TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Will Florida State's Alcohol Ban Cause Law School's Ranking To Fall?

Florida State logoTallahassee Democrat op-ed:  Open Letter to President Thrasher About Unintended Consequences, by Lex Lorenzo (J.D. 2018, Florida State):

I am a law student and president of a registered student organization at FSU Law, one of the around 700 RSOs that have been affected by your broadly worded blanket alcohol ban.

It is horrible what happened to the young man who passed, and I do not doubt there is a problem needing to be addressed in the undergraduate community. My understanding after reading your statements in the Tallahassee Democrat is that this ban on alcohol is meant to focus on the harms of hazing, binge drinking, and responsibility in the undergraduate and Greek communities.

Unfortunately, it also affects law students. It affects our networking events, job placement and future careers. Did you take this into consideration when you included graduate and professional programs in your ban?

To my knowledge, FSU Law has never had problems with hazing, binge drinking, police calls or DUIs after our events. So why were we targeted? ...

If this ban continues, I expect negative impacts on job placement and alumni involvement in the law school. Many informal networking events with light alcoholic beverages create opportunities for law students – and I am sure other graduate and professional students – to build connections with local attorneys and alumni, and to demonstrate we can excel both professionally and socially in any setting. As an unintended consequence of your action, I would not be surprised to see a drop in our law school’s rankings as job placement and alumni involvement suffers.

In a professional degree program, we are expected to behave professionally and maturely. Being rolled in with the misbehavior of undergraduates and under-age students choosing to engage in bad behavior is insulting and unnecessary.

(Hat Tip:  Above the Law.)

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On the one hand, law students (and lawyers) have extraordinarily high rates of alcohol (and substance) abuse, and law school culture and stress play large roles in it. We all know that. On the other hand... law school in Tallahassee? That would drive anyone to drink.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Nov 14, 2017 1:01:06 PM

Yup. Networking. How else can you get a job if the partner isn't buzzed? To prevent drinking now is to neglect training for one of the careers that is most best at producing problem drinkers. Cheers.

Posted by: Jim | Nov 14, 2017 2:32:05 PM

Maybe they'll start attending class sober....or just start attending class.

Posted by: Chris | Nov 14, 2017 3:45:26 PM