Marc DeGirolami Doesn’t Get Enough Attention in Class

Posted in Uncategorized on June 18th, 2010 by bl1y

Over the the PrawfsBlawg, there’s this piece from Howard Wasserman, an associate professor of law at Florida International University. The blog post discusses two trends in reforming legal education (or, more likely, discussing reform without actually reforming anything); the trends are “Best Practices” (adding experiential learning) and “Student Centeredness” (focusing on student needs).

The article itself is fairly uninteresting, but one of the comment is pretty retarded:

One of the many puzzling things about the “best practices” recommendations is that they simultaneously advocate “professionalism” and “values” education right alongside skills training in the more mechanical components of legal practice. The idea seems to be that one becomes a professional — and a professionally minded person who has internalized the profession’s values — exactly by becoming technically proficient, more fluid at processing discovery, more knowledgeable about filing requirements, and so on. The marriage of these two ideas looks to produce something like the ethic of the technician as the ne plus ultra — a fully bureaucratized professionalism. I wonder if the best practices cadre had Judge Posner’s thoughts about professionalism in mind when they issued their recommendations, or if the similarities are unintentional.

As for student-centeredness, maybe we ought to be thinking about teacher-centeredness. The model of student-centeredness presupposes that there is exactly one right way to teach any law school class — one sort of thing that students want, a thing that teachers ought to be giving them. I do not think that learning goes on this way (unless one thinks that the delivery of data is the same thing as learning). Teachers have different strengths and weaknesses, and students will miss out on a unique kind of learning experience if a teacher is not able to tailor a program of instruction to his or her strengths. Each civ pro course may not be entirely unique, but teachers ought to be encouraged to incorporate their own substantive and stylistic strengths to shape any given civ pro course. The model of student-centeredness flattens courses in what is likely to be an intellectually stifling manner.

That comment is from Marc DeGirolami, an assistant professor of law at St. John’s.  It is also complete bullshit.

The model of student-centeredness does not presuppose there is only one way to teach a class.  I had a logic class in udnergrad that was most self-study in a computer lab with a few floating TAs to help you when you got lost, and I had an upper level creative writing workshop that involved sitting at a table and being criticized by your classmates for the better part of an hour.  Both were student centered, but were night and day different.

While there is not one sort of thing every student wants, there is one thing that 90-95% of the students want to get from their law school classes.  They would like to graduate as minimally competent attorneys.  That means training them in the knowledge and skills that they will need.  Yes, all teachers are different, and everyone has their own teaching style, but that doesn’t mean that reading pleadings and having a drafting exercise shouldn’t be the norm for a civil procedure class.  If you can’t do that because your weakness is you’re terrible at drafting or analyzing pleadings, you probably need to rethink your career.

Yes, professors should be encouraged to incorporate their own stylistic and substantive strengths.  But, offering nothing of value to your students is not a legitimate teaching style.  If you don’t understand mechanical things such as discovery, that’s not an excuse to only teach theory. Get up off your ass and learn the basics of the subject matter you’re teaching.

Or, as I previously wrote in response to Pace University professor Bridget Crawford’s asinine ramblings on legal academia:

1. If you don’t teach your students knowledge or skills that will be of practical value when they enter the work force, then

2. Get the fuck out.

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Collegiality My Aching Ass

Posted in Uncategorized on May 14th, 2010 by bl1y

What the frack is wrong with Badget Crawford?

She just posted on the Feminist Law Professor’s Blog one of the most inane things I have ever read:

1 If a faculty member is a great teacher, but is not collegial, then the faculty member is not contributing positively to the educational institution.

2 And if a faculty member has the gift of communication, and understanding of a subject matter, and scholarship in a particular area; and if a faculty member has intellectual interests, but does not engage constructively with others, then the faculty member is not contributing to the academy.

3 And though a faculty member may be generous with one’s time in meeting with students, and though the faculty member may proclaim himself or herself a good teacher, if the faculty member is not collegial, then an adjunct position may be more appropriate.

4 Collegiality suffers long meetings, and is civil when others are not; collegiality focuses not on the faults of others; collegiality does not promote oneself at the expense of others.

5 Collegiality does not behave unprofessionally, seek personal power, provoke easily, speak ill of others.

6 Collegiality rejoices not in failures by the administration or faculty, but points out and celebrates success and achievements.

7 Collegiality is open to different viewpoints, believes others act in good faith, hopes for the best, admits when one is wrong.

8 Collegiality never fails (well, doesn’t fail too often), stops or vanishes entirely.

9 Because each of us is right sometimes, and each of us is wrong sometimes.

10 When a proposal, program or initiative that is good comes, then the search for absolute perfection shall be done away.

11 Before I was a law school faculty member, I might have been a practicing lawyer; but when I became a law school faculty member, I put behind me any negative behaviors associated with lawyers who serve clients to make a living.

12 For now we see through a controversy, question or institutional challenge darkly; but then with an open-mind; but then shall I help others develop professionally even as also I am developing professionally.

13 And now focus on one’s teaching, scholarship and service; but always value collegiality.

I can’t imagine what sort of faculty drama inspired her to post this drivel, but it smells of passive aggression.  Aside from that though, we get a good look at what Professor Crawford thinks the role of a law professor is.

Even if you’re a great teacher, that doesn’t matter if you’re not nice to your coworkers?  Bullshit.  I bet the students think that professor contributes positively to the institution.

If you don’t share your ideas with your coworkers, then you don’t contribute to the academy?  Isaac Newton’s greatest contributions to math and physics came at a time when his school was closed (because of the plague) and he was left to think about the issues by himself.  I think we can agree he contributed quite a bit.

And really, demoted to adjunct professor because you don’t play well with others?  That’s just flat out retarded.

How about this as a theory of how “the academy” should operate:

1. If you don’t teach your students knowledge or skills that will be of practical value when they enter the work force, then

2. Get the fuck out.

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And You Will Know My Name is THE LORD When I Spit Up On Thee

Posted in Uncategorized on April 23rd, 2010 by bl1y

Dumb, gender-baiting bovine professor Bridget Crawford is at it again, this time campaigning against putting silly wigs on babies (sold by BabyToupee.com).

I know some people find “baby wigs” funny and harmless, but I find them utterly disturbing.  In my view, putting a wig on a baby either (a) sexualizes the child; or (b) functions as a type of minstrelsy (coincidence that three out of four wigs shown above are meant to mimic hairstyles of black performers?), or both.  Yuck.  Children are not dolls or playthings.

Yes, this is the type of awe-inspiring intelligence that it takes to become a professor at Pace Law.  Now, I don’t know what goes on in Ms. Crawford’s pants, but I have a real hard time finding Donald Trump’s hair sexual.

As for whether slapping Samuel L. Jackson’s hair on your baby’s head is equivalent to a minstrel show revival, Bridget, you dumb fracking cow, grow up.  There is a world of difference between derision and admiration.  Coincidence that the hair of all four people mimics that of extremely wealthy members of the entertainment industry?  Clearly BabyToupee just wants to instill your child with snotty classism.

The mission of Santa Barbara, CA-based BabyToupee and SmallHuman, LLC is to show that while parenting can be a great responsibility, it can also be a source of endless amusement. The company’s goal is to bring creative and fun products to market that make parenting a little more fun, all while bringing a smile to the face of their children. Life is too short to take seriously… have fun with your baby!

Take that, Badget!  Children are playthings.  If you’re not playing with your baby, you’re probably a terrible human being and need to seriously reconsider your decision to have a child in the first place.

And, just to really drive home the point that BabyToupee isn’t an evil, racist, lolicon venture, the company donates 10% of its proceeds to charities that help children, including Locks For Love (providing *gasp* wigs to children who lose their hair from medical issues), and Story Teller Center (which provides early education for homeless and poor children).

Frack you Badget, and the fracking horse you fracking frack frack frack.

And if you have a baby, buy it a friggin’ wig.

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You Dumb Cow

Posted in Uncategorized on March 5th, 2010 by bl1y

Bridget Crawford recently posted some information on the Feminist Law Professors blog about the “intersections between feminist theory and animal law.”

What. The. Frack.

Intersectionality in feminism usually refers to the interplay of feminist theory and some other theory, such as race theory or queer theory.  Usually these make some sense.  Black women have, in general, faced different challenges than white women.  Lesbian women are treated differently than straight women.

But feminism and animals?

Sorry.  No.  “Feminism” is not a catchall phrase for every pet project the radical left has adopted.

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Bridget Crawford is a Moron

Posted in Dumb Ideas Girls Have on January 16th, 2010 by bl1y

I mentioned this yesterday, but I just really feel like it’s needs some elaboration. Pace Law professor Bridget Crawford is calling for a boycott of an NYSBA panel in which several prominent male members of the legal industry will give advice to women on how they can advance their careers. About the panel, Crawford said:

“Men have been telling us FOR YEARS how we don’t measure up. To have a panel of men, endorsed by the New York State Bar Association, discussing our “strengths and weaknesses,” is a regression and an insult to all women in the legal profession.”

First, a quick note…Professor Crawford is not a member of the legal profession. She is not a legal professional. She is a member of the academic profession, and just happens to teach law. Though, as far as academics and scholarship go, she mostly focuses on feminism, so she’s not really even teaching that much law. She’s basically a sociology or gender studies professor.

But, on to the real issue. I doubt Crawford objects to male attorneys interviewing female law students for summer jobs. And, I doubt she objects to male attorneys being on law firm hiring committees, even when those committees make decisions about women. And certainly she would allow a male partner for whom a female associate worked to provide a performance evaluation of that associate. And, I bet she’d even be okay with male partners voting in partner meetings to decide whether a female associate should be promoted into the partnership.

So if men are already quite properly discussing the strengths and weaknesses of female attorneys, what’s so wrong with men giving insight into what they perceive as the strengths and weaknesses of their female coworkers? Even if the men have completely ass-backwards ideas about women, it would be incredibly useful for women to know this.

I think what’s really going on here is that Professor Crawford saw that men were talking about women and decided to be offended. The Race to be Offended is a popular pastime among feminists (and some other groups), but too often the race is won before anyone stops to consider whether they really ought to be offended in the first place.

Also, interesting factoid that might get lost in this whole mess: Pace University has a law school. With dumbass professors like Ms. Crawford, it’s no wonder Pace is ranked a whole order of magnitude lower than the Third Tier Toilets.

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Reason Not to Go to Law School #14

Posted in Reasons Not to Go to Law School on January 15th, 2010 by bl1y

Eggshell Sensitivities.

Lawyers and law students are touchy on anything remotely politically incorrect. This is especially true for the lawyers who have vaginas, or the ones with penises who think being all sensitive will earn them the love of the ones with vaginas.

As reported on AbovetheLaw.com, New York State Bar Association Committee on Women in the Law is having their annual meeting soon, and one of the panals has got a whole lot of panties into bundles.

That’s right, the Committee on Women in the Law is having a panal to give a male perspective, and the women are pissed:

“I thought it was a joke until I went to the website myself. One female partner I showed it to is hoping that the NYSBA website was hacked and this still is a joke. She couldn’t believe it came from there.”

“[E]very female attorney I know that has seen this — partners to associates — is outraged. The first reaction is this is a joke. Then next is what year is this from. And the last is shocked and appalled. Most people don’t know where to start.”

And Pace Law professor Bridget Crawford is even calling for a boycott:

“I call for all members of the NYSBA to boycott this panel discussion. Yes, the speakers have a right to speak, but we don’t have to go and listen. Men have been telling us FOR YEARS how we don’t measure up. To have a panel of men, endorsed by the New York State Bar Association, discussing our “strengths and weaknesses,” is a regression and an insult to all women in the legal profession.”

But, David Lat provides a very good reason to hold this panel:

“But maybe you still need some advice for navigating the mean, cutthroat, male-dominated world of the legal profession. Ideally these tips should come from, you know…. MEN.”

Given that a huge part of being a female attorney means interacting with male attorneys, wouldn’t it be incredibly useful to know how those male attorneys perceive their female coworkers? But no, I guess men aren’t allowed to know anything about women or offer women any sort of advice.

Keep that in mind the next time you complain about men not understanding women. Maybe we do, but we pretend to know nothing about women so that you won’t jump down our throats for having the audacity to think we might have learned something about the other half of the population that we interact with every single day of our lives.

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