Wednesday, March 11, 2009

LIVEBLOG: SBA Town Hall Meeting

1:33- Our SBA President Dan welcomes all students and begins with an apology for the poor timing of the meeting. Judging from the amount of students in attendance (around 30), this apology is well grounded. Rest assured fellow students, the minutes of this meeting will be posted on the SBA website and this will not be our only opportunity to have a town hall meeting.

1:38- Dean Lawson announcing plan to have more interview dates in August to insure the ability of the law school to host all firms that want to come interview in August. The addition of these days seems good to me, so long as it doesn't conflict with summer programs.

1:40- Lottery to increase to 50% of firms interview slots, up from 20%. Zounds!

1:42- Targeted training secession on interview process to go over how to dress selves, how not to be embarrassing in interviews. 1Ls- also stay tuned for small section training secessions on Symplicity. Symplicity, not so simple after all. Also, more training sessions? I never really found the other ones very helpful, so fingers crossed.

1:44- First question. What about the 3L interview process, any changes? Dean Lawson doesn't really have an answer to this one, except that there will be future discussions with firms and students.

1:45- President Dan wants more details about the new lottery system. Students will continue to bid on firms and half of every firms' interview slots will be filled by the law school according the highest bidders. There will also be waitlists to opt into, similar to the Special Requests under Case.

1:51- Mandatory limits on number of firm selected interviews? Turns out it is hard to limit pre-selected interviews on the firm side. As for placing limits on the students, someone suggests placing a strict limit on the number of interviews a student signs up for rather than just giving guidelines. Dean Lawson thinks it is about the whole package IN THIS ECONOMY so a strict limit would be unfair to students with good grades that are less personable, etc.

1:57- Dan directs a question to Yared Getchaw about how the changes in hiring will affect public interest jobs. These interviews will still occur during September, the agency slots will be purely on a pre-selected basis.

2:00- New proposed OGI interview schedule.

Week One: Interview preperation on Monday and Tuesday, interviews on Wed, Thurs, Friday.

Week Two: Monday off for Peer Adviser Activities. Interviews Tuesday-Friday. Pow-wows with career services over the weekend.

Week Three: Interviews on Mon, Tues.

2:01- Getting legitimate rather than dismissive lottery interviews requires students to inform themselves about the firms and be smart in choosing their lottery picks.

2:07- Student suggest a student ambassador type system where students are put in touch with older students who had been successful in the past in similar markets/with specific firms.

2:08- Abrupt end to meeting as next round of classes begins. Dan urges us all to contact the SBA with more concerns.

2:12- Final Thoughts

Overall Themes: more meetings/information for 1Ls prior to process, concendsed earlier interview schedule, increased lottery interview slots.

I will leave the town hall meeting slightly more informed and perhaps slightly more hopeful with the prospects of future 2L OGIs. However I did not hear much of anything about how we are addressing the current 2Ls still struggling to secure employment or how we are going to ensure that those 2Ls who are settling for less than ideal positions this summer are going to remedy that next year. But at least change is in the air for current 1Ls.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. Sounds like CS is doing a smart thing in increasing the lottery but maintaining a pre-screen system. The comment about being realistic in interview choices is probably the key in this economy

One suggestion I have is that CS should compile a list of average GPAs that firms make callbacks/offers. (or at least some guidelines). This would be helpful in determining how to pick in the lottery. This data can be tough to find, and going on reputation alone probably isn't the best method.

JB4TW said...

10:06- your suggestion was addressed in the meeting after a student suggested it. The reply was that firms are hesitant to release information about their GPA hiring practices because they want to avoid the stigma of hiring low-GPA students. CS expressed concerns about privacy of releasing the data.

However, I agree that this information would be seriously helpful. Maybe Career Services could comply a list of data for students who choose to opt into it? Or maybe only release data for firms that gave more than 5 callbacks to help ensure anonymity.

Having this data last year would have been really helpful. Like GI Joe says, knowing is half the battle.

Anonymous said...

Yeah yeah the CSO is stretched, etc. Whatever. Northwestern's CSO is kicking their ass -