Law School Transparency Flaw???

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dd235
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Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby dd235 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:19 am

So we all know that Law School Transparency's "Employment Score" is the best metric for choosing a school, but unless I am missing something, isn't it inherently flawed?

Most of the non-biglaw firms won't hire graduates until they have passed the bar, and most students don't get their bar results back until almost 6 months after they graduate. That only gives them 3 months to secure a job (based off the "9 months after graduation" stipulation that LST uses). This would skew the data towards the top schools who place better into big law.

The data is even more skewed against California schools when you consider the fact that the statewide bar passage rate is just under 77%.

It would be interesting to see a stat based off percentage of grads employed 12 months or even 15 months after graduation.

Also, say that a school has a dismal employment score of 50% on LST. Why is the sentiment to tell those considering such a school that they have a 50/50 shot of ever working as a full-time lawyer. I understand that they would have a 50% chance of being a lawyer within 9 months of graduation, but I am assuming that many of the un- and under-employed grads find full-time employment eventually (an example of this is the fact that UC Irvine's Employment Score on LST is 82.1% despite the fact that Dean Chemerinsky published something saying that every single graduate of their inaugural class has found full-time, long-term employment requiring a JD. The discrepancy is due to the fact the 18% of the grads found a job after 9 months).

Unless I am being overly optimistic, am I missing something?

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dowu
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Re: Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby dowu » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:25 am

Hey bro check out the Vale of Tears thread in the lounge. That will probably give you a better picture of TLSers and their anecdotes. LST doesn't consider a lot of factors but it can be pretty helpful sometimes when considering law schools. It's more of a statistically well-thought-out estimation than an objective fact sheet.

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dd235
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Re: Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby dd235 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:52 am

Haha ya a lot can get lost in the lounge so it must have been buried when I tried to search it. I'll definitely read through some Vale of Tears stuff

NYstate
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Re: Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby NYstate » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:48 am

1. LST is overly optimistic if it errs at all. Remember that getting jobs doesn't correlate exactly - plenty of kids with the right credentials struggle hard to find work. Having work experience and solid connections can help with employment- unlike admissions it isn't just numbers driven.

2. Vale of Tears is stickied in the employment thread. Every 0L should read it even if they can't post.

3. I think the ABA came up with the 9 months after graduation stat- that has been the metric for a while. That is why schools created the temporary jobs that last at least nine months after graduation, so they could count those students as employed.
4. Don't look at Irvines stats as indicative of any general trend in hiring. It is specific to that school.

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guano
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Re: Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby guano » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:11 am

dd235 wrote:So we all know that Law School Transparency's "Employment Score" is the best metric for choosing a school, but unless I am missing something, isn't it inherently flawed?

um, no

IMO a much better metric is the NLJ250, but that one isn't perfect either.

LST's biggest flaw is that it only considers LT/FT BP jobs, but does not consider the quality of those jobs.
the NLJ250 only conisders biglaw hiring, which is a decent proxy for desirably jobs, but again is fairly limited.

It's no longer stickied, but I believe it was drmguy who compiled a googledocs spreadsheet with employment numbers for c/o 2012 that would parse employment statistics into various categories of desirability, ranging from biglaw+fed clerkship, to biglaw+midlaw+fed&state clerk+academia+gov

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:36 am

dd235 wrote:So we all know that Law School Transparency's "Employment Score" is the best metric for choosing a school, but unless I am missing something, isn't it inherently flawed?

Most of the non-biglaw firms won't hire graduates until they have passed the bar, and most students don't get their bar results back until almost 6 months after they graduate. That only gives them 3 months to secure a job (based off the "9 months after graduation" stipulation that LST uses). This would skew the data towards the top schools who place better into big law.

The data is even more skewed against California schools when you consider the fact that the statewide bar passage rate is just under 77%.

It would be interesting to see a stat based off percentage of grads employed 12 months or even 15 months after graduation.

Also, say that a school has a dismal employment score of 50% on LST. Why is the sentiment to tell those considering such a school that they have a 50/50 shot of ever working as a full-time lawyer. I understand that they would have a 50% chance of being a lawyer within 9 months of graduation, but I am assuming that many of the un- and under-employed grads find full-time employment eventually (an example of this is the fact that UC Irvine's Employment Score on LST is 82.1% despite the fact that Dean Chemerinsky published something saying that every single graduate of their inaugural class has found full-time, long-term employment requiring a JD. The discrepancy is due to the fact the 18% of the grads found a job after 9 months).

Unless I am being overly optimistic, am I missing something?

To some extent, I agree with this. My lower T1's employment score on LST isn't great, looking at the 9 months mark, but I would say within 12-15 months of graduation, everyone in my class was employed in full-time jobs (I'm class of 2011), so yeah, I do think it understates the outcomes. However, you have to pick some kind of metric if you want to compare schools, and even though at my school (and presumably other schools) more people got employed after the 9 months mark, you can still argue that that's an objectively worse outcome than at other schools where it doesn't take people as long to get jobs. (The longer you go without a job, the more miserable things get.)

There's also probably a correlation between length of time it takes to get a job and the quality of the job, depending on how you define the latter. (For instance, I disagree with guano that biglaw hiring is a good proxy for desirable jobs, but I know a lot of people here would agree, and certainly the people getting jobs after the 9 months mark at my school were not getting biglaw jobs. Of course, there's extremely little biglaw in my law school's market, period, so very few people get biglaw to begin with, but it's still something to consider.)

Finally, we just don't have statistics for post-9-months hiring, so we can speculate a lot based on anecdotes like mine and Chemerinksy's, but I wouldn't encourage people to make choices about where to attend school based on that speculation. (I also agree that you can't really extrapolate Irvine's stats very easily at this point, because the school is so new and the class so small.)

tl;dr - all employment statistics are flawed, honestly; LST is one of the better ones, but we just don't have complete information.

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guano
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Re: Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby guano » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:51 am

Just to clarify, I think that that the NLJ250 and LST should be used together, as the both show different things.
Probably the best "list" was the spreadsheet of outcomes compiled for c/o 2012 (and 2011), which provided several different metrics. the one that listed 50+ law firms, gov jobs, state clerkships, and academia, is probably the best bet, because it removes the least desirable jobs from LST, but includes almost everything else.

As an aside, when reviewing employment statistics, it helps to keep in mind the local conditions. As an example, in Montana, there are only 3 firms that are 50+ and none 100+. On the other end of the spectrum, a school like Harvard might send a decent amount of students into consulting or ibanking, jobs which aren't even JD advantaged, while an argument can be made that Georgetown sends a lot of students into political jobs, which might not be long-term.

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Louis1127
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Re: Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby Louis1127 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:56 am

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub ... utput=html

If this is not the googledoc you guys are referring to, tell me and I'll delete this post. But I think this googledoc is helpful even if this is not what you guys are referring to.

And Guano thank you for pointing out regional differences. Aint no big ass law firms in Mississippi :D

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guano
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Re: Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby guano » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:02 am

Louis1127 wrote:https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0ArLPs-b0ZTJBdFRJWlZXcmg2VXNfZGQ4NFI4eFVzanc&output=html

If this is not the googledoc you guys are referring to, tell me and I'll delete this post. But I think this googledoc is helpful even if this is not what you guys are referring to.

And Guano thank you for pointing out regional differences. Aint no big ass law firms in Mississippi :D

I want to say yes, but, I don't see the different tabs where schools were ranked based on type of jobs (maybe that was only 2011?)

Also, I forgot to add to my previous list that in some states a state clerkship is a much more desirable outcome than in others. In NY, it's not considered desirable (means you couldn't get fed clerkship or biglaw), whereas in NJ it's the route to biglaw
Last edited by guano on Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby holdencaulfield » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:05 am

dd235 wrote:Most of the non-biglaw firms won't hire graduates until they have passed the bar


I disagree. Many midlaw and even small firms hire graduates well before graduation or bar results.

timbs4339
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Re: Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:08 am

Your correct. It's much less helpful for anyone who can spend months not having to do things like buy food or pay their rent.

In all seriousness, LST is good at comparing schools relative to one another, and is very good at giving you enough information to parse out what the likely salaries of the jobs are and whether you can service debt on those salaries (although the law schools fixed that game by not having to report salary data). After 9 mo, people getting jobs are likely getting JD Advantage or nonprofessional gigs or working at small firms making 40-60K.

rad lulz
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Re: Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby rad lulz » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:53 am

timbs4339 wrote:Your correct. It's much less helpful for anyone who can spend months not having to do things like buy food or pay their rent.

In all seriousness, LST is good at comparing schools relative to one another, and is very good at giving you enough information to parse out what the likely salaries of the jobs are and whether you can service debt on those salaries (although the law schools fixed that game by not having to report salary data). After 9 mo, people getting jobs are likely getting JD Advantage or nonprofessional gigs or working at small firms making 40-60K.

Agree w this

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cron1834
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Re: Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby cron1834 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:56 pm

It would seem to me that the longer you took to get a job, the more likely you are to have "settled." If you could get a great job quickly, wouldn't you just do that?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:27 pm

Student loan payments come due six months after graduation, and interest accrues the entire time. OP sounds like one of those TTT deans who tell us that if we only used 12 or 15 month, instead of 9 month out, data, we'd see a much better picture, but none of those deans can ever provide that 12/15 month data for us.

rad lulz
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Re: Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby rad lulz » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:29 pm

n
Last edited by rad lulz on Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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dd235
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Re: Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby dd235 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:30 pm

law school grads don't need food or rent anyways. Haha but NLJ250 is pretty limited to those who are looking for big law. I would personally much rather land a Fed Clerkship than a gig at a 500+ firm but I do realize that not everyone shares that sentiment here.

And ya I do realize that Irvine's numbers are extremely skewed due to their small class size. I would be shocked if they have better employment stats in any of the next 10 years that compete with those of their inaugural class.

timbs4339
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Re: Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:33 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:Student loan payments come due six months after graduation, and interest accrues the entire time. OP sounds like one of those TTT deans who tell us that if we only used 12 or 15 month, instead of 9 month out, data, we'd see a much better picture, but none of those deans can ever provide that 12/15 month data for us.


There was a law professor who tried to argue that we should just stop calling the 10 year repayment plan the "Standard" repayment plan, and people doing IBR aren't really in "financial hardship" (despite the fact that those are the actual terms and definitions used by the DOE), mostly based on the fact that everyone is in the same shitty boat of not being able to pay off their loans within a 10 year timeframe. It's kind of like arguing that someone getting a crust of bread each day is not starving because everyone else is getting a crust of bread too, we just need to redefine the term "standard portion size."

dd235 wrote:law school grads don't need food or rent anyways. Haha but NLJ250 is pretty limited to those who are looking for big law. I would personally much rather land a Fed Clerkship than a gig at a 500+ firm but I do realize that not everyone shares that sentiment here.


You do know its much more difficult to get a federal clerkship than an NLJ 250 firm, right? Most people here would kill for one of those jobs.
Last edited by timbs4339 on Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dd235
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Re: Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby dd235 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:34 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:Student loan payments come due six months after graduation, and interest accrues the entire time. OP sounds like one of those TTT deans who tell us that if we only used 12 or 15 month, instead of 9 month out, data, we'd see a much better picture, but none of those deans can ever provide that 12/15 month data for us.


No dean here. While I do agree that post 9 month jobs would essentially screw over those who have taken out large amounts of debt, it would be helpful for those that took the bet of going to a TTT on a full-ride (no stip obviously)

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:36 pm

dd235 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:Student loan payments come due six months after graduation, and interest accrues the entire time. OP sounds like one of those TTT deans who tell us that if we only used 12 or 15 month, instead of 9 month out, data, we'd see a much better picture, but none of those deans can ever provide that 12/15 month data for us.


No dean here. While I do agree that post 9 month jobs would essentially screw over those who have taken out large amounts of debt, it would be helpful for those that took the bet of going to a TTT on a full-ride (no stip obviously)

Yeah I wasn't suggesting you were actually a dean, as I think your question is a reasonable one. I just don't think the data really gets much better, at least not if we are looking for real, decent-paying legal jobs.

20141023
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Re: Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby 20141023 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:01 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Big Dog
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Re: Law School Transparency Flaw???

Postby Big Dog » Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:01 pm

The data is even more skewed against California schools when you consider the fact that the statewide bar passage rate is just under 77%.


Logic fail. (Practically anyone can sit for the Calif bar. One does not need to be a LS grad.)




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