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Adam Smith, Esq., Says Law Schools Should Pledge Full Disclosure on Employment Stats

In a post today that is sure to please the law school "scamblogger coalition," Adam Smith, Esq. writes that the entrenched ways of law schools are a big part of the current problem facing the legal profession. Despite the massive recent lay-offs in Big Law and the deterioration of the Big Law model, AS writes, law schools are likely to be "the last to implement any serious reforms attempting to bring their operational practices into line with the New Normal."

Why? Tenure, AS says. For instance, to implement a 2-year JD program instead of the 3-year status quo, as has been proposed by some, "essentially one-third of tenured law school faculty would have to be excused." So if change is not coming, what can or should law schools do?

Careerdev Turning to the model of the securities laws, AS writes that the answer may be full disclosure, or what AS calls the "10b-5 Oath"  (named after the securites regulation that prohibits making any untrue statement or omitting to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading). In short, AS says, law schools should be required to disclose:

    * Employment by sector:
          o BigLaw (NLJ 250, for clarity)
          o Other law firm
          o Government
          o Public interest
          o Judicial clerkship
          o Business
          o Graduate school (pursuing another degree)
          o Academia (working in academe, that is)
          o Unemployed
          o Unknown/can't be found, and
          o 1L attrition

    * For all its alumni
          o As of graduation, and
          o On the first, third, and fifth anniversaries of their graduation

    * Along with average student debt load at graduation.

With that disclosed, AS writes, the market will be able to intelligently begin to "exercise its discipline."

Posted by Bruce Carton on May 11, 2010 at 12:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)


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