Legal Education; Funding


In his book on the history of Fordham University School of Law, Bob Kaczorowski does not take an explicit position on how decision-making authority on matters ranging from resource utilization to curriculum development should be allocated between a law school and its university. Rather, he offers in detail a story and extensive evidence that tends to reflect and support the view traditionally taken by the American Bar Association (ABA), the vast majority of law faculty, and most law school deans on the subject: listen, you folks over there at the university—we know what we are doing, so just leave us alone to do it. And, most of all, do not steal our resources for your pet projects. Kaczorowski’s is an outstanding book worthy of consideration by anyone concerned with university-law school relations and law school financing. In this regard, I should add, the traditional view of law school advocates and constituents on how their schools should be treated is virtually identical to the positions taken by their colleagues in other disciplinary homes within the university. However, the pervasiveness of a viewpoint is not proof of its validity. I disagree in important respects with the traditional view held within schools on the relationship of those schools to their university, and I want to offer in these pages a different perspective on how to think about the issue.