July 19, 2016

Hiring committees can announce themselves...

...and their curricular priorities here.


July 19, 2016 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

July 18, 2016

A first sign of trouble with the new Elsevier-owned SSRN

July 12, 2016

Cooter & Ulen's famous Law & Econ text is now available for free download...

...from Berkeley.

(Thanks to Dean Rowan for the pointer.)


July 12, 2016 in Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice, Student Advice | Permalink

June 30, 2016

One benefit of Elsevier taking over SSRN...

...you can now search the full text of papers on SSRN.


June 30, 2016 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

The "Chicago-Style" article

Finally, a clear explanation of what most of my colleagues are doing!


June 30, 2016 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

June 24, 2016

Why The New York Times Should Correct Remaining Factual Errors in Its Law School Coverage

Last week I wrote an open letter to New York Times reporter Noam Scheiber discussing problems with his law school coverage and his reliance on low quality sources such as internet blogs and "experts" who lack relevant expertise rather than peer reviewed labor economics research.  By email, Scheiber insisted that there was nothing wrong with his coverage, but he'd be happy to hear of any specific factual problems I could identify.  

I identified 6 clear factual errors and multiple misleading statements.  I also reinterviewed his lead source, John Acosta and found important discrepancies between how Scheiber depicted Acosta as someone who was suckered into un-repayable debt, while Acosta describes his own situation as hopeful and law school as a worthwhile and carefully researched investment.  New York Times Dealbook reporter and U.C. Berkeley Professor Steven Davidoff Solomon weighed in, citing my research and supporting my points.

Scheiber posted a response to his facebook page, after running it by his editors at the New York Times.  The New York Times agreed to correct the most minor of the six errors I identified. They also "tweaked" two sentences so that the language was less definitive.

Scheiber's response includes some good points (many students from Valparaiso might be below the 25th percentile of law school graduates) as well as strained interpretations of the language of his original article: "fewer" did not actually mean "fewer"'; "Harvardesque" did not actually mean "similar to Harvard."  Scheiber describes my presentation of data that contradicts his factual claims as "strange", "bizarre", "odd", "overly-literal" and (on Twitter) "gripes."   Interestingly, Scheiber thinks that "most law school graduates who pass the bar are going to have at least a few hundred thousand dollars in assets like 401k and home equity by the time they work for 20 years."  This level of savings would make them far more financially secure than the vast majority of the U.S. population.

My response to Scheiber is below.  I explain why The New York Times has an obligation to its readers to correct the remaining uncorrected factual errors in Scheiber's story.

Scheiber embedded his response in my explanation of the 6 clear factual errors in his story, and I in turn embedded my response within his response.  To ease readability, I have color coded Scheiber's response in orange, and my new response in blue.  Scheiber's response is indented once, and my new response is indented twice.  The least indented black text at the beginning of each thread is from the list of 6 clear factual errors, and can be skipped (scroll down until you see orange or blue text) by those who have followed the discussion thus far.

UPDATE: June 25, 2016:  Yesterday, The New York Times posted an additional minor correction to its discussion of taxation of debt forgiveness, stating that debt forgiveness would "probably" be treated as taxable income.  This is an improvement over the original, but could still mislead or confuse readers.  It also leaves many of the most important errors uncorrected.  

Scheiber  tells me that the "tweaks" to the language which he communicated to me in his facebook post from Tuesday 6/21 actually happened on Friday evening 6/17.   This would make them coincide with the timing of my open letter, but before my more detailed explanation of 6 clear factual errors. Scheiber tells me that these "tweaks" were not made in response to my letter, although he has not specified when on Friday evening the changes were made. They appear to have been made after I sent him the letter. 

 

Continue reading


June 24, 2016 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Law in Cyberspace, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Science, Weblogs | Permalink

June 09, 2016

Journalism researcher: To correct misinformation, essential to monitor and respond immediately (Michael Simkovic)

Scholars Strategy Network's No Jargon: 13: The Misinformation Age
https://overcast.fm/+Feqoo83GI

Professor Brian Southwell explains why people tend to believe false information and discusses strategies for correcting the public perception of misinformation. Southwell is a professor of Mass Communication at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


June 9, 2016 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Law in Cyberspace, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice, Science, Weblogs | Permalink

June 07, 2016

Cravath raises starting salaries to 180K (12.5% hike)

This is the first hike in first-year associate salaries in nearly a decade.  All the major New York firms will have to follow suit, and one can expect that the leading firms in all other markets will also raise their salaries as well.

ADDENDUM:  The amusing typo in the original headline ("startling" to "starting") has been fixed!


June 7, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

May 31, 2016

Students (from Harvard?) heckle HLS Dean Minow as she receives an award at Brandeis

Video here.   One does wonder what these folks are protesting exactly.


May 31, 2016 in Faculty News, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

May 17, 2016

Elsevier acquires SSRN

News release.  I hope this works out (being a big SSRN user myself). Elsevier, alas, has a terrible reputation in various academic communities.

UPDATE:  For some concerns, see this post.  I'm opening this for comments from readers, in law or other fields.


May 17, 2016 in Law in Cyberspace, Of Academic Interest | Permalink | Comments (6)