How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

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jenesaislaw
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How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby jenesaislaw » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:47 pm

Check out LST's latest Transparency Index: http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/re ... class=2011

The Transparency Index reflects LST's review of law school websites, through which we analyze the employment information that law schools use to market their programs. We measure not only whether law schools meet voluntary transparency standards, but also whether they meet the requirements from ABA Standard 509.

Our project has three important parts:

Index for our initial review period (Dec. 18, 2012 - Jan. 9, 2013): http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/re ... how=winter
Live Index that reflects the state of affairs as of today: http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/re ... ncy-Index/
Report on Findings: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... id=2227508

During the initial review period, we found that 78.4% (156/199) of ABA-approved law schools were not meeting the expectations set forth by Standard 509. We contacted ever school's dean, admissions office, and career services office with an offer to help them meet our criteria. 102 law schools took us up on our offer, and to date 84 of these schools have updated the consumer information on their websites.

See also:

Statistics: http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/re ... statistics
Methodology and Definitions: http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/re ... ethodology

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:12 pm

Thanks as usual for your work on this stuff. I only briefly looked at NYU's score and wonder why you docked them across all the transparency criteria? It seems like they provide highly detailed info here: http://www.law.nyu.edu/careerservices/e ... /index.htm. Am I missing something or perhaps could the data use a double-check?

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jenesaislaw
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby jenesaislaw » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:28 pm

The only salary information that isn't problematic under Interpretation 509-3 is the "All Employed" category -- I've updated our records to reflect the "All Employed" criteria being met.

Otherwise, NYU doesn't have any information on job source (OCI, referral, previous employer, etc), job offer timing (before grad, before bar results, after bar results), search status (employed grads still looking), or employer type by credentials (e.g. how many people in the business category were in BPR jobs, JDA jobs, etc). Neither does NYU publish its NALP Report, unlike Columbia.

ETA: also what Derek said below.
Last edited by jenesaislaw on Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DerekTokaz
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby DerekTokaz » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:34 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:Thanks as usual for your work on this stuff. I only briefly looked at NYU's score and wonder why you docked them across all the transparency criteria? It seems like they provide highly detailed info here: http://www.law.nyu.edu/careerservices/e ... /index.htm. Am I missing something or perhaps could the data use a double-check?

To add to Kyle's reply, the reason NYU isn't getting credit for its other salary data (which at most would just be Salary by Employer Type, 1 box), it's because it doesn't provide a salary response rate for each of those sections. NYU only provides a salary response rate for the whole class, but whenever we see a salary stat, we want to know how many salaries went into making it.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:41 pm

DerekTokaz wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Thanks as usual for your work on this stuff. I only briefly looked at NYU's score and wonder why you docked them across all the transparency criteria? It seems like they provide highly detailed info here: http://www.law.nyu.edu/careerservices/e ... /index.htm. Am I missing something or perhaps could the data use a double-check?

To add to Kyle's reply, the reason NYU isn't getting credit for its other salary data (which at most would just be Salary by Employer Type, 1 box), it's because it doesn't provide a salary response rate for each of those sections. NYU only provides a salary response rate for the whole class, but whenever we see a salary stat, we want to know how many salaries went into making it.

Gotcha. Harsh but fair. I guess I was surprised that this data doesn't cut it despite being so much better than what we had to go on just a few years ago, but you guys holding schools accountable deserve a good bit of credit for that.

Side note, where is Columbia's NALP report? They are not listed as providing it on your website (http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school= ... &show=NALP and http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/re ... -Database/) and I can't find it on their own website or elsewhere. Not trying to be a PITA, my curiosity has just been piqued.

DerekTokaz
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby DerekTokaz » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:44 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:Gotcha. Harsh but fair. I guess I was surprised that this data doesn't cut it despite being so much better than what we had to go on just a few years ago, but you guys holding schools accountable deserve a good bit of credit for that.

It's definitely better than the norm a few years ago, but if you judge it by current standards, NYU isn't even close to the minimum data the ABA requires.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby jenesaislaw » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:49 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:Gotcha. Harsh but fair. I guess I was surprised that this data doesn't cut it despite being so much better than what we had to go on just a few years ago, but you guys holding schools accountable deserve a good bit of credit for that.

Side note, where is Columbia's NALP report? They are not listed as providing it on your website (http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school= ... &show=NALP and http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/re ... -Database/) and I can't find it on their own website or elsewhere. Not trying to be a PITA, my curiosity has just been piqued.


We've not yet had a chance to update the NALP Report database or the Score Reports. It is available on CLS's employment stats page: http://www.law.columbia.edu/careers/emp ... statistics The link [PDF] right before the table starts.

Also re: NYU. Not only do the data not cut it under the voluntary standards, but it does not cut it compared to the employment chart that the ABA requires schools to publish on their websites.

Some interesting background on the format used by NYU, too. It's the form that Chicago popularized last year when its dean went to Above the Law and David Lat called it a treasure trove of data. It only looks that way. Chicago's decision, and ATL's description of the format, set transparency back a good bit in my opinion. A lot of schools had 509 problems because they followed Chicago's lead.

rad lulz
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby rad lulz » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:52 pm

I thought red was good green was bad

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jenesaislaw
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby jenesaislaw » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:53 pm

rad lulz wrote:I thought red was good green was bad


Somebody on reddit gave us a 10/10 for sarcasm. I personally think we deserved 11/10.

DerekTokaz
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby DerekTokaz » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:02 pm

rad lulz wrote:I thought red was good green was bad

It's a bit like the problem with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Sure, God told Adam and Eve not to eat from it, but what he failed to tell them is that obeying God is good, and disobeying him is evil, so they didn't know what to do with that command.

The ABA has issued standards, but there's the additional step of saying "And by the way, you ought to follow them."

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Pumpkin_Pie
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby Pumpkin_Pie » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:26 pm

Thank you for all your work. It's been an invaluable resource.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby jenesaislaw » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:02 pm

You're welcome. I'm happy people like the work we do.

20141023
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby 20141023 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:25 pm

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sat Feb 14, 2015 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby jenesaislaw » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:27 pm

Is that the case when you load the page without the screen maximized, or only when you resize after loading? There shouldn't be a problem for the former, but the latter is a known bug. I could program a re-draw of the table, but boy does that sound like a lot of work!

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Ramius
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby Ramius » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:39 pm

Hey LST, saw you got the positive press on law.com, nicely done. Transparency is definitely gaining steam, largely because of work like this. Thank you for opening the eyes wide shut of 0Ls like myself.

20141023
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby 20141023 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:46 pm

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star fox
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby star fox » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:51 pm

I'm hoping we get to the day when 100 % of the class's salary data becomes available. If you're making $15,000 a year I would like to know even if you manage to get counted as a "longterm full time JD-required employed" as opposed to this "Median salary is $90,000... with 65 % not reporting."

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jenesaislaw
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby jenesaislaw » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:13 pm

john7234797 wrote:I'm hoping we get to the day when 100 % of the class's salary data becomes available. If you're making $15,000 a year I would like to know even if you manage to get counted as a "longterm full time JD-required employed" as opposed to this "Median salary is $90,000... with 65 % not reporting."


Imagine a blank slate. How would you present salary information?

The question is of course open to anyone.

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bandenjamin
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby bandenjamin » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:21 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:
john7234797 wrote:I'm hoping we get to the day when 100 % of the class's salary data becomes available. If you're making $15,000 a year I would like to know even if you manage to get counted as a "longterm full time JD-required employed" as opposed to this "Median salary is $90,000... with 65 % not reporting."


Imagine a blank slate. How would you present salary information?

The question is of course open to anyone.


Anyone who reports as working full-time but not reporting salary should be assumed to make minimum wage.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby jenesaislaw » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:28 pm

bandenjamin wrote:Anyone who reports as working full-time but not reporting salary should be assumed to make minimum wage.


If you worked for a law school, how would you object to this?

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bandenjamin
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby bandenjamin » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:32 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:
bandenjamin wrote:Anyone who reports as working full-time but not reporting salary should be assumed to make minimum wage.


If you worked for a law school, how would you object to this?


I would whine that we can't force people to report their salary information. Of course if the school offered some incentive to people ($200 amazon gift card) for the survey it would probably get a much higher reporting.

Alternative you could post median amounts. One with the reported median including not reported % and one with an "adjusted". I suppose to be more fair you could use the average "entry level" salary but this could lead to an even more skewed result.

I don't have a great deal of sympathy for the schools position on this as they have inflated their reporting for a long, long time. They can get creative about ways of collecting more accurate information.

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Teflon_Don
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby Teflon_Don » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:38 pm

Why is the Total cost of attendance so much different then what the schools report? How are you calculating it?

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Pumpkin_Pie
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby Pumpkin_Pie » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:04 pm

Teflon_Don wrote:Why is the Total cost of attendance so much different then what the schools report? How are you calculating it?


I believe it's calculated as the cost if it's all loaned + interest.

20141023
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby 20141023 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:19 pm

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jenesaislaw
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Re: How transparent are the schools you're choosing among?

Postby jenesaislaw » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:32 pm

Teflon_Don wrote:Why is the Total cost of attendance so much different then what the schools report? How are you calculating it?


Here's the full explanation: http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/re ... nted-Cost/

kappycaft1 wrote:I've mentioned this before, but if you all at LST or the people at USNWR were to somehow factor in the percentage of reported starting salaries to each school's overall score, I think that it would start to pressure law schools into collecting this data. The score wouldn't have to be based around the dollar amount - just around the percent reported. The actual dollar amounts (25/50/75th percentiles and average) would just be something that we could look at that wouldn't be factored into the score. By factoring this percentage (it could count for 10% of a school's overall "transparency score," for example) in with the other factors in the first link you provided, you could come up with a numeric value for each school to rank them by transparency. (Or have you all already come up with a "transparency score" ranking system somewhere that I am just not seeing?)


I think there are less intrusive ways of collecting the data. As it turns out, a solid number of graduates do not like sharing precise salary information. However, when asked to share a salary range (even with a narrow band of $5,000), the likelihood of responding goes WAY up. I think we are going to try to get more schools to adopt this approach (one, maybe two do it this way now). When averages are calculated, the mean of all options in the band (i.e. the median) will be used. For example, if 10 people respond with a salary band of 45k-50k, 10 salaries are contributed to the entire class at 47.5k.

Two issues I see with this that'd be easy to ensure that they don't become problems: (a) the bands have to be calibrated right; (b) there cannot be a meaningful difference caused by using the mean of a band in the broader calculations.

Anyhow, we don't have a transparency score ranking system. It would not be very meaningful to rank a school by the number of criteria met or problems found because different criteria vary in importance, and the severity of different Standard 509 problems fall on a spectrum.




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