OperaSoprano wrote:Great job with this thread, though I do want to point out that schools should not be demonized for creating a lot of fellowship positions (esp if they are full time). I came to see firsthand that a lot of organizations badly, badly need these people, and would hire them directly if they could. Most new grads who want PI jobs, even if they are supremely qualified, will have a tough time finding paying work right now, even coming from YLS. It's a simple matter of organization funding. While I do think some people unable to get biglaw jobs take school fellowships as an alternative to not working, it is also false to claim no one would take them if they had higher paying options. People take PI jobs over higher paying options all the time, or there would be vastly fewer people working in PI.
Creating fellowships is an intelligent response to the contraction in PI/govt hiring. As schools do benefit from counting these students as employed, however, they need to disclose how many positions they fund, and crucially, if these positions are full time and offer enough in pay/benefits to live on.
I agree. I think particularly for PI people, fellowships are a great idea. However, I think it's dishonest of schools like Virginia to report such fellowships as "full-time, long-term, bar-required" jobs on the ABA data.
I'm a total Northwestern troll, but I think NU deserves a ton of credit for how it reports school-funded jobs. They don't count any of their school-funded graduates in the full-time, long-term category on their ABA form, and do not include them in the "public interest/government" category on their website. Instead, they report them as a separate category with the note:
"1 'Law School Funded' includes all graduates working in positions funded by the law school. The ABA only requires that graduates working on a short-term basis be reported as law school funded and the ABA placement summary includes such individuals within the totals for the employment type category in which they were working. In order to portray increased transparency we have denoted all law school funded individuals in a standalone category regardless of long-term or short-term status. Therefore, individuals in this category have been backed out of the totals for the employment type category in which they were employed."