U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

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JCougar
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby JCougar » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:12 pm

Indifferent wrote:Biglaw firms that normally hire UIUC candidates aren't going to stop hiring them because the admissions office was reporting that the school's median was relatively more competitive than it was.


Biglaw firms are responsive to their clients. They can't just hire someone because they're an alumni and a client will automatically be okay with paying $300/hour for that associate to work on their case. If clients are going to pay that much, they're going to demand that they have top grades from the most competitive schools. Since Illinois is no longer a very competitive school relatively speaking, it's going to be much harder for Biglaw partners to justify their billing rates to clients.

It's all about what the client wants. I almost had an offer for a 1L internship at a V50 firm because I used to work for one of their biggest clients. They were going to ask the legal department to approve my work, but unfortunately, I never did any projects with their legal department there, and the only people that could vouch for me were people in HR. My grades were WELL out of range for the firm, but were I able to go back in time and make friends with the legal guys at my old job, I'd probably have a job lined up. But this just goes to show how important client requests are, and how responsive Biglaw is to clients. They don't just have the freedom to hire alumni because they like hiring alumni. They hire you because they can sell your services at an elite rate to clients.

When clients get wind that Illinois' prestige is based on cooked books, they're really not going to be happy paying for that prestige.

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Thirteen
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby Thirteen » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:18 pm

JCougar wrote:
Indifferent wrote:Biglaw firms that normally hire UIUC candidates aren't going to stop hiring them because the admissions office was reporting that the school's median was relatively more competitive than it was.


Biglaw firms are responsive to their clients. They can't just hire someone because they're an alumni and a client will automatically be okay with paying $300/hour for that associate to work on their case. If clients are going to pay that much, they're going to demand that they have top grades from the most competitive schools. Since Illinois is no longer a very competitive school relatively speaking, it's going to be much harder for Biglaw partners to justify their billing rates to clients.

It's all about what the client wants. I almost had an offer for a 1L internship at a V50 firm because I used to work for one of their biggest clients. They were going to ask the legal department to approve my work, but unfortunately, I never did any projects with their legal department there, and the only people that could vouch for me were people in HR. My grades were WELL out of range for the firm, but were I able to go back in time and make friends with the legal guys at my old job, I'd probably have a job lined up. But this just goes to show how important client requests are, and how responsive Biglaw is to clients. They don't just have the freedom to hire alumni because they like hiring alumni. They hire you because they can sell your services at an elite rate to clients.

When clients get wind that Illinois' prestige is based on cooked books, they're really not going to be happy paying for that prestige.


I agree with most of what you are saying, but I don't really agree that "Illinois is no longer a very competitive school relatively speaking." The lower numbers might have been a one-year aberration, so I think we should wait until the numbers from the audit are published before making any assumptions about the caliber of incoming students at the law school.

It will be interesting to see how things play out over the next few weeks/months.

splittinghairs
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby splittinghairs » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:20 pm

They could have been reaching for a 168, thinking they could build upon the gains of the last couple years. When the applicant pool wasn't as big as the year before they probably couldn't do it. They rejected a bunch of people like you, who in the past they would have accepted to get that 167 median. Also IUB was handing out much larger scholarships this year.

So UIUC probably over reached, dinged too many splitters, and lost too many other splitters (who they did accept) to the lower T14, WUSTL, IUB, etc etc.

And since their class is a combination of splitters, and reverse splitters, they had too many reverse splitters take the offer and too many splitters reject them.

Even though 163 was the 25% in the past it was also probably pretty close to the 45% too. That's how they build the class. And if you fuck up yeild it could easily become the 50%.


I was thinking along the lines of dessert fox's point as well when i first saw this.

However, if this is true and UIUC had too many reverse splitters with 163 lsat or below matriculate, then shouldnt we expect the median to either be higher or at worst stay the same as the year before?

According to the TLS profile for Illinois "If your LSAT score and GPA are at or above the school’s medians (3.8 and 166), you will have a decent shot of getting in."

I'm not entirely sure if that median was referring to the class of 2013 or 2012 (someone else may have to look up their reported median for 2013 just to make sure), but if that median is correct for the previous year, then why would the "real" median for this year be only 3.7? If more reverse splitters matriculated than they expected, we should be expecting their median to rise not lower by 0.1.

If both median LSAT and GPA went down compared to last year's reported lsat and GPA, that could suggest something more sinister was going on and that things had been tampered with for more than just 1 year.

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Indifferent
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby Indifferent » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:24 pm

JCougar wrote:
Indifferent wrote:Biglaw firms that normally hire UIUC candidates aren't going to stop hiring them because the admissions office was reporting that the school's median was relatively more competitive than it was.


Biglaw firms are responsive to their clients. They can't just hire someone because they're an alumni and a client will automatically be okay with paying $300/hour for that associate to work on their case. If clients are going to pay that much, they're going to demand that they have top grades from the most competitive schools. Since Illinois is no longer a very competitive school relatively speaking, it's going to be much harder for Biglaw partners to justify their billing rates to clients.

It's all about what the client wants. I almost had an offer for a 1L internship at a V50 firm because I used to work for one of their biggest clients. They were going to ask the legal department to approve my work, but unfortunately, I never did any projects with their legal department there, and the only people that could vouch for me were people in HR. My grades were WELL out of range for the firm, but were I able to go back in time and make friends with the legal guys at my old job, I'd probably have a job lined up. But this just goes to show how important client requests are, and how responsive Biglaw is to clients. They don't just have the freedom to hire alumni because they like hiring alumni. They hire you because they can sell your services at an elite rate to clients.

When clients get wind that Illinois' prestige is based on cooked books, they're really not going to be happy paying for that prestige.

While this may be true for top tier firms with top tier clients, I think you're over estimating 1) the demand of clients that their lawyers be from one school or another and 2) the amount of attention clients are paying to law school rankings. Clients obviously want top talent working on their projects, but I think most clients, especially those that have been dealing with the firm for a long time, are going to assume that people being brought into the firm are on-par with the client's expectations.

I am not saying that some clients might be offended that a UIUCer is working on their case rather than a Wash Uer, I don't think that would be a major issue at the majority of firms that regularly hire from UIUC. If a client is working with a partner from UIUC and has consistently received good work from him, the client is not going to balk when that partner hires a UIUCer just because of some median-reporting scandal.

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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:25 pm

@Thirteen: Competitive in what regard. It is unlikely that Illinois law students will make inroads competing against Chicago & Northwestern law students for biglaw placements.

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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby splittinghairs » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:25 pm

JCougar wrote:
Indifferent wrote:Biglaw firms that normally hire UIUC candidates aren't going to stop hiring them because the admissions office was reporting that the school's median was relatively more competitive than it was.


Biglaw firms are responsive to their clients. They can't just hire someone because they're an alumni and a client will automatically be okay with paying $300/hour for that associate to work on their case. If clients are going to pay that much, they're going to demand that they have top grades from the most competitive schools. Since Illinois is no longer a very competitive school relatively speaking, it's going to be much harder for Biglaw partners to justify their billing rates to clients.

It's all about what the client wants. I almost had an offer for a 1L internship at a V50 firm because I used to work for one of their biggest clients. They were going to ask the legal department to approve my work, but unfortunately, I never did any projects with their legal department there, and the only people that could vouch for me were people in HR. My grades were WELL out of range for the firm, but were I able to go back in time and make friends with the legal guys at my old job, I'd probably have a job lined up. But this just goes to show how important client requests are, and how responsive Biglaw is to clients. They don't just have the freedom to hire alumni because they like hiring alumni. They hire you because they can sell your services at an elite rate to clients.

When clients get wind that Illinois' prestige is based on cooked books, they're really not going to be happy paying for that prestige.


Dude you act like clients religiously keep up with USnews rankings on law schools every year like ppl on TLS do. Truth is once ppl develop some sort of reputation on a certain school it tends to remain. Lay ppl/clients wont care if Illinois slips in the rankings at all, but im sure law school applicants and their parents will.

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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby soj » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:26 pm

splittinghairs wrote:I was thinking along the lines of dessert fox's point as well when i first saw this.

However, if this is true and UIUC had too many reverse splitters with 163 lsat or below matriculate, then shouldnt we expect the median to either be higher or at worst stay the same as the year before?

According to the TLS profile for Illinois "If your LSAT score and GPA are at or above the school’s medians (3.8 and 166), you will have a decent shot of getting in."

I'm not entirely sure if that median was referring to the class of 2013 or 2012 (someone else may have to look up their reported median for 2013 just to make sure), but if that median is correct for the previous year, then why would the "real" median for this year be only 3.7? If more reverse splitters matriculated than they expected, we should be expecting their median to rise not lower by 0.1.

If both median LSAT and GPA went down compared to last year's reported lsat and GPA, that could suggest something more sinister was going on and that things had been tampered with for more than just 1 year.


Maybe the problem wasn't that too many reverse splitters enrolled, but that not enough admits at or above both medians enrolled. The rest of DF's analysis could still be correct. All schools (even those playing the splitter/reverse-splitter game) need some students at or above both medians to keep medians afloat. This is usually where the big $$ comes in, but maybe it didn't work out for Illinois this year.
Last edited by soj on Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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JCougar
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby JCougar » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:27 pm

Thirteen wrote:I agree with most of what you are saying, but I don't really agree that "Illinois is no longer a very competitive school relatively speaking." The lower numbers might have been a one-year aberration, so I think we should wait until the numbers from the audit are published before making any assumptions about the caliber of incoming students at the law school.

It will be interesting to see how things play out over the next few weeks/months.


I agree that this mostly depends on whether this was a 1-year aberration, or whether it was an ongoing scam. Desert Fox does make a very good point about how things can come crashing down pretty quickly if you're using the typical median-gaming strategy. Even so, It's really hard to believe that it crashed all the way down to 163.

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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:28 pm

splittinghairs wrote:Dude you act like clients religiously keep up with USnews rankings on law schools every year like ppl on TLS do. Truth is once ppl develop some sort of reputation on a certain school it tends to remain. Lay ppl/clients wont care if Illinois slips in the rankings at all, but im sure law school applicants and their parents will.

Not only that, but Illinois' major market is Chicago. I mean, if ever there was a city numb to scandal and political manipulation...

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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:29 pm

Lower USNews rankings tend to lead to a lower quality of applicant. Over several years of decline, big law firms may shy away or not go as deep into a class for offers of employment.

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JCougar
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby JCougar » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:31 pm

splittinghairs wrote:Dude you act like clients religiously keep up with USnews rankings on law schools every year like ppl on TLS do. Truth is once ppl develop some sort of reputation on a certain school it tends to remain. Lay ppl/clients wont care if Illinois slips in the rankings at all, but im sure law school applicants and their parents will.


They don't check US News every year to see if a school moved up from #23 to #21, but if there's stories being reported continually on the news that your median is not 168, but 163, clients are going to hear about it, and they will be concerned.

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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby stratocophic » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:33 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:If the only other choices were similiar law schools--such as Indiana &/or WashUStL--then not much is lost since it is likely that all offered scholarships & Illinois probably will continue to offer better employment prospects.

P.S. Why hasn't anyone raised the issue that a "3" looks very similiar to an incomplete "8" ? :D
http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202483173162
http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202443758843&slreturn=1&hbxlogin=1

Not a particularly wide margin, but I do still HTH

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romothesavior
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby romothesavior » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:40 pm

Wow, this is pretty crazy. I feel sorry for the UIUC people.

splittinghairs
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby splittinghairs » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:42 pm

JCougar wrote:
splittinghairs wrote:Dude you act like clients religiously keep up with USnews rankings on law schools every year like ppl on TLS do. Truth is once ppl develop some sort of reputation on a certain school it tends to remain. Lay ppl/clients wont care if Illinois slips in the rankings at all, but im sure law school applicants and their parents will.


They don't check US News every year to see if a school moved up from #23 to #21, but if there's stories being reported continually on the news that your median is not 168, but 163, clients are going to hear about it, and they will be concerned.


Look I know some ppl may get concerned, but I just dont see actual clients being the ones concerned with this "scandal."
People who have not gone through applying to law schools just wont understand what the LSAT is about. Sure most of us know that the difference between 163 and 168 (85percentile versus 96 percentile x around 200 students), but if someone told me that some Bschool's median GMAT went down from say 650 to 600 or the difference between 39 MCAT versus 35, I wouldnt even understand how much of a difference that is.

Clients care about the quality of work, which is based on the the law firm's reputation not on some lsat issue that a school of an associate is going through.

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Jack Smirks
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby Jack Smirks » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:45 pm

I think this ought to prompt an auditing of all law schools by the ABA.

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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby Helmholtz » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:49 pm

splittinghairs wrote:
JCougar wrote:
splittinghairs wrote:Dude you act like clients religiously keep up with USnews rankings on law schools every year like ppl on TLS do. Truth is once ppl develop some sort of reputation on a certain school it tends to remain. Lay ppl/clients wont care if Illinois slips in the rankings at all, but im sure law school applicants and their parents will.


They don't check US News every year to see if a school moved up from #23 to #21, but if there's stories being reported continually on the news that your median is not 168, but 163, clients are going to hear about it, and they will be concerned.


Look I know some ppl may get concerned, but I just dont see actual clients being the ones concerned with this "scandal."
People who have not gone through applying to law schools just wont understand what the LSAT is about. Sure most of us know that the difference between 163 and 168 (85percentile versus 96 percentile x around 200 students), but if someone told me that some Bschool's median GMAT went down from say 650 to 600 or the difference between 39 MCAT versus 35, I wouldnt even understand how much of a difference that is.

Clients care about the quality of work, which is based on the the law firm's reputation not on some lsat issue that a school of an associate is going through.


I agree. I don't think clients will care.

I would be much more worried about: UIUC's reputation tarred ---> well-qualified students stay the hell away ---> numbers and rankings plummet ---> firms observe the quality of students out of UIUC dropping ---> UIUCpwnd

There are a lot of things in that chain that might not happen, and I realize that it's all insanely speculative. But this is what I would be worrying about if I was C/O 2015.

CanadianWolf
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:51 pm

The ABA probably doesn't want to audit all law schools because it is afraid of what may be uncovered.

P.S. @Stratocophic: WashUStL is slightly ahead of Illinois with respect to NLJ250 placement, but the 9 month employment figures as reported in USNews have Illinois ahead of WashUStL & Indiana.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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romothesavior
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby romothesavior » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:53 pm

This may not be client driven, but I do think some firms may be hesitant to hire as many UIUC grads in the near future. Firms are uber-prestige whores, and they may be turned off at the fact that Illinois' LSAT median is similar to that of American, Cardozo, Baylor, etc. DF's account of what happened seems likely to me, but it still looks bad on its face. And while I am very skeptical that employers care much about fluctuations in the USNWR rankings, a massive drop (like 20-30 spots, as is very possible this year for UIUC) may have a negative impact on things as well.

Over the long term, this may affect their ability to bring in quality students. For one thing, this really tarnishes the reputation of the law school (and one of its best advocates, Dean Pless. A lot of people go to UIUC in large part due to him. He almost convinced me to go there too). And the lower profile numbers and impending USNWR drop will affect students willingness to go there, especially non-Illinoisans.

I don't think the sky is falling or doom and gloom is necessarily impending, but it also wouldn't shock me if things went downhill fast for the school.

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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby tennisking88 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:54 pm

Jack Smirks wrote:I think this ought to prompt an auditing of all law schools by the ABA.


+10000000000000

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zozin
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby zozin » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:54 pm

Well... fuck me. At least this was exposed before 2011/2012 applicants made their decisions.

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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby romothesavior » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:55 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:The ABA probably doesn't want to audit all law schools because it is afraid of what may be uncovered.

P.S. @Stratocophic: WashUStL is slightly ahead of Illinois with respect to NLJ250 placement, but the 9 month employment figures as reported in USNews have illinois ahead of WashUStL & Indiana.

The only employment statistic that really matters is the NLJ 250 number, because it is the only one that is even close to accurate (because the school doesn't get the chance to fudge it all to hell). I could poop on a piece of paper and it would be more useful than the "Employed at 9 Months" figure. I can't believe someone who has been on TLS as long as you would even try to cite that as a valid metric.

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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby splittinghairs » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:57 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:The ABA probably doesn't want to audit all law schools because it is afraid of what may be uncovered.


Not to mention that students not attending UIUC or Villanova arent exactly gonna be pushing for this.

School administrations themselves obviously wont want this, so I doubt this would happen.

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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby Helmholtz » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:04 pm

splittinghairs wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:The ABA probably doesn't want to audit all law schools because it is afraid of what may be uncovered.


Not to mention that students not attending UIUC or Villanova arent exactly gonna be pushing for this.

School administrations themselves obviously wont want this, so I doubt this would happen.


I'm not sure how many school administrations have the balls to outright lie about black-and-white numbers. Sure, you can massage employment numbers to make them appear better than they actually are by doing things like "creating" a low response rate, giving some graduates employment with the school, etc. If you do your homework, you should probably know by now to never rely on school-provided employment numbers and to look at things like NLJ250 placement instead. But for a school to outright say that its LSAT median is 168 when it's actually 163? Seems far too easy to get burned.

tennisking88
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby tennisking88 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:08 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
splittinghairs wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:The ABA probably doesn't want to audit all law schools because it is afraid of what may be uncovered.


Not to mention that students not attending UIUC or Villanova arent exactly gonna be pushing for this.

School administrations themselves obviously wont want this, so I doubt this would happen.


I'm not sure how many school administrations have the balls to outright lie about black-and-white numbers. Sure, you can massage employment numbers to make them appear better than they actually are by doing things like "creating" a low response rate, giving some graduates employment with the school, etc. If you do your homework, you should probably know by now to never rely on school-provided employment numbers and to look at things like NLJ250 placement instead. But for a school to outright say that its LSAT median is 168 when it's actually 163? Seems far too easy to get burned.


The ABA needs to set up some sort of incentive system for whistle blowers.

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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:09 pm

Actually, Villanova & Illinois law students may support this since "misery loves company" & it will deflect negative press from their law schools.

An ABA audit is unlikely, but the ABA should require submission of only certified numbers signed under oath by both law school deans at each institution.




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