UI College of Law in line with new national requirements


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The University of Iowa College of Law is ahead of most national law schools when it comes to reporting and publishing jobs and salaries of recent graduates online, one UI official said.

The American Bar Association's questionnaire requires law schools nationwide to annually report jobs and salaries of their graduates. Recent changes, approved earlier this month by a legal education committee, will require law schools to report directly to the bar association, send placement data within a year after a class graduates, and include more specifics about jobs and salaries.

Karen Klouda, the UI law school's director of Career Services, said the school has always reported directly to the American Bar Association in a detailed and timely matter.

"We've always collected accurate data and submitted it to the ABA as required, and we will continue to do so," she said.

Law schools previously sent data to the bar association through an outside organization, the National Association for Legal Career Professionals.

The changes to the national questionnaire come after an onslaught of lawsuits from jobless law-school graduates and public criticism from United States senators and federal panels that review accrediting agencies.

U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, expressed concern about the bar association's accreditation policies earlier this year.

"The ABA has a lot of work to do to show the public that it takes its role of accreditation seriously and that it will revises its standards to present accurate, complete information to potential students," Grassley wrote in an email to The Daily Iowan on Tuesday. "I hope this revised questionnaire will be a step in the right direction and that there's a lot more to come."

Though the association will not report salaries by individual institutions — to prevent students from making school-by-school comparisons — the UI posts that information online.

The UI law school reports admissions numbers, bar-passage data, and employment and salary data for the last three years on its website. Information is made available within a year of each class's graduation. Data for the class of 2011 will be available next March.

Second-year UI law student Michael Appel thinks asking law schools for more specifics is always a good idea.

"It's a step in the right direction," he said. "I don't think it will help what all schools are doing. The American Bar Association still needs to follow up and ask, 'Are the law schools being honest?' with the results they publish."

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