Classes Out at Boalt Hall As Students Look for Work

< It didn't take a disaster for Boalt Hall to suspend classes this fall for the first time ever--it took a job offer.

Lots of job offers, Boalt Hall students hope. They've been given a week off class to travel East and elsewhere for interviews with prospective employers.

Called "fly-back week," this version of a fall break was invented by Harvard about five years ago so students could complete lengthy job interviews away from home and not miss class.

A few major law schools have since followed suit, said Lujuana Treadwell, assistant dean for the law school.

Of course, students still do short interviews on campus at other times during the year. Over 300 law firms interview at Berkeley annually.

But for these "fly backs or BART backs or in-office interviews," said Treadwell, beginning this year students get the week off.

"In the past, students usually squeezed these interviews in around their classes, which means they haven't gone to class a lot of times," she said. Which also means classes were in a turmoil all semester.

Then along came Harvard.

"They told their students you have to do your fly-back interviews this week, and then they said to employers, you have to interview our students this week," said Treadwell. "At first law firms didn't like it because it reduced their flexibility. Students for the most part did like it, although they still had to do some interviews in other weeks. Faculty seemed to love it."

Harvard was soon joined by Yale and Stanford, and Berkeley considered introducing a fly-back week. Meanwhile, said Treadwell, the problem of missing classes for interviews worsened.

"As the job market has gotten harder, students are putting more energy into it--and time," she said. "We hope our own fly-back week alleviates this problem."


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