[The following guest post is an excerpt of a joint staff editorial by the The Cardozo Jurist of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and the BLS Advocate of Brooklyn Law School that appears in both publications today]
Our economy is depressed. These are difficult times for all.
While disheartening, we must acknowledge the situation before us. Things have changed in the last few years. Legal jobs are scarce. Law school is hardly a “safe bet” – in fact, it is a perilous one.
In these times, we need an American Bar Association (ABA) that is proactive. An ABA that is present. An ABA that is attentive to the economic climate and what this means for current and future law students.
Instead, as Erik Slepak’s story “ABA Drags Feet in Stopping Law Schools’ Misleading Job Statistics” (see http://www.cardozojurist.com/?p=979) and Warren Allen’s feature article “The Litigating Classes: Taking Their Schools to Court” (see www.blsadvocate.org) illustrate, the ABA has been reactive when the times call for it to be proactive. We find this deeply disappointing.
Understandably, in past years of economic prosperity, prospective law students weren’t as concerned with post-grad employment statistics. But, in these trying times the stakes are higher. Prospective students want to know: How many graduates have jobs requiring a JD? How many are employed through the law school’s fellowship program? How many have part-time jobs? They have a right to the answers to these questions.
Until two weeks ago, the ABA did not require law schools to provide such information to prospective students. Some law schools voluntarily offered this information to prospective students. But, many other schools opted only to provide rather basic statistics, like percentage of graduates employed nine months from graduation. This figure gives prospective students no sense of how many graduates have part-time legal or non-legal jobs.
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