4. (TIE) Villanova University School of Law and University of Illinois College of Law
Law schools by the dozen are getting sued left and right these days for allegedly reporting fraudulent post-graduate employment data to prospective applicants. However, Villanova and the University of Illinois recently admitted to the dishonor of lying about the academic credentials of the incoming students themselves.
The University of Illinois admitted that it had intentionally provided falsely inflated admissions information to both U.S. News and the American Bar Association for students graduating in 2008 and each year from 2010 to 2014, according to Champaign-Urbana’s News-Gazette. The American Bar Association fined the school $250,000 for its malfeasance.
Villanova engaged in the same basic intrigue but somehow managed to get away with it virtually scot-free. In 2011, according to Philly.com, the school confessed to falsifying grade-point averages and LSAT scores for several years to make itself look better. The American Bar Association censured Villanova and delivered a letter to the school, explaining how angry it was.
It’s hard to believe that these two schools are the only ones that have engaged in such admissions-data chicanery in the apparently life-or-death struggle over annual U.S. News rankings. They are, however, two that got caught, which is definitely a marketing failure.
5. New York Law School
New York Law School has a brief video, which can be seen on YouTube, entitled “NYLS Welcome Week 2012.” It seems to have served as part of a larger message for entering students. The production values are reasonably slick. The background music is that intensifying, motivating sort of background music you see in many commercials.
“New York is the perfect place for everything,” promises a woman clutching a bouquet of flowers in front of some grand building, at one point in the video. She then kisses her beau. ”Love me some lawyers,” later beams a cute blonde woman in a purple hat. Her friend agrees, saying, “They rock.” “Lawyers are really cute,” proclaims still another woman. Then a man with dreadlocks rolls his eyes and says, “Lawyers are hot.”
You might see the video as pretty innocuous, but the much tougher, much more jaded critics at JD Underground are egregiously offended. “I feel like I need to take a shower after watching that,” one commenter says. “This video doesn’t even pretend to be sophisticated,” asserts another. “It is directed right at the 21-year-old, undeveloped, testosterone-laden mind.”