Did a bunch of bad law schools hire Sterling Cooper to handle their marketing? Name changes are the go-to move for the titular ad agency in Mad Men. But here in real life, it seems like law schools are more interested in changing their name than changing their product.
We discussed Thomas Cooley Law School’s name change to the “Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School.” As the internet has caught onto the business model of Cooley, the administration figured that associating themselves with a larger university would throw people off the scent.
Evidently, the Infilaw-owned Phoenix Law School couldn’t find a research university dumb enough to allow its name to be sullied by association with a low-end law school. So Phoenix Law just made something up…
Phoenix School of Law has renamed itself “Arizona Summit Law School.” I think we’re all used to directionally named law schools, but by invoking the word “summit,” Phoenix has taken it to the third dimension. The National Law Journal reports:
“The new name highlights our commitment to the success of our students who come from diverse backgrounds and stages in life and provides a supportive academic environment where civic-minded leaders and community advocates are nurtured,” Dean Shirley Mays said.
The change is accompanied by a new website, logo and advertising campaign.
The move comes at a challenging time for the downtown Phoenix law school, one of Infilaw Holding LLC’s consortium of for-profit schools. The school enrolled just 197 new students this fall, down from the 380 1Ls who began at this time last year. That represents a 48 percent decline, a steeper drop-off than most law schools saw this year.
Spare me your platitudes about student success and commute advocates. Arizona Summit (née Phoenix School of Law) is still charging people $41,114 in tuition and fees for an unranked law school. That is why nobody intelligent wants to go there. You can change your name and your logo and your website, but until you change your unreasonable tuition, you’re still a bad deal.
Changing their name to escape their Google footprint is really Arizona Summit’s way of saying that it hopes their applicants are too stupid to effectively research on the internet. If you Google “Arizona Summit” and somehow miss that this is an Infilaw holding that used to be called Phoenix School of Law (and all that that entails), then you are a dumbass, plain and simple. If you apply to Arizona Summit because you think it’s different than Phoenix Law, I don’t even have a word for you.
Individual applicants might be dumb, but Google is not. Like so many things that happen in Mad Men, things that worked in the sixties aren’t going to fly in 2013.
Phoenix School of Law Adopts New Brand [National Law Journal]