Sunday, July 31, 2011
(Hat Tip: Bryan Camp.)
The purpose of this letter is to convey NALP’s strong objection to the actions taken by the Council with regard to the collection of law school employment data. ... This will, in effect, duplicate the research effort that NALP has successfully undertaken for the last 37 years. We object to this action on several grounds, including the fact it will actually lead to LESS transparency and information about the entry-level legal employment market and not more, and the fact that it is an action that is contrary to all of the public conversations about this issue that have taken place among the ABA, NALP, the law schools, and the public over the last year and a half. ...
[W]e object in the strongest terms possible to the Section’s unlicensed use of NALP’s research terms and definitions in its plan to collect student record level data directly from the schools. The ABA may well decide that it should survey schools directly about what happens to their students when they complete their legal education, but in order to do so the ABA must develop its own survey instrument and research terms. The actions of the Council’s Executive Committee this week have effectively taken the intellectual property that NALP has developed over the last 37 years, used it as if it were its own property, and at the same time have effectively disabled NALP from using its own intellectual property by implementing a second and necessarily preemptive reporting duty on its accredited law schools.
NALP will be working with its member law schools, other stakeholders, and the press in the coming weeks to argue that the actions undertaken by the Council this week are detrimental and harmful to legal education, and will in the long term diminish the amount of information available about the legal employment market, and will in fact decrease transparency rather than increasing it at a time when the public pressure on legal education to increase transparency is intense.