Friday, June 23, 2017

Least educated county on Oregon's Pacific Coast shuts its last public library rather than increase taxes by $6 per month per household (Michael Simkovic)

Douglas County in rural Oregon recently shut its last public library rather than increase property taxes by around $6 per month per household.  Less than 16 percent of the population of Douglas County has a bachelor's degree or above, making it the third least educated county on the Pacific Coast of the United States and the least educated coastal county in Oregon. 

 

Across the Pacific, cities like Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai have built globally competitive workforces by investing heavily in education and infrastructure and embracing global trade.  In the United States, excessive anti-tax movements have contributed to disinvestment and have slowed U.S. economic growth.

 

Update:  Michelle Anderson (Stanford) and David Schleicher (Yale) debate policy responses to local economic decline and migration of educated populations away from depressed areas.  Hat tip Paul Diller. (Willamette).

 

June 23, 2017 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Of Academic Interest, Science, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

House Democrats propose bill to reduce debt burden for graduate students (Michael Simkovic)

Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) (Pasadena) recently introduced H.R. 2526, the Protecting Our Students by Terminating Graduate Rates that Add to Debt (POST GRAD) Act. The bill would restore the in-school interest subsidy for graduate and professional students who borrow federal Direct Stafford Loans.  

Federal in-school subsidies were terminated by The Budget Control Act in 2011, which ended the debt ceiling crisis of 2011.  During the debt ceiling crisis of 2011, Congressional Republicans successfully maneuvered for large cuts to federal spending (other than military spending and pension and health benefits for retirees) by threatening to force the federal government to default on its sovereign debt unless then President Obama agreed to large spending cuts.

The POST GRAD Act would reduce the disparity between funding policy for graduate education and undergraduate education by reinstating graduate students’ eligibility for federal subsidized student loans, although graduate student borrowers, who have lower default rates, would continue to pay a higher interest rate after they complete their studies.

Christopher P. Chapman, CEO of the AccessLex Institute, estimated that the bill would save the typical law student $4,000 if passed.  

If the interest rate subsidy encourages more investment in graduate education, it could more than pay for itself with higher future tax revenue.

 

UPDATE:  The New America Foundation, which has close ties to the private student loan industry, has condemned proposals to reduce federal student loan interest rates.   NAF claims that the immediate benefits of higher education financing only benefit a "small majority" of households and therefore are bad policy.  New America argues that an increased military presence in Syria, Iraq and surrounding countries would be a better use of taxpayer dollars.

 

UPDATE 2, 6/30/2017: The New York Law Journal covers efforts to reduce student loan interest rates for graduate students.

June 21, 2017 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Of Academic Interest, Science | Permalink

New personal homepage

I've got a new personal homepage, courtesy of graphic designer Patrick Hennessey.  If you like his work for academic homepages (see also Monique Wonderly's page, which he also designed), consider hiring him:  more information, including contact information here.

June 21, 2017 in Navel-Gazing | Permalink

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

In Memoriam: Herma Hill Kay (1934-2017)

The lovely memorial notice sent out by Berkeley's Interim Dean Melissa Murray is below the fold:

Continue reading

June 13, 2017 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Monday, June 12, 2017

Applicants down half of one percent in 2016-17 cycle...

...while the drop in high-end LSAT scores is steeper.

I'll be on a reduced blogging schedule for the summer (look for one or two items per week), but will update the lateral moves list periodically as well as start the new one in August.  (Mike Simkovic, who has posting privileges here as well, may be posting as well in the summer.)

Thanks for reading, and I wish everyone a productive and pleasant summer.

June 12, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Congratulations to the University of Chicago Law School Class of 2017!

It's been a pleasure and a privilege to teach such talented young men and women, and I am sure I speak for all of my colleagues in wishing you much professional success and personal happiness in the years ahead!

June 10, 2017 | Permalink

Friday, June 9, 2017

Congratulations to the University of Chicago alumni and Bigelows who accepted tenure-track jobs this year

We didn't have many candidates this year, but are delighted by the success of those we did have in what was an extremely tight market. They are:

Ben Grunwald, who will be joining the faculty at Duke University.  He received his J.D. (cum laude) in 2014 and his Ph.D. in Criminology in 2015, both from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was also Articles Editor of the Law Review.   He clerked for Judge Ambro on the Third Circuit, and served as a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School. His teaching and research interests include all aspects of criminal law, procedure and the justice system, torts, professional responsibility and empirical legal studies.  

 

Adi Liebovitch LLM ’11, SJD ’16, who will be joining the faculty at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.   She earned her first law degree (magna cum laude) in 2005 and an MBA in 2007, both from the Hebrew University.  Before commencing graduate work at Chicago, she practiced criminal and military law for four years in Israel, first as Prosecutor and Deputy Head of the Intelligence and Narcotics Section in the Office of the Chief Military Prosecutor, and then as a public defender in the Office of the Military Public Defender.   Most recently, she was an academic fellow at Columbia Law School.   Her teaching and research areas include all aspects of criminal law, procedure, and the justice system, as well as evidence, military law, and law and economics.  

 

Michael C. Pollack, who will be joining the faculty at Cardozo Law School/Yeshiva University.  He received his J.D. summa cum laude from New York University in 2011, where he was a Furman Scholar and Articles Editor of the Law Review. He clerked for Judge Brown on the D.C. Circuit and for Justice Sotomayor on the Supreme Court, and was also a trial attorney for two years in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C., before coming to the Law School as a Bigelow Fellow.   His teaching and research interests include property, land use, local government law, administrative law, and environmental law.

 

In addition, two alumni who recently took tenure-track jobs have lateraled to tenure-track jobs at new schools already.  They are:

Joshua Sellers '08, who joined the faculty at the University of Oklahoma, Norman in 2015-16, and is now moving to Arizona State University.  At Chicago, he was Articles Editor of the Law Review and also earned a Ph.D. in Political Science with a dissertation on "The 'Crown Jewel' at a Crossroads: Appraising the Contemporary Political Function of the Voting Rights Act."  He clerked for Judge Barkett on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and was an associate at Jenner & Block in Washington, D.C. for three years, where he primarily litigated insurance claims.  Before that, he was a post-doc in the Maxwell School of Public Policy at Syracuse University.  His research and teaching interests include election law, civil rights, constitutional law, legislation, insurance law, and torts.  

 

Matthew J. Tokson '08, who  joined the faculty at the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University in 2015-16, and is now moving to the University of Utah.  He graduated with High Honors and Order of the Coif from the Law School, where he served as both Executive Articles Editor and Book Review Editor of the Law Review.  He clerked for Judge Randolph on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, served first as a Kauffman Fellow then as a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School from 2009-2011, before clerking on the U.S. Supreme Court for both Justice Ginsburg and Justice Souter in 2011-12.  He was also a litigation associate at WilmerHale in Washington, D.C.  His teaching and research interests include criminal procedure, privacy, intellectual property, judicial behavior, criminal law and torts. 

 

If you're curious, you can read about some of our recent placements in law teaching hereherehereherehere and here, and see a more comprehensive listing here.   You can see a comprehensive list of past Bigelows and where they now are here.

June 9, 2017 in Faculty News | Permalink

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

"Justifying Academic Freedom: Mill and Marcuse Revisited," revised version now on-line...

...here.  The last version benefitted from talks and workshops at Iowa, Tel-Aviv, Haifa, and Chicago.  The abstract:

I argue that the core of genuinely academic freedom ought to be freedom in research and teaching, subject to disciplinary standards of expertise. I discuss the law in the United States, Germany, and England, and express doubts about the American view that distinctively academic freedom ought to encompass "extramural" speech on matters of public importance (speakers should be protected from employment repercussions for such speech, but not because of their freedom qua academics).

I treat freedom of academic expression as a subset of general freedom of expression, focusing on the Millian argument that freedom of expression maximizes discovery of the truth, one regularly invoked by defenders of academic freedom. Marcuse argued against Mill (in 1965) that "indiscriminate" toleration of expression would not maximize discovery of the truth. I show that Marcuse agreed with Mill that free expression is only truth- and utility-maximizing if certain background conditions obtain: thus Mill argues that the British colony in India would be better off with "benevolent despotism" than Millian liberty of expression, given that its inhabitants purportedly lacked the maturity and education requisite for expression to be utility-maximizing. Marcuse agrees with Mill that the background conditions are essential, but has an empirical disagreement with him about what those are and when they obtain: Mill finds them wanting in colonial India, Marcuse finds them wanting in capitalist America.

Perhaps surprisingly, Marcuse believes that "indiscriminate" toleration of expression should be the norm governing academic discussions, despite his doubts about the utility-maximizing value of free expression in capitalist America. Why think that? Here is a reason: where disciplinary standards of expertise govern debate, the discovery of truth really is more likely, but only under conditions of "indiscriminate" freedom of argument, i.e., academic freedom. This freedom is not truly "indiscriminate": its boundaries are set by disciplinary competence, which raises an additional question I try to address.

In sum, the libertarians (Mill and Popper) and the Marxists (Marcuse) can agree that academic freedom is justified, at least when universities are genuine sites of scientific expertise and open debate.

June 6, 2017 in Jurisprudence | Permalink

Thursday, June 1, 2017

John Manning is the new Dean at Harvard Law

Announcement hereNot unexpected and seems like a strong choice!

June 1, 2017 in Faculty News | Permalink

Rookie hiring collapsed again this year (only 60+ rookie hires nationwide)...

...according to the data helpfully compiled by Professor Sarah Lawsky (Northwestern).  On the other hand, my strong impression is that there's been an increase in untenured lateral movements--several schools that advertised for rookies, and indeed interviewed at the "meat market," ended up hiring untenured laterals--not surprising, given that the tight market the last few years means many candidates probably underplaced to how they would have done in normal times.

You can see figures on the total number of graduates each school had on the market this year here.  The top ten were:

Harvard University (35)

Georgetown University (31)

Yale University (26)

New York University (25)

University of Michigan (18)

Columbia University (16)

Northwestern University (14)

Stanford University (12)

University of California, Berkeley (12)

University of Pennsylvania (9)

George Washington University (8)

(Chicago had a light year, just three graduates on the market, only two of whom we were working with, one of whom got multiple offers and did accept a job.  Some other recent Chicago JDs were among the untenured laterals this year as well.)

June 1, 2017 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink