The Need for Auditing of Law School Admission Data

We advise all of our readers to take a look at Professor Jerry Organ’s latest piece on the need for auditing law school admission data. His concerns come in the wake of the scandal at the University of Illinois College of Law, where the school has admitted to a pattern of fraud over the last few years. Villanova admitted a similar pattern in January.

As Professor Organ explains:

[T]his behavior is problematic because it not only misleads prospective law students and others regarding the law schools in question, it also erodes the ability of law schools generally to instill in their graduates a professional identity reflecting the highest ethical standards.

Something must be done about this. We have continually reiterated that the Law School Admissions Council would be the cheapest method of ensuring accurate admissions data. All ABA-approved law schools are members. Representatives of LSAC have said that LSAC is not interested in auditing admissions data, despite presently having the capabilities to do so.

A number of pre-law advisors raised this issue with the LSAC at the Pre-Law Advisors National Council Board meeting in March of this year. At that point, however, the LSAC representative expressed no interest in having the LSAC serve as an auditing check on law schools, noting that the LSAC is a membership organization and that any such action would require the consent of the member law schools. Daniel Bernstine, the President of the LSAC, recently was quoted in a National Law Journal article: “That’s just not something we have done historically, and I don’t see why we would. We are not in the reporting business. We don’t distinguish between our [law school] members.”

Despite President Bernstine’s protestations to the contrary, LSAC is in the reporting business. It reports annually the aggregated results of those who take the LSAT and jointly with the ABA publishes the ABA-LSAC Official Guide to law schools, in which the inaccurate data from Villanova and Illinois was reported for the last few years. It also issues a variety of reports to law schools and to pre-law advisors.

Professor Organ has created a survey to gain input on how to best deal with admissions data integrity. You can complete this survey here or by filling it out below.

We will report the results of the survey when Professor Organ makes them available.