Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Law School Transparency's 2012 Index Report

LST has just released an evaluation of the employment and salary information that each ABA-accredited law school was making available on its web site as of January 1-3 2012.  As the saying goes, there's good news and bad news.  The good news is that the amount and quality of such information is better than it was a year ago. The bad news is that it's still pretty awful overall.   Key points:

 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.
 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.
LST's summary of the situation:

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.

83 comments:

  1. I think at this point, it is universally accepted as truth that ALL law schools lie about their employment statistics. Law schools have been doing this for decades but have gotten more creative in recent years with the advent of post-grad fellowships, test drive programs, etc..

    Many years ago, I had lunch with a young lady who had recently graduated from law school. She asked me if I saw any flaws in her. I was surprised by the question. After all, she was very bright (top 10% of her class plus LR) and she was very attractive. When I inquired why she asked such question, she replied that she couldn't understand why she wasn't able to obtain a $145K a year job with her credentials when her OCS reported this number as the median salary for her class. She was puzzled when I told her that the median salary was BS.

    If this Law School Transparency project was interested in exposing the fraudulent practices of these schools it should do the following:

    1) Report the amount of law schools that use the $160K figure as the median salary;
    2) Comb through each AMLaw250 directory for alums of each school; and,
    3) Report how each school is represented in the $160K jobs.

    I am sure the research will reveal how grossly and recklessly these schools have played with the employment numbers. By the way, if you are a lawyer, ask another lawyer if they believe whether the employment stats put out by these schools is accurate. You won't find many practitioners who believe those false numbers.

    Right now there is a lawyer working in a car dealership wondering what is wrong with him. He is questioning why, with all his stellar accomplishments, he is not earning the median salary reported by his school. In addition to being fraudulent, these numbers just pour salt on the collective wounded ego of todays' indentured class of law graduates.

    A.E.S.

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  2. These "results" simply show that the majority of law schools, tenured faculty members and administrators do not give one damn about the average student, recent graduate, or incoming classes.

    In the final analysis, the schools merely want to enroll as many people as possible, WITHOUT REGARD to the prevailing job market. (Hell, they don't even bother to teach students how to practice law.) After all, the faculty is paid up front, in full - while the students and graduates are stuck paying the bill, for the next 20-30 years.

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  3. AES. This is from the last thread, and you may not go back to it. But I just asked what state you live in, so I can find the pro Bono requirement you describe.

    As for transparency, how much more detailed information do you need to know that Chicago is a great school to go to?

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  4. What the real problem is that, after several years of the entire industry knowing about the lack of transparency, and even after a year or two where the mainstream knows of the issues (generally) affecting law schools, the only result is that the findings are published, and while we condemn them, the schools aren't *punished*. And beyond class action law suits. There should be a regulatory scheme where the schools are *fined* - attack the purse strings, and only then will the schools pay attention. However, because the ABA is in cahoots, as are the financial and government sectors (due to the lack of dischargability of the loans), there is no incentive to attack the purse strings of the schools. The ABA should be that agency, but we see what kind of stones they have. I know that this post is redundant, but it just consistently and constantly amazes me, just like the rest of LawProf's readers (and LawProf himself), that a body that preaches "ethics" and "noble professionalism" could constantly act without such qualities.

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  5. @7:16AM

    I practice in multiple jurisdictions. To better answer your question, please refer to the following site which describes each jurisdiction's pro bono requirements:

    http://www.americanbar.org/groups/probono_public_service/policy/state_ethics_rules.html

    As for transparency, the overwhelming majority of schools fall short of Chicago Law's disclosures. Chicago is a very good school. Great? Maybe during the boom years but even I have met struggling Chicago law grads (disclosure: I don't know what their class rank was).

    A colleague of mine runs a public interest organization. He has two HLS grads working at his agency without compensation. Do you think HLS discloses that some of its grads are in this position?

    A.E.S.

    A.E.S.

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  6. Thanks, AES.

    You do get around. Chicago is a great school. The LST report describes their good performance in 2010 as unexpected. I do not think so. It was good because of the school's reputation.

    As for Harvard, I do not know if they do or not. But it has a huge graduating class. I do not think that 2 people working for free at a public interest firm should make anyone accepted to Harvard turn it down.

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  7. 7:34again. My only point is that obsessing about transparency in schools like Chicago does not make much sense. Nothing in life is guaranteed, even at great schools.But the real problem comes with schools that are further down the list.

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  8. 7:34, etc.:

    The point about Chicago is not whether it is a good bet, but whether its methodology is something other schools should seek to follow. Insofar that schools follow Chicago because Chicago purports to be a leader, and the disclosure methodology is inadequate, it is worth pointing out.

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  9. The student loan default rate for a school is another good metric to consider. A school's career services office has a very difficult time influencing this number. There is a probably a very strong correlation between a school's default rate and the employ-ability of it's graduates.

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  10. From LST-“The positive responses confused the unexpected quality of outcomes, which for Chicago graduates remained strong despite the retraction in attorney hiring, with actual quality of disclosure” and later there is a reference to “Chicago’s incomplete methodology”. Actually, I did not confuse that. And I do not know how you know everyone did. Your overall point may have been that Chicago’s way of doing it would not be good for other schools. But I think any fair reading of these passages is that you are unwilling to say that Chicago’s reporting is good enough, not even for the people who are considering Chicago, specifically.  My point was that the information provided, coupled with information that applicants should be gathering about the schools on their own, should be enough tell someone who is interested in Chicago that it is a good place to go. 

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  11. AES: Most law firms websites do not state attorney year of graduation or what level of associate they are. All you would know is the total number of attorneys from that school at the firm, but not how many are first year associates. So, you won't be able to tell how many of a school's most recent class landed those $160k jobs.

    The only way you'd find anything at all useful is if the number of Big Law grads a school is claiming is greater than their total number of associates in Big Law at any level of seniority.

    And, many firms don't list people until they've been admitted to the bar.

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  12. "PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING TO THEIR SITE."

    Fine. I'll do it. But only because I love you, LawProf Pauly C.

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  13. If you are looking for information about attorneys, go to Martindale Hubbell. It gives lists firms, attorneys, years of graduation dates and, in some cases, pictures of the lawyers.

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  14. @7:34AM & 7:43AM

    At the risk of sounding elitist, I agree with you. There are about 100 law schools that should be closed. The graduates of these schools will have little to no shot of ever making it as an attorney. Of course, many law students don't realize this because they are unaware of how this profession works. For example, I was referred to a website called "Top Law Schools" a few months ago. I was appalled to see the naivety displayed by students who hadn't even spent one day in law school. That website included threads such as "Can I make Partner at a V5 coming out of U. of Iowa?" or "Will a drug possession and theft conviction bar me from law school?"

    If you have to ask those types of questions, then you are in the wrong place. Anyway, according to that website a law degree is a good investment. I would not be surprised if that website is run by law school profiteers (people who profit from the law school scam).

    The problem with most students is that they are enamored with the Hollywood portrayal of being a lawyer. Many people think that by being a lawyer, they could be cool and suave like Mathew McCouganhey while having the lothario skills to seduce hot secretaries/lawyers that you saw on Boston Legal. Most students fantasize about the "I gotcha" moment while cross examining a witness. Little do these students know that less than 1% of people in this profession are physically attractive and about 1% of cases go to trial. Oh, and fraternizing with the staff is grounds for termination and/or sexual harrassment lawsuit.

    Law schools feed on the Hollywood portrayal. William Robinson, the ABA president, was partly correct when he said prospective law students should know better. It still doesn't excuse the quasi-criminal conduct that these schools engage in when publishing fraudulent numbers and then justifying them by saying "our numbers comply with the ABA and NALP guidelines."

    A.E.S.

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  15. Martindale gives year of admittance, not graduation. Not even counting people who fail the bar exam the first time, people from the same class can be admitted in different years because you get the July exam results back around Thanksgiving.

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  16. AES: I think the drug possession question is probably quite fair. I believe most state bars give a free pass for your first POM arrest, but that's not something a 0L would likely know, and despite the fact that C&F might look the other way, I could see a prospective student still wondering how law schools look at it, and whether it's worth shelling out all the time, effort, and money for the LSAT and applications.

    However, you are right about the role of lawyer fetishization.

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  17. The fact that only 51 percent of the schools reported the percentage of students who report salary information is very disturbing - because every one of the schools will take the average salary of this small sample and percent of the average salary of the class.

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  18. Kyle, thanks for your work on this. You are a true leader and frankly a true hero of sorts and I'm not being facetious. if the world has enough people like you will be fine.

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  19. I am broke, but I'll thrown in $10 to LST. Everyone else should too. It's the cost of a diner meal.

    I wish LST would RANK the law schools in their transparency index. Give each variable a certain weight and rank them 1-200. Then send out press releases to each of the local markets the law schools reside in. You'd be tapping the power of the press and the law schools obsession with rankings. The obsession with rankings can be used to our advantage.

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  20. Just got off the site. Some of the attorneys list their graduation dates, others do not.

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  21. BL1Y

    Perhaps I am bit out of touch but when I was admitted 20 years ago, the C&F standards were tougher. I knew a classmate who was held up by the C&F committee for almost 2 years over a disorderly persons offense (streaking during a fraternity event in college). I still think theft conviction would be a bar to admission in ANY jurisdiction.

    I feel that law schools will take in drug addicts and people with theft convictions. That is not an issue as the federal student loan money is just as good as the candidate with a criminal free record. The schools admit candidates with spotty records knowing full well that they will encounter C&F problems 3 years later. I recently read about the Tulane student who was convicted of murder. I doubt that student will be admitted to practice but I am sure Tulane has no problem cashing in that student's loan check. I have seen a decline in the quality of students being admitted to law school in the past 10 years. It is getting worse as the smarter college grads are opting out of attending law school. Don't be surprised if in the near future you read about a reformed rapist attending law school with the feel good touch of that student being the notes editor of some feminist law journal.

    A.E.S.

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  22. Is 60K – 70K debt load (a combo of private and federal) reasonable for someone spending 4 years full time to obtain a bs in business without having any connections or job opportunities on the horizon (mainly due to “lack of experience”). What kind of starting paying would this person be looking at provided they are hired?

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  23. LawProf and LawSchoolTransparency,

    Did you guys listen to this NPR story on the issue of fraudulent job placement statistics?

    http://www.npr.org/2012/01/16/145179563/do-law-schools-cook-their-employment-numbers

    I know it's just NPR but every bit of media coverage helps. I thoughts Mr. Aniszka did a great job of briefly articulating the issues, and I wish him luck in his lawsuits against Millionaire Matasar.

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  24. AES: My bad, I overlooked the theft conviction.

    A one time drug possession charge will get you grilled at C&F, but won't stop you from being admitted. I really don't know about theft, though I could see a misdemeanor conviction still not stopping your admittance.

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  25. 9:37: Something tells me LST has listened to the NPR coverage...

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  26. I want to donate to LST, but the donation link LawProf posted and the link on their webpage is down.

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  27. OT -- the latest issue of "The Professional Lawyer" (unfortunately not available on-line yet) has a good short article by one John Zulkey on certain states' refusal to admit bar applicants because their student debt is too large.

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  28. That's what's called a "mind fuck" 9:57, i.e. it's when you design a system so harmful and absurd that the victim has no choice but to stand their dumbfounded, muttering to himself "what the fuck" "what the fuck" . . .

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  29. BL1Y,

    FYI I was listening to your audio shows the other day, and it reminded me of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDzhXmXBheo

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  30. Law schools should also mention this information in their recruiting brochures.I am looking at the Hofstra brochure right now and it lacks any helpful information.If law schools are going to put out these brochures they should include full disclosure.

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  31. Yeah that'll get them tuition money . . . *rolls eyes*

    you're dealing with people willfully and intentionally looking for ways to deceive people.

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  32. So:

    After looking at (and reading) the LST report, I have drawn some conclusions, please, tell me if I am wrong:

    1. Law schools are reporting more detailed numbers because of immense pressure from everyone outside their own little circles.

    2. These "new" detailed numbers hide the ball but give the reader the impression of transparency and honesty.

    3. There are only two schools (MSU and Southwestern) that offer more than the others but still fall far short.

    4. The numbers from these two schools are very dismal.

    Am I missing something?

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  33. AES: "The schools admit candidates with spotty records knowing full well that they will encounter C&F problems 3 years later."

    And if those problems amounted to a barrier to admission, wouldn't that 1)constitute fraud and 2)give no reason for the victim to not pursue legal action?

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  34. I have always found it particularly odd that law schools are not required to do a more robust investigation into the character and fitness of the students matriculating into their program of study. In fact, as I understand it, it is common in most states that person cannot even get a C&F application reviewed by a state's bar association prior to graduating from law school, and maybe even passing the bar in some states. It seems an impossible situation. Has anyone even seen reporting on how many people, if any, fall into this trap annually? Is this an actual problem, or just a doomsday scenario?

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  35. The law school for which I work has in the past admitted students with criminal backgrounds that relate to abusing positions of trust. I have voiced grave concerns over this from a C&F perspective, but the 'official' reply when pushed hard enough was: "It's not our position to make a determination as to whether someone can pass the C&F exam, and anyway, people go to law school for many reasons, so maybe the applicant doesn't want to practice." I found this line of reasoning to be sickening, especially since no one bothered to sit down with the applicants and tell them the potential problems. We were quite happy to take the tuition (or rather, the US government's money) and let them take tests, etc.

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  36. AES -- I am trying to find the state that mandates 80 hours of pro bono work. Mandatory reporting is not the same as mandatory pro bono. No one will know who you are if you say what state you are in. Can we narrow it by region? Are you in one of the states of the old Confederacy? New England?

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  37. Oregon has an 80 hour pro bono goal.

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  38. 2. These "new" detailed numbers hide the ball but give the reader the impression of transparency and honesty

    ---------------

    Huh? What reader views these as transparent?

    Please stop speaking for the world.

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  39. Goals, sure.. mandatory is another matter. When I last checked, Mississippi was on the verge of being the first state to actually mandate hours. And that was nowhere near 80. I think they backed off. I thought maybe I had missed something.

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  40. I'm in CA and we have no mandatory pro bono hours, which is good because I would not serve a client very well when I have zero income.

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  41. Of course they backed off. Mandatory pro bono will never happen.

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  42. ABA Accreditation Standard 504(a):

    (a ) A law school shall advise each applicant that there are character, fitness and other
    qualifications for admission to the bar and encourage the applicant, prior to matriculation, to determine what those requirements are in the state(s) in which the applicant intends to practice. The law school should, as soon after matriculation as is practicable, take additional steps to apprise entering students of the importance of determining the applicable character, fitness and other qualifications.

    This one of of the rare standards that does not come with guiding interpretations. (Much of the substance of the standards is in the interpretations, not the rules themselves.)

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  43. BL1Y,

    "shall advise". In other words, the schools are not mandated to do a preliminary C&F determination.

    Why should a crime be a disqualifying factor? What happened to redemption? Remember, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her"?

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  44. I agree that it's bizarre that someone is unable to learn their C&F status until AFTER they've finished law school. Whatever the C&F board will do in three years, why not make them do it now?

    I would also add some sort of mental health inspection for all incoming graduates, to raise the issue of and perhaps even improve the situation of high depression rates in law school.

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  45. Who the hell wrote the ABA's moronic and vague accreditation standards?

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  46. I think the standards should be changed to require something like an Against Medical Advice waiver. I'm sure schools can coordinate with state bars to create a list of red (almost certainly will stop you from being admitted), yellow (could be an issue, depends on context, mitigating circumstances, other issues), and green (usually not a problem) C&F factors.

    If a student is unlikely to be admitted, say he has 1 red flag, or 3+ yellow flags, the school could still let him enroll (maybe he has reason to think an exception will be made, or wants to do something other than practice law), but would have to provide him with a written document advising him that he probably will not be allowed to practice, and have him sign it.

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  47. I should point out that having a $150-300K student loan debt with little job prospects can seriously alter a person's C&F.

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  48. BL1Y, about those flagged students,

    1) Should they be excluded from the overall class rankings?
    2) Should they be allowed to participate in OCI?

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  49. Good and doable idea BL1Y. Too bad the ABA is run by a bunch of incompetents.

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  50. I think it is mandatory as in you have to do pro bono. I don't think the State bars have decided you have to do a mandatory X amount of hours of pro bono service every year. I like the fact that some bars give you the choice to "buy" your way out of pro bono. In other words, they get theirs no matter what.

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  51. So here's a nearly complete solution to the problem of law school transperancy and the conundrum of finding the employment status for recent graduates. By pass the law schools as data collection points. Each of the state bars has a list of all the recent graduates who passed the bar exam. Names, addresses, e-mails, phone numbers. Have the state bar send each admittee a questionaire about employment status. TLS must have a suggested model. Probably a good idea to get a responce from each of the last five years examinations. Gives you a longer time perspective and a feel for the trend line. How many attornies don't answer a letter from the state bar? William Ockham

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  52. I can't find a single state that requires attorneys to actually do any pro bono.

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  53. Good. Keep it that way. We have enough problems as it is.

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  54. Good idea WO, which means it will ever occur in the idiocracy known as the legal profession.

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  55. AES, re: this: "He has two HLS grads working at his agency without compensation. Do you think HLS discloses that some of its grads are in this position?"

    I am an HLS grad who worked briefly without compensation in 2011 while transitioning voluntarily from the private to public sector. I was in active contact with OPIA (our Office of Public Interest Advising) last year, and I discussed the situation of volunteer HLS grads at length with them. Every such case of which I'm aware, mine included, is an HLS grad who is so committed to a particular public interest cause that they were/are not willing to consider private sector employment. (Ironically, most of us are NOT from HLS's silver spoon sector and do not have parents supporting our desire to do public interest work. We tend to be from middle-class or lower-middle-class backgrounds and passionately committed to social justice.)

    HLS is free to disclose information about us. They certainly are honest with students and alums who are considering public interest work that - given the depressed state of nonprofit and government hiring - we may have to consider volunteering or consider going back to the private sector. I hope they're being honest with prospectives about this, too, though I have no contact with Admissions and don't know. I don't see the current state of the nonprofit/public sectors as HLS's fault. The school has assisted me in many practical ways with every academic, public, and private sector foray I've attempted after graduation. I sure as hell don't feel deceived, scammed, or defrauded by them. I'm incredibly grateful to have gone there, and I have tremendous admiration and respect for the school - the quality of the education I received, the doors the Harvard name has opened for me, and the unexpected free services they've readily provided to me on request as an alum.

    The one thing that HLS needs to change is this: they don't offer LIPP (low-income protection) to alums who are working in public interest positions for free while trying to secure paid employment. It strikes me as perverse to force such alums to make their student loan payments, while subsidizing the loans of alums who have paid public interest employment.

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  56. I found this website re: pro bono.

    http://apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/probono/reporting/pbreporting.cfm

    As you can see, there are some jurisdictions that mandate the reporting of your pro bono work. Now you may say this is mandatory reporting, no mandatory pro bono. Nevertheless, would you risk your license and lie on your report? This makes pro bono mandatory, at least in the first category of jurisdictions.

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  57. WCL: I don't see any reason why they'd be excluded from class rankings.

    As for OCI, I could see there being an issue with a law firm hiring someone who gets rejected by C&F, but firms are in a good position to absorb that risk, and can just use general employment apps that ask about criminal history, same as most other employers.

    On the other hand, excluding a student from OCI is pretty damning to his career. I wouldn't want to run the risk of the school getting the call wrong; not letting him into OCI, but then he passes C&F.

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  58. "On the other hand, excluding a student from OCI is pretty damning to his career."

    I must live on another planet...at my Tier 4 only 5 people (of a class of 180 or so) get jobs through OCI...about 40-50% have real law jobs.

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  59. 40% to 50% sounds quite high for a Tier 4, if a real law job means full-time long-term employment requiring a law degree.

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  60. Re: jurisdictions with mandatory reporting for pro bono, you don't have to do pro bono. You just have to fill out the form and put "0" hours in where they ask you how much pro bono you did. I've been barred in MD for 10 years and have done that every year, no problem. (Yeah, I'm a bum who doesn't do any pro bono work, wanna make something of it?)

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  61. As I read you folks endlessly post ideas that none of you have the initiative or talent to implement, in juxtaposition with a post on Kyle - I'm reminded of the fact that 95% of the world are nothing more than hopeless and pathetic losers and it's the 5% who will make or break our society.

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  62. 4:04:

    0/10 for substance, 1/10 for effort.

    For the newbies, THIS is a classic definition of a troll.

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  63. 4:04 is of course, a part of the 5%. Thanks for gracing us with your anonymous presence.

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  64. Yesterday, National Public Radio had a 5 minute radio segment on All Things Considered, "Do Law Schools Cook Their Employment Numbers." Kyle McEntee from LawSchoolTransparency.com was interviewed.

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  65. Ockham's idea is not bad. You could have the state bar send the questionnaire electronically, and whomever answers, gets 100.00 off their dues. Who knows where that money goes anyway.

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  66. 4:04 (the first and smarter one):

    Most attorneys do pro-bono work. They're called non-paying clients.

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  67. Pro bono is mandatory in NJ if you are tapped on the shoulder. Madden v. Delran, 126 N.J. 591 (1992). Given the budget cuts and the cutbacks in state legal services programs, expect the ABA to propose mandatory pro bono model rules. After all, one isn't baptized as a lawyer until you represent an ungrateful client who will curse your name and threaten your life and your family all for the princely sum of "it is your obligation to give back."

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  68. I keep wondering if there isn't a better way to gather employment data. So far all we have is self-reported data, and even if we could get 90% of new grads to respond, it would still skew the data massively if the 10% who didn't respond were all unemployed.

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/the-college-majors-that-do-best-in-the-job-market/
    This guy was able to use data from the census to calculate how much new college grads from various major are making after graduation. The advantage of the census is that you're required to answer it if they select you, and all the data is online. I wonder if something similiar might be possible for law school grads?

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  69. Charles, you are not required to answer the supplemental census form which is invasive and an intrusion of privacy. Last year, I was selected to fill out a 48 questionaire form which asked personal questions such as:

    1) How much money do you make?
    2) How many people live in your house?
    3) What time do you leave your home to go to work?
    4) What time do you usually return home from work?
    5) Do you need assistance to use the bathroom or take a bath?
    6) What is your highest level of education?
    7) Are you on medication? And so on.

    When the census representative came to my door, I told her I would not speak to her. She threatened to report me to the Attorney General for prosecution. I opened the door and told her the Census Bureau has the constitutional power to count me in the general population, not to inquire whether I can take a shit unassisted. I concluded by telling her to prosecute me, knowing that no one has ever been prosecuted under than bullshit law.

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  70. Thanks 3:25, for putting things in perspective.

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  71. From their website:

    "Do I have to answer these questions?

    Yes. You are legally obligated to answer all the questions, as accurately as you can.

    The relevant laws are Title 18 U.S.C Section 3571 and Section 3559, which amends Title 13 U.S.C. Section 221."
    But maybe one of you hotshot lawyers can prove them wrong lol.

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  72. I'm sure their data isn't perfect of course- you're never going to get perfect survey data. But it's a whole lot better than self-reported data with a sub 50% response rate.

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  73. In TN we have to report our pro bono hours, but it is not mandatory.

    On the C & F issue: I wonder how much a law school's lax standards are related to many law professor's downright disdain for the actual practice of law and the near messianic conviction that one can do many things other than practice law with a law degree. In other words, for the majority of admissions committees (made up of law professors), are these lax standards the result of cynicism or rationalization bordering on delusion? I almost prefer the former. You can't match wits with the witless.

    Tricia Dennis

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  74. @4:23. LOL. Well said! Every small firm lawyer endorses that observation!

    Tricia Dennis

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  75. 4:54 But if your state bar asked you wouldn't the responce rate be 99%+?

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  76. "4:04 is of course, a part of the 5%. Thanks for gracing us with your anonymous presence."

    lol. I love people who use anonymous comments, and nothing more than anonymous comments, to implore others to do something more than post anonymous comments.

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  77. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nation_of_Gods_and_Earths

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  78. 5:41. First, not everybody passes the bar. Second, not everybody takes the bar.

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  79. 5:41. A good point that I hadn't considered. But some questions, what percent of the recent law school graduates take and pass the bar exam? What percentage of the recent graduates are reflected in the existing surveys of the employment status of recent graduates? Would a manditory questionaire from the state bar recover a larger number of responces than the current surveys? Would the responces to the bar be more accurate than the existing surveys? Would the state bar survey be able to ask and have answered a greater and more detailed set of questions? Can we assume that graduates who have either not taken the bar or have not passed it do not have jobs that require a J.D. or bar passage? I have no data so I have no answers. William Ockham

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  80. I was replying to 8:45 not 5:41 in the above comment. It's not considered good form to respond to your own comments. Sorry. W.O.

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  81. A little legal research project

    "Think like a lawyer" is the favourite refrain of law professors to 1Ls - they did it to me some 23 years ago and they do it today -- all the while pretending that they ever worked as lawyers.

    Well, after 20 years of legal practice one thing I learned asa a lawyer is to be inherently suspicious of a party that systemically conceals or fails to disclose key information, especially when that information is clearly available, or relatively easily available to that party. And, thinking like a lawyer, I always warn clients about obvious "hiding of the ball," especially when it gets close to either a breach of fiduciary duty, or indeed outright fraud. Indeed, depending on the state, I have also had to warn clients of the "implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing" and of local principles on "bad faith lending" that hold that certain lenders have a fiduciary duty to the borrower. Thus taking for example California, case law has held that a loan broker, i.e., a mortgage broker is under the implied warranty and that a breach can allow not only recovery, but also can permit the borrower to collect attorneys' fees.

    What astonishes me is that, at this point, do the financial aid offices of law schools recognise that failure to make an honest disclosure is a liability issue - are the Deans of the law schools "thinking like a lawyer" or like crooked mortgage brokers.

    I am a pretty busy lawyer, but since many posting here seem to have time (let's be fair) - how about a little project. Divide up the states and send an e-mail precis of the following key information to Professor Campos and the LII:

    1. Does the law of State X contain an implied duty of good faith in contracts;
    2. Can that implied warranty be construed as applying to lending agreements;
    3. Does the implied warranty apply to lenders;
    4. Does the implied warranty apply to loan brokers;
    5. Is failure to disclose material facts is a breach of the warranty;
    6. Is misrepresentation of material facts a breach of the warranty;
    7. Does State X recognise "bad faith lending," i.e., a fiduciary duty in lending from the lender to the borrower;
    8. Does the fiduciary duty extend to lenders;
    9. Does the fiduciary duty extend to loan brokers;
    10. What failures to disclose material facts amount to a breach of the duty;
    11. What misrepresentations amount to a breach of the duty?

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  82. When I was going to law school 23 years ago my grandfather and uncle took me out to lunch and explained to me that in practice I was going to have to understand the meaning of certain clich├ęs when uttered by a potential client:

    "money's no object" = because I am not going to pay the bill
    "it's the principle of the thing" = you should be doing this pro bono
    "it's really a really simple case" = you better not charge a lot
    "I'll fight them to the last drop of blood" - notice the absence of the possessive participle (whose blood?)

    Though the best one I remember is of my aunt who, after winning an enormous divorce settlement for a wife from a very wealthy man, upon presenting her bill faced the response "a bill, but I thought you were my friend." She, of course, also advised me to respond at parties to people who sidled up to you and asked legal questions to "just tell them what your office hours are...."

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  83. Hehe excellent 3:14.

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