One thing the American students learn is that outcomes can be arbitrary – and I do not mean as in arbitration. (Europeans are so much better at handling arbitrariness as you know if you follow soccer at all.) Although American law schools have done well in the competition it has also been my theory that they must do more “better” than their competitors. Many of the arbitration panels prefer a more formal style than Americans are used to. It is great for the students to recognize and experience this. In addition, the competition is in English and the general sense is that the benefit of the doubt goes to those for whom English is not the first language. Finally, although I think the vast majority of judges strive to be neutral, when they are not, the feeling here is that that are not pro American. The English matter is particularly strange. First, the fact that a team is from a particular country does not mean the team members are. We competed against a French team with a native from
After all that build up, what does this have to do with Money law? Here is what I tell my students. You are American and, while I want you to clean up the slang, no one will doubt where you are from. It means things may be slanted slightly against you but just accept it, enjoy the experience, and move on. It is what it is and you are not going to change it.
The same message may be equally meaningful to a growing number of law professors. (I do not mean the American part.) If you entered law teaching before the age of massive self promotion and before 10 page articles began to count as much as year long efforts to work through difficult topics, you are in a new environment. This would be before deans counted lines on resumes without regard for originality or coauthorship. And before anything actually put on a printed page, no matter what printed page, was deemed to be an “article.” Many of you are in a world as different as my Arbitration Moot students. And my advice to you is the same. Just accept it and enjoy. And, in particular don’t become part of the process that substitutes form for substance.