Cheerleaders & Facebook: a lesson for law students


Hiring Process News flash! Hiring decisions made by strangers may be made on the content of your content, as opposed to the content of your character.

Just when I thought that everyone knew that Facebook was not a place to display photos of any indiscretions, one of my favorite guilty pleasures, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Making the Team 6, burst that bubble yet again.
  
DCC: A guilty pleasure

Having never known a college or professional cheerleader, it was news to me to learn that they are serious, dedicated, and talented dancers with the enormous stamina necessary to dance for three hours in a steaming hot stadium. Hundreds of young women apply to become Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (DCC) every year, and many have wanted to join the squad since they were very young girls. This is the dream job, and Facebook can kill it.

“Tonight is your last night.”

With the same finality as Top Chef’s “Pack your knives and go,” the worst words that a DCC training camp candidate can hear is “Tonight is your last night.”

Law students and cheerleaders?

I have been speaking to law students about Professionalism for years, and I always refer to an early episode of “Making the Team” (perhaps from season 2 in 2007). Very close to the end of the season, a young woman learns that the content of her Facebook page marks the end of her dream.  “Tonight is your last night,” says Director Kelli Finglass, because she and Choreographer Judy Trammell had decided that its content couldn’t be associated with the DCC.

Lesson learned. That should have been the end of it. Every potential DCC candidate should have memorized that episode and edited her Facebook page to protect and enhance her candidacy.

But no.

In Season 6, which wraps on December 9, 2012, training camp candidates were send home because of their online presence.  Racy and inappropriate photographs  were discussed in episode 3, and a significant portion of episode 6 was devoted to a Social media seminar, which included a reference to a 2009 Halloween dress up misadventure when a DCC’s Halloween costume (as Lil’ Wayne in blackface) went viral.  

Lesson learned? I hope so, but I'll have to wait for Season 7 to be sure.

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