UT Austin

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Not only is it Halloween, the day when the nation celebrates the patron saint of skanky costumes, but we’ve also got some law school rankings that are all too appropriate given the holiday. Today, we give unto you the GraduatePrograms.com social life rankings, a mystical, magical list that will guide prospective law students in their quest to attend the school where they’ll be surrounded by the least socially awkward classmates for three years of their lives.

GraduatePrograms ranked the top 25 student-rated law schools, as well as the best law schools for career support, financial aid, and quality of network, but we’re focusing on the social life rankings. Why? At this point, it’s a given that you’re going to have some difficulty finding a job and paying down your loans when you graduate. It’s the connections you make during law school that will help you get through the tough times you’ll face later on.

So without any further delay, here are the law schools where you’ll be able to have the best social life — otherwise known as the law schools where you’ll be able to file endless motions to party…

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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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Let's see them talk their way out of this.

The U.S. News law school rankings are out, which means it’s open season on law school deans. Nothing puts a law school dean’s job in jeopardy like a fall in the law school rankings. Nothing. The law school deans can lie, dissemble, raise tuition to backbreaking levels, and still keep their jobs. But when law schools drop spots in the U.S. News rankings, law school deans start updating their résumés.

If you want proof, just look at how deans from schools that dropped are falling all over themselves to explain their results. The deans will say anything; their explanations don’t even have to make sense.

While deans from schools that dropped are trying to save themselves, deans from schools that went up in the rankings are crowing from the rooftops.

Let’s start with a school that we left out of our Most Honest Law School bracket that is now a rankings darling…

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Almost a year ago, David Van Zandt, one of the most admired figures within legal education, announced his departure as dean of Northwestern Law School. Van Zandt moved to New York, leaving behind his multimillion-dollar mansion in Chicago, to assume the presidency of the New School (a move that made headlines here in NYC).

A search committee went to work, to try and find someone to fill Dean Van Zandt’s large shoes. Today the law school announced its new leader.

The new Northwestern Law dean, like his predecessor, is a distinguished scholar. He also comes with a strong track record as a law school administrator.

Who is he? Let’s find out….

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A couple of months ago, we brought you the story of Simkins Residence Hall at the University of Texas. The dorm is named in honor of a former UT law professor — a professor who was a Ku Klux Klan leader and organizer. University officials claim they only became aware of Simkins’s KKK past when former UT law professor Tom Russell did some research.

After months of debate, a 21-member advisory group has recommended that UT change the name of the dorm. The proposal will now go up to UT’s Board of Regents. CNN reports:

Gregory Vincent, the university’s vice president of diversity and community engagement, told CNN affiliate KXAN that naming a public building after a self-proclaimed racist compromised the university’s image.

“We’re certainly not erasing Professor Simkins from the annals of UT history,” said Vincent. “All we are saying is that honorific is a very special designation and it should not harm the university’s reputation.”

Sorry Klansmen and Klan sympathizers, Texas needs y’all to be a little less prominent…

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You’d think those in the law would know by now not to send out embarrassing emails. But a Federalist Society officer at the University of Michigan Law School, whose name we’ve replaced with a pseudonym, seems oblivious. Apparently, Fed Soc served up some E-coli tainted lettuce at a recent lunch:

Subject: [lawopen] Fed Soc Lunch/ e. coli “episode”
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 19:39:35 -0400
To: [Unofficial Law Listserv]

Hi Law Open,

The Federalist Society would like to extend an apology to anyone who had to experience the wrath of uncooked Pancheros over the last few days. I am among the many victims, spending three days in agony in the bathroom…. (TMI?)

Hope you all feel better!

Best,
WOLVERINE WITH DIARRHEA (OF THE MOUTH)
Federalist Society Vice President

“TMI?” Yes. Yes, it is.

Another scatological tale from UT Law, after the jump. Someone truly thinks the place is a third tier “toilet”…

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And another scatological law school tale at UT.

William and Mary Marshall Wythe School of Law Above the Law blog.jpgHow long should students have to wait for fall semester grades? Two weeks? A month? Some students at William and Mary School of Law are still waiting for fall semester grades — and they might not be alone.

I understand that law professors would rather drink wine straight from the box than grade a paper. It’s an onerous responsibility. But, it is a responsibility. Especially in this economy, where students are scrambling for scarce job opportunities. If a student has an incomplete transcript, or can’t produce a class rank upon request, a prospective employer might well go with one of the other hundreds of resumes flooding his or her inbox.

Last month, a student at the University of Texas School of Law complained that he lost out on a judicial clerkship because of one professor’s grading delay. Above the Law received this email on January 25th:

UT Austin school of law logo.JPGTexas Law’s Student Affairs Office said over the phone this afternoon that Prof. [Redacted] hasn’t submitted grades yet or filed for an extension. UT’s deadline was Tuesday of last week (which is already hilariously late compared to the University’s undergraduate policies). Supposedly, the Law School will dock [the professor's] pay until the grades are in or until he requests an extension, but he’s big pals with Dean Sager.

I’ve already missed out on at least one internship this summer because I didn’t have grades yet. A judge’s office called me to schedule an interview and asked that I bring a transcript. When I mentioned that, as late as Jan 16th, I still hadn’t received a single grade, they went ahead and hired someone else.

We emailed the professor to see if the grades were still outstanding, or why they were delayed in the first place, but he did not respond.

At William and Mary, the situation is such that the class rank of the entire school has been delayed….

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Grades delayed at W&M, UT – Austin… anywhere else?