Pre-law students, law school students and other members of the legal education community will want to tune in on Tuesday, April 29, at 8 PM ET for a special edition of Kaplan’s live, online talk show about legal issues, The 180, when a panel of experts announces and discusses Above The Law’s 2014 law school rankings. Above The Law – the preeminent legal blog regularly visited by pre-law students, law school students, and law school administrators nationwide – emerged on the rankings scene in 2013, focusing on the outcomes law students care about most like jobs that are actually in the legal industry, school costs and alumni satisfaction, and less on inputs like LSAT scores and GPA. The live broadcast comes as Kaplan Test Prep rolls out the results of a survey taken of pre-law students in February 2014*, which found the following:
- 84% of pre-law students say that where a law school places in the rankings is important in determining where they will enroll. Studies by PayScale.com show that in general, the higher a law school ranks, the higher its graduates’ starting salaries are.
- A majority (55%) say they expect to incur at least $50,000 in debt to finance their law school education. Of that group, 17% think they will incur over $100,000 in debt.
- Pre-law students surveyed were nearly unanimous in saying a law school’s academic quality (99%), bar exam passage rate (95%), and job placement statistics (94%) should have a lot of weight in determining where a law school places in the rankings.
"We're excited to be working with Kaplan to release our Second Annual ATL Law School rankings on their live webcast," said Elie Mystal, editor, Above the Law, who will be on the expert panel discussing the rankings. "Our rankings are focused on what pre-law students should be concerned about when they graduate from law school, not just when they start. We think that the strength of a law school is better reflected by their job placement rates, affordability, and their skill helping graduates achieve the careers they want, as opposed to the amount of money schools spend on their faculty. We're more concerned about what the law school can do for the students than what the students can do for the prestige of the law school."“Talk to any law student and most will eventually admit that where a law school placed in the rankings was one of the biggest reasons they enrolled in a particular program,” said Jeff Thomas, executive director of pre-law programs, Kaplan Test Prep, who will also be part of the panel discussion. “At Kaplan, we tell students that the rankings can serve as good aggregate sources of data around job placement stats, academic life and other considerations, but ultimately each law school applicant should enroll in a JD program that is the best overall ‘fit’ for the individual’s professional, financial, and lifestyle goals and needs.” To attend this live, online event for pre-law and law school students, register at http://the180.com. To join in on the social media chat, use the hashtag #The180. *The e-survey included responses from 227 pre-law students who took a Kaplan LSAT course and sat for the February 2014 administration of the LSAT. **The e-survey included responses from 697 law school students who took a Kaplan Bar Review course and sat for July 2013 administrations of state bar exams across the country. About Kaplan Test Prep Kaplan Test Prep ( www.kaptest.com) is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services. Additionally, Kaplan operates new economy skills training (NEST) bootcamps designed to provide immersive training in skills that are in high demand in today’s job market and prepare participants for hire. Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)