Target: James R. Silkenat, President-Elect of the American Bar Association
Goal: Punish law schools that misrepresent job data to prospective students
Many law schools are beginning to be sued for fraud, negligent misrepresentation and deceptive business practices. Many law schools publish statistics that show 95-99.8% of their graduates are employed only a few months after graduation. In reality only half or less will be employed after law school. Sign the petition to ask the American Bar Association to punish law schools that are lying to prospective students.
Many law schools are massaging their statistics to improve rankings. There are 198 ABA accredited law schools. The US News and World Report ranks the top 100 schools. Almost all of them reported a graduate employment rate of 95% or higher. It was discovered that these statistics were inaccurate and UNWR revised the figures revealing that schools which claimed to have 95% employment rates in fact only had rates of 62.9%.
Even this reduced rate was discovered to be misleadingly high because many law graduates are not employed in legal work. Instead they work in secretarial capacities making as little as $12 an hour in contract jobs while trying to pay off loans of $100,000 to $150,000. One third of law graduates are only in temporary positions. Only 45% of graduates have real full time positions 9 months after graduation.
It is believed even this statistic is too high since the number is self-reported and many refrain from reporting employment data out of shame. Troublingly, law schools are attempting to circumvent this by hiring unemployed graduates. Georgetown Law School hired three unemployed graduates at $20 an hour to work in their admissions office.
Law students have a right to expect law schools to be honest with them about employment prospects. Instead, law schools have chosen to obfuscate the truth and resort to lies. They should be punished for that. Sign the petition to ask the ABA to punish law schools that lied about employment numbers.
Dear President-Elect Silkenat,
I am writing as a concerned citizen to ask you to punish law schools that have been purposely misreporting employment figures. As you take office, it is important that you force law schools to be honest in their figures. Prospective students need a complete picture of their employment prospects before they commit themselves to taking on $150,000 in debt.
Law schools that conceal, misrepresent and circumvent providing accurate information are doing a disservice to the practice of law. It is mind-boggling that schools that used to report 95% rates of employment turn out to have a mere 45% employed. I urge you to take action to punish schools that have made such egregious lies. I hope you can reform the ranking system so that misreporting of employment figures will end.
I hope you consider my thoughts.
[Your Name Here]