Category Archive 'Yale Law School'

08 Oct 2018

Slate: “Tiger Mom’s Husband is a Witch!”

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Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld.

If anybody doubts that #MeToo Feminism amounts to witch-hunting, he just needs to read this article in Slate, describing (with avidity) how Yale Law Professor Jed Rubenfeld (husband of “Tiger Mom” Amy Chua) needed to be investigated for making a young lady “uncomfortable” through personal conversations or by complimenting her (!) The beast!

One afternoon late in her first year at Yale Law School, Linda sat down to create a contemporaneous record of a conversation she’d had the night before. She’d met with one of her professors, Jed Rubenfeld, in his office after hours at his suggestion, following repeated attempts to see him in the afternoon about a paper she was working on for him. Rubenfeld had made her uncomfortable throughout the year, commenting on her appearance and asking her about his. While friends had told her she had reason to feel creeped out by his behavior, Linda wondered whether she was being too sensitive and agreed to the 8 p.m. meeting. She really needed to make progress on the paper, after all. But given the queasy feeling she already had, she asked her partner to pick her up that night, and to come looking for her if he hadn’t heard from her after a reasonable amount of time.

Per Linda’s record, written the next day and shared with us recently, her conversation with Rubenfeld that evening quickly veered away from her paper. The professor asked her, “Why aren’t you married?” When Linda tried to steer the conversation to safe ground—mentioning how young she was and inquiring about his own marriage to fellow Yale Law School professor Amy Chua—Rubenfeld brought the focus back to her. He asked if she’d been the smartest girl in her high school, then if she’d been the prettiest. When she again deflected, he asked if her smarts had made things tough with the guys in school. The conversation meandered from there and never returned to her paper. Eventually, Rubenfeld said they should get going. By the time they left, Linda’s partner had come to look for her.

Linda, who today is a recent YLS alum, spent the rest of that academic year agonizing over what to do about her uncomfortable interactions with Rubenfeld, and experiencing more of them. One in particular sticks out: The Saturday night after exams wrapped up, Rubenfeld called her cellphone—the first time he had ever done that, she says. He said they’d never gotten a chance to talk about that paper and asked if she was free to do that now. Linda said she was busy preparing to leave New Haven and couldn’t meet, but said she was happy to talk on the phone. They had what Linda describes as a 30-second conversation about the paper before Rubenfeld quickly ended the call, saying he’d see her in September.

That summer, Linda spoke to Yale Law School’s Title IX coordinator. (Linda is a pseudonym, and to preserve her anonymity, we have chosen not to name the Title IX coordinator at the time, as it would identify her class year.) Her goal was twofold: She wanted to start a paper trail about Rubenfeld’s behavior, and she was looking for advice on what her options were for engaging the school’s Title IX process, the government-mandated means of investigating and stopping gender-based discrimination. According to Linda, the Title IX coordinator at the time told her at the very beginning of the call that if Linda named the professor during their conversation and the allegations were sufficiently serious, the coordinator would have to file a formal report. Once that process began, the coordinator said, Linda’s anonymity could not be guaranteed.
This was several years before #MeToo, and the prevailing wisdom at the time was that women should just lean in and push through when things got weird.

This put Linda in an enormously tough position. Schools need to protect the accused as well as the accusers, so it makes sense that Yale would ask women, or anyone alleging misbehavior, to attach their names to allegations. But it also makes sense that attaching her name would be incredibly difficult for Linda: Rubenfeld hadn’t just advised her on a paper. He also taught one of her courses, and he’d been her “small group” professor during the fall semester. (At Yale, each first-year law student is assigned to a 16- or 17-person small group. Those students take all of their courses together, including one course with just their group that’s led by one professor.) Until that April late-night meeting, Linda had generally considered Rubenfeld her advocate. She was counting on him to be one of her references on her clerkship applications, which she needed to submit soon after returning to campus in the fall. She worried that if she made a report or even told the Title IX coordinator his name, it could get back to Rubenfeld and she’d lose his support. This could undermine her chance to earn a prestigious clerkship with a federal judge—which would then make it harder for her to continue to pursue competitive opportunities, like the holy grail for Yale Law School students: a clerkship on the Supreme Court.

Linda was left with two terrible options: She could protect her clerkship prospects by subjecting herself to more unwelcome flirtation, or she could ask Yale to investigate Rubenfeld.

RTWT

Amazing stuff.

When I was at Yale, I had a professor who had a wonderful voice and a superb accent in the poetry of another language. His seminar was filled with gorgeous female grad students beautiful enough to be models, who were commonly visibly aroused, breathing heavily, as he read aloud. He was a lady-killer, with a glint in his eye. The girls adored him, and he made one of them after another his lover. I suspect he left behind a lot of happy memories, but, it’s a good thing he’s gone. Boy! they’d string him up today.

01 Feb 2013

“F*** You, Fellow Yale Law Students!”

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Hallway, Yale Law School

A letter posted to the Yale Law School listserv by an alleged soon-to-graduate third year student expressed hostility toward his politically correct schoolmates in such vehement and colorful terms that it was published on the legal blog Above the Law and is being discussed on other sites (1 and 2).

Dear tYLS or tWall or whatever dumb shit you call it these days:

I am a second-semester 3L. How exciting. In a surprising turn of events, I decided I want to work for a couple of years at a law firm but eventually try to become a published author, or, if that fails, get a Ph.D. and try to become a professor.

Why am I telling you all of this? It’s because I wanted to thank you all for inspiring me to follow my passions and my dreams. Specifically, these passions and dreams are writing and making fun of people.

I realized I hate law and politics. Why? Because I literally hate like 90% of you, and honestly I don’t really feel like going down the path that involves being stuck with even more people like you who literally have no sense of humor and get offended over literally everything. You think Clarence Thomas hates YLS? Clarence Thomas ain’t got SHIT on me.

I’ve watched as you guys get offended over the dumbest shit and wax political over the dumbest shit. LOL. I mean wow, and seriously, this fucking school. If the sticks up your asses were any larger, you guys would give Muslim extremists a run for their money. …

Read the whole thing.

17 Oct 2010

Batman is a Yale Graduate

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The Hon. Mark Dwyer, Judge of the Court of Claims (Supreme Court of the State of New York, Yale Law 1975) clearly still collects and reads comic books, since he discovered and informed the Yale Law Library that on page 16 of Detective Comics No. 439 (March 1974), there is a framed “Diploma of Law” from Yale University in Gotham City on the wall of Bruce Wayne’s study.

Judge Dwyer’s discovery was featured recently in an exhibition in the Yale Law Library‘s Rare Book Gallery.

Hat tip to Ann Tiffin Taylor.

30 Mar 2009

Obama Appoints Internationalist Yale Law School Dean to be State Department Legal Advisor

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Meghan Clyne, in the New York Post, sees the appointment of ultraleftist Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh to the top legal position in the State Department as a step toward putting Koh on the Supreme Court.

Judges should interpret the Constitution according to other nations’ legal “norms.” Sharia law could apply to disputes in US courts. The United States constitutes an “axis of disobedience” along with North Korea and Saddam-era Iraq.

Those are the views of the man on track to become one of the US government’s top lawyers: Harold Koh.

President Obama has nominated Koh — until last week the dean of Yale Law School — to be the State Department’s legal adviser. In that job, Koh would forge a wide range of international agreements on issues from trade to arms control, and help represent our country in such places as the United Nations and the International Court of Justice.

It’s a job where you want a strong defender of America’s sovereignty. But that’s not Koh. He’s a fan of “transnational legal process,” arguing that the distinctions between US and international law should vanish. …

Koh has called America’s focus on the War on Terror “obsessive.” In 2004, he listed countries that flagrantly disregard international law — “most prominently, North Korea, Iraq, and our own country, the United States of America,” which he branded “the axis of disobedience.”

He has also accused President George Bush of abusing international law to justify the invasion of Iraq, comparing his “advocacy of unfettered presidential power” to President Richard Nixon’s. And that was the first Bush — Koh was attacking the 1991 operation to liberate Kuwait, four days after fighting began in Operation Desert Storm.

Koh has also praised the Nicaraguan Sandinistas’ use in the 1980s of the International Court of Justice to get Congress to stop funding the Contras. Imagine such international lawyering by rogue nations like Iran, Syria, North Korea and Venezuela today, and you can see the danger in Koh’s theories.

Koh, a self-described “activist,” would plainly promote his views aggressively once at State. He’s not likely to feel limited by the letter of the law — in 1994, he told The New Republic: “I’d rather have [former Supreme Court Justice Harry] Blackmun, who uses the wrong reasoning in Roe [v. Wade] to get the right results, and let other people figure out the right reasoning.”

Worse, the State job might be a launching pad for a Supreme Court nomination. (He’s on many liberals’ short lists for the high court.) Since this job requires Senate confirmation, it’s certainly a useful trial run.

More background, from Volokh.


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