I wish to commend you and your staff for publishing both a recent article by Professor Daryl Levinson, and a reply to the article by Volokh, that focused on the assertion by Professor Levinson that many of the law professors lack basic real world legal experience.
What students at HLS over the years have not felt that lament? The poor overcharged students, are often sitting in huge classes being lectured to by some idiot that is an expert on getting published in some law review that nobody ever reads; while the same moron lacks basic teaching abilities and lacks real legal experience!
The poor overcharged HLS students rot in class after legal class being led by some professor who doesn’t care at all if the student learns anything, because the professor is focused on their meaningless “research” so they can get published, so they can get tenure, which allows them to ignore the students entirely and with immunity!
What Harvard Law School student, has not wished that they could have more time outside of the classroom to interact with their professor, and to ask questions and engage in learning, only to discover that the professor has no time for them between their long summer and winter vacations, their hours writing articles for law reviews that nobody cares about, and their other non-teaching activities that otherwise makes them untouchable to the students that pay their bills!
Professor Levinson should be applauded for his bravery, his courage, and his willingness to step forward and publicly declare what the students and alumni have long known; namely that many professors lack real world legal experience, and thus the selection process that allows them to teach law is broken!
Professors should be hired based on their legal education and their work experience, LIKE EVERY OTHER OCCUPATION. They should be retained based upon their ability to teach the students, prepare them for the real world they are entering, and their ability to advance the legal profession in some meaningful way! Instead the current system reminds me of the book Bleak House, which was written by Charles Dickens, who at least had some real world legal experience before he taught the world how broken the English legal system had become!
As for Professor Levinson, don’t back away from your statements to the Harvard Law Record, and don’t apologize for stating the truth, and don’t be beaten down by the political correctness that has nearly destroyed your occupation! You are on to something here, something meaningful and rarely debated within your ranks, namely THE TRUTH. Stick to it like a dog on a bone, and we alumni will cheer you on; for if your profession cannot elevate itself from the muddy irrelevant ditch it finds itself in, then it shall someday far into the future, be dug out like dinosaur bones from an old tar pit!
Remember that THE TRUTH is more than just a motto for an old University, it is the touchstone of debate that can hopefully promote meaningful reform, in the face of leadership that profits from exploitation and the status quo.
HLS Class of 1990
Editor’s Note: The article Mr. Facktor mentions was written by Dina Awerbuch (“Prof. Levinson Demystifies the Path to Legal Academia,” 10/18/2007) not by Professor Daryl Levinson.