Law School Professors

‘Why won’t anyone hire me?’

Everything is down because three-quarters of law schools are uncertain about their enrollment and therefore they are less likely to invest in professors. Schools are spending huge amounts more on financial aid to get the student body they want. That’s money that can’t be spent to hire permanent faculty.

Brian Leiter, a law professor at the University of Chicago, commenting on the “unbelievable lack of movement” in the hiring of law professors, particularly in the much neglected areas of labor and employment law.

You know you're getting old when this is the Spock you're referring to.

* Canadian comes to America, goes into $100,000 worth of law school debt, and has no job. Mwahahaha, Canada, let’s see your superior health care system find a cure for that! [Globe and Mail]

* Wait, you’re not supposed to take your baby along when you go to see a prostitute? Okay. Got it. See, that’s the kind of tip that isn’t in any of the Dr. Spock books. [Wave3]

* Ben Bernanke can time travel… [Dealbreaker]

* … While John Mara, owner of the WORLD CHAMPION New York Giants, simply revises history. [Forbes]

* Alan Dershowitz received a “D” on his first legal writing assignment. Apparently, his Yale Law School professor, the great Guido Calebresi, told him, “You write like you’re having a conversation with your friends in Brooklyn,” and then helped him work on his technique. Little did Calebresi or Dershowitz know that writing like you’re having a conversation with friends could lead to a successful life as a legal blogger. Boy, did they miss out! [Yale Alumni Magazine]

* Kenny Heitz, an Irell & Manella partner and former UCLA basketball champion, passed away. [Daily News]

Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe foresaw the Obamacare Tax Holding, and we’ve got video evidence to prove it….

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We know that tuition keeps going up at American law schools. And, for the most part, we know where the money goes. Law schools use tuition money and alumni donations to fund capital projects and law professor salaries. And, at some schools, the law school kicks back some money to the larger university. Law schools are cash cows, and everybody likes money.

Who is to blame for this? It’s hard to say. I tend to blame the American Bar Association, since the ABA is one of the few entities with regulatory authority over legal education (some law students are trying to get the Department of Education involved).

If the ABA will not act, it’s only natural for people to make as much money as possible, with reckless disregard to who gets trampled along the way. But one can find other culprits if you look hard enough. You could blame law school administrators, who are more concerned with money than education. You could blame the students themselves, for willingly forking over all of this cash. You could blame the federal government, for seemingly giving away money without making sure the taxpayers are getting a return on their investment.

But you know who you shouldn’t blame? Law school faculty. That’s right — they might get fancy new buildings and make six-figure salaries, but it’s not really their fault that the cost of a legal education has outstripped its value.

Who among us would not take more money and more perks for doing our same job?

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As David Lat said earlier this week, “Here at Above the Law, we’re trying to help you.” Honestly, think of Above the Law as the MPRE, but for situations people in the legal community are actually likely to face. Don’t conduct sensitive firm business on a crowded train. Don’t offer hand-jobs in school-wide emails.

And here’s a good one: don’t reuse exam questions just because you are teaching at a different law school. It’s called “the internet,” professors. Your students have access to it and can find your old questions. If you put in just a little bit of work, you can come up with entirely new exam questions.

It’s your job! You get paid for it!

And if you do your job with minimal diligence, you won’t end up like Penn Law professor William Wilson Bratton, and we won’t have to write about you…

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