26-Year Law Professor Leaves for Chicago

Says Radical Profesors Have 'Disastrous Effect'

A 26-year veteran of the Law School faculty, who has criticized the power he says his left-leaning colleagues hold at the school, announced last week he will leave Harvard in January for the University of Chicago Law School.

Paul M. Bator, Bromley Professor of Law, who last year became embroiled in a conflict over Critical Legal Studies (CLS), a growing movement of radical legal scholars, is a former Reagan appointee and one of the most outspoken conservative voices on the law school campus.

Bator would not say whether his resignation from Harvard Law School had anything to do with his charges that left-leaning professors have too much power at the school. But Bator gave The Crimson a transcript of his comments concerning the CLS at a May forum in New York.

Dean of Harvard Law School James Vorenberg '49 said Bator's departure "has nothing to do with" the controversy over CLS. Vorenberg said Bator is not the first tenured professor to leave the law school and "it is understandable if somebody feels they will realize their potential elsewhere."



Last year at the forum, which was organized by a conservative law school group, Bator said CLS, a Marxist approach to legal studies which calls law an instrument of social oppression, has undermined the law school.

"Since the late seventies, it is my sad opinion that CLS has had an absolutely disastrous effect on the intellectual and institutional life of Harvard Law School," said Bator, who served as deputy solicitor general for the Justice Department in 1982 and 1983.

At the forum, Bator charged that CLS members have politicized Harvard Law School's tenure process to favor the appointment of left-leaning professors.

Bator said that even those non-left scholars who are offered positions on the faculty do not accept "because serious and non-left scholars do not want to be at an institution devoted to guerilla warfare."

Bator said yesterday he expects a "congenial atmosphere" at the University of Chicago, but added that he has some regrets about leaving Harvard, where he has worked since 1951 as a student and professor.

In a letter last week to his colleagues announcing his resignation, Bator wrote, "I am, for better or for worse, a child of the Harvard Law School, and the ties of kinship that bind me to the institution are unbreakable."

Dean of the University of Chicago Law School Gerhard Casper could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Bator was a visiting professor at the Chicago campus during 1978-1979.

Wilson Fellow

A 1951 graduate of Princeton University, summa cum laude, Bator was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Harvard in 1951 and 1952. He received an M.A. in history from the University in 1953.

He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1956 and after three years as a clerk and an attorney, he returned to Harvard in 1959 as an assistant professor of law. In 1962 he received an appointment as professor of law.

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