SMU's Dedman School of Law has started to pay for-profit law firms to hire their students for a one month "Test Drive." Potential employers can register on the "Test Drive" page. It is all incredibly simple. The SMU webpage describes the program. Here's how it works -
TEST DRIVE - MONTH ONE: By applying to participate in Test Drive the employer indicates an identified need to hire a new associate for full-time, long term employment. Funding Instructions
The Law School will fund $3,500 for a one month Test Drive -- a "no strings attached" opportunity to allow a legal employer the ability to evaluate a Class of 2010 graduate on a trial basis.
To initiate funding for Test Drive employment, the Law School must receive this Employer Registration prior to the date Test Drive employment commences. Upon receipt of the Employer Registration and approval of the Test Drive, the Law School will disburse funds within 14 days of the date Test Drive employment commences to the address listed above.
TEST DRIVE - MONTH ONE:
By applying to participate in Test Drive the employer indicates an identified need to hire a new associate for full-time, long term employment.
Of course, firms that "Test Drive" a law student are not obligated to hire that student. Regardless, this is an interesting response to the current market and may turn out to be of benefit to some graduating students.