Harvard Federalist Society: Intellectual Diversity and the Legal Academy

The Harvard Chapter of the Federalist Society is hosting a very important conference tomorrow on intellectual diversity in the legal academy.

Many people realize that legal academia “leans” to the left. But even alumni — indeed, even major donors — are often unaware of the extent of the imbalance. At Georgetown, for example, the ratio of liberals to conservatives/libertarians is roughly 116 to 3. At most top schools, the ratio is similar. One might quibble about definitions, but even on the broadest conception of “conservative” or “libertarian” or, let’s just say, “right of the American center,” most top law schools can count such professors on one hand. In public law, and particularly constitutional law, the disparity is even more extreme.

As a rule, professors don’t like to talk about this. And so it has fallen to the excellent students of the Harvard Federalist Society Chapter to conceive and organize this first-rate conference. Here is the agenda:

Panel I: Problem: is there a lack of intellectual diversity in law school faculties?
12:00-1:00 p.m.

Jack Goldsmith (Harvard Law School)
James Lindgren (Northwestern University Law School)
Mark Tushnet (Harvard Law School)
Moderator: David Barron (Harvard Law School)

Panel II: Effects: should law schools care about intellectual diversity?
1:30-3:00 p.m.

Richard Fallon (Harvard Law School)
Victoria Nourse (Georgetown University Law Center)
Michael Paulsen (University of St. Thomas School of Law)
Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz (Georgetown University Law Center)
Moderator: Stuart Taylor (National Journal)

Panel III: Solutions: encouraging intellectual diversity
3:30-5:00 p.m.

Paul Campos (University of Colorado Law School)
George Dent (Case Western Reserve University School of Law)
Robert P. George (Harvard Law School)
Jeannie Suk (Harvard Law School)
Moderator: Steven Calabresi (Northwestern University Law School)

Keynote Address
Sherif Girgis (Yale Law School)
5:30-6:00 p.m.

6:15-7:00 p.m.

This conference is open to the public. More details are available here.