Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Thoughts on working for a public University

Anyone have experience with this? What are pros and cons? Ho sillydood06/09/17
I worked in the GC's office for an Ivy. Experience will tot jd4hire06/09/17
A coworker's fiancée worked as a dgc at a public university downwardslope06/12/17
Obviously everything varies greatly depending upon the type mrtor06/12/17
NCAA compliance with the athletic department always sounded irishlaw06/09/17
I work for a state university in NJ in a non-legal capacity. rwhyan06/09/17
Sounds pretty sweet, really. If I had 15 sick days I'd be ge 3lol06/09/17
Sure why not. It's certainly better than being a Charlotte L isthisit06/10/17
I've worked for four different public universities (and one kaneloa06/12/17
You were faculty and a law librarian before that though, cor wolfman06/12/17
Community colleges are the slave labor camps of higher educa kaneloa06/13/17
I have a friend from law school working for one of the state barelylegal06/13/17
My cousin works in higher ed admin. Easy enough, except the vohod06/14/17
Overall I think it varies based upon where you work and who greenhorn06/14/17
sillydood (Jun 9, 2017 - 1:07 pm)

Anyone have experience with this? What are pros and cons? How does it compare to other government work and the private sector?

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jd4hire (Jun 9, 2017 - 1:33 pm)

I worked in the GC's office for an Ivy. Experience will totally depend on what you're doing. The office I worked in broke out matters - Real Estate/ Probate work, contract review/ mou's with study abroad/ partner schools, and litigation. Everyone chipped in on policy review and emergency matters that arise.

Within those areas, the work was pretty monotonous. Being on a campus is a nice plus - regardless of whether you're pervy, I found it nice to be around young individuals and a lively campus. We also received great benefits.

The people I worked with were absolutely crazy and I wasn't in love with the work. I left and am glad I did. I would never have lasted. One of the attys was an alcoholic and was extremely depressed. He knew this and attributed nearly all of it to the work environment.

I doubt there is a "standard" experience for working in a GC role at a university.

Big pro is PSLF and a lot of states/ universities have policies that allow employee students to attend for free.

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downwardslope (Jun 12, 2017 - 9:24 am)

A coworker's fiancée worked as a dgc at a public university. We worked in government. He said she made around twice what he made, but I am not sure if I would want that particular job. That school was in trouble all the time. Students dying in hazing incidents, accreditation probation, etc.

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mrtor (Jun 12, 2017 - 10:08 am)

Obviously everything varies greatly depending upon the type of position. What are you looking at?

There is a higher level of performance and time commitment expected from GCs than routine administrative and clerical positions. There are differences between academic departments and admissions, athletics and research. We could also devote an entire threat to teaching.

Generally, the compensation for entry-level, front line positions seems mediocre. However, GCs obviously earn more than some clerical schlubs and university management/executive salaries seem to increase markedly as well. Benefits are great. Performance expectations vary based on position, but are usually non-existent. Just being competent and showing up are often enough.

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irishlaw (Jun 9, 2017 - 1:36 pm)

NCAA compliance with the athletic department always sounded fun to me. If you work at a bluechip football school you'll probably be able to attend swanky donor parties, get excellent tickets to game, and have some good travel locations.

...literally the job is to make sure donors aren't giving freebies to athletes.

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rwhyan (Jun 9, 2017 - 1:40 pm)

I work for a state university in NJ in a non-legal capacity. I only had limited work experience prior to working at the university, so I can't really make comparisons to other types of work. The pay is decent for what I do. I get 20 vacation days and 15 sick days per year. This will increase, per my union contract, on my 10th anniversary. I'm hardly in the office past 5 o'clock, and I've never worked a single weekend in my 6 years here. Very little stress. The fact that I complete my tasks on time and perform my job competently makes me an all-star to my bosses. The pay leaves something to be desired, but it's not bad. However, employees at my university get free tuition for themselves and any of their children.

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3lol (Jun 9, 2017 - 1:54 pm)

Sounds pretty sweet, really. If I had 15 sick days I'd be getting "sick" all the time. We get 20 days off and sick time is presumably included in that.

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isthisit (Jun 10, 2017 - 10:43 am)

Sure why not. It's certainly better than being a Charlotte Law professor right now.

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kaneloa (Jun 12, 2017 - 2:19 pm)

I've worked for four different public universities (and one private university and one community college). If you're lucky, you work for a well-run university. If you're unlucky you work for one that is run like a community college. If you're really unlucky, you work for a community college.

Of the public universities I've worked for, two were major land-grant universities. Both were flagships of their university systems. They were the best run.

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wolfman (Jun 12, 2017 - 2:55 pm)

You were faculty and a law librarian before that though, correct? These guys are talking about stuff like working for the GC office, I believe... wouldm't that be a vastly different work environment, incentives, etc.?

For what it's worth, from my limited experience, I concur with your assessment (some states don't really have a "flagship" though).

But what's wrong with working at a CC as a faculty member? Are the kids just awful?

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kaneloa (Jun 13, 2017 - 2:55 pm)

Community colleges are the slave labor camps of higher education. And the micromanaging can be severe.

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barelylegal (Jun 13, 2017 - 10:50 pm)

I have a friend from law school working for one of the state flagships. Last time I talked to her she told me she was doing low level contract review and grant proposals. She seems happy enough and I am pretty sure she qualifies for PLSF.

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vohod (Jun 14, 2017 - 12:11 am)

My cousin works in higher ed admin. Easy enough, except the higher ups can be appointed politicos who have no idea how thejr department works. Keep your head down and enjoy a client and court-free life.

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greenhorn (Jun 14, 2017 - 1:06 am)

Overall I think it varies based upon where you work and who your bosses are.

Bottom line though was nailed by Vohod, you enjoy a client and court free lifestyle. ! That's a gem !

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