Annual Meeting 2011

NALP Backs Off Threat to Sue ABA, Renews Spirit of Collaboration


Following a threat to sue earlier this week, James G. Leipold, executive director of the National Association for Law Placement appeared before the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar council meeting Friday, ready to make amends.

Leipold, along with NALP president Marcelyn R. Cox, were invited to voice their concerns over the section’s new employment data collection efforts to the council Friday during the ABA’s Annual Meeting in Toronto. The invite followed a very public spat with the section that its initiative would duplicate NALP’s own efforts and hamper its ability to develop and provide useful information to the public about the legal job market.

Initial plans were for the section to rely on NALP’s collection of employment data from schools. But the section’s executive committee changed course, opting instead to collect data directly.

“Our regulatory function puts us in the best position to be able to collect data from law schools and ensure that it is reliable,” said section chair Chief Justice Christine Durham of the Utah Supreme Court said in an ABA press release.

On Friday, both groups spoke of their long history of collaboration on data collection and production, particularly on employment and placement figures, according to Hulett “Bucky” Askew, the ABA’s consultant on legal education. Both NALP and the council spoke of the desire to continue to work together moving forward.

Although Askew did not confirm whether an agreement had been met on the methodology the section would use to collect data directly from the schools, a prior point of contention for NALP, he did say that the two groups will continue to meet and discuss ways to address the needs of all parties.

Updated Aug. 6 to include information from an ABA press release.

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