How to Save Law Schools Money
None of these schools is trying to hire me, so why do they bombard me with literature advertising themselves? The answer, almost certainly, is that every year U.S. News and World Report publishes its ratings of law schools. One way they decide how to rate schools is by asking randomly chosen law professors each fall what they think of the various schools. One way of trying to improve your rating, something all law school deans would like to do, is to bombard law professors with literature in the hope that some of it will catch their eye, resulting in a favorable mention for your school.
I do not know the actual cost to the senders of those forty-three pieces of mail, but I would be surprised if the total was much under a hundred dollars. The quantity of mail was, I think, above average, but I would still be surprised if the annual total cost of sending me such mailings, all of which go into the recycle bin, was under a thousand dollars, and not surprised if it were several thousand. Multiplied by all of the law professors targeted by such mailings, the total cost must be well into the millions, perhaps tens of millions.
I have a simple solution, designed to save the law schools money and me time. Let the ABA or the AALS set up a "no write" list for law professors. By putting my name on the list, I put law schools on notice that I do not wish to receive any mailing from them not specifically written for me, including any mailing of which more than a hundred copies go out. I further put them on notice that if any school sends me such mailings, I will remember the fact when and if U.S. News and World Report calls me.