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March 09, 2015


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The only issue with excluding all law school funded jobs is that it would be a huge disincentive to legitimate hiring of graduates. It might be a better idea to just cap the number of law school funded jobs at say 2%

Kristen Holmquist

It also seems like it's worth knowing how many of these positions truly are bridges to public interest work, and how many of them are about stat-tinkering. I'll bet it is pretty different from school to school.

John Jacob

"The only issue with excluding all law school funded jobs is that it would be a huge disincentive to legitimate hiring of graduates."

Maybe. Schools where these jobs only serve as a way to goose USNWR numbers will eliminate them. But I suspect that schools where these jobs serve a legitimate purpose will continue these programs.


John Jacob-

The problem is that many of the school funded positions would perhaps take students that would be hired to jobs that can be count. I think capping the number at say 2% would work - frankly 10-25% is ridiculous.


I tend to agree with Mac. These programs actually can be helpful. If the programs are limited to a small percentage (say 5 to 10 students), these actually can be launching pads to careers. Employers might be willing to absorb such students who can demonstrate legal ability even if they have subpar grades or interviewing skills. I'd hate to completely gut the entire programs.

Kyle McEntee

I made a mistake in naming [M][a][c][k] by his non-bracket name. How on earth is that a legitimate use of the spam filter, TFLers?

Anyway. He Who Shall Not Be Named, legitimately hired graduates are not impacted under this proposal, which is one of the reasons LST supports it. More steps need to be taken to explain these programs to students and the public at large, to be sure, but it's a great step forward.


Hey, if they'd remove my name from the spam filter, now that it is so embarrassingly clear how it can be circumvented - and the embarrassing way that various law school reform advocates names were revealed as in there.....

But that would require admitting that it happened...

Kyle McEntee

What other names are in there? I'm tired of my posts getting caught up in spam, particularly when I try to address posts that make mistakes about LST's role or view on things.


Kyle: can you explain how legitimate funding is determined? I'm assuming that legitimate funding includes fellowships to work in public interest jobs.

@jojo do you really believe that only students with subpar grades or interviewing skills need these fellowships? I wonder if you have been paying attention to the market for hiring law grads.

Jobs is Good

Mindless internal sniping. This is about the LEAST offensive way to spend school funds - funding att'y jobs for grads at public interest placements. Placements that often turn into permanent positions and/or act as a springboard to another job. How about some spite directed at the much larger group of schools that seek to improve their US News ranking by throwing dollars at lateral profs or wealthy high-LSAT students.


I don't know - I have my suspicions - you rarely see posts from say no-so employed regionally named law school, or the guy named after a mythological yiddish spirit (it begins with D) and a good few others. One gets a broad sense that someone (who cannot be named, because, well, filter) was trying to spin threads in particular directions by using the filter to only allow through the ones they agreed with - or selectively editing to make things sound favourable to their argument.

In any event it is apparent that certain words and names cause the filter to block the post. Even when posts in a thread are allowed, they often are allowed a day or two into the thread and then appear "up thread" where they go unread.

Of course I will now be denounced as a conspiracy theorist - which makes it hilarious that the person who actually came up with the [M][a][c][K] handle did so when his post denouncing me as paranoid got caught by the spam filter when he used my regular handle.

It really is all rather cheesy and embarrassing for the person behind it.


I remember being asked to help revise an EU law course during the interregnum between graduation and taking up a clerkship at the European Commission some 20+ years ago, but it was blocked on the basis that I have already graduated (I would have actually been taking a small cut in pay from my clerkship position in a law firm.)

In any event the project was legitimate. There was a problem then as now with a massively overpriced book of materials - Craig and deBurca, which remains to be blunt a rip-off, a book of materials available free, but priced ludicrously, as well as an issue of the EU law course being focussed on shall we say topics of largely academic interest rather than things that a lawyer might actually run into in practice (something by the way that is also the case in many European law schools.) Basically the professor, who retired and passed away last september wanted to change the content to focus more on issues like competition/antitrust, trade law, etc. and less on constitutional discussions.

The project was essentially to select and assemble a better set of teaching materials for these topics over 2-3 months.

Kyle McEntee

Rose: Happy to explain. Keep in mind that this is before the Council gets a hold of it. They also received a recommendation for salary information that they killed, and have changed other things on the fly too (sometimes for the better).

The idea is that school-funded jobs are not actually jobs because they're not market-driven. (Bernie is nodding his head vigorously.) So, for a school to be able to count a presently-counted LT, FT BPR school-funded job as LT, FT BPR in the new framework, the job must have been available to the open market. So if GW couldn't have chosen a GULC grad, it's not a job. And if the job is not actually expected to last a year, like a clerkship is expected to last a year, then it can't count as long-term either.

(School-funded jobs will still be "employed" but we know how this will be viewed by students and the public.)

I have been told that a person hired from GULC by GW would not be "school funded" but the memo is ambiguous on this point. I'll clarify with somebody now and report back when I hear.


So how does that work with a job the student finds that is funded by a school fellowship? I know schools have fellowships available only to their grads, but, in theory I guess, the actual job is available to anyone who can get funding (or possibly work for free.)

The student finds the job and has to be "hired" by the not for profit but the funding is from the school.

Kyle McEntee

Doesn't that describe virtually every one of these school-funded jobs the ABA is expressing concern over? I think the days of hiring researchers in droves to work in the library are gone and, at minimum, not captured in the LT, FT BPR school-funded category. It's tough to tell, though, given we don't have narrative reports on what the programs are. That was something LST suggested to the committee, but it did not take our advice.


"I have been told that a person hired from GULC by GW would not be "school funded" but the memo is ambiguous on this point."

LOL. Reminds me of the time the IT directors of two large local firms got around their companies' anti-nepotism rules by hiring each other's children.

I'm seeing a marketing opportunity for a new non-profit, which will pay stipends to law graduates to work at otherwise unpaid internships at public interest law firms and the like. Purely coincidentally, the nonprofit will be funded by a consortium of law schools.

Kyle McEntee

Oops, that was a typo. What I meant was:

I have been told that a person hired from GW by GW (when the job could have gone to GULC) would not be "school funded" but the memo is ambiguous on this point.

Your point remains, I think.

Derek Tokaz

I'll play devil's advocate, mostly because Kyle doesn't pay me enough not to screw with him.

If the jobs are actually full time, year long, and require bar passage, what's the problem?

The reason we generally want to exclude school funded jobs is that we don't want schools to game the rankings by hiring students for 3 months in part time jobs in the alumni development office or whatever. But, excluding short-term, part-time, and non-BPR jobs should eliminate the vast majority (and worst sort) of gamesmanship.

The cost alone of a full time employee is a pretty big incentive not to hire people for the sole purpose of boosting your employment stats. You might do it for a year in a slump, but long term it's a losing strategy.

Not only is it not a very cost efficient form of cheating, but it's also probably the most beneficial form of cheating from the graduates' perspective, so we might not want to discourage it too much.

In either case though, I think we're all very curious what the W&M and Emory grads are actually doing. Some additional information on the job details would be useful before deciding how to interpret the category broadly.


I think it's worth making a distinction between schools with giant blocks of these students but also huge classes, and schools with small classes employing a few students. It's easy to imagine that all 9 of the Yale positions are legitimate for instance.

I'd be curious to compare this to the figures from 2-3 years ago. It seems notable that none of the lower tier schools with large classes seem to be here.

wrong slant

At the schools I'm familiar with (UVA W&M) these are jobs at prosecutor, pd offices and NGOs that often hire the student (who they have gotten to know) when the next budget slot opens. Why don’t other schools do this? Most schools can’t afford it. And of those that can, many would rather spend money on other things. I think the smart move is to encourage this (especially in light of PAYE) not shame schools that do it.

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