Office of the Dean
A Message From Dean Erwin Clopp:
Welcome to Manhattan Law School and to our website, on a computer, where you can read all about this marvelous place — and even, my staff insists, see pictures. It’s amazing what technology has wrought. Once upon a time people had to describe things to each other and we had to work to envision them in our minds. Do people use their minds anymore? They do here, at Manhattan Law School. Largely because we can’t afford many computers.
When I first arrived at the school we were a backwater, literally filled up with the runoff from the canal, and no one took us seriously as a place of higher education. But now we have an established history of offering classes to law students, a fully-enclosed physical location in which to do so, and six sump pumps operating round the clock. So we are most certainly an environment in which to study law.
The Dean of Yale Law School writes that his “is a community dedicated to scholarly excellence and to the education of our students, [striving] to offer our students the skills, the confidence, and the courage to find fulfillment in the law.” I’m not sure I could say it any better, so I’ll just let his words speak for myself.
Our faculty includes prominent practitioners of many disciplines and with much academic diversity. We have professors whose families originated in Northern Europe — as well as Southern Europe. We have dozens of guest lecturers each year, some of whom use the world outside our doors as their classroom — and as their home. We have a conference room. We have a vending machine. Some of our faculty offices are air-conditioned.
Manhattan Law School is a place where law doesn’t just happen. It’s a place where law is made, broken, and unbroken many times over. Did you know we committed over five thousand municipal violations in the past year alone? I’m not sure our friends at Yale can say the same.
Beginning in their first year, our students learn what it is really like to be a lawyer, as we work them 18 hours a day, seven days a week, doing things that even a young child could do, with a minimum of training and instruction. In the second and third year, our students can explore their passions, and dive deeper into one of the two course areas we offer to our upper level students. In the fourth year, they begin to wonder why they are still here, and by the fifth year many of them refuse to pay tuition.
We’ve produced many graduates, some of whom are still willing to receive mail from us, and a few of whom are allowed by the state to call themselves lawyers. Our graduates serve food to many boards and committees across the country, and carry on a proud tradition of receiving philanthropic gifts. Please honk if you see them.
Welcome to Manhattan Law School. Our house is your house – if your house were ten stories tall and had an elevator condemned by the fire department.