February 28, 2006
Estlund from Columbia to NYU
Cynthia Estlund (employment and labor law) at Columbia Law School has accepted the senior offer from New York University School of Law. She is the second senior faculty member to decamp to NYU in roughly the last year. One additional senior Columbia Law School faculty member is also entertaining an offer from NYU at the time of this writing.
UPDATE: A Columbia professor writes to call me on my careless use of language: "Just to point out that the American Heritage dictionary, found at dictionary.com, defines 'decamp' as 'to depart secretly or suddenly.' Since Cindy got her offer a year ago, has been visiting at NYU this semester, and the AALS deadline is in two weeks, I'm not sure the characterization is accurate."
Case Western's Chodosh Named Utah Law Dean
Hiram Chodosh, who is currently Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the law school at Case Western Reserve University, has been named the new Dean of the law school at the University of Utah. The Utah press release is here.
When Do the Editorial Boards of the Student-Edited Law Reviews Change?
Professor Wenger (Thomas Jefferson) is collecting the information here.
Penalver from Fordham to Cornell
Eduardo Penalver (property, law & religion), a tenure-track professor at Fordham and a visiting professor this year at Yale Law School, has accepted a mid-level untenured (but tenure-stream) post at Cornell Law School.
February 27, 2006
Solum's Entry-Level Hiring Report for 2005-06
Professor Solum is now collecting data on entry-level hires; see here for the instructions about how to report information.
NLJ Article on Law Professors Blogging
Here. (Thanks to Paul Caron for the pointer.) An excerpt:
As more law professors are tapping away at their computers on blogs that cover everything from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to the death penalty, they also may be chipping away at the ivory tower.
An increasing number of law professors are using blogs-online journals or newsletters-to break free from traditional modes of legal scholarship. With an immediacy and ability to reach millions of readers, blogs are proving an attractive vehicle among legal scholars for spouting and sharing ideas.
But they are also raising concerns that they may lead to a dumbing down of the profession.
"They have nothing to do with scholarship," said Katherine Litvak, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law.
I am inclined to agree with my colleague Kate, with the caveat that blogs sometimes help get actual scholarship into circulation (as any glance at the most downloaded SSRN authors quickly shows). Similarly, Law Emperor Caron's blog (like others in the network) helps call attention to articles and developments of scholarly interest. So to these modest extents they have "something" to do with scholarship!
February 24, 2006
Gulati from Georgetown to Duke
Mitu Gulati, whose teaching and research range widely over corporate law, securities regulation, employment law and discrimination, among other areas, has accepted a senior offer from Duke Law School; he is currently Professor of Law at Georgetown.
Tushnet from Georgetown to Harvard; also Texas Lateral Offers to Rodriguez, Whittington
Mark Tushnet (constitutional law and history, Critical Legal Studies), longtime member of the Georgetown law faculty, has accepted the senior offer from Harvard Law School.
This is turning into the year of very high-profile lateral moves. Tushnet is the most-cited member of the Georgetown faculty, and one of the most-cited law professors in the U.S. Douglas Laycock, the second most-cited member of the Texas law faculty, is moving to Michigan (where his wife is to become Provost). Robert Scott, the most-cited faculty member at Virginia, is moving to Columbia.
Harvard may also be poised to give Yale a run-for-the-money for the best constitutional law faculty in the U.S., having added, since the time of the last survey, Daryl Levinson from NYU, Adrian Vermeule from Chicago, and now Tushnet from Georgetown.
Meanwhile, the University of Texas School of Law has senior offers outstanding to Daniel Rodriguez (administrative and public law, positive political theory), the outgoing Dean of the University of San Diego School of Law (and before that a faculty member at Berkeley), and to Keith Whittington, Professor of Politics at Princeton University and probably the leading constitutional originalist of his generation. Rodriguez also has senior offers from Duke, Southern California, and Vanderbilt. (As reported quite some time ago, Texas also has an outstanding senior offer to William Sage [health law] from Columbia Law School, who is visiting at Texas this academic year.)
A Comment on Editorial Comments about Faculty Moves--and Some Policies on Faculty News
A student reader writes with the following reasonable query:
As a law school hopeful participating in the current application cycle, I read your Law School Reports with interest. I'm especially intrigued by your characterization of Mark Tushnet's possible move from Georgetown to Harvard as a "huge loss" for Georgetown. Could you be a bit more specific as to what you mean by this? I often see you mention that this or that hire is a big deal, but I'm not precisely sure what you mean by it.
Are you mainly pointing toward the overall reputation or ranking of the affected schools? Toward the quality of the teaching or the research? Would a Tushnet departure be 'huge' for the students or the other faculty? I just wonder what one law professor more or less means to an institution as a whole, especially when we're talking about institutions in the upper echelons. From my snail's eye view of academia, and my worm's eye view of law school, I'm genuinely not sure.
My editorial comments are almost always strictly about the effect of a move on the scholarly quality and reputation of the faculty--the only kind of judgment an outsider is ordinarily able to make. Of course, "reputation" in U.S. News is completely unhinged from actual faculty quality, as we have had occasions to note before; but there are, at least, sounder measures of reputation in which these kinds of moves are more likely to register. I should add that when I comment on "scholarly quality and reputation" I am usually trying to register what I think is the likely consensus view among those in the field, not my personal opinion. Some faculty moves that may, indeed, be perceived as enhancing the scholarly stature of a school by others involve faculty whom I, personally, would never hire. But I do try to bracket my personal judgments on that score.
I've posted a lot of news about faculty moves lately--'tis the season for these kinds of moves--and it occurs to me that it may be useful to articulate a policy about which moves I will be reporting. Since a lot of prelaw students are interested in this information, and are trying to use it in conjunction with my law school rankings, I am going to confine news about faculty moves to moves to or from schools that figure in the various rankings of faculty quality. I am going to limit future reporting this way also to save myself time: with 180+ ABA-approved law schools, there are a lot of faculty moves going on out there, and I really can't keep on top of all of them. I apologize to those readers who would like the net to be cast more widely, but until Law Blog Emperor Caron increases my cut of the profits from this site, I can't justify investing additional time on this score!
And many thanks, of course, to readers who provide tips on faculty moves! I can only report them here if I learn of them, so the help is invaluable.
Parry from Pittsburgh to Lewis & Clark
John Parry (constitutional law, civil rights, criminal law), a tenured associate professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh, has accepted a tenured post at Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College, where he is currently visiting.