Survival and panic can lead to desperation. Desperation can lead to questionable decision-making. Apparently, this is what’s starting to happen in law school admissions across the country. Anthony Varona, the associate dean of academic affairs at American University’s Washington College of Law, used his Facebook account to vent frustrations over fellow capital city school, George Washington University Law School, allegedly poaching students at his school.
“The school (GW Law) shrank its 1L class some years ago, deciding instead to transfer in large numbers of students after the first year,” Verona wrote. “97 transfers just last year alone. Well over HALF of those [are] from my law school; which—to say the least—causes us quite a bit of disruption. Speaking only for myself and not in my official law school capacity, I view this practice as downright predatory. No other law school is similarly raided anywhere else in the United States. No other law school engages in this sort practice to this degree.”
Of course, George Washington Law officials deny the allegations. Regardless, the fact is that 54 law students transferred from American to George Washington this past year. Not really odd from the student’s perspective considering the U.S. News has American ranked 72nd and George Washington 20th. However, it is odd from the school’s perspective.
In an email to The Washington Post, Varona wrote, “I don’t blame GW for being impressed with our first-year students — we attract an illustrious and promising group of 1Ls year after year — but I take strong exception to their practice.”
George Washington’s associate dean for admissions responded by saying that her school attracts top candidates because of their “academic quality and location.” She also said they are not targeting students from any specific school. Nevertheless, this begs the question, if highly qualified applicants continue to decrease, will (alleged) poaching be a trend in law school admissions? A certain American University dean probably thinks so.
Source: The Washington Post
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