I have been wondering lately if a law faculty can be called a community. Having a propensity to over analyze most things I wondered what a community is. You hear the word all the time and depending on the context it means different things. At one end of the continuum is simple a group of practically anything that does the same thing – business community, academic community, etc. This would be “weak community.” At the other end are groups with shared interests who also have share preferences and risks. This would be strong community and suggests interlocking interests. Emotions like spite and envy would not play a role. One person’s gain would be pleasing to all and each person would at least empathize when others have setbacks.
What would be ruled out is a joke my friend Len Riskin told me that he says circulates around the ADR world. A bunch of mid level execs are having some kind of gathering with their boss. One of them says privately to the boss: “If you cannot raise my salary, would you mind lowering Phil’s by 10%.” OK, now that could happen in a “weak community” but it could not in a “strong community.”
I suspect law faculties occupy most points along this continuum. In Moneylaw terms I wonder if there is an optimal point along this continuum. So I have two questions.