Thank you to everyone who has continued expressing support for increased transparency at ABA-approved law schools. This past week LST announced some important improvements that U.S. News will make regarding information disclosure. Building on the U.S. News lobbying efforts (which we began back in August), we then presented at the ABA Questionnaire Committee meeting down in Ft. Lauderdale, which was very productive. We will recap what happened at the meeting later this week. By continuing to focus the discussion on the need to repair the trust relationship between law schools and students, we are hopeful that meaningful improvements will eventually come about through the regulatory process.
LST plans to play an active role in participating in the reforms, but to do this we need to reexamine our organization’s resources. We are a small staff made up entirely of volunteers. This is a good thing. Unlike representatives from individual law schools, we don’t face the bureaucratic problems that exist within many institutions of higher education. As new members of the legal profession, we have worked hard to prove our dedication to solving these issues in a way that benefits both prospective law students and the legal profession in general. Thankfully, the legal media has largely spared us of the same criticism often levied against the ABA or individual law schools. We suspect that one of the reasons for this has been because we don’t really have a horse in the race, other than a serious dedication to following through with our goals.
That said, this week’s success at the ABA hearing has led us to realize that continued involvement with the ABA is necessary if we are to make sure that they continue in the right direction. Regulatory reform is slow, and there will be a number of opportunities for interested parties to sidetrack the ABA’s efforts. For our purposes, this means that we need to secure enough funds so that when we are invited to the table, we can afford to attend.
So far we have relied on the generosity of anonymous donors, but we are now considering additional methods of fundraising. We will continue to operate as a volunteer organization, relying on our dedicated staff members, advisory board, and the hundreds of people who have reached out to us with ideas over the last two years.
We are currently soliciting ideas about how we can raise the funds necessary to carry out LST’s mission. If you have a good one, let us know. One suggestion has been to ask for an “alternate class pledge” similar to what graduating students are asked to give by their law schools, where graduates who do not approve of how their own school presents employment information can make a pledge to LST instead. While this could increase some of the animosity between law schools and LST, it could also serve as a barometer for how many graduates are willing to pay to see something change, while simultaneously providing another incentive (though small) for schools to reevaluate their methods aside from any potential ABA reforms. We are by no means committed to this idea, so if you have an opinion on the matter please do not hesitate to express your concern or support.
We will be considering any and all fundraising suggestions over the next several weeks. Please send us your thoughts, or let us know if you (or someone you know) would be interested in making a donation.
All the Best,
Patrick J. Lynch, J.D.
Co-Founder and Policy Director
Law School Transparency
Kyle P. McEntee
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Law School Transparency