Villanova Law School’s Lies

The American Bar Association has issued a public censure of Villanova Law School, which has been very deceptive about its inputs. As Martha Neil writes in the The ABA Journal:

The ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has sanctioned Villanova University for inaccurately reporting law school admission data. In a letter on Friday to the university’s president and the dean of the Villanova University School of Law, the section’s council says the law school’s intentional reporting of inaccurate information to the ABA would have justified putting the institution on probation or removing it from the list of ABA-approved law schools.

However, because Villanova self-reported the problem to the ABA, corrected it “and separated from the law school all persons responsible for the misrepresentations and misleading conduct,” lesser sanctions were imposed.

For several (unspecified) years Villanova reported inaccurately high grades and LSAT scores of incoming students. This was apparently done for ranking purposes. Last year the law school was 84th in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report ranking. The school reported a median incoming LSAT score of 160 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.33.

The official sanction is apparently a “public censure” that Villanova has to post online for the next two years. The school also has to issue a correction letter to all other law schools. These don’t sound like particularly serious punishments.

Now if only interested parties could get the American Bar Association to work on the other part of the law school deception, the outputs part.

Back in early 2010 Mark Greenbaum criticized the ABA for what essentially amounted to lawyer inflation; allowing law schools to artificially increase the supply of lawyers by making the profession look more attractive than it actually was. They did (and do) this by routinely inflating the employment rates and average salaries of graduates. The ABA has offered only excuses.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer