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December 14, 2017

A proposed limit on student loans for graduate education (other than medical)

I missed this story while I was travelling, but it is quite significant, since it would cap loans for, say, legal education at $28,500 per year, which will result, I expect, in a collapse in enrollments at some law schools and probably put some financial stress on all law schools to increase their own financial aid or limit tuition increases.  It may also push more students into the private loan market, though some private lenders may undertake more due diligence regarding the school for which the loan is to be utilized.

More details and information?  Comments are open; submit the comment only once, they may take awhile to appear.

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 14, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink | Comments (0)

Case Western's Cassandra Burke Robertson calls for impeachment proceedings against Judge Kozinski

Her reasons here.

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 14, 2017 in Legal Profession | Permalink

December 12, 2017

More Judge Kozinski creepiness

Professor Nancy Rapoport (UNLV) recounts her experience.

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 12, 2017 in Legal Profession | Permalink

Signs of the times: George Washington Law reduces incoming class size...

...to reverse U.S. News ranking slide.  Proof once again that a ranking website runs U.S. legal education.

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 12, 2017 in Legal Profession, Rankings | Permalink

December 11, 2017

Farewell Judge Kozinski

Now that the dam has broken,  can it be long now?  I had heard of his reputation for, shall we say, "inappropriate" behavior from former clerks on the 9th Circuit (for other judges) before.  But now we have six women reporting very similar stories.   It's a shame, though, that Trump will likely replace him with an inferior judge.

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 11, 2017 in Legal Profession | Permalink

December 7, 2017

Law school applications up about 15% nationwide compared to last year

Blog Emperor Caron summarizes the latest LSAC data.  I've heard from former students and colleagues at some state flagships that their applications are up even more.  Of course, applications fell by more than a third since 2010, and I doubt we will get back to those numbers, but it seems clear that things are stabilizing and even looking up for law school enrollments.

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 7, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

December 5, 2017

Why academic freedom?

Once again into the fray.  A brief excerpt from the paper:

The main threats to academic freedom in the natural sciences in the capitalist democracies come from powerful business interests that disfavor, for profit-seeking reasons, certain discoveries:   for example, concerning the human contribution to climate change, to take the most important example in the present, but also findings about the inefficacy of particular pharmaceuticals and medical treatments.   Businesses have a strong interest in the correct natural scientific understanding of the causal order of nature, to be sure, since the extraction of profit from nature requires it.  At the same time, businesses also have strong interests in concealing certain scientific results that might impede popular acceptance of their business practices and consumption of their products.  Academic freedom is a crucial bulwark in favor of discovering truths about the natural world even in the relatively free capitalist societies.


In the human sciences, the issues are usually different:  it is, shall we say, rare for international corporations to get exercised about the latest developments in the history of early modern Europe or philosophy of the social sciences.  The threats to academic freedom in the human sciences come less from the business sector, and more often from political and religious interest groups whose normative commitments are threatened by the findings of the human sciences.   In the United States, for example, external pressure is frequently brought upon universities who try to employ critics of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians.[1]   But the pressure to violate academic freedom comes from within the universities too.   Indeed, some humanists have concocted a whole new metaphysics of “silencing” and “marginalizing” and “violence” to describe the expression of ideas that are offensive and insulting to certain minority groups.  For these academic insiders, Marcusian “indiscriminate” toleration in academic discourse is not acceptable, since the expression of ideas that might be hurtful to individuals based on group membership—in particular, membership in groups that have been victims of historical practices of subordination (e.g., African-Americans in the United States, though more recently, transgender individuals)—is alleged to “silence” members of that group and do “violence” to them.   


Marcuse himself wanted to suppress speech advocating for actual violence against and silencing of human beings:  murdering their political leaders, dropping chemical bombs on their country, destroying their society and livelihood through military violence.    But neoliberalism—the idea that the preferences of the consumers of products, including education, determine the value of what is offered—now rules in the capitalist universities too, with the result that some self-styled “progressive” faculty and students--even in institutions of higher education that protect expressive rights quite resolutely--believe that denigrating and offensive ideas “silence,” “marginalize” and “do violence” to them.   (Ironically, one need only watch videos, easily available on-line, of minority students challenging and ridiculing the pathetic NeoNazi Richard Spencer on various campuses to realize that no one was “silenced” and no one suffered actual “violence.”)  In both research and teaching in the human sciences, such metaphysical flights of fancy deserve no consideration at any university committed to academic freedom.   The dismissal of this melodrama is, of course, compatible with full commitment to laws, common in most Western democracies these days, prohibiting racial, gender, or sexual orientation discrimination.

[1]For an example, see Salaita 2015, Schmidt 2015, Leiter 2014a, and Leiter 2014b on the Steven Salaita case at the University of Illinois.

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 5, 2017 in Jurisprudence | Permalink

December 4, 2017

Lateral hires with tenure or on tenure-track, 2017-18

These are non-clinical appointments that will take effect in 2018 (except where noted); I will move the list to the front at various intervals as new additions come in.   (Recent additions are in bold.)  Last year's list is here.  Feel free to e-mail me with news of additions to this list.


 *Richard Albert (constitutional law, comparative constitutional law) from Boston College to the University of Texas, Austin (effective January 2018).


*Joshua Blank (tax) from a professor of practice position at New York University to the University of California, Irvine.


 *Binyamin Blum (legal history, evidence, criminal procedure) from Hebrew University, Jerusalem to the University of California Hastings (effective spring 2018) (untenured lateral). 


*William Boyd (environmental law, energy law) from the University of Colorado, Boulder to the University of California, Los Angeles.


*Samuel Bray (remedies, property, constitutional law) from the University of California, Los Angeles to the University of Notre Dame.


*Robert Jackson, Jr. (corporate law) from Columbia University to New York University (though he will be on leave initially while serving on the SEC).


 *Orin Kerr (criminal procedure, computer crime law) from George Washington University to the University of Southern California (effective January 2018).  


*Jill Wieber Lens (torts, products liability, remedies) from Baylor University to the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville (effective January 2018).


*Curtis Milhaupt (Japanese law, East Asian legal system comparative corporate governance) from  Columbia University to Stanford University (effective January 2018).


 *Frank Partnoy (corporate, securities) from the University of San Diego to the University of California, Berkeley.


*James Ryan (education law) from Harvard University Education School back to University of Virginia (to become President of the University).


*Rose Cuison Villazor (immigration law, equal protection, critical race theory) from the University of California, Davis to Rutgers University. 

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 4, 2017 in Faculty News | Permalink

Stanford Business school claimed to be awarding only "need-based financial aid"...

...but they weren't.  Several law schools, including Stanford, make the same claim, and I suspect an analysis of the real data would show something similar.  Ever since we were fortunate to be able to award Rubinstein Scholarships to incoming students, I've been amused to discover how often Yale and Harvard find those students to be especially "needy." 

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 4, 2017 in Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink