US College Bribery Scandal Sees One Big Law Firm Score A ‘D’ For Crisis Management

Caplan US college scandal

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1 thought on “US College Bribery Scandal Sees One Big Law Firm Score A ‘D’ For Crisis Management”

  1. Thank you for sharing my quote from the Law.com article. To get the full picture, I suggest you refer to https://www.law.com/mid-market-report/2019/03/19/crisis-lessons-in-the-immediate-aftermath-of-the-college-admissions-scandal/

    In the article, I said:

    “As a professional observer to the firm’s crisis response, it is measured and lukewarm. It’s also odd that the statement was issued by a crisis communications professional as opposed to a spokesperson from the law firm. …

    Lesson #1: A company statement should almost always come from a spokesperson with leadership responsibilities.

    Lesson #2: Statements should be shared where the audiences are. By not sharing it more publicly, people are drawing their own conclusions. The statement also is deficient. What about Caplan’s clients? Shouldn’t the firm have said something—even if it simply set up a hotline for interested clients and parties to call regarding their legal representation.

    Lesson #3: Consider all audiences.I was contacted by a reporter from The American Lawyer to discuss the firm’s public handling of the matter. The article, Willkie, College Admissions and the Crisis Management Playbook, quoted me saying: “There is no way anyone could have guessed that something like this would happen. It’s out of left field, which is exactly why there’s such public outrage.” I further opined that while firms plan for natural disasters, cyber breaches and, increasingly, the prospect of seeing lawyers ensnared in situations of lawyers behaving badly and #MeToo allegations, no one could have anticipated this. The article notes, “predicting a $75,000 payment aimed at fixing a college test score would be offered long odds.”

    Lesson #4: Expect the unexpected and get ahead of the story. …

    Lesson #5: Communicate openly within the confines of the law. When an attorney is accused of bad behavior and removed from the firm, it is wise to place a notice on the firm’s website (for the short term) with the firm’s official statement. Include what the firm is doing to address any client matters that may be affected or interrupted by the news. Yes, in Caplan’s case, it is a “personal matter,” and it’s a personnel/HR/employment law matter which the firm cannot publicly discuss, however, it is also a client matter which requires due diligence and transparency.

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