Monday, July 23, 2012
NPR Reports on How ABA's Change in Reporting Criteria Has Affected Employment Numbers Claimed by Law Schools
The ABA recently changed some of its criteria, disallowing the law school practice of padding employment stats by masking non-legal employment as being due to one's legal education. As a result, it's been suddenly revealed that there are an awful lot of unemployed lawyers. Reported starting salaries are also down about 30%.
While the ABA changed its criteria, we're still seeing only the tip of the iceberg. There still is no way of knowing that the data the schools are compiling represent honest numbers. I remember asking the Indiana University at Indianapolis Law School (I refuse to call it the "McKinney" law school) for survey information years ago and being told that the school "estimates" salaries for people who do not return surveys. Why not "estimate" high and improve the overall average? You can bet the law school did exactly that. Imagine if you will if the ABA started auditing that raw data, demanding to see the surveys that produce these wonderful numbers that entice so many students to take on five or six figure debt for the promise of a legal education? The reported salary numbers for new law school graduates would drop like a rock. National Public Radio has an excellent report on the change the ABA's reporting criteria has had on the employment numbers cited by law schools:
Thanks to the Indiana Law Blog for finding this story.