« August 2013 | Main | October 2013 »

September 13, 2013

Doug Ginsburg to George Mason

Douglas Ginsburg, Senior Judge on the D.C. Circuit, is moving from NYU Law to George Mason Law .  He joined NYU in January 2012. 

Posted by Dan Filler on September 13, 2013 in Faculty News | Permalink

September 12, 2013

Syverud Named Chancellor of Syracuse

Dean Kent Syverud of Wash U. School of Law has accepted a new position as Chancellor of Syracuse University.  Syverud was previously dean of Vanderbilt Law.  He began his teaching career at the University of Michigan.

Posted by Dan Filler on September 12, 2013 in Faculty News | Permalink

In Memoriam: Penelope Pether

I am very sad to report that Professor Penelope Pether, of Villanova Law School, passed away on Tuesday.  She came to Villanova in 2005, along with her husband, Professor David Caudill.  She previously taught at American University.  Penny was 55.

Posted by Dan Filler on September 12, 2013 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

September 11, 2013

Survey of recent law school graduates: 37% are actually fine with three years of law school...

...which was a striking result, I thought.   Most seemed rather content with their legal education as well:  37% gave it an "A" (maybe the same 37% that liked all three years?), and 50% gave it a B.  (This is surprising given how many thought legal education needed to change in some unspecified way!)  One suspects that results vary quite a bit depending on where respondents went to school.

Posted by Brian Leiter on September 11, 2013 in Of Academic Interest, Rankings, Student Advice | Permalink

September 10, 2013

"The Methodology of Legal Philosophy"

The essentially final (and citable) version of this paper (co-authored with Alex Langlinais) is now on-line.

Posted by Brian Leiter on September 10, 2013 in Jurisprudence | Permalink

September 9, 2013

Why Legal Positivism (Again)?

I gave a very short talk on this topic at the AALS a few years ago, but this new draft paper is a much expanded and more systematic discussion, given as a keynote address in August for the annual meeting of the Australasian Society of Legal Philosophy in Sydney.  I hope it will interest some readers, and I would especially encourage those outside general jurisprudence but with some interest in the philosophy of law to take a look, since I hope it clears up some common confusions about positivism and about Dworkin's theory of law.  It would be particularly salutary for constitutional theorists to realize that no positivist theory of law denies the relevance of moral considerations to the adjudication of hard cases!

Posted by Brian Leiter on September 9, 2013 in Jurisprudence | Permalink

Rosenberg on market failures and the myth of "earned" inequalities

Here--it's a good read. Alex Rosenberg is a well-known philosopher of science, biology, and economics at Duke University and author of, among other works, the devastating Economics:  Mathematical Politics or Science of Diminishing Returns? (University of Chicago Press, 1993).

Posted by Brian Leiter on September 9, 2013 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

September 7, 2013

Visiting Professors at the Top Six Law Schools, 2013-14


As I've done in the past, I'm posting a list of the visiting professors (who hold university appointments elsewhere) at the top six law schools, the schools that are "top six" by almost all measures of faculty quality--which are also the schools that also typically have the most visiting professors on a regular basis. While many visiting stints are made with an eye to possible permanent appointment, not all are; some are so-called "podium" visits, which aim to fill an immediate teaching need at the school. By my calculation, for example, muc less than 10% of the visits last year resulted in (or are in process of resulting in) offers of permanent employment--perhaps a slightly higher percentage of the non-podium visits resulted in such offers. Often visitors from local schools in the area are invited for podium visit purposes--though some "locals" may also be "look-see" visitors, i.e., under consideration for appointment. NYU also has a fair number of "enrichment" and "global" visitors, well-known senior folks who are keen to spend some time in New York, but who aren't necessarily interested in, or being considered for, lateral moves. (Columbia gets some of these folks too.) From the outside, of course, it's very hard to tell all these apart, so here, without further comment, are the visiting professors for 2013-14; please e-mail me about omissions or corrections (though I'm hopeful this is the final version).

Please note that not every visit, below, is for the entire academic year; indeed, my guess is at least half are not, meaning students can expect many of these faculty to *also* be teaching at their home institution. In the case of HLS, many of the visitors come in the Winter Term, i.e., just the month of January.

Please also note that this is supposed to be a list of visiting faculty who have gone through some kind of appointments process at the school at which they are visiting, whether a process for look-see visitors, "enrichment" visitors, or podium visitors.  (Not all schools use podium visitors--Chicago does not, for example.  But Harvard and NYU, among others, do.) These are supposed to be faculty who are teaching at the host school and who are being paid by the host school to teach.

Columbia Law School

Thomas Brennan (Northwestern University)

Bernard Harcourt (University of Chicago)

Sudhir Krishnaswamy (Azim Premji University)

Jennifer Laurin (University of Texas, Austin)

Niamh Moloney (London School of Economics)

Cristoforo Osti (University of Salento)

Michele Papa (University of Florence)

H. Jefferson Powell (Duke University)

Anthea Roberts (London School of Economics)

Richard Squire (Fordham University)

Doron Teichman (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)

Edouard Treppos (University of Lyon)

Antoine Vauchez (University of Paris I-Pantheon-Sorbonne)

Harvard Law School

Howard Abrams (Emory University/University of San Diego)

Hidetaka Aizawa (Hitotsubashi University)

Robert Anderson (University of Washington, Seattle)

Samantha Besson (University of Freibourg)

William Burke-White (University of Pennsylvania)

Daniel Coquillette (Boston College)

Susan Crawford (Cardozo Law School/Yeshiva University)

Scott Cummings (University of California, Los Angeles)

Justin Driver (University of Texas, Austin)

John Echeverria (Vermont Law School)

Stavros Gadinis (University of California, Berkeley)

Anna Gelpern (Georgetown University)

Robert George (Princeton University)

Robert W. Gordon (Stanford University)

Lorie Graham (Suffolk University)

Karl Hofstetter (University of Zurich)

Bert Huang (Columbia University)

Vik Khanna (University of Michigan)

Daniel Klerman (University of Southern California)

Sanford Levinson (University of Texas, Austin)

Katerina Linos (University of California, Berkeley)

Catharine MacKinnon (University of Michigan)

Christopher Robertson (University of Arizona)

Jeswald Salacuse (Fletcher School, Tufts University)

Michael Stein (College of William & Mary)

George Triantis (Stanford University)

Alain-Laurent Verbeke (Universities of Leuven & Tilburg)

Paul Waldau (Canisius College)

Michael Walzer (Institute for Advanced Study)

Lauren Willis (Loyola Law School, Los Angeles)

Mikhail Xifaras (Sciences Po, Paris)

New York University School of Law

Alan Auerbach (University of California, Berkeley)

Stefan Bechtold (ETH Zurich)

Charles Cameron (Princeton University)

Simon Chesterman (National University of Singapore)

David Dyzenhaus (University of Toronto)

Lech Garlicki (University of Warsaw)

Michael Klausner (Stanford University)

Mike Joseph Kobetsky (University of Melbourne)

Robert L. Rabin (Stanford University)

Woljciech Sadurski (University of Sydney)

David A. Skeel (University of Pennsylvania)

Stefan Vogenauer (Oxford University)

Stanford Law School

Michael Asimow (University of California, Los Angeles)

Binyamin Blum (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)

Justin Driver (University of Texas, Austin)

Siegfried Fina (University of Vienna)

Avishai Margalit (Hebrew University, Jersualem)

Manfred Nowak (University of Vienna)

University of Chicago Law School

Dhammika Dharmapala (University of Illinois)

Kimberly Ferzan (Rutgers University, Camden)

Ariel Porat (Tel-Aviv University)

Mila Versteeg (University of Virginia)

Yale Law School

Steven G. Calabresi (Northwestern University)

Kristin Collins (Boston University)

Aaron Dhir (Osgoode Hall School of Law, York University, Toronto)

Emmanuel Gaillard (Sciences Po, Paris)

Lech Garlicki (University of Warsaw)

Gregory Keating (University of Southern California)

Jonathan Klick (University of Pennsylvania)

Alexandra Lahav (University of Connecticut)

Jeffrey Meyer (Quinnipiac University)

Jon Michaels (University of California, Los Angeles)

Angela Onwuachi-Willig (University of Iowa)

Deborah Rhode (Stanford University)

David Schleicher (George Mason University)

Robert Sloane (Boston University)

Noah Zatz (University of California, Los Angeles)

Peer Zumbansen (Osgoode Hall School of Law, York University, Toronto)

Posted by Brian Leiter on September 7, 2013 in Faculty News | Permalink

September 6, 2013

William Simon on Cass Sunstein

A very informative and thoughtful review of Professor Sunstein's most recent book; an excerpt:

The nudge approach is influenced by ideological strategy as well as by social science. Sunstein seems to think that for liberalism to reclaim the support it has lost in recent decades the key task is to find common ground with the libertarian right. Hence he emphasizes the liberty-respecting dimension of choice-architecture regulation. A good part of the book engages libertarian critiques of government respectfully, indeed timidly. Sunstein also shares the libertarian focus on the danger of excessive, as opposed to insufficient, regulation. At OIRA, he enthusiastically implemented President Obama’s directive that agencies seek to identify “unnecessary” regulations for repeal or cutback, acknowledging only as an afterthought that there might be some regulations that should be strengthened.

Although Sunstein seems unchast-ened by it, there is evidence in his book that the ideological strategy is a failure. Libertarians have not been placated. Thirty-four Republican Senators voted against Sunstein’s confirmation. In a series of television rants, Glenn Beck portrayed Sunstein as “the most dangerous man in America,” attacking nudges as an insidious form of covert control. The economist Edward Glaeser made the same argument with less hyperbole: fiddling with choice architecture is more dangerous than enacting mandatory rules because the interventions are less noticeable and hence less likely to trigger political opposition.

Sunstein’s strategy misconceives where liberals should be looking for allies and what they need to do to win them. They should be looking in the center, not on the fringe, and the key to winning centrist support for liberal economic programs is to demonstrate their capacity to deal effectively with public problems, not to increase their accommodation of individual choice. Most Americans are not strong libertarians in economic matters. They do not see the capacity to choose among health insurance plans or to buy tax-free cigarettes as matters of liberty in any sense akin to rights of free speech, due process, political participation, or (for some) gun possession. They see choice in the economic domain largely in utilitarian terms. If regimes that allow choice leave most people better off, they are good. But choice should be readily sacrificed when doing so leads to more efficient provision of services.

Consider that the situation in current public discourse is virtually the opposite of that portrayed by Glaeser. Minor, indirect efforts to influence choices, such as Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s restriction on soda servings, often generate noisy debate about whether their trivial restraints on liberty can be justified. Because libertarian rhetoric is a kind of background music in American culture, debates about paternalism have a certain entertainment value. Yet massive and directly coercive programs are rarely attacked as infringements of liberty and are often taken for granted. Social Security is the standout example, but there are many others, including Medicare, unemployment insurance, workplace safety, securities regulation, and defective-product regulation. All these programs rest in substantial part on hard paternalist rationales. Yet when they are criticized, they are usually charged with ineffectiveness, not with infringing liberty. Even the right rarely attacks Social Security as paternalist anymore. Its complaints mainly assert that the program is inadequately funded and unlikely to deliver promised benefits. Social Security’s defenders spend most of their time showing that the program is sound or can be made so with modest reforms, not trying to make the program more palatable to libertarians.

The biggest current liability for liberals is that many people have lost faith in the capacity of government to solve the problems they care about. Perhaps the most prominent of these problems are unemployment, economic inequality, the deterioration of the natural environment, and national security. The behaviorist toolkit is not much help here. Sunstein’s account of the future of government has nothing to say about unemployment, inequality, or national security, and its contribution to environmental protection is limited to consumer labeling of cars and appliances. Sunstein is right that government needs to be sensitive to the limits of its knowledge and understanding and that intervention needs to be more flexible and adaptive. But it seems unlikely that many major problems can be solved without more direct intervention and more collective decision-making than his strategy contemplates.

Posted by Brian Leiter on September 6, 2013 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Colorado Law (and other schools) enroll larger than average 1L class

Here, and good for them.  Despite the albatross of the most visible malingerer in the American legal academy, Colorado has a very smart Dean, a very strong faculty, and offers a bargain legal education.  And, interestingly, they aren't alone in enrolling a bigger class this fall, though most schools appear to have admitted smaller ones.  And more details here.

Posted by Brian Leiter on September 6, 2013 in Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink