We learned yesterday that a number of Texas Wesleyan Law School graduates are now suing Texas A&M University for alumni status because the University acquired Wesleyan in 2013. Do they have a case? Here are a couple of viewpoints:
GIVE IT TO THEM
"Oh what a bunch of wasteful lawyers tort society frivolous lawsuits rabble rabble." That's an easy first reaction to have, obviously. But let's take a step back and see what it really means.
For lawyers, it's not just about claiming a bigger, more recognizable entity as their school. Based on my understanding*, part of the nuts and bolts of lawyering is that whenever you submit your credentials for something, everything gets checked: employment, certification, education, you name it. Now, they can no longer list "Texas Wesleyan" as their law school, because it doesn't exist. But neither can they now list "Texas A&M" as their law school, because they are not being recognized. That leaves them with a resume that doesn't have an accredited law school on it, which makes job applications a bit dicey and leads to an awkward state of hemming and hawing and having to explain in a roundabout way that their law school is still there, it just has a different name.
Imagine, if you will, that we live in the future. Perhaps the not-too-distant future, say the year 2080 or so. Texas A&M has continued to thrive by maintaining an unique identity while keeping pace with the rest of the world academically. We're a well-respected entity. Suddenly, we're absorbed by one of the biggest universities in the galaxy, Stanford East in Austin. They're top-notch in nearly every regard, but they lack credibility in certain fields, and they readily tout centuries of Aggie tradition, spirit, camaraderie, and everything else when advertising in this region. However, Aggies are not allowed to join their alumni association.
Kind of sucks, right? Well, that's sort of maybe fractionally what this resembles. It's not just about bragging rights, but we're messing with the professional lives of these Wesleyan graduates. They aren't the ones who implemented this merger, so why make them pay? They're just trying to make their underhanded livings as lawyers, amirite? We're not elitists, are we? Let's be inclusive in this and show everyone that the Aggie Spirit means accepting everyone associated with the new A&M School of Law, even those who graduated before the name changed.
*(I have no real understanding, per se. Gig 'em. Your retainer fee is in the mail, Texas A&M School of Law graduates.)
I-35 RUNS BOTH WAYS
You know the expression "Once an Aggie, always an Aggie"? Well in order to be the latter, you must meet the former.
We all know that being an Aggie is not about receiving a quality education, producing upstanding members of society, or being part of an international family with a common bond. It's about football games and mugging down with your date at Midnight Yell. It's about whooping, dunking your ring at the Chicken, and Miss Rev ma'am. Aggiedom is an experience, and those who did not attend the College Station campus have no idea about the true Aggie Spirit. Those people obviously do not deserve to be recognized as alumni.
Heck, if they did deserve it then they would know that the correct term is Former Students. QED.
Texas A&M University claims the accomplishments of the graduates of the Texas A&M Law School because they own it. They did not give that school millions of dollars out of the kindness of their hearts - universities are a business, not a charity. Claiming those accomplishments is merely accruing a return on their investment. These lawyers should simply thank A&M for the investment (and no doubt improvement) in their school and move on with their lives.
Does the university recognize A&M-Galveston students as alumni? I have no idea. Probably not, though. And if they do then it's the exception that proves the rule.
I-35 runs both ways, but neither of them leads to Aggieland. You know where they do lead? That's right, boys: sip country.
Gig 'em and God Bless.