Save the date... Las Vegas, Nevada April 7-9, 2010
LSAC now offers the capability to provide individual fee waivers in person or electronically. Your prospects can redeem these waivers when they apply to your law school through the electronic application (e-app) process.
You can assign fee waivers directly to individual prospects or create unassigned fee waivers for distribution at recruit events or through other recruiting activities. Your ACES² security administrator can assign user permissions for both types of fee waivers within the User Manager section of ACES².
An unassigned fee waiver is a fee waiver generated by ACES² that is not linked to a specific prospect. Unassigned fee waivers are generated through a new utility option that allows you to specify the number of fee waivers and an expiration date for the waivers you wish to generate. While the unassigned fee waiver can be given to a specific person, it can be used by any applicant to your school, but it can only be used once.
An assigned fee waiver is a fee waiver created in ACES² that is linked to a specific prospect. These fee waivers are issued to prospects who may or may not have an LSAC account number.
Prospects can redeem their fee waiver using their LSAC.org account when they submit their application through the electronic application process. Depending on the type of fee waiver, and whether the prospect already has an LSAC.org account, the redemption process is either automatic or requires the prospect to simply enter their fee waiver code.
During the Application Fee Payment and Certification step, applicants who received an unassigned fee waiver, or those without LSAC.org accounts when their fee waiver was assigned, will enter their fee waiver code number in the entry field provided. LSAC will validate the fee waiver code number to ensure it is a valid code issued by your school, has not expired, and has not yet been redeemed. Applicants with assigned fee waivers who had LSAC.org accounts at the time their fee waiver was assigned will automatically have their fee waiver applied during the payment step.
Electronic applications submitted with individual application fee waivers will be indicated as such in the Fees section of the applicant's record in ACES².
Law schools can also create and run reports on prospects who have been assigned fee waivers, and applicants who have redeemed them. Although ACES² provides reporting capabilities, it does not track fee waiver redemption other than storing redeemed fee waiver codes with applicant data. Reconciling redeemed fee waiver codes with unassigned fee waivers or those assigned to specific prospects will be the responsibility of the law school.
We hope your school will find individual applicant fee waivers to be a flexible and useful addition to your recruitment program. As always, don't hesitate to contact a member of your regional support team with questions or feedback.
Remember not to schedule NSP [National School Profile] reports. By default, NSP reports contain an "ask at runtime" value, and since these reports are run automatically and unattended during overnight hours, a value cannot be entered at runtime.
Dates can be exported into a report in a lot of different formats just by changing the field size once you have selected the field. By default, the size for dates is 10 characters, and the field exports with a format of mm/dd/yyyy.
But you can change it to:
In our March newsletter we discussed the US Department of Education's new race/ethnicity reporting requirements and provided a list of the updated LSAC race/ethnicity categories.
This article takes a closer look at how these changes to the collection and reporting of race/ethnicity data will affect candidates and law schools.
Beginning in the 2010/2011 academic year, the Department of Education will require schools to report the number of students in each of these mutually exclusive categories:
(for non-Hispanic/Latino only):
Additionally, beginning in mid-July 2009, LSAC will modify how we collect race/ethnicity data:
Prior to the mid-July release, LSAC will send an e-mail to all active registered candidates informing them of the race/ethnicity changes and encouraging them to log in to their LSAC account after July 20, 2009 to review their race/ethnicity information.
After July 20, we will send a customized e-mail based on the registrant's original race/ethnicity category. This e-mail will include the new race/ethnicity category for verification, with a reminder that registrants can now identify multiple races/ethnicities. Anyone whose race/ethnicity was originally identified as Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native, or Other, or for whom we do not have race/ethnicity data, will be asked to select one or more of the new subcategories.
On September 1, 2009 we will regenerate electronic Credential Assembly Service (LSDAS) reports to include the new race/ethnicity designations for 2010 applicants.
The race/ethnicity changes will touch the following:
The new race/ethnicity codes will not affect the following:
Beyond compliance with the Department of Education's requirements, we hope that the new LSAC data will provide more comprehensive, accurate, and useful race/ethnicity information for your law school.
As we approach the July implementation, we will continue to keep you apprised of these data collection and reporting changes. In the meantime, please feel free to contact your regional team leader with any questions or concerns.
The historic French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana, served as the backdrop for the first LSAC Electronic Services Conference (ESCon) April 1–3. The goal of ESCon is to enhance LSAC's educational offerings and to provide a venue for admission and IT professionals to exchange ideas and strengthen partnerships with LSAC. Additionally, ESCon provides attendees with an opportunity to learn more about LSAC and the services we provide.
This year, the ESCon planning group chose to focus on programming that would enable schools to prepare for the law student of the future. Sessions included information on social networking, data security, going paperless, and using ACES² to meet the needs of a tech-savvy audience. The evaluations and feedback have been positive. David Weinberger of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University was our keynote speaker. He set the perfect tone for a diverse crowd eager to learn about how we communicate in the new digital age. More than 130 schools were represented among attendees, including 85 chief information officers from across the country who attended as guests of LSAC.
The registration fee for the conference, as determined by the planning group, was designed to make the conference accessible to all schools. The fee of $200 covered registration, meals, and hotel costs for the first two admissions professionals from any member school. Each additional admission professional could attend for $200 per person, including the same meals and accommodations. As indicated above, LSAC covered all costs of attendance for the chief information officer or IT director from member law schools. Other IT professionals were invited to attend for the same $200 registration fee.
Many of the schools that attended expressed positive sentiments about the conference to us directly and through their evaluations. Evaluations for ESCon were collected after each session and for the conference overall. Respondents suggested many alternate locations for future years and provided great feedback about broadening or repeating sessions. The most vocal complaints that we heard had to do with the lack of readily available coffee or free wireless Internet service, both of which we'll pursue for next year. We've included several representative comments from the evaluations below.
Save the date... Las Vegas, Nevada April 7-9, 2010
ESCon 2010 has been tentatively scheduled for April 7–9 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Please mark your calendars now. The planning group for ESCon 2010, in addition to devising the curriculum, will discuss future conference sites and frequency, and whether the offer to cover expenses for law school CIOs was appropriately targeted and effective. Admission and IT professionals interested in making presentations or participating on the planning group should contact Jay Shively ( or 215.968.1301).
"Keynote was perfect for the conference. He energized me to want to do more for our community on the Web."
"Everything exceeded my expectations."
"I appreciated the depth at which the speakers treated their topics. I found myself having difficulty in deciding which sessions I would miss."
"I am glad LSAC came up with the idea for this conference and included IT because not only did it help me get to know my IT department, but it opened my eyes to how I can make use of my IT department, resources they may already have of which I am unaware, and how to communicate with them better and see issues from their perspective."
"This conference was exceptional. Our IT staff who attended were so pleased with the information provided. Good job!"
"Besides having a wonderful time, I also came back with concrete and useful information."
Heather Child is a principal member in the Software Services Group. Heather began her career at ETS and, after a short time there, came to LSAC. She has been with LSAC since 1988. Heather has worked on many of LSAC's various applications and has been a key contributor to both the original ACES application as well as its replacement, ACES². Her areas of expertise include the processing of law school report requests, CRS, and Forums.
Heather was one of the first recipients of the ISG's Above and Beyond award. This award was created to recognize an individual's contribution demonstrating excellence that consistently exceeds one or more of the ISD values. Heather earned the award for her efforts toward the development and implementation of changes related to the completely redesigned account area of LSAC.org, specifically the targeted payment of reports and the targeting of letters of recommendation.
When she's not at LSAC, Heather is busy taking care of all her boys—her husband Mike, her sons Chris and Matt, and her dog Copper. She also enjoys sewing, cooking, and gardening. Her fellow employees know that she is the person to go to if you need advice on a home improvement project.
Mark Tsebro is a technical and software specialist in the LSSS Group. He graduated from Temple University with a BA in finance and a minor in international business. He worked in accounting and finance for a few years after graduation, then moved into the IT field. Mark began working at LSAC in September 2000 as an application support analyst, supporting Admit-M and ACES, and serving as the group’s Crystal Reports writer. He spent a short time as a training and education specialist for the Northeastern region, traveling to LSAC-member laws schools to provide training and support for Admit-M, Crystal Reports, and ACES².
Currently, Mark is the technical and software specialist for the Southern Region, and he is supporting our schools on all LSAC products. He is taking a leadership role in coordinating the electronic application process for the LSSS Group.
Mark enjoys spending his free time with his kids, Sydney and Ella, and wife, Vicky. He also enjoys taking long rides in bucolic Bucks County, Pennsylvania on his motorcycle, a Triumph Speed Triple.
We have received many suggestions from you about the electronic application process, and based on your suggestions we are now prepared to offer several new options as you compose and review your electronic applications for the upcoming application cycle.
As usual, a member of your regional support team will be sending you a data flow sheet that will outline the data flow from your electronic application to ACES² or Admit-M. This flow sheet will allow you to choose specific fields you would like to require, specify a maximum field length, and enable you to create drop-down fields. Your regional support team will be able to advise you on how to best utilize these new options. Don’t hesitate to contact us—we are happy to guide you through the process.
The last weekend in April saw the launch of the much-anticipated new interactive, secure part of LSAC.org (formerly Online Services). All of LSAC's Web services were down for the weekend as the transition was made from the old to the new. A team that included staff from Communications, Information Services, and Candidate Services worked together to support the transition.
The new site officially opened at 7:00 am on April 27, and since then the feedback from candidates has been positive.
Some of the highlights of the new site include a streamlined letter of recommendation process (the complexities of "general" and "targeted" letters have been replaced with a simple letter-by-letter assignment process), school-specific law school report charges that are automatically coupled with electronic application charges at checkout, and the ability to support registration for multiple regional test dates for each LSAT administration.
A "virtual" version of the site will be available for use by law school admission staff and prelaw advisors at the end of May. This virtual site will allow users to create their own accounts and experience firsthand much of what a candidate experiences throughout their use of the interactive, secure part of LSAC.org.
Both the actual site and the virtual site will be presented at the Annual Meeting, supported by documentation on how the virtual site can be accessed and used.
The Law School Admission Council was honored with an inaugural global recognition award at the recent TeamQuest Technology Summit. The IT Service Optimization (ITSO) Award is bestowed upon an organization in recognition of its IT capacity management process and its use of TeamQuest tools to align services with business needs. According to Jerry Goldman (Technical Services), "In 2008, we were able to improve enterprise service availability for our customers from 98.983 percent to 99.827 percent. The results from ITSO are clearly tangible and measurable."
Significant achievements also include LSAC supporting the growth of its IT infrastructure with staged and timely deployment as predicted in their ACES² capacity models within 3 percent of actual performance. These models enabled them to plan deployment of additional capacity needed to roll out the new mission-critical application to more than 200 law schools over a three-year period.
Bruce Bachman (Information Services) accepted the award on behalf on LSAC at the summit held on April 28 in Savannah, Georgia.