Are Law Schools Padding Their Employment Stats?

You don’t have to be an economist to know that the job market is in difficult shape. The employment prospects for newly minted lawyers are especially pessimistic, a bitter pill for law school graduates to swallow after paying more than $150,000 in law school tuition.

The American Bar Association rules govern a law school’s publication of employment statistics for its recent law graduates. Employment as a barista at Starbucks or a cashier at Barnes and Noble is worthy employment but it does not pay the law school tuition debt.  So the pressure mounts for the law schools to publish reassuring employment numbers for their recent graduates.

A former employee at Thomas Jefferson Law School alleges that she was pressured to massage those figures by her supervisor. According to the employee, she would routinely skirt the rules of the A.B.A. to paint a rosier employment picture than actually existed.

Regardless of the truth of these allegations, the employment landscape for young lawyers is still challenging. The publication of accurate employment figures is critical for ensuring that the supply of young lawyers has some relationship to the actual demand for their services. Anyone think that maybe we have too many lawyers in the world?

If you have any questions or comments about this post, please email Paul at pclark@wcmlaw.com