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Law Students at a Top School Protest Continued Unemployment

I feel like there should be a student protest reality show.

Too often, people act like post-graduation unemployment is a malady that affects only students at lower-ranked law schools. People act like only lazy students at third-tier institutions — or “rank not published” institutions, if you prefer — end up desperate for work after three years of legal education.

But we know better. We know that the threat of unemployment is very real to all law school students. Sure, the higher-ranked schools might do a better job of getting their students jobs, at least in percentage terms; but even top schools have students who want to work but cannot find jobs.

Students at one top-ten law school are sick of suffering in silence. They want everybody, especially admitted students, to know that going to an elite law school doesn’t guarantee you a good job.

Given the state of the legal economy and the cost of law school tuition, it’s a wonder that this kind of thing doesn’t happen more often….

Unemployed students at UVA Law School are protesting, blaming the law school administration for their wretched fate. Tipsters report that a number of UVA 3Ls have been menacing the 0Ls at UVA admitted students’ weekend. The disgruntled current students were wearing these t-shirts when they met the prospective students:

Nice. A student is selling the shirts for $10. I’d love to get my hands on one.

Obviously, the administration quickly moved to cover-up this underbelly of the UVA Law community. A tipster reports:

A couple of guys wore them to our first admitted students’ weekend, but they changed when the admissions director strongly urged them to do so and gave them free UVA Law shirts. They’re planning larger-scale “demonstrations” for this Friday’s admitted students’ weekend and graduation, though, apparently convinced that the administration will be less inclined to try to stop them if it’s a large group.

Be careful guys — you’re dealing with UVA, a school well-known for its Kool-Aid drinking school spirit. Plan a large-scale protest during the next admitted students’ weekend, and the UVA administration might refuse to wait for images of mass graves before they start bombing you.

Remember, this is UVA; it’s not just the administration who wants to silence you. Other students in the community also know how to rally ’round the flag, as this tipster illustrates:

While I empathize with these guys, I can’t say that I agree with what they’re doing. A lot of them spent their 1Ls years skipping every other lecture and going out at least four nights a week. I don’t think they can blame the administration for failing to drop a Biglaw job in their laps. Trashing the school, particularly in front of admitted students, just hurts everyone.

Well, when you are unemployed, your definition of the term “hurts everyone” undoubtedly changes. And I think that what hurts the school is having a bunch of unemployed students, not having a bunch of unemployed students who are talking about it.

But really this shouldn’t be about who is to blame. Maybe the unemployed students could have worked harder; maybe the administration or career services could have done a better job at helping them find jobs. At the end of the day, the shirts are true for some people. One thing that can happen if you go to law school is that you’ll spend upwards of $40K a year, for three years, and graduate without a job.

Why can’t the UVA Law administration — and administrators at every other expensive law school — simply admit that to admitted students before they sign up? Are they so desperate to cash another tuition check that they freak out over a truth printed on a t-shirt?

Not everybody who goes to UVA Law gets a law job when they graduate. Consider that before you go to UVA or anywhere else.

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