March 31, 2011

"Are Law Professors 'Selfless' Teachers and Scholars Engaged in 'Public Service'?"

"Frankly, these claims about what we do as law professors are embarrassing. I'm not selfless. Exceedingly few of the many law professors I know strike me as selfless."

45 comments:

rhhardin said...

The word that's probably sought is professional, meaning that the interests of the person paying are placed above the interests of the professional.

Which is a kind of selflessness, but one that winds up paying in the long run.

It's what's being sold.

Kirby Olson said...

Professors should have an ego-stake in making their students as bright, well-grounded and functional as possible. After all, they will represent us. Selflessness should not be an ideal.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Reward us handsomely for being so selfless!"

traditionalguy said...

But, but...aren't you guys like the High Priests of Law. You write the treatises and get used as authority quoted in opinions since you are super educated. Who knew that you were human.

Fred4Pres said...

No. You do a job like anyone else.

foxlets14 said...

back in the olden days when i was in law school, we used to say the a students became professors, the b students judges and the c students became rich.....perhaps those a student profs ceated the myth of selflessness to justify why they weren't rich like those dumbass c guys

Alex Ignatiev said...

If you are running a law school for reasons other than training lawyers, you are a fool, or a con artist, or both. Schools should be about teaching, particularly professional schools. You don't need a law degree to philosophize about public policy, which is the law writ small (or large, depending on your POV).

Full disclosure: I am a lawyer and I teach law part-time at two universities in South Mississippi. I went to law school at Ole Miss, and I always assumed that, just like Ole Miss, Harvard, Yale, Missouri, etc., concentrated on producing good lawyers first, and everything else second. I sincerely hope I was not mistaken in this.

Trooper York said...

Law professors should be paid exactly as much as the driving instructors at the Fire Department.

Trooper York said...

Simply because the guys teaching how to drive the ambulance should get the same as the guys teaching how to chase the ambulance.

Equal pay for equal work.

Jeez, I thought you were a feminist?

Triangle Man said...

Law professors should be paid exactly as much as the driving instructors at the Fire Department.

Aren't they already?

DADvocate said...

Few if any professors I've known in any subject were selfless. I've known quite a few as my father was a professor and my sister currently is.

My sister, her daughter and husban are all lawyers. Good people but I wouldn't say they are selfless.

The professorial career path is chosen for the steady and decent pay, good working hours, environment, ego gratification, lots of time off and such. Professors I've known work less than half the days out of the year if they take all vacation and sick days, holidays and the "closing days" between Christmas and New Years that my father and sister got. This isn't counting the easy load during the summer. My sister presents at a week long conference in Jamacia every summer for 2-3 hours a day. Tough work.

I don't begrudge it but don't give me the martyr routine.

YoungHegelian said...

Who the hell wants a "selfless" lawyer?

My lawyer is paid to be my advocate in an adversarial legal system that historically derives from Anglo-saxon trial by combat (which is why you get to face your accuser). I want a lawyer that rips another asshole in the opposition.

I think this article, from a publication for law schools, is playing to its academic audience and not to practicing lawyers per se.

My experience with academics is that they seem themselves as gentle, open-minded, very hard working people. This view is not often shared by folks outside of the academy.

Smilin' Jack said...

"Are Law Professors 'Selfless' Teachers and Scholars Engaged in 'Public Service'?"

I assumed that was a rhetorical question, and would be followed by a joke about lawyers and sharks or something. What a disappointment.

hombre said...

[L]aw school faculty should perform public service that both models for law students the selflessness encouraged for all lawyers, and helps fulfill the role of law schools in contributing to the improvement of law, lawyers, the legal system, and the system of justice, said Current AALS President Michael Olivas.

So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!... All you need is trust and a little bit of pixie dust, said hombre, a lawyer for 40 years, quoting Peter Pan.

PaulV said...

Reminds me of the hero of Chappaquidadick bashing Bork for taking private clients when his wife had high medical ills fighting terminal cancer

Gabriel Hanna said...

Public service can be rewarding in ways other than money. In ways other than material benefits, too.

Fundamentally I hope people are working in their chosen field because that is what they like to do. It may or may not be because they like the money or the benefits, but it's not selfless to do what you love.

It's selfless to do what you hate for the public benefit, if you're not getting much money. But if you hate it how well are you doing it? And it would be selfless to let someone else do it who will do it better.

PaulV said...

If professors were not interested in money why do they put out new editions every other year?

J said...

The conservative law professor assumes she may tailor her pedagogy to her political views. Oliver Wendell Holmes thought along those lines as well, didn't he. Why my good man, Eugenics is supported by sound scientific principles. So, thin the herd, so to speak. Bwah bwah.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

As they say about politicians:

He went into public service to do good, and ended up doing well.

The Crack Emcee said...

I'm glad to hear you say it:

They, and most others, don't understand the meaning of the word "sacrifice".

PaulV said...

J, what is your point? Does your head always hurt when you are unable to say anything that makes sense?

J said...

2:35. Does your head hurt when you read something that doesn't fit your Ayn Randian agenda, Paulie, little man? Or maybe the Eugenics reference touched a nerve, eh, crypto-klanboy.

The real question is whether Anglo American "common law" (aka Kings Law) should be taught in public colleges. Even some teabuggers might protest that (as did Jefferson at times)---Fire Aynhouse the legalist bureaucrat!.

hombre said...

J wrote: Oliver Wendell Holmes thought along those lines as well, didn't he....

Oliver Wendall Holmes was a conservative?

Who knew? I thought support for eugenics was per se the domain of progressives.

hombre said...

J opined: The real question is whether Anglo American "common law" (aka Kings Law) should be taught in public colleges.

That's the real question? Who's asking?

Anyway, thank you for sharing. (Eyes rolling.)

J said...

you're not entirely mistaken, hombre: Teddy Roosevelt progressives supported eugenics , which to say the GOP progressives did. Sort of like Mitt Romneys people, at least before they went.... mormonic.

J said...

you just show again how little you and the AA gang (and TP/GOP) know about US history. Jefferson was against Hamilton/Marshall's schemes for a British styled court system.

ricpic said...

Disinterested is the word and should be the ideal, not selfless.

bagoh20 said...

Selfless? Everyone does what they do either for long term or short term gain or personal preference of the outcome. The exception is called a hero, and sir, you are no hero.

PaulV said...

J, your progressives Clarance Darrow supported eugenics as do abortion supporters. How dare you mock your fellow liberal fascists?
Or are you a moby?

PaulV said...

J, do you support that war mongerer, killer of people of color in starting a third war or does your head hurt again? Why are fascists like you upset at those who support freedom?

J said...

Yr typical hick non sequitur Paulie o the Log Cabin. Teddy Roosevelt/GOP and OW Holmes defended eugenics.

Darrow defended a teacher who taught Darwinism. Quite different. Or are you now denying evolution, Paultard? .

J said...

Can you write like even basic English, or just spew stupid hypothetical questions, Paultard?

I've never claimed to defend Demo tradition across the board, anyway--but I am pointing out the definite shortcomings of the GOP-robber baron tradition (now carried one by the TP gang). You just don't know what this game is about, pendejo

hombre said...

J backpedalled: you're not entirely mistaken, hombre: Teddy Roosevelt progressives supported eugenics which to say the GOP progressives did.

Odd. I thought you were talking about conservatives -- since you compared Holmes to the "conservative law professor."

In any event, I am not mistaken at all. Eugenics is the bailiwick of the progressive left. Think Singer/Sanger.

Nice try. Does J stand for Jeremy?

shiloh said...

Mother Teresa and Raoul Wallenberg were selfless ...

carry on

hombre said...

J prattled: you just show again how little you and the AA gang (and TP/GOP) know about US history. Jefferson was against Hamilton/Marshall's schemes for a British styled court system.

I guess there is no room for subtlety with you.

Try this: What the hell does that have to do with this thread?

Speaking of non sequiturs, do you have a recipe for avgolemono?

Gabriel Hanna said...

@PaulV:

J, your progressives Clarance Darrow supported eugenics

100% false.

We have neither facts nor theories to give us any evidence based on biology or any other branch of science as to how we could breed intelligence, happiness, or anything else that would improve the race. We have no idea of the meaning of the word “improvement.” We can imagine no human organization we could trust with the job, even if eugenists [sic] knew what should be done and the proper way to do it. (Clarence Darrow, “The Eugenics Cult.” The American Mercury vol VIII, June 1926, p. 137)

Not to get off topic. That Clarence Darrow was a eugenicist is a lie of creationists: verb. sap.

David said...

Well known supporters of eugenics include Woodrow Wilson, who was also a bit of a racist too. It was hardly confined to one political party.

Consider: Since 1973, about 41 million legal abortions in the United States. 15-16 million of these were African-American babies. That's about 35% of the abortions. African Americans are about 12% of the overall population.

????

Almost Ali said...

That's about 35% of the abortions. African Americans are about 12% of the overall population. ????

???

Fen said...

Libtard J: blah me me me blah blah

You need to see a shrink.

hombre said...

Not to get off topic. That Clarence Darrow was a eugenicist is a lie of creationists.

Why would creationists need to lie about Darrow?

Synova said...

I'm getting rather pissed at blogger eating my comments.

It used to give me an error and if I refreshed the page the comment would post anyway. Now it just says "unable to complete your request" and everything is just GONE.

John0 Juanderlust said...

The idea that professors or others who make their living in the education industry, are selfless and engaged in public service, any more than the guy who runs the local grocery store, is purely self serving propaganda. That has been the norm for public employees and teachers for decades.
Say it long enough and people tend to believe it.
Say it in complex enough rhetoric and people believe it must be a thought of some considerable weight.

Anne said...

John0 said..."The idea that professors or others who make their living in the education industry, are selfless and engaged in public service, any more than the guy who runs the local grocery store, is purely self serving propaganda. That has been the norm for public employees and teachers for decades.
Say it long enough and people tend to believe it."
The real patriots that have truly sacrificed for this country are the military men and women who have willingly given up to their very own lives for their fellow men. How many teachers/union members can make that claim? As such, the only people who deserve a lifetime pension and benefits plan are the veterans. I do not want to hear any more whining from teachers/union members who wouldn't give up 5% of their income to the solvency of the state of WI. And marching at the capitol is not considered hazardous duty.

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