June 24, 2019

Colorado Law Professor Says Law Schools Misrepresent Job Numbers

Articles criticizing the job statistics shared by law schools and questioning the value of a legal education are hardly novel these days, but when such an article is written by a law professor, it tends to garner more interest. And this particular article was bound to catch our attention, as it was written by University of Colorado Law Professor, Paul Campos.

In a post on The New Republic called “Served: How law schools completely misrepresent their job numbers,” Professor Campos dissects the 9-month-out employment statistics of one top-50 law school with results that quickly go from bad to worse, prompting Campos to lament:

If you’re a law professor and you want to get depressed, try to figure out how many of your recent graduates have real legal jobs that pay enough to justify the tuition that funds your salary, and also involve doing the kind of work they wanted to do when they went to law school.

The solution to this is accurate job information for prospective law students, but the path to a system that makes that information available is riddled with roadblocks.

All of this suggests the extent to which prospective law students need more and better information. Of course, such information will make law school look like a far worse investment than it does at present. Still, if we assume that the point of academic work is to reveal the truth, rather than to engage in the defense of a professional cartel from which law professors benefit more than almost anyone else, then this work needs to be done.

Legal Connection readers, what do you think? Are law school job statistics misleading? And, if so, what needs to change?