ABA Journal


Law Professors

Top-rated law profs share these traits

Aug 12, 2013, 10:45 am CDT


Hopefully, the book takes the accuracy and sophistication of the teachers' ideas into account, though this write-up does not suggest that it does. Someone who is very good at communicating mistaken and simple-minded ideas is not "best" in any acceptable definition of the term. Teaching awards are not a good proxy for content since students rarely, if ever, are able to judge the substantive sophistication of a teacher's comments, they judge care and concern instead. That's why they're students. And teachers who spend a lot of time thinking about teaching often do not spend an equivalent amount of time thinking about their subject. They lack confidence in their views and need to be liked. While they may be easy to learn from, therefore, a lot of what they teach must be unlearned down the road. What a teacher says, not how he says it, is the whole ballgame, at least for people who can think for themselves. Form over substance is a soporific, not a strategy for teaching.

By Pushkin on 2013 08 12, 11:25 am CDT

"Form over substance is a soporific, not a stragegy for teaching."

This is incoherent.

The study seems quite thorough and it is hard to understand Pushkir's criticism. An essential quality of a great law professor (or a great lawyer for that matter) is the ability to convey difficult concepts in a simple and straightforward manner.

By Alyosha on 2013 08 13, 1:10 pm CDT

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