Pitt Law

The life of a law school dean.

Law school deans are used to begging. They beg their faculty to assume additional teaching responsibilities. They beg their university presidents to stop slashing their budgets. Mostly, they beg wealthy alumni and community members for money. More money. As much money as they can fix their mouths to ask for. If law school deans could play instruments, they’d be on the subway begging for change.

But in this market, instead of begging alumni for money, law deans really need to be begging their alumni for job openings. Deans should be on the phone every day, talking to people who are in a position to hire graduates of their law schools.

Are law deans doing that? Are law deans taking the responsibility unto themselves to relentlessly push for job opportunities for their students? Beyond New York Times op-eds and grand re-imaginings of the third year curriculum, are law deans digging in and doing the person-to-person work of begging powerful alumni to hire new graduates?

I think some of them are. I know some of them are not. Here, we have one law dean’s letter to alumni that can serve as a kind of blueprint for how a dean should be hawking her students. Maybe you can send it to your dean and ask if she is sending out the same kind of letters…

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I’m not going to lie, these are quickly becoming my favorite columns to write every year.

For approximately 364 days a year, law school deans are free to tell us how great their schools are without being forced to provide any data to support their claims of being the best law school for whatever. But one day, each law school must confront the stark reality of their U.S. News law school ranking. They can disparage the rankings, get angry at the rankings, or boast about the rankings (if they’re lucky). But deans ignore the rankings at their own peril.

And so some deans are forced to address their schools’ poor rankings. They are free to spin things however they want, but for one day, they’re not operating in a vacuum. There is an objective fact that is just a little bit beyond their powers of self-reporting manipulation.

It’s a fun day….

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Finding a roommate for your first year of law school can be a challenge. You’re probably moving to a new city and you don’t know anybody. You’re reluctant to get a random roommate, because you don’t want to end up living with some crazy party-goer who ruins your study cycle just when you’ve started to learn about noise pollution in class.

In the modern era, social networking is a great tool for law students to meet up before classes start, and maybe find a roommate among their soon-to-be classmates.

But how should you choose a roommate among interchangeable matriculating law students? One guy has a plan, and that is to advertise his “success” in front of all those who might want to live with him.

Get used to this type of guy, 0Ls, you’ll be seeing a lot of him over the next three years….

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Last night, a dramatic scene unfolded in the parking lot of a movie theater. A suspected drunk driver allegedly took off without his headlights on, hit two police cruisers, terrified several witnesses, and then slammed his car into a tree. The driver was killed.

“It was coming straight towards us and I didn’t know if he was going to stop or what he was doing,” said one witness. “He was going 70, 80 miles an hour. It was scary.”

The driver of the vehicle was a young lawyer, an associate at a law firm. He graduated not too long ago from a leading law school….

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Changing of the guard.

It’s the season for law school deans to step down. We never get to know exactly why deans step down, but when students relate stats like the one below, it certainly leaves an impression.

Our tipster reports: “When she took over, [our school] was ranked tier one, around 46 or 47. Now it hovers around the upper 70s…”

Yeah, not good times. And the dean isn’t the only one on the way out. The school is making a minor shake-up in its career services department too.

Which school?

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Conceptual designs for a new building to house Pitt Law School.

I feel bad for Pittsburgh Law students. Just ten days ago, career services embarrassed them by offering students jobs putting fliers on parked cars. And now today, an out-of-control driver punched a hole into their law building.

Literally. Last night an SUV crashed into the Barco Law Building and punched a hole in the wall. Nobody was hurt during the accident, but we hear that nine people were injured during the ensuing stampede of Pitt law students trying to escape through the hole. (Just kidding — nobody was injured — the hole wasn’t nearly big enough for people to fit their non-dischargeable debts through.)

The crash was pretty epic — and there’s a photo. Check it out for yourself…

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Earlier today, we reported on the illustrious position of “dude who puts litter on parked cars,” which was being offered to jobless students at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

This wasn’t the first terrible job being offered to law students we’ve posted about. And sadly, it probably won’t be the last. But perhaps we’ve gotten to the point where these kinds of jobs are so pathetic that law school administrations are starting to feel bad about it.

We just received word that the Pitt Career Services Office has officially apologized to students for presenting them with such a terrible option…

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Does this count as 'employed at graduation'?

This has not been a great weekend for the University of Pittsburgh community. As many of you know, the school’s college basketball team choked disappointed fans with an early round exit from the NCAA tournament.

You should always avoid comparing a school’s basketball team with its law school, but it appears that things aren’t going much better at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. While there is some evidence that the legal economy is recovering, the improving fortunes have not trickled all the way down to 3Ls searching for work….

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