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October 9, 2008

Architecture buffs may enjoy this story...

...about the redesign of the University of Chicago Law School.

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 9, 2008 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink | TrackBack

October 8, 2008

Law Schools Often Change Buildings...

...but less often do they change cities, but that's what Campbell in North Carolina is doing, moving to Raleigh.

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 8, 2008 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink | TrackBack

October 7, 2008

Law and Philosophy Fellowship at the University of Chicago Law School for 2009-10

Once again, Chicago will be hosting a Law and Philosophy Fellow.  (You can read about this year's Fellow here.)  You can access the ad by searching under Law School positions on this site; here is the full text of the ad:

The University of Chicago Law School seeks to appoint a Law and Philosophy Fellow for the academic year 2009-10. A Ph.D. in philosophy by time of appointment is expected, though in unusual cases a Ph.D. in a related discipline, or a J.D. accompanied by strong training in philosophy, will be considered. Applications also welcome from post-2003 doctorates. Law degree (J. D. or foreign equivalent), or some other record of academic training in law, is helpful, but not required.

The Fellow's research should intersect with issues of interest to legal scholars. Examples would include work on normative concepts such as equality or punishment; investigation of the philosophical dimensions of a substantive area of law, such as criminal law, constitutional law, sex equality, or property; research that bears on the legal dimensions of intention, proof, or agency; and work in jurisprudence. The Fellow will be expected to contribute to the intellectual life of the Law School, pursue his or her research, and participate in teaching either the Law and Philosophy Workshop or a seminar. Teaching duties are modest and will contribute to the Fellow's research. Salary 50K + benefits + superb research environment.

To be considered individuals must apply online at https://jobopportunities.uchicago.edu by January 15, 2009. Resume, cover letter, writing sample, reference contact information and research statement should be submitted electronically on the web site at the time of application. Three confidential letters of recommendation should be mailed to Kate Malinski, The University of Chicago Law School, 1111 E. 60th St., Chicago, IL 60637, by January 15, 2009. The University of Chicago is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.   

Please e-mail me if you have any questions. 

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 7, 2008 in Jurisprudence | Permalink | TrackBack

October 6, 2008

Harvard Law Faculty of 1970: Innovators or "Mere" Contributors to Legal Thought?

In response to the earlier posting, reader David Warrington kindly sends along a link to the Harvard Law School faculty of 1970.  Of course, this was still the era when the great 'treatise writer' reigned supreme, and the shelf-life of a great treatise, even an innovative one, is always going to be hostage to changes in the law.  Still, even allowing for that, names like John Philip Dawson, Paul Fruend, Lon Fuller, and Albert Sacks leap out as 'innovators,' as do a bunch of young turks like Morton Horwitz, Frank Michelman, and Larry Tribe. 

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 6, 2008 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

October 4, 2008

Funny Law Faculty Website of the Week: Steven Bradford (Nebraska)

Here.

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 4, 2008 in Legal Humor | Permalink | TrackBack

October 3, 2008

Yale Daily News Gazes at Its Navel...

...more precisely its law school's navel:  here, here and here.  For an earlier blog posting on the subject, see here.

Let us hope that the second story misrepresents Judge Calabresi:

Calabresi said there are two kinds of scholars. There are experts in the field who contribute to their generation of legal thought. And then there are innovators whose work will survive them.

The former are exactly the kind of professors a large school like Harvard should hire, he said, and the latter are the kind of professors on Yale’s faculty.

Anyone who said this with a straight face would obviously be delusional--even by the self-important standards of elite law schools--so I strongly suspect some pertinent context is missing.  If one were to take a glance at the Yale faculty of, say, 1970, you'd find a handful of genuine innovators (including Calabresi himself, as well as Alexander Bickel, John Hart Ely, Thomas Emerson, and Myres McDougal, among others), several "experts in the field who contribute to their generation of legal thought," and a rather large number of folks that would likely prompt the reaction, "Who is that?"  I couldn't find a 1970 Harvard faculty list, but the 1970 Chicago faculty (with Ronald Coase, Harry Kalven, Jr., Edward H. Levi, Norval Morris, and Richard Posner, among others) probably had as many or more genuine innovators than Yale.  Let's face it:  in making hiring decisions, it is awfully hard to say "whose work will survive" the test of time!

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 3, 2008 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

October 2, 2008

A Clear Explanation of the Current Financial Crisis and a Proposed Solution

From Richard Posner.  This is really quite lucid, and his final proposal is closer to what many other economists (e.g., Krugman) have proposed.

UPDATE:  Jeffrey Gordon (Columbia Law School) writes:

I think Posner's approach of directly infusing capital into the troubled institutions (which others have suggested as well) is no better than the current proposal because both mechanisms face difficult questions of how to price the government's equity share and the bad securities.   Let's assume under the bailout  the goverment pays "hold to maturity" value of 70 cents on the dollar,  more than current market value (assume 40 cents on the dollar), in the effort to inject capital. Under the bailout bill, the government will get not only the toxic securities but also warrants to buy stock in the selling institution.  So if the government were to recapitalize an institution through paying "too high" a price, it can recoup through its share of the firm's equity.    Posner and others would recapitalize the firms directly -- but how much would the firm need (which involves an estimate of the value of the toxic securities) and how much would the government receive?  (Buffett got preferred shares and warrants in Goldman Sachs -- and because Goldman has few of these difficult to price assets on its books, the parties didn't face critical valuation issues.)    It's ultimately the same set of valuation issues, and the purchase of the toxic securities divides the "bad bank" assets from the "good bank" assets, a classic move by the FDIC and others in bank bailouts. As I see it, the critical issue is the speed of implementation.  The sooner the better.   

Relatedly, I am quite unhappy about the letter sent by U Chi economists opposing the present bailout bill.  On the one side are 400 economists -- none of whom shouted alarms that I can recall  about  the systemic risks of the burgeoning credit derivatives market -- who oppose the bailout bill.  On the other is Warren Buffet, who foresaw that risk ("weapons of financial mass destruction"), who supports the bill.  You make the call.

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 2, 2008 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink | TrackBack

St. Thomas (Minnesota) Would Have Been a Top Performer in the Rogers Williams Scholarly Productivity Study

Professor Rob Vischer (St. Thomas-Minneapolis) writes, regarding the Roger Williams productivity study, that it,

only included AALS member schools, and since St. Thomas is so new that it has not yet been admitted to AALS, we were not included.  Our associate dean, Jerry Organ, ran the numbers for our faculty as of 2007-08, and he found that the Roger Williams formula results in a score of 9.67 for our faculty, which would rank us fifth in Prof. Yelnosky’s rankings, behind only San Diego, Cardozo, Florida State, and Richmond.  We confirmed with Prof. Yelnosky that our methodology appears to be correct.

The relatively young law school at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, led by Dean Thomas Mengler (a very successful Dean at the University of Illinois, before taking over at St. Thomas), has had good success in recruiting a faculty including, perhaps most notably, adding Michael Stokes Paulsen, a leading constitutional law scholar, from the University of Minnesota.

If other schools want to conduct self-studies, and confirm the results with Professor Yelnosky (who oversaw the Roger Williams study), I'd be happy to post them here.

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 2, 2008 in Rankings | Permalink | TrackBack

October 1, 2008

Emory's Perry to Take Up Half-Time Post at San Diego Starting in 2009

Michael Perry, a leading figure in constitutional law and theory, law and religion, and human rights, who holds one of the distinguished Woodruff Chairs at Emory University, will take up a half-time post at the University of San Diego starting in 2009, teaching in both the Law School and the Peace Studies program.  The USD press release is here.  That's a big catch for USD!

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 1, 2008 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack