I received a copy of this mailing from a friend who was just flabbergasted at its insanity. Take a look at what you can expect your law school to be spending your tuition money on, and asking you for more money to fund even when you graduate:
Here's the text from the front:
Whether or not a student wants to practice locally or internationally, a basic knowledge of international law is now required.
And from the back:
The Annual Fund will support the expansion of the school’s international law curriculum and programs. Students will hear from speakers, attend conferences, study and work abroad, and choose classes from an ever-growing curriculum taught by a world class faculty.
(along with Professor Giorgetti's profile, which can be found here
From what I gather, this is a fundraising effort from the University of Richmond – not one of the traditional trash schools, but hardly up there with Harvard either – and was sent to alumni, begging for money to bolster its “international law curriculum and programs.” Really. Have applicants still not learned the following truths about the mythical career in “international law”?
For all intents and purposes, it does not exist, because there are (a) only about five openings per year, and (b) you’re not getting one of them if you graduate from anywhere but Harvard or Yale.
Want some proof? How about you look at Richmond's latest employment stats, found here
- How many students got JD-required jobs? 58%. If the school can't even get barely above 50% JD employment, then what chance do its grads have at the top jobs? Hardly a degree in demand.
- And how many grads in firms where international issues might realistically come up? 9. Not 9%. 9 grads.
- But surely this international law powerhouse sends plenty of grads overseas to work internationally on international matters of international law? Er, no. Zero grads work abroad.
- The school sends more grads - a whole 2 - to West Virginia, its third biggest employment location, than abroad. That's like the opposite of international, right? When you send your grads to places where the average citizen doesn't even know that there's any countries except the USA?
Ok, so looking at Professor Giorgetti’s bio, she’s one of the unicorns – someone who actually has a claim to have practiced international law. International boundary disputes, war claims commissions, international investment disputes, and she put in some time at the International Court of Justice at The Hague. I’ll give her credit for that; she does seem like a legit international lawyer. But dear applicant, don’t fall for the trap: none of her magic, and none of her prestige, will rub off on you (although doubtless some of the male students will be rubbing........er, no, forget that joke.) When you graduate from the University of Richmond, or any other non-Harvard and non-Yale law school, you will be just another average to below-average law grad, desperately hoping for any kind of paid employment in any field. Only a select few have the creds to get one of the handful of legitimate jobs in international law.
Compare yourself to Professor Giorgetti to see what you’re up again. I made you a handy table.
See the difference? You just don’t stack up to the kind of person who gets those kinds of jobs. Not even close. That’s why you aren’t getting the jobs, and it’s why you never will
get those kinds of jobs. (Admittedly, some of her work experience was after she became a lawyer, but still, that’s who you’re competing against for those prestigious international law jobs.)
Now, I’ve complimented her enough. She is literally the perfect law professor; practice experience, stellar creds, and possibly the most beautiful professor I have ever laid eyes on. (And you’re an idiot if you take issue with me bringing her physical appearance into the equation, because employers do notice, especially those Europeans with their "bunga bunga parties" and cheek-kissing and perfect little bodies, places where us chubby American girls don't stand a chance.) Why she isn’t at a better school than Richmond is beyond me – I’m sure a rather fat paycheck had something to do with it, or some under-the-counter perks such as guaranteed tenure after one year - but whatever. That's her business. It’s time to take issue with her moronic quotation:
“Whether or not a student wants to practice locally or internationally, a basic knowledge of international law is now required.”
Maybe she doesn't speak English properly and mixed her words up. Let me check.........no, she speaks fluent English. So she's serious?
Perhaps for grads of Harvard and Yale, where they might actually come into contact with something international in their careers. But for everyone else? The grads from the other 99% of law schools in the US, who will be working (if they’re lucky) in small firms, third-rate markets, or as solo practitioners and document reviewers? They need no knowledge of international law whatsoever, certainly not to the extent of attending a law school with an international law program that is doubtless costing a fortune to set up and run, the costs of which are passed along to these hapless students. What they need is incidental knowledge at best, not three international law classes in law school.
That quote is clearly from someone whose career has been so lofty and prestigious that she simply has no idea what life will be like for her students when they graduate. But I suppose she has to say things like this to justify why she should get a job as a law professor, right? She learns quickly, does Professor Giorgetti - the way to keep a job as a law professor is to say things that sound like you're job is important, when in reality, it's not. Certainly not at this kind of toilet where there are zero international lawyers produced and few, if any, who even work in firms that have foreign offices.
There is no need for a knowledge of international law in residential real estate. Or family law. Or traffic tickets. Or any of the other boring tasks that make up the day of 99% of all lawyers. But before you jump on me and say, “Ooooh oooh oooh what about immigration issues in divorce, or criminal issues for immigrants, or someone foreign buying real estate”, that’s not international law; that’s US law as it pertains to foreigners
. Big difference. (Immigration law, for almost every practitioner, is US law that happens to deal with foreign citizens. It’s still US law
What these schools are selling, when they talk about international law programs, are these ideas that their grads will be studying these cerebral issues like war crimes, international trade disputes, and things like that, and that their grads will go off to work for multinational law firms, foreign governments, international courts and suchlike. These schools are not selling the idea that you’ll be figuring out how to plead in a DUI when your client holds an H-1B visa, which is about as international as most lawyers ever get. These international programs are pure theory, pure mental masturbation for a select few professors, and will stay that way because few, if any, grads from schools like the University of Richmond will ever have gainful employment at that level (and by that, I mean beyond bullshit unpaid internships and things like that, which might be prestigious, but are hardly “careers” in international law.) Real life lawyers need knowledge of US law as it pertains to the handful of foreign citizens who they may have as clients, but it’s nothing that can’t be learned in a three hour CLE of practical issues that you need to watch out for. It certainly doesn’t need an entire law school specialty program.
And note to law schools: how about you figure out how to teach your students basic US law first, before running off and setting up expensive international law programs?
Professor Giorgetti is clearly an accomplished, experienced, high-caliber person, and one who looks like she’d make an excellent law professor: smart, real world experience, and highly-qualified, not like half of the dummies with JDs and no legal experience who inhabit law school faculty lounges. If anything, we need every professor to be like her. And by all means teach an international law class or two, because it is interesting, if not particularly relevant. But hounding alumni with such a dumb fundraising campaign, and setting up such irrelevant fluff when we haven’t even figured out how to produce practice-ready grads yet? Please.
As an aside, if you’re someone who does donate to law school alumni fundraising campaigns, here’s my suggestion: continue to do so if you must, but accompany your donation with a letter stating that you condition it on being used for debt repayment plans for unemployed graduates, or practical training programs like clinics, or something else that will really help. Setting up an international law program is just madness, and shows the utter insanity, the complete disconnect with reality, of those who run law schools these days. Don’t validate it with your money.