January 16, 2013
Cato Hosts Book Forum Today on Tamanaha's Failing Law Schools
For decades, American law schools enjoyed one of the world’s great winning streaks. Amid swelling enrollments and what seemed an insatiable demand for new lawyers, they went on a spree of expansion; even as tuitions soared, the schools basked in an air of public-interest rectitude symbolized by Yale law dean Harold Koh’s description of his institution as a “Republic of Conscience.” Then came the Great Recession—and a great reckoning. New graduates were unable to find decently paying legal jobs even as they staggered under enormous debt burdens; it became impossible to ignore long-standing complaints from the world of legal practice that the law curriculum does not train students well in much of what lawyers do; and creative efforts to reduce the cost of law school were stymied by an accreditation process that closely constrains the format of legal education. In Failing Law Schools, one of the most talked-of books in years about higher education, Brian Tamanaha of Washington University has written a devastating critique of what went wrong with the American law school and what can be done to fix it. None of the key contributors to the problem—faculty self-interest, university administrators’ myopia, cartel-like accreditation—escape unscathed in his analysis.
Also appearing with author Brian Tamanaha:
- Paul Campos (Colorado; author, Don’t Go To Law School (Unless))
- Neal McCluskey (Cato Institute)
- Walter Olson (Cato Institute; author, Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America)
Other reviews of Failing Law Schools:
- Jennifer Bard (Texas Tech)
- Ray Campbell (Peking University School of Transnational Law)
- Jim Chen (Former Dean, Louisville)
- Chronicle of Higher Education
- Ronald Den Otter (California Polytechnic State)
- Stanley Fish (Florida International)
- David Fontana (George Washington)
- Scott Greenfield (here and here)
- Bill Henderson (Indiana)
- Paul Horwitz (Alabama)
- Orin Kerr (George Washington)
- Brian Leiter (Chicago)
- Deborah Jones Merritt (Ohio State)
- Andy Morriss (Alabama)
- National Law Journal
- Philip Schrag (Georgetown)
- Robert Steinbuch (Arkansas-Little Rock)
- Washington Post
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Of course the Cato institute loves it. Anything that attacks University based research is great in their book, since it makes it easier to spread their propaganda.
Cato completely depends on annual contributions, none of their researchers have tenure, and they have an explicit ideology, all of which combine to make them completely pliable.
The Kochs literally own them.
From the people who brought you discredited study after discredited study about global warming,
comes praise for Brian Tamanaha.
His other allies? Paul Campos, a "professor" with no medical, epidemiological, or statistical training who insists obesity is good for you.
I guess water seeks its own level.
Posted by: Anon | Jan 16, 2013 9:13:07 AM
Cato bad--Cato invites Tamanaha to speak about law schools--therefore, Tamanaha bad and wrong about law schools.
Is that your reasoning, Anon, or did I miss something?
Posted by: Brian Tamanaha | Jan 16, 2013 10:29:24 AM
Sometimes it's best not to feed the village troll, Professor Tamanaha.
On a separate note, do you know if the talk will be archived or preserved? It does not seem to be available at the moment.
Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jan 16, 2013 2:40:02 PM
There are many reasons why you are wrong, Brian.
Anyone who has bothered to look at the data knows you are wrong, just as anyone who has looked at the data knows that obesity is linked to health problems and global warming is real.
But that hasn't stopped your or your sleazy friends from trying to get rich and famous peddling pseudoscience.
Posted by: Anon | Jan 16, 2013 3:14:44 PM
The first "Anon" comment is 100% genetic fallacy.
Posted by: kerple | Jan 17, 2013 1:45:14 PM
People like Walter Olson and Cato would like to see lawyers go away. They do not want people to have redress for their rights, and do not want anything regulated. In that world, there are no jobs for lawyers.
This makes the employment problems for lawyers, as outlined by Tamanaha and Campos and other, a lot worse. I am surprised Tamanaha and Campos threw in their lot with Cato and Olson. It seems the thesis these days is "anyone who will say anything bad about law schools will be given a platform." I doubt Cato and Olson have any prescriptions for law schools except to make them more conservative, and put their graduates out of business.
Posted by: Hingisy | Jan 17, 2013 2:39:23 PM
"There are many reasons why you are wrong, Brian.
Anyone who has bothered to look at the data knows you are wrong"
Do tell, the suspense is killing us.
Posted by: john | Jan 17, 2013 7:32:22 PM
Northeastern is right, better to ignore the trolls. Video of the event is now posted here:
Posted by: Walter Olson | Jan 18, 2013 4:55:50 PM
Just read this:
Posted by: Anon | Jan 19, 2013 9:35:32 PM