March 31, 2011
Four Senior Hires for Georgia
The University of Georgia School of Law has had a busy year, making four tenured appointments: Diane Amann (international law) from the University of California at Davis will take up their Woodruff Chair in International Law; Elizabeth Chamblee Burch (complex litigation) comes to Georgia from Florida State University; Elizabeth Weeks Leoanrd (health care finance) from the University of Kansas; and Joseph Miller (patents) from Lewis & Clark.
Rougeau Named Dean at BC
Boston College School of Law is announcing today that Professor Vincent Rougeau, of Notre Dame Law, will become its new Dean. He takes over on July 1. Rougeau writes about the relationship between religion and public policy. My guess is that his service will be a big shift from the deanship of John Garvey. He is the first African-American dean at BC Law.
AALS Issues Strong Response to Proposed ABA Accreditation Standards
The Standards Review Committee of the ABA's Section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar has proposed a number of very substantial changes to the accreditation standards for law schools. The proposed changes - which are quite dramatic - up-end current ABA rules on tenure, governance, use of the LSAT and distance education, among other things. They have much criticism from various quarters. Now, Michael Olivas, writing as the President of the AALS, has issued a strong response to these draft changes.
Perhaps Paul Caron captures the letter's tenor best with the title of his post on the matter, "AALS Goes to War Over ABA's Proposed Accreditation Standards Changes".
March 30, 2011
Hughes from Wash U/St. Louis to Iowa
Emily Hughes (criminal law & procedure) at Washington University, St. Louis has accepted a senior offer from the law school at the University of Iowa.
Is Now the Time to Apply to Law School?
Over at Slate, Annie Lowrey argues that the surge of law school applicants and graduates was a bubble and that the bubble was burst by cultural, rather than economic forces.
In the past year or two, scads of blogs have committed themselves to exposing law school as a "scam," and the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have devoted thousands of words to telling readers why law school is a bad,bad idea if you do not actually want to be a lawyer.
As we've noted, law school applications are down over 11% this year to 2001 levels. Who knows - maybe they'll drop even more next year. And maybe the market for lawyers will continue to suffer - after all, automation and the off-shoring of legal work could reduce the long term demand for lawyers in the U.S.
Maybe. Or maybe not. But we know this much. Because law school applications are down this year, it's likely a student's LSAT will go a lot farther in this admissions cycle. Over at the Faculty Lounge, I've posted a chart comparing the 2001 and 2009 LSAT's for admitted students at a selection of different law schools. What's the takeaway? LSAT's are up - and in some cases way up - over the eight year period.
There are other possible explanations for the phenomenon beyond a more competitive market for students. We know some schools increased their reliance on transfer students. Overall LSAT scores might be up. But the data suggests, at least, that particularly among the more elite schools, this might be an excellent opportunity to - shall we say - get more house for your LSAT dollar.
March 29, 2011
Law School Faculty Visitors 2011 - 2012
Jacqui Lipton is keeping a list of full-time law faculty who will be visiting at other law schools next year. Read all about next year's visits - and help out by sharing relevant information - here.
March 28, 2011
Christopher Tomlins Wins Bancroft Prize
Christopher Tomlins, Chancellor’s Professor of Law at UC-Irvine Law School, and Research Professor Emeritus at the American Bar Foundation, Chicago, has been awarded the 2011 Bancroft Prize for his book, Freedom Bound: Law, Labor, and Civic Identity in Colonizing English America 1580-1865 (Cambridge University Press 2010). Al Brophy has some thoughts about the book's implications for future work in legal history here.
H/T Mary Dudziak
March 26, 2011
Entry Level Law School Hiring
March 25, 2011
Leib from Hastings to Fordham
Ethan J. Leib, Professor of Law at UC - Hastings, has accepted a tenured lateral offer from Fordham. Proefssor Leib has published in a diverse array of fields, with a recent emphasis on the area of friendship and family ties.
Top Ten Law Schools By Admissions Yield
Here's an interesting piece of information from US News. The magazine-turned-ranking machine has created a list of the top 10 law schools based on yield - that is, the number of matriculants divided by the number of people admitted. It turns out that this is a very curious list. In order, they are: Yale, BYU, Harvard, Southern, Liberty, Oklahoma, Regent, Memphis, NC Central and New Mexico. It appears that that most important indicators of high yield are: a perception of unmatched quality, strong group affinity(religion, HBCU), and being a public law school widely perceived to be the best law school in the state.
That takes care of nine. As for Memphis? I'm thinking their admissions office is just plain better.