University of Illinois College of Law logo.JPGThis morning, we mentioned the University of Illinois College of Law admissions scandal. It appears that former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich pressured the University of Illinois Chancellor, Richard Herman, and Heidi Hurd, former dean of the University of Illinois College of Law, to admit underqualified students who were politically connected. In exchange for admitting those students, university officials attempted to obtain jobs for graduates of the College of Law.
The Chicago Tribune reports the results of its investigation into the law school:

The documents show for the first time efforts to seek favors — in this case, jobs — for admissions, the most troubling evidence yet of how Illinois’ entrenched system of patronage crept into the state’s most prestigious public university.
They also detail the law school’s system for handling “Special Admits,” students backed by the politically connected, expanding the scope of a scandal prompted by a Chicago Tribune investigation.

The paper has published the incriminating emails (PDF) it has uncovered. Warning, these emails are not safe for naive people who are unaccustomed with the “Chicago style” of getting things done. Here’s an exchange between the Chancellor and the Dean about what jobs would be appropriate in exchange for admitting politically connected students:
Thumbnail image for Illinois Law incriminating emails 1.JPG
I suppose there are worse things than a dean trying to aggressively secure employment for her law graduates can’t pass the bar and can’t think. Of course, you’d hope that the dean would be even more focused on educating students so that they can pass the bar and, you know, think — but why cry over spilled milk?
In fact, some Illinois law graduates we spoke with had a very positive impression of Dean Hurd. Depending, of course, on what you mean by positive.
Some student impressions of the dean, and more emails, after the jump.

Some former Illinois law students had some very … nice … things to say about Dean Hurd:

Heidi Hurd University of Illinois.JPGHurd was pretty colorful. She wore a full length fur coat, drove a BMW roadster, was very friendly with students, and many students put her in the MILF category, which she seemed aware of but also seemed to enjoy. She was not one to turn down the opportunity for some mild flirting with students in her first semester 1L class, the only class she taught while dean.

Check out Hurd’s picture to the right. That’s somewhere on the order of Stifler’s mom, right?
But don’t let the desperate-mom-next-door looks fool you, this is a lady who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to ask for it. When pressed that the admission requests came “straight from the G” — which appears to mean straight from Governor Blagojevich — Hurd fired right back with the job demands:
Illinois Law incriminating emails 2.JPG
Such aggressive tactics seem to have been a recurring theme during her tenure. A source reports:

Dean Hurd was a controversial dean. She left very suddenly at the end of spring semester 2007 and returned to her tenured teaching position. It was unexpected, as she had been very successful at fundraising and pushing our rankings. That is despite her problems with fudging the numbers for USNWR one year.

Alas, the Governor’s alleged request worried some people at Illinois College of Law at least in part because of the hit Illinois law would take in the U.S. News rankings:
Illinois Law incriminating emails 3.JPG
You get the feeling that this is the kind of scandal that is only going to get worse as more information comes to light. The potential scope of this problem for the College of Law is truly shocking:

Gov. Pat Quinn convened a state commission to investigate the U. of I. admissions process after the Tribune revealed that more than 800 undergraduate applicants in the last five years received special consideration because they were backed by U. of I. trustees, legislators and others in powerful posts.

As you know, I’m a big proponent of taking factors other than GPA and LSAT scores into consideration when it comes to admissions. But being down with “the G” doesn’t seem relevant to any higher goal that a law school might aspire to.
Then again, a job is a job, and actually employing people is a huge part of the U.S. News formula. In that world, five jobs for five mouth breathers could be pretty enticing. You can almost hear Heidi Hurd saying:

I’ve got this thing and it’s f****** golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for f****** nothing. I’m not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it.

U. of I. jobs-for-entry scheme [Chicago Tribune]
University of Illinois College of Law emails.pdf [Chicago Tribune]

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214 thoughts on “University of Illinois College of Law Scandal: Now With Emails

  1. guest says:


  2. Partner Emeritus says:

    The email is accurate. Folks who can’t either think or pass the bar are the perfect fit for government work.

  3. guest says:

    Wonder what the over/under is on students who were denied admissions to U of I Law during this time filing suit against the school

  4. guest says:

    “It appears that former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich pressured University of Illinois Chancellor, Richard Herman, and Heidi Hurd — former dean of the University of Illinois College of Law — to admit under qualified students who were politically connected. In exchange, university officials tried to secure jobs for graduates of the College of Law.” This makes no sense at all. What is being exchanged?

  5. guest says:

    4 – Replace “tried to” in the last sentence with “pressured the governor’s office to” and it becomes more clear.
    Astonishing, really.

  6. guest says:

    Finally, a law school attempts to actually do something for their students rather than just skew the USNWR numbers!

  7. guest says:

    Hey ATL, what the crap about “the “Chicago-style” of getting things done”? I’m a Chicagoan. And I have this to say to you: fuck you. And your fucking goldfish. Pissant.

  8. guest says:

    4: Read slowly. “The G” pressured the Chancellor and the Dean for the favor of admitting unqualified candidates (Special Admits). They complied, thus The G owed them a favor. To cash in for the favor, the Chancellor and the Dean requested jobs for unqualified graduates.
    The only unanswered question here is if the “Special Admits” were also the “Special Eds” three years later. I’m guessin’ that’s a YEP!
    BTW – are you a graduate of I CoL?

  9. guest says:

    I can’t help but agree with number 6. Let’s face it, the university admissions process is far from fair. Colleges have always let in applicants who have something to offer beyond academic qualifications. What’s the difference between a college lowering admissions standards for a college athlete vs. for an applicant with political connections that will deliver jobs for other students? Although, who are we kidding; I’m sure this wheeling and dealing *never* happens in other public university systems…

  10. guest says:

    “Hey ATL, what the crap about ‘the “Chicago-style” of getting things done?’ I’m a Chicagoan. And I have this to say to you: fuck you. And your fucking goldfish. Pissant.”
    I believe he was referring to the stereotypes about the corruptness of the Chicago political machine.

  11. guest says:

    this reminds me of a certain firm that laid off all the bar failers except for a partner’s son

  12. guest says:

    This thing goes on in the T14 all the time. There is a reason that the admissions process is a complete black box. You don’t want to see what’s inside. That shouldn’t detract from the accomplishment of the vast majority of matriculants, but it’s a strong reason to stay away from the bottom 10% or so at any law school.
    This is another reason why the new HLS grading system hurts us, because we can’t meaningfully distinguish ourselves from those people who we all know shouldn’t be here.
    That said, I’m surprised the guv couldn’t get somebody into Chicago.

  13. guest says:

    9: The difference is that they didn’t leave an audit trail in e-mail. So much for the “dumb jock” stereotype. Do the teach e-discovery in Chicago?

  14. guest says:

    Go Heidi!
    I knew my old crim law prof would be famous some day.

  15. guest says:

    9, the difference is that the dumb jock is not a member of the government abusing his official position in a quid pro quo.

  16. The 80s Guy says:

    Awesome. Awesome to the max.

  17. guest says:

    Tell me again how the U.S. is a meritocracy motherf******.
    Can we all agree that now is the time to pick up the pitchfork and tear this country down.

  18. guest says:

    First off, Heidi Hurd is not MILF material. If you think she is, you need to get out more. Upon closer inspection, she’s just the usual cougar trying to re-live her glory days. Too much make-up and jewelry combined with inappropriate skirt lengths for a woman that age.
    Total flake. Not at all surprised she’s caught up in a scandal like this.

  19. guest says:

    If this were Chicago style, it’d be a different conversation, if you know what i mean.

  20. guest says:

    she is hot

  21. guest says:

    Like this doesn’t happen all the time with many other governors and law schools. Non-story.

  22. guest says:

    This is not a problem for legit Illinois students. It’s just more kids filling up the bottom of the class.

  23. guest says:

    The UI CoL is in Champaign. Easy on the Chicago stereotypes.

  24. guest says:

    as an illini undergrad alum this kind of shit gets my blood boiling….i think its worth mentioning that the chancellor forced the admission of a john marshall transfer as long as he pulled up his second semester 1L gpa to a 2.75. Fire Herman, Fire Hurd, Fire Eppley…and bring back the motherfucking chief….fuck (in an ari gold style rant)

  25. guest says:

    Hurd’s real crime was pushing away the entire liberal faction of U of I’s faculty, which constituted every good professor we had. Counting down the minutes until she gets axed.

  26. guest says:

    cosign 24 – oskee wow wow. Long live the Chief.

  27. guest says:

    @25 Totally right. If there’s anything we’ve learned from this, it’s that we need more liberals.

  28. guest says:

    Maybe I am missing something?
    1) The students want the law school to get them jobs.
    2) The law school gets jobs for 5 of them by accepting one less-qualified students.
    3) No one is hurt because they just expand the size of their student class by one.
    What is the problem here? Is it just that the request came from a political person? Would it be different if it were the CEO of IBM (for example) agreeing to provide 5 jobs in exchange for getting a relative in?
    I assume that the latter would not be wrong, right? It would benefit all of the students as a whole.
    There does not seem to be any personal gain by any of the U of I people – all actions seem intended to provide the maximum benefit to the students as a whole – so how can this be corruption?

  29. guest says:

    Hey Mystal, FUCK YOU!

  30. guest says:

    Please. You want to know what they call trading seats for jobs at any other private law school? A typical day.
    I heart Hurd and Pless for trying to resist the idiocy of Blago, and even more so after learning they at least attempted to hustle some jobs for their students in exchange for the shitcake they were being forced to eat.

  31. guest says:

    I’m sure admissions departments go through a similar process with affirmative action admits, though the payoff is their aa scores.
    Sad and only perpetuates the problem

  32. guest says:

    If Illinois is going to make Hurd the goat in this, then what does that make Goatherder? A man sucking milk from his own goats’ TTTeets?

  33. guest says:

    Suddenly Mystal is a big proponent of making admissions decisions based on merit?
    Someday Elie, you will realize what a racist you are.

  34. guest says:

    That’s a joke 33 – Elie would never in a million years say that admissions decisions should be based on anything other than as a secondary factor to racial quotas.

  35. guest says:

    Elie, you fat pussy toad, this IS affirmative action. If it turns out that all of the unqualified prospective students/job candidates who were being benefited were all black I bet you never cover this story again.

  36. guest says:

    The internet is a kind of hell?

  37. guest says:

    35 = moron.

  38. guest says:

    Mystal, if I ever meet you, after shaking your hand I am going to punch you straight in the fupa. Twice.
    Your Father

  39. guest says:

    i’m sure this goes on all the time at many law schools, but to see the arrogance in the emails really paints an ugly picture.

  40. guest says:

    @35, if it makes you feel any better, the names of the 2 benefited students from the Class of 2009 are indirectly released in the Trib article (by showing the names of their relatives). Both students are minorities.

  41. guest says:

    37 = black like mestal

  42. guest says:

    I adopted a black kid and sent my daughter to a foster home. I felt guilty about slavery. Now I feel better.

  43. guest says:

    When schools abandon GPA and LSAT scores as the sole (or at least most important) criteria for admission and replace them with subjective factors, it opens the door for this sort of mischief. After all it would be almost impossible for anyone to know if some dumb little toad got in because he had a surplus of fuzzy (immeasurable) factors or just had a well-connected pops.

  44. guest says:

    I was there when John Cribbet, rest his soul, was still dean. I can’t imagine anyone messing with him on admissions. While Cribbet personified the legal profession as it once aspired to be, Heidi Hurd is what the profession has become. When all the details come out, she will have made quite an example of the U of I.

  45. guest says:

    It is funny that a db from Harvard Law School has the guts to call someone out for patronage.
    20% of the students at HLS don’t deserve to be there. Either because daddy paid their way in or because they were admitted because of race.

  46. guest says:

    Have a fling with a Scottish highland dancer.

  47. guest says:

    LOL @42.
    I don’t see why this is such a big deal. At least she is trying to get something (jobs) for her law students in return for accepting these underqualified candidates. Law schools accept underqualified candidates all the time for the sake of diversity, donations from the kids’ parents, and probably many other reasons.
    From the perspective of the law students as a whole, which payoff is the best? If you knew your law school admin was watering down admissions in a quid pro quo exchange, which “quo” would you rather have: a more diverse student body or more available jobs at the end of law school? I’m not saying diversity is worthless, but I’d rather have the jobs, thank you.

  48. guest says:

    From the perspective of the ABA & USNWR,
    it isn’t about a legacy admission or two,
    it’s about cooking the books, so yeah,
    that’s a big deal.

  49. guest says:

    Aren’t those criticizing her are being a little harsh? It’s a fucked up way of going about it, but she put herself at huge risk (which is now blowing up) to benefit students. I don’t know anything about Hurd than what I just read, but it almost seems altruistic to me.

  50. guest says:

    “It is funny that a db from Harvard Law School has the guts to call someone out for patronage.
    20% of the students at HLS don’t deserve to be there. Either because daddy paid their way in or because they were admitted because of race.”
    So what makes you think this particular db isn’t in the other 80%?

  51. guest says:

    Illinois is no different form anywhere else, except that its indiscretions are more indiscreet.

  52. guest says:

    The Kenyan dictator is part of this political machine!
    The Kenyan dictator is part of this political machine!
    The Kenyan dictator is part of this political machine!

  53. guest says:


  54. guest says:

    lol, hurd could teach the career services offices across the country a thing or two about how to shake down a job. suck it, simplicity.

  55. guest says:

    Ah the Illinois way.
    “I’m so offended on principle that I’m going to start arguing over price.”
    Hermen, Hurd and Pless need to be terminated yesterday. Pless should be terminated both for consenting to this rather than blowing the whistle and for his blatant idiocy in disclosing the extent to which he was manipulating entry stats for rank (read some of the other e-mails, they’re rich).

  56. guest says:

    Agree with 18
    Agree with 30
    Many laughs were had thanks to 42

  57. guest says:

    55 — i can’t speak for herman, but i know hurd and pless and feel quite bad for them. if you read the emails and the trib article it’s clear that neither of them wanted to admit the lesser qualified students, but they felt like they were forced to (probably by the same people who are responsible for allocating funds to the college of law), and thought that in the meantime they might as well try to wring something positive from the exchange.
    i’m not saying what they did was stellar, but i understand why they did it, and i don’t think they had malicious intentions or anything personal to gain from it.

  58. guest says:

    This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. Not from ATL, but from the Chicago Tribune. EVERYONE knows that college admissions are rigged. It doesn’t matter if you’re bright or not – if you have a parent who was an alum (and contributed a hefty amount), your child will get in. Either that, or through connections. Exactly how else does anyone think George W got into Yale and HBS?? I went to a top five law school, and I wouldn’t trust 1/3 of my classmates to walk my dog across the street, let alone handle major litigation. There’s no way they got in on merit. At least this Dean is trying to secure good jobs for her kids. I wish my Dean would do the same. I really don’t care if he has to sell his soul to get his kids jobs – what counts is the result, which is happily employed grads.

  59. guest says:

    Agree with 58, went to T10 undergrad and T10 law school, and close to half my classmates at each should not have been there. Legacy admissions, Affirmative Action, and other non-merit based admissions, coupled with group-think liberalism in the academy, are destroying American higher education.

  60. guest says:

    As a U of I alum, this is definitely upsetting…
    law school’s place a great deal of emphasis on the necessity of ethics, and it’s a bit pathetic / startling to know that the admittance rep. at u of i’s law school is far from ethical

  61. guest says:

    “The potential scope of this problem for the College of Law is truly shocking:
    Gov. Pat Quinn convened a state commission to investigate the U. of I. admissions process after the Tribune revealed that more than 800 undergraduate applicants in the last five years received special consideration because they were backed by U. of I. trustees, legislators and others in powerful posts.”
    This quote is very misleading as far as what you are insinuating about the law school’s involvement in the clouting scandal. If you had read the emails carefully you would know that the “Special Admits” to the College of Law numbered around 24 in the last several years. These hundreds of other clouted applicants were high school students applying to the university for undergrad.

  62. guest says:

    57 is right on. Hurd’s crime was that she canned a good number of the liberal professers, all of whom were using the school like their own private welfare system and doing their damnest to turn it into Berkley in a cornfield. That, of course, is the unpardonable sin in a state run by Dems. But, she compounded that sin by pissing in the coffee of a few corrupt Republican polls who were also tampering with the system. And then finally she got all lippy with the University muckety-mucks who were putting pressure on her. Read the whole batch of 123 emails ( rather than just the few carefully selected ones that keep being referenced here and you will see that her comments were just her being a smart-ass to show her disdain for the BS system, not hubris. This is why she stepped down as dean a few years ago to get away from this garbage and go back to focus on teaching. As for Pless, he is a very good guy who was just doing his job. Instead of bitching about Hurd and Pless, why not go after the corrupt Illinois politicians who put on the presure. What, you think it was just Blagojevich? Try Rahm Emmanuel. Try Barack Obama. Give me a break. The people bitching about this are probably the same ones responsible for putting this same pay-to-play mentality in the White House. Just Google “Walpin” some time. Try “Acorn” while you’re at it. And when did AA ever cause you heartburn anyway?

  63. guest says:

    First, the admissions people were looking for something personal. To the extent they land their kids jobs their ranking goes up, and to the extent their ranking goes up they are able to negotiate better pay or better positions at other institutions.
    Second, Pless looks to be the worst of the offenders from the emails, as he seems to have been the only one to recognize what he was doing was wrong and he failed to blow the whistle. He could have been honorable; now he’s a goat.

  64. guest says:

    To the guy bitching about ATL commenting on the “Chicago-style” nature of the move … this surprises you? Illinois, and particularly Chicago, is known widely as the first- or second-most corrupt state in the country (Louisiana may top it, or at least it used to be able to).

  65. guest says:

    Why is 35 a moron? The two students who we can identity are, in fact, black. The rest of them probably are as well, given that there are something like 15 black LSAT takers in the entire country who get an LSAT above 160 in a given year. When you take into account the guy’s email complaining about the effect on the GPA/LSAT of the incoming class, it’s likely that the others are black (or some other group with low aggregate GPAs and LSATs, such as Native Americans or Hispanics) as well. If the general population knew the extent of affirmative action, they’d be shocked. It’s not just at the margins. At my top-10 school, blacks got in with LSATs in the low 140s, often with a GPA of 3.0 or thereabouts, frequently. I saw it with my own eyes.

  66. guest says:

    For the Record:
    YES, Hurd is a MILF. That much I know to be true. And YES, I’d hit it.
    That is all.

  67. guest says:

    I’m surprised that no one is commenting on the flip side of the corrupt bargain, that civil service jobs are being doled out to underqualified candidates in exchange for admissions favors. It’s not acceptable for a dean of a law school to use these tactics to get jobs for graduates, especially when quid pro quos are likely to be illegal in the public sector. This favoritism hurts all the qualified applicants in the job market.
    Law schools should promote their students and support their job searches, but this is over the line.

  68. guest says:

    Wait- so you’re telling me that legacy type admissions aren’t exclusive to white guys? Elie told us minority job fairs are ok because white guys just have to ask their friends for jobs. The latter is not an opportunity that is exclusive to any particular group. The former is.

  69. guest says:

    Guys at my high school used to get pressured by MILFs in positions of power for special favors all the time. It was no big deal.

  70. guest says:

    Neither one of the two students that can be identified from the email chain is black. Though, 65 has been positively identified as a moron.

  71. guest says:

    63 & 55,
    To whom, exactly, would Pless blow the whistle?
    Dean of the College of Law — appears to be in on it
    Chancellor of the University — appears to be in on it
    President of the University — appears to be in on it
    Chairman and members of the Board of Trustees — appear to be in on it
    State legislators — appear to be in on it
    Governor of the state — appears to be in on it
    A whole lot of options there. . . I choose option none of the above
    The only place Pless could have gone would have been to the media, and he would have been making unsubstantiated accusations, at the time. Every person listed above would most likely have balked at what Pless claimed was going on, if they were in on it. He would have looked like a wingnut. The only way he could prove what he said would have been to give the media the small fraction of e-mails that were addressed to him, or on which he was cc’d. First, that would have been career suicide. Second, that begs the question of whether he could be trusted with information, if he is willing to leak it to the media, regardless of his motive behind the leak, what does that say about him?
    The excerpt from Pless’s e-mail contained in this article is misleading at best. It makes it look as though the only motivation he has is that it will ruin the law schools numbers, which being the Admissions Dean you can’t fault him. His job is to bring in the best people that will give the school the highest ranking possible. There is an entire second paragraph in which he expresses concern that the Special Admit is being setup for failure and he is trying to keep it from happening. Almost as if he has the best intentions for the student invovled. He doesn’t want the person to be let in, and then not succeed.
    Pless was the only one trying to provide statistics and correlating data as to why the Special Admits should not be admitted, and it appears, at least, that he was able to keep two such student from being admitted to the law school. As far as I’m concerned he is the only one who could come off looking good in this whole ugly Quagmire, giggity. — Does that look like a Q to you? — He was the only person saying it was wrong, tried to keep these students out, and provided data and information as to why, aside from the moral reasons not to let them in. He even succeeded at stopping it from occurring on one occassion. The only thing he didn’t do was go public, and whether it was because he wanted to keep his job, or keep from ruining the reuptation of his school, that didn’t seem to work out so well, I’m not going to fault him. If the state’s legislators, the Governor, and President of the University want students admitted they were going to be admitted regardless of his objections. He was going to be forced to swallow the shit sandwich, but atleast he tried to stop it from being eaten.
    I’m sure we’d all like to say how honorable we’d be when placed in such a situation, that we would have acted in a certain way or would have gone public, but when push comes to shove I bet only a small fraction would have the balls, or ovaries, to go public let alone voice objection to your superiors. How many of you are running to your state’s disciplinary commission or partners when you suspect or know that one of your peers is violating your states’ rules of professional conduct?
    The real scandal here, anyway, is not the quid pro quo, should the dean have attempted to get jobs in exchange for letting in people who didn’t belong, No, but then again she shouldn’t have been forced to let these people in, in the first place. Nor is it, that one person didn’t blow the whistle. It is the fact that the Governor and state legislators were using their purse string powers of the University’s budget to effect influence on admissions to a state university. If you read the articles about the ‘clout list’ that actually triggered an investigation into the law schools admissions you’d see that hundreds of state politicians used their ability to control the schools budget to get people that shouldn’t have been admitted into the University —,0,3636100.storygallery — that’s the real problem, and those are the people who need to be called to account for their actions. Not the people who had to deal with this crap storm.

  72. guest says:

    63 — negotiate better salaries? at a public school? i don’t think you realize how little public school admins get paid compared to their private school counterparts, even at the graduate school level. any “increase” they might have gotten would have been trivial at best.
    anyway, reading the emails i get the sense that the problem resides mainly with the board of trustees and the chancellor, and that the admins are expected to play along whether they like it or not. sucks for them.

  73. guest says:

    Why is this such a bad thing?
    Isn’t it good that some people with low test scores are given access to a state law school? Kind of levels the playing field between the haves (people privileged with the genes or means that have allowed them to achieve a better LSAT score) and the have-notes (those without the genes or means).

  74. guest says:

    Thank you, 70!
    35 and 65 are WRONG. Neither of the students that have been identified are Black or Latino . In fact, one of them is a WHITE MALE. Get your facts straight, this isn’t Fox News.

  75. guest says:

    i can’t believe anyone actually thought the emails from hurd conveyed anything other than sarcasm. as if the DIRECT DIG at the governor wasn’t enough, or the comment about the situation almost making her want to become a Republican, someone please tell me where i can find these high paying law firms that don’t care whether someone they’re taking in has passed their classes or the bar.
    seriously, elie, i never thought your writing was as bad as the comments made it out to be, but you really screwed the pooch on this one. sadly, a lot of the geniuses here followed right along like sheep. so much for being smarter than those undeserving T10 kids you love to criticize, you can’t even recognize sarcasm when it’s smashing you over the head with a spiked 2×4. get your sarcasm detectors checked, idiots.

  76. guest says:

    Ms. Hurd is a modern day Jean Val Jean;
    and is not the governor her boss.
    How many people gnarked on people cheating in
    law school? Or over-billing or lying?
    Diogenes keep moving no honest blokes in this century

  77. guest says:

    Every time there is a post about affirmative action, liberal apologists call out AA opponents as hypocrites for not objecting to legacy admissions as well. Fair enough. Legacy admissions is wrong and what the school did here is wrong. I oppose both AA and legacy admissions.
    So where are the liberal AA supporters? if the two are equivalent, why aren’t they here defending admitting people based on their relatives, when they wholeheartedly support admitting people based on their distant ancestors? Think of the diversity of opinions that the Blago lackey will bring to class discussions.

  78. guest says:

    The problem is that a public school admitted unqualified applicants over qualified applicants.
    When Yale and Harvard accept $750 million in Illinois taxpayer dollars on an annual basis, it will be scandalous for them to give any preferential treatment to the Bush family. But as a private school, they depend on the support of those families. A public school should afford equal opportunity for all, and admissions on the merits.

  79. guest says:

    77 if you think hard enough about what you just wrote you’ll be embarassed :(
    you sound pretty dumb

  80. guest says:

    it is pretty ironic that all the special admits undoubtedly had higher numbers then their URM peers.. if admitting those kids are setting them up for failure acc. paul pless
    i wonder what he thinks admitting black kids with 150s is doing. notice Black leaders not joining in the outrage… if the discussion leads to specific numbers it ends very poorly for our URM friends

  81. guest says:

    78, does this “merits” include the number of skin pigments you were born with? I always thought merits was based on the student’s achievements.

  82. guest says:

    75 – Sarcasam or not, Hurd agreed to take them. As did Pless, objections about screwing up his artificial rank boosting or not.
    And whoever said going to the media (or perhaps, say, the United States Attorney because it involves governor quid pro quo to donors….) is career ending…this isn’t? There is absolutely no way Pless can keep his job, and no way in hell another comporable school will ever hire him.
    Note to future lawyers and politicians: Going along wiht a conspiracy rather than “ending your career” by outing it always blows up in your face.

  83. guest says:

    Pless should have climbed the ladder, objecting to everyone who would listed, and if no one did he should have called the Tribune and resigned. I hate people who think that it is OK to do wrong when your only choices are to do wrong or to lose your job. I will give up my job every day of the week before I will participate in an illegal an unethical conspiracy.

  84. guest says:

    After looking over more emails, it seems like the U of I admissions people were fighting the good fight on these. In full context, Hurd’s email about 5 jobs seems a lot more obviously sarcasm.
    At least Illinois is a “good” school by traditional standards. I have a relative with ties to a Tier 3 public law school, and someone I know contacted this relative to try to invoke clout to secure admission for the son of one of his friends. My relative was not amused (one of those people who thinks admissions should be based solely on merit, imagine that!).
    While it would be nice if public law schools were exempt from this, it seems to me that people who are pushing for (and a fair amount of those applying for) law school admission have a tendency of being self-important, arrogant, and convinced that they are entitled to special treatment no matter where they are. That’s the world as I see it though, I could be wrong. I still have a lot of respect for the legal field, and am not suggesting that everyone in it is like that. Proportionally speaking though, you probably get a higher number of that type of person in law than you do in, say, fast food or sanitation, for whatever reason.

  85. guest says:

    Wow. As a non-URM, non-politically connected applicant, I’m kind of astounded that I got into any law schools at all.

  86. guest says:

    Agree with 83. How is Pless a hero for ultimately caving to monetary factors (his job) and going along with unethical acts?

  87. guest says:

    The comments to this post are far more enlightening than Elie’s half-baked analysis. As several others have pointed out, the real problem here is with Illinois’ many corrupt elected officials, who routinely abuse public trust by leveraging their control over state spending to receive personal favors — in short, the same exact type of pay-to-play scheme that put Senator Burris into office. This is thuggery and disorder — nothing short of a Sopranos episode plot — except this is real. In an ideal world, all involved in this scandal would be deeply ashamed, and would resign. Knowing that will not happen, I hope a courageous prosecutor in Illinois will take on the system.
    Although it sounds like the law school administrators were served a shit sandwich, with little choice but to eat it — mitigating their blame — they are guilty still. They may have been down the foodchain of corruption, but they likely violated state law by exchanging admissions to a public university in exchange for government jobs for their graduates. Their position was not a desirable one, and I cannot say for certain that I would have acted differently than they, but being good is not easy. It requires a confidence in your position and a selflessness that cannot be mustered without substantial effort and sacrifice. They failed to do what was clearly right, and should be punished.

  88. guest says:

    71 is exactly right. The big story here MUST be that state lawmakers used their positions to secure the admissions of hundreds of students throughout the university. Obviously, the law school angle works for this website, but the Chicago Tribune should spend its time focusing on the widespread corruption by the people with power.
    Tribune – good job cracking the story. Now figure out which public officials that have some control over the univeristy’s budget pressed for “special admits” throughout the university, not just the law school. I doubt it will happen, but it would be nice for the public to know which elected officials believe it is their right to do this.
    This should not happen at any public university, though, I’m sure it is far too frequent.
    -Illini Law Alum

  89. guest says:

    77, liberal aa lover here. no need to defend legacy hirings/admissions. It’s a given, we accept it. it ain’t going anywhere. why bolster? this is a non story.

  90. guest says:

    UIUC is known for admitting high lsat low gpa students.. it makes a little bit more sense now, I got in with a 2.4 173 always wondered how
    Thanks to the URMS and politically connected

  91. guest says:

    – CLS 2L Stud

  92. guest says:

    UI Law grad here.
    This is unfortunate to have a light shone on the school like this, but at least we can be fairly certain it’s in the past. None of the actors are still in their positions (except Paul Pless I think – who comes off as a decent guy in the emails). And it was a few dozen kids over a couple years; it’s not like each graduating class was substantially comprised of political admits. Would anyone be surprised to see know this sort of thing happens at other state schools. And that’s not to mention the behind-the-scenes action at privates getting the GW Bush’s of the word a place.
    I would be surprised if much shadier practices weren’t going on at private schools, especially the TTTs in Chicago. DePaul’s Law School Dean was just forced out cause he balked at forking over 2/3 of the school’s revenues to the administration. Come on!
    The Loyola, DePaul, John Marshall, Kent losers whining about how this kept them out of Champaign for three years need to get a life.

  93. guest says:

    90, if you support preferential admissions based on one’s distant ancestors in order to promote “diversity,” what’s wrong with preferential admissions based on one’s closer relatives in order to promote diversity? If you support AA based on “diversity” you support legacy admissions. I happen to oppose both.

  94. guest says:

    Pless is a very good guy, albeit fairly young (UI Law ’03, as was I). From all the e-mails, Pless is about the only one who comes off looking ok (the rest, including some of the state legislators named in the emails, should lose their jobs, if they haven’t already). He obviously chose to keep the issue internal, but he didn’t just keep quiet and accept it. He objected pretty strongly and pushed back against the practice to top university officials.

  95. guest says:

    i dont excuse what UofI has done, but to be quite honest, this is exactly how it was done 10 or 20 years ago or more in all and i mean ALL THE FUCKING IVIES. All those dumbass partners who blew up law firms, how the hell do you think those morons got into harvard. favors. how did bush get in hbs? favors. how did all those dumbass piece of shit wall street mutherfuckers that destroyed this economy get into hbs? favors. they are dumbass morons that dont think of anyone other than themselves because they have never had to do anything for themselves.
    Uof I just got caught.

  96. guest says:

    i dont excuse what UofI has done, but to be quite honest, this is exactly how it was done 10 or 20 years ago or more in all and i mean ALL THE FUCKING IVIES. All those dumbass partners who blew up law firms, how the hell do you think those morons got into harvard. favors. how did bush get in hbs? favors. how did all those dumbass piece of shit wall street mutherfuckers that destroyed this economy get into hbs? favors. they are dumbass morons that dont think of anyone other than themselves because they have never had to do anything for themselves.
    Uof I just got caught.

  97. guest says:

    i dont excuse what UofI has done, but to be quite honest, this is exactly how it was done 10 or 20 years ago or more in all and i mean ALL THE FUCKING IVIES. All those dumbass partners who blew up law firms, how the hell do you think those morons got into harvard. favors. how did bush get in hbs? favors. how did all those dumbass piece of shit wall street mutherfuckers that destroyed this economy get into hbs? favors. they are dumbass morons that dont think of anyone other than themselves because they have never had to do anything for themselves.
    Uof I just got caught.

  98. guest says:

    62 – I’d give you a wide stance in an airport bathroom

  99. guest says:

    sorry about the triple post. my computer is shit this morning.

  100. guest says:

    I think the unmentioned story in all this is the unfortunate degree to which law schools have internalized the US News criteria as legitimate predictors of academic performance. It has been repeatedly shown that undergraduate GPA is a very weak predictor of law school performance. There are plenty of people who for some reason or another don’t take undergrad seriously, and then rock out in law school. I for one barely got in to a first tier law school despite LSAT 175 because I graduated in the bottom half of my undergrad class. I then graduated in the top 5% of my law school class. And I had no problem thinking, passing the bar, or getting employment in a Vault 100 firm. I know for a fact I’m not unique or even particularly unusual. Rather than bemoaning that these people in Illinois got into law school despite bad undergraduate grades we should bemoan a system that requires people to go to such extremes to overcome mistakes they made when they were 18-21 years old.

  101. guest says:

    How does Pless come off looking decent in the emails. Sure, he put up a fight, but it wasn’t because he was taking a stand for ethics, it was because admitting the inferior students was going to hurt his incoming class statistics. He should be fired, and the officials should be voted out.

  102. guest says:

    101 you killed the lsat.. which is a much better predictor than UGPA and more important to Law schools.. these special admits did neither

  103. guest says:

    Thanks for the full post on the U of I scandal.
    Elie, don’t expect you to proofread everything, but can you at least make sure the opening sentence is written correctly? You’ve written: “This morning, we mentioned that the University of Illinois College of Law admission’s scandal.” Huh?
    And for everyone prattling on about “Chicago” politics, please remember that the law school is 150 miles away. Nobody looks at the jackasses in Albany and says “well there’s the Upper West Side for you.”

  104. guest says:

    This lady has nothing on Joan King.

  105. guest says:

    it not aa because the goal was not to increase diversity etc…
    the goal was to cook the books and exchange political favors.
    even if all of the admitted SIs were minorities, its still not aa.

  106. guest says:

    The thing is, they were caught. Red handed cooking the ranking books.
    So what now? Surely there are sanctions that can be considered.

  107. guest says:

    Anyone screaming affirmative action, this is a more informed update. As a graduate of the 2009 class, I can grant that both these students (who I personally know and respect as hardworking and capable individuals who likely had absolutely NOTHING to do with this whole scandal and are the true victims here), are minorities – but not the underrepresented ones. These were not hispanics or african americans or native americans, the ones that truly skew admissions numbers. If we need one more Jewish lawyer, I’ll eat my yarmulke. Additionally, if someone really wants to look me in the eye and say there aren’t enough Asians at the illinois CoL, they are truly a “special” admit.

  108. guest says:

    How does this scandal differentiate itself from every admissions office that first asks on the application, “is any member of your family an alumnus of ___ University” and then checks the amount of any donations made? There’s been quid pro quo and special treatment in admissions for generations. This goes on at every school in the country that’s prestigious enough to have a pool of rich string-pulling alumni and dumb offspring.

  109. guest says:

    This is Dumb. How can anyone read Hurd’s emails and take them literally? To do that you’d have to read the one on the front page as suggesting she thought one of the promised “government jobs” would be the position of Governor of the State of Illiniois.
    Clearly she was being sarcastic throughout those messages, and trying to fight a system she lacked individual ability to remake as she might wish.

  110. guest says:

    Sarcastic? Sure. Joking, hell no.
    5 good jobs = 1 special admit.
    That’s the Illinois way.

  111. guest says:

    To everyone defending this dean and this schools:
    1. Do we understand the difference between a “public school” and a “private school?” I don’t care if you think this might happen at HLS, it is a private school with a different mission. Any state school has a much higher duty to accept qualified applicants and be more of a meritocracy, that is part of what the taxpayers are paying for. For example see the grids that many public schools use to screen applicants while every private school I know uses a more “whole applicant” snapshot.
    2. The argument that “other schools do this is all the time” is a crappy argument and we should all know that by age 6. I hope ya’ll don’t defend your clients with the same logic, “judge you cannot find my client guilty of marijuana possession because we all know tons of people do it and don’t get caught!”

  112. guest says:

    This state is crooked from the top on down.

  113. guest says:

    101, with a 175 LSAT, you could have gone to Georgetown or Northwestern – at the very worst WUSTL or GW.

  114. guest says:

    maybe he was asian

  115. guest says:

    To post 108,
    Your claim is at least partially contradicted by the email correspondence on page 30/123 (“African American Female”), as provided by post 88

  116. guest says:

    Just scored a 150 raw on the BARBI full day MBE. What percentile does that put me in?

  117. guest says:

    What is a University of Illinois?
    /s/ magna Princeton undegrad, 176 LSAT, magna Stanford law grad, V10, 9″ penis.

  118. guest says:

    The total list also mentions the Gov calling in favors for the children/relatives of political officials from China and India.

  119. guest says:

    119 do you tell that to the hookers before or after you pay them, you troll?

  120. guest says:

    117, no 108 is 100% correct. The email referring to the AA female is not referencing a Class of 2009 student at the COL.
    As an aside, I also know both individuals and I absolutely agree that they are are respectable, hardworking, and capable. I have serious doubts that they knew this was going on behind the scenes.

  121. guest says:

    but there were two more deserving kids who did not get accepted because they had political clout

  122. guest says:

    117 here. You are probably 108. 108, even if correct about two students from one year, speaks only about a minority of the so-called “SI” applicants brought about by government pressure; although I do not claim it is an AA program.
    Furthermore, it is ridiculous to call the beneficiaries “victims”; the true victims were the students with better credentials who were denied matriculation as a result.

  123. guest says:

    42 “I adopted a black kid and sent my daughter to a foster home. I felt guilty about slavery. Now I feel better.”
    Cool…I am still bitter about slavery so I bang married white chicks.

  124. guest says:

    Why are you bitter? You were better off.

  125. guest says:

    122 here. Actually, I’m not 108, but I am 40 and I welcomed the opportunity to clear up the “minority” comment (that they are both minorities but not underrepresented minorities). You are right that 108 is only referring to two students. That was my point as well.
    @123, Pless’s email response suggests you are wrong: “Because we are being forced to admit [redacted] I will have to admit at least 2 additional students to ensure there is no negative impact on the profile.”
    I’m not saying this isn’t a corrupt mess, but at least it didn’t appear to hurt other applicants or the class given Pless’s refusal to take the hit without a fight.

  126. guest says:

    you do know the exam is pass/fail, right? Sounds like you spent waaaay too much time studying law. Try getting out a little more. And enjoy a lifetime of doing grunt work for partners who can actually bring in business

  127. guest says:

    No 127 et al,
    First, read the Tribune article: there were “at least” 24 SI applicants within four years. Just because you claim to know two of them, it does not mean they are representative, or that they were only ones in their class year.
    Second, You cannot compensate for the SI low-scoring applicants by admitting just any two applicants, i.e., those who were wait-listed, etc. (applicants with lower scores) who would have taken the SI spots don’t compensate for the overall numbers. As the emails stressed, it would be difficult at the 11th hour to get higher quality applicants, and it is not clear that they did.

  128. guest says:

    I always forget that.
    Post your home address I’ll send you a thank you card : )

  129. guest says:

    118 –
    If you compare yourself to others’ performance on a pass/fail exam, you should be more worried about addressing insecurity than passing the bar (which you will).

  130. guest says:


  131. LaidOffDiary says:

    I’m more amazed at you people for being amazed that this happens than at the fact that this happens.
    Do you NOT think this happens in BigLaw or gov’t or business?
    maybe it’s you guys who can’t think.
    just wait until 5% of you get into BigLaw and you have that idiot guy next to you who gets work even though he’s a complete…wait for it…idiot. He’ll be there for 4-5 years until the firm can then usher him out into a nice comfy inhouse job at one of their clients.

  132. guest says:

    If I give Blago some “special favors” do you think he can get me into UC law school?

  133. guest says:

    This dean is an outstanding role model.
    I wish that our administration demonstrated both the concern over the school ranking and graduate placement within state machinery here in Connecticut….

  134. guest says:

    I agree with 73 that admitting a modest number of candidates who have relatively low test scores is a good thing – for the legal community and for society at large.
    What these admissions do is help to level the playing field between individuals and between law schools. The policy helps counter the excessive concentration of power and prestige in a few law firms.
    Whichever privileged (in genes or means, as 73 puts it) students are “displaced” by the lower status admits will easily find admission at a lower-ranked school. This will help the ranking of the lower-ranked school, increasing parity among law schools and egalitarianism in the legal community.

  135. guest says:

    Correction to 136: The policy of admitting kids with relatively lower test scores helps counter the excessive concentratoin of power and prestige in a select few law SCHOOLS (and lawyers).
    Therefore, it is not pernicious.

  136. guest says:

    page 48/123 – Pless refers to someone as a little twerp.

  137. Hansel says:

    Whoever thinks this kind of shit doesn’t happen in other law schools is seriously mistaken. What’s the big deal anyway? Money and connection – they can get you anywhere. Why should law school be any different?

  138. guest says:

    Apparently, it is unusual at law schools. Otherwise, the law school officials wouldn’t have been so obviously upset about it and otherwise it would be such a big deal.

  139. guest says:

    This what happens at every ivy league school but nobody says shit about it. Fuck all you double standard fuckheads

  140. guest says:

    I wonder how low the black chicks numbers were who needed to pull some strings to get in… the double boost

  141. guest says:

    Bullshit 141. Because of the rankings, T10 schools can’t afford to bend their standards.

  142. guest says:

    I went to U of I law, graduated near the top of the class. I’m surprised that people care enough to come here to go to the extremes of pulling strings. It’s a good school, but seriously, it’s almost like the equivalent of using your blackcard to secure reservations at olive garden (ok maybe not that extreme — but you get the point). U of I Law has a bunch of kids that go straight through to law school from undergrad, often U of I undergrad, which means they spent a total of 7 years (4 years undergrad + 3 years law school) in the middle of corn fields. 4 years of college in the cornfields does not a stimulating law school class make. it has a lot of ” i think i know my shit” d.bags. i guess one wouldn’t know this until they used their clout to get in. but for future reference, I’d save the string pulling for more desirable schools. Oh, and re: Larry Eppley – I guess now I know know why K&L gates (formerly bell boyd and lloyd) takes a bunch of ‘tards from our law school. seriously — if people are putting pressure on the law school to take unqualified candidates, then these people should be the same people forced to hire these exact candidates to their firms once their 3 year track of stupidity is up.

  143. guest says:

    For the whole string of emails, please read:
    draw your own conclusions.

  144. guest says:

    144–That may have been the most worthless post in this thread. Congratulations. You got me with the “4 years of college in the cornfields does not a stimulating law school class make.” That doesn’t even make sense. You must still be pissed your parents couldn’t get you into Harvard, right? Shame shame.

  145. guest says:

    I like her joke about it being almost enough to make her want to become a Republican. Nothing like a bunch of crooked and corrupt liberals screwing over the taxpayers, and all the while sitting around laughing to themselves about the Republicans who aren’t.

  146. guest says:

    Black people live in the city.

  147. guest says:

    As an alum of the College of Law from over 40 years ago, I’m a bit surprised and perplexed that neither Hurd nor Pless actually put in writing to someone, “It’s wrong to do this.” It seems their “survivability sense” clouded and warped their “ethics and common sense”.

  148. guest says:

    146- kent or john marshall?

  149. guest says:

    this is why the COL takes anyone with over a 170 LSAT, they can have a 1.34 UGPA.. and UIUC snaps them up. they have to fade affirmative action and legacy admits… pretty sick how their actions change around the student body so drastically.. this sucks the most for hardworking 3.9 Illinois residents with 163-166 or so.. they get shut out because Pless has to manipulate numbers to make US news happy

  150. guest says:

    151, more like Pless wants to pretend that Illinois is Georgetown. Seriously, a 168 median LSAT for a Big 10 state school?
    Of course, woe to those who go to Illinois in pursuit of rankings. It places marginally better than the other Big 10 schools, but when you adjust for the presence of Chicago alums, it’s no more national than any of the others.
    Pretty fraudulent, actually.

  151. guest says:

    Billy Mays just died.

  152. guest says:

    Berkeley’s law faculty is not terribly liberal overall. Idiot.

  153. guest says:

    This site is pretty boring on weekends. Would it make sense for ATL to team up with another site – Law Shucks for example – to bring some layoff-related news on weekends?
    Please discuss.

  154. guest says:

    Billy Mays dies of an oxyclean overdose.

  155. guest says:

    Now with shemales?

  156. guest says:

    ok. this has gotten boring. someone more in the know pls shed light re: Dean Hurd’s affairs. Thx.

  157. guest says:

    Who the fuck are you kidding, 154? Did you actually attend Berkeley? I did, and the faculty is extremely liberal. My property professor tried to convince us that private property ownership is evil. John Yoo isn’t liberal … is that what you’re basing your statement on? Sorry, but one token conservative doesn’t change the overall bias of the faculty.

  158. guest says:

    158 – Which affair do you want details on?

  159. guest says:

    All, of them 160, all of them. Actually start w/ the one involving another associate dean, who is now dating a former u of I law student (currently at McDermott)… or is my info on that last bit out dated?

  160. guest says:

    The full list of emails are good education for anyone who still thinks affirmative action isn’t a quota system. It’s very clear that they are targeting certain percentages of African Americans, Latinos and women.

  161. guest says:

    144, don’t worry about 146. Your comment was lucid and informative. And absolutely correct.

  162. guest says:

    162 has a good catch.
    Could the real scandel/lawsuit here be that Illinois is still using an internal overt racial quota system, contrary to Grutter & Gratz?
    I encourage a lawsuit and discovery on this matter by those qualified students denied admission to UIUC.

  163. guest says:

    Since you attended Berkeley, please elaborate. No one said that there aren’t liberals on the faculty, but Yoo isn’t on his own. And don’t point to Haney. That kid’s a joke. Overall, the place has more conservatives and centrists than Yale.

  164. guest says:

    Kash: My asslobster is 40 lbs overweight. Can it participate in your study?

  165. guest says:

    Most people think Chicago is named the “Second-City” because it is overshadowed by New York or L.A.. This is unequivocally UNTRUE. We are the Second City because it was REBORN out of the Great Fire, much like a Phoenix out of the ashes.
    Chicago has all the restuarants and global sophistication of any city. Spend any weekend in CHI-TWN and you’ll see why people love it here.
    Laid off And Loving it.
    Home of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

  166. guest says:

    For those Associates with a bit of free time this week– I just saw Transformers: The Revenge of the Fallen, and it is downright Awesome! Two thumbs up.

  167. guest says:

    146 = Student Trustee

  168. guest says:

    Why isn’t anyone discussing the upcoming LAYOFFS at Cadwalader? Yes, they are coming next week, BIG TIME. Some people are saying 30 casualties. Some people are saying 70. Either way, it will be a total BLOODBATH and will probably start a fresh round of layoffs across BIg Law.
    Lets start talking about this immediately!

  169. guest says:

    Hurd has responded – in short, she was being sarcastic, and anyone who knows her, as I do, know that she wasn’t serious. She is the FORMER dean for a reason, Herman pushed her out. Wonder why?,0,6144648.story

  170. guest says:

    Her response is complete B.S.

  171. guest says:

    172 thinks like a lawyer,
    171 does not.
    Should be within the scope of a good journalist’s abilities to follow the trail to firms that provided jobs to underqualified candidates –
    what’s a few more associates who fail in three year’s time-
    and see just what kind of work those firms get from the state.

  172. guest says:

    In Fairness, dont all law schools admit “special admits” with dark skin and get nothinig in return for it.
    I think that affirmative action admissions should be “exchanged” for lucrative bodega, barbershop, and street vendor industries.
    I know I could use my law degree to run a bodega right now.

  173. guest says:

    That is Hurd’s response?
    I’m sarcastic in extremely unethical e-mail exchanges that could destroy my career and institutional reputation all the time. Especially when I ultimately give the corrupt Chancellor what he wants. Herman certainly wasn’t joking and the clout students did exist. Missing link is what she “extracted” for the University, to use her words.

  174. guest says:

    171 does not think like a lawyer because he was too busy petting the MILF’s fur coat in her BMW roadster.

  175. guest says:

    Heidi’s email is clearly sarcastic. From the tone, she was not in favor of taking on a sub-par candidates, and she was not in favor of pay for play politics.

  176. guest says:

    Heidi’s email is clearly sarcastic. From the tone, she was not in favor of taking on a sub-par candidates, and she was not in favor of pay for play politics.

  177. guest says:

    @ 11: I admire your efforts. Keep trolling. This scandal deserves to see the light of day.

  178. guest says:

    Hurd was my Crim Law prof at the Univ. of Penn. in 2000. She and her husband, then also a law prof at Penn, left the school in a huff after she lost her bid to become Dean of Penn Law. All I can say is, none of this surprises me!

  179. guest says:

    Who says Affirmative Action is dead?? It’s alive and well for Rich White People.
    Yours truly,
    Not Rich or White =(((

  180. guest says:

    The injury to candidates from these alleged “clout” policies is insignificant. Law school isn’t like medical school. There are plenty of law schools and any law school candidate who is supposedly displaced by “clout” can just go to the next law school down the road. If they are so qualified, they can shine at that law school. I don’t see the injury.

  181. guest says:

    77 – comparing AA to legacy admits?? are you one of the special students admitted to U of I based on a deal made in these emails?

  182. guest says:

    As a recent UI law grad, I distinctly remember Hurd pushing for the best applicants at any cost. She was all about the rankings and made no apologies for it. Her job as dean was simple, raise the profile of the school, and get the graduates employed. She raised more money for the law school than ANY other dean in 2006-2007 (over 50 mil). Her tunnel vision turned people off, but she got the job done.
    Heidi is a victim of using sarcasm through email, which can be easily misunderstood. It’s unfortunate that the Chicago Tribune chased this story without the proper context. The Blago scandal has led to overzealous journalism in Illinois.
    Oh, and if you think there are actually jobs for bottom of the class kids at “high paying firms”, you’re just stupid.

  183. guest says:

    59 is the truth

  184. guest says:

    That’s right, get it all out there John Marshall, Depaul, Loyola, Kent grads. Now go back to prosecuting child support offenders at the state’s attorney’s office.
    Oskee WOW WOW

  185. guest says:

    U. of Alabama Law does this exact same thing with staffers of Sen. Sessions. It is disgusting the type of unqualified students they admit from his office.

  186. guest says:

    i think this whole scandal and the outrage over applicants with subpar numbers getting in makes the URM’s squirm in their seat a little bit.. this much uproar over 24 in 3 years… we get 25 a year at UI law with even lower numbers and their families can’t do shit for the University…

  187. guest says:

    185 If you don’t understand how EXACTLY the picture you are painting of her could lead her to push to the point of illegal action to get those hiring stats up,
    then “you’re just stupid”

  188. guest says:

    I love how the best defense the Illini come up with for this is the completely transparent rankings manipulation. How about we poll people below the top 1/3 of the class and ask them how they placed compared to their “peer” schools of Georgetown, Duke, Cornell, etc…

  189. guest says:

    How long until we get a ‘community notice’ about these ‘ethical departures’ from the honor code?

  190. guest says:

    Oh you people are so naive! Welcome to Illinois and Chicago politics! You ain’t seen nothin yet!
    Wait until Obama, Emmanuel, Axelrod and DALEY finish running this county in 4 (or God forbid – 8) years.
    This is the status quo. This is how things are done here in Illinois. Wake up Americans!
    If things go as planned, Dicky Durbin will run in 8 years. Wait, let me rephrase that, Durbin will succeed Obama, because that is how things are done. Do your time, stick with the winners and eventually they throw a bone your way.
    It is really sickening and scary stuff. We need term limits in Illinois/Chicago politics!

  191. guest says:

    190 – Check the stats, there’s really no need to boost the employment numbers at Illinois. What 185 is saying is that she would much rather boost teh incoming numbers i.e. LSAT and GPA, rather than the employment numbers. Illinois students have typically been ok getting jobs, but the administration wants the median numbers for incoming students to improve, thus Hurd would not accept bad applicants just to get 5 more students employed.

  192. guest says:

    190 – Check the stats, there’s really no need to boost the employment numbers at Illinois. What 185 is saying is that she would much rather boost teh incoming numbers i.e. LSAT and GPA, rather than the employment numbers. Illinois students have typically been ok getting jobs, but the administration wants the median numbers for incoming students to improve, thus Hurd would not accept bad applicants just to get 5 more students employed.

  193. guest says:

    Read ALL the emails before posting any more comments.
    That is all.

  194. guest says:

    Agreed. I’m a UM alum and even I can tell that this is not what it seems. Too many lawyers and not enough rationale thinkers on this board.

  195. guest says:

    Jobs don’t mean good jobs for those below median, let alone bottom-feeders. I think it’s an entirely legitimate line of inquiry.
    Objection overruled.

  196. guest says:

    Sure the stats look great – they were manipulated!
    and NO-ONE is saying those students weren’t admitted – everyone agrees they were!

  197. guest says:

    199 – The proof that we’re looking for is whether or not anything came of the offer to find the 5 jobs. My guess is that because no other emails have surfaced, this whole situation faded away. If so, then there uproar needs to cease, and we can all get back to our document reviews.

  198. guest says:

    200 – Either way, IFshe was serious, then it’s wrong. It’s just hard to believe that she was serious, especially after reading the rest of the email and seeing that she continued to make jokes.
    It’s gonna suck for someone at the Chicago Tribune if this whole thing crumbles due to a lack of sense of humor by the editors.

  199. guest says:

    199 here
    Maybe I misread 195, but
    “thus Hurd would not accept bad applicants just to get 5 more students employed.”
    sounds like s/he was implying she did not accept the bad applicants, which she did.
    Given the very next email from the Chancellor after her sarcastic one about jobs was to start inquiring about jobs, her sarcasm seems to have been lost on him. I don’t think she did herself any favors with her angry statement either – she should at least have apologized to her students going into government law.
    Anyhoo, time will tell. The Tribune rarely gets it wrong when they smell a rat in Illinois, they’ve been smelling them for a long time.
    Good luck with the documents!

  200. guest says:

    201 – It’s hard to believe someone in a professional position would even consider “joking” about something like tihs. Especially when no one else involved seems to get the joke.

  201. guest says:

    took Heidi for Crim Law.. she’s very self aware, but she is also ambitious and knew she had to play the game. I think her comments were sarcastic obviously and signaling to the Chancellor that she expects a payoff for being manipulated. I also think Illinois manipulates their numbers and is more concerned with appearances than substance as compared to most law Schools. We didn’t even have an upper level con law course last year and their career services is a joke

  202. guest says:

    How does this make U of I different from what’s been going on in the Ivy? You can’t tell me that Harvard never let in a well connected but not so “number friendly” candidate as a favor. At least Herman/Hurd were smart enough to ask for something in exchange

  203. guest says:

    The current dean sent an email to the alumni today. Most of it was blah blah blah about the incoming class, and some nonsense about perceptions created by the press. What he didn’t say, which is all that matters, is that the law school will stand up and fight the power. Why he didn’t declare that the law school will cease its practice of admitting unqualified rif raf – that brings the law school down to the level of the scores of corrupt politicians running Chicago and the state – just doesn’t make sense. Guess its going to be business as usual in the state of Illinois.

  204. guest says:

    192- great point….I forgot about those.

  205. guest says:

    You guys are idiots. I just wanna say that both Heidi Hurd and Paul Pless are honest, genuine, hardworking people who really care about their students and want the best for the school. I hope you don’t let these comments get you down. I chose to come to Illinois because of the genuine care that Paul showed in his e-mails and I don’t regret staying one bit because of professors like Heidi Hurd. :)

  206. guest says:

    Just some background on Heidi Hurd from an “eyewitness…”
    I graduated from the U of I College of Law in 2006, and I think many people left with a few interesting “Heidi” stories. She was a notorious flirt (with everyone from students to faculty); she was also well-known for her MINI-MINI skirts, 4-inch Manolos and her rather husky voice.
    I am unsure of her current marital status, but while I attended the College of Law, she was married to fellow faculty member and well-known legal philosopher Michael Moore (no, not the documentarian). During my years there, they split and reconciled at least once (possibly twice) and it was common knowledge that their split was due to an affair that she was having with another dean. One of the couple’s separations became public when an email stating as such was (inadvertently?) passed around office staff – including students. I do know that when she stepped down as the COL’s dean, she stated that she and Moore were both going to be teaching in Australia for a semester or more.
    At the time of her hire as dean, many people at the COL speculated that she was appointed dean in order to also get her husband as a faculty member, and that he was, in fact, the larger catch for the school. Ironically, although many students enjoyed Heidi Hurd’s courses (I believe that she only taught one class per semester as Dean – usually Torts or Crim Law), Michael Moore was continuously rated by the student body as an ineffective and confusing professor.
    Although some in the COL championed Hurd for her fundraising skills, her positive mark on the US News ratings, and (at least for some female students) because she was a woman, she had many detractors (including myself). Twice during my three years at the school (once via email, once via post) I contacted her about issues I was having and never received a reply from her or her staff. Others had similar problems with her availability. Also, she seemed obsessed with fundraising as opposed to raising the academic credentials of the school or standing within the legal community. Many outstanding and oft-published professors left during her tenure, and many programs were given secondary status (public interest law, criminal law, etc…). Since her interests lay in business and philosophy (with her husband’s also in philosophy) these programs dominated the school’s agenda.
    However, I want to say that the school’s current dean, Bruce Smith, is an outstanding legal scholar and professor. He has a no-nonsense attitude and I can’t imagine that he would put up with the type of political shenanigans that Hurd tolerated. I think that he would have rather gone public himself with such insinuations from the governor or others. I was very glad to see him promoted as Dean a few months ago. It is unfortunate that he now has to help clean up Heidi’s messes.

  207. guest says:

    4-inch Manolos AND a husky voice?!?! Clearly she’s whore then. All extremely valid and non-sexist points.
    Well done.

  208. guest says:

    Actually, having an affair with another Dean makes her a whore, not her heels or husky voice

  209. guest says:

    Actually, having an affair with another Dean makes her a whore, not her heels or husky voice

  210. guest says:

    Dean Hurd’s writing “Yea, I’m betting the Governorship will be open. One of them can have that job” is a dead giveaway that she wrote cynically and sarcastically. After all, she is writing to her immediate superior, and has to be careful not to appear insubordinate.
    Your article misses her sarcasm completely.
    Only she can vouch for her intentions, but I find this interpretation more plausible than yours.

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