Present Salaries for Law School Faculty at Select Schools
Salaries are for tenure track positions, and do not include administrative salaries. Note also that these salaries do not include summer research stipends, which most faculty at most top 100 law schools receive more or less as a matter of course. Summer research stipends tend to run at 10% to 20% of base salary. For example at Michigan they are 15% of base, making the top salaries (excluding fringe benefits such as employer pension contributions etc) in the $330K range. Michigan’s law school dean received a salary of $447,000 in 2009-2010.
Florida -- 2009
4 of 48 making $200K+
Illinois -- 2009
15 of 49 making $200K+
Ohio State -- 2010
11 of 36 making $200K
Texas -- 2010
33 of 69 are making $200K+
Median salary: $218,000
38 of 63 are making $200K
These are all first-tier schools, and average salaries are somewhat lower at many lower-ranked schools (Still, there are lots of law faculty making 150K and even 200K at plenty of third-tier law schools).
The article also claims that law professors work an average of 40.3 hours per week, over a 40-week work year. Um, OK.
Nothing I've written on this blog has upset my colleagues throughout the law school world as much as my somewhat casual observation that it didn't appear to me that most law faculty worked very hard. It turns out this is totally not true, as every single law professor who has responded to that remark has pointed out that he or she personally works very hard indeed (there may be self-reporting and sample bias issues with this data however).
For what it's worth I asked a particularly hard-headed colleague with a serious business and business law background -- who by the way disapproves of this blog quite a bit on purely prudential grounds -- to estimate how many hours per week the median law professor works, assuming a European-style four weeks of vacation per year. He said "twenty." I was like, c'mon John (not his real name), how about thirty? "No way. Twenty." (He was willing to go close to thirty for the mean though).
Now on one level it doesn't make much difference how hard law faculty do or don't work. What matters is whether the work they're doing -- and which their students are paying for -- is something their students are benefiting from. If law professors were all working 60 hours a week, but 50 of those hours were spent doing things of little or no educational value, then the structure of legal education would be every bit as dysfunctional as a system that effectively paid people $200,000 per year to provide ten hours per week of arguably useful educational services.
Which brings us back to the question of what all these hard-working legal faculty are doing. They certainly aren't teaching much -- at first tier schools law faculty typically spend about 100 to 130 hours per year inside classrooms. Of course many of them write lots of law review articles, but for reasons I've touched on the law review article production system is a stupendous waste of human resources. The first rebellious thing I did in this business was to stop writing them, after producing a whole bunch in my first few years in academia (In the years since published three books, several articles in peer-reviewed academic venues, and about seven hundred pieces of journalism).
I challenge anyone who wants to mount a defense of the law review publication system to perform a simple experiment. Go visit the offices of your school's law journals, and pick up 20 randomly selected submissions. This is what you're going to find: about 15 of these purported scholarly contributions are going to be more awful than you can possibly imagine. I don't mean they're going to be boring and lifeless and uninteresting: I mean they're going to be the products of people who almost literally can't write coherent English, let alone think interesting thoughts about interesting questions. Don't believe me? Fine, get back to me after you perform this experiment. Of the remaining five articles, four will be at least minimally competent exercises in the boring and lifeless and uninteresting attempt to produce something that at least looks like scholarship. One (if you're lucky) will be something you could conceivably imagine wanting to read if it were on a subject in which you had any interest, which it won't be.
All of this is a perfectly predictable consequence of our present system for producing what is called "legal scholarship," but again, there is no substitute for the actual experience of confronting the heart of darkness that is your law journals' submission process. If the stuff coming over the electronic transom represents nearly half of what students are paying for, then it really doesn't matter how "hard" law professors are working to produce it. (And let's be candid: anybody who can write at all and has half a brain can crank out a "law review article" as easily as he or she can write a brief. Indeed that's why so many research assistants -- future judicial clerks -- end up "drafting" so many of these things. But that's a story for another day.)
In any case, happy Labor Day everyone!
About two months ago, I was talking to a chap who came from a top 6 school, got Lathamed (laid off from his biglaw job) after 4 years and was now working for free to avoid gaps in his resume. He wanted to know how to become a law professor.ReplyDelete
I told him that the good schools are extremely competitive, and even the bad ones are competitive as well. I told him that he needed to publish at least one article before going through the AALS meat market, but I also told him that his prestigious background was a big positive. I also warned him that at law schools, you will have the occasional student who is bold enough to allude to the law school scam in class or in discussions with you, including discussions held after he/she has graduated. I warned him about the guilt.
He responded that with all of the fraud and criminality he's seen as a biglaw defense attorney he wasn't worried about it at all. This was an interesting perspective, and I guess there are worse scams in this world (although those usually prey upon the rich and not some poor college grad who had to take out loans to get scammed.) However, I wanted to tell him that the difference between what he would be doing, and what his clients did, is that the latter had been sued and/or prosecuted.
I let it go so as to avoid unpleasant discourse. However, as I am anonymous here I will not let it go. In my opinion law professors have a very criminal mentality: (a) a psycopath's lack of empathy for the harm they do (as demonstrated by the Dean's statement that law school debt is not a problem because it is like mortgage debt) and (b) an actual act that turns (a) from something that actually hurts people (the act being their very purposeful manipulation of job data).
If in fact it turns out that law schools have been manipulating their data, I believe the people in charge should be prosecuted and jailed.
* from being a mere thought into something that actually hurts peopleReplyDelete
If the stuff (of typical Law Review articles is in fact useless sh--, my paraphrase), then it really doesn't matter how "hard" law professors are working to produce it."ReplyDelete
I'm reminded of China's "Great Leap Forward" under the lunatic "theorist" Mao. Legions of Chinese worked very hard indeed, melting their households' steel tools into absolutely useless lumps of sh--. Consequently around 30 million of them starved to death because they wasted their labour and resources on a totally useless kind of "hard work".
There's barely a penny's worth of difference between the Communist way of "measuring" "production" and the current Anglosphere academic convention of measuring "production" by numbers of useless "publications", except perhaps that in SOME Communist countries like the Soviet Union, they actually produced lots of truly useful things.
There was a proposal in another forum that a professor's compensation for teaching should be separated from his compensation for publishing, and that professors should allocate their time (and thus their earnings) as they wish, and the public could finally figure out what a law review article costs.
As a practitioner, I dearly wish that law professors would get away from writing pseudo-scholarly thumbsuckers and instead produce more doctrinal surveys. Those would actually be read and used.ReplyDelete
9:59, Those also require a ton of work. If they were publishing something that useful they would publish it as a $700 practitioner's guide and charge for it.ReplyDelete
Further re the American/Langdellian model of "law as a science",ReplyDelete
Well, it's not a science. It's not even a quasi-science like putative "social sciences", except perhaps in some marginalised areas like Comparative Law. Therefore it's inappropriate to award ANY kind of Doctorate degree - JD OR PhD - in Law, EXCEPT in rare instances of original research involving either hard or soft sciences.
But the Langdellian concept of "law as a science" isn't even a soft science; it's a pseudo-science akin to phrenology.
(Go look up that word, "phrenology", if you don't know it; come on you HYS Yank law "professors", use a dictionary for once! And the correct spelling of the verb indicating "loss" is NOT spelled "LOOSE", as I've seen it spelt by T-14 Law Review alumni! ARGH!)
Langdell's appalingly 19th century pseudo-scientific concept of law, here:
"Law, considered as a science, consists of certain principles or doctrines. To have a mastery of these as to be able to apply them with constant facility and certainty to the ever-tangled skein of human affairs, is what constitutes a true lawyer."
...reminds me of this music video:
...but American law "professors" have LESS justification to shout "SCIENCE" than any mad scientists of real sciences do.
"In the years since published three books, several articles in peer-reviewed academic venues, and about seven hundred pieces of journalism"ReplyDelete
And this great blog!
Further re law and pseudo-science, judges uneducated in the natural sciences are especially prone to arrogate to themselves the powers that non-scientists ought humbly to eschew.ReplyDelete
Eg, the US Supreme Court case Buck v Bell (1927), opinion by the bloody arrogant and scientifically (and morally) ignorant (either ignorant or arrogantly dismissive of Aristotelian/Thomistic logic and ethics) Oliver Wendell Holmes:
"Carrie Buck is a feeble minded white woman who was committed to the State Colony above mentioned in due form. She is the daughter of a feeble minded mother in the same institution, and the mother of an illegitimate feeble minded child....An Act of Virginia, approved March 20, 1924 recites that the health of the patient and the welfare of society may be promoted in certain cases by the sterilization of mental defectives...It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind...."
This US Supreme Court decision was cited by the defense at the Nuremberg Trials, as it had been adopted by Nazi jurists to justify Nazi eugenics.
Nazism pretended to be "scientific" as per Darwin, and there was in fact a germ of truth it its pretensions to be scientific.
Law has very little to do with science, and in fact it doesn't have much to do with fairness, let alone truth. Law is violence by other means; it's a marginally effective substitute for anarchic violence. Thus whatever kind of "science" underlies law, is the historical evidence of the nature of Man. But paradoxically (or not?) American law schools MARGINALISE all REAL science (including social sciences, which to my mind are derivatives of history) while they promote the pseudo-science of "finding" "The Law" in footnotes scribbled by clerics who know little or nothing of any science at all.
OWS, Good posts.ReplyDelete
"...as demonstrated by the Dean's statement that law school debt is not a problem because it is like mortgage debt..."ReplyDelete
Spending even a small amount of time with deans and academic types invariably leads you to one conclusion: They have lived firmly clamped on the teat of academia, sheltered from reality for so long that they have no understanding of how the real world operates.
@OWS you missed the best part!ReplyDelete
"Three generations of imbeciles are enough."
Exactly. One very simple reason that statement is absurd is the concept of "jingle mail" whereby the mortgagor gets to return the house and the loans. Do law schools have "jingle mail" whereby I can return the degree and get my money back?ReplyDelete
I have another bone to pick with the law professors who defend their hard work. I think they miss a couple of important differences between their self-described 70-hour weeks and the lives of practicing lawyers -- namely, the stress and boredom. One difference between the two is the deadlines and scheduling issues that lawyers experience. I don't think there is a lawyer alive who hasn't had plans wrecked by a surprise motion or a deposition that cannot be rescheduled, sometimes forcing one to drop everything else and spend the next 60 hours awake. That kind of pressure is one of the things that makes life in practice so miserable and I don't see that factor looming large in the academic schedule. The second difference is that to the extent law professors are working around the clock on law review articles, they have selected the scholarly topic on which they are working, usually because it is something in which they are interested (even if only 5 other people in the world are similarly interested). Practicing lawyers don't get to do that nearly as often, even if they originally selected their area of practice (which doesn't always happen). Clients have problems and working on those problems often requires mind-numbing research of law or facts in areas which are just not inherently interesting, let alone interesting to the lawyer conducting the research.ReplyDelete
Is it ironic to wish a bunch of unemployed people a Happy Labor Day?ReplyDelete
11:16, not to mention that in the real world lawyers have BOSSES who AUDIT the "hours worked" whereas in legal academia a tenured professor has no one supervising them.ReplyDelete
As a practicing government litigator with many years experience, I can't tell you what contempt I have for law professors (LawProf excepted, of course!) My colleagues and I work 55+ hours per week trying to protect the public under spartan conditions and high pressure and for much, much lower pay than the salary medians featured above. The large majority of law professors are useless parasites. Thanks for having the courage to out them, LawProf.ReplyDelete
The large majority of law professors are useless parasites.ReplyDelete
I don't disagree with you, but if someone wanted to offer me a tenured professorship at a law school, I'd still take it. Any pangs of guilt I felt I would assuage by shameless chasing tail among the recent grads.
hehe 12:22 you must be the guy described in 9:26. I can't say I wouldn't take such a position if offered . . .ReplyDelete
I have been practicing law for over 15 years. If someone were to ask me whether a law school professor taught me anything that I incorporated into my law practice, I would have to reply "nothing." The research and writing programs were useful and the clinics were instrumental. Nevertheless, these programs were supervised by adjuncts who had been practicing law for years. When I think of my law school professors, this is what comes to mind:ReplyDelete
1) Those that clerked for SCOTUS would bore us with insipid stories about playing tennis with Rehnquist or chess with Brennan. In fact one asshat professor claimed she had a close relationship with Rehnquist as she would refer to him as "Bill."
2) My CivPro professor published a subpar text which he of course prescribed for the course. The text concentrated on discovery only. I had to read a barbri text to get a grasp of CivPro because my professor was obsessed with the trivial law review articles he wrote about e-discovery.
3) I had a professor who was so lazy that he administered a final as a multiple choice exam. A fellow student wanted to discuss the exam results with him and his reply was "Discuss it with the scantron machine, which is never wrong."
4) I had another professor who only wrote about animal rights topics (he equated animals and roaches with humans). The cretin carried on as if he could walk on water. He loved to berate students and if challenged, he would retort with something to the effect of "I clerked for a SCOTUS justice, you are only a wet behind the ears 1L."
I was fortunate to attended law school on a full-ride scholarship almost 20 years ago. I would have never paid sticker price, even back then when tuition was somewhat reasonable. I have excommunicated myself from my former law school and I have even written to the school's board of trustees to advise them that as long as these useless professors remained employed by the school, I would not contribute a dime to it. Today, these professors could not carry my jockstrap in court. Sure they are the academic equivalents of domesticated housecats, however, their continued participation in, and enrichment as a of result of the scam makes them as immoral as an SS officer on trial at Nuremberg whose defense was "I was only following orders."
I had a professor who was so lazy that he administered a final as a multiple choice exam. A fellow student wanted to discuss the exam results with him and his reply was "Discuss it with the scantron machine, which is never wrong."ReplyDelete
I wouldn't mind this. At least then there is an objective basis for your grade, unlike the "what do I feel like giving this paper" approach used with essay exams.
Another great pots but can simply be summed up this way - law faculty live off the misery and outrageous loans of young students who mostly end up in lives of financial and occupational misery. No more, no less bu thanks for revealing the woodlice for what they are in a more detailed way.ReplyDelete
Also, this is everything wrong with higher education;
"who by the way disapproves of this blog quite a bit on purely prudential ground"
Jesus, what a bunch of clueless ninnies.
...pardon my poorly worded comment but after 3 years of law school and years in the legal field my writing skills have deteriorated to the point that I can't even put together a fully coherent comment on a blog. And all for $30 grand a year!ReplyDelete
At September 5, 2011 12:42 PM , Anonymous said..." their continued participation in, and enrichment as a of result of the scam makes them as immoral as an SS officer on trial at Nuremberg whose defense was "I was only following orders."ReplyDelete
OUCH... I smelled buring flesh.
Well folks, time for some possible (as in "real") remedies for the future. For starters, check out:ReplyDelete
"Barriers to entry in the legal profession: Not enough lawyers?",The Economist, http://www.economist.com/node/21528280?frsc=dg%7Ca.
I wonder if this gem of a scholar got extra money to write her novels, which are listed as "scholarship" in her profile.ReplyDelete
You overlook Professor Murray's contribution to the law school curriculum. I am sure she is preparing tomorrow's generation of serfs, ahem, attorneys when she teaches courses such as "Feminist Jurisprudence" and "Sexual Orientation and the Law."
Let me offer a partial defense of the "Law and . . ." and CLS-style curriculum of Professors of Prof. Murray's ilk. 99% of the time, classes such as these are electives, taken by students self-selectively, in their second or (more likely) third years, and with a much more sensible grading system than your typical 1L course (there may actually be more than one classroom paper and there's much more emphasis on classroom participation).ReplyDelete
The main knock against them is that they are glorified liberal arts capstone seminars passed off as law school coursework, when in fact they have little or nothing at all to do with practice. I think this is the most salient critique of the "law and" movement in the context of the current Crisis of the Legal Profession; that the subject matter itself is usually irrelevant to the practice of law and is taught in almost purposeful contravention of the Langdellian model that dominates foundational studies in law.
And who will be more likely to make tenure? The published professor of several articles on Oral Sex and the Law, or the seasoned practictioner and effective lecturer of CivPro (who may, in fact, have tried more actual cases involving sexuality and the law).
I think we all know the answer to this one.
Plus, 2:27, if you are an affirmative action faculty hire they're great ways to fill the role you were hired to fill.ReplyDelete
Can we put a stop to comparing law school to the Holocaust?ReplyDelete
Please, DO NOT fall for 2:34's attempt to divert the discussion. He's probably you know who. Ignore his comment.ReplyDelete
I'm not trying to "divert the discussion". It should continue. This diverts the discussion:ReplyDelete
Anonymous said..." their continued participation in, and enrichment as a of result of the scam makes them as immoral as an SS officer on trial at Nuremberg whose defense was "I was only following orders."
OUCH... I smelled buring flesh.
I think this is the most salient critique of the "law and" movement in the context of the current Crisis of the Legal Profession; that the subject matter itself is usually irrelevant to the practice of law and is taught in almost purposeful contravention of the Langdellian model that dominates foundational studies in law.ReplyDelete
Those courses expose the utter pointlessness of having law school last 3 years instead of 2 for most students. Students pad out their schedules with courses that have no application to practice, and they're none the worse for it once they start practicing (other than having wasted a year when they could've been working and having racked up another year's worth of tuition and expenses).
Prof. Murray would be a wonderful addition to any creative writing contingent or ethnic studies group at America's finest junior colleges, where she would justifiably earn 35 - 50k a year for her fine services.ReplyDelete
Yet - she draws a handsome sum on the backs of debt-ridden young aspiring LAWYERS at one of America's finest mediocre private aw schools, and adds little or no value whatsoever to the reputation of the school, the career prospects of the students who's time and tuition dollars she wastes, or the law.
Behold the "scam:" her school does rank high on this dubious list thanks, in part, to her:
You are being too kind regarding the quality of law journal articles written by professors. I was Managing Editor of the Indiana University Law Journal and I swear, the better known the professor, the worse the article. We had one super famous prof send us an article that was minimally coherent and had barely any sites. We were to clean it up and we did, because we'd get the prestige of publishing it. The other profs' stuff was only marginally better. The articles we students had to write were much better because we couldn't rely so much on editing. And now, what amazes me about LJ articles is how there will be ten of them that say pretty much the same thing.ReplyDelete
"these are electives, taken by students self-selectively..."ReplyDelete
The problem with this is that these courses fill the upper level curriculum. The year I got my LLM from one of the top schools, I was astounded that this famous law school offered only ONE advanced criminal law/pro class (which was filled) while there were numerous of comparative law courses (all unfilled). Now, since the one crim course was filled, there was no choice but to self-selectively choice something less than helpful.
The hypothesis we've come up with on this forum is that there are a lot of academics who wanted to be philosophy, english lit., gender studies, . . . academics but who wanted more money and more job openings so they became a Law and [ ] professor. If you read Ms. Murray's "Ratemyprofessor" reviews you see she has excellent reviews in her gender studies class, and horrible reviews as a criminal law professor. That makes sense since she's only doing the latter to earn a paycheck, whereas the former is her passion.ReplyDelete
I'd say instead that most law profs are people who went to law school and then discovered that you can make 6 figures with a lot less work by teaching law rather than practicing it. And a lot of law profs are people who then discovered that you can "do scholarship" with a lot less work by writing novels or "law and" near-beer rather than researching and writing about the law.ReplyDelete
At 3:02 Dan said this "We had one super famous prof send us an article that was minimally coherent and had barely any sites. We were to clean it up and we did, because we'd get the prestige of publishing it. The other profs' stuff was only marginally better."ReplyDelete
Okay, this strikes me as about as ridiculous as a physics Master's student cleaning an article by Steven Hawking. It has me curious about the standards being exhibited by the law school sector of the academy (I'm not hating the player Dan, just hating the game).
What goes into choosing and editing law review articles anyway? What kinds of stuff did you chose to publish? and Why did you choose what you chose?
5:38, The students who run law reviews decide what gets published and the primary factors are (a) the prestige of the school at which the author teaches, (b) the prestige of the school that the author attended, (c) whether the article covers a hot current case, political topic, social issue . . .ReplyDelete
The peer review consists of the student reviewing the logic and citations of your article. It seems absurd that students review the work of seasoned professors, but it's actually harmless. There is no risk or harm from the lack of peer review, because law review articles don't purport to make a medical, scientific, engineering . . . something that matters discovery. As LawProf says pull out any law review and you'll see mostly, well, here look for yourself http://www.brooklaw.edu/intellectuallife/lawjournals/brooklynlawreview/generalinformation.aspx? (selected completely at random).
Video of what would happen to kids WITHOUT law school. http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e87_1313872192ReplyDelete
I think the problem with law school teaching is actually the opposite of what I'm reading here. Namely, the problem is not that law school doesn't prepare students for practice. Training for particular tasks is what early practice is for.ReplyDelete
The problem, rather, is that law school is insufficiently theoretical -- that it's a muddle of crude doctrinalism and spoon feeding of bar review material. What law school should really do is offer students insights into what the law should be. It should enable students to challenge the values held by practitioners, so that students will have different, countervailing perspectives to use in judging their experiences, and the senior partners they work for. Otherwise, practice will never change for the better.
"What law school should really do is offer students insights into what the law should be. It should enable students to challenge the values held by practitioners, so that students will have different, countervailing perspectives to use in judging their experiences, and the senior partners they work for."ReplyDelete
Yes, I'm sure partners and judges will love hiring those grads who want to debate the nucleus of every issue with them.
Judge: What's this case about?
Clerk: Grand larceny.
Judge: Can you summarize it for me?
Clerk: The indictment is another example of our patriarchal and misguided focus on ownership, with your standard Hobbs and Hume battles in there. I think we should take a stand and rewrite the law with this opinion.
Judge: You realize that due to the greed of the scumbag professor who taught you all that bullshit, I have 1,000 resumes from unemployed graduates on my desk, right?
Clerk: Right. Mr. Smith stole his roommate's IPOD but was filmed doing so with a nannie cam. The entire case comes down to this evidence issue that . . .
Judge: That's better.
Partner: We need to bury them in boxes and boxes of documents, so that they'll never be able to sift through all the discovery and find the critical documents that will doom our wrong-doing client.ReplyDelete
Properly Educated New Lawyer: No, we have an obligation to do the right thing and only hand over the documents that are truly responsive. If our client deserves to lose on the merits because of what the evidence shows, it should lose on the merits. We should not manipulate discovery to hide the truth. Our obligation to the truth, and to the court, trumps that to our client in our system.
Partner: Non-sense. We should follow the rules to the letter and take every advantage possible to help our client.
Properly Educated New Lawyer: You're advocating the Holmsean "bad man" theory of the law, and that's not the best vision of our legal system.
Partner: Ignoring the ethical issues with your proposal (do you understand how the adversarial system works?), and ignoring the fact that the other side would never believe that we gave them all the critical documents even if we did and would demand everything so they could review it for themselves, ignoring all of that, our client won't pay for us to sift through the documents and find the items that help the other side. Are you willing to do that task for free? You don't expect us to pay you for work we can't get paid for, do you? If you are willing to work for free, then please feel free to take your two weeks vacation now and spend that time going through the documents and preparing a helpful guide sheet for the other side that we will send them along with the documents. If you want you can quit your job and provide this service, unpaid, full time. But I thought that due to the scumbag greedy law professors who trained you, you have to make a $2,500 student loan payment this month.ReplyDelete
Any other question, Theory!? By the way, can I PLEASE ask what you do for a living? I haven't heard such astonishingly absurd theories since I left law school.
Partner: If you have any other issues, document them in an email so I can fire you for insuboordination and then security will escort you out of the building. Due to the greed of law schools, I have 10,000 law review resumes begging for your job.ReplyDelete
To the person (people, if one counts the comments on other posts) who apparently believes him/herself a Holocaust victim and believes it appropriate to compare law school to the Holocaust/concentration camps: stop. I'm a practicing attorney reading this blog. When I started reading, I thought that it might contribute constructively to the dialogue about legal education reforms, with some strong and usefully-radical proposals. I've now concluded that most of its points are overstated, oversimplified, strident, and at times hysterical. (One sample oversimplification is this post's characterization of 3/4s of law review articles as written by "people who almost literally can't write coherent English." I'm not sure what law reviews Prof. Campos is reading, but I'd respectfully suggest that he should perhaps revise his reading list.)ReplyDelete
In any event: comments about Auschwitz/"arbeit macht frei" (as appeared in a previous post's comments) and this post's comments about the SS are further undercutting this blog's points. Many of the commenters appear to be commenting from the less-than-credible vantagepoint of disaffected failure: they failed to get into good law schools because of their collegiate failures; they failed to do well on the LSAT; they failed to do well at the law schools they did manage to attend (leading them to disparage law school exams as poor measures of success, rather than more honestly evaluating their own lack of success) ... and then, utterly unsurprisingly, they failed to secure worthwhile legal jobs, or any jobs at all. So now, their solution is to moan on the Internet about it -- which undoubtedly will lead to every bit as much success as their previous endeavors.
You make my point, Anon. The ethical system you think is clear-cut and call the adversarial system is far more complex and nuanced. It is, and it should be, open to reasoned debate about the relative value of vigorous advocacy and promoting truth -- debate that should be renewed by each crop of newly-minted lawyers. If law practice were more theorized, that debate would be more possible. This is what I hope law schools can provide, so that we can introduce more questioning and more transformation in daily practice.ReplyDelete
LawProf: are you deleting comments that you don't like/disagree with your viewpoint? My comment briefly appeared on the site, then disappeared.ReplyDelete
Such points can be made in academia la la land where they make their living by scamming kids out of student loan funded fortunes, but in the real world there is no living for associates who want to have such discussions. That is yet another problem with turning grads into indentured servants, they have absolutely no freedom to do the "right" thing.ReplyDelete
Theory, you never officially confirmed the fact that you are a law professor (and you never addressed the two other points in the reply to you namely that the other side would never trust you to review documents for their needs and the client would never pay you to find and highlight documents that help the other side; you never said whether you would be willing to work for free to prepare a "these are the key documents" index for the other side.) If you're going to make a proposal be ready to respond to real world critiques. You are not talking to some 2l law review editor who has never practiced law.ReplyDelete
One last thing theory, the "truth" is something that exists in the real world and not in your short sighted imagination. This is an error made too often by academics.ReplyDelete
In my experience plaintiffs who complain about discovery don't do so merely to find a smoking gun. Their primarily goal is to harass the defendant into settling.ReplyDelete
1) Those that clerked for SCOTUS would bore us with insipid stories about playing tennis with Rehnquist . . .ReplyDelete
2) My CivPro professor published a subpar text . . .
3) I had a professor who was so lazy that he administered a final as a multiple choice exam. . .
4) I had another professor who only wrote about animal rights topics (he equated animals and roaches with humans). . . "I clerked for a SCOTUS justice, you are only a wet behind the ears 1L."
It may be bad form to name names, but I don't give a rat's ass--all four points you made above fit neatly in the package of a single professor, Gary Francione, at my dear ol' Rutgers Law.
He's one of the highest paid (if not the highest paid) professor at the school, and I'm not a fan of saying bad things about him, because if you talk to him one-on-one he's actually a really nice guy.
The thing is, he's this raging egomaniac who tells 1L's in his Crim Law classes he will literally give you an "F" in the course if you go on the internet at all while in his class (even to pull something off of Westlaw that is relevant to class).
He clerked on SCOTUS and had the unmitigated gall to actually use the phrase "Rehnquist's foil" when describing himself as the stalwart progressive battle the Chief Justice. His final exam was a straight 100-question multiple choice test and the best part was that it was about 35-45% on topics (attempt, conspiracy, solicitation) that we spent ONE DAY on in class.
He liked to foment daytime-TV-talkshow-like discussions, primarily about rape. Which is all well and good but if you care so much about sex crimes, perhaps emphasizing them on the final would be appropriate.
He's also got this "The Jurisprudence of Human and Animal Rights" class which is easily the biggest waste of time at the school. Students have to buy his book on Animal Rights and this other crappy freshman-undergraduate-quality "Ethics 101" book. Each day in class is the same endless spinning of wheels in which almost nothing meaningful is said, nobody's eyes are opened, nobody's mind is changed and if anything his arrogant and abrasive style makes students harden their positions AGAINST animal rights.
In short, he's the perfect encapsulation of everything wrong with the current law school system.
What law school should really do is offer students insights into what the law should be. It should enable students to challenge the values held by practitioners, so that students will have different, countervailing perspectives to use in judging their experiences, and the senior partners they work for.ReplyDelete
That is exactly what most law-school classes consist of now.
Rutgers alum here as well.ReplyDelete
I didn't take Francione, but his pedagogical style is notoriously shambolic. I had several friends who took his Jurisprudence class as an elective knowing that it was going to be a lot of hyper-combatitive drivel towards an easy A-B. Among the gems that we're relayed to me were such observations as, "Wives take money from their husbands just as prostitutes take mony from their johns." This was in the context of something Catherine MacKinnon-related (she of "all heterosexual sex is rape"), but how this squared with the study of jurisprudence was kind of a mystery to me.
Supposedly, Francione was very vocal about phasing out (or minimizing) the Clinical Program at Rutgers (one of the most-established and comprehensive in the coutnry, also the only worthwile reason for going to school there) in favor of more emphasis on "theory and scholarship". Apparently, he must not have found clinical programs particularly apposite to the practice of law.
"Wives take money from their husbands just as prostitutes take mony from their johns."ReplyDelete
Law school, where you get paid to say shit everyone else says drunk at bars.
Oh dear Lord, I just realized the "all heterosexual sex is rape" person was ALSO a law professor.ReplyDelete
Legal academia, the retards of the intellectual world. Can you imagine how some actual academic must feel when he discovers a new medicine, and looks over at his legal colleagues and hears they saying nonsense like "all sex is rape" and "wives take money from their husbands like prostitutes" IN CLASS?!
Here's another thing to lose in addition to the holocaust references: passing descriptions of academic theories about which you clearly know nothing. The MacKinnon "all sex is rape" thing is a long-standing BS myth. She does NOT say that. What she says is much more complex concerning the spectrum of sexual coercion. But for years, people who have never read a single thing she wrote have repeated the myth that she says "all sex is rape" and joked and criticized it without ever having read a word of her work! Please stick to what you know and leave the holocaust analogies and the critiques of theories you've never read at the proverbial door.ReplyDelete
There are way too many law school graduates in comparison to the amount of renumerative work requiring a JD. That's the bottom line. And that is the scam at work. Even if every student graduating from law school were a proverbial 170+ LSAT top law student, there would be many failures "there are way too many law school graduates in comparison to the amount of renumerative work requiring a JD".
To suggest that the students are the ones primarily at fault for failure rather than the law schools pumping out too many grads is simply ridiculous.
I lack the intellectual heft of many other people leaving comments, but I will try to make this as clear as I can. The problem with categorizing those that complain as mere underachievers for whom failure is due is that the numbers simply do not work out. If only the top ten percent (or so) of graduates form only the top 15 (or 20 or 50) schools have any real shot at decent employment, then nine of ten graduates are doomed no matter how hard they work or what they achieve. It is a zero-sum game. The conclusion I draw is that nine of those ten should never have enrolled (or graduated).
Oh hell. I've been catching up on this site after being busy the last five or six days and just realized my comment above is pretty much exactly what Law Prof wrote in his own subsequent post... Sorry for that.ReplyDelete