Friday, October 19, 2007

What I would have posted on Brian Leiter's blog....

Brian thought that my comment on his post (here's his post) was off-topic. It's Brian's blog, so it's totally his call on what to post. But because I liked my own comment enough to save a copy, here it is:

Brian, I agree w/you about Northwestern and its stellar performance in the social sciences. There are three other aspects of Northwestern's law school that also deserve attention and that contribute to its status as a truly strong law school: (1) its emphasis on joint work with the Kellogg School, which creates a deeper understanding of the cultures of law and business; (2) Dean Van Zandt's insistence that law professors are paid salaries for being good teachers and scholars, and that they need to do more than publish regularly (which is a job requirement, not an add-on) to be rewarded with raises; and (3) requiring the entering class to have had some work experience before law school.

While I'm weighing in, the problem with tenure isn't tenure per se but the laxity of post-tenure review, which tends to protect the lazy and destructive faculty members in the mushy-minded belief that tenure protects people from having to continue as scholars and teachers. But, then, I'm working on a book about THAT dynamic, among others.

BTW, if you haven't seen Northwestern Law's strategic plan, it's worth reading (here). Kudos to Dave Van Zandt at Northwestern and to Pete Wentz at APCO (formerly at Northwestern Law) for their hard work on the plan. Pete also was crucial to University of Houston Law Center's strategic plan (here), which was not the easiest plan to develop for all sorts of reasons (see here, too).

While I'm on the subject of law schools and legal education, I'm assuming that the give-and-take between Paul Caron and Brian Leiter (see here, here, and here) is in the nature of good-humored ribbing.

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