Wednesday, April 11, 2012

HARVARD CAPITULATES

When Christopher Columbus Langdell was appointed the first Dean of the Harvard Law School, he set out to build the largest law library in the world.

In particular, he wanted to assemble records of all the decisions of appellate courts, because he believed that the study of law has to focus on how laws are interpreted and applied.

Langdell was the father of modern legal education.

Old timers will remember the 1973 film “Paper Chase” in which Professor Kingsfield, played by John Houseman, intimidated his students with socratic dialog. Making them think. On their feet.

And making sure that they had read the cases, studied the opinions of the judges.

That’s what law school is all about. Or used to be.

Here’s what shows up in the Harvard Law School catalogue these days:

Understanding Obama

Professor Charles Ogletree
Spring 2013 Reading Group , Section 1
1 classroom credits

This reading group will focus on the way in which race, religion, and politics have impacted the development of President Obama as a leader. We will explore his views as a biracial child, his time as a student at Harvard Law School, the successes and failures of his political campaigns, and the way religion and his views on faith nearly derailed his campaign. Finally, time will be spent analyzing the challenges he faces as President of the United States in establishing both his domestic and global policies.


It’s official. We are no longer a nation of laws.

Our oldest and most prestigious law school is now charging tuition and giving academic credit for studying the MAN. Learning about the MAN. Talking about, thinking about, analyzing, focusing on, exploring the MAN. His life, his politics, his religion, his policies.

Harvard Law School has become Harvard MAN School. Because in America, it doesn’t matter what the law says. What matters is what the MAN thinks. And what he does.

Democracy? Come on. The Congress of the United States has a popularity rating of 9%. The President is five times more popular.

Professor Ogletree and Harvard Law School are pretty sure the Barack Obama will be reelected in November 2012. Otherwise, ‘Understanding Obama’ will be about as popular an elective course in the Spring 2013 semester as ‘Understanding Jimmy Carter’.

Damn few people in the United States know that Mitt Romney is also a graduate of the Harvard Law School. As well as the Harvard Business School. JD and MBA degrees in 1975.

I certainly hope Romney releases the transcripts of all his academic grades, from high school, college, law school and business school.

And his birth certificate. And all the passports he has ever travelled with.

As a little test of the bias of the Harvard Law School, I am sending this note:

Dean Martha Minow
Harvard Law School

Dear Dean Minow:

As a former Chief Justice of Michigan and Founder and Dean Emeritus of the Thomas Cooley Law School, I am pleased to offer to teach, without compensation, a one hour elective course in the Spring, 2013 semester of Harvard Law School, entitled “Understanding Romney.” This reading group will focus on the way in which race, religion, and politics have impacted the development of Mitt Romney as a leader. We will explore his views as a monoracial child, his time as a student at Harvard Law School, the successes and failures of his political campaigns, and the way religion and his views on faith nearly derailed his campaign. Finally, time will be spent analyzing the challenges he faces as President of the United States in establishing both his domestic and global policies.

2 comments:

  1. Perhaps this new wave of legal training of our nation's best and brightest law students in our most renowned and elite law schools may help to explain some of the decisions coming out of our Federal Appellate courts these days. I'm quite certain I am not, and never will be, capable of understanding the high level of educable discourse as currently practiced at Harvard. Thank God I became an attorney 25 years ago when standards were much lower.

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  2. hehehe.... thanks.

    Somehow, I suspect your offer will not only not be accepted but will be completely ignored.

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