And you thought courses like Philosophy and Star Trek or The American Vacation were only available in undergraduate programs? Well, it appears you can take light, obscure, and indulgent electives as a 3L, too.
Recently, the always-entertaining Above The Law posted a list of law courses actually being offered at Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, and Yale. While they carry greater intellectual heft than electives examining the cultural relevance of Barbie or Batman, they might just raise a few eyebrows. For starters, how does studying movies or capitalist power structures prepare students for the bar (let alone help them land a job)? And why would anyone spend $5K-$10K studying this fluff? And law schools wonder why some critics want to cut law school down to two years?
Without further adieu, here are a few of the courses that seem to reinforce just how out-of-touch some law schools remain:
- Becoming a Law Professor / Harvard Law School: Basically, Harvard is teaching students how to become more insulated by directing them towards scholarship… and doing so at a time when faculty jobs are being cut. To quote Seth and Amy from Saturday Night Live: “Really?!”
- Capitalism Film Society / Yale Law School: Apparently, a Dead Poet’s Society is too passé, so students are left with watching Boiler Room or Wall Street, followed by the arduous task of submitting a one or two page paper on each film. Wouldn’t it be easier just to open a Netflix account? To again quote Seth and Amy: “Oh my God! Are you serious?” What is this, business school? The next thing you know, Yale students will form a secret society dedicated to ‘Porn ‘n Chicken.’ Oh, wait…
- Ethnoracial Identity in Anthropology Language & Law / Cornell Law School: I’m assuming this course is Cornell’s way of keeping some tenured wackadoo from raising a real ruckus. All I know is that a course that draws on sociocultural constructs, race theory, and linguistics is a place to keep your head low and your mouth shut.