Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Conservative Law Faculties

In one of the more intriguing posts I have seen lately, Brian Leiter asserts that though some law faculties are dominated by political conservatives (and many more by liberals), that doesn't matter much. I'm not sure that is true, but don't have much experience with which to judge.

Here are the more conservative schools he lists:

Notre Dame
George Washington
U. San Diego
George Mason

For once the Leit and I have no cause to disagree. But let's see him put out a comparison of faculties involved in CLS-research versus ALR and natural law. My guess is that many liberal colleges under this type of analysis will be "conservative," whereas you'll find radicals at many of the "conservative" schools like Harvard or Yale,, just not often in the big public law positions.
I don't know how my law school would have ranked in this comparison, nor do I much care. I don't think the idealogy of the profs would have that much impact on the students. By the time someone is 22 (or older) and entering law school, they have probably found a political preference.

Law students are not empty vessels into which a Svengali-like Professor can pour some worldview or philosophy. Sure, ideas or notions may be suggested, but one hopes that a typical law student will have other influences besides a Prof he or she sees for 3 hours a week for a semester.
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