Law School Transparency

Kyle McEntee (left) and Patrick Lynch (right), co-founders of Law School Transparency (LST).

Late last year, plaintiffs’ lawyer David Anziska pledged to make 2012 “the year of law school litigation.” Anziska, who’s currently spearheading efforts to sue law schools over allegedly misleading employment statistics, told my colleague Staci Zaretsky that he and his team members “want to sue as many law schools as we can to bring them into the fray.”

That’s all well and good — for plaintiffs’ lawyers, and for news outlets like ours seeking juicy stories to cover. But there are other ways to achieve reform. So here’s another thought: Could 2012 instead be the year of law school transparency? Transparency achieved voluntarily, by law schools coming forward on their own to share comprehensive data about how their graduates are faring in the job market?

In the weeks since we wrote about the University of Chicago Law School providing very detailed employment data about its recent graduating classes, based on our interview with Dean Michael Schill, we’ve heard from deans, professors, alumni and students of other law schools, all with similar messages. They believe that their schools, like Chicago, are also transparent about graduate employment outcomes — and they want to be recognized for it.

This chorus of “me too!” messages raises a promising possibility: Is law school transparency becoming, for lack of a better word, “cool”? Will honesty about employment data become the hot new trend for U.S. legal education?

Perhaps. But there’s still a long way to go, as shown by a report issued this week by Law School Transparency….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law School Transparency: Who’s Naughty and Who’s Nice?”

As we mentioned today in Morning Docket, William Robinson, the newly appointed president of the American Bar Association, is taking a stand on the status quo of legal education in our country.

But instead of combating 2011′s annus horribilis for law schools by calling for reform, Robinson is defending the ABA’s role, stating that young lawyers “should have known what they were getting into.”

Isn’t it wonderful to know that the man in charge of the ABA is essentially playing the “blame the victim” card when it comes to debt-saddled and unemployed law school graduates?

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It's pronounced 'Mystal' like 'Cristal,' not to be confused with Elie's crystal ball.

Welcome back to work. I’m not going to act like a flight attendant and “welcome” you to a place we all got to at the exact same time, but I do hope your 2012 is starting off well.

In case you missed it on New Year’s Eve, we took a look back at our biggest stories of 2011. Now, let’s turn our gaze to the future. What do you think will happen in 2012?

I’ll get us started: The world will not end, nor be impacted in any special way on December 21, 2012….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “2012 Predictions: ATL’s Calendar Goes All the Way to 2013″

Justice Kavanaugh has a nice ring to it.

* Searching for the perfect holiday present? Via Professor Glenn Reynolds: “As A Christmas Gift, Tell Your Friends and Relatives They’re Fat.” [Instapundit]

* If a Republican wins the White House in 2012, who might get nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court? Mike Sacks offers up a star-studded SCOTUS short list: the brilliant and genial Brett Kavanaugh, the fabulous Diane Sykes, certified superhottie Jeffrey Sutton, emerging feeder judge Neil Gorsuch, and star litigator Paul Clement. [Huffington Post]

* Another proposal on law school transparency. What is this “gainful employment” of which you speak? [Law School Transparency]

* If you can’t find gainful employment, well, maybe you can score a $500 reward from a concerned parent. [The Legal Satyricon]

* Speaking of Marc Randazza, here’s an interview in which he discusses “putting the nail in copyright holding company Righthaven’s coffin.” [WebmasterRadio.FM]

* A riddle from Eric Turkewitz: How is Indiana just like the old Soviet Union? [New York Personal Injury Law Blog]

* An interesting profile (by Peter Lattman) of Albert Foer — father of the three famous Foer brothers, and a celebrated and successful antitrust law crusader. [DealBook / New York Times]

* A man on trial for sex crimes at a Minnesota courthouse allegedly shot three people yesterday, including prosecutor Timothy Scannell. Guess it’s time to get a metal detector. [Duluth News Tribune]

* Instead of trying to force Citigroup’s hand on a tougher settlement, the SEC is appealing Judge Rakoff’s rejection of the original. Don’t want to make the SEC do more work now, judge. [Bloomberg]

* You’d think that by now, law schools facing scrutiny over employment data would be willing to turn over some information to Law School Transparency, but you’d be wrong. [National Law Journal]

* China’s King & Wood and Australia’s Mallesons Stephen Jaques are combining to form a happy family this March. If this were in Japan, they’d be the Godzilla of law firms. [Wall Street Journal]

* Obvious news alert: Foxy Knoxy was acquitted of murder because there wasn’t enough evidence to prove she was guilty of murder. Thanks for this brilliant observation, Judge Hellman. [CNN]

* The Toy & Action Figure Museum will be opening a lawyerly superhero exhibit. This generation of lawyers has no superheroes, because unemployment isn’t a super power. [ABA Journal]

* Now that Chicago has bared it all, isn’t it time for other law schools to fall in line? Show us the stats for the class of 2010 already. [Law School Transparency]

* And this is why your mother told you not to talk to strangers. [Legal Juice]

* If you’re going to send out a survey asking who your bros would like to rape, at least be classy about it. “Surprise sex” just sounds better. [Yahoo!]

* Five useful tips on how to be a better law prof, written by a law prof. Sleeping with students didn’t make the list. [PrawfsBlawg]

* In America, we make television shows about women and their witchy ways. In Saudia Arabia, they just kill them. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Martin Klotz, outside counsel for SAC Capital’s Steve Cohen, demands that you respect his client. [Dealbreaker]

* Ryan Gosling’s hotness put to good use for law school finals. [Law School Ryan Gosling]

* We should start preparing for the first Skyrim-based lawsuit. [Slate]

Back in October, we brought you the news that Jesse Strauss and David Anziska intended to sue 15 more law schools over their post-graduate employment rates, in addition to their already pending class action suits against Cooley Law and New York Law School. As mentioned during their October 5 media conference, Team Strauss/Anziska will not sue a law school unless they are able to gather three named plaintiffs to represent the class.

Now that it’s mid-December, we’re still waiting for these lawsuits to be filed. What’s the hold up? These crusading lawyers say that they are ready, willing, and able to sue all 15 law schools, but there’s just one teeny, tiny problem. Here’s where our loyal readers come in.

Are you a disgruntled law school graduate? Did you rely on your law school’s employment data, only to find that you are now unemployed or unemployable, despite your law degree?

If so, then consider heeding this call, if you want to help crowdsource a lawsuit against what Anziska calls the “law school industry cartel”….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Calling All Disgruntled Law School Graduates: Will You Ring in the New Year By Suing Your School?”

The battle for greater law school transparency, for more accurate and complete information from law schools regarding the jobs obtained (or not obtained) by their graduates, has many fronts. Some advocates for transparency work through organizations, such as the Tennessee non-profit Law School Transparency. Some have turned to the political process, where the issue of transparency has attracted the attention of several United States senators. And some have looked to litigation, suing law schools for providing allegedly misleading data about post-graduate employment outcomes.

Here’s an interesting idea: what if law schools just started posting comprehensive, accurate employment data on their websites? On a voluntary basis — not compelled by politicians, lawsuits, or the American Bar Association (ABA)?

Wouldn’t that be great? And wouldn’t it be helpful to prospective law students trying to decide whether it’s worth investing three years of their lives, and a large amount of (often borrowed) money, to pursue a law degree at the school in question?

Take a look at what they’re now doing at the University of Chicago Law School. Could it perhaps serve as the model for law school reporting of employment data?

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* Apparently Gloria Allred will only take male clients if they’re controversial enough to keep her in the limelight. She’s representing the alleged sex abuse victims in a suit against Syracuse and basketball coach Jim Boeheim. [CNN]

* Law School Transparency breaks it down for the guy who believes that the “apocalyptic” views of the legal market are “overblown.” Of course, that guy just so happens to be a Cooley Law dean. How convenient. [The Careerist]

* Pleasure you want. Protection you trust. Unfortunately, DLA Piper blew its load all over the FTC’s antitrust probe of Trojan condoms. [Blog of Legal Times]

* Nanny state alert: texting while driving is already illegal in a majority of states, but what about talking while driving? Be prepared, because the NTSB says that’s a big no-no. [Bloomberg]

* You can blame Canada for this one. In February, the world will see the first ever moot court competition play out on Twitter. #noseriously [West Coast Environmental Law]

Law schools have faced an incredible amount of public scrutiny this year. Three law schools — Thomas Jefferson, Cooley Law, and New York Law School — are facing lawsuits over their allegedly deceptive employment statistics. Fifteen more lawsuits of the same variety may be filed soon. Three senators have demanded action from the American Bar Association, but the response has been lacking.

And in the face of all of this public ridicule, the ABA’s Section of Legal Education declined to ask questions pertaining to employment in legal jobs in its 2011 questionnaire. Apparently the powers that be at the ABA have adopted a honey badger policy with regard to questions of post-graduate employment data (i.e., don’t care; don’t give a sh*t).

So, what’s the next step in this process? Is there a Senate hearing in the works?

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