For example, observe this purported quote from Seton Hall's Michael Simkovic:
Providing more accurate information to the public could benefit law schools, but the greatest beneficiaries would be the students whose lives law school can change for the better. For many college graduates, the $30,000 to $60,000 extra per year that they can typically earn with a law degree will mean the difference between living in a safe and clean neighborhood or one that is dangerous and polluted.For the sake of brevity, I must resist the urge to focus on the premium numbers and the prompted imagery of all those BS/BA holders who are scrounging in the ghetto making what sounds like $20k a year while living out fantasies from The Wire.
It's curious that Simkovic would claim that law schools are somehow victims of public misinformation without an obvious indicator of sarcasm. Up until a few short years ago, law schools regularly profited mightily off media acquiescence and massive information asymmetries. Even now, in the "debate" over law school's general value, the institutional actors have far more media cachet than their struggling graduates, and hardly have clean hands when it comes to accurate public perceptions. Many of those same institutional actors have held postures somewhere between haughty ignorance and defensive criticism when it comes to legal education's most obvious problems. A few of them have aggressively gone after those who dare use their super-lawyer-premium justice-seeker skills against the legal academy.
The loudest voices about having "more accurate information" in legal education have invariably come from outside the academy. And accordingly, the "more accurate information" that has come out has decidedly not benefited the law schools, excepting, perhaps, Simkovic's own unimpeachable, relevant work. It's incredibly difficult to believe that "more accurate information" would, in any possible way, lead to more/higher-quality law school enrollees or else one would think the law schools would open the books with haste whether AALS was splurging on a Ministry of Propaganda or not.
Of course, the AALS could do far more than expend monies on "highly qualified communications professionals" to do "public outreach efforts" in a Fox News-style venture to bring "accurate, informed, and balanced news coverage" to the law school industry.
Instead, AALS could provide a blanket donation to Law School Transparency and pass a resolution that member schools must make their NALP reports pubic. Perhaps, even, the AALS could establish a standard for longitudinal reporting so that researchers like Simkovic would have superior data from which to conclude - for example - that law school is an outstanding investment regardless of any possible variables. Going further, the AALS could have member schools submit their numbers to a third-party audit to give the reporting an official sheen of authenticity for the likely future big firm partners, judges, and premium-savoring others who enroll at Seton Hall.
Or would that be too much publicly available accurate information?