August 13, 2014
Sensible analysis of the legal issues in the Salaita case at Illinois...
...by Michael Dorf (Cornell).
(Thanks to Stephen Diamond for the pointer.)
August 08, 2014
More signs of the times: Albany Law School exploring "operational alliance"...
...with the State University of New York at Albany (which does not have a law school--there's only one state law school in New York, at Buffalo; there's one other public law school, in the City University of New York system).
UPDATE: You can get a sense of the extent of the faculty buyouts at Albany from the much-expanded list of emeriti, many rather youthful by current retirement standards. The new emeriti faculty includes Albany's most nationally eminent scholar, the legal historian Paul Finkelman.
August 05, 2014
Summary of proposed changes to ABA regs governing law schools
NLJ has a useful account, but it seems an exaggeration to describe this as a "makeover." Some (like the pointless increase in required clinical hours for law students) will raise the cost of legal education, but others (no minimum student-faculty ratio, no requirement of private faculty offices [!], greater latitude in granting variances from the other regs) may, at the margins, reduce costs, but only at the margins--the majority of law schools, who want to compete for students and faculty are not going to let their student-faculty ratios go sky-high or stop providing faculty their own offices. My guess is that, in the end, this is all much ado about nothing, except for the windfall for experiential teachers. The real changes afoot are being brought on by the declining applicant pool, which is affecting, in differing ways, 90% of the law schools in the country; most are contracting, some are increasing the teaching loads of their faculty, and a handful will probably close, barring a sudden turnaround.
August 04, 2014
Government has been systematically misstating the increase in the cost of college
A good piece of reporting; I would be surprised if the same weren't true with the increased cost of law school as well.
August 02, 2014
Still more on international law and Gaza
This is a useful summary of the legal debate.
July 31, 2014
Leila Sadat's "Crimes Against Humanity Initiative" to be taken up by U.N.
July 30, 2014
Petition in support of Hanoch Sheinman
I would urge readers to sign this well-crafted petition in support of Prof. Sheinman, drafted by lawyer/philosopher Matthew Kramer (Cambridge) and philosopher Sergio Tenenbaum (Toronto).
UPDATE: An editorial in Haaretz criticizes the Bar-Ilan Dean, rightly so.
July 29, 2014
Another Israeli legal academic in the news, this time for sending an e-mail expressing some recognition of the suffering in Gaza (but not only there)
I am grateful to Prof. Ariel Katz (Toronto) for translation of the pertinent parts of this news item concerning Prof. Hanoch Sheinman, a well-known legal philosopher at Bar-Ilan University. Prof. Sheinman sent an e-mail announcing another exam date to his students. The message opened by expressing the hope that the message,
finds you in a safe place and that you, your families and friends...are not among the hundreds of people killed, thousands injured, or the tens of thousands whose homes were destroyed or forced to leave their homes during or as a direct result of violent conflict in the Gaza Strip and the surrounding area.
The Dean at Bar-Ilan was “shocked” and called the email “highly offensive”. The Dean announced that the,
Letter from Professor Scheinman - both content and style – is contrary to the values of the University and the Faculty of Law. The Faculty of Law champions the values of pluralism, tolerance and freedom of expression, but the inclusion of positions [such as those expressed in Prof. Scheinman’s email] in an administrative notice sent by Professor Scheinman to students regarding examinations is not an exercise of academic freedom or freedom of personal expression in every way acceptable. This is abuse of power by a lecturer who exploits his position as a jurisprudence teacher to send messages reflecting his views, which are highly offensive to the feelings of students and their families.
I agree with the Dean that this is not an issue of academic freedom, but his response to the benign recognition that many people are suffering and Prof. Sheinman's hope that his students are not among them is bizarre. As Prof. Katz wrote to me, "I guess this is what it looks like when a democracy is losing its mind."
July 23, 2014
12 Israeli international law scholars weigh in on the legality of cutting off electricity and water to Gaza
(Thanks to David Enoch for the pointer.)
UPDATE: My colleague Eric Posner weighs in, disagreeing with the preceding legal analysis.
July 22, 2014
Bargain tuition leads to notable initial applicant pool for new U North Texas law school
Story here. At roughly 14K per year that's going to put some real pressure on SMU and Texas Wesleyan (now Texas A&M) which are significantly more.