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In the spring of 2008, an online discussion board geared to would-be law students misreported some employment data about Vanderbilt University School of Law alumni. The school’s reaction surprised Patrick Lynch, a Vanderbilt 1L at the time who had volunteered to field questions from potential students. “They actually distributed a full list of about 90 percent of the students who graduated from Vanderbilt’s class of 2007, and gave it out to every accepted student at their admitted students weekend.”

Producing the list — a gold mine for comparison shoppers — was an unusual move for a law school. Vanderbilt detailed where its graduates worked, when they’d started, and a range for what they were earning — employment-related data well beyond what law schools historically provided to the main distributors of such information, U.S. News & World Report, the National Association of Law Placement, and the American Bar Association’s Standard 509 subcommittee.

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