BY HOWELL PAYITT
The following article appeared in the Harvard Law Record’s April Fool’s Day Edition. In no way are any of the facts, quotes, or statements contained in this article true, nor do they reflect the sentiments of the individuals named within.
For the first time in Harvard Law School history, many graduating 3Ls find themselves in a situation known as the “no-offer”: having worked as summer associates at law firms following their 2L year, they ended the summer without an job offer and without any offers on the horizon. In response to this surprising situation, HLS administrators have decided to offer a full tuition refund to students who graduate with zero job offers.
“Its really only fair,” said Mark Weber, HLS’ Assistant Dean for Career Services. “When HLS makes each student an offer to enroll in the J.D. program, that offer carries the implied promise of a $160K starting salary at a prestigious law firm immediately following a lavish post-bar exam trip. HLS is under a contractual obligation to refund the tuition of students who find themselves in the unprecedented ‘no-offer’ situation.”
Dean Martha Minow agrees. “We don’t promise incoming students meaningful careers or that they’ll become the next president of the United States. We don’t promise that they’ll have a positive impact on the U.S. or the world, or that they’ll find their passion in the 3 years it takes to complete their J.D. The only thing we really do promise is a huge corporate salary.”
The tuition refund will not extend to students seeking public interest jobs, nor to LL.M.s. Asked to comment on the issue, representatives of the Office of Public Interest Advising noted that, “Everyone knows you’re not going to get the public interest job of your dreams upon graduation,” and further that “HLS students seeking to practice public interest law recognize that they could probably have earned more if they had never attended law school in the first place. A tuition refund in this situation does not make sense.”
As for the LL.M. graduating class, HLS administrators state that their chances of obtaining a job in the U.S. post-graduation was always slim, regardless of the state of the economy. “Look, lets be frank here: they talk funny. That’s not something HLS can hope to change in one year.”
Tuition refund forms are available online at the Student Financial Services website and in hardcopy at the SFS office on the third floor of Pound.