I can tell you about "old school" law school from firsthand experience. Last semester I taught two Contracts I sections—over 120 students. This semester I have those same students for Contracts II, plus a fair-sized Entertainment Law course, giving me 9 credit-hours to cover.
(Why am I enjoying that blast from the academic past? Long story. The short of it: Please wish our dear colleague, Prof. Frank J. Doti, well.)
Teaching three courses and around 150 students costs me a fair amount of time and attention, of course. I have less time for scholarship than I normally would. With Utah L. Rev. expecting a paper by April 1, I face a bit of a challenge. Soon, I'll also face a lot of grading: midterms for Contracts II and finals for all my classes. Whew.
But let me emphasize the positives to a heavy teaching load: 1) I can help a lot of people learn about the law; 2) I enjoy a downward sloping average cost curve; 3) I have a bigger audience for my inner (or is that "outer"?) ham; and 4) I feel like I'm earning my pay.
Don't underestimate the appeal of that last benefit. We law profs have landed pretty good gigs. Our professional qualifications—good grades, scholarship, teaching—attest to our prodigious mental powers. How easily can we coast through our academic careers, meeting only the bare duties of our jobs! Sloth thus tempts. Teaching an overload certainly offers ample balm for that worry.
[Crossposted to Agoraphilia.]