Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Random responses: A MoneyLaw triptych

Herewith three short items in response to recent posts and comments by others on MoneyLaw:
  1. Hey, Jeff. I like you, too. And it isn't just because I agree with you or because your writing entertains me. But the answer is simple: No, I'm not done being dean yet. Not even close. I like this job. At my previous job, it took me nearly a dozen years -- between July 4, 1993, and December 17, 2004, if you want precise temporal coordinates -- to realize how intensely I hated the Mets. My first half dozen days in the new office have restored my faith in baseball. As a dear friend who now lives in San Diego would agree, life sure is nice when you don't have to watch the Twins in the Metrodome.

    Here's something else I've learned, Jeff. You're right. More than any of the quantitative gauges we've discussed here at MoneyLaw, "the measure of a good law school is what takes place on a day to day basis." I still believe in my bibliometric manifesto, of course. But consider this, dear readers. Where would you rather work?

    • A law school whose "numbers" are stellar but where rule by Arschloch prevails because the faculty has abjured the first rule of academic governance, that virtue must be rewarded at least as much as vice?

    • Or a law school with putatively inferior numbers whose dean and faculty treat each other with mutual respect in pursuit of a simple goal: to seek justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with the law?

    I'd like to think that this is an easy question. Perhaps our readers disagree. Make my day: let 'er rip in the comments.

  2. Hey again, Jeff. I've got another answer for you. You ask how we should evaluate noninstructional law school programs. Notwithstanding my embrace of intangible measures of quality, I'll propose a simple mathematical test: At your law school center, what is the ratio of pages published to dollars spent? Fiscal responsibility might counsel flipping the numerator and the denominator in that ratio, but the list would then be studded by mathematically indefinite results. Division by zero, in case you hadn't noticed, makes everyone's spreadsheet run over.

  3. Finally, a word or two for Red Lion, the commenter who is disturbed by the musical presence of Hilary Duff. Ease up, dude. I'm neither an artist nor a madman, and certainly not a creature of infinite melancholy who patrols the boundaries -- the mirrory beaches and rosy rocks -- of the enchanted island called academia. But I understand your musical pain. Out of boredom I watched a video of Hilary and Haylie Duff covering a Belinda Carlisle tune. Don't ask which one; my lips are sealed. For my perfidy, I paid a steep tax in brain cells. You're right, Red Lion. It served me right.

    As recompense, I offer something more musically and lyrically sophisticated. Here are The Shins, performing "Gone for Good," on Chutes Too Narrow (2003):

    You want to jump and dance
    But you sat on your hands
    And lost your only chance

    Go back to your hometown
    Get your feet on the ground
    And stop floating around

    I find a fatal flaw
    In the logic of [law]
    And go out of my head


Blogger Jeff Harrison said...

Ok, but are you done now?

1/24/2007 7:51 AM  
Blogger Nancy Rapoport said...

Did y'all see today's Chronicle of Higher Education piece, Survey of Junior Professors Shows Best Places to Work in Academe, at These are MoneyLaw-type characteristics....

1/24/2007 8:42 AM  

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