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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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What did Texas Tech See in Alberto Gonzales?

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has ended his rather public spell of unemployment with a new gig on the faculty of Texas Tech University as a visiting professor this fall. A bold move on Tech’s part. A Houston native, one senses Gonzales had to look further afield that one might have initially expected for a receptive audience. Tech, no stranger to controversial hires, thought it was worth a shot. I think they’re right. I envy Tech students the opportunity.

To the extent that we’re old enough to make up our own judgments, a faculty hire need not be seen as an endorsement. Whatever I may think of his tenure in office, I also believe he has had the rare chance to grapple with the issues of governance in our day as few have had the opportunity to do. Gonzales has been on the giving and receiving end in an increasingly politicized justice department, had to navigate the murky waters of distinguishing ones own moral limits from ones duties as an advocate and representative, and observed the mechanisms of power in very close quarters. There’s a lot one could learn from him. I am somewhat disappointed that the law school hasn’t seen fit to take advantage of his availability, at least not from any of the published reports; Gonzalez strikes me as having the opportunity, much like Robert McNamara did for a previous administration, of discussing ethics outside of the laboratory, in the way such dilemmas are experienced, rather than with the false piety of the professionally ethical.

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Category: legal careers, Professional Ethics and the MPRE

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2 Responses

  1. Mike Licht says:

    Mr. Gonzales will lecture at Tech on his area of expertise, Fluid Mechanics of Waterboarding.

    See:

    http://notionscapital.wordpress.com/2009/07/13/professor-gonzales/

  2. lukegilman says:

    @Mike nice post; I had overlooked the punitive aspects of a prof post in Lubbock.

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