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April 23, 2015


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Not only are they not open to the possibility that law school may harm students, but many don't even seem to recognize that students come to law schools to get jobs and actually want to be lawyers.


To be clear, comparing someone to someone who denies the holocaust or horrors of slavery is not the same thing as comparing a person to Hitler or Nathan Forrest. About 2/3rds of the South fall into the camp of slavery deniers. Slavery denialism was the historical consensus in the 60s, and still shows up in tons of textbooks. Both the idea that going to Cooley law school is a good idea, and the idea that slavery was terrible, but not what the Civil War was about are common and harmful.

Derek Tokaz

I grew up in the South, and never even heard of slavery denialism until this post. The closest is Season 4 of Game of Thrones, and an episode of Interfaith Voices on NPR about Passover and a Jewish family learning an ancestor was a slave holder, and their reaction is "well, we don't know he mistreated his slaves."

It seems pretty far fetched to assert that 2/3 of the South are slavery deniers (especially if one considers that about 30% of the South is black). So now we all have to talk about what a horrible person zhirzzh is. I mean, it's one thing to compare someone to a slavery denier, and a categorically worse thing to accuse them of actual slavery denial.

Or you know, we could focus on the substance of the debate...


We can get to the substance of the debate without referencing the Holocaust and American slavery and/or the people who deny that one happened and the other was not so bad.


The tobacco industry's denial of the health consequences of smoking long past reasonable scientific debate is a much better analogy.

Also, I am not even sure the Simkovic statements that Campos referred to so much denial as they are just plain fraud. As I understand it, Simkovic argues that its better not to publish data about how many jobs in the "employed" category of full time, long term and legally related because that type of thing would confuse prospectives. I think calling this denial is casting Simkovic in too positive a light.


Paul: "Speaking of which, Michael Simkovic seems like a bright enough fellow, and it's a sad comment on the distorting effects of partisanship and self-interest that he's been reduced to making laughably absurd arguments of the sort he's making regarding the supposed justification BLS statistics provide for the deceptive reporting practices of law schools."

I've learned two things related to this from following the law school scam - one good, one bad:

1) These profs and deans are very bad debaters. Generally they just repeat the same bad numbers and other BS, and keep going like the energizer bunny.

2) They might not have to be. Their goals are to fool young college grads who have no other immediate good job prospects, and to provide a party line of 'viewpoints disagree' to the press.


Steven Freedman: "...and fourth tier law schools should do their best to serve their students."

Then start doing so. You have your work cut out, and a very bad track record.


I would second the post about why does an admissions dean have a platform here, particularly this admissions dean who seems to only care about attacking people who are advocates for change and transparency in legal education (not that their methods are always proper either) rather than actually defending the field itself. And especially someone who posts seem categorically made out of insecurity versus the desire for meaningful information exchange.

Finally, should an admissions dean be posting frequently on here during work hours about something that has almost no impact on his/her daily duties of bringing in a class for their school. Just something I would consider if I were the dean of said person's law school.


Funny raising Leiter - a man who believes that there are "culpable form of false belief" which presumably includes the various forms of denialism under discussion here. Of course consistency is not one of Leiter's virtues.

Steven Freedman

@ anon

I suppose calling me insecure is a heck of a lot nicer than calling me not quite as bad as a holocaust denier. Of course, I would disagree with your characterization of my motivation. When someone engaged in debate makes a comparison as outrageous and offensive as Campos', it deserves to be called out and condemned.

As for why I have a platform here, the organizers of this site invited me to be a guest blogger. As an admissions director, I literally am in the faculty lounge from time to time. At least such as it is here at Kansas Law (without a physical lounge, I suppose faculty happy hours are the closest equivalent we have to it). So I don't see why it's odd I should be invited to the virtual lounge too.

Finally. As you note I have some pretty heavy responsibilities in my day job, which is why I do not post very frequently.


"I think calling this denial is casting Simkovic in too positive a light."

I can't recall which blog, but there was some stuff recently where Prof S. seemed to be remarkably unable to understand that reporting of law school grad incomes is biased.

Remarkably unable.


To those who created this blog, can you please go ahead and end Mr. Freedman's time here early? He is undermining this blog with his personal attacks and by using this blog simply to attempt to white wash the current state of admissions. At any rate, I humbly ask that you please don't bring him back once his time here is over. Thank you.


I disagree - his perspective is as welcome as any here in my mind. And Campos' outrageous behavior needs to be called out as outrageous. I am glad Steven is here.

Steven Freedman

If I recall, SeniorLawProf is the same poster who objected to the "name the college town" contest/game. Is there anything on here SeniorLawProf likes?

terry malloy

Is there anything on here SeniorLawProf likes?

maybe "Conversations about law, culture, and academia". . . ?

An Admissions Dean's outrage platform and google image search mooted contests don't seem to fit in that remit.


How ironic that Campos accuses a descendant of Holocaust survivors of being like a Holocaust denier, yet he himself wanted his University to fire Ward Churchill, in part for his work documenting (not always accurately unfortunately) the genocidal attacks on native Americans!

Does Campos not know what the meaning of genocide is?

In any case, bravo to Steve Freedman for calling Campos out on his despicable behavior.

Paul Campos

I find it interesting that my post at LGM -- a blog that attracts many commenters who are both erudite and combative, and who don't hesitate to object in strong terms with the substance and style of what I write when they believe such objections are warranted -- featured exactly one comment (out of 66) that took mild exception to my use of Holocaust denial as one example of the general psychology of denialism, when I discussed denialism in the contemporary law school world.

But I suppose the world at large lacks the respect for rhetorical delicacy and refinement that characterizes debates in legal academia.


Maybe its because everyone on LGM has to register, and they dont want to be your next target


Ha, ha, ha....(Sorry, had to wipe up my coffee after spitting it out in laughter.)

Seriously, Campos? It's a nice little echo chamber they've let you construct over there for yourself on that "cesspool" (Glenn Greenwald's quote) LGM but if there was any doubt about how out of touch with reality you are, it's crystal clear now.


This debate, predictably, attracts a bunch of attention.

It is indeed rich to witness the kids in the sandbox spitting and biting and pulling each others' hair.

You see, this is what the law faculties love. They love to gossip, they love to insult others, they love to spend endless amounts of time on topics like this.

If you have ever worked in a workplace that doesn't require employees to actually work enough, you will recognize this. This is a product of sheltered, coddled individuals, who have gone to the best schools and have (generally, not always)never faced a cold day in their lives. They are over privileged and under worked, and, worse, deep down, they know it.

Hence, the sort of miserable nastiness of it all.

Why not just say the legal academia could use a lot of improvement, as a start, and then start debating what needs to be improved?

This debate was started by a fellow who has received inordinate attention to his anodyne observations about the "value" of a law degree. This author recently, seemingly unmoored from a source of expertise in labor economics, has now strayed into, as a result of being totally coopted by the praise of some, it seems, into sort of risible contentions concerning the disclosures by law schools about employment outcomes, before efforts to reform these disclosures were undertaken. He seems to claim the prior disclosures were never flawed in any respect and that better disclosure may be "misleading" (really, this is brazen)!

Folks are understandably outraged. But, why, oh why, give this author any more standing and attention? Why engage in these distractions about who said what about something that has nothing to do with the merits of any this!

Steve, you have dished it out pretty good too. I wish Campos hadn't used a forbidden analogy, likening you to folks who deny the horrific actions of others that have hurt a lot of people (not to the folks who undertook those horrific actions, Steve). I'm sorry that you were so offended.

But really, can we just let this go?

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