December 2, 2012

NO, BUT IT USUALLY IS: Prof. Bainbridge: Does Clinical Legal Education Really Have To Be About Left-Liberal Politics? “Most of the clinical professors whose work we have reviewed this semester have pursued a model of inculcating left-liberal political values in students and deploying those students to advance left-liberal political causes. . . . This model is troubling on several levels. First, it privileges a certain set of political views in the hiring process, contributing to the marginalization of conservative viewpoints among law faculty. Second, it inevitably will tend to exclude students of moderate or conservative viewpoints, who will either self-select out of clinical classes or be harassed out of it. Third, cause lawyering is wholly unrelated to the work most of our students will do most of the time. . . . Fourth, at state schools such as ours, it often deploys taxpayer funds to advance fringe causes that may damage the state economy or antagonize important mainstream groups such as the business community. . . . Fifth, much clinical legal education really seems to be about limousine liberals assuaging their guilt for living lives of extreme comfort (law professor salaries put most of these folks in or near the evil 1%).”

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