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January 26, 2009

Legal Scholars Challenge Obama's Choice of Cass Sunstein as Regulatory Czar

Several leading scholars of administrative and environmental law have raised questions about Sunstein's views on cost-benefit analysis in connection with his nomination to be "Regulatory Czar" for Obama:  their report is here.  One of the authors is my former colleague, and one of the nation's leading progressive voices in administrative and environmental law, Thomas O. McGarity, Jr. of the University of Texas. 

UPDATE:  My current colleague Eric Posner (Chicago) responds to some of the criticisms of Sunstein's work.

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 26, 2009 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

The Effect of the Financial Crisis on the Elite Law Firms

One story here.  How the crisis affects the elite law firms will also have ramifications for how it affects the elite law schools as well, needless to say.

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 26, 2009 in Legal Profession | Permalink | TrackBack

January 25, 2009

An Important New Ranking...

...of every song by the Beatles.  Somebody had time to burn it appears.

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 25, 2009 in Rankings | Permalink | TrackBack

January 22, 2009

Former Kentucky Dean Allan Vestal to Become New Dean at Drake

The Drake press release is here.

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 22, 2009 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

Walt to Return Full-Time to Virginia from Ohio State

Steven Walt (commercial law, legal philosophy) will return full-time to the Virginia faculty, after having accepted a part-time post at Ohio State last year.

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 22, 2009 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

January 21, 2009

Dharmapala from U Conn Economics to U of Illinois Law

Dhammika Dharmapala, an expert on tax law and policy who is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Connecticut, has accepted a senior offer from the University of Illinois College of Law.

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 21, 2009 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

More Law Profs Take White House Legal Jobs: Meltzer from Harvard, Trevor Morrison from Columbia

Details here.

Will there be anyone left on the Harvard Law School faculty by the time Obama is done?

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 21, 2009 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

January 20, 2009

More Departures from Academia to the Obama Administration: Lederman from Georgetown, Barron from Harvard

Details here.

UPDATE:  And it looks like Harvard's Einer Elhauge is on the way to Washington too!  That's on top of losing Elena Kagan, Cass Sunstein, and David Barron!

AND ANOTHER:  Georgetown takes another loss, with Neal Katyal joining Dean Kagan at the SG's office.  The good news, of course, is that appointments like Lederman and Katyal signal a return of the rule of law and an end to claims of executive power that transcend all legal limits. 

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 20, 2009 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

"Why Blogs Are Bad for Legal Scholarship"

It turns out that this little throwaway piece I wrote for a Yale Law Journal Pocket Part symposium several years ago remains "the most popular item" on the Pocket Part site.  I guess it is being viewed by lots of angry bloggers or non-blogging skeptics or both!

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 20, 2009 in Navel-Gazing | Permalink | TrackBack

January 19, 2009

Empirical Legal Studies and the Crises of Capitalism

Looking back and looking forward at the prospects for empirical legal studies.

I must confess my skepticism that "empirical legal studies" is a meaningful category:  work lumped under this heading is not united by methodology, by social science discipline, by subject matter, or by ideology.  It includes the comically pseudo-scientific, the obscurely quantitative, the anecdotal and qualitative, and better and worse versions of all of the preceding.  It would be as if everyone in the legal academy who still spends time looking at case law and making sense of it were to unite under the banner of "Doctrinal Legal Studies"!   Earlier examples of "empirical legal studies" noted by Professor Simon in the post linked above in fact had more coherent methodological or ideological outlooks than the diverse mix of work that currently travels under the heading of 'empirical legal studies.'

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 19, 2009 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink | TrackBack