Yale Law School to Re-Brand as “YLS”

By Mike Dorf

In a move that has set the blawgosphere abuzz, last week Yale Law School made it official: The institution will henceforth be known simply as “YLS.”

At a press conference announcing the re-branding, Deputy Dean Tracey Meares invoked high-profile books on non-legal subjects by YLS professors like Stephen Carter, Jed Rubenfeld, and Amy Chua as part of the justification for the new moniker.  “L could just as easily stand for ‘literary’ . . . or ‘ludicrous,’” Meares said.

Citing the need to appeal to “today’s applicants, who were raised on initials--from JLo to ARod,” Associate Dean for Admissions Asha Rangappa said she thought the change was a good idea.

Despite the enthusiasm from faculty and administrators, the move has garnered mixed reviews from students, especially the five of them considering careers as practicing lawyers.  “I could see dropping the word ‘law,’” admitted 1L David Fortenbaugh.  “I mean that was practically false advertising.  But why drop Yale?”

Dean Robert Post nonetheless defended the change.  “Other prominent institutions have also moved to acronym-only identification,” Post explained.  “National Public Radio is NPR.  The American Association of Retired Persons is AARP.  And Kentucky Fried Chicken is just KFC.  If it works for KFC, it will work for YLS.”

When asked whether he thought Kentucky Fried Chicken was an appropriate comparator for Yale Law School, Post corrected this interviewer.  “You mean YLS,” he interrupted.  “If we had any business law faculty, they could explain to you why this is a brilliant marketing move.”

Most American law schools appear to be adopting a wait-and-see attitude towards what Stanford Dean Larry Kramer dubbed “the YLS experiment.”  But one school stood out as an exception.  In a forceful if bizarre video posted on his Facebook page, New York University Law School Dean Richard Revesz looks intensely into the camera and states: “I have news for the wannabes in New Haven.  We got there first.  NYU has been known by three letters for decades.  And we’re not going to rest on our laurels.  From now on, the NYU Law School will be represented by an unpronounceable glyph.  Suck on that, YLS.”