December 15, 2006
Academic Trade Secrets, Part I: Grading Exams
Daniel Solove (George Washington) reveals the truth about how it is actually done.
UPDATE: Via Dean Charles Nelson at Faulkner University's Jones School of Law comes a link from his colleague Professor Andy Olree regarding the equally scientific grading practices when he taught political science at Harding University. What do readers think: stairs or shotguns? Which is a better measure of merit?
December 14, 2006
Aoki from Oregon to UC Davis
Keith Aoki (intellectual property, critical theory), who is currently the Philip Knight Professor of Law at the University of Oregon, has accepted a senior offer from the University of California at Davis, where he is visiting currently.
How Not to Recruit Students
This isn't "legal" humor, but it is very funny nonetheless. The Economics Department at Harvard actually prepared this video as a recruiting device for prospective PhD students. It is fair to say that this was not a successful effort. Students in the Department, in turn, prepared two parodies of the original: here and here. The second one is especially funny.
Let this be a lesson to all!
December 13, 2006
Chen from Minnesota to the Deanship at Louisville
Jim Chen, a prolific and well-known scholar in a diverse array of fields (including administrative, environmental, agricultural, constitutional, and natural resources law, as well as legislation, economic regulation, and industrial policy) at the University of Minnesota Law School, has accepted appointment as Dean of the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, effective at the start of the New Year. The Louisville press release is here.
It will be interesting to see how Professor-turned-Dean Chen applies some of the ideas from his "money law" blog to the institution he will soon be running.
December 12, 2006
UT Law & Philosophy Program for 2006-07
Against Interdisciplinary Appointments?
Anthony D'Amato at Northwestern argues against such appointments in a new article here. As he notes on page 68 of the article, his own Dean, David Van Zandt, has taken the opposite view denying "that law is an autonomous discipline having its own methods and approach. [Dean Van Zandt] claims instead that 'law and legal institutions are merely a subset of social and political phenomena that are studied every day in economic, political science, and other departments.'"
This should make for some lively faculty meetings!
I haven't read all of Professor D'Amato's article, though, needless to say, I'm skeptical about the strong conclusions it draws--though perhaps the Northwestern experience colors his perspective in particular.
UPDATE: Josh Wright (George Mason) has useful things to say in response to Professor D'Amato's claims about law and economics.
ANOTHER: More critical reaction from Dan Markel (Florida State).
AND ONE MORE: The legal historian Mary Dudziak (USC) is also skeptical.
December 11, 2006
What is the Teaching Load at Your School?
December 10, 2006
New Research Tool for Measuring "Authority"/Impact of Cases and Eventually Legal Scholarship
Professor Tom Smith, my esteemed former colleague at the University of San Diego School of Law, writes:
You might be interested in this, a new legal search engine my co-author Antonio Tomarchio and I have developed with a team of engineers in Italy; our scientific advisors and several of our engineers are from the Polytechnic of Milan, one of Europe's biggest and most prestigious technical universities.
You may be particularly interested because it gives us a much, much more sophisticated way to measure the authority of cases, and when we get the data, legal scholarship, than mere counting of citations. The same methodology could be applied to any citation network, so just about any academic field. So for example, if your article has been cited 20 times, but never in the last 10 years, we pick that up, we call it "aging of authority." If it has been cited 5 times in the Harv L Rev. compared to another article cited 10 times in the Arkansas J of Law & Animals, it will pick that up too.
Here's the link: www.precydent.com
It is just an early beta. The graphics will be improved. The data is limited and we're working on getting more.
Professor Smith and his partners in this project would welcome feedback.
December 7, 2006
Feldman from NYU to Harvard
Noah Feldman, an expert in constitutional law and Islamic law at New York University, has accepted the senior offer from Harvard Law School. NYU, it will be recalled, prevailed earlier this year in retaining constitutional law and voting rights scholar Richard Pildes in the face of a Harvard offer, but about a year before that, lost another young constitutional law scholar, Daryl Levinson, to Harvard. Harvard has made a very strong lateral hiring push in the public law areas in the last few years; in addition to Feldman and Levinson, they have also added John Manning (administrative law) and Gerald Neuman (immigration law) from Columbia Law School; Adrian Vermeule (constitutional law, legislation) from the University of Chicago; Mark Tushnet (constitutional law and history) from Georgetown Univeristy; and Jack Goldsmith (international law, foreign affairs law) from the University of Virginia. Harvard also still has offers outstanding to Michael Klarman (constitutional law and history) at the University of Virginia and Cass Sunstein (constitutional, administrative, and environmental law, behavioral law & economics, jurisprudence) at the University of Chicago.
UPDATE: I missed one: Harvard also recently hired Jody Freeman (environmental law) from UCLA.
ADDENDUM: Just to be clear, Harvard has made other hires and has other offers outstanding--these are the hires and offers (of recent vintage) to public law scholars
December 5, 2006
Brown from Washington & Lee to Virginia
Darryl Brown, a specialist in criminal law and procedure at Washington & Lee University, has accepted a senior offer from the University of Virginia School of Law, to start next fall.