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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Louisville Prof:  'Nation's First Compassionate Law School' Brand Betrays Brandeis’s Nonpartisan Vision

LouisvilleLouisville Courier-Journal op-ed:  U of L Law School Is No Longer Neutral, by Luke Milligan (Louisville):

Since 1846 the law school at the University of Louisville has provided nonpartisan space for individuals to teach, discuss, and research matters of law and public policy. Despite the thousands of partisans who’ve walked its halls, the law school as an institution has remained nonpartisan, preserving its neutrality, and refusing to embrace an ideological or political identity.

Unfortunately, this long run of institutional neutrality seems headed for an abrupt end. Promotional materials for the law school now proclaim its institutional commitment to “progressive values” and “social justice.” Incoming students and faculty are told that, when it comes to the big issues of the day, the law school takes the “progressive” side.

The plan, in short, is to give the state-funded law school an “ideological brand.” (The Interim dean says it will help fundraising and student recruitment.) In 2014, the law faculty voted — over strong objection — to commit the institution to “social justice.” Now we’re at it again, seeking to brand ourselves “the nation’s first compassionate law school.”

These branding projects are misguided. For starters, the chosen brands are divisive, alienating about half the people in the country. While terms like “social justice” and “compassionate” might seem “inclusive” to you, tens of millions of Americans disagree. People hear these terms in a legal or political context and think “liberal orthodoxy." ... Brands like “social justice” and “compassionate” promise to sap higher education of its vitality and usefulness, leaving universities little more than salons of ideological self-congratulation.

We're already experiencing the fallout at the law school.  In the name of "social justice" and "compassion," students were instructed on Day 1 of law school to rise and make public declarations regarding their race, religion, and sexual orientation.  Under the Interim dean’s gaze, new students came out as gay, the devoutly religious were told to cheer for atheism, and evangelicals were called on to applaud the LGBT community.

By working to slap divisive and partisan labels on our state-funded law school, we betray Brandeis’s vision for public universities, revealing ourselves as men and women “of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”

(Hat Tip:  Glenn Reynolds.)

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/01/louisville-profnations-first-compassionate-law-school-brand-betrays-brandeiss-nonpartisan-vision.html

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Comments

Maybe they need Rand Paul as dean.

Posted by: mike livingston | Jan 14, 2016 4:01:39 AM

This seems like a poor decision by Louisville and a good way to make some political enemies and get your budget slashed. "We need $10 million for a new roof and Windows." Answer from pols: "crickets."

Posted by: Jojo | Jan 14, 2016 4:46:15 AM

Not clear how this helps fundraising. You'd want to offer something distinctive. Sounds like the tripe offered by many law schools.

Posted by: TS | Jan 14, 2016 6:26:44 AM

Nearly all law schools promote and scream about SOCIAL JUSTICE. Getting 3 bills for a real estate closing or representing a DUI client wearing a Budweiser frog T-shirt at a probation violation hearing is SOCIAL JUSTICE. Please. No more hyperbole. Just teach the law!

Posted by: Captain Hurska Carswell, Continuance King | Jan 14, 2016 8:14:25 AM

This is the part that bothers me:
"We're already experiencing the fallout at the law school. In the name of "social justice" and "compassion," students were instructed on Day 1 of law school to rise and make public declarations regarding their race, religion, and sexual orientation. Under the Interim dean’s gaze, new students came out as gay, the devoutly religious were told to cheer for atheism, and evangelicals were called on to applaud the LGBT community."

Law school should be about education, not indoctrination. Not only does this sound like 1984 or Animal Farm, it clearly violates students' privacy rights under federal law. An earlier post mentioned that law professors underwent the same "diversity" training. This violates federal employment statutes. Eventually someone is going to sue the law school.
Finally Kentucky is a conservative state. U of L alums are not going to donate to a school that indoctrinates its students in leftist propaganda.

Posted by: JD | Jan 14, 2016 10:32:58 AM

It sounds like an interesting experiment. Did the Christian students betray their God by cheering for atheism and homosexuality? This is a useful forecaster for real persecution. I do wonder how many people would apostasize if, for example, it was ruled that Christians could not be given a law license. A lot, I think.

Posted by: Eric Rasmusen | Jan 14, 2016 4:43:50 PM

http://www.courier-journal.com/story/opinion/2016/01/16/uofl-law-professor-veered-partisan-agenda/78903362/

And it gets worse - looks like a professor is getting sent for reeducation...

It truly is the thought police, what a mockery of higher education.

Posted by: Todd | Jan 17, 2016 7:40:21 AM