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October 21, 2009

Lawsuit Against Autoadmit Harassers Settles

A reporter from a Connecticut newspaper left me a message today that the two women who were plaintiffs in the lawsuit against their harassers on the Autoadmit cyber-cesspool have settled their claims.  I haven't yet seen an account of the settlement, though will post a link to a news story when someone sends me one.   Meanwhile, the Autoadmit site is apparently long moribund as a place with even the pretense of law school discussion, partly due to the lawsuit and partly because, I am told, a hacker took control of the site some time back and is now able to monitor the identities of posters--a kind of cyber-justice, as it were. 

UPDATE:  The Connecticut news item.  Since I wasn't asked about the "possible impact" of the suit or the settlement, I'm not quite sure how I "declined" to discuss it (as the story claims)!  Ah, journalism.  Of course, I hope that Section 230 of the C.D.A. will be repealed or modified, but that hardly separates me from the rest of the civilized world.

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 21, 2009 in Student Advice | Permalink | TrackBack

October 19, 2009

UT's Sage Elected to the Institute of Medicine (UPDATE: And Minnesota's Wolf too!)

William Sage, a leading health law scholar at the University of Texas at Austin, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences.  There are not many law faculty elected to any branch of the NAS, so this is especially notable.

UPDATE:  Susan Wolf (Minnesota) was also elected this year (I'd missed that).

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 19, 2009 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

October 15, 2009

"Swine flu" on campus

Here's a useful overview of how things look in different parts of the nation (and follow the links to the American College Health Association data).  The injectable version of the vaccine just became available in Chicago yesterday (for high-risk groups, including children--mine all got it [by luck, we had a doctor's appointment yesterday]).  Probably in the next few weeks it will become widely available on college campuses.  Since law students are probably less likely to live in dormitory settings, law schools may not prove quite the same breeding ground for this as other parts of campus.  And for those interested in sober and intelligent analysis of issues related to influenza and vaccines (among other topics), I strongly recommend this blog written by public health professionals.  

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 15, 2009 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink | TrackBack

October 14, 2009

A Summary of the Results of our "Best Faculties" Polls

Here is a summary of the results from the "best faculties" polls we conducted over the last couple of weeks.  Bear in mind, of course, that schools differ in faculty size, which may affect the ability to effectively cover different areas.  So, at one extreme, we have Harvard and NYU will around 90 full-time academic faculty (depending on how precisely one counts them); at the other extreme is Chicago with under 35.  Stanford is in the 40s, while most of the top law schools are in the 50-60 range.  Recall that an * indicates a vote tally close to the school ranked ahead (so *#2 means the #2 school was quite close in overall vote tally to the #1 school).  A rank in brackets means a result outside the top ten, so less reliable in the sense that there may have been schools not included in the survey that might have done as well or better.  I continue to think that the rough results (top five, top ten, not top ten etc.) are more informative than the ordinal order, so bear that in mind as you review the summary:

Yale University

*#2 in Constitutional Law & Theory

#3 in Law & Economics

#2 in Law & Philosophy

[Not in Top 20] in Intellectual Property/Cyberlaw

Harvard University

# 1 in Constitutional Law & Theory

#1 in Law & Economics

[#14] in Law & Philosophy

#2 in Intellectual Property/CyberLaw

Stanford University

*#6 in Constitutional Law & Theory

*#7 in Law & Economics

[#15] in Law & Philosophy

#3 in Intellectual Property/CyberLaw

University of Chicago

#4 in Constitutional Law & Theory

#2 in Law & Economics

#3 in Law & Philosophy

[#14] in Intellectual Property/CyberLaw

Columbia University

*#5 in Constitutional Law & Theory

#6 in Law & Economics

#4 in Law & Philosophy

*#4 in Intellectual Property/CyberLaw

New York University

#3 in Constitutional Law & Theory

#4 in Law & Economics

#1 in Law & Philosophy

#5 in Intellectual Property/CyberLaw

University of California, Berkeley

#8 in Constitutional Law & Theory

#5 in Law & Economics

*#8 in Law & Philosophy

#1 in Intellectual Property/CyberLaw

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

#10 in Constitutional Law & Theory

[*#16] in Law & Economics

*#10 in Law & Philosophy

#6 in Intellectual Property/CyberLaw

University of Pennsylvania

[#15] in Constitutional Law & Theory

#7 in Law & Economics

*#6 in Law & Philosophy

[#12] in Intellectual Property/CyberLaw

University of Virginia

[#11] in Constitutional Law & Theory

#9 in Law & Economics

[*#11] in Law & Philosophy

[#11] in Intellectual Property/CyberLaw

University of California, Los Angeles

[#13] in Constitutional Law & Theory

[*#13] in Law & Economics

#5 in Law & Philosophy

#9 in Intellectual Property/CyberLaw

Georgetown University

*#7 in Constitutional Law & Theory

[#14] in Law & Economics

[*#16] in Law & Philosophy

#8 in Intellectual Property/CyberLaw

University of Texas, Austin

*#9 in Constitutional Law & Theory

[*#18] in Law & Economics

[*#13] in Law & Philosophy

[#21] in Intellectual Property/CyberLaw

Northwestern University

[#11] in Constitutional Law & Theory

[*#11] in Law & Economics

[Not in top 20] in Law & Philosophy

[#22] in Intellectual Property/CyberLaw

Duke University

[#14] in Constitutional Law & Theory

[not in top 20] in Law & Economics

[not in top 20] in Law & Philosophy

#10 in Intellectual Property/CyberLaw

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 14, 2009 in Rankings | Permalink | TrackBack

October 13, 2009

Top 40 Student Bodies in Terms of *Numerical* Credentials

Here.  A slight change this year in the methodology for capturing significant differences in average GPAs, but otherwise the same as prior years.

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 13, 2009 in Rankings | Permalink | TrackBack

October 12, 2009

Ten Best Faculties in Intellectual Property/Cyberlaw

So with almost 320 votes, here are the results (an * indicates a vote tally very close to the school ranked just ahead):

1.  University of California, Berkeley

2.  Harvard University

3.  Stanford University

*4.  Columbia University

5.  New York University

6.  University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

*7.  George Washington University

8.  Georgetown University

9.  University of California, Los Angeles

*10.  Duke University

University of Virginia was the runner-up for the top ten.

This differs a fair bit from the U.S. News list of the top ten programs in intellectual property, which admittedly was based on a survey before Lessig went from Stanford back to Harvard, or before Beebe and Crawford left Cardozo (for NYU and Michigan, respectively):   1.  Stanford; 2.  Berkeley; 3.  George Washington; 4.  Columbia; 5.  Chicago-Kent; 6.  Franklin Pierce; 7.  Houston; 8.  Santa Clara; 8.  Cardozo; 10.  Duke.  The differences are pretty easy to explain.  Our survey included Cyberlaw, while U.S. News did not.  More seriously, U.S. News doesn't ask about the scholarly distinction of the faculty, but about the best programs in an area, and that seems to have more to do with advertising and organization than with actual faculty who set the scholarly agenda.  In addition, U.S. News asks those surveyed to list up to 15 programs, and then ranked them based on which were mentioned most:  in other words, Stanford ranks ahead of Berkeley because some genius forgot to mention Berkeley among the top 15 intellectual property programs!

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 12, 2009 in Rankings | Permalink | TrackBack

October 11, 2009

Planning a Jewish Funeral? Don't Forget the Cross!

So thinks Justice Scalia, it appears.

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 11, 2009 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink | TrackBack

October 10, 2009

George Mason Law School Sued Over Alleged Sexual Harassment

The NLJ story is here

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 10, 2009 in Faculty News, Legal Profession | Permalink | TrackBack

October 8, 2009

"Top Ten" Law Faculties in Intellectual Property/Cyberlaw

Let the voting begin.  I included many of the schools that asked to be included, though we'll see whether any of them end up in the "top ten."  I dropped Yale, since with only Jack Balkin in the general area, it clearly wasn't going to be competitive.  I also cut back on some of the embarrassing padding of the lists, after reviewing homepages and CVs.

Needless to say, you should only be voting if you actually know something about scholarship in these areas!

As before, if any blogger with an "interest" in the outcome links to the survey to generate votes, that school will be disqualified from the ballotting.   There isn't a lot of integrity to these Internet polls, but there has to be some!  (And, fortunately, Condorcet is very hard to strategically vote in, which is why the results in the polls so far haven't been foolish.)

UPDATE:   The faculty starting with Stuart Benjamin should also have included Laurence Helfer.

TSK, TSK!  I've detected some attempted strategic voting from the detailed ballott reporting, and if it continues, the affected schools will be dropped from the results (even though it's part of the beauty of Condorcet that even brazen strategic voting has a de minimus impact on the outcome).

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 8, 2009 in Rankings | Permalink | TrackBack

October 7, 2009

This was predictable: Law Schools Start Cutting Back on Part-Time Programs Now that US News Factors Them In

In the first instance,that's what George Washington is doing, whose U.S. News travails we noted last SpringTrue to form, the WSJ journalist fails to note that part of the problem is that journalists report the U.S. News ranking as though it constitutes news.  If the journalists ignored U.S. News, or treated it as the misleading farce it has sadly become, then the law schools would find it much easier to pay it no mind either.

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 7, 2009 in Rankings | Permalink | TrackBack