Dicta

The home of “things said” by the National Association of Scholars.

“Affirmative Consent” Confirms Disproportionate Feminist Influence in Legal Profession

Teresa Manning

The ABA House of Delegates’ attempt this past summer to redefine consent in sexual misconduct cases to “affirmative consent” is more evidence that a destructive feminism has disproportionate influence in the legal profession.

Focus on Reining in the American Bar Association

Allen Mendenhall

Congress is divided, with Democrats holding a majority in the House and Republicans in the Senate. What does this mean for higher education? The first installment of our forum on the transfer of power. 

CUNY's Lawless Law Students

NAS

NAS writes to the City University of New York's Chancellor, James Milken, following the no platforming of Josh Blackman.

NAS Statement on Free Speech Resolution at Lewis & Clark Law School

NAS

After invited speaker Christina Hoff Sommers was shouted down, some faculty at Lewis & Clark Law School want to protect intellectual freedom.

Another Incoherent Protest This Time by Law Students

Peter Wood

At Minding the Campus, NAS President Peter Wood writes about the lack of consequences that protesters face after disrupting campus speakers.

Association of American Law Schools Snubs Pleas for Viewpoint Diversity

George W. Dent

George Dent writes about the lack of viewpoint diversity in American law schools.

Association of American Law Schools: Conservatives Not Welcome

George W. Dent

The Association of American Law Schools tilts the deck against conservatives.

What Should We Do About Law Schools?

George Leef

Not long ago, law school was a growth industry. Over the past decade, enrollments have plummeted.

Think Twice Before Entering Law School

George Leef

A law school graduate shares the story of his path into legal education.

Law Professor Argues for More Grade Inflation

George Leef

The "kindler and gentler" approach to grading may not be the best approach, counters George Leef.

Obama's One Good Idea – Shorten Law School

George Leef

The third year of law school and, sometimes, law school itself are unnecessary, says George Leef.

A Blackballed Conservative Gets Her Day in Court

Peter Wood

Peter Wood reviews the First Amendment lawsuit brought by a conservative lawyer who was turned down for a teaching position at the University of Iowa College of Law.

Law Schools Under Critical Scrutiny

Glenn Ricketts

Ideology has pervaded law schools to the detriment of student preparation for practice.  Are law degrees therefore still necessary?

A Law Professor Takes On the Victimhood Industry

Hans Bader

Hans Bader describes the Byzantine case of law professor Lawrence Connell, who's in big trouble for actually defending himself against preposterous harassment charges.

What Do They Teach You At Law School? Not How to Be a Lawyer

Glenn Ricketts

The substance of a legal education, especially at top-tier law schools is worse than bad, it's pretty awful. You'll apparently read lots of high theology about critical legal theory, feminist theory, Marxist theory, etc., etc. But it seems that if you want property, contracts or torts you'll have moonlight after you get your very expensive law degree. Law school sure isn't going to do it for you.

Law Schools Getting Sued

George Leef

A large and growing number of law schools are being sued for misrepresenting data about the employment and earnings prospects of students who enroll. 

Widener Law Professor Wins, Still Loses

Glenn Ricketts

As Ashley Thorne reported earlier this week, Widener University law professor Lawrence Connell can't seem to get a break. Although he was vindicated of the frivolous charges of racial and sexual harassment lodged against him at the behest of law school dean Linda Ammons, he's still in the soup. 

Ammons Retaliates Against Exonerated Law Professor

Ashley Thorne

Widener University law school dean has professor Lawrence Connell suspended and banned from campus - after a hearing committee exonerated him from charges of sexual and racial discrimination.

NYT's Room for Debate Considers Law School

George Leef

The latest Room for Debate feature in the Times is about law school, a topic that paper has taken a surprisingly strong interest in this year. I’m among the contributors; my argument is that the bar exam should be open to anyone, not just those who have graduated from an ABA-accredited law school. That would lead to far more competition by opening up non-law-school modes of legal education. Several of the other participants laud the splendid training that law school can provide, but law school itself is neither necessary nor sufficient for such training. The fact that law school can have good outcomes is no reason to enshrine it as the only permissible pathway into legal practice.

Widener Law Professor Exonerated

John Irving

A Widener University faculty and administrative commmittee unanimously cleared law professor Lawrence Connell of racism, sexism, and charges that he was a danger to students.

Are In-House Law School Clinics Useful? No

Charles E. Rounds

Law Professor Charles E. Rounds, Jr. argues that maintaining in-house clinics is impractical and cuts into time that would be better devoted to additional study of the basics.

Are In-House Law School Clinics Useful? Yes

David French

Attorney David French argues that although these clinics aren't perfect, they nevertheless provide helpful experience for law school students.

Video: The Triumph of Judicial Conservatism

Ed Whelan joins Andy Nash for a conversation on “judicial conservatism” and the state of law school education, civics, and the relationship between the law, Western Civilization, and the Christian tradition.

Originalism in the Classroom

David F. Forte

David F. Forte provides a detailed legal history of originalism and investigates whether, and to what extent, originalism is a part of law school teaching on the Constitution. This article appears in the summer 2011 issue of Academic Questions, "Hard Cases: America's Law Schools" (vol. 24, no. 2).

Update on Widener Law Prof Lawrence Connell

Ashley Thorne

One of Connell's students defends him from the charges of racism and sexism, and Connell asks for a public, under-oath hearing.

Clinical Discomfort

Peter Wood

Peter Wood comments on the turn to social activism in law schools.

Oops! In Dean Search Political Bias Went Public

George W. Dent

Case Western Reserve University School of Law rejected a conservative candidate after a website raised objections to his politics.

Widener Law Prof Sues Dean for Defamation

Ashley Thorne

Lawrence Connell, who was suspended after students complained about his teaching methods, is now suing the university for attempting to damage his reputation and deny him academic freedom.

Diversity Mania in Law Schools

George Leef

This Chronicle article covers a recent symposium on that most horrific of problems, an inadequate level of diversity. The focus of this particular symposium was insufficient diversity in the legal profession. A revealing quotation: "Our profession is among the least diverse in the country," said Conrad A. Johnson, a panelist and clinical professor at Columbia. "If we maintain the current status quo, we will find ourselves falling further and further behind if our goal is to obtain parity with the general population." Why should that be a goal of law schools or of the legal profession? If someone wants a good estate planning attorney, he doesn't care about the ancestry of the best estate planners he might choose, much less the diversity of the whole legal profession. The law profs who fret about "parity with the general population" have a central planning mentality that's common among academics, but is completely irrelevant to decision-makers in the real world.

Widener Dean Pursues Punishment for Law Prof Who Used Hypotheticals in Class

Ashley Thorne

A press release by Lawrence Connell's lawyer states that Dean Ammons is ignoring the recommendations of the faculty committee to drop charges against Professor Connell.

Widener Committee Advises: Withdraw Charges Against Law Prof Who Used Hypotheticals to Teach

Ashley Thorne

The committee of inquiry at Widener University recommends that charges of racism and sexism against Professor Lawrence Connell be dropped.

Needless Educational Credential -- The JD

George Leef

In this Washington Examiner piece, lawyer Hans Bader, a Harvard Law School grad, argues that law school is unnecessary and that people who wish to go into legal practice should be allowed to study for the bar exam as they wish. Law school is a high barrier to entry that does not ensure competence.

Hypotheticals in the Criminal Law Classroom: An Interview with Lawrence Connell

Ashley Thorne

Professor Lawrence Connell at Widener University has come under fire for referring hypothetically in class to killing the dean. Here he tells his side of the story.

Law School -- Not Just Oversold, But Deceptively Oversold

George Leef

In today’s Pope Center Clarion Call, I comment on the recent, wonderfully iconoclastic New York Times piece on law schools. Students are lured into law school in much the same way they’re lured into college — easy government money to pay for education that is supposed to lead to great careers. But just as there aren’t nearly as many high-skill, high-pay jobs for BA holders as we are led to believe, there are not nearly enough legal jobs for all the people who are getting JDs. To keep the good times rolling, some schools utilize deceptive tactics to make it seem as though graduates are very likely to find lucrative legal jobs. Many won’t. The root of this problem is state regulation mandating that prospective lawyers must go through an approved (i.e., long and costly) educational experience known as law school. There is no reason for that mandate. Legal education ought to be opened up to free-market competition and discovery.

Law Schools are Indoctrinating Rather Than Educating

Don Racheter

The Iowa Association of Scholars observes that law schools suffer from political bias, and that in turn, the U.S. judicial system suffers.

Three Law School Articles

Ashley Thorne

Of interest to law professors, lawyers, and curious individuals, NAS has recently published three articles about law schools: “Conferring Privilege: DOJ, Law Schools, and the New Politics of Race” examines the Association of American Law Schools’ efforts to prevent racial colorblindness. “’They So Despise Her Politics’ - Do Conservative Faculty Candidates Get a Fair Shake?” presents documents in the lawsuit of an unsuccessful faculty candidate for a position at the University of Iowa College of Law who believes she was denied the appointment because of her politics. "Potemkin Admissions: Law Professors Propose to Hide LSAT Data" exposes a movement to persuade law schools to withhold LSAT scores from U.S. News and World Report. The idea is to make it harder for the public to see how much the pursuit of racial preferences drags down the quality of admissions. "They So Despise Her Politics" has received attention from the Daily Iowan, Instapundit, TaxProf Blog, and One Minute Lawyer.

Potemkin Admissions: Law Professors Propose to Hide LSAT Data

George W. Dent

A movement is afoot to persuade law schools to withhold LSAT scores from U.S. News and World Report. The idea is to make it harder for the public to see how much the pursuit of racial preferences drags down the quality of admissions.

"They So Despise Her Politics" - Do Conservative Faculty Candidates Get a Fair Shake?

Peter Wood

An unsuccessful faculty candidate for a position at the University of Iowa College of Law believes she was denied the appointment because of her politics.

Conferring Privilege: DOJ, Law Schools, and the New Politics of Race

Peter Wood

On the 45th anniversary of affirmative action, a law school association is working against colorblindness.

Domestic Faction in a Republic, Part III

George Seaver

In the United States today - education, media, law, family policy, and national security - deconstruction clashes with classical liberalism.

Supreme Court to Decide Christian Legal Society v. Martinez

Ashley Thorne

The case aims to settle a longstanding controversy: whether a religious student group, recognized or funded by a public university, has the right to specify that its members must share the group’s religious beliefs.

Weighing the Evidence: New Studies on Racial Preferences at Three Universities

Glenn Ricketts

NAS affiliates helped the Center for Equal Opportunity document discrimination in law school admissions.