Detailed law graduate employment information was virtually impossible to come by three years ago. Now, at least four different entities — including the American Bar Association, U.S. News & World Report, the National Association for Legal Career Professionals and Law School Transparency (NALP) — maintain databases detailing schools’ job-placement rates.
A consortium of 28 law schools called Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers has joined the fun by creating an interactive website that compiles jobs data from all of those sources. The site — dubbed Law Jobs: By the Numbers — also lets users customize searches of ABA jobs data. Users may compare law school employment statistics using any of those three formulas or enter their own search criteria.
"In some ways, today’s prospective law students have access to more information and data about law schools they’re considering than any generation before them," said Rebecca Love Kourlis, executive director of the University Denver’s Institute for the Advancement of the Legal System, the guiding force behind Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers. "But too often, they must rely on another’s interpretation of the data and do not necessarily have the tools to make it relevant to their decisions."
The website gives allows users to design their own employment formula based on the type of job (bar passage required, nonprofessional, etc.); whether the jobs are long-term or short-term: and whether they are funded by the schools themselves. Users can create a list that compares all ABA-accredited law schools, or they can compare specifics schools or look at different geographic regions.
"The tool is a natural outgrowth of the law school employment data that is now available," said Alli Gerkman, incoming director of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers. "It lets users create their own rates and, because we have made the formulas completely transparent and accessible, it teaches them how different criteria can impact the employment rates reported by schools, publications and organizations."
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