September 19, 2007
Posner on Law Professors
Posted by Gordon Smith

Richard Posner pines for the good old days: "Law professors used to identify primarily with the legal profession and secondarily with the university. The sequence has been reversed."

In this short tribute to Bernie Meltzer, Posner praises the careful doctrinalist:

The messy work product of the judges and legislators requires a good deal of tidying up, of synthesis, analysis, restatement, and critique. These are intellectually demanding tasks, requiring vast knowledge and the ability (not only brains and knowledge and judgment, but also Sitzfleisch) to organize dispersed, fragmentary, prolix, and rebarbative materials. These are tasks that lack the theoretical breadth or ambition of scholarship in more typically academic fields. Yet they are of inestimable importance to the legal system and of greater social value than much esoteric interdisciplinary legal scholarship.

If you hadn't noticed, Posner is a contrarian.

Via Orin.

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