"Ever since day one, the career-services counselor has always had an open-door policy and told us what the [job] process is like and how it would work," Cabral said. "I can't say I'm totally freaked out, but now that we have the Bridge to Success program, I feel a lot less nervous."
Brooklyn Law School President Nicholas W. Allard said in a statement that the program "is designed to ease the pressure for some students to settle for any job to pay for living expenses and pay off loans.
"We are determined to provide the counseling and financial support needed, in some cases, to buy extra time, in order to land the job that fits a graduate’s talent and passion," Allard added.
But some law-student-advocacy groups see Bridge to Success as a band-aid on a more systemic wound.
Kyle McEntee is the executive director of Law School Transparency, a nonprofit research group that aims to "challenge law schools, state bar associations, and the American Bar Association to change business-as-usual." Although McEntee commended Brooklyn Law School's intentions, he told Refinery29 that the United States is facing "a broken legal-education system propped up by a broken student-loan system."
McEntee explains what he calls the "reverse Robin Hood phenomenon," in which the most able students at a law school are essentially subsidized by the least able students, who pay tuition but do not end up passing the bar. In McEntee's estimation, Bridge to Success is a standard Robin Hood phenomenon — students who get jobs do not get their tuition refunded, and therefore subsidize the unsuccessful outsets of their peers.
"Law schools refuse to acknowledge that, in reality, we don't want to mortgage our futures with non-dischargeable debt," McEntee said.