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December 20, 2010

Morris Cohen, Influential Law Librarian, Dies

Morris L. Cohen, a major force in American law libraries in the twentieth century, died this weekend.  He was 83.  Since 1991, Cohen has been Professor Emeritus of Law and Professorial Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School.  He served as Professor of Law and Director of Yale Law School's Lillian Goldman Law Library from 1981 to 1991, after having served from 1971 to 1981 as the Librarian of the Harvard Law School Library. He was also the director of both the Penn and SUNY - Buffalo law libraries.  He served as president of the American Association of Law Libraries from 1970 to 1971.  He published a number of significant research and bibliographic works, including Bibliography of Early American Law.

Posted by Dan Filler on December 20, 2010 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

December 17, 2010

A great new way to waste time!

I refer, of course, to Google book search, which allows you to chart references to names and topics over time.  Here, for example, are references to some law bloggers (plus Frederick Schauer, for a 'control' as it were) since 1995.  What does this all mean?  I've no idea, but I'm sure it will make for lots of holiday amusement.  Here's a NY Times piece on the new toy.

UPDATE:  And some more:

1.  Six "household names" of the legal academy:  Ronald Dworkin (NYU), Richard Epstein (Chicago/NYU), Martha Nussbaum (Chicago), Richard Posner (Chicago), Cass Sunstein (Harvard), Catharine MacKinnon (Michigan).

2.  Some giants of constitutional law.

3.  Some leading legal historians.

4.  Some leading law & economics scholars.

5.  Legal philosophers:  Over 70.

6.  Legal philosophers:  Under 70.  (No way to search reliably for Michael S. Moore, however.)

7.  Some leading corporate law scholars.

Have fun by designing your own.

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 17, 2010 in Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink | TrackBack

"Smartest" Academics by Field

It's now official:  "Philosophers are the smartest humanists, physicists the smartest scientists, economists the smartest social scientists."

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 17, 2010 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink | TrackBack

Breaking news: David Bernstein (George Mason) Accuses *Other* Legal Academics...

...of "consciously or not, [trying] to justify their preferred political outcomes"  under the guise of disinterested scholarship. 

No comment.  (OK, one comment.  And do follow this exchange.)

(Thanks to Peter A. for the link.)

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 17, 2010 in Legal Humor | Permalink | TrackBack

December 16, 2010

Faculty Perceptions of the Tenure Process

Katherine Barnes and Elizabeth Mertz have a new paper up on SSRN, Is It Fair: Law Professors' Perceptions of Tenure.  The authors surveyed about 500 law professors on the question of whether they viewed their tenure process as fair, easy, and rewarding. It's an interesting study that indicates that faculty have a pretty high confidence in the process, overall.  Still, there are notable distinctions between demographic groups. 

No shock, white men seem most positive overall.  Men who are members of minority groups feel a bit less positive.  And women, and particularly women of color, have notably mixed responses.  Consider this one snapshot: on the question of whether they found their own tenure process fair, 12% of white men, 15% of minority men, 24% of white women, and 35% of minority women said no.  The authors found similar results on the questions of whether the tenure process had been easy or rewarding.

I suspect that this study will be the subject of discussion and debate for some time to come.

Update: I erroneously stated that the authors surveyed about 500 professors.  The number was actually 1221. 

Posted by Dan Filler on December 16, 2010 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink | TrackBack

December 15, 2010

Schools Graduating the Most Supreme Court Clerks, 2000 through 2010 Terms

Updated data here.

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 15, 2010 in Rankings | Permalink | TrackBack

December 14, 2010

University of California Raises Retirement Age, Reduces Benefits for New Hires

This is a decision that will almost certainly have major ramifications for the future of the University of California system--in the short term, it may keep certain distinguished senior faculty in the UC system longer, but long term, it is likely to make working in the UC system less attractive, since the retirement benefits were, for a long time, the best in the country.

ADDENDUM:  There are some informative comments by philosophers at my philosophy blog on these developments.

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 14, 2010 in Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink | TrackBack

Pepperdine Dean Finalists

Here.  The big surprise, to my mind, on that list is Robert George from Princeton.  Interesting.

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 14, 2010 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

December 10, 2010

U.S. News to Publish a Detailed Breakdown of the Employment Data that Schools Report

More information here.

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 10, 2010 in Religion | Permalink | TrackBack

December 8, 2010

"The Political Philosophy of Julian Assange"

Some readers may find this expository essay by philosopher Peter Ludlow from Northwestern University of interest.

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 8, 2010 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink | TrackBack