Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

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jenesaislaw
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Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby jenesaislaw » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:46 am

Just made the new clearinghouse (--LinkRemoved--) public, so I wanted to let you all know first. There may still be a few bugs - please let me know if you spot them. I will be adding additional features to this in the next few days, including (hopefully, if time permits) the 2007 data. I'm then going to make a final decision on what data from year-to-year is worth comparing and possible to compare.

Any suggestions are welcome.

A few notes on the clearinghouse itself:

The data used to generate the salary charts in the clearinghouse are not new data, i.e. we did not collect new data from the schools during ourrequests for better employment information. Rather, almost every ABA-approved law school reported data for the Class of 2009 to U.S. News in 2010, which appeared on the U.S. News website in March 2011. This is (unfortunately) the most up-to-date, easily comparable employment information available.

Our use of the U.S. News data does not mean that the salary charts do not provide new information. As with last year, we have repackaged the U.S. News data to create a more meaningful picture of entry-level salaries at different law schools. The meaning of the salary information included on the U.S. News website (and on school websites) can be difficult to parse. With the data clearinghouse, we’ve strived to bring readers closer to understanding the true meaning of the U.S. News salary information and to provide some guidance for reading salary information that schools provide in their recruiting materials. As it turns out, the meaning is not clear on its face.

But what is the "truth meaning" of the salary information? All we mean to convey is that (i) the “median salary” is not what the middle earner makes in the class, (ii) private practice salary information is not representative of the entire class, and (iii) the percentage represented by the median is often much smaller than reasonably expected.

In addition, there are a few other charts. These are less fun, but some (the FT/PT) are especially interesting.

mst
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby mst » Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:11 am

Great job. Just from hopping around to various schools it seems LST does a much better job of demonstrating what's actually going on than the schools themselves (ex. it becomes painfully obvious less than half the class at Emory is making over 70k... this information would be tough to conclude from Emory's website alone a year ago). Obviously you guys have a lot of work to do fixing tiny things (random info boxes screaming "LOOK IT UP!" around the various school pages) and I'm sure better information will come in with each year, but in the meantime I really respect what ya'll are doing (which is what the ABA should have been doing a LONG time ago)

clone22
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby clone22 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:31 am

Very useful and well compiled data, definitely helps during school selection.

So any particular surprises of schools performing considerably better or worse than the 08 data?

aliarrow
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby aliarrow » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:40 am

I think there is an issue though with your data - the full-time/part-time problem.

Reported salaries only apply to those employed full time, and the % of grads employed in the private sector includes those employed part-time.

I attempted to address the issue in my thread, but I'm uncertain if this issue can ever fully be addressed without:
1) knowing the % of grads reporting full-time/part-time data (not given on US News)
2) knowing the exact % of grads employed part time in the private sector (what is given isn't broken down by sector, only whether the job is relevant to a JD).

Great job though with the new data, I appreciate your efforts and applaud what you stand for :D

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OGR3
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby OGR3 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:43 am

Great job, it's sad that it takes this long for students to get employment statistics. I know a lot of my classmates made their law school decisions based on pre-ITE data.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby jenesaislaw » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:03 pm

Thanks for the nice comments, everybody. We're happy you find it useful. Clone, I'll answer your question later this afternoon. I only had a second to think about it now.

mst wrote:Great job. Just from hopping around to various schools it seems LST does a much better job of demonstrating what's actually going on than the schools themselves (ex. it becomes painfully obvious less than half the class at Emory is making over 70k... this information would be tough to conclude from Emory's website alone a year ago). Obviously you guys have a lot of work to do fixing tiny things (random info boxes screaming "LOOK IT UP!" around the various school pages) and I'm sure better information will come in with each year, but in the meantime I really respect what ya'll are doing (which is what the ABA should have been doing a LONG time ago)


I fixed the Article III clerkship salary bit. Thanks for pointing it out. I had left it to the end because it was so easy to figure out what range to use. This is what I get for publishing it after 3am...

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby jenesaislaw » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:10 pm

aliarrow wrote:I think there is an issue though with your data - the full-time/part-time problem.

Reported salaries only apply to those employed full time, and the % of grads employed in the private sector includes those employed part-time.

I attempted to address the issue in my thread, but I'm uncertain if this issue can ever fully be addressed without:
1) knowing the % of grads reporting full-time/part-time data (not given on US News)
2) knowing the exact % of grads employed part time in the private sector (what is given isn't broken down by sector, only whether the job is relevant to a JD).

Great job though with the new data, I appreciate your efforts and applaud what you stand for :D


Check the assumptions on the clearinghouse page. You're right that this cannot be addressed right now. I've been thinking about having another conversation with Bob Morse to talk about adding this to the next U.S. News survey. We'll see.

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Stonewall
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby Stonewall » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:16 pm

awesome! thanks for the update

Capitol A
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby Capitol A » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:32 pm

So...I know that at least one of the points in doing this is to point out that the data reported by schools and used for recruiting is woefully incomplete. That being said, I'm wondering if there are safe assumptions for filling in the gaps?
For example, I'm looking at ASU's numbers. The LST charts state that 89.8% of 2009 graduates were known to be employed at 9months after graduation, but only 33.9% of salaries are known. Obviously it's possible that the employed students who did not report salaries chose not to report because they were making such an obscenely large amount of money that they did not want to brag/share that info, or they simply forgot or overlooked that question on the survey; but I am making the assumption that it's just the opposite. I'm assuming that their salaries were not reported because it's shockingly/emberassingly low, and that the number of students not reporting salary information is inversely proportional to the strength of job prospects at a given institution.
Does this make sense? Is this the common assumption? Or am I reading way too much into this?

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Stonewall
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby Stonewall » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:33 pm

Capitol A wrote:So...I know that at least one of the points in doing this is to point out that the data reported by schools and used for recruiting is woefully incomplete. That being said, I'm wondering if there are safe assumptions for filling in the gaps?
For example, I'm looking at ASU's numbers. The LST charts state that 89.8% of 2009 graduates were known to be employed at 9months after graduation, but only 33.9% of salaries are known. Obviously it's possible that the employed students who did not report salaries chose not to report because they were making such an obscenely large amount of money that they did not want to brag/share that info, or they simply forgot or overlooked that question on the survey; but I am making the assumption that it's just the opposite. I'm assuming that their salaries were not reported because it's shockingly/emberassingly low, and that the number of students not reporting salary information is inversely proportional to the strength of job prospects at a given institution.
Does this make sense? Is this the common assumption? Or am I reading way too much into this?


yes. i would say you are right with assuming that people who are currently flipping burgers prob could care less about filling out that form

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masochist
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby masochist » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:38 pm

Capitol A wrote:I'm assuming that their salaries were not reported because it's shockingly/emberassingly low, and that the number of students not reporting salary information is inversely proportional to the strength of job prospects at a given institution.
Does this make sense? Is this the common assumption? Or am I reading way too much into this?


I think this is a safe assumption. It would be interesting to correlate USNWR rankings with % of unknown salaries and see what comes out, but I'd be willing to bet that the association would be pretty strong.

Are the clerkship numbers for University of Washington right? They are placing about the same percentage of graduates in clerkships as Harvard, and they out perform all of the other similarly ranked schools. Anyone know why?

Capitol A
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby Capitol A » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:47 pm

Stonewall wrote:
Capitol A wrote:So...I know that at least one of the points in doing this is to point out that the data reported by schools and used for recruiting is woefully incomplete. That being said, I'm wondering if there are safe assumptions for filling in the gaps?
For example, I'm looking at ASU's numbers. The LST charts state that 89.8% of 2009 graduates were known to be employed at 9months after graduation, but only 33.9% of salaries are known. Obviously it's possible that the employed students who did not report salaries chose not to report because they were making such an obscenely large amount of money that they did not want to brag/share that info, or they simply forgot or overlooked that question on the survey; but I am making the assumption that it's just the opposite. I'm assuming that their salaries were not reported because it's shockingly/emberassingly low, and that the number of students not reporting salary information is inversely proportional to the strength of job prospects at a given institution.
Does this make sense? Is this the common assumption? Or am I reading way too much into this?


yes. i would say you are right with assuming that people who are currently flipping burgers prob could care less about filling out that form

wait...So I think I am missing something. This % of the class employed can be ANY type of employment? I thought OP made some type of statment that private sector meant law firms or business and industry. Is White Castle considered business and industry?

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observationalist
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby observationalist » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:59 pm

Capitol A, I want to point out at least one fact that supports the assumption that non-reported salaries (in the private sector) are likely to be lower than reported salaries. It is true that top earners may wish to not report high salaries, whether it's because they don't want their alma mater getting the credit or because they truly wish to keep it private. But not reporting to the school does not mean that the school is barred from reporting a salary for you. Career services offices are acutely aware of the starting salaries at large law firms, and in most cases they know exactly which graduates got those jobs. So even if someone refuses to report that information schools can rely on other sources and thus still get 'credit' for the job outcome.

The same is true for government positions, since salaries for those are often public. I spoke last month with a career services dean at a small regional law school who had an exceptionally high salary reporting rate for that school this year (something like 70% of the class), and it was largely because so many graduates found jobs at the PD. Unfortunately U.S. News does not request salary information for non-private sector jobs, so applicants must contact the schools directly to ask for that information. In our opinion everyone should be contacting schools anyways to request more timely data than what's in the LST data clearinghouse. Just about every ABA approved law school just reported detailed info to NALP on Class of 2010 employment outcomes, which means they've already gone through the hassle of tracking everyone down and cross-checking with publicly-available salaries. Applicants should be using your acceptances as leverage to get 2010 data.

[edit... sorry, Capitol A, not Castle A]

CMDantes
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby CMDantes » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:45 pm

Thank you for this.

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Knock
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby Knock » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:46 pm

Thanks for the update.

ETA: Added a link to Law School Transparency in the Useful Links Sticky.
Last edited by Knock on Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby jenesaislaw » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:47 pm

masochist wrote:
Capitol A wrote:I'm assuming that their salaries were not reported because it's shockingly/emberassingly low, and that the number of students not reporting salary information is inversely proportional to the strength of job prospects at a given institution.
Does this make sense? Is this the common assumption? Or am I reading way too much into this?


I think this is a safe assumption. It would be interesting to correlate USNWR rankings with % of unknown salaries and see what comes out, but I'd be willing to bet that the association would be pretty strong.

Are the clerkship numbers for University of Washington right? They are placing about the same percentage of graduates in clerkships as Harvard, and they out perform all of the other similarly ranked schools. Anyone know why?


This is definitely one of my projects for May. I think it would be really interesting.

As far as University of Washington's numbers go, it is a much larger percentage than prior years. For 2008, they had 3% of employed graduates. For 2007, it was 5%. I could not find anything to substantiate the difference on the school's website, other than the fact that there were 22% in any clerkship (consistent with what they reported to U.S. News). I've put in a call to the career development office and hope to hear back soon.

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zonto
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby zonto » Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:49 pm

Glad I found this thread today. Emailed BC Law admissions to get the info for the class of 2010 and they said they are still compiling and it should be ready within a couple weeks.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby jenesaislaw » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:05 am

Thanks, zonto. I will follow up with them in mid-May.

jarofsoup
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby jarofsoup » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:14 am

My god shit has gotten depressing over the last two years of data. All the schools seemed to have dropped.

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niederbomb
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby niederbomb » Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:31 am

Looks like Penn cleans house with respect to % of graduates reporting salary vis-a-vis MVBN. Pretty happy.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby jenesaislaw » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:46 pm

Let me know if you guys have any questions. Will try to post an FAQ this week.

wfc
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby wfc » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:02 am

Thank you for this. An invaluable resource

One question about the reported salary ranges for private sector....is it possible for schools to sneakily shoehorn contract or part time attorneys into these ranges (ie prorating hourly wages or whatever for non-full-time workers)?

Or do all salary ranges represent full-time employees only? Thanks

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby jenesaislaw » Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:33 pm

Almost every school collects employment data using NALP's ERSS form (or something similar with the same content), thus use the NALP instructions. I've not seen the instruction booklet for the Class of 2009, but the 2008 instructions are available here: http://www.nalp.org/assets/1293_erssinstbk08.pdf

The salary quartiles represent salaries for graduates who are employed full time with employers that qualify as "Business & Industry" and "Law Firms."

The 2008 instructions provide that schools should annualize hourly, weekly, or monthly salary figures for graduates working full time, but only if doing so will provide a reasonable estimate of what the graduate will earn over the course of a year.

Contract attorneys are temporary positions that can be full time or part time. If the salaries for the FT contract attorneys would be a reasonable estimate of what they will earn in a year, it should be annualized and schools would not be sneaky, but reporting like they are supposed to. This is very fact-specific, though. Some temporary work seems to be more predictable than others.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Law School Transparency's Data Clearinghouse (c/o 2009 Ed.)

Postby jenesaislaw » Wed May 04, 2011 3:40 am

Just wanted to say that we updated the debt/tuition. It was slightly off before, but it's all good now.




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