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U. of Ill. Law: anyone can get in if they bring jobs with them!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,3541380.story

Quote:
What does it cost to get an unqualified student into the University of Illinois law school?

Five jobs for graduating law students, suggest internal e-mails released Thursday.

The documents show for the first time efforts to seek favors -- in this case, jobs -- for admissions, the most troubling evidence yet of how Illinois' entrenched system of patronage crept into the state's most prestigious public university.
post #2 of 13
I honestly don't see what's wrong with it. This is no joke.
post #3 of 13
That's pretty funny, but in this economy, they are sort of doing a favor to their students to help them find jobs? It's a pretty tough life out there right now for law students, especially those graduating this or next year, especially those outside of T14.
post #4 of 13
The Tribune's coverage of this story has been sensationalist if nothing else. Yes, it's indefensible that the rich and powerful and connected can buy their way into higher education, but this happens everywhere. Public and private schools are all guilty of this (whether it's for institutional survival or a component of the "old boys network" depends on the place, I suppose), so the "outrage" seems a bit manufactured. Sure, I'd like to believe that college/law school/etc. admittance is based on merit, but that would just be naive, especially in a state like Illinois.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee_44106 View Post
I honestly don't see what's wrong with it. This is no joke.

Did you read the article? The school benefits by padding their national ranking (which is partly based on employment numbers). The politically connected, often thru Blago's office it appears, get in (but sometimes have to leave. . . )

The Dean of the Law School replied that the 5 jobs each special admission brought to the school must be: "Only very high-paying jobs in law firms that are absolutely indifferent to whether the five have passed their law school classes or the Bar."

The only joke is that the school remains accredited.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyquik View Post
Did you read the article? The school benefits by padding their national ranking (which is partly based on employment numbers). The politically connected, often thru Blago's office it appears, get in (but sometimes have to leave. . . )

But, in this case, a higher employment rate for graduates is mutually beneficial to the school and its students. You go to law school to get a job, after all. Under the current economic circumstances, job opportunities in the legal field for recent graduates of non-elite law schools are particularly scarce and particularly valuable. So, it's really not clear to me that the policy at issue is wrong or bad.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
But, in this case, a higher employment rate for graduates is mutually beneficial to the school and its students. You go to law school to get a job, after all. Under the current economic circumstances, job opportunities in the legal field for recent graduates of non-elite law schools are particularly scarce and particularly valuable. So, it's really not clear to me that the policy at issue is wrong or bad.

No, you go to law school to join a profession.

Let's step back. The Dean of the state's premier public university law school said that a Blago-pick would get in if it would land 5 jobs for the bottom of the class, regardless if those 5 passed their classes or the Bar. Sure, it's mutually beneficial to the students and the school, and it's also a cost on the profession and the rest of society (or at least, Illinois).

Let's at least hope the medical school and medical profession are immune to the cancer that is Illinois politics.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyquik View Post
No, you go to law school to join a profession.

Let's step back. The Dean of the state's premier public university law school said that a Blago-pick would get in if it would land 5 jobs for the bottom of the class, regardless if those 5 passed their classes or the Bar. Sure, it's mutually beneficial to the students and the school, and it's also a cost on the profession and the rest of society (or at least, Illinois).

Let's at least hope the medical school and medical profession are immune to the cancer that is Illinois politics.

Perhaps some background information would be helpful. You don't take the bar exam until the summer after you graduate from law school, and results don't come out until late autumn. So, it's standard practice for law firms to start first year associates months before they've passed. Also, you generally get your job offer the summer after your second year--before you've passed all the classes necessary to graduate. It is atypical for law firms to require passing the bar and graduating from law school before extending offers. The jobs offered by employers who impose such requirements are not desirable ones and are usually last resorts for law school graduates.

I don't know the precise context for the Dean's comment, but it sounds like she's simply saying the jobs on the table are offered on terms typical of what the school's students would normally expect.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
Perhaps some background information would be helpful. You don't take the bar exam until the summer after you graduate from law school, and results don't come out until late autumn. So, it's standard practice for law firms to start first year associates months before they've passed. Also, you generally get your job offer the summer after your second year--before you've passed all the classes necessary to graduate. It is atypical for law firms to require passing the bar and graduating from law school before extending offers. The jobs offered by employers who impose such requirements are not desirable ones and are usually last resorts for law school graduates.

I don't know the precise context for the Dean's comment, but it sounds like she's simply saying the jobs on the table are offered on terms typical of what the school's students would normally expect.

You're correct that the context is important, but you are giving a very generous interpretation. I think the implication from the statement is that these students need not be very bright or capable, not that they merely haven't graduated and taken the bar yet.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyquik View Post
No, you go to law school to join a profession.

Let's step back. The Dean of the state's premier public university law school said that a Blago-pick would get in if it would land 5 jobs for the bottom of the class, regardless if those 5 passed their classes or the Bar. Sure, it's mutually beneficial to the students and the school, and it's also a cost on the profession and the rest of society (or at least, Illinois).

Let's at least hope the medical school and medical profession are immune to the cancer that is Illinois politics.

The AMA is already a cancer on the medical profession that I don't think Illinois pols could do much worse if they were involved, which I'm sure they are; why would medicine be any different? (Plus, U of I's med school is in Chicago, so all the better for the well-connected to influence school officials, methinks.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
I don't know the precise context for the Dean's comment, but it sounds like she's simply saying the jobs on the table are offered on terms typical of what the school's students would normally expect.

I took the dean's statement as: "OK, we'll admit these people so long as they (and four other, I guess) are guaranteed well-paying jobs at law firms before they begin law school such that they (and their grades) won't negatively affect our ranking."
post #11 of 13
Wow, it looks pretty terrible, actually:

http://abovethelaw.com/2009/06/unive...is_college.php
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
Perhaps some background information would be helpful. You don't take the bar exam until the summer after you graduate from law school, and results don't come out until late autumn. So, it's standard practice for law firms to start first year associates months before they've passed. Also, you generally get your job offer the summer after your second year--before you've passed all the classes necessary to graduate. It is atypical for law firms to require passing the bar and graduating from law school before extending offers. The jobs offered by employers who impose such requirements are not desirable ones and are usually last resorts for law school graduates.

I don't know the precise context for the Dean's comment, but it sounds like she's simply saying the jobs on the table are offered on terms typical of what the school's students would normally expect.

Thanks for the lecture, being a 3L I knew none of this I can't remember if WSJ Law Blog or abovethelaw posted the story first, but that's where I followed to get the complete Chicago Trib link in the OP.

The more I read about this story, the more I think the Dean was attempting to be horribly sarcastic (i.e. - "Sure, I will let your dumbass politically connected, failure-at-life kid into my school, if you'll hold open 5 jobs at a gilt-edged Chicago firm like Kirkland & Ellis, to kids who can't pass their classes or the Bar.") Of course, sarcasm and snark doesn't come across very well on email. . .
post #13 of 13
I would expect that if 5 extra jobs were available to students, such that there were now 105 jobs available instead of 100, those extra 5 would go to the 100th to 105th most qualified students. I don't see why, from the school's perspective, you'd screw the most qualified shut-outs in favour of the incompetent.
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