And the ABA wonders why membership among young attorneys is down...
At a meeting in June,...the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar approved a proposal that begins a process, as Jerry puts it, “to completely eviscerate the steps [the Section] approved in 2015 to assure greater transparency in reporting law-school-funded positions,” and to undo the disclosure of other potentially valuable and important employment-outcome information...:
- [T]he proposal apparently seeks to eliminate disclosure of the number of students graduating from a law school each year...thus making it difficult or impossible to determine what percentage of the graduating class got what kind of job, or any job at all. This is an incredibly easy number to determine and disclose...[and] it has been disclosed for decades.
- The proposal also makes it more difficult to determine how many postgraduate positions a law school itself has funded, and makes it impossible to differentiate any school-funded position that is long-term, full-time and pays more than $40,000 annually in its first year from any other LTFT Bar-Passage Required or JD-Advantaged job.
- In the guise of “simplification,” the proposal seeks to eliminate a number of different employment outcome categories that have been reported for years and in some cases decades, namely:
Collapsing [non-JD required jobs]...into a single category entitled “Employment Other”;
Collapsing five size-based categories of private firms into...“Firm 10-100” and“Firm 100-500”;
Collapsing ["other"]...into a single category entitled “Unemployed or Status Unknown”; and
Collapsing [clerkships] into a single category.
The process by which these proposals were adopted was utterly unworthy of any responsible system of representative policy-making. According to Prof. Organ, the justifications offered for these changes were factually inaccurate in some instances, and apparently many of the changes were not even discussed before being voted on. Even more disturbingly, the proposal was offered to the Council just two days before its meeting, with no public notice or opportunity for comment.
While this shocks absolutely no-one among those of the cynical, wizened readership of this and other scamblogs, who are often the debt-ridden products of the above-referenced, bait-and-switch system, it is nice to hear some LawProfs actually call this out for what it is. Given how some LawProfs have virtually made a side-career of dismissing and even mocking the plight of the
loan conduits students and alumni from whom they have benefited, one would think that the entire academy was in on the whole sick joke of it all, and couldn't possibly care less so long as the checks clear.
Granted, that does describe the vast majority of the academy, but hey, at least it's not 100%.
Potential 1Ls, this is your national accreditation body playing hide the ball. These are the law schools who are suffering from low enrollment, complicity wanting the ABA to obscure the truth. These are the "ethicists" and "justice-seekers" who are desperate for you, the "sophisticated consumer," to sign on the line that is dotted such that the gravy-train keeps on rolling. They do not want you to know the truth, because, well, the truth hurts, and that impacts them adversely. While I applaud those who are willing to speak up, as that no doubt subjects one to some slings and arrows from one's so-called compatriots, notice the deafening, resounding silence from all the other interested parties.
What meaningful and permissible purpose is there for the ABA to recommend a course AWAY from transparency? How can this possibly help you, as the future student? Consider this before taking the plunge. For most of you, that means walking away, now. For those who choose to remain, know what game you are getting yourself involved in, eyes wide open, and make sure you have ample backing if you do.