February 15, 2013

"Maybe I’ve been spoiled, but I feel like if this happened at Harvard Law School, a guy like Charles Nesson would be all over the opportunity..."

"... to just hop in, teach from the hip, and turn this upheaval into a Con Law experience like no other. Doesn’t Columbia Law have one professor like that? Doesn’t Columbia have any professors who want to teach just because interacting with young people and shaping minds about constitutional theory is kind of fun?"

Doesn’t Columbia even have any professors who at least want to send the message that lawprofs teach because interacting with young people and shaping minds about constitutional theory is kind of fun?

It's also interesting that at Columbia, a law professor is missing classes because she's going through a divorce. Back in the 1980s, when my first marriage broke up, it happened to coincide with a research grant that gave me a full semester off to write. I've always believed it would have been much better to have had classes to give some structure to those days.

Meanwhile, Instapundit links to Steven Bainbridge who talks about Columbia's solution of lumping 200 students together in one big class. What's the big deal if the teacher is lecturing, which, per Bainbridge, is a good idea anyway.

I suspect the students would have a few questions like: Why am I paying so much tuition if all I'm getting is something I could be watching on the Internet? And why are you paid so much money to lecture in person in front of people who could just as well be watching video of whoever is the very best lawprof lecturer on this subject?

13 comments:

David said...

Here's the divorcing prof, via Columbia's web site:

Please note that Professor Ponsa recently changed her name from Christina Duffy Burnett

Areas of Expertise

American legal history
Constitutional law
Immigration Law

Education
B.A., History and Latin American Studies, Princeton, 1990

M.Phil., Political Thought and Intellectual History, Cambridge, 1995

J.D., Yale, 1998

Ph.D., History, Princeton, 2010

Media Contact:
Public Affairs, (212) 854-2650.

Detailed Biography:
Christina Duffy Ponsa's work focuses on American legal history. She is the co-editor of Foreign in a Domestic Sense: Puerto Rico, American Expansion, and the Constitution (Duke University Press, 2001), and the author of several articles and essays on the constitutional implications of American territorial expansion. She is currently at work on a constitutional and international legal history of American empire in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Professor Burnett holds degrees from Princeton (A.B. 1990, Ph.D. 2010), Cambridge (M.Phil. 1995), and Yale (J.D. 1998). Before joining the Columbia faculty in 2007, she served as a law clerk to Judge José A. Cabranes on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and to Justice Stephen G. Breyer on the United States Supreme Court.

David said...

I know from personal experience that divorce diverts a lot of energy. However, there is no tenure for law practitioners, so it was in my very best interest to keep working steadily.

The lady needs to man up.

wyo sis said...

Teaching one class is not that difficult. As we say in Wyoming Cowgirl up.

Mitchell the Bat said...

Submitting to law school lectures will prepare them for their bar review lectures.

Unknown said...

in the words of a famous lawyer: (screeching voice!) what difference does it make????

Palladian said...

"Maybe I’ve been spoiled, but I feel like if this happened at Harvard Law School, a guy like Charles Nesson would be all over the opportunity..."

I read that as "...a guy like Charles Nelson Reilly would be all over the opportunity..."

tim maguire said...

Where do I get one of these jobs where I can take time off whenever something else in my life seems more important?

Maybe it's just because I read the Instapundit, but I'm amazed by the tone deafness of Columbia's move. Students there are getting too much value for their money, apparently.

Lawyer Mom said...

Pay cuts for professors are coming. There's a revolution underway in law schools and the ABA is driving it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/11/us/lawyers-call-for-drastic-change-in-educating-new-lawyers.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

Chuck Currie said...

The education industry will fight tooth and nail - just like every other privileged and protected industry - against internet education. Science and facts be damned.

Cheers

mccullough said...

Divorce is always hardest on the kids.

ken in sc said...

I have been wiped out three times, twice by divorce and once by fire. If you have a choice, choose fire. It's less painful.

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Victor Erimita said...

Universities are all about money now. The profs are not selected or incentiied to teach. They must focus on attracting grant money Tom governments and foundations to feed the money machines. They are bait-and-switch ripoffs for the students and parents who pay the preposterous tuitions, while fielding weekly calls from the "development" staff trying squeeze even more money to toss into the insatiable maw of the university. Why would any professor actually want to teach? And any one who did wouldn't get tenure.p, because they would be diverting time and energy from what really matters: money, honey.