PreLaw - Back to School 2010 - 8
Free Tuition and Costs for Students Considering Public Service Law Interested in working in public service law after law school?
The William H. Gates Public Service Law Program offers full tuition, room and board, and paid summer public service law internships for ﬁve incoming students to the University of Washington School of Law each year. The program covers all three years of law school. As a Gates Scholar, your commitment is to practice public service law for ﬁve years after graduation. In return, you get a top notch legal education, access to mentoring and support, and a debt free law degree. UW Law offers much to all students committed to public service. There are a variety of practice clinics, a robust externship program, a Public Service Concentration Track, a Pro Bono Honors Program and international public interest fellowships among other possibilities. These programs offer all students myriad opportunities to learn, grow and do good work.
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Hiring down, applicants hopeful about future
The nation’s largest law firms cut summer hiring by 44 percent this year, making it one of the toughest hiring seasons ever, The American Lawyer has reported. This comes on top of other reports that show hiring is nearing an all time low. But a survey shows that law school applicants remain positive about the future. The 114 law firms that responded to The American Lawyer magazine’s survey hired an average of 31 summer associates, down from 55 the year before. Most law firms hire law students who completed their second year of study. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom had the most severe cuts, dropping from 223 summer associates to only 79. This report comes on the heels of a study by the National Association of Law Placement, an organization that tracks law school employment rates, which showed that full-time hiring is also down. For the class of 2009, 88.3 percent of graduates had found employment within six months of graduation. That figure is the lowest since the mid-1990s, and does not reflect the percent of graduates who are underemployed — either in non-legal jobs or nonpermanent full-time positions. It also does not count the 3,200 to 3,700 graduates who saw their start dates with law firms deferred from early fall to after Dec. 1. But prospective law students seem undeterred. According to a recent Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions survey of 330 pre-law students, 52 percent report that they are “very confident” that they will find a job in the legal field after graduating law school and passing the bar, but only 16 percent say they are “very confident” that the majority of their fellow aspiring lawyers will do the same. In fact, only 7 percent of respondents indicated a lack of confidence in their own ability to secure employment upon graduation. Pre-law students’ attitudes are in keeping with research showing that students aged 18 to 29 are more optimistic about their economic future — despite a sluggish job market — than past generations. “Pre-law students’ confidence in their own job prospects are likely an indication not just of self-assurance, but of their optimism in an economic turnaround,” said Jeff Thomas, director of pre-law programs, Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions. “What’s interesting is the drop-off in confidence in their peers.” The employment news is not all bad. One-third of all lawyers interviewed by Robert Half Legal Hiring said they plan to add legal jobs soon, a figure that is improving from quarter to quarter. “Law firms specializing in bankruptcy, foreclosure and litigation are adding staff to meet increased demand for their services,” said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. —preLaw staff
Kaplan’s recent survey of pre-law students shows:
• Thirty-nine percent say that the economic downturn impacted their decision to apply to law school. • Only 5 percent of those surveyed say they think it is a smart admissions strategy to send a Facebook friend request to law school admissions officers. • If given the choice of submitting as part of their law school application a perfect 180 on the LSAT, a perfect 4.0 GPA or a letter of recommendation from a Supreme Court justice, 80 percent would opt for a perfect LSAT score.
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