Paul L. Caron

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Anonymous Law Prof Behind Law School Scam Blog Outs Himself: Paul Campos

Following up on my prior posts (links below): the identity of the anonymous Law Prof behind the new blog, Law Professors Are Scamming Their Students, apparently will be revealed soon:

Brian Leiter (Chicago): "ScamProf is the failed academic who has done almost no scholarly work in the last decade, teaches the same courses and seminars year in and year out, and spends his time trying to attract public attention, sometimes under his own name, this time anonymously. These are important facts about ScamProf, since he is indeed scamming his students and his state, and his initial posts were tantamount to a confession that he's not doing his job. His colleagues, in any case, now know who he is, and are quite understandably angry, since the reckless generalizations are naturally read as commentary on them. ... When his identity comes out, there will be additional ironies that will warrant comment."

Anonymous Law Prof: "I've received a couple of furious emails from an outraged colleague who claims that this blog is attacking him personally by 'broad-brush insulting all law profs, and more specifically those at your school.' He's angry enough that he decided to try to 'out' me because, he said, 'I'm not going to let this remain a one-sided fight whereby I'm attacked publicly and you get to hide from attacks.' It's clear this blog isn't going to remain anonymous for much longer, so I'm going to say a couple words about why I started blogging anonymously in the first place. ... I'm not sure how much longer maintaining formal anonymity will make sense in the context of this project."

Stephen Bainbridge (UCLA): "The thing that puzzles me is: Why has nobody outed the dude? As Leiter put it the other day, his identity is obvious."

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

Other commentary:

Recent Anonymous Law Prof posts:

Update #1: Anonymous Law Prof, Apologia Pro Vita Sua [Latin: A Defense of One's Life]:

In the two weeks since I started this blog, I've gotten many emails from practicing and former attorneys, unemployed law school graduates, current law students, and even several law professors, praising the project the blog is pursuing. I've found this response very encouraging, although of course not every correspondent has agreed with all my substantive arguments, or with what it would be fair to say has been the blog's less than deeply respectful tone towards the current state of the legal academic enterprise. ...

When I was doing background research for this piece [Elena Kagan, Barack Obama, and the American Establishment, by Paul Campos (Colorado)], I was reminded that the law faculty on which Professor Leiter currently serves includes several legal academics whose own professional work is in every sense admirable.

Update #2

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I don't understand why so many law professors take personal offense to his "broad-brush" characterizations. We all know that some professors work very hard to provide value to their students and we all know that other professors sit back and do as little work as possible. This happens in every type of organization, although profs (in any field) can take the latter to the extreme typically without any repercussions.

You don't see those of us in private practice flying off the handle every time some practicing lawyer argues that we charge too much or are inaccessible to the public. I suspect that some of these law professors are simply oversensitive to criticism, but I can't help but wonder if some of the criticisms hit a little bit close to home. Why personally attack the messenger instead of simply refuting his message?

Posted by: ry | Aug 22, 2011 6:19:21 AM

Lawyers are operators of the toll bridge across which anyone in search of justice must pass. Law school debt is a great motivator in bringing it's students into that frame of mind. Predator and prey.

Posted by: james wilson | Aug 21, 2011 10:18:16 AM

I really think that about a year of actual apprenticeship in a law office - private or public - plus about 15 to 18 months of more focused law study (no "Law & Literature" or "Critical Legal Studies"), plus the BarBri bar study course that most students presently take, would produce better-prepared lawyers than we have coming out of law school today, for less than 1/2 the price. And this is an admission against interest (not in the legal term-of-art sense), because I languished in law school for more time than is typical, due to adult attention deficit disorder (i.e., sheer laziness.)

So who is to blame for the current situation? Quite obviously, the answer is renowned & prolific law professor Richard A. Epstein, presently at NYU. (He'll be teaching both Torts & Contracts in the Fall semester; NYU students, I envy you.)

The man lectures and writes more words than many educated people read, is one of the founders of Law & Economics, is a pretty good economist himself, and he understands how the wrong regulatory structure can create cartels which entrench mediocrity & drive out more innovative competition. The Lawyer & Legal Education cartels are created by state licensing requirements which impose requirements on bar admission candidates and Law Schools irrelevant to the achievement of legal competence. Exploiting their position of legal privilege, law schools receive most of their income from non-dischargable student loans, thus keeping students in hock for life to institutions which bar candidates were required to attend due to irrational & protectionist state laws.

Richard Epstein - who is a couple standard deviations higher than Paul Campos on all the pertinent measurements - could explain all this in a long essay combining Law & Economics, Economics proper, and Public Choice theory. He could likely do it in a long weekend. For his failure to do so, Richard Epstein is, I'm afraid to say, morally responsible for the current malaise caused by the Lawyer & Legal Education cartels.

Posted by: Brian | Aug 21, 2011 5:51:56 AM

I don't see the problem. Is he saying anything that isn't true? From what I can tell from reading the blog all these things are things that others including althouse, and insty have said in a less bellicose manner.

Posted by: NAME REDACTED | Aug 21, 2011 5:35:10 AM

I am a recent T14 law school grad. Paul Campos is a hero. As someone who tried desperately to improve legal education as tuition skyrocketed and jobs disappeared, I was utterly demoralized by the legal academy's unwillingness to deal with challenges that, quite simply, are harming their student's lives. Professor Campos gives hope to recent grads like myself that their are faculty members who care and are willing to take action to stop the madness.

Posted by: Jim | Aug 20, 2011 9:11:33 PM

If you want to out him, just write his name here in the's not that hard. Because it's not that hard, I think the people who claim to know who he is are full of it.

Posted by: anon | Aug 20, 2011 1:07:29 PM