October 21, 2010
BC Student Wants Tuition Back Because of Bad Job Market
In one of the more imaginative reactions to the lack of jobs for law graduates, an unnamed third year law student at Boston College wrote an open letter to the Dean asking for his or her money back. Keep the degree, the student says, as the the current job market is one of the worst in the history of the profession. Welcome to buyer's remorse, except that getting the money back isn't one of the options here. I have to believe this is really a stunt rather than a serious attempt to confront that harsh reality called the competitive job market. The student, otherwise, didn't seem to learn much in two semesters of contract law.
The school said in response that while concerned about graduate job prospects, it can't guarantee placement. I think that's how it works in education generally, whether it's law school or clown college. One pays their money and takes their chances, as the saying goes. The story in the Boston Herald notes that Boston College claims on its web site that 97.6% of the class of 2009 have jobs. The latest (2011) ABA LSAC Official Guide pegs those with jobs after nine months out of school at 96.4%. Not much difference.
The Guide shows that 68.5% are employed in law firms, with breakdowns for business and other categories. The stats don't speak to the quality of that employment, but in these economic circumstances a job is a job. The Guide notes graduates found employment spread over 24 states. If the expectation is a nice firm job conveniently available via a short ride on The T, then I think that expectation is misplaced. That's not the fault of Boston College.
The article has drawn 181 comments as I view it. Most of them are relatively scathing to the student's perspective and the legal profession generally. The moral seems to be when other people are suffering in a down economy, they tend not to be sympathetic to a law student's whining complaints about life after law school. [MG]