One of the neat things about the web is that we don’t need to just accept everything we’re told. The well-titled blog ButIDidEverythingRight just quoted some of Duke Law’s statistics. Apparently 100% of the people from the Class of 2009 had jobs at graduation. But is that really true?
I don’t have much time to dig into these things, but I signed onto LinkedIn and started searching the public resumes of the graduates from 2009. I only got through the first two pages, but I found this:
- Many are employed as associates at firms. I counted 20.
- Two are listed as clerks for judges.
- Two others have legal jobs like being a Vice-Consol for an embassy.
- A number list past jobs at Duke Clinics and other university positions, a common technique that schools use to claim 100% employment.
- Many don’t list employment. I found at least 10 with titles that aren’t likely to encourage me to spend $200k+ for a Duke Law degree:
- Entrepreneur, Law School Graduate and Experienced Financial Analyst
- Community Development
- Student at Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business
- Accounts Executive at Institute for Higher Learning Government Relations, Law, International Development – Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina Area
- Financial Services Attorney – Charlotte, North Carolina Area
- Real Estate Broker at Self Employed
- Attorney and Entrepreneur at Attorney and Entrepreneur
- Trade Policy and Regulatory Affairs
- Experienced Finance Professional
I hate to make any concrete judgement from this list. There are certainly some impressive jobs at top name firms. There are even a few clerks. But I would be a complete fool to bet that an accurate accounting would prove 100% of the people are employed in any normal sense of the word.
I know entrepreneurs take risks. I know some people are good consultants. I know that not everyone rushes to update LinkedIn with news of their new job. But many of the listings look like people who will jump at a job that comes along.
Does anyone want to do a better search? I’m sure a journalist could really have fun by calling up a bunch of the folks and see how many of them are searching for work. Then ask whether they really had a job at graduation. It only takes 1 to spoil a claim of 100%!