It’s a familiar refrain around these parts: it’s tough to find legal employment, unless you got into one of the top law schools. The prevailing wisdom is that students at the “best” (i.e., highest-ranked) law schools have been protected from the recession-dampened job market facing recent graduates of most American law schools. “HYS” (Harvard, Yale, Stanford), “CCN” (Columbia, Chicago, NYU) — these law schools are thought to be safe bets for people who would like to be employed upon graduation.
But are they?
We know that things aren’t as bad for students at top schools as they are for people attending schools that are not ranked as highly by U.S. News. But that doesn’t mean a degree from a “T6″ school parts the jobless sea and leads graduates to the promised land of gainful employment.
In fact, at this late date in the law school calendar, we know that there are 3Ls at great schools staring into the abyss of post-graduate unemployment. The proof comes from the charity that employed students are trying to extend to their unemployed brethren…
We’re getting into law school prom season (the address you’ll want to remember is firstname.lastname@example.org). We expect to hear some fun stories of year-end debauchery. But those prom tickets can be expensive, especially if you are looking ahead to a future devoid of income.
Accordingly, NYU Law student representatives fought to obtain a “barrister’s ball” discount for unemployed 3Ls. Here’s the email:
Thanks to the tireless efforts of one of your outgoing 3L reps [Redacted], the Office of Student Affairs is offering DISCOUNT TICKETS to Barrister’s Ball for any graduating 3Ls who do NOT currently have jobs. The discount amount has not been disclosed, so if you fit the bill and would now like to attend Barrister’s Ball, e-mail [redacted] for more details. Exchanges may also be arranged for those who already purchased tickets (again, this applies only to those who are as-yet unemployed).
Since it’s the high holy days, I’ll ignore the attempted martyrdom of the “tireless” 3L reps, and instead focus on the fact that this is a perfectly nice gesture. Score one for NYU 3L empathy.
Of course, not every NYU Law student thinks this is a fitting gesture:
I think this is pretty emblematic of NYU’s attitude toward the 3Ls who don’t have jobs… “sorry we totally lied to you about the economy! here’s a slightly discounted ticket to a dance.” While I personally have a job, I know a ton of people who don’t. If I was one of the unemployed students, I’d say “go f**k yourself”.
Whoa. This reminds me of that song in Rent where Mark tried to help out the homeless woman and she snaps at him. New York City, center of the universe.
But let’s not lose the plot here. What we’re seeing here is a discussion on how NYU should help its unemployed students — which means, of course, that there are unemployed 3Ls at NYU Law. There are enough of them that the students lucky enough to have jobs feel they need to be charitable toward their unemployed classmates (or, in the alternative, demand that the administration do a better job of helping their unemployed classmates).
That’s only shocking if you bought into the belief that recessionary pain passed over the top schools. But it hasn’t, not fully. This plague affects everybody.