Babysitter

I’m getting used to the idea that people think it’s appropriate to try to get law students to babysit their children. At the very least, I’ve gotten used to the fact that law schools don’t find it insulting at all to offer students babysitting gigs as a way to supplement their income.

I suppose if you are a law professor, you are somewhat used to having students take care of your expenses as they desperately try to jump start their careers. Still, it’s a little bit surprising to see a babysitting job coming out of Columbia Law School.

But the pay is right. And heck, these are Columbia students — they should be able to multitask babysitting, studying for torts, and fending off criminals in Morningside Heights all at the same time….

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We’ve done a surprising number of stories about law school career service officers who push babysitting gigs on their unemployed students. I say “surprising” because after our first story, you’d think law schools would figure out that law students don’t like being put up for jobs that they could have secured in high school.

Since that first one, most CSO personnel and other law school staffers have figured out that babysitting jobs are best when the employer is a professor or somebody else connected with the law school. Then it’s less of a “career of last resort” and more of “helping out a member of your community” (who happens to be well-connected).

But it looks like one school has regressed to the point of just insulting its students with a babysitting ad that kind of rubs salt in the unemployment wound….

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The last time we wrote about somebody on the Emory Law faculty trying to “help out” struggling, jobless Emory Law students, we were covering the train wreck of a commencement speech by professor Sara Stadler. She told graduating law students, many of whom didn’t have a job, to “get over” their sense of entitlement.

You’d think that the Emory faculty wouldn’t risk condescending to their students again, even in the name of trying to help them. But sitting in my inbox is a series of emails from Sarah Shalf, the director of the Emory field placement program, offering students the opportunity to babysit kids and “network” at her Super Bowl party.

Condescending? For a certain point of view, absolutely. But Shalf is honestly trying to help, and she’s using her party to do more for students than Emory Law career services is really doing right now. It’s not her fault that Emory Law students are so desperate for job opportunities that babysitting at a Super Bowl party where judges and lawyers will be represents a good deal.

Such a good deal that Shalf had to devise an application process for the babysitting gig….

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