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Law School News—Baylor Law's Big Fiasco and Job Openings for Deans

Vivia Chen

April 9, 2012

 © imagehit - Fotolia.com1. Baylor Law carries transparency too far. I don't know if this will invite a lawsuit, but Baylor University School of Law has made a rather spectacular mistake. The National Law Journal  reports that the school "accidentally sent [accepted students] a spreadsheet detailing each of their scores on the Law School Admission Test, undergraduate grade-point averages, and the amounts of any scholarship awards." What's more, names, addresses, telephone numbers, undergraduate institutions, and ethnicities were also included.

Above the Law got its sticky little hands on the spreadsheet, which it posted—though it redacted the names and other identifying marks about the accepted students. Check it out if you're curious about the range of undergraduate GPAs that a law school ranked 51 in U.S. News & World Report expects these days. Most of the undergrad institutions were Texas-based, though there were a fair number from Brigham Young University (Who knew Mormons and Baptists had so much in common!). The Ivies and other elite colleges were barely represented.

Baylor vice president of media communications Frank Raczkiewicz requested—make that begged—that accepted students "act professionally, and treat the information as if it had been given to them by one of their future legal clients," reports The Baylor Loriat, which broke the story, according to the ABA Blog. “We’ve also asked them to please keep that information confidential and to please delete it from their files,” Raczkiewicz told the Loriat.

Yeah, good luck with that. And good luck too that no one sues for breach of confidentiality, gross negligence, and infliction of pain and suffering.

2. Why slave at a law firm when you can be dean? The job market for law school graduates is still shaky, but the one for law school deans seem to be hot. Here is the latest news:

 - Stanford Law School dean Larry Kramer is leaving to become president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Before assuming the top spot at the nation's number two law school, Kramer was an associate dean at NYU School of Law.

- University of Texas Law School is still in market for a dean. As you might know, Larry Sager was booted out of the deanship at the end of last year (though he's still listed as a faculty member at UT—awkward!). So far, UT has been making do with an interim dean, Stefanie Lindquist. So toss your name into the ring.

- Meanwhile, not-so-hotsy-totsy law schools are looking beyond academia for their deans. Brooklyn Law's new dean is Washington insider, Nicholas Allard, chair of the lobbying, political, and election law practice at Patton Boggs.

- Similar story with the much-maligned New York Law School, which recently hired Anthony Crowell as its new dean and president. Crowell is a battle-hardy veteran of New York City politics, reports The National Law Journal. Most recently, he was counselor to New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, overseeing city agencies and government reform efforts.

- Other moves: Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor School of Law names Douglas Sylvester as its new dean. Arizona's previous dean, Paul Schiff Berman, is now dean of George Washington University Law School, reports the NLJ. (Nice upgrade, Paul.)

- More job openings for deans: University of Michigan Law School and the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Personally, I don't think being a law school dean is a lot of fun. If you are at a high-ranking school, the pressure to kiss up to rich alumni and raise money is relentless. And if you are at a mediocre law school, you have to deal with a bunch of angry, depressed, jobless (or underemployed) graduates—and then perform the ridiculous and pathetic task of extracting money out of them too.

Really, wouldn't being a funeral director be a lot less stressful?


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The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: [email protected]

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