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The Law School Transparency project has its first taker. Ave Maria School of Law — a Roman Catholic law school that moved in 2009 from Ann Arbor, Mich. to Naples, Fla. — agreed last week to provide detailed employment data for its graduates to the nonprofit organization. Law School Transparency in July sent letters to all 199 American Bar Association-accredited law schools seeking commitments to provide the information by Sept. 10. Only 11 law schools met the deadline, and Ave Maria was the only one to say it will participate fully. Ave Maria spokesman John Knowles said the school would not comment beyond confirming that it will participate. Its participation is a step in the right direction, said Kyle McEntee, a law student at Vanderbilt University Law School who started the transparency project with recent Vanderbilt law graduate Patrick Lynch. “It shows that this is feasible,” McEntee said. “It’s not something that schools can categorically distance themselves from due to a lack of feasibility.” McEntee hopes Ave Maria’s decision will prompt other schools to participate. “I think they deserve huge praise for this.” The goal is to provide prospective law students will more meaningful information about employment and salaries than is released by the ABA and U.S. News & World Report. Participating schools would report employer type, employer name, position name, bar passage rate, full-time or part-time status, office location, whether the student worked on a law journal and the salary paid each alumnus nine months after graduation. To protect the former students’ privacy, the schools would not include the graduates’ names in connection with their employment and salary information. Law schools already collect most of this information, although they generally release it in the aggregate and don’t break it down by individual. The group is asking for employment data on the class of 2010, nine months after graduation. It hopes to make Ave Maria’s information available on its website by late February.

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