All Things Equal: Unintended Consequences and Allegedly Misrepresented Statistics
24 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2013 Last revised: 26 Nov 2014
Date Written: January 27, 2013
This paper describes the current class action lawsuits against law schools on grounds of misrepresented statistics (schools' self-reported job employment rates, salary data, etc.). It argues that these suits are merely the visible tip of a veiled iceberg; that these misrepresented statistics may themselves be a contributor to our legal economy's current woes.
It addresses why students choose to attend law school in the first place, and observes that the industry that is legal education is, at bottom, a business. It analyzes economics and the economy, with a particular focus on labor market economics, and the likely distorted supply and demand curve in the market for legal employment.
It suggests that the misrepresented statistics being hurled at potential law students prevents the labor market from reaching its true equilibrium -- it obscures demand and prevents all things from being equal.
It concludes by turning toward the causes of recession as a point for comparison, and argues that the starting point for recovery in the legal market is in law schools' disseminating -- as mandated by the American Bar Association -- accurate and non-misleading statistics about their programs.
Keywords: law school, class action, misrepresentation, misrepresented statistics, American Bar Association, economy, economics, supply and demand, law suits, schools
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