Name That Tier-Four Law School!


It doesn’t take Andy Bernard from The Office becoming the new face of Cornell Law to realize that most law schools say some silly things on their websites. For instance, my alma mater, NYU, claims it’s “the only top tier law school committed to giving sophisticated, in-depth attention, from the first year of legal study, to the interactive, fact-sensitive and interpretive work that is fundamental to excellence in practice.”

So many things to work with here, I could write a whole book about it. But, for some reason, I find it more fun to turn the spotlight and laugh at the silly things said by schools at the bottom of the barrel.

Laughing at the top schools makes me sad. It reminds me how hopeless the whole system is. But laughing at the T4s is good, clean fun. It’s a bit like laughing at a retarded kid. Sure, it’s not the politically correct thing to do, but I get to have a chuckle, he doesn’t know the difference, and I feel better about myself.  It’s win-win (in the sense that I win twice).

So, in that spirit, let’s play a game I’m calling “Name That Tier-Four Law School!” I’ll give you the school’s initials and some fun tidbits from its website, and you’ll scratch your head, sure that you’ve never even heard of a school with that abbreviation.  The answers are at the end of the post.

Round 1: CWSL

CWSL isn’t going to give you some half-assed education like some other schools. No way. CWSL has unlocked the key to your academic success:

Nice to know that you’re sure to get an education far above that offered by schools dedicated to merely offering a second-best education.  But wait, there’s more:

T4, maybe. But you can’t put a price on a “deeply satisfying career in law.” So what is this one and only school dedicated to getting you top-notch pay, reasonable hours, clients who aren’t assholes, coworkers with pleasant personalities and work that’s actually intellectually stimulating?

Round 2: MCSL

There are lots of fantastic reasons to attend MCSL. So many, in fact, that this “best-kept secret of the south” had to create a list of “The Top 10 Reasons You Should Apply to MCSL.”

How 2010 of them. But that’s nothing compared to:

Wondering just how hospitable this school’s state really is? Here’s a nice little speech from a very famous law-related movie that sums up this great state’s reputation for hospitality:

“I am sick and tired of the way many of us [Citizens of this State] are havin’ our views distorted by your newspapers and on TV. So let’s get this straight. We do not accept Jews because they reject Christ. Their control of the international banking cartels are at the root of communism. We do not accept Papists because they bow to a Roman dictator. We do not accept Turks, Mongols, Tartars, Orientals nor Negroes because we’re here to protect Anglo-Saxon democracy and the American way.”

I guess that’s why it’s “Location, location, location” instead of “Location! Location! Location!” Have you figured out what school is the champion of Southern charm?

Round 3: NEL|B

Our third T4 offers something I’ve seen no other school claim:

Unlike Chicago, which gives its students street smarts by dropping them in the middle of one of the most notorious ghettos in the country, NEL|B gives its students a different environment in which to develop their legal street smarts.

If this sounds like the type of place you’d like to attend, don’t get your hopes up. NEL|B has some very high standards:

What school has such grueling admissions standards that it has to turn away many students and refuses to look at anyone with below a 2.0 GPA*?

[*The minimum GPA you need to have a C average is not 2.0—it’s 1.835, the midpoint between a C, 2.0 and a C-, 1.67.  But hey, you don’t need to know how to calculate a GPA when your school has a nifty verti-bar in its name.]

Round 4: RWUSL

This school believes it has a particularly bizarre relationship with the legal community:

When you have control over a certain market, it’s called a monopoly. A franchise would require operating a shadow government within the school. That would be pretty cool though, and the SBA would get to do something useful, instead of just deciding between Bud Light and Miller Light for the semester kick-off keg party.

RWUSL is the real deal, warts and all. It not only draws attention to the fact that you’ll be in a state with nothing but T4 students, but it even points out that going to RWUSL will turn you into an insufferable douchebag (unlike NYU, which downplays that aspect). Here’s a testimonial from one of the school’s students:

So, what school is operating an underground state government run by students who don’t know how to turn off the lawyer switch?

Round 5: TMCLS

Most T4 schools engage in a bit of puffery about how good they are. And there’s certainly some room for reasonable debate about rankings. But TMCLS takes the cake by ranking itself as #14 in the country, above Stanford (#18), Duke (#27), and Chicago (#31).  [Spoiler alert here.]

Just what makes this school so incredibly great?

I know most schools offer some bullshit classes (like “Three Laws of Robotics,” “Binding Magical Contracts” and “Feminism”), but the only school where “legal knowledge, practice skills, and professional ethics” come standard are to a school that isn’t yet old enough to get discount coffee at McDonald’s.

So, what school is breaking ground not just in rediscovering traditional law school curricula, but finding ways to somehow rank NYU in the top 3?

That’s all, folks.  Thanks for playing, and remember to help control the lawyer population.  Spay or neuter your T4 law student.

Oh, the Answers

Round 1 = California Western School of Law!
Round 2 = Mississippi College School of Law!
Round 3 = New England Law | Boston!
Round 4 = Roger Williams University School of Law!
Round 5 = Thomas M. Cooley Law School!

Check out BL1Y’s blog here, or check out other lists, tallies and scores to settle in Bitter by Numbers.

Read more from BL1Y.

37 Comments

  1. Guano Dubango

    March 11, 2010 at 2:47 am

    I have gone to what I think is NOT a T4 law school, but do not knock them because even the BL1Y can see the TTT and T4 schools have beautful blond women law students.  After going to Georgetown for my LLM, I quickly learned that if I were to find a beautiful blond law beauty, it would not be in my law classes.  So I went out over to the UDC campus, but the beauties were largely Nubian, not blonde.  So I continue to search into the suburbs and find 3 blonde law beauties at the George Mason law school, and they were highly complimentary of my skills which I perfected in Accra.  I still call these 3 law beauties who have not yet married, and have been with them one time each.  This should be a lesson for BL1Y.  Just because a school is not a top tier does not mean there are no blonde law beauties.

  2. Chick Litigator

    March 11, 2010 at 3:47 am

    Dear Cooley: I get it. The US News rankings are elitist and bullshit (not totally bullshit, but a little bullshit). But creating a new ranking system that puts yourself at #12 so people will come to your crappy school – TOTAL bullshit. And just plain ol’ stupid.

  3. Anonymous

    March 11, 2010 at 4:45 am

    Guano is right.  The best chick I ever F***ed was a law student at California Western.  Wow.

  4. Alma Federer

    March 11, 2010 at 5:19 am

    You guys are dumb.  I’ll bet you and BL1Y all went to T4 schools.

  5. pppffft

    March 11, 2010 at 5:51 am

    Way BL1Y, nice to see despite being miserable and unemployed you still think you’re better than others and an elitist pile of crap.
    As if there are not enough TTT jokes to go around.  Get over it. 
    This is why lawyers hate lawyers and law students.  Who cares where you went to school. An engineer from MIT is the same as an engineer from Rutgers if they perform the same.  But in this profession, even if you suck at life, (i’m talking to you BL1Y), you still try to always state which school you went to in order to prove. . . what really?  That you’re a douche?  Mission accomplished.

  6. KateLaw

    March 11, 2010 at 6:29 am

    Chick Litigator, couldn’t agree more… hilarious.

  7. Magic Circle Jerk

    March 11, 2010 at 6:35 am

    BL1Y- you’re an NYU dude who got Lathamed, right?
    All I have to say is that maybe it was for the best. Your writing is really improving.  This is a legit decent piece.
    ignore the haters (pppfffft) and pathetic schticks (alma), this is good stuff
    Oh and to everyone: T4s deserve to be mocked, as they are all little more than constructive fraud cash machines.  It’s the duty of every member of the bar / law student to warn others away from these festering debt ooozing shitholes (I’d include t3s as well, but there’s room for debate)

  8. Hi There!

    March 11, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Hi!  I went to NEL|B.  I’m currently a tax manager at a Big Four accounting firm and work on tax controversy matters.  I’m 31 and last year I made $118,000 base salary with a $12,000 bonus.  I drive a 2009 BMW X5 and live in a 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom house just south of Boston with my beautiful wife and two small kids.  Thanks and have a great day!

  9. TTT Tool

    March 11, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Hi There!:  I agree with your sentiment, brother.  I went to a below average law school and i’m doing just fine too.  made 500K last year, have a super hot girlfiriend and drive a mercedes.  how you doing, BL1Y?

  10. KateLaw

    March 11, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Hi There & TTT Tool… Touche!  Well done.  BL1Y, this post annoys me because it screams elitism, which is a very unattractive quality in a person.  Oh, and clearly your education & attitude have gotten you, well, up a creek without a paddle.

  11. Beula Slim

    March 11, 2010 at 9:57 am

    3 cheers for the men and women who have made it irrespective of where they went to school.  I say be judged on what you can do, not on where you went to school.  It sounds like BL1Y went to a good school, but was otherwise utterly undistinguished, and wholly interchangeable with any number of other undistinguished tools at BigLaw.  Personally, I’d take a person with personality from a T3 or T4 school before any tool from a T1 or T2 school.  I suppose I am not the only one, as BL1Y found out.  That’s why he’s polishing his wiener down South rather than tooling away for BigLaw.

  12. NY Law School

    March 11, 2010 at 10:29 am

    At least its not like New York Law school which continues brags that they have a typewriter available to students in career services. 
    At least they find solace in the fact that people mistake the school for NYU all the time.

  13. NY Law School

    March 11, 2010 at 10:31 am

    I would correct the grammar in my last post but I ran out of white out

  14. BLY1 Lovah

    March 11, 2010 at 11:06 am

    You all seem to forget that BL1Y is actually pleased that he’s out of the legal field, so what you term a “failure” is actually a “blessing” to “him.”
    I like BL1Y – he seems like a decent guy.  If I lived in your parent’s hood, BL1Y, I’d buy you a whiskey.

  15. T M Cooley

    March 11, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    We are proud of alumuni like Alma and will continue to propogate the leading lawyers in their fields.

  16. BL1Y

    March 11, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Circle Jerk: Yes, and thanks. Knowing that someone actually reads what you write motives you to write better; totally different experience than writing file memos. But on this piece the Bitter Lawyer staff did some good editing, so they deserve credit too.  I really don’t think of anyone as a hater though.  You have to care before you can hate and they certainly don’t care enough to read the parts where I made fun of NYU.

  17. Anon

    March 11, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Awww… lil’ BL1Y needs to make himself feel better by putting others down.  That’s so… 4th grade.  Good luck with that job search!

  18. Just a thought...

    March 11, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Hey BL1Y: that NEL|B grad that posted who is gainfully employed and pulling in a 6-figure salary is actually paying for your unemployment checks.  So, you kinda work for him, huh?

  19. BL1Y

    March 11, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Yeah…kinda don’t feel bad about receiving benefits from a program I paid in to.

  20. OMGLOLSTFU!

    March 11, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Yeah again the T4 dumbass is the loser and BL1Y is the winner.  Stupid T4 goes out, gets a steady job, and pays taxes!  What a dumbfrack!  He most likely won’t reap the benefits of those taxes by getting canned and living off of gubment checks and cheese.  Way to go BL1Y!  Again, you’ve proven that you’re the smart one!

  21. TCMLS Top-15 Grad... No. Not Cooley.

    March 11, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I agree with pppffft’s point that shit like this is why I hate lawyers and law students. But call a spade a spade.  I work for a T4 grad. I spent most of my time in law school with something better to do than hang around gaping assholes and raging bitches, so my grades weren’t so hot.  My observation is this: USN≀rankings, bullshit or not, do have an air of truth about them.
    Take that with a grain of salt.  My boss is such a gaping asshole that opposing counsel had her secretary call my boss’s secretary back to let her know someone else was hiring.

  22. BL1Y

    March 11, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Sounds like a good issue for Bitter Lawyer to discuss.  Are there ethical issues in stealing your competitor’s secretary or other staff?  And is it okay to fire them a month later?

  23. NYU Grad

    March 11, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    I know a secretary that was getting banged by her boss (my wife’s counsel) and then by my counsel at the same time.  Both were TTT graduates from the same TTT school.  Isn’t that somehow a conflict of interest?  I come from NYU, but they never taught us this in law school.

  24. Hi There!

    March 12, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Hi again.  As I reread my comment from yesterday, I realized that I totally came off as an arrogant, pompous jerk.  Sorry for that.  It was not my intention to be boastful.  My wife is an audit senior for another public accounting firm and, together, although we are by no means millionaires, we live quite comfortably and happily.  Clearly, the author of this post went to a much better school than I did and most likely will make a lot more money in his lifetime than I will in my lifetime.  I just wanted to contest the notion that all T4 grads are debt-ridden and work at McDonalds, if they work at all.  Of the NESL (what it was called when I graduated) friends that I still keep in touch with, all are employed, seem to enjoy their jobs, and appear happy with their lives.  I know that this may seem shocking to most of you but: I went to a T4; I am proud of it; and I am happy with how my life has turned out so far.  I hope you all have a great day!

  25. Hi There!

    March 12, 2010 at 7:37 am

    One more thing: I want to contest one more notion about T4 schools.  The students are not vapid, unmotivated, lazy dummies.  The men and women I went to school with were hard-working, smart, and dedicated people.  They were also nice.  I read here about how all law students are pompous jerks and I find it strange.  In my division of about 90 people, there was only one jerk and he either dropped out or transferred before 2L.  I can honestly say that everyone else that I encountered was nice, mature, and cordial.  No backstabbing, no gossiping, and no jerkiness in general.

  26. Hi There!

    March 12, 2010 at 7:41 am

    One last thing (I promise!): I didn’t realize that the author of this post was unemployed until after reading the comments.  I’m sorry buddy.  I’m sure it’s just the economy and not you.  There are lots of other bright, well-educated people out there that are currently jobless.  I’m sure you’ll find something soon.  I can only imagine how hard it is to be unemployed, especially if you are the primary breadwinner in your family.  Take care and good luck!

  27. BL1Y is Hi There!'s Bitch

    March 12, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Hi There!: You. Are. Awesome! Your veiled passive-aggressiveness… Your cleverly-disguised snarkiness… Your self-deprecating, humble yet superior air.  You totally made BL1Y yo’ bitch!  You seriously should write for bitterlawyer!

  28. TCMLS Top-15 Grad... No. Not Cooley.

    March 13, 2010 at 5:46 am

    This isn’t a case of stealing your opposition’s secretary.  My boss was (apparently) just being such a dick, that they thought she shouldn’t have to work for a guy like that, so the let her know that another firm was in the market for a legal secretary.  They weren’t hiring (not that I know of at least).  They even offered to go through the NYLJ with her.  So this isn’t an ethics question.  It’s a morals question.

  29. Hi There!

    March 16, 2010 at 8:14 am

    3/12 9:40AM guy:  Umm… thanks?  Actually writing for a website/blogging sounds interesting but, between my job and family, I just don’t think I’d have the time.  Chasing after two small kids is exhausting!:)

  30. FML (bitterlawstudent.com)

    March 16, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    i’m a 1L at one of these schools.  thanks for making me want to kill myself even more than i previously wanted. 
    now i can’t even go to this website for comfort.

  31. Sarcasmus

    March 17, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Is it really accurate to call your efforts “making fun” of something if nothing you wrote is intentionally funny or even clever? 
    I will credit this piece, however, for resulting in a pretty good mockery of the author, who comes off as an unfunny, conceited jerk . . . who’s also hilariously unemployed.

  32. Raul

    March 17, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Wow lawyers really are a bunch of self absorbed back biting jackasses. And I thought b-school dickweeds had an unhealthy obsession with rankings. It’s a mockery website and most the posters have to argue over who makes more money coz dude makes fun of the UofP of law schools?

  33. BL1Y is Hi There!'s Bitch

    March 18, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Hi There! Dude! You did it again! Keep spankin’ BL1Y’s ass!

  34. Anonymous

    March 20, 2010 at 4:05 am

    Leave BL1Y alone.  He may be a dweeb, but he’s harmless.

  35. Myjah

    March 21, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Wow BL1Y. I thought this could maybe be a very humorous piece, but you totally dropped the ball on that one. Really, after reading this, I picture an NYU law student at the bottom of his class, totally confused as to why not everyone thinks he’s the greatest piece of shit to ever come out of Sexton’s ass, hugging his knees and repeating to himself in the corner, after losing out on a job interview to a law student from PACE, “but I went to NYU. But I went to NYU. But I went to NYU.”

  36. T3 2L

    March 23, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    FML, this guy sucks.  On several levels.  I have gotten both the internships I wanted ABOVE the precious Ivy-leaguers that they usually go after.  Don’t get me wrong – I am sure there are A LOT of really intelligent, nice and well-rounded T1 grads.  Cheers – the world needs better lawyers.  But the majority of people I meet that went to top schools work a billion hours, don’t have any work/life balance, and several of them have (multiple) failed marriages before they turn 30.  I have to believe that your overall success will depend MUCH more on your personality and candor than it ever will on your rank.  Quite frankly, if an employer didn’t “want me” because of the tier of my school I don’t want to work for them.  F that.

  37. denny 620

    August 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    I went to a T2 law school. BLIY’s article is cute, but in his 3/11 post, he repeats the urban myth that employees pay into state unemployment funds. As an employer, I can tell you that in 98% of the 50 states, all unemployment fund contributions are made strictly by employers, such as me.
    Disability contributions are made by employees, along with employes.

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