27% (54/197) [schools] do not provide any evaluable information on their websites for class of 2010 employment outcomes. Of those 54 schools, 22 do not provide any employment information on their website whatsoever. The other 32 schools demonstrate a pattern of consumer-disoriented behavior.LST's summary of the situation:
51% of schools fail to indicate how many graduates actually responded to their survey. Response rates provide applicants with a way to gauge the usefulness of survey results, a sort of back-of-the-envelope margin of error. Without the rate, schools can advertise employment rates north of 95% without explaining that the true employment rate is unknown, and likely lower.
Only 26% of law schools indicate how many graduates worked in legal jobs. 11% indicate how many are in full-time legal jobs. Just 1% indicate how many are in full-time, long-term legal jobs. [My emphasis]
17% of schools indicate how many graduates were employed in full-time vs. part-time jobs. 10% indicate how many were employed in long-term vs. short-term jobs. 10% of schools report how many graduates are employed in school-funded jobs.
49% of schools provide at least some salary information, but the vast majority of those schools (78%) provide the information in ways that mislead the reader.
It is troubling that even after two years of immense pressure to be more transparent, law schools still provide such little help to prospective law students trying to make informed decisions. It is discomforting that the institutions tasked with educating tomorrow’s lawyers do not exemplify the values the ABA Standards require them to teach. Schools hold their students to strict standards of honesty and integrity through enforceable school honor codes, but they are making no effort at upholding these same values in their own recruiting process.
The Winter 2012 Index produces simultaneously shocking and predictable results. The post-graduation employment information schools provide is surprisingly shallow in light of the pressures they face, including congressional scrutiny, the very real threat of class action lawsuits, and the deluge of media attention. But a lack of honest disclosure has also come to be what’s expected of American law schools[.]Read the whole report, and check out the individual evaluations for your favorite law schools (A key point LST makes is that the disclosure protocol followed by a school like Chicago, for which the school got over the top praise even from normally skeptical observers, is not only a good deal less than optimal for people considering that law school, but more important, would be horribly inadequate for most law schools, given the employment outcomes at those schools).
So some progress is being made, but the battle for even minimally adequate transparency has a very long way to go.
In the five months of this blog's existence, a few generous souls have suggested in comments that I take donations for writing it. Those suggestions misunderstand the nature of the work being done here. The 150 entries I've published over that time represent an integral part of the job I'm paid to do as a member of an academic enterprise.
By contrast, the creators of Law School Transparency aren't being paid by anyone to do the genuinely invaluable work they've been doing for more than two years now. PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING TO THEIR SITE. They are at present a radically underfunded (basically unfunded) organization, doing amazing work on what cannot at this point be described as even a shoestring budget. They have made an enormous contribution already to the reform efforts that this blog is dedicated to advancing, and they have a crucial role to play going forward, as these efforts begin to bear fruit, as they most certainly have over the course of past few months. They need money to keep doing this work; please help them if you can.