Law schools' job-placement data for recent graduates is often incomplete or self-serving, and "raise a red flag" about whether law schools can be trusted to change their reporting practices, a new report says.
This report comes as a dozen or so law schools have been sued or going to be sued this week, counsel for the plaintiffs say.
The attorneys say in a press release that new litigation is being brought against law schools in California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois and New York. They concern allegations that many schools hire their own graduates for temporary jobs and count law grads working in non-legal jobs as employed.
The law schools being targeted include:
- New York Law School,
- Albany Law School,
- Hofstra University,
- Cooley Law School,
- Brooklyn Law School,
- California Western School of Law,
- Chicago-Kent College of Law,
- DePaul University College of Law,
- Florida Coastal School of Law,
- Golden Gate University School of Law,
- The John Marshall Law School,
- University of San Francisco School of Law
- Widener University School of Law
As for the "red flag" report, its from a nonprofit called Law School Transparency, The Wall Street Journal reports.
"Taken together, these and other findings illustrate how law schools have been slow to react to calls for disclosure, with some schools conjuring ways to repackage employment data to maintain their images," the LST report states.
LST examined post-law-school job-placement data from 197 ABA-accredited U.S. schools at the start of 2012. By looking at data about the Class of 2010 on the law schools' websites, LST found:
- 16% of law schools' jobs data seem to purposely mislead consumers, while 11% of law schools did not provide jobs data on their websites at all.
- 49% of law schools provided some salary information for the Class of 2010, but most of those schools -- 78% -- did so in a way that was misleading.
- 51% of law schools didn't say how many graduates responded to their jobs survey. That's often the only way to gauge how useful the survey's results are.
The LST report follows the ABA's adoption of a revised post-law-school job-placement questionnaire. Schools may soon have to distinguish between school-funded jobs, jobs that require bar passage, and jobs that are long-term, the Journal reports.
- Do Law Schools Cook Their Employment Numbers? (NPR)
- ABA Committee Approves New Law School Disclosure Requirements (ABA Journal)
- Winter 2012 Transparency Index Report (Law School Transparency)
- Villanova Sanctioned by ABA for Inaccurate Admission Data (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)