The knowledge that emerges from research is not automatically translated into policy, but becomes part of a political struggle. But deepening that struggle by challenging our understandings and liberating us from false problems and false solutions is one of the things that law schools can do for justice. The quest for justice is a political quest. In his stirring essay, ‘Politics as a Vocation,’ surely one of the most profound examinations of the nature of political action, Max Weber tells us that the political vocation demands passion, responsibility and something more: "... the decisive psychological quality of the Politician [is] his ability to let realities work upon him with inner concentration and calmness." Hence the need for distance. "'Lack of distance' per se is one of the deadly sins of [politics]." Justice seeking is about how the world is and what is possible. The law school cannot be a plenary actor for justice until it accepts its responsibility to cultivate that knowledge continuously and cumulatively.


The Justice Mission of American Law Schools