Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Race to the Bottom: Which law schools have lowered their admissions standards and by how much?

The sharp decline in applications over the last few years is forcing law schools to tinker with student quality, class size, and tuition while they wait and hope for a revival in demand for their toxic product, the JD.  Stated generally, the following strategies are available to law schools:
Strategy One: Maintain admissions standards-- which almost certainly creates the necessity of reducing class size, cutting tuition, and/or offering more tempting scholarships to attract quality students. It also creates the prospect of a fiscal shortfall that will become more serious over time.
or 
Strategy Two: Lower admissions standards, with not-so-long-term disastrous implications for the school’s reputation, the profession itself, and for the poorly qualified matriculants,  aka lemmings of average and below average intelligence, who are less likely than brainier members of their cohort to bounce back after taking the plunge. 
Of course, these two approaches are not quite mutually exclusive-- a law school can lower admissions standards marginally while simultaneously reducing class size, ect. I imagine Strategy Two as a big barrel (or barros) filled to the brim with intoxicating scam. A law school can abstain, sip lightly, or guzzle with shameless abandon, and the choice it makes says much about its character. 

Data on median LSAT scores for incoming students over the past three years is available at the Law School Transparency site. Comparing the 2013 with the 2011 data yields an answer to the question: Which schools have lowered the median LSAT of their incoming class between 2011 and 2013, and by how much? 

While I am sure most of our readers know this, an LSAT decline of two or more points can be quite substantial when the score is expressed as a percentile of test takers. The following LSAT score-to-percentile conversion table spells it out.  


Change in median LSAT for incoming class, 2011-2013.

Median LSAT up by 4 pts.
      1
Median LSAT up by 3 pts. 
      1   
Median LSAT up by 2 pts.
      0
Median LSAT up by 1 pt.
      4
Median LSAT unchanged
    26
Median LSAT down by 1 pt.
    56
Median LSAT down by 2 pts.
    50
Median LSAT down by 3 pts.
    37
Median LSAT down by 4 pts.
    16
Median LSAT down by 5 pts.
      5
Median LSAT down by 6 pts.
      2



Congratulations to against-the-current outlier University of New Hampshire SOL, which was able to increase its median LSAT score by three points in two years (from 154 to 157) by reducing the size of its incoming class from 146 to 77. I cannot bring myself to congratulate UMass-Dartmouth, which raised its median from an obscene 144 in 2011 to a merely execrable 148 to 2013, undoubtedly because it obtained ABA accreditation in 2012. 

Listed below are all law schools that lowered the median LSATs of their incoming class by 3 points or more since 2011, thereby demonstrating their contempt for their students and our profession. Notably, many of these schools already had very low LSATs in 2011. But if lower-tier law schools have proven anything, it is that you can always make a scam even scammier. Isn’t that so, Infilaw and Thomas Jefferson SOL?

Six point median LSAT decline, incoming class of 2011 v. 2013.


LaVerne                       (from 153 to 147)
Valparaiso                    (from 149 to 143)

Five point median LSAT decline, incoming class of 2011 v. 2013.

American                                 (from 162 to 157)
Hofstra                                     (from 159 to 154)
Samford                                   (from 155 to 150)
Suffolk                                     (from 154 to 149)
Thomas Jefferson                   (from 151 to 146)

Four point median LSAT decline, incoming class of 2011 v. 2013.

IU-Bloomington                       (from 166 to 162)
Brooklyn                                   (from 163 to 159)
St. John’s                                   (from 160 to 156)
Drexel                                        (from 159 to 155)
McGeorge of the Pacific         (from 158 to 154)
DePaul of Chicago                   (from 158 to 154)
Univ. of San Francisco            (from 157 to 153)
Univ. of Baltimore                   (from 156 to 152)
Campbell                                   (from 156 to 152)
Ohio Northern                           (from 154 to 150)
Western New England             (from 153 to 149)
University of D.C.                    (from 153 to 149)
John Marshall of Chicago      (from 153 to 149)
Ave Maria                                 (from 150 to 146)
Charlotte                                   (from 148 to 144)
Arizona Summit                       (from 148 to 144)

Three point median LSAT decline, incoming class of 2011 v. 2013.

Univ. of Minnesota                 (from 167 to 164)
Notre Dame                              (from 166 to 163)
George Mason                         (from 164 to 161)
Univ. of Illinois                       (from 163 to 160)
Pepperdine                               (from 163 to 160)
Ohio State                                (from 163 to 160)
Univ. of Maryland                  (from 162 to 159)
UC-Hastings                            (from 162 to 159)
Florida State                             (from 162 to 159)
Lewis and Clark                       (from 161 to 158)
Villanova                                  (from 160 to 157)
Univ. of Tennessee                  (from 160 to 157)
Santa Clara                               (from 160 to 157)
Univ. of South Carolina          (from 158 to 155)
Univ. of New Mexico              (from 157 to 154)
SUNY-Buffalo                         (from 157 to 154)
Catholic U.                               (from 157 to 154)
Drake                                         (from 156 to 153)
Univ. of Missouri, KC            (from 155 to 152)
Mercer                                       (from 155 to 152)
Vermont Law                           (from 154 to 151)
Univ. Arkansas-Little Rock  (from 154 to 151)
St. Mary’s                                (from 154 to 151)
South Texas                             (from 154 to 151)
Pace                                          (from 154 to 151)
New York Law                        (from 154 to 151)
Southern Illinois  U.               (from 153 to 150)
Elon                                          (from 153 to 150)
Whittier                                    (from 152 to 149)
Univ. of North Dakota           (from 151 to 148)
Touro                                        (from 151 to 148)
Capital                                      (from 151 to 148)
St. Thomas-Florida                 (from 150 to 147)
Faulkner                                   (from 149 to 146)
North Carolina Central U.      (from 148 to 145)
Texas Southern                        (from 147 to 144)
Florida Coastal                         (from 147 to 144)






80 comments:

  1. The schools with medians in the 140s will pay for this in 2-3 years when large numbers of their graduating classes fail the bar exam - that is, unless unless they can convince the bar examiners in their state to lower standards even further.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have said this before, and suspect Prof. Campos of co-opting the idea in The Atlantic, but what these schools are doing is eating the seed corn. It's all about short-term survival now.

      Delete
    2. TTTT schools are going to infiltrate the state bars the same way they have done with ABA so they can lower the standards on bar exams.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, now the (mal)admini$tration of these skules is just emptying the coffers into private pockets, with an eye to leaving the mouldering remains to the receivers.

      When do we get to see the figures for 2014?

      Old Guy

      Delete
    4. Wasn't there evidence that some of these schools were having their worst students agree to take the bar at a later date, which will help juke their statistics?

      Delete
    5. "TTTT schools are going to infiltrate the state bars the same way they have done with ABA so they can lower the standards on bar exams."

      How'd that work out in Michigan? November 2012 pass rate for Cooley-- 42%, November 2013--43%.

      Delete
    6. Actually, Old Guy, I think the mindset is to ride out the storm and then make a comeback. I wonder how many scamdeans and lawprofs grasp that their greed in hiking up tuition in order to reward themselves with absurdly high salaries has made law school such an economically nonviable option for 90%+ of students so that it is NEVER coming back.

      Delete
    7. "unless unless they can convince the bar examiners in their state to lower standards even further"

      I'm hoping that practitioners' self-interest will cause them to resist this.

      Delete
    8. That may be, 4:03. Perhaps I overestimate the intelligence and perspicacity of the big beneficiaries of the law-school scam. Some of them may indeed believe that their institutions will be in the black two or three years from now. Maybe I'm atypically cynical, but I suspect that most of the deans, and not a few of the professors, know that scores of skules are circling the drain.

      Old Guy

      Delete
    9. Exactly. The market for law school admissions is NEVER coming back. In fact, it's not even a market any more. They actually raised tuition as applications were plummeting, so they killed any possibility of a rebound.

      Delete
  2. Ugh. LaVerne and Valpo, burn in hell. Seriously. You are doing these young people a great disservice, just so you can get paid your salaries and/or generate easy money for the larger university. Despicable.

    Not that several of the above schools are super-winners, either, and get off scott-free. The money-grab is in plain sight for all to see, and let the lemmings still willingly sign over their lives. Sad, sad, sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Valpo is a 100+ year old private religious school with a decent reputation - why is their law school such a dumpster fire?

      Delete
    2. Think about it, 9:50. Outside the T14 (and even to some degree within it) how many universities are there where the law school is harder to get into than the undergraduate school? It's been that way since before law school became a scam.

      Delete
    3. 3:20: What you say makes sense, but it doesn't explain why Valpo is significantly worse than its peers. For example, Valpo is less selective than all the Infilaw schools and has a median only 2 pts above TJSL, a school teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. That is unspeakably bad.

      Delete
    4. @4:01, @3:20 here. Good question. My theory would be that it's because Valpo is in the middle of nowhere. In the past almost anyone going there probably couldn't get into their local TTT. As TTTs in large cities lower themselves toward open admissions there is no more need to travel. Example. I'm in Connecticut. Know a guy who walked into his father's existing practice in the 1970's. Dear old Dad went to Yale Law, son went to U of Puget Sound Law (n/k/a Seattle U). He had to go that far to find a place that would take him, presumably for the geographic diversity he offered them. Nowadays I think WNEU or Vermont or New England would send a limo to pick him up. People at the bottom of the applicant pool can now get in somewhere closer to home.

      Delete
    5. La Verne still only has provisional ABA accreditation, Valpo has no such excuse.

      Delete
  3. 2014 scores are coming in. For example Washington and Lee's scores are way down for fall 2014. The median lsat is 161 and the median gpa is 3.37 for this year compared to 164 and 3.51 for last fall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where did you find this? That's a pretty big drop!

      Delete
    2. W&L's "racist southern white 1%er" factor probably remains the same though...

      Delete
    3. I found it on their website: 2017 class profile.

      Delete
    4. That's a huge drop for one year. It looks like Washington and Lee will drop again in US News next year.

      Delete
    5. I bet w & L is glad they hired Nora Demleitner. Shes got the reverse midas touch. Everything she touches turns into Hofstra.

      Delete
    6. I'm not sure what to think about Demleitner. She's a fairly decent scholar and speaker, but she's gotten in way over her head as a dean. I think she was just too eager to get that extra salary, so she accepted some highly dubious positions.
      Hofstra and WashLee are both marginal schools with horrible employment records in extremely competitive markets. They both had serious problems before Nora came along and claimed she could save them.

      Delete
    7. Demleitner's disastrous career actually illustrates something called "path dependence." That's a term that social scientists use to describe the constraints that past events or decisions impose on future events or decisions. A good example would be the near impossibility of getting hired into biglaw unless you were already hired into biglaw or a judicial clerkship within a certain time after graduation from law school. And instead of doing scientific research on this, the law schools try to deny that path dependence even exists for their own graduates. It's far easier and far more profitable to simply apply flimsy and prefabricated "Open Road" narratives to career outcomes when they are actually tightly constrained by well-known social phenomena.

      Probably due to her own addiction to self-serving rhetoric and narratives, Demleitner never developed enough reasoning skills to realize that path dependence would largely determine her own career outcomes. Accepting her first faculty position at St. Mary's in San Antonio was a major blow to her academic career, but that may not have been obvious at first. Assuming she wasn't under any pressure to leave, accepting her second position at Hofstra was an even bigger mistake, but had been made far more likely by her first mistake.

      Then dean positions opened up at Hofstra, and as the bottom fell out at Hofstra she tried desperately to move up, but Washington and Lee was not, in reality, very far up from Hofstra. They had had serious placement deficiencies for years, for example into the crucial DC market. Then they compounded their problems by adopting that ridiculous third-year simulation program instead of developing more externships in real legal environments.

      The rest is history. As word leaked out about W+L's dreadful employment situation, the bottom fell out of their applicant pool. It's actually a very instructive--because of being extreme--example of what's happening to law schools outside the Top 20 in general. And the posters and commenters on this blog have been at the forefront of exposing Washington and Lee as the self-aggrandizing sham and economic car bomb that it truly is. To those in the tiny incoming cohort, I would recommend that they do some research on their own law school, which they obviously haven't done yet. Transfer if you can, drop out if you must, but get out of Lexington before it's too late!

      Delete
    8. Washington and Lee should offer an LLM in Confederate Law. Now that they've finally taken down the Stars and Bars (in most places), they need something new to reveal their true kkkolors.

      Old Guy

      Delete
    9. Actually Hofstra was not in bad shape when Demleitner took over, at least according to the figures her administration posted on Hofstra's website.

      Delete
    10. Twerski was taking Hofstra in the right direction but when he got sick Hofstra got stuck with Demleitner. She didn't have any idea what to do and she's not good dealing with people especially students.

      Delete
    11. Demleitner may have posted accurate figures for student inputs when she took over. However, she was not posting accurate employment figures. Hofstra grads have always had major problems competing in the NYC market.

      Delete
    12. Here are the 2014 scores for other VA law schools:

      W & L 161 3.37
      W & M 163 3.79
      Geo. M 161 3.60
      Rich 161 3.54

      Delete
    13. Richmond has a 160 LSAT, 3.50 GPA (they post their "admitted" students on their website, which is the number you have here, but if you look real closely in the corner box you will see the actual stats from their "enrolled" class). This seems to be a bit misleading (Pace posts "admitted" stats as well).

      Delete
    14. So W&L is now less selective than Richmond? How the mighty have fallen. I think they cracked the top 20 a couple of times, and now they're headed out of the Top 50.

      Delete
    15. These are not Richmond's actual enrolled numbers. They are the stats of the students which Richmond made offers to. Richmond puts its actual stats of its enrolled class in a small box in the right side if you look carefully:

      Class Size: 132

      LSAT Score:
      •75th percentile LSAT Score - 161
      •Median - 160 (80th percentile)
      •25th percentile - 155

      Undergraduate GPA:
      •75th percentile GPA - 3.61
      •Median - 3.50
      •25th percentile - 3.21

      http://law.richmond.edu/admissions/profile.html

      Delete
    16. You missed something. Washington & Lee made 1011 offers for 2014 and only 101 students accepted. That's a 10% offer acceptance rate (yield). For fall 2013 the lowest offer acceptance rate of any ABA law school was Cal-Davis at 11%. Despite its past reputation as an elite law school W & L can no longer attract students.

      Delete
    17. That's an ignominious fate for a formerly elite law school. Washington and Lee is now the favorite safety school for applicants who don't need a safety school.

      Delete
    18. On va bar results released yesterday, W&L almost tied UVA, beat all the other Va schools. GMU took a huge tumble.

      Delete
    19. One thing's for certain Nora Demleitner is an incompetent dean. She took on a job she had no ability to due. Just because you can write an article doesn't mean you can run a law school.

      Delete
  4. "lemmings of average and below average intelligence, who are less likely than brainier members of their cohort to bounce back after taking the plunge"

    And who are more likely to take the plunge to begin with. Law School Lemmings really brings this home. So sad to see earnest young people excited about ruining their lives.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Suffolk must have been trying for that "sweet spot". If you take all the percentiles and subtract each 5th one, no other move than 154-->149 garners such a large percentile drop (19.9%, essentially having their median student go from 60th percentile to 40th). Which is even slightly greater, percentile-wise, than Valpo's 6-point drop.

    The alphascores website seems to have gone belly up, at least for the moment. Same info (presumably) can be found at

    http://www.cambridgelsat.com/resources/data/lsat-percentiles-table/
    (Note maybe just my browser, but I have to highlight across the top/header row of the chart to make the relevant test-years visible. In any event, the far right column is for test years 2010-2013.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can also view the percentiles on any of our LSAT charts on school profile pages: http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/valparaiso/2013/ We plot the interquartile range and median for the last four years for every school (unless the school is new, of course) onto the LSAT distribution curve.

      Delete
    2. Which is why anyone interested in arresting the law school scam should be donating what the can to LST. I imagine even $5.00 would help.

      Delete
  6. Some real fuckmonkey schools on that list with their low 150s to high 140s LSAT profiles. If there's any silver lining, it's that the top schools are not finding it necessary to scrape the bottom of the barrel quite yet, and that the pain is primarily borne by the schools at the ass-end of the rankings where the vast majority of the blame belongs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Casually browsing the LST side, I've noticed a bunch of schools with dropping LSAT scores, but steady or even sharply increasing GPA's. I think that they are dropping a tier on the undergrad programs who are providing their 1L's.

      Delete
  7. Widener should be on one of those lists, except it hasn't released figures since 2011.

    They're looking for a new dean, BTW.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll take the job!

      Old Guy

      Delete
    2. Widener's medians
      2010: 152 (from LST)
      2011: 152 (from LST)
      2013: 150 (DE campus, from Widener website)
      2013: 147 (Harrisburg campus, from Widener website)

      Delete
    3. Laughable. Widener is the only law school in Delaware, correct? It speaks volumes when the state's own flagship U doesn't think the market is big enough to support a law school. (See also, Vermont)

      Delete
    4. Yes, Widener is the only law school in Delaware. It serves absolutely no purpose (although it has a nice library that members of the bar can use). Delaware has no need for a law school, since there are only ~3k lawyers practicing in the state, and most of the 0L population could easily commute to schools in Philly.

      Delete
  8. The schools that have been able to maintain (or improve) are most likely buying students with higher scores by offering full (or at least large) scholarships/discounts.

    I don't know how long some of these schools can afford to keep doing this. I hope not much longer.

    ReplyDelete
  9. BU and BC both fell 2 LSAT points and substantially on GPA this year.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Valpo got pwnd in the film The Judge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuo_vTPF1CU

      Delete
  11. While LST does not have the numbers up yet for the Fall 2014 incoming classes, if you poke around the internet, you can find results for individual schools. From what I have seen so far, the trend of smaller class sizes and/or lower admission standards continues at non-elite schools. For example, I noticed in the NY Law Journal today that Albany Law’s dean has resigned, so I checked the school’s incoming 1L class size/median LSAT numbers. Here they are:

    2010 - 236/154
    2013 - 182/153
    2014 - 123/151

    The three point drop in LSAT medians is bad, but could be worse. However, the precipitous decline in enrollment must be taking a serious toll on Albany’s bottom line. Maybe that's why the dean resigned.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the Albany dean was trying to cut costs gracefully by buying out the profs, but revenues declined so quickly that even that looked extravagant. Here's a prediction: in the next round of layoffs, the Albany profs get nothing. They may even get sued for misusing their summer research stipends.

      Delete
    2. To me, the financial exigency clause has got to be well-justified there. They've taken close to a 50% cut in numbers. Even if they could hold tuition steady, that's close to a 50% gross revenue cut. Given (say) a 20% tuition cut, they might be pushing a 60-65% gross revenue cut. If their major expense is professor's salaries.........

      Delete
  12. A chilling thought just occurred to me: If I signed up at Indiana Tech (god forfend!), the skule's mean LSAT score would go up a full point.

    Old Guy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's all go in together. If each of us gets over 170 on the LSAT, we can apply to Indy Tech, get accepted with full scholarships, rent an animal house in Fort Wayne or South Bend or whatever, and make Indy Tech the MIT of law schools. Then Douglas Fresh Cummings can look really good with his high median LSAT and go get a job teaching critical hiphop capitalism at UCLA. They've had considerable trouble finding qualified candidates lately for that sort of thing.

      Delete
    2. "If I signed up at Indiana Tech ...mean LSAT score would go up a full point."

      Ha! And they say lawyers can't do math!

      It'd take just 6 of us with 176's to shove them over that critical 152 hump (LSAT 50th percentile).

      On the other hand, if they ever get accredited, USNWR is going to love their low S/F ratio (currently less than 3:1, since they barely have any students).

      Delete
    3. @ITOT: Their first year I believe they had better than a 1:1 F/S ratio, as for some reason they hired an entire faculty despite only having a 1L class (and only ~30 matriculants, compared with their projected class size of about 100).

      Delete
    4. We should offer to license our LSAT scores to Indiana Tech. Call Pond Scum and tell him that we'll register as students in exchange for a certain con$ideration and an exemption from sitting through their dumb classes. (If necessary, seek an exception from the ABA on the grounds that we already have law degrees.) How much would Indiana Tech pay to propel itself over the 50th percentile?

      Old Guy

      Delete
    5. You might even get your faces on Dougie Fresh's website:

      http://www.andredouglaspondcummings.com/index.html

      It strangely reminds me of a teenager's myspace page . . .

      Delete
  13. You've got Brooklyn down 4 from 2011 to 2013 - they fell another 3 this year for a total of 7 LSAT points (from 163 to 156) over the last three years.

    The Dean issued a press release touting the increase in class size for the last two years. http://www.brooklaw.edu/newsandevents/news/2014/08-18-2014a.aspx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Despicable - only an LS dean would 1) think that is good news, and 2) be tone deaf enough to put it in a press release.

      Delete
    2. It makes sense. Pretend you're a Dean/Assistant Dean/Executive Associate Assistant Dean Apprentice, or even a lowly professor:


      If you drop standards now, and hold enrollment, and sorta hold tuition, the school stays open. Anything else means that the school is in genuine financial distress. For professors, that means layoffs. For the Dean Zone, that might mean actual layoffs, rather than 'cuts' like cutting your salary increase from 10% down to 5%.

      If you are a standalone school, it's worse, because you'd be losing money like crazy, and you either don't have an endowment, or could bleed it away in two years. You have no assets except your building(s), which might be mortgaged already, or simply of not much value (depending on location). The banks are not going to loan you money.

      You're in your mid-50's. You need five more good years until retirement. After that, the school can fall into a smoking pit, for all that you care.

      It makes sense to cut standards like crazy, and to hold the line on tuition/class sizes as much as possible. During the enrollment periods, you make a lot of trade-offs between the two, as the enrollment becomes clear (much more Excel, less PowerPoint!). This preserves your job for a while, and that's both all that you need, and all that you can get.

      Three years from now, your bar passage rate drops like a rock, which shortly after that, causes problems with ABA accreditation. But that puts you far closer to retirement, and (I'd bet that) the ABA will probably fold on the bar passage rate requirement, since likely 50 other schools will be in the same boat.

      And if five or six or seven years from now your school closes (or better yet, you take early retirement with a nice package), then you're better off than other other option will leave you.


      (If you are a university-affiliated school, it'll be different, but I would bet that the law school doesn't have the clout it did when it was a cash cow. They're probably now in the position of having their decisions made at the university level, rather than by the law school administration)

      Delete
    3. ^^This^^ The dean and senior profs (the decision makers) at a law school can make $1M or more (per person) while the school's reputation plummets. Once the school's reputation is significantly destroyed, the dean and senior profs can cash out and leave the students/grads and junior faculty/staff to deal with the consequences.

      Delete
    4. Excellent comment, Barry.

      Delete
    5. Also, this approach draws in lemmings who are delighted to go to a more "prestigious" institution than the Cooley where they otherwise would have ended up. And the reputational harm is mitigated by the comparable drop in standards at numerous other in$titutions.

      At this point, the scamsters are just grabbing up assets, leaving behind a mouldering carcass that once was a law skule.

      Old Guy

      Delete
    6. Old Guy: "At this point, the scamsters are just grabbing up assets, leaving behind a mouldering carcass that once was a law skule. "

      A good point - if one school was doing this, it'd fold earlier, since the relative reputational drop would be severe. In this situation, it's likely the new normal for the bottom 50 schools, if not the bottom 100.

      Delete
  14. Like most non-elite schools, Brooklyn reached the point where it had to choose between substantially lower enrollment numbers or substantially reduced admission standards. And like most schools facing this choice, Brooklyn chose option #2.

    Sometimes I wonder if BLS has caught any flack from alumni over what has been happening. As we all know, in this prestige-obsessed profession, where you went to law school continues to matter long after they hand you your JD degree. While no one ever confused BLS with NYU, it wasn’t too long ago that it was knocking on the Tier 1 door. Now, it’s well on the way to becoming just another TTT dumpster fire.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brooklyn is the only halfway-respectable school I'm aware of that has actually boasted about deemphasizing the LSAT in admissions. They did this, of course, to increase their admissions pool. High GPA's are a dime a dozen, which is the reason for requiring the LSAT in the first place. It helps honest schools to distinguish between meaningful and meaningless GPA's.

      Delete
    2. There is a lot of inertia in reputation. It takes a long time for a sustained increase or decrease in quality to filter out to a critical mass of people.

      Delete
    3. Downplaying the LSAT is easy: one can call the test √©litist, lament that it excludes this or that group, or claim that it fails to account for Multiple Intelligences™ or Different Approaches to Learning®. Indeed, this "innovative" "reform" will garner praise from some circles.

      If necessary, claim, without proof, that the "prestigious" skule could attract piles of people with high LSAT scores but prefers to craft a diverse class through its unique approach to admissions.

      Old Guy

      Delete
    4. So you're saying that it is possible for a lawyer to get hired when their law school is sufficiently reputable. They can then do good work, but if their law school has deteriorated in prestige enough they will not get promoted and be let go?

      Delete
    5. I think what he/she is trying to say is that reputation matters (overwhelmingly) for new grads breaking into the job market. After that, the lawyer has current employment and connections, which mitigate this somewhat. And also that the drop in quality at a school which was never elite will take time to percolate enough that a lot of alumni care a lot.

      Delete
    6. In response to 7:36, I was thinking more in terms of hurt egos than hurt careers. Say what you will about the US News rankings, most lawyers keep track of which way their school is moving. If BLS drops into TTTriple digit territory next year (which it may given a three point drop in the LSAT median), a lot of alumni are going to take notice and I suspect the dean will take some heat.

      Delete
    7. "...a lot of alumni are going to take notice and I suspect the dean will take some heat."

      Then again, what happens if the dean says 'f*ck the alumni, unless they contribute'.


      Actually, this is a serious question - if the alumni aren't (big) donors, or if they don't do a lot of direct hiring, who cares?

      Delete
    8. I think you're right, Barry. The skules only pay attention to their wealthy donors who put names on buildings.

      I think many skules have been saying "f*ck the alumni" for some time now. Their contempt for non-wealthy grads (becuase, hello, alumni can't give with decades of non dischargeable debt around theior necks), coupled with open enrollment and declining standards, shows where their priorities truly lie.

      Delete
  15. Noticed some of the higher ranked schools increased their admissions standards- like Columbia and Duke. Harvard and Yale have stayed the same, more or less, with a small drop for Harvard. NYU has dropped in SATs.

    There are still lemmings going to these schools, convinced that the good first year employment statistics are good for a career for most grads of these schools. Little to they know, this couldn't be farther from the truth. Many grads of these schools are going to end up with worthless law degrees. So much for the prestige of being part of those hallowed halls while one is still young.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If NYU law school has been reduced to accepting SAT scores, I'd say that's a considerable decrease in admission standards.

      Delete
  16. Places that experience a decline in enrollment, a decline in average LSAT score, and a decline in price simultaneously will prove to be powerless in the years ahead. Nothing they do will stop the inevitable. They will fail, anyone attending such a school will go down with it.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Apparently McGeorge's median LSAT has fallen 3 more points. Dybbuk is using the 2013 statistics that came out last fall. The new stats are dribbling out now, and should be complete by December.

    ReplyDelete