ABA Mulling Random Audits Of Law School Hiring Data
Wondering if your law school really has a 75 percent placement rate after nine months? If a proposal from the American Bar Association is adopted next year, you may get your answer.
This week, the ABA announced that it had received a draft proposal which would subject law schools to random audits of their graduate employment. The ABA would annually review the supporting data, which is weighed in U.S. News and World Report law school rankings, for 10 selected law schools.
According to the ABA’s press release, “Schools with files found to be more than 2 percent “deficient” would have to verify the information they reported for a random sampling of at least 10 percent of their graduates. And, if 2 percent of that information is found to be unsupported, inaccurate or false, the school would be required to hire, at its own expense, an outside expert pre-approved by the ABA to verify the accuracy of its reported data.” In addition, all law schools would be subject to a “statistically sound” random sampling of the employment information reported each year for all law school graduates. Schools with files that don’t support their graduates’ reported information would be required to undergo the same type of review as schools whose files were randomly audited.”
Schools believed to misreporting data would incur a “red flag” review.
The proposal is already drawing fire from some corners. Last week, ABA Deputy Consultant Scott Norberg, who helped formulate the draft proposal, argued to the ABA Governing Council that the costs could outweigh the benefits, since he believes there’s “not a lot or reason” that employment data is being misreported. Council Member Edward Tucker added the proposal was “doomed” since graduates aren’t obligated to share their employment status with their alma maters. In Tucker’s words,“What we’ve done is construct a dike to hold back the ocean with a great big hole in the middle.”
If adopted in March, the draft proposal could take effect in 2015.
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