December 14, 2004

Columnist Manifesto Takes Wash U to the Cleaners

My friend and colleague, Oscar Madison at Columnist Manifesto, takes Washington University to task for its deluge of glossy brochures. I have commented on the proliferation of "law porn" at Wash U in a prior post, and I am sympathetic to Oscar's rant.

Unlike Oscar, however, I have had some connection to Wash U, as I visited there for a semester in the Fall of 1988. It was a very good school then, and it has made great strides under Dean Joel Seligman. The glossy brochures allow Wash U to announce those changes to the world in eye-catching fashion, though Oscar is not impressed. Whether the glossy brochures are necessary, the effect of the changes on Wash U's ranking has been significant. All in all, I suspect that faculty, students, and alumni of Wash U think that the brochures have been a good investment.

Unfortunately, Wash U and NYU have become models for the potential of the glossy brochure. What might be overlooked is that, in both cases, the brochures were used to publicize significant changes at the respective law schools. This seems different to me than putting a glossy face on the same, tired law school, which seems to be the norm in law porn.

Posted by Gordon at December 14, 2004 06:12 PM | TrackBack