Nov. 28, 2011—The University of Denver Sturm College of Law reaffirmed its commitment to full transparency when it completed the American Bar Association recent law graduate jobs survey, finding 90.5 percent of 2010 graduates had jobs within nine months of graduation.
DU Assistant Dean for Career Opportunities Eric Bono says the University recognizes there are concerns at many schools regarding the transparency and veracity of law school employment data.
"We share these concerns and have worked hard to make the reporting of our employment statistics reliable, accurate and as transparent as possible," Bono says.
The Sturm College of Law took the additional step of submitting its data to the DU's Office of Institutional Compliance & Internal Audit, an independent office reporting directly to the Audit Committee of the University of Denver's Board of Trustees. The auditors tested the law school's data on a sample basis and made suggestions for refining the reporting process.
"Letting the world know that our data can be trusted is important to us," Bono says. "We hope that eventually the ABA will audit data from all law schools."
Transparency is also critical, says Bono. "In our report, we explain exactly how our employment figures are calculated." For example, the final figure includes those who hold non-professional jobs, though these positions account for only 4% of graduates' jobs. That figure also includes part time, as well as full time, employment. Notably, many part time jobs lead to full time jobs.
The report also provides data on salaries and types of employment. Bono says, "Our website makes the raw data available to the public, so that they can fully understand the employment picture experienced by our graduates."
The law school's full report is available to anyone online at http://www.law.du.edu/index.php/career-development-and-opportunities/employment-statistics.
While Bono says 90.5 percent employment nine months from graduation is respectable in a down economy, his office is committed to bettering that number. The Office of Career Development and Opportunities has expanded employer outreach and created a Student Development Program that provides job search programming for students throughout law school.
The Student Development Program continues even after graduation as DU follows up with each graduating class for up to 9 months after graduation (and beyond, if necessary) to offer job search assistance. Additionally, the office started a Job Matching Program, which puts students and graduates in touch with employers with needs that fit their profiles.