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ABA council adopts changes in collection of law school data

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The Council of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has approved changes in the collection and publication of graduate placement data provided by law schools. The changes are aimed at enhancing the accuracy, timeliness and level of detail law schools must report to the ABA.

The changes – recommended by the Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar Section’s Questionnaire Committee – were adopted at its annual meeting Dec. 3. Law schools will have to gather more detailed information, which includes graduate employment status, salary, whether the position is short or long term and whether the position is funded by the school itself. Schools will also have to report on whether the graduate’s job required passing the bar, is full time or part time, and if there is an advantage to having a J.D. for the position.

The data law schools collect will be reported directly to the Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar section, and this information will be posted online the year after it’s collected. Right now, data on specific classes are often posted two years later.

Section chair John O’Brien, New England Law/Boston dean, said in a news release that these changes will better inform future law students about the prospects of employment.

The announcement this summer by the ABA regarding the changes in the collection of data caused tension between the bar association and NALP. NALP keeps postgraduate employment data for law schools and was surprised by the ABA’s announcement that it would begin collecting its own data. In the past, placement data was reported only to NALP, which then sent a report to the schools. The law school reported the information to the ABA in the bar’s annual questionnaire.

But only a few weeks after attempting to cut NALP out of the collection and reporting process, the ABA announced that the section and NALP agreed to collaborate going forward.

Indiana Lawyer reported in August that the ABA data collection process will be a two-step, two-year process that was set to begin this October when the ABA collected an abbreviated data set for each graduate of the class of 2010.

The ABA plans to collect full data in February 2012 for each 2011 law graduate. NALP said it will continue to request a single electronic file from each school, while the ABA may ask for schools to input student record data one student at a time through an online data submission form.
 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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