At Prawfs, Dan Rodriguez comments:
What are your good ideas for the AALS as an organization going forward, especially in these remarkably difficult times for legal education? I have the opportunity to play a leadership role in the association for the next little while (being nominated as president-elect at the upcoming annual meeting). My sense is that we can do much better as a group in furthering the myraid objectives of the law professoriate. Moreover, I would like to use my (small) bully pulpit to advance objectives that are critical to our collective future.
I have various thoughts to be sure. What are yours?
The best thing we could do with the AALS is to disband it:
- It helps the ABA maintain the law school monopoly on legal training, which perpetuates the lawyer monopoly on provision of legal services.
- It creates a monoculture in which all law schools are obliged to comply with an ever growing set of rules. Schools with particular reasons for differentiating themselves from the pack, such a religiously affiliated schools, face pressure to conform to the standard left-liberal, secular humanist model that informs AALS policies and politics. As such, the AALS lacks any real room for institutional pluralism.
- Speaking of politics, it serves mainly as a talking forum for left-liberals (most of whom are so well paid that they're in the top 1 or 2 %) to whine about how they're victimized by society.
- It does a really lousy job of serving as a learned society.
I can't think of one useful thing the AALS does except to provide a massive schmooze fest for faculty to network at taxpayer and student expense. And while that's fun, it doesn't justify the organization's existence.