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Columbia Law School and its successful effort to place graduates in legal departments

My law school alma mater, Columbia (JD ’78), took steps after the 2008 crash to help its graduates find jobs. According to the Col. Law School Mag., Spring 2012 at 2, the Dean of the Law School “reached out to more than 100 graduates who are general counsels or deputy general counsels to encourage them to hire graduates straight out of law school, which is not common.” It worked. Through that effort, about five percent of the Class of 2011 and four percent of the Class of 2010 were hired by a legal department. The Law School graduates something like 350 lawyers every year, so 10-15 of its graduates each of those two years started their practice in a law department.

That is an unusual career path, especially from a very prominent law school (See my post of Nov. 8, 2005: how infrequently law departments hire straight from law school; June 24, 2007: few hires straight from law school; Sept. 18, 2008: innovative arrangement for law school graduates to get law firm training before joining Citigroup; March 9, 2009: about 4 percent go straight to a legal department; Oct. 5, 2009: GCs should encourage law students to consider in-house jobs; and Oct. 19, 2011: IBM hires straight from law school.).

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