DeLoggio Consulting for Law Schools

Helping you Maintain your Quality, your Integrity,
and your U.S. News Ranking

 

Diagnostics

Solutions

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The DeLOGGIO Admissions Achievement Program began matching law school applicants to schools twenty-five years ago. Our first step was to gather reams of data, some of it from secondary sources, but the vast majority from our own research, conducted primarily at LSAC Law Forums. We quickly learned that helping people gain admission to certain schools was a two-way proposition; the school had to fit the student as much as the student had to fit the school. This is the reason we jokingly refer to ourselves as "computer dating for law schools and their applicants."

Our History

 

U.S. News logo

Within a few years, a phenomenon swept the law school community, transforming it into an industry. There had been, and continue to be, other educational ranking services and formulae, but the popularity of U.S. News & World Report, its accessibility to the general public, and its annual revision gave it a prominence that virtually eradicated any other opinion.

In an effort to explain to applicants why the U.S. News report, while containing valuable background data, had no use as a ranking per se, we began analyzing and explaining the Ranking. We investigated methods in which ranking variables were arbitrary, subject to questionable statistical methods, deliberately misrepresented, compared data that was not appropriately comparable, and hid much of the information used in the rankings.

Some of the more obvious examples are

  • the year in which U.S. News staff "didn't believe" the ratio between published medians and 75th percentile LSAT scores, and simply devised their own medians regardless of published numbers;
  • the chronic forcing of "bell curve" distributions on data that falls nowhere near a curve, thereby magnifying some amplitudes of difference and minimizing others;
  • arbitrarily fabricated estimates of data for schools that failed to publish, or whose students neglected to report. Such estimates were often felt to be punitively low.

Introducing
U.S. News


Eventually I realized, as did many law school personnel, that there is no way to convince most applicants that the U.S. News ranking is largely meaningless. While managing to some extent with my own clients, to whom I repeatedly stress that the best fit is more important than an entirely arbitrary number, I gave up publishing elaborate annual exposés on my web page. Instead, I offered my assistance to selected schools who asked my advice.

By showing the administration the relationship between the individual components of the U.S. News rankings and the amount of movement that can be accomplished by controlling a single variable, we help schools "game the system" — redesign their admission strategies, web pages and programs to maximize their increase in ranking for each variable at the lowest possible cost.

Graph Analyzing U.S. News Data

We also show schools which variables outside the direct purview of the admissions office are harming their U.S. News rankings. With the help of published reports and experts on communication and visual design, we suggest changes to web pages, the addition, modification or marketing of programs most attractive to today's applicant, and the use of LSAC tools such as CRS lists to maximize applicant outreach in an effectively targeted way.

Evolution

 

In 2010, applications began to plummet, and applications from minorities evaporated. This is not new; applications are not yet as low as they were in 1987, and LSATs administered are nowhere near as low as they were from 1997 through 2003.

Law School Applications, 1965-2012

The difference is the pressure on law schools, and especially on admissions staff, to bring in the same GPA and LSAT medians as they had in 2005. The motivation behind this patently impossible task is the U.S. News ranking.

This pressure has become so overwhelming, and so many law schools are looking for solutions to their inability to produce old medians in a new economy, that we have decided to offer our help broadly, instead of to selected colleagues.

We offer you the same "Loretta DeLoggio" advantage we offer our applicant clients: the ability to compare what a hundred schools have tried, over a decade or more, with anecdotal evidence of relative success. We offer the same bedrock integrity for which we are known in our representation of applicants: our suggestions will never violate standards, explicit or implicit, in an effort to gain an advantage through unfair methods. And we offer the same relentlessly thorough analysis of data for which we gained a bit of notoriety in the gathering.

If your school needs a transformation, an injection of new ideas, or simply a second opinion, contact us. We'll be glad to help you meet the challenges of the crisis initiated by the confluence of economy, applicant pool, and U.S. News data.

 

Transforming
Law Schools


Email: Consulting@DeLoggio.com
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Phone: 206/453-8533

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