Did the class of 2011 at American University in Washington, D.C. enjoy a 79.6% "employment" rate, as its Dean Claudio Grossman, suggests? 

Or are American grads stuck in the same morass as almost every other non elite school? Law School Transpancy reports that the 2011 grads are 35.8% employed and 42.4% undermployed; add on 1.7% in judicial clerkships, and you get 79.9%.

Grossman's startling assertion came in a letter to the editor of the Washington Post, in which he beat the Dean drum that law school is terrific!! 

"In the case of American University Washington College of Law, a far more appropriate statistic than the one The Post cited is 79.6 percent, which reflects the true employment data and career choices of our 2011 graduates. These graduates are employed in positions requiring bar passage, in positions in which a law degree provides a distinct employment advantage or in other professional positions where developed legal skills are highly valued, or they are pursuing advanced degrees."

The Washington Post article, "Will law school students have jobs after they graduate," reported the school's 2011 graduates experienced a 35% employment rate. (Here is Law School Transparency's glossary, including for "Under-employment".)

And maybe Grossman is right. If you make a latte, and spill it on your customer while serving them - as well as your average debt load of $151,318 - it is extremely helpful to know whether you were negligent or just pissed off and might bear personal liability. 

Here is a look at what Grossman was paid in recent years, including $455,496 in 2010. He would not be the first Dean to display a frightening reality gap with the lives of his students. Here are our recent reports on Case Western and University of Texas.