BY MIKE WISER
Strategic innovations at HLS have rendered the school a “breeding-ground for tree-hugging wusses,” LSC representatives told J.D. Dean Todd Rakoff Monday.
“I only came here because I thought the school bred blood-thirsty hound dogs, and as such would bridge me that connection to Cravath,” said 1L Dave Mrazik. “I’m thoroughly disappointed with the path the school has taken and fear for my financial future.”
Students contend that the “kindler, gentler” 1L atmosphere will affect their intellectual marketability when they graduate.
“What if news of this gets out to the firms, or even the broader public?” said 1L representative David Altschuler. “They might think we picked HLS to escape the high-brow intellectualism of Yale, instead of coming here as part of our ongoing effort to serve the corporate machine.”
Another student echoed Altschuler’s concerns, noting the subsequent devaluation and lack of acclaim that will accompany her Harvard J.D.
“All this ‘togetherness’ makes me regret not having given Yale a chance. Is there an exchange program affiliated with them?” said Lauren Hash.
Students also condemned the smaller sections and new curriculum as creating an “annoyingly intense sense of community.”
“I don’t know what people have been whining about for the past ten years,” said Wade Ackerman. “Anyone who complains about how small the school is obviously didn’t go to class. I have to listen to the same 80 shmucks all year long — I’m not sure what you want to call it, but ‘community’ wouldn’t be my choice.”
Further issues brought up to the administration involve concerns about the lack of individualization that accompanies the grading system.
Capturing the thoughts of many students, 1L David Baharvar complained: “I’ve always based my self-worth and adequacy on my grades, and, more importantly, how many people rank below me on the academic ladder. With grades concentrated around A’s and B’s for most of the class and no published rankings, there’s no way to qualify myself. Like many HLS students, I’m losing my identity.”
Students say Reese Witherspoon’s acclaimed movie, “Legally Blonde,” is to blame for the changes.
“If we were going to lose prestige so that Hollywood could make lots of money, couldn’t we at least get the awesome dorm rooms and hot professors?” one student asked. “I’ve been in Wyeth, and it looks nothing like the ivy-covered palace Reese Witherspoon got to hang in. Plus, well, aside from Renee Phillips, the professors really aren’t doing it for any of us.”
The consensus among students is for a calling back of the atmosphere revered in Scott Turow’s “1L” in which unprepared students are ousted and Law Review represented the Law School’s elite.
“I’m just more comfortable with that kind of crazed competitiveness,” said Jonathan Thessin. “This happy-happy-joy-joy crap activates my ‘yuk’ reflexes.”
Dean Rakoff promised frantic 1L students that their concerns will be addressed in the next faculty meeting.
“We plan to diligently argue about it for at least three hours, call each other names and come to no resolution,” Rakoff said.
One proposal the faculty will consider is whether to institute “Survivor” like elimination rounds. According to that plan, students would still be required to learn arcane facts irrelevant to the actual practice of law, but an elimination round consisting of staying awake through Prof. Shavell’s class would be added to the 1L examination schedule. Students still in possession of their senses would then be cleared to pick electives for the Spring.
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