December 10, 2012
What Is the AALS Good For?
Dan Rodriguez (Dean, Northwestern), The Present and Future of AALS?:
What are your good ideas for the AALS as an organization going forward, especially in these remarkably difficult times for legal education? I have the opportunity to play a leadership role in the association for the next little while (being nominated as president-elect at the upcoming annual meeting). My sense is that we can do much better as a group in furthering the myraid objectives of the law professoriate. Moreover, I would like to use my (small) bully pulpit to advance objectives that are critical to our collective future.
Check out the interesting comments from Rick Garnett (Notre Dame) and Paul Horwitz (Alabama), among others. Stephen Bainbridge (UCLA) offers a particularly ascerbic take in What Useful Purpose Does the AALS Serve?:
The best thing we could do with the AALS is to disband it. ... I can't think of one useful thing the AALS does except to provide a massive schmooze fest for faculty to network at taxpayer and student expense. And while that's fun, it doesn't justify the organization's existence.
Or as Edwin Starr would say:
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I only attend when I get an all-expense-paid trip to San Francisco.
In the 70's when I first attended an AALS Annual Meeting (in San Fran, of course), I heard 2 "older" professors in an elevator discussing that "you'd never want to expose a new or interesting idea here." The implication was that it should be saved for an article they would get pay-credit for. That year there were no "names" present and I felt like I was at "passed-over night" at the Officer's club when all the older Majors bitch about why they aren't Lieutenant Colonels.
I've never found a scintilla of intellectual value at the AALS. Although I did , twice(?), find good things going on at a coincident conference.
Posted by: 30yearProf | Dec 11, 2012 8:52:29 PM
How about teaching that truth is more important than winning? The failure of the legal proffession to make truth the single most important element is the main reason that lawyers are considered lower than used car salesman. It is also why if you tell me you are a lawyer, I immediately check to see if I still have my wallet.
Posted by: Rob Jones | Dec 11, 2012 9:02:24 PM
It's like a Dilbert comic strip. The purpose of AALS is to make people wonder what the letters AALS stand for.
Posted by: Astro | Dec 11, 2012 9:59:23 PM