Your Role Moving Forward

We have been seeing a lot of traffic to LST in the last few weeks. Your interest is encouraging, even if many have doubts about the level of compliance we can reach in the first year. The more our visitors discuss the new standard, the more likely schools will agree to comply. Once we make our official request, schools will have 60 days to meet and discuss whether they will comply. In the meantime, we strongly encourage everybody to contact the schools.

Law School Administrators: We encourage you to pass along word of this initiative within your administrations and at other schools with whom you correspond. We have already begun contacting many of you and will continue to do so; we hope each of you will take some time over the next few months to seriously consider our initiative and perhaps determine ahead of time whether you plan on responding to our first official request.

Faculty: We encourage all of you to review our paper on SSRN and debate the merits of our proposal. Though we have involved a number of you in the initial process of drafting the paper, we would appreciate any scholarly responses you may wish to provide. Law school faculty play an important role in the dialogue needed to make the changes we seek.

Alumni: Let your schools know whether you approve of the new reporting standard. If you disapprove, we ask that you make your concerns known to the schools so they can use your comments in preparing their response. If you approve of this effort, we ask that you indicate how your behavior may change towards the school depending on whether or not they choose to comply.

Current Students: You all play an important role in shaping how your law school views itself within the market, both for recruiting prospectives and for recruiting potential employers. Let them know what you think about this effort. What can this standard do to increase your own job prospects, by making the names of all employers for the graduating classes of a number of ABA-approved law schools available? Could it hurt your prospects, and if so how? What do you think this will do for your school’s recruiting efforts, particularly as peer programs improve their level of transparency and potentially lure risk-averse prospective students away?

Accepted Students: Out of all the stakeholders, the greatest information-forcing authority lies with you. As we have mentioned many times on discussion boards like Top Law Schools, you should leverage your acceptances to procure additional information from the law schools. We regret that we will not be making our request until after you have likely made your decision, however many ABA-approved law schools are already on notice that many of you want better information. This initiative began with requests from prospective law students, and its success will depend on your continued support of this initiative. As always, you can send us any information related to post-graduation outcomes you receive. Good hunting.

7 thoughts on “Your Role Moving Forward”

  1. I’m a 2008 UCLA grad, and my statistics were not counted – I was never asked if I had a job 9 months after graduation (I didn’t) but when I looked at the stats they had posted, it showed everyone being employed.

  2. Good luck in your efforts. I am a 2002 law school graduate. I paid for law school entirely with loans. I wish that the sort of information that you are trying to put together had been available when I was looking for law schools. It would have been an important factor to consider when looking at law school tuitions.

  3. @ #1: Is that the criticism you really want to offer here without further explanation? There are plenty of fruitful topics for deliberation (likelihood of and incentives for reporting, how the timing of the project in a tight job market shapes its goals and conclusions, what the project and its potential outcomes tell us about the state of legal education and the legal profession, and so on), and “stakeholders,” used once in the post, isn’t an obviously wrong word choice. It hardly seems worth quibbling over.

  4. There’s another potential role here for recent alumni. If you can’t get the information from schools, and you’re serious about making it available to 0L’s, ask recent graduates for it. You could use a system similar to lawschoolnumbers.com. Clearly the data would be less reliable and is no substitute for comprehensive data from the schools themselves, but it would be better than nothing. The people with impressive jobs would probably post their information to brag, and the people without jobs would probably post their information out of anger and bitterness toward their school. I imagine it would be the middle-of-the-road jobs you would most likely miss with such a method.

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