Jules Winnfield wrote:How do you think most Columbia students view the administration and its efforts to improve the outlook for its' students in light of the recession in the legal field?
Talking to students from the various classes, opinion seems to vary predominantly by year group. 3Ls are by far the most cynical, since they've been hit the hardest - as of February only 90% have after-graduation employment, which, while better than most schools, was not what the Class of 2010 were expecting going in. The university has been pulling a lot of strings, but it's hard to revise expectations down. That said, there have been some major changes in the Office of Career Services, and the 2Ls and 3Ls I talk to say it's been a great improvement.
Amongst the 1Ls, there seems to be a lot more of a "let's wait and see" attitude. Everyone knows that the summer job hunt has been tougher than normal, but without a point of comparison, I don't hear anyone assigning blame to the school. Professors have been pretty free with advice and recommendations, and things seem to be working out, at least insofar as landing jobs goes. I only know one person who doesn't have an offer at this point, and that's from a pretty wide circle of friends.
The Administration is clearly concerned about the tough economy, and is putting together a wide variety of new events and resources in an effort to A) Show that they care, and B) Get us jobs. There was a new Private Career Symposium this semester, a variety of de-stress events, and Town Hall Meetings where Dean Schizer let us know about current initiatives, the job market, and took questions on everything from career statistics to a hot water machine for Lenfest Café.
In particular, everyone is pretty interested in the initiative to combine Columbia's LRAP with the Federal program; there's all kinds of mathematical messiness involved, but for those planning to do goverment/not-for-profit for 10 years in the US, it could almost eliminate loan repayment. So that's pretty popular.
Overall, the faculty and administration seem to be geniunely concerned about the current legal economy, and to be putting a lot of new measures in place to deal with it. But then, that's what you'd expect at any top law school.