Law students

  • April 27, 2011
    Practical Advice

    For those contemplating a career in law and therefore potentially investing in a legal education, this article for The New Republic by University of Colorado law school professor Paul Campos is a must-read.

    Campos reports on the “main sources of information on post-law-school employment rates,” and how faulty they are. His report suggests that prospective students would do well to examine closely or ignore the claims by most of the ABA-accredited schools that within nine-months of graduation almost all their graduates have full-time employment.

    The professor says the numbers do not represent the true employment of recent graduates. In fact, according to his own study of the available information, he says the numbers of gainful employment are likely much, much lower.

    Campos writes:

    In the course of my research, I audited a representative sample of individual graduate responses and found several instances of people describing themselves as employed permanently or full-time, when in fact they had temporary or part-time jobs (I found no instances of inaccuracies running in the other direction). Perhaps some graduates exaggerate their employment status out of embarrassment, or for strategic reasons, but, whatever their reasons might be, this apparently not uncommon practice suggests that the true employment rate should be lowered even further.

  • September 22, 2009
    Practical Advice
    In another Practical Advice installment, law students, especially first-years or 1Ls, should take a little time to read Professor Orin Kerr's "How to Read a Legal Opinion: A Guide for New Law Students." includes a link to Kerr's 2007 article as well as other helpful posts on succeeding in law school. Kerr, a professor of law at The George Washington University Law School, writes that his guide "is designed to help new law students prepare for the first few weeks of class. It explains what judicial opinions are, how they are structured, and what law students should look for when reading them." Kerr's article guides students through gleaning information from cases and provides tips on what law professors are looking for from reading assignments.

    In explaining why professors rely on the "case method," Kerr writes that there are historical and practical reasons for doing so: