11.23.2004

Should a Law School Take Sides?

Will Baude has a thought-provoking commentary about law schools taking sides on political issues at Crescat Sententia:

The trouble with Dean Koh's sentiment is most clear with his suggestion that a school should not be neutral "when it comes to questions of law and justice."

The trouble is that people-- especially professors and students of law-- disagree about what law and justice require. For a school not to be neutral on those questions is for it to take an institutional stance on the very questions its faculty members are supposed to be free to be debate. The role of a great university (and, I submit, a law school) should be to let, to encourage, its members to change the world themselves, not to be a second-rate political force.


There is a crucial difference between having a majority of faculty and students sharing positions on issues and having the school itself take positions on issues. Failing to draw that line will eventually lead to the creation of a hive-mind, probably capable of turning out lawyers, but not lawyers ready for the real world outside the liberal cocoon. I hope that administration of my fine school recognize that.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...the anti-borg...

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