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UC – Irvine: Everybody Has a Job

As we’ve previously reported, the inaugural class of students at UC – Irvine School of Law attends law school for free. Now, we’ve got more good news for students there: they all have jobs lined up for the summer. Every last one of them. The Recorder (subscription) reports:

Not only does the entire inaugural class get its J.D.s free of tuition, all 60 students also have jobs lined up for the summer.

UC-Irvine School of Law officials say they’ve helped place almost 30 students at nonprofits and 17 with judges, including 11 in federal posts. The rest are in with law firms and prosecutors’ offices.

I imagine there are students who turned down free tuition at Irvine to go to UCLA or USC. I hope all those kids got summer jobs too…

It appears that UC Irvine’s success will benefit all of California — half of the class will be doing public interest work over the summer — and the school is raising money to help pay them a stipend:

UCI, meanwhile, made a push on student placement so it would know how much money to raise to pay $4,000 to $5,000 in stipends to students who have taken public interest positions, Cannon said.

Do you hear that, UMass law school advocates? This is how you make public interest lawyers. You make tuition free, and you raise money for summer stipends. People don’t work for minimal money when they owe six figures in educational debt. It just doesn’t happen.

And UC Irvine officials are well aware of that fact:

The law school, which has yet to be accredited, has a lot at stake, having to prove to donors that their money has been well-spent. Charles Cannon, the law school’s assistant dean of development and external affairs, said the school is using its “honeymoon” period, when it’s new and full of promise, to build and cement ties with the agencies that are potential future employers. Many of the school’s donors are employing summer interns from the school, Cannon said: “The people who’ve invested in us are receiving some return on their investment.” …

“There’s no doubt that our complete tuition rebate for the first class has made the proportion of them going into unpaid public interest jobs much higher than other schools,” Cannon said. “We know that this won’t last forever.”

Remember, tuition at UC Irvine will skyrocket as the school becomes more established. The law school might have a focus on public interest, but in a couple of years, they won’t be able to get away with sending half their class to public interest jobs. Not unless UCI wants to become a leader in student debt default.

At least the school’s inaugural class is making out like gangbusters. That burning sensation that students at other California law schools feel is the pain of opportunity lost.

UC-Irvine Batting 1.000 For Summer Jobs [The Recorder]

Earlier: Open Thread: Free Law School in California
Law School Tuition Hikes Spread Like Wildfires in California

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