Southern University Law Center

Randall Gay

I didn’t have to really study for football. It’s just something you know. Now, I’m starting from scratch writing briefs. I don’t know what a brief is. I’m taking a tort class. I don’t know what a tort is. In football, we have seven days to prepare. Now I have to do assignments and have them done by the next day. But I’ve learned to adapt quickly.

Randall Gay, a retired football player formerly of the New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints, commenting on what it’s like to make the difficult transition from playbooks to law books in his new career as a law student.

(So where is the ex-cornerback going to law school? Let’s find out!)

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Over the past week, two of our most popular stories have involved a tense exchange between former law student Courtney Horne and Southern University Law Center Professor Donald North.

Professor North mentioned that he had more important things to do that write internet commentary, namely IMMERSING HIMSELF IN THE STUDY OF CRIMINAL LAW. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that quip has metastasized into a new meme here on ATL.

Which, of course, means Comment of the Week contestants galore….

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Courtney Horne

You can’t keep a good story down. And the case of Courtney Horne v. Donald North, currently being tried in the court of public opinion, is a good story.

We first mentioned this ugly spat between a former law student at Southern University Law Center and her former criminal law professor in passing. Readers clamored for more coverage. So we did a follow-up post, a quick Quote of the Day — which racked up thousands upon thousands of pageviews.

So let’s give you what you want: more discussion of Courtney Horne, Professor North, and Southern University Law Center (SULC)….

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Courtney Horne

It amazes me that after [six] weeks in law school you now speak as an expert in a course where in my estimation you were mediocre at best. I accept my responsibility, as your professor, for trying to have Standards and Expectations. After thirty years in this profession, I am amazed that we have finally created a vehicle where cowards can express their accusations without retribution.

Southern University Law Center Professor Donald North, responding to Courtney Horne’s blog post explaining her choice to quit law school. Her post largely blamed the decision on Professor North and his class.

(Keep reading to see more of the back-and-forth between this former law school student and her ex-crim law prof…)

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Now is the season when law school applicants, having received their admission and rejection letters, need to make up their minds about where to attend law school (or if they want to go at all). We’ve received a number of inquiries from anxious 0Ls seeking advice about whether to matriculate at School X or School Y (which we might work into a post at some point, but which we don’t have the time to answer individually, for which we apologize). See also this post (asking whether you’d go to Notre Dame, for $X, or a lower-ranked school, for some number lower than $X).

In these discussions, the question of value looms large. We’ve previously mentioned lists of “best value” law schools in these pages, but some of these lists have methodological problems. And other lists — like the National Law Journal’s recent list of law schools that will get you into Biglaw on the cheap — while helpful, are too narrow in focus for some readers. Maybe you’re not looking for a Biglaw job, but you would like to attend a law school that is worth the price (i.e., a law school that can get you a job that will allow you to service the debt you incur).

Say hello to yet another set of law school rankings: U.S. News & World Report’s list of “10 Law Degrees With Most Financial Value at Graduation,” i.e., law schools whose graduates “have the highest first-year salaries relative to debt load.”

Did your school make the cut? Try to guess at some of the names you’ll see on the list, and then read on to see if you’re right….

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Bow down before the most popular.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a seemingly endless stream of law school rankings. For example:

If you thought that rankings fatigue would set in at some point, think again. Every new set of law school rankings, no matter how arbitrary or methodologically suspect, generates buzz and massive web traffic. The message that readers are sending to publishers: MOAR LAW SCHOOL RANKINGS.

Publishers are hearing it, loud and clear. U.S. News, the kings of the rankings game, just released a new rank-ordered list: the 10 most popular law schools.

How do they define “most popular law school”? And is your law school or alma mater one of them? Some of the schools on the list might surprise you….

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