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Marc Galanter, John and Rylla Bosshard Professor of Law and Professor of South Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and LSE Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics and P

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Marc Galanter, John and Rylla Bosshard Professor of Law and Professor of South Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and LSE Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics and P Powered By Docstoc
					            LAWCROSSING
            THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH



   LAW STAR                                                                                          www.lawcrossing.com     1. 800.973.1177




                             Marc Galanter, John and Rylla Bosshard Professor
                             of Law and Professor of South Asian Studies at
                             the University of Wisconsin-Madison and LSE
                             Centennial Professor at the London School of
                             Economics and Political Science.
                             [by Regan Morris]
                             What do you call 600 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?




A good start.                                      legal jokes for about 5 years, and Lowering      Originally from Philadelphia, Galanter
                                                   the Bar is just one of the many books he has      studied philosophy as an undergraduate
This week, LawCrossing speaks with law             written.                                          student at the University of Chicago and only
professor Marc Galanter, the author of a new                                                         decided to go to law school once he realized
book dealing with the increasingly popular         Considered one of the leading American            he did not want to become a philosopher.
and hostile lawyer jokes, about his career as      experts on Indian law, Galanter went to India     Galanter’s published studies include “Why
a professor, writer, and expert in Indian law.     on a Fulbright scholarship after graduating       the ‘Haves’ Come Out Ahead: Speculations
                                                   from the University of Chicago Law School         on the Limits of Legal Change,” an oft-cited
In Lowering the Bar: Lawyer Jokes & Legal
                                                   in 956.                                          article in legal literature. Along with Thomas
Culture, law professor Marc Galanter
                                                                                                     Palay, he co-authored Tournament of
documents and analyzes legal jokes, which          “I was always interested in India; and back
                                                                                                     Lawyers, which chronicles and explains the
he says have become more prevalent and             then, there was [former Indian Prime
                                                                                                     growth and transformation of large law firms
biting since the mid 980s. With the rise          Minister Jawaharlal] Nehru. It was an
                                                                                                     in the United States.
of technology and increasing numbers of            exciting time,” he said.
lawyers, Galanter said there is often a public
                                                                                                     His books on India include Competing
perception about lawyers being greedy or too       “Going to India is like shifting from black
                                                                                                     Equalities: Law and the Backward Classes in
powerful. He said that attorneys should try        and white to Technicolor. It’s the incredible
                                                                                                     India and Law and Society in Modern India.
not to take the jokes personally.                  vividness of everything, and what the Indians
                                                                                                     Galanter is also an honorary professor of the
                                                   have accomplished by creating constitutional
Because some people would give more                                                                  National Law School of India, and he served
                                                   liberty and rule of law is one of the greatest
regard to a snake than to an attorney, he said                                                       as advisor to the Ford Foundation on legal
                                                   legal accomplishments of our time.”
that people in the legal profession should                                                           services and human rights programs in India.
work to change the negative perception.
                                                   Galanter said he became the leading
                                                                                                     For attorneys interested in a career in
                                                   American expert on Indian law because “no
So why exactly have lawyer jokes become so                                                           academia, Galanter advises that they not wait
                                                   one else was interested at the time.” Still,
popular?                                                                                             too long to start publishing articles.
                                                   he thinks that the increasing interest in
                                                   India will create much closer ties between
“I’ve always liked jokes. These jokes are a                                                          “I write a lot, and that’s what I love to do,”
                                                   India and the United States. He also served
part of our world, but we really don’t quite                                                         he said.
                                                   as a legal adviser to the Indian government
understand why,” he said.
                                                   for litigation surrounding the Bhopal gas
                                                                                                     “When practitioners come to a law school
“Figuring this out is very, very gratifying. It    disaster in 984.
                                                                                                     the question is, ‘Are they going to be able to
was a fun project to do—to take a piece of
                                                                                                     produce academic writing?’
the world that you’ve never really questioned      Galanter’s expertise goes beyond India and
or focused on very much, to figure out a           joke books. He is a prolific writer and teaches
                                                                                                     “Even though they’ve written a lot of briefs
pattern.”                                          various courses in civil procedure, contracts,
                                                                                                     and so forth, it’s still a question. I would say
                                                   dispute settlement, and the sociology of
                                                                                                     faculties hate not giving tenure; they hate to
Galanter, a professor at the University of         law. He is a passionate student of litigation,
                                                                                                     turn someone down for tenure.”
Wisconsin-Madison, has been collecting             lawyers, and legal culture.



PAGE                                                                                                                              continued on back
          LAWCROSSING
           THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH



   LAW STAR                                                                                     www.lawcrossing.com     1. 800.973.1177




Galanter noted that faculties will want          tremendous job with lots of intellectual       “Society sort of tolerates law professors
assurance that new hires will be able to         stimulation.”                                  mouthing off as experts on anything. People
produce quality writing; hence, writing is the                                                  expect them to be able to. Law professors
best way to get a professorial position.         Galanter said that the only downside to        really get a free pass to talk about all kinds
                                                 teaching law is the exams. Unlike professors   of issues as if they were experts,” he said.
Galanter has been with the University of         in other postgraduate fields, law professors
Wisconsin since 975, and he also teaches at     grade their own students’ exams and are not    “No, they’re not experts; they’re kind of
the London School of Economics and Political     allowed to hire graduate students to do the    generalists. I’m sure they’re experts about
Science. He has also taught at the University    work for them.                                 some things, but they get to talk about all
at Buffalo Law School, the University of                                                        kinds of things.”
Chicago Law School, Columbia University          “When you’re teaching a big class, reading a
School of Law, and Stanford Law School.          three-hour exam for 0 people can kill your
                                                 winter vacation,” he said.                     Galanter said that although he is often asked
“People want to hire people they think will                                                     to comment on the litigation explosion or
succeed, so you’ve got to show them you can      He also said that another perk of being a      general topics about the legal profession, he
do this,” he said.                               law professor is that you are often asked to   is rarely asked about India.
                                                 comment on events in the media.
“I will say one thing though: Being a law
professor is a really good deal. It’s a




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Description: Marc Galanter is a law professor of South Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and professor writer and expert in Indian law.
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