Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
20141023
Posts: 3072
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:17 am

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby 20141023 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:32 pm

.
Last edited by 20141023 on Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Cicero76
Posts: 1276
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby Cicero76 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:36 pm

MCL Law Dean wrote:
Cicero76 wrote:Assuming this is honest, thank you for making at least a modicum of effort. You could do better--half is not an acceptable response rate for determining employment, so you should be calling your grads rather than sending an easily-ignored email--but this is more honest, detailed, and useful than half of the crap put out by ABA accredited schools, so props for that.


We will just have to disagree on the standards of alumni surveying. A 60% response rate for the reported results is higher than many of the ABA alumni survey samples. In a previous (ABA) Asst. Dean position I was in charge of alumni surveys for a large law alumni organization and I can tell you from that professional experience that, unfortunately, telephone surveying of lawyers is the MOST ineffective (and frustrating) methodology available. About 95% of lawyers only provide their work phone numbers and they make every effort to NOT take solicitation calls at work . . . even from their law school. Leaving messages on voice mail gets about a 10% response rate.

Of course we will continue to collect data over the next few weeks. Although the numbers will change some, I do not anticipate that there will be changes significant enough to influence potential students.


Oh, was this the response rate of ALL alumni? That's a different situation. If going forward you have close to full response rates from alumni who graduated 9 months previously, the. You're doing the best you can.

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:59 pm

Well, I probably got too anxious to provide a summary report. We received 10 more recent graduate responses that now puts us at about 76%, but the percentages didn't change dramatically. By next week we will probably be at 80+% so I should just wait and repost with the updates. My bad, but I will be out next week and had promised to get results out by the end of July when our cycle ends.

User avatar
jenesaislaw
Posts: 996
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:35 pm

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby jenesaislaw » Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:18 pm

Mitch, glad to see you went through with this. I also saw your op/ed today in the local paper -- pretty good stuff.

I'm going to have to echo kappycaft1 here on the response rate. 60% is good for a first time through, but compared to the ABA schools, it's way under the norm.

Check out the Unknown Scores here: http://www.lstscorereports.com/?r=other That number is not quite the response rate, but it is really really really really really close. (It includes grads who submitted responses, but did not say the type of employer they had a job at. This is rare.)

ETA: just got your email...active day for you!

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:49 am

OK, we clearly still have some work to do. But let me make sure that I understand . . . do those 0% ABA "unknowns" really mean that they have contacted 100% of the graduating class and identified 100% of their employment status (even if it is to confirm unemployment)? That just seems so unlikely . . . not 1 single missing person wandering off the map? Hmmmm.

20141023
Posts: 3072
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:17 am

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby 20141023 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:25 am

.
Last edited by 20141023 on Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:53 am

kappycaft1 wrote:
MCL Law Dean wrote:OK, we clearly still have some work to do. But let me make sure that I understand . . . do those 0% ABA "unknowns" really mean that they have contacted 100% of the graduating class and identified 100% of their employment status (even if it is to confirm unemployment)? That just seems so unlikely . . . not 1 single missing person wandering off the map? Hmmmm.

This has been discussed in other threads on here before, but if what people say is accurate, the law schools will go to pretty extensive lengths to figure out the status of their graduates. And instead of trying to go back and get class information from several years ago, they're doing it on an annual basis, so I can see it being quite possible.


I better go back and look through our "unknowns" again and send out the bloodhounds. Good thing the House didn't pass the NSA anti-surveillance bill yesterday.

User avatar
jenesaislaw
Posts: 996
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:35 pm

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby jenesaislaw » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:33 pm

Agreed, again, with kappycaft1. It's easier when it's the most recent class. Some schools hire private investigators when they can't get further. Schools may also rely on Facebook, LinkedIn, and well-placed friends/family that can speak to what a person is doing. They also do it over a period of time, which means they're not actually certain the data are accurate as of February 15.

As for what unknown means, it means that the school does not report data about employment status. The options for employment status are employed, unemployed - seeking, unemployed -not seeking, unemployed - deferred, and pursuing a full-time degree. The "Unknown Score" adds those unknowns to those who are known to be employed, but the school does not report data about the type of employment (e.g. law firm or public interest).

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:42 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:Schools may also rely on Facebook, LinkedIn, and well-placed friends/family that can speak to what a person is doing. They also do it over a period of time, which means they're not actually certain the data are accurate as of February 15.


Well . . . my naïveté in this reporting business is showing. We were limiting our reporting to those we actually received surveys from and official records on the state bar web site. Given the small size of our graduating classes and since 90+% stay right here in the region, if I can count in what we actually know from Facebook, LinkedIn, and well-placed friends/family/classmates . . . there isn't any graduate within the last five years whose status we don't know . . . the old social-scientist in me was taking a much more restrictive view of the process. Give me another week of so and I am sure that we can close our unreported gap to well under 10% now that I better understand the rules of the game.

20141023
Posts: 3072
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:17 am

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby 20141023 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:37 pm

.
Last edited by 20141023 on Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NYstate
Posts: 1566
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby NYstate » Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:26 pm

Just FYI, you might double check surveys to make sure they are accurate. Students have been known to misreport things. There was a joke a while ago about a school who used a salary reported by a student as $1,000,000 as part of its data.

NYstate
Posts: 1566
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby NYstate » Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:27 pm

MCL Law Dean wrote:
kappycaft1 wrote:
MCL Law Dean wrote:OK, we clearly still have some work to do. But let me make sure that I understand . . . do those 0% ABA "unknowns" really mean that they have contacted 100% of the graduating class and identified 100% of their employment status (even if it is to confirm unemployment)? That just seems so unlikely . . . not 1 single missing person wandering off the map? Hmmmm.

This has been discussed in other threads on here before, but if what people say is accurate, the law schools will go to pretty extensive lengths to figure out the status of their graduates. And instead of trying to go back and get class information from several years ago, they're doing it on an annual basis, so I can see it being quite possible.


I better go back and look through our "unknowns" again and send out the bloodhounds. Good thing the House didn't pass the NSA anti-surveillance bill yesterday.


It's great that you take this seriously. Reporting this data is extremely important to students.

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:46 pm

I am pleased to report that despite the national statistics regarding fairly dramatic decreases in applications, our local admissions are about 20% higher than last year. Of course given our small size that is only up to 36 from 30. The median LSAT is slightly lower, but our UGPA median is actually higher. It is interesting to note that despite the relative static nature of our LSAT/UGPAs, our bar pass rates have increased during this time frame.


...............LSAT ................... UGPA
............... 25th 50th 75th .... 25th 50th 75th
2013 ........ 139 144 151 ........ 3.00 3.18 3.49
2012 ........ 141 146 148 ........ 2.67 3.03 3.60
2011 ........ 140 148 152 ........ 2.95 3.21 3.44
2010 ........ 142 146 151 ........ 2.96 3.20 3.43

User avatar
jenesaislaw
Posts: 996
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:35 pm

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby jenesaislaw » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:33 pm

What do you attribute it to?

Also, I've been telling more and more deans your story about adult learners and Core Grammar for Lawyers. Lots of interest in that accomplishment. Can't wait to see what the outcomes are from this year.

20141023
Posts: 3072
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:17 am

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby 20141023 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:41 pm

.
Last edited by 20141023 on Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:48 am

jenesaislaw wrote:What do you attribute it to?

Also, I've been telling more and more deans your story about adult learners and Core Grammar for Lawyers. Lots of interest in that accomplishment. Can't wait to see what the outcomes are from this year.


Regarding this year's enrollment (and it looks like we may have added another two since I last posted). . . from January through March, we were tracking a 20% decline (comparing previous year's month to date). I was convinced by one of my Associate Deans that our lack of a social media presence was working against us. We launched a test of a 90-day social media awareness campaign using Google Adwords, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. I also started posting about MCL on TLS, Law School Discussion, and posted to CA students on LSN who were rejected by ABA schools and yet fit our typical student profile.

Although it is difficult to identify any one source, there is no denying that e-mail and telephone inquiries significantly increased during the 90 day social media campaign. Ultimately we ended 20% up rather than 20% down and as I previously posted . . . maintained our traditional admission criteria.

Our Spring student grades for those participating in academic support that included the Core Grammar for Lawyers program were very encouraging. Approximately 6 of the 8 students in the program improved their grades 5 points or more. Only two showed no meaningful improvement and we have doubts about the effort they put into the tutoring program.

I have been following your recent media response to the LST certification program. Tough crowd! Once we get our employment numbers completed, MCL would love to be one of the pilot schools and possibly lead the way for the other California accredited law schools . . . but since we do not have the same reporting requirements as ABA schools and are not part of LSAC, NALP, or USNWR . . . I suspect we won't qualify. Perhaps LST would consider a special review process for the CBE schools? Since we are not included in any other ranking or reporting program, LST could have the exclusive. Anyway, good luck because I think that you are on the right track. Unfortunately, the pay-to-play model brings up the specter of the bond rating fiasco where companies were perceived to be "buying" their corporate bond ratings. I don't have an alternative suggestion . . . but encourage you to keep trying.

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:55 am

kappycaft1 wrote:
jenesaislaw wrote:What do you attribute it to?

Also, I've been telling more and more deans your story about adult learners and Core Grammar for Lawyers.


Wut dat?


MCL has adopted the Core Grammar for Lawyers program as part of our academic support program. Link: http://www.coregrammarforlawyers.com

User avatar
Dr. Dre
Posts: 2347
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:10 pm

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby Dr. Dre » Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:57 am

What are MCL's medians (GPA/LSAT)?

I could only access 75th and 25th percentiles.

User avatar
TripTrip
Posts: 2740
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:52 am

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby TripTrip » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:26 am

Dr. Dre wrote:What are MCL's medians (GPA/LSAT)?

I could only access 75th and 25th percentiles.

MCL Law Dean wrote: ...............LSAT ................... UGPA
............. 25th 50th 75th ..... 25th 50th 75th
2013 ........ 139 144 151 ........ 3.00 3.18 3.49
2012 ........ 141 146 148 ........ 2.67 3.03 3.60
2011 ........ 140 148 152 ........ 2.95 3.21 3.44
2010 ........ 142 146 151 ........ 2.96 3.20 3.43

20141023
Posts: 3072
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:17 am

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby 20141023 » Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:49 am

.
Last edited by 20141023 on Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:40 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:
MCL Law Dean wrote:
kappycaft1 wrote:
jenesaislaw wrote:What do you attribute it to?
Also, I've been telling more and more deans your story about adult learners and Core Grammar for Lawyers.

Wut dat?

MCL has adopted the Core Grammar for Lawyers program as part of our academic support program. Link: http://www.coregrammarforlawyers.com

Thanks for the link. I guess I was surprised to hear that lawyers use different grammar than "normal people." I figured that they might need to learn new legal vocabulary / terminology, but the base grammar would be the same as any other profession that uses English. What is an example of "lawyerly grammar"?


Well . . . Wut dat definitely won't pass muster :-) Really, it is primarily just grammar framed in legal story lines vs. "see Dick Run". However, it also has a section on legal citations and footnotes that will be helpful towards the end of law school.

We have tried a variety of remedial writing approaches and the problem with most is that they are geared too low and were considered insulting or demeaning by our law students . . . even those who critically needed help (more likely particularly by those who need the help). Since this is called core grammar for LAWYERS, the participation rate is very high and the whining factor very low. I highly recommend the program. It is inexpensive, well designed, and can be used for self-paced individual instruction as well as classroom/workshop settings.

BigZuck
Posts: 10880
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby BigZuck » Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:57 pm

Pretty sure kappycaft1 is just pointing out that if peeps dont no DAT REGULAR GRAMMAR before law school then they shouldn't be accepted to any law school. The time to learn that stuff has passed them by and they shouldn't be in law school without dem basic skillz allready.

Maybe I am just projecting my thoughts on the matter onto him though?

But seriously, if people can't write with proper grammar why are you accepting them?

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:01 am

BigZuck wrote:
But seriously, if people can't write with proper grammar why are you accepting them?


You have no reason and probably no opportunity to have reviewed a large number of writing samples from the LSAT, as those of us on the admissions side of the table have done. You'll have to take my word for it that they are of no value in assessing writing skills. Personal statements are well edited . . . as they should be. Although valuable for content, they are equally inadequate for assessing writing skills.

If you actually looked at the Core Grammar for Lawyers website, you would see that it is a diagnostic tool that then provides structured content to improve writing and grammar. I took the program and had each of our legal writing faculty take it as well before we integrated it into our curriculum. None of us came anywhere close to perfect scores, and we are experienced writers. We also appreciated that CGFL provided an opportunity to improve our skills and address bad habits.

I get it that the focus of TLS is on selection . . . but once you are actually accepted to law school, the focus (at least at MCL) shifts to education, not screening.

20141023
Posts: 3072
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:17 am

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby 20141023 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:14 pm

.
Last edited by 20141023 on Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:25 am

kappycaft1 wrote:But seriously, if people can't write with proper grammar why are you accepting them?


[/quote]
Like the overuse of ellipses? :wink:

I guess the main reason for my confusion is the fact that rudimentary English grammar isn't normally something that I would expect to be taught in a program that grants a professional graduate degree. To me, it almost seems like students who are going to get their master's degree in math needing to take coursework on addition and subtraction as part of their graduate curriculum. :|[/quote]

. . . you got me on the ellipses . . . and CGFL didn't like them either! :cry:

I know that there is huge investment here on TLS in the LSAT as your gateway measurement to elite legal education. Don't get me wrong, I get it . . . it isn't your fault that ABA law schools have refused to do the hard work to replace an overemphasized and faulty instrument . . . and you have no choice but to play the game with the existing rules . . . but that is a whole topic for another thread.

What I am suggesting is that if you talk to any law school dean in America, they will tell you the same thing . . . in a world of social media, huge undergraduate educational warehouses (elite and otherwise) . . . the craft of writing is a dying art. Ask any hiring partner at a law firm and they will also tell you that it is harder than ever to find associates who can actually write well . . . regardless of their academic pedigree.

The difference is that at MCL, we admit the emperor has no clothes and are openly addressing the issue . . . and I can tell you that the local law firms and judges are fully supportive.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], KissMyAxe and 6 guests