Career Alternatives, Law Schools, Shoes, Weirdness

Cooley Law Grad or Troll… Is There Even a Difference?
(C/O ’93 Grad Claims He’s Employed as a Shoeshiner)

Yesterday, we brought you a story about Thomas M. Cooley Law School’s lack of interest in reducing its class sizes based on a “perceived benefit to society.” If you haven’t been paying attention, that “perceived benefit” could mean improved employment opportunities for Cooley Law graduates in a challenging legal job market. But perhaps the school’s administration could be convinced to change course when they catch wind of this purported graduate’s entrepreneurial employment situation.

We recently received a tip from a fellow who claims that he graduated from Cooley Law in 1993. It would seem that even as a graduate of the second-best law school in the nation, the job market was so tough that when someone told him to get his shine box, he took the phrase literally. He says he’s been working as a shoeshiner ever since.

We know that this seems absolutely wild, but to be honest, we couldn’t tell if we were being legitimately trolled, if only because he claimed to be a graduate of Cooley Law. We’ve provided our correspondence with this fellow after the jump….

If this is turns out to be true, we’re more than willing to bet that the school would claim that he was employed nine months after graduation. But is it true? Read the emails below, then take our poll on the next page to tell us if this guy is really a shoeshine boy, or if he’s just a Successful Troll.

We are trying to schedule a telephone interview or in-person meeting with him in order to figure out if he is for real. For now, here’s the string of emails:

From: Shoeshinesanderrands Forofficeworkers
Sent: Sun, Jun 10, 2012 at 2:40 PM
Subject: shoeshines or errands

Dear ms. Zaretsky, I was given your email from a guy and a girl whose shoes and boots I shined. I forgot the names off the top of my head. They gave me this email and told me that you may need your bootsd or shoes shined or you know lawyers or business people in nyc or somewhere who need me to shine their shoes. I try very hard cause I need to pay my bills. I’ll do a good job for you and try and make everyone look like 1 million and 3 dollars onstead of just 1 million dollars. I can also do your errands for you or anyone else. Like pick up things for you cause you are busy or bring you your coffee or tea. I always promise to work hard for you or your friends. I am honored to leave this message with you. Please let me know if you need me to serve you or any of your friends who are lawyers or business people. I’m just trying hard to pay my bills somehow. The shoe shines are 3 dollars. Boots I can do also for 3 dollars. Thats much less than everywhere else and i come to you. Errands I just work on tips to do anything you want me to do.

From: Staci Zaretsky
Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2012 3:17 PM
Subject: Re: shoeshines or errands

Hi there,

The people who referred you to me told me that you were a graduate of Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Is that true? Could you also tell me some more information about yourself, like your name, and the date you graduated from Cooley Law (if you indeed went to that law school)?

Thanks, and I hope you’re having a nice weekend.


From: Shoeshinesanderrands Forofficeworkers
Date: Sunday, June 10, 2012 5:06 PM
Subject: Re: shoeshines or errands

hi yes it is true your honor ms. zaretsky. i did go to cooley law school. i graduated in year 1993. I was there for 5 years. You probably dont need me to do any errands or shoe shining right? they told me to email you. They told me to do it right away and I listened to them like i should. I hope I did not bother you ms. zaretsky. If I did please accept my apology. I was just emailing you to ask politely. Please dont be mad. Is my name important to tell?

From: Staci Zaretsky
Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2012 5:30 PM
Subject: Re: Re: shoeshines or errands

I live in MA, but I write for a legal website. The individuals who asked you to email me told me about your alternative career choice. May I ask why you aren’t practicing law, and what you have done since graduating?

From: Shoeshinesanderrands Forofficeworkers
Date: Sunday, June 10, 2012 6:11 PM
Subject: Re: shoeshines or errands

I did document review jobs for a while when i graduated . I could never find a job and I tried very hard. Then days turned to months and years. i could pay my loans. I went to regular non legal agencies after that. they kept testing me on typing speed and computer programs. I didnt do ggod on the testing. A lady at 1 legal agency encouraged me to be a shoeshiner. I didnt knoiw what to do so I bought i box and started doing it. then it turned to more than that like errrands to. its all pretty embarrasing. im just trying my best. i really am ms zaretsky your honor. i pretty much just gave up. just trying to pay 1 or 2 bills. im not far from homeless but i still try and take care of myself the best i can.

From: Staci Zaretsky
Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2012 6:24 PM
Subject: Re: Re: shoeshines or errands

Did you ever take or pass a bar exam? Can I ask how profitable a shoe shine business is in Manhattan?

From: Shoeshinesanderrands Forofficeworkers
Date: Sun, Jun 10, 2012 at 6:46 PM
Subject: Re: Re: shoeshines or errands

yes i passed the bar on my 4th try. my grandmother helped me pay for things. im older now and she is gone. i just charge 3 dollars a shoe shine and if someone is nice to tip me that is extra for me to keep. for ladies boots i charge 4 dollars or 1 dollar more but still that is alot less then anywhere else. my supplies cost money to like the polish and my rags. i also wear a bow tie in case i go to an office. there was a lady that used to work at a legal temp agency who helped me do this. she made some flyers and told me how a lawyer or paralegal would want the shoes to be shined. the agency didnt have any jobs for someone like me and the shoeshiner of 1 of her law firm clients i think it was lost there shoeshine guy. so i started doing this. i make on a good week about 95 dollars a week profits after buying my polish.

Dear God — or should we say, Christ on a shine box. Fact or fiction? You decide….

(hidden for your protection)

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