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"Obama Turns Justice Department Into Mini-Law School"

"Since President Obama is a former legal academic, it should come as no surprise that he's recruiting so many law profs to join the upper echelons of his administration." [Above the Law] At the New Republic, meanwhile, Noam Scheiber posits a difference in governance between grindy Harvard Law School and philosopher-kingish Yale Law School, complete with this priceless anecdote:

Lanny Davis, the former Clinton White House aide and law school classmate of Bill and Hillary, likes to tell a story about his first day of property class at Yale. The professor, Charles Reich, asked students to write down the words "fee simple" and briefly explained the concept. Then, after a long pause, he instructed the students to drop their pens. "OK everybody, this is the last time you'll ever hear me talk about 'fee simple' or anything else that Harvard Law School teaches. The new title for this course is, 'The intellectual, moral, ethical, and political implications of property ownership in America.'"

Reich was an extreme case, to be sure. He'd authored the counterculture manifesto The Greening of America and had a pedagogical style to match his shaggy hair and ratty jeans. But, at Yale, he was not such an outlier. Whereas Harvard prided itself on instilling discipline, Yale believed its mission was to unlock students' innate brilliance in an atmosphere of freedom, intimacy, and intellectual ferment....

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.