Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Are You What You Teach?

This is rank speculation based on very few observations but, do people spend their lives going against type: For example:

1. I have known a few people who are psychologists or psychiatrists. The number of them who are a bit wacky or have wacky people in their families seems higher than other people I know.

2. The people know who are physicians seen to exercise the least had have greater tendencies to drink and eat too much -- to say nothing of their personal lives.

3. Please tell me why people who work in hair salons have the worst, I mean THE WORST hair cuts, color and styles.

4. I am sure everyone has heard the joke about the CRIT in his $2000 suit and home in the Vineyard chatting it up with the Law and Econ guy in his jeans and tee shirt.

5. The people in law school teaching who specialize in ADR seem to be the most self-interested. This last one worries me most. First, because one of my ADR buddies agrees. Second, what does that mean, if anything, in other courses. Are those people as concerned in their own lives about what they teach? I mean do family law people care about families or were they mistreated as children? Do people who teach about defamation gossip with little attention to the truth? Do environmental law teachers care about the environment? Are procedure people disorganized and do they cut in line? Are First Amendment teachers quick to draw the line at what others should not say?

Please do not misunderstand. I think most law teachers can teach any subject offered in a law school whether they have any personal feeling for the area or not. I just wonder if there is a pattern of what attracts people to certain areas. How often is it honest interest, therapy, or some combination of those and other factors.


Anonymous said...

The people in law school teaching who specialize in ADR seem to be the most self-interested.

This has certainly been my experience at Acorn. Our resident ADR maven has been persistently self-interested and obstructionist. At least a few of my colleagues have remarked on the irony.

By the way, I teach corporations, labor/employment, and law & society. Make of that what you will.

Greg N. said...

Off topic a bit Professor Harrison, but I thought you might enjoy these two blog posts about status and academia. The first from Megan McArdle, and the second, in response, by Ilya Somin at Volokh.


On second thought, looking at the comments at Megan's page makes me wonder whether you might have already seen this...