Friday, December 1, 2017
According to an extensive study, scandals negatively affect admissions, but only for a limited time:
Scandals with a high level of media coverage significantly reduce applications. For example, a scandal covered in a long-form news article leads to a ten percent drop in applications the following year. This is roughly the same as the impact on applications of dropping ten spots in the U.S. News and World Report college rankings. This impact on applications persists for two years following the high-profile scandal. We find little evidence to suggest that this drop in applications is associated with longer-term negative effects for the school such as a less competitive applicant pool or a more dangerous campus environment.
Here is the study. Michael Luca, Patrick Rooney & Jonathan Smith, The Impact of Campus Scandals on College Applications. Though the study focuses on undergraduate admissions, I would think the results have relevance to law school admissions. On the other hand, in 2008, my law school endured a scandal due to the conduct of the then-dean and two other administrators—the rest of us had no knowledge or participation in it. Although we are recovering, we still have not yet fully recovered.