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Large Numbers of Law, Week of 1/16/12

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21% - Law schools that provide no useful employment information on their website, either because they provide no information at all, or because their data is so misleading or incomplete that it is of no value (or worse, of less than no value).

51% - Law schools that fail to indicate how many students responded to their employment survey.

26% - Law schools that show how many graduates are in jobs that require bar passage.

17% - Law schools that show how many graduates are in permanent or temporary positions.

10% - Law schools that show how many graduates are in full-time or part-time positions.

1% - Law schools that indicated the number of students in permanent, full-time law jobs.




We've heard the line over and over that not everyone goes to law school planning to become a lawyer, plenty of students have other aspirations, or gain them during law school. But, a significant number of students do come to law school hoping to secure full-time, permanent jobs as a lawyer.

How many?

Who knows? It's probably somewhere along the lines of the vast freaking majority. Certainly well north of 1%. There's a reason why bar passage rates are part of ABA accreditation standards, and not CPA examination rates.


Law School Transparency created a list of 19 factors a prospective student looking at employment outcomes would be concerned with. The current ABA questionnaire only meets for of these criterions, employment status, employer type, and location. It also gets a yes for "ease of access."

The new ABA questionnaire adds several factors, including if positions are permanent or temporary, if they are funded by the school, and the size of the law office. It still does not ask for schools to distinguish between full-time and part-time jobs, whether the jobs require a JD or bar passage, or for any salary data. The new questionnaire will meet 9 of the criterions.

Every year NALP collects a large amount of employment data and sends it to schools. This forms the basis of the data schools then send to the ABA and US News, as well as much of the data published on their websites. Only a handful of schools do not participate in the NALP survey. The vast majority of schools have, at this very moment, very comprehensive data about the employment outcomes for the class of 2010. In less time than it takes your Keurig to warm up, they could publish this data on their websites.

The NALP report would provide 12 of the data points on the Law School Transparency Index. Only 6 schools already meet or exceed this number. Every other school has decided to hide employment data from prospective students.


Law School Transparency recently sent a request to all law schools to provide their NALP reports. Many have agreed to do so, and once published, there will likely be increased pressure on other schools to comply.

LST's efforts have been crucial in improving the ABA questionnaire, it is the only organization analyzing the quality of employment data law schools publish, and the only organization actively working to improve the data that's out there. But, they can't do it alone folks. They need funding to keep up the fight. We'd say that we know some of you have jobs and can spare a few bucks to help them out, but there is currently insufficient data to support that proposition.

[Transparency Index]

[Winter 2012 Transparency Index Report]

[Support LST]

[More Large Numbers of Law]

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