In a brilliant piece of academic commentary Saturday on ABC’s This Week magazine, New York Magazine’s David Heineman taken a dig at Yale law student Michael Norton’s recent case, in which he was expelled for violating the school’s sex-disciplinary spring break rule. In his witty piece, he coined a new phrase: “Come on, yuppies! You can do it! Harvard is smarter than Yale.” After all, if Harvard can expel a student for breaking the rules, why can’t Yale University expel a student for violating its own disciplinary policies?
The problem, as usual, is that many faculty and staff at elite research universities have not earned the Ph.D. from Yale Law School or the College, as some faculty members have done, and they cannot be sanctioned by their academic peers, simply because they are not tenure-track professors. Even if their students are expelled for flouting the school’s disciplinary policies, the professor will still find himself with a college education to show for it. Many professors work with a “diversity hire” staff, which is basically entry-level labor. That means a lot of students can choose to major in the humanities and social sciences, without having to worry about tenure politics. For these academics, the perks of tenure and the respect of their students come hand in hand. And for these faculty members, teaching at one of America’s top law schools is a privilege, not a right.
So what should any American college student who wants to major in a major of law study do? Well, if you want to take advantage of faculty and staff who truly earn the college degree from Yale Law School, you must do your homework. There are plenty of opportunities on the web to research this issue of university faculty before you commit yourself to a program at one of America’s most distinguished universities. Here are a few trivia questions about this aspect of law school:
What is the name of the professor who invented the “covid-19” method of analyzing depositions, which is used in many of today’s forensic investigations? Edward Salmon. One of many eminent lawyers, Salmon was an editor for the Yale Law Journal, and he co-authored an amicus brief on behalf of John Edwards in that case. His other major works include theorems, essays, law review articles, and legal history. He is now a professor at the University of Michigan Law School.
What is the full name of the dean of Yale Law School, Joseph Cornell? Mr. Cornell is the John Paul Jones professor of constitutional law at the John Paul Jones School of Law. Before he served at Yale Law School, he served for twelve years at the National Institutes of Justice, where he was a professor of law. Before that, he was an associate professor at Harvard and a practicing attorney in New York City.
What is a “garden hose”? According to the great American humorist Don Imus, it’s an apparatus that Harvard Law School used to expel someone from the faculty who didn’t know what a garden hose was. According to the late Professor Epstein, a different professor had lectured at the law school concerning the “mysterious and arcane use of garden hoses.”
Who were the people at dinner party-gate who “got caught”? The so-called “covid-19” witness who changed his story after being questioned by both the New York Times and the House Watergate Committee was Associate Dean Van Der Jagt. Another member of the faculty, Theodore Ruger, confirmed what the witnesses said. Then there was Associate Professor Peter Kornbein who admitted to giving the order to have the doors closed. According to the New York Times, Mr. Kornbein “was not involved in the decision to close the doors at dinner party-gate, but he said he believed that Mrs. van der Jagt had been in control of the operation and that Mr. Seiden had been merely picking up lunch.” A twenty-four-year-old former member of the faculty named Laurence Silberg, who attended dinner party-gate that night with her boyfriend and fellow student Ronald Rattner (who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer), declared that she had “known Mr. Seiden for years and that he never strayed even slightly from the straight A’s.”
There are a lot more professors who have been mentioned in this article; however, one might think that this list is incomplete. After all, most of these professors either passed the required exam to become an entry-level legal scholar or they at least left us with a great many unanswered questions. The only professors who seem to deserve credit for winning the quiz in Yale Law School trivia question form are those whose names are still among the Hall of Fame; professors whose legacies are as solid as their achievements.