Discrepancy in Reported Employment Information

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ahnhub
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Discrepancy in Reported Employment Information

Postby ahnhub » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:05 pm

I was comparing some T-14 schools' self-reported employment information to NLJ 250 statistics, and found some odd discrepancies. Here are a couple of the most noticeable ones:

- In 2009 Chicago reports 70% of its grads found work in firms of 250+. NLJ reports just 53.1% found work in NLJ 250 law firms. The cut-off size for NLJ 250 is around 170 lawyers, so everyone Chicago is reporting as working for a 250+ size firm should be in a NLJ 250 firm.

- In 2010 NYU reports 54% of grads in firms of 250+. NLJ reports 43.3% of NYU grads in NLJ 250 firms.

There are other smaller discrepancies (I don't expect the numbers to match up exactly), but there are also years where self-reported and NLJ 250 info is almost exactly the same. I also found one case where the school reported significantly less grads in big firms than NLJ--In 2008 Northwestern self-reported 60% of its grads in 250+ firms, while NLJ reported 73.5% of its grads in NLJ 250....but a discrepancy on this side can be better explained, I think, since some people working in firms of 101-250 might be in NLJ 250 firms. (NU also reports 20 more graduates in its class for that year than NLJ does, which is weird in itself.)

I'm just having a hard time figuring out how 10-15% discrepancies could exist, though, especially since it is not a general, steady phenomenon--in many cases the numbers do match up very closely. Anyone think they have an answer?

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romothesavior
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Re: Discrepancy in Reported Employment Information

Postby romothesavior » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:28 pm

When I first read the title, I thought "law school reported employment data discrepancies? STOP THE PRESSES!"

But seriously, one word: clerkships. Or at least that's what I expect makes up for the difference. There might also be some sort of incomplete data set on the school's end with a self-reporting bias by students.

ahnhub
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Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:14 pm

Re: Discrepancy in Reported Employment Information

Postby ahnhub » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:20 am

Clerkships aren't accounted in those numbers--they're purely graduates working in law firms.

I could see there being a generalized tendency towards self-reported bias. Maybe a couple of people at every school straight-up lie about being employed or the type of job they have. But the numbers match up almost exactly a lot. Sometimes they're off by 5%, and there's a couple of very big discrepancies like the ones I note. There's still something very off about Chicago claiming 70% of its grads found jobs in big law firms, while NLJ claims just 53% did.

I honestly couldn't think of a reason to explain it. The NLJ's counting method could be off, employment offices could just be lying, students could be lying, or those people might not be associates, and thus not counted by NLJ. But none of those answers really seems satisfactory--36 Chicago grads claiming they're working for Kirkland and Ellis when they're not? 36 being hired as law clerks or temps? That doesn't seem right.

I'm not just picking on Chicago either--I ran Penn, NYU, and NU's numbers and they all had years where the numbers were very close, and years where the numbers were really off.

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romothesavior
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Re: Discrepancy in Reported Employment Information

Postby romothesavior » Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:32 pm

Hey OP, here's an article by NYU that might be relevant to your concerns:

http://www.law.nyu.edu/news/REBUTTAL

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Discrepancy in Reported Employment Information

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:39 pm






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