Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tabloids,Pathetic Law Professors, and Their Use

Any one reading this is probably aware of the recent study published by the Michigan Law Review on the one hundred most cited law professors.  I wrote in disbelieve , that a reputable law review would publish such garbage.  Not only was the study flawed but the whole subject matter is irrelevant to virtually everyone except a craven group of law professors who truly must not have a life.

Now, low and behold, we have a ranking of the 50  most influential law schools as ranked by the Leiter scale. I do not know Leiter  but do not think highly of anyone with a ranking obsession   There are so many things that are better to do. In fact, if I rank the top 1,000.000 things to do in the world, these silly self indulgent rankings would not be in the ranking. I hasten to add that Leiter, whoever he is, is not an author of this particular ranking but evidently it is one of his "activities."

Why is any of this important? The rankings themselves are not. They are completely unimportant with respect to any measure of human well being,  What is important is that they exist at all and what that tells you about the pathetic people who pore over them and the profession they control.  If you followed any of my previously posts, they have been devoted to law professors, most of whom are what is currently called liberal, and their connection to the Romnesian 1%.  In both cases,  they are beneficiaries of a rigged system. And having benefited from the rigged system they want to make sure it stays that way. At the same time they are 1) desperate to know where they rank and 2) they bank on, live on, and salivate over institutional authority. That is, it's fine with them that they are not actually relevant as long as a rankings says they are. In fact, they actually regard themselves as important or as smart as the rankings say they are.

Does this mean I condemn the authors of such silliness. Not on your life. It is, in fact, pure marketing genius. Check out the number of SSRN downloads for this latest effort -- over 1200 in a short period for an article that has nothing to do with law but is full of name dropping. The authors know what sells to law professors. Yes, law professor cannot get enough of their version of grocery store tabloids. Bless their hearts!


Anonymous said...

you think that's bad.

New York Law School is spending money on a law review symposium focused on Dr. Seuss.

That's $50,000 of tuition, lit on fire. Then they urinated on it.

Nando said...

Keep in mind that Fourth Tier Thomas M. Cooley Law School is ranked 2nd, in its own comical rankings scheme, "Judging the Law Schools."


I despise rankings too, but students usually base their decisions to attend on a school's ranking. Plus, large firms want to hire from top law schools. It's pretty sick that rankings published by a defunct magazine - US "News" & World Report - set the stage. This is madness.

Anonymous said...

What you have to understand is that Leiter is very interested in Prestige which means that he is very interested in rankings because rankings are how Prestige is measured.
Prestige is zero-sum and relative to nothing save the Prestige of other participants, making rankings the perfect measurement.

Leiter has been ranking law schools for a long time, and philosophy departments since he was a grad student. Rankings is his business, and since he teaches at the T14 University of Chicago, business is good.

Jeffrey Harrison said...

I actually know more about Leiter than I indicated in the blog but not all this. He also know of his "ways" so to speak and his penchant for the ad hominen attack on people he does not agree with. Increasingly he appears to be the poster child for what is wrong with legal education.

Jeffrey Harrison said...

With respect to his personal attacks. here we go again: (from the Leiter bog) I just happened upon this exchange in the comments at TaxProf blog from late August, but it is quite something. At some point, Deborah Jones Merritt, an actual scholar at Ohio State (though perhaps not one with terrific judgment) joined the Campos blog. Blog Emperor Caron, being an equal opportunity linker (i.e., he has no standards!), has linked to several of her items, but now a reader of his blog has taken to replying.