Law Schools

Blog Questions ‘Rankings Malpractice’ by Law Schools

Sixty-four law schools didn’t disclose the percentage of their 2007 class employed at graduation for a ranking done by U.S. News & World Report, opting instead for an automatic calculation.

Another 23 law schools that did report the employment-at-graduation numbers likely would have been better off keeping them secret, TaxProf Blog reports.

When a law school fails to report how many of its graduates are employed at graduation, U.S. News will assign a number that is 30 percent less than the number of the school’s graduates employed nine months later. For example, a school that reports 95 percent of its graduates are employed nine months after graduation but fails to report employed-at-graduation data will be assigned a number of 65 percent to plug the hole.

That means any law school that didn’t report employed-at-graduation numbers likely had a real figure that was more than 30 percent lower than its nine-month numbers. Several readers pointed out to the blog that 64 schools did not report employed-at-graduation data.

“A more interesting question is why 23 law schools reported employed-at-graduation numbers more than 30 percent lower than their employed-at-nine-months number,” the blog says. “Many of these schools undoubtedly adversely affected their overall ranking by reporting their employed-at-graduation data.”

Schools in the top 100 that may have been able to boost their rankings if they had kept the data secret include Baylor, Louisville, Missouri-Columbia, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Seattle, South Carolina and Temple, the blog says.

The blog post is titled “Did 23 Law Schools Commit Rankings Malpractice?”

Updated at 1:43 p.m. to reflect TaxProf Blog’s correction to the number of law schools who reported employed-at-graduation numbers more than 30 percent lower than their employed-at-nine-months number.

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