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What faculty at the law school with the 2nd worst placement record say to prospective students.

To obscure Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California, go dybbuk02/02/13
dybbuk (Feb 2, 2013 - 2:15 am)

To obscure Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California, goes the distinction of having the second worst placement record of the 200+ ABA-approved law schools, edged out only by the University of the District of Columbia Law School. In comparison to Whittier, even the most notorious of life-ruining scam schools can boast of their comparative placement success. Whittier’s Law School Transparency placement score (full-time, bar-required, nonsolo jobs, withinnine months of graduation) stands at an incredible 17.1%. Cf. Thomas Jefferson (24.2%), Appalachian (28.6%), New England (29.5%), Cooley (29.9%), Quinnipiac (33.1%), Santa Clara (40.9%), John Marshall of Chicago (41.1%).

I went to Whittier’s website, wondering what it had to say for itself, other than “I’m sorry.” In fact, Whittier does not apologize, but it does feature a delightful six minute-long promotional video with a whole bunch of faculty saying encouraging things and with students looking chirpy, smiley, attractive, diverse, and ambitious--but still fun-loving enough to play Twister! (See video at 4:38-4:41, for shot of lots of happy law students playing Twister).


I have transcribed the faculty quotes from the video. Unless these people are complete sociopaths, they probably burst into tears after reciting their lines. Or got plastered. Or went to a shrink. Or ran five miles. Or begged their God for forgiveness. Or went to a local dominatrix for a severe spanking. Or gazed miserably at pictures of their kids and reminded themselves that in 2013 USA, integrity and dignity do not pay the bills, but scamming often does.

1. Jennifer Homer, Director, Academic Support Program. “We believe in every student. We believe every student has the opportunity and the chance to succeed, and we want to make sure that we give them an effective plan to carry it out and see it through.”

2. Penelope Bryan, Dean and Vice President: “Any student, no matter what you’re trying to accomplish or what you’re trying to become, is very well served by this law school.”

3. Patricia Leary, Distinguished Professor of Law: “This is an experience that changes them, makes them completely who they are in terms of intellect, emotions, conscience, values. When a student relly fully engages in this experience, it is a joy to see.”

4. Manoj Mate, Director, Center for International and Comparative Law: ”One of the strengths of Whittier Law School is its Center for International and Comparative Law. It really has a strong focus on exposing students to the emerging trends in international law, but also understanding how other countries’ legal systems work, their different constitutional systems, and the diversity of legal systems that exist around the world.”

5. Robert M.C. Webster, Director, International Development: “Globalization is one of the hallmarks of legal practice today. So I think it is enormously important that our students gain some cultural sensitivity by studying abroad, studying with other nationalities.”

6. Jennifer Mertus, Director, Center for Children’s Rights: “I think I feel such a connection to this area of the law because children don’t have a voice if we don’t act as their voice. And training lawyers that will ultimately be the voice of the children is very unique and special.”

7. Martin Pritikin, Director, Institute for Trial and Appellate Practice: “Participating in this [moot court] competition and conducting this trial really gives them an opportunity to see what trial lawyers do, to see how trial lawyers think strategically about a case, how they develop case theories. For a lot of them, it’s been very invaluable experience [sic], and its really been career shaping.”

8. Peter I. Reich, Professor of Law: “Environmental law is one of the fastest growing areas of legal practice in California. And so, at Whittier Law School, what we try to do is surf on that wave. We try to give students the kinds of courses, the kinds of tools, the kinds of experiences, the placement advise that they need to enter right into the market after they get their law degree.’

9. Kelly Mauerman, Associate Professor of Legal Writing: “Our legal writing program is 100 percent practical. So students are learning all of the skills that they’ll need to use on the job, on the first day when they hit the ground running.”

10. Penelope Bryan, Dean and Vice President (again) (cuddling a puppy at 5:11-5:12): “We also have a very, very committed alumni from Orange County. It is not uncommon for us to have two or three hundred alumni show up for an alumni event that involves students.”

11. Judith Daar, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs: “We have alums who are elected and appointed judges, who have won national elected office, who head up major governmental agencies, and who have gone on to be entrepreneurs in a variety of different business settings. No opportunity is off-limits for any student who comes to the law school.”

12. Lakshmi Paranthaman, Assistant Dean, Career Development: “By far, the most rewarding moments are when students come into my office who’ve just gotten their dream job, and to see the excitement on their faces, to end up where they wanted to be, and know that all that hard work was worth it.”

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