September 21, 2015

Legal scholarship that has affected the law


Prof. Jeff Sovern (St. John's) writes:

We often hear Chief Justice Roberts’s famous complaint about law review articles: “Pick up a copy of any law review that you see and the first article is likely to be, you know, the influence of Immanuel Kant on evidentiary approaches in 18th-century Bulgaria, or something, which I'm sure was of great interest to the academic that wrote it, but isn't of much help to the bar.” I’ve been wondering how many law review articles have changed the law.  Given your role, through your blog, as a connector of legal academics, I wondered if you would be interested in inviting people who know of such articles to list them in the comments.  I would limit it to articles written in the last ten or fifteen years on the theory that the Chief Justice was probably not complaining about older scholarship.  I can start the list off with citations my co-author, Dee Pridgen of Wyoming, compiled to articles in our field of consumer law.  Her list consists of Oren Bar-Gill and Elizabeth Warren, Making Credit Safer, 157 U.PA. L. Rev.1 (2008); Kathleen C. Engel and Patricia McCoy, A Tale of Three Markets, 82 Tex. L. Rev. 439 (2003). Kathleen C. Engel and Patricia A. McCoy, A Tale of Three Markets: The Law and Economics of Predatory Lending, 80 Tex. L. Rev. 1255 (2002)—all of which contributed to the Dodd-Frank Act; Oren Bar-Gill, Seduction by Plastic, 98 Nw. U.L. Rev. 1373 (2004)—which led to the Credit CARD Act; and Steven M. Graves and Christopher L. Peterson, Predatory Lending and the Military: The Law and Geography of “Payday” Loan in Military Towns, 66 Ohio St. L.J. 653 (2005)—which brought about the Military Loan Act. The pieces on that list produced statutes, rather than case law, but I would still count them. Of course, it is impossible to show that the changes in the law would not have occurred anyway in the absence of the writings, but perhaps we can take it on faith that the articles helped push things along.

Comments are open for other examples.  (And just for the record, the idea that legal scholarship has to be interesting to the Chief Justice or to lawmakers is silly, though if some is, that's fine too [assuming it's a good influence!].)

September 21, 2015 in Faculty News, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink | Comments (12)

September 17, 2015

Penn Law Review symposium on legal realism and "The New Doctrinalism"... now available.  I haven't read most of the papers at this point, but I can commend both Ed Rock's and Henry Smith's as particularly interesting.  (I was unable to attend the symposium, so I did not hear the papers either.)  My own contribution to the symposium is here.

September 17, 2015 in Jurisprudence, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

September 16, 2015

Top 40 law faculties in scholarly impact, 2015


Gregory Sisk & colleagues have updated their scholarly impact ratings (last edition), looking at mean and median citations to tenured faculty scholarship for the years 2010-2014 inclusive, using 2015-16 faculty rosters as the benchmark.  (Sisk et al. rank 70 faculties; I print the top 40, below.)  The weighted score represents the sum of the mean citations for the tenured faculty times 2, plus the faculty median.  Where the median is low relative to the immediate competition that's an indicator that a few highly cited faculty are carrying the school; in other cases, where the median is quite high, it's an indicator of more across the boards scholarly output.  By noting age, one can see that some faculties are heavily dependent on their most senior members for their citations.  Ties reflect the normalized weighted scores.

Citations to faculty scholarship is, of course, only one metric of scholarly distinction.  Some schools that experts would reasonably assess as top 20 (like Southern California) underperform by this measure.  Still, the metric is a useful check on uninformed opinions, and tracks rather well the actual scholarly output of different schools.

In the fall, I hope to put together new lists of the most-cited scholars by specialty utilizing the Sisk data.

Detailed Scholarly Impact Ranking of Law Faculties, 2015-16

(based on citations for the period 2010 through 2014)


Law   School

Weighted   Score

Mean,   Median

10   Most Cited (Tenured) Scholars

(* indicates 70 or older in 2015)


Yale University


638,   490

*B.   Ackerman, A. Amar, I. Ayres, J. Balkin, W. Eskridge, D. Kahan, H. Koh, J.   Macey, R. Post, R. Siegel


Harvard   University


520,   344

R.   Fallon, J. Goldsmith, L. Kaplow, L. Lessig, M. Minow, S. Shavell, C.   Sunstein, *L. Tribe, *M. Tushnet, A. Vermeule


University of Chicago


468,   364

D. Baird,   O. Ben-Shahar, T. Ginsburg, B. Leiter, S. Levmore, R. McAdams, M. Nussbaum,   E. Posner, G. Stone, D. Strauss


New York   University


397,   329

R. Barkow, S. Choi, *R. Epstein, B. Friedman,   S. Issacharoff, *A. Miller, G. Miller, R. Pildes, *R. Stewart, J. Waldron


Stanford   University


369,   275

*L. Friedman, *P. Goldstein, *R. Gordon, P.   Karlan, M. Lemley, M. McConnell, M. Polinsky, D. Rhode, D. Sklansky, A. Sykes


University of   California, Irvine


392,   210

D. Burk, J. Chacón, E. Chemerinsky, C. Fisk, B.   Garth, R. Hasen, C. Leslie, C. Menkel-Meadow, A. Reese, G. Shaffer


Columbia   University


348,   249

R. Briffault, *J. Coffee, K. Crenshaw, R. Gilson,   *K. Greenawalt, T. Merrill, *H. Monaghan, *J. Raz, *R. Scott, *P. Strauss


Duke University


312,   286

M. Adler,   J. Boyle, C. Bradley, J. Cox, M. Gulati, L. Helfer, H.J. Powell, A. Rai, S.   Schwarcz, E. Young


Vanderbilt   University


303,   206

L. Bressman, C. Guthrie, N. King, J.   Rossi, E. Rubin, J.B. Ruhl, S. Sherry, C. Slobogin, R. Thomas W.K. Viscusi


University of   California, Berkeley


300,   208

*R. Cooter, S. Davidoff Solomon, D. Farber, *M.   Feeley, I. Haney Lopez, P. Menell, R. Merges, P. Samuelson, J. Yoo, *F. Zimring


University of Pennsylvania


289,   202

T. Baker M. Berman, S. Bibas, W. Bratton, S.   Burbank, J. Fisch, G. Parchomovsky, D. Roberts, P. Robinson, E. Rock, D.   Skeel, C. Yoo


Northwestern   University


277,   202

R. Allen,   B. Black, S. Calabresi, D. Dana, S. Diamond, A.   Koppelman, J. McGinnis, J. Pfander, *M. Redish, D. Rodriguez, D. Schwartz


Cornell   University


273,   202

G.   Alexander, J. Blume, *K. Clermont, M. Dorf, V. Hans, M. Heise, E. Peñalver,   J. Rachlinski, S. Schwab, L. Stout


University of   California, Los Angeles


272,   189

S.   Bainbridge, D. Carbado, K. Crenshaw, J. Kang, R. Korobkin, H. Motomura, N.   Netanel, K. Raustiala, J. Salzman, E. Volokh, A. Winkler


Georgetown   University


239,   158

R. Barnett, J. Cohen, D. Cole, L. Gostin, N.   Katyal, D. Langevoort, D. Luban, L. Solum, R. Tushnet, R. West


University of Michigan,   Ann Arbor


230,   180

R. Avi-Yonah, S. Bagenstos, D. Crane, R.   Eisenberg, S. Gross, J. Litman, C. MacKinnon, A. Pritchard, C. Schneider, B.   Simma


University of Virginia


231,   146

D. Brown, J. Duffy, B. Garrett, J.   Jeffries, D. Laycock, C. Nelson, S. Prakash, F. Schauer, A. Spencer, *G.E.   White


George   Washington University


226,   148

M. Abramowicz, N. Cahn, B. Clark, R. Glicksman,   O. Kerr, W. Kovavic, *R. Pierce, J. Rosen, M. Selmi, D. Solove


University of   Minnesota, Twin Cities


203,   158

J. Carbone, T. Cotter, R.A. Duff, R. Frase, K.   Hickman, C. Hill, B. Karkkainen, A. Klass, H. Kritzer, B. McDonnell, R.   Painter, M. Tonry


University of   Texas, Austin


199,   156

R. Bone, R. Chesney, F. Cross, D. Jinks, *S.   Levinson, T. McGarity, *L. Sager, C. Silver, W. Wagner, *J. Westbrook


George Mason   University


196,   145

D. Bernstein, H. Butler, D. Ginsburg, M. Greve,   B. Kobayashi, N. Lund, A. Mossoff, I. Soomin, J. Wright, T. Zywicki


Washington   University, St. Louis


193,   147

S. Appleton, L. Epstein, P. Joy, P. Kim, D.   Law, S. Legomsky, *D. Mandelker, N. Richards, H. Sale, B. Tamanaha


Boston   University


192,   148

J. Beermann, S. Dogan, J. Fleming, *T. Frankel,   W. Gordon, K. Hylton, G. Lawson, T. Maclin, L. McClain, M. Meurer


University of   California, Davis


191,   137

A. Bhagwat, A. Chander, G. Chin, W. Dodge, A.   Harris, D. Horton, K. Johnson, P. Lee, M. Sunder, D. Ventry, R. Villazor


Case Western   Reserve University


171,   137

J. Adler, C. Burke Robertson, G. Dent, *P.   Gianelli, B. Hill, S. Hoffman, K. McMunigal, L. Mitchell, C. Nard, M. Scharf


University of   Notre Dame


161,   146

R. Alford, A. Bellia, *J. Finnis, N. Garnett, R.   Garnett, M. McKenna, J. Nagle, N. Newton, M. O’Connell, J. Tidmarsh


University of   Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


169,   129

V. Amar, P. Heald, D. Hyman, J. Kesan, K. Lash,   R. Lawless, J. Mazzone, *M. Moore, J. Robbennolt, S. Thomas, R. Wilson


Emory University


161,   138

R. Ahdieh, J. Bailey, M. Dudziak, M. fineman, T.   Holbrook, M. Kang, J. Nash, *M. Perry, R. Schapiro, J. Witte, *B. Woodhouse


Cardozo Law   School/Yeshiva University


154,   134

B. Frischmann, M. Gilles, M. Hamilton, M. Herz,   A. Reinert, M. Rosenfeld, B. Scheck, A. Sebok, A. Stein, S. Sterk, E.   Zelinsky


University of Arizona


160,   121

J. Anaya, D. Bambauer, K. Engel, *R. Glennon, D.   Marcus, T. Massaro, M. Miller, *C. Rose, W. Sjostrom, R. Williams


University of Colorado,   Boulder


154,   129

A. Gruber, M. Hart, P. Huang, S. Moss, *C.   Mueller, H. Norton, P. Schlag, A. Schmitz, P. Weiser, *C. Wilkinson


Ohio State   University


160,   114

M. Alexander, D. Berman, G. Caldeira, M.   Chamallas, S. Cole, R. Colker, J. Dressler, D. Merritt, P. Shane, D. Tokaji


University of North   Carolina, Chapel Hill


150,   131

A. Brophy, J. Conley, V. Flatt, M. Gerhardt, T.   Hazen, M. Jacoby, W. Marshall, R. Mosteller, G. Nichol, M. Papandrea, G.   Polsky, J. Wegner


Brooklyn Law   School


150,   121

W. Araiza, M. Baer, A. Bernstein, D. Brakman   Reiser, I. Capers, M. Garrison, E. Janger, *R. Karmel, E. Schneider, L.   Solan, N. Tebbe, *A. Twerski


Indiana   University, Bloomingon


141,   132

H. Buxbaum, F. Cate, K. Dau-Schmidtz, C. Geyh, M.   Grossberg, W. Henderson, M. Janis, D. Johnsen, L. Lederman, A. Parrish


University of Utah



R. Adler, A. Anghie, P. Cassell, R.   Craig, L. Davies, A. Guiora, F. Hessick, C. Hessick, C. Peterson, *A. Reitze


Fordham   University


145,   118

J. Brudney, N. Davidson, H. Erichson, M.   Flaherty, S. Foster, J. Gordon, B. Green, S. Griffith, C. Huntington, T. Lee,   E. Leib, R. Pearce, B. Zipursky


University of   San Diego


159,   81

*L. Alexander, D. Dripps, V. Fleischer,   O. Lobel, D. McGowan, F. Partnoy, M. Ramsey, M. Rappaport, T. Sichelman, S.   Smith


Florida State   University


140,   115

F. Abbott, K. Alces, R. Atkinson, S. Hsu, S.   Johnson, W. Logan, D. Markell, E. Ryan, M. Seidenfeld, N. Stern, F. Tesón, M.   Utset



Arizona State   University


142,   109

*K. Abbott,   D. Bodansky, R. Clinton, *I. Ellman, A. Fellmeth, J. Hodge, E. Luna, G.   Marchant, *J. Murphy, M. Saks, R. Tsosie


University of   Southern California


142,   109

J. Barnett, R. Brown, S. Estrich, A.   Gross, A. Guzman, G. Hadfield, G. Keating, E. Kleinbard, E. McCaffery, R.   Rasmussen, D. Simon


University of   St. Thomas (Minn.)


147,   99

T. Berg, T. Collet, R. Delahunty, *N. Hamilton,   L. Johnson, J. Nichols, M. Paulsen, G. Sisk, S. Stabile, R. Vischer

September 16, 2015 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

September 15, 2015

For schools hiring this year...


...some developments for some of our job candidates that might be of interest:

Our Bigelow Ryan Doerfler's job market paper on "Scrivener's Error" has now been accepted by Northwestern University Law Review.


Our alumna Cathy Hwang's job market paper on "Unbundled Bargains: Multi-Agreement Dealmaking in Complex Mergers and Acquisitions" has now been accepted by University of Pennsylvania Law Review.


Our alumnus Seth Oranburg's proposal for a book on Market Squared:  Social Media Investing has been accepted and is now under contract with Cambridge University Press.


Our alumnus William Ortman's job market paper on "Probable Cause Revisited" has now been accepted by Stanford Law Review

Mr. Ortman was in the 2nd FAR (please feel free to contact him or me if you would like more information), while Dr. Doerfler, Ms. Hwang, and Mr. Oranburg were in the first FAR distribution.

September 15, 2015 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

September 08, 2015

NLJ on market for new law teachers

Blog Emperor Caron has some excerpts (it is otherwise behind a paywall).  The chart overstates the hiring, since it includes all faculty appointments, not only tenure-stream academic lines.  My anecdotal impression is that more schools are hiring, and hiring for more positions, this year--we won't get over 100 new hires, but I am guessing we will get to 80 or more (compared to 60 or 65 the last two years).  With the enrollment decline over, schools can now budget for the future and start filling positions that need to be filled.

September 8, 2015 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

September 01, 2015

Student loan borrowers with the highest debt levels have the lowest default rates (Michael Simkovic)

August 31, 2015

William "let's kill law professors" Bradford resigns from West Point

Interesting development in the wake of this.

(Thanks to David Gordon for the pointer.)

August 31, 2015 in Law Professors Saying Dumb Things, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Chicago Alumni and Bigelows on the Teaching Market, 2015-16


This post is for schools who expect to be hiring this year.

In order to protect the privacy of our candidates, please e-mail me at to get a copy of the detailed profiles of our candidates, including hyperlinks to their homepages.  All these candidates (except for two) will be in the first FAR distribution.

We have a very strong group of candidates this year in a multitude of areas, including federal courts, civil procedure, administrative law, property, legislation, national security, corporate law, securities regulation, corporate finance, insurance law, criminal law & procedure, evidence, constitutional law, jurisprudence, law & race, contracts, commercial law, international business transaction, international trade, intellectual property, privacy, empirical legal studies, consumer law, torts, conflicts, environmental law, water law, natural resources, alternative dispute resolution, arbitration, land use, local government law, real estate, labor law, and employment discrimination. 

Our candidates include former Supreme Court clerks; numerous past editors of the Law Review; numerous former Circuit Court clerks; JD/PhDs in Philosophy, Psychology, and Linguistics; and many experienced practitioners (some with years of practice experience and publications).  Several will also help meet diversity objectives in hiring.  All have publications and writing samples.

If when you e-mail, you tell me a bit about your hiring needs, I can supply some more information about all these candidates, since we have vetted them all at some point in the recent past.

August 31, 2015 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

August 28, 2015

Only one-third of published psychology results (even *less* in social psychology) turn out to be reliable!

Wow.  This is going to require a serious rethinking of the role of empirical psychology in law and in philosophy, among other disciplines.

August 28, 2015 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

"Timing Law School" in The Washington Post (Michael Simkovic)