In the vast majority of instances the voters vote against their own students. Instead, their votes are cast for students and alums of a small handful of exclusive and expensive schools. That’s right, collectively they decide that their own students or students trained by their counterparts at similarly ranked law schools are not qualified to be law professors.
So, what is the rationale for slapping the “unqualified” label on these people? One possibility is that these students are poorly trained. Is it really possible that law professors are humble enough to concede that they cannot cut it and are unable to teach effectively enough to prepare people to teach? I’m going to take a wild guess that that is not the explanation.
OK, so maybe the students are just too dumb, ignorant, or lazy that even incredibly good teaching cannot overcome their shortcomings. If it’s not the teaching, it must be the students. Right? So, law professors must be so turned off by their own students that they conclude they are all right to handle the affairs of others – you know, unimportant things like death penalty cases, planning huge estates, arguing the merits child custody battles – but not possibly up to teaching. Think of this message: You are beyond help. Whatever I do “for you” you cannot be as qualified as I am (unless you go through the LLM “cleansing for dollars” process). They must be teaching difference students than I see every year. In fact, right now I have 180 contracts students and I am convinced that some of them in five years could be doing a better job than I am.
So, if it is not the professors and not the students, what is it? And, how did elitist professors come to know whatever they rely on when casting their votes without actually talking to a single applicant in Washington. Arrogant may be the right word here if that means not realizing that you don’t know what you are doing but doing it anyway.
Another thing that puzzles me is why the 90% of students and former students who are not buying or did not buy a brand name legal education are so accepting of being sent the message that they cannot cut it. Is it some kind of Stockholm syndrome whereby students admire those who dismiss them? A power thing? Do they believe the press of their professors? Do they believe what their professors are telling them about themselves? If so that is unfortunate because it is flatly wrong. Hopefully the professors are truthful with the students about other matters.