Of course, there are all sorts of ways that schools and students could distort the reporting of information about student-faculty interactions, but the Crotchetiness article includes some factors that should be of interest (when adapted for use in law schools) to students:
"Burke offered the following as information that should be available for every graduate department:Perhaps the Law School Survey of Student Engagement can be mined for crotchetiness data. The point is that there are many things that go on inside a law school that can make the student experience pleasant or unpleasant, and other rating systems (not ranking, which uses ordinal numbering, but a way of teasing out important factors) could go in this direction.
- For individual faculty members who have been in a department over a long enough time to have a good sample, precise information on the numbers of students they have advised on doctoral programs, their completion and dropout rates, time to degree, and specific jobs earned by new Ph.D.’s.
- A list of any “foreseeable changes” in personnel, including relevant tenure clocks, retirements or possible moves.
- Complete data on funding of graduate students — how much money, sources of funds, how long money lasts (for duration of degree or shorter).
- Average time for Ph.D. completion in a department.
- The exact process — both official and unofficial — of how graduate students are evaluated.
- The true scholarlystrengths of a department, acknowledging that many departments don’t have the depth to cover all periods or regions, and that just having one person with a particular specialty may not make a Ph.D. program viable."