Pace Law School has recently imposed some cutbacks in an effort to address its five million dollar deficit. These cutbacks reportedly include the elimination of all sabbaticals and all research stipends, a 5% salary cut for senior staff, and a 10% salary cut for all faculty. Perhaps more detailed information would be available but for Dean David Yassky’s decision to place a secret watermark on material distributed to faculty.
Yassky may be trying to discourage public discussions of Pace’s weak financial position, but really, these cutbacks are nothing to be ashamed of. I think that Pace Law’s website ought to feature banner articles describing, with pride, each and every defunded professorial perk. Pace could say that with the profession in crisis, the school has higher priorities than indulging its faculty with research stipends (aka well-funded summer staycations) or sending them off to expense-paid conferences in exotic resort locales (aka vacations).
What Pace Law should be ashamed of, however, is the recent editorial in the New York Law Journal by Jill Backer, Pace’s Assistant Dean of Career and Professional Development, criticizing the "sharp delineation" between law jobs and JD-Advantage jobs in the mandatory annual job placement survey. Here is the most remarkable quote from the article:
"[I]t has long been acknowledged that practicing law is only one way to utilize a law degree. Indeed, a J.D. is a versatile degree, just ask 25 of 44 U.S. Presidents how they used theirs. So, why are the various regulators and reviewers of law schools making a sharp delineation between those graduates that are practicing law in the traditional sense which requires the Bar exam and those graduates using their degree in other ways?"
Is the annual 10-month-after-graduation employment survey of law grads misleading due to the segmentation of law and non-law jobs? Wouldn't it be better instead to do a 239-year-after-independence survey of Electoral College (I mean, Electoral Law School) victors? Skeptical of authority I may be, but if 25 U.S. Presidents are prepared to vouch for JD Advantage I just might have to do a rethink. So, with the assistance of google and a book by Robert Stevens called Law School: Legal Education in America from the 1850s to the 1980s, here is a Presidential legal education survey-- OTLSS’s contribution to employment transparency in the manner recommended by Pace.