Let me explain how this started. The American Association of Law Schools had its annual conference this weekend here in New York. On Saturday, I spoke on a panel about law school rankings with Bob Morse (U.S. News), Karen Sloan (National Law Journal), Katrina Dewey (Lawdragon), and Dimitra Kessenides (Bloomberg BNA). It was a fun and lively discussion in which we explained the different things we were trying to capture with our law school rankings, and how law school rankings are used and should be used. My plan was to cover the conference on Friday, speak on Saturday, then get drunk on Saturday night to make up for not being able to get drunk on Friday night.
But there was a huge snowstorm in NYC on Thursday night and I did not have the will to pull out my dogsled and make it to midtown on Friday morning. Instead, I followed the conference via various Twitter feeds of people who did make it. This was surprisingly effective (the internet is an amazing thing). Instead of being stuck in one room, I was following reports from many. So I was just sitting, warm and cozy in my basement, when this tweet went up:
Dean: Tuition costs not only reason grads in debt. They don’t apply for scholarships, drive nice cars. #aals2014
This isn’t the first car-related foolishness we’ve heard from defenders of law school; the former president of the ABA told law students that they should sell their cars to pay for law school. And this needs to stop. There are too many people in charge of law schools who remember tuition costs from when they went to school, which is beyond irrelevant.
Since some of these guys appear to be too addled to do the math, I’ve come up with something easier: pictures. I want you to show us what kind of car you drive in law school (or what kind of car you drove). Send us your jalopy; hell, if you have a sweet ride, send that too (subject line “Law School Car”). I would love to see if any of these cars could even put a dent in the current price of law school tuition.
Some of our Twitter followers were more than happy to start us out….
Let’s start with our winner from Twitter:
I don’t have a picture of my ride (it was a 1992 Cadillac Fleetwood I bought off a Korean gas station in Sommerville for $1,500), but I was definitely rocking the “duct tape to keep the hood down.”
Of course, some people are lucky to have cars in law school that can be fixed with duct tape:
Okay, some people had legitimately nice rides:
Some people even drive a Lexus. Kinda.
Yep, that’s technically a Lexus. I see the ‘L’ and everything. How much law schoolin’ do you think you could sell that for?
Look, law students are a resourceful bunch. They’ll make the best out of what they have. They’ll find a way to have some style, even if that means this:
All joking aside, here’s what some legal educators apparently don’t understand: this is the most common “law school car” for people trying to manage the high cost of law school:
Those are just the highlights of what people sent us in a few hours on Twitter. But we want all of our readers to participate. Send firstname.lastname@example.org a pic of your law school car (current or former), subject line “Law School Car.” Let’s set the record straight about just how much transportation is contributing to the problem of law school debt.