The “transparency” of law school employment statistics has been widely criticized and robustly discussed over the past few years, resulting in changes to ABA accreditation rules and to law schools’ documentation and reporting of their graduates employment status. Just last week, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) http://iaals.du.edu/, announced a new employment calculator intended to be used as an alternative to the traditional and, in the opinion of many, biased current ranking system:
Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, an initiative of IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, is pleased to announce Law Jobs: By the Numbers™ (http://educatingtomorrowslawyers.du.edu/law-jobs), an interactive online tool that gives prospective law students the most transparent and complete law school employment rate information available.
So what makes this calculator more transparent? According to the website, it is an incredibly “powerful” tool because “It lets the users create their own rates and, because we have made the formulas completely transparent and accessible, it teaches them how different criteria can impact the employment rates reported by schools, publications, and organizations.
If you click on it, you will notice that users can “choose their own” formulas such as “whether bar passage is required, whether a position is full time, or whether a job is funded by the law school.” formula stands up against those from leading publications and organizations. You can also choose to rank all schools or compare specific schools.
I spent just a few moments on the calculator and found it to be very interesting and informative about employment parameters and about the type of information which goes into creating employment “statistics, misleading statistics and outright lies’ (to paraphrase a famous quote). I also believe that the more alternative information and evaluation sources available, the less power US NEWS has to lead legal education by the nose. And that, my friends, seems like a step forward!
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