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Law Revue Video Contest 2011: The Finalists

You have seen our dishonorable mentions; now it’s time to take a look at the very best videos law students were able to come up with. It’s time to meet the finalists in this year’s Law Revue Video Contest.

Some of these videos you have seen before. Others will be new to you. All of them will provide a modicum of fun and a welcome break from the drudgery of finals or whatever post-graduate job you’ve gotten yourself into.

So check them out and prepare to vote. It will work like American Idol: expert judges Kashmir Hill, David Lat, and Elie Mystal will share their thoughts, but the voting is up to you, the viewers.

Who will follow in the footsteps of UVA and Northwestern and bring the funny all across the land? Did your law school or alma mater make the cut?

Let’s find out…

We expanded to eight finalists this year because some of the entries are very short (three cheers for short entries). The videos are listed in alphabetical order by school, and the reader poll appears after all of the videos. Voting closes TUESDAY, MAY 10 (Elie’s birthday!), at 11:59 PM Eastern time. Enjoy!

1. BOSTON UNIVERSITY — ANGEL

ELIE: And we start with one of the few videos that captures what’s really going on in law school. I much prefer looking at forlorn law students to abused pets. Also, I’ve been to BU Law; this video deserves points for verisimilitude.

KASH: Short, funny, and emotionally resonant. I was almost ready to take one of these poor, little guys home. (But none were my type.)

LAT: Some law revue videos are all inside jokes, but this one, based on the Sarah McLachlan anti-animal-cruelty spots, rings true for law schools across the land. Also, the spokeswoman is very pretty.

2. BOSTON UNIVERSITY — I LIKE THE LAW

ELIE: I don’t know when I got so old that ODB qualified as “old school” rap, but here we are. Excellent song choice. White boys with legit flow. Best topical line in the whole contest: “radioactive Fukushima.” Every time I watch this I like it better and better.

KASH: There was a little debate among the judges about whether the lyrics referred to Above the Law “dropping cash” or “dropping Kash.” Either way, videos always score bonus points for ATL shout-outs. We were all basically singing along by the end of this one. Nice job.

LAT: It seems that Mr. Bastard is quite popular with law students these days. Anyway, I enjoyed this video a great deal — cute guys, skillful rapping, well-chosen scenery. Kudos, BU boys.

3. CARDOZO — DON’T BE LATE

ELIE: Points for getting a prof to participate. Points for getting a black professor to parody a commercial made famous by a black man. Points because Cardozo actually has a black professor!

KASH: And a hottie prof to boot. Major points.

LAT: Ekow Yankah looks young and handsome enough to pass for a student, but he’s actually a professor — and a talented performer!

4. GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY — EXCEPTION

ELIE: This probably won’t win as it’s not even as strong as GW’s other submission (see infra), but you know what is going on here? Students are making jokes about the law. Not law school, but about the practice of law. That should be encouraged. As Tom Cruise might say: you actually need to think about the law; you can get through three years of law school without doing that.

KASH: GW, you really raised the bar this year. This one was fresh in thinking beyond the L years, and tackling a major motion picture as inspiration rather than just what’s currently topping the Billboard music charts. I do wish you could have gotten Joseph Gordon-Levitt to float a couple of sleeping witnesses through the courtroom. I suspect that as with Inception itself, voters will appreciate the technical merits of the video but not award it the grand prize.

LAT: Jokes about hearsay within hearsay — love it! (Note to future Law Revue boards: MOAR SUBSTANTIVE-LAW JOKES, which give your video broader appeal than just poking fun at particular professors.)

5. GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY — F**K YOU

ELIE: I have nothing negative to say about this video. Great singing, great production values, funny, a very attractive woman with a great voice. There’s a lot here to like. That said, the reaction to this video has been unbearable. IT’S NOT GOD, okay. It’s not the antidote! It’s a freaking law revue video. More people tweeted this at me than told me that Osama had been killed. Christ off a tomato truck, it was an amusing few minutes, it’s not Funnybot.

KASH: Catchy and fun, with just the right amount of Autotune. And the student playing The Gunner nailed the acting.

LAT: Because this video has been in circulation for months now, I fear that voters might take its excellence for granted. Please try to experience it with a fresh pair of eyes and ears. Then you’ll appreciate the clever lyrics, the excellent singing (especially the African-American woman), and the curvaceous ladies in red feather boas. ROWR!

6. LSU — GUNNA

ELIE: Well, it made me Google this again, so that’s something. The professor is an awesome human being for doing this. But I feel like LSU kids just kind of left him out to dry. They should have done more with his effort.

KASH: I’m always impressed when professors get in on the law revue action, and especially impressed when they get into costume. Nice job riding the meme, LSU.

LAT: I’m sorry — Elie, does this make me racist? — but Antoine Dodson never gets old for me. And Professor John Randall Trahan, who looks a bit like Al Franken, hits this one out of the park.

7. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA – DAVIS — DAVIS STATE OF MIND

ELIE: SMU did this last year, when the song was fresher. I don’t know, I think I could write a song about a genocide and have people bounce to it if set it to Empire State of Mind: “In Darfur, Arabs be fighting with Christians, there’s nothing you can do. Now you’re in Darfur, in streets everyone looks so terrified, you’re fleeing from homicide, cause you’re in Darfur, Darfur, Darfur.”

KASH: I like this video, but it draws on humor about Davis, California rather than the world of law or law school. I would have knocked it into the honorable mention category but was overruled by my fellow judges.

LAT: I thought this video was great. Once again, the kids at UC Davis Law show they know how to have a good time. I respectfully dissent from Judge Hill’s claim that the video is more about Davis the city than the law school — note the cameo by Professor Edward Imwinkelried, and the shout-out to Professor Carlton Larson (my old college and law school pal). And the shout-out to Above the Law, right where Alicia Keys would hit the high note in Empire State of Mind, was the best ATL shout-out of the entire contest!

8. UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA — CASEBOOKS AT A PARTY

ELIE: Actual original thought and creativity from law students. The Con Law book was hilarious. I think they should do a whole series of these.

KASH: For the first time ever (ever, ever) in the history of the Law Revue Video Contest, a video ended and I was left wishing it were longer.

LAT: Really really cool, and super-creative — perhaps the best concept of all the videos this year. A Rule 19 joinder joke? Be still my heart!

So there you have them. Vote below for your favorite video!

Which is the best Law Revue video?

  • Boston University -- I Like the Law (32%, 3,532 Votes)
  • UC Davis -- Davis State of Mind (32%, 3,485 Votes)
  • George Washington University -- F*** You (18%, 1,939 Votes)
  • UNC -- Casebooks at a Party (6%, 694 Votes)
  • LSU -- Gunna (4%, 479 Votes)
  • Boston University -- Angel (4%, 464 Votes)
  • Cardozo -- Don't Be Late (2%, 192 Votes)
  • George Washington University -- Exception (2%, 124 Votes)

Total Voters: 10,907

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Earlier: Law Revue Video Contest: Dishonorable Mentions

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