I'm trying to examine why I find the term so annoying. It's not just that I don't want the thing I do to be the retronym. It's that I hear something insulting in the word, as if we who are planted in the classroom are pod people, to be distinguished from the real people out in the real world doing real things.
And then it's the fact that we do not have podia at the law school. (Don't confuse "podium" with "lectern.") Every elevated platform for a teacher to stand on was ripped out long ago because it was seen as noncompliant with the Americans for Disabilities Act. So every classroom that had seats configured with sightlines designed for a professor on a podium got a flattened front end in case there might be a teacher in a wheelchair. That means there are some rooms that are utterly surrealistic from the teacher's point of view. You feel like you are down in a well with the students banked up to the ceiling. You have to keep reminding yourself to crank your head up now and then to make eye contact with the students in the back couple of rows.
To call me a podium teacher and deny me a podium....
Ah, well, all in the name of leveling.
You've got to worry about "the ways in which legal education contributes to the reproduction of illegitimate hierarchy in the bar and in society," don't you? That quote is from Duncan Kennedy's "Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy: A Polemic Against the System." An absolute must-read from the 1980s. Here's more:
[E]verything taught [in law school], except the formal rules themselves and the argumentative techniques for manipulating them, is policy and nothing more. It follows that the classroom distinction between the unproblematic legal case and the policy oriented case is a mere artifact: each could as well be taught in the opposite way. And the curricular distinction between the “nature” of contract law as highly legal and technical by contrast, say, with environmental law, is equally a mystification.
These errors have a bias in favor of the center-liberal program of limited reform of the market economy and pro forma gestures toward racial and sexual equality. The bias arises because law school teaching makes the choice of hierarchy and domination, which is implicit in the adoption of the rules of property, contract and tort, look as though it flows from legal reasoning, rather than from politics and economics. The bias is reenforced when the center-liberal reformist program of regulation is presented as equally authoritative, but somehow more policy oriented, and therefore less fundamental.
The message is that the system is basically OK, since we have patched up the few areas open to abuse, and that it has a limited but important place for value-oriented debate about further change and improvement. If there is to be more fundamental questioning, it is relegated to the periphery of history or philosophy. The real world is kept at bay by treating clinical legal education, which might bring in a lot of information threatening to the cosy [sic] liberal consensus, as free legal drudge work for the local bar or as mere skills training.