AALS Creates Permanent Committee on Hemlines

Some years, hemlines go up.  Some years, hemlines go down.  If they didn’t go up some years and down others, there would be no reason for hemlines scholars to exist.  And so it goes for the American Association of Law Schools, which has decided to grant permanent status to a Section for the flavor of the month, balance.


The AALS granted permanent status to its Section on Balance in Legal Education! The Section aims to maximize the health, well-being and career satisfaction of law students and lawyers. I applaud the AALS for recognizing that this area needs attention and creating a permanent Section on Balance.

Balanced law students develop positive habits in law school that carry with them to their law practices. No matter the area of law, having good coping skills for stress, an established personal moral code, and a sense of purpose are essential for not only career satisfaction but embodying the high level of professionalism expected at the bar.
Do unbalanced law students wobble and fall down?

It’s ironic that at a time when practitioners (and law students) argue that law school fails to put our young lawyer capable of performing the duties expected of them, a position that lawprofs contend is wrong and ignorant, since they certainly are far better at self-assessment than are the people hiring and working with their student output, the AALS chooses to focus on balance.

Like so many contentions that are politically popular but nonsensical, the words strung together not only fail to make a cognizable sentence, but appear to be facially contradictory.  How does career satisfaction lead to a high level of professionalism?  I don’t know either.  Both are nice phrases, but there’s no logical nexus between them. 

But the part that really amuses is the part where balance law students will establish a personal moral code.  Would that be the moral code that tells them it’s perfectly fine to wear ripped jeans and flip flops in court?  After all, it’s personal and they’re allowed to decide for themselves what morality should be. That’s balance?

This is another example of using peppy phraseology to conceal a substantive swamp.  Balance means the antithesis of professional responsibility; it’s the right to only have to be professional when it’s convenient, so that one can enjoy whatever life has to offer whenever one wants to, professional responsibility be damned. 

And by the way, it we leave it up to each individual to develop their own personal moral code, remember that there are other Jeffrey Dahmers out there.  Get the point?  This is one incredibly dumb idea.  I only wish it was surprising.

Next year, the AALS will be considering a permanent section on Ice Cream Parties.  It very controversial, with the Anti-Balloon group raising quite a ruckus.

H/T Stephanie West-Allen at Idealawg.