Law School Deans, Law Schools, McCarter & English, Media and Journalism

Get A New Dean, Hire PR Firm, ???, PROFIT!

The school is dropping in the U.S. News law school rankings. The school didn’t even make the Above the Law rankings. The school’s dean quit on them a few weeks before classes started. The new dean recently sued the people who built the school’s law library because it suffers from “water damage.” A student recently got arrested, accused of making racist, anti-Semitic, and threatening comments.

Does this sound like a law school with… issues? Does this law school need to rethink how it provides legal education?

Probably. But they are not going to do that. Instead, they’re going to get a new marketing campaign.

Come, let’s see how much lipstick they can find for this pig…

The University of Connecticut School of Law sent out an RFP looking for a PR firm to come in and, I don’t know, tell them how to prey on the next generation of law students? From O’Dwyers (gavel bang: Law and More):

The University of Connecticut School of Law in Hartford has released an open RFP for a firm to support the law school’s office of communications with regional and national PR planning and counsel.

The UConn School of Law wants a firm to establish relationships with reporters and thought leaders, arrange interviews, pitch story ideas, and develop crisis communication planning.

Oh my God, they pay people for that? Man, I could have a second career as a “crisis communication planning” consultant for law schools. Here’s my counsel: tell the goddamn truth, then try not to do stupid things to cause a crisis in the future.

This seems to be one of the first big acts from UConn Law’s new dean, Tim Fisher. Before his appointment in March, Fisher was a partner at McCarter & English. I can see from a corporate perspective that coming up with a new public relations campaign is a step towards redefining the product.

But the “reporters and thought leaders” in the law school space seem generally immune to the silver tongues of PR gurus. Do people have jobs? Is the tuition coming down? Do you have any statistical evidence to back up the stuff spewing out of this application brochure? These are the things that people care about when it comes to law school.

Instead of campaigning to students who are not applying to UConn Law, the school could try simply providing a better product. I just don’t think the problems at UConn are based on its communication strategy.

I dunno, maybe Jim Calhoun could convince students to come to Storrs, but I don’t know if Sterling Cooper is going to bring law students to Hartford.

Law School Want to Raise PR Bar [O’Dwyers]
UConn Law School Has RFP for PR Help: Smart move, PR’s effective as shown by double-digit growth [Law and More]
McCarter Partner Timothy Fisher Named UConn Law Dean [Connecticut Law Tribune]

Earlier: Law Student Arrested for Anti-Semitic, Racist, Threatening Comments
A Law Dean Switches Schools — Not At The End of the Year, But Right Now, Weeks Before Classes Start

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