Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 14, 2004
LAW: Shaking The Tree

Juan non-Volokh notes a slap on the wrist for plaigarism on the part of Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree; apparently his research assistants slapped a chunk of some work from Jack Balkin into a book Ogletree was doing on the anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. Joseph Bottum of The Weekly Standard is appalled that having your research assistants cobble together other people's ideas on the central area of your expertise is considered scholarship.

Of course, most legal scholarship does depend to some extent on input from research assistants. But while Ogletree's scholarship may well be subject to criticism, I would note that the man is nonetheless an asset to the Law School; he's a well-liked and respected instructor, has run the clinical program, gets lots of media attention, and otherwise does things to improve both the Law School's public profile and its attention to students. It may be that the problem is the expectation that all professors will be equally focused on research.

Anyway, for a walk down memory lane to September of 2001, here's an amusing email exchange involving Ogletree's efforts to get Jesse Jackson to speak at Harvard Law School, courtesy of his eccentric colleague Charles Nesson.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:59 AM | Law 2002-04 | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

I took Alvin Warren's tax class his first year at HLS when he was a visiting professor (Spring 1980, I think). Aside from his occasional plugs for Teddy Kennedy's presidential campaign, which had not yet burst into flames, Warren was wonderful. Tax was not my interest, but I ranked it as my second favorite class in my three years, after federal courts. He was also an amazingly nice guy, which was, shall we say, unusual at HLS. So I got a laugh out of the email exchange you linked to. What a bunch of self-important idiots HLS faculty members can be! As if I didn't know. Thanks for sharing.

-- Attila

Posted by: Attila at September 14, 2004 2:33 PM
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