This week, meet Kyle McEntee, founder of Law School Transparency, and learn about his work, his thoughts on law school admissions, and the importance of transparency.
The origins of Law School Transparency (1:40)
While choosing a law school, McEntee had the usual info about rankings, etc. At a weekend for admitted students at Vanderbilt (where he ultimately earned his JD), the school shared much richer info about where recent grads were employed—and he wondered why more schools don’t share similar info.
What kind of transparency are we talking about, and why is it important? (3:20)
Schools often didn’t disclose employment info, or boosted numbers by counting non-legal jobs. Fuller information helps students make more educated choices.
Improvement thanks to Law School Transparency (5:00)
Improved disclosure: after the LST white paper in 2010, the ABA adopted new rules and schools now publish more info about bar passage rates, employment, etc. Now, about 60% of schools report fairly detailed information. McEntee would like to see 100% reporting.
State of Legal Education 2015 Report (7:00)
The goal is to make legal education more transparent and fair. One major focus is bar passage information- a natural extension of the focus on employment information.
Recent stats show that schools are admitting people with lower LSATs and GPAs- does this translate to lower bar passage rates, and how much of a problem is it? (8:00)
Lower admission stats do predict lower bar passage rates—and bar passage rates have gone down.
Balancing LSAT scores and bar passage rates with diversity/expanding access? (12:55)
This is about balancing opportunity with consumer protection—a question is whether law schools are taking advantage of people who can’t succeed. It doesn’t help anyone if we set them up to fail.
Should someone with a bad LSAT think twice? (14:50)
It’s tough to generalize, especially since different states’ bars are so different. But students should think carefully about their ability to pass the bar.
What does Law School Transparency provide? (18:00)
The site provides data by school (gpa, cost, trends, employment, etc). The info comes from the schools, the ABA, etc.
Considering costs, knowing what you’re getting into, going for the right reasons (21:25)
Applicants should really understand what law school will cost— do your due diligence as a borrower. LST provides financial info (including future loan payment estimates, cost of living, etc).
Advice for people considering law school (28:56)
Know what you’re getting into: not just stats, but whether your skills and interests are a good match for the profession, including the business side of law practice. Understand how the profession is changing.
LST provides information for applicants, including academic and financial info.
If you don’t know what you want out of your degree, it might not be time to go to law school.
Follow Law School Transparency (35:00)
• Law School Transparency
• LST Radio: I Am The Law, podcast that profiles legal professionals in different roles
• On Twitter: @LSTupdates
• Desperate Law Schools Are Admitting Way Too Many Poorly Qualified Students from Slate.
• Bar Exam Scores Drop to Their Lowest Point in Decades
• Law School Applicants: Things to Think About When You Apply
• At the Nexus of Business & Law: Wharton JD/MBA
• Venture For America: Champion Of U.S. Entrepreneurship
• Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman