With one of their own sitting in the Oval Office, it’s reasonable to think that legal academics might enjoy an edge in snagging nominations for plum judicial and executive branch posts. But law professors have received a relatively chilly reception in Washington of late, at least when it comes to high-profile positions that require the blessing of the Senate.

Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Warren was passed over to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after rubbing Republican leaders the wrong way with her blunt skepticism toward Wall Street. Instead, Obama nominated former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray.

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