Law School Transparency is a classic example of the potential power of small-scale grass roots organizing. LST was founded five years ago by two Vanderbilt law students, who were concerned about the lack of reliable information about employment outcomes for law graduates. Operating on a budget of zero dollars, they campaigned for schools to release real employment figures, as opposed to the deeply misleading statistics almost all law schools were publicizing at the time (For example, these employment statistics made no distinction between working as a lawyer and a ten-hour per week barista, and they often featured “average” salary figures that failed to note the averages were based on the tiny percentage of class members who reported their salaries, who were almost always the people with high-paying jobs).
At first LST ran into a brick wall, but over time the organization — which if my understanding is correct has never included more than four people — has ended up playing a key role in successfully putting pressure on the ABA to force law schools to disgorge something that has begun to resemble actual employment information. LST’s web site has become an invaluable resource for prospective law students, where people can find answers to the two questions every such student should care about, almost to the exclusion of anything else, i.e., how much is this going to cost, and what are the most likely outcomes if I spend the next three years of my life at this school?
This past weekend LST’s co-founder Kyle McEntee spent a good deal of time and money flying to Boston, in order to appear before an ABA task force on the financing of higher education. I’ve known McEntee for three and half years now, and I never cease to be amazed by his tireless advocacy for a more rational and just system of American legal education.
To say LST operates on a shoestring budget is an understatement. The important work the organization continues to do requires a great deal of time and effort, and they need contributions to continue to do it.
Please consider making a donation to this fundraiser. All contributions are tax deductible.