Contests, Law Schools, March Madness

ATL March Madness: The Worst Law School In America — Champion

The cold call is miffed
and there you are
you’re squirming for your life
you’re a falling star
And all the years
no one knows
just how hard you worked
because you’re Tier Four…
One Shining Moment, your debt’s piling up
One Shining Moment, your career’s frozen in time

It’s over. After 5 rounds of voting, we finally have a champion in the ATL March Madness tournament. Thanks to your voting, we can crown the Worst Law School in America. The championship featured 1-seeded Thomas M. Cooley against 8-seeded Liberty.

Did this tournament end in an upset?

No. No it did not.

We all knew that Thomas M. Cooley was the strongest contender in this field. A school that combined terrible job placement with high tuition and the sort of unabashed hubris to proclaim itself the number 2 law school in the land was going to be hard to beat. So it was no shock that the pride of Michigan pulled away at the end.

But this brings us to a serious aside: why did we do this? We got a few emails from disgruntled and dismayed law students, like this tribute to butthurtdom:

I could not be more offended by your Worst Law School Bracket… You are a bunch of pretentious a**holes who think you are above the law. You should be ashamed for putting other law schools down.

Indeed, we are Above the Law. It’s written right there up top.

And we didn’t just put other law schools down — both Lat and Staci put their alma maters in the pool. Elie and I didn’t because… well, we’re the pretentious a**holes the law student above wrote about.

But seriously, the reason we did this is to highlight the many reasons not to enroll in certain law schools. The ATL Law School Rankings (coming soon!) cover only the top 50, and the U.S. News rankings have lumped the bottom of the pool into “Unranked” instead of making hard choices between them. This competition took a lot of those unranked schools — and a few ranked ones, like UCLA, which has suffered a number of high-profile racial discrimination incidents, and Yale, which is a great school… but is it a great school for training lawyers — and gave everyone an opportunity to discuss the drawbacks of these schools. Doing some basic research or looking back through prior ATL coverage of these schools revealed some facts that prospective students should consider before signing up. That’s not to say a student can’t get a solid education at one of these schools. For example, we included some regional schools that charge more than neighboring schools for no greater result. This is a decision about your future career, and far too many students flock to these schools without considering these drawbacks. We hope this competition got people thinking.

Congratulations to Thomas M. Cooley for finally making it to the top of a ranking. And perhaps more congratulations to Liberty for avoiding the ignominious distinction of winning this contest.

Earlier: Latest Cooley Law School Rankings Achieve New Heights of Intellectual Dishonesty

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