September 20, 2011

"Illinois Bombshell: Class of 2014 Median LSAT/GPA Is 163/3.70, Not 168/3.81."

Outrageous U.S. News game-playing.

Illinois got itself up to #23 with what it claims was a "mistake."

And one must wonder how many of these other schools have cheated/erred.

46 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

Bastards. The Chicago way. Wisconsin gets screwed again!

E.M. Davis said...

No one should care about these rankings. They are irrelevant to real life.

Ann Althouse said...

"Bastards. The Chicago way. Wisconsin gets screwed again!"

At Wisconsin, the debate among the faculty has always been dominated by arguments that we should go lower on the hard variables -- LSAT and GPA -- to have more room to work with the soft variables.

If we had decided to go all out for hard variables, we'd be well within the top 20 today. It has been a choice, stuck to over the entire time the U.S. News rankings have existed.

Paddy O said...

Unexpectedly!

Carol_Herman said...

Maybe, their "first" list isn't all of those who got accepted? The list is done while admissions is still open ... so they drop in the students with lower scores?

The other choice? Would be a cut off that would rob them of income.

Since what really fills the plates are paying customers.

Illinois won't be the only school!

I'm sure what's come on board is the electronic nature of databases ... and data mining technology ... Which finds those "needles in a haystack."

traditionalguy said...

What about measuring the bumps on their heads and the lengths of their noses?

Its all "optics" anyway says our Beloved Leader.

Which means that if they can't catch you, then you get away with it. (An old pickpocket motto.)

But at least those religious Ten Commandments displays have been cleansed from our land.

EDH said...

It's Chicago math!

The thing to notice about these errors, from glacial melt to LSAT/GPA scores, is the consistent bias of the error in the direction that serves the interest of the publisher of the results.

Probability tells us that error is not random.

Carol_Herman said...

Written in cement, the other variable is that "some" of those entering ... run away ... sans degree. Sans even units they can transfer.

And, students who didn't get in as freshman, can still apply to start ... with fun and games ... in their 2nd year.

What's lacking from this study ... is how ... in the past ... gifted students (in the sciences,let's say) ... chased professors!

Did you know Richard Feynman chose Princeton because Einstein was there? (Einstein lived at 112 Mercer Street. Within walking distance.) He kept mentally fit, too, because the young students would come to him with breathtaking ideas.

Hearing one of them, Eistein said "He doubted God played dice with the universe." (But he wasn't going to speak to God's mind set.)

Ann Althouse said...

"It's Chicago math!"

Unfortunately, if you go to that phonily high-ranked school, you won't even get to live in Chicago.

edutcher said...

When you hear the words, "sincerely regrets", you know they knew what they were doing all along.

EDH said...

Ann Althouse said...
"It's Chicago math!"

Unfortunately, if you go to that phonily high-ranked school, you won't even get to live in Chicago.


Obviously, since her school days, Althouse has forgotten about the commutative, associative, distributive and multiplicative identity properties of Chicago math.

:)

MadisonMan said...

Lawyers were lying??

Jess said...

Althouse said: Unfortunately, if you go to that phonily high-ranked school, you won't even get to live in Chicago.

You mean they get to live in Shampoo-Banana?

It's like a dream come true!

wv.phireekn
There is no phireekn way I want to live in Chicago.

sorepaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shanna said...

And one must wonder how many of these other schools have cheated/erred.

All of them.

Fred4Pres said...

Hard variables vs soft ones. Becareful or someone may be taken aback...oh wait, that is a different post!

Dreaderick said...

The Cheating Illini!

Beldar said...

And who, then, shall guard the guardians of the Rule of Law?

Beldar said...

Prof. Althouse, completely apart from its impact on USN&WR rankings, do you agree with the policy of going lower on the hard variables (LSAT & GPA) to have more room to work with the soft variables?

Der Hahn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patrick said...

What ranking would IL have had without their deception?

Maguro said...

Chief Illinwek is appalled.

BJM said...

How did the supposedly best and brightest among us cobble together such a corrupt inefficient system as higher education?

It's going to get ugly when the bubble bursts.

BJK said...

At Wisconsin, the debate among the faculty has always been dominated by arguments that we should go lower on the hard variables -- LSAT and GPA -- to have more room to work with the soft variables.

In light of the CEO study, you're basically saying that Wisconsin would be a perennial Top 25 law school, but for its diversity policies.

Fred4Pres said...

Now LSU is stealing your mascot! Bastards! Wisconsin really gets no respect at all.

Alex said...

At Wisconsin, the debate among the faculty has always been dominated by arguments that we should go lower on the hard variables -- LSAT and GPA -- to have more room to work with the soft variables.

Pray tell, what are these "soft variables"? Affirmative action maybe?

Triangle Man said...

Prof. Althouse, completely apart from its impact on USN&WR rankings, do you agree with the policy of going lower on the hard variables (LSAT & GPA) to have more room to work with the soft variables?

What a rude question. Next you will be asking about her frequency of marital congress with Meade.

E.M. Davis said...

Pray tell, what are these "soft variables"? Affirmative action maybe?

Soft variables are hair style, ass size and shape, and eyelash length.

Next?

Curious George said...

As long as no students of different diversities were disrespted I'm okay with it.

hawkeyedjb said...

"Bombshell"

Huh. The bombs are getting small and the targets are insignificant.

raf said...

Now, you see, "Illinois Bombshell" to me evoked images of "Girls of the Big Ten."

Wrong thread, I guess.

traditionalguy said...

It looks like Trooper will have to give a place to law School Administrators somewhere between Lawyers and Reporters.

But lawyers believe in the saying, "Don't look back, something might be gaining on you."

Beldar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beldar said...

I didn't intend my question to be rude; I'm not sure if it appears that way.

I can imagine very plausible arguments for considering factors other than GPA and LSAT — for one, the quality and standards of the school from which the GPA comes. Even without embracing Justice O'Connor's smoke and mirrors for why the Constitution permits racial preferences now but won't in 2028, I can think of many "soft" factors other than race that might be entirely legitimate factors for even a state-supported law school to consider.

So I don't think it's a disrespectful question. And I don't insist on an answer. This is Prof. A's blog, she'll answer if she feels so inclined, and that's that (and as it should be). I won't take offense if she doesn't respond at all.

Chanie said...

""Illinois Bombshell: Class of 2014 Median LSAT/GPA Is 163/3.70, Not 168/3.81.""

Illinois got itself up to #23 with what it claims was a "mistake."


But the most recent USNWR ranking is based on the class of 2013's numbers. So the "mistake" had nothing to do with Illinois being ranked #23 in this past spring's issue. It's rank in the next issue would have been based on a "mistake," had it not been caught and corrected.

SunnyJ said...

@BSK, asks the question begging from the recent dust up on diversity.

Sounds like the UW decided to lower the bar by using soft data, which has proven to be so soft it's possibly not even formed yet, if you have read the email to the Cap Times editor (term used loosely)from the Physics Professor regarding the admission policy that no one can exactly get their hands around.

Said Physics Professor is asking for actual facts (uh oh, not a favorite of progressives when you can spend your life chatting about feelings, interpretations, idealogy, hypotheticals and theoreticals)regarding what was and was not used for admissions decisions and what is or isn't the actual outcomes for WI students and their parents.

Do not hold your breath waiting for the facts unless you look damn good in blue!

Elliott A said...

Either way, there aren't many jobs for these folks no matter what their LSAT

Ann Althouse said...

"Prof. Althouse, completely apart from its impact on USN&WR rankings, do you agree with the policy of going lower on the hard variables (LSAT & GPA) to have more room to work with the soft variables?"

Yes, but there's no way to escape from the rankings. I've spent a lot of time reading admissions files, and I would like to choose lots of interesting people, but the fact is, *they* look at the rankings too. If we had stress hard numbers from the earliest days of the rankings back in the 80s -- which I argued (uphill!) for back then -- we'd be maybe #17 in the rankings today.

But the other schools who saw and opportunity played the game that we were above and now they are above us.

That's the truth!

Ann Althouse said...

And when I say "*they* look at the rankings too" what I mean is that they will turn down our offer and go to a higher ranked school, so if we don't play the rankings, the soft variables don't work either.

Ann Althouse said...

I have banged my head against the wall for 25 years making that argument. But I have colleagues who imagine that somehow we will simply be loved and valued because of our beautiful goodness.

Jason (the commenter) said...

So they basically lied on their resume and only came clean when someone called them on it. Will there be repercussions? No.

That tells you all you need to know about "legal ethics" at law schools.

Ann Althouse said...

Soft variables cover all sorts of things... the details of where the person went to school and what he or she studied, for example. All sorts of life experiences. Older students who have been nurses or teachers or served in the military. People who have struggled with adversity of all kinds. If you really care about diversity and what it contributes to the classroom experience, it is not simply a euphemism for race.

I have worked on Admissions Committees and read thousands of files. These are real people, and I took that work seriously.

Beldar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beldar said...

/nod, thanks for the clarification, Professor Althouse. I've never participated in any law school's process for selecting those to whom it offers admission, but I've participated a lot in three BigLaw firms' hiring of law students for internships and associate positions. And serious people should, and mostly do, take such decisions seriously.

Chanie said...

No correction to the "mistake" in your original post, Ann?

Skookum John said...

Sue the bastards!

I would LOVE to see the American legal establishment bankrupted by a plague of frivolous lawsuits.