October 7, 2011
Canadian Law School Rankings for 2011
From Macleans, using the methodology I designed for them, and which has not generated anything like the controversy that U.S. News rankings do for some simple reasons: it utilizes no self-reported data, relying only on information in the public domain, and it involves just a handful of factors related to faculty quality and success of graduates in securing jobs, clerkships, and academic positions.
In Memoriam: Derrick Bell
Derrick Bell, the pathbreaking and sometimes controversial law professor who was in the vanguard of critical race theory, passed away Wednesday. Bell, who was the only African-American student in his 1957 class at Pitt Law, became the first tenured African-American professor at Harvard Law School. He left Harvard for several years to serve as Dean of the University of Oregon, but he later rejoined the faculty. In 1990, he left HLS for good and became a permanent visitor on the NYU Law faculty in protest of Harvard's failure to hire an African-American woman to the tenured faculty. Bell's academic reach extended well beyond law schools; his work was influential for race scholars working across the social sciences. He was 80.
October 6, 2011
"Why Blogs are Bad for Legal Scholarship," Redux
This still seems to me basically right, though I think the continued rise in importance of faculty-edited journals has blunted some of the bad effects of blogs.
Legomsky to USCIS
Stephen H. Legomsky, the John S. Lehmann University Professor at Washington University Law School, has been appointed Chief Counsel for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). He will be taking leave from Wash U.
October 5, 2011
15 More Law Schools Being Sued by Class-Action Lawyers
Details here. The targets are: Albany, Baltimore, Brooklyn, California Western, Chicago-Kent, DePaul, Florida Coastal, Hofstra, John Marshall, Pace, San Francisco, Southwestern, St. John's, Villanova, and Widener.
I assume the allegations are similar to those in the earlier suits against Thomas Cooley and New York Law School. In all these cases, and despite the initial publicity, I suspect these suits aren't going to lead to awards to the plaintiffs unless it turns out these schools were not observing NALP reporting guidelines. But if they were conforming to national norms for reporting employment data, and plaintiffs then misinterpreted what that data meant, it's hard to see how anyone will recover (there are going to be other barriers to recovery, but this seems the main one). Of course, if some of these schools did not conform to the NALP rules, that may be a different story. And Villanova (which has long had a strong niche in the Philadelphia area legal market) may be vulnerable because of the now-admitted fraudulent student credential data reporting that went on for several years.
More grim jobs data on lawyers
From Professor Tamanaha once again. I wonder about three things in this data: (1) what number of law school graduates found jobs as lawyers more than 9 months out? (2) what number of law school graduates employed as lawyers simply weren't counted or didn't report? and (3) what number of law school graduates voluntarily left the legal profession (as opposed to being unable to find work as a lawyer)? If anyone knows, e-mail me. The assumption of Tamanaha and others seems to be that this data overstates employment outcomes, and it may, but I do wonder what the answers are to the latter questions.