The text below is supposed to be a comment in this thread, but Paul Caron tells me that for unknown technical reasons it isn’t showing up.
Although I more than suspect that at this point our amiable host is reposting this stuff for entertainment purposes only, I’ll play along, for the sake of The Public Record:
My original response to Diamond’s painfully inept critique of Noam Scheiber’s New York Times article made four points:
(1) Median lawyer SALARIES have been essentially flat since the mid-1990s.
(2) Median lawyer SALARIES have grown about half as fast as the average salaries of American workers in general.
(3) Lawyer EARNINGS, including those of self-employed as well as salaried lawyers, have declined markedly since the mid-1990s.
(4) Steve Diamond’s knowledge of the labor market for American lawyers is woefully deficient, as illustrated by his estimate that 4% of lawyers are in solo practices (the true figure is 37%).
All these points are correct. Someone holding himself to the highest standards of intellectual argument (which of course anyone claiming to be an academic ought to always try to do) would admit that comparing median lawyer salaries to average worker salaries was a mistake – an inadvertent one in this case – since the apples to apples comparison would of course be median to median. In the context of this particular set of claims it’s a trivial mistake, since median worker salaries also outstripped median lawyer salaries, and the whole matter of the relationship between lawyer salaries and salaries in general was a minor side issue in my post, but it was a mistake nevertheless.
Diamond wants desperately to focus on this trivial tangential issue, to deflect attention from two facts: that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about when he opines on the labor market for law school graduates, and, much more culpably, that he fraudulently mischaracterized my criticisms of him by misquoting me via editorial elision, and failure to link to those criticisms.
Diamond is now whining piteously about “the damage that [Campos] is attempting to impose on my career and reputation by dropping the academic F-bomb,” i.e., fraud. I can no more damage Steve Diamond’s reputation than I can damage Donald Trump’s, and for the same reason.
Diamond has, over and over again, proven himself to be someone whose willingness to make false, libelous, and indeed deranged arguments is so pronounced that it’s impossible for anyone to “damage” his scholarly reputation to nearly the extent that he has done so through his own contributions to the literature.
Here’s a brief list of a few of the things that Diamond has argued in recent years:
That it’s a “fact” that critics of the status quo in American legal education are “out to destroy the American law school and higher education itself as an institution. That is the clear goal of the Koch Brothers backed Cato Institute.”
The reference to Cato is a product of Diamond’s bizarre obsession with the fact that a few years ago Brian Tamanaha and me participated in a panel debate on the state of American legal education at the Cato Institute. Diamond has since brought this up numerous times on various internet sites, very much in the style of a paranoid conspiracy theorist. Speaking of which, in the same comment quoted above he goes on to say that “anyone who tries to deny that [the law school critics are out to destroy higher education] is either collaborating in that effort or naive beyond belief. I have made this crystal clear from the earliest days in which I joined this debate. In the longer run I believe the intent is to undermine the rule of law itself.”
Now to be fair I don’t know if it would be more accurate to characterize these sorts of claims as fraudulent or profoundly stupid and crazy.
Moving right along, Diamond has also argued that law professors who criticize the legal academic status quo either secretly want to bring back Jim Crow, because their suggested reforms will supposedly reduce the number of people of color attending law school, or in the alternative are as an objective matter working toward this goal, even if, as he suggests generously, they may not actually favor the revival of American apartheid themselves:
Diamond has also claimed that I personally want law schools to discriminate against women in their admissions policies, so that law school classrooms will return to being almost all-male, as they were fifty years ago:
“After all we could very easily solve the so-called “oversupply” problem by returning to the days of The Paper Chase (“Loudly, Mr. Hart!”), where women, blacks and Hispanics were a “discrete and insular minority” among law students. Professor Campos of the University of Colorado, who maintains a website called Inside the Law School Scam, seemed to go so far as to endorse such an approach, at least with respect to women.”
(I would link to Diamond directly but he has, in an unusual outburst of prudence, made his blog impossible to read for anyone who he has not registered to view his site).
Then we have Diamond’sj defense of his law school’s egregiously fraudulent graduate employment reporting practices:
Again, to be fair, it’s possible that Diamond is so incapable of actually understanding the subjects on which he opines that he doesn’t understand why it was outright fraud for Santa Clara to list almost all of the vast number of its graduates who were unemployed nine months after graduation as “not seeking employment,” back in the bad old days when USN wouldn’t count people categorized in this way against a school’s overall employment percentage.
I could go on but what would be the point? In a field rich with examples, Diamond provides an especially spectacular instance of one serious cost of the academic tenure system. That students at Santa Clara have to pay $75,000 a year to be “educated” by somebody like this is in its own small way as much of a scandal as anything else going on in legal academia right now.