Thursday, October 27, 2016

Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar: Employment Data Review Update

Bill Adams, Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar: Employment Data Review Update (Aug. 5, 2016).  Excerpts:

"Pursuant to the Protocol for Reviewing Law Graduate Employment Data, and Statement of Procedures for Collecting, Maintaining, and Reporting Law Graduate Employment Data (hereinafter Protocol) passed by the Council, the office procured Berkeley Research Group (BRG) to engage in a review of graduate employment data collected by the schools. BRG has completed the initial stages of its review."

"For the Random Graduate Review, 382 files were selected from 156 schools. Of the 156 schools that had files randomly selected, 16 appeared to have a potential problem with missing items or supporting documentation for an item. Of these 16, 8 had minor issues regarding documentation of an item and probably will not warrant further review. . . .The remaining 8 may have issues requiring heightened review, but BRG is engaged in discussions with the schools to seek clarification about documentation or ambiguities in the file.  In regard to one of these [other] 8 schools, it appears to have created its documentation for its files after it was notified that its files would be audited."

"Five of the 10 schools randomly selected had compliance rates of 95% or above. Another school is at 94.8% and two are at approximately 86%. The remaining two schools had file compliance rates in the mid-50’s. BRG is conducting follow-up discussions with the schools that had more than 5% of their files to determine whether some of the files that appear to be deficient are actually deficient. One of these schools also appears to have created its supporting documentation after it was notified that it had been selected for a file review. After this further review of the schools with a compliance rate below 95%, the review committee will determine which of these schools may warrant a Level 2 Review."

"The good news is that the overwhelming majority of schools subjected to the data review have both accurately reported employment results and provided credible documentary support of what they have reported. Of the schools identified for follow-up discussions, most have issues relating to documentation questions. It is not yet evident that any of these schools has misreported data. Our documentation requirements are quite specific and some think complex so it is reasonable, that in the first year of this review, there may be confusion over what we require. The two schools that appear to have created their documentation after the fact raise more serious problems, but they may also be ableto explain that what we perceive is not accurate. We will report what we ultimately determine after BRG completes its final review."  (emphasis added)

(Scott Fruehwald)

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