observationalist wrote: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).
Just to be clear, I'm not seriously proposing limiting access to student loans, but I do agree with you that limiting debt needs to be discussed (and I would add going part-time the methods you mentioned). I also think I need to make it very clear that I am not, in any way, other than the market (i.e. an individuals ability to land legal employment and perform well enough on their own to keep it) for limiting the access to, the number of, or the requirements for being a lawyer, especially if the primary reason for that is so that some lawyers can make more money by keeping others out of profession or limiting who can get in the profession. Just want to make that crystal clear.