Georgetown is the Latest Law School with New Initiatives for Unemployed/Deferred Graduates

Georgetown Law logo.jpgGeorgetown is the latest top school to try to come up with innovative ways to help its graduates deal with the global economic crisis. The headline news is that GULC will be offering an extended health care plan to graduates who need it. At least for a little while:

Health insurance. If you currently carry the University’s student Premier Plan, you will be covered under the current policy until midnight on August 14, 2009. All students covered under this plan will then be eligible to enroll for a six month extension through February 14, 2010; shorter or longer extensions are not available. Contact the Student Health Insurance Office at https://www4.georgetown.edu/uis/keybridge/keyform/form.cfm?FormID=2954 for further information about coverage, cost, and registration. While the Law Center does not endorse any insurance plan other than our own Premier Plan, there are other options that you might wish to explore. Dean of Students Mitch Bailin will be sending to you this week detailed information about options available through the ABA Law Student Division and www.studentcare.com, as well as more information about extending coverage through the student Premier Plan.

An extension to February 14th should help people with January start dates.

After the jump, we see that Georgetown is doing a whole host of things to try to help its new graduates.

Georgetown will be instituting a limited public service program:

Post-J.D. Public Service Program: To facilitate entry into practice for our 2009 J.D. graduates, Georgetown Law will offer stipends to fund a number of short term, unpaid internships with government agencies or public interest organizations for fall 2009. Participants will receive $3,250 for three months (pro-rated for shorter periods.) Priority will be given to those who have not secured an offer of post-graduate employment. Applicants are responsible for securing their own internships; OCS and OPICS can assist in identifying appropriate opportunities. Interested students must submit an initial application by May 29th, but a confirmed internship offer is not required at that time. The final application must be submitted by August 31st, and the internship must be completed by the end of the 2009 calendar year. Application forms will be posted on the 2009 Graduate Web Page.

Will three months be enough time for ’09 graduates to get full time employment?

The law school is also offering a few students an opportunity for on campus employment:

On-Campus Employment. We expect to have ten to twenty short-term positions (up to three months) available at the Law Center beginning in August or September to assist 2009 JD graduates who are seeking permanent employment. Such positions would include research assistantships with faculty, the law library, and Law Center institutes and centers, or working for a Law Center office. Participants will be paid the research assistant rate. Open positions will be posted in Symplicity and highlighted on the 2009 Graduate Web Page.

And Georgetown is doing a number of other, smaller things to help ease the transition from law student to out-of-work lawyer. The school is offering a scholarship program for students interested in pursuing an LL.M, offering free CLE through the spring of 2010, and extending their GULC email accounts through the end of 2009.

Obviously, none of these solutions can replace having a paid legal job. But these incremental steps are important. If nothing else, it gives students some extra time during which the economy might recover and the legal industry might start hiring again. At the very least, the law school’s heart seems to be in the right place:

The Law Center understands the challenges you face as you approach final exams and Commencement. In response, we have put together a plan that offers a variety of short-term opportunities for employment as well as special resources and practical assistance to help you navigate the legal market after graduation. We hope that these opportunities allow you to focus on your exams and papers, and to experience the joy of your law school Commencement.

Good luck Georgetown law students. Let’s hope 2010 brings a much better market than 2009.

Earlier: Northwestern Law Gets ‘Proactive’

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