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July 07, 2015


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just saying

I was in total and enthusiastic agreement, until the last paragraph!

It is a faculty that has meaningful experience in practice and affinity with the legal community that will, in the aggregate, respond to changing market conditions and truly prepare the student body to take their places in the profession for which they paid so dearly to train.

It is just over simplifying to keep arguing that "professors will get students jobs" as if the profs are expected to place students in firms.

That isn't the point.


Profs are, predominantly, there to teach and do research. On rare occasions they can reach out to a particular judge or law school classmate and nudge the decision making process but generally speaking hiring organizations are far better at hiring their own people than outsiders. And GPA and class rank does the rest.

Pressuring faculty to move into career placement is a waste of time and only weakens the focus that faculty should maintain on curriculum development/innovation/implementation and research/publishing/public policy impact. If faculty are successful in the latter it does FAR MORE for the careers of their students because of the improved reputation of the school than placement.

Where I would agree somewhat is that faculty who do have knowledge of particular agencies, firms, practice areas can certainly help orient students to what to expect in that environment. Hopefully most faculty weave that knowledge and experience into their teaching and office hour conversations with students already.

And I think that IS the point.

Taking a Second Look

I think some people have missed my point. There is only so much money being spent on legal services in our economy in a given year. Whether practical training is provided in law school or after being hired by firms, the basic issue is that law schools are graduating more mouths than the legal services sector can feed.



That poor horse has had enough.

And, btw, the "teach and do research" mantra is a bit tired.

Actually, professors in law schools are primarily there to prepare aspirants to become attorneys.

LEGAL research should be supported, but only to the extent it benefits the legal profession. Dilettantes and wanna bes should pay their dues and join other departments.

If law profs only understood this, much of the "decline" of which we've been speaking would not have occurred. It isn't just a function of the economy!


Students of course recognize the truth of the obvious proposition that professors in law schools are (or should be there) primary to prepare attorneys, rather than doing research on esoteric issues, but it falls on deaf ears.


"Actually, professors in law schools are primarily there to prepare aspirants to become attorneys."

This is not technically true or even realistic and not even socially desirable. Law schools train future lawyers but they also are set up inside universities so that they can take an arms length view at law, lawyers and the status of the rule of law. Students for the most part do not seem to be aware of this dual role and of the impact of this organizational situation. I would agree that law professors are not very good at explaining this but harping on the downside danger of such autonomy (arguing that all law scholarship is worthless) does not help.



I suppose it is useful to hear this pov. It is telling.

Do you literally believe that studying the legal systems of the US and the "rule of law" is incompatible with preparing lawyers?

NO ONE argued that LEGAL scholarship is worthless. How about reading before you get up in umbrage about social utility?

You seem not to be reading, unfortunately, but reacting rather to what you thought you read.

For example, you have repeatedly responded to comments stating agreement that law profs shouldn't act as placement officers by writing long comments, couched as rebuttals, about the reasons that law profs shouldn't act as placement officers.

Now, you "rebut" a comment acknowledging the valid and indeed critical role of legal scholarship by refuting the supposed claim that "all law scholarship is worthless" - a claim that you have literally made up out of whole cloth. This is a sort of juvenile way to debate.

There is thus no point in arguing further, because your response to this comment is likely to be a fierce disagreement, based on your view that law profs aren't placement officers and based on your "socially desirable" rebuttal to the comment you read that stated that "all legal scholarship is worthless."


Antiscammer--students don't care about this duality you reference. They come to law
school to become lawyers, not to support others' interest in taking an arm's length view of the law.

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