Conservative vs. Liberal Law Schools

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sskat
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Conservative vs. Liberal Law Schools

Postby sskat » Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:29 pm

I was wondering if anyone knows a good place to find out about the conservative vs. liberal atmosphere on specific law school campuses.

One of my professors told me that U. Chicago is considered one of the most conservative schools, which surprised me a little bit becuase I didn't get that impression when I was looking over their material. I don't think I would be comfortable at a conservative school because I went to a pretty liberal undergraduate college. I know that Boalt is historically considered a liberal school but I'm looking for other options.

Basically, I'm trying to narrow down my list of schools to apply to and I'm looking for any insight you might have.
Thanks!

MP
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Postby MP » Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:13 pm

Re: UChicago's conservative rep

I direct you to MTG's answer to this - he's a 3L at UChi who posts regularly on LSD.

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prel ... msg1719801

surfgod
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Postby surfgod » Tue Sep 18, 2007 11:07 am

From what I understand, all the top schools are overwhelmingly 'liberal'.

Chicago is thought to be the least 'liberal' because of its strong focus on economics, influenced heavily by Friedman (who considered himself a 'classic liberal').

The good thing about it is that law school professors are the truly intelligent 'liberals' (a definite minority), so they have a good argument to back up most of their ideas.

Even if you are a conservative, a liberal education won't hurt you.
That is unless you are some kind of religious right nutball.
In that case God help you.

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TaliaT
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Postby TaliaT » Thu Sep 20, 2007 2:24 am


Even if you are a conservative, a liberal education won't hurt you.
That is unless you are some kind of religious right nutball.
In that case God help you.
Never hurts to have a slightly conservative point of view... 8)

rstalbot
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Postby rstalbot » Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:15 pm

I know that at least some of UChi's top brass are pretty conservative and Econ minded. Richard Posner, for example, is a senior lecturer over there. He's famous for, among other things, his proposal to have an open market to buy and sell babies because it makes economic sense.

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Derlicte
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Postby Derlicte » Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:10 am

gotta love the religious insight from someone named surfgod

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lsatwarrior
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Postby lsatwarrior » Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:39 am

i have a friend at thomas jefferson (tier 3 or 4... cant remember) but she tells me that its uber conservative in san diego, or at least that community. she's of the far left and was sharing w/me that just the other day the school invited justice scalia to speak.

pentheus1980
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Technically....

Postby pentheus1980 » Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:21 am

Law schools really shouldn't be "liberal" or "conservative" except maybe in their interpretation of the constitution. How do you teach a "liberal" perspective on say Contracts or Tax Law? How do you teach a "conservative" perspective on Civil Procedure? Any professor who actually does teach from a "liberal" or "conservative" perspective, is nothing but an ideologist and not a law professor. I took some classes at Cornell Law during my time as an undergrad and Cornell and felt that the BEST profs that I had were those whose ideologies were not evident because their teaching was so great.

pentheus1980
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Postby pentheus1980 » Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:25 am

Also, think of law school as a learning experience. If you're a liberal, maybe going to a "conservative" school will broaden your horizons and vice-versa. Its really boring to always talk and associate with people who have the same viewpoints as your own.

pentheus1980
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UChicago

Postby pentheus1980 » Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:28 am

Also, U. of Chicago is know as a "conservative" school because of the influence of their infamous economics faculty (the Chicago Boys) that spread neo-liberal cheer all across Latin America during the past few decades. Other programs at Chicago, like the Committee on Social Thought for example, are extremely broad minded.

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TheGreatNorthwest
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Talia is right

Postby TheGreatNorthwest » Sat Nov 03, 2007 7:24 pm

Never hurts to have a slightly conservative point of view...

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robinsrc
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Postby robinsrc » Wed Dec 05, 2007 3:57 pm

I think you're going to get a wide range of opinions from your fellow students and faculty at any top law school. For example, Boalt is notoriously liberal, yet Professor John Yoo, a leading conservative scholar, is a famous member of their faculty. You will probably have a lot of trouble finding religious zealots (unless you're at Regent Law School, of course)

aph
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.

Postby aph » Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:12 pm

.
Last edited by aph on Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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staplegunsarefun
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Re: Conservative vs. Liberal Law Schools

Postby staplegunsarefun » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:05 pm

Apparently Princeton Review publishes a list of Liberal / Conservative law schools. I pulled this off a random internet blog (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog ... _rankings/), so I can't vouch for it at all...

Students Lean to the Left: Based on student assessment of the political bent of the student body at large.

Northeastern
CUNY
Lewis & Clark
American
District of Columbia

Students Lean to the Right: Based on student assessment of the political bent of the student body at large.

Ave Maria
Regent
BYU
George Mason
Notre Dame

aph
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.

Postby aph » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:10 pm

.
Last edited by aph on Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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thedogship
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Re: Technically....

Postby thedogship » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:29 pm

pentheus1980 wrote:Law schools really shouldn't be "liberal" or "conservative" except maybe in their interpretation of the constitution. How do you teach a "liberal" perspective on say Contracts or Tax Law? How do you teach a "conservative" perspective on Civil Procedure? Any professor who actually does teach from a "liberal" or "conservative" perspective, is nothing but an ideologist and not a law professor. I took some classes at Cornell Law during my time as an undergrad and Cornell and felt that the BEST profs that I had were those whose ideologies were not evident because their teaching was so great.


This isn't true - there are a lot of law subjects that can be taught in a liberal or conservative way. Yes, civ pro may be tough, but property can be taught in a liberal or conservative way, as can torts (ex. plaintiff friendly in product cases), and even contracts (I had a very liberal contracts prof and lessons on unconscionability and parol evidence were certainly from a more liberal slant). And once you get into upper level subjects, it can go in a number of directions. Con Law is the most obvious example, but conservative and liberal teaching permeates a wide array of legal subjects, and can completely alter how a teacher approaches a topic.

pentheus1980 wrote:Any professor who actually does teach from a "liberal" or "conservative" perspective, is nothing but an ideologist and not a law professor.


Probably one of the dumber things I have ever read. Why don't you actually graduate from law school before you make such a bold and uninformed claim?

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n4sir1999
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Re:

Postby n4sir1999 » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:47 pm

rstalbot wrote:I know that at least some of UChi's top brass are pretty conservative and Econ minded. Richard Posner, for example, is a senior lecturer over there. He's famous for, among other things, his proposal to have an open market to buy and sell babies because it makes economic sense.



Milton Friedman was also a professor of Economics at U of Chi and he is renowned for his desire for a completely free market (Chicago School Economics) and went about advising people such as Pinochet on how to bring it about...

its all in The Shock Doctrine

Esquires09
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Re: Conservative vs. Liberal Law Schools

Postby Esquires09 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:00 am

n4sir1999 wrote:
rstalbot wrote:I know that at least some of UChi's top brass are pretty conservative and Econ minded. Richard Posner, for example, is a senior lecturer over there. He's famous for, among other things, his proposal to have an open market to buy and sell babies because it makes economic sense.



Milton Friedman was also a professor of Economics at U of Chi and he is renowned for his desire for a completely free market (Chicago School Economics) and went about advising people such as Pinochet on how to bring it about...

its all in The Shock Doctrine


Regarding Friedman, he was derided by the media for advising Pinochet on economics. As Friedman pointed out at the time, he was not similarly criticized after providing the same advice to the Chinese government despite the fact that it was and is a more repressive regime than that which reigned in Chile. Even further, there is a strong case to be made suggesting that the relationship fostered by Friedman led to the economic stability necessary for the successful reinstatement of democratic conditions. Today, Santiago is the jewel of South America.

In any case, I think Professor Epstein - who will be teaching at NYU 2010 - as an originalist and libertarian helps perpetuate Chicago's reputation as a conservative school.

J

akarmenia1
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Re:

Postby akarmenia1 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:09 pm

surfgod wrote:Even if you are a conservative, a liberal education won't hurt you.
That is unless you are some kind of religious right nutball.
In that case God help you.


And they wonder why conservative students want to find conservative schools...

Way to be tolerant.

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pjarron
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Re: Conservative vs. Liberal Law Schools

Postby pjarron » Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:26 pm

All the top schools are mostly liberal, including UChicago and that's the bottom-line. There are some good mid-range schools maybe between T30-T100 that are more than 30 percent conservative or so. However, even that depends on what kind of conservatism you’re talking about, neo-con vrs. social movement conservatives/religious conservative etc. If you want to be in a distinctly populist style conservative environment look for the usual suspects, Regent, Pepperdine, Liberty, BYU and that’s really about it. Still no matter where you go you can probably find some conservative Profs and classmates to hang with.

"By their own description, 72 percent of those teaching at American universities and colleges are liberal and 15 percent are conservative...the disparity is even more pronounced at the most elite schools, where, according to the study, 87 percent of faculty are liberal and 13 percent are conservative."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ar ... Mar28.html

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Aeon
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Re: Conservative vs. Liberal Law Schools

Postby Aeon » Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:12 pm

Whoa, talk about bringing a thread back from the dead. :shock:

Anyway, I think that for the most part, one's political preferences really aren't a major factor at the top schools, and there is a good mix there of "liberals" and "conservatives." I'm pretty sure that most schools, even the ones considered thoroughly "liberal" or "conservative," have people with dissenting viewpoints. Plus, I'd be wary of extrapolating the political leanings of the university or town where it is located as a whole onto the law school.

In short, if one is looking at the top law schools, I wouldn't let (real or perceived) political leanings guide one's decision too much. Even with lower-ranked schools, while there may be some schools that have a very distinct majority for one part of the political spectrum or another, I think for the most part, there is a decent balance.

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Cupidity
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Re: Conservative vs. Liberal Law Schools

Postby Cupidity » Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:22 pm

I am a vegan homosexual who dances at drum circles:

other than the obvious Berkeley, where do I and don't I belong in the T-30-->T-10 range.




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