Schools, ABA Clash Over Job Placement

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The new rule proposal comes at the beginning of a recovery for law schools from one of the worst legal markets in decades.

The accrediting arm of the American Bar Association is tightening its rules involving how law schools report their employment numbers, specifically regarding what actually counts as a job for schools.
In an effort to push through an exceptionally tough legal market in recent years, many law schools have been paying to place their graduates at government and nonprofit organizations until they find permanent employment. The temporary employment for graduates benefits law schools, as these subsidized positions boost a school’s job-placement statistics (which play an important role in determining national rankings).
Now, however, the American Bar Association is seeking to close what it sees as a loophole in how job-placement statistics are collected. In addition to this new requirement — where schools must now report fellowships separately from other positions found on the open market — the ABA is now proposing that these temporary jobs should not count as employment unless they have an anticipated duration surpassing a year and also pay a salary exceeding $40,000.
If the temporary non-profit and government jobs do not meet these requirements, then they will get placed in the short term category. The proposals are set to be considered by ABA accreditors at a meeting in Chicago this Friday.
Source: Wall Street Journal
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