« February 2009 | Main | April 2009 »

March 21, 2009

Why I'm Cutting Back on Covering Faculty Moves

Time is the main reason, but there is a particular reason I'm cutting back here (rather than stopping the blog altogether, which, frankly, I may also do).  Unlike in philosophy, where individual faculty moves can be of extreme importance to prospecive students, that is rarely the case in law:  the value of information about any particular faculty move to prospective students is usually quite limited.  (Indeed, news of moves may send misleading signals to prospective students--I have some anecdtoal evidence that some students think that when John Jones moves from Highly Ranked School X to Somewhat Lower Ranked School Y, this must be a "big" appointment for Y, which sometimes it is, while sometimes Y has relived X of its tenure mistake or its de facto retired faculty member and the like.)  Trends over a period of time may be of some interest, and I may still write about those.  But the ranking site will also give useful, and updated, information about changes in faculty caliber.  Dan Filler (Drexel) has also taken up the task of collecting information on all lateral moves, both tenured and untenured.  Among the new ones on there that caught my attention are Dan Crane (antitrust) from Cardozo to Michigan, Barton Beebe (intellectual property) from Cardozo to NYU, and Stephen F. Smith (criminal law and procedure) from Virginia to Notre Dame.  

Obviously information on faculty moves is of interest to other faculty; I would urge faculty to notify Professor Filler of such moves, and please feel free to let me know as well.  I may still write about some hires, and will periodically link to Professor Filler's list.  Thanks.

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

March 19, 2009

The "Top 20" Legal Journals

So I've closed the survey, and, with 265 votes, the results for "the top 20" are below.  I think it tells us not a lot about "quality," though a fair bit about "perceptions," which certainly isn't irrelevant for younger scholars.  But based just on the first issue, Journal of Legal Analysis is better than just about every journal in the top ten, though they failed to make the top 20 here.  Of course, JLA may not sustain its quality or, more likely I think, perceptions will adjust with time.

1. Harvard Law Review  (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
2. Yale Law Journal  loses to Harvard Law Review by 112–66
3. Columbia Law Review  loses to Harvard Law Review by 155–43, loses to Yale Law Journal by 153–45
4. Journal of Legal Studies  loses to Harvard Law Review by 135–66, loses to Columbia Law Review by 109–92
5. Stanford Law Review  loses to Harvard Law Review by 167–27, loses to Journal of Legal Studies by 100–99
6. University of Chicago Law Review  loses to Harvard Law Review by 166–31, loses to Stanford Law Review by 106–79
7. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies  loses to Harvard Law Review by 129–65, loses to University of Chicago Law Review by 94–83
8. Michigan Law Review  loses to Harvard Law Review by 178–21, loses to Oxford Journal of Legal Studies by 89–85
9. New York University Law Review  loses to Harvard Law Review by 177–23, loses to Michigan Law Review by 101–71
10. Tied:
Journal of Law & Economics  loses to Harvard Law Review by 142–56, loses to New York University Law Review by 92–85
Virginia Law Review  loses to Harvard Law Review by 177–20, loses to New York University Law Review by 95–74
12. California Law Review  loses to Harvard Law Review by 179–20, loses to Virginia Law Review by 88–85
13. University of Pennsylvania Law Review  loses to Harvard Law Review by 180–21, loses to California Law Review by 96–77
14. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies  loses to Harvard Law Review by 152–37, loses to University of Pennsylvania Law Review by 89–78
15. Supreme Court Review  loses to Harvard Law Review by 156–37, loses to Journal of Empirical Legal Studies by 82–71
16. American Law & Economics Review  loses to Harvard Law Review by 142–46, loses to University of Pennsylvania Law Review by 87–73
17. Constitutional Commentary  loses to Harvard Law Review by 151–31, loses to American Law & Economics Review by 82–56
18. Journal of Law, Economics & Organization  loses to Harvard Law Review by 142–40, loses to Constitutional Commentary by 71–60
19. Law & Contemporary Problems  loses to Harvard Law Review by 167–25, loses to Journal of Law, Economics & Organization by 76–58
20. Law & Society Review  loses to Harvard Law Review by 156–32, loses to Law & Contemporary Problems by 74–59

Posted by Brian Leiter on March 19, 2009 in Professional Advice, Rankings | Permalink | TrackBack

March 18, 2009

How the Current Crisis of Capitalism is Affecting Current Law Students

An informative chart here about moves by legal employers that are affecting current law students, both 3Ls and 2Ls.

Posted by Brian Leiter on March 18, 2009 in Legal Profession | Permalink | TrackBack

March 17, 2009

Which Law Schools Have Produced the Most Current Law Teachers?

This study covers more than 7,000 tenure-stream law faculty in the United States.

Posted by Brian Leiter on March 17, 2009 in Rankings | Permalink | TrackBack

March 16, 2009

Goodman from Harvard to NYU

Ryan Goodman (international law) at Harvard Law School has accepted a senior offer from the law school at New York University.  The NYU news item is here.

Posted by Brian Leiter on March 16, 2009 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

March 15, 2009

Steve Gey Triathalon, and an Update on Professor Gey's Condition

Here.  No comment I could add would be worth anything, so please follow the link.

Posted by Brian Leiter on March 15, 2009 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

March 12, 2009

Which are the highest quality legal journals?

This poll may provide some useful advice for younger scholars wondering where to submit their work.  Do not participate unless you are actually a legal scholar! 

UPDATE:  So the results so far, after about fifty votes, are pretty surprising, and lead me to suspect that students are voting.  So let me open comments and ask:  is there really any legal academic who thinks the quality of articles in, say, the Harvard Law Review is really higher than the quality of articles in Journal of Legal Studies or Oxford Journal  of Legal Studies or almost any of the faculty-edited journals?  I find that quite hard to believe, but I am open to being persuaded otherwise.  Signed comments only; post only once.

Posted by Brian Leiter on March 12, 2009 in Professional Advice, Rankings | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack

March 11, 2009

Which are the ten best law schools in the United States?

With 277 votes cast, the poll is closed, and we now, at last, know the truth about the "top 18" even:

1. Yale University  (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
2. Harvard University  loses to Yale University by 148–84
3. Stanford University  loses to Yale University by 212–32, loses to Harvard University by 198–43
4. University of Chicago  loses to Yale University by 220–26, loses to Stanford University by 172–67
5. Columbia University  loses to Yale University by 225–29, loses to University of Chicago by 125–110
6. New York University  loses to Yale University by 233–15, loses to Columbia University by 141–88
7. University of California, Berkeley  loses to Yale University by 234–14, loses to New York University by 204–34
8. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor  loses to Yale University by 231–15, loses to University of California, Berkeley by 126–97
9. University of Virginia  loses to Yale University by 232–16, loses to University of Michigan, Ann Arbor by 132–84
10. University of Pennsylvania  loses to Yale University by 238–9, loses to University of Virginia by 117–93
11. Northwestern University  loses to Yale University by 241–9, loses to University of Pennsylvania by 176–43
12. Duke University  loses to Yale University by 236–13, loses to Northwestern University by 110–100
13. Georgetown University  loses to Yale University by 236–11, loses to Duke University by 115–99
14. Cornell University  loses to Yale University by 234–12, loses to Georgetown University by 109–97
15. University of Texas, Austin  loses to Yale University by 237–10, loses to Cornell University by 146–71
16. University of California, Los Angeles  loses to Yale University by 237–8, loses to University of Texas, Austin by 104–86
17. Vanderbilt University  loses to Yale University by 233–8, loses to University of California, Los Angeles by 153–35
18. University of Southern California  loses to Yale University by 231–3, loses to Vanderbilt University by 91–87


What this means, I don't really know.  Some of this is just regurgitated US News, but obviously not entirely.  It actually tracks fairly closely the typical reputation results from US News.  One thing it is not is a good measure of is which schools have the best faculties, though there is some rough correlation between these results and the most distinguished scholarly faculties.

Posted by Brian Leiter on March 11, 2009 in Rankings | Permalink | TrackBack

March 10, 2009

Alvarez from Columbia to NYU

Jose Alvarez (international law) at Columbia Law School has accepted a senior offer from New York University School of Law.  The NYU press release is here.  Alvarez is the fifth tenured member of the Columbia faculty to accept an offer at NYU in recent years; the others were Cynthia Estlund (labor law), Samuel Issacharoff (voting rights, civil procedure), Catherine Sharkey (torts), and Jeremy Waldron (political and legal philosophy).  (Waldron has been offered the Chicele Professorship in Social and Political Theory at Oxford, so whether he will remain at NYU, full-time or otherwise, remains to be seen.)

Posted by Brian Leiter on March 10, 2009 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

Vanderbilt's Ed Rubin to Step Down as Dean This Summer...

...after four years as the Dean.   I was sent Dean Rubin's e-mail to the Vanderbilt community, but have not seen a news release on the subject.  Rubin joined Vanderbilt from Penn in 2005.

UPDATE:  The Vanderbilt news release is here.  Amidst all the genuine accomplishments during his tenure, the release also, disgracefully, mentions the meaningless "improvement" in the school's U.S. News rank from 17 to 15 (Vanderbilt has been 15 other times in the last 19 years of the U.S. News 'reign of terror', and then fallen back to 17 or 18).  As any grown-up knows, moving up in U.S. News is unrelated to anything in the real world.  A shame to mar the announcement with this nonsense, which might imply (wrongly, I hope) that Vanderbilt engaged in more trickery than its peers and betters.

Posted by Brian Leiter on March 10, 2009 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack