November 17, 2010
Law School Graduate Blues Ctd. With Post-Graduation Welfare
There's a buzz in the news about the new University Miami School of Law program called Legal Corps. The school will organize recent graduates into a free work force for judges, firms, and other organizations and pay the graduates $2,500 per month for six months. Placement opportunities are not limited to Miami locations. Some of the host organizations include the Center for Disability and Elder Law in Chicago and the Animal Legal Defense Fund in Cotati, California.
It's an interesting concept, although not necessarily a new one. One online comment to the American Bar Journal report on the program indicates that Touro Law School and other New York area law schools have similar programs for the last year. The positive side is that recent graduates are getting experience in the real world, something most law schools do not teach, and getting some financial support in the process. I think the message to students includes something along the lines of, your school did not abandon you at graduation, please give generously. Nothing wrong with that. A full subsidy at 6 months is worth $15,000. How many classes does that rebate?
I wonder if this will pressure other law schools into doing something similar or even spread to other programs where graduate job prospects are distressed. UMiami is a private school and has the flexibility to offer this as part of their program. I'm guessing that state supported schools would not have that same flexibility in how they spend their money. Programs such as these, however, may only postpone the inevitable realization that good law jobs are hard to come by. They at least put a buffer between schools and the graduate frustration over the job market. That's another positive for the school(s).
Details for the UMiami program are here, including links to the program handbook. [MG]