Samuel Buell (criminal law and securities regulation) has accepted a tenured position at Duke Law School. Buell's rise is rapid; he only joined the Wash U. faculty in the fall of 2006. His story should give academically-oriented practitioners hope. He was a genuine practicing attorney for 11 years before joining Texas as a VAP in 2004.
David Hasen, a professor at Penn State, will be moving to Santa Clara next year. He joined the Penn State faculty, from the University of Michigan, last year. Hasen has diverse interests - from tax to jurisprudence.
Public university funding is turning ugly. We've all followed theharsh cutbacks in the California university system. Now Rutgers, and other New Jersey colleges, are going to take their lumps. It appears, for example, that Rutgers will have to absorb a 15% cut in its direct state funding during the next school year. That's some real money.
A couple of days ago I suggested that proposed in-state residency requirements could be problematic for Rutgers faculty retention. These budget cuts aren't likely to help matters.
Albert Rosenthal, who was dean of Columbia Law School from 1979 to 1984, died Wednesday. He was 91. As a young man, he served as the President of the Harvard Law Review and clerk to Justice Felix Frankfurter. He joined the Columbia faculty in 1964. Most recently, he has been the Maurice T. Moore Professor Emeritus of Law. Columbia press releases are here and here.
As we slog through another law review article submission season - with authorial anxiety now painfully in view - I started wondering how Stanford's partial peer review process was coming along. Rather than shout into the blogosphere I decided to call the Stanford Law Review.
Masha Hansford, the new President, tells me that while peer review isn't used in all cases, it is employed often - and more so this year than in the past. She told me that, while the journal does rely on Stanford faculty, it also pushes articles to outside readers...relying especially on scholars cited in the pieces. She said that in many cases, these readers provide fast turnaround. She didn't want SLR to grab all the glory for the (partial) move to peer review, noting that both the Harvard and Yale journals use versions of it as well. (Truth be told, many law reviews wisely refer selected article submissions to their own faculty for at least a coarse assessment of quality.)
Perhaps even more interestingly, Ms. Hansford confirmed something I've been suspecting for a while. ExpressO is, at best, a mixed blessing. After being buried by ExpressO submissions for several years, the editors at SLR realized that virtually every article they'd accepted did not come through ExpressO. So the editors hiked the transaction costs of submission (ever so slightly) by asking authors to submit directly through the SLR website. (Ms. Hansford actually told me that they insist on this method, though the website does not say so.) As a result, Stanford has seen a dramatic drop in the number of articles submitted.
In reality, ExpressO has had a much greater impact on lower profile journals. Even in the age of the Post Office, most authors sent drafts to Stanford. But back when you had to stuff real envelopes, you'd limit your mailing. Now many authors target well north of 100 journals. This, in turn, means that virtually every law review is paralyzed by volume. While the law review submission system has always been dubious as a quality filtration mechanism, at least you had the sense that the expedite system could have the effect of helping better articles bubble up. That process is a lot tougher if the editors of the Oopsy Doopsy Law Review are now staring down 1000 submissions. At some point, and we may have already be there, the whole system will seize up.
ExpressO could protect its brand by adopting a LexOpus strategy: regulate the number of submission by each author. Otherwise the overload will cause more journals to create submission roadblocks. And the first logical barrier is a ban on ExpressO.
A New Jersey state senator has proposed a residency requirement for all New Jersey employees and Governor Christie has signaled his support. The bill would include Rutgers and other state university faculty. Those individuals living out of state would be given two and half years to move.
Whatever the virtues of such a policy, it could mean some good lateral hiring opportunities for other schools in the area.
We've gotten used to new law schools here in the U.S. I'm particularly proud to have been one of the six inaugural faculty at a darn good one here in Philadelphia. But things are different north of the border. Nobody has opened a new law school in Canada in 35 years. That's about to change.
Thompson Rivers University (formerly The University College of the Cariboo), in British Columbia, plans to open the doors of its new law school in September of 2011. The school will offer a three year J.D. degree. It has now named its founding dean. Chris Axworthy, the sitting dean of the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Law, will move to TRU this May. Axworthy knows Canadian legal education. He's been a faculty member at Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Dalhousie. He has also been in and out of government.
TRU may be offering an American-style J.D., but some things are clearly different in Canada. Exhibit A: the school has entered a curriculum license agreement with the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary. According to TRU's counsel:
“This is an historic agreement and we are very proud to be part of it. Not only does it facilitate the establishment of our law school by licensing the curriculum of an existing first class law school, it does so across provincial boundaries in Canada. We think this is a great model for efficiently starting a new law school in a way that will serve our students and our communities.”
Glenn George, Professor of Law at UNC, is moving to the University of Arizona this summer to assume the position of vice president for legal affairs and general counsel. She'll also hold tenure in the law school. George will be joined a year later by her husband, Gene Nichol, who will also take a tenured slot in the law school. Nichol was the President of William & Mary from 2005-2008.