Being undervalued is one thing but what if the undervaluation is not simply the result of market imperfections and self-referential hiring practices? I mean, is it possible that, just to make sure the undervalued MoneyLaw candidate stays that way, the privileged make a point to disparage the product.
I am ahead of myself here because the MoneyLaw candidate has to get interviewed in the first place and this is not easy. Sometimes a small committee that is not overloaded with elitists can be shamed into inviting a MoneyLaw candidate. Other times, quirky things happen that permit them to sneak in. One current professor at another school tells me he interviewed at the hiring convention with a school that did it as a courtesy after mistakenly scheduling him. He ended up getting an offer. In other instances, candidates who are MoneyLaw types are mistakenly invited because a name, an entry on the resume, a reference, or something else leads the committee to believe that the candidate has special characteristics which he or she actually does not possess.
It is when the MoneyLaw candidate gets to campus that the devaluing occurs:
1. Why doesn’t she/he have other offers?
2. Why are his/her articles not in better journals?
3. I have not heard of those references.
4. Wasn’t she/he a legal writing professor?
5. I am not sure I have heard of that firm.
6. Wasn't she/he on the ten most wanted list? (O.K. I made this one up.)
Devaluing someone who is already undervalued for no particular reason related law school productivity is not only cruel, it is yet one more explanation for why PrivilegeBall trumps MoneyBall and stakeholders in law schools are worse off.