Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wall Street Journal Law Blog, Are Law Professors Just Plain Lazy?, by Ashby Jones:
Law professors seem to have it pretty good. They teach a few hours a week, host office hours for an hour a week, and spend the rest doing whatever else they do out of students’ sight — write law review articles and blogs, attend conferences, interview potential colleagues and, well, frankly, we’re not entirely sure.
But lazy? Is it fair to call them lazy just because they don’t sweat and toil in an office or cubicle like the rest of us nine-to-fivers?
Absolutely, writes Ursula Furi-Perry in this article at the National Jurist. We love the lead to the story:
As in most other aspects of life, the “Seven Deadly Sins” manifest themselves in legal education.
There’s plenty of Professor Kingsfield–style wrath (see class discussions with unsuspecting 1L’s). There’s both pride and envy (Google “law school rankings” for some examples). And there may even be lust.
But the one “Sin” in legal education that is the most pervasive and serious, in light of today’s legal landscape — affecting not just groups of students but every law student and recent law grad — is sloth. ...
Furi-Perry quotes St. Johns law prof Brian Tamanaha, who’s written about the inefficiencies of tenure: “[M]ost of the time [tenure] functions to confer immunity on professors to work as little as they please beyond teaching their assigned classes. And that imposes a high cost on law schools (in money as well as institutional productivity and morale).”