University of Iowa Lists Class of 2008 High Salary as $750,000
I got this info from a poster on JDU:
Here is the actual link to the PDF, entitled “The University of Iowa College of Law Career Services Statistics - Class of 2008.”
In response to this misleading material, I wrote the following email to Dean Carolyn Jones. It was sent out on Friday, December 4, 2009 at 3:56 pm.
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Dean Carolyn Jones
Director of Career Services Karen Klouda
Dear Carolyn and Karen,
I recently came across a report from the law school, regarding Career Services Statistics for the Class of 2008. I have provided the link to that report, at the bottom of this letter. In that PDF, I see where the high salary for 2008 graduates is listed at $750,000.
While this may be the case, isn’t this a misrepresentation to prospective law students? For example, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young obtained his law degree in 1994, from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. At that point in time, Young was on his way to leading his team to a Super Bowl victory while earning the MVP of the National Football League. I won’t pretend to know what he was earning at that point in his career. But it is very likely that he was making about $4 million in annual salary. (This is probably a conservative estimate.)
Now, would it have been fair or accurate for BYU to say that the top salary for its law Class of 1994 was $4 million? Especially, when this particular graduate has never practiced law? Surely, another school would object to this, and argue that this is misleading and gives the false impression to potential law students that they can shoot for the top of the class and command such a HUGE starting salary, right out of law school.
If the University of Iowa is going to tout this figure on its recruiting materials, it should at least put out a disclaimer, such as: “This is not representative of a law firm salary for new associates.” Or “This person is not practicing law.”
Thank you for reading this letter.
(PDF link enclosed]
Here are the responses, in full, from Dean Carolyn C. Jones. The first was sent out on Saturday, December 5, at 8:51 am. The second was sent out five minutes later.
Thank you for your note regarding salaries for our law school graduates. The very high salary you note is quite high, but it is what was reported to us. In our reporting we do not limit our graduates' salaries (which is what we are asked) to those practicing law. Indeed, a number of our graduates do not end up practicing law, but may find existing careers enhanced or new opportunities open as a result of attaining a law degree. This particularly true for our graduates who enter the business arena. The College has reported the information we have in the format asked. We believe that law students are intelligent enough to know that these are not first year associate salaries even at the largest law firms. If students want to know about salary structures at law firms across the country, our Career Services office is certainly able to provide that information in counseling sessions with our students and alumni.
Thank you for your inquiry.
Dean Carolyn Jones
Dear [Nando]-- I do think that a clarification might be useful for our stats. We will be adding that soon.
Dean Carolyn Jones
Notice how the dean states, “We believe that law students are intelligent enough to know that these are not first year associate salaries even at the largest law firms.” Okay, so the onus is on the prospective student to already know this.
One question: Then why put this on recruiting materials? After all, these figures are not meant primarily for the benefit of graduates. I’m sure not including such a disclaimer was just another one of those “errors” or oversights that law schools seem to be afflicted with.
Lastly, if you look closely at the PDF, you can see that the school claims that not a single solitary graduate was unemployed and seeking employment!! Add up the numbers, so you can verify (or disprove) what I just said. I guess they count ANYTHING as employment, i.e. stocking shelves at a warehouse, nightclub bouncer, PT sales clerk at a record store, bartender, yoga instructor, plumber’s assistant, etc.