Matthies wrote:observationalist wrote:Always Credited wrote:observationalist wrote:Dear TLSers,
Just letting people know that I will be speaking next month on a panel discussion with the new Dean of Belmont Law at the Tennessee Bench Bar's annual meeting. I have been asked to present the students' perspective, as well as talk about Law School Transparency and our efforts to get all ABA-approved law schools on board with publishing full employment lists. I plan on using some of the comments in this thread to underscore concerns being raised by current and prospective law students about legal education and the need for reform, so if anyone has additional ideas please feel free to post. The panel discussion is entitled, "Does Tennessee Need More Lawyers?" and will explore how the growing number of lawyers impacts the bench and the bar, and how to ensure mentoring and maintaining collegiality. While I don't expect it to digress into a lot of finger-pointing, it does sound like some members of the Bar are concerned about another law school opening up in the state. I will probably encourage Belmont to avoid making claims that could mislead prospective law students into making inaccurate assessments of their potential job outlook, and then cite to examples of materials published by other law schools to show how the practice is industry-wide and needs to be reformed (if not regulated).
Other thoughts, send them along. And I will be citing your comments rather than claim them as my own observations, so if anyone comes up with something brilliant you will get all the credit.
Do me a favor and punch the Dean of Belmont Law in the face.
While I did not have to make any express promises not to punch someone in the face, I think it's implied that a newly-minted Esquire is not going to jeopardize his legal career by punchisizing the face of a well-regarded law school administrator. Been reading up on his background and he seems very much the sort of administrator who means well and strives to improve access to legal education. I just hope he's prepared for the possibility that, like many before him, he ends up in a no-win situation where he's forced to report better-than-actual job prospects or face losing his job. Had a great chat a few weeks ago with Bill Henderson again up at Indiana, and it seems there are a lot of people who have their hands tied when it comes to doing the right thing.
Is reasonable_man still out there?? I'd appreciate his input on this as well. Maybe if TLS reaches a general consensus on face-punching I will at least let him know he should be careful if he ever decides to pull a Dean Pless and start taking questions on TLS.
Obvs, i think its great your moving forward with your ideas (been reading the press). As you know I don't exactly agree with your premise 100%, as we have debated and length more than once, but I do admire you sticking to your guns and promoting your view point, good luck.
The only thing I would like to see discussed that you may not be planning to bring up is schools doing their part to encourage students not to rely on them to find them jobs. Candid conversations about how the majority of law students, even in a good eceonomy won't find anything through OCI during orientation might, possibly, result in at least some of the student body being more proactive about their job search before they end up getting nothing through the school for 2L summer or even worse, no offered after the summer.
I'm sure you have seen the "northwestern kid sends out 50 resumes then gives up" article from the WSj by now, but that sentiment is way to common even now, even in this economy.
Thanks Matthies... I think that's actually a great point to raise, especially seeing as there will be a lot of employers attending who aren't necessarily biglaw hiring partners and who would likely validate discussion about non-OCI paths to work in and around Nashville. I think OCI plans (and non-OCI) would be a good question to ask the new Dean about. I've definitely been telling 1Ls this year how important it is to get a job in the city they're targeting for 1L summer, even if its unpaid, and then take advantage of being on location to network all summer. If they can get some interviews out of the way and potentially an offer from an employer they like before the summer ends, they'll be much happier if and when OCI doesn't bounce back this year. And as you've pointed out many times most schools don't place primarily through OCI anyways, which probably will be the case for a new school before it's even provisionally accredited.
And if LST makes any progress in this initiative, maybe we can reconvene in a few years and see whether greater information has any impact on where prospectives decide to go to school (or whether they find ways to cut down on their debt loads, either by working for awhile before getting their JD or by accepting scholarships instead of paying full tuition. If you're right that prospective demand for law degrees won't change enough to make a difference and that the only viable solution is to restrict access to student loans, then I will hop on a plane to Colorado and buy you a beer.
[edit: encouraging the school to be forthcoming about the need for students to do their own work also has the benefit of appealing to the school's self-interest... if more of their students learn the game early on and secure employment, it will help the school's employment percentages and boost the school's USNews ranking (or at least boost reputation for a new school that has all eyes on its success or failure).