Paul L. Caron

Saturday, December 20, 2014

ABA Seeks Comments on Reporting of Law School Funded Jobs

ABA Logo 2The ABA Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar on Thursday released Possible Revisions to the 2015 Employment Questionnaire Relating to Law School Funded Positions by Stetson Dean (and Tax Prof) Christopher Petruszkiewicz and Scott Norberg:

At its January 16-17, 2015 meeting, the Data Policy and Collection Committee will consider possible revisions to the 2015 Employment Questionnaire (EQ) relating to the reporting of law school/ university funded positions. The concern is about transparency in the reporting of some of these positions as long-term under the current reporting requirements. ...

The number of graduates reported as holding long-term, full-time Bar Passage Required positions that are law school/university funded positions has increased markedly over the past several years.


Full-Time, Long-Term

Full-Time, Short-Term

Part-Time, Long-Term

Part-Time, Short-Term


Class of 2012






Class of 2013







The Committee will consider a range of possible changes, including the following:

  1. Mandate that all law school/university funded positions be reported as short-term, unless the school makes an affirmative, documented showing that (a) the law school has no control or influence over the creation or staffing of the position, and (b) the position is open to all applicants and not just the law school's graduates. A permanent position in the university general counsel's office is an example of a position that would likely fall within the exception and be reported as long-term.
  2. Change the definition of long-term for purposes of law school/university funded positions to exclude positions that may have a definite length of time of one year or more, but which both the graduate and the law school expect will not last beyond a year as evidenced by the fact that the law school's career services office continues to assist the graduate in finding employment that would begin before the end of the stated term of employment in the law school/university funded position.
  3. Add salary information to the information that is collected and reported with respect to law school/university funded positions. Unlike salary information for non-law school/university funded jobs, which tends to be inherently unreliable, salary information for law school/university funded positions is fully and accurately known to the school.
  4. Adopt the NALP approach to reporting on law school/university funded positions. NALP takes a two-tiered approach (see NALP employment survey, question 4) that asks, first, whether a position is long-term or short-term, and whether the position has a fixed duration (e.g., 1 year, 2 years, or project-based); and second, if the job has a fixed duration, whether it is funded in whole or in part by the law school or by a grant from an outside organization (e.g., Skadden Fellowship, Equal Justice Works).
  5. Establish a cap on the number of full-time, long-term jobs that can be counted in the bar passage required category, perhaps as a percentage of graduates.
  6. List employment in the law school/university funded category as an "above the line" classification and only provide detailed reporting on types of positions that are not funded by the law school/university.

Interested parties are invited to submit comments in advance of the Committee's January 16-17, 2015 meeting, which may be emailed to Scott Norberg.

Legal Education | Permalink


You forgot #7: do nothing. I would think of this as the odds-on favorite.

Posted by: Morse Code for J | Dec 21, 2014 8:00:49 AM

Pleasure to meet you yesterday sir. Merry Christmas and happy new year.

Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 20, 2014 8:25:32 PM

Ooh...death knell. Let the light shine: and if the rankings benefit from these positions evaporates, we all know the positions will also swiftly disappear...these "incubator programs" and what not. These positions are just a selfish band-aid on a wound (horrible legal employment prospects) that likely won't ever heal in the new normal of the legal job sector.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 20, 2014 12:54:55 PM