Earlier this week, we did an update on the Law School Transparency project. At the time, no law schools had agreed to the data request made by the two Vanderbilt Law students who started the process.
Well, now they’ve got one. Ave Maria School of Law has signed up with Law School Transparency. Click here for coverage from the ABA Journal, and here for the thoughts of Shilling Me Softly. Here’s the email Ave Maria sent to the LST people:
“This email will confirm that Ave Maria School of Law has agreed to participate in the Transparency Project. We look forward to receiving more information from you on the reporting guidelines in November.”
Obviously, the LST people have to view this as a victory. But is it?
On the one hand, getting a law school to agree to the project makes the entire LST effort look more legitimate. Also, Ave Maria is a fourth tier law school. Arguably, it’s these fourth tier law schools who are most guilty of “scamming” students out of tuition dollars without giving them enough information about their true employment prospects. If Ave Maria can come clean about employment statistics, can’t other fourth tier schools like John Marshall Law (not to be confused with Atlanta’s John Marshal… oh, go ahead and confuse them) also comply with the initiative?
On the other hand, it’s Ave Maria School of Law. Couldn’t the blessing of Ave Maria do more harm than good? If you’re not familiar with the interesting history of the school, check out our previous coverage. We’re talking about a law school that was started by the guy who founded Domino’s Pizza.
Let me put it like this, there’s never going to be a movement where Ave Maria is first to the party, and Harvard Law School is second. Okay. Having Ave Maria as your only school is like having Woody Harrelson as the only person at your political rally.
But, it’s all got to start somewhere. Obviously, the best law schools in the nations don’t want to be a leader when it comes to doing good things for law students. Maybe if all the fourth tier law schools comply, third tier law schools will be embarrassed, and the pressure on the top law schools can come from the ground up.