Friday, August 9, 2013

Interesting deleted comments on Prof. Seval Yildirim's Faculty Lounge thread.

The Faculty Lounge recently published a series of posts by tenured Whittier Law Professor Seval Yildirim, in which she described some of the adventures she had on a recent summer trip to Istanbul.

In Prof. Yildirim's first post, she recalled that she held an "interesting conversation on gender with my female taxi driver." She also recalled that she spoke to two friends who had been active in the protest movement, and stayed at a hotel near where, two month earlier, protestors clashed with the police. In her second post, she described attending a small demonstration and, later, attending a communal meal, where she listened to her tablemates' "stories of vulnerability" and then gave up her seat to a homeless child.

The Professor’s eventful trip naturally caused her to think weighty thoughts, such as about how "the human body as the most potent and crucial site of resistance against the State":
"I have been thinking about the human body as the most potent and crucial site of resistance against the State. I have written about the Muslim woman’s hair as a site of struggle between different political narratives. . . but the recent rise in protests around the world, especially since the Arab uprisings of 2011. . . have highlighted that the human body is increasingly the primary means of any sustained protest against power structures, including the State. This is especially true where the people perceive that they will not achieve justice through established formal legal and political means- from the Arab uprisings to the protests understandably objecting to the outcome of the Zimmerman trial . . . .I will expand more on this at the end of my trip, hoping that my discussions with the protestors will help crystallize my thoughts."
Some thread commenters found Yildirim’s posts to be thought-provoking and laudable, even courageous. Other commenters, however, found the stuff to be jejune and pretentious. The critical commenters noted that Yildirim’s has near-zero legal practice experience, and that her big salary and ample free time for travel and contemplation are ultimately provided to her by heavily indebted students at bottom-of-the-barrel Whittier Law, kids who think they are being trained to practice law.  

The Faculty Lounge left up the supportive comments, but deleted all of the critical ones. The Faculty Lounge has been tough on dissent lately, with routine deletions of comments smacking of a scamlaw critique and episodes of "outing" the alleged posters of these comments. Because I anticipated that the critical comments on Yildirim's most active thread would be zapped, I made pdfs. of the thread prior to the deletions. (links below). The best deleted critical comment, the one that summed up all the others, was this one:
"And to explain the point that critics make, once again, after it's been explained ad nauseam: the issue here is that Prof. Yildirim has no practice experience and is therefore utterly unqualified to teach youngsters how to practice law. Stress that said youngsters are at a low-ranked school and will NOT be taught how to practice by the Cravath rotation system. Their only teachers are the once they get at the law school. These students are told that they should tolerate the fact that their teacher has no ability to practice herself, and thus is unlikely to convey anything useful, -- because she allegedly contributes to "scholarship". So, desperately poor W[h]ittier students are asked to subsidize scholarship.
The key question becomes: *what* is that scholarship that's so valuable that it justifies the appointment of an otherwise unqualified teacher? *That's* why the hostility, Mr. Husband of Prof. Yildirim. Because the students, who are duped into years of unemployment and huge debt are looking are this jejune navel gazing and "though-crystallizing", as the author travels around the world, and thinking: is THIS what justifies my enormous tuition and the teaching by an incompetent person? THIS???? Not a serious scholarship that develops new doctrines, not upscale number-crunching on how regulation affects the markets or society, not empirical studies on what predicts judicial decisionmaking, etc etc-- but the musings about the human body as the means of protest??? Holy cow. Just holy damn cow."
I want to add that none of the critical comments on Faculty Lounge are mine, though I agree with them. I haven’t commented at the Faculty Louse, I mean Lounge, since early March, and I think that there are only marginal benefits to debating the scam with a bunch of scammers on a pro-scam site.

I also want to add, though it should be obvious, that I did not mean to imply in my own post last week that Prof. Yildirim is exceptional. Plenty of other law professors are dubiously qualified and pretentious. And even many of those who have produced some arguably useful scholarship or who have a background in practice have proven to be remarkably callous towards the disaster of debt and joblessness overwhelming their recent grads, the kids whose misplaced trust made them rich.

The handle chosen by the eloquent critical commenter quoted above was "anon prof." It is heartening that there may be law professors who are cognizant of the scam and distressed by it--I mean, other than the small number who have made themselves known. It is an utter platitude, but I am going to say it: teachers ought to care about their students. My mother was a public grade school teacher in a poor urban area way-back-when and participated in the inaugural Head Start program in 1965. I do not understand how so many law teachers can be so nonchalant, even smug, about the hardships and humiliations faced by their recent grads.   (part one of thread comments, prior to deletions, on Faculty Lounge post: "First Night in Istanbul: Thinking about the Human Body as the Site of Resistance").  (part two of thread comments, prior to deletions, on Faculty Lounge post: "First Night in Istanbul: Thinking about the Human Body as the Site of Resistance").


  1. I find it extremely annoying that law profs use their "scholarship" to justify their tuition-funded salaries.

    Even if their "scholarship" is useful or meaningful, why should students pay for it??? Students are going into debt thinking they are paying for someone to teach them the law. In reality, they are funding the intellectual pursuits of law professors as some sort of right-of-passage into the profession.

  2. Perhaps most insulting is that the good professor got her JD from NYU (where students can actually get jobs). I'm sure she views her WhiTTTTier students as lowly peasants unworthy of her T6 prestige, but she doesn't seem to mind that their student loan checks support her lifestyle.

  3. 7:11 is right on the money. These pretentious douche-bags view their TTT and TTTT charges with contempt. But they are happy to cash that big-ass paycheck for minimal "work" - via those debt-strapped students.

    1. "For that is how villeins should live," as quoted in A Distant Mirror.

  4. Reading Yildirim's effort to introduce Deeper Meaning into what was was transparently her summer vacation, I thought something similar could have been penned by a female member of the Russian nobility giving her Sensitive Insights into her trip to Exotic Istanbul. It would have been bad form to mention that her trip was possible only because of the unending labor of thousands of her family's serfs.

    For all the status signifiers of graduating from elite law schools, prestigious clerkships, and brief employment in BigLaw, law professors at bad law schools have yet to come to grips with the fact that they would be employed more honorably representing slumlords in eviction proceedings than in their current jobs.

    1. ^^This^^ She is an NYU Law grad teaching at a TTTT that dupes bright-eyed but uninformed kids into going into huge debt despite having little to no chance of practicing law. She doesn't need to travel abroad to see an elite upper class using information asymmetry to tread on the already underpriviliged. She and her colleagues can just look in the mirror.

  5. Thanks for archiving those comments. I was follow this profs' posts on faculty lounge, it was nice to see so many people call these charlatans out for what who really are.

  6. Talk about pompous! You’d think this bitch was a rising star at Harvard LS. Hey Yildirim, your school is nicknamed “Shittier” for a reason.

  7. "The Body"
    By Maurice Leiter

    She makes me think of feminism
    and female bodies.
    Those sites of crime, all the
    rapes, fingers probing wetness,
    denying me my right as a man,
    as a Professor.

    She slept with me for the job, yet
    that was not rape.
    Now she cries rape because
    she has tenure?

    Is rape even a law?
    I don't know. Nobody does.
    How can one find out about this mythical "rape"?
    I've never practiced.

    Law, that is.
    Rape? I've raped a-plenty.
    Sexual and intellectual.
    I'm an intellectual serial rapist.
    Put me in solitary, throw away the key, let me
    think about female bodies all day.
    Perhaps an MSNBC special.
    Maurice Sucks Naughtily on Brian's Cock.

    I spoke to a cab driver about feminism once.
    I asked him to take me to a hooker emporium.
    My sperm crystallized on the Perspex partition.

    I was potent and crucial as I thrusted in and out,
    my prostate protesting,
    pulsing its gum into her.
    Then she protested as I refused to pay.
    Surely she owed me hundreds of dollars for my wisdom, spewed forth
    like my finest lecture.
    Here's your feminism. That sticky, stringy feminism, essence of Leiter.
    Wipe it up, bitch.
    So why was she not paying, like those in my classrooms,
    all of whom happily paid hundreds of thousands for my wisdom?

    1. Disgusting.

      But so funny!

      And so true!

      (From a female reader).

    2. This is one of Maurice's more profound pieces, although in reaching such levels of insight he simultaneously had to plumb the depths of misogyny.

      Actually a rather good poem, as much of Maurice's work (on this site) is. I rather enjoyed it.

    3. Another classic work.

  8. "In Prof. Yildirim's first post, she recalled that she held an 'interesting conversation on gender with my female taxi driver.' . . . In her second post, she described attending a small demonstration and, later, attending a communal meal, where she listened to her tablemates' 'stories of vulnerability' and then gave up her seat to a homeless child."

    Er, sounds like a normal day for most people. Listen to a cab driver ranting about some political trash, followed by listening to your buddies at lunch ranting about some bullshit "hardship" that really isn't a hardship, and perhaps giving up your seat in the crowded McDonalds to some girl with a kid who looks like she needs to sit down.

    Where's my fucking professor salary?

    What a disgusting person this "professor" is, spinning her paid vacation into some kind of scholarship, the frivolity of which is right up there with those idiots who write law review articles about whether dolphins born in the US have constitutional rights because they are smarter than retards, or analyzing the personal correspondence of Justice Whogivesafuck between 1864 and 1867 to argue that he was in fact a transsexual and how we should thus radically alter our interpretation of his ruling in some arcane case dealing with water rights between New York and New Jersey.

    Do the other professors not see this woman as being a complete fucking joke? A product of women's colleges and subjects that are barely worthy of a single sentence, let alone entire degrees?

    1. The other professors don't see her as a joke, because her behavior is perfectly normal for the useless law professor class.

      Some legal "scholarship" is probably a good thing...but I'm confident we get PLENTY of it from profs at the T14. Why should 200 law schools (including toilets with no "prestige" whatsoever) have a bunch of tenured academics sitting around musing about this kind of crap while teaching 1-2 classes a semester? All but the super-elite law schools should have either part-time adjuncts or full-time professors who teach 3-5 classes a semester and don't worry about "scholarship."

      This wouldn't help the law job market, but it would make the tuition investment for students and taxpayers far lower (and far less wasteful) than it is now.

  9. Man, I can be a pretentious jerkoff myself, so I usually try to give others a bit of a pass on it, but it's a lot more forgiveable when the pretentious jerkoff is doing it for free rather than expecting to get paid for their jerkoffery.

    That said, can you think of any more banal a statement than "the human body [is] the most potent and crucial site of resistance against the State"? As opposed to all the successful resistance against the State in times past coming from cats and robots?

    I understand she's trying to make some point about how non-violent protest works (an equally banal point, and overlooking much), but, wow, welcome to 1948 I guess. It was certainly worthwhile that taxpayer money sent you to Istanbul to develop such profound insights as "massed bodies that require violence to remove and may become violent themselves sure do put more pressure on the state than a series of tweets." Breathtaking scholarship, lady. Simply breathtaking.

    1. absolutely breathtaking.

    2. >>>>That said, can you think of any more banal a statement than "the human body [is] the most potent and crucial site of resistance against the State"? As opposed to all the successful resistance against the State in times past coming from cats and robots?<<<<

      This is hands down the best comment I've read on any scamblog (or any blog) ever. I'm still laughing. Cats and robots. Fucking awesome! Please write for this blog!

    3. Let me ask, is "sabbatical" really just a code word, with a wink and a nod, for "vacation plans"?

    4. Is the Pope Catholic?
      Is Leiter a wanker?

    5. Nailed it. Abso-fucking-lutely. This is the code word among those who know what they are talking about.

    6. Much appreciated, 2:44.

      I don't have much original insight onto the LSS, and as a top-of-the-bottom-third T3 grad who's (kind of) never taken the bar and figured out he didn't want to practice in 3L, I'm not exactly the best representative of the did-everything-right-and-still-failed crowd that's really been crushed by law schools.

      That said, it's no joke that a law degree is no good for civil service or corporate America. I knew by 3L that I was done for as a proper lawyer, and I thought I was smart by focusing all of my attention on fed and state jobs. Wound up in the exact same place as so many who did seek genuine legal employment: document review.

  10. Look, I'm jus' a simple country lawyer and not a LawProf or anything (too bad, because it's apparently a sweet gig), but dammit if I wouldn't feel the need to contibute something meaningful to the discourse. Something that analyzes current issues, maybe utilizes data, charts and graphs to arrive at a conclusion, makes recommendations...

    That's my problem. I'm thinking with my STEM hat, not my Law hat. That explains everything.

    1. Maybe if you went to NYU, you'd understand.

  11. These so-called professors are blood sucking leeches and their time is coming. What I like most of all is their utter cluelessness. They are parasites and contribute nothing to society.

    And their so-called "scholarship." 43% of law review articles are not even cited once. And I believe 80% of law review articles are cited less than 10 times.

    I cannot wait until these ass-hats get laid off en masse. They will be completely rejected by biglaw because of their utter lack of business skills and lack of portable business. They won't be able to solo or go government/in-house because of their lack of experience and people skills. Their age will also work agaisnt them.
    They have literally no marketable talents. Their gravy train is coming to an end and they don't even know it.

    This is going to be fun.

    1. There are generally 3 scenarios where you get a job in Mid or BigLaw:

      1. you are a top-line new graduate who can do high-level work, work long hours, and be pushed around by workaholic assbags.

      2. you have >$750k of annual billable work with people who want to follow you around.

      3. you are very experienced and very good in a particular practical skill (like actually trying cases or arguing appeals or handling business reorganizations or tax advising, etc.)

      No tenured law faculty member meets no. 1.

      Maybe 2% of law faculty members meet no. 2.

      Maybe 10% of law faculty members meet no. 3.

  12. I don't know. Nice big dark and lovely eyes.

    She might be more receptive, and maybe just sweet and nice if you were not so unfriendly and maybe more understanding upon an initial greeting?

  13. "Jejune" for the win.

    Who the hell does she think she is to blabber on about "resistance against the state?" Is she for fucking real?

    She IS the state. Private party who has profited directly from government-aided exploitation of the poor. Good God. Have some fucking self-awareness.

    Talking to a cab driver about gender roles? Sweet jejune jesus, that's like 30s screwball parody of academics level of piffle

  14. 3:16 - you are absolutely correct. Compounding the challenges for young people these days is that they have been conditioned to think liberal progressives on our their "side" and looking out for them. This professor, and many others like her, are deeply dug into the academic industrial complex, who constantly stake a claim to moral superiority, and yet are the biggest rent seekers on the planet. Their rent seeking does real damage. Worst of all, under the guise of a liberal progressive narrative, their actions result in wealth from taxpayers to their apparatchik class, all, as 3:16 suggests, to exploit the poor and uninformed. Don't look to liberal progressives to save you, young folks. They are the cause of the problem here.