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March 14, 2017

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anon

63 percent of clinical faculty and 70 percent of legal writing faculty are female. This disparity is due to faculty teaching in skills-based areas often being denied the opportunity to earn the same security of position and academic freedom that traditional law faculty enjoy.

No, it isn't. Did it ever occur to you that this condition is based on the blatant bias against hiring men in these positions? Do you seriously believe that there aren't plenty of men applying? This is just the hierarchy at work: discrimination abounds! Meet the new boss; same as the old boss!

Yes, it is true that the faculties spend their ample free time devising new titles to bestow upon themselves, and ways to enrich themselves further, while always looking to label and marginalize the lower castes to satisfy their always fragile egos. But, just like gardening and janitorial work for these over privileged princes and princesses (oh, aren't they gracious?), that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of folks willing to suffer the humiliation that they so relish dishing out.

It never ceases to amaze me how the grievance community never seems to see the harm done to other "less favored" groups (here: men).

All it ever seems be to is power politics, designed to get "my" group more of something of value (so that I can exercise my power to deny others)!

I fully support this statement: "“The goal of this project is to gain support among all law school administrators and faculty for our view that no justification exists for subordinating one group of law faculty to another based on the nature of the course, the subject matter, or the teaching method."

But, leave out the gender politics, ok? Because you are just wrong to think that this imbalance is due to prejudice against women (except insofar as it stereotypes both genders, to favor one and disfavor the other).

Underappreciated

Law Librarians face a similar issue. They often have both a JD and MLS but are classified as staff rather than faculty. Librarians teach in first year legal research as well as advanced legal research courses, and are expected to produce scholarship with no pay or status increase for the extra services they provide.

I think we need a lot more equality across the entire legal academy.

anon

And then there are the true underlings: the adjuncts and lecturers, who are lower than staff on the totem pole, and deserve nothing but disdain, disrespect and ridicule. Just a bit higher are the "professors from practice" (make sure THOSE people don't claim to be as good as we are). And then there are all those other underlings who by various other designations are shown to be inferior: legal research and writing "instructors," librarians, etc.

Meanwhile, the list of titles for some of the stellar entities who rule over these losers from above grows and grows, starting to sound like someone reading off the list of the Khaleesi's titles ...

"Hear ye, Hear ye. You are now before the Alfred E. Neumann Professor of Social Justice, Assistant Dean for the Tidying the Faculty Lounge, Director, Center for Learning to Be Patient and Mindful When Exercising One's Unfathomable Wisdom, and Faculty Advisor, Clinic for Persons Displaced from Legal Clinics. Bend the knee."

enderman

It's a market. If someone's not giving you what you're worth, say sayonara and go find someone who will. If nobody will, then maybe you're not worth as much as you think.

anon

Enderman

You are speaking of all those tenured superstars who could command million dollar salaries in private practice, but don't, because they are so happy and satisfied in their cocoons , right?

And, the reason they create faux and phony titles to juice their salaries, and create brutal hierarchies to disadvantage others and enrich themselves? Just a market? What a laugh!

Moreover, do you seriously, for even an instant, entertain the notion that faculty hiring is strictly on the basis of "merit" (and excludes factors such as gender, race, age, religion, appearance, etc.)?

Finally, I'll bet the above is what you say to all the victims of blatant discrimination you encounter: "It's all a market. Maybe you aren't as good as you think you are."

Sounds like the sandbox retort of a child.

Finally, it is so rich that the "Organizers chose International Women’s Day (March 8) to launch the “Full Citizenship Project for All Law Faculty” because of the professional status challenges that continue to plague skills-based and academic support law faculty, who are predominantly women. As law faculty status and salaries decrease, the percentage of women faculty increases."

This statement is so illogical that it isn't worth discussing, except to note that the overtones are that the aggrieved grievance group has to be women, though men are clearly victims of discrimination in hiring and the same discrimination in status that these crusaders identify.

WHat make the statement so rich is that this group is basically accusing their ever so holier than thou colleagues of gender discrimination. Well, yes, but not the type that they are complaining about!

Jane Ang

Legal writing jobs are generally less competitive because they generally pay significantly less and come with less prestige. If legal writing instructors were treated they same as doctrinal faculty, legal writing job openings would have far better applicants. If you materially change the terms, I think all legal writing faculty should have to re-interview for their jobs, against more serious competition.

anon

Jane Ang

One supposes you actually speak as someone who has reviewed the cv s of applicants for "legal writing jobs" at a significant number of law schools, you have also reviewed the cv s of applicants for "doctrinal faculty" at a significant number of law schools, you are familiar with the "competitiveness" of the applicants at all tiers of the law school hierarchy, you have compared the "competiveness" of the respective applicants at each tier, you have reviewed the compensation packages at a significant number of law schools, and performed the same sort of comparisons.

Moreover, we are to understand that you are qualified to speak down to others, and as a judge of the lesser quality of a vast swath of academic professionals, because you are of the highest caliber yourself. YOu must think yourself qualified and able to speak about "prestige" because you are so prestigious that you can set and speak about such standards.

Or, maybe not. Maybe you are just, like most faculty in legal academia, speaking about nothing with nothing to back up your prejudices and your self-perpetuating preconceived biases, which are often just based on self interest, the history and longevity of certain institutions, and really, so often nothing more (certainly not quality: hiring in legal academy really doesn't signal any sort of objective reality in many many instances).

And, by the way, do you agree with the pov above that the legal academy discriminates against woman by relegating them to lower paying positions? If so, wouldn't a key aspect of that claim need to be based on the qualifications of these women for "better" jobs? Do you support their claims? Apparently not. You seem to be saying that, if compensation and status were more fairly distributed by all the social justice warriors in the collective of social justice minded comrades known as Animal Farm - oh wait, sorry, legal academia - they would all be fired.

That observation sort of says it all. You really don't know what you are talking about, right?

Jane Ang

Anon:

Your first paragraph is correct.

Nothing in my response says anything about my qualifications or what role I hold.

Nothing in my responses says anything about whether I agree with the traditional qualifications valued by law schools.

I do think the legal academy discriminated against females, significant, in the not so distant past. But more current data collected by AALS suggests, however, suggests that minorities and women are actually hired at a higher rate than they apply for doctrinal positions. If your law school is anything like the ones I have worked for, the senior faculty members are about 85/15 male/female, while the more recent hires are about 50/50 or maybe even 45/55.

And I do think the market can handle this. If the legal writing jobs are bad jobs, no one good will apply and law schools will have to offer more money and security for them.

anon

Ah, but Jane, this is where you are displaying your lack of information!

Men are applying for these "bad jobs" and it is the enlightened ones who are not hiring them. Moreover, the claim that the "credentials" of those taking these "bad" jobs are so inferior is self contradictory as well, because the enlightened ones do the hiring, and boast about the quality of the "credentials" possessed by those they hire.

No, the caste system in legal academia isn't a by product of animus toward women, and you are correct on that score. As you aptly note, historic imbalances have not persisted; and, there is perhaps a bias against men (straight) at this point.

The caste system in legal academia is also not based on a rational assessment of who is "better" as you put it above.

The enlightened ones, the ones who claim to be warriors for social justice, the ones who go on and on about how righteous they are and engage in endless virtue signaling, are nearly uniformly haughty, greedy hypocrites who exploit the weak at every juncture: poor wages for their household help at home and exploitation of their peers in their own workplaces.

The fact, as noted many time here in the FL, is that there are plenty of applicants for these jobs - as poorly paid and "disadvantaged" as they may be - and these applicants are not that different from the applicants for the jobs held by the enlightened ones (the reasons that the enlightened ones are chosen, again, frequently has nothing to do with superior "credentials" - unless you consider age, gender, race, sexual orientation, etc., a "credential"). It is simply that, once chosen, the "enlightened ones" behave in very piggish and selfish ways: hence, the Animal Farm effect. They are the living, shining examples of how that phenomenon plays out in our everyday lives.

AnonSkeptic

If I want a raise at my law school, I have to go out and get a competing offer and threaten to leave. My law school looks at whether the competing offer is from a peer institution or not; it looks at how much the competing offer is; it asks itself whether my threat to leave is credible, and, most importantly, it looks at whether it really wants me to stick around, or whether it can get somebody the same as me, or maybe even better, in the relevant hiring market. I am not sure why LRW faculty shouldn't be held to the same standard.

The line about women being "relegated" to LRW positions is actually what I find the most puzzling here. Is the assertion that women are going to the AALS, are applying for tenure-track jobs, and are being told to take non-tenure-track LRW jobs instead? That is certainly not my experience with how the AALS process works. At least that's not how my school gets its LRW faculty.

Anonny Prof

I teach legal writing, and I think this "movement" is both misleading and potentially damaging to the LRW community. The claim that women and minorities being relegated to LRW positions is inaccurate; I fear the LRW community is using that approach simply to make this cause appear more pressing and more sympathetic. The truth is, the people who are being relegated to LRW positions are those who want to be law professors but lack the traditional qualifications to be tenure track. Just go to almost any school's website and check out the CVs of those teaching legal writing. You'll find people who went to lower ranked law schools, have weak (to no) publications, etc. I think legal writing is crucially important and there are some amazing LRW professors out there, but the truth is there is a very different market for LRW professors, and THAT is the reason for the differentials in pay, status, etc. If the LRW community (or more specifically, those who, through regulatory capture, now run the LRW community) insist on making LRW jobs completely equal in all respects, then they'll cause people with better credentials to take an interest in those jobs, putting many who currently teach LRW out of work. And I agree with Jane Ang that current LRW faculty should have to re-interview.

anon

Just go to almost any school's website and check out the CVs of those teaching legal writing. You'll find people who went to lower ranked law schools, have weak (to no) publications, etc.

Ahh, once again, the "merit" argument, obviously asserted by one who feels ever so superior. Of course, this is bunk, as is the claim that women do not clearly predominate in the LRW ranks, which is a completely separate issue.

Geez, can't legal academicians argue for their caste system and over privilege on any other basis than "we are better than you are." It really is quite disgusting. Oh, and by the way, demonstrably false, in EVERY respect.

Anonny Prof

Why is it "bunk"? I hope you teach your students to back up their arguments better than simply introducing them with "of course." Btw, who is saying that women don't predominate in legal writing? Of course that's true, but you're "arguing" that it's because they are funneled there due to gender bias. It is you who have offered no evidence on that point -- which is the point upon which your entire "argument" hinges.

anon

Annony

I'm not arguing "funneling" ... if you read above! I agree with you that that argument is bunk. The disparity is because of the haughty hiring committee's prejudices and stereotyping.

As stated above:

"But, leave out the gender politics, ok? Because you are just wrong to think that this imbalance is due to prejudice against women (except insofar as it stereotypes both genders, to favor one and disfavor the other)."

"This statement is so illogical that it isn't worth discussing, except to note that the overtones are that the aggrieved grievance group has to be women, though men are clearly victims of discrimination in hiring and the same discrimination in status that these crusaders identify.

WHat make the statement so rich is that this group is basically accusing their ever so holier than thou colleagues of gender discrimination. Well, yes, but not the type that they are complaining about! "

"Men are applying for these "bad jobs" and it is the enlightened ones who are not hiring them. Moreover, the claim that the "credentials" of those taking these "bad" jobs are so inferior is self contradictory as well, because the enlightened ones do the hiring, and boast about the quality of the "credentials" possessed by those they hire.

No, the caste system in legal academia isn't a by product of animus toward women, and you are correct on that score. As you aptly note, historic imbalances have not persisted; and, there is perhaps a bias against men (straight) at this point."

I hope you teach your students to read the material before accusing others of shallow analysis!

And your, "we're better than they are" "They aren't as good as we are" is so offensive ! It is the argument always used by the "masters" to justify their unfair advantage over those they exploit. Shame on you!

Jane Ang

Anon - I hope you are not a legal writing professor because your writing style is awful.

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