University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

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JayhawkLaw
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University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:57 pm

Hello TLS Community,

My name is Steven Freedman and I started this September as the new Assistant Dean of Admissions for the University of Kansas School of Law in beautiful Lawrence, Kansas. I am here on your web site because TLS has become an increasingly important forum for prospective law students to share information about the law school admissions process. I think engaging in this conversation can only help law school candidates make better informed, smarter decisions about choosing a law school. So feel free to post your questions about KU Law here.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Steven Freedman, J.D.
Assistant Dean of Admissions
University of Kansas School of Law

p.s. If you have a question specific to your KU Law application, feel free to e-mail me at freedman@ku.edu. If you are interested in discussing topics unrelated to KU Law, please find a different TLS topic to post your comments.
p.p.s. I will be checking this forum as my schedule permits. Please be patient if you do not see an immediate response.

Danteshek
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby Danteshek » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:04 pm

This school sends mixed messages (as does your counterpart, the University of Missouri). You go to events around the country. But when students from other parts of the country apply, you assume that they are not actually interested. You shouldn't need to send emails out to applicants to determine their true motivations for applying. The application should be gauged on the merits, not whether the student can come up with a cockamamie excuse for applying to a school in the middle of nowhere.

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2014
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby 2014 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:51 pm

It's great to see you posting here and I'm sure it will be a great resourced to those interested in KU. I'm a Kansan myself so I'm interested :P

KU took a relative beating in the USNWR rankings last year, and while the rankings are limited in their usefulness, I think most people here believe that they do have a great deal of significance. Do you have any comments on why KU fell and what if anything the law school is doing to hopefully stop that from happening again and heading in the right direction?

CanadianWolf
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:58 pm

The TLS law school profile on Kansas seems to discourage non-residents from applying. Are you willing to share your thoughts on this interpretation ? Thanks !

AriGoldButNicer
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby AriGoldButNicer » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:10 pm

What are your thoughts on Bill Self's recruiting, and Kansas' shot at the national title?

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johnnyutah
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby johnnyutah » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:36 pm

Whoops, that was not Kansas. Nevermind.
Last edited by johnnyutah on Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JayhawkLaw
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:30 pm

Boy, you guys are really fast. I'll take these questions one at a time.

Danteshek asked a good question about whether we are sending out mixed messages regarding whether applicants from outside of the Midwest are getting a fair shake in the Admissions Office. I just started here in September, so I can't speak to past practices including whether cockamamie excuses were required (awesome word choice, btw). I can tell you two things. First, previously applicants needed to state their connection to Kansas in our personal statement. Our revised personal statement does not require that, instead students may include an optional statement about their connection to Kansas if they would like. Second, recruiting students from all over the country is a high priority for our school. In contrast to the TLS description of our school, we view ourselves as a national law school with a strong regional base. One project we're working on right now is to highlight our alumni who have been successful starting their careers in other parts of the country.

As to Johnny Utah's comment, I have no idea if your statement is true and I doubt that many people would find that information relevant. Similarly, although I share AriGold's passion for college basketball, I don't think I'm qualified to comment on KU's awesome basketball team.

Canadian Wolf - As I outlined in my response to Danteshek, I agree with you that although the TLS portrait of KU Law is generally positive, I don't agree with their emphasis on KU's regional nature. About two-thirds of students are Kansas residents, but the other one-third come from a pretty diverse cross-section of the country. I think this is a pretty good balance, even if we will be working on increasing our recruiting from outside our home turf.

JayhawkLaw
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:07 pm

I was starting to run out of space, so I'll save 2014's question about our rankings drop for last. I guess there's a lot to say on this subject. When looking at the change in rankings from last year, the biggest culprit appears to be that our 2009 Kansas bar pass rate had a somewhat inexplicable one year drop to 79%. (You might wonder why I would point to 2009 numbers, but US News uses numbers two years prior to compile their rankings). In 2010, we had a 92% first-time pass rate. And this year we hit 90.1% in Kansas and 95% in Missouri! So we're feeling pretty good about our bar pass rates.

Also, we want everyone to know about our top 50 ranking in the "other" U.S. News Rankings, one that we guess is even more important to prospective students. It's the U.S. New's "Law Firms Rank Schools" ranking. In this survey of recruiters from the country's top law firms, KU Law ranked fiftieth. Not too shabby if you ask me.

Danteshek
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby Danteshek » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:50 pm

Thank you Steve. Good luck in your new position.

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Glock
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby Glock » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:09 am

Danteshek wrote:This school sends mixed messages (as does your counterpart, the University of Missouri). You go to events around the country. But when students from other parts of the country apply, you assume that they are not actually interested. You shouldn't need to send emails out to applicants to determine their true motivations for applying. The application should be gauged on the merits, not whether the student can come up with a cockamamie excuse for applying to a school in the middle of nowhere.




Take it up with USNWR. They are the ones that reward yield protecting and penalized merit-based review.

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89vision
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby 89vision » Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:56 am

Is it difficult to get state residency in Kansas? I currently live in Ohio and want to apply to University of Kansas.

JayhawkLaw
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:28 pm

89,

Frankly, it can be difficult to establish in-state residency if you don't have ties to Kansas. If you are not currently a Kansas resident, there are a few instances where you can claim residency before starting school. You can claim Kansas residency if you were a Kansas resident within the last five years. Or you can become eligible by living in Kansas for one year prior to beginning school. If you do not fall under one of these categories, you can gain residency by applying for it. Factors that may lead to residency status include owning property in Kansas or receiving a job offer for after graduation. For complete information on Kansas residency, please visit the University of Kansas website at http://www.registrar.ku.edu/residency/index.shtml.

Please keep in mind that with or without residency, our low tuition ($28,648 out of state) and the low cost of living in Lawrence makes KU Law a great value. In fact, in 2010 PreLaw magazine named us a top 20 school in this category (http://www.news.ku.edu/2010/august/20/rankings.shtml). We are proud of the fact that in this age of extreme tuition, KU Law has maintained its commitment to our students to keep law school affordable.
Last edited by JayhawkLaw on Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JayhawkLaw
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:36 pm

Hello Jayhawk fans...

Haven't visited Top Law Schools in a while, but thought today would be a good day to post. One question we get from a lot of prospective students is "If I go to KU, can I take that degree outside of Kansas and the Midwest?" In fact, I was kind of surprised how often that question came up. So I asked my colleague Arturo Thompson in the Career Services Office if he could look at the data to get an answer to that question.

The answer is yes. Proof? In the last four years, our students have found employment in more than thirty states (34 plus D.C. to be exact). And the list of employers is pretty good too, which you can see by scrolling down to the bottom of our Career Services page (http://www.law.ku.edu/careerservices/employmentstats/) to look at our list of recent employers.

Now that doesn't mean that finding a job at top firms in New York, D.C., Chicago or Phoenix is a walk in the park. But as many of you know, it's not a walk in the park wherever you go to school. But Jayhawk students are finding these jobs even in this tough economy. The common thread for these success stories is 1) they did well in law school, 2) they had a smart job search strategy, and 3) they put [i]a lot [i]of effort into their job search. Simply sending out resumes is not enough, these students found a way to get someone to pull their resume from the pile. Arturo and the Career Services Office will help you find those ways.
Happy New Year!

Aqualibrium
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby Aqualibrium » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:15 pm

I looked at that employer list you posted, it seems to be listing employers for a period of 5 years or more. Is that correct?

JayhawkLaw
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:05 pm

Aqualibrium - Yes, the time span for the list of employers on the web site differs slightly from the count we made of the number of states our students have practiced in. To be specific, among the 2007-2010 graduating classes, our students found employment in more than 30 states plus D.C. Regarding the list of employers on the web site, to the best of my knowledge the list includes the 2006-2010 graduating classes. We will update the list once more current data becomes available. Hope this helps.

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YourCaptain
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby YourCaptain » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:49 pm

JayhawkLaw wrote:Aqualibrium - Yes, the time span for the list of employers on the web site differs slightly from the count we made of the number of states our students have practiced in. To be specific, among the 2007-2010 graduating classes, our students found employment in more than 30 states plus D.C. Regarding the list of employers on the web site, to the best of my knowledge the list includes the 2006-2010 graduating classes. We will update the list once more current data becomes available. Hope this helps.


for the non-midwest states, how many of those jobs require a JD and bar-passage and are full-time (non-contract) positions?

JayhawkLaw
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:48 pm

Captain - Thanks for the question. Prompted in part by this exchange, we are actually in the process of re-posting our list of employers. You'll notice the list description has been revised to state that it's a list of employers for the last ten years. That's because when we looked at the list, we couldn't easily match the employers to the year they employed one of our grads. Since we weren't completely confident whether we had the correct years covered, we put in "ten years" as a safe marker to make sure our description is accurate.

But we'd prefer having the list represent more recent times. So last week we prepared a new list of employers covering the graduating classes from 2006-2010. I've forwarded it to our webmaster and it'll probably be up on the website this week. If you'd like, feel free to send me an e-mail and I will send you the list. When I put the list together, I deleted any positions that had notes describing them as part-time or temporary (except for judicial clerkships and fellowships). So the result will be a list of employers who hired KU Law alums for permanent, full-time positions, judicial clerkships, or fellowships from the graduating classes of 2006-2010.

Regarding how many non-Midwest positions were JD required, I'm not sure that data is stored in a sortable database that would make the information accessible. I'll check with the Career Services Office and if we can get the data easily, I wil post the answer here.

MrAnon
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby MrAnon » Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:07 pm

Regarding how many non-Midwest positions were JD required, I'm not sure that data is stored in a sortable database that would make the information accessible. I'll check with the Career Services Office and if we can get the data easily, I wil post the answer here.


Seems like this kind of information is critical to determining the employment outcomes of the students. would seem odd if it couldn't be produced with relative ease.

JayhawkLaw
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:43 pm

Update - I spoke with our Career Services Office and despite MrAnon's comments, we really don't have an easy way to determine the percentage of bar admission required jobs by region. Frankly, I'm not aware of any law school that has that statistic broken down by region. In my experience, I don't think this number would vary much by region. Many of our out of state jobs are state and federal government jobs - organizations that typically hire only full-time/bar required positions. Law firms are in the same category. On the flip side, students hired by corporations are less likely to have a bar admission requirement.

Keep in mind that we have pretty comprehensive overall bar passage required/jd preferred statistics on our website. You can view the data every year from 2002-2010 at http://www.law.ku.edu/careerservices/employmentstats. You'll need to scroll a bit to find the chart.

This might be a good time to point folks towards today's lawschooltransparency.com annual report - where I think you'll find we did very well. You can view it at http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/do ... Report.pdf. For example, we were among only 10% of law schools rated positively for providing honest salary information. I think that's a good indicator for where we are on transparency, we're aiming to provide as much useful and accurate information as possible. It's an evolving process for sure, but I think we're doing a very good job of being open with our data.

checkster
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby checkster » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:14 am

Hello!

I am a Missouri resident planning on entering law school next year. I have been accepted at Mizzou, still waiting to hear back on my KU application as well as a number of other schools. Mizzou has taken a beating in rankings over the last few years, which is disappointing to me as resident as I now have to balance the school's >100 rank versus its cheap in-state tuition. Assuming I am accepted at KU, is there any particular reason, aside from the obvious rankings gap that now exists, that I should consider paying such a big difference in tuition, given that I am ok with staying in the Midwest to practice? I understand that that is a huge question.

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bk1
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby bk1 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:20 am

JayhawkLaw wrote:Update - I spoke with our Career Services Office and despite MrAnon's comments, we really don't have an easy way to determine the percentage of bar admission required jobs by region. Frankly, I'm not aware of any law school that has that statistic broken down by region. In my experience, I don't think this number would vary much by region. Many of our out of state jobs are state and federal government jobs - organizations that typically hire only full-time/bar required positions. Law firms are in the same category. On the flip side, students hired by corporations are less likely to have a bar admission requirement.

Keep in mind that we have pretty comprehensive overall bar passage required/jd preferred statistics on our website. You can view the data every year from 2002-2010 at http://www.law.ku.edu/careerservices/employmentstats. You'll need to scroll a bit to find the chart.


This doesn't make sense to me. I'm assuming your data is collected by sending surveys to grads? I'm assuming those surveys have questions for both the state and the requirements of the job? It seems to me that it should be quite easy to figure out the percentage of bar admission required jobs by region (since you have both region data and bar admission required data).

That being said, it's probably meaningless data considering the vast majority of your employed grads are in MO/KS and all the other regions would be susceptible to huge fluctuations based on the data of a small number of people.

JayhawkLaw
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:38 am

BK - Again, we're pretty good on transparency issues here (see http://www.lawschooltransparency.com). If we had an easy way to gather the answer, we would do it. As it stands, we are not going to undertake a large research project in the middle of our busiest admissions and career services season for what you acknowledge would be meaningless data.

The meaningful data is the data we have provided - it shows that our students are able to find employment outside of our home market. We're not trying to oversell this - most of our students come from this region and most of our students choose to stay here. It's a nice place to live and a nice place to practice. Salaries aren't as high here as some in some markets, but that salary goes a lot farther. (see http://www.nalp.org/buying_power_index_class_of_2010). And a significant portion of our students do make it to big markets like D.C., Dallas, California, etc. It takes a little more work to find out of market employment, but we have a great Career Services Office and a 6,000 strong Jayhawk alumni network to help you. If you are interested in KU Law and are from outside the Midwest, I'd be happy to put you in touch with a KU Law alum in your area.

JayhawkLaw
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:57 am

Checkster,

Thank you for your question. Before I answer your question, just want to let folks know we tend to stay away from comparative discussions of our school vs. law school x. What I can do is tell you some of the reasons why students are choosing to attend KU Law.

Clinics
Every law school has some clinical programs. We have over two hundred clinical spots for fewer than five hundred students (really about 350 if you exclude first years who do not take clinical programs). That means our students are pretty much guaranteed the opportunity to take part in a clinic and many are even to take part in their second year. Further, being located twenty minutes from the state capital and forty-five minutes from Kansas City allows us to set up programs with a variety of groups. Let me tell you about just three of our dozen clinical programs. Starting next year KU Law students in the Kansas Supreme Court judicial clinic will be conducting legal research for the Supreme Court justices. Students in our media law clinic have helped draft the reporter's shield law in Kansas and have been at the forefront of assessing technology's impact on copyrights and trademarks. Finally, students in our Paul Wilson Innocence Project have won 23 reversals of conviction since 2009, thirteen in the last eighteen months (see http://www.news.ku.edu/2011/december/14 ... ence.shtml). Pretty cool stuff.

(cont'd below)

JayhawkLaw
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:08 pm

Lawrence
You don't have to be a Jayhawk basketball fan to love living in Lawrence. Yes, sports are huge part of the life here, but there is so much more to Lawrence than just sports. This is a fun place to spend three years of your life as the town has great music, food, arts and culture. The city also has tons of great bike and running trails, a competitive co-ed kickball league and is a center for triatholon training. And it's pretty affordable too.

Practice Areas
We pride ourselves on graduating students who are ready to practice just about any legal field available. But with our clinical programs, joint degrees and certificate programs, we have identified a number of areas where we are particularly strong. Among these are Corporate Law, Criminal Law, Elder Law, Tribal Law, International & Comparative Law, Tax Law, Media & Technology Law and Environmental Law. It would take a separate posting for each one to provide the details, so instead I encourage you to visit our website at http://www.law.ku.edu/academics/areas for more.

Hope this helps and look forward to meeting you!

taxman128
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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby taxman128 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:24 pm

JayhawkLaw wrote:
KU Law a great value.


please explain why.

thanks




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