It’s only Tuesday morning, and we’ve already done several posts on the professional plight of non-elite law school graduates. So we’re declaring this week Non-Top-Tier Law School Week at ATL. If you have a story idea that fits into this theme, please email us.
Here’s our latest tale about the plight of “non-T14″ law school grads. It suggests that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad isn’t the only person making controversial appearances at New York area schools.
From a tipster at New York Law School (a Tier 3 school, not to be confused with fourth-ranked NYU; if you ever want to piss off an NYU grad, refer to their alma mater as “New York Law School”):
“New York Law School in Tribeca had David Boies speak at our graduation this past July. Yet his firm does not hire from New York Law School. The only NYLS alum there graduated in 1968.”
Ouch. But for the record, our tipster later emailed us a correction: there’s one more New York Law School grad at Boies Schiller. That makes for a grand total of two (2) NYLS alumni at the firm. But the point is still the same. As our source observes, “they still don’t even do on campus at NYLS.”
“Anyway, this is intended to be more damning of NYLS than it is of Boies Schiller, which has the right to follow any hiring practices they desire. However, NYLS should maybe be a little more selective in who they choose to speak to us third-tier graduates.”
Do you agree with this tipster? Is NYLS degrading itself by, in the words of our tipster, “giving out honorary degrees to people who don’t even hire its graduates”? Or would the tipster’s approach unduly limit the universe of possible graduation speakers?
More discussion, including some email correspondence between an NYLS student and the school’s dean, after the jump.
One NYLS student brought the situation to the attention of the school’s dean, Richard Matasar:
[Introductory paragraph, with identifying info, redacted.]
I wanted to bring to your attention something that has been troubling me since Sunday’s commencement ceremony that you may not be aware of, and maybe get some feedback from you.
I am still on the job search, and a couple of weeks ago I had heard that Boies Schiller was in hiring mode from a friend who works at Skadden Arps. Naturally, I was excited and thrilled to hear this, as I am a Harlan scholar and Law Review member who has still yet to find a job….
I called Boies Schiller’s HR department and asked them if it was true if they were hiring — the woman told me yes, they certainly were. I excitedly submitted a resume to them — yet, unfortunately, I never heard back. Obviously, it is frustrating to hear that a firm in hiring mode has no use for a New York Law School student with Law Review and Honors on his resume.
I didn’t think of it again until I noticed Mr. Boies was scheduled to speak at our commencement. I truly enjoyed his speech and it was nice to have him present. However, this led me to do a little more research on the firm and I discovered that Boies Schiller only employs ONE New York Law School graduate–who graduated in 1968. In addition, Vault Law’s profile on Boies Schiller mentions how tough it is to get a job at Boies Schiller if you are not at a “top tier” law school. Of course, who knows if Mr. Boies is aware of this statistic or not, or what control he has over his firm’s hiring process. Yet, I find it truly frustrating that the attorney chosen to speak at our commencement ceremony’s firm does not value or find the academic performance of students at law school adequate or worth hiring to his own firm. It really is a morale killer during my job search!
I felt I should make you aware of this. Thanks for your time.
Here is Dean Matasar’s response:
[T]hanks for the tip. This is actually very useful information. Bob Mallow, our graduate at the firm, has been working to open them up to our students. I will ask our alumni office to bring this to his attention. It may be a way to start the discussion.
I wish you the best. I am sure that there will be a terrific job out there that you will find soon. Good luck on the bar this summer. RM
Is the NYLS student’s complaint justified? Or does it come across as “sour grapes”?
Before you say “sour grapes,” please consider this email from the same NYLS student who emailed Dean Matasar (part of a different chain of correspondence — not with the dean):
i think you are mistaking my motivations at this point, i’m not trying to get in at the firm or get hired there. i feel like its more of a fundamental problem with this school’s decision to give out honorary degrees to people who have absolutely no connection or appreciation of our school that i had to comment. the fact that no one who graduated from NYLS in the last 39 years works there is not just a coincidence.
they don’t even perform on-campus interviews at NYLS! this is discrimination and i find it disturbing that the dean or no one else for that matter even felt this was an issue. instead, we are supposed to be wowed by boies “celebrity lawyer” status alone. his firm may be small and selective, but in turn, NYLS should be selective in who we choose to speak at our commencement, and give honorary degrees to people who actually appreciate the same hard work we do as all the top tier law schools.
i really felt all of this was a slap in the face. never mind the fact that out of 15 alumni that work in [specialized field] i have written over the past six months, I got a response from 1 of them. not even the head of [specialized field] at [firm X], an NYLS alum.
it’s not that i feel entitled, and my emails were never intended to come across that way. i just know i’m the only one speaking up on this issue, and i feel it is very relevant to all 2007 graduates.
So what do you think? Maybe it’s like the Loyola 2L debate, all over again: What’s the difference between raising legitimate grievances and unproductive whining?