August 1, 2015

Going Up!

Increases in Jobs! Increases in LSAT Takers!
Increases in Forum Registrants!

We're not talking about humongous increases; we're talking about 5%, give or take a point, in each category. But the significance is that all three indicators are rising, and at the same pace. Early registrants for the October LSAT are also up about 5%, one admissions officer told me, and the optimism in the Forum room was palpable. We all think there's news again, and I'm here to share it.

Going Round!

There are some really big changes in the admissions world:

  • Frank Motley, the King of Law School Admissions, has retired after "his nearly 40 years of service to the law school" at Indiana-Bloomington, as the party invitation says. I have dozens of stories about Frank; the problem is I'm not allowed to tell any of them.
    • Greg Canada, formerly at Hastings College of the Law, [affiliated with U. Cal. SF] has been named the Assistant Dean of Admissions; he'll have some adjusting to do, moving from San Francisco to Indiana -- about as different as two climates can be.
      • If a new person has been chosen to replace Greg at Hastings, I can't find the name on the web page yet.
  • Rick Geiger, the Associate Dean of Communications & Enrollment at Cornell Law School, has retired after about as many years in this business as I've had. I remember going up to Cornell in 1991 to give a gay rights lecture, and Rick and I had already met, so we're going way back. Dean Geiger has been a gentleman and a professional in every way, and brings to mind a line of a song that Bette Midler sang to Johnny Carson on his farewell show: "for all of the years, for the laughs and the tears, for the class that you showed..."
    • Monica Ingram, formerly in charge of admissions at the U. of Texas Austin (the only UT law school), is settling into Rick's office at Cornell. Although Monica has fewer years of experience in the admissions world, she has shepherded U. Texas through the difficult Hopwood years, struggling with the issue of race-blind diversity and the restrictions placed on UT by the state Attorney General. Dean Ingram will bring every bit as much professionalism and class to the job as Rick did, and I look forward to continuing to work with her as we both wander over to the East Coast.
      • Sam Riley, Monica's assistant at Texas, will be holding the fort while the University conducts a search for a new Assistant Dean for Admission and Financial Aid. I didn't talk to Sam in DC, so I don't know whether he's throwing his hat in the ring. With an Ph.D. in Education, he might be looking to move into a different part of law school or university administration.
  • Bob Solomon, the Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid and Director of Diversity & Inclusion at Ohio State Law School, has left for a non-admissions job.
    • Michael States, previously Assistant Dean for Admissions at the U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (the only law school in the UNC system).
      • The web page doesn't indicate whether other people are being moved up or a new person will be brought in.
  • Fordham, Samford, and San Diego have filled some vacancies from earlier years, and a few dozen schools have added a recruiter or three to the staff.

No Magic Wand!

Retirements don't particularly have to do with lower admissions rates or U.S. News rankings; Deans Motley and Geiger certainly put in their time. But a lot of the new recruiters and changes in lower-level staff come from the belief that the right recruiter can be a quick fix to the changes from about by catastrophic reductions in the applicants pool. I'm of the belief that no one has a magic wand to fix a national trend overnight, but they're welcome to try.




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