Phi Beta Cons

University of Louisville Law School Goes Political

Since so much of American higher education is highly politicized, why not have a politicized law school? That seems to be the thinking at the University of Louisville.

As we read in this piece in the Louisville Courier-Journal by a professor at the law school, Luke Milligan, “Promotional materials for the law school now proclaim its institutional commitment to ‘progressive values’ and ’social justice.’ Incoming students and faculty are told that, when it comes to the big issues of the day, the law school takes the ‘progressive’ side.”

Professor Milligan thinks this is a terrible idea and I couldn’t agree more. It’s particularly ridiculous for a public institution to abandon all pretense at intellectual neutrality.

Apparently the law school’s administration has decided that embracing the social justice “brand” will help it with fundraising and recruitment of students, but I think it will backfire. If Louisville JDs come to be seen as lawyers who have been saturated with leftist ideology, many firms will shy away from considering them. My guess is that whatever benefit they might get with lefty firms will be far outweighed by the loss of opportunities at firms that just want capable people.

Serious scholars will have to wrest control of the law school away from the zealots who think that everything has to advance their agenda.


George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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