Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Question

The topic of the process by which we select new faculty came up a year ago on MoneyLaw. Jim Chen, then a brash voice for innovation in legal education, now Dean Chen, a leader in innovation in legal education, suggested a Moneyball approach to law faculty interview questions. His post is here.

His suggested questions:

Do you speak some language besides English? If not, why not? Or perhaps you might tell us about your favorite book.
3, 4, 5, and 5, 12, 13 are
Pythagorean triplets, or integer solutions to the Pythagorean Theorem, a2 + b2 = c2. Quick. Name another triplet.
Name your favorite song or other musical composition and explain why.
Ballet, football, baseball, fencing, yoga, aerobics. Pick one, either to watch or to perform. Then explain.
It's late June, and you observe the waning moon setting. What time is it, more or less?
Please recount one thing you've done to a friend that you wish you could undo.
What is your greatest weakness, and why should we hire you in spite of it?
Okay. Just as a lark. What is your favorite plant or animal, and why?

I like this question: If you couldn't be a lawyer or a legal academic, what would you like to do with your life? My answer: Lounge singer -- assuming of course that I could add talent to the fantasy.

I think the Pythagorean Triplets question is a gem. It would no doubt uncover candidates who chose law so they wouldn't have to do math. I would like to know that about a candidate from the get go.

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