Thursday, October 8, 2015

UC Irvine's Lawsky on the entry-level hiring market in law schools

SSRN Downloads over the last year, October 1 edition

The top ten:

1.  Cass Sunstein (Harvard) (34,636 downloads, 34 new papers)

2.  Mark Lemley (Stanford) (17,511 downloads, 10 new papers)

3.  Daniel Solove (George Washington) (17,219 downloads, 1 new paper)

4.  Dan Kahan (Yale) (17,114 downloads, 4 new papers)

5.  Orin Kerr (George Washington) (14,368 downloads, 6 new papers)

6.  Lucian Bebchuk (Harvard) (13,657 downloads, 1 new paper)

7.  Brian Leiter (Chicago) (11,955 downloads, 10 new papers)

8.  Bernard Black (Northwestern) (10,674 downloads, 2 new papers)

9.  Kent Roach (Toronto) (9,109 downloads, 11 new papers)

10. Eric Posner (Chicago) (8,671 downloads, 8 new papers)

October 8, 2015 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Another ignorant apologist for gun carnage exposed

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Credibility of empirical legal scholarship

My colleague Omri Ben-Shahar asked me to share the following (I wonder if other empirical scholars will follow suit?):

Testing legal ideas by looking at data is a welcome growing trend in legal scholarship, but it is also known to carry risks of according authority to dubious and poorly tested claims. Many consumers of published empirical scholarships are not trained in empirical sciences to read the reported results critically—results that often pass only lax peer review (if at all). The enterprise is not helped by studies showing that more than a few empirical results cannot be replicated, or that there is a publication bias in favor of “surprising” results, or that empirical papers often conform suspiciously to their authors’ ideology or previously published predictions. Empirical legal scholarship is understandably in search for ways to enhance its credibility. 


A new paper by myself and Adam Chilton offers a new strategy to achieve credibility — circulating the paper before the results are known to the authors. We are writing a paper for a Journal of Legal Studies conference on Contracting Over Privacy  which will be held in Chicago on October 16-17. Our paper seeks to test the effectiveness of privacy disclosures on websites — specifically, whether requiring websites’ privacy notices to adhere to some commonly advocated “Best Practices” in their design and presentation style has any measurable effect and whether it leads people to behave more cautiously and to reveal less personal information. But we have a credibility problem. I (Ben-Shahar) recently published a co-authored book (More Than You Wanted To Know) arguing that mandated disclosures are useless and that attempts to improve them by using various best practices would be futile. Can I be trusted as an author of empirical work that merely confirms my predictions in the book?


To overcome this credibility problem, we are writing and circulating the paper before running the experiment and before knowing what the results are. The circulated draft describes the experiment and has (for now empty) boxes and charts for the results, which will be filled once the experiment is run. To strap ourselves to the mast before the data sirens sing, and to make sure that we cannot back out if the results turn out to embarrassingly refute our prior predictions, we are advance-posting the paper on SSRN with everything but the results in it. A subsequent revision will then include the results, but coming in the heels of the advance posted version it would appear more credible. Pending IRB approval, the experiment will be run next week, and the results will be reported at the conference next weekend.

October 7, 2015 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tom Miles to be the new Dean at Chicago

I am delighted to report that my esteemed colleague Tom Miles has been appointed the new Dean of the University of Chicago Law School, effective November 1.  From the announcement sent out today by President Zimmer and Provost Isaacs:

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Thomas J. Miles, Clifton R. Musser Professor of Law and Economics and Walter Mander Research Scholar, as the next dean of the Law School. His appointment, which begins November 1, 2015, follows a national search, led by a faculty committee chaired by Randal Picker, the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law.

Tom’s deep experience at the Law School, along with his outstanding record as a teacher, colleague and legal scholar, make him an excellent choice to continue and expand the Law School’s legacy of intellectual leadership and interdisciplinary focus. A leading scholar of criminal justice and judicial behavior, Miles has served in several leadership roles at the Law School during his time on the faculty, including chairing the appointments committee and the accreditation review committee. He is widely published in both economics and legal journals, and he has brought his expertise to bear on such varied topics as immigration, mail fraud, wiretapping, judicial ideology, and the Voting Rights Act. He is an accomplished educator and a recipient of the Graduating Students Award for Teaching Excellence.

Miles joined the Law School faculty in 2005 after a year at the Law School as an Olin Fellow in Law and Economics. Miles received a BA from Tufts University, a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago, and a JD from Harvard Law School. Immediately before joining the Law School faculty, he was a law clerk to the Honorable Jay S. Bybee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. From 2005 to 2013, Miles was an editor of the Journal of Legal Studies.

Miles succeeds Michael H. Schill, who became the president of the University of Oregon on July 1. We would like to express our gratitude to Geoffrey R. Stone, the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor, who has been serving as interim dean during the search.

Please join us in congratulating Tom on his appointment.

October 6, 2015 in Faculty News | Permalink

Another mass shooting, and another set of pathetic rationalizations by law professors


Glenn Reynolds (University of Tennessee) leads the way as usual.  President Obama is disgusted, as well should we all be.  Reynolds's disgraceful irrationality on this subject is of longstanding.  He really is "part of the problem."

UPDATE:  A reader sends along this apt 2012 article about gun control.  He writes:  "This is an issue where there aren't really two sides to the debate that should be seriously considered.   This is an issue where there are the facts about gun control and mass killings, and then there are awful rationalizations for the carnage offered by the likes of Glenn Reynolds.  As someone who fills out the U.S. News surveys, I am factoring in to my assesment of the reputation of the University of Tennessee the "disgraceful" as you said antics of this facilitator of murder."

ANOTHER:  William Page (Florida) sends along another apt piece, noting the utter insanity of thinking that it would contribute to public safety to have armed civilians in the middle of an unfolding crime scene.

October 6, 2015 in Law Professors Saying Dumb Things, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, October 5, 2015

The ad is for real

Denmark needs more babies.  It's a real ad, though as some of the Danish commenters note, there is some intended humor in it.

October 5, 2015 in Legal Humor, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Friday, October 2, 2015

Northwestern suspends the "accelerated JD" program started by Dean Van Zandt

An announcement from Dean Rodriguez here.  It's striking there wasn't more demand for it.

October 2, 2015 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Florida, Utah lead nation in growth of lawyer population

Curious!  I wonder what explains it?

October 2, 2015 in Legal Profession | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

NYLS to start a pro bono clinic for victims of cyberharassment