I talked to reps/salespeople from the following schools: Albany, Cardozo, Indiana, Kansas, New Mexico, Pace, Roger Williams, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Touro, UCLA, Utah, and Whittier. I also picked up materials from Columbia, Pitt, and Villanova. I did not drop by the Drake table, but I noticed that the salesperson was someone I had never seen before.
The sales lady from Cardozo informed me that “The Innocence Project was started at Cardozo, not that school in Chicago.” The recent grad from Whittier was very excited, as he told us how strong the criminal defense program is at Whittier and how much he loves working for his criminal defense firm. He is still waiting on the California Bar results.
The salesman from Roger Williams was very likable. He even told me - with a straight face - “Our students have not felt the effects of the economy as much as other schools, because we have such a strong connection with the public sector. We are also the only law school in Rhode Island.” These are selling points?!?! The sales associate at Pace gave me the virtues of the location, i.e. “We are 30 minutes from Manhattan. In fact, several rail lines go directly from White Plains to New York. Several Pace students live in the boroughs.”
The ONLY straight-shooter of the entire bunch was the student rep manning the table for UCLA. When I asked him about response rates, he said “I was told that it is 99%. When I first heard that, I said ‘That can’t be right.’” When I asked about median salaries, he replied, “The salary info is probably skewed upward because those with high incomes almost always report back to the school.” (This is the same Top 15 school where a relative of mine just graduated from in May. The guy still does not have a job lined up.)
I had at least 3 salespeople tell me that no one else asked about response rates to graduate surveys. There were also lots of lemmings in attendance, which was to be expected.
I asked the salesladies at the University of Utah about response rates. They said “100 percent.” When I asked how that is possible, the younger woman said, “Because I’ll hunt them down. I was a lawyer, so I know how to track people down.” Yeah, that was real convincing. I then asked, “Which organization or firm audits your employment or salary figures?” They looked at me and said, “We audit our own statistics.” I did this in front of about ten other students who were checking out the school’s materials.
With regard to prospective law students, several told me that “Law school is a recent idea for me. That’s why I’m here today, to learn more.” It was also funny how fast the law school salespeople jumped on these students. Actually, it was disgusting. “These kids don’t know what to with their lives at this point in their college career?!? Let jump on them and lure them in with our glossy brochures, DVDs, slick sales techniques, and false and misleading employment statistics and salary figures. They don’t know any better, anyway.”
The highlights of the fair - well, the saleswomen from St. John’s and Kansas were pretty hot. Also, the woman from Seton Hall asked me right up front, “Have you heard of Seton Hall?” And I quipped, “Yeah, I’ve heard of Dean Hobbs and Scott Bullock.” But like a true professional, she went on with her sales pitch, without flinching or skipping a beat (and without reporting me to the front desk). I also enjoyed seeing the responses from some of the sales reps when I asked about audits, self-reporting, response rates, how the average salary is determined, how the median differs from the average, etc. In particular, the salesladies at Indiana and New Mexico need to work on their sales techniques. Professionals should not lose their cool that easily over a simple question.