ABA Proposes Requiring More Data On Attrition

The ABA Journal reports that the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar’s Standards Review Committee is proposing a requirement for law schools to provide additional data on attrition to promote greater transparency.

Under the proposal, "law schools would be required to provide more detailed information about attrition rates for admitted students under a proposed change in the reporting requirements being requested by an ABA committee. Currently, law schools are required to disclose on their annual information reports the overall number and percentage of admitted students from each class in the previous academic year who flunked out, transferred to another school or left for non-academic reasons."

The approved resolution requires law schools to "break those numbers down based on the admitted students’ LSAT scores and undergraduate grade-point averages."

"The committee says more detailed data reporting is necessary to promote greater transparency and provide greater consumer protection for law school applicants. It would also assist the Accreditation Committee and the section’s governing council in assessing whether a school is operating in compliance with the accreditation standards."

How would this data promote greater transparency? "Committee member Peter Joy, who drafted the proposed resolution, said the way attrition data is currently reported, while accurate, can be misleading, particularly to an applicant with weak academic credentials, who may not realize that the academic attrition rate for similarly situated students may be much higher than the school’s reported rate overall."

The committee hopes that the new reporting requirement will arm potential law students with all of the information that they need to make truly informed decisions about whether to attend law school. And it will also help to determine if the lower admissions standards are having a great impact on attrition.

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