Posted Aug 22, 2011 01:06 pm CDT
The law professor who accused his colleagues throughout legal education of scamming law students has revealed his identity: He’s Paul Campos of the University of Colorado Law School.
When Campos began blogging this month at Inside the Law School Scam, he identified himself as an anonymous tenured law professor “located within a good regional university with some nationally recognized departments.” Since then, he has ruffled some feathers with his assertions that many professors have only superficial knowledge of their subjects and spend little time preparing for class. “When people say ‘law school is a scam,’ what that really means, at the level of actual moral responsibility, is that law professors are scamming their students,” Campos wrote as the anonymous author.
Campos confirmed he is the author in an email to the ABA Journal. His corroboration comes after TaxProf Blog noted Campos had identified himself in a roundabout way—through a reference to his work on a post at a different blog. A link goes to the post, which lists Campos as the author.
Campos tells the ABA Journal he plans to continue work on Inside the Law School Scam “for the time being” and he doesn’t expect to run into trouble with the University of Colorado. “I have full confidence in the professional integrity of the law school’s new dean, Phil Weiser,” Campos tells the ABA Journal.
Critics were already threatening to out Campos when he revealed his identity, though Campos contends he had planned all along to eventually make the disclosure. Campos outed himself as he addressed a critic who took things to a personal level: University of Chicago law professor Brian Leiter, author of the blog Brian Leiter’s Law School Reports. Leiter said he knew the identity of “ScamProf” and he knew his reputation.
“ScamProf is the failed academic who has done almost no scholarly work in the last decade, teaches the same courses and seminars year in and year out, and spends his time trying to attract public attention, sometimes under his own name, this time anonymous,” Leiter wrote on his blog. Campos is “just doing what he always does, trying to surf the wave of the latest fad and attract attention to himself,” Leiter says in an updated post.
Campos responds with a blog post skewering Leiter with faint praise and sarcasm. Campos refers to Leiter’s scholarship “on such complex and important subjects as those explored in ‘Rorty and the Philosophical Tradition: Comment on Professor Szubka’ … and in ‘Explaining Theoretical Disagreement.’ “
Though Campos plans to keep on blogging for a while, he doesn’t plan to list himself as the author. He thinks anonymity serves a purpose. “Even though I’m not anonymous at this point,” he said, “I’d rather have occasional visitors to the blog focus on the arguments made there as opposed to the identity of the author.”
Campos tells the ABA Journal he’s not surprised by the personal attacks. Does he regret starting the blog? “Not at all,” Campos says.
Above the Law: “The Tenured Law Professor Turned ‘Scamblogger’ Reveals Himself”