Winter 2013 Transparency Index Report
16 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2013 Last revised: 8 May 2013
Date Written: March 4, 2013
This report presents LST’s two-fold analysis of consumer information on law school websites. First, we analyzed whether law schools published the two charts required by ABA Standard 509, and whether their websites contained incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading information prohibited by Standard 509. Second, we analyzed affirmative efforts by law schools to be forthcoming with class of 2011 employment data they possess, but are under no regulatory obligation to publish.
Our chief findings, based on data collected between December 18, 2012 and January 9, 2013, are as follows:
- Of the 199 ABA-approved law schools, 78.4% (156/199) did not meet the expectations set forth by Standard 509.
- 65.3% (130/199) failed to publish one or both charts required by Standard 509. 20.6% (41/199) did not publish either chart.
- 46.2% (92/199) published consumer information that was incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading, as prohibited by Standard 509(a).
- Of the 198 schools that graduated students in 2011, 56.1% (111/198) went above and beyond the minimum regulatory standards and met one of ten transparency criteria. 17.7% (35/198) met all ten criteria.
- 47.0% (93/198) published some salary information that’s neither incomplete nor misleading.
We sent our findings to the dean, career services office, and admissions office of 199 ABA-approved law schools, along with explanations of the requirements, common problems, and what we expect law schools to disclose as a matter of practice. We then consulted with law schools about how they can meet the Transparency Index's criteria. With our guidance and just a small amount of motivation by administrators, we saw immense improvement in law school consumer information. Unfortunately, there is still a long way to go.
Keywords: law school, employment, education, prospective law students, salary, ABA, NALP, transparency, websites, conditional scholarships, consumer protection
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