I know I should be immune to surprise at this point, but it still surprises me how much outright deception law schools continue to engage in when attempting to lure applicants.
I have a forwarded email chain in my inbox that I don't have permission to quote from directly, but which the correspondent has allowed me to paraphrase.
It involves negotiations between an admitted applicant and a top 20 law school. The applicant is a "splitter" in the jargon of the trade -- someone with a low (sub 3.0) GPA and a high (168) LSAT. The applicant was admitted off the wait list recently and was offered a $60K "scholarship." (This is a much larger "scholarship" than applicants with much better numbers who were admitted months earlier received).
Unfortunately for the school, the applicant is that rarest of fauna -- an actually sophisticated consumer of higher education. Over the course of a few weeks the applicant squeezed increasingly larger "scholarship" amounts out the school (again, these awards aren't scholarships in the sense of income from endowments -- they're simply straight discounts on the price of tuition). The award went from $60K to $84K to $99K to $105K, as "additional scholarship funding" mysteriously became available every time the applicant said no to the previous offer.
I know from other correspondence that the admissions office at this school was lying routinely to other applicants, having told them months earlier that the school had "run out of funding" for increased "scholarship" aid.
The most mordantly amusing exchange in this particular email chain involves living expenses. After the applicant rejects the $99K offer, the response containing the $105K offer also informs the applicant that the school's cost of living estimates are "extremely generous" (aka greatly exaggerated), and indeed much more generous than similar estimates made by some competitor schools, because the school intentionally uses the highest-rent district in the city to make them, in order to make sure students can take out the "maximum amount" in federal loans! The applicant is assured that although the cost of living estimate provided by the school to the federal loan authorities estimates an astronomical monthly rent, there are plenty of apartments near the school that rent for less than half as much as the estimate.
Somehow all this reminds me of my brief and inglorious legal career, which largely consisted of going through corporate documents looking for particularly damning bits of information. Every now and then you'd run into a letter from a corporate officer that all but said in plain English something along the lines of "is the cartel's price-fixing meeting still on for Tuesday?" At least that guy didn't actually work for a law school.