Instead of hiring a new professor to teach Cross-Cultural Comparison of Masturbatory Prohibitions, I want law schools to start paying six-figure salaries to the people they hire to work in their career services offices. I want U.S. News to include the number of CSO professionals and money spent on CSOs as data points in their law school rankings. I want deans to start asking rich alumni if they would like to donate to help fight mental disability and extreme laziness in career services offices.
Because honestly, the lack of effort put in by career services professionals at the nation’s law schools really seems to be out of hand. Maybe they’ve just been collectively beaten down by the years of terrible job prospects and the throngs of students in need of help. Maybe they believe that there really is nothing they can do, and they are significantly more worried about protecting their own jobs than finding jobs for eager law students. Maybe the lack of institutional support and respect for their efforts makes them feel like second-class citizens whenever the Professor of Impractical Studies That Serve No Clients walks into the room.
I don’t know why we’re here, but when you can’t even trust your CSO to effectively cull Symplicity to remove stupid and insulting job prospects like the ones below, it’s time to change the entire approach to law school career services….
These jobs were found on the Loyola – Chicago Law School jobs board. Strangely, I don’t just want to beat up on Loyola here, this total CSO failure is endemic of a much larger problem. Maybe Loyola could lead the charge in changing this behavior and actually prove that it is a law school of practical significance.
Here’s one of the jobs being offered to people who go to LAW school (click to enlarge):
And here’s another, similar offering:
If I were an unemployed Loyola 3L and I saw these jobs, I think I’d yell “Eff You” at my computer screen and then wash down a shot of tequila with a fifth of whiskey. What in the hell is this? I make jokes about going to the School of Law and Refrigerator Repair all the time, but they’re goddamn jokes, not prescient visions of a dystopian future.
You know the really messed-up thing? You know what the real bitch of this is? MOST LAW STUDENTS AREN’T EVEN QUALIFIED FOR THESE BLUE-COLLAR JOBS. For Christ’s wheel axle, most would-be lawyers didn’t do that well in shop class. I had to argue my way into an A in shop. (We were supposed build a “power” boat out of wood. Then race them. Everybody else’s went forward, mine spun in place. Upon receiving a B, I argued that torque should be counted as power, “forward” was an irrelevant dimensional distinction. I got my A, my parents called it my “Kobayashi Maru,” and now you know why I used to get my ass kicked in school.) Don’t act like I’m the only one.
The point is, if these kids wanted to be auto mechanics, they would have gone to mechanic school.
And I’m SURE that somebody at Loyola knows this. I’m sure that somebody at Loyola knows that these jobs should have never been posted. The problem is that person isn’t evidently employed in the Loyola Law CSO.
That’s got to change. We need career services officers who take pride in their work. We need career services officers who would be embarrassed if any of their law students ended up working as grease monkeys after three years of legal education because they couldn’t find anything else. (Note: if after you’ve seen what it’s like to be a lawyer you want to work as a mechanic, mazel tov. Seriously. I’m not harshing on mechanics here. I’m disparaging mechanic jobs being offered as an “employed upon graduation” job to J.D. holders who wanted to do legal work.)
If a law student walks into a career services office looking for help finding work and the administrator points him in the direction of auto repair, that law student has the natural right to slash some tires. The social contract has been broken, and we are back in the state of nature if this is what it’s come to.
So, before we graduate the next generation of extremely argumentative gas station attendants, can law schools please look into getting competent people to run their CSO operations? The law schools have the money. They just need to spend it on something that actually helps law students.