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Politics and Politenesses

Dear Wormwood:

I ventured up to the Center for Public Interest Law today and found that, if there is the panel for Public Interest from the Right, they didn't seem to know of it. On the other hand, I think my fellow student was referring to the (quite helpful) OPIA's Guide to Conservative Public Interest Law, which lists a number of organizations useful as contacts for a conservative who wishes to go into public interest. Perhaps ironically, it's a copy of a pamplet written by Harvard. Anyway, it's a good read if you're in shoes like mine. They've copied it with a neon pink cover, you can't miss it.

In other news, the furore over military recruitment (previously commented upon by The Curmudgeonly Clerk among others--see post for references) showed up in the front hallway today, where there is now bulletin board requesting that, if you wish to interview with the military, you do so off-campus, complete with quotation from the Dean. All told, I'm happier with this than with attempts by various groups to ban JAG recruiting from law schools. "Excuse me: this is offensive to us, would you mind not doing it in here?" is a much better strategy, in my opinion, than not inviting the recruiters or in some other way excluding them by force. (There are, after all, presumably some law students who wish to join the military and support the current 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue' policy, if not a stricter one--the university would seem to be doing its students a disservice by not helping them with their careers.)

I'm not likely to sign up for military service, but if I were, I'd be inclined to take a bit of extra effort and interview elsewhere. I could see a compromise wherein the military is allowed to recruit here, but as a sign of respect for the feelings, if not the opinions, of fellow students, those interested were willing to wander to some neutral location. The JAG's audience being elsewhere, it wouldn't show up, even if allowed to do so.

(Related note: if you want the ins and the outs of the issue, The Last Best Hope presents a summary of Richard Epstein's 'debate' last year over this policy, held at NYU. I have apparently overestimated the presence of liberal academics at New York City institutions, since when invited to a debate by the author of my Torts textbook, not one fellow academic was willing to show up...

If you're a JD2B, I can't imagine this issue will have gone away by the time you get here.)

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Have things changed? When I entered the Navy JAG corps (as a 2L, taking a Reserve commission in return for a commitment to enter after graduation), I had to interview off campus. Not because Northwestern had banned recruiters, but because apparently few if any Northwestern law students were interested in becoming military lawyers (none of the services interviewed, though the placement office did have recruiting brochures and contact information for Army, Air Force and Navy JAG and Coast Guard Law Officer programs).
Yeah, take a look at the Curmudgeon or LBH links I've got in the article above. Basically, law schools took to banning JAG from recruiting, and a bill was passed through Congress making it illegal for them to do so and, at the same time, accept federal funding. One notes that the activist groups here consider this being forced to allow JAG onto the law school 'under threat,' a term that I doubt they'd use for the consequences of laws they'd agree with. ;)

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