Advertising, Law Schools, Television

Truth in Advertising? One Law School’s Pitch

Greetings from the great (albeit foggy) city of Chicago. We’ve arrived a little early, so we can enjoy the city in advance of our event on Monday with the fabulous Judge Diane Sykes (7th Cir.).

Our talk, taking place at the University of Chicago Law School, is free and open to the public. For more details, click here.

While walking through Midway Airport last night, we came across an unusual advertisement — for a law school, as it turns out….

For the record, we have nothing against law schools engaging in advertising. In fact, we love it when they do — several of them have advertised on Above the Law. (For more info about advertising with us, just email

But we question the accuracy of this airport ad. Here it is:

Is the advertisement implying that if you attend or graduate from the St. Louis University School of Law, your career will be as fulfilling and dramatic as that of a lawyer on “Law & Order”? If so, the ad runs the risk of overpromising and underdelivering. SLU Law is known for its cheerleading, but this might be a bit much.

In the latest issue of the U.S. News law school rankings, St. Louis fell out of the top 100 and into the third tier. But this isn’t an issue of school rank. The vast majority of law school graduates, up and down the rankings, don’t have careers that are as sexy as “Law & Order.”

This advertisement may represent the start of a trend, though. Law schools can no longer lure students with promises of $160,000 starting salaries and great job security, but they can still tell them that a legal career is exciting and dramatic — “as seen on TV.”

A career in the law can be deeply fulfilling, but it’s rarely as fun as it seems on television or in the movies. Many aspects of legal practice, especially in the early stages of one’s career, are sheer drudgery.

We recommend that you find yourself a fun hobby — like this SLU Law grad.

The Federalist Society presents Judge Sykes & David Lat – “Judges as Public Figures” [University of Chicago Law School]

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