By John Kruzel ‘14
BROOKLAND – CUA Law earned an A- in a study ranking law schools on how transparently its website illustrates the employment figures of recent graduates, rating Catholic higher than other D.C. law schools on the accuracy of a dataset at the center of more than a dozen lawsuits against schools across the country.
The report by the nonprofit group Law School Transparency looked at online depictions of recent graduates’ full-time versus part-time and long-term versus short-term employment, aggregate salary data, the number of graduates whose employment information is unknown and how easily the job info can be accessed online.
“[The website] is a critical place that people go to for information, if not the first place, and schools understand when people look for information on their program, that’s the place they’re going to go,” Kyle McEntree, co-founder of LST, told the National Jurist magazine, which used LST’s data to assess grades to law schools.
CUA Law is part of a slim minority of the 197 schools studied that represents a silver lining to an otherwise bleak report which found 38-percent of law schools are misleading prospective students on their websites regarding salary information.
The law schools of American University, Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia received grade-F ratings. George Washington University Law School received a D, and Georgetown University Law Center earned a C-.
The most important parts of the index – the employer list and salary information – are the two categories most likely to include misleading data, according to McEntree.
“It’s worse to provide a list than not to provide a list if it’s misleading,” he told the National Jurist.
While the American Bar Association’s decision last year to publish more detailed employment information enhances data transparency, some students have chosen to take their grievances to court.
Fourteen law schools were facing lawsuits from 73 plaintiffs according to the March 2012 issue of the National Jurist.
“There is a real number out there,” Jean Strauss, an attorney familiar with the lawsuits, said of law school graduate employment data. “Law schools have been trying to explain why they can’t figure it out. It is not hard to find out what people are doing. I guarantee their alumni offices are keeping track.”
Suits have been filed against Thomas M. Cooley Law School, New York Law School, Albany Law School, Brooklyn Law School, California Western School of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law, DePaul University College of Law, Florida Coastal School of Law, Golden Gate University School of Law, Hofstra Law School, The John Marshall Law School, Southwestern Law School, University of San Francisco School of Law and Widener University School of Law.
Click here to see CUA Law’s employment statistics for the class of 2011.