Whenever a law school solicits money from its recent graduates, it ends badly. Almost always. The best a law school can hope for is for the recipient to throw away the solicitation or delete the email. More often, the mere request can bring up bad memories and harden the ill will that recent graduates have toward their law schools (unless the request for donations happens to hit the inboxes of the few financially secure recent law grads).
Law schools aren’t even playing the long game anymore. If law schools keep their tuition manageable and help their students find jobs, then they will produce happy graduates who might feel lifelong allegiance to their schools. But instead of cultivating golden little eggs, law schools are all too happy to slay their gaggle of students with unreasonable costs and poor post-graduate options. Schools take the short-term money even while souring their students on the law school experience.
Of course, “sour” law graduates make for some funny emails. Check out how this class of 2010 graduate responded to his school’s alumni giving request. And if you want to copy and paste it into an email to your law school, I don’t think anybody would object….
The letter was directed at Hofstra Law School, but in fairness to Hofstra, there are any number of schools that engender this feeling among their graduates when they ask them for money.
But this email really gets to the point of the angst. Law schools are wealthy institutions. Recent law graduates are not. Asking these kids for more money when they’re still paying off tuition makes graduates angry. And you wouldn’t like them when they’re angry:
Dear Hofstra Law:
My name is [McKayla Maroney]. I graduated Hofstra Law School in 2010 and incurred a not insignificant amount of debt, mostly due to Hofstra Law’s exorbitant tuition rates.
Unfortunately, my income right now is not nearly enough to adequately address the previously mentioned not insignificant amount of debt.
This difficult situation is exacerbated every time that I receive a donation request from Hofstra Law. If anyone needs donations,it is the recent Alumni of Hofstra Law — NOT HOFSTRA LAW.
Surely, the administration knows how debt-laden its law graduate alumni are. Knowing this, it is quite baffling that Hofstra Law would even deign to request donations from people who are not only broke but in deep, sometimes unfathomably so, debt.
Given these difficult financial times and given that Hofstra University has a respectable endowment of $237,406,746 as of 2010, I respectfully request Hofstra Law to consider giving me a donation in the “Benefactor” category, which is $25,000 and above.
I accept credit cards as well, which you may fill out on the accompanying form.
Thank you so much for your time and I hope you can help out an Alumnus in need.
Very Truly Yours,
The only people who seem oblivious to the terrible market for legal jobs are incoming students and law school alumni officers. Why are law schools even soliciting these kids — these people who are trying to recover from the biggest screwing of their lives? It’d be like if a person kicked me in the nuts on the subway and then asked me for a dollar.
These solicitations will keep coming, but in true law school fashion, the schools don’t seem to be studying the long-term impact of all of these requests for donations. People in the classes of 2009, 2010, and 2011 are probably lost causes in terms of future donations. But if you want to get any money out of them, schools will have to slowly bring them back into the fold. These broad email blasts do nothing and make some people even more pissed off.
I do wish more graduates would respond like this. Unemployed and underemployed law graduates should be writing letters like this while blasting “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” If it happens enough, a smart law school might try a less insulting method of building a relationship with its alumni.