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March 09, 2015

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Derek Tokaz

An0n,

One possible reason for the lower schools not being on the list is that the very prestigious schools tend to have large endowments which could be used to fund these jobs. It also seems likely that an endowment-funded job is more likely to be legit than a tuition-funded one. The former seems like a traditional fellowship, while the latter smells like a (crumbling) pyramid scheme.

Evian Backwards

Derek at 6:06 -- The gamesmanship is that these jobs end as soon as the ABA stops counting -- after 1 year. The gamesmanship comes when they do not have health insurance or pay less than minimum wage for a full time job,

James Grimmelmann

Another way to target gamesmanship would be for the ABA to require follow-up reports a year later on students who were in law-school-funded positions during the first year's reporting. It seems reasonable to ask schools to keep track of students for another year when the school itself has direct connections to those students in the first year out. This would provide the information needed to measure directly, on a school-by-school basis, whether these school-funded jobs are stepping-stones to good employment outcomes, rather than relying on proxies like the size of the school's class.

[M][a][c][K]

Kyle:

The not so gainfully employed person has informed me that he ceased posting because of a lack of confidence that his IP address or other identifying information would not be shared with a person whose name would generally be caught by the IP filter were I to use it here, but whose initials are BL.

I will note that this forum has yet to publish the long promised confidentiality policy and that a guest host on the forum did tell me a year or so back that e-mails were still open to guest hosts (the guest host e-mailed me to do so.)

I continue to post because frankly BL is a tosser who does not worry me, while his little minions worry me even less

BoredJD

Derek- making 25K ($15/hour I believe) to work for a year in a P2P program probably doesn't match up with many applicants ideas of what constitutes a FT legal job.

At all times, the burden of proof and production should be on the law schools. Nothing would or should stop a law school from saying "25% of our graduates are also employed in FT school-funded jobs, making X per year. Here is a list of organizations [ACLU, LA County PD, Miami DA, etc.]. 75% of these graduates move into FT positions." That's not shaming them. But law schools should not be allowed to throw out a significantly inflated figure without context (and forget footnotes).

If law schools want to cut programs that could provide their graduates with a springboard to fine legal careers in public service because it doesn't let them goose their employment numbers, then they still have a long way to go with this reform stuff.

Bernie Burk

Since Kyle was kind enough to guess at my views (3/9 at 2:44), let me offer two observations (both consistent with Kyle's views on this subject):

We're seeing a lot of anecdotal information and speculation in the Comments about exactly what these school-funded jobs are. That's because that's all we have. It would be interesting to learn broadly where the money comes from, who's eligible, what the maximum and typical duration is, and what the jobs actually are.

Regardless of the answer to the questions in the previous paragraph, Kyle implicitly broaches a fair and important pair of questions: If you're not going to count school-funded positions as "real" law jobs (and as Kyle noted, I'm strongly of the view that we shouldn't), (1) how do you define the positions you're not counting (this may be harder than it looks, though it may be that it's only hard on the margins, and few such jobs may be on those margins--but we just don't know that right now, and we need definitions that are not easily gamed); and (2) WHY are you not counting them (which will help with (1)).

I'm going to think about this some more before saying anything further.

Bernie

JPJ

To Bernie's point #2 -- why we should not count them is that it is a count of people who are employed in a real job at a particular period of time, and that period of time chosen is 10 months out. It may be that some of those people end up getting real paying jobs in year 2 through that same method. But so might some unemployed people in year 1 get real jobs in year 2. If you want to count jobs in year 2, then count them in year 2, and we would not have to look at the school funded jobs issue at all (as presently conceived) because all of these jobs are gone by year 2. We should not count people who are in fake jobs in year 1 funded by the school because they might get real jobs in year 2 unless we are counting everyone else that gets a job in year 2.

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