Thus far, the University of Chicago Law School has been immune to the fever of grade reform. While other law schools bend over backwards to make the same level of education look better on a transcript, Chicago has held the line.
But it’s not like U of C Law is just ignoring the economic realities of the day. Another trend among top law schools it to make their on-campus interview process start earlier so firms don’t “fill up” on other candidates. Chicago is officially moving in that direction:
The fall 2009 on-campus interview program may seem very far away during the Chicago winter, but the Office of Career Services has begun planning in order to maximize your opportunities during this important phase of the job market for students exploring law firm careers. This planning has led to a notable calendar change: The University of Chicago Law School’s fall on-campus interviews will be held August 17-28, with an orientation to the program scheduled for August 15th.
After the jump, Chicago Law makes its intentions clear — but there are other problems with changing the timing of OCI.
It’s pretty clear that the legal economy (or lack thereof) played a significant role in Chicago’s change:
Our decision to move interviews into August also issues from our conviction that a later start could potentially disadvantage our students in a legal job market that is stagnant at best.
But as we’ve noted elsewhere, moving up start dates creates all sorts of problems for students that are trying to finish out summer jobs, or even just trying to get housing in college towns in the middle of August. UofC is apparently aware of these concerns:
We understand that this change will shorten the number of weeks available for employment during the summer, but we also know that many employers seek to end their employment of law students by early August. We also considered that the shift to earlier dates could create housing issues for some students, so we wanted you to have the interview dates before you begin to plan for summer sublets or fall 2009 leases. Dean Richardson has already begun to explore housing options for those who have concerns in this area and will provide additional information in a separate communication.
A few tipsters have noted other problems with moving interviewing season to August:
A new wrinkle is that school still won’t start until almost October, leaving almost a month of dead time between the end of OCI and the start of classes.
The flip side is that we don’t finish spring quarter until almost the beginning of June, leaving almost all of us starting work after our peers at other schools.
Be careful what you wish for, tipsters. I’m sure law professors can think of creative ways to fill your time between mid August and late September… and I’m sure it’s not fun.