×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Law School Amplifies Critics Through SLAPP Suit

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the who-does-number-two-work-for? dept.

Censorship 123

An anonymous reader writes "Michigan's Thomas M. Cooley Law School recently filed a lawsuit that appears to be boomeranging in the worst possible way. A little-noticed pseudonymous blogger respectfully disagreed with Cooley's self-awarded number-2 ranking, nationwide (well, perhaps not so respectfully), and had a few other choice things to say. So, Cooley went ahead and hired some lawyers (who had graduated from Georgetown and the University of Michigan) to file a lawsuit to unmask the blogger. And EFF cooperating attorney John Hermann got involved. "

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

123 comments

THERE'S A CRACK IN THE WORLD !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37028898)

Sammny Says !!

What? (2)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 2 years ago | (#37028920)

Can someone please make sense of that summary. All I can gather is a law school is suing a blogger from Georgetown?

Re:What? (4, Interesting)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37028954)

No; Cooley hired lawyers who had graduated from Georgetown and Michigan. (Both excellent schools.) They did this to go after a blogger who was claiming something bad about Cooley. The poster is implicitly pointing out that they did not trust Cooley graduates to bring their lawsuit.

To be fair, I would much prefer GULC (Georgetown) or Michigan grads. Georgetown's great for practicality, depth of curriculum, non-profit work, and DC connectedness. Michigan is great for Academia, just a notch behind Yale, really, and more like Yale than Harvard. Both have great students.

Re:What? (3, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029160)

All schools have great students. All schools also have lousy students. If I needed a lawyer, I'd hire a great student, not one from some particular school.

Yes, if you are law school X, you might want to hire alumni for your legal matters - but more as a part of marketing than anything else. Oh, and avoiding bad press. I've never heard of Cooley before, but now my first impression is that they are idiots.

Re:What? (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029216)

There are some schools that are so bad that going to them reflects poorly on your judgment, and would preclude me from hiring you unless you had developed a reputation over many years as a great trial lawyer.

Re:What? (3, Funny)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#37031278)

So you've worked with University of Phoenix graduates too, huh?

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37031398)

Now that's not fair! Rob Malda is a Phoenix! Oh wait, you might be on to something here... *grumble* *grumble* *grumble*

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37032632)

Or more likely, Widener.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37030718)

It's not about justice in any way, just revenge, so they could have easily hired a killer for less money to send the same message.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37028988)

Make sense of the summary? Just going out on a limb here but a good place to start might be to read the article? Just a hunch

Re:What? (1)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029032)

You should be able to get the sense of the article by reading the summary. Hell, reading the summary should let you know whether you are even interested in investing the time in reading the article. This summary is just confusing.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37029428)

Hell, reading the summary should let you know whether you are even interested in investing the time in reading the article.

This is /.; we already know we aren't.

This summary is just confusing.

YMBNH

Re:What? (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029406)

Just going out on a limb here but a good place to start might be to read the article? Just a hunch

What are you, some kinda smartass?

If I wanted to read this so-called "article", I wouldn't be looking at a Slashdot summary, now would I? I read Slashdot so I don't have to read these "articles" of which you speak.

[what's an "article" anyway? is that like "a" or "the"?]

Anyway, screw you and the limb you climbed out on.

Re:What? (4, Insightful)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 2 years ago | (#37028994)

Cooley, a law school I've never heard of, claimed to be the 2nd highest rated law school in the country. They got pissed when someone called BS. They hired lawyers from a couple of well-known law schools and sued the guy. This lead to us average joes hearing about it.

In other words, a bunch of scumbag cunts are writhing around like snakes in a pit trying to kill each other and a crowd is gathering.

Real Americans should pitch in by gathering up other cunt lawyers and throwing them into the same pit. That way we can burn them all with less impact on the environment.

I am not a lawyer and i would be very offended if anyone claimed that i am.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37029006)

Presumably, "Michigan" refers to the "University of Michigan", a fairly esteemed university.

Esteemed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37029998)

According to the chap above you, it's a festering pit full of writhing, disease ridden scumbag cunts!

Re:What? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37030056)

No, Michigan refers to the state in which Thomas M. Cooley School of Law is in. The University of Michigan Law School at Ann Arbor is a T14 law school and is not named Thomas Cooley.

They ain't the same thing at all.

Re:What? (2)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029344)

they (Cooley) are also the ones who make the rating system in the first place. Thus, the issue, and why people are calling BS on cooley (and quite appropriately so).

Re:What? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#37030964)

they (Cooley) are also the ones who make the rating system in the first place. Thus, the issue, and why people are calling BS on cooley (and quite appropriately so).

FTFA (emphasis mine):

Cooley's own rankings explanation says that they got rid of pesky things like "reputation"

If Cooley developed the ranking system, and they've removed reputation from how schools are ranked, how can they sue someone for saying something might affect their reputation?

Wait, what? Re:What? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#37032394)

From parent comment:

they (Cooley) are also the ones who make the rating system in the first place. Thus, the issue, and why people are calling BS on cooley (and quite appropriately so).

From TFA:

Meanwhile, it appears that some others were similarly flabbergasted by Cooley Law presenting itself as the 2nd highest ranked law school

What sucks more than making up your own popularity contest? Losing it.

That's kind of sad. How bad must you suck if you can't self-delude your way into the top slot?

Maybe this "law school" is trying to get some "we try harder" marketing buzz.

BTW, please don't sue me, Cooley. I wouldn't want you to embarrass yourself further.

Re:What? (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#37033454)

they (Cooley) are also the ones who make the rating system in the first place. Thus, the issue, and why people are calling BS on cooley (and quite appropriately so).

And, just to be clear ... this is a rating system that nobody BUT Cooley is using.

So, a not-so-well-known law school (which isn't considered the second best law school in the US by anybody else) came up with a rating system that makes themselves sound like the second best law school in the country.

Various people called bullshit, and the law school sues ... hilariously using lawyers who graduated from other (and perceived as better) law schools.

In the process of suing someone for defaming their reputation, loads of people have now heard about how Cooley made up their own rating system to apply to themselves to make themselves sound like a prestigious law school. Hilarity ensues.

This really is one of the funniest thing I've hear in a while ... the Streisand effect, but with universities. :-P

It's like marketing colliding with lawyers ... I'm waiting for Cooley to have to admit that their claims were pure puffery [wikipedia.org] and admit they have no legal basis to sue people who presented conflicting statements of fact.

Re:What? (3, Interesting)

Capt. Skinny (969540) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029816)

To summarize the parent link, some current student begins his review by praising Cooley's liberal admissions policy and explaining that Cooley will take you if no one else will. He goes on to complain that the grading system is severe, A's and B's are "hard to come by", and the school flunks out students in their first, second, or third year. "To stay afloat and not flunk is difficult once you get accepted," he complains.

Well, damn. The kid finally found a law school to accept his mediocre ass, and now he's complaining because the academic standards aren't as lax as the admission standards. IT'S LAW SCHOOL, kid. I think he might be better suited to a community college.

Re:What? (3, Interesting)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37030040)

There appears to be a lot more to his complaint, such as

Cooley registrar's office personnel and professors are known to prolong or refuse to give letters of good standing and recommendations to students seeking to leave-like blocking a professional swimmer wearing a life jacket from jumping off the Titanic

He also indicates an incredibly high attrition rate, and a very low bar passage rate. In other words, youre likely to flunk out, and if you dont, youre still unlikely to pass the bar. That does sound like a rather awful university. I think he cited 60% attrition rate and 40-50% bar passage rate (so 15-20% of people who enter the school will actually be able to practice).

Re:What? (1)

Kijori (897770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37031138)

If a university is willing to take people who are not deemed qualified enough to gain entry to a different law school, does it really indicate that the university is "awful" if a high percentage of those do not pass?

It shows they don't know a crap student (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37031410)

It shows they don't know a crap student when they interview one.

Think of staff turnover at a company.

It hires liberally from an external company, but finds that huge numbers (80%+) are sacked during the first year because they're unable to do the job.

Is the external company putting candidates up for employment that are no good a reflection on JUST the candidates?

No.

Re:What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37031638)

If they aren't clear up-front about the students' chances of being successful with their goal, yes, I'd call that "awful". It's one thing to offer an opportunity to students that might not be admitted in other universities. Sometimes under-performing students can rise to the challenge if they are given the chance. But you have to tell them what to expect, and tell them that they aren't going to make it if they don't get off their butts and work harder than they have traditionally thought was necessary. They need to understand that if they don't wise up, they'll fail to pass the bar (figuratively and literally).

I mean, the whole damn point of going to university to take a law degree is to: a) graduate, and b) pass the bar exam so you can legally start practicing and c) have a paying job. If more than half the students admitted are not successful, then it is a pretty poor university that happily takes their money anyway but fails to say anything about the odds of success in their program, especially if the numbers really are that bad. You could take the attitude that informing students about the statistics isn't needed -- these are adults, after all -- but it would be pretty unhelpful in an educational sense to set such a difficult goal and not tell students what they are facing.

Re:What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37032178)

Since the service those students payed for is being trained to practice law, their percentage of accepted students who pass the bar is a pretty good metric for how well the school provides that service.

Now if their admission standards are lax than they may be aiming for the "safety school" niche in which case it's not terrible that they have a poor success rate, because they give opportunities tot hose who wouldn't otherwise have them. However that doesn't really excuse the fact that they're clearly not preparing a majority of their students to practice law, and therefore the value of their services is questionable.

Obligatory Schlock Mercencary reference (3, Funny)

sgtrock (191182) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029688)

From the archives [schlockmercenary.com] :

Massey:Our case made it through the courts in record time, Captain. It's a mixed bag, though. I've got good news and bad news.

Tagon:Bad news first. That gives me time to prime my weapons if necessary.

Massey:Right.

Narrator:Massey is a victim of a vailed attempt at mind control. As a result, he can see the mind of his would-be masters, but they cannot do anything about it.

Massey:The bad news is that although we won, the partnership collective refuses to honor the judgement. We'll probably never see a dime.

Massey:The good news is that the judge was feeling pretty vengeful when she assessed punitive damages. Agents of the court may destroy up to two billion kilocreds in the collective's assets, and that comes out to about one million attorney drones.

Tagon:Tell me how somebody else's revenge is good news for me?

Massey:We've been named as agents of the court. We get a bounty on every attorney we kill.

Tagon:Oh yes. Oh my, oh my, oh yes...

Re:2nd Highest Rated (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#37030974)

Wait, here's what I got out of the summary:

Thomas M. Cooley Law School, claiming to be the 2nd highest rated law school in the country, is accused of lying. They got pissed because *none of their own graduates* were good enough to defend them. So then they went for the swoosh by hiring graduates from ... wait for it ... *two other schools* ... thus cementing the oppositions case that either A, they are at best Third Best in the country, or B, they purposely spent additional money hiring substandard lawyers from other schools ... to defend a *law school*, both of which now by action, PROVE that Thomas M. Cooley is not the 2nd best choice on the block!

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37033870)

lawyers are evil!!!! lolololiol!!!

Re:What? (0)

belg4mit (152620) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029154)

I conquer, the editors here is worse and worse yearly.

Re:What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37029202)

I can tell you're an Oxonian, sir, and I gratingly admire you for your pithy, well phrased comment

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37029604)

I had to look up three words in your comment.

Re:What? (2)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#37031324)

I conquer...

Should have spent more time studying spelling and less time listening to the lamentations of their women, mate.

A little help for you, Archie. (2)

ecgrimm (2432748) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029896)

Well, Archie, several issues are packed in there rather tightly, and I have to confess that it was intentional to pack a lot in. This was done with the expectation that the average Slashdot reader will be up to the task presented. Many Slashdot readers seem to "get it" without quite so much difficulty, but let me help unpackage some of the issues for you. Before I begin, let me say that I have many valued friends and professional colleagues who attended Cooley and who secured their law degrees from this school. I am not interested in criticizing Cooley's academic program (I'll leave it to others to form their own opinions), and my primary focus is about their counter-productive litigation strategy.

_

1. The real, central, issue here is actually much broader than Cooley. It involves what some (like PayPal co-founder and Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel) have started describing as a "higher education bubble" or a "student loan bubble" -- after comparing trends in debt-financed education, to the recent collapse of the housing bubble. If the predicted collapse materializes (and the jury is out on whether it will), then you tell me whether Cooley has improved or harmed its chances to keep a low profile when stuff hits the fan. It is certainly premature, today, to predict who might be viewed, in a few months or a few years, to be the Angelo Mozillo or the Countrywide of the education industry. But you are invited to consider this subject, investigate the facts for yourself, and to make up your own mind.

2. The next level down is a phenomenon that has been called "The Streisand Effect" -- a phrase coined by TechDirt's Mike Masnick to encapsulate the paradoxical observation that lawsuits seeking to suppress expression on the Internet, routinely seem to backfire, and often result in the viral amplification of the messages of critics, rather than the result sought by companies like Cooley. Incidentally, the initial submission (which was edited a bit by Timothy) asked an additional question, which Timothy omitted, which is this: Is the example of Cooley's backfiring lawsuit such a good example of this phenomenon, the we might even want to consider updating Masnick's neologism to "The Cooley Effect," rather than "The Streisand Effect?" Personally, I vote for "The Cooley Effect."

3. The lawsuit was actually against several individuals who published material on the Internet. The principal blogger (whose handle is Rockstar05), went to Cooley and can speak from direct experience about what it is like to be a Cooley student. The blogger is a classic dis-satisfied customer. Rockstar05, at least based on published accounts, transferred out of Cooley in order to attend some other law school. The lawsuit has been filed *against* the blogger, and has been filed by two lawyers at the Miller, Canfield, law firm, at the request of Cooley law school. It is helpful to keep track of who is doing what -- the blogger used to be from Cooley, and probably had nothing to do with Georgetown. One of the blogger's adversaries, trying to unmask him or her, graduated from Georgetown University Law Center.

4. One of the delicious and subtle ironies, in this case, is how Cooley (which, presumably, had a lot of lawyers to choose among, because Cooley generates a lot of revenue and can pay top dollar) elected not to hire one of its own graduates, but rather a pair of lawyers who graduated from other programs that Cooley's own promotional literature routinely purports to rank lower than Cooley. This is a very minor issue, and I'm sorry if that's what got you confused. It is just too amusing not to point out.

5. The other, much bigger, policy issue that needs to be addressed, is truth-in-admissions standards not just for law schools, but for higher education, generally. You can decide for yourself whether Cooley's information practices toward prospective students (including, but hardly limited to, the "Cooley Rankings" issued for the past 12 years), actually meet the standards that customers making what often will be the most important investment decision of their entire lives, have a right to expect.

I've written something a bit longer, that covers all of these issues and a few more, in somewhat more detail, and that does not try to cram it all into 3 or 4 sentences.

Having previously advised clients who are upset about things posted on the Internet, I respectfully have to say that I would have given Cooley some very different advice about its best course of action -- based on the circumstances in which it found itself, prior to the filing of the lawsuit. In this case, not only does Cooley face a high risk that its chosen litigation strategy will backfire badly, but quite frankly Cooley deserves it, if such an eventuality comes to pass.

Re:A little help for you, Archie. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37031898)

tl;dr

Re:What? (1)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 2 years ago | (#37031022)

1. Cooley Law School claims to be second-ranked law school in the country after only Harvard. The fact is that when they were last ranked, they were very near the bottom.

2. Someone called them on their bullshit. They decided to sue.

3. In bringing the lawsuit, rather than hiring lawyers from their own graduates, they hired lawyers who graduated from Georgetown University and University of Michigan, thereby demonstrating that even they don't believe their own bullshit.

hmmm (5, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029012)

As a little background, Cooley is ranked by US News and World Report as one of the worst law schools in the country; it's reputation among lawyers is pretty much the same, I believe. I've read the lawsuit and actually they probably have a decent case against 3 of the 4 defendants if the statements they made were true (very specific statements about them being under investigation, for example, are not protected as opinion). As for hurting their reputation, in my opinion their reputation is sufficiently bad that this lawsuit isn't really going to make it any worse. Kind of a funny side note, Cooley doesn't like that reputation so they created their own rankings system using supposedly "objective" standards where they ranked themselves #2, or ahead of every other law school in the country (including Yale, which is generally considered to be the best, noticeably outranking even Harvard). The standards they picked, of course, are ones that will rank them highly even though they don't really have anything to do with academic excellence (number of students, number of books in the library, number of seats in the library (seriously), total area of the law school).

Well, someone HAS to be last. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37029268)

In a league full of Michael Jordans, one of them would still be the worst player in the league.

Re:Well, someone HAS to be last. (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029532)

The law school community is not full of Michael Jordans. There is a minimum level of academic achievement you should have to practice law, and Cooley lowers the bar. Medical schools have an absolute minimum of who they will accept, and if you don't make it you will not get into any med schools, not even Caribbean ones. Law schools don't have that; there is always a horrible school that will accept your tuition check.

Re:Well, someone HAS to be last. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37030076)

You have to pass the bar exam to practice law; certainly that counts as an "absolute minimum"?

Re:Well, someone HAS to be last. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37031144)

Yes, but take a look at how many attend Cooley in a year and how many Cooley graduates pass the bar.

Re:Well, someone HAS to be last. (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#37032556)

Good point, but that's done after the person spends all this time and money getting their JD. If the ABA was ethical it would set a minimum LSAT needed to get in to law school.

Re:Well, someone HAS to be last. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37030262)

Anyone can pass the bar exam and practice law without even going to a traditional school. So there is no "minimum" for being a lawyer. Perhaps schools expect a certain amount from their potential students, but it's not a necessity like it is in med school.

Re:Well, someone HAS to be last. (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029708)

Absolutely. But in a league full of Michael Jordans, each Michael Jordan would be ranked last some years, ranked first some other years, and on average, would be ranked in the middle. If a particular player was always ranked last, that player could not statistically be the equal of the other players.

Re:Well, someone HAS to be last. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37030892)

that's possibly the worst analogy i've ever seen

Re:hmmm (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029558)

I grew up within a few miles of three major law schools. One is the top 100 of the nation, one is a solid tier two school, and the other slightly less so. When I grew up I lived in a high rise that happened to be close to the not so great law school and got to know many students. My impression was this school served people who could not get into the better law schools, but who had the money, or could borrow the money, to pay the tuition which is greater than would be paid at other tier 2 colleges.

So my impression is that the lawsuits serve the purpose of preventing negative publicity with respect to the lesser law schools so that they can continue to attract students who want a law degree but maybe can't get into another school. The profits on first year students alone, even if they do not make it the second year, appear to be significant.

Here is what I do not understand. The passing rate for the bar at the tier two schools around here are about the same as the tier one school, around 90%, but Cooley appears to be less than 50%? While I can see someone going to a school in which they have a good chance to get an education basic enough to pass the bar, why would one go to school where one ends up with a law degree by not a successful sitting of the bar? I know law school is competitive. We have had some lawsuits in which unqualified students sued because they thought they were entitled to the best school simply because of their heritage, but a law degree is not like other academic degrees. It is not simply awarded by the faculty. One has to meet external standards.

Re:hmmm (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029610)

A lot of prospective law students have an overwhelming sense of confidence -- "I'm going to make top 10%, I'm going to get into an elite law firm, I'm going to have no problem passing the bar," etc., even if they have been unsuccessful in their previous academic career and only could get into a Cooley or similar school. It's a sense of infallibility that frequently wears off by the third year, leaving people freaked out and finally (after incurring 200k in debt) realistic. A 50% bar passage rate should be a warning flag (passing the bar is not that difficult; I could train anyone here to pass it in 3 months of full-time study, even if they never went to law school), it reflects more on the caliber of students than the education they receive there.

A singer and a lawyer, now that's talent . . . (1)

ecgrimm (2432748) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029936)

You are quite right. Much the same dynamic is at play, in law school admissions, as in American Idol auditions. Moreover, law schools charge a lot more for tuition, than networks do for "reality" show auditions. Price signals about the actual market demand for legal services, do not get translated very well, all the way back up the pipeline, to the point at which individuals decide whether to attend law school.

Re:A singer and a lawyer, now that's talent . . . (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#37032524)

Yep, they don't get translated very well because you have unemployed 21 year olds with no credit rating being given 200k in government subsidized loans.

Re:hmmm (1)

slothman32 (629113) | more than 2 years ago | (#37031372)

I do agree but what do you mean by "I could train anyone?"
I would like to subscribe to your school; how much does this training cost?

Re:hmmm (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#37032510)

Alright, not "anyone," but definitely any reasonably intelligence college graduate who knows nothing about the law. The bar prep books have all the info needed.

Re:hmmm (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37031782)

but a law degree is not like other academic degrees. It is not simply awarded by the faculty. One has to meet external standards.

No. Passing the Bar is irrelevant to graduating from Law School with the appropriate degree.

You can get the degree without passing the Bar, and you can pass the Bar without getting the Degree.

Note that passing the Bar is the requirement to practice law in the USA. Law school is not required. Though getting a job as a lawyer tends to require a degree from a more-or-less prestigious law school, it is possible to be a self-employed lawyer with only the Bar....

Re:hmmm (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#37032978)

To be licensed in almost every state you need a JD or LLB from an ABA-accredited school. There are maybe 3 or 4 states at most that let you practice just with the bar.

Nice. (2)

headhot (137860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029014)

If the school were any good, wouldn't it sue with its own graduates instead of those from highly respected schools?

SLAPP? (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029036)

I had a CPU in my last computer called SLAPP

Re:SLAPP? (4, Informative)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029106)

Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. It's an intimidation tactic, threatening to bury the target under an insurmountable mass of legal fees even before the suit can go ahead.

Honestly, I think the term's fallen out of use because so goddamn many suits are the result of this tactic now.

Job security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37029186)

About the only job below CEO with job security- acronym writer.

royally effed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37029226)

I knew 2 guys and a girl who last year got admission to TMCLS school in Michigan, anyway to be blunt they weren't the sharpest minds and being the darlings of the local bar scene i was stunned that they got a law school that accepted them. Anyway long story short if these three got accepted by the SAME law school, the SAME semester and with the LSAT and GPA scores that i saw you will be royally effed.

Re:royally effed (2)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029266)

They'll be back on the bar scene in 3 years, unemployable with $200k in debt. You should buy them a few drinks.

Re:royally effed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37029328)

...you will be royally effed.

I hope its by Kate Middleton.

Re:royally effed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37029788)

I hope its by Kate Middleton.

If not, you could still go for Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, right?

Re:royally effed (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#37030000)

I hope its by Kate Middleton.

If not, you could still go for Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, right?

I'm down for some QILF action.

Re:royally effed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37030030)

I hope its by Kate Middleton.

If not, you could still go for Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, right?

If you're a Cooley student, I think you have to settle for Janeane Garofalo.

Or a mildly-diseased, brain-damaged water buffalo.

Ultimately not much difference in the end, I know.

Woudln't it be hilarious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37029272)

...if they unknowingly hired the people blogging about the school as the lawyers to file suit?

Re:Woudln't it be hilarious... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37030194)

...if they unknowingly hired the people blogging about the school as the lawyers to file suit?

Except that the persons taking the case would then know that there were a conflict of interest, because they would know that they are the defendants. So, maybe it might be hilarious, but the lawyers representing Cooley would be handing the school their disbarment on a silver platter, and thus likely to NEVER happen.

Re:Woudln't it be hilarious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37030208)

But what if it was identical twins? Your honor, I rest on your face.

Re:Woudln't it be hilarious... (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37031862)

Except that the persons taking the case would then know that there were a conflict of interest, because they would know that they are the defendants

Umm, no.

It is NOT a "conflict of interest" to want the side you are on to win. It is a "conflict of interest" to want the side you are on to lose.

It would be a conflict of interest if the blogger's attorneys were graduates of Cooley, but not so much if Cooley's attorneys' were graduates of Cooley.

Strong irony, or any publicity is good publicity (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37029278)

The google ad on this page right now is for Thomas M. Cooley Law School. It links to one of their student recruitment pages. No joke. I wonder if google needs to adjust their ad selection algorithm? I clicked on the link a couple of times just to pour a little salt in the wound.

You can't sign away the 1ST amendment rights (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029436)

Also any contract that you sign can not brake the law or force you to have to rights in a cases of fraud.

Re:You can't sign away the 1ST amendment rights (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029706)

Actually, you indeed, can sign away your 1st Amendment rights. You can sign a paper promising to travel to a country that does not have 1st amendment (the failure of which may be subject to massive damages of some sort), and voila!

Re:You can't sign away the 1ST amendment rights (2)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37029716)

Are you kidding in your subject line? Signing away first amendment rights is a common practice. Security Clearances, employment agreements, settlement agreements, nondisclosure agreements, all kinds of things let you sign away your rights. (Though consult a lawyer if it matters to you in a particular situation, obviously.)

Re:You can't sign away the 1ST amendment rights (2)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37030204)

Are you kidding in your subject line? Signing away first amendment rights is a common practice. Security Clearances, employment agreements, settlement agreements, nondisclosure agreements, all kinds of things let you sign away your rights. (Though consult a lawyer if it matters to you in a particular situation, obviously.)

This is spot on. The issue is that one cannot be forced to forfeit their 1st amendment rights, however, if one willingly and voluntarily signed a contract to forfeit their 1st amendment rights in some way, then that contract can be enforced in court.

Now, there are certain unconscionable conditions for contracts that you cannot do. You cannot contract to consent to slavery, as well you cannot consent to be intentionally killed. (You can however consent to be involved in potentially lethal physical combat, so long as all reasonable precautions against death are taken. This is how boxing works.) However, "freedom of speech" is not an inalienable right.

Re:You can't sign away the 1ST amendment rights (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#37031504)

Also any contract that you sign can not brake the law

Of course not. Contracts don't have feet and laws don't have brakes.

Wow, this school has balls. (3, Interesting)

Gordo_1 (256312) | more than 2 years ago | (#37030014)

For a good laugh, have a look at the blatantly cherry-picked ranking system they built for themselves:
http://www.cooley.edu/rankings/search/report-byschool.php [cooley.edu]

Now select Harvard, Yale or whatever you think are actual good schools and do the comparison... Well, whaddaya know! Cooley comes out first overall, as well first in such important metrics as:

* Foreign National Enrollment
* Part-Time Faculty
* First-Year Section Size
* Library Hours per Week with Professional Staff
* Library Seating Capacity
* Law School Square Footage Excluding Library
* Total Law School Square Footage
* Number of States in which Graduates Employed

Here's the kicker: Percentage of Graduates Employed is only 78.8%, meaning you are roughly twice as likely as the average person in this country to be unemployed after having graduated from their program! But the median of all their useless metrics puts them at number one, because their ranking system gives equal weight to Library Seating Capacity as Percentage of Graduates Employed.

Reverse INAL disclosures! (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#37031030)

Hi!

You appear to be a "A little-noticed pseudonymous blogger respectfully disagreeing with Cooley's self-awarded number-2 ranking, (well, perhaps not so respectfully), and have a few other choice things to say.!"

So let me get this straight, are they in fact stumbling onto the most important free speech case of the decade? Forget the S-Effect laughter part, did they accidentally attack the entire concept of rationally expressed pseudonymous dissent on the internet? So if they lose this case, are they handing the Electronic Frontier Foundation and friends the biggest anti-censorship weapon ever?

Law School - where there are two kinds of bars.

Important case -- probably so. (1)

ecgrimm (2432748) | more than 2 years ago | (#37032010)

I don't know about "the most important free speech case of the decade" -- a lot of cases could qualify for that honor. But I'll agree that this case could potentially become very important.

At least one blogger, who is somewhat less anonymous than Rockstar05, apparently agrees:

http://alleducationmatters.blogspot.com/2011/08/eric-grimms-take-on-cooley-what-used-to.html [blogspot.com]

I will be very eager to follow this one.

Re:Wow, this school has balls. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37031744)

That is one bizarre rating system. About the only measure that makes sense is "First-Year Section Size", and the mystery of how they managed to get that one rated more highly than other universities is probably solved by "Part-Time Faculty", which isn't usually regarded as a positive versus having more full-time faculty.

Re:Wow, this school has balls. (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#37032960)

Here's the kicker: Percentage of Graduates Employed is only 78.8%, meaning you are roughly twice as likely as the average person in this country to be unemployed after having graduated from their program! But the median of all their useless metrics puts them at number one, because their ranking system gives equal weight to Library Seating Capacity as Percentage of Graduates Employed.

I can guarantee you that this number is vastly, dramatically, overstated, and includes graduates working at Applebee's and Jiffy Lube. I would not be surprised if the true employment rate in terms of graduates working full-time in white collar jobs, law or otherwise, is probably around 25% at most.

Hiring graduates from other schools? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37030214)

Don't they have (presumably) lawyers on staff, if they're teaching law? Even if they're only part time?

Does that mean they can't even trust their own staff to defend their ass?

Re:Hiring graduates from other schools? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37031534)

Hardly any of the staff at my school were practising lawyers, they almost all had an academic focus. One or two did some work in the real world, but hardly enough that you'd want to stake the reputation of your whole school on them in a court. Academic law staff tend to be great on the theory, but pretty lousy on the practice (well, here in the UK anyway, that's why we have the bar/LPC course follow on where you actually learn the practical side of taking a case to court).
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...