Friday, June 25, 2010

Equality under the AALS and Professor George Fletcher

Today I found an e-mail message in my mailbox. The message contains a memo that purports to have been written by a committee of the Association of American Law Schools. Part of this memo states:
June 4, 2010

MEMORANDUM

To: Faculty of AALS Member Schools

From: Planning Committee for 2011 Workshop on Women Rethinking Equality:

Kathryn Abrams, University of California, Berkeley Law, Chair
Serena Mayeri, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Elizabeth Nowicki, Tulane University Law School
Angela Onwuachi-Willig, University of Iowa College of Law
Lisa R. Pruitt, University of California, Davis, School of Law
Stephanie M. Wildman, Santa Clara University School of Law
Subject: Call for Presentations, Papers and Posters

We are seeking proposals for presentations, papers and posters for the 2011 Mid-Year Meeting Workshop on Women Rethinking Equality. ... We welcome participation by all AALS members-and particularly all women-regardless of whether their scholarship focuses on gender.

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I have just finished reading Professor George Fletcher's novel The Bond (2009). Although I found the novel's accounts of Socratic classroom discussions (in a fictitious law school that closely resembles Columbia University's law school) somewhat tedious (rather than exhilarating), perhaps Fletcher's novel influenced my reaction to the memo supposedly written by the AALS Planning Committee. (The hero of Fletcher's novel -- a male law professor -- runs into trouble with some feminists.)

Have you read The Bond? If so, what do you think of it?

Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, apparently found the Fletcher's accounts of law school classroom discussions more invigorating than I did. He said (in a blurb on the back cover of the book), "This novel provides a unique insight into the workings of the legal mind and the inner life of law schools." Professor Ackerman's enthusiasm for the novel is, I think, more representative than is my ambivalence about it.

I would not say that Professor Fletcher's book is a barn-burner. But I guess it was, in my case, a page-turner: I lost a night's sleep because I did not want to put the book down. But, then, the hero of the book is a law professor and I'm a law professor. So....(?)

I should probably be working on a treatise or article instead of wasting my time blogging about topics such as AALS committees, faculty politics, and political correctness in the academy. I don't think I have anything new to add about these provocative topics.

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The dynamic evidence page

It's here: the law of evidence on Spindle Law. See also this post and this post.

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