons of offers over the bottom students getting any offers from OCI. These are their grading system and their partial preselect OCI. AFAIK UVA is the only schools in the T14 that has either of these things (I'm positive nowhere else uses preselect). The problem with their grading system is they dictate a mean/median for each class (around a 3.3) but don't dictate what percentage of each grade a professor must give (5% As, 15% A-s, etc). The result of this is that professors are allowed to give, like, 40-50% of the class As/A-s and balance it out with lots of Bs and deadly B-s. During my 1L year at CLS (here they do prescribe the percentages of each grade to be given), when I went to talk to profs about exams, they all told me they wished they could have given more As. A class of smart neurotic law students will produce a large number of excellent exams, and if you don't limit the number of As that can be given out, profs will give into the temptation to award As to all the excellent ones and balance those out with Bs/B-s given to students who did only a good job. (As a side note, I am curious about the impact of this on URMs at UVA bc they are more likely to get lower grades, and it seems that at UVA they would be especially likely to end up with at least one B- under this system, which is very bad for job-hunting purposes. Perhaps this explains BW's perception that URMs suffer disproportionately at T14s....except they don't at other T14s.)
The partial preselect system allows employers to choose who they want to interview at OCI. I *think* employers get to pick 70% of who they interview, and lottery fills in the other 30% of slots although it could be vice versa. Well, you can see where this is going. The people with high grades who were already benefitted by a grading system designed to maximize the number of As they could earn will now receive a slew of preselects while bottom of the class won't get much. UVA does cap the number of interviews you can have but allows special requests, which is when you ask a firm to put you into an empty interview slot. Of course, firms will accommodate the SRs from the high-grade students as well, probably netting them another CB that might've gone to a person with lower grades. I will say that the number of interviews you have is not totally determinative since, for example, at CLS, we only get 30 bids, and I only had 20 interviews while my sibling at NYU got 50 bids and had 30 interviews, and we were both fine. But every year there is hysteria on the UVA OCI thread while the people with 0-3 preselects freak out....and I can't blame them. I would be freaking out, too.
Basically the grading system + the preselect system spells disaster for the bottom half of the class from an OCI perspective. At Penn, in comparison, you probably have a 50% chance of getting a job from OCI if you are in the bottom half.
ETA: earlier I was not saying that I think the fellowships are a bad idea. But I also object to the obfuscation of the truth going on in that person's explanation of the fellowships. They are better than nothing (although SaintstheMetal....they don't pay a living wage when you owe more than 100K, LOL), but let's be clear: they are people's last resort. It is kind of annoying to see a fellow student, who the writer of that message claimed to be, being willfully blind to the fact that about a quarter of his class is struggling....they aren't taking a short-term fellowship until bar results come out: they are still being paid by the school nine months after graduation. While it is better than being totally cut off, it still sucks.