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University of Illinois College of Law ‘Admission for Jobs’ Scandal

This story is making the rounds this week and will lead to quite a bit of scrutiny in regards to law school admission policies and the behind the scenes machinations

Frankly, I’m not surprised that this type of stuff happens. I’m not alarmed that it happens, either, since that would necessitate a pretense that these types of antics are particularly uncommon. Most alarming to me is that the people involved were foolish enough to leave a trail of emails that make the whole plan clear and unambiguous.

I expect a higher quality of shenanigans from those trusted with educated the next generation of legal eagles.

Read the whole story at The Chicago Tribune.

U. of I. jobs-for-entry scheme
E-mails reveal law school put a price on admission of unqualified candidate

uofillinoiscollegeoflawWhat does it cost to get an unqualified student into the University of Illinois law school?

Five jobs for graduating law students, suggest internal e-mails released Thursday.

The documents show for the first time efforts to seek favors — in this case, jobs — for admissions, the most troubling evidence yet of how Illinois’ entrenched system of patronage crept into the state’s most prestigious public university.

They also detail the law school’s system for handling “Special Admits,” students backed by the politically connected, expanding the scope of a scandal prompted by a Chicago Tribune investigation.

In one e-mail exchange, University of Illinois Chancellor Richard Herman forced the law school to admit an unqualified applicant backed by then- Gov. Rod Blagojevich while seeking a promise from the governor’s go-between that five law school graduates would get jobs. The applicant, a relative of deep-pocketed Blagojevich campaign donor Kerry Peck, appears to have been pushed by Trustee Lawrence Eppley, who often carried the governor’s admissions requests.

When Law School Dean Heidi Hurd balked on accepting the applicant in April 2006, Herman replied that the request came “Straight from the G. My apologies. Larry has promised to work on jobs (5). What counts?”

Hurd replied: “Only very high-paying jobs in law firms that are absolutely indifferent to whether the five have passed their law school classes or the Bar.”

Hurd’s e-mail suggests that students getting the jobs are to be those in the “bottom of the class.” Law school rankings depend in part on the job placement rate of graduates.


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