This page was last updated on September 18, 2012.
Law School Transparency was founded as a Tennessee non-profit by two Vanderbilt law students (both of whom has since graduated) in July 2009. However, the co-founders — Patrick Lynch (Class of 2010) and Kyle McEntee (Class of 2011) — began the initiative well before making the decision to incorporate.
On March 14th, 2008, at Vanderbilt University Law School’s Admitted Students Day, Vanderbilt took an important step towards improving transparency by releasing a list of where, and with whom, 196 of the 223 Class of 2007 graduates were employed. The list was well-received by accepted students, which at the time included Kyle. Kyle and another prospective student took Vanderbilt’s list and added public data to create a spreadsheet, which they then published on various online discussion boards. Some prospectives chose to attend Vanderbilt at least partially because of the list, including Kyle. Once Kyle began law school, he and Patrick began discussing the benefits of the list and the possibility of creating a new standard across all law schools. Motivated by Vanderbilt’s more comprehensive disclosure of job outcomes, the two began encouraging prospective students to contact other schools and ask for the same information.
However, individual prospectives on their own were unsuccessful at obtaining this information from schools. Seeing this, Patrick and Kyle began discussing other ways to cause schools to share the employment data they already collected. Meanwhile, Vanderbilt continued to release their own employment lists, which meant that Vanderbilt’s Class of 2012 and 2013 received similar consumer information.
In the summer of 2009, Patrick and Kyle incorporated LST. This was the critical turning point in their efforts to increase law school transparency. It was apparent that law schools would be difficult to sway towards more disclosure and that disclosure was a key first step towards affordable legal education, while also clear that law schools failing to meet a reasonable request for employment data would be the best first step for achieving system-wide reform.