Sen Boxer responds to the ABA

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lawbanshee
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Sen Boxer responds to the ABA

Postby lawbanshee » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:43 pm

Dear Mr. Robinson:

Following the previous correspondence between your predecessor and me concerning law school reporting practices, I am writing to address some unresolved issues. While I applaud the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education for addressing other deficiencies with current post-graduation employment and salary reporting requirements, I was very disappointed to learn that the Section decided not to require that law schools report the percentage of their graduates working in the legal profession or the percentage of graduates working in part-time legal jobs in its upcoming questionnaire.

In my two previous letters to your predecessor, I indicated my strong belief that the ABA should ensure that post-graduation employment data provided to prospective law students is truthful and transparent. His responses appeared to indicate a similar interest, but unfortunately it is difficult to square those previous statements with the Section’s recent decision.

According to The National Law Journal, a Washington University law professor has determined that for the Class of 2009, at least thirty law schools had 50 percent or fewer of their graduates in jobs that required a law degree. Data published by the National Association for Law Placement indicates that since 2001, only two- thirds of graduates from all ABA-approved law schools obtained legal jobs.

However, we know that most law schools report that nearly all of their students have jobs shortly after graduation. The difference between the information reported by schools and the real legal employment rate for recent graduates is very troubling. That is why requiring law schools to accurately report the real legal employment rate of their graduates is so important.

In a year when a number of lawsuits alleging consumer protection law violations have been filed against ABA law schools, when major newspapers have devoted thousands of words to problems with law school reporting practices, and when two United States Senators have encouraged significant changes to your policies, it is surprising that the ABA is resorting to half measures instead of tackling a major problem head on.

I also continue to have concerns about the lack of transparency for prospective law students in other areas:



Independent Oversight

The Section of Legal Education failed to address the overwhelming need for independent oversight and auditing of statistics reported by law schools. In September, the University of Illinois was found to have been inaccurately reporting law school admissions statistics, the second such school to have done so in recent months. In addition, many lawsuits have been filed alleging that law schools are violating various state consumer protection laws and false advertising laws.

These developments are very troubling, and without independent verification of the information reported by law schools, the opportunity to file inaccurate reports will remain.



Merit Scholarships

As I noted in a previous letter, the New York Times has detailed the recent increase in the number of merit scholarships offered by law schools and demonstrated how scholarships are being used to convince students with high LSAT scores to attend lower-ranked law schools.

While the opportunity to earn a very expensive law degree at a fraction of the cost can be an attractive option for many students, the Times exposed a major problem with scholarship transparency. Many law schools fail disclose how the school’s grading curve and scholarship conditions can combine to prevent the student from understanding the scholarship’s real value.

It was reported that at one school, 57 percent of first-year students in one class year received a merit scholarship, but only one-third of the students in that entire class could receive a GPA high enough to maintain their scholarships. Students should have more information about the risks of accepting merit scholarships so that they can make fully-informed decisions about their future.

I appreciate the ABA’s willingness to make some changes to its reporting requirements, but I believe it is in the best interest of law students everywhere for the ABA to address these remaining issues as soon as possible. I look forward to your response.



Sincerely,



Barbara Boxer

United States Senator

R

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vanwinkle
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Re: Sen Boxer responds to the ABA

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:27 pm

Source?

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Kabuo
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Re: Sen Boxer responds to the ABA

Postby Kabuo » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:36 pm

Ugh, more WUSTL dissing. It was a WUSTL prof, Brian Tamanaha, who did that NLJ piece.

dstr15
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Re: Sen Boxer responds to the ABA

Postby dstr15 » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:37 pm

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... slreturn=1

here is an article about the actual letter, let me see if I can find a copy

dstr15
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Re: Sen Boxer responds to the ABA

Postby dstr15 » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:39 pm


lawbanshee
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Re: Sen Boxer responds to the ABA

Postby lawbanshee » Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:57 pm

Her style & tone is way too repectful to the criminal thugs at the ABA. What needs to happen is that the ABA is immediatley and fully stripped of their authority to accredit law schools until a thorough, independently audited data system re: employment and salary is established.

It seems abusrdly easy to do, to wit:

Every ABA grad fills out an index card one, three, five, and ten years following graduation. The card shall state:

1.) Does your job require a JD?

2.) Does your job require bar admission?

3.) List all state bars to which you're admitted.

4.) If employed, do you work part time or full time?

5.) If employed, is your job permanent or temporary?

6.) What is your annual salary/and or hourly rate?


These cards are to be distrubted by the schools (which should have to do due dilligence to track down former students, including change of address, etc) to the best of their ability. Any malfeasance re: these cards should be grounds for having accredation permanently revoked.

When completed, the cards are sent /emailed to a THIRD PARTY AUDITOR with no horse in the race, then the data compiled and made public.

This system would, of course, put the majority of non T-14 toilets out of business almost overnight. Imagine some clown seeing 70% of 'Bozo or BLS grads are making $30 an hour on temp gigs, or in non legal jobs, etc. The TTToilets would have no way to "spin" or sugarcoat this data.

scammedhard
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Re: Sen Boxer responds to the ABA

Postby scammedhard » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:38 pm

I very much appreciate what Boxer and Grassley are doing, but they are wasting their time. Senators should not be distracted by silly issues like bait-and-switch scholarships given by law schools, the vague definitions of employment used by the ABA, LSAT and GPA misrepresentations, or similar topics. The problem here is the ABA itself. It needs to be fired. The ABA is an impediment to any solution.

Cruzol
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Re: Sen Boxer responds to the ABA

Postby Cruzol » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:19 pm

scammedhard wrote:I very much appreciate what Boxer and Grassley are doing, but they are wasting their time. Senators should not be distracted by silly issues like bait-and-switch scholarships given by law schools, the vague definitions of employment used by the ABA, LSAT and GPA misrepresentations, or similar topics. The problem here is the ABA itself. It needs to be fired. The ABA is an impediment to any solution.

Sorry that my first post is about politics by this is not a silly matter and Senators should be talking about this and other things. Adults should be able to do more then one thing at a time effectively.

scammedhard
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Re: Sen Boxer responds to the ABA

Postby scammedhard » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:23 pm

Cruzol wrote:Sorry that my first post is about politics by this is not a silly matter and Senators should be talking about this and other things. Adults should be able to do more then one thing at a time effectively.

I think the Dept of Education (DOE) should be the one addressing these issues. After all, they are the agency that fuels the system by issuing student loans. Where is the DOE?

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KevinP
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Re: Sen Boxer responds to the ABA

Postby KevinP » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:36 pm

To be fair, every time the ABA tries to deny accreditation, the school sues and the Department of Justice steps in and rules against the ABA.

Here's just one example:

"MSL refused to comply with these standards, and the ABA refused to approve the school. As a result of its actions the MSL and Department of Justice filed complaints against the ABA for antitrust violations. The summary judgment dismissing the MSL complaint was granted to the ABA on the trial level and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed in 107 F.3d 1026. The case brought by DOJ was later settled by way of a consent decree between the ABA and the United States Department of Justice in which the ABA agreed to reform its accreditation process and eliminate some of its law school accreditation standards."

Source:
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... ool_of_Law

scammedhard
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Re: Sen Boxer responds to the ABA

Postby scammedhard » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:03 pm

KevinP wrote:To be fair, every time the ABA tries to deny accreditation, the school sues and the Department of Justice steps in and rules against the ABA.

Here's just one example:

"MSL refused to comply with these standards, and the ABA refused to approve the school. As a result of its actions the MSL and Department of Justice filed complaints against the ABA for antitrust violations. The summary judgment dismissing the MSL complaint was granted to the ABA on the trial level and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed in 107 F.3d 1026. The case brought by DOJ was later settled by way of a consent decree between the ABA and the United States Department of Justice in which the ABA agreed to reform its accreditation process and eliminate some of its law school accreditation standards."

Source:
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... ool_of_Law

Really? Maybe you should actually read the briefs and the consent decree.

http://www.justice.gov/atr/cases/f1000/1034.htm

http://www.justice.gov/atr/cases/massac0.htm

http://www.clearhq.org/resources/97-2.htm

Harry Ballsogna
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Re: Sen Boxer responds to the ABA

Postby Harry Ballsogna » Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:45 am

Kabuo wrote:Ugh, more WUSTL dissing. It was a WUSTL prof, Brian Tamanaha, who did that NLJ piece.



In what way is this "WUSTL dissing?" Tamanaha is one of the most well regarded scholars at WUSTL. Senator Boxer referenced him because he has credibility. Dean Syverud has publicly lauded Tamanaha for his current work on the economic model of law school. Things are going to get ugly, and when all is said and done, history will look kindly at Tamanaha for being on the right side.

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Kabuo
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Re: Sen Boxer responds to the ABA

Postby Kabuo » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:37 am

Harry Ballsogna wrote:
Kabuo wrote:Ugh, more WUSTL dissing. It was a WUSTL prof, Brian Tamanaha, who did that NLJ piece.



In what way is this "WUSTL dissing?" Tamanaha is one of the most well regarded scholars at WUSTL. Senator Boxer referenced him because he has credibility. Dean Syverud has publicly lauded Tamanaha for his current work on the economic model of law school. Things are going to get ugly, and when all is said and done, history will look kindly at Tamanaha for being on the right side.


You misunderstand my misreading. So used to seeing "in St Louis" that I didn't bother to note the order of the words, and assumed they meant University of Washington. And re Tamanaha - I'm a fan. He's my torts prof, and easily the best professor I have.




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