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Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Lindgren:  'Things At Chicago-Kent Are Even Worse Than I Suspected'

Chicago-KentFollowing up on yesterday's post, More Law Prof Debate On Ideological Discrimination In Faculty Hiring At Chicago-Kent, Other Law Schools:

Jim Lindgren (Chicago-Kent, 1990-96; Northwestern, 1996-present):

So things at Chicago-Kent are even worse than I suspected.

In a prior posting, I noted that Chicago-Kent in the years ending in 1990 hired on both sides of the political spectrum (a period essentially bracketed by the hiring of Randy Barnett and myself). Asked to name how many Chicago-Kent faculty appointed after I was hired in 1990 who voted for Republicans in any of the last three elections, Ralph Brill names “Dale, Fred, Fred, Phil, Gerry, and, perhaps on some issues, Jeff.”

If I am guessing correctly about the names that Ralph is referring to, he is not able to suggest a single hire after 1990 still on the Chicago-Kent faculty who probably voted Republican. That is an appalling lack of intellectual diversity. Regarding the professor named “Jeff,” if I am identifying him correctly, I discussed politics with Jeff when we were co-chairs of appointments: he was—and presumably is—an open-minded and non-orthodox Democrat who would be very unlikely to have voted Republican for president. Dale, Phil, Gerry, and the first Fred listed by Ralph were hired before I joined the faculty (or concurrently with my hiring), and thus support my account of a lost era of open-mindedness in faculty hiring at Chicago-Kent that ended in 1990. Gerry (if I’ve got the right Gerry) was hired in 1990 (the same year as I was) and is listed on Chicago-Kent’s website as a senior instructor (and administrator), not as a professor. The first Fred (hired in the 1980s) left C-K in 1990, Dale (also hired in the 1980s) left C-K in 2002, and Phil (hired in 1971) is emeritus. That leaves one more name—the second Fred. If I am supposing correctly, this Fred was a senior practicing lawyer hired in 1991, who died in 2013. When I posted here, I thought there might be four or five Republicans hired after 1990 still left on the C-K faculty, but Ralph Brill is able to come up with the name of only one Republican-leaning professor hired after 1990, and he was hired 26 years ago—in 1991—and died in 2013. So (if I’m right about identities) Ralph doesn’t list a single Republican hired after 1990 still on the C-K faculty. There may be some, but either the C-K culture keeps them in the closet or (for whatever reasons) Ralph is unaware of them.

As for Ralph’s other comments about my tenure at Chicago-Kent, I can think of at least four of the most eminent of C-K’s senior faculty who, despite being exceptionally stellar candidates, for one reason or another probably would not have been hired at C-K but for my pushing the school to hire them: Lori Andrews, Evelyn Brody, Kathy Baker, and Hal Krent (the long-time dean). Also, during my short tenure as Associate Dean (essentially for faculty development), we approximately tripled our faculty publications in top 10 and top 20 law reviews.

Ralph blaming me for annual tuition reductions is quite a stretch. I indeed spearheaded an effort to reduce standard teaching loads to 3 courses, to substantially increase research leaves, to increase faculty productivity, and (as Ralph correctly notes) to reduce the credits required for graduation to levels consistent with some elite publishing schools. As I recall, our proposal did nothing on tuition, which was set by the dean, not the faculty. As David Bernstein noted in comments here, “So it never occurred to C-K to charge tuition by the school year rather than by the credit hour?” Richard Matasar (our dean at the time) may be many things, but stupid is not one of them. My memory of this may be in error, but I don’t remember any significant cuts in C-K’s annual tuition in the early 1990s, as Ralph’s comment seems to imply.

As for my comments about Texas and Northwestern, these were not criticisms of Chicago-Kent, but rather were designed to suggest that the problem is far more widespread and serious than Ralph claims about C-K and other schools he offers opinions about. James Phillips shows that conservative leaning professors generally have better credentials on hiring, a generally better publishing record at tenure, and a much better publishing record in the decades after tenure. Thus, Chicago-Kent would probably be a better law school if, over the last quarter century, it had been hiring across the political spectrum, instead of building a political monoculture. It’s been 26 years since 1991, when the last of Ralph Brill’s suspected (now dead) Republicans was hired. Even assuming that Ralph Brill may have missed a few names, Chicago-Kent can do better for its students and the profession. 

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2017/03/lindrenthings-at-chicago-kent-are-even-worse-than-i-suspected.html

Legal Education | Permalink

Comments

Beat a dead horse. The answer to the original question posed by Paul stands: we don’t ask the political leanings of candidates. I don’t know who voted for whom. I assume that most did not vote for Trump, but not necessarily because they were avowed Democrats. A rather unique candidate by the GOP to say the least. Changes in enrollment --- Latinos, Muslim, Bhudists, African Americans, LGBT --- led to hiring faculty of the same ethnic backgrounds, and I would guess most of these minorities vote Democratic. With applications down nationwide, we have had a lot of faculty retire and some of the GOP voters may have been among them, I don’t know. I stand by charging you with the crisis we suffered after you induced the decrease in hours for graduation to 83 from 90. The university sets tuition and it continued to charge X dollars per hour as it had done historically. It drove Matasar to leave suddenly, and his replacement struggled to fill the tremendously increased class size with capable students, which did not work out entirely well for a while, and led to some poor bar results. And I did not accomplish what your goal was – to free more time for faculty scholarship. The teaching loads are pretty much the same as they were. In short, we emphasize great teaching and great programs and no one tries to fill their students’ heads with political views. We have a very active Federalist Society at which some faculty do presentations, and many other specialty student groups who solicit and receive faculty participation. Our guest speaker program does not limit the invited speakers to professors from other schools who are of a specific political view. Views of faculty are known by faculty, but are not foisted on the students or other faculty in any way.

Posted by: Ralph Brill | Mar 1, 2017 2:20:25 PM

BTW: Jim: You now suggest the CK should have gone to a lump sum tuition when it adopted your plan to reduce hours for graduation from 90 to 83. You didn't suggest that possibility at that time, and only do now because Prof. Bernstein asks why it wasn't done then. Probably couldn't have been done at that time anyway, but you didn't include that in your memorandum creating that monstrous plan. (I still have a copy).

Posted by: Ralph Brill | Mar 1, 2017 3:06:22 PM

Ralph, how about Jim's detailed rundown of all the professors you mentioned? Are we to understand that you agree with him on that point, if not on what happened to tuition and faculty teaching loads, or whether publications increased?

Posted by: Eric Rasmusen | Mar 1, 2017 8:40:51 PM

Top 3 law faculties in Chicago based on scholarly impact (Sisk et al., 2015):
1) University of Chicago 2) Northwestern 3) Chicago-Kent
Most diverse enrollment among Chicago law schools (2015-16 academic year):
1) John Marshall 2) Northwestern
3) Chicago-Kent
Chicago law schools with the most faculty members per student:
1) Northwestern 2) University of Chicago 3) Chicago-Kent & Loyola Chicago
More winning scores for Chicago-Kent:
#2 in appellate advocacy in the United States—per the Blakely Advocacy Institute at the University of Houston Law Center (May 2016).
#3 in trial advocacy in the United States—per U.S. News & World Report (March 2016).
#13 in intellectual property in the United States—and the top-ranked program in the Midwest—per U.S. News & World Report (March 2016).
Innovative 1L Course Options
Chicago-Kent offers flexible scheduling options tailored to meet the needs of full-time students and working professionals who are earning a law degree. Beginning in fall 2014, full-time first-year students can elect to take an approved elective or clinical rotation through our optional 1L Your Way program. All first-year students can take advantage of our early summer start to get a jump on law school.

After the first year, students can move easily between full-time and part-time studies, and evening students can take up to half their courses during the day, if their work schedules permit.


LEARN MORE ABOUT US
Chicago-Kent Search Piece Cover Image
Want to learn more about Chicago-Kent? Request a copy of our viewbook.
APPLY ONLINE
VISIT CHICAGO-KENT
RELATED LINKS
JD Entering Class Statistics
Student Body Profile
Diversity at Chicago-Kent
Meet Our Students
Law School Survival Guide
STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Daniel Broaddus, J.D. 2018
Meet Daniel Broaddus '18, a Cornell-trained physicist who is studying in the evening division while working as a scientific advisor in the patent prosecution group of a large intellectual property law firm.
Top 3 law faculties in Chicago based on scholarly impact (Sisk et al., 2015):
1) University of Chicago 2) Northwestern 3) Chicago-Kent
Most diverse enrollment among Chicago law schools (2015-16 academic year):
1) John Marshall 2) Northwestern
3) Chicago-Kent
Chicago law schools with the most faculty members per student:
1) Northwestern 2) University of Chicago 3) Chicago-Kent & Loyola Chicago
More winning scores for Chicago-Kent:
#2 in appellate advocacy in the United States—per the Blakely Advocacy Institute at the University of Houston Law Center (May 2016).
#3 in trial advocacy in the United States—per U.S. News & World Report (March 2016).
#13 in intellectual property in the United States—and the top-ranked program in the Midwest—per U.S. News & World Report (March 2016).
Innovative 1L Course Options
Chicago-Kent offers flexible scheduling options tailored to meet the needs of full-time students and working professionals who are earning a law degree. Beginning in fall 2014, full-time first-year students can elect to take an approved elective or clinical rotation through our optional 1L Your Way program. All first-year students can take advantage of our early summer start to get a jump on law school.

After the first year, students can move easily between full-time and part-time studies, and evening students can take up to half their courses during the day, if their work schedules permit.


LEARN MORE ABOUT US
Chicago-Kent Search Piece Cover Image
Want to learn more about Chicago-Kent? Request a copy of our viewbook.
APPLY ONLINE
VISIT CHICAGO-KENT
RELATED LINKS
JD Entering Class Statistics
Student Body Profile
Diversity at Chicago-Kent
Meet Our Students
Law School Survival Guide
STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Daniel Broaddus, J.D. 2018
Meet Daniel Broaddus '18, a Cornell-trained physicist who is studying in the evening division while working as a scientific advisor in the patent prosecution group of a large intellectual property law firm.
READ MORE ABOUT DANIEL
Choosing a Law School?
Finding and choosing the right law school is no easy task. When it comes to evaluating school programs, objective comparisons matter. See how we measure up to our peers.

On our corner of Chicago's West Loop, we keep what some might call a low profile. No sprawling campus. No Division I basketball team. But in academic and legal circles, our name signals assets just as winning. Some scores that count:

Chicago law schools with the best bar pass rates for grads who took the July 2016 Illinois bar exam for the first-time:
1) University of Chicago 2) Northwestern 3) Chicago-Kent
Top 3 law faculties in Chicago based on scholarly impact (Sisk et al., 2015):
1) University of Chicago 2) Northwestern 3) Chicago-Kent
Most diverse enrollment among Chicago law schools (2015-16 academic year):
1) John Marshall 2) Northwestern
3) Chicago-Kent
Chicago law schools with the most faculty members per student:
1) Northwestern 2) University of Chicago 3) Chicago-Kent & Loyola Chicago
More winning scores for Chicago-Kent:
#2 in appellate advocacy in the United States—per the Blakely Advocacy Institute at the University of Houston Law Center (May 2016).
#3 in trial advocacy in the United States—per U.S. News & World Report (March 2016).
#13 in intellectual property in the United States—and the top-ranked program in the Midwest—per U.S. News & World Report (March 2016).
Innovative 1L Course Options
Chicago-Kent offers flexible scheduling options tailored to meet the needs of full-time students and working professionals who are earning a law degree. Beginning in fall 2014, full-time first-year students can elect to take an approved elective or clinical rotation through our optional 1L Your Way program. All first-year students can take advantage of our early summer start to get a jump on law school.

After the first year, students can move easily between full-time and part-time studies, and evening students can take up to half their courses during the day, if their work schedules permit.

Posted by: Ralph Brill | Mar 2, 2017 8:59:53 AM

If you are going to put up an ad for C-K, let's include everything. From LST:
Employment score: 51.6% (2015 grads)
Non-Discounted Cost: $247,644 (2017 start)
LSAT 50th 2010: 161
2016: 156
GPA 50th 2010: 3.55
2016: 3.39
Large firm employment: 11.9% (2015 grads)

Posted by: Anon | Mar 2, 2017 2:06:19 PM

The left's approach to current problems is essentially, the right are racists and sexists and intolerant, so let's copy them. The reality is the intolerance goes both ways. Clever rationalizations don't do much to change this.

Posted by: mike livingston | Mar 2, 2017 9:51:04 PM

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