"[T]here is the danger that ELS scholars may be on their way to replicating an aspect of the CLS phenomenon of yesteryear, namely, forming a self-reinforcing mutual-admiration society, one which the rest of the legal academy (even we interdisciplinary-minded scholars!) finds increasingly mysterious and disconnected from the central normative and conceptual questions of legal scholarship and legal education."
ELS = Empirical Legal Studies.
CLS = Criticial Legal Studies.
I found that via the Empirical Legal Studies blog, which declines to offer any comment other than "Interesting." Okay. Nothing like defending yourself. Here's what I think: Academics have an interest in getting people to believe that what they do is central. Others — others who don't provide them with reinforcement and admiration — are over there, out of the mainstream — mysterious and disconnected.
Italics = Leiter's words or derivations from Leiter's words.
The ELS scholars mean to put themselves at the center and thereby make Leiter seem mysterious and disconnected, even as he would do that to them.