December 20, 2014
Blast from the past: "Why Philosophy Has Been Central to Legal Education"
December 17, 2014
ABA data on 2014 law school enrollment
Here; an excerpt:
The 204 ABA-approved law schools reported total J.D. enrollment (full-time and part-time students) of 119,775. This is a decrease of 8,935 students (6.9 percent) from 2013 and a 17.5 percent decrease from the historic high total J.D. enrollment in 2010. The 2014 total enrollment is the lowest since 1982, when there were 169 ABA-approved law schools.
Law schools reported that 37,924 full-time and part-time students began their studies in the fall of 2014. This is a decrease of 1,751 students (4.4 percent) from 2013 and a 27.7 percent decrease from the historic high 1L enrollment of 52,488 in 2010. The 2014 1L enrollment is the lowest since 1974, when there were 151 ABA-approved law schools.
Nearly two-thirds of ABA law schools (127) experienced declines in first-year enrollment from the prior year. At 64 law schools, 1L declines exceeded 10 percent. At 25 schools, 1L enrollment declined by more than 20 percent. Twenty-five schools reported entering classes of fewer than 100 students.
At 69 schools, 1L enrollment increased from 2013. At 36 schools, 1L enrollment was up by less than 10 percent, and at 33 schools, enrollment increased by more than 10 percent. At 11 schools, enrollment increased by more than 20 percent. At 28 schools, the number of 1L students stayed within five students above or below last year’s figures.
December 10, 2014
First "revenge porn" criminal conviction in California
An interesting development, in which Miami law profesor Mary Anne Franks (quoted in the linked article) has played a leading role.
December 05, 2014
Nelson Mandela one year later
Professor Bernadette Atuahene (Chicago-Kent) writes:
Today is the first anniversary of Nelson Mandela's death. He became an international icon because he chose reconciliation and forgiveness over war and vengeance. There is no doubt that Mandela was a great man and a great leader. But, now that we have mourned, it is time to take a critical look at his legacy. When we scratch beneath the surface, we find that the political bargain that he brokered to bring an end to apartheid while avoiding massive bloodletting and economic disintegration is now falling apart.
Due to massive colonial and apartheid era land theft, when apartheid ended in 1994, 87% of the land was owned by whites although they constituted less than 10% of the population. The bargain allowed whites to keep their land despite how it was acquired. In exchange, blacks got the promise of land reform. This year, South Africa celebrates 20 years of democracy and the state has transferred only about 10% of the land from whites back to blacks. Whites have secure land rights while the promise made to blacks has gone unfulfilled. Needless to say, many blacks are losing their patience
In one of the most impressive public opinion studies on land reform in South Africa to date, Professor James Gibson surveyed 3,700 South Africans and found that 85 percent of black respondents believed that “most land in South Africa was taken unfairly by white settlers, and they therefore have no right to the land today.” Gibson’s most troubling finding was that two of every three blacks agreed that “land must be returned to blacks in South Africa, no matter what the consequences are for the current owners and for political stability in the country.” According to Gibson’s data, most blacks, whether they live in rural or urban areas, see the land as stolen and want it back even if redistribution will provoke political unrest. That is, land injustice has become a sea of oil waiting for a match.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are that match. EFF is a newly formed South African political party led by former African National Congress (ANC) youth league president, Julius Malema. The party’s foundational principle is “expropriation of South Africa’s land without compensation for equal redistribution in use.” After only a few months of campaigning, EFF won 6.3% of the vote in the national elections this past May, superseded only by the 22% won by the main opposition party—the Democratic Alliance (DA). To be sure, the ANC secured a safe majority by winning 62% of the vote, but the EFF’s success serves as a reminder of the consequences of its failed land reform program.
Black South Africans can only be expected to be so patient. If legal channels for correcting past land theft are not working, then they may resort to illegal or extreme measures to get their land back. Although Mandela has died, we cannot bury his dream of a free and fair South Africa along with him.
December 04, 2014
What constitutes "retaliation" under Title IX?
MOVING TO FRONT FROM DEC. 1--THANKS TO THOSE WHO HAVE ALREADY COMMENTED, I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM SOME OTHER TITLE IX EXPERTS ON THESE ISSUES
In my other academic field, philosophy, there has been much discussion of the move by the University of Colorado at Boulder to fire a tenured philosophy professor (David Barnett) for "retaliation" against a female complainant in a sexual assault case. A university investigation found against a male graduate student in philosophy (with whom Barnett had worked); Barnett conducted his own investigation of the university's investigation, and sent the University Chancellor a 38-page report alleging mistakes and misconduct in the university investigation. (A copy of this report has not been made public to my knowledge.)
So what constitutes "retaliation" under Title IX? Can alleging a university investigation was flawed constitute retaliation? How does "retaliation" under Title IX interact with the First Amendment rights of faculty and students? Any insight from readers would be welcome.
December 01, 2014
Still more Posner on Posner...
November 24, 2014
Posner on Posner...
November 12, 2014
Class of 2014 LSAT scores did not predict the drop in MBE scores
Derek Muller (Pepperdine) looks at the data.
November 03, 2014
Simkovic & McIntyre's "The Economic Value of a Law Degree"...
...appears in print in the Journal of Legal Studies. Despite being derided and dismissed last year by intellectual heavyweights like Paul Campos, Matt Leichter, and Elie Mystal, it somehow survived peer review. Imagine that. (You can read Prof. Simkovic's response to some of the Dunning-Kruger Effect crowd here.)
October 31, 2014
More details on Thomas Jefferson's restructuring deal with bondholders