The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tushnet: Reflections on the Federalist Society, Pepperdine, and 'Conservative' Law Schools

I identified three research-oriented law schools where, compared to the rest of the legal academy, conservatives have fared well during faculty hiring: George Mason, San Diego, and Pepperdine. Why these three? (If there are other law schools that have tried to build a strong conservative faculty brand, they have escaped my attention.)

  1. George Mason's Law & Economics emphasis.
  2. San Diego Law is a conservative Catholic law school that hosts The Right Coast blog.
  3. Pepperdine Law is a Christian-centered law school that hired Kenneth Starr to serve as dean as dean after he rapped up this tenure as Independent Counsel of the Clinton Whitewater investigation.

As show in the scatterplot above, all three law schools have fared very well in Academic Reputation:  GMU (#76 to #51, +25), San Diego (#69 to #51, +18), and Pepperdine (#107 to #65, +42). 


The Right Coast! In the News! Du duh duh duh duh dum! The truth is, we're not really a Catholic law school or even that conservative. Just because we have maybe a half-dozen out of forty professors who are conservative, that makes us more conservative than virtually any other law school, except those others mentioned. --ts

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Pepperdine is not conservative. Just because maybe a half-dozen out of fifty or so professors are conservative doesn't make it conservative. Tushnet must be thinking of, you know, that other legal academy that doesn't exist, where there is the sort of inter-institutional diversity that he just makes up.

Posted by: "Conservative" | Apr 18, 2013 10:33:39 AM