Suzanna Sherry

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Green Bag 2D

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Neal Devins says that we don't put political science into our casebooks and Gerald Rosenberg levels the same charge at our scholarship. And so it has fallen to me to defend the ranks of law professors from these scurrilous accusations. Unfortunately, I can't do it: Rosenberg, at least, is largely right. Rosenberg's delightful little polemic has accurately diagnosed the problem. Law professors as a group are too arrogant, too disdainful of empirical information in favor of grand abstractions, and appallingly willing to write in disciplines of which they are woefully ignorant. There are many exceptions, of course: with or without additional degrees, some law professors are competent - even excellent - historians, political scientists, economists, sociologists, and the like. But too many of us adopt the "law professor as astrophysicist" model: we think we can master any field in the time it takes to research and write an article. It doesn't help, as Rosenberg points out, that we rarely learn from our students and that we allow them. complete authority qver scholarly publications.

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