The Above the Law site reports today on an epic case of listserv-related embarrassment/terror at the University of Virginia law school. An administrator at the school, one of the country’s best, accidentally emailed detailed information—GPAs, class ranks, political affiliations—about 155 students to a public list.
Yesterday, Ruth Payne, UVA’s Director of Judicial Clerkships, sent an email to the school’s clerkship listserv with an attachment containing details about hiring information for the District of Maryland. Alas, there was nothing attached. She later realized her mistake and re-sent the email, writing, “Actually attached this time.” Unfortunately, “[a]ctually attached this time” was a spreadsheet entitled “2015 Applicants Workbook,” and it contained all the information under the sun about UVA’s would-be clerks.
Six minutes later, all of UVA’s clerkship applicants received a frantic email with a subject line of “PLEAE [sic] DELETE IMMEDIATELY.” The body of Payne’s email had only two words: “WRONG ATTACHMENT.”
The common “forgot to send the attachment” error preceding the huge blunder somehow makes it so much more heartrending for Ruth Payne. Of course, the students who didn’t want their exact academic standing shared with everyone they knew probably don’t have much sympathy for her.
Above the Law also had the clever idea to use the available numbers (i.e. GPA and class rank percentile) to calculate the GPA curve of this particular UVA group.
Those are very high grades. “It’s notable that at UVA Law, with around a 3.2 GPA,” writes Above the Law, “you’ll be in the bottom 25 percent of the class. Crazy.”
Correction, June 5, 2014: This post originally misstated that the University of Virginia School of Law inadvertently released students’ LSAT scores to the clerkship listserv. While GPAs, class ranks, and other information was released, LSAT scores were not.