Consider the innovative employment policy of the Internet shoe seller Zappos. At the end of a four-week training course, Zappos offers new employees a one-time offer of $3,000 to quit. In part, the company uses the offer as a screening device. If you’re the type who prefers a quick three grand to the opportunity to work at a great company, then Zappos isn’t the place for you.Is a year of law school analogous to a training course at Zappos? Zappos is paying people to bail out on a job they already have. Law students have to find jobs. And when they leave after one year, they have still acquired one year of law training. So the Amar-Ayres proposal has to include some contractual limitations imposed on the students:
Students accepting the offer would be choosing to quit not just their school, but the pursuit of a law degree. Anyone who took the money but re-enrolled in another law school—within, say, five years—would have to repay the rebate.We're going to monitor these dissatisfied customers and get after them if they decide, after a couple years off, that they want to finish their degrees?
This would guard against the risk that good students would take the rebate and transfer to another school just to reduce their cost of becoming a lawyer.Oh, yes, there are also the satisfied but devious students to worry about!
After a few years, law schools could disclose what proportion of students, with varying grade profiles, accepted the rebate offer. They could even disclose the salaries of the former students who had accepted the rebate offer and left the school. This comparative disclosure would provide applicants with powerful new information to make better decisions about whether to continue their legal careers.New statistics to disclose. You know what that means: New statistics to manipulate.