What better way for this blog to count down to the New Year than by featuring Drake Law School? This is how the blog started, after all.
I called MoneyGram two days ago to check the status on my money order. I called 800-542-3590. The Money Order No. is R 103088591815.
The recording states: "This money order was cashed on December 21, 2009 for eight cents."
(If you get bored, you can call MoneyGram to confirm what I said here.)
You read that right – the Drake University Insurance Defense and Court-Appointed List Preparation Academy cashed my generous contribution to the Annual Fund. I pondered on whether to send the donation or not. At first, I thought “Why the hell should I give them anything? They put me an extra $37K in debt, took three years of my life, caused added (unnecessary) stress, and I now have a job that does not require a J.D.”
Then I reconsidered, after hours of tossing and turning in my sleep. I wanted to keep a promise to myself, when I said that I would never give the school a dime. But I also sought to also extend my sincere thanks and deep appreciation to this dynamic third tier institution. Once I made this decision, I wanted my gift to accurately reflect my gratitude for my “legal education.”
In the solicitation letter that accompanied the Annual Fund request and return envelope, the school notes:
Being good stewards is also seen in how we communicate with you. For example, for years we have printed an elaborate listing of donors. While some perused it, our sense was that many copies were not read. It was a very expensive piece for the value you received. With modern technology, and especially during the current economic conditions, we have suspended printing the booklet and instead put the information in electronic form online. Simply go to http://www.law.drake.edu/ and click the link Dean’s Report and Honor Roll 2009 to access the same information. If you wish to have a printed copy, albeit in a less elaborate form, please contact Ms. Hannah Bretz at 515-271-1877, and she will arrange for one to be sent to you. The funds saved by putting this listing online will go directly to our highest priority expenditures, including scholarships and planning for the renovation of Cartwright Hall.
Read: “We will use the funds saved by putting the listing online to fatten the salaries of staff, professors and administration, i.e. our highest priority expenditures. WE CANNOT POSSIBLY REDUCE THE COST OF TUITION, as it currently stands at a mere $30,750 – and we are recognized as a “Best Value” by the illustrious, stupendous, neutral publication, National Jurist.
(Apparently, the school sees no problem with sending us printed solicitations 3-4 times per year – or with sending out voluminous, slick folders and glossy brochures to prospective law students. It also has no issue with sending out sales associates/representatives to law school fairs across the country. Why not put this information online, as a cost-cutting measure? Oh yeah, because then less people might apply to your school! So please spare us the obligatory “We are trying to save money” bullcrap.)
Yes, we can see for ourselves that Drake Law School is listed as the 57th Best Value, among all U.S. law schools. That is almost in the bottom of the first tier, in terms of value. After all, there are now about 200 ABA-approved law schools. (In 2008, the ABA listed 198 overall law schools.)
See how thrilled Drake is with this "honor":
They are happy to be listed as the sixth best value among private law schools in the nation. I suppose that is an achievement of sorts – kind of like being nominated the sixth Best-Looking of your high school Chess Club. Then again, there were 118 private law schools as of 2008.
http://www.abanet.org/legaled/statistics/charts/stats%20-%205.pdf (page 3)
I want to extend a special message to Drake Law students: In a little more than 4 months, many of you – from the Class of 2010 - will have a better understanding of third tier reality. I doubt it will mirror Drake’s assertion/claim of 96.8% employment within 9 months, based off of 100% reporting.