It doesn’t take Andy Bernard from The Office becoming the new face of Cornell Law to realize that most law schools say some silly things on their websites. For instance, my alma mater, NYU, claims it’s “the only top tier law school committed to giving sophisticated, in-depth attention, from the first year of legal study, to the interactive, fact-sensitive and interpretive work that is fundamental to excellence in practice.”
So many things to work with here, I could write a whole book about it. But, for some reason, I find it more fun to turn the spotlight and laugh at the silly things said by schools at the bottom of the barrel.
Laughing at the top schools makes me sad. It reminds me how hopeless the whole system is. But laughing at the T4s is good, clean fun. It’s a bit like laughing at a retarded kid. Sure, it’s not the politically correct thing to do, but I get to have a chuckle, he doesn’t know the difference, and I feel better about myself. It’s win-win (in the sense that I win twice).
So, in that spirit, let’s play a game I’m calling “Name That Tier-Four Law School!” I’ll give you the school’s initials and some fun tidbits from its website, and you’ll scratch your head, sure that you’ve never even heard of a school with that abbreviation. The answers are at the end of the post.
Round 1: CWSL
CWSL isn’t going to give you some half-assed education like some other schools. No way. CWSL has unlocked the key to your academic success:
Nice to know that you’re sure to get an education far above that offered by schools dedicated to merely offering a second-best education. But wait, there’s more:
T4, maybe. But you can’t put a price on a “deeply satisfying career in law.” So what is this one and only school dedicated to getting you top-notch pay, reasonable hours, clients who aren’t assholes, coworkers with pleasant personalities and work that’s actually intellectually stimulating?
Round 2: MCSL
There are lots of fantastic reasons to attend MCSL. So many, in fact, that this “best-kept secret of the south” had to create a list of “The Top 10 Reasons You Should Apply to MCSL.”
How 2010 of them. But that’s nothing compared to:
Wondering just how hospitable this school’s state really is? Here’s a nice little speech from a very famous law-related movie that sums up this great state’s reputation for hospitality:
“I am sick and tired of the way many of us [Citizens of this State] are havin’ our views distorted by your newspapers and on TV. So let’s get this straight. We do not accept Jews because they reject Christ. Their control of the international banking cartels are at the root of communism. We do not accept Papists because they bow to a Roman dictator. We do not accept Turks, Mongols, Tartars, Orientals nor Negroes because we’re here to protect Anglo-Saxon democracy and the American way.”
I guess that’s why it’s “Location, location, location” instead of “Location! Location! Location!” Have you figured out what school is the champion of Southern charm?
Round 3: NEL|B
Our third T4 offers something I’ve seen no other school claim:
Unlike Chicago, which gives its students street smarts by dropping them in the middle of one of the most notorious ghettos in the country, NEL|B gives its students a different environment in which to develop their legal street smarts.
If this sounds like the type of place you’d like to attend, don’t get your hopes up. NEL|B has some very high standards:
What school has such grueling admissions standards that it has to turn away many students and refuses to look at anyone with below a 2.0 GPA*?
[*The minimum GPA you need to have a C average is not 2.0—it’s 1.835, the midpoint between a C, 2.0 and a C-, 1.67. But hey, you don’t need to know how to calculate a GPA when your school has a nifty verti-bar in its name.]
Round 4: RWUSL
This school believes it has a particularly bizarre relationship with the legal community:
When you have control over a certain market, it’s called a monopoly. A franchise would require operating a shadow government within the school. That would be pretty cool though, and the SBA would get to do something useful, instead of just deciding between Bud Light and Miller Light for the semester kick-off keg party.
RWUSL is the real deal, warts and all. It not only draws attention to the fact that you’ll be in a state with nothing but T4 students, but it even points out that going to RWUSL will turn you into an insufferable douchebag (unlike NYU, which downplays that aspect). Here’s a testimonial from one of the school’s students:
So, what school is operating an underground state government run by students who don’t know how to turn off the lawyer switch?
Round 5: TMCLS
Most T4 schools engage in a bit of puffery about how good they are. And there’s certainly some room for reasonable debate about rankings. But TMCLS takes the cake by ranking itself as #14 in the country, above Stanford (#18), Duke (#27), and Chicago (#31). [Spoiler alert here.]
Just what makes this school so incredibly great?
I know most schools offer some bullshit classes (like “Three Laws of Robotics,” “Binding Magical Contracts” and “Feminism”), but the only school where “legal knowledge, practice skills, and professional ethics” come standard are to a school that isn’t yet old enough to get discount coffee at McDonald’s.
So, what school is breaking ground not just in rediscovering traditional law school curricula, but finding ways to somehow rank NYU in the top 3?
That’s all, folks. Thanks for playing, and remember to help control the lawyer population. Spay or neuter your T4 law student.
Oh, the Answers
Round 1 = California Western School of Law!
Round 2 = Mississippi College School of Law!
Round 3 = New England Law | Boston!
Round 4 = Roger Williams University School of Law!
Round 5 = Thomas M. Cooley Law School!