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April 20, 2010 1:55 PM

Law Schools Take Note: Students Push for Better Job Stats

Posted by Irene Plagianos

If you’re contemplating law school--and the whopping $100,000 in debt that it often entails--having clear information about job prospects and earning potential after graduation could certainly come in handy. Unfortunately, such information can be hard to find. Now two Vanderbilt University Law School students, fed up with schools’ lack of detailed employment statistics, have taken matters into their own hands, sibling publication The National Law Journal reports.

Last July, Vanderbilt students Patrick Lynch and Kyle McEntee started a nonprofit called Law School Transparency. Their goal: compile employment and salary information on each law grad from all ABA accredited schools and make the data available on their Web site. The general class breakdowns that schools are now required to provide just don’t give the most accurate picture of future prospects, Lynch and McEntee say. On their site, potential students can compare schools’ statistics and get a better idea of what they’re really getting themselves into.

“The number one problem with the current system is that it allows schools to hide their employment information in aggregate statistical forms," McEntee tells the NLJ. "You may know that 50% of graduates got jobs at law firms, but you don't know what types of firms and types of jobs they got."

Now they just need to get schools to send in the stats. "We hope this sparks a discourse where students will ask the schools to comply," Lynch says. "We want to push this idea of putting a premium on transparency."

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