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April 19, 2011

New Law Fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences Announced

Here.  The academics elected are:  Marcel Kahan (NYU), Geoffrey Miller (NYU), Michael Schill (Chicago),  Louis Michael Seidman (Georgetown), and Stephen Yeazell (UCLA).  In addition, Annette Gordon Reed (Harvard) was elected in the History Section.   (An overview of the distribution of current members, as of last year, here.)

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 19, 2011 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

Severa Major Law Reviews (including Yale, Stanford, Chicago, and Harvard) Commit to Give Authors at Least 7 Days to Decide on Publication Offers

Details here.  I submitted to law reviews for the first time in awhile this past cycle, and some other law reviews (such as Illinois) already make this their practice. 

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 19, 2011 in Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink | TrackBack

Would you trust an anonymous lawprof called "shortporch"?

A student forwarded me this amazing item from a pre-law discussioon board posted last week by someone claiming to be a young law professor, using the moniker "shortporch," purporting to give advice about careers in law teaching:

Chicago places around 6 people in the academy each year. Yale places around 30. That's fact.

Now, Chicago is very good about elite placement (as in, the handful they get each year tend to be first-tier schools, not a scattering across all four tiers). But it is a grind-you-up, spit-you-out kind of academic training ground. You can enroll in a course at Chicago to "train" you as a potential academic--but after the first term, the professors in charge bar the "bottom" half of that class from re-enrolling in it the second term. It's that kind of brutal place for training. They're interested in crafting a small group of elite scholars. In contrast, Yale is going to be far more cooperative in academic opportunities and placement, with the reality that many get teaching positions and many are expected.

Chicago places 5-8 each year, that is a fact (and there's a more important fact, namely, that number represents almost all who seek such positions).  I know of no source of information to support the purported Yale "fact," but my guess would be it's more like 15-24 in recent years.  "Shortporch's" second paragraph, however, is complete fiction.  Professor Bernstein offers a "Legal Scholarship" workshop, but she doesn't throw people out of it, and no one has to take it in order to get into law teaching (I'd say maybe half of the candidates I've worked with on the teaching market since coming here had actually taken that workshop).   She does ask that if students want to enroll for the second part of the course that they submit a paper proposal; everyone who has submitted one has continued in the course.  We are certainly happy to have produced many "elite scholars" (or at least scholars employed by other elite schools), but we support our alumni at all levels of the market, as the list of alumni in teaching (above) will reveal.

Cyberspace remains "the nonsense and misinformation" superhighway!

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 19, 2011 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Law in Cyberspace, Of Academic Interest | Permalink | TrackBack

Lopez Named Dean of Loyola New Orleans

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law has announced the appointment of its new dean, María Pabón López.  López is currently a professor at Indiana University - Indianapolis School of Law. López, a native of Puerto Rico, is a graduate of Penn Law.

Posted by Dan Filler on April 19, 2011 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

April 18, 2011

Lawyers behaving badly...

...and a federal judge has some fun with them.

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 18, 2011 in Legal Humor, Legal Profession | Permalink | TrackBack

Tor from Haifa to Notre Dame

Avishalom Tor, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Haifa, is moving to a tenured position Notre Dame Law School.  He comes with tenure.  Tor is an expert in antitrust law and and behavioral analysis of law.

Posted by Dan Filler on April 18, 2011 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

April 17, 2011

UCI Law "finds its footing"

A nice write-up from the local Orange County paper.

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 17, 2011 in Faculty News, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink | TrackBack

Yale "is a *lousy* place to go" to get into law teaching

Thus spake a very prominent colleague at another top law school, with many years of hiring experience:

Yale's disproportionately large number [in law teaching, relative to its size] is a selection effect.  Yale ends up with so many more people in teaching because of the outdated myth "it's a good place to go if that's what you want to do" which keeps so many people going there.  In fact, as I have long believed, it's a lousy place to go:  most get dilettantish training, and way too many get pushed by their mentors to be second-rate versions of their mentors.  Harvard is also bad--in HLS's case, because size means most don't get the kind of attention they need.  But size and selection also keep the HLS numbers of people in teaching large.  So HLS and YLS continue to have the appearance of being good places to go, and lots of kids (who would actually do better at a Stanford or Chicago) go to them and either don't get teaching jobs or get less good jobs as a result.

Far be it for me to disagree with this assessment!

ADDENDUM:  A well-known legal scholar elsewhere, and a Yale Law grad, writes:

I have no inside information about Harvard, but completely agree with your informant’s observation about Yale Law grads: “most get dilettantish training, and way too many get pushed by their mentors to be second-rate versions of their mentors.”  (Fewer than half the YLS alums in our business, by my rough estimate, had mentors when they were law students.  I certainly had none and the faculty made it clear that nothing I did would get me any.  The myth that once you get into that school, it’s all winks, secret handshakes, and unmerited interventions in your behalf is annoying.  I’ll cop to being unjustly privileged by Yale Law on my resume, but not to any treatment from the faculty that gave me any help in my career.  Peers who were mentored sure did get that push, though!)  Dilettantish is a clement adjective for the training I received in the early 80s.  Although it has improved since then, it’s still dilettantish.

But the suggestion that Stanford and Chicago would be better places to go: really? Both pump out a lot of law profs, especially Chicago.  They’re not exactly deprived; shifting privilege into their ranks isn’t a change from the status quo.  Be interesting for someone to investigate other high-ranked schools that don’t feed so much as those two (e.g. Penn, Michigan, Duke, Minnesota) to see which schools’ alums make especially good professors, or do particularly well on the entry market. 

I agree that would be interesting, though I'm not quite sure how to come up with a suitable metric.  I do think there is a significant difference in the intellectual and mentoring culture here at Chicago compared to Yale, but of course there's no simple way to quantify that either.  But I agree with the basic point that the legal academy is ill-served by having 40% of professors coming from just six schools:  Yale, Harvard, Chicago, Stanford, Columbia, and Michigan.

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 17, 2011 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink | TrackBack

April 15, 2011

Wilcox Named New Dean at South Carolina

Robert Wilcox, the current associate dean at the University of South Carolina School of Law, has been named the new dean.  He will take over effective this summer.  Wilcox received his J.D. from South Carolina and has been on the law school faculty for 25 years.  He will replace Jack Pratt who has served a five year term.

Posted by Dan Filler on April 15, 2011 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

Some more lateral moves: Gordon, Robinson

Robert W. Gordon (legal history, legal profession) will retire from Yale Law School and rejoin the faculty at Stanford Law School, where he taught before moving to Yale in the 1990s.

Russell Robinson (antidiscrimination law, race and sexuality, law and psychology, constitutional law), Professor of Law at UCLA, has accepted an offer from the law school at the University of California at Berkeley, where he is presently visiting.

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 15, 2011 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack