Friday, January 15, 2016

If My Pants are on Fire, It's Because I'm Burning with Social Justice

First, I give you the following excerpt from Professor Luke Milligan of Louisville, who, apparently, needs his classes this next semester to be held in the Ministry of Love's Classroom 101:
Promotional materials for the law school now proclaim its institutional commitment to “progressive values” and “social justice.”  Incoming students and faculty are told that, when it comes to the big issues of the day, the law school takes the “progressive” side.

The plan, in short, is to give the state-funded law school an “ideological brand.”  (The Interim dean says it will help fundraising and student recruitment.)  In 2014, the law faculty voted — over strong objection — to commit the institution to “social justice.”  Now we’re at it again, seeking to brand ourselves “the nation’s first compassionate law school.”
And blah blah blah.  You've heard this story before: pissant conservative asshole preaches against the happy current for institutional recidivism, wanting to spoil everyone's good time of forced finger-painting because... I don't know, but he name-drops Louis Brandeis, for whom the school is named, which is particularly smarmy and lawyerlike...

I can't help but read misguided screeds like Milligan's and ask myself what is the purpose of law school? and the answer, which makes so much sense I cannot possibly see other approaches as even plausible, is that law schools exist to solve massive issues of social justice.  At the end of the day, does anything matter in law or in serving (servicing, not working) as a lawyer if the task cannot be connected to the overarching concern that justice should be social?  If it means that only 1/3 of our law graduates have meaningful jobs, is that not a worthy sacrifice in the name of our groupthink empire?

Recently, Kellye Testy, dean of Washington and President of AALS, gave an interview where she underscored this general concept in an astute response to a noisome question:
NLJ: It seems that the phrase “law school crisis” has died down a bit, yet enrollments and bar passage rates are still declining. Do you think legal education is still in crisis mode?
KT: I don’t see legal education as being in crisis at all. What I do see is that there are a lot of crisis in our world that legal education can help address.
You simply can't make this shit up.  After the NLJ asked her a question with dubious factual foundation, the witty Dean Testy spiked that shit like it was prom punch with a brilliant example of antimetabole.  Were she not a law dean helping solve the world's social justice crises, she could solve the world's social justice crises by writing speeches for Donald Trump or running for poet laureate.

It is good to know that in a world of Milligans, skeptics who dare question the mission of a law school when it starts making people declare their sexual preferences and religious beliefs in a room full of near-strangers, that we have Testys, the lionhearted faithful who know that the only crisis in legal education is the vague social justice one presently on its plate.

Because I tell you, dear readers, there is no broad scam in legal education.  There is only legal education within the broader scam.

Social justice on, comrades.  Social justice on.


  1. Captain Hurska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 16, 2016 at 9:01 AM

    They have a law school too? Never heard of 'em. I guess they need a gig to distinguish themselves from the herd of no name, unranked law schools. It's all about closing the deal. SALES SALES SALES No different than "finding new roads with Chevy." Its all about moving the iron.

  2. "In the name of "social justice" and "compassion," students were instructed on Day 1 of law school to rise and make public declarations regarding their race, religion, and sexual orientation." - Prof. Luke Milligan.

    Since social justice, not to mention compassion, is enhanced by publicly branding a captive audience of students with their group identities, why not go one step further? Instruct the students to make public declarations of perceived class, income, net worth, and levels of current and anticipated non-dischargeable debt. Then ask their deans and professors to make similar declarations. The contrast just might present a teachable moment.

  3. "Pass the Kool-Aid, Dean" said the wide-eyed young ones. Soon enough they will be joining this old rusted-out Chevy in the JDJunkyard.

    1. Captain Hurska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 17, 2016 at 10:57 AM

      Just like the Da Yoopers!

    2. Captain Hurska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 17, 2016 at 10:58 AM

      Yes, just like the Da Yoopers!

  4. Saving hundreds if not thousands of students from a lifetime of soul-crushing, $200,000 in non-dischargeabble debt is the most compassionate and equitable thing you can do. "In the name of "social justice" and "compassion," you should close down your law school.

  5. Testy was hired for $352,000 per year (seven years ago—no doubt she gets much more now) but doesn't know the plural of crisis.

    1. Captain Hurska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 18, 2016 at 6:06 PM

      Since you were a successful, diligent student (zoomer in my book), and set yourself with a Deville in your driveway, can you set me up with a gig like that?

  6. If your pants are on fire, it's probably because you ate at Chipotle. That spicy social justice burrito will do it you every time.

  7. Great title. Thank God for the scamblogs.