This blog covers issues of interest (we hope) to consumers. And law students and prospective law students are certainly consumers. As some of our readers are likely aware, there's been controversy over the quality and quantity of data about the employment of recent law school graduates. The National Law Journal is reporting that the ABA is changing the types of employment data that it will request from law schools and thereafter make public, and it will make the data available faster.
The Journal notes the ABA's key changes, the third bullet of which may be most important:
• Law schools will report their graduate employment and salary data directly to the ABA, rather than through the National Association of Law Placement.
• Graduate employment information will be made available to the public faster. Instead of being published two years after a particular class graduates, the data will be collected earlier in the year and will be made public approximately one year after graduation.
• Law schools will have to report whether graduates are in jobs funded by the schools, themselves. They will have to stipulate whether graduates are in jobs requiring bar passage; positions for which J.D.s are an advantage; professional positions that do not require a J.D., non-professional positions; and whether jobs are long-term or short-term.
• Employment and salary information must be reported for each individual graduate rather than in the aggregate, giving the ABA the ability to audit the figures.
The non-profit group Law School Transparency, founded in 2009 by two Vanderbilt Law School students (now graduates), has been pushing for these and other changes.