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Somebody Forgot To Tell Boston College Career Services Officers That BC Law Grads Enjoy A ‘Median’ Starting Salary of $160,000 In Private Practice

So, we often bring you stories about terrible job offers for recent law school graduates. And we often bring you stories about how law school statistics about the success of their graduates can sometimes be misleading.

Today, let’s put those stories together. Let’s take a look at a job that will pay you way below minimum wage that’s being offered to law grads from the same school that proudly boasts a “median” private practice salary of $160,000 within nine months of graduation.

Juxtaposition for the win….

A tipster notes a case of mixed messages from Boston College Law School, though in fairness to BC, I’m sure this kind of thing is happening at schools across the country. From our tipster:

Logging onto BC Law Symplicity today, I was shocked to see my alma mater is advertising a full-time job at a small Boston firm where the compensation is expected to be $10,000 per year. Assuming a 40 hour work week, 52 weeks per year, that’s less than $5 per hour by my calculations. To be exact, $4.81 per hour, which is a fraction of minimum wage. For a school that pays cafeteria workers a “living wage”, I find it astonishing that BC Law permits a listing for such an unconscionably low salary.

For the record, minimum wage in Massachusetts is $8.00 per hour. If you have a law job in MA and you are willing to pay a $8.00 an hour, make sure you advertise it in a safe place, lest you get trampled by a stampede of under-employed Massachusetts law grads.

In any event, here’s where BC Law gets funny:

What’s sadder still is that BC Law gave this self-described “excellent position” an advertising platform. By doing so, the school tacitly endorsed the idea that a $10K/year job is a viable plan for newly-minted attorneys. In case you’re wondering, BC Law’s website for prospective students still touts a $160K median starting salary for graduates entering the private sector. And yet Brutus is an honorable man…

Call me a skeptic, but when they crunched the numbers, my sense is that these $5/hour gigs were conveniently excluded from the calculus

Our tipster is basically correct, of course. BC Law is touting a “median” starting salary of $160K for graduates in the class of 2010 who entered into private practice. But there are some pretty big caveats in the fine print. Here’s the key slide from the BC website (click to enlarge):

Something tells me that the people who graduate from BC Law and end up working for $4.81/hour magically don’t end up “reporting” their salary to school officials.

Further down, BC Law reports that 90 of the 153 people who reported salaries (out of 265 people in the class of 2010) are employed in law firms. I’ll be generous and assume that the median salary of 34% of the BC class of 2010 is $160K.

For the other two-thirds, well, check out the ad on the next page. They’re paying $10,000, don’t you know!

UPDATE (6/1/2012): Here is BC Law’s defense of the job posting.

(hidden for your protection)

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