A Thought Experiment – The MIGHTY 500 Law Faculty

From page 55 of Professor Yochai Benkler’s book Wealth of Networks

"…A billion people in advanced economies may have between two billion and six billion spare hours among them, every day…"

(a) There are about 10,000 law faculty employed in US law schools today.

(b) There are 30 subject areas in the CALI Lesson Library which more or less represent the topics of most of the classes taught in law schools.

(c) Most law school classes are 3 credits or 3 hours a week for 15 weeks or 45 hours of classtime.

Multiple b x c = 13,500 hours of classtime.

Divide by a = 13,500/10,000 = 1.35 hours/faculty.

Now, let’s say it takes 10 hours to assemble a really excellent collection of materials for that 1.35 hours of classtime, and let’s say every faculty member did that and shared it with everyone else. 10 hours or a little more than a single day and all class materials are covered.

Now, let’s get more realisitc.

Let’s say 500 law faculty did this (5% of the total). They would have to create 20 times more materials or 20 x 1.35 = 27 hours of classtime each to cover everything which would take 270 hours from each of this mighty 500 or about 270/50=5 1/2 hours a week for a year.

5 1/2 hours a week for a year from 5% of all law faculty to create teaching materials for 30 different subject areas covering almost all of legal education.

There IS wealth in networks!

From page 56 of Wealth of Networks …

"… The economics of production in a digital environment should lead us to expect an increase in the relative salience of nonmarket production models in the overall mix of our information production system, and it is efficient for this to happen – more information will be produced, and much of it will be available for its users at its marginal cost…"

Now, how do we coordinate this?

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