Law Schools, Rankings

Guess Which Unranked School Bills Itself As A Peer Of Yale, Duke

Don Draper would be impressed with this one.

A law school that perennially gets the bottom-tier/unranked tag from U.S. News and has never been ranked by the ATL Top 50 — indeed, a strong contender in this year’s Worst Law School bracket — is billing itself to prospective students as a bona fide peer of schools like Duke, Northwestern, and even Yale.

You know what it takes to sell underachieving law schools? It takes brass balls.

Not since Thomas M. Cooley put out its own sponsored rankings and slotted itself at #2 has a school offered a snow job this bold. Florida Coastal sent the following to prospective students:

From: “Nicole C. Schumer”
Date: Jun 5, 2014
Subject: Good Luck on the LSAT

Hello [Redacted],

I noticed you are taking the June LSAT this weekend. I am writing to wish you good luck and to let you know that Florida Coastal School of Law accepts June LSAT scores for admission to our fall class starting in August. You can apply through LSAC at There is no application fee. You can also take a virtual tour of our school at

I also want to let you know that The National Jurist and Prelaw Magazine has released their first-ever honor roll of law schools excelling in practical training and experiential learning. Florida Coastal School of Law received an A-, which placed us in the Top 36 out of 60 ranked schools.

Other schools in the Top 36 include:
Duke University
Northwestern University
Pepperdine University
University of Wisconsin
Yale Law School

Wow. It’s all about the spin.

In this case, Florida Coastal received an A- in the limited area of “practical training and experiential learning.” Query how important this is. We’ve had this debate in these pages before with Elie declaring the focus of practical training the province of lower-tier schools trying to justify their existence, while I think it has an important role to play but should never be the basis of someone’s decision to attend a particular school. In any event, this whole issue is glossed over quickly in favor of an eye-grabbing list of impressive schools. Brilliant.

Also glossed over is the fact that these rankings come from National Jurist, the folks that placed Alabama in the top 5 and left Yale out of the top 10 entirely because they were fixated on factors like “” scores. While that may have been a glitch that they just want to forget in the annals of their rankings, it certainly doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.

But the real thing to take away from this is that Nicole Schumer, Florida Coastal’s Assistant Director of Admissions, continues to be the greatest public relations specialist in the game. You may remember her from her glowing announcement that Florida Coastal had the fifth-best bar passage rate (out of 11) in Florida. Every dictatorship needs a good propaganda minister.

Perhaps Infilaw should have put Nicole in charge of pitching the Charleston deal to the regulators.

Earlier: Law School Is Mediocre And Proud
ATL March Madness: The Worst Law School In America — Final Four
Latest Cooley Law School Rankings Achieve New Heights of Intellectual Dishonesty
Which Law Schools Have The Best Clinics?
The Myth Of The ‘Practice Ready’ Law Graduate
Pure Ridiculousness: National Jurist’s Law School Rankings
School Threatens To Call Security When Dean Candidate Suggests It’s A Crappy Law School
InfiLaw Purchase Of Charleston Law Rejected By Licensing Committee

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