Pronouncing The Unpronounceable

I’ve got to hand it to my law school alma mater.  The Georgetown University Law Center has performed a crucial service for law students everywhere by publishing an on-line guide to properly pronouncing the names of law firms.

It’s critical for two reasons.  First, law firm names tend to be a mouthful.  They’re usually the last names of long-dead people, strung together in no particular order, resulting in some of the most convoluted, unpronounceable business names you can possibly imagine.  Second, most law firms nevertheless think that every rational person — and certainly any law student who wants to get a job — should know how to pronounce the firm name.  If you botch it, you’re probably not going to get an offer.

The Georgetown guide is a set of firm names with hyperlinks to mp3 files of a person correctly pronouncing the firm name.  It’s easy to use and, at least as it relates to the name of my firm, it’s accurate, too.

Law school students everywhere owe a debt of gratitude to GULC.  Of course, the law school’s motive is not entirely altruistic.  If the guide can cause Georgetown law students to avoid the unforgivable sin of mispronunciation, they won’t be disqualified from consideration for jobs by such blunders . . . and if Georgetown grads get hired more frequently as a result, it’s going to make the law school a more attractive choice for prospective students.