Friday, August 11, 2006


With the designation of Adam Kolber as the latest Jurisdynamic Idol, a few words on the relationship between that award and MoneyLaw are in order.

In a recent post on Concurring Opinions, Daniel Solove acknowledges the legal academy's collective difference of "opinion about what factors should matter most" in the entry-level hiring market. He identified these factors:
1. Law School Attended
2. Law Review Membership
3. Graduate Degrees
4. Work Experience and Clerkships
5. Quality of Scholarship
6. Quantity of Scholarship
7. Placement of Publications
8. Cohesive Scholarly Agenda and Vision
9. Teaching Experience
10. References
The Jurisdynamic Idol approach to this question is straightforward. I stated in my original post announcing the Idol competition: "Law school, graduate school, and clerkship credentials are nice but not terribly weighty. Actual scholarly performance is much nicer and very weighty."

Let me make this unequivocally clear. The only things that matter, in a world of Jurisdynamic Idolatry, are the quality and quantity of scholarship. A "cohesive scholarly agenda and vision" almost invariably follows actual scholarly productivity. Placement is a lazy evaluator's shortcut for assessing quality. The other factors are window dressing. A law faculty hired on the basis of clerkships, law review membership, and graduate degrees will be a law faculty filled with former clerks, former law review editors, and professors who don't suffer from Ph.D. envy. Tell me what those professors actually think and write, and perhaps then we can pretend to assess their academic caliber and that of their faculty at large.


Anonymous Jeff said...

... I'd like to second that emotion -- you tell em, Jim.

8/11/2006 6:44 PM  

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