My dean recently shared a piece of correspondence from a Big Four accounting firm that shows the state of law schools (and, I suppose, the accounting industry.) The letter opened by referencing the fact that on August 12, the ABA censured an (unnamed) law school for its reporting of admissions data. After noting that this school had retained the accounting firm as part of its remediation plan, the author offered to provide our law school assistance in our compliance efforts. A year ago, who'd have thunk that a law school would need a Big Four firm to accurately determine the median LSAT for a class of 200?
But it's not a year ago anymore. And apparently at least one of the Big Four believes that law schools indeed aren't capable of keep their numbers straight without some outside help. A more cynical view might be that the firm suspects that there are other schools that will need to disclose data "errors" and it hopes to be part of the remediation solution in those cases as well.
Is it necessary for law schools to take this step? Others have suggested that law school data could simply be compared to the data LSAC already has - although the folks at LSAC have explained why, for now, this isn't a complete solution. But any major university already has a strong internal auditing function - both for purely internal purposes and because most of these schools are receiving tons of federal money (NSF, NIH, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.) and are highly exposed in cases of fraud. Auditing is a routine part of the function of any major non-profit. It's hard to imagine that these problems can't be easily addressed without the help of the Big Four.