Nonprofit introduces own method for choosing law school

November 13, 2012
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Law School Transparency unveiled its tool to help prospective law students choose the right school for them, touting it as an alternative to the popular U.S. News & World Report law school rankings.

The LST Score Reports are “user-friendly tools for sorting law school employment outcomes, projected costs, and admission stats,” according to the LST release on the reports. The score reports are not rankings, the nonprofit organization emphasizes, unlike the rankings provided by U.S. News & World Report.

You can view the score reports at http://www.lstscorereports.com/.

LST says the reports should be used as a starting point and a comparison tool to other rankings or classifications of law schools.

“Focus on outcomes and how much it will cost you to get there,” the website says. “Reputation, after all, is only as valuable as the ends you want that it can help you actually achieve. You can’t eat prestige.”

The 3-year-old nonprofit was created by two Vanderbilt University Law Students and aims to improve consumer information on legal education and reform the traditional law school model.

The latest rankings by U.S. News & World Report list Notre Dame Law School at No. 22; Indiana University Maurer School of Law at No. 26; and Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law at No. 89 overall best law school. Valparaiso University Law School appears on the list as unranked.

You may want to take a look at LST’s guides to using and reading the report before jumping to conclusions about the list. The Employment Score has been calculated by the bar passage rate, minus part-time jobs, short-term jobs and solo practitioners, with that figure divided by all graduates. The guide doesn’t explain what years are used to compile the data.

Based on that formula, Notre Dame Law School has the highest employment score in the state. They also have the fewest number of graduates employed in Indiana. Then comes I.U. Maurer School of Law at 59.5 percent employment score, I.U. McKinney School of Law at 52 percent, and Valparaiso University Law School at 39.2 percent. Based on LST calculations, Valpo had the most under-employed graduates.

The under-employment score is calculated by taking the number of unemployed graduates, minus the total sum of those not seeking jobs, those who have short-term or part-time jobs, nonprofessional jobs, or are pursuing another degree, divided by the number of all graduates. Again, it’s helpful to read their guides to understand how LST came up with their figures.

You can view Indiana’s data for yourself here.
 

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  1. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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