Urban Dictionary defines a third-tier toilet (TTT) as a “pejorative term for law schools that are not prestigious.” The definition goes on to explain that any school that fails to rank in the Top 14 is not prestigious. Which, by that definition, means that Harvard is not a TTT, but Vanderbilt is. As a result, the TTT label is applied liberally to a range of law programs. (UD)
Since we’re not sure who makes this shit up—and since the label seems rather arbitrary—we made our own list of factors that indicate an institution is a TTT.
1TTTroll Factory. Is your law school a thread on a law-oriented bulletin board? If your law school produces so many comment trolls that your dean needs an RSS feed for sites like JDUnderground.com and AutoAdmit.com just to keep up with what dissatisfied alums are saying, it’s a safe bet that the school in question is a TTT.
2BidirecTTTional. If your school isn’t named Northwestern, tell your dean it’s time to pick a direction and stick with it. Come to think of it, you might want to leave directions out of it altogether. Yale doesn’t need to let people know where it’s located, which is why they decided against calling it Southern Connecticut College of Law.
3“Harvard of TTThe…”. There’s only one Harvard, and unless your school is in Cambridge, Mass., you don’t go there. So if your school bills itself as “The Harvard of the Midwest” or “The Harvard for People With Lousy LSATs,” you go to a TTT.
4Torts & TTTarts. Distracted by all the eye candy in your Contracts class? Did you get a classmate’s number while some poor 1L was trying to explain the Dormant Commerce Clause? Does the term “3rd party action” make people giggle? If you answered yes to any of these questions—or if you even thought about forwarding this list to the cutie in your Evidence course—you’re definitely at a TTT.
5WhaTTT’s My Name?. Just because a school is named after a famous lawyer, it doesn’t mean it’s the school that lawyer would have gone to. In fact, naming a school after a well-known-but-deceased jurist is kind of like calling your Little League team The Yankees. Sure, that’s your name, but only the hopelessly naïve team mom believes there’s any real connection.
6What’s a TTT?. There’s an old saying poker players use: If you look around the table and you don’t know who the sucker is, it’s you. Well, guess what, the same logic applies to law school. If 1Ls at your law school don’t know the term TTT, your school probably is one. Because nobody knowingly signs up to attend a TTT.
7How Did You Hear AbouTTT Us?. Advertising is an important part of the global economy. Ads inform consumers, generate revenue for media companies, and (sometimes) amuse us. But ads aren’t for everything. You don’t choose a doctor from a cable TV ad. And you don’t hire an accountant with a billboard, so why would you go to a law school you heard about on the radio? Sure, the jingle was catchy, but it’s a degree that costs over $100K, not a monster truck rally.
8#1 Bar Pass RaTTTe. Passing the bar is important. Very important. In fact, it’s so important that it should go without saying that a law school routinely turns out students who actually pass the bar. So, a law school that boasts about its pass rate is kind of like Toyota bragging that it makes cars capable of turning left. Expecting praise for the obvious? That’s the hallmark of a TTT.
UPDATE: Some additional hallmarks left in the comments were so good that we couldn’t help but give them a shout-out.
- If half your class thinks it will be in the top 10%, you go to a TTT. (BL1Y)
- If you’ve ever had to argue that your school isn’t a TTT, you go to a TTT. (BL1Y)
- If your school gave out CALI awards, you went to a TTT. (c_broski)
- If only the top 10-20% had any shot at getting a summer gig via OCI, you went to a TTT. (c_broski)
- If none of your classmates were the son or daughter of a well-known politician or dignitary, you went to a TTT. (c_broski)
- If your school had classes specifically designed to help you pass the local bar exam, you went to a TTT. (c_broski)
- If you never had a professor who wrote the book you used in class, you went to a TTT. (c_broski)