Our Secret Is Out:

From John Miller's column in this week's National Review (p. 44):

"Several universities have managed to poach talent by accepting conservatives rejected by more prestigious institutions. The law school at George Mason University, for example, has built an excellent faculty by spotting brainpower that others have overlooked."

More generally, the point here is that Moneyball principles apply to faculty appointments as much as they apply to baseball (as Paul Caron has observed). It just depends on recognizing the market imperfections that create the undervalued assets in a given market.

Just sent in my application to George Mason and looking forward to possibly taking advantage of some of that conservative brain power.

Is it true that they require all 1st year law students to take a grad level economics class?
10.19.2005 7:12pm
Todd "Hatteberg" Zywicki, eh?
10.19.2005 7:20pm
SB (www):

No, it's basically Econ 101 with no numbers and some law. If anyone mentions any sort of math (up to and including addition), the entire class will go into a panic.

Other than that, I don't think you would regret enrolling here. The faculty is indeed top notch, both in experience and teaching ability.
10.19.2005 7:24pm
nn (mail):
You might be amused to learn that in most of Europe, public universities are not allowed to offer different salaries to professors. Hence, minimal competition and minimal changes in the ability of schools to improve their relative ranking.
10.19.2005 7:25pm
SB (www):
I'd like to clarify that I definitely appreciated the Law &Econ course, since it provides a framework for the entire George Mason philosophy of legal instruction. However, it's definitely not at "graduate level" difficulty. It doesn't really compare with a traditional Econ class either, however.
10.19.2005 7:40pm
Goober (mail):
Can we expect the announcement of new GMU Dean Billy Beane?
10.19.2005 7:52pm
That's disappointing.
10.19.2005 10:09pm
My Law and Economics Professor was Walter Williams. It doesn't get much better than that for an entry-level course.
10.19.2005 11:07pm
GMUSL 2L (mail):
Don Boudreaux is pretty fantastic, himself.

I had enough econ before hand that I didn't really learn all that much in the L&E class, but sitting there and hearing Boudreaux talk about price "gouging" was well worth the credit-cost of the class.
10.20.2005 12:45am
cdow (mail):
To extend the "Moneyball" analogy, when I was going to Mason Law, the funniest line I heard about the school was that it was "the Montreal Expos" of law schools. i.e, they would devolop a lot of young professorial talent that would leave and go elsewhere for more money because GMU wouldn't pay up.
One thing to note is that the "Moneyball" philosophy was never brought to fruition with the small-market Oakland A's under Billy Beane, they always lost in the playoffs. It only succeded when employed by a deep-pockets team, the Boston Red Sox in 2004.

BTW, the Law &Econ class is a piece of cake for anyone who took Economics 101 in college.
10.20.2005 2:11am
ANM (mail):
It seems that GMU's law school is worlds better than its undergrad. Is that correct?
10.20.2005 3:08am
Thom (mail):
GMU, like any large public university that is not the state flagship instituion, has strengths and weaknesses (from school to school, from department to department, even within departments) that are substantial. In general, the GMU law school is better regarded than the undergrad programs.
10.20.2005 11:30am
SB (www):

My experience with Mason in the many years I've lived in Northern Virginia, and as a graduate of another Virginia institution for my undergraduate, is that Mason has attempted to distinguish itself by catering to the audience it has in Northern Virginia. As a relatively young school, Mason appears to have found its niche in very specialized programs which very often cater to the working professional. In that respect, Mason serves the needs of the NoVA community very well.

While I hasten to say any institution is better than any other (they all have their strengths and weaknesses), I hope this is a fair overview of where Mason's strengths are most likely to lie.
10.20.2005 7:14pm
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