Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
xylocarp
Posts: 4740
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:16 am

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby xylocarp » Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:26 pm

JayhawkLaw wrote:This will be my first and last comment on Law School Transparency, the general validity of employment statistics, or any number of similar topics. I’ll discuss it below here, and then that’s it. If you disagree, disagree somewhere else. I will ask the moderator to delete any follow-up questions about what numbers we use, whether solo practitioners should be included in employment numbers, whether LST uses the right methodology, etc. Similarly, this is not a forum to give life advice to people asking questions. You may offer that advice, just do it somewhere else.

There are many, many other forums where these topics are discussed and they have been discussed ad nauseum. After this post, this is a forum about KU Law, that’s it. I will close this thread if it is hi-jacked by people who are not genuinely interested in KU Law. And no trolling. We’re clever enough here to know when someone is trying to be clever.

QFP

User avatar
whitespider
Posts: 589
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:37 am

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby whitespider » Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:44 pm

JayhawkLaw wrote:Second, I’ll address the censure issue. It's a bit deep in the weeds, but someone asked. We started a LL.M. in American Legal Studies program in fall, 2012. We had all of two students the first year, both of whom graduated with the degree. We mistakenly assumed that we did not need approval from the ABA for this program as we had received approval for our LL.M. in Elder Law years ago. As the censure states, we viewed it as a new LL.M. concentration, not a new degree program. They concluded that because we sought approval from our university for the program (which is a whole ‘nother long story), that we knew it needed ABA approval. That’s not what we thought, but that’s what the ABA concluded. Anyway, two years ago we made a mistake about the process for starting an LL.M. degree, and we accept responsibility for it. End of the story - the ABA then approved our LL.M. program, which we continue to offer today.


Seems innocuous enough, just thought it was a weird thing to see on your homepage.

Thanks for the answer!

User avatar
eriedoctrine
Posts: 306
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 1:00 am

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby eriedoctrine » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:04 pm

JayhawkLaw wrote:one of the best law schools in the Midwest


No.

Mod edit: Please stay on-topic or be quiet.

User avatar
Mack.Hambleton
Posts: 5417
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:09 am

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:08 pm

xylocarp wrote:
JayhawkLaw wrote:This will be my first and last comment on Law School Transparency, the general validity of employment statistics, or any number of similar topics. I’ll discuss it below here, and then that’s it. If you disagree, disagree somewhere else. I will ask the moderator to delete any follow-up questions about what numbers we use, whether solo practitioners should be included in employment numbers, whether LST uses the right methodology, etc. Similarly, this is not a forum to give life advice to people asking questions. You may offer that advice, just do it somewhere else.

There are many, many other forums where these topics are discussed and they have been discussed ad nauseum. After this post, this is a forum about KU Law, that’s it. I will close this thread if it is hi-jacked by people who are not genuinely interested in KU Law. And no trolling. We’re clever enough here to know when someone is trying to be clever.

QFP


I feel like I'm being held hostage

Mod edit: Please stay on-topic or be quiet.

BillsFan9907
Posts: 1381
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:28 am

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby BillsFan9907 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:10 pm

JayhawkLaw wrote:I'll address the issues raised by Ron Don, they are fair questions so far as they pertain to KU Law. But before I do, I'd just like to say that it's obvious there is a group of folks out there with an anti-law school agenda. Not sure if Ron Don is part of that group, but for those that have that agenda, I'd invite them to visit elsewhere. This is a forum for KU Law, not the "great debate" over whether people should go to law school.

This will be my first and last comment on Law School Transparency, the general validity of employment statistics, or any number of similar topics. I’ll discuss it below here, and then that’s it. If you disagree, disagree somewhere else. I will ask the moderator to delete any follow-up questions about what numbers we use, whether solo practitioners should be included in employment numbers, whether LST uses the right methodology, etc. Similarly, this is not a forum to give life advice to people asking questions. You may offer that advice, just do it somewhere else.

There are many, many other forums where these topics are discussed and they have been discussed ad nauseum. After this post, this is a forum about KU Law, that’s it. I will close this thread if it is hi-jacked by people who are not genuinely interested in KU Law. And no trolling. We’re clever enough here to know when someone is trying to be clever.



MODs - please clarify that Freedman has been given mod-like privileges to close threads and have posts he does not like deleted on demand.

Freedman: I'm saying this with PEACE AND LOVE but you understand you make yourself look like one of these Middle East rinky dink dictators or real house wife divas who - prior to agreeing to an interview - issue a War and Peace length document on forbidden questions?

kcdc1
Posts: 930
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:48 am

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby kcdc1 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:33 pm

Chill guys. KU's not a great choice for many on TLS, but there are people from Kansas who do not have the option to attend elite schools. KU Law is pretty affordable, and there are people who will be satisfied with a middle class income -- which most graduates from KU will get. At 75k of debt at graduation, there are worse things.

More to the point, this is a dean offering to take questions from applicants, and I'm sure some applicants have questions. A Q&A is a reasonable enough thing to do.
Last edited by kcdc1 on Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby 20160810 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:37 pm

If you're one of the best law schools in the Midwest surely you won't mind sharing the percentage of your graduating class that are offered federal clerkships.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22892
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:21 pm

Seoulless wrote:MODs - please clarify that Freedman has been given mod-like privileges to close threads and have posts he does not like deleted on demand.

Freedman: I'm saying this with PEACE AND LOVE but you understand you make yourself look like one of these Middle East rinky dink dictators or real house wife divas who - prior to agreeing to an interview - issue a War and Peace length document on forbidden questions?

Dean Freedman doesn't have any more privileges/abilities than any other non-mod poster on this site. However, he certainly has the right to decide which questions he's going to answer and which ones he's not going to answer, and he's not obligated to answer any of them. He can't lock threads, but he can stop answering whenever he wants.

Varianz
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:25 pm

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby Varianz » Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:26 pm

So to clarify Dean, your position is that LST is not accurate because solos should be counted as a good outcome and it measures results a month early? How are consumers (students) to know what they're putting quite a bit of money towards if we don't have these types of benchmarks, and what measurements would you propose that would better serve to guide potential students?

JayhawkLaw
Posts: 124
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:26 am

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Sat Dec 20, 2014 12:52 am

To clarify, I am answering questions about the University of Kansas School of Law.

Hopefully that's clear now.

As for federal clerkships, according to our standard 509 report, two members of the Class of 2013 found employment as federal clerks. Note that report only counts students who obtain clerkships in their graduating year, so we may have additional alumni who graduated in prior years clerking now. We don't have that count. Whatever the number is, we'd like some more. We push students to pursue federal clerkships, but for whatever reason we do not have that many students who go through with the clerkship application process. Since we have a number of alumni who are federal judges (seven of the ten federal district justices in Kansas are KU Law alumni), we think we can place more students. We're working on it.

BillsFan9907
Posts: 1381
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:28 am

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby BillsFan9907 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 12:57 am

Can we ask questions about quality of life too?

1) what are some of the better restaurants in the area that are reasonable on a law students budget?

2) how much is on campus parking per semester? Does a scholarship cover that? Other minor expenses that most of us don't think about?
Last edited by BillsFan9907 on Sat Dec 20, 2014 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Businesslady
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby Businesslady » Sat Dec 20, 2014 12:58 am

Thomas Frank, What's the Matter with Kansas?, 2004, pp. 67-68, via Wikipedia wrote:Not long ago, Kansas would have responded to the current situation by making the bastards pay. This would have been a political certainty, as predictable as what happens when you touch a match to a puddle of gasoline. When business screwed the farmers and the workers – when it implemented monopoly strategies invasive beyond the Populists' furthest imaginings – when it ripped off shareholders and casually tossed thousands out of work – you could be damned sure about what would follow.

Not these days. Out here the gravity of discontent pulls in only one direction: to the right, to the right, further to the right. Strip today's Kansans of their job security, and they head out to become registered Republicans. Push them off their land, and next thing you know they're protesting in front of abortion clinics. Squander their life savings on manicures for the CEO, and there's a good chance they'll join the John Birch Society. But ask them about the remedies their ancestors proposed (unions, antitrust, public ownership), and you might as well be referring to the days when knighthood was in flower.


Can you place the University of Kansas School of Law, as a public institution, in context against this background?
What percentage of funding comes from the state? Where would someone go to look into the legislative budgeting process?
Where would a student concerned about an investment in the degree look to understand the school's long-term plans?
Does having a tax professor as a dean have anything to do with this? Is this discussed openly anywhere?
How does this all fit in with the quantitative gamesmanship of law school admissions and scholarships?

Why does UMKC have a NLG chapter, but KU doesn't? Is it cultural?
If the administration believed it could jump, say, 30 or more spots in USNWR attracting students "with the numbers" by appearing more receptive to progressive or even radical causes (in addition to pushing the affordability line), would you do it?
Would that piss off your donors? Would it be worth it for the reputation boost? Could you do it subtly in admissions anyway?
Can you speak to the programs you already have that are local and public service-oriented in nature? Faculty papers?

How easy is it to take courses outside of the law school for credit?
Could you ever get away with offering something like a JD/MFA in social practice?
Would you be able to easily coordinate scholarships if you did?
Your "Loan Repayment" page is just PAYE/PSLF. Is actual LRAP something you've considered for the future?

JayhawkLaw
Posts: 124
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:26 am

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:21 am

@ seouless

Lawrence, Kansas is of the quintessential American college towns. We have a population of about 85,000, including about 30,000 college students. Popular student restaurants are Free State Brewery, Limestone Pizza, The Burger Stand at the Casbah, as well as any restaurant or bar serving pizza and wings. Maybe we'll have some students jump on here later, they would know better than me.

As for parking, I'll have to check on the semester cost for it, although I remember it being not too bad. There is a student lot just next to the law school, although it does fill up in the middle of the day. Since all Lawrence city buses are free for KU students, you can always avoid the cost by taking the bus. There's also other little transportation perks of living in a college town. Downtown workers recently started an online petition to protest the city charging $1 for all day parking in the new library parking garage. I forwarded that article to my friends on the coasts, they thought it was pretty funny.

Update: Parking for students is $124 per semester, or $225 for an annual permit. That's for the yellow surface lot across the street from the law school. The yellow lot does tend to fill up during the middle of the day, but there's a garage next to it that charges $1.50 per hour that always has room. And there's the free city bus service for KU students that covers just about all of Lawrence.
Last edited by JayhawkLaw on Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Skool
Posts: 1028
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:26 pm

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby Skool » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:31 am

JayhawkLaw wrote:
Now, I look forward to hearing from people genuinely interested in KU Law.


Is your school making it a priority to control tuition? Do you have a long term plan for keeping tuition growth flat or actually reducing it? If I enroll in KU next year, what kinds of things won't be there by the time I graduate due to cost control measures?

JayhawkLaw
Posts: 124
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:26 am

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:50 am

@ businesslady

You ask some very interesting questions, I'll do my best to answer, but a couple of them might be beyond my ability

1) Can you place the University of Kansas School of Law, as a public institution, in context against this background?

In my position I need to make sure people trust that admissions decisions are not affected by someone's political beliefs or affiliation. As I tell people, we don't care if you are a conservative or a liberal activist - we just care that you are active. KU Law students comprise a diverse political, social, ethnic, cultural group of people. Kansas is known as a conservative state, and that's probably a fair statement. But Lawrence is known as a liberal, progressive town. And that's probably a fair assessment too. KU is such a large and diverse institution, I think all views are represented.

2) What percentage of funding comes from the state? 3) Where would someone go to look into the legislative budgeting process? Good questions. The answer to the second question depends on what question you are asking. If you're asking about the law school, that's one of those million dollar questions as higher education accounting is so complicated, it's hard to tell where subsidies begin and paybacks end. We definitely receive state support, for which we are very appreciative. Our best guess is we are square with the university, but it really depends on a lot of different factors. As for the university as a whole, I don't know what percentage of the university budget is provided by the state, but I do know it's a substantial amount. For information about the legislative process, I'd suggest the Topeka, KC and Wichita newspapers, which cover the state legislature pretty closely.

4) Where would a student concerned about an investment in the degree look to understand the school's long-term plans? Our long-term plans are to continue what we're doing. Offering a legal education for a good value, one that is open to all. We don't operate on "five-year plans", we just keep doing what we've been doing for 130+ years.

5) Does having a tax professor as a dean have anything to do with this? Is this discussed openly anywhere? Well, Dean Mazza is a very thrifty person, so I think his natural inclination is to keep costs low. Just one example, we just had our staff holiday party yesterday - it was a potluck affair in our conference room. That's how we roll in Kansas. Low costs, low tuition.

6) How does this all fit in with the quantitative gamesmanship of law school admissions and scholarships?
Dean Mazza and wonderful endowment fundraisers at KU Endowment recently met their goal of raising $20 million from alumni, with nearly all of those funds committed to scholarships. We are very thankful to have such a devoted alumni network. As a result of their success, we have been able to substantially increase our scholarship awards.

User avatar
JohannDeMann
Posts: 13831
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby JohannDeMann » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:52 am

Thanks for doing this Dean. I hope some KU hopefuls actually ask some questions. Do you have a law degree? If so, when did you graduate and from where? Where do you see law trending in the future and has KU done anything to prepare for that movement?

User avatar
reasonable person
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:06 pm

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby reasonable person » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:02 am

JohannDeMann wrote:Thanks for doing this Dean. I hope some KU hopefuls actually ask some questions. Do you have a law degree? If so, when did you graduate and from where? Where do you see law trending in the future and has KU done anything to prepare for that movement?


Your first few inquiries can be easily googled.
https://www.linkedin.com/pub/steven-freedman/17/655/a01

Damn, from Philly to Kansas...

JayhawkLaw
Posts: 124
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:26 am

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:17 am

@ businesslady

Round 2

1) Why does UMKC have a NLG chapter, but KU doesn't? Is it cultural?
While we don't have a NLG chapter, we have a number of organizations with similar, progressive interests including the American Constitution Society, Law Students for Reproductive Justice, and OUTlaws and Allies. We also have traditionally conservative student groups like the Federalist Society. IYou can see a full list of our student orgs at http://law.ku.edu/studentlife#orgs

2) If the administration believed it could jump, say, 30 or more spots in USNWR attracting students "with the numbers" by appearing more receptive to progressive or even radical causes (in addition to pushing the affordability line), would you do it?
Would that piss off your donors? Would it be worth it for the reputation boost? Could you do it subtly in admissions anyway?

It's not really the role of a public law school to favor one set of issues or the other. As mentioned before, our students and alumni represent a wide variety of political views. I hope people think we are already receptive to students with progressive or radical ideas, as well as conservative and traditional ones. Law school is a great place to exchange ideas. Most events with a political dimension are co-sponsored by organizations with different political leanings. As for our donors, I think not only would our donors be disappointed, but most people who care about KU Law would be disappointed if we let politics guide what we do. And we would never consider political affiliation in our admissions decisions - that's truly incompatible with our mission. So even if doing so would improve our rankings, I do not think we would explicitly or subtly favor one political point of view over another.

3) Can you speak to the programs you already have that are local and public service-oriented in nature?
We have some great public service programs, particularly our clinics. We have 11 clinics, so you might want to visit our website to review them all (http://law.ku.edu/clinics). I'll just mention three:

Project for Innocence - for the last thirty-five years, our students have represented convicts in post-conviction remedies, including innocence cases. Our students have had some remarkable success stories, which is an amazing thing to do as a law student. You can read more about it at http://law.ku.edu/innocenceproject.

Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic - located at the KU Med Center in Kansas City, our students represent patients with legal needs. http://law.ku.edu/mlpclinic

Tribal Judicial Support Clinic - students assist tribal courts in researching legal issues of interest to tribal nations. http://law.ku.edu/triballawclinic

4) Faculty papers? Our faculty publish on a wide variety of topics. I encourage you to visit our faculty page where you can review their scholarship. http://law.ku.edu/faculty

User avatar
Businesslady
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby Businesslady » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:43 am

Thanks for all that.

JayhawkLaw wrote:If you're asking about the law school, that's one of those million dollar questions as higher education accounting is so complicated, it's hard to tell where subsidies begin and paybacks end. We definitely receive state support, for which we are very appreciative. Our best guess is we are square with the university, but it really depends on a lot of different factors. As for the university as a whole, I don't know what percentage of the university budget is provided by the state, but I do know it's a substantial amount.

This is as detailed a response on this as I've seen from admissions on here, and it's 2 AM on Friday night before Christmas.

Not in a hurry on these next ones, obviously, but considering:

* This website is pretty focused on things that look like hard metrics, as you may have seen
* $20 million in Kansas money for scholarships sounds like KU takes buying a future seriously
* Your school is run by a NYU tax LLM who literally publishes on accounting and the law
* Intuitively, the math seems that the cost of a marginal seat is in jobs percentages and USNWR expenditures per student
* Sure, it's more complicated than that, but it seems like there you have pretty qualified people on hand
* Being thrifty may sell in Kansas, but austerity seems like leaving a carry trade on the table if your credit's cheap

Is there any possibility of getting more insight into how that accounting works when it's not 2 AM?
At what points are class sizes set in stone? At what points are scholarship award budgets considered firm?
Does the institution have an interest in breaking down/explaining complexity as introduced by the payback issues?
That's to say: is it plausible that KU Law would show what accounting for "$20 million for scholarships" looks like in detail?
Do you expect to be joined in this thread by faculty or other administrators?

ilikebaseball
Posts: 4103
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 3:04 am

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby ilikebaseball » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:43 am

JayhawkLaw wrote:Finally, finally.

Ron Don asks me how I can keep a straight face when telling prospective students that KU is one of the best law schools in the Midwest. I do that almost every day. What gives me the confidence to say this? I’ve spoken with hundreds and hundreds of our students and alumni who share that with me. We offer an outstanding program of legal education at one of the lower tuition rates in the country. And we’re located in one of America’s best college towns, Lawrence, KS. You are welcome to come visit anytime, perhaps you’ll have a different point of view about what we do here.

Now, I look forward to hearing from people genuinely interested in KU Law.

Compared to the other schools in the midwest would you say this? I think there's a difference between saying "We have a good law school" and saying "We have one of the best in the midwest." In fact, of all of the ABA law schools in the midwest, KU seems to be on the lower end.

As with every law school, there are people who end up with no law-related jobs. You say you have spoken to many people, those of which who HAVE gotten a job, to validate your claim about being "the best law school in the midwest" but what about the pretty significant percentage that haven't found one? Would those people say that they regret their decision to attend KU because of the amount of average debt per graduate alongside the job prospects? I'm just curious because it seems to me that, although you say its very affordable, the financial aid that KU grants is significantly less than other schools

User avatar
lhanvt13
Posts: 2380
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:59 am

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby lhanvt13 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:46 am

Thanks for doing this Q&A!

I'm not a prospective but I do have a couple of questions:

1) do you have a visiting students program available for 3L year?

2) are visiting students able to get student basketball tickets? (born and raised in a Jayhawk family but don't exactly know how the ticket system works there for law students)

User avatar
20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby 20160810 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:22 am

I think it's pretty rad that you're coming back here and offering thoughtful answers after getting your balls busted a bit. Thank you for doing this thread.

User avatar
Businesslady
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:41 am

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby Businesslady » Sat Dec 20, 2014 5:06 am

Yeah, this is exactly the kind of thing admissions deans should be doing and there should be about 150 more of these. It's a really important thing for deans to be able to answer these types of questions without balking or resorting to pamphletspeak. Not to kiss ass, but it's probably to the school's credit (in relative terms) that it's confident enough in the value proposition to answer questions from potential buyers straight up. Like, that website is called "Law School Transparency," not "Here Are Some Numbers to Use to Run 0L JDU Schtick." I'm pretty sure the idea is to give applicants information so there's a functioning marketplace. It defeats the entire purpose not to ask real questions when the seller actually shows up to answer them.

Still, OP, considering you're on the record about law school being a good investment because of market conditions, you might consider something like a panel thread with posters like Campos and other deans willing to talk openly about what's going on and what realities and additional data people need to take into account to make informed decisions. I won't be so dense as to ask more LST questions in a thread where you've explicitly defined the boundaries as "AMA about KU Law," but I hope you'll jump into other ones to discuss more macro concerns, including your views on LST's utility, here where applicants and students will see it. I don't see how it can do anything but help if your school is delivering; that's the idea, right? Thanks again.

User avatar
starry eyed
Posts: 2048
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:26 am

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby starry eyed » Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:20 am

How well does University of Kansas place its grads in international law?

User avatar
Br3v
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby Br3v » Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:11 am

JayhawkLaw wrote: There are a lot of assumptions in LST . . . Last year, out of 173 graduates, eight students reported starting out as solos, not much different from past years.


So 60% employment + 8* students

*(Including "a fair percentage don’t make it long-term")




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 5 guests