July 24, 2012
ABA Publicly Censures, Fines Illinois $250k for Intentionally Inflating LSAT, GPA Medians to Goose U.S. News Ranking
The Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar today issued a public censure of the University of Illinois College of Law announcing sanctions against the law school for intentionally reporting and publishing false admissions data.
The council determined that the law school had violated the section’s Standards for Approval of Law Schools requiring law schools to maintain sound admissions policies and practices and to publish basic, accurate consumer information. The censure refers to intentionally false LSAT scores and incoming student grade-point-average data the school provided for the entering class of 2005 and the entering classes of 2007 through 2011.
The sanctions imposed include (1) a public censure; (2) a requirement that the law school issue a public corrective statement; (3) a requirement that the law school hire a compliance monitor to report to the section’s accreditation committee on its admissions process and data for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years; (4) a monetary penalty; and (5) termination of a section agreement that allowed the law school to conduct an early-admissions program.
The censure explains that the monetary penalty addresses the harm to the reputation and standing of legal education and the profession resulting from the law school’s violation of the standards. The proceeds are to be placed in a separate, designated fund to be used by the section to monitor and enhance compliance with the data reporting and publication requirements of all ABA-approved law schools.
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- Did Illinois Inflate LSAT (168), GPA (3.81) Medians to Goose U.S. News Ranking? (Sept. 12, 2011)
- Illinois Bombshell: Class of 2014 Median LSAT/GPA Is 163/3.70, Not 168/3.81 (Sept. 19, 2011)
- Illinois Reported Inflated LSAT, GPA Medians for Past Four Years (Sept. 28, 2011)
- U.S. News Won't Redo Rankings Despite Illinois Reporting False LSAT/GPA Data (Sept. 30, 2011)
- A Call to Audit Law School Admissions Data (Oct. 5, 2011)
- Illinois Releases Final Report on Admissions Data Rankings Scandal (Nov. 7, 2011)
- Illinois Adopts Transparency Plan in Wake of Admissions Data Rankings Scandal (Dec. 15, 2011)
- LSAC to Verify Law School Admissions Data Reported to ABA, U.S. News (June 18, 2012)
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The Illinois College of Law should thank its lucky stars that it comes under the auspices of the ABA rather than the NCAA, otherwise it would be penalized for four years, be limited on the number of students it can admit, forfeit previous gains, have to fire the dean, and pay a heck of a bigger penalty than $250,000.
Posted by: Woody | Jul 24, 2012 7:06:32 PM
Illinois Law, and its dean, are lucky it doesn't come under the ospices U.S. laws protecting consumers against fraud...oh wait, it does?
Yikes for Illinois (and Villanova) law, LOL!
Posted by: Anon | Jul 24, 2012 8:53:49 PM
"ABA Publicly Censures, Fines Illinois $250k for Intentionally Inflating LSAT, GPA Medians to Goose U.S. News Ranking"
"In Response to Fines, Illinois assesses 'Academic Excellence Fee' on New Students"
Posted by: Brad | Jul 24, 2012 10:10:33 PM
The Section of ABA now has regulatory authority over law schools? I could not believe this until I read the ABA's press release which includes the following statement: "The council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and its accreditation committee are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the national accrediting agency for programs leading to the J.D." I knew it "approved" law schools but did not realize it had the imprimatur of the federal government.
Hmmm. Can we get the ABA Section of Taxation to have some regulatory authority over the I.R.C. and the IRS ?
Posted by: TexEcon | Jul 25, 2012 10:47:46 AM
TexEcon, what makes you think the ABA Section of Taxation does not already exercise regulatory authority over the IRS? The technical term is regulatory capture.
Posted by: Jake | Jul 25, 2012 2:59:15 PM