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18 September 2007

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Personal Loans

It was so cool watching the guys you see on television up close. I must say, I am a Tiger’s fan and always have been. However, baseball is not my cup of tea. And yet there is something magical about being in a baseball stadium. It truly is an American past time, and being in there with 30,000 other fans is downright fun! I really enjoy that base balls sports events, the fans of every team are holding their breath just like when Justin Morneau took home the Home Run Derby title with 5 home runs in the final round, but the ridiculous Round 1 that Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers produced overshadow him. Die hard baseball fans may be in a period of mourning – the season is over after the conclusion of the World Series. They may be able to rejoice because we now enter the ”Hot Stove League” – or the period of time where free agents showcase their talents to attract new contracts and teams to play for. The players have had to fight for years to have the right to attach themselves to the team that they wished to play for. In the past, players could be bought, sold, or fired at the management’s whims, regardless of anything the player had to say, whatsoever. This kept salaries low, along with their shelf lives. There was no competition for player’s services, at all. In a similar manner, you, the consumer, can look for personal loans as you see fit. Personal loan companies should compete for your business, the same way that teams should compete for players. This manner of competition keeps rates and terms low and reasonable – the way the business market should function. This means that proprietors and consumers all win – the way American business should conduct itself. Click to read more on Personal Loans.

Former Dorf Student

I appreciate that someone else has realized that Michael Dorf is overly confident in his own views. Often his reasoning seems to come more from his insulated, ivory tower overly idealistic perspective than anything grounded in reality.

He was hands down the WORST professor I ever had in law school. He was so boorish, in his thinking and manner, that I seriously considered leaving law school after completing his class. I felt that if he and his thinking were what was valued in the legal profession, I had to get out fast.

Fortunately, a few years later, and after a career with which I have been happy, I am glad I did not give up on my law school dream. Regardless, he will always hold a special place on my short list of the kind of people that manage to destroy legal learning and the spirits and minds of young law students. Miraculously, he did all this while feeling good about himself and remaining unbearably pompous.

Corey

"And teaching innovations are floating around academic circles, though the professional rewards for pursuing them are not very great."

Thus empirically the market does not value them and those who do value innovation should turn from reliance on markets. Perhaps the professors' insistence on "professional reward" is at odds with some key facet of the typical spirit of reform. I don't think it is too much to ask tenured law professors to risk nothing in agitation for a better world -- based merely on their utopian zeal. Karl Popper has been gone for some time, it is OK to be motivated by feeling again. (See Jacoby 2005)

Corey

Seeing the whole Moneyball/Super Crunchers idea applied to law school makes my neck muscles clench (and provokes a passing moment of "why then do I read this blog" introspection.)

The core critique of data driven administration is not a denial of its potential success. Even the fascist European governments of the 1930s had their administrative triumphs. The critique posits that real human beings chafe at life under technocracy. I would never attend or work for a UCI Law so focused on business model over human culture.

You all have a fundamental problem in trying to reform law via empirical methods. Data is backward looking. It tells of PAST success. It REINFORCES the initial distribution of talent/money/respect. Data is conservative. Data mining discovers established preferences. (See Negroponte, et al...)

If someone tries to drive a wedge into a disparity between a reality and a perception, Yale/Harvard/Stanford can afford to buy a new reality to close the gap. I believe this whole project is misguided. At best you can mimic an isolated success story via modeling, but hierarchy only tolerates enough vertical movement to sustain belief in the hierarchy. Revolution will never be tolerated.

Corey - JD, IU-Bloomington, 2007

Bill Henderson

Conor's forum idea is brilliant. (I want to take credit for the fact that Conor is my former student and a graduate of IU Law.) And teaching innovations are floating around academic circles, though the professional rewards for pursuing them are not very great. In addition, major improvements can go beyond teaching--as Conor notes, more innovative career services could dramatically help a law school.

Jeff Yates

I have to say that conor's two ideas for law schools don't sound half bad. I also like the forum idea - it seems appropriate given the UC -Irvine situation/opportunity.

conor

I enjoyed this post and the Moneyball analogy. I wanted to ask a few questions. Are there innovative techniques in teaching buzzing around the law professor circles? If so, are there methods not employed because of administrative inertia, apprehension, etc.?

Also, with no authority to do so, I propose a forum entitled, "What would you do if you could start a law school?"

Perhaps some of the ideas are in use and can serve as comparisons to other schools.

Although no one asked, here are some of my ideas.

-Focus on the bottom students. The top students get all the accolades and rewards. They don't need extra attention. Clearly, raw talent surfaced and will carry these students towards their goals quite well. However, the lower students outnumber the top students and they all go forth into the world with the same degree representing your school. Instead of trying to put out 10-20 outstanding lawyers per class, try to put out 200 quality lawyers. This is easy for Yale because every law student had great numbers coming in. At a lower ranked school, you have to cultivate the bottom students. Hire five extra advisers/mentors/tutors solely to work with the bottom students. This way, each student acts as a better ambassador for the school, enhancing the reputation for all students/alumni/faculty.

-Career services! This should be a HUGE part of the school. Multiple people running it, not just one. Required meetings all three years. Check in on each student's progress. I love learning for its own sake, but let's face it, we need jobs more than we need anything else from a law school.

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