June 9, 2008

"Outsider art" gets counted as a thesis at the ultimate insider place: Harvard Law School.

Is this the education you want your lawyer to have? It's lawyerly: looking for loopholes.

IN THE COMMENTS: George underlines a point I only suggested:
It's not Outsider Art.

To be an Outsider Artist, you must possess some combination of the following:

a) an affinity for religious vision(s), especially if they involve Jesus, the Rapture, blood, tree roots, and devils;
b) no formal art training;
c) a grave illness/accident (ideally involving paralysis or loss of a limb;
d) alcoholism;
e) be from the South;
f) have little or no education and absolutely no law degree (unless thereafter you are forcibly imprisoned in a mental institution for 50 years and upon your death the bulk of your work (paper clip lint sculptures) is burned by insensitive orderlies);
g) be white or preferably black and lived a life of isolation from modernity;
h) be willing to do what gallery owners and auctioneers tell you to do;
i) concoct the most positively lurid depictions of sexual organs and acts;
j) wear clothes you have painted;
k) build electromagnetic energy devices and concrete statues in and around your polka-dotted shotgun shack;
l) invent a name for yourself; and
m) be mentally ill or at least seem that way to white-wine sipping Yuppies from Connecticut and Atlanta.

Well delineated, George. And now it occurs to me that law schools might want to enhance diversity by admitting Outsider Law Students.

7 comments:

former law student said...

Do these drawings substitute for the written work requirement? That would be bizarre if true.

They're quite nice, by the way. I was afraid they would be stick figures or something. He put a lot of work into them; why not give him some credit hours for it? Probably just as valuable as a summer abroad.

Pogo said...

"He's been hired for a prestigious two-year judicial clerkship with Martha L. Walters, Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court.

Shocker, that.

George said...

It's not Outsider Art.

To be an Outsider Artist, you must possess some combination of the following:

a) an affinity for religious vision(s), especially if they involve Jesus, the Rapture, blood, tree roots, and devils;
b) no formal art training;
c) a grave illness/accident (ideally involving paralysis or loss of a limb;
d) alcoholism;
e) be from the South;
f) have little or no education and absolutely no law degree (unless thereafter you are forcibly imprisoned in a mental institution for 50 years and upon your death the bulk of your work (paper clip lint sculptures) is burned by insensitive orderlies);
g) be white or preferably black and lived a life of isolation from modernity;
h) be willing to do what gallery owners and auctioneers tell you to do;
i) concoct the most positively lurid depictions of sexual organs and acts;
j) wear clothes you have painted;
k) build electromagnetic energy devices and concrete statues in and around your polka-dotted shotgun shack;
l) invent a name for yourself; and
m) be mentally ill or at least seem that way to white-wine sipping Yuppies from Connecticut and Atlanta.

Ann Althouse said...

I agree that this is not outsider art. I put it in quotes but wish I'd hit harder on this point. I'm going to front page that, George.

somefeller said...

The third year paper requirement at HLS is really a waste of time. Most people never take it out of their files after graduation, except for a few who revise it a bit to get it published in a journal. What a 3L produces to fulfill that requirement doesn't say anything about what kind of lawyer they will be.

It would be a better use of time for Harvard to abolish that requirement and replace it with a requirement to take something useful, like a trial advocacy workshop or a meaty course like Secured Transactions. Kudos to this kid if he got the school to allow him to submit his artwork to fulfill the requirement, instead of a dull treatise almost no one will read.

RR Ryan said...

He's far too good to be the next Howard Finster.

knoxwhirled said...

build electromagnetic energy devices and concrete statues in and around your polka-dotted shotgun shack
lol

If I had a nickel for every Howard Finster impersonator out there. Enough already!