Search Results


Albany Law School
American University
Appalachian School of Law
Arizona State University
Arizona Summit Law School
Ave Maria School of Law
Barry University
Baylor University
Belmont University
Boston College
Boston University
Brigham Young University
Brooklyn Law School
California Western School of Law
Campbell University
Capital University
Cardozo-Yeshiva University
Case Western Reserve University
Catholic University of America
Chapman University
Charleston School of Law
Charlotte School of Law
Chicago-Kent College of Law
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
Columbia University
Concordia University School of Law
Cornell University
Creighton University
DePaul University
Drake University
Drexel University
Duke University
Duquesne University
Elon Law School
Emory University
Faulkner University
Florida A&M University
Florida Coastal School of Law
Florida International University
Florida State University
Fordham University
George Mason University
George Washington University
Georgetown University
Georgia State University
Golden Gate University
Gonzaga University
Harvard University
Hofstra University
Howard University
Indiana University - Bloomington
Indiana University - Indianapolis
Inter American University
John Marshall Law School - Atlanta
John Marshall Law School - Chicago
Lewis and Clark College
Liberty University
Lincoln Memorial University
Louisiana State University
Loyola Marymount University
Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University New Orleans
Marquette University
Mercer University
Michigan State University
Mississippi College
Mitchell Hamline School of Law
New England School of Law
New York Law School
New York University
North Carolina Central University
Northeastern University
Northern Illinois University
Northern Kentucky University
Northwestern University
Nova Southeastern University
Ohio Northern University
Ohio State University
Oklahoma City University
Pace University
Pennsylvania State University - Dickinson
Pennsylvania State University - University Park
Pepperdine University
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico
Quinnipiac University
Regent University
Roger Williams University
Rutgers University
Samford University
Santa Clara University
Seattle University
Seton Hall University
South Texas College of Law Houston
Southern Illinois University
Southern Methodist University
Southern University Law Center
Southwestern Law School
St. John's University
St. Louis University
St. Mary's University
St. Thomas University - Florida
Stanford University
Stetson University
Suffolk University
SUNY Buffalo
Syracuse University
Temple University
Texas A&M
Texas Southern University
Texas Tech University
Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Thomas M Cooley Law School
Touro College
Tulane University
University of Akron
University of Alabama
University of Arizona
University of Arkansas - Fayetteville
University of Arkansas - Little Rock
University of Baltimore
University of California - Berkeley
University of California - Davis
University of California - Hastings
University of California - Irvine
University of California - Los Angeles
University of Chicago
University of Cincinnati
University of Colorado
University of Connecticut
University of Dayton
University of Denver
University of Detroit Mercy
University of Florida
University of Georgia
University of Hawaii
University of Houston
University of Idaho
University of Illinois
University of Iowa
University of Kansas
University of Kentucky
University of La Verne
University of Louisville
University of Maine
University of Maryland
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
University of Memphis
University of Miami
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota
University of Mississippi
University of Missouri - Columbia
University of Missouri - Kansas City
University of Montana
University of Nebraska
University of Nevada - Las Vegas
University of New Hampshire
University of New Mexico
University of North Carolina
University of North Dakota
University of Notre Dame
University of Oklahoma
University of Oregon
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
University of Puerto Rico
University of Richmond
University of San Diego
University of San Francisco
University of South Carolina
University of South Dakota
University of Southern California
University of St. Thomas - Minneapolis
University of Tennessee
University of Texas
University of The District of Columbia
University of the Pacific
University of Toledo
University of Tulsa
University of Utah
University of Virginia
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin
University of Wyoming
Valparaiso University
Vanderbilt University
Vermont Law School
Villanova University
Wake Forest University
Washburn University
Washington and Lee University
Washington University in St Louis
Wayne State University
West Virginia University
Western New England University School of Law
Western State University
Whittier Law School
Widener University - Delaware
Widener University - Pennsylvania
Willamette University
William and Mary
Yale University
Last Updated: March 1, 2017

Limits of the LST Reports

The LST Reports suffer from a variety of limits and those using them need to be conscious of what the reports do and do not mean. Many of these problems are due to inadequacies with the underlying data. Despite these limits, we still publish the LST Reports because we believe they are superior to every other tool available to prospective law students. Please note that the following limits have only to do with the reports as reliable indicators for their purpose, rather than whether or not the reports solve all problems in want of a solution.

Limit: The Past Doesn't Guarantee the Future

The desire to use past employment data to predict the future is strong, and the ABA and schools recognize that this is why people look to employment information. While the past is not necessarily indicative of the future, examining the outcomes of recent graduating classes provide some idea of what to expect, barring additional major changes to the entry-level legal market. But even where major changes do call into question the reliability of information about past graduating classes, one can hypothesize about how particular schools will react within the new climate. That is, even as the market changes, there is value in older information in light of change—but it is up to readers to draw these conclusions for themselves.

For LST Pro subscribers, we do provide a jobs outlook to help prospective students determine what direction a law school is headed.

Limit: Self-Selection

While prospective students are concerned with the job options they will have upon graduation, schools do not collect those data. Instead we have information about actual employment outcomes, and must use those outcomes as a proxy for opportunities. Consider a school that sees 40% of its graduates work for large firms and 20% of its graduates work in public service. We do not know how many graduates working in public service could have worked for a large firm, nor how many graduates at large firms could have gone into public service. That information would be valuable—perhaps more valuable than outcomes—to a prospective student. Accordingly, relying exclusively upon outcomes neglects very real differences in job prospects.

That said, be skeptical of schools that claim self-selection applies to an atypical proportion of their graduating classes. Ask why the class composition would cause outcomes to differ from the norm and what data support such a claim. Then ask for the data (and share it with LST!). For example, if a school claims its graduates desire non-legal jobs and that the outcomes support this result, inquire as to whether the historical outcomes support this claim, or if it is a new phenomenon. If the latter, wonder whether the shift in outcomes was due to an attitudinal shift in the graduating class, or perhaps because the jobs historically taken were unavailable.

There is the additional problem of geographic self-selection. By facilitating state-based sorting using a single year of geographical outcomes, we risk under and overestimating placement by location. For any number of reasons a school may have more or fewer graduates in a location in a given year. This is not ideal, though the problems will only be at the edges because schools only show up on geographic reports if the total number of graduates working in a location meets a minimum threshold.

Limit: Not All Law Jobs Created Equal

With the Employment Score, we treat all long-term, full-time legal jobs with employers the same. For example, a job with a large law firm counts the same as a job with a very small law firm, even though we have data for this distinction. We do not, however, have data for distinguishing among lawyer jobs at large law firms. Wide variances by pay, prestige, practice settings, and practice specialties exist. Neither do we have enough data that distinguish among placement in alternative internal staffing tracks, e.g. staff attorneys versus associates at law firms. Schools that share their NALP Reports with LST and the public, however, do provide those data. View them under the jobs tab a school's profile.

Limit: Incomplete Picture of Outcomes

Because data are collected ten months after graduation and published a bit later, the data are perpetually outdated and may not accurately reflect the present employment outlook. It is important to pay attention to school track records on their school profiles, employment trends in national, regional, and local markets, and BLS labor projections. The LST Reports data provide only a snapshot, showing placement in first jobs without looking further into a graduate's career. Some graduates in temporary jobs will find permanent professional work, while some permanent jobs will unexpectedly come to an end.

Though the picture is incomplete, ten-month outcomes are nevertheless very important. In the legal profession, the first job matters. In this education climate, with costs as high as they are, much emphasis focuses on these outcomes because nearly 4 in 5 graduates debt-financed at least some of their J.D. education. Initial loan payments are due shortly after graduation, whether or not the graduate's outcome reflect the successes he or she will find or lose throughout a career.

Limit: No Disaggregation of Job Characteristics by Location

This limit has much in common with the self-selection and incomplete picture problems. All scores and rates reflect only school-wide data. It is plausible, and quite likely, that a school will have differing levels of success in different states. This means that placement in other states may either inflate or deflate the scores/rates. Using New Jersey as an example, the Employment Scores for School X may not match the success rate for New Jersey. The scores could be higher or lower if we could instead focus only on those graduates obtaining work in Georgia.

Were the data available, the scores and rates would still suffer from the self-selection problem. For instance, graduates may be inclined to move across state lines only after having received a job offer. This would create a very high score/rate within that state, but would not take into account students who want to move but have not found jobs. Likewise, students may cross state lines because they have been unable to find work in their preferred state and believe another state presents better opportunities.

Upshot: What Should You Do?

Ultimately, our goal is to better equip people with the tools they need to understand the decision to attend law school. More public information exists now than ever before. One type of new information is information about what data are missing. Acknowledging these gaps allows one to recognize what assumptions are supported and what assumptions are mere conjecture. Questioning assumptions like "law school is a ticket to financial security or success" or "if I get into law school, I should go" is huge progress and will result in better informed decisions. Analyze the reports and then did deeper into school data. See what's missing. Unbundle the information. Ask questions.