Wednesday, April 8, 2009
The latest issue of The Law Teacher has a short essay by Diane J. Klein (La Verne) titled Why Teach The Rule Against Perpetuities: Four Good Reasons. Here are the reasons:
(1) Studying the Rule Against Perpetuities Makes You Smarter
(2) Studying the Rule Against Perpetuities is one of the Most Difficult Things You Will Do In Law School
(3) RAP Problems Have Right and Wrong Answers
(4) The Study of RAP is an Initiation Into Law and Law School
I like the essay, but I think that only point (1) is actually a reason to study the RAP (and a questionable one at that); the rest are reasons to put up with the burden. I taught the RAP in Property for one major reason: it is a subject that no lawyer would want to learn on her own in practice. Teaching the RAP, though, has real costs, in terms of class time that could be better spent on other matters. Once Pennsylvania (where the vast majority of my students practice) abolished the RAP, teaching the RAP lost out on the cost/benefit analysis.
[Comments are held for approval, so there will be some delay in posting]