Monday, February 7, 2011

An interview with Washington & Lee Director of Admissions about why the school went transparent on employment data

We reported last week on the unprecedented move by Washington & Lee U. School of Law to release seventeen pages of employment data to prospective students illustrating the difficulty of the present job market.  Here's an excerpt from an interview bewteen the W & L Director of Admissions and the Vault:

[The Vault]: What are the most important points that prospective students and current students should glean from this employment data?

[Director of Admissions]: We realize that this is a very dense assemblage of information, and it takes a while to unpack. But there are a few important points I hope all our students will glean from these materials:

1) The job search is changing. It is taking longer for law students to find jobs. The search requires more individual initiative than it did even a few years ago. Students are doing more to just get a foot in the door. This is an era of networking, and finding your first job will most likely require significant individual initiative. Relationships have always mattered in the legal world, but they are perhaps more important than ever. If you are coming to law school now, you have to be willing to hustle.

2) You may not have a job at graduation. This is tough, but it’s the truth. While we are fortunate to still have graduates who have great jobs when they graduate, they are fewer in number than they were a few years ago. With our students, we are increasingly finding it may take them six to nine months after graduation to find a job.

3) Times are tough, but we’re here to help. We feel W&L provides a more personal approach to law school, and we take a great deal of pride in the support we offer our students. This ethic absolutely applies to the wealth of resources provided by our Office of Career Planning.

4) You absolutely must be sure that law school is the right path for you well before you arrive in Lexington. It’s just too hard out there. Law school is not a default or a universal-educational experience. It’s the first step in a long, rewarding, but absolutely challenging career. Choosing whether or not it is for you requires thoughtful consideration.

You can read the rest of the interview here.

Hat tip to Above the Law.


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