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March 03, 2014

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CHS

Is there any way to tease out the nature of the jobs? Can we say that the type of job that a student from Pace would be the same as the type of law school funded job that a student from Yale might have? Any sense of the rate at which the law school funded jobs lead to "full" jobs?

2012 Law School Grad

I question the accuracy of what schools are reporting. I have a friend who had a law-school funded job for a short time from a school on this list that is reporting 0% law school funded jobs. How does that happen?

anon

It happens, 2012. We all know that it has happened before, it is happening now, and it will likely happen again.
What is "it"? Misrepresentations and misleading statements about employment numbers.
It is so unfortunate that the response of the majority has not been:
"How could we have let misrepresentations and misleading statements be made on our behalf? These actions, while perhaps not enough to justify lawsuits (because of a lack of justified reliance on our misrepresentations and misleading statements), tarnish our reputations, call our institutions into disrepute and will affect us for years to come. Let us resolve to ensure that such actions will never happen again, as our integrity is truly on the line."
Is that what we have heard from the majority of persons posting on faculty blogs?
No, unfortunately. Instead, we have heard "the real response." Let's all join in now and follow suit. Let's cry "SCAM BLOGGERs" from every hilltop.
Oh yes, and let's allow the ethicists and great humanitarians among us to lead the way.

not right

I know a 0% school on this list that funds a number of jobs.

The data set is not accurate.

anon

Any law school that can't place more than 40% of its graduates in their chosen profession - because of bar passage rate, bad reputation, or any combination of these - should lose its ABA accreditation.
Period.

Confused

anon,

Seeing how law students are investing 3 years and $100k+ in law school to become lawyers, I think the ABA would be wise to set the bar required full time job rate at something exceeding 50%. 2/3rds or 67% seems like a reasonable starting point.

anon

Confused:
But the economy must be a factor, if not an excuse.
My view is that law schools failed to anticipate and adapt to changing needs in the market for legal services: leaving many if not most Americans without representation and destroying the base of employment for most graduates (see, e.g., a recent piece in the New Republic decrying the want of legal services in America and calling for "judicare.")
However, setting the bar at 67% would leave two-thirds of the ABA accredited law schools out. That's too harsh a punishment, it seems to me, even for the present cadre of responsible law profs, even if they won't own up to their own responsibility.

New normal

I've come to believe that most law faculty were once just ignorant to the problems facing their students. They viewed their students as smart, talented, hungry. They expected fine outcomes.

Now, however, when faced with data, forecasts of continued lack of demand from the bls, and stories of the hardships, I've come to believe that most faculty are willfully ignorant and worried about themselves.

Confused

anon,

You may think it's ok for schools to enroll students who have less than a 50% chance of working as lawyers, but I do not. Setting a requirement like I suggested, would force schools to limit their enrollment to something resembling the number of qualified applicants the market is capable of absorbing. The fact that enrollment has become so divorced from the number of actual opportunities to practice law, is the number 1 reason for the "law school crisis." Reason 1a is the disparity between the cost of attending law school and the salaries earned by the vast majority of law school grads.

Discussions about the make-up of law school faculties is largely a distraction from the real issues.

W & L Alum

Are you sure the figure for Washington and Lee is correct? 134T? What happened?

anon

Confused:
We disagree about the underserved public being fed graduates unprepared to practice in the world of today, and about the reasons the law school community was and is unable to appreciate the dynamics of the market for legal services. (My view is that the steady drumbeat decrying practice, while hiring persons divorced from it and pursuing other disciplines, has contributed to this failure.)
As for a threshold before a law school should lose accreditation and eligibility for federal loans, we are not benefitted by arguing about the elimination of more than one half of the US ABA accredited law schools. That won't happen at once, wouldn't you agree?, so what is the point of proposing something that can't and won't happen?
However, a law school placing fewer than 25% of its grads in the profession for which it trained them is, and upon this we all should agree, a failure of such proportions that action should be taken immediately to shutter the school.

New normal

I believe that there should be a death penalty for 3 consecutive year below 50 percent full time, long term, non school funded jobs. If you so fail, you lose your ability to get loans. Period. How can anyone possibly oppose this? It will mean that schools will have to consider outcomes before admitting students. And if you have 1 class below 50, you damn well better shrink and start working the phones to get people jobs.

wondering

Could people please let us know what GW, W&M, Chicago, UVA, Columbia, and NYU are doing, specifically? Those are huge numbers.

anon

Remember:
These are the stats for JD Required, FT, LT positions.
There are also slews of FT ST law school positions, totally missing here.
(Which may account for the surprise of some above about a "zero" report ... using such finely distinguished and overly narrow categories is, IMHO, further evidence of game playing and misrepresentation by misdirection (i.e., slicing and dicing categories to create false impressions).)
The number of ways of labeling post-law school positions is quickly approaching the number of titles that law profs have created to aggrandize themselves and denigrate those who hold similar if not identical responsibilities.
The category discussed above is probably the most intuitively correct measurement of the prospects for employment as an attorney available to grads of law school.

Anon

So long as placement info is accurate and readily available to applicants, it seems to me the school should be able to continue to operate if it can fill seats. The problem arises when the data are not accurate or hard to find, which has traditionally been the case for law schools. The data posted above seem inaccurate as many schools are listed as having 0 funded jobs even though many of the schools have them. It must be some sort of reporting issue, maybe research assistants don't count, or what the person above refers to as ST jobs, but it still seems misleading and therefore not helpful at all. But I don't see how law professors are the villains there, they would have nothing to do with the reporting. GW has a specific program that funds law jobs for some period of time, which they hope will turn into permanent jobs and I think that is why they have so many more funded jobs than other schools.

Observerx

"So long as placement info is accurate and readily available to applicants, it seems to me the school should be able to continue to operate if it can fill seats."

Agreed - just cut off their access to Federally guaranteed student loans, and they can do whatever they want.

anon

"But I don't see how law professors are the villains there, they would have nothing to do with the reporting."
There you go. Does anyone need any further proof of the problem here?
The response of every law prof, at every law school, should be:
"How could we have let misrepresentations and misleading statements be made on our behalf? These actions, while perhaps not enough to justify lawsuits (because of a lack of justified reliance on our misrepresentations and misleading statements), tarnish our reputations, call our institutions into disrepute and will affect us for years to come. Let us resolve to ensure that such actions will never happen again, as our integrity is truly on the line."
"So long as placement info is accurate and readily available to applicants, it seems to me the school should be able to continue to operate if it can fill seats."
Nope. That's not the standard either. Sorry.
Here are some sample standards to look into to educate oneself about the standards that do apply. These standards have nothing whatsoever to do with "filling seats" in fact, precisely to the contrary, "filling seats" under certain circumstances is actionable and a defense that "we filled seats" would be virtually a stipulation of culpability, not a defense.
It is unsure whether any of these deficiencies may apply in any particular instance. Although extreme cases are unlikely to be found among law schools, it is time, especially given the lax attitude among those who purport to govern the law academy, to start the process of turning up the scrutiny and stepping up the consequences by shuttering law schools in blatant and repeated violation of long-standing and well-known rules.
For example, and again, these precise means of enforcement may or may not be applicable, but are cited for reference:
1. The 90/10 rule;
2. Enforcement actions based on misleading students about future job prospects and inducing students to take out more and more loans while anticipating that most students will be unable to find positions in law remunerative enough to pay back the loans (see Reuters, 2/26/14);
3. Investigations into admission of academically unprepared students and student loan default rates (numerous "tech school" enforcement actions).
It is time to become serious and steadfast in efforts to take swift and meaningful action against all ABA accredited law schools failing to meet minimum standards. Loss of accreditation and eligibility for federal student aid should begin for many of the schools named above almost immediately. Probation would be appropriate for many others.
Perhaps then law profs will understand what governance of a law school entails.

anon

Re: the update.
Food labelers play the same game. Dice up an unrealistic serving size and then add transfat or other harmful substances right up to the reporting limit. Or, claim that unlisted ingredients are used only in "processing" and leave only "trace amounts."
What may be objectionable here includes:
1. The JD,FT,LT positions are likely being confused with the JD,FT,ST positions. It is highly unlikely that law schools would be hiring significant numbers of grads for long term, indefinite full time employment. What is far more likely, and what have been the subject of much opprobrium, are efforts to goose the numbers by hiring full time SHORT TERM employees in make work jobs timed to game the system as much as possible.
2. Comparing the percentage of JD,FT,LT jobs to the number of total graduates seems misleading. The relevant inquiry should be the ratio of jobs reported to jobs created by the law schools themselves. Law schools have engaged in what many have seen as an obvious effort to mislead prospective students. This may be just another instance of that. (Of course, if there is a history that preceded the crisis that shows the SAME OR GREATER NUMBER of law school hires, then any imputation of intent to mislead would be unfair. Show this, please.)

G.J.

I'm a law student and feel like I should make a pretty obvious point -- while we need to be intellectually challenged, we also need to learn about the practice of law or else we won't get or succeed in our post-graduation jobs. We don't get this in our classes and that's not what I expected when I started law school. I'm at a "T14" school and while I knew that the focus of my education would be highly academic, I had no idea that my practice-related education would be so limited. At my school, I think I can count on two hands the number of professors who actually practiced law for more than three or four years

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