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October 31, 2009

The "Regional" Law Schools With an Unusually Good Eye for Faculty Talent


Which of the more "regional" law schools (those whose graduates mostly practice in the region where the school is located) have a particularly good eye for faculty talent?   As a measure of "faculty talent," we looked at faculty at the school over the last decade-and-a-half (roughly) who ended up being hired by top 20ish law schools.  The results conform reasonably well to the "common wisdom."   Here are the regional schools with really notable eyes for faculty talent; the school where the faculty member ended up being recruited is listed in parentheses after his or her name:

Cardozo Law School/Yeshiva University:  Barton Beebe (NYU); Daniel Crane (Michigan); Susan Crawford (Michigan); Lawrence Cunningham (George Washington); John Duffy (George Washington); David Golove (NYU); John McGinnis (Northwestern); Scott Shapiro (Yale), Kevin Stack (Vanderbilt).

Case Western Reserve University:  Olufunmilayo Arewa (Northwestern); Rebecca Dresser (Wash U/St. Louis); Michael Heise (Cornell); Andrew Morriss (Illinois); Ann Southworth (UC Irvine); Wendy Wagner (Texas).

Chicago-Kent College of Law:  Randy Barnett (Georgetown); Graeme Dinwoodie (Oxford); Daniel Hamilton (Illinois); Cheryl Harris (UCLA); Christopher Leslie (UC Irvine); James Lindgren (Northwestern); Richard McAdams (Chicago).

Florida State University:  Amitai Aviram (Illinois); Steven Bank (UCLA); Jonathan Klick (Penn); Gregory Mitchell (Virginia). 

University of Arizona:  David Adelman (Texas); Mark Ascher (Texas); Lynn Baker (Texas); Katherine Franke (Columbia); David Golove (NYU); Bernard Harcourt (Chicago); Dalia Tsuk (George Washington).

University of San Diego:  Stuart Benjamin (Duke); David Law (Wash U/St. Louis); Cynthia Lee (George Washington); Brian Leiter (Chicago); Arti Rai (Duke); Sai Prakash (Virginia); Emily Sherwin (Cornell); Steven Walt (Virginia).

Of course, one data point unavailable from the AALS directories is offers from top 20ish schools turned down; this would help Florida State and San Diego, I know, and might put schools like Wake Forest into the mix as well.

UPDATE:  A reader points out that St. Louis University, while not having as many as some of these other schools relative to its size, still has an impressive faculty alumni group for the time period in question, including two legal historians (Barry Cushman, now at Virginia; and Daniel Hulsebosch, now at NYU) and the international law scholar Derek Jinks, now at Texas.  St. Louis may have a special eye for legal historians, since, as it happens, Lawrence Friedman (Stanford) began his career there in the 1950s!

ANOTHER:  A couple of readers called my attention to the University of California at Davis, whose recent faculty alumni include Jennifer Chacon (UC Irvine), Holly Doremus (Berkeley), Rob Mikos (Vanderbilt), Angela Onwuachi-Willig (Iowa), Spencer Overton (George Washington), and Tobias Wolff (Penn) (and that does not include a number of current faculty who have declined offers from similar schools).  I had not listed Davis becuase I did not really think of it as a "regional" school (though I am told most graduates do stay in Northern California) and because it is, itself, fairly close in faculty quality to some of the top 20ish schools I've been using as benchmarks.

SIMILAR TO THE UC DAVIS situation is George Mason University whose faculty alumni since 1993 include Michael Abramowicz (George Washington), Barry Adler (NYU), Margaret Brinig (Iowa, now at Notre Dame), Claire Hill (Minnesota), Eugene Kontorovich (Northwestern), William Kovacic (George Washington), Erin O'Hara (Vanderbilt), Francesco Parisi (Minnesota), and Larry Ribstein (Illinois).

AND MAYBE ONE MORE?  Loyola Law School, Los Angeles is perhaps just a notch below those on the original list, buts its roster of faculty alumni include Catherine Fisk (USC, Duke, and now UC Irvine), Larry Helfer (Duke), Robin Kar (Illinois), Kurt Lash (Illinois), and Larry Solum (Illinois).

THIS ONE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON THE LIST TOO:  American University has sent on Jamie Boyle (Duke), Adrienne Davis (Wash U/St. Louis), James Salzman (Duke), and Leti Volpp (Berkeley)--and that's just since 2000.

I should note that we did not look at moves to Emory (just an omission), which would have added a few more names to these lists.

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 31, 2009 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink | TrackBack

October 30, 2009


...to my esteemed colleague M. Todd Henderson, recipient of this year's Paul Bator Award from the Federalist Society.  A list of past winners is here.

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 30, 2009 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

October 29, 2009

The Questions Job Seekers Would *Really* Like to Ask at the Meat Market

This is funny.

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 29, 2009 in Legal Humor | Permalink | TrackBack

October 28, 2009

The tail wags the dog, again

This time it's the General Accounting Office bearing the news:  competition for higher rankings in U.S. News is identified as one of the two major factors driving the rapid increase in law school tuition over the past dozen years or so.  Not surprising, since per capita expenditures is what drives the U.S. News results--not faculty quality, student success, bar passage, but how much cash-per-student is being spent, regardless on what or with what outcomes.

UPDATE:  My Dean, Saul Levmore, correctly observes that the GAO Report's attempt to exonerate ABA regulations as a cause of rising costs doesn't work:  "On the margin, ABA regulations might raise costs; evidence that something else, like rankings or competition, matters more, is a bit beside the point."

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 28, 2009 in Rankings | Permalink | TrackBack

October 27, 2009

Lash from Loyola/LA to Illinois

Kurt Lash, who holds a Chair in constitutional law at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, will move to the University of Illinois College of Law next year, where he will also serve as co-director of a new Program in Constitutional Theory, History and Law with Larry Solum.

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 27, 2009 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

October 26, 2009

Massive Tuition Hike at UC Hastings College of Law

Given earlier budgetary troubles, this development (Download UC Hastings Law School Tuition Increase)--a 20% hike in the cost of a legal education--is not really surprising, though it is no doubt very painful for the students, especially in this job market.

UPDATE:  Judging from this, it looks like UC Davis has raised its fees even more than Hastings, and of course all the UC law schools are way up.

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 26, 2009 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink | TrackBack

Shannon Brownlee and Jeanne Lenzer: Dangerously Stupid Journalists of the Month

Many people will get sick and some may even die because these two are too stupid to be able to analyze and evaluate the relevance of evidence.   Share the preceding link with your friends who read The Atlantic. This useful demolition of these two irresponsible hacks is also worth reading.

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 26, 2009 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink | TrackBack

October 25, 2009

Larry Laudan at Chicago on Monday at 4 pm

The Center for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values will sponsor a talk by Larry Laudan (National Autonomous University of Mexico) from 4-6 pm in Room D of the Law School on Monday, October 26.  The title:  "The Rules of Trial, Political Morality and the Costs of Error:  Or, Is Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Doing More Harm than Good?"  Chicago-area faculty or U of C law (or philosophy) students interested in attending should e-mail me for a copy of the paper, which should be read in advance.  Laudan, as evidence scholars will know, is doing the most interesting work in the field, and turning lots of conventional wisdom on its head--in this case, the Blackstone ratio, which you'll never think of the same way again after this paper.

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 25, 2009 in Jurisprudence | Permalink | TrackBack

October 23, 2009

Workshops in Which Students Enroll for Credit: Approaches

I presented two different papers at back-to-back law & philosophy workshops/seminars this week, at Columbia (run by Joseph Raz) and at Michigan (run by Scott Hershovitz and Don Herzog).  (I don't generally like to discuss the details of academic events on the blog, so suffice it to say that both sessions were very rewarding, and I was grateful for the opportunity to discuss my work with the faculty and students in attendance.)  In both cases, students were taking the workshop for credit, and in both cases the students discussed my paper with the instructor the prior week.  That seems to be fairly typical in these kinds of workshops, in which outside speakers present work on a particular topic or theme.   But at Columbia, after discussing the paper with the students the week before, Raz prepared a set of questions (about 4-5 pages) based on that discussion, which were then sent to me prior to my visit.   At Michigan, the students prepared short (3-4 page) "reaction" papers, which were also sent to me prior to the visit.  At Chicago, the students typically send the instructor(s) questions based on the speaker's paper, and then the instructor(s) help the students reformulate some of the questions for the session with the speaker.

Are there other approaches to involving students in the discussion and examination of papers by visiting speakers?  Do readers, faculty or students, have views about which approaches work best?  Signed comments will be strongly preferred, but only comments with at least a valid e-mail address stand any chance of being approved.

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 23, 2009 in Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Sorry for the dearth of postings...

...but I've been on the road much of the last week.  More soon!

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 23, 2009 in Navel-Gazing | Permalink | TrackBack