Called "Boalt Hall" for many years, the law school at the University of California’s Berkeley campus recently decided to change its name because of concerns that people outside the Bay Area did not know what "Boalt Hall" was. "We [were] looking for ways to more clearly identify the law school with Berkeley so that outside audiences will have a clearer sense of what we are," said the school’s dean, Christopher Edley Jr.
To ensure that the law school was more clearly identified with Berkeley, the administration hired a San Francisco consulting firm, Marshall Strategy Inc. According to its website, Marshall Strategy "helps all types of organizations develop successful identity strategies. This may involve re-positioning or revitalizing existing identities, creating new identities, or aligning brand portfolios." Or, Marshall can "align and rationalize identity portfolios for strategic effectiveness and cumulative impact," if that would help. "We are experts in creating meaningful names."
The name-creation experts conducted interviews with alumni, students, donors and others in the community, and, after an undoubtedly lengthy process of rationalizing the school’s identity portfolio to maximize strategic effectiveness and cumulative impact, UC Berkeley’s school of law will now be known as —
the "UC Berkeley School of Law."
This seems to have cost the UC Berkeley School of Law about $25,000. In a happy coincidence, the school’s new name happens to match what it has been using on its diplomas for some time now — those do not say "Boalt," but rather "University of California, Berkeley – School of Law." The article did not say whether the consultants reviewed the diplomas before creating the school’s new name, or if in doing so they advised Boalt to go with the partial initial capitalization or to de-utilize the internal punctuational markings in its existing brand.
Also coincidentally, Edley has supported hefty fee increases at UC Berkeley School of Law, saying they’re needed to attract top-quality faculty, and the school kicked off a $125 million fundraising campaign last year. Alumni, please kick in a little extra for the branding consultants.