I just thought this would be worth re-posting.
Robert Morse is a cop-out! Since when is USNWR beholden to what the ABA does? USNWR can make its own definition for "employed" and run with it. The ABA does not sanction USNWR and the reverse is not true either. If USNWR or the ABA wants a definition for "EMPLOYED", they can start with mine and tweak it to perfection. Just fix it so that employment at Starbucks, etc, doesn't count so that we can see which schools really do work hard for their students and graduates.
An example of an employed person could be the following:
Requirement: Full-time Employment and Other Compensation - unless negotiated by the graduate by way of stipulated contract, and at the graduate's discretion, or other selected endeavors (as noted below) are pursued by the choice of the graduate.
1) A graduate who earns at least $35/hr on a full-time, permanent basis (defined as 40 hrs/week minimum and at least 52 weeks of employment per year for a minimum of two years) at a "law-oriented position", defined as that which requires for its acceptance and performance that a candidate obtains a J.D., LL.B, J.S.D., LL.M, or PH.D degree and/or admission and continued membership to at least one state bar (or "province" if located in Canada), and whose employment normally entitles him/her to systematic performance reviews resulting in raises, and/or whose job offers a comprehensive health benefits package that is covered at 50% or greater by the employer, a paid vacation package of at least two weeks per year, and/or an optional matching stock options, and/or 401K package, and/or a "partner track" progression.
"Law-oriented" can be defined as consisting primarily (85%) of duties that have as their central focus the practice of legal skills taught at a law and/or business school, such as the writing, transmission and filing of briefs, the negotiation, making and execution of contracts, and the performaces of duties consistent with being an officer of the courts, such as interviewing witnesses, perfoming depositions, performing oral arguments, performing mediations, conducting legal research, etc., as well as the teaching/training of others in such practices, and doing all in settings that are largely legal in nature, i.e., where the majority of employees and officers perform similar or related duties, or
2) A graduate holding any non-law related profession where the graduate's yearly compensation demonstrably exceeds an average of $70,000 per year regardless of the position (an average of $69,999.99 or less, in a non-law profession, would mean the graduate is "unemployed"), with a minimum of two years in the profession, and either (a) a demonstrable debt to income ratio of 50% or lower, or (b) a generous, consistently subsidized LRAP program by the employer, and all standard benefits, or
3) A graduate who holds any legal professorship or administrative position at an accredited law school, college or university, paying a minimum of $65,000 per year, offering any or all of the above benefits of the first paragraph, and where the graduate is required to teach the law to others on at least a trice-weekly basis and for at least six months out of a calendar year, required to work at or manage an administrative office or clinic at an accredited law school, college or university, perform research or studies' whose results are intended for publishing, and/or who originates or co-writes legal briefs for submission to courts of law and/or opposing counsels, or who assists and/or oversees law students in such activities, or
4) Any graduate who has successfully campaigned for and obtained a public office (such as City Council or Mayor), regardless of compensation, locality or level.
5) Continued graduate study shall not count as "employment" unless the graduate is pursuing a (minimum) partially school subsidized graduate/professional degree or Ph.D, and/or operates as the primary administrator of a law-related, government or college/university sponsored research project. The graduate's loan payments must be deferred, partially paid/defrayed and/or subsidized by the college/university.
6) A graduate who holds any law-related public interest position and/or position in which participation is on a full-time basis and/or results in the deferral/defrayment of all educational loans by government, or college or university sponsorship or subsidy.
If I can come up with that in a matter of minutes, imagine what the ABA or USNWR could do. My definition is far from perfect, but my point is simple. If USNWR and/or the ABA wanted to conceive and enforce a viable definition for employment, they could easily do it. They do not want to. With the exception of the top-10 schools, the rankings would be shaken up beyond recognition. USNWR would lose all credibility and fold.
I don't think many doc reviewers or Starbucks baristas would count as "employed" under my definition.