Internet message boards tend to be rough-and-tumble places. Enter at your own risk. (This includes Above the Law comments — if you don’t like them, don’t read them.)
There may be employment risks for posters at Top Law Schools (“TLS”), a message board for gunners planning to apply to law school. This is one of those places online where people talk about what to bring to the LSAT and trumpet their acceptances by various law schools. In other words, it’s the place where future law school list-serv psychos cut their teeth.
Yesterday, Top Law Schools claimed that test prep company TestMasters is discriminating against its readers. A TLS moderator wrote a post alleging that a reader’s application to work as an LSAT instructor for TestMasters was rejected based on his being a frequent TLS poster. The moderator posted the rejection email the reader received (we’ve replaced the name of the TestMasters director with a pseudonym):
We have decided to cancel your interview and reject your application to work for us as an LSAT instructor. Applications are currently at an all-time high, and we do not have the time or resources to interview TTT candidates whose social lives consist of making thousands of posts on internet discussion boards. TestMasters only hires people who are cool, and unfortunately you do not meet that requirement.
When we got the first of many emails about this, we thought, “A programs director who actually uses the term ‘TTT’? ‘People who are cool’? C’mon. This is fake.”
But TestMasters is not disowning the email, and it appears that “I-Wish-I-Worked-For-Kaplan” actually waded into the cesspool to defend herself.
We’ve called and emailed both “I-Wish-I-Worked-For-Kaplan” and the business director for TestMasters, and we’ve also reached out to “I-Wish-I-Worked-For-Kaplan” via Facebook message. Despite many opportunities, they have not commented on the story.
Meanwhile, the folks at TLS say this happened to another reader, though “I-Wish-I-Worked-For-Kaplan” was more professional, leaving out the TTT reference. From TLS:
Another poster has come forward having encountered a similar situation with Testmasters. Here are the series of emails they exchanged:
We have decided to cancel your interview and reject your application to work for us as an LSAT instructor. We wish you the best of luck in obtaining employment elsewhere.
“Susan” responded quite politely inquiring why her interview was being cancelled and received the following in response:
As a general rule, TestMasters does not hire people who post frequently on internet discussion boards. In addition, the post regarding your job interview that you made earlier today on TLS indicates that you do not have the professionalism we seek in instructor candidates.
After getting flamed for these emails, “I-Wish-I-Worked-For-Kaplan” unwisely decided to enter the fray. She was not happy about having her real name included in the series of posts, and so she chimed in to defend herself and to out the “TTT candidate.”
The TLS moderators have since changed his name back to “John” and removed his phone number, email address, educational and work history, which she had posted. Her post makes the story appear to be a bit more complicated:
Hey guys! I see that our use of TLS to screen out undesirable instructor applicants has created quite a stir. When an instructor applicant makes posts on pre-law discussion boards attempting to game our interview process, we view that as a sign of bad character. Yesterday “John” started a thread under the screen name “XXXXXXXX” seeking information that he thought would help him give the “right” responses during the interview. After he received my email, he deleted the thread (in which he claimed that TestMasters techniques were “TTT”) and called me claiming that he was “confused” by my email and denying he had ever posted anything on TLS. I told him the email was self-explanatory and the conversation ended right away.
I’m sure some of you will get a kick out of the email he sent me later that afternoon:
I am confused by this email and I was even more confused by your conduct when I called you to ask about it. I didn’t expect such rudeness and condescension from an administrative assistant, especially one who contacted me for an interview.
Although you are no longer interested in interviewing me, and I am no longer interested in working for a company that employs people who lack basic social skills, I think my Catholic upbringing requires me to offer you some advice: When dealing with people, it’s important to be tactful and respectful at all times. Aside from being the right thing to do, it is impossible to know when you may run into someone or need their help in the future. This is a lesson my parents taught me, which with you being raised by wolves, I assume wasn’t imparted to you. Thank you for your time and I wish you the best.
To be clear, I am the Programs Director at TM. My job is to ensure that our LSAT classes run properly and that our students and instructors are happy. I also serve as the point of contact for LSAT instructor applicants.
Oh, and “John” has a real name too, just like me.
The thing about Internet flame wars is that any response, even if reasonable, just serves to add timber to the fire. There are least 600 posts on the thread now.
The TLS folks have thrown it behind a registration wall (knowing that we planned to write about it, due to our request for comment). We’ve given you everything you need to read here, though, and wouldn’t advise wading through all the comments over there. They’re totally TTT.
TestMasters’ discrimination against TLS posters [Top Law Schools]