Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2015

Publication Citation

22 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 113 (2015)


What does it mean for law school applicants to become, as Mindie Lazarus-Black and Julie Globokar put it, "what the ranking[s] count[]"? What does it mean for foreign applicants to develop responses to the application process by writing essays in certain ways, to project themselves (again as Lazarus-Black and Globokar put it) as "commodified persona[s]"? The application process analyzed by Lazarus-Black and Globokar exemplifies what Greg Urban calls metaculture: cultural forms that point actors toward recognizing and understanding what they do as exemplifying a particular cultural pattern. Metaculture is the mechanism by which culture is reproduced, moving through time and space. The admissions process is metacultural because it defines who one should be as a law student while spreading that definition (quite literally) throughout the world. Lazarus-Black and Globokar lay out the entextualization of law school admissions essays by illuminating the details of that process, which, as Mertz shows us, is just the beginning of an extended project concerning engagement with institutional metadiscourse and consequent socialization of law students.