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.
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