Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Brian Leiter
University of Chicago Law School

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Saturday, July 12, 2014

June 2014 LSAT takers down 9.1% from prior year

Blog Emperor Caron has the details.  One pattern that seems to be emerging is that applicants are applying later in the season (recall that we actually saw a slight increase in February 2014 LSAT takers compared to the prior year).  But a 9% decline in June takers almost surely guarantees that the law school teaching market this coming fall will be as bad as last year, since schools can't re-enter the market for new faculty without the ability to project enrollments into the future.

July 12, 2014 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Case Western law professor Raymond Ku settles lawsuit...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Signs of the times: Boston-area law schools adjust

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Visiting Faculty at the Top Six Law Schools, 2014-15, 3rd Draft

As I've done in the past, I'm posting a list of the visiting professors (who hold university appointments elsewhere) at the top six law schools, the schools that are "top six" by almost all measures of faculty quality--which are also the schools that also typically have the most visiting professors on a regular basis. While many visiting stints are made with an eye to possible permanent appointment, not all are; some are so-called "podium" visits, which aim to fill an immediate teaching need at the school. By my calculation, for example, much less than 10% of the visits last year resulted in (or are in process of resulting in) offers of permanent employment--perhaps a slightly higher percentage of the non-podium visits resulted in such offers. Often visitors from local schools in the area are invited for podium visit purposes--though some "locals" may also be "look-see" visitors, i.e., under consideration for appointment. NYU also has a fair number of "enrichment" and "global" visitors, well-known senior folks who are keen to spend some time in New York, but who aren't necessarily interested in, or being considered for, lateral moves. (Columbia gets some of these folks too.) From the outside, of course, it's very hard to tell all these apart, so here, without further comment, are the visiting professors for 2014-15; please e-mail me about omissions or corrections (though I'm hopeful this is the final version).

Please note that not every visit, below, is for the entire academic year; indeed, my guess is at least half are not, meaning students can expect many of these faculty to *also* be teaching at their home institution. In the case of HLS, many of the visitors come in the Winter Term, i.e., just the month of January.

Please also note that this is supposed to be a list of visiting faculty who have gone through some kind of appointments process at the school at which they are visiting, whether a process for look-see visitors, "enrichment" visitors, or podium visitors.  (Not all schools use podium visitors--Chicago does not, for example.  But Harvard and NYU, among others, do.) These are supposed to be faculty who are teaching at the host school and who are being paid by the host school to teach.

Columbia Law School

John Brooks (Georgetown University)

Amichai Cohen (Ono Academic College)

Hanoch Dagan (Tel-Aviv University)

Yehonatan Givati (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)

Julie Goldscheid (City University of New York)

Sudhir Krishnaswamy (Azim Premji University)

Alice Ristroph (Seton Hall University)

Russell Robinson (University of California, Berkeley)

Wolfgang Schoen (Max-Lanck Institute)

Alex Stein (Cardozo Law School/Yeshiva University)

Guglielmo Verdirame (King's College, London)

Harvard Law School

Robert Anderson (University of Washington)

Noa Ben-Asher (Pace University)

Sergio Campos (University of Miami)

Daniela Caruso (Boston University)

Jennifer Chacon (University of California, Irvine)

Daniel Coquilette (Boston College)

Susan Crawford (Cardozo Law School/Yeshiva University)

Elizabeth Emens (Columbia University)

Mark Geistfeld (New York University)

John Golden (University of Texas, Austin)

Helen Hershkoff (New York University)

Scott Hershovitz (University of Michigan)

Bert Huang (Columbia University)

Sanford Levinson (University of Texas, Austin)

Catharine MacKinnon (University of Michigan)

James Salzman (Duke University)

David Skeel (University of Pennsylvania)

Sonja Starr (University of Michigan)

Jordan Steiker (University of Texas, Austin)

Michael Stein (College of William & Mary)

Chantal Thomas (Cornell University)

George Triantis (Stanford University)

Alain-Laurent Verbeke (University of Leuven)

Tess Wilkinson-Ryan (University of Pennsylvania)

New York University School of Law

Fareda Banda (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)

Eyal Benvenisti (Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law)

Charles Cameron (Princeton University)

Robert Cooter (University of California, Berkeley)

Graeme Dinwoodie (Oxford University)

Zev Eigen (Northwestern University)

John Gillespie  (Monash University)

Stefan Grundmann (Humboldt University, European University Institute)

Scott Hemphill (Columbia University)

Johanna Hey (University of Cologne)

Robert Inman (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)

Frederic Jenny (ESSEC Business School)

Michael McConnell (Stanford University)

Melissa Murray (University of California, Berkeley)

Stanford Law School

Ryan Bubb (New York University)

Ariela Gross (University of Southern California)

Marian Pargendler (Fundação Getulio Vargas School of Law, Sao Paulo)

Camille Gear Rich (University of Southern California)

Alan Sykes (New York University)

Chantal Thomas (Cornell University) 

Tess Wilkinson-Ryan (University of Pennsylvania)

University of Chicago Law School

Kelli Alces (Florida State University)

Corey Brettschneider (Brown University)

Stavros Gadinis (University of California, Berkeley)

George Geis (University of Virginia)

Alon Harel (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)

Douglas Levene (Peking University Transnational Law School)

Katerina Linos (University of California, Berkeley)

Ariel Porat (Tel-Aviv University)

Louis Michael Seidman (Georgetown University)

Robert Simpson (Monash University)

Pierre-Hugues Verdier (University of Virginia)

Yale Law School

Eyal Benvenisti (Tel-Aviv University)

Philip Bobbitt (Columbia University)

Steven Calabresi (Northwestern University)

Aaron Dhir (Osgoode Hall/York University, Toronto)

Zev Eigen (Northwestern University)

Emmanuel Gaillard (Sciences Po, Paris)

Moshe Halbertal (Hebrew University, Jerusalem; New York University)

Edward Janger (Brooklyn Law School)

Johanna Kalb (Loyola University, New Orleans)

Aaron Seth Kesselheim (Harvard Medical School)

Mattias Kumm (New York University)

Christine Landfried (University of Hamburg)

Margaret Lemos (Duke University)

Sanford Levinson (University of Texas, Austin)

Angela Onwuachi-Willig (University of Iowa)

Charles Sabel (Columbia University)

Norman Silber (Hofstra University)

Wojciech Sadurski (University of Sydney)

Gerald Torres (Cornell University)

Neil Walker (University of Edinburgh)

July 6, 2014 in Faculty News | Permalink

Friday, July 4, 2014

Intelligent write-up about Hobby Lobby issues... journalist Dan Fisher at Forbes.  I talked to him prior to the perplexing injunction on behalf of Wheaton, but he integrated that effectively.  And Justice Sotomayor gets it exactly right in the bit he quotes:  it really is preposterous on its face that anyone's free exercise of religion is burdened by a bit of paperwork (if only it were so--I might find God!).  (The 7th Circuit disposed of the other argument in the Notre Dame case--Justice Sotomayor noted the relevant bit, as does Mr. Fisher.)

July 4, 2014 in Jurisprudence, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hiring committees for 2014-15 can announce themselves...

Monday, June 30, 2014

Shorter Hobby Lobby

Owners of a closely held corporation, like non-profit organizations, can be exempted from the requirement of paying for provision of at least four kinds of post-conception contraceptive drugs/devices as required by the Affordable Care Act if they have a sincere religious belief that life begins at conception, since the government can, in any case, just pay for these drugs/devices directly.  Nothing in the decision should be taken to suggest that sincere religious belief in otherwise illegal discrimination, or in the wrongness of blood transfusions or vaccinations, will get similar accomodation.

Even shorter Hobby Lobby:  conscientious objections count when they involve post-conception contraception, otherwise probably not.

Long version here.

UPDATE:  And now some longer thoughts on Hobby Lobby.  I preface this by noting that I think RFRA is a bad law, and Employment Division v. Smith got it basically right, but none of that is at issue.  The Court's holding that closely held corporations are "persons" for purposes of RFRA isn't implausible, especially when, as here, the corporate entities were essentially family businesses, in both cases very Christian families who believe "sincerely" (as we are told repeatedly) that life begins at conception.  (I do believe that people who hold sincere but pernicious false beliefs, such as that life begins at conception, should be encouraged to abandon those beliefs, but that also isn't at issue in this case!)  I also agree with the Court that the costs of non-compliance with the ACA would be very substantial for those challenging the law.  I also agree with the Court that the fact that the government has already established a simple procedure for non-profit organizations with religious objections to contraception to opt out (with the insurers bearing the costs, rather than the employees) is pretty overwhelming evidence that there are "less restrictive" alternatives to meeting what the Court concedes is a compelling governmental interest, namely, providing contraception to covered employees without additional cost to the employee.  The least plausible part of the majority opinion is p. 36's argument that it is not for the Court to assess whether it is reasonable for the Hahns and the Greens (the family-owners of the corporations) to sincerely believe that paying for insurance that an employee might use to access medical services of which they disapprove; but as Justice Ginsburg points out in dissent (pp. 21-22), it is for the Court to assess whether, as a matter of law, there is actually a substantial burden on their religious beliefs.  What if the Hahns and Greens have a sincere religious belief that the ACA burdens their free exercise rights under RFRA?  The Court obviously isn't bound by that.  The Court need not decide whether it is reasonable to believe that life begins at conception or that the "morning after" pill is akin to murder.  But it is most definitely for the Court to decide whether those beliefs are burdened by paying for health insurance that an emplyoee might use to get a "morning after" pill.

Justice Ginsburg has perhaps been going to the opera too often with Justice Scalia, since her dissent begins on a note of rhetorical overkill worthy of Scalia!  The majority decision is not broad; indeed, it is remarkably narrow, which was the point of my "shorter Hobby Lobby," above.  (I was being a tad facetious, though, in saying it will only reach conscientious objections to post-conception contraceptives--though parts of the opinion read that way!)  General Motors won't be challenging any part of RFRA based on this decision; closely held corporations run by Christian Scientists or Jehovah's Witnesses may bring suit, but they are going to lose on the evidence of Justice Alito's opinion.  The biggest burden of today's decision falls on insurers, who will now be paying for the contraceptive coverage of a lot more employees than previously.  And today's decision strongly suggests that the non-profit orgagnizations challenging the opt-out procedures are going to lose if it gets to the Supreme Court.

All that being said, I would have voted against the Hahns and Greens:  I think it would have been better, and equally plausible, to simply hold that corporations are not "persons" for RFRA purposes; and it would have been far more plausible to deny that there was any substantial burden on the religiosu beliefs of the Hahns and Greens by requiring them to pay for health insurance that their employees might use for medical services of which their employers disapprove for religious reasons.

(Jonathan Adler [Case Western] points out that my "shorter Hobby Lobby" elides the fact that the ACA did not require contraception coverage directly, but only that HHS regulations specify covered services, and that it was these regluations that incorporated FDA-approved contraceptive drugs and devices.  Had the ACA specifcally mandated contraceptive coverage, this would have opened the door, Prof. Adler suggests, for the government to argue that RFRA does not apply.)

 CORRECTION:  A health law attorney knowledgeable about these matters writes:

Good post on the Hobby Lobby decision, but one quick correction -- under the federal regs, insurers aren't directly on the hook for providing separate contraceptive coverage.  They get "paid" for that coverage through the exchange funding mechanism -- basically, they get to deduct the coverage costs from their exchange fee (i.e., a percentage payment of the premiums for exchange plans, currently set at 3.5%).  The exchanges are supposed to be self-sufficient by 2015, and it's my understanding that this isn't anticipated to be a problem.  If that's wrong for some unexpected reason, CMS would just tweak the exchange fee.

MORE READING:  Predictably there's a huge outpouring of commentary, most of it misleading (even by law professors).  But two good assessments are those by Joey Fishkin and Sandy Levinson, both law professors at UT Austin (Levinson a former colleague, Fishkin after my time).  Fishkin identifies what this case is really about (despite its very narrow holding) and Levinson comments on the rhetoric of Ginsburg's dissent.

June 30, 2014 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Slate business columnist: now's the time to go to law school

Friday, June 27, 2014

An entertaining interview with Judge Posner

Here.  An excerpt:

I've changed my views a lot over the years. I'm much less reactionary than I used to be. I was opposed to homosexual marriage in my book Sex and Reason, published in 1992, which was still the dark ages regarding public opinion of homosexuality. Public opinion changed radically in the years since. My views have changed about a lot of things. I've become much more concerned with long prison sentences; softer on drugs; more concerned with consumer protection, the environment and economic inequality; less trustful of purely economic analysis—the last partly because of the crash of 2008 and the ensuing economic downturn. That shook some of my faith in economic analysis. And developments in psychology have required qualification of the "rational choice" model of economic behavior. So my views have changed a lot. You don't want a judge who takes a position and feels committed to it because he thinks it's terrible to change one's mind.

June 27, 2014 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, June 26, 2014

On Raz's service conception of authority

Anyone working in legal philosophy ought to read this essay.

June 26, 2014 in Jurisprudence | Permalink