Template talk:Infobox law school

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Universities (Rated Template-class)
WikiProject icon This template is within the scope of WikiProject Universities, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of universities and colleges on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 Template  This template does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
WikiProject Law (Rated Template-class)
WikiProject icon This template is within the scope of WikiProject Law, an attempt at providing a comprehensive, standardised, pan-jurisdictional and up-to-date resource for the legal field and the subjects encompassed by it.
 Template  This template does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.

Add Budget Section[edit]

A budget section should be added to the template (as exists in the template for Universities). — Preceding unsigned comment added by ResearchGuru2009 (talkcontribs) 12:17, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

coordinates location in infobox v. title?[edit]

While including coordinates is helpful, they tend to clutter the infobox. In this regard, I recommend changing the template to have them display in the title (and footnote) only. Not in the box itself. In a related concern, the infobox calls for city, state/province, country, etc., but does not call for more precise location, e.g., street address. If coordinates are helpful to precisely locate a campus, why not include (or allow) street addresses? Comments are encouraged. --S. Rich (talk) 06:24, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

I don't like the idea of a street address. I think generally Wikipedia delves into unencyclopedic detail about article subjects, and street address would be another example. Most articles about law schools have websites listed in the articles - it's pretty easy for a reader to find the precise address of the institution. Plus, although perhaps not a compelling argument, it just looks weird.
At the same time, I have a couple of other comments. First, I don't see why country should be a required parameter. Just like in other articles, it's unnecessary to use country in the infobox if the city (and state if in the U.s.) make it clear where it is. Even if others disagree, at least the documentation should make it clear that country is required. Second, I disagree with Stevan that coordinates clutter the infobox. It makes far more sense to me to include the coordinates just below the location in the infobox. Why have to look in two different spots? I confess, though, that many other articles don't do it the way I prefer, but I don't know if it's intentional, or if they're copying each other, or what.--Bbb23 (talk) 14:33, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
The street address is common in educational articles, as the building is a good part of what makes a school notable. tedder (talk) 16:06, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Hard to fathom that a school's architecture is what makes an educational institution notable. That aside, that still doesn't explain why including the street address is necessary. How many ways do we have to give the reader to find the school (and some schools cover acres and the street address is just one point on those acres)? But, hey, I've often been on the minority end of issues like this at Wikipedia, and after arguing my case, I step back and allow majority rule, no matter how wrong all of you are. :-) --Bbb23 (talk) 16:34, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Personally, I prefer the coordinates in the infobox, makes it easy to right next to the location info. As to an address, I'm not sure we need it for law schools. I certainly understand for k-12 articles (though I would personally nix them there) as people might be looking for the address for the school and it is possible that Wikipedia's entry is more accessible for locating the address. But for a law school (at least in the US, so I have some obvious bias) what would you need a law school's address for? I've needed it for job applications, but I went to the school's website for that. Maybe you might need it to submit an application, but why would you use Wikipedia for that? As in, this is an encyclopedia article, and you would usually use such to learn about the topic in a broader sense, not for specific details such as a postal address or say when Con Law I starts or what classroom is Biz Org in. Certainly we are not paper and could conceivably handle adding all minutia, but to what end? Lines must be drawn somewhere, and for me, the address seems beyond Wikipedia's scope (or at least for law schools, and we must treat educational institutions differently when it comes to infoboxes). Aboutmovies (talk) 07:36, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Through my own efforts, prompted by these comments, my concern is OBE. That is, I've deleted the street addresses for the various law schools in California that I've been following. As other institutional infoboxes call for coordinates in the box, I'll leave well enough alone. Thanks for your comments, About, Bbb, and Tedder, you all helped me resolve my issue. --S. Rich (talk) 15:15, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

This is certainly a case of WP:OSE, but an example of "why is the address important?" is a school a few blocks away from me, the Southwestern Law School because of the Bullocks Wilshire building. Here's a relevant discussion at the schools project, and here's their article guidelines, showing a consensus for adding the address, though phone numbers are very unwelcome. Again, that doesn't apply to universities and law schools, but it's an example of a similar area where addresses are seen as important. tedder (talk) 20:27, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Bar Pass Rate[edit]

The guideline says post the most recent bar pass rate. Well, the results for the February 2011 California Bar are out and I added them to the infoboxes for various California law schools. Of course, there is push back from some editors because a fewer number of students from certain schools take the February bar compared to the July bar. Seems there have been IP editor reverts on Stanford and UC Berkeley Law Schools as the results were 4/5 for abysmal 80% pass rates. (Interestingly, USC has a 100% pass rate with 5/5, but no editor has reverted that edit.) At the same time, there are various other schools, both ABA and non-ABA, that have from 0 to 52 students taking the Feb bar. (On the schools with no takers on the Feb bar, I've left the pass rate stand with the July 2010 number if available.)

Well, the IP editors for UCBerk and SLS have a point -- the number is small (and perhaps not significantly significant or representative), so posting the abysmal 80% unfairly demeans the school. But if that is true, then how do we handle other schools who have only a small number of takers even in the July bar?

For the ABA schools, there is an easy solution -- use the pass rate posted on the ABA profile. But then how does a reader compare the pass rate for the ABA school vs. the non-ABA school (which does not have a profile)?

I invite comments. --S. Rich (talk) 04:53, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

S. Rich: The "most recent bar exam rate" specification should be read to mean the most recent representative rate; when a school has hundreds of students taking the exam every July but only a handful in February, there is no reason to have an unrepresentative and misleading sample posted for half of the year in a prominent info box. If you disagree, please explain your reasoning. Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:19, 15 August 2011 (UTC) (P.S. I do appreciate your efforts to maintain consistency and keep things updated, though. Thanks for that.)
Rather than having specifications that "should be read to mean" such-and-such, I suggest that they actually read such-and-such. (After all, that is how laws are written and read.) But what is a representative rate and how is a representative rate determined? WP:IBX basically says WP:KISS, and by specifying the "most recent results" KISS is what the original infobox was set up to do. In light of my 2 questions here and my comments above, how should the guidelines/specifications be written?--S. Rich (talk) 13:46, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Putting in the word "representative" just invites chaos as to how to interpret that. However, because generally there twice as many applicants for the California bar exam in July as there are in February, I propose the following language:

The most recent bar pass rate in percent. However, in states with two bar exams per year, when the most recent exam has at least 35% fewer applicants than the preceding exam, the second most recent exam should be used.

I'm not wedded to that language - more than happy if someone can come up with a less awkward wording. I would be against doing it on a school-by-school basis, though, as too complicated.--Bbb23 (talk) 20:20, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Not seeing any new comments, I think I'll WP:BOLDly change the parameter to call for ABA data for US law schools, Cal. State Bar for Cal non-ABA schools, and any other RS for non-US schools.--S. Rich (talk) 21:56, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Besides adding the specific parameters to be used, I've limited the guideline to "first time takers". This allows for school to school comparisons based on similar, verifiable data. Also, I've limited the reported percentage to whole numbers. While the LSAC profile may give a 1/100th of a percent figure, there are three reasons to simply present whole numbers: 1. Adding beyond the decimal point is False precision. 2. Data from other sources such as the AL and CA state bars is not as "precise". 3. The infobox should be uncluttered and adding data such as meaningless XX.xx% figures is not helpful to the readers.--S. Rich (talk) 22:23, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

I appreciate your efforts to inject some uniformity in the bar passage rate, but where exactly are we getting the ABA data from, and when do they get it? For example, you changed the UCLA Law School article rate and cite here. The "cite" is really just an explanation of sorts. How can the reader verify it?--Bbb23 (talk) 23:54, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
The number comes from the ABA profile, which is the bottom line in the infobox. The profile data sheet is labeled "Official ABA Data". Where and how they calculate the numbers is something I don't know. At times they say "# reporting" and "% reporting". So it's unclear if they are getting the numbers from the school or some other source. I thought about giving the percent a <ref but that ref would just lead to the profile already part of the infobox. --S. Rich (talk) 00:41, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
Got it. I've changed the UCLA School of Law infobox in a couple of ways. First, I made the profile link to the LSAC website rather than the pdf file and I gave it the name they use. Second, I cited to that same website for the bar pass rate. I think that should do it, although I don't understand why the LSAC doesn't give the year it's basing its stats on, seems like a major hole to me. As a real nit, I don't understand why it's https rather than http - a common programming error calling a non-secure page secure. Stupid.--Bbb23 (talk) 01:04, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. If you don't get to it yourself, I'll follow your format for the other California ABA schools. WRT the https question, could it be that the ABA uses https to help prevent hacking the figures? I'm hardly a geek in this regard, but I can see a temptation to inappropriately edit numbers so as to promote one school over others. At the same time, the fact that they present meaningless XX.xx% breakdowns indicates a lack of sophistication in crunching the numbers. --S. Rich (talk) 05:10, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't think https has any effect on hackers. It is intended to signal the browser to use a higher level of encryption. Thus, on a page where you log in with a userid and password, https should be used so your information is encrypted when it travels over the network. AFAIK, to use it on an informational page like this one is senseless.--Bbb23 (talk) 13:58, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── An issue has come up WRT the infobox for Thomas M. Cooley Law School. An IP editor put in a higher (84%) pass rate for the school's Michigan first time takers. As these infoboxes are overwhelmingly for ABA schools, I think using the overall first time pass rate (as reported on the ABA data) is the most even handed way of providing the data. At present the infobox documentation does not specify. So I propose adding documentation that is more specific. --S. Rich (talk) 02:59, 11 August 2012 (UTC) ADDENDUM: The IP editor's edit for 84% may have been a typo, or may be based on a misreading of the ABA data which says 84.53% is the pass-rate overall for Michigan (Cooley and other schools combined). Moreover, my 72% pass rate was a typo. The correct number is 74%. 03:20, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Motto in English parameter?[edit]

The infobox template for universities has a parameter/line for giving the Greek/Latin motto in English. Any reason why we shouldn't add it to this template?--S. Rich (talk) 00:56, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

I support that change. While you're at it, can you please remove Latin from all court opinions? Greek doesn't seem to be a problem. :-) --Bbb23 (talk) 20:22, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Fine by me to add it. Aboutmovies (talk) 05:39, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Add annual tuition field[edit]

It seems to me that the "annual tuition" parameter of this template should be removed. Prices of goods and services are generally not considered to be encyclopedic information; see WP:NOPRICES. If there is no objection, I plan to remove this parameter from this template in a few days. —Bkell (talk) 04:03, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

I removed this parameter. —Bkell (talk) 20:33, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

This rationale does not apply in the post-secondary education context. A university or college degree is not a "product" in the sense meant by the NOPRICES link. Readers don't need to know much a can of Coke costs, but the tuition paid directly by students (particularly in countries like Canada with ostensibly public post-secondary education systems) is very important information. This NOPRICES rule already doesn't apply to law schools, as tuition is regularly listed in the body text of law school wiki pages. It makes sense to include tuition in the infobox in the same way that endowments are included. Vivavoce23 (talk) 17:35, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

I agree. This is not the same category as consumer products. There are huge social and political implications to tuition, and it is important information to get up front. (talk) 19:39, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
I agree. Tuition is not akin to the price of consumer products. This is important information that helps us understand how accessible a law school is. It is socio-politically important, unlike consumer goods. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:20, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
I would like to see some input from members at WikiProject Universities and WikiProject Law, not just from anonymous IP editors and editors with no edit history other than this talk page. --Ahecht (TALK
) 14:57, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
I vote to keep tuition out of infoboxes. Net price is a better number. Tuition costs even at the same institution vary widely by student residence and student status, and rarely reflect the actual out-of-pocket cost to the consumer. There's a large discussion on this topic in the undergraduate admissions community. At best, tuition costs will have to be updated annually. At worst, they actively mislead readers. Runner1928 (talk) 17:42, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
I'm not an expert on law schools but I'm wary of including tuition in these articles in a place where we can't add any nuance or context as Runner1928 describes. ElKevbo (talk) 02:31, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
Oppose inclusion. Too many law schools and too much fluctuation. GregJackP Boomer! 08:52, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
There really isn't any less nuance with the annual tuition amount than with the endowment or faculty numbers, for example. Endowments are allocated in many different ways (fund management expenses, building and capital expenses, faculty salaries, research, student assistance) and the number alone doesn't mean much for helping understand the law school. Ditto for faculty numbers (e.g. how are adjuncts counted? how many Faculty members actually teach vs. research?). This isn't to say that information shouldn't be included, just that it makes no sense to suggest that there is some kind of test for fields in the Infobox of "Is all the context and nuance captured in that field?" The fact that tuition changes ("fluctuation") every year is not a reason to exclude this information; making this change once a year is a very straightforward and minor edit (as with endowments and faculty numbers). Readers can and do get the full nuance and context from the body text of the article. Perhaps these concerns suggest that the average financial aid package should be included in the infobox as well, not that tuition should be excluded.Vivavoce23 (talk) 00:56, 21 August 2015 (UTC)


Currently, this infobox's 'ranking' section automatically adds 'USNWR' as a prefix. USNWR rankings are not applicable outside of the US. Can the rankings section be changed to allow choice of ranking publication, or perhaps direct to an international ranking, such as the QS Subject Rankings for Law? Tlönorbis (talk) 02:47, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 18 August 2015[edit]

Please add an "annual tuition" field to the law school infobox template. This information is just as important for readers as knowing what a law school's endowment is. Vivavoce23 (talk) 15:53, 18 August 2015‎ (UTC)

@Vivavoce23: Not done Please see the #Remove annual tuition parameter section above. --Ahecht (TALK
) 16:57, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

@Ahecht:The above rationale with respect to prices for goods and services does NOT apply in the context of law schools and post-secondary education generally. Higher education is not a consumer good, and the price paid directly by students is very important information for understanding that particular institution. There is currently already a practice of including tuition in the body text of law school wikipedia pages, and it makes sense to include in the infobox as well.Vivavoce23 (talk) 17:39, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit template-protected}} template. Ahecht (TALK
) 19:04, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

Remove endowment[edit]

There are too many schools and too much fluctuation. There is not enough nuance and context. The Infoxbox doesn't show how the endowment is used. It also needs to be updated every year. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vivavoce23 (talkcontribs) 05:30, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Remove faculty numbers[edit]

There are too many schools and too much fluctuation. There is not enough nuance and context. The Infoxbox doesn't show how the faculty are divided (tenured, assistant, associate, adjunct). It doesn't show whether they teach or now. It also needs to be updated every year. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vivavoce23 (talkcontribs) 05:31, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

You're not as clever as you think you are. ElKevbo (talk) 11:27, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Add religious affiliation field[edit]

I propose adding a field to enter the school's religious affiliation, as there are a number of American law schools that are associated with a particular church or religion. This would follow the format used by Template:Infobox University, where the displayed field name is "Religious affiliation." Ergo Sum 23:01, 12 May 2016 (UTC)

Reiterating the above, it seems quite logical that there be such a field. Just as many American universities have a religious affiliation, so too do their constituent law schools. Ergo Sum 17:52, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

After allowing more than a year without any comments, I am re-proposing this edit. The full code to achieve this is currently in this template's sandbox. It is as follows: inserting
| label3 = Religious affiliation
| data3 = {{{religious affiliation|}}}

after the parent parameter, as well as renumbering all of the subsequent parameters. Ergo Sum 19:45, 15 January 2018 (UTC)

No objection for over a year, so  Done — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 09:25, 16 January 2018 (UTC)