Category Archives: The BAT Cave

Posts here will focus on academia to a greater extent than posts in the other categories. They will be “inside the BAT cave” in that sense. But no gossiping or whining is allowed. Rather, we hope to cultivate discussions about why academic and intellectual thought matter, and why they should be safeguarded irrespective of immediate pay-off or market value. That is the goal. Feel free to keep us honest.

Tracking for Law Students: Solution or Abdication?

Professors, journalists, and, most saliently, students have raised national awareness about the steep rise in college and post-graduate tuitions over the last thirty years.  As someone who has a hard time remembering statistics, for me the easiest math on the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, The BAT Cave | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Grading is…

It’s grading time.  Suddenly, doing anything other than reading exams takes on a new urgency.  A neglected research project must be attended to. The laundry really needs to be folded. Student recommendation letters must be drafted. Even reading a blog … Continue reading

Posted in The BAT Cave | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Monty Python Example No. 3 (Analytical Philosophy in Law)

Too much of it arguably reads like this: In The Concept of Law, H.L.A. Hart once said something.  This brilliant insight (BI) effectively corrected some fundamentally wrongheaded ways of thinking.   Yet upon closer examination, BI encompasses a number of different ideas … Continue reading

Posted in Experimental, Random Jurisprudence, The BAT Cave | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Too Much Information, Not Enough Knowledge

If you wanted to disappear, where would you go? A small town in southern Utah is a good bet, at least according to its reclusive inhabitants. Yet they know that their days of being off of the information grid are … Continue reading

Posted in Nature/Culture, The BAT Cave | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The American Law School (Tentative Notes for Stages of Evolution)

Pedagogy Stage 1: Socratic Stage 2: Soft Socratic                       Stage 3: Lecture/Student-oriented Learning Stage 4: Consumer Preference Advancement Societies: Stage 1: Old Boys Club/Old School Tie Stage 2: Political/Intellectual Interest … Continue reading

Posted in Random Jurisprudence, The BAT Cave | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Law Review Rejection

Yesterday, I received an email from a top fifteen law review: Dear Professor Schlag, We have carefully considered your article, [Title]  Unfortunately, we cannot accept it for publication in the [Name] Law Review. We expect this year to receive well … Continue reading

Posted in Experimental, The BAT Cave | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sh*t Law Professors Say

Strangely, this popular Youtube concept has not yet resulted in a video about law professors. We are here to fill the void.  For those of you not familiar with the genre, here is an example, also produced in our home … Continue reading

Posted in Experimental, The BAT Cave | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Got Knowledge?

In “The Meditations,” Descartes revealed his desire to make a “solid and lasting contribution to knowledge,”  His problem, as he saw it, is that he had accumulated a large number of false opinions and thereon erected a flimsy structure.  He … Continue reading

Posted in Experimental, Random Jurisprudence, The BAT Cave | 2 Comments

Coase and “The Problem of Social Cost” (Again)

I don’t know if other academics experience this, but I find that, in scholarship, I am drawn to certain texts or problems over and over again for reasons that remain elusive.   And so here I am again, writing yet … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Random Jurisprudence, The BAT Cave | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Law School Exam Last Minute Help

Random student (probably law) demonstrating how to study: First, of all, if you are a law student and still reading this post, you are in deep trouble.  In fact, you really don’t have time for this and should really go away.   If … Continue reading

Posted in Experimental, The BAT Cave | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Law School Faculties and the Enneagram

Finally, the day came when Professor X retired. You and your friends on the faculty attended her goodbye party and smiled and clapped at appropriate moments. But inside, you whooped and hollered and sang a little song, something not quite … Continue reading

Posted in Experimental, The BAT Cave | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Hugo: A Love Affair with . . .

You thought I was going to say “cinema.” That would be too obvious. Yes, Martin Scorsese’s latest movie pays homage to the magic of film. For those who have not seen it nor read the many reviews, the plot revolves … Continue reading

Posted in BAT Reviews, The BAT Cave | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Law School Hiring (The Faculty Meeting–Appointments)

“O.K. Let’s begin…. We have two agenda items: the  promotion of Professor X which we will deal with first and the appointments matter–Frank Wright and Mary Prescott–which we will deal with second.  Tony?” “I would just like to say, in … Continue reading

Posted in Experimental, Random Jurisprudence, The BAT Cave | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

David Segal’s Paper Chase and Some Musings on Legal Education

Legal education has changed a lot since its depiction in The Paper Chase, in which the imposing Professor Kingsfield grilled James T. Hart into “thinking like a lawyer.” But you could be forgiven for thinking that all law professors stalk around … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, The BAT Cave | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Is Neuroscience the Death of Free Will?

So reads the title of a recent opinion piece in the New York Times by Professor Eddy Nahmias.   It warrants a bit of attention if not for its substance, then at least for what it illustrates about the contemporary state of … Continue reading

Posted in Nature/Culture, The BAT Cave | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Critique of Normativity

OK—this one is deep inside the academy (and destined for the most inaccessible corners of the Bat Cave).   A while back, I wrote “The Critique of Normativity.”   It had thee parts (all three of which are on my law school … Continue reading

Posted in Random Jurisprudence, The BAT Cave | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Tips for Legal Commentators: How to Talk to the Press

Sometimes, legal commentators (law professors and whatnot) are ambushed by the press asking for commentary on a case just handed down.  What to say?   Sometimes one just doesn’t know.   Here then, by way of suggestion, is a list of plausible … Continue reading

Posted in Random Jurisprudence, The BAT Cave | Tagged , | Leave a comment

AALS Law School Hiring and Recruitment: How to Get a Job as a French Intellectual (The Interview)

Today, there is a great wealth of advice available to faculty candidates who wish to become law professors.  One of the little known avenues for becoming a law professor (much neglected in even the best existing literature) is to get … Continue reading

Posted in Experimental, The BAT Cave | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Remembering Derrick Bell

Derrick Bell died last week at the age of 80.  Though his passing was overshadowed by the death of Steve Jobs, Bell’s achievements were recounted in the New York Times and elsewhere:  First African American law professor to be tenured … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Random Jurisprudence, The BAT Cave | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Legal Formalism (A Refresher on Form)

O.K. for you law people, this will all be pretty familiar.   For you non-law people, this is  an acid challenge—a test of your tolerance for excruciatingly picayune legal exegesis.   One bit of solace I can offer you is that, conveniently, … Continue reading

Posted in Experimental, Nature/Culture, Random Jurisprudence, The BAT Cave | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Some thoughts about bats

Bats in various parts of the world, including North America, are at risk from a lethal fungus that is killing them in droves. Elizabeth Kolbert has written eloquently about this in The New Yorker.  We have not yet seen her or … Continue reading

Posted in The BAT Cave | Tagged , | 1 Comment

My Dinner at Langdell’s

It was one of those cold wet April Cambridge mornings. Too wet for fog, but too indifferent for rain. My head ached. My lips were dry and my tongue felt bloated. The fever had surely come back. Worse–the laudanum was … Continue reading

Posted in Experimental, Random Jurisprudence, The BAT Cave | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Job Interview

Hiring season has arrived. Some law schools have already arranged for on-campus interviews of entry level candidates. Others have made their way through the applicant forms submitted through the American Association of Law Schools (the AALS FAR forms, in the … Continue reading

Posted in The BAT Cave | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Kandinsky or Hart? Aesthetics. No. 1

Kandinsky or Hart? Pierre Schlag Beta Version 1.0 In 1927, Heisenberg introduced his uncertainty principle. By 1934, Wittgenstein was breaking with his early work. In 1923, Kandinsky was putting the finishing touches on Composition VIII: And in 1958, H.L.A. Hart, … Continue reading

Posted in Experimental, Random Jurisprudence, The BAT Cave | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The Monty Python Example No. 1

The British Troupe, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, is justly known for its biting and irreverent humor.  But Monty Python’s send-ups have other virtues as well.  By way of illustration consider a scene from the movie Life of Brian which shows the Brian … Continue reading

Posted in Experimental, Random Jurisprudence, The BAT Cave | Tagged | Leave a comment