Search the Lounge


« Greensboro Federal Courthouse | Main | Library Trivia »

May 02, 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Judith Wegner

Bernie: You are the smartest of us and are using both logic and statistics to test these challenging waters. My impression is that top schools have been raising tuition so that they can give post-graduate jobs to graduates in order to maintain their position in US News & World Report. I don't think that they're motivated by the welfare of their students, but rather by their desire to maintain the ranking of their "brand." It seems clear that private schools with the most money are using some of that money to shore up their placement statistics.

I find that problematic, because it (a) puts more financial burdens on graduates (who may or may not individually benefit); (b) clouds the statistics for applicants (who may think that high-priced schools have better placement records when in fact those schools are just hiring their own to fudge the US News statistics); and (c) fails to address the issues you're raising (what exactly do recent graduates get from working in the law school book store or the library).

I appreciate your efforts to make efforts to rationalize these developments, but must say I suspect that class and hierarchy contines to work its way in establishing reputations and masking reality, as has long been the case.

Doug Richmond

If I understand the reports correctly, Columbia had 38 "fellows" working in school-funded bridge positions in 2011. After nine months of graduation, all 38 were still employed in their school-provided fellowships. At the end of one year, only 4 had received offers of permanent employment. If this is true, it seems that these bridge positions have little value in terms of enhancing recipients' permanent employment prospects, but substantial value in terms of enhancing or maintaining a school's USNWR ranking.


Bridge position or bridge to nowhere?

Bernie Burk

Judith, I don't know about the "smart" part, but I am doing my best to pay attention to this phenomenon, and give it its due. Your concerns are substantial, serious and legitimate, so much so that I'm about to put up a new post discussing them. Thanks for taking the time and thought.

Doug, I'm not sure what the source of your information is, but assuming it's accurate, it still addresses only one of dozens of law schools offering programs of this kind, doesn't reflect what kind of positions are offered or who was selected and why, and thus is at best anecdotal and limited. It is possible that these programs are a waste of time and money, but I don't think we know that yet.


The comments to this entry are closed.


  • StatCounter
Blog powered by Typepad