NYU Law Added to Law School Kill List

To great fanfare, we announced our Law School Kill List last Friday and promised to:

review the intelligence we’ve gathered on questionable law schools and assess the threat of those law schools to the profession. If the threat is sufficient, we’ll recommend adding the school to the kill list as a school to take out, once the opportunity arises.

While we announced the kill list initially as a “Fourth Tier Law School Kill List,” internal quarrelling and two fistfights within the kill list team (“KLT”) led to dropping the requirement that a school be TTTT. It also helps that some doofus at dailyconstitutionality.com took us seriously. Which led to that doofus’s school getting some needed attention. And then we dug further.

Today, we announce that New York University School of Law has been added to the law school kill list. Why? A few reasons:

  • It has yet to produce a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Sure, more than half of all U.S. Supreme Court justices never went to law school or even got a law degree. But lowly New York Law School—long in the unfortunate shadow of NYU—has had a Supreme: Justice John Marshall Harlan II. Hell, even upstate Albany Law School has produced two–and a US President. NYU, you’ve had your time.
  • It’s ridiculously expensive, takes up valuable Greenwich Village real estate, and needs to be taught a lesson. While weaker arguments, they are arguments nonetheless. In other words, why focus solely on third and fourth tier schools? NYU produces lawyers who then take up slots at big New York City law firms and then leave those law firms in less than a year, never to return to practice . Good slots, things that pay. That’s shameful.
  • NYU already has a good film school. Most of the folks enrolled in law school anyway would rather be making films, drawing cartoons, or creating some internet meme somewhere. Axing NYU law simply hastens the decision for them.
  • A blogger known as BL1Y, apparently a graduate of NYU School of Law, was mean to us. Really mean, going so far as to question our self-aggrandizing authority to manage and produce a law school kill list. This brought NYU to our attention, and it also put us over the edge. After all, we’ve always been arbitrary and capricious—why not extend that approach to killing things, like schools?

Why not Cooley or Charleston or one of the law school correspondence schools? Certainly, they remain strong persons of interest. But we are still gathering intelligence on them. For now, it’s NYU law. Stay tuned for others.

Bitter Staff is a collection of current and former editors, contributors, and various other lawyers who have written for Bitter Lawyer over the years. Posts include interviews, contests, and other general lawyerly and bitter content.


  1. Guano Dubango

    June 18, 2012 at 11:10 am

    BL1Y may have been bitter because he got laid off from a big firm. Perhaps if he went back to school for an LLM, he would not be bitter. I secured an LLM from a US law school, and as a result, I am able to hold my head high when I am in Ghana.

  2. Evil Lawyer

    June 21, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    This is an excellent idea and NYU is an excellent candidate for extinction. It is a puffed up law school belching forth graduates of no particular distinction, and resting heavily on its location for prestige.

    BL1Y is a perfect example of its graduates: instead on contributing to law, he pens pestiferous commentary distracting real lawyers from their billables. I myself have been distracted by his writings. One can compare BL1Y to the scheming courtier on Game of Thrones, who does not fight, or grow crops, but slithers about the palace consuming its wine and food while gossiping all day. I want that gut on GOT dead even more than Geoffrey.

    Yale and USC also, as both exist as I am sure everyone knows, only for lawyers not smart enough to get into Harvard in the east, or Berkeley or UCLA on the west coast.

    To those who believe I am being hasty: remember that JFK did not go to Yale; nor did I. The only worthy product of Yale undergrad I know of might be the author of “Love Story.” And even the author was so ashamed of his Yale affiliation that he centered his book around Harvard. (The first George Bush too, but one term Presidents are not considered for this test).

    Georgetown is another one: I’ll get to it later.

  3. michelle beth

    June 22, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Put Marquette on the Kill List. Half of the TTT’s like me who graduated there would not even be able to be licensed if not for the diploma privilege in Wisconsin.

    • Ellen B

      June 22, 2012 at 5:15 pm

      What is this priviledge? I did Not study this for the bar. FOOEY if your making this up! FOOEY!

      • Michelle Beth

        June 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm

        Ellen – I just want to be Frank with you. You seem like one good dumb fuck.

        • Mean Partner

          June 22, 2012 at 7:57 pm

          She does doesn’t she? No one can be that dumb and not be good looking.

          • Ellen B

            June 23, 2012 at 3:26 am

            Well I agree, but no one has explained about this priviledge. I think there is NO diploma priviledge . It doesNOT make senses to me.

  4. kt_mccracken

    July 17, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    “Sure, more than half of all U.S. Supreme Court justices never went to law school or even got a law degree….”

    Can you point me in the direction of this stat? Thanks!

    • Verna

      July 18, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      I think they must be referring to in the old days (before 1930) when all it took was to know somebody in Politics. Plenty of guys got to be lawyers and judges just because they knew who to impress.

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