Law School Transparency Gets an Update, Wants More NALP Forms

By William Peacock, Esq. on April 21, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

When my brother was applying to law school, the first site I sent him to was the Law School Admissions Council's GPA and LSAT search. You enter your LSAT score and GPA, and it gives you probabilities of admission based on previous years' data. It's a great place to start sorting schools into "safety," "reach," and everywhere in between. Once that list was made, however, I pointed him to Law School Transparency, the movement and the website dedicated to providing prospective law students with all of the data needed to make an educated decision on whether and where to attend law school.

As part of that movement, LST has encouraged schools to make their annual National Association for Law Placement (NALP) reports public, as these reports are surveys of graduates' employment outcomes. When LST began, it was only able to obtain 34 reports (out of around 200 schools). It's made a lot of progress since then, but there's still a lot of room for improvement by the schools.

LST: Now Even Prettier

For those who somehow haven't heard of LST, it's an absolutely brilliant site that contains every important statistic imaginable on a law school. How much will it cost, with loans, tuition, and interest? What are the employment statistics like?  Where do graduates work? What percentage of students pay sticker price versus scholarship rates? How many scholarships are made conditional and yanked away after a year?

Most of this data is available from a variety of sources, such as the ABA's periodic reports, but LST takes an incomprehensible mess of data and organizes it into a series of reports, worksheets, and tools, with the recent update making the data even more accessible.

NALP Reports

By now, you've heard the bad news about the Class of 2013's employment numbers. Later this summer, NALP will release its own employment reports to schools, which will have the option of sharing these reports with the public, including LST. At last count, for the Class of 2012, LST was able to procure reports for 55 percent of schools -- a massive improvement from the site's launch, but that still leaves 45 percent of schools holding out.

Kyle McEntee, one of the site's co-founders, encourages lawyers to check if their school has released their report, and if not, to ask them to do so. Transparency means more than sending a few statistics to the ABA, and disclosing one's NALP report is a great place to start.

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