Clyde W. Summers, the Jefferson B. Fordham Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Penn Law, died October 30. He was 91. Summers began his long career at the University of Toledo in 1942, served on the Yale Law faculty for 18 years, and joined Penn in 1975.
Yet another triumph for scientific Internet polling, with over 250 votes cast:
1. Yale University (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
2. Harvard University loses to Yale University by 115–91
3. Stanford University loses to Yale University by 183–30, loses to Harvard University by 177–33
4. University of Virginia loses to Yale University by 189–19, loses to Stanford University by 116–69
5. Columbia University loses to Yale University by 194–17, loses to University of Virginia by 102–85
6. University of Texas at Austin loses to Yale University by 193–17, loses to Columbia University by 101–91
7. Tied: New York University loses to Yale University by 189–20, loses to University of Texas at Austin by 101–75 University of Southern California loses to Yale University by 190–20, loses to University of Texas at Austin by 103–78
9. University of Chicago loses to Yale University by 193–14, loses to New York University by 93–78
10. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor loses to Yale University by 189–17, loses to University of Chicago by 99–66
Runners-up were Berkeley (loses to Michigan by 80-76) and Penn (loses to Berkeley 89-71).
A few observations: (1) Yale and Harvard dominate the area, the rest of the 'top ten' (plus runner-ups) seem sensible, though I would not put much weight on the precise ordinal ranking; (2) Lawrence Friedman at Stanford is 80, how would Stanford fare without him?; (3) strength in 20th-century American legal history clearly drove the voting (this became esp. apparent after Mary Dudziak [USC] at the Legal History Blog linked to the poll), but this may well reflect the relative importance of that sub-field within the American legal academy; (4) there are big differences in faculty size, ranging from just 3-5 faculty in the area (e.g., Penn, Chicago, NYU, USC) to eight or more (e.g., Yale, Harvard).
SIGNED COMMENTS ON THE RESULTS welcome: that means full name and valid e-mail address.
Courtland H. Peterson, who served as the dean of the University of Colorado School of Law from 1974 to 1979 die on November 1. He was 80. Peterson joined the Colorado faculty in 1959. He was a scholar in the area of Conflicts of Law.
Have fun! 25 faculties, out of which we'll try to find the top ten using proven scientific methods. Please don't vote unless you actually do some reading in this field!!!
ADDENDUM: I omitted, by accident, Cary Franklin from the faculty that includes Forbath, Kadens et al. and David Engstrom from the faculty that includes Dauber, Friedman et al.
TSK, TSK: Someone who ranks Illinois #1, Berkeley #2, Harvard #3, and everyone else #25 isn't really making an honest effort, now are they?
HEADING TO DISQUALIFICATION? Now someone has rated Illinois #1, Berkeley #2, and everyone else #25. The impact of this kind of embarrassing strategic voting is actually minimal, given how Condorcet works. Still, it's disappointing.
AN OBSERVATION: After Mary Dudziak (USC) at the Legal History Blog linked to this poll, schools with particular strengths in American legal history (which seems to be the disproportionate focus of that blog) surged forward. Not sure what to make of that, though perhaps it reflects the relative importance assigned to that field among legal academics.
So with over 400 votes cast, here's the breakdown of political self-identifications of the readership:
Social democratic left
American liberal democrat
American moderate democrat
Social or religious conservative
Readers may be interested in how much more the law readership leans to the right compared to the readership of the philosophy blog. (I also have some comments there about the different categories, though in that poll I did not distinguish between left and right libertarians. I do wonder about the 3% fascist/authoritarian, though it's possible some of my old friends at USD voted more than once!) Assuming most of the responses are from legal academics, this also confirms how much to the right American legal academia leans when viewed from a cosmopolitan perspective: "American moderate democrats" would, after all, be in the conservative party in Canada, and in general hold views that would put them on the right end of the political spectrum in other developed democracies. That means nearly half the respondents are, non-parochially speaking, on the right, and not quite a third are on what would generally be recognized as the actual left.
Anyway, interesting results. Thanks to everyone who participated.
Last fall, I ran a series of "best faculties" polls in particular specialty areas (see the summary here). The result weren't nuts, whatever the obvious limitations of Internet polls--though the Condorcet system mutes some of the problems. Anyway, I thought we might try some more, starting with the area of "Legal History." Below, I've listed scholars doing work in legal history at 18 law schools. I've not listed schools with just one scholar in the area (even one prominent scholar, like Tomlins at UC Irvine). I have tried to identify 18 schools that might end up ranked in "the top ten" in the area of legal history. The criterion for inclusion of additional schools is NOT that a faculty might rank better than one of the schools listed below. If I've omitted a school whose faculty might make the top ten, note it below in the comments. If I've omitted non-emeritus faculty, who teach in the Law School, and who do significant work in legal history, please note that in the comments. (I am particularly likely to have missed junior faculty.) Faculty marked with an *, below, are either part-time or hold a primary appointment in another unit, but do regular teaching at the law schools in question. If I've listed faculty who are emeritus or don't really work in legal history, post that in the comments below. Do not e-mail me; post in the comments. ONLY SIGNED COMMENTS WILL BE APPROVED.
Columbia University: Christina Duffy Burnett, Ariela Dubler, Philip A. Hamburger, Eben Moglen
Georgetown University: Laura Donohue, Daniel R. Ernest, James C. Oldham, William Michael Treanor
Harvard University: Christine A. Desan, Charles Donahue, Jr., Annette Gordon-Reed, Morton Horwitz, Michael Klarman, Adriaan Lanni, Kenneth W. Mack, Bruce Mann, Mark Tushnet
New York University: Barry Friedman, Daniel Hulsebosch, William E. Nelson
Northwestern University: Stephen Presser, Kristen Stilt
Stanford University: Michele Landis Dauber, Lawrence Friedman, Amalia D. Kessler, Larry Kramer, Norman W. Spaulding
University of California, Berkeley: David Lieberman, Laurent Mayali, Harry Scheiber
University of California, Los Angeles: Khaled Abou El Fadl, Stuart Banner, Jennifer Mnookin, Clyde Spillenger
University of Chicago: R.H. Helmholtz, *Dennis Hutchinson, Alison LaCroix, *Gerald N. Rosenberg, Laura Weinrib
University of Illinois: Daniel W. Hamilton, Richard J. Ross, Bruce P. Smith
University of Iowa: Thomas P. (T.P.) Gallanis, Herbert Hovenkamp
University of Michigan: Willian Ian Miller, William J. Novak, *Rebecca J. Scott
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: Alfred Brophy, Eric Muller, John V. Orth
University of Pennsylvania: Sarah Barringer Gordon, Sarena Mayeri
University of Southern California: Mary L. Dudziak, Ariela J. Gross, Daniel M. Klerman
University of Texas, Austin: William Forbath, Emily Kadens, Sanford V. Levinson, *Basil S. Markesinis, Lucas A. (L.A.) Powe, Jr., David M. Rabban
University of Virginia: Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Barry Cushman, Risa L. Goluboff, *Charles McCurdy, G. Edward White
Yale University: Akhil Amar, Robert W. Gordon, John Langbein, Claire Priest, Reva Siegel, James Q. Whitman, John Witt