January 23, 2016

With empirical work the fashion of the moment in the legal academy...

...I'm curious what folks have to say about the eminent psychologist Richard Nisbett's take on multiple regression analysis:

I hope that in the future, if I’m successful in communicating with people about this, that there’ll be a kind of upfront warning in New York Times articles: These data are based on multiple regression analysis. This would be a sign that you probably shouldn’t read the article because you’re quite likely to get non-information or misinformation.

Do read the whole interview.  Thoughts from readers?


January 23, 2016 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink | Comments (11)

January 22, 2016

Latest LSAC applicant report as of Januray 15, 2016

"As of 01/15/16, there are 157,319 2016 applications submitted by 25,260 applicants for the 2016–2017 academic year. Applicants are up 2.0% and applications are down 0.3% from 2015–2016."  Applicants have consistently been up in the 1-3% range all season, and I still wouldn't be surprised if we finished the year up 3-5%.


January 22, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

January 20, 2016

$25 million naming gift for the law school at...

"Most Influential People in Legal Education"

It is alleged I am one, so too Prof. Simkovic (who surely should be, having been single-handedly responsible for bringing facts and serious data analysis to thinking about the financial aspects of legal education).   Whatever the merits of this list, I am pleased to see many esteemed friends and colleagues on it!  And thanks to those readers who took the time to vote in the survey.


January 20, 2016 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

January 18, 2016

Ian Ayres (Yale) argues that the U.S. News rankings have actually helped low-ranked schools during the decline in applicants over the last few years

He sets out his theory here.  Briefly:  highly ranked schools have enrolled fewer students during the decline, rather than taking the more students with weaker credentials, in order to maintain their rank in U.S. News; the result was more students with good (but not top-flight) credentials available for lower-ranked schools.  To which I say:  maybe.  The decline in enrollments at top schools has been small, and many have seen declines in their student credentials anyway.  But it's an intriguing possibility!


January 18, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

January 14, 2016

New Fellowship in Behavioral Law & Economics at University of Chicago Law School

 My colleague Jonathan Masur asked that I call the attention of interested readers to a new Fellowship opportunity here at Chicago; he writes: 

The Wachtell Fellowship in Behavioral Law & Economics is designed for aspiring legal academics with research or teaching interests in behavioral law & economics.  Fellows will have have substantial time and resources (including research funding) to pursue their own research.  In addition, Fellows will have the opportunity to teach seminars of their choosing related to behavioral law & economics, present papers at faculty workshops, and participate in conferences.  The Fellowship will run for one year, with an option to renew for a second year.  We are currently accepting applications for fellowships covering the 2016-17 academic year, and we anticipate having one or more openings in subsequent years as well.  Any candidates who are interested in the Fellowship or would like more information are very welcome to email me at jmasur@uchicago.edu.

 To apply, go here.  I'll just note that all our Fellows are thoroughly integrated into the intellectual life of the institution.


January 14, 2016 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

January 13, 2016

Early January stats from LSAC...

...applicants up a little over 1%, applications down not quite 2%.  Reasonably, applicants are feeling a bit more confident, so submitting fewer applications.  Given the trend towards more applications later in the cycle, I think we can say with confidence that we won't see fewer applicants this year, and may still see a very small increase (I'll be surprised if it's more than 5% in the end).


January 13, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

January 12, 2016

Underemployment among college graduates since the Great Recession

A new study by two economists debunks the "barista with a B.A." myth.  They do not look at those who earned a J.D. since the Great Recession, but one suspects it's an even bigger myth in that case--not that any factual information would dissuade the group-polarized crowds that congregate on blogs!


January 12, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

January 11, 2016

Law students who transfer, updated data...

...courtesy of Prof. Jerry Organ (St. Thomas/Minnesota).  Most, but not all, schools taking large numbers of transfers are clearly doing it for U.S. News reasons:  it allows them to reduce the size of their 1L class, whose median credentials count for ranking purposes.


January 11, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

January 08, 2016

False advertising claims against Thomas Jefferson Law in San Diego to go to trial

WSJ report here.  Longtime readers will recall that almost all the other suits brought against law schools were dismissed (for example).  California, however, has more stringent consumer protection laws than many states.  My guess is a lay jury is not going to view Thomas Jefferson Law sympathetically in this matter.


January 8, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink