Monday, January 16, 2017

U of Washington/Tacoma to delay opening new law school

This is probably wise, absent clear evidence of unusually strong and growing demand for legal services in the Pacific Northwest.

January 16, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Law professors weigh in on Trump's "conflicts of interest" given his non-divestment from his businesses

Richard Painter (Minnesota) here and Daniel Shaviro (NYU) here.  (Thanks to Paul Dwyer for the pointer to the latter.)

UPDATE:  Also Kathleen Clark (Wash U/St. Louis) at NPR.  (Thanks to Nina Mendelson for the pointer.)

January 12, 2017 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

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

MOVING TO FRONT--ORIGINALLY POSTED AUGUST 1, 2016

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 (starting in 2018).

 

*Christopher Bruner (corporate law, securities regulation) from Washington & Lee University to the University of Georgia.

 

*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 is currently Dean) to John Marshall Law School, Chicago (to become Dean).

 

*Ben Edwards (corporate law, securities regulation, consumer financial protection) from Barry University to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (untenured lateral).

 

*Eric Franklin (corporate, contracts, economic & community development clinic) from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (untenured latereal).

 

*Kevin Haeberle (corporate law, securities regulation) from University of South Carolina to the College of William & Mary (untenured lateral)

 

*Sam Halabi (health law) from the University of Tulsa to the University of Missouri, Columbia.

 

*David Hoffman (contracts, law & psychology) from Temple University to the University of Pennsylvania.

 

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

 

*Hari M. Osofsky (energy law, climate change, law & science) from the University of Minnesota to Pennsylvania State University (to become Dean).

 

*Michael Simkovic (bankruptcy, tax, corporate) from Seton Hall University to the University of Southern California.

 

*Rebecca Tushnet (intellectual property, First Amendment) from Georgetown University to Harvard University.

 

*Ryan Vacca (intellectual property) from the University of Akron to the University of New Hampshire.

January 11, 2017 in Faculty News | Permalink

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

U of Oregon President Mike Schill (former Dean of U of Chicago and UCLA Law Schools) responds to commentary on Shurtz case

His response is here; it includes, implicitly, a rejoinder to the commentary by Eugene Volokh (UCLA).

January 10, 2017 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, January 9, 2017

Ten most downloaded American law professors on SSRN

With the start of a new year, here they are:

1.  Cass Sunstein (Harvard), 266,146 downloads of 232 papers (posting papers since 1996)

2.  Daniel Solove (George Washington), 263,111 downloads of 45 papers (remarkably, more than 60% of the downloads are due to a single paper!) (posting papers since 2001)

3.  Lucian Bebchuk (Harvard), 249,457 downloads of 174 papers (posting papers since 1996)

4.  Mark Lemley (Stanford), 188,578 downloads of 161 papers (posting papers since 1996)

5.  Bernard Black (Northwestern), 178,719 downloads of 155 papers (posting papers since 1996)

6.  Stephen Bainbridge (UCLA), 123,522 downloads of 98 papers (posting papers since 1997)

7.  Dan Kahan (Yale), 122,574 downloads of 69 papers (posting papers since 1996)

8.  Brian Leiter (Chicago), 122,416 downloads of 67 papers (posting papers since 2000)

9.  Orin Kerr (George Washington), 108,160 downloads of 54 papers (posting papers since 2002)

10. Eric Posner (Chicago), 105,954 downloads of 135 papers (posting papers since 1997)

January 9, 2017 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Jay Clayton to head Securities & Exchange Commission

President-elect Trump intends to nominate Sullivan & Cromwell partner Jay Clayton to head the Securities and Exchange Commission according to reports by the Financial Times and other newspapers.  Clayton has extensive expertise in M&A, capital markets, and financial regulation.

Clayton is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvannia Law School, where he taught a class on "M&A Through the Business Cycle" from 2009 to 2015.

January 4, 2017 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Should Venture Capitalists Compete with Law Firm Partners and Judges? (Michael Simkovic)

A partner in a prominent San-Francisco-Bay-area venture capital firm recently told me, “The tech sector is eating the world.  The menu is full of inefficient legacy industries.” 

The thesis of USC Professor Gillian Hadfield’s new book, Rules for a Flat World, is that the legal profession should be near the top of the menu.  Hadfield argues that law is overly complicated, expensive and inefficient.  This is because lawyers have monopolized the practice of law, locking out more efficient, technologically empowered, venture-capital backed competitors.  These competitors—software engineers backed by venture capital money, perhaps in cooperation with lawyers and paralegals—could hopefully improve quality, reduce costs, and generally run circles around overly conservative law firms and inefficiently subscale solo practitioners.

This book will engage venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, established legal technology companies, individuals interested in regulation of the legal profession, and more broadly, those who study privatization and deregulation.

She raises important questions about which regulations of the legal profession protect consumers or serve other legitimate public policy goals and which might be merely protectionist.  She targets prohibitions on practice of law within a corporation and prohibitions on profit-sharing with non-lawyers.  Without such regulations, it would be easier for non-lawyers to invest in and make high level decisions for legal services providers.  Non-lawyers might place more trust in technology than lawyers and might be more open to new business models.

Hadfield’s analysis focuses on the aspects of law that are an economic service (she describes it as “economic infrastructure”). Hadfield is primarily focused on commercial and corporate law.  Hadfield notes that while criminal law may be more salient in popular culture, since the time of Hammurabi, most law has been about money, property rights, risk allocation, and supporting business activity.

Hadfield argues that if companies such as Westlaw, Lexis and Legal Zoom could hire lawyers to provide customer support directly to end-users, these companies could improve the appeal of their offerings and more easily compete with small and solo-practitioners.  Moreover, these companies would have economies of scale and efficiencies that solo practitioners cannot readily match.  Because of these efficiencies and expansion of the legal market to under-served populations, lawyers working for incorporated legal services providers would not necessarily earn less than solo practitioners currently earn, although lawyer-employees would have substantially less autonomy than lawyer-owners.   

Continue reading

January 4, 2017 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Law in Cyberspace, Legal Profession, Web/Tech | Permalink

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

I answer "Ten Questions"...

Oregon law professor criticizes university's response to Prof. Shurtz

Friday, December 30, 2016

Hemel and Herzig in the WSJ: Republicans can repeal Obamacare, for a price

Daniel Hemel and David Herzig discuss the filibuster and the future of the Affordable Care Act in the Wall Street Journal.

December 30, 2016 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Some publications and working papers this year

I appreciate the many blog readers who also read my scholarly writing--it has been one of the best things about the blog for years that it has been a vehicle for sharing my work with other faculty and students across many fields.   In that spirit, here are publications--or working drafts--that I made available this year:

"The Case Against Free Speech" appeared in Sydney Law Review.

 

"Legal Positivism about the Artifact Law," forthcoming in an OUP volume on Law as Artifact.

 

"Theoretical Disagreements in Law: Another Look," forthcoming in an OUP volume on Ethical Norms, Legal Norms:  New Essays in Metaethics and Jurisprudence.

 

"Philosophy of Law," co-authored with Michael Sevel, in the Encyclopedia Britannica (if you can't access the whole essay, google "philosophy of law," it should come up as a top result and you can get the whole essay that way)

 

"The Paradoxes of Public Philosophy," in the inaugural issue of the Indian Journal of Legal Theory.

 

"Why Tolerate Religion, Again? A Reply to Michael McConnell," a working paper (but citable) at SSRN. 

 

"Reply to Five Critics of Why Tolerate Religion?", part of a symposium on my book published by Criminal Law and Philosophy this year.

 

A revised version of "The Death of God and the Death of Morality," which will eventually appear in a special issue of The Monist on Nietzsche.

 

"Moralizing Nietzsche's Moral Psycology: The Case of Katsafanas," a review essay which also appears at Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.

 

"Moralities are a Sign-Language of the Affects," appeared in 2013 in Social Philosophy and Policy, but I was now able to make the published PDF available on SSRN.

 

There were actually a couple of other papers I wrote this year that I could not put on SSRN, alas--though hopefully, like the last paper, I will be able to post them in the future after publication.  And then there were papers previously put on SSRN that finally appeared in books this year (e.g., here and here), but for which I have not been able to put a PDF on-line.

Thanks for reading!  And a Happy New Year to all readers!

December 29, 2016 in Jurisprudence, Navel-Gazing | Permalink

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Federalism and Baby Jesus (with a nod to Trump)

Rick Hills (NYU) comments.

December 27, 2016 in Legal Humor, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, December 26, 2016

Law school enrollment trends over 40+ years

Useful charts here.  JD enrollment has stabilized, though well below its peak; non-JD enrollment has spiked as law schools try to sustain financial viability for schools that grew to their present size during the years of peak demand for legal education.

December 26, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Oregon law professor violated university's racial harassment policy...

...according to an investigation by outside counsel.  The report (available at the preceding link) ultimately turns on a Pickering balancing analysis, which like most such analyses could easily have come out the other way.

UPDATE:  Some additional context here.

ANOTHER:  Oregon law professor Shurtz objects to release of report, claiming errors and violations of confidentiality.  I suspect this matter is heading to court.

December 22, 2016 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Dept. of Education to pull federal student loans from Charlotte Law School

MOVING TO FRONT FROM YESTERDAY--UPDATED

Unless the decision is reversed, the school will almost certainly go out of business.

UPDATE:  DOE's statement about the decision.

December 21, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

"The Case Against Free Speech"

This long-gestating paper has finally appeared in the Sydney Law Review (it was originally presented as the 2013 Julius Stone Address in Jurisprudence at Sydney), and can be downloaded here for those who are interested.  

December 20, 2016 in Jurisprudence | Permalink

Monday, December 19, 2016

David Faigman named Dean at UC Hastings

He had been the Interim Dean, and seemed, at least to an outsider, the obvious choice for the permanent post.  He is also a leading evidence scholar.

December 19, 2016 in Faculty News | Permalink

Letter to Senators opposing nomination of Senator Sessions as Attorney General

You may sign the letter here.

December 19, 2016 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

In Memoriam: Mary Doyle (1943-2016)

An environmental law scholar, she was Dean and Professor Emerita at the University of Miami.  The Miami memorial notice is here.

December 19, 2016 in Memorial Notices | Permalink