Friday, March 1, 2013

Nora Demleitner: A Tribute to German Industriousness

As far as I can tell from perusing her CV, Washington and Lee Dean Nora Demleitner has never worked outside of the friendly confines of chosen elitism:

-Bates College ('89)
-Yale Law ('92)
-Appeals clerk ('92-'93)
-G'Town LLM ('94)
-Law Professor, St. Mary's ('94-'01)
-Law Profess/Dean, Hofstra ('01-'12)
-Dean, Washington & Lee ('12-'13)

That's almost 20 years she's been a leader in toiletville, and her CV doesn't list a single day that would count as the practice of law. Can we get an applause? Or a Supreme Court nomination?

From this background, one could make the rather straightforward assumption that Dean Demleitner has absolutely no clue what it's like in an actual law firm or what skills JD employers value or what the job market is actually like for 90% of W & L graduates. Sure, she has people tell her things, maybe even law school experience or temporary work, and she's German, giving her some Weberian instincts or some such nonsense, but in reality you either understand - you "get it" - or you don't. Being an editor for a federal sentencing reporter simply is not he same as stepping up for a criminal defendant and dealing with "the law" on a day to day basis. But I digress.

But does Dean Demleitner resist the urge to opine and shill about such matters anyway? Oh, hell no, and that's why we love her!

In response to one line in a letter to the editor in the St. Louis newspaper encouraging law schools to come to grips with the reality that there aren't enough jobs written by a recent graduate, Dean Demleitner felt the need to write the St. Louis paper and defend Washington & Lee's honor:

From the first year on our academic program focuses on the core that make lawyers unique professionals — at the same time it trains them for entrepreneurship, political office, and other ventures beyond the courtroom. Our curriculum includes a heavy dose of oral and written communication, negotiation and counseling, a structured approach to knowledge about business and finance, and a global perspective. All of that training remains focused on preparing our students to join a profession, if they so choose, because the legal market demands these skills and a young lawyer’s ability to apply them in client situations. This is not about lack of adaptation; it is about adaptation to market forces but to those within rather than outside the profession.

LOL - this is totally awesome, or should I say "klasse?". Someone complains that law schools need to tailor their studies to prepare students to enter other fields and she responds by saying the program ALREADY prepares people for "entrepreneurship, political office, and other ventures." He says the reality is that there are no jobs within the profession and her response is that they're adapting to meet the market forces in the profession.

This is wonderfully artful misdirection and surely the product of a superior education. Of course, the only real market demand in the profession is that their students be graduates of much nicer schools; while having vestiges of pseudo-prestige, Washington & Lee is a notorious trap school that gets squeezed out by Virginia, Georgetown, and of course Harvard and Yale and Duke. Since she went to Yale and apparently used her degree to get by without ever actually working in a law firm or doing anything that resembles the traditional practice of law, she surely knows this.

And not only is she shilling out of both sides of her mouth - not only is the degree versatile enough to get you an "entrepreneur" job, it's also going to make you more marketable to law firms (b/c other law schools don't teach communication or negotiation, apparently), she's shilling in the St. Louis, Missouri newspaper. With two law schools and a third just up the road, St. Louis has no shortage of options for special snowflakes, but why not try to tap the market and get a few of the little turds to come to Virginia? Maybe hope the dopey lemmings don't know Washington from Washington & Lee?

"Why learn from just Washington, when you could Lee for free?"

Somebody has to pay that $43,570 in tuition to pay this woman's massive salary (she made over $400k in 2010 from Hofstra and she rewarded them by leaving).

Deutschland uber alles? NEIN! Geld uber alles. Keep enrolling, kids. Washington & Lee will prepare you for "entrepreneurship!"

1 comment:

  1. Dean Demleitner's problem is not that she says so little, but rather that she has so little to say. She is a very bright ambitious young woman who has her eye on a federal judgeship and has almost no loyalties and no hesitation to surround herself with yes people who are afraid to provide any feedback. In reality she is very selfcousious about her professional inexperience and her tenure at Hofstra and surely W&L are no different (marked by superficial changes, targeting faculty dissenters, stealing credit and playing games with the numbers). You will never find anyone making public comments about what a wonderful person she is (so read between the lines). So keep yesing the petite blonde with a fake smile along and you will have another empty suit responsible for bigger acamedic enterprises or worse the protection of a constition that she would uphold to the degree it fostered her own upward mobility. I am a former colleague and friend who has dined in her home and plotted her maneuvers.