Tuesday, April 06, 2004


Yes, D-Rock, the Blog has indeed fallen on hard times. I saw the Corner piece on Dodd's over-the-top statement ... almost posted some thoughts on it ... and then thought, naahh, D-Rock lives in the Corner -- and who else reads the blog these days?

Now for a completely unrelated topic....

I've come to the conclusion that all the bitching and moaning about how "issue" flyers "dumb down the debate in the law school" is a bunch of baloney. What debate? What "spirited, high-level, intellectual discourse"?

Where has all of this P.C., give no offense, be civil, all opinions are of equal merit, la dee dah nonsense gotten us? To welding school, that's where. Our student body strikes me as no more seriously engaged with the great issues of society, culture, and politics, than what you would find at a manual trade school.

My theory is that the problem isn't with our student body per se, but rather with the focus (or lack thereof) of our educational institution as a whole -- which of course takes its direction from the administration and faculty.

This really harkens back to my earlier post when I said that I've never really thought of our school as a Top 25 program. Top 25 in my mind has more to do with the people you turn out than with the people you bring in. With all due respect to Tom Sansonetti, I don't believe that W&L provides squat beyond adequate legal training these days. An obstensibly Top 25 program should do much more.

For example, my undergrad alma mater's mission was (in part) to "educate, train, and inspire [...] so that each graduate is a [...] leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country; professional growth throughout a career [...] and a lifetime of selfless service to the nation." Right there I think you have a model mission for a truly premier law school. Of course, what mattered much more than the mission "on paper" was the mission "as lived." USMA lives this mission.

W&L strikes me as pathetic by comparison. The school has an admirable heritage of honor and gentlemanly conduct, but the legacy of the dead guys -- whom the majority bash for being slaveholders anyway -- just doesn't cut it. To reprise the USMA comparison, Grant, Pershing, and McArthur are great for historical bragging rights -- but if the school wasn't still cranking out Norman Schwartzkopfs, Mike Krzyzewskis, and Jim Nicholsons (the former RNC chair, not the actor), I would start to wonder whether the institution had lost its way.

W&L clearly has. It encourages academic proficiency (I won't even go so far as to say "academic excellence"), increasing racial diversity, and "getting along." Perhaps I've just missed the overarching noble goal of our nationally-recognized institution. If so, I trust one of our 3 remaining bloggers will clue me in.


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