01 April 2013

An Open Letter to Harvard & Yale

Good Day,

Thank you for your interest, but I am satisfied by my current employment and not interested in leaving Virginia to come to either of your schools. While I appreciate the offers of fully tenured employment and the salary proposals are impressive, I must ask you to stop this unseemly bidding war. Currently, the salaries you are both offering are high enough that they are basically indistinguishable. Were I interested, I would make the choice on merit - not the additional twenty thousand dollars blocks of money with which each of you keeps topping the other. You are rapidly approaching the point at which you will begin embarrassing yourselves and I must ask you to desist.

I understand that you both are desperate to find someone to teach criminal law and related classes who has actually spent time practicing law and has been the lead attorney on a few dozen juries. I also agree that the fact I have spent time as both a defense attorney and prosecutor gives me a good perspective from the trenches. In so far as we agree on these points, perhaps I would have been a good fit at one of your institutions.

However, the advanced classes you were asking me to teach were not things which I feel relevant to the practice of law. Yes, I have studied Arabic and Hebrew. Nevertheless, I fail to see how “Shariah as a Blueprint for Reforming Modern American Criminal Law” and “The Tanakh and Talmud as Underpinnings of the Model Penal Code” will be helpful to students who actually plan to practice law. Certainly, they would be fun to teach, but I do not believe my personal foibles should be allowed to sidetrack the education of those who will most likely be leading the legal profession into the future.

As well, the dog issue remains unresolved. As you know, I have a german shepherd and labrador retriever and I am rather attached to them. Sadly, I not convinced that either the environs of New Haven or Boston are favorable for dogs. The last time I was in New Haven I walked through town and saw no dog larger than an ankle nipper and I have never seen any dogs in Boston. Of course, as any dog lover knows, this is a deal breaker. Abandoning Laddie and Holly would be an unconscionable act and I cannot bring myself to commit that wrong.

Again, I am sincerely honored and humbled by your generous offers. Walking in the door with a fully tenured position and a yearly salary over five times what I now earn is very tempting. However, I must regretfully decline your offers.


Ken Lammers Jr., Esq.


Regret said...

Solid reasoning.

Daniel Dovel said...

this is great