Certified v. Uncertified Lists

In previous posts (#1, #2, #3, #4) we’ve casually referred to “uncertified lists.” We figure it is time to explain more carefully what we mean by this.

When we say “certified list” we refer to a list that meets the LST Standard. When we say “uncertified list” we refer to any list that falls short of the LST Standard.

We chose certified and uncertified to describe lists because the certified category provides express permission to use the LST certification mark (first mentioned in our paper). Schools that publish certified lists can bear a certification mark if the list meets our criteria. Additionally, schools can claim to be an “LST Certified Law School” when they publish certified lists for the previous 3 years. We will explain our certification marks in an upcoming post.

All of the lists we have published so far have fallen short of the LST Standard. While employment lists like these that account for all or nearly all graduates for some of the components are admirable, missing certain features limits the usefulness of the data. We believe we’ve come to an optimal solution that balances the legitimate interests of all important stakeholders, thus will not offer certification to the lists we’ve already published. However, these schools will have the opportunity to submit certified lists now or in the future when we make the official request.

Vanderbilt Class of 2009 Uncertified List

This uncertified list includes – as of graduation – the city, state, and employer name for each employed 2009 Vanderbilt graduate, as well as a mention for each graduate pursuing another graduate degree. The original list appeared in Vanderbilt’s 2009 Career Services brochure. We transcribed the whole list into the attached spreadsheet.

If any readers are aware of lists that similarly disaggregate employment summaries that account for all or nearly all graduates, we are happy to publish them when you provide them. As always, we strive to make this important employment data available to everybody, even when it does not meet our standard. Per our privacy policy we will not reveal your identity.

Chicago Class of 2009 Uncertified List

Thanks to our tipster for sending this uncertified list to us. It includes the city, state, and employer name for each employed graduate. The original includes each graduate’s name, but we opted to redact each name for the sake of individual privacy.

4/28/2010 Update: The University of Chicago Law School published this list in their Fall 2009 Alumni magazine. This was not the first time Chicago released this data to certain stakeholders. According to Marsha Ferziger Nagorsky, Assistant Dean for Communications and Lecturer in Law at The University of Chicago Law School, “for at least forty years [Chicago has] provided an annual list of our graduates and their employers – first in our student facebook (lists in the facebook dating back at least to 1970-71 are available in our library), and more recently in our alumni magazine.” Thank you Dean Nagorsky for contacting us.

5/3/2010 Update: We are not sure which frozen date this list reflects. Because this list was published in the Fall 2009 Alumni Magazine, it represents some point in time between graduation (May 2009) and the ABA, U.S. News, and NALP reporting date (February 15th, 2010).

Duke Class of 2007 Uncertified List

On March 20th, 2008, Duke released an employment list for their Class of 2007 graduates at the admitted student Open House. Shortly after, an admitted student created a spreadsheet like the one created by the Vanderbilt admitted student. Although we have obtained the spreadsheet, we have thus far failed to track down the original document given to the admitted students at the Open House. The original spreadsheet is attached to this post. We also plan to improve the document in the near future.

Update: On July 28th, 2009, LST emailed Associate Dean and Director of Duke’s Career & Professional Development Center, Bruce Elvin, to obtain a copy of the original document. We will report back when he responds.

Vanderbilt Class of 2007 Uncertified List

On March 14th, 2008, at Admitted Students Day, Vanderbilt’s admissions office released an uncertified list of where, and with whom, 196 of the 223 graduates were employed. Shortly after, one of the admitted students compiled this information in a spreadsheet. Both of these documents are attached to this post.

To our knowledge, this is the most comprehensive employment list publicly released. It’s LST’s hope that this was the first step in a new direction.

Update 5/3/2010: We have learned that other schools have released employment lists like this in the past. According to David Lat from Above the Law, “at Yale Law School — back in 1996, so almost 15 years ago — we were given detailed lists showing where the past few classes ended up working. The graduates were listed in alphabetical order, and below each person’s name was the name and address of their employer.” According to Marsha Ferziger Nagorsky, Assistant Dean for Communications and Lecturer in Law at The University of Chicago Law School, “for at least forty years [Chicago has] provided an annual list of our graduates and their employers – first in our student facebook (lists in the facebook dating back at least to 1970-71 are available in our library), and more recently in our alumni magazine.”

We do wish to emphasize that while releasing employment information to current students and alumni is admirable, it does not constitute “publishing” in a manner consistent with our standard. Our stated goal is to make this employment information available to the public (and particularly to prospective law students). As it turns out, it is still the case that the Vanderbilt uncertified list, “to our knowledge . . . is the most comprehensive employment list publicly released” because it was available to prospective law students. If you know otherwise, please contact us.