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UCLA Law’s Job Placement Numbers Strain Credulity, But Did You Read The Fine Print?

A reader noticed the job placement stats at UCLA Law, the #16 law school in the country, for the class of 2010.

The stats are frankly unbelievable. UCLA is claiming that 97.9% of its class of 2010 was employed within 9 months of graduation, at a median starting salary of $145K. Japanese officials were more straightforward about the Fukushima Daiichi disaster than UCLA is being with these bogus employment figures. But whatever, as I’ve said many times: we’ve gotten so used to educators misleading us that the concept of one of them telling truth seems like we’re asking too much.

At least UCLA added some fine print:

Note: Employment statistics include full-time and part-time jobs. Salary statistics are full-time only for those who reported salary information. Second jobs are not included in these statistics. This report represents NALP categories only.

Translation: If a graduate received money for giving a half-and-half at a truck stop up in Berkeley, that still counts! But the salary numbers only refer to our highest performing graduates. Also, why are you reading this tiny print? Look at the monkey. Look at the monkey. Yes, you’ll probably need a second job. What?

Obviously, this “disclaimer” is woefully ineffective, and a reader has even more reasons why….

Remember, we’ve already busted UCLA Law for blatantly trying to inflate its employment statistics. UCLA Law is hardly alone in his kind of behavior, but you’d think an institution of UCLA’s stature would have a shred of dignity when it comes to rigging the numbers.

A reader tells us that the very last people who are getting fooled by this crap are the current students enjoying UCLA’s version of 97.9% employment (and while we’re here: UCLA, you’re not fooling anybody with the extra .9% there. NOBODY BELIEVES ANYTHING YOU SAY is accurate, out to even one decimal):

I can assure you that a huge portion of this employment is on a contract basis, and let’s keep in mind that UCLA had the post graduate opportunity program, where they gave students stipends to volunteer for various organizations, and thus claim that they were employed a few months after graduation. The actual number of people in full-time jobs (S**tlaw jobs mostly) is far lower than 97.9%.

Also, we know the efficacy of self-selecting surveys. I don’t have an academic study to cite to here, but I’m willing to wager a night with one of Charlie Sheen’s “goddesses” that people who have a positive or self-confirming situation (they are employed at a good job) are more likely to answer this survey. I know a number of folks who have big firm jobs, but not enough to give us a median of $145 K.

Again, UCLA isn’t alone here, but ye Gods, is it bold.

And why? Is the school that worried about competition from Berkeley or USC? Or Loyola? We’re talking about what should be one of the the premiere law programs in America, based in one of the best cities to practice law in America. If UCLA can’t sell that to incoming students without the farce of 97.9% employment in a down economy, you have to start to wonder about the caliber of incoming UCLA Law students.

But the beat goes on. Employment at 97.9%, median salary $145K. If you believe that, please contact me. I have some money locked in Nigeria and I need your help to get it out.

Earlier: Employment Statistics Shenanigans Open Thread: Which Schools Are Juking Their Stats?

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