« Seeking news, reports, information on serious summer innovations | Main | What is the latest state of multiple-choice testing in law school? »

July 10, 2009

Up or Down?

Reflecting on the last post, I will admit to noticing a lack of big movements this summer in our field, and I think the down market for legal employment has something to do with it.  I am beginning to suspect that up markets are better for innovation than down markets such as this one, at least for the legal academy (a strong argument can be made for this market forcing innovation on big firm practitioners).

In short, we might expect innovation to come from those who who are most disadvantaged in this market-- that they might try new things to succeed.  In our field, though, entry into the academy (with a legal teaching job) is very tough, and largely locks out those who have been thrust out of other parts of the legal world.  On the other hand, those who already are on the inside may be hunkering down to protect their positions.

In short, innovation comes from risk-taking-- which includes the risk of failure, the risk of being seen as odd, the risk of challenging a status quo.  In a down economy, those who are on the inside are less likely to take risks, and those who are on the outside are less likely to get to the inside.

So, what are the exceptions?  Is anyone hiring lawyers laid off at big firms as tenure-track professors? 

-- Mark Osler

July 10, 2009 | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Up or Down?:


Professor: I believe you are looking for some incremental gimmick or technological application.

I have a suggestion of greater import. Modernity. How about pulling the law out of the 13th Century core doctrines? How about requiring empirical validation for all laws, which are unauthorized human experimentation by know nothing lawyers, out of control on the bench. These lawyers are like know nothing two year olds, throwing things around with oblivious irresponsibility.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 10, 2009 9:26:03 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.