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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"Service to the Law School Community"

From Dobranski's letter re tenure:

"To obtain tenure, a faculty member has the burden of establishing [1] demonstrated excellence in teaching, [2] a serious commitment to scholarly research and publication, and [3] a proven record of service to the Law School."

At first glance, it looks like "3" is the wildcard here, the stick Dobranski can wield against those who disagree with him. It all depends on how one defines "service to the Law School."

How does the ABA define "service to a law school"?

Section 404 of the 2006-2007 Standards for Approval of Law Schools is entitled "Responsibilities of Full-Time Faculty". S. 404(a) rattles off Bernie's list: teaching, scholarship, and "service to the law school community". It adds another category: professional activities outside the law school. Then, s. 404(a)(1-5) describes what each of these categories means. 404(a)(1) deals with teaching; 404(a)(2) deals with scholarship; 404(a)(4 & 5) deal with professional activities outside the law school. S. 404(a)(3) deals with service to the law school. What does it say? How does the ABA define "service to the law school"? It's too funny not to quote in full:

"Obligations to the law school and university community, INCLUDING PARTICIPATION IN THE GOVERNANCE OF THE LAW SCHOOL." (Emphasis added, natch.)

So we're all thinking, re Pucillo and Lyons, "Excellence in teaching." Check. "Commitment to scholarly research and publication." Check. "Proven record of service to the law school." Oh, drat, that's where Bernie's gonna screw these fine profs. But, if one defines "service to the law school" as the ABA does, Lyons and Pucillo are being screwed for attempting to do the very thing the ABA demands of all law faculty. And if one doesn't define "service to the law school" the same way the ABA does, well, one has perpetrated a fraud on the ABA and on the entire AMSoL community.