Sunday, April 04, 2004

Where do I begin?

Alas, it's been noted that we've declined below the top 20. As any Yankee fan knows, if Steinbrenner were running the operation here, heads would be rolling.

But could we really be a "conservative" law school and still maintain a high ranking? Wouldn't all the employers run screaming? Yeah, I guess so...just like they run screaming from U. Chicago's law and econ focus...not exactly a left wing perspective.

So, allow me to play Richard Clarke here for a moment (only I plan on being a bit more consistent, a bit less egotistical, and a whole lot less full of crap).

Our problems:
1. employment...perhaps such helpful career advice as "you need to find your voice in your cover know, give the employer an appealing snapshot of who you are and why they should hire you" isn't terribly constructive
2. bar passage rate...I have a hunch that we could be a bit more selective on our admissions...but more importantly, maybe it would help if more than 1/3 to 1/2 (given the year) of our students learned property law

A few bonehead errors:
hmmm...perhaps the huge size of the second year class wasn't such a good idea in retrospect, considering that it hurt our faculty to student ratio
hmmm...perhaps the administration could find better things to do with their time rather than trying to foist upon a (largely) unwilling SBA a referendum on whether we should allow smoking outdoors around the law school...or making sure that their own notions of "civility" aren't offended

An idea for reform:
How about we go back to being a small law school that rigorously trains our students to be the best possible lawyers instead of filling our curriculum with courses on how to save the world. We could be the VMI or Citadel of law schools. Most folks that have seen the Paper Chase probably are thankful that our law school experience wasn't anything like the experience of those folks at HLS in that day...I'm not...bring on the pain.

My prediction:
These slides are hard to stop absent radical reform. I suspect that alums will not be pleased and donations may just show it. As for myself...I'll consider donating when the powers that be get their acts in gear and stop trying to turn W&L into a politically correct paradise of social activism and social engineering.

Teach law, teach it well, and make any attorney facing someone with W&L on their resume quiver with fear, dammit!


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