TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How Some Law Schools Game Employment Data

Above the Law, The Secret To Inflating Employment Rates? Only Survey Law Grads Who Are Employed:

The following will shock no one who has been paying attention to how law schools are trying to openly game the U.S. News law school rankings and mislead prospective law students. When it comes time to collect employment data, law schools are selectively surveying their graduates: they’re seeking survey responses from employed graduates, while ignoring graduates who are unemployed. They’ve been playing this game at least since the recession started.

And now we have evidence. A tipster emailed pretty much everybody in the legal blogosphere spilling the dirt on how his law school is trying to inflate employment statistics. He claims that the directive from his law school is not at all subtle. If you are employed, the school hounds you to complete a graduate employment survey. If you are unemployed, the school would like you to ignore it. That way, when the school hears from U.S. News or NALP or the ABA — or Law School Transparency, which just issued another request to law schools for more comprehensive employment data — law school officials can throw up their hands and say, “It’s so hard to get our graduates to fill out a jobs survey.” ...

Here’s the email that was sent to us and at least five other legal blogs:

I’m a recent grad of a New York law school (Tier 2) that begins with the letter “S.”... I’ve recently been getting bi-weekly emails from my school’s career services dept asking me to take and return the graduate employment survey only if I become employed. Here’s the relevant excerpt from the bottom of my recurring emails:

“If you have secured employment, please complete and return the attached Graduate Employment Survey.”

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