A few additional thoughts:
*Sotomayor’s comments illustrate how thoroughly people get de-classed when they rise in the American social system. After all, it’s not as if Sotomayor’s remarks illustrate her lack of up to date knowledge regarding political corruption in Bhutan or something. She’s talking about her very own profession, and yet it seems clear she (like John Roberts) has managed to avoid finding out what’s actually going on in that profession.
This in turn suggests that the new federal law requiring all SCOTUS justices to attend both Princeton and Yale may not be encouraging the most important kinds of diversity.
*Few things are more annoying than high-status quasi-lawyers (as I point out in the piece judges and law professors don’t practice law) burbling on about how being a lawyer is a particularly public-regarding occupation. Sure, part of a lawyer’s job involves helping people. But:
(a) You can say this about any service profession, including the guy who brings you a cheeseburger with a side of fries.
(b) Another part of the job involves hurting people, which is a lot easier to forget if you don’t actually do the job, hence the blovations of judges and law profs.
(2) In November Catholic University hired Daniel Attridge, the managing partner of Kirkland & Ellis' DC office, to be the law school's new dean. On Friday the school sent a letter around announcing that some unspecified number of staff are being laid off, as part of a reorganization of the law school, undertaken in response to declining enrollment and revenue. (Interestingly, the linked story from the NLJ says that Attridge was going to become dean in July, but according to Friday's letter he's starting this week. All this is rather suggestive of what may happen when someone who has spent a good deal of time considering P&L statements is asked to take over a law school under present circumstances).
(3) Speaking of dean searches and innovative budgetary ideas, an IU Maurer student writes:
Professor Solan is coming to IU Maurer next week to interview for the open Dean position there. As is typical of these events there is an open question and answer session. If you and the other members/readers of your site would like to compile a list of questions that you think should be asked I will make sure that they are shared with the enrolled students at large.If you don't have the time or interest, than I'd just like to thank you for your time and the work you do on your blog - it is not always pleasant reading for a 1L, but that's no surprise.I will continue to share your posts on Professor Solan and other topics to my peers at Maurer and elsewhere.
(4) Relatedly, a 1L at another school is interested in what current law students can do to push reform efforts forward:
Like you and many of your readers, I feel great frustration with the current state of legal education. Unlike many, I entered law school (I am a 1L at [ ]) with a certain awareness of the shortcomings of the system. I knew what I was signing up for, but I do not think it means I have to take it (the detriments of the system) lying down. But what CAN I do?I've passed on some thoughts, but I'm sure others have better ones.
I have made a frustrated attempt at being proactive about reform at my school and I am not sure what path to choose moving forward. The first step was seeking like-minded individuals, from fellow students to faculty and staff. Many people seem, to various degrees, aware of challenges facing legal education, but no one seems motivated to take substantial action. Students are simply over-burdened with the study load to do more than complain, staff (as at-will employees) are not in a position to buck the system, and faculty members are either too comfortable in their tenure, and/or wary of being under the Dean's cross-hairs if they become subversive. I have actually gone directly to the Dean to seek participation in [my school's] efforts at reform, but the meetings and communications fizzled out with a rejection of the open-door approach (i.e.- student involvement). It seems that [my school] is ready to acknowledge big challenges exist, but is still uncomfortable with thinking radically.I suspect I am not the only one who has been in this position and that is why I am seeking advice. What have other students done at schools? Can you point my attention towards any groups or forums about ground-level reform action? Do you caution against any approaches that end up being counter-productive or complete failures? What can be done by someone who does not want to become an enemy of their school's administration but also cannot stand idly by with their head stuck in the sand?