Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Apparently ANYBODY Can Teach a Class at Marquette School of Law: GO BUD!

In case you haven't heard of it, it's in Wisconsin.  Yah, I haven't either.  All besides the point.
What does it take to be a Law School Professor?  One might think... a law degree?  NOPE.  Bud Selig, the Commissioner of Baseball is now a distinguished professor of Sports Law at Marquette.  I have a feeling he may have had in house counsel to handle the sports law stuff, but.. I guess I could be wrong.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig has been named to the adjunct faculty at Marquette University Law School as distinguished lecturer in sports law and policy.
“Bud Selig is, without question, one of the most skilled and accomplished professionals in the sports industry today,” said Joseph D. Kearney, dean of Marquette Law School. “We are truly honored that he would commit his time to our students and grateful that he’s chosen our classrooms as a place to pass down his significant wisdom to the next generation of leaders.”

It never occurred to me that someone other than a lawyer or a judge could teach the law.  I could understand if he taught in a business school, but are they serious about this?  In my humble opinion, this is a new low. Why doesn't Jay Z start teaching Entertainment Law at Brooklyn School of law?  What about Linda Tripp teaching a class about Privacy and the Law to AU students?  This type of appointment makes a law school education seem even more inadequate.  Most all of my professors were Harvard and Yale Law School Grads and I loathed and despised them for their inability to tell me about the actual practice of the law.  After all, most brilliant professors are failed practitioners.  This is one step below the inexperience of lawyers that are too brilliant to practice.  Are Marquette Law Students happy about this?  Drop a line if you have an opinion about this dude?  Is he truly brilliant?  I don't do baseball so I would love to hear a little bit about him.


  1. Marquette as a university is actually quite nice - unlike my thoughts on Bud Selig, who has just been an awful commish, but I'll spare you my tirade against him.

    Anyway, in a related matter:

  2. Roughly one-third of the Professors I had in Law School were practioners teaching on a part-time basis, especially in the more business-oriented courses (e.g. Insurance Law, Real Estate, Landlord-Tenant, and Evidence) and I found they were far, far better than those with only an academic background in the subject matter.

    Somewhat ironically, I ultimately decided to not take the bar exam and I'm (very happily) working in another field, and so I now regret not taking courses like Jurispruidence and Business and the Environment. Those courses would be no more useful to me now than what I did study, and it would have made the whole Law School experience much more enjoyable!

    As this was a Canadian school, we did not have any Stanford or Yale grads on the faculty, but we did have one fellow who went to Harvard. He was brilliant, but a lousy teacher.

  3. My more "academic" professors were utterly horrible. I can't imagine what someone even more removed from the law would do.

    My opinion on Bud Selig is not pretty. He's abysmal as a commissioner "without question." I think my entry tomorrow will be ripping on his track record and why he's probably now the least-qualified professor in America. It's too much to put in a comment.

  4. Too bad! I would love to have it on here. I'll visit yours and see what you have to say. I wish I knew more about him. From what I read, he's not that smart.

  5. I think this is an excellent development for the long-term future.

    It represents a victory for the school of thought that says that knowledge and experience trump credentials.

    The essence of the Law School scam is that it costs a whole lot of money to get a credential to practice law. Law school does not really give you the knowledge you need to practice. It gives you a piece of paper. An overpriced piece of paper. Why not just allow anybody who can demonstrate the requisite level of legal knowledge practice, or, for that matter, teach?

    We're one (tiny) step closer to Charles Murray's idea of certification exams taking the place of college education.

  6. Ari, I wish--but don't think so. He's just an over-priced non lawyer who is contributing to the problem. He is part of the same old problem, people are paying too much for a degree that doesn't translate into the experience you need to actually practice the law. He is even more ill equipped to tell you anything about what it means to be a lawyer. I wish that a certification system would emerge. Some states, as recently as 15 years ago, didn't require elected judges to be lawyers... I say, why the hell not? It's not necessary sometimes.

  7. To my knowledge, the ABA has never required a law degree to be a professor. I am sure if you do a search of the professors at the Ivy League you will find more examples of this phenomenon.

  8. Yup, at Ivy League T14 law schools you do not have to be a lawyer to be a Professor of Law. See for examples David S. Abrams, a guy that has never gotten a J.D., worked at a law firm, or worked for a judge, and is nonetheless an expert in Criminal Law.

    See that kids, instead of $200k in law school debt you could have gotten a Ph.D. for free, and just added "and Law" to whatever you were studying, to become a high and mighty law professor. If this ain't proof of the law school scam, I don't know what is.

  9. This is not new and is unsurprising. (Hell, no one cares about practice experience anymore: last year the President nominated and the Senate confirmed a Solicitor General who had never handled a case!) Philosopher Martha Nussbaum, for instance has been teaching off-and-on at law schools for more than a decade. And if you have the patience to comb through the c.v.s of the many luminaries who teach at law schools there are others, probably many others.

  10. If he went to law school and spent his 2L and 3L years taking Law and Literature, Feminist Jurisprudence, and Legal Issues in the Native American Family, would he suddenly be more qualified to teach a class in law school?

    If he wanted to teach something more cerebral like constitutional law, his background would be more of an issue. But, I imagine he has a lot of experience dealing with sports law issues.

    I don't follow baseball enough to say how well he did as a commissioner, but he has experience dealing with strikes, steroid scandals, deals/financing structures, and any number of negotiation issues. You can deal with the law and legal matters without being a lawyer.

    I wouldn't want him teaching the philosophy of sports law, but I'm sure he's very knowledgeable about the way many sports law issues are actually handled, what the different concerns of the parties tend to be, etc.

    Just think about who you'd rather take a Literary Law class from, someone who spent the last 12 years getting a JSD and a PhD in art history, or someone who spent the last 12 years as a literary agent, dealing with signing talent, getting deals, negotiating various rights, etc.

    Selig might not be able to tell you what it's like to practice law, but he can probably teach you more of what you need to know than a pure academic.

  11. I can personally attest to the fact that Marquette is a joke.

  12. Off-topic, but I just had my first online debate with a law-lemming. The guy was interested in a joint JD/ Russian Studies program for his son. He insisted that everyone who did one of these programs promptly found suitable work at the UN; human rights organizations; etc. He knew this because he was told so by the law school representatives.

    He also insisted that a JD is a big advantage even for a non-legal career and that there is huge demand for Russian speakers.

    When I suggested that he should investigate independently, for example by talking to students who were already in these programs, he got extremely hostile.

  13. @5:59: In Soviet Russia, legal education uses YOU!

    In America, is same thing!

  14. Did any of you actually take sports law in law school. I did and the course talks about anti trust and the baseball exemptions, etc. My favorite part of the course was when we heard from an actual sports agent ( who had no legal background) to tell us about the business of sports, and when we did sport contract negotiations. This is a course that in my opinion could be taught by a non-legal person.



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