in education, Uncategorized

Are Law Schools Misleading Their Potential Students About Job Prospects?

When I graduated from college, I strongly considered attending law school. I even studied for and took the LSAT. I ended up not going that route for a variety of reasons (cost being the primary one), but countless others have in the intervening years. Their experiences have not been uniformly positive. A new movement has sprung up to advocate for transparency in law school admissions. Specifically, people want law schools to give an accurate accounting of their graduates’ job prospects, a key statistic when you’re about to fork over $150,000 and three years of your life.

New York magazine has a great piece charting one team of lawyers who are determined to keep law schools honest:

[L]aw-school tuition rose 317 percent nationwide during the aughts, compared with a 71 percent spike for undergraduate tuition. At New York Law School, it now stands at $46,200 a year—comparable to Harvard Law’s. But neither the cost nor NYLS’s lowly ranking (it’s 135th on the U.S. News & World Report list) has deterred the students who fill classes that, according to the complaint filed against the school, are a fifth larger than in 2000. It may help that NYLS has consistently claimed what the lawsuit refers to as a “sterling” 90 percent placement rate, a rate that Anziska, Raimond, and Strauss argue simply does not compute.

The questions this case raises are difficult to answer, but whatever happens may have significant implications for the future of legal education in the U.S.