For prospective law students, selecting a law school ain’t what it used to be. Whereas once there was a dearth of information about graduates’ employment rates, now there are any number of sources of rankings and other data. No longer is the problem finding data, now it is sifting through it all and making it relevant to one’s personal interests.
For all those prospective law students drowning in data, a new website is here to help. Called Law Jobs: By the Numbers, the site enables prospective students to calculate and compare law schools’ graduate employment rates in a variety of ways, using either preset or personalized formulas.
The site was launched in May by Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, an initiative of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) at the University of Denver. It uses data reported by the law schools to the American Bar Association.
Users can review employment rates using preset formulas based on those commonly applied by organizations including the National Association for Law Placement, US News & World Report, National Jurist and Law School Transparency (LST). Alternatively, users can tailor their review by various factors, such as by including only full-time jobs or by excluding school-funded jobs.
For example, if you use the preset U.S. News rate, then the first-listed school is the University of Virginia. But if you choose your own calculation to show only long-term, full-time jobs that require bar passage, then the University of Chicago moves into first place.
There is a teaching function here as well, says Alli Gerkman, director of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers and IAALS’ project leader for Law Jobs: By the Numbers. “Because we have made the formulas completely transparent and accessible, it teaches them how different criteria can impact the employment rates reported by schools, publications, and organizations.”
The University of Denver Sturm College of Law also helped in the development of Law Jobs: By the Numbers.