Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

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dogmatic slumber
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Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby dogmatic slumber » Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:38 am

So I just put my second deposit down at a T20, and here are some editorial lowlights from the confirmation email I got--from the Director of Admissions, no less:

(1) "This is a great place to learn the law; form new friendships that will last a life time and add your name to the list of proud alumni."

What is going on with that semicolon? It makes me want to interpret the second and third list items as imperatives: "[I implore you to] form new friendships and add your name to the list!" But that can't be right, can it? The esteemed Director must have been going for commas. Also, "life time" isn't two words.

(2) "Please keep us informed if your email or mailing addresses changes."

Oof.

(3) "If your email address from your undergraduate institution will expire in the next few weeks please provide your preferred email address to our office."

A minor and debatable point, granted, but I would spring for a comma after "weeks."

(4) "Again, on behalf of our admissions team receive a warm welcome to the [law school] family."

There's that bizarre quasi-imperative again. Okay, first of all I want a comma after "team." But let's talk about "receive a warm welcome to the family." Huh? Is that an order, Director madam/sir? And in order to comply, don't I need you to *extend* me that welcome first?

[end specific rant]


[begin general rant]

I've noticed this kind of sloppiness in correspondence from a number of top law schools, and while I will readily grant that none of it actually matters in the least, it still leaves a funny taste in my mouth. Here we are, about to fork over princely sums to these schools in order to embark on careers as close readers/detail-spotters, and their own high-ranking officials can't even put a form letter's worth of sentences together? I'm about to pay you a bajillion dollars. ACT RIGHT DAMMIT!

That is all.

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sundance95
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby sundance95 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:00 am

dogmatic slumber wrote: I'm about to pay you a bajillion dollars. ACT RIGHT DAMMIT!

That is all.


Your righteous indignation is right on point. I would definitely inform the dean of admission about these atrocities in a firmly worded correspondence. A CC to the dean of the school would be appropriate, as well. They will appreciate your constructive criticism and candor, believe me.

12262010
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby 12262010 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:03 am

so don't go. you're not getting a job anyway.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby Lawquacious » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:06 am

Lol, that is kind of disturbing... If you do email them you definitely should use the word 'functionaries' :P

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General Tso
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby General Tso » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:06 am

booyakasha wrote:so don't go. you're not getting a job anyway.


I am excited to see how TLS has devolved into the same kind of dreck you expect from xoxo and JDU

12262010
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby 12262010 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:07 am

General Tso wrote:
booyakasha wrote:so don't go. you're not getting a job anyway.


I am excited to see how TLS has devolved into the same kind of dreck you expect from xoxo and JDU


T20 + OP's social skills. mmm kay.

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dogmatic slumber
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby dogmatic slumber » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:11 am

sundance95 wrote:
dogmatic slumber wrote: I'm about to pay you a bajillion dollars. ACT RIGHT DAMMIT!

That is all.


Your righteous indignation is right on point. I would definitely inform the dean of admission about these atrocities in a firmly worded correspondence. A CC to the dean of the school would be appropriate, as well. They will appreciate your constructive criticism and candor, believe me.


Oh, done and done.

Seriously though, has anyone else noticed this? I guess when people are falling all over themselves to pay you $45k/year in tuition even ITE, there's not much incentive to be meticulous, but I'm still surprised. Since these places are preparing us to work at firms where every detail matters, it seems reasonable to expect that they'd want to model that standard themselves.

Tautology
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby Tautology » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:12 am

A T14 that will remain nameless (you can probably guess it) offered the following sentence to help allay the fears some students might have that it is a conservative school.

The Law School's reputation as a "conservative" place most likely stems from the willingness of students to fully consider all ideas on their merits, rather then [sic] reject them out of hand for failing to conform to one political ideology or another.


The then/than thing is minor compared to the shearsheer (I suck) douchiness of this sentence.
Last edited by Tautology on Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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sundance95
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby sundance95 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:14 am

dogmatic slumber wrote:
Oh, done and done.

Seriously though, has anyone else noticed this? I guess when people are falling all over themselves to pay you $45k/year in tuition even ITE, there's not much incentive to be meticulous, but I'm still surprised. Since these places are preparing us to work at firms where every detail matters, it seems reasonable to expect that they'd want to model that standard themselves.

Image

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dogmatic slumber
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby dogmatic slumber » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:25 am

Thanks for the validation.

P.S. Should I alienate my sole ally by pointing out that s/he meant "sheer"? (Maybe I do need to work on my social skills.)

Tautology
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby Tautology » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:28 am

dogmatic slumber wrote:Thanks for the validation.

P.S. Should I alienate my sole ally by pointing out that s/he meant "sheer"? (Maybe I do need to work on my social skills.)


Haha, I suck.

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PDaddy
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby PDaddy » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:53 am

booyakasha wrote:so don't go. you're not getting a job anyway.


After OP graduates, maybe he can take one of theirs. The way the job market is going, someone will have to do it. OP certainly has the passion to get things done in the admissions office.

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Matteliszt
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby Matteliszt » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:13 am

this thread has potential.

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mallard
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby mallard » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:14 am

You're going to be a joy in your 1L classes.

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Grizz
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby Grizz » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:18 am

Cool story, bro.

12262010
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby 12262010 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:22 am

rad law wrote:Cool story, bro.


--ImageRemoved--

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reasonable_man
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby reasonable_man » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:27 am

mallard wrote:You're going to be a joy in your 1L classes.


TITCR. There is always one... And in your section the one will be you.

greg11a
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby greg11a » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:27 am

If those lines you quoted are truly from an email you received, I agree that it is extremely disappointing and embarrassing. People seem to think that just because you are typing on a computer and it won't eventually be printed on a page that proofreading is no longer necessary. (This applies less to a forum post than it does to a mass email that will be going to many applicants, but I still find it unacceptable in either case.)

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Grizz
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby Grizz » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:36 am

greg11a wrote:If those lines you quoted are truly from an email you received, I agree that it is extremely disappointing and embarrassing. People seem to think that just because you are typing on a computer and it won't eventually be printed on a page that proofreading is no longer necessary. (This applies less to a forum post than it does to a mass email that will be going to many applicants, but I still find it unacceptable in either case.)


So what are you going to do about it? Your righteous indignation isn't worth shit.

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Matteliszt
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby Matteliszt » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:00 am

Slow morning Rad?

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Grizz
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby Grizz » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:02 am

Matteliszt wrote:Slow morning Rad?


Yes.

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tommytahoe
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby tommytahoe » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:47 am

I agree with OP. That is shoddy writing. And the right to criticize comes not simply from the need to be critical (we all know that can take the form of the hypercritical, intolerable grammar-nerd). The right comes from the fact that sentences like those OP quoted make it harder for people to grasp what is being expressed. Sometimes, the errors don't have an effect. But sometimes they can leave the reader scratching his head, or wondering exactly what the writer is getting at. OP is right: in a language with so many variations of meaning and potential for misunderstanding, and in a job that demands specificity of meaning, these criticisms are not just helpful —they are needed.
It's simplistic to label these edits as needless jabs about splitting infinitives and not making friends. Learning to write clearly and fluidly is a constant process, and those unwilling to hear where they've stepped wrong will happily join the majority of lawyers out there unable to write clearly.

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Grizz
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby Grizz » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:00 pm

tommytahoe wrote:I agree with OP. That is shoddy writing. And the right to criticize comes not simply from the need to be critical (we all know that can take the form of the hypercritical, intolerable grammar-nerd). The right comes from the fact that sentences like those OP quoted make it harder for people to grasp what is being expressed. Sometimes, the errors don't have an effect. But sometimes they can leave the reader scratching his head, or wondering exactly what the writer is getting at. OP is right: in a language with so many variations of meaning and potential for misunderstanding, and in a job that demands specificity of meaning, these criticisms are not just helpful —they are needed.
It's simplistic to label these edits as needless jabs about splitting infinitives and not making friends. Learning to write clearly and fluidly is a constant process, and those unwilling to hear where they've stepped wrong will happily join the majority of lawyers out there unable to write clearly.

rad law wrote:So what are you going to do about it? Your righteous indignation isn't worth shit.

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tommytahoe
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby tommytahoe » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:15 pm

rad law wrote:
tommytahoe wrote:I agree with OP. That is shoddy writing. And the right to criticize comes not simply from the need to be critical (we all know that can take the form of the hypercritical, intolerable grammar-nerd). The right comes from the fact that sentences like those OP quoted make it harder for people to grasp what is being expressed. Sometimes, the errors don't have an effect. But sometimes they can leave the reader scratching his head, or wondering exactly what the writer is getting at. OP is right: in a language with so many variations of meaning and potential for misunderstanding, and in a job that demands specificity of meaning, these criticisms are not just helpful —they are needed.
It's simplistic to label these edits as needless jabs about splitting infinitives and not making friends. Learning to write clearly and fluidly is a constant process, and those unwilling to hear where they've stepped wrong will happily join the majority of lawyers out there unable to write clearly.

rad law wrote:So what are you going to do about it? Your righteous indignation isn't worth shit.


Why do I have to do something about it? And besides, isn't the bringing of attention to the issue enough in itself, esp. if many more people start to do so?
Thank you for calling me and OP righteous, however. I don't get that compliment everyday.

Integrity
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Re: Why do law school functionaries suck at writing?

Postby Integrity » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:17 pm

By any chance, is the law school Vanderbilt? I am on their waitlist and have received some typo-laden e-mails full of grammatical fail. (Still LOVE them and would love to go!)




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