Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thou Shalt Count to Three, and Three Only

I guess current students got an e-mail about this, but alumni should know that there is an official memo on the name of our school. First, to all the law firms out there, please, please, update your associates' profiles. An example of the more egregious violations include:

"University of Berkeley School of Law" (for undergrad and law).
"Boalt Hall School of Law"

Second, at the risk of being petty, I'd like to point to commenter MikeM (scroll down), "Our official name is the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law." *Cough.*

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's nice to finally get an email about this (current students got it, too). And I fully support the change. Kinda like the new logo, too.

4/24/2008 11:37 AM  
Blogger Armen said...

To be clear, alumni did not get an e-mail, at least none that I'm aware of, but I understand that current students did. TPS Cover reports?

4/24/2008 11:41 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

I'm confused as to why I can say "UC Berkeley School of Law" or "Berkeley Law" but not "Berkeley School of Law." I mean, are we gonna split hairs here?

4/24/2008 11:42 AM  
Blogger tj said...

Matt: yes, we've gotta split hairs if we're serious about establishing a brand identity. the whole point is to have all of us use the same language, which, in turn, results in the rest of the world eventually adopting that language.

As a fun exercise: google "harvard law", then "stanford law", then "berkeley law". You'll quickly learn what I mean.

11:37 - I'm not a huge fan of the logo. It's too late-90's web start-up company-ish. I don't want my law school slinging pet food on the internet.

4/24/2008 11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's funny that the main webpage still bears the title "School of Law - Boalt Hall" and the ugly "BH" favicon.

4/24/2008 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:37 here,

Yeah, TJ, I see your point. I guess I just got excited to see that they finally changed it on the website, but now that I look at it again, it's not so great. Not terrible, but not great.

Also, I 100% agree that we have to use the same language if we want to establish brand identity. I'm just glad someone had enough business sense to recognize this, because law people usually lack business sense.

4/24/2008 11:59 AM  
Blogger Mike M said...

Far be it from me to get in the way of pettiness, Armen. Although I would distinguish between what the school was called pre-branding, and what it is called now.

Actually, I find the second comma in the name to be a little weird. What's it doing there? DE claims that we are adopting the most common nomenclature, but you don't see "University of Pennsylvania, Law School."

I argued previously (and pedantically) that Boalt's official name was just "School of Law," and that the university name was technically separate. Does anyone else thing that this claim might be vindicated with that second comma? DE's contact information on the Boalt webpage is written as:

University of California, Berkeley
School of Law
215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200

It seems to me that they've just elided the first two lines, as if they were writing the address out in a sentence. (University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, 215 Boalt Hall, Berkeley...)

4/24/2008 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new logo sucks. No space between Berkeley and Law just looks way too "iPod"-ish for me. Also, if we are discouraging the name Berkeley Law School, do you think that maybe the new logo is just a little misleading? The font looks way too simple, and the color (what is that? cornflower blue? must be Tuesday.) is not even representative of our campus (Yale Blue and Golden Yellow). Grade: sub P (VERY close to epic fail)

4/24/2008 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i bet those alumni naming conventions were a really good time.

4/24/2008 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That second comma looks really stupid. And why does the "l" in Berkeley appear about three times too wide in the logo for the Warren Center?

Dumb dumb dumb....I thought "Boalt Hall" was our brand identity. Google that.

4/24/2008 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the fuck? This is unnecessarily confusing:

University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
UC Berkeley School of Law
Berkeley Law
Boalt Hall (within the “family”)

Berkeley School of Law
Berkeley Law School
Boalt Hall School of Law (or other permutations)

Why is "UC Berkeley School of Law" acceptable, but "Berkeley School of Law" isn't?

Why is "Berkeley Law" acceptable, but "Berkeley Law School" isn't?

By the way, DE, if you want to "mirror[] the names of our peer schools," take note that they are Harvard Law School and Stanford Law School, which apparently we are not allowed to call Boalt-do N&B comments count as "in the family"???

When I saw the email, I was really hoping that the naming convention would be clarified, but this is just a clusterfuck.

4/24/2008 1:19 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

Crap, I just saw the new logos. I will say this, it's far better than the new UCLA logo, which cost $98,000 for someone to hit Ctrl + I in Arial font. A celebration of bauhaus my aus.

4/24/2008 1:23 PM  
Blogger tj said...

WOW. Thank you Armen for adding perspective. That UCLA bit is the worst expenditure of public funds I've ever seen. I'm upset about it, and I hate the school.

I'll take my "90s internet pet-food" logo over that any day.

Though, frustratingly, doesn't hold a candle to Stanford or Harvard's.

4/24/2008 1:34 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Well, the trend is good, anyway. Here are two snapshots of the Boalt website from various dates, courtesy of the Wayback Machine's archive:

Dec 12, 1998.

May 20, 2000.

There is also this pre-scandal note from Dean Dwyer, about how great Boalt is.

4/24/2008 1:40 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

oops. the dean dwyer link is broken. and now I have closed my browser.

you can find it on wayback, under the 2000-ish archives.

4/24/2008 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I don't like that there is no space between "Berkeley" and "Law." It kind of looks like we are over-embracing the really strong tech/IP aspects of the school, because this reminds me of how I would expect BTLJ or BCLT to design their logos. Do we have to keep it this way?

I hope that whenever the website is finally redesigned that it's not that same white background with black letters. Look at the law school websites for Harvard, Yale, etc...they all look much more fancy with their nice, richer colors.

4/24/2008 2:22 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

maybe the logo will look good on the new website, once it's designed and unveiled...

4/24/2008 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just hope the new website doesn't have a picture of a latte with a kid using a mac next to it to match our new logo. or i might have to disown this place as a 3L.

4/24/2008 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So there's an official name and a separate internal name. Kind of reminds me of Dune. Was that intentional?

4/24/2008 5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about Berkeeley Hazell Law--discouraged?

4/24/2008 5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The first comma in "University of California, Berkeley" is governed by the Regents and the campus administration (the official name for each UC campus is "University of California, Location," but each gets to pick its own abbreviation/acronym). Berkeley's official names include "University of California, Berkeley" and "UC Berkeley," while "Cal" and "Berkeley" are reserved for trademark and licensing purposes. Using the campus's naming system, you could argue that an acceptable representation of the Boalt mailing address includes "UC Berkeley, School of Law."

If the official name were "University of California -- Berkeley, School of Law" would you still feel there was a grammatical argument for the law school's "separate" identity? Wouldn't a "separate" law school completely defeat the rationale behind the rebranding; i.e., clearly linking the law school to UC Berkeley's research/notoriety/fame?

I wish the name were just Boalt.

4/24/2008 7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I think Berkeley Law sounds cool. I think leaving off the School part helps--you're wondering, is it a school?, a center?, or some special place where clairvoyantly brilliant ideas disseminate from? Berkeley Law--scale it's walls if you dare.

4/24/2008 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutely do not understand why people wish the name was just "Boalt." The Berkeley name is known worldwide, whereas "Boalt" is only really known on the west coast. Anyone, like myself, who has family in other parts of the country probably told their family that they got accepted at "Berkeley Law" or said something like "I got into law school at Berkeley." If you say "Boalt," you get blank stares. As stupid as it all may be, we have to realize that prestige matters to a lot of people, and it helps you get your foot in the door for a lot of jobs. Sure, I know that all the major firms in NY, etc know what "Boalt" is, but not everyone wants to work at places like that. Some law students will even take non-law jobs eventually, and being able to tell a future employer that you went to "Berkeley Law" sounds a lot more impressive than "Boalt." Think of all the times in your life you have heard the phrase "Harvard Law." Berkeley is a top notch institution, and for the law school to have separated itself brand-wise from that for so long now is a joke. I am just glad that DE and other admins realized how ludicrous it was to not take advantage of the Berkeley name.

It also makes perfect sense to keep using "Boalt" internally, b/c obviously a lot of people have sentimental attachment to the name. And we wouldn't want to discourage alumni from giving money by dropping it completely...

4/24/2008 9:00 PM  
Blogger Mike M said...

7:34--Thanks for the background. I understand the need for the first, official prescribed comma. The problem is that it's much harder to do XXXX Law School or XXXX Business School when XXX has a comma in it.

It's the other comma that I don't get: the comma between "Berkeley" and "School of Law."

4/24/2008 11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, it's 7:34PM here.

I guess by explaining the first comma I meant to say (but didn't), that the whole phrase "[U of C, X]" should be considered as one name, much like "University of PA/MI/VA." If you then place a comma after that phrase (the second for us, the first for everyone else) then it's not like a separating clause. I understand that on paper this makes no difference because it looks totally ridic.

9:00PM, I understand your ire around "Boalt" -- no one I've met on the East Coast has any g.d. idea what Boalt is until you clarify with "at Berkeley." Even within the law world, I watch the little gears in people's heads process as they think about where that could be. However, the story often flips for Californians. I cannot count the number of times people have given me blank stares when I say I go to law school at Berkeley. It's almost always awkwardly followed up with "which one?" because they don't know the difference between UC Hastings and Boalt.

At any rate, I understand the branding argument, linking to Cal, etc., etc. I just prefer the sound and brevity of "Boalt" -- I think it sounds WAY more commanding than "Berkeley Law." Part of what makes Stanford Law, Harvard Law, Yale Law, Penn Law, sound compelling is that they end with consonants (an exception to Columbia, but "Columbia Law" is a mouthful anyway). I really think that "eee" at the end of "Berkeley" makes the new name sound toolish, as opposed to "Boalt Hall" (which you could easily write as "Boalt Hall School of Law, UC Berkeley"), which sounds authoritative.

4/25/2008 5:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@5:45--after 8 years of practicing in CA, I have yet to encounter someone who confuses Hastings with Berkeley. Just sayin.

4/25/2008 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone interviewing on the East Coast run into anyone who didn't know where Boalt was? I know I didn't - on the other hand, I ran into a few who were confused why a school with a well known name would try to rebrand itself.

Also, am I the only one who thinks the new logo looks like FedEx? Except without the cool hidden arrow?

4/25/2008 8:46 PM  

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