Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Brian Leiter
University of Chicago Law School

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Lateral hires with tenure, 2014-15

MOVING TO FRONT--ORIGINALLY POSTED AUGUST 22, 2014

These are appointments with tenure that will begin in 2015; I will move this to the front at various intervals during the year; recent additions are bolded.

 

*Jennifer Bard (health law, constitutional law) from Texas Tech University to the University of Cincinnati (to become Dean). 

 

 

*Christopher Buccafusco (intellectual property, behavioral/experimental law & economics) from Chicago-Kent College of Law to Cardozo Law School.

 

*Joshua Cohen (political philosophy) resigned from Stanford University (where he taught in Law, Philosophy & Political Science) in October 2014 to join Apple University.  He will now also be part-time at the University of California, Berkeley.

 

*Matthew Diller (administrative law, social welfare law & policy) from Cardozo Law School to Fordham University (as Dean).

 

*Marcella David (international law, foreign relations law) from the University of Iowa to Florida A&M University (as Provost).

 

*William Dodge (international law, international transactions, international dispute resolution) from the University of California, Hastings to the University of California, Davis.

 

*Brian Galle (tax) from Boston College to Georgetown University.

 

*Elizabeth Garrett (legislation, administrative law) from the University of Southern California to Cornell University (to become President).

 

*Andrew Guzman (international law and trade, law & economics) from the University of California, Berkeley to the University of Southern California (as Dean).

 

*Sonia Katyal (intellectual property, civil rights, privacy, property, law & sexuality) from Fordham University to the University of California, Berkeley.

 

*Gillian Lester (employment law) from the University of California, Berkeley to Columbia University (as Dean in January 2015).

 

*Erik Luna (criminal law & procedure) from Washington & Lee University to Arizona State University.

 

*Timothy Lytton (regulatory law and policy, administrative law, torts) from Albany Law School to Georgia State University.

 

*Andrei Marmor (legal philosophy) from the University of Southern California to Cornell University.

 

*Andrea Matwyshyn (law & technology, cyberlaw, privacy) from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (untenured) to Northeastern University.

 

*Paul McGreal (constitutional law, law & religion, business ethics) from the University of Dayton to Creighton University (as Dean).

 

*Paul Ohm (law & technology, computer law, privacy, intellectual property) from the University of Colorado, Boulder to Georgetown University.

 

*Dave Owen (environmental law, natural resources, water law, administrative law) from the University of Maine to the University of California, Hastings.

 

*Dylan Penningroth (legal history) from Northwestern University (History Dept.) and American Bar Foundation to the University of California, Berkeley.

 

*James Salzman (environmental law) from Duke University to the University of California, Los Angeles (Law) and the University of California, Santa Barbara (Environmental Science & Management). 

 

*David Schwartz (patents, intellectual property, empirical legal studies) from Chicago-Kent College of Law to Northwestern University.

 

*Kenneth Simons (torts, criminal law, law & philosophy) from Boston University to the University of California, Irvine.

 

*Alexander Somek (EU law, comparative constitutional law, legal theory) from the University of Iowa to the University of Vienna.

 

*Eric Talley (corporate law, law & economics) from the University of California, Berkeley to Columbia University (in July 2015).

 

*Melanie Wilson (criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence) from the University of Kansas to the University of Tennessee (as Dean).

 

*Kathryn Zeiler (torts, health law, law & economics, empirical legal studies) from Georgetown University to Boston University. 


March 4, 2015 in Faculty News | Permalink

GW Dean and AALS President Blake Morant interviewed...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Calabresi's defense of Justice Scalia

Many readers have mentioned Prof. Steven Calabresi's rather impassioned and personal defense of Justice Scalia, for whom he clerked, against a recent critical biography by Bruce Murphy.  My colleague Justin Driver made some similar points in The New Republic, and it does seem the biography in question is unfair to Justice Scalia on several points.  But while Prof. Calabresi repeatedly chides Murphy for mean-spiritedness and pettiness, the latter charge seems to apply equally well to Calabersi's surprisingly score-settling rejoinder, in which various conservative politicans and legal officials (from Kenneth Starr to William Reynolds) are dismissed as mediocrities and lightweights (I'm happy to believe Prof. Calabresi is right, however).  But Prof. Calabresi's polemics against Judge Posner and Judge Wilkinson are curious and rather unseemly.  Particularly amusing is his diatribe against Richard Posner, which includes this observation:

The relationship between Posner and Scalia is affectionate on Scalia’s side but filled with envy, pettiness, and anger on Posner’s side, at least in my opinion. Posner is the author of more than forty books, countless law review articles, and countless judicial opinions. I think he feels that he was far more successful as a law professor and a founder of law and economics than Scalia was when he taught at the University of Chicago School of Law.

"Envy, pettiness and anger"?  I think anyone who knows Judge Posner will find this a rather implausible explanation.  Judge Posner has had scholarly polemics with many people, including some of his best friends, and I've never seen him to take any of it "personally."  But I'm quite puzzled by Prof. Calabresi's comment that, "I think [Posner] feels that he was far more successful as a law professor and a founder of law and economics than Scalia was when he taught at the University of Chicago Law School."  "I think"?  Isn't it obviously true?  Being on the Supreme Court has made Justice Scalia's views far more influential than he ever was as a legal scholar.  Prof. Calabresi, who worked in several Republican Administrations in  Washington and was involved with SCOTUS nominations, says: 

When Posner’s name did come up [in connection with SCOTUS vacancies), which was rarely, it was so that we could laugh about his immoral and politically fatal proposal to reform adoption law by legalizing the selling of babies. Posner was not respected by any of the last three Republican Administrations. He was the butt of a joke.

I suppose only in the insider world of the American far right could one think that reporting that "Posner was not respected by any of the last three Republican Administrations" counts against Judge Posner, rather than as (yet) another badge of merit. 

As I said, curious.


March 3, 2015 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, March 2, 2015

Buffalo, Iowa to admit some students without requiring the LSAT...

NLJ's annual list of the law schools that send the highest percentage of graduates to NLJ 250 law firms

Here, with the usual slight changes from prior iterations, but nothing dramatic.


March 2, 2015 in Legal Profession, Rankings | Permalink

Thursday, February 26, 2015

In Memoriam: Monroe Freedman (1928-2015)

A leading figure in legal ethics, Professor Freedman spent the first part of his career on the faculty at George Washington University, before moving to Hofstra University as Dean in 1973, where he then spent the remainder of his academic career.  There is a brief memorial notice here.


February 26, 2015 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Speedy turnover of leadership at Washington & Lee

After the dramatic budgetary announcement by the University President last week, the current Washington & Lee Law Dean Nora Demleitner announced she was stepping down and the President has--already!--announced the new Dean.  One wonders whether there was any faculty consultation about this transition. 


February 25, 2015 in Faculty News | Permalink

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Northwestern law in Qatar...

Monday, February 23, 2015

DePaul Dean finalists...

...at Chicago Law Bulletin.


February 23, 2015 in Faculty News | Permalink

Saturday, February 21, 2015

UNC law faculty statement in support of Centers that Board of Governors propose to close or narrow.

The faculty statement is here.  The move by the Board of Governors is a case of naked political retaliation against outspoken liberal UNC law professor Gene Nichol.


February 21, 2015 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Friday, February 20, 2015

My colleague Richard McAdams on his new book...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

More signs of the times: major restructuring at Washington & Lee

A rather detailed announcement from the University; excerpts:

  • Beginning with the 2015-16 academic year, the school will enroll entering 1L classes of about 100 students, resulting in a full-time student body of about 300. For comparison's sake, the current law school student body is 374 and includes the largest third-year class in school history. The Class of 2017, which entered last fall, had 101 members....
  • In October 2014, the Board of Trustees authorized an increase in the payout from the law school's endowment income to 7.5 percent through 2017-18. This will add about $3 million to the law school budget in 2015-16. [BL note:  typical endowment payouts are in the 4 to 4.5% range]...
  • The current student-faculty ratio (9:1) will be preserved, but with smaller enrollments the allocation for faculty compensation will be reduced by about 20 percent (equivalent to six positions) and will be achieved through attrition over the four-year period. In addition, some senior faculty salaries will have a one-time salary reduction of 2 percent with salaries frozen for all faculty during the three-year period.... 
  • Operating budgets will be reduced by 10 percent in 2015-16 with the exception of the library budget, which will grow by 2 percent.
  • Although the financial model currently shows operating deficits for 2014-15 through 2017-18, the law school budget is projected to be back in balance by the 2018-19 academic year....

With a university-wide endowment of about $1.5 billion and only about 3,000 students undergraduate and graduate, Washington & Lee is quite a wealthy university--though how much of the endowment is for the law school is unclear, though I'm guessing a sizable amount.  (Here are 2000 figures, and most of the endowments on that list have roughly doubled since.)  A well-established law school (a member of the AALS since 1920!), Washington & Lee was most recently ranked 43rd in USNEWS.COM, though has ranked higher in prior years (sometimes in the top 25ish).  I would imagine similarly dramatic changes are taking place elsewhere with perhaps less publicity about them.


February 19, 2015 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

Statement by one of two African-American federal judges in Missisippi upon sentencing three white men convicted of a racially motivated murder

A powerful statement by Judge Reeves.


February 19, 2015 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Faculty productivity over time at one law school

Orin Kerr (George Washington) looked at his school; what he found may be surprising.


February 19, 2015 in Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bill Clinton, law teacher...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ted Ruger Named Dean of Penn

The University of Pennsylvania Law School has named Professor Theodore Ruger, the current Deputy Dean of the law school, as its new permanent dean.  He will take over from Interim Dean Wendell Pritchett this summer.  Ted, who is a health law scholar and clerked for Justice Breyer, holds a JD from Harvard.    


February 17, 2015 in Faculty News | Permalink

Monday, February 16, 2015

In Memoriam: Marvin Chirelstein (1928-2015)

Professor Chirelstein, a 1953 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and a leading tax scholar of his generation, taught at Yale Law School and then, from 1981 (with a brief stint in full-time practice as well) at Columbia Law School, where he was emeritus.  I will post links to memorial notices when they appear.

UPDATE:  Prof. Jeffrey Gordon (Columbia) writes:  "Perhaps one thing to highlight is his corporate finance book co-authored with Victor Brudney, 1st ed. 1972, which opened the way to interdisciplinary scholarship in corporate law, as influential a book in its realm as say, Hart & Sacks or even Hart & Wechsler.  Marvin also taught a generation of law students who made exceptionally important contributions, including Jack Coffee,  Ron Gilson, Merritt Fox, and Roberta Romano but also many others.   By the way,  Marvin was in the same class as Robert Bork, and, according to a recent essay in Greenbag on Bork and Dworkin, Bork was a groomsman at his wedding." 

ANOTHER:  Columbia's memorial notice.  (Thanks to Keith Rowley for the pointer.)


February 16, 2015 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

More signs of the times: new 2-year law degree at New York Law School

Story here.


February 16, 2015 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Signs of the times: Hamline, William Mitchell merge

Hamline's press release about the merger is here.  It seems like a sensible strategic move in the current environment.

(Thanks to Carl Bogus for the pointer.)


February 15, 2015 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, February 12, 2015

In Memoriam: Harvey Goldschmid

Harvey J. Goldschmid, the Dwight Professor of Law at Columbia University, passed away today.  He joined the Columbia Law faculty in 1970 and was an expert in securities and antitrust law and corporate governance.  His career included a stint as a commissioner of the SEC. He was 74.


February 12, 2015 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

As of last Friday, applicants to law schools are now only down...

...5% from last year, compared to 7.3% just a few weeks ago.  This is consistent with the pattern that has emerged the last couple of years of students applying later in the admissions season.


February 11, 2015 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, February 9, 2015

Experiential learning does *not* improve employment outcomes

Jason Yackee (Wisconsin) takes an empirical look.

UPDATE:  Brian Galle (Boston College) suggests some alternative interpretations of the findings.


February 9, 2015 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Student Advice | Permalink

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Readers: who are you?

Please choose the option that best describes you:

If the "vote" tab does not appear, you can also go here to vote.


February 5, 2015 in Navel-Gazing | Permalink

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The battle for transfer students