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Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Times insults every civ pro professor in the country

The New York Times today features a profile of Senate Parliamentarian Alan Frumin, leading with the following: "To his [law school] classmates, one trait stood out. He was a whiz at mastering the mind-numbing rules of civil procedure." (H/T: Suzanna Sherry)

Posted by Howard Wasserman on March 14, 2010 at 12:42 PM in Civil Procedure, Howard Wasserman | Permalink


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Yes, they confused interpleader and impleader and there were a few other minor nits. But art deserves license. When I blogged on the video on our faculty blog, I pointed out that the video was made at Wisconsin's "other" law school down I-94 and we couldn't expect much when the topic isn't "Foucaltian perspectives on the gender violence implicit in the Rule Against Perpetuties."

Posted by: Rick Esenberg | Mar 17, 2010 9:59:30 AM

Sarah L., Income Tax is the only class I'm enjoying this semester (I'm a 2L), thanks to the engaging professor. I'd be bereft without his enthusiasm. (It's not unanimous, however - lots of my classmates find it boring as all heck).

Posted by: AstridT | Mar 16, 2010 3:41:51 AM

I had seen this one (I think one of my students found it for my course blog last year). But I have to admit they lost me when they confused impleader and interpleader.

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Mar 15, 2010 1:20:30 PM

I show my class this video. Civil Procedure will never be the same. There a few misstatements but Mooooshuuun 12(b)(6)! Who wouldn't feel that way in a post Iqbal world?

Posted by: Rick Esenberg | Mar 15, 2010 9:32:50 AM

A different take on Rick's point: I take pride in showing or convincing students that these subjects (Civ Pro, Evidence, Fed Courts) are interesting and fun, as well as foundationally important. The best compliment I can receive on evals is "makes an interesting subject interesting."

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Mar 14, 2010 8:12:25 PM

I think Rick just insulted every employee of NASA.

Posted by: TJ | Mar 14, 2010 7:39:34 PM

It is a badge of honor to study and teach subjects boring to the uninitiated. Any serious craft or science -- physics, economics, piano, golf, civ pro, etc -- will be initially dull, because these subjects require mastery of foundational skills or knowledge that takes time to acquire. People with short attention spans inevitably find the introductory stages of such crafts and sciences "boring," as any parent knows who has tried to induce their child to practice piano or study for a chemistry exam.

Therefore, if your topic is immediately interesting to your audience, then you either have an audience with an unusually low discount rate, or you teach a superficial subject. So be proud to teach a dull subject: It is a sign that you know something worth learning.

Posted by: Rick Hills | Mar 14, 2010 6:41:37 PM

I am afraid I agree with the man. Civ pro was indeed the most mind-numbing class I took in law school. Perhaps only Federal Courts could rival that. No insult to civ pro profs -- somebody has to teach this disaster, and I am glad it ain't me, he he.

Posted by: lawprof who is not a fan of civpro | Mar 14, 2010 3:40:24 PM

Welcome to my life (and the life of every tax professor in the country). If I got upset every time someone talked about how boring tax is....

Posted by: Sarah L. | Mar 14, 2010 2:54:38 PM

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