Job Searches, Law Schools

Career Services Official Admits Finding Jobs For Students Is Not Her Job

I’m a man who can respect honesty. Even if the honest message is painful to receive and misguided, I tend to respect people who can honestly express their worldviews.

So when I saw an email from a career services officer at a law school where she stated that finding students jobs was not her job, well, I had to just nod my head and say, “Balls.”

I mean, that’s how many of them think, right? They “advise” or “counsel” or “leave early to go the gym,” but it’s somebody else’s job to actually make sure these students are employed. Right? People don’t go to law school to get jobs, they go because… well, the CSO doesn’t much care why people go to law school, so long as the students don’t blame the CSO when they are unemployed and struggling.

At least this particular CSO employee had the guts to tell the student body the truth….

Regular readers of Above the Law might be able to guess the law school we’re talking about. A month ago we brought you the passive-aggressive musings from the CSO director at the University of Mississippi School of Law. The director thought it appropriate to blame the students for their inability to find gainful employment, and she did in a most patronizing manner, using a Dr. Seuss poem to underscore her point.

Now, she’s stepping it up a notch. In case people missed the passive-aggressive point of her earlier email, now she’s making it clear that actually finding people work is not what they do down there at Ole Miss Law:

Hello, Students:

This is my final attempt to gather information about summer employment data from you. Between the two classes I received about 90 responses total. Thanks to all of those respondents! I would like to share this insight with you, though. “A little birdie” stopped by my office after I sent the last e-mail and informed me that there was some type of agreement among several of the 2L’s and 3L’s to refuse to supply this information in some form of protest against Career Services not “doing our job” — apparently misconstrued as “finding people jobs.”

In looking back at the responses we’ve received so far I noticed an important trend. The names of the respondents were familiar to me for the most part. In other words, those who responded had actually used the services of this office. Many of the responses identified Symplicity, on-campus interviewing, other career contacts as their summer job sources. The student feedback from the students who have actually used our services and attended our programming has been good. Unfortunately, there is a large segment of you who we would help but we’ve never even met you. Therefore I make the following offer to everyone: please come into our office to make sure that the application materials you are sending sound, that you can interview effectively and that we can help you with contacts. If you choose to respond and provide real-world data, I would greatly appreciate it. No matter what, though, our offices are open to all students who seek help in this process. All are welcome.

Remember, this is coming from the director of career services at Ole Miss. Her job is most directly to find people jobs.

Because the other things she lists are just window dressing stuff that most people don’t need. I mean, let’s actually break down what she thinks the CSO is there for, and ask if this is the kind of help a graduate student actually requires:

  • Sound application materials: Look, if a kid can’t put together an application, the kid probably couldn’t get into law school in the first place. At the margins, there might be a few kids who are very bad with paperwork, but most students don’t need the CSO to tell them how to send out some forms.
  • Interview tips: Unemployed people think they need to interview better. Employed people were too busy getting jobs to know if they were good or bad at interviewing.
  • Help with contacts: Yes. Now that is a job for a competent CSO. The CSO tells them whom to send an application to, and the students will figure out how to put together application materials. But doesn’t “helping with contacts” sound suspiciously like finding jobs for students?

It’s insulting to students at Ole Miss. Being a good career services administrator is hard, but if you are not actively helping students find work, then you are just wasting everybody’s freaking time.

This is the real world, in a real downturn. Nobody has time for Dr. Seuss stories anymore.

Earlier: You’re Saying the Cat Got a Job Because of His Hat?

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