Monday, October 28, 2013
So with 310 votes in our last poll, the results seem to actually reflect some attempt to answer the different question: namely, which schools have the "best faculties" in terms of scholarly distinction, compared to last time when we just asked for reader opinions of the "best schools." (I should emphasize that beyond the top 40-50, I wonder about a lot of the results (e.g., there were plenty of schools in the 50s, 60s etc. that seem to me [a moderately informed observer] as on a par with some of those in the top 50).
Harvard University (Not defeated in any contest vs. another choice)
Yale University (Not defeated in any contest vs. another choice)
|3. Stanford University, loses to Harvard University by 212–59|
|4. University of Chicago, loses to Stanford University by 148–121|
|5. Columbia University, loses to University of Chicago by 162–103|
|6. New York University, loses to Columbia University by 150–107|
|7. University of California, Berkeley, loses to New York University by 197–63|
|8. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, loses to University of California, Berkeley by 160–96|
|9. University of Pennsylvania, loses to University of Michigan, Ann Arbor by 130–115|
|10. University of Virginia, loses to University of Pennsylvania by 119–118|
|11. Duke University, loses to University of Virginia by 187–64|
|12. Northwestern University, loses to Duke University by 130–121|
|13. Cornell University, loses to Northwestern University by 142–102|
|14. Georgetown University, loses to Cornell University by 137–107|
|15. University of California, Los Angeles, loses to Georgetown University by 143–100|
|16. University of Texas, Austin, loses to University of California, Los Angeles by 136–113|
|17. Vanderbilt University, loses to University of Texas, Austin by 170–66|
|18. University of Southern California, loses to Vanderbilt University by 124–87|
|19. Washington University, St. Louis, loses to University of Southern California by 144–68|
|20. George Washington University, loses to Washington University, St. Louis by 114–95|
|21. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul, loses to George Washington University by 109–92|
|22. Boston University, loses to University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul by 112–82|
|23. Emory University, loses to Boston University by 102–90|
|24. University of Notre Dame, loses to Emory University by 103–93|
|25. University of California, Irvine, loses to University of Notre Dame by 95–93|
|26. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, loses to University of California, Irvine by 95–82|
|27. Fordham University, loses to University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign by 93–90|
|28. University of Wisconsin, Madison, loses to Fordham University by 92–87|
|29. Boston College, loses to University of Wisconsin, Madison by 91–83|
|30. College of William & Mary, loses to Boston College by 86–82|
|31. University of California, Davis, loses to College of William & Mary by 91–87|
|32. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, loses to University of California, Davis by 86–82|
|33. University of Iowa, loses to University of California, Davis by 91–77|
|34. Indiana University, Bloomington, loses to University of Iowa by 80–76|
|35. Washington & Lee University, loses to Indiana University, Bloomington by 83–66|
|36. George Mason University, loses to Washington & Lee University by 80–76|
|37. University of Alabama, loses to George Mason University by 78–73|
|38. Ohio State University, loses to George Mason University by 79–76|
|39. Florida State University, loses to Ohio State University by 78–73|
|40. University of San Diego, loses to Florida State University by 82–69|
|41. Cardozo Law School/Yeshiva University, loses to University of San Diego by 83–78|
|42. Arizona State University, loses to Cardozo Law School/Yeshiva University by 84–67|
|43. University of California, Hastings, loses to Arizona State University by 82–75|
|44. University of Washington, Seattle, loses to University of California, Hastings by 74–72|
|45. University of Arizona, loses to University of Washington, Seattle by 72–70|
|46. University of Colorado, Boulder, loses to University of Arizona by 79–59|
|47. University of Georgia, loses to University of Colorado, Boulder by 68–66|
|48. Brigham Young University, loses to University of Georgia by 81–47|
|49. Brooklyn Law School, loses to Brigham Young University by 69–67|
|50. Wake Forest University, loses to Brooklyn Law School by 68–67|
Harvard tied Yale, and, indeed, led Yale during large stretches of the voting. San Diego and Florida State, quite correctly, out-performed their US News rank by a substantial margin. UC Irvine, again correctly, made the top 25, despite not being ranked at all by US News. On the other hand, some results do seem to reflect the pernicious hold of US News. It's surely not plausible any longer that Columbia has a better faculty than NYU, or that Wash U/St. Louis has a stronger faculty than George Washington, Minnesota, or BU, or that Arizona State's faculty is stronger than Arizona's (though both are underranked, in my view). Colorado may be a special case: the faculty is ranked unreasonably low here, but one suspects this may be due to the notoriety of their albatross.
As the vote patterns make clear, the differences in ordinal rank do not always reflect substantial differences in votes. So we might regroup them in clusters, also creating more ties, with the number of votes separating the school from the next highest ranked one in parentheses:
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Friday, October 25, 2013
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Yawn. Mr. Liptak, however, missed the real story, which is that peer-edited journals of legal scholarship are not "rare" any longer, but increasingly common, and increasingly the leading fora for work in several areas of interdisciplinary scholarship (especially law & economics, and law & philosophy).
A REJOINDER from Frank Pasquale, who makes several fair points. That being said, there is no way around the fact that work that could only be described as "sophomoric nonsense" appears with alarming frequency in the Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, etc. There is nothing comparable in, e.g., the leading faculty-edited law journals, let alone the peer-reviewed journals of other serious disciplines, like philosophy. So even if Mr. Liptak's piece is a bit of a hatchet job, law professors should not kid themselves that the student-edited law review system is wonderful!
Monday, October 21, 2013
MOVING TO FRONT FROM LAST YEAR (SINCE TIMELY AGAIN--AND MORE COMMENTS WELCOME--ORIGINALLY POSTED NOVEMBER 2007)
A rookie job seeker writes:
A question about the law teaching market, which I suspect will be of interest to a number of candidates who read your Law School Reports blog: When can we expect to hear from hiring committees we spoke with at AALS? Do the better schools tend to wait longer to make their calls? And do schools tend to notify candidates that they *won't* be inviting them for a job talk, or do you only hear from them if they're interested?
If you think this is a worthwhile topic, perhaps you could open a post for comments so that hiring committee members could say what their procedure is.
My impression is that schools will contact the candidates they are most interested in within the first two weeks after the AALS hiring convention, and, more ofthen than not, within the first week. Schools will often have some candidates "on hold" beyond this period of time: e.g., because they are reading more work by the candidate, or collecting references, or waiting to see how they fare with their top choices. So it is quite possible to get call-backs beyond the two-week window. Schools tend to be much slower in notifying candidates they are no longer in contention (you might not hear for a month or more).
Schools higher in the "food chain" in general do move at a somewhat more, shall we say, "leisurely" pace, and schools lower in the "food chain" are more likely to have tiers of candidates they remain interested in, on the theory that they are likely to lose their first-round choices.
Those, to repeat, are my impressions, based on a decent amount of anecdotal evidence. But I invite others to post their impressions and/or information about their school's practices. No anonymous postings. Post only once, comments are moderated and may take awhile to appear.
Friday, October 18, 2013
I offer an interpretation of Nietzsche’s striking idea of “the innocence of becoming” (die Unschuld des Werdens), and offer a partial defense of its import, namely, that no one is ever morally responsible or guilty for what they do and that the so-called “reactive attitudes” are always misplaced. I focus primarily, though not exclusively, on the arguments as set out in Twilight of the Idols. First, there is Nietzsche’s hypothesis, partly psychological and partly historical or anthropological, that the ideas of “free” action or free will, and of responsibility for actions freely chosen or willed, were introduced primarily in order to justify punishment (“[m]en were considered ‘free’ so that they might be judged and punished”). Call this the Genetic Thesis about Free Will. Second, there is Nietzsche’s claim that the moral psychology, or “psychology of the will” as he calls it, that underlies this picture is, in fact, false—that, in fact, it is not true that every action is willed or that it reflects a purpose or that it originates in consciousness. Call these, in aggregate, the Descriptive Thesis about the Will. (Here I draw on earlier work.) Finally, there is articulation of a programmatic agenda, namely, to restore the “innocence of becoming” by getting rid of guilt and punishment based on guilt—not primarily because ascriptions of guilt and responsibility are false (though they are), but because a world understood as “innocent,” one understood in terms of “natural” cause and effect, is a better world in which to live. I thus try to explain and defend Zarathustra’s recommendation: “’Enemy’ you shall say, but not ‘villain’; ‘sick’ you shall say, but not ‘scoundrel’; ‘fool’ you shall say, but not ‘sinner.’” Nietzsche’s views are contrasted with those of important modern writers on these topics, including P.F. Strawson and Gary Watson.
Comments are welcome, thanks.