So it's no surprise that a few prestigious ABA schools flunked an audit of employment reporting. Shit, we should be looking skeptically - or giving ludicrously high praise - to the half that achieved 95% compliance. The whole point of an audit is that entities fail them. Why else would one go looking except to find something? You don't see me showing a pan in the river just to say the water's clean; no, I want some fucking gold.
And gold is this, my friends:
Just five out of 10 reviewed schools posted compliance rates of 95 percent or more. A sixth school missed the mark by a hair, posting a compliance rate of 94.8 percent. Two more came in at 86 percent, and a final two were found to have compliance rates in the mid-50 percent range. One of the lowest scorers appeared to have created supporting documentation after it was told it had been chosen for audit, the memo said.That's not poor compliance. That's flaunting.
Holy hand grenades, ABA, these places aren't IBM or Monsanto. They're in one industry and deal with a few hundred lines on a spreadsheet for each class. Most of them have been voluntarily keeping such records for years.
On the menu of difficulty for institutional compliance, the ABA's regulations are saccharine baby food. Considering that it's incredibly easy for most law schools to hire highly skilled professionals collecting that lifetime lottery premium, one would think they could handle compliance questions over an after-work beer and that someone just wouldn't fucking ignore creating supporting documentation until after the notice of audit shows up.
"So, Carl, this isn't, like, legal advice or anything, but, I mean, really, you don't have to create any of this stuff until they're going to audit you. I mean, otherwise you're just wasting energy and paper - let's try and run a green law school, you know? If the ABA really wants us to have this shit, they'll ask for it."
"But what if we get busted?"
"One of two things will happen. Either everyone else does it, too, if they're smart like us - then it's an industry problem and nothing happens. Or we're it, and then we fire the temp who already left, pretend that we were confused about what we were supposed to have, we're a footnote in a memo, and next time around we're bound to improve."
"Thinking like this is why we're one of the top 150 law schools in America."
Plus, the ABA is going out of its way to assist in developing defense arguments:
“Our documentation requirements are quite specific and some think complex, so it is reasonable that in the first year of this review, there may be confusion over what we require,” Adams wrote. “The two schools that appear to have created their documentation after the fact raise more serious problems, but they may also be able to explain that what we perceive is not accurate.”Imagine a federal prosecutor putting that disclaimer in its press release on a murder or massive RICO case. You could throw a textbook in a law school and hit ten people who understand ejusdem generis. But suddenly it's herculean to check the right boxes and keep a file?
And there, too, is the redoubtable Barry C., opining that the issues were mostly minor, the underlying data appears accurate, we've always been at war with Eastasia, they're not expanding the scope of audits, and - to this blog's understanding chagrin - names will not released.
So, sadly, we will never know the institution or institutions that apparently didn't even bother to have supporting paperwork until after they learned of the audit.
But know this: you, John Doe Law School, are an inspiration to us all. May the ABA bless you and keep you, and make its face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you, may it lift its countenance onto you, and grant you lemmings for all the days to come.
Amen, and scam on.