IndyLaw Net is an independent weblog written and managed by students and alumni of the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, serving the IU Law-Indy community.

We welcome and encourage comments... Please check out ILN's commenting policy

Editor-in-chief, webmaster:
Lucas Sayre

Associate editors:
Karl Born

Contributors:
Karl Born
Brian Deiwert
Lucas Sayre
Kelly Scanlan
Nathan Van Sell

Links:

IU-Indy Law
Prof. Jeff Cooper
Daily Contentions
In the Agora
Commentary Track
Justin Gifford
Jelly Beans & Corduroy
Joe Delamater
Just Playin'
Obiter Dictum
Ryan Strup
The Sleepy Sage
Waiting for the Punchline
Myron's Mind
TV Law
Radio-N8

Other Law Students
IrishLaw
The Rattler
Ambivalent Imbroglio
John Branch
Phil Carter
De Novo
Paul Gutman
Kathryn Janeway
Jewish Buddha
The Kitchen Cabinet
Law Dork
letters from babylon
Letters of Marque
Mixtape Marathon
Notes from the Underground
Andrew Raff
Sua Sponte
Three Years of Hell
Unlearned Hand
Waddling Thunder

Legal Academics
Jack Balkin
Jeff Cooper
Rick Hasen
LawMeme
Lawrence Lessig
Eric Muller
Glenn Reynolds
D. Gordon Smith
Lawrence Solum
Peter Tillers
The Volokh Conspiracy
David Wagner
Tung Yin
White Collar Crime prof blog

Other Academic-types
Andrew R. Cline
Crooked Timber
Brad DeLong
Daniel W. Drezner
Joseph Duemer
Amitai Etzioni
Rebecca Goetz
Kieran Healy
Mark A. R. Kleiman
Brett Marston
History News Network
Michael Tinkler

Other Lawblogs
Program for Judicial Awareness
Howard J. Bashman
Stuart Buck
Janell Grenier
Sam Heldman
Tech Law Advisor
Denise Howell
Ken Lammers
Legal Reader
Math Class for Poets
Nathan Newman
Statutory Construction Zone
Indiana Law Blog
Timothy Sandefur
Fritz Schranck
Stop the Bleating
TalkLeft
Pejman Yousefzadeh

Legal News
The Jurist
CNN - Law
FindLaw
Law.com
lexisONE

Sapere aude - dare to be wise
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Roisman/Bradford Saga, Cont'd
Posted 11:05 PM by Joshua Claybourn
[Editor's Note: The following commentary reflects the view of the author alone, and does not necessarily reflect the views or official positions of other writers at this site, Indiana University or its affiliates.]

Update: Prof. Roisman writes, "I am not wealthy and I come from New York, not New England."

The Indianapolis Star carries a story that has long been a subject of conversation at Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis. It involves two of the schools most outspoken professors - Florence Roisman and William Bradford. Roisman, by her own acount "the most to-the-left person" on the faculty, and Bradford, a relatively conservative professor, do not see eye to eye. The differences have led to a nasty dispute that has finally found its way to the community outside of the law school walls.

Roisman and Bradford are as different as night and day. Roisman is a wealthy New Englander, short in stature and over two decades Bradford's senior. Most of all, though, Roisman is an unabashed liberal. Bradford, on the other hand, is a conservative who generally supports Bush's "war on terror" and the Iraq war. He's a young, athletic man of Native American decent with an imposing figure, but gentle personality. He's fought in two wars, at times behind enemy lines, and earned the Silver Star. Perhaps the only thing the two have in common is their stellar education. Both earned degrees at Harvard Law and both are top notch academics.

In terms of teaching the law, Roisman is one of the finest I've had in two years of law school. She has a remarkable ability to impart the law, both theoretically and practically (a rare combination). I've not had the opportunity to have Prof. Bradford, but every indication is that he is equally capable in the classroom. Indeed, students voted him best new professor. So why must these two top notch educators be embroiled in such a public fight?

Despite what the Star article tries to suggest, their dispute does not center around Roisman's refusal to vote for tenure for Bradford. Why? Bradford has not even applied for tenure, and besides, faculty members do not typically apply for tenure until their sixth year of teaching (Bradford has just completed his third). In other words, the piece by Ruth Holladay is a non-story undeserving of wider publicity. Inter-faculty disagreements are not exactly riviting news, nor should they be.

But this disagreement does remain fertile ground for discussion on this site, as it significantly impacts the school's community. As I've already stated, Prof. Roisman is among the best at teaching the law, but her well documented antics outside of the classroom are controversial, to say the least. She demanded, successfully and without prior discussion, that a Christmas tree be removed from the school's atrium because of its alleged insensitivity. When given an opportunity, she consistently advocates a more liberal minded Constitutional/statutory interpretation. She openly supported Ward Churchill, the anti-American Colorado professor who called 9/11 victims "little Eichmanns," not just for his academic freedom, but for his underlying position. And I've heard numerous reports of Roisman privately urging students not to work for "the man" in prosecutorial or certain private sector positions.

I do not doubt the sincerity of Prof. Roisman's desire to bring about a better law school environment and to advocate a position she passionately believes is superior and just. But I can say with certainty that her crusade has significantly altered the mood among the law school student body. Whether this is a positive change to be embraced by the faculty and administration is an important question that needs to be addressed. Either way, though, this is hardly a story deserving of Indy Star attention.

As seen in the
National Jurist
and on
FOXNews

Indianapolis Help Wanted




Archives:
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
April 2007
May 2007
March 2010






Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com