Law students (maybe not really) await their mascot auditions (not really) in a new video from UC-Hastings College of Law.

Law students (maybe not really) await their mascot auditions (not really) in a new video from UC-Hastings College of Law.

There are a lot of things that might stir pride in your alma mater, even including your law school (OK, that’s a stretch.) But I’m not sure what emotion is stirred by a recent humorous announcement that Hastings Law is trying … mascots.

Before you get too deep into law school irritation (yes, it’s a thing), take a deep breath and realize: It’s a joke.

Yes, the University of California–Hastings College of Law did put out a video of a faux mascot competition. But they only did it to drive home the message that they are wholly focused on law, and not those many other things schools of general knowledge spend time on.


Here’s the video, which I rather enjoyed.

But then I started thinking: Maybe a mascot wouldn’t be so bad. Ever so briefly, it might take your mind off tax law, and damages, and civil procedure, and all those horrible things we discovered in torts that a vacuum could do. I mean, what if law schools around the nation lent their imaginations to the effort to select mascots that befit their mission and their clientele? What would they come up with?

And what would you come up with? I really wanna know. Send me a note ( indicating your best law school mascot idea, which I may share, depending on the absence of obscenities.

Just so you know, sharks or shark-related ideas will be declined by me as the decider. Not because they’re not funny. But just because they’re altogether too easy.

Happy Change of Venue Friday. Enjoy your weekend—and always keep swimming.

A news story today detailed the newest flash point in the debate over whether Native American images should ever be used as sports team logos. As NPR reports:

“School team nicknames like the Chieftains and Braves may soon be a thing of the past in Wisconsin, where a new law allows the state to ban race-based mascots and logos. If a complaint is upheld, school districts face fines of up to $1,000 a day.”

Aside from “We’ve always done it,” I’m not sure there’s any good argument for resisting the drift toward the more respectful stance of not using these mascots anymore. (Well, there is the revenue that sports teams make, but there are plenty of non-racist tasteless approaches they could use to rake in the moolah.)

This all takes me back to my own college’s team logos.

Siena College is a small Franciscan school who does pretty well at sports, despite their relatively meager resources (sort of — I majored in English, whose department would have been happy to have the sports budget, I’m sure).

Their logo has shifted over the years. All I recall from my time there was an illustration of Snoopy, as “Joe Cool,” dribbling a Siena basketball.

Not that I knew he was Joe Cool – I thought he had a disability. So enamored was I of the school’s willingness to be self-deprecating about its own team – they showed him as a blind fella! – that I purchased a shirt with the image. Imagine my angst-ridden disappointment when I realized I was helping to tout Siena’s coolness factor. So as you can see, it’s not only school districts that are clueless when it comes to mascots and logos.

Currently, the logo of the Siena Saints (shown at the top left) appears to be a Saint Bernard. That’s nice, though I would have advocated for a series of, you know, actual saints playing a variety of sports. Francis dunking at the rim, Jerome on the links, Elizabeth in the crease, Sebastian on the mound. Another good idea left on the ash-heap of history.

The UC Irvine Anteater: That Doesn't Suck

But if the St. Bernard doesn’t stand the test of time (and if the school can work out the licensing), Siena could always go back to that coolest of beagles.

And for those other teams that use an Indian mascot, why not pick an animal (sorry: the anteater’s already been taken by UC–Irvine), or even a saint. Thousands are still available, so call now.