flcath wrote:This is a very exaggerated characterization of many European nations.
My main question (and this seems to be the only--albeit incomplete--remedy that might actually transpire) is this: why doesn't the ABA regulate and require accurate employment and salary data? I have yet to hear a solid reason (and the idea that mandating LS graduates fill out a questionnaire [truthfully] is an unreasonable burden is NOT a solid reason).
1) It isn't an exaggeration, but I thought of another situation when it can occur. It only occurs in a) communist centrally-planned economies, and b) when a cartel controls the industry. Since b) hardly ever applies to professional services, a) is the only condition relevant. You disagree? Then tell me what trade is artificially scarce in what country (and not for consumer-protection reasons).
My (admittedly very general and second-hand... don't let this come off as me pretending to know exactly how Europe works) understanding was that many/most EU nations have a tiered education system that essentially forced students off the academic track to the vocational track early on and then distributed them among the "academic" professions based on factors *other than* (1) achievement of minimal competency (i.e., consumer protection) and (2) the applicants pure choice. Also, US medical schools do this: any MS dean would tell you that a good portion of the selectivity of US med schools has nothing at all to do with professional quality/consumer protection... however, I will concede that there are economic factors present there (it costs $$$$ to educate doctors) that are not present with LS.
Renzo wrote:2) the ABA cannot force anyone to report their salary--what would they do if you refuse?
This is the one thing that you wrote that is absolutely ridiculous. OF COURSE they can force you to report your salary. If they can force you to report your job history, your criminal history (including EXPUNGED arrests for which you were never convicted), previous substance abuse issues, et cetera, and there is a compelling public interest served by such coercion, they can certainly force you. The only privacy issue would be if they then published salary info in a manner than made it personally identifiable, which they needn't do.
Renzo wrote:Further, reasonably accurate salary data is already available both from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and from the ABA. Information availability isn't the problem, the problem is bad risk assessment by applicants, and there isn't much anyone can do to make people be better judges of risk/reward.
(a) reasonable salary info *broken down by law school* is not available and
(b) even if applicants are not entitled to (a), they certainly are entitled to not being deliberately mislead by false misrepresentations of (a)