Even as more women earn their JDs, they continue to face a gender gap in the job market.
Check out the latest headlines for aspiring lawyers—from law school on the weekend, to the persistent gender gap for new JDs, to helping students destress.
Law school looks to help students destress
Unlike college or high school where you get points for class participation, law schools do not reward effort alone. It’s all about your academic performance, namely your grades on midterms and finals. Needless to say, this can be a very stressful time for aspiring JDs, especially 1Ls. To help students relax and destress, University of St. Thomas School of Law recently held a paper plane throwing ceremony, where students could symbolically throw their cares away and win prizes.
One student said, “As law students, we don’t have a lot of time to spend together outside of the classroom to talk to each other. It was nice to have something so goofy and elementary—to make paper airplanes and throw them together. It was 20 minutes to forget all about law school.”
But not everyone thinks this is a good idea. As Above The Law said, “Today’s students aren’t necessarily any more soft than those of yesteryear just because the games they play are different. But there is something noxious about this New Age, corporate therapy schtick.” (The National Law Journal)
Weekend law school
As law schools struggle to reverse the years-long application slump (which we’ve written about frequently on this blog to make sure you are well-informed), they have been forced to innovate and retool. If law schools are to thrive again, this is a necessity. And so, Seton Hall University School of Law recently decided to offer a weekend law school curriculum for working professionals.
“Seton Hall Law has long been committed to access to a legal education, and this weekend offering continues that tradition.” said Kathleen Boozang, the school’s dean. “Students in our new part-time weekend program will enjoy a fully-immersive law school experience with flexibility better suited to their busy lives.” Applications for the fall 2017 semester are now open. It will be the only program of its kind in the NYC metropolitan area. (The Daily Record)
Gender gap persists
Even as the number of males and females in law school levels out to just about 50/50, job prospects for new JDs remain decidedly uneven according to a new report: “The Leaky Pipeline for Women Entering the Legal Profession.” One major reason for the workforce gender gap is that female students are more likely to attend lower-ranked schools, putting them at a distinct disadvantage when going for jobs at top law firms and other prestigious roles in the legal field.
“We noticed the dip in women and it was very disconcerting,” said Nancy Staudt, the dean at Washington University School of Law in Saint Louis. “We have stepped up our efforts through social media and other means, to talk to those considering law school and those who have been accepted, and we try to find the right fit for them.” (The New York Times)
Brooklyn Law selling off aging real estate
Brooklyn Law School is continuing its real estate selling binge, with the recent sale of its downtown office building for $76.5M. The NYC-based law school is doing this as a way to bolster its finances, something that many law schools have had to do over the past few years as applications have dropped, before starting to rebound recently.
The law school is quick to point out, however, that it’s not giving away its best property, thus it will not affect students’ experience. “While some people might be tempted to think we’re selling the family silver here, that’s just not the case at all. With the construction of Feil Hall, we don’t need these older, aging properties that have become very expensive to maintain,” said the school’s dean, Nicholas Allard. The school remains one of the country’s most innovative. As you may recall, last year, they cut tuition by 15 percent. (The New York Law Journal)
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