Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Brian Leiter
University of Chicago Law School

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"Philosophy of Law" for the Encyclopedia Britannica

For the first time in a half-century, the Encyclopedia Britannica has commissioned a new essay on "Philosophy of Law," written by myself and a former student, Michael Sevel, now at the University of Sydney.  Hopefully ours will have a half-century run as well!


March 10, 2015 in Jurisprudence | Permalink

Friday, March 6, 2015

Spring Break hiatus...

...at least for me, though my co-blogger Dan Filler may have some items.  I'm also recuperating (alas) from another outpatient eye surgery for my on-going retinal detachment issues.   I will probably get back on the blog the week of March 23 at the latest, though may have one or two items in the interim.


March 6, 2015 | Permalink

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A new on-line forum for serious book reviews: "The New Rambler"

Edited by my colleague Eric Posner, Adrian Vermeule (Harvard), and Blakey Vermeule (English, Stanford).


March 5, 2015 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

GW Dean and AALS President Blake Morant interviewed...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Calabresi's defense of Justice Scalia

Many readers have mentioned Prof. Steven Calabresi's rather impassioned and personal defense of Justice Scalia, for whom he clerked, against a recent critical biography by Bruce Murphy.  My colleague Justin Driver made some similar points in The New Republic, and it does seem the biography in question is unfair to Justice Scalia on several points.  But while Prof. Calabresi repeatedly chides Murphy for mean-spiritedness and pettiness, the latter charge seems to apply equally well to Calabersi's surprisingly score-settling rejoinder, in which various conservative politicans and legal officials (from Kenneth Starr to William Reynolds) are dismissed as mediocrities and lightweights (I'm happy to believe Prof. Calabresi is right, however).  But Prof. Calabresi's polemics against Judge Posner and Judge Wilkinson are curious and rather unseemly.  Particularly amusing is his diatribe against Richard Posner, which includes this observation:

The relationship between Posner and Scalia is affectionate on Scalia’s side but filled with envy, pettiness, and anger on Posner’s side, at least in my opinion. Posner is the author of more than forty books, countless law review articles, and countless judicial opinions. I think he feels that he was far more successful as a law professor and a founder of law and economics than Scalia was when he taught at the University of Chicago School of Law.

"Envy, pettiness and anger"?  I think anyone who knows Judge Posner will find this a rather implausible explanation.  Judge Posner has had scholarly polemics with many people, including some of his best friends, and I've never seen him to take any of it "personally."  But I'm quite puzzled by Prof. Calabresi's comment that, "I think [Posner] feels that he was far more successful as a law professor and a founder of law and economics than Scalia was when he taught at the University of Chicago Law School."  "I think"?  Isn't it obviously true?  Being on the Supreme Court has made Justice Scalia's views far more influential than he ever was as a legal scholar.  Prof. Calabresi, who worked in several Republican Administrations in  Washington and was involved with SCOTUS nominations, says: 

When Posner’s name did come up [in connection with SCOTUS vacancies), which was rarely, it was so that we could laugh about his immoral and politically fatal proposal to reform adoption law by legalizing the selling of babies. Posner was not respected by any of the last three Republican Administrations. He was the butt of a joke.

I suppose only in the insider world of the American far right could one think that reporting that "Posner was not respected by any of the last three Republican Administrations" counts against Judge Posner, rather than as (yet) another badge of merit. 

As I said, curious.


March 3, 2015 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, March 2, 2015

Buffalo, Iowa to admit some students without requiring the LSAT...

NLJ's annual list of the law schools that send the highest percentage of graduates to NLJ 250 law firms

Here, with the usual slight changes from prior iterations, but nothing dramatic.


March 2, 2015 in Legal Profession, Rankings | Permalink

Thursday, February 26, 2015

In Memoriam: Monroe Freedman (1928-2015)

A leading figure in legal ethics, Professor Freedman spent the first part of his career on the faculty at George Washington University, before moving to Hofstra University as Dean in 1973, where he then spent the remainder of his academic career.  There is a brief memorial notice here.


February 26, 2015 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Speedy turnover of leadership at Washington & Lee

After the dramatic budgetary announcement by the University President last week, the current Washington & Lee Law Dean Nora Demleitner announced she was stepping down and the President has--already!--announced the new Dean.  One wonders whether there was any faculty consultation about this transition. 


February 25, 2015 in Faculty News | Permalink

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Northwestern law in Qatar...