Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Brian Leiter
University of Chicago Law School

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Thursday, September 8, 2005

Top 10 Faculty Moves in the Past Year?

Here are some of the many contenders for the lateral moves most significant for either the hiring or losing school that have transpired over the last academic year (including a few that have been announced, but won't take effect till January 2006); others that I've missed should be noted in the comments:

Kenneth Abbott (international) from Northwestern to Arizona State.

Frank Bowman (criminal) from Indiana/Indianapolis to Missouri.

Curtis Bradley (international, foreign affairs law) from Virginia to Duke.

David Caudill (evidence, property, postmodern theory) from Washington & Lee to Villanova.

Stephen Choi (corporate) from Berkeley to NYU.

Mary Crossley (health law) from Florida State to Pittsburgh (to become Dean)

Mechelle Dickerson (bankruptcy) from William & Mary to Texas.

Jody Freeman (environmental) from UCLA to Harvard.

Michael Gerhardt (constitutional) from William & Mary to North Carolina.

Philip Hamburger (legal history) from Chicago to Columbia.

Valerie Hans (law & empirical social science) from Delaware to Cornell.

Geoffrey Hazard (legal ethics, civil procedure) from Penn to UC Hastings.

Samuel Issacharoff (civil procedure, voting rights) from Columbia to NYU.

Derek Jinks (international) from Arizona State to Texas.

Leandra Lederman (tax) from George Mason to Indiana/Bloomington.

Daryl Levinson (constitutional) from NYU to Harvard.

Clarissa Long (intellectual property) from Virginia to Columbia.

Lawrence Marshall (clinical, criminal) from Northwestern to Stanford.

David McGowan (intellectual property, corporate) from Minnesota to San Diego.

Miranda McGowan (antidiscrimination law, statutory interpretation) from Minnesota to San Diego.

Jennifer Mnookin (evidence) from Virginia to UCLA.

Mary O'Connell (international) from Ohio State to Notre Dame.

Stephen Perry (torts, jurisprudence) from NYU to Penn.

Jennifer Robbennolt (law & psychology) from Missouri to Illinois.

Edward Rubin (commercial, administrative, jurisprudence) from Penn to Vanderbilt (to become Dean).

Scott Shapiro (jurisprudence) from Cardozo to Michigan.

David Sklansky (criminal procedure, evidence) from UCLA to Berkeley.

Lawrence Solum (intellectual property, jurisprudence, civil procedure) from San Diego to Illinois.

Kent Syverud (insurance, professional responsibility) from Vanderbilt to Washington University, St. Louis (to become Dean).

Frederick Tung (corporate) from Loyola/LA to Emory.

Rebecca Tushnet (intellectual property) from NYU to Georgetown.

Aaron Twerski (torts, products liability) from Brooklyn to Hofstra (to become Dean).

Letti Volpp (immigration, law & culture) from American to Berkeley.

Joan Chalmers Williams (feminist legal theory) from American to UC Hastings.

Timothy Wu (intellectual property, Cyberlaw) from Virginia to Columbia.

My ten most significant (and leaving my own school to one side) would probably include:  Abbott, Bradley, Choi, Hazard, Issacharoff, Perry, Rubin, Syverud, Williams.  Comments are open, and are being pre-screened for relevance and content.  Because I'm on the road, there may be some delay in the appearance of the comments.

http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2005/09/top_10_faculty_.html

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Comments

How about Jill Hasday from Chicago to Minnesota, Richard Painter from Illinois to Minnesota, and Kevin Reitz from Colorado to Minnesota?

Posted by: Brett McDonnell | Sep 8, 2005 8:35:16 AM

Thanks. I thought Hasday and Reitz were last year. Didn't know about Painter, thanks.

Posted by: BL | Sep 8, 2005 8:48:16 AM

Is there any reason you included moves that will occur as late as next January, but have not included those already announced that will occur next fall? I'm thinking specifically here of Albert Alschuler's move to Northwestern.

Posted by: Marc Johnson | Sep 8, 2005 8:59:37 AM

No especially weighty reason--moves that will happen in January will still happen in the 05-06 academic year. Alschuler would count for next year.

Posted by: BL | Sep 8, 2005 10:56:32 AM

Might you also consider Norman Spaulding from Boalt to Stanford, and Peter Huang from Minnesota to Temple?

Posted by: michael stein | Sep 8, 2005 11:49:41 AM


Two noteworthy commercial law moves: Jonathan Lipson from Baltimore to Temple, and Bruce Markell from UNLV to the federal bankruptcy bench.

Posted by: tz | Sep 8, 2005 1:36:18 PM

Don't forget Elaine Shoben's move from Illinois to UNLV. In terms of effect on the perceived overall scholarly quality of the mover's new faculty, it has to rank pretty high.

Posted by: Keith Rowley | Sep 8, 2005 2:06:50 PM

I also thought that Kim Scheppele going from Penn to Princeton was pretty significant as a loss to Penn, but maybe you mean to only consider law-to-law moves. Losing Hazard I feel less bad about since he's so old now- he must be one of the few people to (soon) be emeritus at two schools! What ever anyone else thinks, we're thrilled to have Stephen Perry back.

Posted by: Matt | Sep 8, 2005 2:08:45 PM

Brian, I suggest that you specify your criteria. It appears to me that you are asking, in effect, which moves will have the greatest likely effect upon the quality standards you generate for law schools. Thus, a move like Daryl Levinson's from NYU to Harvard -- a move by a universally highly respected scholar from a top school to the #1 or #2 school -- will move Harvard's excellence only a little bit up, and NYU's only a little bit down. Accordingly, it does not make your top 10 list. Had Daryl been at a middling school, his loss would have been devastating to that school, and thus his move might have made your list. Or had Daryl gone from NYU to a middling school, same result. I suppose had Daryl gone from one middling school to another, it surely would make your list. Am I getting the right sense for this project? Also, I gather you are not attempting to measure more intangible losses like the degree to which someone was an integral player/leader/colleague/inspiration at the school now left -- something that would be hard to assess from the outside. Do I have this right?

Posted by: Phil Frickey | Sep 8, 2005 4:30:11 PM

Reitz was this year. I had him for Crim Law at Colorado last semester.

Posted by: Buffs Law | Sep 8, 2005 6:23:28 PM

To Matt: yes, I should have included Scheppele, that was just oversight, since I knew about it.

To Phil: yes, you have it basically right. As outsiders, the best we can usually do is assess someone's scholarship, not their collegiality, pedagogy, etc. So a "significant" move is "significant" in terms of what it adds to the scholarly profile of the hiring school and what it takes away from the scholarly profile of the losing school. So putting aside my cranky philosopher's view that some of Levinson's work is a muddle, what you say about Levinson, by way of example, is basically right.

It goes without saying, I hope, that this ain't rocket science, and I welcome other perspectives and takes on "significance."

Thanks also to the others for correcting the omissions, which I either didn't know about or had accidentally overlooked (as with, e.g., Scheppele). Another big omission, by the way, is Carol Rose's move from Yale to Arizona, which, per the criteria noted above, I'd add to my own "top ten" list. (I knew Rose had been visiting, but had missed that she had now made a permanent move.)

Posted by: BL | Sep 8, 2005 8:53:48 PM

South Carolina was pretty pleased to steal Danielle Ren Holley away from Hofstra.

Posted by: Ann Bartow | Sep 9, 2005 5:42:47 AM

I'd add the move of Douglas Cassel from Northwestern to Notre Dame, to direct Notre Dame's Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Posted by: Rick Garnett | Sep 9, 2005 6:29:53 PM

There seems to be an exodus going on at Virginia. Seems a bit active for one year. Anyone have any gossip as to why this is the case?

Posted by: Alejandro | Oct 8, 2005 8:09:42 PM

I wouldn't call two departures an "exodus." Virginia has one major problem, which is that it's in the sticks. Periodically, people leave, usually because a)they want a big city, or b) their spouse wants a big city (and maybe a job, too). But despite some recent losses, Virginia has a sizeable crop of potential laterals who are visiting or have just visited, and Virginia also hired five new entry-level people this year.

Posted by: Julian | Oct 11, 2005 3:49:23 PM

Actually there was 4 on the list not to mention those from last year. For me at least 4 seems like alot for a high ranked school.

But then I remember some people saying that schools like Virginia and Michigan are big stepping stone schools for people moving into HYSCC crowd and thus have more turnover than you would think. Maybe they were right.

Posted by: Alejandro | Oct 13, 2005 1:33:01 PM

Sorry, you're right, four, two announced last year, two announced just recently. I was not counting the moves "up," for the reason you suggest. Virginia (like Michigan, Penn, etc) has always been a top "feeder" school for places like Yale, Harvard, and Stanford and Columbia. When schools lose people to higher-ranked law schools, they rarely mourn that much (except on a personal level, re losing friends), since it's a sign of success to be continually raided by "better" institutions.

Schools only really get worried when they keep lose faculty to parallel or lower-ranked schools. This does happen to Virginia from time to time, for the reasons I mention; there are many people who would prefer to be at a "lesser" school in a bigger city to being at a "better" school in a small town.

And needless to say, with due respect to Brian's rankings, there is much more to what makes a school good than faculty reputation. Resources, personal relationships with colleagues, students, quality of life, etc. all affect whether a particular faculty member will stay or go. Bottom line, Virginia is presumably sad to see valued faculty members depart-- but I doubt they see it as a crisis, rather than part of the normal ebb and flow, which presents constant opportunities for renewal and new hires, too.

Posted by: Julian | Oct 14, 2005 7:29:41 AM

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