The Legal Beat
Law Revue Video Contest 2017: The Winner!
Posted on Friday April 28, 2017
It’s time to announce the winner of Above the Law’s 2017 Law Revue Video Contest. And the winner is…
There is no winner. In fact, you — or many of you, at least — are a bunch of losers.
Here’s an open letter we received from one of the finalists, Penn Law Revue:
This is Penn Law Revue chiming in to give our two cents about this year’s unusually egregious cheating among the law revue finalists. BOO, YOU WHORES. Is it just us, or are the bots getting more swole, and more careless? Isn’t there a joke about lawyers being good at getting away with cheating people?
Just in case you don’t believe us, we compiled some stats. We did this mostly for our own amusement, but also because we have nothing better to do the Thursday before finals. #3LOL. In case you’re worried that we’re being petty, rest assured, we are, and we screenshot EVERYTHING. See, S**ts&Giggles Dropbox Account.
- Between April 26 at 6:19pm (web cache permalink) and April 27 at 12:30am, over 7,000 votes were cast for the top 3 videos.
- During this 12:30am time frame, NYU, Columbia, and UVA had more votes (15,704; 13,950; 9,706, respectively) than YouTube views (9,686; 6,123; 4,956; Penn: 5,431; SU; 7,406; UT: 3,803)
- At one point, Columbia increased by 1,716 votes in 52 minutes. Compare 12:30am with 1:22am. This is an average of 33 votes a minute, or, a vote every other second.
- Between 2:08am and 10:54am, an additional 8,000 votes were cast, putting the top 3 within spitting distance of each other, at around 17,000 votes each, almost entirely due to UVA’s last ditch 5,400 vote push (that didn’t even work).
This is an impressive audit (and we’d expect nothing else from Penn Law students, even 3Ls). And we have some evidence of our own. Check out the supposed vote tally:
This shows more than 100,000 votes being cast in the contest. But we know, thanks to WordPress and Google Analytics, that the contest voting page did not receive anything close to 100,000 pageviews.
A contest winner? Sorry, Columbia and NYU and UVA — we award you no points, and may character and fitness have mercy on your soul.
So what is to be done regarding a “winner”? Penn Law Revue graciously proposed giving the trophy to their competition at Syracuse:
In light of Columbia, NYU, and UVA’s rampant cheating, we think Syracuse should just win. They always had the best video (and also, OMG, just a general not giving a s**t about, like, needing to cheat to win a virtual trophy???). I mean, c’mon, Syracuse be throwing delicious shade while those T-3 A**holes be gunnering about trying to get the A+ at any cost. Honey, try emotional fulfillment for once, and a little work/life balance. I promise, you’ll be happier.
Also, it seems fitting that Syracuse’s video, which is about how your actual ability as a lawyer matters, not just your school ranking, should win over our boorish New York and Charlottesville colleagues, who clearly skipped professional responsibility, hurt its feelings by skipping it, and then didn’t even care about hurting its feelings. What the hell, guys?
Finally, we know that there’s rampant cheating every year, and no matter how many times you change the polling system, people find a way to game it. Which is too bad, because Columbia, NYU, and UVA’s videos are actually good–hell, they’ve been inspiring us since back when we were wee 1Ls. But that’s no excuse. Maybe all this cheating nonsense will end if you actually disbar–I mean, disqualify–these f**k bois.
TLDR; disqualify the a**holes; Syracuse is winner because, winning.
We are certainly open to declaring Syracuse the winner under an “editors’ choice” system (and reserve the right to do that if necessary). But you know what? It’s Friday, we’re feeling forgiving, so we’re going to give you one last chance.
If you return to Above the Law at some point on Monday, you will see a post providing you with information on how to re-vote in the Law Revue Video Contest, using a more secure system. Here’s how it will work:
1. In the post, we’ll include a brief form (first name, last name, email address) that you will need to fill out in order to submit your vote.
2. Once you submit the form, you will receive an email message with a link that will let you submit your vote.
3. The link in the email will lead to a voting page, which will include a CAPTCHA form to hinder bots.
4. Voting will close on THURSDAY, MAY 4, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern time).
(Note: by filling out the form, you consent to receive Above the Law’s new law school newsletter, full of our most interesting and enjoyable stories from the world of legal education. You can unsubscribe at any time, of course. If you find newsletters annoying, well, tough — you annoyed us first with your cheating.)
We once again urge you — future officers of the court, members of a learned and ethical profession — not to cheat. But if you do insist on cheating — and yes, we realize people can cheat by creating dozens of fake email addresses — we will make such an effort very irritating and time-consuming for you. So please, vote just once; it’s not worth the time and hassle to cheat (yes, even if you’re a 3L done with exams).
If you cheated, take this weekend to reflect on how pathetic it is, as Penn Law noted, to cheat for a virtual trophy. Then check back on Monday for your second chance to win — this time, with honor.
UPDATE (4/30/2017, 10:28 a.m.): Yes, some bots used for cheating can generate pageviews (as one reader pointed out to us by email) — but apparently not all the bots used here, because there was a vast gap between votes and pageviews.
David Lat is the founder and managing editor of Above the Law and the author of Supreme Ambitions: A Novel. He previously worked as a federal prosecutor in Newark, New Jersey; a litigation associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; and a law clerk to Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. You can connect with David on Twitter (@DavidLat), LinkedIn, and Facebook, and you can reach him by email at [email protected].