an unanticipated consequence of
Jack M. Balkin
Jack Balkin: jackbalkin at yahoo.com
Bruce Ackerman bruce.ackerman at yale.edu
Ian Ayres ian.ayres at yale.edu
Mary Dudziak mary.l.dudziak at emory.edu
Joey Fishkin joey.fishkin at gmail.com
Heather Gerken heather.gerken at yale.edu
Abbe Gluck abbe.gluck at yale.edu
Mark Graber mgraber at law.umaryland.edu
Stephen Griffin sgriffin at tulane.edu
Bernard Harcourt harcourt at uchicago.edu
Scott Horton shorto at law.columbia.edu
Andrew Koppelman akoppelman at law.northwestern.edu
Marty Lederman marty.lederman at comcast.net
Sanford Levinson slevinson at law.utexas.edu
David Luban david.luban at gmail.com
Gerard Magliocca gmaglioc at iupui.edu
Jason Mazzone mazzonej at illinois.edu
Linda McClain lmcclain at bu.edu
John Mikhail mikhail at law.georgetown.edu
Frank Pasquale pasquale.frank at gmail.com
Nate Persily npersily at gmail.com
Michael Stokes Paulsen michaelstokespaulsen at gmail.com
Deborah Pearlstein dpearlst at princeton.edu
Rick Pildes rick.pildes at nyu.edu
Alice Ristroph alice.ristroph at shu.edu
Neil Siegel siegel at law.duke.edu
Brian Tamanaha btamanaha at wulaw.wustl.edu
Mark Tushnet mtushnet at law.harvard.edu
Adam Winkler winkler at ucla.edu
Two weeks ago SLU law school was shaken by the sudden resignation of its dean and very public recriminations between the dean and SLU's president, followed by the immediate appointment of an interim dean who is a partner in a local law firm.
Matters apparently took an even darker turn for SLU law school, according to a blog post by Associate Dean for Research Anders Walker (see Caron):
[O]ur interim dean recently read Failing Law Schools … and liked it.
Brian’s sacred cow killing polemic boasts a new convert … and soon they’ll be lunching. Now what? For those of us scrambling to keep things afloat here, what began as an ugly dispute between the Dean and the President is now morphing into something very different, a Tamanaha-esque audit of legal education in its current state, including questions about tuition, faculty resources, and the merits of scholarship. ... The solution, argues Tamanaha, is for law schools to adopt a tiered approach, with elite institutions like Wash U continuing along the scholarly model and non-elite schools like SLU adopting a low tuition, practical skills approach. How convenient. ...
Thus far I have refrained from responding to critiques of my book, but this one is too personal to leave unanswered.
First let me make clear that I have had no contact of any kind with SLU's new dean and have no plans to "lunch" with him; nor will I meet with him if he reaches out to me, given Walker's insinuation, because I do not want to fuel any suspicion that I might be behind the dean's actions going forward. That's probably too bad because had we spoken I would have tried to persuade the new dean that one of SLU's core strengths is a terrific young faculty (including Walker himself).
As for reform, I believe every law school (from Thomas Jefferson to Harvard, to SLU and Wash. U.) should carefully examine tuition, debt, and the allocation of resources, and every faculty should strive to find ways to operate in a more cost efficient fashion. If that's "Tamanaha's revenge," then I'm guilty as charged, and legal educators across the country can throw darts at me.