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ABA Decides We Need a Rule to Stop Law Schools Lying About Jobs

By Andrew Lu on August 20, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The accrediting body of law schools, the American Bar Association (ABA), has passed a new set of rules regarding reporting of law school data like employment and salary information.

Law schools will be required to report information that is "complete, accurate and not misleading." In addition, law schools will have to publish information that includes attrition numbers, employment outcomes for graduates, and the percentage of students who retain scholarships, reports the ABA Journal.

The revised ABA rules were passed in direct response to scathing criticism (and lawsuits) against schools for posting misleading information about exceptionally high employment rates and starting median salaries which were not accurate.

Most prospective law students review publications like the U.S. News and World Report rankings in deciding what school to go to. If you were to take a quick scan of these rankings, you would get the sense that just about everyone who goes to law school (regardless of tier) ends up with a six-figure salary job.

However, if you were to talk to the average graduate of any of these schools, you would probably hear a far different story than what the law school data would suggest. In fact, you'd probably hear complaints that law school artificially inflate these numbers by only surveying members of the law review or including any type of employment for its employment data.

The amendments to the ABA rule will take away some of the ability to manipulate law school data. However, as law schools are already having a hard time filling their seats, the cat may have already left the bag regarding the realities of holding a JD.

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