"We have our ear to the ground," Brooklyn Law School President and Dean Nicholas Allard told CNNMoney. "Rather than continue to march over the cliff when a new direction is appropriate, we pay attention to what students want and need. The conventional legal education was passive and standardized. We've adopted a student-centric approach."It's an interesting idea, although a skeptic would point out that 85% of an unmanageable shit-load of debt is still, alas, an unmanageable shit-load of debt.
To qualify for the program, students must be working with career services and planning to take the bar exam.
According to the article, Brooklyn has a 90 percent "job placement" record and has budgeted for 10% of its students to take "advantage" of this offer. But one has to wonder whether the presence of this program will change those output numbers. Whatever intangible incentives law graduates have previously had to whitewash their job status, Brooklyn just gave them a tangible reason to either tell the truth or distort their answers downward.
Law graduates might be dumb, but they're not that dumb. Just as people learn to game government programs, graduates who are unemployed at seven, eight months aren't going to snap up a $45k job and forgo, say, a $15k check if they can hold until the nine-month cliff. Absent a juicy offer, anyone with half a brain is going to purposefully firebomb interviews or offer to delay start dates. People do a lot of dumb things, but they rarely leave money on a table.
And whose definition of employment are we using? BLS says 90%. LST puts it at a 52.4% employment score. What about the 9.7% school funded? The ~20% who took JD Advantage/"Professional" jobs? And what does it mean to "work with career services?" Are they going to argue with their own struggling graduates about these things?
Read the fine print, kids, and be patient. Law schools keep sweetening the pot, but there's a long way to go before a school like Brooklyn makes economic sense again, partial refund or not.