Jeff Harrison’s controversial position and strategy

University of Florida law professor Jeff Harrison, who runs the Class Bias Blog and is part of the Moneylaw Blog group has set forth a series of controversial posts regarding hiring in legal academia. He has posted on this topic a good bit in the past few years, but I will highlight recent posts.

Perhaps a good starting point is his recent take on faculty productivity and credentials in which he argues that scholarly performance is not related to degree granting institution. In another related post, he discusses diversity in academic hiring and challenges traditional notions of diversity. His points in these two posts seem to set the stage for his recent blog arguments and strategies regarding law school hiring. It would be a disservice to his arguments to try to summarize them here, but suffice it to say he makes some provocative suggestions regarding the pervasiveness of elite hiring, its implications, and how he plans to address it.

His more recent, and controversial postings can be found here, here, here, and here. There are a good number of post comments – some may not like his tone and many have expressed displeasure with his postings, but his arguments certainly provide us with something to think about. Fellow Moneylaw blogger, Marie Reilly responds to one of his posts here, and even Brian Leiter gets in on the action (sort of) here.

One Response to Jeff Harrison’s controversial position and strategy

  1. Hi Jeff and Andrew:

    Thanks for describing my postings relatively fairly. One thing that puzzles me is what makes my position controversial. In its weakest form it is that top graduates at non elite schools are likely to equal surpass second level graduates from elite schools as far as teaching and research. I do not suggest, however, that the top of the class at elite schools are better. I make the comparison between top non elites and second level non elites because that is the choice schools at my level have.

    I am not sure it is fair to say Brian Leiter has weighed in on the topic. All I can find that he has said is that I may not like it at UF. If he had read the posts and the article leading to the posts he would know that I am questioning the hiring of law schools generally and the capture of law schools by faculty to operate them in the interest of faculty as opposed to stakeholders. I have no reason to thing that UF is alone in this.