Friday, April 28, 2017
Winners of Carnegie Fellowships for 2017 include:
Katerina Linos (U.C. Berkeley)
Polly Price (Emory)
- Emily Ryo (USC)
Mila Versteeg (University of Virginia)
The Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program provides fellowships advancing research in the social sciences and humanities. 35 winners are selected from among hundreds of candidates.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
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.
*Aviva Abramovsky (commercial law, insurance law, financial regulation, legal ethics) from Syracuse University to the University at Buffalo (to become Dean).
*Ifeoma Ajunwa (privacy, health law & policy, antidiscrimination law) from the University of District Columbia Clarke School of Law to Cornell University Industrial and Labor Relations (with a courtesy appointment in law as well) (untenured lateral).
*Richard Albert (constitutional law, comparative constitution law) from Boston College to the University of Texas, Austin (effective January 2018).
*Erez Aloni (family law, contracts, law & sexuality) from Whittier Law School to Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia (untenured lateral).
*Angela Banks (immigration law) from the College of William & Mary to Arizona State University.
*Natalie Banta (property, trusts & estates, tax) from Valparaiso University to Drake University (untenured lateral).
*Binyamin Blum (legal history, evidence, criminal procedure) from Hebrew University, Jerusalem to the University of California Hastings (starting in Spring 2018) (untenured lateral).
*Eleanor Brown (property, immigration and migration law, law & development) from George Washington University to Pennsylvania State University, University Park.
*Christopher Bruner (corporate law, securities regulation) from Washington & Lee University to the University of Georgia.
*Marcilynn A. Burke (property, land use, natural resources) from the University of Houston to the University of Oregon (to become Dean).
*Megan Carpenter (intellectual property) from Texas A&M University to the University of New Hampshire (to become Dean).
*Nicolas Cornell (contracts, law & philosophy) from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania to the University of Michigan (law) (untenured lateral).
*Sharon Davies (criminal law & procedure) from Ohio State University to Spelman College (to become Provost).
*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).
*Tonya Evans (intellectual property, entertainment law, trusts & estates) from Widener University Commonwealth to the University of New Hampshire.
*Sheila Foster (property, land use, environmental law & policy, local government) from Fordham University to Georgetown University (joint with Public Policy).
*Eric Franklin (corporate, contracts, economic & community development clinic) from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (untenured latereal).
*David Gamage (tax) from the University of California, Berkeley to Indiana University, Bloomington.
*Sarah Haan (corporate) from the University of Idaho to Washington & Lee University.
*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 Hasen (tax) from the University of Colorado, Boulder to the University of Florida, Gainesville.
*Alison Hoffman (health law & policy) from the University of California, Los Angeles to the University of Pennsylvania.
*David Hoffman (contracts, law & psychology) from Temple University to the University of Pennsylvania.
*Nicole Huberfeld (health law, constitutional law) from the University of Kentucky to the School of Public Health, Boston University.
*Blake Hudson (environmental law, natural resources, land use) from Louisiana State University to the University of Houston.
*Lolita Buckner Inniss (property, legal history) from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law to Southern Methodist University.
*Margot Kaminski (law & technology, civil liberties, privacy law) from Ohio State University to University of Colorado, Boulder (untenured lateral).
*Kurt Lash (constitutional law) from the University of Illinois to the University of Richmond.
*Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky (torts, First Amendment) from the University of Florida to the University of Missouri, Columbia (to become Dean).
*Pamela Metzger (criminal law & procedure) from Tulane University to Southern Methodist University.
*Samuel Moyn (legal history, human rights) from Harvard University to Yale University.
*Alexandra Natapoff (criminal law & procedure) from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles to University of California, Irvine.
*Douglas NeJaime (family law, law & sexuality, constitutional law) from the University of California, Los Angeles to Yale University.
*Shu-Yi Oei (tax) from Tulane University to Boston College.
*Ruth Okediji (intellectual property, international intellectual property, innovation policy) from the University of Minnesota to Harvard University.
*David Orentlicher (health law) from Indiana University, Indianapolis to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
*Hari M. Osofsky (energy law, climate change, law & science) from the University of Minnesota to Pennsylvania State University, University Park (to become Dean).
*Alice Ristroph (criminal law & procedure, constitutional law, political theory) from Seton Hall University to Brooklyn Law School.
*Stephen Rushin (criminal law & procedure) from the University of Alabama to Loyola University, Chicago (untenured lateral).
*Victoria Sahani (alternative dispute resolution, international arbitration) from Washington & Lee University to Arizona State University.
*Michael Hunter Schwartz (legal education & pedagogy) from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock to McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific (to become Dean).
*Joshua Sellers (election law, constitutional law, legislation, civil procedure) from the University of Oklahoma, Norman to Arizona State University (untenured lateral).
*Michael Simkovic (bankruptcy, tax, corporate) from Seton Hall University to the University of Southern California.
*Brad Snyder (civil procedure, constitutional law, legal history) from the University of Wisconsin, Madison to Georgetown University.
*Matthew Tokson (criminal procedure, cyberlaw, intellectual property) from Northern Kentucky University to the University of Utah (untenured lateral).
*Franita Tolson (election law, constitutional law, employment discrimination) from Florida State 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.
*Urska Velikonja (corporate, securities regulation) from Emory University to Georgetown University.
I could not agree more with Northwestern Dean Dan Rodriguez:
Whittier's sudden closing is obviously a tough thing for current students and faculty. Perhaps the decision will be unraveled in the face of public pressure or via littigation. Yet there seems precious little basis to jump into a matter whose complex issues are essentially private, despite the efforts of many in and around the school to make this into a public spectacle. Perhaps bloggers should neither aid nor abet these efforts.
The hubris of the unknowing.
Sometimes Stephen Diamond (Santa Clara) has been a voice of reason amidst the mindless blather about law schools in most of cyberspace (and I have linked to him on a number of occasions over the years), but here he has completely missed the boat: the general legal market has been improving, true, but it is hardly mysterious why an institution would close a law school where far fewer than half the graduates even pass the bar. Diamond just politely ignores all the relevant facts about how this school's graduates have been faring, and, of course, is ignorant of the actual finances of the school.
But far more egregious is the presumptuous intervention of Robert Anderson, Associate Professor of Law at Pepperdine. Faculty members at Whittier are going to lose their jobs, and some may never work again as law teachers or work again at all. Yet Anderson has the audacity to scold them for not having taken an early retirement in the financial interest of the school. Seriously? Does Prof. Anderson pay the bills for any members of that faculty, does he know about their college-age children or their elderly parents or their chronic medical conditions that require a salary and a health insurance plan? Does he know that a job is not just a paycheck for many people (maybe not Robert Anderson), but a focal point of purpose and meaning in a life? Does he know that many did take early retirement a few years ago, and that others might have quite reasonably believed that the school's fortunes, now that both its faculty and student body were smaller, would rebound?
I'm sure Anderson doesn't know any of these things, he's just another blogging blowhard who has decided to use someone else's misery as an opportunity to attract some attention to himself. Anderson is guilty of far worse than unknowing hubris.
UPDATE: Some choice quotes from Prof. Anderson's posts:
"The reason Whittier is closing is because of intransigent, highly paid, unproductive law professors hang around for decades even when they haven't published anything or updated their courses since they were doing the Macarena."
"The unfortunate truth of this story [about Whitter] is that none of this needed to happen..... The number of retirement-age faculty was (and is) enormous, likely larger than it has ever been. If faculties had looked beyond their own personal financial self interest they could have easily contracted to meet the market demand and avoided the disastrous effects that have afflicted law students and now law schools. Sadly, the very faculty members whose institution provided them an outrageously rewarding career over many decades seemed the least likely to 'pay it forward' by helping to reduce expenses....Thus, the story of Whittier is a story of generational wealth shifting that is seen throughout tuition dependent law schools, and indeed throughout our country."
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may monitor Student Loan Servicers more closely (Michael Simkovic)
Kathleen Engel (Suffolk), Jonathan Glater (U.C. Irvine), and 13 more legal scholars and economists who study higher education and consumer finance have submitted a comment letter supporting a recent proposal by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to monitor student loan servicers more closely. The scholars have also suggested that anonymized versions of the resulting data should be shared with researchers who can help analyze it.
Although the federal government originates and holds most student loans, it contracts with non-profits, state agencies, and private lenders to service those loans--that is, to interact with borrowers, send statements, and collect payments. The scholars expressed concerns that some servicers might not be adequately informing borrowers of the various repayment plans available to them, and could thereby be driving up defaults or financing costs for borrowers.
Monday, April 24, 2017
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Elisabeth de Fontenay at Duke argues that elite law firms' expertise in sophisticated corporate transactions is self-sustaining and resistant to competition. This is in part because firms with that do the lions share of negotiation and drafting for specific kinds of transactions create, manage and retain private information about the current market for terms.
Friday, April 21, 2017
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
This, I believe, is the first genuine closure of an ABA-accredited not-for-profit law school since the economic collapse of 2008 and the subsequent downturn in law school applications.
(Thanks to Rick Hasen for the pointer.)
UPDATE: Whittier law faculty are suing to stop the closure of the school, basically on breach of contract grounds (the complaint takes the position that the faculty contracts incorporate the faculty handbook provisions on academic freedom and tenure, and that no financial exigency exists which would justify terminating their employment, that no educational reasons exist for doing so, and that faculty in any case have not been included in the decision-making process, as they should have been under the AAUP rules in the handbook).
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Mark Hall and Glenn Cohen have extended Brian Leiter's approach to ranking faculty by scholarly citations (based on Sisk data) to the field of health law.
According to Hall and Cohen, the most cited health law scholars in 2010-2014 (inclusive) are:
|Rank||Name||School||Citations||Approx. Age in 2017|
|2||Mark A. Hall||Wake Forest||480||62|
|3||David A. Hyman||Georgetown||360||56|
|4||I. Glenn Cohen||Harvard||320||39|
|5||John A. Robertson||Texas||310||74|
|6||Michelle M. Mello||Stanford||300||46|
|10||George J. Annas||Boston U||270||72|
The full ranking is available here.
Monday, April 17, 2017
UNC's Gene Nichol blasts politically motivated attack on Civil Rights Center, as well as university leadership
Friday, April 14, 2017
Former Berkeley Law Dean Choudhry settles lawsuits with Berkeley and with the secretary, Ms. Sorrell, who accused him of sexual harassment
The full settlement agreement with Berkeley is here: Download Choudhry - Fully Executed SA
Briefly: Prof. Choudhry will resign at the end of the 2017-18 academic year; he will pay $50,000 towards Ms. Sorrell's legal fees and $50,000 towards a designated charity; the university acknowledges that Prof. Choudhry was not found to have committed any sexual assault or to have acted with any sexual intent. I am on the road, so if I've missed relevant details in my cursory review of the settlement, please e-mail me.
UPDATE: I was astonished to see these statements from Ms. Sorell and her lawyer:
A woman who sued the University of California and the former dean of UC Berkeley's law school for sexual harassment is outraged that the school is allowing him to keep his tenured professorship, she announced Saturday...
"This is just one more example of UC refusing to take sexual harassment seriously and once again offering a soft landing even after a finding of harassment," Sorrell's attorney, Leslie F. Levy, said Saturday.
One of Prof. Choudhry's attorneys wrote to me: "You will be interested to know that Ms. Sorrell and her lawyers have had our agreement with UC for over a month and had no objection." But put that to one side: this reaction to the settlement is insane. Prof. Choudhry has given up his tenured position, and given up his salary effective July 1; he gets the "title" for another year, but is on an unpaid "sabbatical" [sic]. That is supposed to be evidence that Berkeley offered the accused a "soft landing"? What exactly does the plaintiff want here?
Everyone I have heard from speaks very highly of Ms. Sorrell, who was undoubtedfly subjected to wrongful treatment, even if it was done, as Berkeley admits, without sexual intent; so I fear she has here been given very bad advice by her attorney at this point, who is presumably responsible for this absurd and vindictive pronouncement.
ANOTHER: Ms. Sorrell and her attorney got a payout of $1.7 million from Berkeley as part of their settlement. That's an astonishing number when you recall that, e.g., Steven Salaita, wrongfully fired from a tenured position by the University of Illinois and his attorneys got only $850,000 a few years ago. The exraordinarily large settlement also makes the vindictive comments about Choudhry all the more striking.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Bill Henderson (Indiana) comments. (I'm more skeptical than Henderson appears to be that the adoption of GRE by Harvard had anything to do with rankings, though. Harvard's US News problem has to do with its size, and nothing else--if it were even half the size it is, it would be #1 every year. But being more than twice the size of Yale, Stanford, and Chicago means it is punished in the per capita expenditures measure because of economies of scale.)
Isn't it a bit nutty that law school admissions in the United States are run by a guy who works for a ranking website?
Friday, April 7, 2017
"As of 3/31/17, there are 319,072 applications submitted by 47,916 applicants for the 2017–2018 academic year. Applicants are down 1.9% and applications are up 0.3% from 2016–2017. Last year at this time, we had 87% of the preliminary final applicant count."
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Leslie Green, who holds one of the two statutory (i.e., university-wide) Chairs in Philosophy of Law at Oxford, has now expanded on his thoughts about the Gorsuch plagiarism case and the claims of John Finnis (who held a personal chair in legal philosophy, but is now emeritus). (Earlier posts here and here.)
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
In fact, plagiarism is not, contrary to John Finnis, normal practice at Oxford. This also is irrelevant to his nomination, but the Judge should acknowledge the error.
Monday, April 3, 2017
Mary Bilder (Boston College) wrote an opinion piece for the Boston Globe about originalism and Judge Gorsuch. This elicited the following astonishing reply from originalist Larry Solum (Georgetown) on his usually benign and informative Legal Theory Blog. Some of the questions might have made sense were Solum the referee for a scholarly article making some of these claims; as a response to an op-ed, they are almost comical overreactions. Take just Solum's first intervention:
Question One: You wrote the following:
Today, most originalists contend that a judge should abide by the text’s “original public meaning” — a term of art that originalist scholars have written thousands of pages trying to explain.
What is the basis for the page count? Which articles by which originalists scholars are you discussing? I am very familiar with the theoretical literature on original public meaning, but if this claim is correct there is a large body of work that I have missed entirely.
The basis for the "page count"? Seriously? One can look just at Solum's own SSRN page to find at least 400 pages of writing on this topic. And that's just one author. Add in Randy Barnett, Keith Whittington, the late Justice Scalia, John McGinnis, Michael Rappaport, Larry Alexander, Will Baude, and Stephen Sachs, and "thousands" seems like a plausible off-the-cuff estimate. But why quibble about nonsense like this?
I would advise Prof. Bilder to let these questions pass in silence.
UPDATE: Prof. Solum replies here; I will give him the final word on this matter!
Sunday, April 2, 2017
New York Times Reporter Elizabeth Olson Claims That Professors Earning Less than First Year Associates are Paid like Law Firm Partners (Michael Simkovic)
New York Times reporter Elizabeth Olson recently complained that the Dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Law was suspended after attempting to slash faculty compensation (“Cincinnati Law Dean Is Put on Leave After Proposing Ways to Cut Budget”). According to Olson, “law schools like Cincinnati [pay hefty] six-figure professor salaries that are meant to match partner-level wages.”
Olson goes on to cite the compensation of the current and former Dean of the law school. This makes about as much sense as citing newspaper executive compensation in a discussion about reducing pay for beat reporters.
Data from 2015—the latest readily publicly available—shows that law professors at Cincinnati earned total compensation averaging $133,000. A few professors earned less than six figures. Only one faculty member—a former dean and one of the most senior members of the faculty—earned more than $180,000. Including only Full Professors—the most senior, accomplished faculty members who have obtained tenure and typically have between seven and forty years of work experience—brings average total compensation to $154,000 per year.
As Olson herself reported less than a year ago, first year associates at large law firms earn base salaries of $180,000 per year, not counting substantial bonuses and excellent benefits. With a few years of experience, elite law firm associates’ total compensation including bonus can exceed $300,000. Law firm partners at the largest 200 firms can earn hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars per year according to the American Lawyer, and often receive large pensions after retirement.
Friday, March 31, 2017
A new draft paper that may be of interest to some readers; the abstract:
I argue that the core of genuinely academic freedom ought to be freedom in research and teaching, subject to disciplinary standards of expertise. I discuss the law in the United States, Germany, and England, and express doubts about the American view that distinctively academic freedom ought to encompass "extramural" speech on matters of public importance (speakers should be protected from employment repercussions for such speech, but not because of their freedom qua academics).
I treat freedom of academic expression as a subset of general freedom of expression, focusing on the Millian argument that freedom of expression maximizes discovery of the truth, one regularly invoked by defenders of academic freedom. Marcuse argued against Mill (in 1965) that "indiscriminate" toleration of expression would not maximize discovery of the truth. I show that Marcuse agreed with Mill that free expression is only truth- and utility-maximizing if certain background conditions obtain: thus Mill argues that the British colony in India would be better off with "benevolent despotism" than Millian liberty of expression, given that its inhabitants purportedly lacked the maturity and education requisite for expression to be utility-maximizing. Marcuse agrees with Mill that the background conditions are essential, but has an empirical disagreement with him about what those are and when they obtain: Mill finds them wanting in colonial India, Marcuse finds them wanting in capitalist America.
Perhaps surprisingly, Marcuse believes that "indiscriminate" toleration of expression should be the norm governing academic discussions, despite his doubts about the utility-maximizing value of free expression in capitalist America. Why think that? Here is a reason: where disciplinary standards of expertise govern debate, the discovery of truth really is more likely, but only under conditions of "indiscriminate" freedom of argument, i.e., academic freedom. This freedom is not truly "indiscriminate": its boundaries are set by disciplinary competence, which raises an additional question I try to address.
In sum, the libertarians (Mill and Popper) and the Marxists (Marcuse) can agree that academic freedom is justified, at least when universities are genuine sites of scientific expertise and open debate.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Wednesday, March 29, 2017