Sorry, I don't think this is a law professor. I think it's a law student. Why do I think this? Well, I remember the "Anonymous Lawyer" who was supposedly a partner at a big law firm. The blogger liked to talk about how contemptuously he treated underlings. It turned out the blogger was a law student with experience being one of those underlings as a summer associate in a law firm.
This new blog has the same feeling to me. The blog tries to take the perspective of the professor as he mistreats the students. It sounds like a student uncharitably projecting thoughts onto the professor:
Now I’m sure there are certain paragons of pedagogic virtue who conscientiously keep up with the latest legislative and judicial developments in the classes they teach – who spend countless hours pouring over new statutes and opinions and law review articles, to make sure that their knowledge of adverse possession or promissory estoppel or the felony murder rule is well and truly up to date. I don’t know too many law professors like that. The typical professor teaches the same classes year after year. Not only that -- he uses the same materials year after year. I’m not going to bother to count – this is law school after all, and we don’t do empirical research -- but I bet that more than half the cases I teach in my required first-year course were cases I first read as a 1L 25 years ago. After all I use the same casebook my professor used. I even repeat some of his better jokes (thanks Bill). And, with very few exceptions, I know nothing about the formal legal material that I haven’t gleaned from reading the casebook and the teaching manual. This is how much preparation I’m doing this summer for the classes I’ll teach this coming academic year: None. And that, I guarantee you, is the median amount of time law professors have spent over the past three months preparing for the classes they’re about to start teaching again.First of all, I don't think a real law professor at a good school would write "pouring" for "poring." But what also rings false is the lawprof's seeming knowledge of how all the other professors are preparing for class. I've never heard any lawprof admit he just reads the casebook and the teacher's manual. Asserting that as if he knows makes me suspect that he's faking a lot.
Now, let's see what some of the other blogs are saying? Do they suspect fakery? Orin Kerr says:
Some of the author’s posts are interesting, but then a lot of the claims are pretty hyperbolic. Plus, the idea of law professors blogging truthfully about being law professors is a large part of what law professor blogs have always been about, so I don’t quite get the “speaking truth to power” tone.David Lat says:
Is it possible that LawProf isn’t really a law prof, but just a bitter and unemployed law grad masquerading as an academic? People have been known to misrepresent their identities on the internet. For example, I pretended to be a judge-obsessed woman working at a law firm, while blogging as Article III Groupie of Underneath Their Robes, when in reality I was a judge-obsessed man working as a federal prosecutor.Yeah, too much trouble. A real lawprof blogging doesn't strain to sound like a lawprof.
With respect to Inside the Law School Scam, it appears that this is not the case. First, the site has the ring of truth to it; there’s enough behind-the-scenes and historical knowledge about legal academia to suggest the author truly is a law professor. (If not a law prof, the writer has gone to an awful lot of trouble to sound like one.)
(And, yes, I did see that Inside Higher Ed says: "He agreed to reveal his identity to Inside Higher Ed, and his description is accurate.")
UPDATE: Anonymous Law Prof outs himself as Paul Campos.