As I recently remarked to a student, I hate to brag. And as I then immediately corrected myself, Oh wait. No. I love to brag. Celebrities, doubtless because they are very talented, can pull off a humblebrag in a tweet. I need more space.
Last week, the National Law Journal ran a piece on the latest initiative by Law School Transparency; this time, the organization is asking law schools to provide it with copies of the report NALP generates for each law school in the summer, based on data the schools provide in February for the preceding graduating class. Although the ABA recently announced changes that will expand the data it collects from law schools, LST doesn’t believe that the changes for this year go far enough. The NALP report, they believe, will fill the gaps; it contains a great deal of extremely useful information that addresses many of the questions that have been raised in the last couple of years of spotlights being trained on law school data—most particularly, the questions of how many graduates are employed as JDs, and the question of what “N” a given median salary is based on.
It’s a terrific idea, and I only wish we had thought of it. Oh wait. We did. In February 2011, in fact—which, by my math, is ten months ago. And our data go back five years, which is actually more than what LST has requested. A little historical perspective is an important tool when you’re trying to assess the impact the post-2008 economic upheaval has had on a given institution. Our efforts earned us a shout-out in the NLJ piece as one of the law schools that “have begun offering job and salary data on their Web sites that go beyond the minimum required by the ABA.” Represent.
But enough bragging. One thing I have learned in discussing these issues is that the data we on the inside think are interesting and significant may not be the data the observers on the outside think are interesting and significant. So work with us. Lay it on me, as they used to say in the 60s. Tell us what you want to know!