Ah, those inscrutable transcripts from the University of Chicago Law School — gotta love ‘em. They’re chock full of numbers, but they don’t use the standard “As = 90s, Bs = 80s” scale. For example, if your grades are all in the 80s, you’re a rock star.
Nobody can make heads or tails of the U. Chicago transcripts. So what’s wrong with a little “tweaking” here and there? From the ABA Journal (via TaxProf Blog):
A lawyer who attended the University of Chicago Law School has been accused in an ethics complaint of lying about his grades when he applied for a summer position at Sidley Austin.
Loren Elliotte Friedman is accused in a complaint filed May 6 by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. He was listed as an associate at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle in New York on the firm’s website earlier Tuesday, but his name was removed by the afternoon.
Joseph Pizzurro, managing partner of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, told ABAJournal.com that Friedman, a bankruptcy associate, disclosed the bar complaint to the law firm on Friday and submitted his resignation.
The complaint says Friedman altered transcripts of his law school grades in 20 classes to reflect better grades than he received. Friedman worked at Sidley Austin the summer of 2002, and the firm extended an employment offer for him to begin work as an associate in 2003.
The complaint also alleges that Friedman failed to reveal he flunked out of medical school in his application to law school, and that he failed to disclose the altered law school transcripts in his bar application.
It looks like medicine, and now law, haven’t worked out for Loren Friedman. What’s next?
Maybe betting on horse races? The Legal Profession Blog has dubbed his three alleged omissions a “trifecta.”
More details, after the jump.
Will the scandal lead to changes in how applications are reviewed?
Pizzurro said he does not know if Friedman’s grades were altered in his application with Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, but the law firm generally does not check the accuracy of law school transcripts. “We generally will take it at face value if someone submits what looks like an authentic transcript,” he said.
Curtis, Mallet-Prevost performs the checks done by most law firms: It makes sure a lawyer is a bar member in good standing and it checks references, according to Pizzurro.
When asked if Curtis, Mallet-Prevost would change its procedures because of the allegations, Pizzurro replied, “We’re going to have to give that some thought.”
Check out the doctored transcript here (scroll down). Friedman was rather generous to himself, changing lots of C’s into B’s and even A’s. Talk about grade inflation!
P.S. Some of you have inquired into our policy with respect to disclosing or redacting the names of individuals who find themselves in embarrassing situations, like Loren Friedman. One of our general rules is that if the person’s name has previously appeared elsewhere — e.g., the ABA Journal, Time Out New York, a publicly filed court document, etc. — it’s fair game for disclosure.
Once something is out there, it’s out there. Welcome to the information age.
U of C Law Grad Accused of Submitting Phony Grades to Sidley Austin [ABA Journal]
Chicago Grad Accused of Submitting Phony Law School Grades to Sidley Austin [TaxProf Blog]
Trifecta Alleged [Legal Profession Blog]