Loyola logo.JPGOn Tuesday, I told you about Loyola Law School’s OCI policy of preventing students who had outstanding transfer applications from participating in Loyola’s on-campus interviewing program. I suggested that the policy was unfair:

It’s totally understandable for Loyola to want to service people who are happy to be at Loyola. But every student paying tuition should have equal access to the school’s services.

Well, that post has generated a somewhat blistering response from the Dean of Loyola Law School, Victor Gold. He sent the following message to all students today:

The website Above the Law carried a story recently about Loyola’s policy concerning transfer students’ participating in on campus interviews (OCI). The story misrepresents our policy, omits some key facts, and gets others wrong. The purpose of the policy is not, as the story claims, to discourage transfers. Rather, its purpose is to make sure that offers intended for Loyola students in fact go to Loyola students. It is my job to maximize employment opportunities for Loyola graduates and to ensure that employers coming to Loyola actually get to interview Loyola students. That is why I approved the policy.

The key facts Dean Gold wishes to publicize, plus a reader poll, after the jump.


Here’s what the Dean had to say:

Last year Loyola and other Los Angeles law schools for the first time conducted OCI in August just before classes began for the new school year. Because OCI preceded the start of classes, we were concerned about the possibility that a student who had been accepted to transfer to another school would still take interviews at Loyola. Unfortunately, we cannot know who has transferred until classes begin and we have the opportunity to take attendance.

On Tuesday, I said:

Unfortunately, that is too early for most students who are transferring to have received notice of whether or not their applications have been accepted.

Different sense, but I think we’re both still on the same page.

Moving on, the Dean pointed out:

This is why we adopted a policy that makes ineligible to participate in OCI any student who applied to transfer to another school. Importantly, the policy allows a student to immediately reinstate eligibility if that student’s transfer application is denied.

Alright. But, to be clear, the Dean really did read the previous post:

The Above the Law story suggests that a student should be ineligible for OCI only when a transfer application is accepted, not when the application is submitted. But because OCI takes place before we know whose transfer application is accepted, we have no way to enforce such a standard.

Well, if anything I suggested that a student should be ineligible for OCI only when the student stops paying tuition of services that should include (among other things) OCI. But, whatever, I’m still not seeing any factual errors or material misrepresentation of fact.

The Dean goes on:

While Loyola does not know the results of transfer applications at the time of OCI, almost all transfer applicants do have this knowledge. This means that a student whose application is denied can simply tell us and reinstate OCI eligibility. This is precisely what three students did last summer.

I agree, some transfer students do know the status of their applications by July. It’s just that some people don’t. What if you are wait listed? Remember, we’re talking about an OCI program that starts in late-July, not the end of August.

Anyway, the Dean makes it very clear that he has no intention of letting people who have actually received an offer of acceptance participate in OCI:

Of course, a student who knows he or she has been accepted at another school remains ineligible. This is as it should be. Students who transfer can participate in OCI at their new school. It is simply unfair to let students who transfer “double dip” by interviewing both at Loyola and their new school.

That makes sense. This situation wasn’t at all what I was talking about — and one could make an argument that people honestly debating whether or not to accept their transfer offer should still be able to access the services that they’ve already paid for — but everybody can get the logic of this part of the policy.

Still, I think the fundamental point still of the previous post stands. There are students out there who have applied for a transfer and don’t know the outcome, who will nonetheless be prevented from participating in OCI at the school they are currently enrolled in. That seems, unfair to me. But maybe that’s just me.

Regardless, Dean Gold wasn’t nearly done with me:

We are working on some changes to the policy this year based on student suggestions and the benefit of last summer’s experience. But the basic spirit behind that policy remains valid and will not change–it is unfair for a student who knows he or she is transferring to take an interview intended for a Loyola student.

Only a tiny number of students transfer each year. The vast majority of students, including the vast majority of those ranked at the top of the class, remain at Loyola and participate in OCI. All those students should know that I will continue to do everything in my power to help them find employment opportunities.

I think that comment was more directed at one of our tipsters who said:

Moreover, the Dean felt that it was unnecessary to inform the interviewing firms that they will no longer have access to the top 10-20% of 2Ls who decided to throw an application to a top flight law school.

I don’t have a dog in the fight between students who want to transfer from Loyola against students who do not. I’m just saying that it is a little bit strange to pit one against the other in competition for a resource that is apparently scarce. I mean, it’s not like Loyola would prevent professors from giving recommendations on students that have transferred away. It’s part of what you pay for.

In any event, the Dean closed with this:

Above the Law made no effort to check its story with me.

This is completely, 100% true. I checked the facts for the story (which, you’ll note, the Dean does not dispute in any material way) and confident that I had accurately learned about Loyola’s OCI policy, I published my thoughts and the thoughts of (multiple) tipsters on the matter. I didn’t mean to close Dean Gold out of the loop here, but once I determined that the facts were accurate, I thought it would make for an interesting post. If you look at the post I ran about UNC Law earlier today, you’ll note that I did contact the school’s representatives, as it seemed relevant to that story.

Full disclosure, I didn’t contact Dean Gold about this post either. Seems to me that the email stands on its face.

And just so nobody thinks that I took anything here out of context, below I reprint the full email we received from Dean Gold.

But first take our reader poll. Do you support Loyola’s policy?

LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL — STATEMENT — DEAN GOLD

FROM: Victor Gold

TO: Official Notice [Redacted], Faculty [Redacted]

SUBJECT: On Campus Interviews (OCI) Policy

The website Above the Law carried a story recently about Loyola’s policy concerning transfer students’ participating in on campus interviews (OCI). The story misrepresents our policy, omits some key facts, and gets others wrong. The purpose of the policy is not, as the story claims, to discourage transfers. Rather, its purpose is to make sure that offers intended for Loyola students in fact go to Loyola students. It is my job to maximize employment opportunities for Loyola graduates and to ensure that employers coming to Loyola actually get to interview Loyola students. That is why I approved the policy.

Here are the facts:

· Last year Loyola and other Los Angeles law schools for the first time conducted OCI in August just before classes began for the new school year. Because OCI preceded the start of classes, we were concerned about the possibility that a student who had been accepted to transfer to another school would still take interviews at Loyola. Unfortunately, we cannot know who has transferred until classes begin and we have the opportunity to take attendance.

· This is why we adopted a policy that makes ineligible to participate in OCI any student who applied to transfer to another school. Importantly, the policy allows a student to immediately reinstate eligibility if that student’s transfer application is denied.

· The Above the Law story suggests that a student should be ineligible for OCI only when a transfer application is accepted, not when the application is submitted. But because OCI takes place before we know whose transfer application is accepted, we have no way to enforce such a standard.

· While Loyola does not know the results of transfer applications at the time of OCI, almost all transfer applicants do have this knowledge. This means that a student whose application is denied can simply tell us and reinstate OCI eligibility. This is precisely what three students did last summer.

· Of course, a student who knows he or she has been accepted at another school remains ineligible. This is as it should be. Students who transfer can participate in OCI at their new school. It is simply unfair to let students who transfer “double dip” by interviewing both at Loyola and their new school.

We are working on some changes to the policy this year based on student suggestions and the benefit of last summer’s experience. But the basic spirit behind that policy remains valid and will not change–it is unfair for a student who knows he or she is transferring to take an interview intended for a Loyola student.

Only a tiny number of students transfer each year. The vast majority of students, including the vast majority of those ranked at the top of the class, remain at Loyola and participate in OCI. All those students should know that I will continue to do everything in my power to help them find employment opportunities.

Above the Law made no effort to check its story with me.

Victor Gold

Dean

Loyola Law School

Earlier: Are Top Loyola Law Students Getting Poor Services?


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