More Pressure on Law Schools to Provide Realistic Employment Data

More Pressure on Law Schools to Provide Realistic Employment Data

Most products try to spin the statistics and details in the most favorable light in order to get your business.  Many Law Schools are being accused of manipulating salary information to provide a more favorable employment picture, which means the way graduate employment figures have been reported recently is under attack.  The latest challenge comes from the ABA's Young Lawyers Division. The group passed the Truth in Law School Education Resolution aimed at improving the post-graduate employment stats that are provided to potential law students. "The ABA YLD strongly believes that there is a disconnect between law students' perception of their employment prospects upon completion of their law school education and the reality of what law students will realistically achieve," the resolution states. The multi-point resolution is aimed at pushing law schools to prominently feature meaningful post-graduate employment information in their communications.

Main points of the resolution include the following:

  • American Bar Association urges all ABA-Approved Law Schools to report employment data in a manner that accurately reflects whether graduates obtain full- or part-time employment within the legal profession, both in the private and public sector, or employment in alternative professions, as well as whether such employment is permanent or temporary.
  • American Bar Association urges all ABA-Approved Law Schools to increase transparency regarding their graduates' salaries by displaying data regarding the salaries on their websites.

In an ABA news release, both the YLD and ABA leadership stress the significance of the need for accurate information when prospective students are considering the financial and time commitments of law school.

"The Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association is proud to be at the forefront of the law school transparency movement," said division chair David Wolfe. "It is essential that all prospective law school students have access to accurate and straightforward information regarding the real earning potential and cost of every law school. "

"There will always be a need for good lawyers," said ABA President Stephen Zack, who had worked closely with the division to encourage development of the new policy. "But-although you wouldn't know it from watching flashy TV shows about the law-most lawyers are Main Street lawyers, not Wall Street lawyers.  It's important young people planning a legal career consider how much debt they should take on, based on what they are likely to make."

The resolution will go before the ABA House of Delegates for a vote in August. It is expected to pass, which would then make it official policy for the full ABA organization.  The resolution cannot force law schools to change the materials and employment information they provide, but it will likely have a strong influence.


ABA Now News Release


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