Electioneering by glossy brochure

by Vault Law Editors | July 29, 2009

  • My Vault

This is interesting:  Greg Stein, an associate dean at the University of Tennessee law school, writing in the faculty newsletter The Informant, shares a behind-the-scenes glimpse at lobbying efforts to influence the ‘reputational’ component of the convoluted US News law school rankings scheme:

I received a call from someone at #%$*^# Law School [name redacted, but it is a public law school ranked in US News’s Top 25]. The caller, an employee of that school, asked me if I could provide him with the names of the chair of our faculty hiring committee and the most recently tenured professor (“MRTP”). I asked him why he wanted these names, and he told me that his school planned to send promotional literature to these two faculty members, and also to the dean and associate dean for academic affairs.

For those who haven’t already figured this out, these are the four faculty members who will soon be receiving ballots from US News in connection with next year’s law school rankings. Soon after I had this conversation, two other law schools called me to ask the same question. I have already given a heads-up to Prof. Alex Long, our MRTP, that he should be expecting a great deal of expensive glossy brochures during the next few weeks.

So, what do you think we might want to send to prospective US News voters? Simple but warm congratulatory notes to every MRTP in the nation? Flowers? Gift cards? ITunes cards? Don’t laugh about that one — at least one other law school has reportedly been sending ITunes cards to would-be law students as a way of improving its student selectivity numbers.

                                               -posted by brian

Filed Under: Law

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