Grantee Research

Grantee Research

Through our grantmaking activities, AccessLex Institute provides financial support for research that is aligned with our core research priorities and complements our own research and data collection. 

Timing Law School

Frank McIntyre and Michael Simkovic

September 2016

Professors Frank McIntyre and Michael Simkovic investigate whether economic conditions at labor market entry predict long-term differences in law graduate earnings. They find that unemployment levels at graduation continue to predict law earnings premiums within 4 years after graduation for earners at the high end and middle of the distribution. However, the relation fades as law graduates gain experience and the difference in lifetime earnings is moderate. Outcomes data available prior to matriculation do not predict unemployment or starting salaries at graduation. Earnings premiums are not predicted by BLS projected job openings. While changes in cohort size predict changes in the percent of law graduates practicing law, we find little evidence that changes in cohort size predict changes in earnings. This suggests that law graduates who switch to other occupations when law cohort sizes increase are not hurt financially by larger cohorts. For medium to high earning graduates, successfully timing law school predicts a higher value of a law degree ex-post, but simulations show that no strategy for ex-ante timing is readily available. To learn more, visit a recent ABA Journal article on the findings.

Download the paper from the Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

Value of a Law Degree by College Major

Frank McIntyre and Michael Simkovic

March 2016

With grant support from AccessLex Institute and the Law School Admissions Council, Professors Frank McIntyre and Michael Simkovic released their paper titled Value of a Law Degree by College Major that examines the increase in earnings from a law degree relative to a bachelor’s degree for graduates who majored in different fields in college.

Download the paper from the Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

NASFAA's Recommendations for Improving Consumer Information Related to Graduate and Professional School Costs and Financing

NASFAA (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators)

March 2016

Report One: "Focusing Federal Student Aid Websites On Graduate And Professional Students" aimed to make recommendations for StudentAid.gov and StudentLoans.gov that would expand their focus to include the needs of graduate and professional students. The central recommendation of the report is for the Department of Education to create a new "landing page" that would allow the user to customize their experience based on school type and individual attributes, ensuring that the user is provided only relevant information.

Report Two: "Market Research on Law School Student Aid Award Letters and Shopping Sheet Information" aimed to identify what information on the financial aid award letter and the Department of Education's Shopping Sheet could be modified to create a document that better assists students applying to, or currently attending, law school.

Foundations for Practice

Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS)

July 2016

With grant support from AccessLex Institute, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) administered a national survey in 37 states to gather input from the legal profession on skills, competencies, and characteristics necessary for a new lawyer’s success. For more information about the project and to read the full report visit iaals.du.edu/foundations

 

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