This Villanova scandal is going to get uglier before it finishes. On Friday, we reported that John Y. Gotanda, the dean of Villanova Law School, sent a letter to students and alumni in which he revealed that the school reported inaccurate admissions information to the American Bar Association.
The letter was light on specifics. According to comments made by a Villanova spokesperson to the ABA Journal, the problem involved Villanova providing the ABA with incorrect LSAT and GPA numbers.
The Villanova administration has not yet disclosed exactly what data was inaccurate, who was responsible, and what the school is doing to make sure that this kind of thing won’t happen again. That could be because the school is still investigating the full scope of the problem.
But Villanova students and faculty members are talking. Here’s what we’ve heard so far…
In a letter just released to students and alumni of Villanova University School of Law, Dean John Y. Gotanda admits that Villanova Law knowingly reported inaccurate admissions information to the American Bar Association, for years prior to 2010.
The school has conducted an internal investigation and has been independently audited by Ropes & Gray. In response to the investigation and audit findings, the school will reorganize its admissions reporting process, with the goal of implementing “a reporting system which is above reproach.” In addition, according to Dean Gotanda’s letter, “the University will hold those responsible accountable for their actions.”
Sadly, this is not the first scandal that has rocked the law school in recent years….
We did NOT, contrary to popular belief, celebrate like munchkins [rejoicing in] the Wicked Witch’s death when the “Peanut Girl” transferred — but we are definitely doing so now (unless, of course, Dean Sargent is ill — in which case we wish him the best).
Sadly, Dean Sargent may be ill; he is stepping down for “personal and medical reasons.” We wish him a speedy recovery. We also hope his successor is similarly skilled in the use of the “reply all” function.
Read the announcement, from Villanova President Peter Donohue, after the jump.
From: Mark Sargent
Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2009 3:01 PM
To: Wendy Barron; 2010dist; 2011dist
Cc: William James; Doris Brogan; Felicia Hamilton; Lori Bogish; Jennifer Nguyen; Christine Stango
Subject: RE: Work-Study funds for summer 2009
Wendy, we need to be careful with this kind of mass communication, helpful as it is. As I am sure you saw, this ended up on Above the Law. I did not get nearly as excited about it as Maule, and I know other schools will have the same problem, but readersnaturally (albeit idiotically) put a bas [sic] spin on it for us.
This is what we get for being transparent and helpful! The internet really is a type of hell!
ing we put on email or elsewhere can go viral almost instantly.
Mark A. Sargent
Dean and Professor of Law
Villanova University School of Law
From a second tipster:
I had to forward this. It is the email equivalent of the scene in Billy Madison where Chris Farley gets on the school bus and yells, “NO YELLING ON THE BUS!”
1. Thanks for the shout-out, Dean Sargent! We’re glad to have you as a reader.
2. You’re right — other law schools arehaving the same problem. For example, there’s no more work-study money at Rutgers – Camden (email after the jump).
3. “[R]eaders naturally (albeit idiotically) put a bas [sic] spin on it for us.” Oh, Dean Sargent, don’t read the comments — they will only cause you grief. We’ve helpfully hidden them, so they don’t display by default; you have to affirmatively seek them out.
Finally, this is not the first time Dean Sargent has had problems with that pesky “reply all” button. Remember the saga of Peanut Girl? Back in the fall of 2007, Dean Sargent complained about having to deal with a student with a very severe peanut allergy — in an email he sent to the deans of all ABA-accredited law schools. In a subsequent apology to the listserv, he described his gaffe as “the oldest mistake in the history of email.”
We reached out to Dean Sargent for comment on his latest email error. Read more, after the jump.
When Chintan Panchal decided to leave a global BigLaw partnership to start his own firm, he could only hope that he would face the high-quality problem of firm building that many had cautioned him about. Focused on the uncertainty surrounding of a new firm launch, he decided to tackle staffing needs, IT challenges, and financial planning requirements after he had built up his legal practice.
Panchal Associates LLP–a corporate/finance and outside general counsel boutique–was quickly off to a great start. Clients and matters were flying in the door, and Chintan soon had a team of lawyers and staff with a variety of operational needs. To continue building an excellent team and provide them with a competitive benefits package, to expand his physical presence to include a European practice and additional partners, and to scale his operations and IT capabilities to support this growing enterprise brought with it demands of time, money, and expertise. Chintan knew he needed help.
“With the assistance of NexFirm, we have upgraded the capabilities of our firm to meet, and in some cases exceed, the standards we were used to at our former BigLaw firms. Operationally, we can now attract and service clients we didn’t have the bandwidth to support in the past, and continue to build our team with the best and brightest legal talent in the industry,” said Chintan Panchal, adding “It has worked out quite well in our case; NexFirm is an essential partner for us.”
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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