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….
Welcome to the top … of the second tier. We are at the point where the value proposition of going to law school is questionable. But the “nailing attractive co-eds” possibilities remain high. Check out some of the schools ranked in this batch. If you are going to spend three years and six figures on something, you’re going to need more than illusory job prospects to keep you warm at night:
54. Florida State
54. Yale Law School’s Hartford Campus/University of Connecticut (j/k)
56. Case Western Reserve
56. Loyola (Los Angeles)
56. San Diego
60. Georgia State
60. University of Houston
64. Lewis & Clark College
67. New Mexico
72. Penn State
72. Seton Hall
72. St. John’s
See what I’m saying. I bet young law students are just cutting a swath through the undergrads at Yeshiva University.
Seriously though, FSU, Miami, Rocky Top, Ha-freaking-Waii. Good times! You know, unless you want to get a job…
As 2010 gets underway, a couple of law schools are taking steps to keep students from accessing the internet while they’re in class. This would be a pretty mundane and much expected story, if we all lived in China.
The most extreme attempt by a law school to captivate an audience comes from Villanova Law. Professors there on a case-by-case basis have been banning the use of laptops in class. That’s right, some professors are going totally old school and forcing their students to take handwritten notes, just like students did in the 1800s. A tipster puts Villanova’s attempt to turn back the clock this way:
There seems to be a growing movement at Villanova Law to ban laptop use in class. Last year, an entire section of 1Ls was not permitted to use laptops and both a contracts and crim law professor in another section banned them as well. Now a Con Law professor teaching 2Ls has banned them for Con Law 2 this semester.
In general, the professors doing this complain that students who use laptops in class tend to surf the web or gchat/IM rather than pay attention, which distracts both themselves and classmates around them who look at their screens. As a result, these professors claim that class discussion is harmed. I can’t dispute that logic, but I do think laptops in class benefit many students. Personally, I take extremely thorough notes in class because of my laptop and only surf the web when some jackass makes an asinine point just to hear himself speak, so the laptop is a tremendous educational tool for me.
I had a very good professor who once said: “If you are more entertained sitting at home after you’ve already paid to attend my class, the fault lies with me.” Why don’t more professors internalize this basic truth? Professors — professors whose high salaries are made possible by the students they teach — should be able to be more entertaining and informative than “the internet.”
Shutting down the ‘net, even to the point of outlawing laptops altogether, isn’t going to make students pay attention. Trust me, students are capable of zoning out in any number of ways. Ever heard of a doodle?
Luckily, Villanova’s acting dean, Doris Brogan, tells us that the bans are the actions of a few professors who are experimenting, not the stated policy of the law school.
The news from Dean Brogan, and a look at Albany Law School’s draconian test run, after the jump.
A couple of weeks ago, we mentioned the Princeton Review law school rankings. The rankings are based on law student surveys, which may explain why the rankings bear little relationship to reality.
But Paul Caron of Tax Prof Blog has looked at Princeton Review’s underlying data, and he’s come up with some interesting info about how much law students are studying.
Here are the top ten schools in terms of study hours per day:
Villanova law students, you guys are lying. You cannot possibly average 7.5 hours of study a day unless you are (a) skipping class or (b) really dumb.
After the jump, let’s take a look at the schools that report the least amount of study time.
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.
Villanova is more well-known for its basketball team than its law school. But Villanova has a law school — in fact, a tier 1 (or at least top 100) law school.
But sadly, the school is out of summer work-study money. I’ve never heard of that happening to a law school, but here’s the message from the assistant dean for financial aid:
I am sorry to report that we have run out of funds for work-study for this summer and many of you have applications in for these funds but we will not be able to give you an award. If you are a PA resident and applied to a PA employer, you would have already received an award letter so you know that you have these funds. If you are not a PA resident or you are trying to work other than in PA you probably do not have an award letter but that does not mean that funds haven’t been reserved for you – we may be waiting on your contract from your employer before your letter goes out or it may mean that we ran out of funds before your folder was complete. We will let all of you know as soon as possible.
Sorry – I wish the news were better.
Are there other schools that are out of work-study money?
This news is primarily directed at 1Ls, the ones most likely to have applied for some kind of unpaid internship for summer work.
Which begs raises the question: what are 1Ls doing this summer? Are 1Ls working? Are they living in tents and basements across the country? Are they eating ramen and mayonnaise sandwiches?
1. If you send one of your students to another law school, for a year-long stint as a visiting student, don’t “apologize” for it — even if that student has a severe peanut allergy, requiring the receiving school to “peanut-proof” itself for the year.
2. If you really must issue an “apology,” do so by phone or in person, not by email.
3. If you really must issue an “apology” by email, send it to the individual dean. Do not send it to a listserv consisting of the deans of ABA-accredited law schools.
Because it might get leaked to ATL:
ATL readers: Please take this opportunity to engage in a spirited debate over whether schools, airlines, and other institutions go too far — or not far enough — in accommodating people with extreme food allergies. Thank you.
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
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The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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