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Four more get into UT Law despite low LSATs

By   /   March 27, 2014  /   No Comments

Part 13 of 61 in the series Trouble in Texas
Photo by Wyatt McSpadden

OBJECTION: One of the lieutenants for UT President Bill Powers objected to an inquiry into admissions favoritism at the law school.

By Jon Cassidy | Watchdog.org

Four students were admitted to the University of Texas School of Law despite LSAT scores way below the school’s average and grade-point averages between 2.66 and 3.38, according to records made public this week.

The four students all had LSAT scores between 150 and 155, which place them in the 44th to 64th percentile of test-takers nationwide.

Almost all successful applicants to UT Law have a score of 160 or better on the test, which is scored from 120 to 180. Roughly three-quarters of a typical class at UT Law scores a 163 or better, which puts them in th 89th percentile and above.

The scores are just the latest evidence that UT officials may have been playing favorites in the admissions process to please influential lawmakers or others.

Those low scores were the subject of an email from UT System officials, which was among some 2,000 pages of emails the UT System made available this week to favored news outlets, Watchdog.org not among them.

The credit for pulling that key bit of information from the pile of records goes to the Texas Tribune’s Reeve Hamilton, whose eyes have opened recently to the growing body of evidence of favoritism. The other reporters covering the document dump missed that email, instead reporting on how some people feel about other people.

The document dump comes as UT System public records officials prepare for a meeting Thursday with members of the media over complaints of favoritism in the release of records.

Twice recently, the school provided David Barer of the Dallas Morning News with public records that other news outlets requested unsuccessfully. First, Barer got a copy of UT President Bill Powers’ job evaluations, which had been denied to three other news outlets, including Watchdog.org. Then he got some correspondence from UT board chairman Paul Foster to Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, despite the fact that every major newspaper in the state — and Watchdog.org — requested that sort of correspondence after Cigarroa announced he would resign later this year.

UT made that correspondence available Monday to just three of the media outlets that asked for it, despite state law requiring it to “treat all requests for information uniformly.”

Contact Jon Cassidy at jon@watchdog.org or @jpcassidy000. If you would like to send him documents or messages anonymously, download the Tor browser and go to our SecureDrop submission page: http://5bygo7e2rpnrh5vo.onion

Part of 61 in the series Trouble in Texas
  1. Texas’ Rep. Pitts announces retirement after improper influence story
  2. University of Texas regents show support for Wallace Hall
  3. Case against UT regent Wallace Hall is a sham — here’s proof
  4. Texas senator got $477k for supposed ‘cameo’ appearance in Wallace Hall lawsuit
  5. Lawmaker admits pulling strings on UT admissions
  6. Trustee accused of crime for rejecting dodgy accounting
  7. Longhorns: Senator used clout in UT law school admissions
  8. Children of Texas lawmakers get into UT School of Law, but struggle to pass bar exam
  9. Chancellor is probing favoritism in UT admissions
  10. UT report: Charge against Hall is legally ‘absurd’
  11. Attorney in UT case hides six-figure charges despite terms of contract
  12. University of Texas clout scandal grows as new e-mails surface
  13. Four more get into UT Law despite low LSATs
  14. Reports on UT favoritism, impeachment expected soon
  15. Attorney: Secret tape covered up by lawmakers proves regent’s innocence
  16. Dozens of UT Law’s least qualified students are connected politically
  17. University of Texas uncovers admissions corruption, halts investigation
  18. UT admissions: Straus, Branch, Pitts pulled strings
  19. Who got the 128? UT Law admits students with bad LSAT scores
  20. Patrick’s win may doom Hall impeachment effort
  21. Chancellor promises complete investigation of UT admissions
  22. Board to decide UT president’s fate Thursday
  23. Texas politicians smarten up, ditch UT pres this time around
  24. Tribune story may have doomed UT’s Powers
  25. Academics condone the privilege they denounce
  26. Three essential stories on the UT admissions scandal
  27. Texas AG Greg Abbott embraces Roe v. Wade
  28. Roe v. Wade is AG’s new pretext for blocking Texas law school investigation
  29. Two UT regents pressed for records destruction
  30. New crime invented for Hall: assisted guesswork
  31. Texas lawmaker failed to disclose his own clout letter in UT flap
  32. Texas legislator Fischer insists on role in UT investigation
  33. Hutchison pulled strings for friends’ kids and grandkids at UT
  34. Ex-UT Law dean’s credit card bill: $400k in four years
  35. Abbott’s UT picks are pro-affirmative action
  36. Report: University of Texas showed favoritism to thousands
  37. Kroll ignored hundreds of weak UT applications
  38. Billionaire defends UT admissions privileges for ‘leaders’
  39. Weak admissions to University of Texas Law increased after Sager’s ouster
  40. Kroll report takes dig at Watchdog.org
  41. Hicks won’t stop UT’s backdoor admits
  42. Texas governor’s wife was on UT nominee’s payroll
  43. Bill to limit UT oversight clears committee
  44. UT regent blasts speaker for ‘abuse of office’
  45. Texas politician rebuts himself with apparently plagiarized letter
  46. Pay-to-play scandal involves UT dean, Texas Exes
  47. Supreme Court asked to look at UT’s backdoor admissions program
  48. Lawmakers want UT applications shielded from scrutiny
  49. McRaven makes UT scandal his own
  50. An open letter to Attorney General Ken Paxton on the UT cover-up
  51. Chancellor Bill McRaven’s UT cover-up has no defenders
  52. UT’s back door still open, but can’t stay secret, AG rules
  53. Whitewash: Kroll left dozens of bad LSATs out of UT report
  54. McRaven’s defense to Hall lawsuit refuted by own words
  55. Ready for the end of affirmative action?
  56. UT admissions scandal is 10 times bigger than official report
  57. McRaven trolls Dallas Morning News
  58. Powers to get top salary at UT Law
  59. UT sues to block Watchdog access to admissions investigation
  60. UT approves ‘Spinal Tap’ policy for backdoor admissions
  61. Admissions survey: No, UT, everybody doesn’t do it

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Jon Cassidy is the Texas bureau chief for Watchdog.org. He also writes a weekly column on politics for The American Spectator. He was formerly a reporter and editor for The Orange County Register in California and a reporter at The Hill in Washington, D.C. His work has been published by Fox News, Reason, The Federalist, Human Events, and other publications. He is a 2014 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow and a graduate of the University of Southern California. He and his wife Michelle live just outside Houston with their two children.