Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Puzder to withdraw as the nominee for Secretary of Labor

This is another reason Deans probably should not be vouching for political appointees.

February 15, 2017 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, February 14, 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).

 

*Angela Banks (immigration law) from the College of William & Mary to Arizona State University.

 

*Binyamin Blum (legal history, evidence, criminal procedure) from Hebrew University, Jerusalem to the University of California Hastings (starting in Spring 2018) (untenured lateral). 

 

*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.

 

*Shu-Yi Oei (tax) from Tulane University to Boston College.

 

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

 

*Alice Ristroph (criminal law & procedure, constitutional law, political theory) from Seton Hall University to Brooklyn Law School.

 

*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.

 

*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.

February 14, 2017 in Faculty News | Permalink

Monday, February 13, 2017

Lateral hiring in law schools networks--the diagram

This is amusing, courtesy of law professor Ryan Whalen (Dalhousie), a recent JD/PhD graduate of Northwestern.  One minor drawback is that faculty who retire and move elsewhere are treated as ordinary lateral moves.  (So, too, with moves to assume Deanships:  there too, the reasons for the move are different than ordinary lateral moves.)

February 13, 2017 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

Thursday, February 9, 2017

In Memoriam: Roger Cramton (1929-2017)

Former Dean of Cornell Law School, he also taught at the Universities of Chicago (from which he graduated) and Michigan.   His scholarly work was in the areas of legal ethics and conflicts, and he also held several important public service posts during his career.  The Cornell memorial notice is here.

February 9, 2017 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

TaxJazz

Learn about tax and tax policy, courtesy of Marjorie Kornhauser (Tulane).

February 9, 2017 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

ABA votes to reject change to bar passage requirement for law schools

The proposal would have required that 75% of graduates taking the bar pass within two years of graduation.  I suspect in a Trump Administration, there will be less danger of the ABA losing its accreditation role, but I can imagine a more aggressive Education Department in the future wondering what the explanation could be for rejecting such a standard. 

More details here.

February 7, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

$25 million gift to Minnesota Law...

...to support a center to deal with legal issues confronting new immigrants, as well as a clinical position and student support.   This is the biggest gift in Minnesota Law's history!

February 7, 2017 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, February 6, 2017

One year Masters of Legal Studies at University of Chicago Law School

We're accepting applications again.  The program is aimed at PhD students, who have completed coursework, and are either about to embark on dissertation writing or at early stages, and whose work would benefit from a year of law study.   See the site for details.  We admit only a couple each year, but it is fully funded, covering tuition and providing a living stipend.

February 6, 2017 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Judge Gorsuch should speak out in defense of judicial independence in light of Trump's latest disgraceful behavior

Excellent point by my colleague Eric Posner.

February 4, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Friday, February 3, 2017

Deans of 20 ABA-approved law schools in California call on California Supreme Court to intervene and reset the scores for bar passage

Here is the letter:   Download 2 1 17 LTRtoCalSupCt (003)

It's quite clear there's no real justification for California failing more bar takers than any other state in the country.

February 3, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Jerome Frank's argument for the absolute priority rule in bankruptcy

This is classic:

Courts of equity have a tradition of aiding the helpless, such as infants, idiots and drunkards.  The average security holder in a corporate reorganization is of like kind.

This comes from "Some Realistic Reflections on Some Aspects of Corporate Reorganization," 19 Virginia Law Review 541, 569 (1933).  (I owe the reference to a working paper by my colleagues Douglas Baird, Anthony Casey, and Randy Picker.)

February 2, 2017 in Jurisprudence, Legal Humor | Permalink

I'm not sure we should hold high school antics against nominees to the federal bench...

...but founding the "Fascism Forever Club" does raise questions about one's judgment, even allowing for age!

(Thanks to Michael Swanson for the pointer.)

ADDENDUM:  It appears Judge Gorsuch attended a high school run by quite liberal Jesuits (unlike the late Justice Scalia who went to a famously conservative Jesuit high school in New York).   I imagine his liberal teachers tended to deride conservatives as "fascists," ergo the conservative students decided to "zing" them back!

ANOTHER:  This story confirms that it was, indeed, a joke (and not even an actual club).

February 2, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Should a law school Dean be writing op-eds in support of controversial (or even uncontroversial) political appointees?

That's an issue posed by a dispute between Nancy Staudt, Dean of the law school at Washington University, St. Louis--who wrote an opinion piece in support of Andrew Puzder, Trump's nominee for Secretary of Labor, who is also an involved alum of Wash U--and Emeritus Professor Richard Kuhns, whose open letter you can read here:   Download Puzder letter Kuhns.  Professor Kuhns thinks it was inappropriate for the Dean to write this column; I am inclined to agree.  But I am curious what others think about the propriety of Dean Staudt's piece.  Signed comments only: full name and valid e-mail address.  Submit the comment only once, it may take awhile to appear.

February 2, 2017 in Faculty News, Law in Cyberspace, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink | Comments (4)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Supreme Court clerks by school, 1882-2017, 2005-2017 (UPDATED & CORRECTED)

Brad Hillis called this data compilation he did to my attention; I haven't verified its accuracy, but the recent (2005-17) data looks roughly right.  Readers can weigh in at Wikipedia to correct the data if need be.  Neither list is adjusted for class size.

Here are the twenty law schools that have produced the most Supreme Court clerks since 1882:

Rank/ Law School/ # clerks / % of all clerks

1) Harvard 607 27%

2) Yale 396 18%

3) Chicago 156 7%

4) Stanford 137 6%

5) Columbia 135 6%

6) Virginia 110 5%

7) Michigan 87 4%

8) Georgetown 61 3%

9) Berkeley 59 3%

10) NYU 54 2%

11) Penn 48

12) Northwestern 42

13) Texas 35

14) GW 26

15) Duke 21

16) UCLA 19

17) Notre Dame-17

18) BYU 13

19) Indiana 11

19) Minnesota-11

And here is Mr. Hillis's list of the top 20 law schools which have produced the most clerks since 2005 through 2017 (again, note that Harvard is more than twice the size of Yale, Stanford, and Chicago; that Virginia, Columbia, and NYU are about twice the size of the latter; etc.):

 

Continue reading

January 31, 2017 in Legal Profession, Rankings | Permalink

Monday, January 30, 2017

"Malevolence tempered by incompetence"

This is one of the more incisive and damning analyses of Trump's executive order on refugrees and visas.

January 30, 2017 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Friday, January 27, 2017

Startling development: Harvard Law students think they are more important than they really are!

Some want to play an "indispensable" role in the search for a new Dean.  I'm sure student feedback on candidates will receive some weight, but that's about it.  Were I a betting man (I am not), I would bet on  John Goldberg or John Manning--both current HLS faculty--to be chosen as the new Dean.

January 27, 2017 in Faculty News, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Cost-benefit analysis and the late Justice Scalia spell trouble for Trump's proposed border wall

Interesting analysis by my colleagues Daniel Hemel, Jonathan Masur, and Eric Posner.

January 26, 2017 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, January 23, 2017

The increasingly ugly demise of Charlotte Law School

A local news outlet records the details.  Charlotte is now betting on an Education Department under Besty DeVos being more favorable to them!

January 23, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Latest LSAC data: applicants down 4.2% from January 2016 (UPDATED!)

UPDATED:  MOVING TO FRONT FROM YESTERDAY

Here's the report:

As of 1/6/17, there are 134,007 applications submitted by 21,711 applicants for the 2017–2018 academic year. Applicants are down 4.2% and applications are down 2.2% from 2016–2017.

Last year at this time, we had 40% of the preliminary final applicant count.

Although there has been a trend towards increasingly later applications, this figure does suggest that we are going to see a slight, but not negligible, decline in applicants this cycle.

UPDATE:  But now LSAC reports that LSAT-takers in December were up nearly 8% from the prior year!  The likely explanation though, is a scheduling change, which led more applicants to skip the early fall LSAT in favor of the December one.  But that would also account for the decline in applicants noted in the 1/6/17 report.  So my guess now is that we won't be seeing any decline in the applicant pool this year, so we really are at "the new normal."

January 19, 2017 in Legal Profession | Permalink

Established datasets, proxies, and customized data collection: The case of international LLMs (Michael Simkovic)

How should researchers make tradeoffs between the costs of data collection, the speed of the analysis, the precision of the measurements, reproducibility by other researchers, and broader context about the meaning of the data: how we might compare one group or one course of action to another, how we might understand historical trends, and the like?

Must we always measure the precise group of interest, with zero tolerance for over-inclusion or under-inclusion?  Or might one or a series of proxy groups be sufficient, or even preferable for some purposes?  What if the proxies have substantial overlap with the groups of interest and biases introduced by use of proxy groups are reasonably well understood?  How close must the proxy group be to the group of interest?

These are important questions raised by a group of legal profession researchers which includes several of the principal investigators of the widely used After the JD dataset. 

Professors Carole Silver, Ethan Michelson, Robert Nelson, Nancy Reichman, Rebecca Sandefur, and Joyce Sterling (hereinafter, Silver et al.) recently wrote a three-part response (Parts 1, 2, and 3) to my two-part blog post from December about International LLM students who remain in the United States (Part 1) and International LLM students who return to their home countries (Part 2).  The bulk of Silver et al.’s critique appears in Part 2 of their post, and focuses mainly on Part 1 of my LLM post.

My post, which I described as “a very preliminarily, quick analysis intended primarily to satisfy my own curiosity” used U.S. Census data from the American Community Survey and two proxy groups for international LLM (“Masters of Law”) graduates to make inferences about the financial benefits of LLM degrees to international students who remain in the U.S.  Silver et al. agree with several of the limitations of this analysis that I noted in paragraphs 5 through 8 of Part 1 of my post.  They also note that historically, many LLMs have returned to their home countries and argue that the benefits of LLM programs to returning students may be greater than the benefits to those who remain in the United States.  (While I am skeptical of this last claim—especially if we focus exclusively on pecuniary benefits—it seems likely that both groups benefit).

Silver et al. have also helpfully made several additional points about limitations in my proxy approach and ways in which proxies could over-count or under-count foreign LLMs.  The most important of these limitations can be addressed with a few modifications to the LLM proxy group approach.[1]  Those interested in the technical details are encouraged to read footnote 1 below.

Returning to broader questions about the use of proxy groups, my view is that proxy groups can be helpful and potentially necessary for certain kinds of analysis.

Suppose that we wish to know the temperature in New York’s Central Park before we take a stroll, but we only have temperature readings for LaGuardia and Newark airport.  While neither of those proxies will tell us the precise temperature in Central Park, they will usually be sufficiently close that we can ascertain with a reasonable degree of certainty whether we should bring our winter coats, wear sweaters, or proceed with short sleeves.  Indeed, readings from Boston or Philadelphia will probably suffice, particularly if we’re aware of the direction and magnitude of typical temperature differences relative to Central Park.

Should we refuse to venture out until we can obtain a temperature reading from Central Park itself?

Continue reading

January 19, 2017 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Science, Weblogs | Permalink

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Professor Levit & Rostron's guide to submitting to law reviews is updated

They write:

We  just updated our charts about law journal submissions, expedites, and rankings from different sources for the Spring 2017 submission season covering the 203 main journals of each law school. 

A couple of the highlights from this round of revisions are:

First, again the chart includes as much information as possible about what law reviews are not accepting submissions right now and what dates they say they'll resume accepting submissions.  Most of this is not specific dates, because the journals tend to post only imprecise statements about how the journal is not currently accepting submissions but will start doing so at some point in spring.

Second, while 72 law reviews still prefer or require submission through ExpressO, the movement toward the number of journals using and preferring Scholastica continues:  27 schools now require Scholastica as the exclusive avenue for submissions, with 25 more preferring or strongly preferring it, and 25 accepting articles submitted through either ExpressO or Scholastica,.

The first chart contains information about each journal’s preferences about methods for submitting articles (e.g., e-mail, ExpressO, Scholastica, or regular mail), as well as special formatting requirements and how to request an expedited review.  The second chart contains rankings information from U.S. News and World Report as well as data from Washington & Lee’s law review website.

Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews and Journals:  http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1019029

The Washington & Lee data on citations to law reviews is not very useful, since it does not correct for volume of publication.   As a rule of thumb, law review status tracks the hosting law school's status, though the further down the hierarchy one goes, the less meaningful the distinctions become.  2nd-tier specialty journals at some top schools can offer be a better bet than the main law review at other schools--you need to ask colleagues in your specialty to find out.

January 17, 2017 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Professional Advice, Rankings | Permalink

Science at work: the "most influential" people in legal education

Blog Emperor Caron reports.  Thanks to the many Deans and law faculty who have been regular readers and correspondents over the years!

January 17, 2017 in Law in Cyberspace, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink