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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 1, 1975)
monday, december 1, 1975
By Terri Wfflson
While UNL senior students flood the job
market with resumes to law firms via costly
mass mailings, many say they are on their
own because the College of Law placement
program is virtually iile.
There is "little movement in job place
ment this time of year and senior morale is
low," according to David L. Shaneyfelt,
assistant dean of the College of Law and
A Student Bar Association Placement
Committee survey completed within the last
few weeks indicated that 54 of 56 junior
law students are discouraged about their
chances of securing an adequate job after
The survey also said that 59 of the 86
juniors are not familiar with the job place
ment services provided by UNL's Law
Most not familiar with placement
While 52 of 131 freshmen indicated
they have no opinion about their chances
of getting a good job after graduation, 49
of 131 said they were discouraged and 118
said they are not familiar with the job
placement services at the school.
Student unfamiliarity with the place
ment program is not surprising, according
to the two-man Placement Services Com
mittee, since the school does little more
than post job notices on a bulletin board
and sometimes make a "few" calls for job
hunting law graduates. What is surprising,
say Ed Sands and Steve Mercure, junior law
students investigating the possibility of an
active law college placement program, is
that the ochool has kept no files or records
of past UNL law grads and their job place
ments, making the success rate of UNL law
grads is difficult to measure.
The committee is planning to contact
and survey alumni from the last three years
to obtain their records and start what is
called a useful file of contacts for other
grads seeking employment. Mercure said
the committee wants to contact UNL law
grads from the past 20 years, first on a
small scale-about 50 to 100 alumni-and
divide these into geographical areas and en
courage them to hire UNL law college
Lack of funds
A lack of funds is the reason for the
absence of an active placement program at
the Law School, Mercure said. While
Shaneyfelt works on what students
describe as an "ad hoc" basis for place
ment, he said, they are concerned because
Shaneyfelt steps down as Assistant Dean at
the end of this semester leaving no one to
help with placement. While Mercure and
Sands said they have worked with Shaney
felt the last six weeks on the start of what
they expect to be a year-long fact-gathering
study, the two said they are receiving help
from UNL's Union Placement Director
They also are writing for help to the
' National Association of Law School
"UNL is at a disadvantage without a
placement program," said Mercure.
After sending placement questionnaires
to 16 Midwestern law schools, Mercure and
Sands have received only four responses.
The qeustionnaires indicate that other
schools have active placement programs
which solicit interviews from firms, coor
porations and government agencies,
Mercure said, with someone working as a
full-time placement director. Money is
allocated through the law colleges' budgets,
Creighton Law School, among the four
with an active placement program weakens
the possibility for UNL students to be
hired in the already tight and competitive
field of law, Sands said.
"Nebraska alone puts out 150 potential
lawyers a year," he said. "We need a better
program and a person with professional
expertise to run placement. Law College
needs a separate facility rooms and
offices set aside for placement as other
Job market tight
The U.S. Department of Labor has
predicted that there will be about 20,000
law job openings within the next year, but
about 38,000 law graduates will be looking
for jobs, Sands said.
He said the committee will seek funds
from the Fees Allocation Board to get the
placement program started and later ask
the Nebraska Bar Association and the NU
Administration for more financing. He said
it also would appeal to the NU Board of
Regents and the Legislature, hoping to
convince them of the need for a law place
What would an active placement pro
gram do for the law student? According to
Sands and Mercure it would attract campus
interviewers from both regional and
national law firms to UNL.
While Mercure said that the UNL
College of Law is a good school, both he
and Sands said that students are taught law
theory, but no course exists to teach stu
dents practical application of law tech
niques. However, they cited the mock in
terviews held this semester as being help
ful to law students.
Sands said that a placement program
also would coordinate both summer clerk
ing jobs and placement posts for law stu
dents. Alternatives to law practice
Mercure said he would like to see more
counseling of students, especially among
undergraduates." A placement program, he
suggested, "might direct them to other
areas - there are other choices besides
practicing law - such as government
agencies." Sands said most students,
especially underclassmen, do not know
how to fill out a resume.
While Shaneyfelt said that only 50 per
cent of the nation's law graduates actually
practice law, he agreed that students need
to realize what he termed other possibili
ties of graduating with a law degree. He
said he has learned that local firms will
have about 10 openings this year.
. Mercure said a placement office, "would
give students a chance to sell themselves."
In defense of the program, Mercure said
that the schools' program "should equal
the $3 million building" encompassing law
Top students hard to place
Senior class President Susan Carlson
agreed that the job situation looks "bleak"
right now, adding that law students in the
top of the class are finding it tough to be
placed. Carlson, one of 40 to 45 December
graduates, said many firms will not be hir
ing until spring.
"Students on law review, students with
good grades," are still not pkced, she said,
and some law students are spending $400
or $500 on trips to other cities seeking
She said she has spend abour $40 mail
ing resumes. For those who don't do their
own typing, charges range from 50 to 80
cents a letter.
"When a student sends out hundreds of
letters, it gets to be costly," she' said. "Not
to mention that postage rates have gone up
to 13 cents."
Carlson said she thinks an active place
ment program could tell students which
firms need employes, therefore cutting
costs of job hunting techniques.
NETV ads help wont dte
Although they are not competing with commercial tele
vision stations, the Nebraska Educational Television Net
work (NETV) uses advertising to promote their programs,
Ruthanna Russel, NETV Information director said.
"We haven't begun to reach as many viewers as we
should," Russel said. She added that although some Public
Broadcasting Service (PBS) programs fared well In the
Nielsen Television Ratings, NETV has no interest in them.
Advertising for NETV programs is directed to special
groups who have an interest in a particular program,
according to Russel.
"We cooperate with other state agencies as widely as
possible," she said. "The agencies will include information
about our programming in their mailings to their members
and state employes."
Russel said an example of this was the program
"Aviation Weather," designed for pilots. The Nebraska
Aeronautics Institute gives information about this program
to interested people
Russet believes if a group knows about a special inicickl
program, it may initiate an interest in other NETV offerings.
Russel said a complete listing of NETV programs offered
are mailed weekly to state newspapers and TV Guide along
with program highlights.
The Nebraskans for Public Television (NPTV) also pub
lishes Choice magazine, monthly for its members and the
media, Russel said.
Russel said that no state tax money can be used for ad
vertising. Development of new programs on NETV is
supported by state tax funds.
NPTV donates what Russel called "a limited amount" of
money each year towards advertising for local shows.
In addition, Russel said, PBS sends some money fcr
regional promotion of national programs, Russel added that
this has only been done in the past two years.
Russel said an extensive promotion campaign is under
way for an NETV produced program "Anyone for Tenny
son" to be shown in January over most nationally-affiliated
PBS stations. The program will feature the works of Alfred
Tennyson produced as dramas with personalities such as
Claire Bloom, Cyril Ritchard, and Ruby Dee.
Russel said NETV should be called a service rather than
"We try to offer the best of PBS and special programs of
interest to Nebraskans," she said. "People should remember
we aren't In competition with other stations and although
some of our programs may not have extensive audiences,
we feel it is a service to Nebraska to offer them."
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