Brooklyn Law School: Jobless grads will get some money back
Brooklyn Law School (BLS) recently announced the launch of Bridge to Success, a new program designed to support graduates who may take longer in their job search to find meaningful, full-time employment. Under the program, if graduates have not found jobs of their choice nine months after graduation, they will receive a lump sum payment of 15 percent of their total tuition costs paid while attending BLS. The program takes effect beginning with the entering class of 2015.
Bridge to Success builds on BLS’s nationally recognized career preparation and job placement success and is a further enhancement to the school’s comprehensive plan to support graduates as they begin their careers. Bridge to Success serves as both a boost while graduates conduct their job search and as a safety net if the process takes longer than anticipated.
BLS Dean Nicholas Allard said Monday the school aims to ease pressure some students feel to take any job just to pay loans and living expenses.
“Our students invest a lot of time, effort and money earning their law degrees; some students need more time and support than others to find that all-important first job to start a worthwhile career,” said Allard. “We are determined to provide the counseling and financial support needed in some cases to buy extra time, in order to land the job that fits a graduate’s talent and passion.”
BLS’s job placement record over the last two years has been 90 percent, with graduates working in all areas of the law. BLS graduates have found employment success in private practice, corporations, startups, government agencies, judicial clerkships and nonprofits. However, graduates occasionally face short-term difficulty early in their careers, even with high-quality credentials. Bridge to Success helps graduates who have worked closely with their career counselors on their job search and sat for the bar exam, but who have not found meaningful full-time employment.
Bridge to Success is the latest in a package of initiatives created by the school to make legal education more affordable and accessible. Other initiatives include the 15 percent tuition reduction plan for all students, which began with the most recent two-year J.D. class in May, as well as the Alumni Committed to Employing Students program, in which BLS partners with alumni who dedicate their time and efforts to the career success of both current students and fellow alumni through mentorship, networking, teaching and hiring.
“Bridge to Success is yet another program that further illustrates the law school’s commitment to, and investment in, our students and graduates,” said Stuart Subotnick, chairman of BLS’s board of trustees. “The first job after law school is critical and we want to help our graduates get the best chance at securing the job that is right for them.”
Law schools nationwide have faced questions about students’ employment prospects and debt since the Great Recession.
The National Association for Law Placement’s executive director, James Leipold, says BLS’s new program appears unusual.
The school cut tuition last year by 15 percent, to about $43,000 for students entering this year.
—Information from The Associated Press and Brooklyn Law School
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