Law School Transparency Reports: The Second Request

This past July, LST requested that all ABA-approved law schools provide employment data to LST for public consumption. At that time, the vast majority of law schools declined to respond or comment. In November, we finalized our official guidelines and made a second request from all ABA-approved law schools. While schools still have time to respond to our request and potentially commit to the LST Standard in time for the first wave of data, we thought it was time to issue a report on where things currently stand. Once again, the vast majority of schools have declined to respond or comment. The responses from the schools that did choose to respond were much the same.

Initial Request Responses

Law School Stance Primary reason for declining
American University Maybe Waiting for finalized Guidelines to decide
Ave Maria Yes
Creighton University No Compliance costs are too great
Northwestern University No LST is not well-established
Santa Clara University No Compliance costs are too great
University of Colorado No Compliance costs are too great
University of Florida No Prefer other means of improving information
University of Michigan Maybe Should make open records request instead
University of Tennessee No Violates privacy of students and employers
Vanderbilt University Maybe Waiting to examine impact on privacy
William Mitchell No No reason provided

Second Request Responses

Law School Stance Primary reason for declining
Loyola University Chicago No “most of the same [reasons] as the other deans who have declined”
University of Kansas No “not in a position to participate at this time”
Duquesne University No Violates privacy of students
Nova Southeastern University No Compliance costs are too great
University of Louisville Maybe see below

University of Louisville’s response to our second request was of particular note.

Via email:

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. I think we agree on the value of reporting employment data accurately. I think we also agree on some of the potential challenges with LST Standard compliance. At this point, the University of Louisville Law School can commit to reviewing our 2010 data with the LST Standard in mind. As we discussed, our challenges are going to be with salary determination, reporting, privacy and resources. Perhaps we can have another conversation after February 15. My goal, like yours, is to ensure that prospective consumers of law school education have complete and accurate information upon which to make a decision.

We will be following up with University of Louisville Law School next week. It’s good to see the school thinking critically about how they report information to prospective law students. Louisville is among the few schools in the recent months to act publicly on the notion that prospective students need more information to make informed decisions. We hope that Louisville and other schools promptly provide 2010 employment information after it is available.

In the meantime, if you are affiliated with a school that has yet to respond and you support the cause, we encourage you to contact the school’s administration. We’ve heard from a number of current and prospective students over the last month who are doing just that, so please check back as we report more on those initiatives.

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