November 28, 2011
RIP Michigan Law's Wolverine Scholars Program
In 2008, Michigan Law established the "Wolverine Scholars" program which would admit Michigan undergrads into law school if they had a minimum 3.80 GPA. No LSAT required. One may say, no LSAT wanted. A fair amount of criticism was leveled at Michigan Law back then. See Paul Caron's LSAT-Free Law School Admissions Can Goose U.S. News Ranking ("The rankings benefit is that there is no LSAT score to report to U.S. News, while the minimum 3.80 GPA will boost Michigan’s median 3.64 GPA, which counts 10% in U.S. News’ methodology")
In Michigan's New Admissions Policy, Bill Henderson wrote
The lofty rhetoric of the Wolverine Scholar program cannot be squared with the unnecessarily rigid admissions criteria. In my opinion, the only rational explanation is that Michigan seeks a rankings payoff. Here, an elite law school sets a new low in our obsession of form over substances — once again, we legal educators are setting a poor example for our students….
The law prof blogosphere criticism didn't stop Michigan Law but the school now has killed the Wolverine Scholars program. ATL's Elie Mystal wonders if it has anything to do with the recent Univ. of Illinois College of Law admissions scandal. For more, see The Life and Death of the Michigan ‘Wolverine Scholars’ Program. [JH]