Two problems I foresee with market incentives for CSO people.
First, some of them have built connections with firms, recruiters etc. The problem might arise that those CSO people with the connections will want to place their own students to the firms that they have connections with, even if their own student is not ideal, but a student from another CSO officer could have a better chance at the jerb.
Second, it will be soon known which officers are good at their job and which ones are bad. 3Ls and 2Ls will tell 1Ls, hey X guy got almost everyone a job, even if below median, whereas Y person is completely incompetent. Some 1Ls might feel this is unjust, that just because they were placed with the wrong person, they did not or will have more difficulty getting a job.
Now, personally, I am firmly in the group that thinks that there is a limit as to what the CSO can do, and at the very end, responsibility for the jobs remains with the student.
Nevertheless, I understand the 3L Upenn student; I go to a T-14, I struck out, and I have been shocked at the incompetency of the CSO people.
A few things that went wrong.
--My grades, in combination with the firms and market that I bid on, should have led to better results that I got. During OCI (two weeks at my school), I realized by the end of the first week that something was going awfully wrong. My results were horrible even though my GPA was higher or around the median of GPAs that particular firms gave callbacks to. I desperately contacted CSO people for another mock interview, review, advise, to understand why I was so heavily underperforming. They told me they were too busy.
--After striking out, I was told by them not to bother with mass mailing, that it is generally a waste of time, that I should look elsewhere. Really? There is just so much evidence to the contrary for that to be the case. We are talking about September here... how could they give such an advice when in October they sent a list of firms still looking?
--I did "forensic" work to figure why I was doing so badly at OCI. Talked to people in law, 3Ls, people on TLS and a particular 'problem' kept on coming out. I approached CSO about it and they were very defensive and provided the exact opposite advice from what I head from 3Ls, 4Ls (recent lawyers), TLSers etc.
--I had an "emergency" question in relation to an issue with a callback for my CSO. Received a response about a month later.
--I had a business interview a few months ago, and because I was also looking at alternative career paths, I asked my advisor if I could have access to some of the resources of the management school (next door). I specifically wanted to figure out ways of approaching consulting firms and preparing for such interviews. Her response, I will get to you back with an answer by the end of the day. I still do not have an answer or response from her. Since the interview has passed I have rarely bothered even talking to them.
Needless to say, my school removed my CSO advisor the summer before OCI (someone who while some people did not like, I felt was really good with 20 years of experience), and since he was removed, the advisors that I was placed under had about 000 months of career services experience.
I still feel shocked by their level of incompetency. Prior to law school, I had a job (not a prestigious one), and yet even at my job we would not have people that make the type of mistakes that CSO seems to make at my school.