After a fairly lengthy and complex search, Bill Carter has been named as the new director of Law School Support Services, effective Monday, October 26. Bill comes to us from the College Board, where he was director of Customer Service Strategy and Delivery. Over the course of his 20-year career, Bill has held several positions in the private sector, where he was responsible for customer service and customer satisfaction. He has extensive management experience, and he spent five years working in university financial aid offices, in close association with admission professionals. Bill has a BS in business administration and an MS in management.
We are happy that Bill has joined our team, and we will be drawing from his vast experience in our continued quest to heighten the level of service you have grown to expect from us. I know Bill is excited to begin his new responsibilities and to begin visiting the schools and meeting you.
You can reach Bill by phone at 215.968.1301 or e-mail at .
In an attempt to streamline the review administration process, new functionality in ACES² was released in September. This release allows schools to eliminate (or greatly reduce) the use of paper when managing files for evaluation. Improvements have been made in assigning files. A new section has been created to assign applicants based on attributes—such as LSAT scores and GPAs—to individual reviewers or to a committee. You can configure this review administration grid in various ways to support your school’s applicant review process. This is not only for our paperless law schools but for all schools.
We have streamlined the way in which you can upload scanned documents and associate them with an applicant's record. This release also includes ways to customize your archiving. You can now determine which notes and documents you wish to retain and which to delete.
The reviewer’s process has also been enhanced. A new field called Committee has been created to facilitate a group of committee reviewers. This allows the office administrator to group reviewers logically and assign and track applicant evaluations easily. The reviewer grid can be personalized, and we have added flexible permission settings so you can choose to show the notes log, applicant notes, special interests, and different types of applicant documents to reviewers.
Improvements have also been made to manage the decision processing. You can assign a current status or decision status in the By Applicant grid under the new Review Process Administration tab. For further assistance, please contact your Regional Team Leader. A reference guide is located on the Support Site through the ACES² Info Center tab.
Gale Gartling is a senior manager of technical staff in Software Services. Previously, Gale worked at MCS/Tailored Solutions, where she created Law Multi-App and maintained other law school software products, including APS. When Gale joined LSAC in 1999, she managed the development of ADMIT-M and ADMIT-LLM. Currently, Gale and her group are primarily responsible for the data and reporting pieces of ACES².
Gale has a BA in mathematics and an ME in MIS. She is a certified project manager (PMP) and is currently studying Six Sigma at Villanova University. Gale enjoys spending her free time with her husband, Tom; her daughters, Jessica and Rachel; and her two rescued dogs, Ghost—a pit bull terrier—and Buddy—an American bulldog.
The LLM Issues Subcommittee of the Services and Programs Committee met on October 8 to review progress on the redesign of the LLM Credential Assembly Service (CAS) and to provide guidance in certain areas that LSAC staff have requested. The LLM CAS redesign signifies a total restructuring of the service so that it is similar to the Credential Assembly Service (LSDAS) that LSAC currently offers. An electronic application service, a letter of recommendation service, and access to the Candidate Referral Service will be provided, along with the transcript evaluation service. All the information will flow seamlessly into ACES², which will be enhanced to support the LLM service. The new features are intended for schools with programs aimed at international students as well as those schools targeting students who have already earned a JD. The new LLM Credential Assembly Service is expected to be released in the late spring of 2011.
Based on information collected in a survey completed last year, we believe there are at least 114 schools with some type of LLM or graduate law program. These programs are home to about 4,800 full-time students, generating in excess of 25,000 applications.
More information about this new service will be presented at a series of LSAC-sponsored regional conferences to be held next year.
Preparations for the November regional training workshops are near completion, and registration for workshops in eight cities across the country has been filling up fast. This year we have developed a training plan that provides opportunities for attendees to achieve a deeper understanding of ACES² with hands-on class time and opportunities to share ideas with your colleagues as well.
If you haven’t registered yet, there may still be room at a workshop in a city near you, even though the deadline has passed. Contact your regional team leader for information. Although each workshop will be staffed by members of the respective regional support team, you can attend in a city that is either closer to you, or more convenient. We have planned the day’s agenda so that attendees can travel the day of the event.
Topics will include troubleshooting ACES² report issues (with practice sessions), creating helpful reports for support staff, and developing the skills needed to become the "report expert" in your office. We will also look at what the new administrator interface in ACES² can do for you—whether your school has a paperless file review process or not—and we will demonstrate how to use the new Applicant Status Online Checklist feature, designed to make life easier for office staff.
We look forward to seeing you in November!
|Thursday, Nov. 5||Suffolk University Law School||Boston, MA|
|Friday, Nov. 6||Georgia State University College of Law||Atlanta, GA|
|Friday, Nov. 6||The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law||Columbus, OH|
|Friday, Nov. 13||American University, Washington College of Law||Washington, DC|
|Friday, Nov. 13||University of San Francisco School of Law||San Francisco, CA|
|Thursday, Nov. 19||The John Marshall Law School||Chicago, IL|
|Thursday, Nov. 19||South Texas College of Law||Houston, TX|
|Friday, Nov. 20||Charlotte School of Law||Charlotte, NC|
|Friday, Nov. 20||The John Marshall Law School||Chicago, IL|
Applicant Status Online allows you to communicate the status of an applicant’s file via a customizable website. You have asked for enhancements to this feature of ACES², and we have listened! In the upcoming ACES² release, we have added a new checklist feature to the applicant’s online account. There will be two types of checklists: an initial checklist and an admitted checklist. You will be able to customize each of the checklists by using report-like functionality, based on what your school determines is appropriate.
This checklist will allow you to clearly communicate to the applicant what has been received or is missing from his or her file. We hope this will cut down on the number of phone calls and e-mails from applicants inquiring about their files.
Once you admit an applicant and change his or her status, the initial checklist turns into an admitted student’s checklist. The admitted checklist will show the applicants, via Applicant Status Online, the items they still need to send, such as seat deposits. This feature will help you communicate with applicants about missing information before they attend orientation.
You will be able to customize the checklists based on applicant status—first time, transfer, or visitor—and the decision. This will provide great flexibility so you can clearly communicate what is needed for a specific applicant. The use of these checklists will decrease the number of notifications you need to send to applicants via e-mail, because all of this information will be displayed online. Check upcoming announcements from Law School Support Services regarding future online training sessions.
I am happy to introduce a new member to the ISD management team—Francine Siconolfi. Francine has recently joined Project Management at LSAC as the senior project manager for ACES² and other law school initiatives. This position was previously held by Anthony Ricciardi, who is now project manager for the Candidate Services systems and applications.
Francine is responsible for the ongoing support of the ACES² system, including project planning and scheduling, enhancements and modifications, and other services provided to law schools and Law School Support Services.
Francine has more than 20 years’ experience in information technology. With her strong focus on IT and project management, Francine provides management and technical expertise in the full end-to-end software development life cycle, including analysis, software usability, database design, application architecture, technology infrastructure, quality assurance testing, and systems training.
Francine is a seasoned project manager who applies industry best practices as acquired through her formal training in the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Body of Knowledge. Francine earned a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University, where she volunteers to actively promote science, technology, engineering, and math study for high school and college students who hope to pursue careers in these fields.
Please join me in welcoming Francine to LSAC.
The best ideas for ACES² enhancements come directly from you―our law schools―as you work with the software and discover new ways this tool can further increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your admission management processes.
LSAC's Law School Support Services group has carefully reviewed your suggestions and presented their top enhancement requests to the Information Services Division Advisory Group (ISDAG) during the September meeting. The enhancements, which are grouped by category and are not in any priority order, were confirmed by ISDAG as high-priority requests.
Over the next several months, the ACES² development, quality assurance, and project management teams will work diligently to implement as many of these enhancements as possible.
Please contact Bill Carter, Jean Madden, or your Regional Team Leader if you have any questions or would like to suggest additional improvements.
LSAC has received positive feedback about the launch of our new account area for law school candidates on the LSAC.org website this past April. We understand that registering for the LSAT and getting all the necessary credential information (such as transcripts, LORs, and so forth) can be a stressful time for a prospective law school candidate. Accordingly, in May 2009, LSAC launched the LSAC.org simulation site. This site closely mirrors the actual site used by applicants. Prelaw advisors and admission professionals can use this site to visually demonstrate to their advisees what is required of law school applicants, what LSAC is, and what role LSAC plays. We continue to solicit information for further improvements to the user experience. In October 2009, users of the new account section may be prompted to fill out a voluntary survey on what works and what can be improved. We hope these measures will go a long way toward improving how LSAC serves its candidates and member schools. To check out the simulation site yourself, go to https://os2train.LSAC.org.