Law Students

Lat here. Not long ago, Elie and I debated the merits of Harvard Law versus Yale Law, in response to a request for advice from a prospective law student lucky enough to be choosing between HLS and YLS. Then we opened up a reader poll, in which about 60 percent of you urged the 0L in question to go to Yale.

As we move deeper into spring, more aspiring law students will have to make up their minds about matriculation destinations. Today we’ll look at the case of a student who’s choosing between a trio of very fine schools: Georgetown University Law Center, the University of Texas School of Law, and UCLA School of Law.

Let’s hear him out, weigh the competing factors, and vote….

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This has turned into one of my favorite posts of the year. We’re calling for all creative law students. We’re calling for all law students who can carry a tune or time a joke to send forth the very best law revue videos to be judged — harshly — by the Above the Law audience.

The creative team behind the winning video will get Above the Law t-shirts and mad respect. The losers will provide entertainment for the masses. This is the time to show them everything. Make sure they remember you.

But, before you start sending us your videos, you should know that there are rules, RULES THAT YOU MUST FOLLOW….

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Looking back on this week’s legal developments, it seems like the world at large has finally gotten a clue about the realities of going to law school in a post-recession world.

Sure, you could read the New York Times to find out that LSAT administrations are in a steep decline. But why go such a hoity-toity route when the same information is now available on gossip blogs like Gawker, with headlines like, “It Is Now Completely Clear to Everyone That Law School Is for Suckers.”

These days, law school is a sucker’s bet, and it’s even clear to judges. Just look at what happened with the class action lawsuit that was filed against New York Law School. That thing got dismissed faster than a recent law school graduate turned barista can ask how you’d like your coffee.

Indeed, it’s clear to everyone except prospective and current law students that law school is for suckers….

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It’s not every day that you hear about a law professor who allegedly exposed himself to a law student, but today’s just one of those days.

A criminal complaint has been lodged against Clark Calvin Griffith, a former adjunct law professor at the William Mitchell College of Law. Griffith is 70 years old, but he stands accused of unzipping his pants and forcing a female law student to squeeze his penis. Makes you wonder if they serve Viagra in the William Mitchell faculty lounge.

Let’s learn some more about the lurid allegations against him….

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Ah, the Bluebook. Some people love it, but even more people despise it. If you ask my colleague Elie Mystal about the Bluebook, he’ll tell you that it’s the only book in the world he’d actually consider burning in public. Even federal judges hate the Bluebook. In fact, when we held a poll about whether use of the Bluebook should be abolished, 51% of our readers agreed that it should be banished.

All that being said, is it any wonder that a student from a law school in Virginia is raging against the law review’s upcoming Bluebook exam? Several law students have written to us about this student’s “guerilla campaign” against the school’s annual exercise in “academic hazing,” and they have even provided us with copies of this kid’s manifesto. (Yeah, he’s got one.)

Who is this revolutionary, and why does he think the school’s Bluebook exam needs to go?

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Yale Law v. Harvard Law: a first-world problem.

Lat here. It’s March, so you know what that means: prospective law students, those wise or foolish people who have decided to ignore the warnings of law school’s many critics, are deciding where to matriculate. And they want our — and your — advice.

Last year, my colleague Elie Mystal offered advice to 0Ls who were considering such schools as Columbia, Chicago, NYU, Michigan, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Illinois, and Minnesota. In case you missed the post, you can check it out here.

This year, Elie and I are going to offer conflicting advice — yes, it’s an ATL Debate — to a future law student with a real high-class problem. He’s choosing between Yale Law School and Harvard Law School.

Grab yourself a drink, make yourself some popcorn, and sit back, as Elie and I argue against our respective alma maters. And then, at the end, cast your vote in our reader poll….

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I hope they're reading Above the Law.

Usually, it’s law professors who spend time bitching about students using Facebook and Gchatting in class. Boring, old, can’t hold an audience unless it’s captive, law professors. For the most part, I let those professorial concerns go in one ear and out the other. You’re making six figures as a law professor and you have to teach a couple of times a week. If your lecture isn’t more interesting than Minecraft, it’s your own damn fault. If you try, they will listen.

Yesterday we got something that we don’t see a lot: a letter from a law student complaining about the way her classmates use Facebook and Gchat. Yeah, apparently there is some law school out there that forces students to look at other students’ Facebook pages during class. Can you believe it… oh, wait; I’m getting new information over the wire that suggests the complaining student is just an incredible busybody who thinks she’s been elected police commissioner of other people’s in-class behavior.

Let’s delve into the mind of a person who wants to be the boss of you….

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You are so perfect, you make going to law school a good decision!

– A romantic line taken from a love note sent from one law student to another at a lower-tier law school.

Thinking of going to law school? Don't say she didn't warn you.

Here at Above the Law, we like to give our readers after-hours video content. Watching videos can be difficult if you’re at work or in class. But in the evening, when the office is more quiet or when you’re at home, you can enjoy videos without worrying about a colleague or classmate giving you a hard time.

Last night we put up a video about law student debt, in which Professor William Birdthistle crunched some numbers regarding whether it’s financially wise to go to law school. If you haven’t already done so, check it out here.

This evening we have another video about legal education. This one relies primarily upon cultural rather than economic factors in arguing why you shouldn’t go to law school….

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Star Jones thinks some of you are whiners.

When William Robinson, president of the American Bar Association, gave an interview in which he suggested that unemployed or underemployed law school graduates “should have known what they were getting into,” he was widely criticized. His emphasis on “personal responsibility” didn’t go over too well in some quarters of the legal profession and blogosphere.

But in defense of Bill Robinson, other people share his views. And some of these people are prominent personages.

Take prosecutor turned television personality Star Jones, who seems to have little sympathy for jobless law grads….

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