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Law Schools Face More Pressure to Provide Job Data--Maybe; Ugandan Women Get Rare Chance to Go to Law School

Vivia Chen

October 25, 2010

At Least They're Talking About It:

The Law School Transparency project, a nonprofit group that's been asking (make that begging) law schools for detailed employment data, is finally getting some high-level support. ABA president Stephen Zack said that the organization "is considering requiring law schools to disclose cost and employment statistics to all accepted law school applicants," reports The National Law Journal.

Some ABA groups, like the one on legal education and another on law school accreditation, are studying the issue, too.

Why the sudden interest by the ABA? Well, the ABA is finally noticing what a lot of us have been clamoring about for a while: the irrationally high number of law school applications, "at a time when law firms are shedding jobs." ABA's Zack "attributes some of that disconnect to applicants who lack an accurate sense of what lawyers do or how much they earn."

"What's out there right now is Boston Legal or L.A. Law," Zack told the NLJ. "There's a total lack of awareness out there. They hear these astronomical salaries which reflect just the top 3 percent of students who go to the top ten law schools."

Let's hope that the ABA has more luck than the Transparency project in getting law schools to cough up the information. So far, only Ave Maria School of Law has agreed to provide the information.

Msjd_uganda1 Good Reason to Go to Law School--For a Change

I'm not a cheerleader for going to law school, but this is different: Ms. JD, an organization that promotes women in the legal profession, started a Global Education Fund to help women in developing countries pursue a legal education. The inaugural recipients are Joaninne Nanyange and Monica Athieno (pictured right), two Ugandan women who will study law at Makerere University in Kampala, reports the NLJ:

Nanyange intends to use her law degree to assist women and children as a human rights lawyer. She paid her own way through elementary and secondary schools despite the death of her mother and abandonment of her and four younger siblings by her father.

Athieno aspires to become a judge and help develop the rule of law in Uganda. She sold vegetables at a local market to pay for her secondary school education.

Women's rights in Uganda are greatly compromised. "In Uganda today, girls and [widows] are faced with challenges from the relatives of a deceased father or husband, they threaten to take the few assets left," Athieno told Ms. JD. "If widows had knowledge about where to seek refuge, they would not be abused in this way." Moreover, Ms. JD notes that only "3 percent of the adult women in Uganda have access to higher education and 45 percent have never received any schooling," reports the NLJ.

Do you have topics you'd like to discuss or tips to share? E-mail The Careerist's chief blogger, Vivia Chen, at VChen@alm.com.


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About The Careerist

The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: VChen@alm.com

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