Thursday, October 20, 2016

Not much change in number of schools interviewing at FRC from 2015 to 2016

According to Professor Lawsky, there were 86 law schools at the FRC this past weekend in Washington, DC, compared to 89 in 2015.  This doesn't account for the number of slots schools are looking to fill, but my guess is that, like last year, we will see at least 80 new tenure-track academic faculty hired, perhaps a bit higher.

The 94 in 2013 is misleading, since that was a year in which many schools went to the FRC but did no hiring, due to budgetary stresses.  The real contrast, of course, is with the last reasonably good year on the market, 2012-13, when 142 schools participated in the FRC.

October 20, 2016 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Lateral hires with tenure or on tenure-track, 2016-17


These are non-clinical appointments that will take effect in 2017 (except where noted); I will move the list to the front at various intervals as new additions come in.   (Recent additions are in bold.)  Last year's list is here.


Reuven S. Avi-Yonah (corporate tax, international tax) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor to the University of California, Irvine.


*Nicolas Cornell (contracts, law & philosophy) from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania to the University of Michigan (law) (untenured lateral).


*Darby Dickerson (higher education law & policy, litigation ethics) from Texas Tech University (where she was Dean) to John Marshall Law School, Chicago (to become Dean).


*Kurt Lash (constitutional law) from the University of Illinois to the University of Richmond.

October 19, 2016 in Faculty News | Permalink

Victim of Autoadmit harassment a decade ago is now fighting rising anti-semitism on-line

Story here (details about Autoadmit here).


October 19, 2016 in Law in Cyberspace, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Not much new until next week... and conferences on the horizon!

October 13, 2016 in Navel-Gazing | Permalink

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

New Minnesota Law Dean talks about adjusting to significant application and enrollment declines

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Hitman Rivera, who took a plea, implicate Wendi Adelson with knowledge of the plot to kill Markel

Monday, October 10, 2016

A Nobel Prize in Law?

 It's Nobel Prize season, and Law, like my other field, Philosophy, is not a recognized subject for the prize.  But what if there were a Nobel Prize?  I surveyed my philosophy readers, and came up with ten deserving candidates.  But what about for law?  I've limited this just to those working in the U.S., though there are many deserving candidates in other legal cultures, but I suspect few readers will know enough about them to meaningfully compare (outside jurisprudence, I hardly know enough to even correctly identify plausible candidates).

So which living legal scholar in the U.S. should get a Nobel Prize in Law? We'll rank the top ten.  Have fun!

ADDENDUM:  I hope it goes without saying that there are no doubt errors of omission in the list.  One that has come to my attention, who might have had a shot for the top ten, is Richard Delgado, now at Alabama.  But I fear there will be others.

A LAST ONE:  Some other good suggestions for folks who should have been included:  Elizabeth Warren, Wayne LaFave, Suzanna Sherry, Charles Lawrence.

October 10, 2016 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

A law journal at Berkeley will abandon the Bluebook

Friday, October 7, 2016

The mysteries of SSRN e-journal classifications

The distinguished criminal law scholar Susan Bandes (DePaul) invited me to share a story she recently shared via a listserve:

In September I posted an article on SSRN (What Executioners Can--and Cannot--Teach Us About the Death Penalty  I chose the allotted 10 subject matter classifications. I learned yesterday that three of these classifications were rejected: criminal law e-journal, criminal procedure e-journal and criminology e-journal. I was surprised by all of these rejections, and especially criminal law, since the article is focused on the purposes of punishment, a core criminal law concern. I called SSRN this morning, and they explained to me that SSRN sometimes rejects classifications, even when they are substantively appropriate, if they view them as overlapping with other classifications. In this case, they accepted my "corrections and sentencing" classification, and apparently viewed the criminal law, criminal procedure, and criminology e-journals as overlapping with corrections and sentencing and therefore rejected all three of those broader classifications. In short, the only criminal-law related e-journal in which my article will be listed is corrections and sentencing. I asked SSRN to review this decision, which they are now doing.

To my mind, there are a few problems with this way of doing things:

First of all, I haven't checked the subscription numbers, but it's hard to believe that the corrections and sentencing journal reaches nearly the same audience as the journals with broader classifications, such as criminal law and criminal procedure. As both an author and a reader, I expect relevant articles to be included in the broader topic areas. What is the interest in refusing to include an article in an e-journal squarely within its substantive reach? I suppose the goal is to avoid inundating e-journal readers. Is this an adequate justification? (it might be; that's a genuine question).

Second, SSRN authors are permitted 10 classification choices at the outset. My article will now be distributed in only 7 of the 10 journals I chose. Until now I assumed such rejections were based on substance. To the extent they aren't, shouldn't SSRN give us the allotted 10 journals to disseminate our work?

And finally, for those of us who care about such things (and I count myself among that group), CrimProf Blog has a nice feature: it lists the top ten downloads in the Criminal Law e-journal and the Criminal Procedure e-journal. That's a very reasonable choice of e-journals, since one would think they cover the broadest substantive areas. But for those who like to read--and for those who hope sometimes to be included on--the CrimProf blog list, SSRN's practice of rejecting relevant articles from those classifications (for reasons that cannot be predicted) is all the more problematic.

Professor Bandes tells me that "on appeal," the article was included in the criminal procedure journal!  Why the criminal law e-journal excluded a piece on the death penalty by a leading criminal law scholar--who knows?  Interestingly, the problem is somewhat the opposite for the "Jurisprudence & Legal Philosophy" e-journal, which (though better than in the past) often contains articles that are neither jurisprudence nor legal philosophy.  (Please, if your work isn't jurisprudence or legal philosophy, don't put it there!)   Here are some examples of recent articles that appeared in, but do not belong in, the "Jurisprudence & Legal Philosophy" e-journal:

Law and Macroeconomics: The Law and Economics of Recessions

New Wine in Old Wineskins: Metaphor and Legal Research

The Impact of Biological Psychiatry on the Law: Evidence, Blame and Social Solidarity

No doubt these are useful and interesting articles, but those of us subscribing to that e-journal aren't expect these pieces!


October 7, 2016 in Law in Cyberspace, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

Thursday, October 6, 2016

More from the Blog Emperor on Adelson/Markel

Emperor Caron has been all over this case, it's a good place to go for regular updates.

October 6, 2016 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

One of two murderers-for-hire in Markel killing, Rivera, takes a plea

A promising development, which presumably means some number of Adelsons will soon be arrested.

October 4, 2016 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

William Baude's "Hamilton"-welcome to the University of Chicago Law School

Monday, October 3, 2016

50 Best Law Faculties, 2016 edition

Well, respondents to the poll were supposed to be evaluating the scholarly distinction of the faculties, but it's not clear they were, given how close many (but not all) results track the U.S. News nonsense number, which is many things, but not a measure of the scholarly distinction of the faculty.   How else to explain, say, the fact that NYU ranks behind Columbia, a result which fits the U.S. News result but not plausible metrics of faculty quality?   Still there were several schools that over-performed their U.S. News rank, in each case rightly so I think:

UC Irvine came in #21 here, but #28 in U.S. News

Fordham came in #27 here, but #37 in U.S. News

University of Illinois came in #29 here, but #40 in U.S. News

UC Hastings came in #37 here, but #50 in U.S. News

Florida State came in #39 here, but #50 in U.S. News

San Diego came in #44 here, but #74 in U.S. News

Brooklyn came in #46 here, but #97 in U.S. News

Cardozo came in #48 here, but #74 in U.S. News

Schools that underperformed here in comparison to U.S. News by a significant margin include:

Arizona State University:  #25 in U.S. News, #40 here.

Indiana University, Bloomington:  #25 in U.S. news, #35 here.

University of Georgia:  #33 in U.S. News, #43 here

Brigham Young University:  #38 in U.S. News, not in the top fifty here

In some of these cases, there are good reasons why the schools fare better in U.S. News (e.g., caliber of student body, job placement).

In any case, with 422 votes cast here are the results for 2016 (and for comparison, here's 2014--an ambitious person might see whether changes from 2014 to 2016 are explained by change in U.S. news rank of the school!):

1. Yale University  (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
2. Harvard University  loses to Yale University by 197–158
3. Stanford University  loses to Yale University by 294–68, loses to Harvard University by 287–72
4. University of Chicago  loses to Yale University by 304–58, loses to Stanford University by 211–144
5. Columbia University  loses to Yale University by 326–43, loses to University of Chicago by 193–154
6. New York University  loses to Yale University by 334–31, loses to Columbia University by 195–154
7. University of California, Berkeley  loses to Yale University by 351–23, loses to New York University by 262–93
8. University of Pennsylvania  loses to Yale University by 351–16, loses to University of California, Berkeley by 205–137
9. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor  loses to Yale University by 355–15, loses to University of Pennsylvania by 181–151
10. University of Virginia  loses to Yale University by 356–10, loses to University of Michigan, Ann Arbor by 189–135
11. Duke University  loses to Yale University by 354–9, loses to University of Virginia by 202–130
12. Georgetown University  loses to Yale University by 356–10, loses to Duke University by 205–128
13. Northwestern University  loses to Yale University by 351–12, loses to Georgetown University by 177–148
14. Cornell University  loses to Yale University by 355–10, loses to Northwestern University by 167–156
15. University of California, Los Angeles  loses to Yale University by 358–12, loses to Cornell University by 176–152
16. University of Texas, Austin  loses to Yale University by 356–7, loses to University of California, Los Angeles by 194–129
17. Vanderbilt University  loses to Yale University by 354–7, loses to University of Texas, Austin by 203–100
18. University of Southern California  loses to Yale University by 346–8, loses to Vanderbilt University by 201–95
19. Tied:
Boston University  loses to Yale University by 353–5, loses to University of Southern California by 192–99
University of Minnesota  loses to Yale University by 347–6, loses to University of Southern California by 181–103
21. University of California, Irvine  loses to Yale University by 355–8, loses to Boston University by 169–124
22. Tied:
George Washington University  loses to Yale University by 350–5, loses to University of California, Irvine by 148–147
Washington University, St. Louis  loses to Yale University by 348–2, loses to University of California, Irvine by 151–144
24. Emory University  loses to Yale University by 347–6, loses to George Washington University by 151–118
25. University of Notre Dame  loses to Yale University by 347–4, loses to Emory University by 164–98
26. University of California, Davis  loses to Yale University by 345–11, loses to University of Notre Dame by 144–129
27. Fordham University  loses to Yale University by 348–6, loses to University of California, Davis by 149–136
28. Boston College  loses to Yale University by 346–8, loses to Fordham University by 137–135
29. University of Illinois  loses to Yale University by 341–4, loses to Boston College by 154–111
30. University of Iowa  loses to Yale University by 342–3, loses to University of Illinois by 129–113
31. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill  loses to Yale University by 344–4, loses to University of Iowa by 130–120
32. University of Wisconsin, Madison  loses to Yale University by 341–2, loses to University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill by 154–102
33. College of William & Mary  loses to Yale University by 341–6, loses to University of Wisconsin, Madison by 130–123
34. University of Alabama  loses to Yale University by 336–8, loses to College of William & Mary by 143–115
35. Indiana University, Bloomington  loses to Yale University by 337–3, loses to University of Alabama by 126–117
36. Ohio State University  loses to Yale University by 343–3, loses to Indiana University, Bloomington by 130–108
37. University of California, Hastings College of Law  loses to Yale University by 342–5, loses to Ohio State University by 129–114
38. University of Arizona  loses to Yale University by 339–7, loses to University of California, Hastings College of Law by 130–111
39. Florida State University  loses to Yale University by 335–6, loses to University of Arizona by 137–104
40. Arizona State University  loses to Yale University by 331–9, loses to Florida State University by 125–116
41. University of Colorado  loses to Yale University by 335–5, loses to Arizona State University by 124–107
42. George Mason University  loses to Yale University by 340–7, loses to Arizona State University by 137–111
43. University of Georgia  loses to Yale University by 334–4, loses to University of Colorado by 124–102
44. University of San Diego  loses to Yale University by 342–9, loses to University of Georgia by 125–110
45. University of Washington, Seattle  loses to Yale University by 335–3, loses to University of San Diego by 122–113
46. Brooklyn Law School  loses to Yale University by 337–11, loses to University of Washington, Seattle by 131–117
47. University of Florida  loses to Yale University by 330–3, loses to Brooklyn Law School by 125–110
48. Yeshiva University/Cardozo School of Law  loses to Yale University by 331–4, loses to University of Florida by 121–110
49. Washington & Lee University  loses to Yale University by 333–4, loses to Yeshiva University/Cardozo School of Law by 122–100
50. University of Maryland  loses to Yale University by 329–4, loses to Washington & Lee University by 115–101

October 3, 2016 in Rankings | Permalink

In Memoriam: Phil C. Neal (1919-2016)

The antitrust scholar and litigator served as Dean of the University of Chicago Law School from 1963 to 1975, a crucial period of hiring for the law school that set the stage for Chicago's later dominance of law & economics.  Chicago's memorial notice is here.

October 3, 2016 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Girlfriend of Charlie Adelson, and mother of hit man's children, arrested in connection with murder of Dan Markel

The latest.  This is a smart strategy, since Garcia, the accused hit man, no longer has a reason not to cooperate if his children's mother is now at risk of going to jail anyway.  I think the only question now is how many of the lovely Adelson family members will be arrested.

October 2, 2016 | Permalink

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Once again, officials of the Alabama legal system show that they accept the rule of recognition of the Federal legal system...

....from an internal point of view.   Roy Moore is the jurisprudential gift that keeps on giving!  (And for those who don't follow what I'm talking about, see pp. 1603-4 of this essay.)

October 1, 2016 in Jurisprudence, Legal Profession | Permalink

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A good, substantive discussion of the Choudhry case at Berkeley and the values of due process that are at stake...

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

50 Best Law School Faculties in Terms of Scholarly Distinction, 2016 edition

Here's a list of 76 faculties that might have some claim on having one of the 50 strongest law faculties in terms of scholarly distinction (with apologies to any wrongly omitted).  Have fun!  Detailed ballott reporting will make attempts at strategic voting obvious, so don't!  I'll call out your school!  Remember, this is about the scholarly distinction of the faculties, so if all you know is the U.S. News rank, don't complete the survey, or choose "no opinion" for those schools! 

BAD BEHAVIOR WATCH:  Remarkably, 4  people have ranked Arizona State ahead of Yale!  I wonder where they teach?  By way of comparison, only 3 people ranked Columbia ahead of Yale (though 5 did give that edge to Berkeley)--at least this voting is defensible, depending on one's benchmarks for scholarly excellence.  ASU is one of the top regional law schools in my judgment, but there's no honest ordering in which it comes out ahead of Yale.  (I use Yale as the comparison only because that's easy to read off the data, since Yale is currently #1--when Harvard was #1, the pattern was similar.)  If you want to get a sense of attempted strategic voting, take a look at how much schools lower down the list lose to Yale by:  most lose in a shut-out, but several, including ASU, do not.  Tsk, tsk!

September 28, 2016 in Rankings | Permalink

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

ABA will *not* be suspended for one year from its accreditation role

Bullett dodged, for now!  But I expect we will see more cases of the ABA being a bit tougher on law schools, especially those seeking accreditation.

September 27, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Choudhry's lawyers file motion for a preliminary injunction against Berkeley's second disciplinary procedure against him

You can read it here:   Download 2016-09-22 PL Motion in Support of Preliminary Injunction - Doc No 13.

I'm glad they've taken this step.   Berkeley has been out of control in this matter, and needs a federal judge to intervene.

(Thanks to Sam Issacharoff for the pointer.)

September 27, 2016 in Faculty News, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, September 26, 2016

Law school enrollment trends 2010-2015 in one state: Indiana

The Midwest was hit slightly harder by the downturn in applications than other parts of the country, but still this chart shows where we are from the 2010 peak, and also that many schools are recovering a bit.  (2010, it is important to remember, was the peak for applications and enrollments.)

September 26, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

Thursday, September 22, 2016

In Memoriam: Hans W. Baade (1929-2016)

Obituary here.  I had the pleasure of being Professor Baade's colleague at the University of Texas for thirteen years, and learned much from his vast erudition--as well as enjoying his sly wit.

(Thanks to Tom Russell for the pointer.)

September 22, 2016 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Tennessee Law Prof. Glenn Reynolds--aka, "InstaIgnorance" as I used to call him back in the day--has Twitter account suspended after encouraging motorists to run down protesters in Charlotte

Several readers have flagged this story for me.  Reynolds is a benighted soul, alas.  A criminal law colleague calls to my attention:

TN Code § 39-12-102 (2015)                           

(a) Whoever, by means of oral, written or electronic communication, directly or through another, intentionally commands, requests or hires another to commit a criminal offense, or attempts to command, request or hire another to commit a criminal offense, with the intent that the criminal offense be committed, is guilty of the offense of solicitation.

(b) It is no defense that the solicitation was unsuccessful and the offense solicited was not committed. It is no defense that the person solicited could not be guilty of the offense solicited, due to insanity, minority, or other lack of criminal responsibility or incapacity. It is no defense that the person solicited was unaware of the criminal nature of the conduct solicited. It is no defense that the person solicited is unable to commit the offense solicited because of the lack of capacity, status, or characteristic needed to commit the offense solicited, so long as the person soliciting or the person solicited believes that either or both have such capacity, status, or characteristic.

I doubt there will be a prosecution, but who knows?  His real mens rea is more likely "dumb and insensitive" than "malicious."

UPDATE:  Lawyer Jason Walta writes:

I'm kind of bemused by the seemingly shocked response of the chancellor and law dean. Have these people never met Glenn Reyonolds? Were they previously unaware that he's on faculty there? 

The fact of the matter is that this stuff is Reynolds's entire métier, stretching back to when he called for vigilante executions of "looters" during Katrina or lauded  William "Gosh I didn't mean to shoot my wife in the head" Burroughs as some kind of Second Amendment hero.

September 22, 2016 in Faculty News, Law Professors Saying Dumb Things, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The turmoil at the University of Florida over its tax program

Blog Emperor Caron has been tracking this--one might start here.  One peculiarity of the critical analysis of the tax program by UF faculty member Robert Rhee is that, in discussing the Sisk data on faculty citations, he fails to note (at least not that I saw) that tax is a low-citation field compared to corporate or constitutional law or just about every other field!  That does lead me to wonder about the reliability of other parts of his analysis.

Meanwhile, the drama continues here, with Rhee replying to a colleague.  I must admit, the spectacle of this debate about a school's program playing out on blogs is an embarrassment by itself.  Between the Blog Emperor and the perpetually aggrieved Jeffrey Harrison (who naturally, has been weighing in on this affair), also a UF faculty member, Dean Rosenbury has her hands full!   Florida was fortunate to get a Dean of this caliber, folks there should behave better!

September 20, 2016 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink