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The Price of Law School Cost Transparency

Dave Hoffman

Dave Hoffman is the Murray Shusterman Professor of Transactional and Business Law at Temple Law School. He specializes in law and psychology, contracts, and quantitative analysis of civil procedure. He currently teaches contracts, civil procedure, corporations, and law and economics.

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2 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    A solution that would avoid the cost issue would be to forbid the publication of job and salary numbers that aren’t properly audited. Why continue to assert unproven (and almost certainly inaccurate) numbers? I mean besides the fact that it serves the interest of everyone at a law school other than the students?

    Or even just require a simple disclosure along the lines of “Percentage employed includes those working at Starbucks and living with their mothers. And people we ‘hired’ while they filled out the form. Salaries reported are ‘reported’ and not verified. Those students too embarassed to admit they make less than their brother who just started teaching middle school PE were not included in the salary calculation. But the handfull of grads wearing white shoes got as many calls as it took to get them to respond.”

  2. Dave Hoffman says:

    Chris,
    I’m sure that “inaccurate” numbers are sometimes released. But it strikes me that most of the fuss isn’t about inaccuracy, it’s about students getting misleading impressions from accurate numbers. That is, means/medians are skewed, etc. The problem is that even decile reporting isn’t totally accurate — in the sense of telling you the professional value of the degree — unless you have a better sense of what kind of jobs students actually want & what they got. From my experience, at least, most law students would prefer smaller firms to larger ones. How do we reflect that well?

    The last paragraph mixes a few problems — underreporting, “bad jobs,” and law school bad conduct. Speaking just for my intuition, the idea that we pursue salary numbers for students we know to have jobs more than those we don’t is simply inaccurate. Indeed, it makes no sense. The institution benefits when its graduates are happily employed. Full stop. I don’t see how you’d conclude otherwise.