The Right Coast

October 05, 2004
USD Law School Emerging as the Center of the Universe
By Tom Smith

I'm relieved to find something I can agree with Brian about. His take on the latest bit of law school puffery to appear in my mail box is just right.

I do think characterizing this sort of thing as "law porn" is unfair, however. Thus, suppose completely by accident I end up at a website that shows Pamela Anderson washing a car, a task for some reason she has decided to undertake without clothes. Actually, that is practical, given that they just get wet anyway. Now, a day later, I have no trouble calling the image to mind and telling you who was in it and what it was about. (Please bear in mind this is a hypothetical.) Now take the brochure from UCLA. Who was in it? What are they teaching? What is it that makes them so unbelievably important, so mind stunningly original? For the life of me, I cannot recall. I vaguely recollect thinking, oh, more IP guys. What a racket. I'm not saying that's a correct thought, or a fair thought. I'm just trying to be honest with you and tell you that's the thought I had. But that's about it. Well, I do recall one of the new hires was wearing a suit jacket and a mock turtleneck of a clashing color, which to me said "I am just 2 cool 2 B forgotten," and since I do recall what he was wearing, albeit unfavorably, I guess he is at least half right. In any event, my point is, calling it law "porn" gives it a vividness that it lacks. A small point, I grant you, but worth pondering nonetheless. Should law schools consider posting pictures of law professors washing cars without clothes on? A calendar perhaps? They should not. That would be law porn, and that would be wrong.