Boston College Responds to Refund Letter

Boston College Law School has released an official response to the now-famous letter sent by a third-year law student to Dean George Brown requesting a full tuition refund, citing financial hardship stemming from the current state of the job market and a child he and his wife are expecting.

The full text of the response is posted below.

The administration of Boston College Law School is deeply concerned about the job prospects of our students and our recent graduates. The job market in the legal profession and beyond has been severely affected by the current economic downturn, which has resulted in one of the most difficult employment climates in the past 70 years, not only for BC Law, but for all schools across the nation.

We’ve been working diligently to design new programs and expand opportunities for our graduating students. Some of these opportunities include the Career Partnership Program, through which our alumni have provided paid fellowships in private practice; the Judicial Fellowship Program, through which we have partnered with the Massachusetts Superior Court to provide 10 paid fellowships to assist justices; and through the Law School’s support of public interest funding, both through the Law School Fund’s financial match of the PILF summer stipend program (156 students received these stipends in 2010, up from 120 in 2009) and through support of several post-graduate fellowships in our clinics and in programs designed by our graduates.

Our Career Services staff works tirelessly to bring employers to campus to host programs such as this week’s Government/Public Interest interview program. They have read and revised hundreds of resumes and cover letters, answered countless “quick questions,” and prepared students thoroughly through mock interviews. They held over 2,000 individual counseling appointments for students during the last academic year—these have increased substantially through the recession. The staff has also reached out to our alumni to help support our students by mentoring, counseling and identifying employment opportunities. In addition to providing individual assistance, they have organized more than 90 Career Services informational programs over the last year alone, many of which included committed alumni volunteers.

Recently, in recognition of the increased demand on the Career Services office and the current economic climate, the Law School has funded an additional Career Counselor while open positions are being frozen or eliminated in other departments.

These are difficult times in our country. The challenges our graduates face are unprecedented. As a Jesuit law school we are particularly concerned with the well being of our students. But no institution of higher education can make a guarantee of a job after graduation. What we can do is provide the best education we possibly can, and work together to provide as many career opportunities as possible. The Law School and the Career Services office are committed to working with each student individually for as long as necessary to help them find employment, and we encourage anyone concerned about their current situation to contact the office and schedule an appointment.

Our hearts go out to our students during this difficult time. By working together, however, we can do everything possible to help them find meaningful employment in their chosen field.

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5 Responses to “Boston College Responds to Refund Letter”

  1. Get the ranking of the law school back on track, and the employers will start highering again. The T14 have had a hard time as well, but they haven’t had it as hard as the 25-35 schools. Get BC into the T20, and you’ll see employers coming back to campus and picking up their recruiting.

    There are some job postings I can’t apply to because I didn’t go to a T15-25 school, which is what BC was when I decided to attend.

    Get the reputation back, and you’ll fix the problem.

  2. *hiring

  3. I sure wish I could get a refund on every service that didn’t fulfill my expectations. Law school is expensive. All higher education comes at a cost. You can’t have buyer’s remorse now just because it may not be as easy as you thought to pay of the six figure student loan you have. The economy isn’t the fault of the college and there are programs available to help you find employment. Just because you got a glimpse at the bill and got a dose of reality, does not mean the banks have to forgive debts. I agree with the school’s stance on this 100%.

  4. The problem with Boston College Law School’s argument is that their marketing (and the marketing of other law schools) emphisizes employment statistics which are wildly inaccurate and misleading. Applicants are led to believe they will earn six figure salaries when the reality is that a top 11% candidate might be offered 25k/yr if they are lucky right now (yes — 25k — you would be surprised). It is unethical for these schools to continue to allow their students to take out loans that will bankrupt these students for life. If they can’t fund themselves any other way, they should not exist at all — we have too many lawyers in this country as it is.