Posts Tagged ‘Yale’

Speeches this week: Syracuse, Cleveland, Pittsburgh

I’ll be discussing Schools for Misrule today at Syracuse University College of Law, tomorrow in Cleveland at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at 4 p.m., and Thursday in Pittsburgh at noon at Pitt Law with critical commentary from Prof. Peter Oh. Federalist Society student chapters are sponsoring the events, which are open to the public. Come out and introduce yourself!

Thanks to my hosts over the past two weeks at Fordham (where I debated Prof. Zephyr Teachout), Brooklyn Law School, and Yale (where Prof. John Fabian Witt contributed generous comments).

Why not book me to speak at your own city or campus? You can contact me directly at editor – at – overlawyered – dot – com, call the Cato Institute at 202-789-5269, or, if you’re a Federalist Society chapter, through the Society’s home office.

February 9 roundup

Schools for Misrule roundup

Maryland professor of mathematics emeritus Ron Lipsman reviews my book at The Intellectual Conservative, calling it “penetrating,” “comprehensive and detailed”:

He traces, in mostly a chronological fashion, how progressive philosophy and leftist ideology at first seeped into and eventually flooded the halls of American law schools. He begins by pointing out that law schools became well established on American campuses precisely during the so-called Progressive Era, 1890-1914. The law schools’ newfound prominence dovetailed nicely with the advent of professional licensure in America. By that I mean the process by which the heretofore free-for-all entry of individuals into numerous professions and vocations began to be subject to government (or government-sanctioned) certification. This became common a century ago in various American businesses and industries – from meat slaughtering to pharmacy, from barbering to chauffeuring, from teaching to medicine. Well, there was no reason to exempt lawyering from the process. And so the country’s law schools became the gatekeepers for the nation’s legal profession. Thus the faculty at the nation’s law schools – especially, those of the elite variety – obtained control over the training and philosophical outlook of the nation’s lawyers. Since we are a country under the rule of law, those who control the lawyers thereby control the law and thus the country to a great extent….

Olson’s style is actually quite engaging. Although he treats deadly serious issues with the earnestness that they deserve, he manages to maintain an understated, even restrained tone, which if anything makes his arguments more dramatic.

At Liberty Fund’s newly launched Library of Law and Liberty, lawprof/blogger Mike Rappaport after listening to my interview resolved to put the book on his reading list, having not previously appreciated how central the role of the Ford Foundation has been in influencing the schools’ development. For more on that role — as well as that of other donors like George Soros and nonprofit groups like the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) — see Scott Walter’s interesting essay in Philanthropy Daily, which includes a link to SfM.

Admit it: you want an electronic copy of Schools for Misrule for your e-reader. No problem: there are great bargains in the Books-a-Million, Barnes & Noble/Nook or Google e-books versions, the Kindle version, and the Sony version. Also check out the e-books at the Cato store, on offer this month at great savings with the code “EBOOKSALE.”

P.S. Ted Lacksonen picks up on the book’s oral-tradition “Yale Law School Anthem” (“Don’t Know Much About Property…”).

Le suit: climate of sexual harassment at Yale “emboldened” murderer

Citing a Title IX complaint, the lawsuit claims that the university’s failure to crack down harder on male behavior was in part responsible for the sensational crime in which a fellow lab worker strangled the pharmacology student and stuffed her body into a wall. [Yale Daily News, Slate “XX Factor” (despite feminist sympathies, doubting basis for suit), New York Daily News] More: Scott Greenfield, Max Kennerly.

“Due Process Stops at the Campus Gates?”

My Cato colleague Ilya Shapiro on the Obama Education Department’s unsettling insistence that colleges and universities, on pain of losing federal dollars, pare back the due process accorded to those accused of sexual misconduct. [Cato at Liberty]

Plus: earlier on Yale’s submissive reaction to Title IX complaint and suspension of a fraternity. More: “hostile environment” Title IX complaints leveled against other schools as well; Cathy Young on campus sexual assault numbers.

Behind a Yale fraternity’s suspension

Federal regulators and private complainants step up pressure for tougher university disciplinary action against offensive males — and speech-related offenses will be very much under scrutiny. [Greg Lukianoff/Daily Caller, Harvey Silverglate and Kyle Smeallie/Minding the Campus, Caroline May/Daily Caller]

More: The Yale Alumni Magazine notes that DKE (Delta Kappa Epsilon) brought the University “bad publicity.” And Dave Zincavage has been blogging critically about the affair. Further: Scott Greenfield.

Tom Smith reviews Schools for Misrule in Yale Alumni Magazine

I think the “bat virus reservoir” analogy may be an instant classic:

Walter Olson thinks that American law schools are the origin of some very bad ideas, in something like the way bats are said to be the reservoir of certain nasty viruses in Africa: the germs of pernicious concepts incubate there in relative obscurity between epidemics, erupting occasionally to spread destruction and misery. …

His histories of liability expansion, the role of wealthy private foundations, and international human rights law activism, as well as the ever potentially corrupting influence of money, amount to a sobering crash course in how bad things can happen to good schools and countries.

Reviewer Tom Smith is a law professor at the University of San Diego as well as a well known blogger. Since much of my critique in the book is aimed at Yale Law School itself, it will be interesting to see what sort of reaction he gets. (& Right Coast, Instapundit, Prof. Bainbridge).

Washington Times review; Yale Daily News

Attorney Ray Hartwell of Hunton & Williams reviews a certain “excellent,” “wide-ranging” and “richly informative” volume. It’s one of my CoverSchoolsforMisrulefavorite reviews so far; among its other virtues, it gets into the conflicting institutional pressures on law schools that underlie some of the ideological drift. For other reviews, see our posts here, here, and here. Why not order your copy — or a gift copy for a graduate or favored relative — today?

More: Today’s Yale Daily News is out with a story by reporter Nikita Lalwani on the cycle of inbreeding in high-end legal academia: top law schools draw heavily on a few elite undergraduate colleges for their student body, and in turn supply most of the future law faculty for law schools around the country. I’m quoted:

“Harvard and Yale graduates like complicated law more than the general public,” [Olson] said. “Legal academics like these complications because they are intellectually stimulating, but most lawyers just want to be able to advise their clients to either do or avoid doing something.”

And Chicago’s Brian Leiter is quoted saying something with which I’d fully agree:

In an email to the News Apr. 13, Leiter said he finds it troubling that just six schools control so much of the legal academic world.

“It is not a healthy situation, and no doubt accounts for a lot of what ails legal scholarship and explains the legal academy’s susceptibility to intellectual fads,” he said. “As long as the fad takes hold at a couple of feeder schools to legal academia, it’s guaranteed to spread.”