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Wake Forest Law Student: The Latest Meltdown

Wake Forest Law logo.JPGWe’ve done quite a few stories now on law students losing control of their sense of discretion as graduation approaches.

We’ve got another one, this time from Wake Forest School of Law, we think. The student who sent it claims not to have sent it. We’ve spoken to school officials who are looking into this as a possible hacker situation.

But regardless of who sent it, this email does include a tale that many commenters have been worried about. With all the schools trying to help out deferred or unemployed graduates, how will the employment statistics be reported to U.S. News? Somebody (who may or may not be affiliated with Wake Forest) has this hypothesis:

As I was working in the Career Services office last week I heard [Redacted], talking to the others in the office how relieved she was that they were to place several students from last year’s class that had not found a job yet with one at the law school so as to not adversely affect our rankings. It seems as of the total number of unemployed students is so large that if we did the honorable thing and properly and accurately reported our actual data to the ABA and the US News magazine that our ranking would have dropped out of the top 50 law schools. In other words, we would have become a second tier law school. She was happy they could “fix” the problem by hiring former students in some capacity at the law school so our “numbers” looked good. As I sit studying for exam and the more I think of her comments, that madder I get.

“Fix” the problem, bullshit, they just hid the problem. The real problem is the lack of ability in this office. We have discussed this every year with the dean at our “town meeting”, and yet the office remains unchanged and they remain employed despite abysmal results. Well its time for a change in this office. Any bets what the “true” unemployment statistics for our class will be given the economy?

Wake Forest is ranked 40th in the latest U.S. News law school rankings. And while this person is clearly worried about the school’s rankings, the person also wants to hold Wake to a higher ethical standard.

Wake Forest Dean Blake Morant responds after the jump.

Before we get to the dean, let’s finish off the email. Not surprisingly, we have the obligatory call for heads to roll:

I know we have called to have [Redacted] and the entire staff replaced, but the administration told us time and again they will put more resources in place to help. Sorry, time is up. Our ranking continue to go down and our placement numbers continue to go down. How about a professional placement agency that gets paid by the job they help us find or get placed in?

Stooping to such low and unethical tactics through falsification of our numbers further illustrates their inability to get the job done. Isn’t it a honor code violation for the law school to lie?

Students should not be forced to endure their incompetence any longer. One also has to question [Redacted] ability to manage those in her charge as she is ultimately repsonsible for the performace of this department and she has not corrected the problem in spite of numerous problems to do so. Perhaps it is too hard for her to let go of her friends.

Somebody, bring out the horse tranquilizer. We’re unspooling over here:

It also sounds like our administration and Career Services office forgot about something we use to pride ourselves on, “ethics”, but than again maybe their talks were just that, talk and they aren’t able to translate their talk into actions.

Dean Morant, I ask you to explain the school’s action in hiring students in such a way, how many students were actually unemployed? How many students did the law school hire?, Are you paying them a living wage? or or you paying them minimum wage to protect your ass? If you have been paying them a minimum wage, then you should do right by these students and provide them with a “bonus” so they can put food on the table and gas in their car so they can go to interviews that they will have to find on their own. And what are you going to do to fix the continuing problem in career services or will you continue to ignore it if you can lie your way to better rankings? The economy is tough, this department has proven time and again they can’t get the job done, the students deserve better. Especially next year’s class when the projected job market will be worse than it is this year.

Living wage? A challenge to the dean? Do they still allow dueling in North Carolina?

At this point something, possibly an as yet undisclosed substance, really gets the better of this person’s spelling. But the last line is a classic.

I also challenge Dean Morant to uphold the high ethical standards we pretend to extoll, and self report our fraud to the ABA and US News and World report. Don’t tell me everyone else does it. As my mother use to say, if everyone is jumping off a bridge, does that make it right? You told us during orientation that we upheld the highest ethical standards, well prove it.

I also ask my fellow students to write to the editors of the US News and World report and the ABA to investigate the improprities of our adminsitration as I have. [Redacted], a Wakre Forest graduate at WXII is also interested in hearing from the law students if this bothers them as well.

The next move is your Dean Morant. We are watching

If you read the whole email over again in the Tim Curry, Herkermer Homolka voice from The Congo, the email becomes instantaneously hilarious.

But to be fair, there is a serious point in here. People are totally stressed about the job market. Dean Morant responded to all Wake Forest law students with the appropriate level of seriousness, despite the manner in which the issue was raised:

Dear Law Students:

We have reason to believe that someone has misused [Redacted] email account and we are investigating the source of the e-mail message you received from her account this morning bearing the subject line, “Unethical treatment of graduates.” We are working on measures that can prevent a similar incident from happening to anyone else.

Everyone is aware that these are tough economic times and all students and graduates are being challenged to find employment. The law school has made it a priority to ratchet up its efforts in helping our students find jobs. The law school is committed to helping graduates get the experience they need to make them as marketable as possible in this tight job market. As part of those efforts, the law school for the first time employed two 2008 graduates in positions to work with faculty members on scholarly projects. These experiences provide opportunities

to finesse research skills and gain a deeper understanding of a practice area. The numbers of employed students the law school has reported to the ABA and to U.S. News and World Report do not include research assistants.

When a graduate of the law school is not employed, the school has two choices: It can turn its back on its former student or it can do all it can to help its graduates find future employment by providing them experience that will further their future careers. Wake Forest School of Law has chosen the latter path.

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns.


Dean Blake D. Morant

Just a few more days law students. Power through your exams. Even though things are tough, it’s important to at least try to keep it together.

Earlier: Loyola – Chicago Dean Responds to Criticism (And to Above the Law Commenters)

San Francisco School of Law Student Wants Meritocracy, Achieves Possible Mental Meltdown

Northwestern Law Gets ‘Proactive’

Open Thread: 2010 U.S. News Law School Rankings (30 – 49)

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