Attorneys always just laugh at me when I bring up those median salaries. They say they're full of sh*t.
I don't think anybody lies about what they make, nor do the compilers manipulate the figures that they get, but I think some people (low earners probably) withhold their data, and some law school administrations probably employ subtle tactics to enable those underachievers to do so.
e.g. someone suggested that law school admins sent out questionnaires to the whole class, but only sent business reply envelopes to those graduating in the top 20%.
How a graduating class's median income would be reported differently in different publications, I don't know.
Maybe the data is compiled on a "rolling" basis, and ILRG and USN&WR request it at different times?
It could be on a rolling basis. I was thinking ILRG is somehow averaging over many years. However, it still seems like some their stats are way off if they are averaging and the latest usnews stats are correct. I wish I could find USNews stats of average salaries for past years