The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

"Deans Manage Their Departments Like Don Corleone, / Although Their Crimes Are Not as Organized."

"Philologists may quibble, but who can deny / that 'Dean' and 'Don' are just a vowel away?"


A.M. Juster, whose work I've noted here before (and who in prosaic life is the former head of the Social Security Administration) wrote this poem, apparently in April of this year. It's called "Epistle to a Friend Confused about the Ivy League"; as Joseph Bottum (Poems Ancient and Modern) notes, it is in the form of "the elegiac couplet, … a hexameter line followed by a pentameter line." You can read the entire thing here.

I should note that my experience of law school deans at UCLA has not been the same as that which Juster describes, even when I have had substantial differences with them. But I've certainly heard such things before, especially accounting for the poetic license to engage in a certain degree of hyperbole; see, e.g., Jonathan Adler's "A Frightening View of Free Speech and Academic Freedom at Harvard."