Ave Maria School of Law, Job Searches, Law Schools, NALP

Which Law Schools Are Trying to Be Honest About Their Employment Information?

As we noted in Morning Docket today, Law School Transparency (LST) wrote to all law schools accredited by the American Bar Association to request the NALP reports for the class of 2010. The NALP reports contain much more detail than that of the reports released by the ABA, such as information concerning part-time and temporary employment, as well as the number of graduates in jobs that do not require a law degree.

LST’s request was made on December 14, 2011. Two months later, LST has presented the results of that request, and the organization has made some significant strides since it first attempted to collect data back in July 2010. This time around, 34 law schools provided their NALP reports, either by sending them directly to LST, or posting them on their websites.

But which schools provided LST with the information? And which schools are still avoiding action?

Although 34 law schools have followed through with LST’s request, that number represents just a small percentage of the 200 ABA-accredited law schools in our country — in fact, it’s only 17.3% of them. This might be a “pretty dramatic increase” from the data collected in years past, but more law schools could at least try to comply, given all of the negative media attention we’ve seen on the issue of faulty employment data this year.

So which law schools were forthcoming with LST’s request? Thirty schools sent detailed employment information to LST (links go to the law schools’ NALP reports):

The following law schools posted their NALP reports on their websites: Akron, Northern Illinois University, Thomas Jefferson, and Indiana — Bloomington. Kyle McEntee, LST’s Executive Director, had this to say of the latest round of data collection:

The vast majority of law schools still leave critical gaps in their presentation of employment information – gaps which the NALP reports would fill. These 34 law schools have demonstrated leadership that is sorely lacking at other law schools. They understand the importance of providing free access to comparable information. Our hope is that these schools pave the way for changes at other schools, many of whom are still acting as if their applicants do not deserve access to comparable consumer information.

That leads us to our next question: which law schools are “sorely lacking”? LST tells us that Ave Maria School of Law is one of them. As you may remember, Ave Maria was the very first law school to sign up for LST’s Transparency Project. Ave Maria was also the very first law school to renege on its promise to participate. Ave Maria’s dean, Eugene Milhizer, explained why the law school would not comply with LST’s request:

Ave Maria School of Law does not believe that its Class of 2010 Summary Report from NALP will provide meaningful information about our school to prospective students. Our school is small with a unique mission, and our employment outcomes are reflective of this. In our judgment, the Summary Report does not provide sufficient information about the types of positions obtained by our 2010 graduates, and so to release the report in a vacuum without additional information would not be of assistance to prospective students.

Translation? Run far, and run fast, prospective law students, because we’re too ashamed to hand out our NALP report. The only thing “unique” about our “mission” is that it doesn’t result in favorable employment outcomes for our graduates.

Is there any additional information that can be gleaned from these new reports? Of note here is the fact that only one of the 15 law schools that have been sued for allegedly deceptive employment data — Thomas Jefferson — has provided its NALP report to LST.

We’re left wondering what the rest of the defendants were up to when they could’ve been sending employment information to LST. Come on, those NALP reports can’t be that bad… or can they?

LST Obtains 33 Class of 2010 NALP Reports [Law School Transparency]
Law schools hand over job placement data [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

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