CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

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grrm09
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CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby grrm09 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:05 pm

I feel like half the time CSO's advice consists of nothing better than "well have you looked on symplicity?" or worse have given down right negligently incorrect advice.

Any other insights?

FWIW, at a T20 school. I can only imagine the shenanigans that take place in a TTT cso...

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rinkrat19
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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:24 pm

The NU CSO has been pretty honest about how much self-directed work (i.e. mass-mailing, follow-up calls, etc.) outside of Simplicity I have to do, and pointing me toward some resources (basically lists of firms/orgs/govt entities) to do it. But I am gunning for a secondary (perhaps even tertiary) market, so even the dumbest person would realize that relying on Simplicity would be suicidal.

When I started to panic that I hadn't gotten anything yet, I was given what I thought was an overly optimistic, "oh, don't worry! Just keep pluggiing alon!" response. But I ended up getting a 1L summer gig that I'm pretty thrilled with in the end, so the real answer is probably somewhere between my pessimism and my adviser's optimism.

pastapplicant
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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby pastapplicant » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:33 pm

I really believe that schools should look to CSOs to cut down on costs and eliminate useless employees. Most CSOs are the worst part of any given school - looking out only for their own office and the school's reputation and not giving any help that might actually serve an individual student's interests. In fact, I would love to be a CSO counselor one day. All it would consist of would be meeting with students and telling them to network and apply to jobs like simplicity.

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Ave
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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby Ave » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:38 pm

pastapplicant wrote:I really believe that schools should look to CSOs to cut down on costs and eliminate useless employees. Most CSOs are the worst part of any given school - looking out only for their own office and the school's reputation and not giving any help that might actually serve an individual student's interests. In fact, I would love to be a CSO counselor one day. All it would consist of would be meeting with students and telling them to network and apply to jobs like simplicity.

I hope by that time, they listen to your first advice and fire you

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TTH
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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby TTH » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:48 pm

CSO is pretty useless, but honestly, what do you expect them to do? Tell you the secret command word to brainwash a hiring partner into hiring you?

There's no sacred, foolproof method of finding a legal job. CSO basically exists to organize OCI, provide some programming to expose students to different practices, proofread docs, set up mock interviews, and provide some modicum of advice about different employers, markets, etc. If a CSO won't release info like where recent grads are, OCI employers' offer rates, etc., then that really sucks, but I think CSO actually gets unfairly slammed because of expectations that are ultimately too high.

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grrm09
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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby grrm09 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:13 pm

TTH wrote:CSO is pretty useless, but honestly, what do you expect them to do? Tell you the secret command word to brainwash a hiring partner into hiring you?

There's no sacred, foolproof method of finding a legal job. CSO basically exists to organize OCI, provide some programming to expose students to different practices, proofread docs, set up mock interviews, and provide some modicum of advice about different employers, markets, etc. If a CSO won't release info like where recent grads are, OCI employers' offer rates, etc., then that really sucks, but I think CSO actually gets unfairly slammed because of expectations that are ultimately too high.


I disagree. Considering the money we pay for this "professional degree" I think the cso counselors actually have a pretty clear duty to really get out there and advocate for students. CSO isn't supposed to be a bunch of event planners, they are arguably as integral a part of the school as the professors. Most of us are here to get jobs, not to memorize every word Oliver Wendell Holmes ever said.

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Nelson
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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby Nelson » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:14 pm

grrm09 wrote:I think the cso counselors actually have a pretty clear duty to really get out there and advocate for students.

What exactly do you imagine this entailing?

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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby grrm09 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:19 pm

Nelson wrote:
grrm09 wrote:I think the cso counselors actually have a pretty clear duty to really get out there and advocate for students.

What exactly do you imagine this entailing?



Well certainly a little more than asking if we've checked symplicity. But they could even promote students to firms who they think would be well matched, encourage firms to look deeper into the class etc.

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TTH
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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby TTH » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:20 pm

grrm09 wrote:
Nelson wrote:
grrm09 wrote:I think the cso counselors actually have a pretty clear duty to really get out there and advocate for students.

What exactly do you imagine this entailing?



Well certainly a little more than asking if we've checked symplicity. But they could even promote students to firms who they think would be well matched, encourage firms to look deeper into the class etc.


What do you imagine a CSO can say to a hiring partner at a firm to convince them to look deeper into a class?

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Nelson
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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby Nelson » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:22 pm

grrm09 wrote:
Nelson wrote:
grrm09 wrote:I think the cso counselors actually have a pretty clear duty to really get out there and advocate for students.

What exactly do you imagine this entailing?



Well certainly a little more than asking if we've checked symplicity. But they could even promote students to firms who they think would be well matched, encourage firms to look deeper into the class etc.

What possible leverage would a CSO have to make firms do this?

Edit: scooped by TTH.

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grrm09
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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby grrm09 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:26 pm

TTH wrote:
grrm09 wrote:
Nelson wrote:
grrm09 wrote:I think the cso counselors actually have a pretty clear duty to really get out there and advocate for students.

What exactly do you imagine this entailing?



Well certainly a little more than asking if we've checked symplicity. But they could even promote students to firms who they think would be well matched, encourage firms to look deeper into the class etc.


What do you imagine a CSO can say to a hiring partner at a firm to convince them to look deeper into a class?


Christ I don't know. Showing the overall strength of the school, explaining how competitive it was to get in that year, highlight particular classes employers should be looking to for indicators of future ability as opposed to just the gpa, hitting up old alums who pulled down good jobs in spite of the fact they were at the top.

Look I'm not asking CSO to go out and get a job for you, we're not kids and at the end of the day its our deal to make, but I think they definitely should be more active than they generally appear to be.

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TTH
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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby TTH » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:31 pm

grrm09 wrote:Christ I don't know. Showing the overall strength of the school, explaining how competitive it was to get in that year, highlight particular classes employers should be looking to for indicators of future ability as opposed to just the gpa, hitting up old alums who pulled down good jobs in spite of the fact they were at the top.

Look I'm not asking CSO to go out and get a job for you, we're not kids and at the end of the day its our deal to make, but I think they definitely should be more active than they generally appear to be.


Do you think firms need a career counselor to give them that information, particularly firms that have staff dedicated to recruiting? Do you think any businessperson would pay any attention to a functionary from some school who was telling them what criteria they should be considering when interviewing candidates?

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okinawa
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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby okinawa » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:35 pm

If you have a class of 300-400 students, and a third or more are looking for work, can a CSO really go talk up one particular student to a particular firm? And why would the firm even listen? They know that the CSO is just doing their job.

In fact, my school's CSO will call firms and tell them that if they give a student an offer, the student would take it because it's their first choice. But it seems like the student could say that themselves and not come off so desperate and so reliant on a CSO to be the go-between. You'd be better off having a professor or supervisor call on your behalf.

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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:40 pm

TTH wrote:
grrm09 wrote:Christ I don't know. Showing the overall strength of the school, explaining how competitive it was to get in that year, highlight particular classes employers should be looking to for indicators of future ability as opposed to just the gpa, hitting up old alums who pulled down good jobs in spite of the fact they were at the top.

Look I'm not asking CSO to go out and get a job for you, we're not kids and at the end of the day its our deal to make, but I think they definitely should be more active than they generally appear to be.


Do you think firms need a career counselor to give them that information, particularly firms that have staff dedicated to recruiting? Do you think any businessperson would pay any attention to a functionary from some school who was telling them what criteria they should be considering when interviewing candidates?

The other problem is, the places where CSOs are best prepared to do this - the local markets where they know people at firms and have connections - are exactly those markets where firms don't need that info. And I don't know how a CSO can go to every secondary and tertiary market to do this kind of promotion for markets where a school might be less well known.

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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby Jsa725 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:53 pm

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anon168
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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby anon168 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:21 am

When I interview at a school - OCI or otherwise - I look to the CSO for a minimum of 2 things: (1) explain the curve and give nme some related background and (2) the level of interest in my firm and/or organization so that I don't over/under offer.

As to what a CSO can do for students, lots actually. Eg, Figure out which firms to target and invite to OCI so as to maximize student body employment (if you're a T25 it's pretty obvious but if you're a regional T50 it wouldn't make sense to target (for example) a regional midsize firm on the other side of the country); or market the school in its entirety so that the entire student body becomes more attractive; or simply make calls on behalf of certain students to see whether its even worth sending in a cold résumé to a particular firm.

Are CSOs critical? No. Can they help? Yes. You can put on that new pair of loafers without a shoehorn, but using one certainly doesn't hurt.

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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby delusional » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:26 am

I don't know what CSOs should be doing, but why does it matter if I know? It's their job and it isn't getting done. Just because a phone call to a hiring partner won't result in more jobs doesn't mean that they can't do anything. They can market to firms the same way that firms market to students. They can (and maybe they do) build relationships with alumni to the point where it does give them an advantage over the competition, the same way any salesperson with a fungible good does with his customers. There are certain aspects of big firms' model that doesn't favor incoming associates; they can try to influence the market to evolve in a way that is better for their graduates. They can't guarantee one person one job, but they can do more than cliche their way through mock interviews.

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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby Omerta » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:33 am

delusional wrote:I don't know what CSOs should be doing, but why does it matter if I know? It's their job and it isn't getting done. Just because a phone call to a hiring partner won't result in more jobs doesn't mean that they can't do anything. They can market to firms the same way that firms market to students. They can (and maybe they do) build relationships with alumni to the point where it does give them an advantage over the competition, the same way any salesperson with a fungible good does with his customers. There are certain aspects of big firms' model that doesn't favor incoming associates; they can try to influence the market to evolve in a way that is better for their graduates. They can't guarantee one person one job, but they can do more than cliche their way through mock interviews.


I'll stick up for the CSO at my school. Emory's CSO (rightly) was creamed for their inability to do anything useful. However, the school brought in new CSO people who are legit helpful and great to work with. My CSO HAS done the things you described: placed calls based on past connections, forwarded me opportunities that matched my interests, discussed networking methods and people I should contact, etc.

At least at my school, the administration made tremendous strides towards making CSO a useful aspect of the school. Is it perfect? Of course not, but it's a hell of a lot better.

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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:16 am

delusional wrote:I don't know what CSOs should be doing, but why does it matter if I know? It's their job and it isn't getting done. Just because a phone call to a hiring partner won't result in more jobs doesn't mean that they can't do anything. They can market to firms the same way that firms market to students. They can (and maybe they do) build relationships with alumni to the point where it does give them an advantage over the competition, the same way any salesperson with a fungible good does with his customers. There are certain aspects of big firms' model that doesn't favor incoming associates; they can try to influence the market to evolve in a way that is better for their graduates. They can't guarantee one person one job, but they can do more than cliche their way through mock interviews.

But this is exactly what it sounded like the OP wanted them to do. Which isn't to say there aren't any crappy CSOs; of course there are. It just seems to me the things you mention here are perfectly good things to do, but they won't satisfy the individual who doesn't end up with a job regardless of these things. (Although I have no idea how a CSO is supposed to be able to make a market evolve in a way that advantages their graduates.)

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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:19 am

I think there's a bit of a disconnect here. I'm not sure whether I agree that all CSOs should do is run OCI, do mock interviews, and review resumes. However, I think it is quite clear that if that is all CSOs do it doesn't require paying a whole host of JDs 100k/year to work 9-5 to do that. A monkey can do that job, or at least a simple BA paid something more along the lines of 40k/year to work at least 8-5 if not more than 40 hrs/week.

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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby delusional » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:46 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
delusional wrote:I don't know what CSOs should be doing, but why does it matter if I know? It's their job and it isn't getting done. Just because a phone call to a hiring partner won't result in more jobs doesn't mean that they can't do anything. They can market to firms the same way that firms market to students. They can (and maybe they do) build relationships with alumni to the point where it does give them an advantage over the competition, the same way any salesperson with a fungible good does with his customers. There are certain aspects of big firms' model that doesn't favor incoming associates; they can try to influence the market to evolve in a way that is better for their graduates. They can't guarantee one person one job, but they can do more than cliche their way through mock interviews.

But this is exactly what it sounded like the OP wanted them to do. Which isn't to say there aren't any crappy CSOs; of course there are. It just seems to me the things you mention here are perfectly good things to do, but they won't satisfy the individual who doesn't end up with a job regardless of these things. (Although I have no idea how a CSO is supposed to be able to make a market evolve in a way that advantages their graduates.)
Nothing will satisfy the students who end up without jobs, but the hope is that there will be fewer of them.
I don't know that CSOs can make the market evolve. But nobody who is looking for a particular result knows things like that. Yet, construction companies lobby for tax abatements for development, unions lobby for government contracts to have Union requirements, musicians support government funding of the arts, etc. Law school is a massive industry, and one major industry product is supposed to be a job. But CSOs don't even seem to have opinions on what an ideal market would look like, let alone plans to support it getting there. Maybe the answer is promoting private support of public defenders' offices, or litigation financing, hours limits for associates, or restrictions on canned legal documents. Shouldn't law schools be weighing in on these things if they care about student employment?

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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:00 am

delusional wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
delusional wrote:I don't know what CSOs should be doing, but why does it matter if I know? It's their job and it isn't getting done. Just because a phone call to a hiring partner won't result in more jobs doesn't mean that they can't do anything. They can market to firms the same way that firms market to students. They can (and maybe they do) build relationships with alumni to the point where it does give them an advantage over the competition, the same way any salesperson with a fungible good does with his customers. There are certain aspects of big firms' model that doesn't favor incoming associates; they can try to influence the market to evolve in a way that is better for their graduates. They can't guarantee one person one job, but they can do more than cliche their way through mock interviews.

But this is exactly what it sounded like the OP wanted them to do. Which isn't to say there aren't any crappy CSOs; of course there are. It just seems to me the things you mention here are perfectly good things to do, but they won't satisfy the individual who doesn't end up with a job regardless of these things. (Although I have no idea how a CSO is supposed to be able to make a market evolve in a way that advantages their graduates.)
Nothing will satisfy the students who end up without jobs, but the hope is that there will be fewer of them.
I don't know that CSOs can make the market evolve. But nobody who is looking for a particular result knows things like that. Yet, construction companies lobby for tax abatements for development, unions lobby for government contracts to have Union requirements, musicians support government funding of the arts, etc. Law school is a massive industry, and one major industry product is supposed to be a job. But CSOs don't even seem to have opinions on what an ideal market would look like, let alone plans to support it getting there. Maybe the answer is promoting private support of public defenders' offices, or litigation financing, hours limits for associates, or restrictions on canned legal documents. Shouldn't law schools be weighing in on these things if they care about student employment?

I think weighing in on those things is way beyond the scope of a CSO, honestly. There are way too many factors that are completely outside schools' expertise, and not everyone is going to agree that simply getting more students jobs should be driving what the legal profession looks like. (For instance, an alternative would be to close a whole bunch of schools and thus reduce supply.) There's also a big difference between CSOs and the entities you cite (construction companies, musicians, unions). If you think *law schools* should be doing that stuff, that's one thing, but I think that's a role for deans and other administrators, not CSOs.

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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:07 am

Adding bodies to the CSO is a way for schools to pretend to be doing something about the lack of jobs. It's also a correlation-causation problem. Harvard has a large CSO. Harvard students get good jobs. Therefore, if you want your students to get good jobs, charge Harvard prices and give them a Harvard-size CSO.

Also there is really no way the schools can "market" their students because the firms don't care about how students are marketed. They care about a general prestige ranking that correlates with LSAT/GPA, which is evident from USNWR, and location.

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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby rad lulz » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:10 am

,
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Re: CSO - Just How Full of BS Are They?

Postby delusional » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:15 am

timbs4339 wrote:Adding bodies to the CSO is a way for schools to pretend to be doing something about the lack of jobs. It's also a correlation-causation problem. Harvard has a large CSO. Harvard students get good jobs. Therefore, if you want your students to get good jobs, charge Harvard prices and give them a Harvard-size CSO.

Also there is really no way the schools can "market" their students because the firms don't care about how students are marketed. They care about a general prestige ranking that correlates with LSAT/GPA, which is evident from USNWR, and location.

This assumes the conclusion. It's true that a CSO advertising its students next to hot models or clever slogans won't work, but that's not the only way to market students. And while it's true that they care about prestige, schools could still work on the margins. Getting five more students jobs by persuading your alumni in hiring to be more vocal than peer schools' alumni would be a plausible goal. Use the CSO budget to host alumni events, and instead of asking for money, ask for this. While it might not change the school's numbers immediately, it would help five students. It might happen already, but this board has heard nothing of such practices.




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