Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Left-Leaning Law Faculties Poor at Analyzing American Law Practice According to Georgetown Law Professor Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz

At the Washington Post,

Georgetown Law Professor Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz,
has an interesting point of view in
Intellectual diversity in the legal academy,
where he refers to his same-titled SSRN paper
which he abstracts with the following rather devastating view
of "elite" left-leaning American law faculties:
"Because elite American law faculties are so far to the left of the American judiciary, these faculties can be startlingly poor at analyzing the actual practice of American law."
Of course, that is true.

The question for us, however, is whether it is "normal" for law faculties to be somewhat more on the side of reform than the rest of the legal system, and certainly ahead of the judges, who must deal with the here and the now and what is, rather than what should be.

By contrast, the job of a law professor is not only to "understand" the "Law"
well enough to teach it "as is" to students,
but also to see the Law's deficiencies,
and to be at the forefront of change,
also in his or her teaching activities.

Usually, this means changing the law "forward" and not "backward".

That top legal institutions are thus often at odds with what "the good old boys" actually practice out in the field is clear, but that may be a necessary given. Similarly, judges and courts are conservative by nature.

By comparison, for example, the top people in digital science, e.g. are not working at what has been or is, but rather, what will be.

We think the law is no different, and should not be, at the top.

This does not necessarily mean that a right-wing or left-wing label is the correct way to view the process. It is quite possible to be right-wing and still be "forward-thinking". We are political centrists politically, but sometimes more radical in terms of change, which one has to be to get things improved, otherwise nothing gets done.


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