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September 30, 2013

A public lecture on toleration in Newport...

...this Thursday, for any readers in the area who might be interested.

Posted by Brian Leiter on September 30, 2013 in Jurisprudence | Permalink

September 27, 2013

A different take on the ABA Task Force Draft Report on the Future of Legal Education

Robert Condlin (Maryland) calls to my attention his different, and more critical, take on the draft report (found in this paper of his); he makes a number of sound points that are worth airing:

This latest ABA paper on legal education is a deeply flawed document.   Starting from what it describes as a “fundamental tension” between legal education’s dual status as a “public [and] private good,” id. at 6-7, (what the Report actually describes is the tension between education and training—it mistakenly thinks of those as the same thing), it proposes reconstituting law schools as technical training institutes “devoted to preparing students to pursue and compete for jobs.” Id. at 13.  It makes a few, mostly adjectival, concessions to critics of its earlier Working Paper on the same subject, see note 6 supra, but for the most part it retains the anti-intellectualism and worker bee myopia that characterized that earlier work.  It shows no awareness of the obligation to prepare lawyers to implement rules and operate institutions to serve the ends of justice, fairness, equality, and efficiency, for example, or the obligation to future generations to construct legal norms and institutions that can adapt to changing social and political circumstances, needs, and beliefs. Instead, it focuses obsessively on the present and constructs a blueprint for satisfying students’ immediate “customer” desires rather than theirs and the legal system’s long-term interests.

In this same spirit, it depicts legal scholarship as a drag on education, adding to its cost without producing any corresponding benefit, ignoring the numerous contributions legal scholarship has made to the development of law in areas as diverse as privacy, see e.g., Samuel D. Warren and Louis D. Brandeis, The Right to Privacy, 4 Harv. L. Rev. 193 (1890), tax, see e.g., Boris Bittker, Tax Shelters, Nonrecourse Debt, and the Crane Case, 33 Tax L. Rev. 277 (1978), commodities trading, see e.g., Saule T. Omarova, The Merchants of Wall Street: Banking, Commerce, and Commodities, 98 Minn. L. Rev. (forthcoming) (2013), antitrust, see e.g., Robert H. Bork, The Antitrust Paradox (1993), property, see e.g., Charles A. Reich, The New Property, 73 Yale L. J. 733 (1964), environmental protection, see e.g., Joseph Sax, The Public Trust in Natural Resource Law, 68 Mich. L. Rev. 71 (1970), copyright, see e.g., Robert Denicola, Applied Art and Industrial Design: A Suggested Approach to Copyright in Useful Articles, 67 Minn. L. Rev. 707 (1983), consumer financial protection, see e.g.,Elizabeth Warren, Unsafe at Any Rate, 5 Democracy (Summer 2007) available at http://www.democracyjournal.org/5/6528.php
<http://www.democracyjournal.org/5/6528.php>, product safety, see e.g., Guido Calabresi, The Cost of Accidents: A Legal and Economic Analysis (1970), and dozens of others.  See David Kennedy & William Fisher III (eds.) The Canon of American Legal Thought (2006) (describing twenty law review articles that have had a profound effect on the shape of American law and legal institutions); Michelle Harner & Jason Cantone, Is Legal Scholarship Out of Touch? An Empirical Analysis of the Use of Scholarship in Business Law Cases, 19 U. Miami Bus. L. Rev. 1 (2011) (describing the influence of legal business law scholarship on the decisions of the Delaware Supreme Court).  It also ignores the systemic contributions of scholars like Henry Hart and Albert Sachs, Mitchell Polinsky, Richard Posner, and numerous others, who changed the ways in which generations of judges and lawyers go about their business and think about law and legal institutions.  Scholarship is the legal system’s seed corn, and destroying seed corn eventually makes an ecosystem uninhabitable.

The Task Force’s mindset reminds me of my brief experience as a member of the Long Range Planning Committee of a major state bar.  Long range planning for our Committee consisted of someone saying: “You know, last week this happened to me; there ought to be a law against it,” and the Committee (with me excepting) agreeing.    Hopefully, the ABA House of Delegates will understand the risks in such casual empiricism and spare law schools the harm wrecked by similar short term thinking in the present day worlds of law practice and business. “The customer is always right” may have worked for Marshall Field, but it is a prescription for disaster in legal education.

Posted by Brian Leiter on September 27, 2013 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

September 26, 2013

ABA Task Force on Future of Legal Education, Draft Report of September 20, 2013

Co-blogger Dan noted its appearance the other day, and I've now had a chance to look at it.  Most of what was good and sensible is still there, but, alas, most of what was bad and unsupported is also still there (there were some minor edits, e.g., noting Income-Based-Repayment).   As others have noted, there are still a lot of fact-free assertions, on the basis of which recommendations are then predicated.  And, more disappointingly, the fact-free smear that "a substantial" number of law faculty "sought out their positions because those posts reside largely outside market- and change-driven environments" (p. 15) remains in this draft.  People have lots of motives for going into law teaching, but I don't think I've ever met anyone for whom this was the motive.  That this gratuitously stupid line still appears in the draft report indicates that there's someone on the committee with an idee fixe (but not much intellectual judgment!).  If the ABA Task Force actually wants law faculty to take the report seriously, it would do well to remove lines like this which will alienate one part of the intended audience.

Posted by Brian Leiter on September 26, 2013 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

September 24, 2013

All about law school Deans...

...courtesy of Mississippi College School of Law Dean Rosenblatt:  who are the Deans, how long have they served, etc.

Posted by Brian Leiter on September 24, 2013 in Faculty News, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

September 23, 2013

ABA Task Force Calls For Changes to Legal Ed and the Profession

The ABA's Task force on the Future of Legal Edcuation issued a draft report last Friday.  It's here.  In its call for states to authorize limited legal practice by non-lawyers, the committee may have gone beyond its charge.  But it's interesting reading.

Posted by Dan Filler on September 23, 2013 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

September 22, 2013

Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Law, volume 2...

...is now out, with new essays by Stephen Perry, Barbara Baum Levenbook, Matthew Kramer, Bruno Celano, Michael Giudice, R.A. Duff, C.L. Ten, Hanoch Sheinman, and Luis Duarte D'Almeida.  The volumes covers topics in general jurisprudence, as well as the philosophy of criminal law, international law, and contracts, among other topics.  Perry's important paper has already commanded attention from jurisprudential scholars.

I'm also pleased to report that John Gardner, the Professor of Jurisprudence at Oxford, will join Leslie Green and me as co-editors of volume 3.

Posted by Brian Leiter on September 22, 2013 in Jurisprudence | Permalink

September 20, 2013

DC-area Law School Enrollments

Lots of competition (and lots of financial aid), yet Georgetown's enrollment is down, George Washington's up (at least from last year), and numerical credentials in flux at various places.

Posted by Brian Leiter on September 20, 2013 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

September 18, 2013

First outsourcing...now "onshoring"?

Bill Henderson (Indiana) comments.

Posted by Brian Leiter on September 18, 2013 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

September 17, 2013

Supreme Court Clerkships by Law School: 2003 through 2013 Terms


UPDATE:  Minnesota, in fact, had 2 Supreme Court clerks during this time, so makes the top 20 on both the "per capita" and the total clerks listing--that revision will be made shortly.

Posted by Brian Leiter on September 17, 2013 in Legal Profession, Rankings, Student Advice | Permalink

September 15, 2013

Chicago Alumni (and Bigelows) on the Teaching Market, 2013-14


This post is strictly for schools doing hiring this year; it concerns our alumni and our Bigelow and other Fellows on the teaching market.  I am Chair of the Placement Committee at the Law School, and happy to supply more information, including confidential evaluations, on any of these candidates.  You can reach me at bleiter@uchicago.edu or at 773-702-0953.  You may also contact the recommenders listed below directly, of course, but I've talked to all the Chicago ones and may be able to save you some time (or point you to the recommenders who would be most helpful given your school's needs/interests).

Here are profiles of the alumni candidates and Bigelows (some are both) who presently have recommenders at Chicago and with whom we have worked, and so about whom we have the most information.  (There is one candidate in constitutional law not mentioned below, since his/her employer does not know s/he is on the teaching market; if you have needs in constitutional law, feel free to contact me directly about this candidate, who already has a strong publication record.)  All these candidates have submitted materials to the FAR:

Vincent Buccola '08 is presently a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School.  He has research and teaching interests in bankruptcy, contracts, business associations, corporate finance, and civil procedure.  He graduated with High Honors and Order of the Coif from the Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review.  He clerked for Judge Easterbrook on the 7th Circuit, and was a litigator at Bartlit Beck in Chicago for three years.  His articles appear in Kansas Law Review and George Mason Law Review.  His Chicago references include Douglas Baird, Anthony Casey, Todd Henderson, Saul Levmore, and Judge Easterbrook.

Roger Ford '05 is presently a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School.  He has research and teaching interests in intellectual property (esp. patents and trademarks), property, information privacy, criminal and civil procedure, and antitrust.  He graduated with Honors and Order of the Coif from the Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review.  He practiced patent and trademark litigation and privacy law at Covington & Burlington for five years, and also clerked for Judge Easterbrook on the 7th Circuit.  He has also been a Microsoft Research Fellow at NYU, and an adjunct professor at George Mason, where he taught Federal Courts. His articles appear in Cornell Law Review, George Mason Law Review, and elsewhere.  His Chicago recommenders include Daniel Abebe, Anthony Casey, Jonathan Masur, Lior Strahilevitz and Judge Easterbrook; his NYU references include Katherine Strandburg.

Randall K. Johnson '12 has research and teaching interests in property, evidence, real estate transactions, land use, and civil rights.  At the Law School, he held the NAACP Legal Defense Fund Earl Warren Legal Training Scholarship for two years.  He is presently a Law Fellow with the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.  His articles appear in Northern Illinois Law Review and Wake Forest Law Review Online.  His Chicago recommenders include Lisa Bernstein and Jeff Leslie; Prof. Amos Jones (Campbell) is also available as a reference.

Goldburn P. Maynard, Jr. '05 has research and teaching interests in federal tax, estates and trusts, and estate and gift tax.  At Chicago, he was a member of the Law Review, and he also earned an LL.M. in tax at Northwestern.  He was a tax associate at Skadden Arps in Chicago, and then an estate tax attorney with the I.R.S. for four years, before taking up his present position as a VAP at Washington University, St. Louis.  His scholarship has appeared in the Tulane Law Review.  His recommenders include Lisa Bernstein and Lior Strahilevitz at Chicago; Adrienne Davis and Adam Rosenzweig at Wash U; and Nancy Staudt at Southern California.

Greg Reilly is a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School.  He has research and teaching interests in intellectual property (esp. patents), civil procedure and complex litigation, federal courts, and contracts.  He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2006 and clerked for Judge Dyk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  He was a patent and products liability litigator with Morrison & Foerster in San Diego for five years before coming to Chicago.  His articles appear in Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review Dialogue, and elsewhere.  His Chicago references include Daniel Abebe, Douglas Baird, Anthony Casey, and Jonathan Masur; his Harvard references include Peter Barton Hutt and Arthur Miller (Prof. Miller is emeritus at Harvard and now teaching at NYU).

Nathan Richardson '09 has research and teaching interests in environmental law, property, administrative and energy law, and law and economics.  He graduated with Honors from the Law School, where he was Articles Editor of the Chicago Journal of International Law.  He is presently a Research Scholar at Resources for the Future in Washington, DC, where he has extensive experinece doing legal and interdisciplinary research, often in collaboration with economists.  His dozen publications appear in Environmental Law, Stanford Journal of Environmental Law, Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, and elsewhere.  His Chicago recommenders include Anup Malani, Eric Posner, and David Weisbach.  He can also provide references from economists.

Veronica Root '08 has research and teaching interests in professional responsibility, employment law, business associations, contracts, and commercial law.  At the Law School, she was Managing Editor of the Chicago Journal of International Law, and also received the Mulroy Prize for Excellence in Appellate Advocacy.  She clerked for Judge Stewart on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and then litigated with Gibson Dunn in Washington, D.C. for three years, before taking up a Visiting Assistant Professorship at Notre Dame Law School, where she has taught professional responsibility.  Her articles appear in University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law and University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform.  Her Chicago references include Lisa Bernstein, Emily Buss, and Lior Strahilevitz; her Notre Dame references include Rick Garnett and Mark McKenna.

Aaron D. Simowitz '06 has research and teaching interests in international business transactions, arbitrarion, civil procedure, conflicts, and remedies.  He graduated with Honors from the Law School, where he was the Book Reviews Editor and Business Manager of the Law Review.  He clerked for Judge D. Brooks Smith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and was a litigator for four years with Gibson Dunn in New York, where he worked extensively on international commercial disputes.  Since 2011, he has been an Acting Assistant Professor in the Lawyering Program at NYU Law School.  His articles appear in DePaul Law Review, American Criminal Law Review, and in a forthcoming volume on International Commercial Arbitrarion edited by Franco Ferrari.  His Chicago recommenders include Lisa Bernstein, Richard Epstein, and Bernard Harcourt; his NYU references include Franco Ferrari and Linda Silberman.

Finally, if you're curious, you can read about some of our recent placements in law teaching herehere and here, and see a more comprehensive listing here.  You can also see a list of past Bigelows and where they now teach here.

Posted by Brian Leiter on September 15, 2013 in Faculty News | Permalink