Following up on last week's post, Without Any Transparency In The Process, ABA Legal Ed Council Approves Changes To Employment Report And Classification Of Law-School-Funded Positions That Erode Transparency: National Law Journal, Amid Criticism, ABA Pulls Back on Change to How Law Schools Report Jobs:
The American Bar Association has pumped the brakes on newly adopted changes to how law schools report graduate employment, after critics complained that they obscure the number of recent graduates in jobs paid for by the schools themselves.
The ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar approved the changes at its last meeting in June, but is scheduled to revisit them when it meets Friday in New York in light of the negative response they’ve generated from legal transparency advocates and legal educators, who said they were instituted without the chance for public input.
“I am usually loath to urge reconsideration of settled matters,” wrote council chairman Greg Murphy in an Aug. 3 memo to fellow council members that recommends sending the already adopted changes to the ABA’s Standards Review Committee for further discussion. “However, where there is reason to believe that a deviation from accepted practice has generated some unanticipated consequences, I think it [is] appropriate to pause and reconsider, even if in the end the decision may well be the same.”
Transparency advocates have been blunt in their criticism of the changes the council adopted in June. Jerome Organ, a professor at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota School of Law who tracks and analyses employment data, wrote in a post on TaxProf Blog that the changes “completely eviscerate” the steps the council took just two years ago to increase the transparency around school-funded jobs. ...
Barry Currier, the ABA’s managing director of accreditation and legal education acknowledged the pushback in an interview Friday, but said others have reached out in support of the changes, which are intended to simplify the graduate employment reporting requirements for schools. “There will be more discussion about whether the council is still happy with the decision it made in June to change the reporting form,” he said. “There has been a lot of activity around this.”
Paul Mahoney, former dean of the University of Virginia School of Law and member of the ABA council, proposed changes to the reporting of graduate jobs in a May 30 memo that called the existing system “excessively complex and confusing” because it requires schools to report jobs in a myriad different categories. The ABA could simplify the number of job categories without losing much useful information, Mahoney argued.