Sunday, March 23, 2014

Law Schools Paying the Salaries of Graduates

Some (many?) law schools have found a way to raise their employment statistics in hopes of raising their ranking in the eyes of U.S. News. From The Economist:

A close look at the online employment database of the American Bar Association reveals that GW and UVA are among the leaders in a striking trend: law schools paying the salaries of their alumni when they go to work in legal firms, non-profits or the government. GW paid the starting salaries of a whopping 22% of its 2012 graduates; at 15%, UVA was not far behind.

Some law schools have long given aid to a few alumni who forsake high-paying corporate firms to pursue public-interest law. But since the 2008-09 recession, entry-level jobs at big firms have been scarce. This has led to a big expansion of “bridge to practice” schemes, in which the schools pay graduates a stipend to do a work placement.

Do these programs result in long term jobs? Not necessarily:

The programmes rarely last more than a year, and often pay a pittance. GW, which spends 4% of its budget on these wages, tried to cut pay rates in 2012 from $15 an hour to $10 before reversing itself after an uproar. Moreover, their success in getting graduates into genuine jobs is spotty: the NALP survey found that only 24% of participants from the class of 2012 had been hired by their employers or in related fields by the following February. GW and UVA say their success rate is far higher than this.

You can read more here.


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