In German, “Gift” Means “Poison”

Over on, there was a story about the Brooklyn Law 2010 Class Gift, pictured below, with a hilarious student comment added to the side.

Dick jokes aside, the whole idea of a class gift is a joke.  Brooklyn Law, the 6th best school in the state, and only 5th best in New York City, charges $43,990 a year in tuition.  Cripes!  That’s higher than Harvard, Berkeley, Michigan, and Virginia, and within a few thousand of the other top 10 schools.

And people give them a freaking gift!  A gift?!  WHAT?!

These people do not love you. They are not your friends. They do not care about you. All you are is dollar signs to them. You do not owe them anything, you do not have to “give back” to the school.  You already “gave forward” $130,000.

Your professors double dip by assigning their own casebooks or writing study guides that will make or break you on the exam.  That, and their cushy six figure salaries for doing part-time work is their gift.  Their ability to hang on to your tuition dollars even when you default on your loans is their gift.  You do not, and should not “give back” to your law school.

If anything, law schools should give back to their students.  How about a graduation gift?  Maybe the school could foot the bill for your cap and gown rental at graduation?  Or they could pay for your bar review classes to cover the material they didn’t bother teaching, but which you’re not legally allowed to practice without knowing?  Or maybe, as some schools have started doing, paying employers to take students who are unable to find work?  Or, at the very least, after fucking your students in the ass for three straight years, how about a god damn reach around?  Is that so much to ask?

And seriously, Brooklyn, there is a far more appropriate line from A League of Their Own:

You’re gonna lose! You’re gonna lose!

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13 Responses to “In German, “Gift” Means “Poison””

  1. Its 88 degrees here! Says:

    You are so right. When graduating form UCLA or UC Berkeley (if you can’t get into UCLA and like little towns like Berkeley), many of us gave gifts to the UC for the same silly reason other people donated to Harvard before they owned a house: we thought they needed it. But UC professors have a better deal than jjust assigning their own textbooks. They retire at age 50. The head of the UC makes 800k including retirement benefits. And did I mention preferred rate loans for housing? The faculty lounges? I see those new classes giving their hard-earned money to the UC and I just want to scream.

  2. Dan Says:

    Give back? I don’t see giving back required anywhere in my loan contract on school contract :)

  3. bl1y Says:

    Assuming I ever have the money, I will actually make a donation to my undergraduate school. The professors in my philosophy department went well out of their way to meet with students and help them out in any way they could, and not just the students who shared their pet academic interests, but pretty much anyone in the program. The program also provided good TA positions (we were assigned office hours because they wanted to pay us more, but the school had a limit on hourly rates), and gave several scholarships which, in comparison to the super low tuition, were very generous. I won’t give to the school in general though, but to the department specifically, and probably with the caveat that it only be used for student scholarships.

  4. Larry Says:

    I can’t speak to the academics at Brooklyn law school, but I got the best BJ from a 3rd year law student, so they must learn that somewhere!

  5. Joey Says:

    Running into a brick wall is hard. I have learned from law school that just because something is hard or expensive does not make it worthwhile. I didn’t find law school so much hard as I found it really boring, and the further I get away from being in law school the less respect I have for the experience. The kids from Brooklyn School of Law are still starry eyed about their experience. Why even give to the law school? It is kinda like donating money to Goldman Sachs. Law schools have been raising tuition at twice the rate of inflation for years, most Fortune 500 companies would love to have the pricing power of law schools. Law schools may cry poverty, but are raking in the dough. My law school is charging 45K a yr tuition for the same product they sold 12 years ago for 20K a yr tuition. To put into comparison, the so called best law jobs are paying 160K a year to start. When I was a student the NYC market was paying just under 100K. In order for the BEST law jobs to have kept pace with law school tuition inflation they would have to pay $225,000 a year to start. This analysis does not even include the vast bulk of law jobs that have fared much worse, many, many, many law jobs have fierce competition for jobs paying 35K a year for fully licensed attorneys. I have all these mixed emotions, sometimes I think about opening a law school, they have a perfect business model. How many consumers buy a product that they have been charged dearly for and then they want to donate money to the company that just ripped them off? Law schools also get tax exempt status. Even Goldman Sachs does not have initiatives like alumni development that try to get you to include the law school in your will. Like screwing you while you were alive was not enough. All of this is done under the guise of some noble educational traditional, like these law professors and administrators are doing God’s work.

  6. bl1y Says:

    Paragraph breaks: dig ‘em.

  7. alex Says:

    Just to be clear (and I’m not proud of it) but the “class” gift we’re talking about here was almost entirely funded by Brooklyn Law School. The total amount of people who donated (to say nothing of the amount donated) was less than 10% of the class.

    Does this make it worse?

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