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Just thought you’d be interested in some news about me.

At a Cornell Law School faculty vote on Wednesday I was promoted to full Clinical Professor of Law.  It’s not tenure, which is a Cornell University designation not available to clinical faculty, but it complies with ABA Standard 405 (“a form of security of position reasonably similar to tenure”).

For the past 4 1/2 years, in other words, I’ve been flying without a parachute, hah!

The funny thing is how many nasty emails and comments I’ve received over the years insisting that if I didn’t have tenure I wouldn’t have the guts to say what I have said. Well, I didn’t and I did.

Over the years numerous people tried to interfere in my employment or get me fired — including the lawyer in Philadelphia who threatened to organize a boycott and the Elizabeth Warren supporter who engaged in a campaign of harassment.  The sad truth is that they might have been successful at some academic institutions, a point I discussed in “Coming Out As A Conservative On Campus”.

Fortunately, I work at a place which values diversity of opinion, academic freedom, and freedom of thought and speech.  Major kudos to Cornell Law School for living up to its mission statement of Lawyers in the Best Sense.

I don’t share many personal details here, but I will reveal one deep secret.  I never actually planned to be a law professor, it just happened. Eye problems forced me to give up my law practice in 2006 and sit home for over a year.  Somehow I landed in Ithaca late in 2007. So this promotion is personally satisfying coming at the end of a long road of professional rebound.

Would it be un-professorial to embed the Victory Dance?

Oh, well, I’ll throw caution to the wind.

(warning, may cause seizures)


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Professor Jacobson,

Very well done! And,like you, I admire Cornell for this step.

–Jonathan W.

Congratulations! Thank you for being that brave conservative on campus. We appreciate it!

Kudos to you professor – Clinical Professor of Law (and much more).

And please don’t take any celebratory boat trips with a guy named Gilligan.

My deepest congratulations, sir!

David Yotham | April 26, 2013 at 8:32 am

Congratulations Professor! Good news is always an encouragement – and thanks for

the seizure too! Wacko cartoon! LOL


Congratulations, Professor.

This country needs about a million more like you, spread out thru this country’s law schools.

Well done! You earned it, absolutely! I hope you and Mrs. Professor have a delightful celebration weekend!

Congratulations, Professor.

I start every day viewing Legal Insurrection!

Congratulations! Thank you for this blog and your courage – and your contributors – to seek the truth and expose the lies.

Congratulations, Professor. I’ve often admired your bravery in being a Conservative in academia. You are also an educator with this blog. I have learned so much.

Radar 416AMS | April 26, 2013 at 9:07 am

Prof. Jacobson, congratulations on your promotion and thank you for sharing. I graduated from H.S. in Interlaken, a small town just north of you, and was on track to attend Cornell in 1972 until I was sidetracked by military service. I am pleased to hear your comments on the support for your academic and “blogging” freedom from Cornell. Frankly, 40 years ago it was a tough call for me to decide to attend there given some of the attitudes by the (then) administration – at least based on my observation as a local.

Finally, thanks for your blog. It is on my regular daily reading list.

Great news and an example to all of turning lemons into lemonade. Kudos to Cornell Law for respecting diversity of opinion and not buckling to the crazies. Keep up the good fight. And a special congratulations to Mrs. Insurrection!

Lady Penguin | April 26, 2013 at 9:16 am

Congratulations, Professor. Cornell seems to be a bright spot in the shadows of academic institutions. You do so much more than just “blog.” You educate and help people learn how to think; your students are lucky.

DINORightMarie | April 26, 2013 at 9:20 am

Congratulations! Well deserved. You have enlightened the world with your blog, and shared your wealth of expertise to educate future lawyers.

Thank you, Professor!

Your family has much to be proud of today. Enjoy!!

Well deserved! Congratulations and many thanks, Professor!

workingclass artist | April 26, 2013 at 9:33 am

Congrats Professor!

Congratulations Professor!! LI is the first stop every morning.

Well, I just did my little happy dance.

I’m so glad to hear that about Cornell Law School. I’ve definitely been painting them all with the same broad brush.

rancidpoodle | April 26, 2013 at 9:39 am

Congratulations Professor. I see that Cornell has officially declared “a form of academic freedom reasonably similar to sanity.”

Congratulations Professor on your persistence and hard work in all areas. You deserve the success you have worked so hard to achieve.

Juba Doobai! | April 26, 2013 at 9:43 am

Jolly good, Wm! Congratulations!

Yay! I love reading good news for a change when making the internet rounds. Congratulations and best wishes to you and yours!

Wow this is wonderful news. Congratulations. I just love that you were flying without a net and soared past your critics. What an amazing and inspiring accomplishment.

That’s such great news that I suffered through the Victory Dance in your honor Professor.

Oops…gotta go now…I think I feel a seizure creeping up on me!


Congrats – you stand out as among the best on the hill – we could use more with your thinking on THE HILL. I wish you many more years of continued success in academics and blogging.

Midwest Rhino | April 26, 2013 at 10:04 am

Congrats on that other occupation advancement. They seem well served to have someone with so much private practice experience. I’m thinkin’ that is not so common in academia.

Too bad that today’s “conservative whacko birds” are ones that believe in constitutional law, as opposed to the liberal Obama style variant that would seem (ianal) to practice ways around the law, or using the law as a means of oppression. But it is admirable that Cornell has recognized one of those stellar points of light, and have given you a more firm foundation to continue your important blog work.

Hear hear, America. 🙂

Despite significant disagreements, I have always viewed you with respect and good wishes. Congratulations for recognition well-earned under trying circumstances.

Congratulations, sir!

Congratulations, and the seizure was worth hearing your good news!

Congratulations Professor Jacobson! You’re a true inspiration! Good for Cornell to recognize this. Have a great weekend!

I am both thrilled for you, and inspired as well. Now I know where I am going to have to send the Young Prince for college. 🙂

    If he can handle it but no discredit if he can’t, you have Caltech nearby. It’s one of the few top American universities that hasn’t sold its educational soul to Mammon.

    Nearby. thinks back to his own college selection process

    Oh, right.

    Bruno Lesky in reply to Leslie Eastman. | April 26, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Congrats to the Prof and congrats to Cornell Law School for recognizing his value.

    I recommend you look closely before encouraging your son to apply to one of the 7 Cornell undergraduate colleges. There are systemic reasons why Cornell graduated Randi Weingarten, Keith Olbermann, Sandra Fluke, etc. (Ann Coulter’s politics are uncommon for a Cornell grad.)

Congrats, Professor!

Wonderful news! Congratulations!

Very very happy that you have obtained a level of security that gives you reason for piece of mind, Professor.

Damn gutsy guy, you are.

I was reading an article above this one and was going to write to thank you for always finding the heart and reason of issues AND being able to explain them in ways that make us go Ah Ha!

When I saw this news I shouted Ah Ha!Ah Ha!
We are not the only ones who appreciate you.

You chose wisely Cornell

The ego, the unbearable ego!

I’ve been flying without a parachute

The courage, the indomitable courage!

Congratulations, Professor. May you continue to fly high and far.

Marvellous news! Mazal tov Professor! May you go from strength to strength both in your academic career and in your invaluable blogging.

Congrats good sir.

Congratulations! Keep up the good work.

Congratulations indeed!

I am so happy for you Prof! You are a great intellect and you deserve recognition! I hope this “promotion” makes things a bit easier for you and brings some security with it.


Wow! Congratulations! It’s well-deserved.
I always assumed you had tenure, which is why you were so outspoken. Good for Cornell Law.

Add my congratulations to all of those already noted. Thanks for overcoming the liberal influence and prevailing with your views.

You and Lino A. Graglia at UT Austin are two of favorite legal people. Graglia has ruffled more feathers than most in academia especially here in Austin.

Irregardless, it is the pursuit of truth and common sense that drives us all…

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | April 26, 2013 at 3:22 pm


Stay healthy and don’t burn out. We need you on that wall.

Cheerful in Marin | April 26, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Congratulations Professor – this well deserved recognition reflects well on Cornell Law. Thank you for the daily inspiration and edification.

HABEAS CORPUS! Are you sure you haven’t undergone the Stepford process? Why else would they have promoted a conservative? 😉

All kidding aside, Many kudos to you for standing up under the pressure and allowing us to make our voices heard as well. Congratulations on your promotion to Clinical Professor as well, well done!

TrooperJohnSmith | April 26, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwww! Haaaaaail yeah!

Now that the stereotypical northeastern view of us Texans is satisfied, please accept my warmest and most heartfelt congratulations. Bravery and guts is one thing to have if you aren’t afraid of losing your livelihood, but it’s altogether a bolder and more magnificent thing when you are literally laying it all on the line.

Bravo, sir!

Well done, Professor.

And did that video ever hurt my eyes. And ears.

Oh, yay! Congratulations, Professor Jacobson. ::: does happy dance :::

[…] Congratulations to William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection, whose status as a law professor at Cornell was just upgraded. […]

Professor J.: CONGRATULATIONS, Sir!!! I am continually thankful and grateful for your steadfast trudging on this wonderful blog. You THE Man..!

Prof. J, Congrats! Score one for principle and truth. A daily pleasure to read LI.

CONGRATULATIONS Professor Jacobson for being brave and winning! And thank you for encouraging the analysis, intelligence, and absolutely bright, right witticisms of your blog. I won’t own a TV anymore – too much forced feeding. Legal Insurrection has my five star rating.

Does Tiny Tim get residuals for the beautiful song accompanying that fantastic victory dance?

Congratulations! It’s encouraging to hear that some kind of academic freedom still exists–I really am surprised to hear that (sad to say).

I had a friend who had to “sit home” for a long time due to serious eye problems but she’s been doing great for a long time now. That must have been extremely scary and I hope that’s behind you now. I, myself, had to switch to a retina specialist several years ago when I was diagnosed as “borderline” macular degeneration which has NOT progressed, thank G-d.