June 04, 2015

Evidence scholar Jennifer Mnookin named Dean at UCLA

I'm sure that's going to prove a fabulous choice.  Congrats to Prof. Mnookin and UCLA!

June 4, 2015 in Faculty News | Permalink

June 01, 2015

UVA Law Dean Mahoney to step down in 2016 after 8 years at the helm

He had a very good tenure, not just based on objective indicia (like fundraising, where he did fabulously well), but based also on what I have heard again and again from faculty there.

June 1, 2015 in Faculty News | Permalink

May 28, 2015

SSRN Downloads: plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

Haven't looked at SSRN downloads in a couple of years, but here's the top ten US law professors by downloads in the last 12 months as of May 1:

1.  Cass Sunstein (Harvard) (28,599 downloads, 24 new papers)

2.  Dan Kahan (Yale) (18,796 downloads, 5 new papers)

3.  Daniel Solove (George Washington) (18,503 downloads, 2 new papers)

4.  Mark Lemley (Stanford) (14,973 downloads, 8 new papers)

5.  Lucian Bebchuk (Harvard) (13,940 downloads, 0 new papers)

6.  Orin Kerr (George Washington) (12,254 downloads, 4 new papers)

7.  Brian Leiter (Chicago) (12,097 downloads, 9 new papers)

8.  Bernard Black (Northwestern) (10,561 downloads, 5 new papers)

9.  Jeremy Waldron (NYU) (8,214 downloads, 6 new papers)

10. Tim Wu (Columbia) (8,158 downloads, 2 new papers)

And given how close to the top ten, I should note that my colleague Eric Posner had 8,065 downloads and six new papers in the last 12 months.

As the cases of Solove and Bebchuk show, "oldies but goodies" can keep the downloads pouring in!


May 28, 2015 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

May 20, 2015

Lawsky's rookie hiring data for 2014-15

Here.  Prof. Lawsky counts only tenure-track hires, whether academic or clinical; she reports a total of 70 new hires this year, slightly down from last year.  (It's lower if one substracts the tenure-track clinical hires, though I have not counted carefully.)  The relatively small number of Yale JDs hired (only 6) is striking, though we don't know how many graduates of each school were on the market, though based on past years I would be surprised if there weren't several dozen Yale candidates seeking, meaning the vast majority failed to land positions.  21 of the 70 hires had Harvard JDs (though several of those were coming off Fellowships, like the Bigelow), while another 27 came from just five schools (Stanford, Yale, Chicago, Berkeley, and NYU).

May 20, 2015 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

May 14, 2015

Another sign of the times: financial crisis at Pace Law School (UPDATED)

According to a faculty member, the Law School ran nearly a five million dollar deficit this year, and the Dean has pledged to cut $2.1 million of that next year, with a combination of moves:  the elimination of all sabbaticals, all research stipends, a 5% salary cut for senior staff, and a 10% salary cut for all faculty.  To make matters worse, the Dean, according to one source, "forbade anyone from speaking to the press about this. The materials he passed out carried two watermarks, one large across the text, and another secret one (or so he said), with each faculty member's name so he will know who the leak is, he said."  Since everyone familiar with legal education knows that many law schools are struggling with financial problems, it's mysterious (and counter-productive) for a Dean to make such a threat.

Pace faculty are concerned that there has been no attempt to buy out faculty (as other schools have done) and fear a further salary cut is in the offing before long.  The elimination of sabbaticals also has a number of Pace faculty perplexed, since with a reduction in its class size, Pace has excess teaching capacity, so it's not like sabbaticals require hiring adjuncts or visitors, so they do not add to costs.

UPDATE:  Prof. Alexander Greenawalt (Pace) writes:

I have not polled my peers but I believe that most of my colleagues would agree that there are serious inaccuracies in the report you received.  Of course I’m not thrilled to have my salary cut, but the truth is that we are part of a university that is continuing to support us, and I still have a great job at a great law school.  The main thrust of the dean’s remarks was that he is implementing budget cuts that will reduce our deficit without compromising the quality of the education we provide our students.  On that score, I believe he succeeded.  We are not the first law school to experience a faculty salary cut, and I don’t think this is a sign that we are a sinking ship. 


As to the specific allegations, the document in question is an internal memorandum written by my some of my faculty colleagues identifying possible budget cuts, several of which have not been adopted.  I think it’s obvious that any law school would treat this as a confidential document.  I doubt that my colleagues who authored it wanted it made public, and I think the dean would have been well within his rights to limit our access to it, for example by making it available for review only in hard copy in the dean’s suite.   Instead he decided to distribute individual copies, while taking measures to discourage (without prohibiting) public disclosure.  I haven’t picked up my copy yet, so I can’t tell you what it looks like or what watermarks it might have.  Perhaps he should have handled this distribution differently, but my honest belief is that he was acting out of a desire to be transparent rather than punitive.


In particular, I want to emphasize that there were no threats of any kind.  David did not forbid communications with the press, and indeed when asked about this he was quite clear that we were free to do what we wanted.  He did ask that we not leak the document to the press, and I think that’s a reasonable request.  Certainly, he did not specify any consequences if we did.


Regarding sabbaticals, David [the Dean] was clear that they will still be available for important scholarly projects.


I can’t speak for my anonymous faculty colleague, and certainly I am not accusing that person of dishonesty, but obviously we have very different recollections!

I thank Prof. Greenawalt for contacting me about this.  My source stands by the original account.  I think some of these issues may be matters of interpretation.   I do not think Pace is a "sinking ship" at all; it has an unusually strong faculty for a regional law school, and, as I noted originally, is facing the same issues that most American law schools are now facing.

May 14, 2015 in Faculty News, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

New Deans at Suffolk and Cardozo Law Schools

Two new dean hires to announce today.  Andrew Perlman has been named the new dean of Suffolk Law and Melanie Leslie has been named the new dean of Cardozo Law.  

May 14, 2015 in Faculty News | Permalink

May 12, 2015

Corporate Practice Commentator: Top 10 Articles of 2014

The announcement in full:

The Top 10 Corporate and Securities Articles of 2014


The Corporate Practice Commentator is pleased to announce the results of its twenty-first annual poll to select the ten best corporate and securities articles.  Teachers in corporate and securities law were asked to select the best corporate and securities articles from a list of articles published and indexed in legal journals during 2014.   More than 525 articles were on this year’s list.  Because of the vagaries of publication, indexing, and mailing, some articles published in 2014 have a 2013 date, and not all articles containing a 2014 date were published and indexed in time to be included in this year’s list.


The articles, listed in alphabetical order of the initial author, are:


Bainbridge, Stephen M. (UCLA) and M. Todd Henderson (Chicago).  Boards-R-Us: Reconceptualizing Corporate Boards. 66 Stan. L. Rev. 1051-1119 (2014).


Fisch, Jill E. and Tess Wilkinson-Ryan (both Penn).  Why Do Retail Investors Make Costly Mistakes? An Experiment on Mutual Fund Choice. 162 U. Pa. L. Rev. 605-647 (2014).


Fried, Jesse M. (Harvard). Insider Trading via the Corporation. 162 U. Pa. L. Rev. 801-839 (2014).


Hamermesh, Lawrence A. (Widener-Delaware). Director Nominations. 39 Del. J. Corp. L. 117-159 (2014).


Hansmann, Henry (Yale) and Mariana Pargendler (Vargas Law School, Sao Paulo).  The Evolution of Shareholder Voting Rights: Separation of Ownership and Consumption. 123 Yale L.J. 948-1013 (2014).


Morley, John (Yale). The Separation of Funds and Managers: A Theory of Investment Fund Structure and Regulation. 123 Yale L.J. 1228-1287 (2014).


Roe, Mark J. (Harvard). Structural Corporate Degradation Due to Too-Big-to-Fail Finance. 162 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1419-1464 (2014).


Roe, Mark J. (Harvard) and Frederick Tung (BU). Breaking Bankruptcy Priority: How Rent-Seeking Upends the Creditors' Bargain. 99 Va. L. Rev. 1235-1290 (2013).


Strine Jr., Leo E. (CJ Delaware Supreme Court). Can We Do Better by Ordinary Investors? A Pragmatic Reaction to the Dueling Ideological Mythologists of Corporate Law. 114 Colum. L. Rev. 449-502 (2014).


Subramanian, Guhan (Harvard). Delaware's Choice. 39 Del. J. Corp. L. 1-53 (2014).

May 12, 2015 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

May 04, 2015

Congratulations to our Bigelows and Public Law Fellows who secured tenure-track teaching positions

They are:

Zachary Clopton who will join the faculty at Cornell University.  He is currently the Public Law Fellow at the Law School.  He graduated magna cum laude in 2007 from Harvard Law School, and also earned a Masters in International Relations from Cambridge.  He clerked for Judge Wood on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and was an Associate at WilmerHale in the National Security group for two years, before serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Civil Division of the Northern District of Illinois for three years.  His teaching and research interests include civil procedure, international business transactions, federal courts, conflicts, torts, and national security law.  


Genevieve Lakier who will join the faculty at the University of Chicago.  She is presently a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School.  She graduated cum laude from New York University School of Law in 2011, where she was a Furman Fellow and Editor-in-Chief of the NYU Review of Law and Social Change.  She also earned a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Chicago in 2014.  She clerked for both Judge Sand in the Southern District of New York and then Judge Daughtrey on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, before coming to Chicago.  Her teaching and research interests include constitutional law, criminal law and the criminal justice system, comparative law, administrative law, and law and society. 


John Rappaport who will join the faculty at the University of Chicago.  He is presently a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School.  He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2006, clerked for Judge Reinhardt on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, then worked for two years as a Deputy Federal Public Defender in Los Angeles, before clerking for Justice Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court.  He also spent two years as a litigation associate at Munger, Tolles & Olson in Los Angeles, and clerked for six months for Judge Watford on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit before coming to Chicago.  His teaching and research interests include all aspects of criminal procedure and the criminal justice system, as well as federal courts, constitutional law, evidence, and civil procedure.

You can see a list of past Bigelows and where they now teach here

May 4, 2015 in Faculty News | Permalink

May 01, 2015

This year's rookie law teaching market (2014-15) looks to have been worse than last year

Sarah Lawsky (UC Irvine) is, as usual, gathering the data, and so far there are only 55 tenure-track academic hires, with, I gather two or three more expected.  15% of all the hires so far are either Chicago grads (5) or Chicago Fellows (3) who were on the market; only Harvard and Yale appear to have had a bigger share.

Last year, there were 64 tenure-track academic hires.  Before the crash in applications, 150-180 rookies would be hired into law teaching positions most years.

May 1, 2015 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News | Permalink

April 27, 2015

I call "bullshit" on this one...

...a story allegedly about a fearful closeted Christian law professor at an elite school?  The late William Stuntz at Harvard, Michael McConnell at Stanford, David Skeel at Penn, Stephen Bainbridge at UCLA all seem to have done rather well at elite schools, despite being quite openly religious.  (I'm sure there are others, but the preceding scholars have incorporated their religious commitments into at least some of their scholarly and popular writing.)  I invite the alleged subject of this article to contact me; I will also preserve his anonymity, but I'd like to pose some further questions about what it is about his institutional environment that would lead to the behavior described.  I'm afraid it just doesn't ring true to what I've seen at the institutions I've taught.  Yes, levels of religiosity among law professors are not high (though they are higher than among philosophy professors); but norms of collegiality and respect for differences have generally created environments in which no one would reasonably feel a need to go into the closet as described.  Maybe I've been lucky, but...

April 27, 2015 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink