Day: 2011/01/27

Linkers Banquet—LSTB Doesn’t See the Forest for the Girls

Karen Sloan, “Law School Websites Getting Stuck in the Shade,” in National Law Journal

A recent empirical study and ranking of the home pages for all 200 American Bar Association-accredited law schools found that 65 included photos of students in or around trees, a phenomenon the authors dubbed “Girls Under Trees.”

I recently looked through every one of the ABA-accredited law schools’ websites, and while I didn’t notice the trees (I recall them now), I did notice the peculiar tendency of law schools to place photos of attractive young women on their websites. More specifically, they tended to either be blonde or East Asian. Beyond that were the photos of attractive female faculty members. Perhaps LSTB just likes women.

As for substance:

Having looked at so many law school homepages, it’s clear that their primary function is recruiting, [Yale Law School Librarian for Emerging Technologies Eiseman] said.

“Looking through all those pictures, the message you get is, ‘Come to this school,’ ” he said. ” From my perspective, the homepage is very important. It’s as important as what your physical space looks like.”…They detracted points for “Girls Under Trees” photos.

This was the exact conclusion I came to on my own. Here’s the two librarians’ study. One thing my utterly unscientific survey has over theirs is that they surprisingly didn’t look into where tuition information was located and how hard it was to access. Most of the time it took two clicks into the “Financial Aid” sections, which of course implied that everyone would have to borrow money to go to law school.