Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

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twert
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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby twert » Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:27 pm

dcm81 wrote:
twert wrote:they are offering me a generous scholarship and i'm considering it, but their ambitious rankings-gaming is a bit of a turn off. it seems insecure to me.


Nearly all law schools do some sort of "gaming" to improve themselves in the rankings, so I don't know why it would really put you off that Chapman is trying to be a better school. Thats just the way it is. Most people use rankings to determine where they will go, and that puts a ton of pressure for schools to improve themselves to jump other schools. However, I think all the things that Chapman are doing to improve their school, such as adding clinics, more professors, more programs, and improving their bar passage rate (went from 50 something to 81 percent last July), are things that should be celebrated as achievements, and not something that was done just to become a second tier school. As noted many, many times, schools can only control 60 per cent of the rankings, the rest is peer reviewed. And the things that USNews calculates in their rankings besides peer reviews are things that are important to you as a prospective student (LSAT, GPA, employment, bar passage rates, library, faculty/student ratios). About the only thing that a school can really "game" is employment, and in this market, I promise you everyone is pumping up their numbers because the legal market is awful right now. Chapman probably has, and so have most others. Everything else is hard to game, especially now that part time is seperately ranked. I wouldn't worry about schools gaming, I would worry about where you want to practice, live, and how much scholarship money you are going to get.

its not the fact that they are gaming the rankings or trying to improve their score. its their attitude. they almost seem to brag about the fact that they are going to move up, instead of trying to sell the aspect of the school they are improving. i'm not saying they aren't a good school, i'm saying their vibe isn't great.

dcm81
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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby dcm81 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:27 pm

I can understand where you are coming from. I see it more of a problem with most law schools. Everyone is trying climb everyone else, unless you are Harvard or Yale. Its just a very competitive atmosphere, and for third tier schools, the pressure to climb to the top is enormous, especially for a newer law school that is trying to dictate its future reputation. You probably don't get that kind of atmosphere at schools like USD and Loyola where they have been around for awhile and firmly established themselves as tier 2 schools. But even those schools brag about their upswings in the yearly rankings, and do damage control when they go down. Loyola went nuts last year when they fell like 15 spots. When McGeorge was in the top 100 a few years ago they had a huge party, and their website celebrated that achievement. Trust me, you'll see this in April with schools that get into tier 2 or make improvements. Go to websites of law schools and see what they say about changes in their rankings. It's advertising for them. Chapman is trying to do what they can to get there, and I think they probably feel like they have to show that entreprenueral confidence in the things they are doing to get there. And they will get there, just a matter of when. I would just pay attention to things they are doing to improve the school, and if you like it and the scholarship you are getting versus other schools then go there.

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cwkenneth
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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby cwkenneth » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:56 pm

I am an alumnus of Chapman University where completed undergrad schooling. I personally know or have met many of the faculty and academic chair members of the law school, including former Dean Eastman. I am a life long resident of Orange County and am familiar with the legal market of OC. I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have about the area and or the law school.

Before I share with you my opinion of the law school, I must state, if it is not already obvious to any aspiring lawyer on this site, how narrow minded and unintelligent JKS289’s statements are regarding Chapman Law School and to a further extent, her opinions on John Yoo, Kenneth Star and other conservative legal scholars. Let me start off by saying I consider myself an independent practical thinker and lean center to center right on the political spectrum; however, I have no disrespect for liberals and feel they have a lot to offer in the political debate. In fact, some of the closest people in my life (my girlfriend and her family) are all die hard liberals from San Francisco. So let it stand that I have no personal vendetta against liberals. On the other hand, I will not tolerate narrow minded dead headed numbskulls spreading vile and hate and misleading others on issues they clearly know nothing about, i.e. Chapman Law School and legal political thinking.

Because I am not a lawyer and certainly don’t pretend to be one, it would be foolish for me to give my opinion regarding whether the legal opinion of John Yoo was based on sound legal reasoning. Any opinion on legal reasoning from a non lawyer would be nothing more than regurgitated talking points. JKS289 has had no legal training and thus is incapable of providing any real legal opinion on the topic. She should demonstrate a little more maturity and much less hubris before she begins demonizing and condemning anyone.

The lawyers at the Department of Justices initiated an ethics probe into the John Yoo case and found no ethical misconduct; they only found that his legal reasoning was flawed. Legal analysis will certainly draw opinions from both sides, each side claiming the other misapplied the law. All one needs to do is read the minority and majority opinions of a Supreme Court case to know this. Whether or not Yoo’s legal reasoning was flawed is something that will forever be left to scholarly debate. Taking a position further than this by claiming that John Yoo is a war criminal is not only intellectual dishonest, but completely arrogant, narrow minded, and intolerant. JKS289, ironic how these very concepts you chastise and ascribe only to conservatives are the same principles that seem to guide and influence your political world view. JKS289, you are the vile one because of your bigotry and hate you have for others who hold a different perspective than you. I question whether I should even be giving this much recognition to someone who comes across as nothing more than a liberal drone and has probably never exercised an original thought of her own.

As for my opinion of Chapman Law School, I can say without a doubt the school is a rising star. An important reason why Chapman Law is on the rise is because the school rejects boneheaded students like JKS289. Chapman Law School actually looks to accept well rounded people who have demonstrated the capability to contribute intellectual acumen in the classroom.

It has been mentioned by a few posters that the school is overly conservative. Not once in my undergrad did I get the sense that the school was conservative or liberal. In fact, I would praise it for its political moderation and effort to encourage students to look at an issue critically rather than inculcating in them one ideology or another. Because most major legal academic institutions lean left, many in mainstream academia would consider a law school politically moderate, generally speaking, if it had a faculty ratio of 70% liberal to 30% conservative. I couldn’t disagree more with this conclusion. A politically moderate school should be represented by an equal number of contrasting political ideologies. Chapman Law may have a faculty ratio closer to 60% liberal to 40% conservative or 50% - 50%. Does this make the school conservative? Many on the left and in academia would characterize Chapman in this way. I would argue that, unlike most law school, these ratios make Chapman Law and its faculty politically diverse and overall moderate.

Another reason why Chapman Law is on the rise is because the school is determined to make its mark both in academia and in the legal marketing Orange County. Speaking with one individual who sits on the board of Chapman Law, the school is dead set on breaking into the 2nd tier. It really is a matter of when and not if. When John Eastman became the dean a few years ago, he made it one of his top priorities to dramatically move up in the rankings into the 2nd tier. The school has thus far taken all the right steps in attaining this goal.

As with all academic institutions, money matters most. Chapman Law is incredibly well funded, and because of this, it is able attract a very bright, well respected and diverse legal faculty (http://www.chapman.edu/law/administration/default.asp). In addition, the school is able to attract students away from higher ranked schools by offering very generous scholarships. Thus, the school is able to have an increasing LSAT and GPA admission criteria which we know is a significant factor in the USNWR rankings.

Over the past few years, the school has really built up its reputation in the legal profession in and around Orange County. Chapman Law has done an excellent job reaching out to many top legal professionals and making them feel apart of the school’s rising success. As a result, many of these professionals who have graduated from law schools other than Chapman hold a lot of respect and esteem for Chapman Law.

The school is definitely becoming more competitive in placing a greater number of graduates in more prestigious employment positions than ever before. This is not to say Chapman Law grads are on the same playing field as USC or UCLA in obtaining big law jobs; however, the schools reputation and employment prospects by far supersede its rankings. It is not a stretch to say that Chapman Law has significantly narrowed the gap between the other 2nd tier schools in southern California such as USD, Loyola and Pepperdine. If one graduates in the top 25%, it is not unrealistic find a job in a mid size (25-150 lawyers) Orange County firm and have a starting salary near or above six figures.

I hope this information has cleared up any misconceptions about Chapman Law and is helpful and informative to any prospective student.

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kings84_wr
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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby kings84_wr » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:05 pm

What about UCI though? Don't you think that will hurt chapman and their attempts to move up in the rankings?

Im no expert on John Yoo, I think what he did was morally wrong, and that even at best his argument was a pretty good stretch (albeit my legal opinion is based on the 1 and 1/2 semester ive had so far :) ) but that being said, I would love to take a class with the guy. And if I ended up transferring to Berkeley maybe Ill get the chance

dcm81
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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby dcm81 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:54 pm

UCI won't hurt Chapman's moves in the rankings because UCI because Chapman just needs to gain reputation and it will be in tier 2. In fact, if they can move up from 1.9 to 2.1 this April with the peer review scores (Not a huge jump considering they scored a 2.0 in the 2010 rankings, up from 1.8 in 2009 ((USNews calculates peer scores on a two-year average)), they have a very good chance of making it since their admission numbers are already tier 2 caliber, and their bar passage rates are pretty good now (81%). The only other variable is their job stats for 2009 grads, which like most schools not named Harvard/Stanford are going to be poorer than in years past.

But getting back to UCI, they aren't going to cause Chapman much problems until Chapman starts competing for the same students that UCI competes for on a regular basis. Right now, Chapman's admission numbers are tier 2, and when UCI becomes a full size law school, they will probably have UC Davis admission numbers. So right now, UCI isn't really causing Chapman problems. In fact, Chapman has received more prospective applicants since UCI opened their law school. Who knows why that is.... might be that Chapman is better known now, that they are a better school, or it might be in part due to UCI. Pretty hard to say. But as of now, don't expect UCI to keep Chapman out of tier 2. Do expect UCI/USC/UCLA to keep Chapman out of tier 1.

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kings84_wr
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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby kings84_wr » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:04 pm

I think that while they won't be competing for the same students they will be competing for jobs, and I just think UCI will kill Chapman in Orange county.

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gossipgirl
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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby gossipgirl » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:11 pm

jks289 wrote:
dcm81 wrote:Another problem I have with demonizing Chapman about Yoo is that he teaches at Berkeley. So I have a hard time seeing some people are trying to demonize Chapman as a "conservative" school when Yoo is tenured at Berkeley.


Yoo left under pressure from Berkeley and Chapman allowed him to come AFTER the memos were published. It remains to be seen if he returns to Boalt, though students and professor have said they will protest.

My point wasn't really about Yoo. Besides, anyone who refers to "enhanced interrogation methods" has already shown themselves incapable of a reasonable discussion on the issue (I can watch Bill O'Reilly myself, thanks). My point was the perception of the decision to let him come teach and how that will affect the peer reviews of Chapman for USNWR. My guess is unfavorably. But we'll see.


So you wouldn't ever let your law students learn from Yoo because he wrote legal interpretations supporting torture.

How about Scalia? Someone who said in a CBS interview that he doesn't consider water boarding or other forms of torture a form of punishment, and thus not necessarily illegal? Would you not allow him to teach at your ideal law school either?

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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby dcm81 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:11 pm

They will kill them with big firm jobs. But UCI alums will extend nationwide, and its going to be a small school too, so the impact isn't going to be felt as much as say if UCI was going to graduate alums like Hastings does. Chapman is also a regional school and most of their students are going small firm or government. So I don't really see where UCI and Chapman are going to be competing except in the big firm or medium-sized firms. Chapman doesn't really need to compete with UCI that much until they start fighting for BigLaw. Then they will get slaughtered, which is why I say Chapman has a ceiling that is lower than UCI's.

Tofu
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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby Tofu » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:19 pm

gossipgirl wrote:So you wouldn't ever let your law students learn from Yoo because he wrote legal interpretations supporting torture.

How about Scalia? Someone who said in a CBS interview that he doesn't consider water boarding or other forms of torture a form of punishment, and thus not necessarily illegal? Would you not allow him to teach at your ideal law school either?


I thought Scalia was saying that waterboarding does not constitute "cruel and unusual punishment" under the 8th Amendment.

I could be wrong... I haven't seen that interview in quite some time.

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gossipgirl
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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby gossipgirl » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:54 pm

Tofu wrote:
gossipgirl wrote:So you wouldn't ever let your law students learn from Yoo because he wrote legal interpretations supporting torture.

How about Scalia? Someone who said in a CBS interview that he doesn't consider water boarding or other forms of torture a form of punishment, and thus not necessarily illegal? Would you not allow him to teach at your ideal law school either?


I thought Scalia was saying that waterboarding does not constitute "cruel and unusual punishment" under the 8th Amendment.

I could be wrong... I haven't seen that interview in quite some time.


Correct. As I said above, he said he didn't consider it a form of punishment and it was in response to a question about whether it was against the constitution.

My point is just that if you tag Yoo as a person that you shouldn't have teaching your students, there are many important figures in law, even Scalia, that would be under that standard.

dcm81
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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby dcm81 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:44 pm

Yoo has moved on back to Berkeley, and Chapman has moved on, so why don't we move on from the Yoo discussion.... Yoo was so 2009!

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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby mjs92983 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:18 pm

dcm81 wrote:They will kill them with big firm jobs. But UCI alums will extend nationwide, and its going to be a small school too, so the impact isn't going to be felt as much as say if UCI was going to graduate alums like Hastings does. Chapman is also a regional school and most of their students are going small firm or government. So I don't really see where UCI and Chapman are going to be competing except in the big firm or medium-sized firms. Chapman doesn't really need to compete with UCI that much until they start fighting for BigLaw. Then they will get slaughtered, which is why I say Chapman has a ceiling that is lower than UCI's.



I think I agree with most of your points but I wonder if UCI is drawing new students to Orange County or if they are simply taking from Loyola, USD, pepperdine, and some other candidates for USC and UCLA. I'd be interested to know what that proportion is.

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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby dcm81 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:58 pm

Hard to say. I'd imagine UCI probably gets some people that would normally look to go to school in LA, and Chapman probably gets some of the leftovers since they are the next best school. Prospective students often take a look at the regional schools around their targets. Perhaps that is why Chapman received a lot more apps in 2009. But its also due to the fact that Chapman is becomming a better school by its own. It will be interesting to see the admission stats next year for both schools with respect to the # of applicants since UCI will be matriculating more students and Chapman has a minor chance of jumping tiers this year, and a more realistic one in 2011.

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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby sfdreaming09 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:23 pm

princess1 wrote:I heard from my friend who attends Chapman, that the school is expected to become a tier 2 school in the next year. Has anybody heard the same?


no.

Danteshek
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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby Danteshek » Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:39 pm

The desire to become a Tier 2 school betrays a lack of ambition. Dean Garth doesn't go around telling people he thinks Southwestern will one day be a Tier 2. He just wants to provide the best legal education and law school experience possible.

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JTX
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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby JTX » Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:47 pm

x
Last edited by JTX on Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dcm81
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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby dcm81 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:22 pm

Danteshek wrote:The desire to become a Tier 2 school betrays a lack of ambition. Dean Garth doesn't go around telling people he thinks Southwestern will one day be a Tier 2. He just wants to provide the best legal education and law school experience possible.


Dean Garth doesn't try to get Southwestern to jump to tier 2 because he knows it is never going to happen so why bother? How many years has Southwestern been a law school, 80 or so? But don't even try to tell me that they don't pay attention to USNews. The school wasn't too happy when they were downgraded to 4th tier for a year in 2009. On the other hand, Chapman is a new law school and has time to dictate its reputation in the legal community. A big prt of that is the rankings, like it or not. And what they do in the next 5-10 years will have a large impact on how the legal community views the school and their alumni. Chapman should do all it can to improve itself, and the stats, other than peer review scores indicate that is happening.

But please, do tell Dean Garth to get that bar passage rate up, looks like Southwestern didn't have a good July 2009 (63%????). How can you be providing the best legal education and law school experience if your bar passage rate is so low?

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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby charlesjd » Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:24 pm

Currently, a lot of law schools act too much like businesses, and not schools. One of the reasons it is hard to trust them. It is amazing when I see my acceptance packets which cost $5.00 to ship. Then inside, I can only guess how much all that material cost to make.

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jerichogringo
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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby jerichogringo » Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:28 pm

I have spoken directly with admissions from 5 law schools in the 3rd Tier and each one of them said that they would most certainly be Tier 2 within the next couple of years and they all shared a good (seemingly logical) reason for believing the claim.

erniesto
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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby erniesto » Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:32 pm

The one TTT I've looked at were a bunch of salesmen. In fact, most admissions I've dealt with have tried to sell me on the particular school. Every single tour I went on was an attempt to sell the school. Every single mailing I've recieved was an attempt to sell the school How do I know they were pushing a sell? I'm a salesman.

Don't ever take what a salesman tells you and turn it into truth unless they provide credited, verifiable facts.

dcm81
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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby dcm81 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:44 pm

I don't feel sorry for people who don't do their research about law schools before going there though. You can make your own judgments of the relative strength of a law school independent of their advertising these days through so many avenues (rankings, articles, this blog for ex.). Law school is a business and should be because the practice of law is a business. Prospective students that don't understand this before getting into law school are idiots and will learn very quickly when they begin to practice how much of a business enterprise this is.

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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby Danteshek » Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:57 pm

There is a difference between telling people you are unfairly ranked, and silently doing the things you need to do to become a better school.

Getting the highest possible LSAT/GPA combo possible may help you rank higher, but that alone will not make for a better school.

I think the administration at Chapman is too focused on he rankings. It just smells bad.
Last edited by Danteshek on Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dcm81
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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby dcm81 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:36 pm

I'm actually an attorney. Went to school out of state. But I work in Orange County and know a lot of lawyers and have met law students from most of the law schools in Orange County and LA....

dcm81
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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby dcm81 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:45 pm

But how is the legal community going to find out about the improvements in the law school if you don't advertise them? Doesn't make sense to me that a law school administration would silently try to improve a law school because no one does. Trust me, if Southwestern got into tier 2 or felt that they were really close, they would boast about it and spend thousands of dollars sending elaborate print to judges, attorneys and other law schools. Its just the name of the game. I'm not bashing your law school by the way. I've met quite a few alums from the school that are very good attorneys. I just disagree that law schools shouldn't push the envelope when it comes to rankings because people rely on them so much. Plus I beleive the rankings are very important in evaluating a law school, and law schools should pay attention to them and how they compare to schools they compete with. GPA/LSAT is important, but so are bar passage rates, faculty ratios, and ranking of specialty programs. I realize that employment stats are pretty much BS across the board with most law schools, but there is a lot of out there with the rankings that do measure the strength of the law school. And if law schools don't react to it, then they are going to be left behind, often times to their detriment.

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Re: Is it smart to trust Chapman's claim of becoming a tier 2?

Postby Danteshek » Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:56 pm

The legal community's opinion of a school will not vary based on what the schools says in marketing materials. Telling the legal community that it is wrong about a particular school is just as likely to cement existing views of a school. The real change will come when a critical mass of more competent attorneys, and a few really outstanding attorneys, hit the market and start making waves. For instance, I am headed to DC this summer to work for the SEC. If I do a good job, the attorneys at the SEC will have a more favorable impression of my school and be more inclined to hire from Southwestern. In the fall I am working for a federal judge in large part because Southwestern alums paved the way for me with that particular judge. Also, just because Southwestern is 99 years old, that does not mean that the next 100 years can't be better than the first. We had a horrible dean from about 30 years ago to 5 years ago. Institutions can bloom late.




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