« on: July 08, 2010, 07:47:13 PM »
I'm afraid I can't really give you a complete answer to your question. I don't know that you will get one until the new stats come out, since the previous ones were from before the law bubble burst.
I will say that the Career Services Department at FCSL is excellent. I've talked to students at other schools and it sounds like the people in the FCSL CSD are willing to work with students much more than other the CSD at other schools. The CSD will go over your resume with you, give you helpful links based on your legal interests, give you contact info if they have it, do mock interviews with you, etc. You will also be able to look for jobs through Symplicity, and they will have another set of videos for you to watch after the 1st semester that walk you through how to use it.
As to 1L summer jobs, there are some out there; however, I only know few people who have paying jobs. A lot of the people from my section are volunteering at the PD's office or elsewhere or are taking summer classes. I personally chose to volunteer (after talking to career services) this summer because I'm transferring out and didn't want to start work during finals time or burn any bridges when I left. I think that if you want to find some sort of summer work, that you will be able to find something, but there is a good chance that you will be a volunteer.
Where I volunteer, there are also some 2Ls volunteering, but they didn't get any legal experience their first summer. From what I understand, you will not likely find a 2L summer job through OCI because the few employers that come to FCSL almost exclusively interview the top 5-10% and prefer people who are going to be or are part of moot court & law review. The school will tell you themselves that only 5% or less (I don't remember the exact percentage) will get jobs through OCI, and that most students find employment through Symplicity, personal connections, networking, etc.
As to 3L jobs, I'm not sure. That answer would go back up to the 1st paragraph. It may also depend on the bar passage rate. The July passage rate should be a lot better than December (60%). They usually get about 82-85% in July. I doubt the outlook for job hunting is good in Jacksonville. I did get a chance to talk to former FCSL students who found employment after graduation during a round table dinner the school provided for certain students. These students seemed very happy with their FCSL experience and were able to find jobs quickly. These were also the students who were in LR/MC/top 10%. They did say that many of their class mates weren't faring so well.
I think that jobs are going to be hard to get for awhile (and not just for students graduating from FCSL), but if you make sure that you get good experience while in school, network, do very well in your classes, etc., you will have a good chance of finding some sort of legal job when you graduate. Do realize that the class sizes at FCSL keep getting bigger and bigger and the number of jobs in Jax and elsewhere is shrinking, so you may want to try to get experience in other cities like Tallahassee or another state if you are planning to leave FL. FCSL is flooding the FL market with more lawyers than it can support. (It is a for profit law school.) Finding a job when you graduate will ultimately be on your shoulders.