Friday, August 12, 2011
It was obvious to me after reading the blog, with its reckless and inaccurate generalizations (cf. Paul Horwitz's commentary), since the author has written in this vein under his own name in the past. And the clues as to his identity the author provided--the number of years in teaching, best law school in his state, a "tier 1" law school, etc., as well as the interview he gave--just confirmed that impression. Since he teaches at a state law school, and in a state that has shown it is willing to fire tenured faculty under the right circumstances, I am somewhat amazed he would do this, since the blog is tantamount to an admission that he is not really doing his job and doesn't deserve his salary (given what I know about him, I'm inclined to believe that). More seriously, when his identity becomes public, as seems inevitable given how poorly he has disguised it, he will have humiliated his colleagues and his school, neither of which deserve his latest exercise in seeking the limelight. I hope he has the good sense to just delete the whole thing before he makes things worse. Out of respect for his school and his colleagues, who deserve much better, I will not be posting his identity.
UPDATE (8/13): I'm glad to see he's already starting to back-pedal on some of his irresponsible rhetoric, perhaps because, as I know from my e-mail, some of his colleagues already suspect he's behind it. (I did laugh out loud when he protested, "I don't think all of legal education is a scam." He might have looked at the title of his blog.) But the entire blog remains essentially fact-free, just anecdotes buttressing wild generalizations about legal education, plus the kind of amateurish theorizing about law and legal scholarship that he's published under his own name in the past. His identity is important because a lot of what he says correctly describes him: not a real interdisciplinary scholar, doesn't produce scholarship any longer, and probably doesn't put much effort into his teaching. I still hope he has the good sense to delete the whole blog. I and his colleagues will be glad to treat this all as "our" secret.
ANOTHER: The fact-free ruminations of our Scamming LawProf might be usefully contrasted with the criticisms of law schools and legal education by Brian Tamanaha (Wash U/St. Louis), which, while not always persuasive, are always based on pertinent evidence, and avoid wild generalizations: we've noted them previously here, here, here, and here, among other occasions. Perhaps part of the difference is that, unlike our Scamming LawProf, Professor Tamanaha is a productive scholar, who is actually doing his job.