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One local law school is shedding a little more light on where its grads end up

Law School Transparency at William Mitchell

One local law school is shedding a little more light on where its grads end up

4 comments

  1. Good post Leah.

    While I’m sure Law School Transparency would want even more “disaggregation,” this is about as transparent as law school employment data are going to get. For those interested, WM’s numbers largely correspond to what it sent to the ABA for the Official Guide to ABA Law Schools.

    The problem I’ve always had with employment numbers is that they’re always wa~y outdated and require fairly sophisticated interpretation, creating as many questions as they answer. For example, the employment categories are rarely clear, such as in your “Publishing House” example.

    Ultimately, transparency advocates believe the following analogy as the only useful way to gauge a law degree’s value:
    GRADUATE’S EMPLOYMENT : TODAY :: APPLICANT’S POSSIBLE EMPLOYMENT : FOUR (or more!) YEARS FROM NOW

    There’s actually a far easier way to measure future legal employment in Minnesota–Look at what the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development has to say about lawyers.

    Between 2009 and 2019, Minnesota’s economy will create an average of 405 lawyer positions per year. In 2009, 962 people graduated from one of Minnesota’s law schools. That’s bad, and the link in my sig will show you that there’s no jurisdiction to compensate for the graduate surplus. Now, not everyone goes to law school strictly to become an attorney as labor experts define it, but that is their purpose, no?

  2. [Correction] In 2009, 962 people graduated from Minnesota’s law schools.

  3. I’d like to think I helped spur Mitchell on in their efforts to be more transparent. I actually refused to complete the annual new-grad job survey and instead wrote a lengthy letter to Deans Janus and Thompson explaining why I felt none of the survey responses accurately described my situation:

    “None of the options on the [employment] survey really apply to me or people like me. Although I keep my eye out for the right opportunity, I’m not actively looking for work, but I’m not really employed either. I hesitate marking any option that could be construed as “employed” as I don’t want to contribute to the false idea that people shouldn’t be overly concerned about finding a job.”

    My letter also included some suggestions on ways to help people in my situation. I received a thoughtful response from both Deans and I’m hopeful that-in a few decades-the law schools will have adjusted to this rapidly changing economic landscape.

  4. It is difficult to find a school that will tell you the true employment rate afterward since they want to attract new student by stretching the truth. Having a job at home can help during those slow months.

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