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LAWCROSSING            THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH   LAW STAR                                           ...
LAWCROSSING           THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH   LAW STAR                                            ...
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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 Political Science.

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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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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.

  1. 1. 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 15 years, and Lowering Originally from Philadelphia, Galanter the Bar is just one of the many books he has studied philosophy as an undergraduateThis week, LawCrossing speaks with law written. student at the University of Chicago and onlyprofessor Marc Galanter, the author of a new decided to go to law school once he realizedbook 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 “Whya 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-citedIn Lowering the Bar: Lawyer Jokes & Legal in 1956. article in legal literature. Along with ThomasCulture, law professor Marc Galanter Palay, he co-authored Tournament ofdocuments and analyzes legal jokes, which “I was always interested in India; and back Lawyers, which chronicles and explains thehe says have become more prevalent and then, there was [former Indian Prime growth and transformation of large law firmsbiting since the mid 1980s. 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 Competingperception about lawyers being greedy or too “Going to India is like shifting from black Equalities: Law and the Backward Classes inpowerful. 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 constitutionalBecause some people would give more National Law School of India, and he served liberty and rule of law is one of the greatestregard 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 “noSo 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 servedpart of our world, but we really don’t quite he said. as a legal adviser to the Indian governmentunderstand 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 1984. the question is, ‘Are they going to be able towas 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 andor 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 briefspattern.” 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 toGalanter, 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
  2. 2. LAWCROSSING THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH LAW STAR www.lawcrossing.com 1. 800.973.1177Galanter noted that faculties will want tremendous job with lots of intellectual “Society sort of tolerates law professorsassurance that new hires will be able to stimulation.” mouthing off as experts on anything. Peopleproduce quality writing; hence, writing is the expect them to be able to. Law professorsbest 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 professorsWisconsin since 1975, and he also teaches at grade their own students’ exams and are not “No, they’re not experts; they’re kind ofthe London School of Economics and Political allowed to hire graduate students to do the generalists. I’m sure they’re experts aboutScience. He has also taught at the University work for them. some things, but they get to talk about allat Buffalo Law School, the University of kinds of things.”Chicago Law School, Columbia University “When you’re teaching a big class, reading aSchool of Law, and Stanford Law School. three-hour exam for 120 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 orsucceed, so you’ve got to show them you can He also said that another perk of being a general topics about the legal profession, hedo 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 lawprofessor is a really good deal. It’s aPAGE

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