National Law Journal: “Judge José Cabranes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2d Circuit offered a three-part remedy for what ails the U.S. legal academy before a packed ballroom of legal educators who gathers in Washington for the Association of American Law Schools annual meeting. Cabranes, like others before him, noted that law schools are in ‘something of a crisis,’ given the skyrocketing cost of tuition, ever-higher graduate debts and a growing feeling that legal scholarship is of little use to the bench or practitioners. . . . ‘For years, [the rising cost of tuition and growing debt loads] have raised eyebrows. Now, they raise blood pressure,’ Cabranes said on Jan. 6. ‘These developments literally threaten the enterprise of legal education‘.”
See the response to Judge Cabranes statements from Daniel B. Rodriguez, Dean and Harold Washington Professor at Northwestern Law, who wrote a blog post called “Neither sacred nor profane: Real life, real law schools” in which he inadvertently helps prove Judge Cabranes argument with statements like:
“The retreat from globalization? Huh? The attention directed by substantial segments of the professoriate to problems of the world is, to me, a source of pride. The concern usually voiced is that American law schools do not do enough to orient students toward the increasingly international legal environment, not that they do too much. “
I left the following comment on Dean Rodriguiz’ blog. I suspect he will not allow it to be seen by his readers.
You said “The attention directed by substantial segments of the professoriate to problems of the world is, to me, a source of pride. The concern usually voiced is that American law schools do not do enough to orient students toward the increasingly international legal environment, not that they do too much.”
You are living in a dream world that is out of touch with reality. I’ve practiced law for 31 years. I’m a business lawyer who at one time was a partner in one of the largest firms in Arizona. Not once have I or any of the lawyers I know in that time EVER had to deal with the international legal environment. Perhaps some of the 1% of lawyers in the mega firms may do it, but 99% of lawyers just don’t come across international law and if they do they refer the client to one of the 1% that has experience in the area.
My son is starting his last semester at an excellent law school and he was reading to me the list of possible classes he could take. He had already booked all of the courses for the semester, but needed one more 3 credit course. As he read the available courses to me I was dumbfounded by the worthlessness of each course. He settled on law and economics, the course that had the most hope for some useful information. Excuse me! It’s not a class about law.
My son would have loved to have been able to take an advanced course on copyright law or trademark law, but the school only offered one course and it conflicted with a course he must take. He would have loved to have taken any business law related course, but none were offered that he had not already taken. Yes they offered two international law classes, but I said don’t waste your time on something you will never see. These foo foo courses like international law are selected by the ivory tower types like yourself who have lost sight of what young lawyers actually do when they go out into the real world of the practice of law.
Legal education today sucks. People like you who are involved in the economic raping of law students should be ashamed of themselves. Instead of patting yourself on your back you should be doing the right thing by reducing the number of law students and cutting tuition by at least 50% and reducing the salaries of the faculty and administration. Why aren’t you doing something about the fact the number of lawyer jobs in the U.S. is decreasing while the number of law students and the cost of law school continues to skyrocket?
P.S. Merriam Webster’s online dictionary says professoriat does not have an e at the end.
January 13, 2012, Update: I checked the Dean’s blog today and just as I suspected he did not allow my comment to be viewed on his post. I left the learned Dean the following message today, which I again suspect he will not post:
“Just as I suspected you did not allow my comment to be displayed. I knew you would not post my comment so I put it on my blog here: