Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Berkeley Law Dean Choudhry sued for sexual harassment

Accounts here and here.

UPDATE (3/9/16, 4:30 pm CST):  A San Francisco reporter tweets that Dean Choudhry will take "an indefinite leave of absence."

ANOTHER:  Now confirmed by the Berkeley student paper.  (Thanks to Kevin Gerson for the pointer.)

AND ANOTHER:  Berkeley's report on Dean Choudhry.

March 9, 2016 in Faculty News | Permalink

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Where the 100 biggest law firms hire their new associates from

The National Law Journal's annual list, without much difference from past iterations.  Chicago has been sending a slightly higher percentage of the class into clerkships, which given the tightness of the results, matters.  Yale's relatively weak showing is no doubt due to a large number of students clerking and/or pursuing academia in one form or another (JD/PhDs, postdocs etc.).  NLJ does not, of course, look at hiring at high-powered boutiques, like Susman Godfrey or Bartlit Beck. 

March 8, 2016 in Legal Profession, Rankings | Permalink

Monday, March 7, 2016

In Memoriam: Elizabeth Garrett (1963-2016)

Professor Garrett, the President of Cornell University since 2015, died of colon cancer.  She was previously Provost of the University of Southern California, and a professor of law there and at the University of Chicago.  A truly tragic turn of events. 

(Thanks to Paul Caron for the pointer.)

UPDATE:  A statement from the University here.

March 7, 2016 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Which College Majors Benefit Most and Least from Law School? (Michael Simkovic)

That’s the question Frank McIntyre and I try to answer in Value of a law degree by College Major. Economics seems to be the “best” major for aspiring law students, with both high base earnings with a bachelor’s degree and a large boost to earning with a law degree. History and philosophy/religion get a similarly large boost from a law degree but start at a lower undergraduate base and, among those with law degrees, typically end up earning substantially less than economics majors.

The abstract and a figure are below:

We estimate the increase in earnings from a law degree relative to a bachelor’s degree for graduates who majored in different fields in college. Students with humanities and social sciences majors comprise approximately 47 percent of law degree holders compared to 23 percent of terminal bachelor’s. Law degree earnings premiums are highest for humanities and social sciences majors and lowest for STEM majors. On the other hand, among those with law degrees, overall earnings are highest for STEM and Business Majors. This effect is fairly small at the low end of the earnings distribution, but quite large at the top end. The median annual law degree earnings premium ranges from approximately $29,000 for STEM majors to $45,000 for humanities majors.

These results raise an intriguing question: should law schools offer larger scholarships to those whose majors suggest they will likely benefit less from their law degrees? Conversely, should law schools charge more to those who will likely benefit the most?

Figure 3: ACS Mean Earnings for Professional Degree Holders (Narrow) by Selected Field of Study* (2014 USD Thousands)

 

ACSdegfig 3 revised

  • Includes degree fields with more than 700 professional degree holders in sample.

COMMENT FROM BRIAN LEITER:   The lumping of philosophy majors together with religion invariably pulls down the performance of philosophy majors!

March 5, 2016 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice, Science, Student Advice | Permalink

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Columbia's Katherine Franke replies to Milbank re: student event funding at Harvard Law

Professor Franke has replied to Milbank partner Thomas Arena's letter concerning funding of student events at Harvard (the subject of this open letter); she kindly gave me permission to share her response:   Download KF Response to Milbank

March 3, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, February 29, 2016

Signs of the times: faculty buy-outs offered at Valparaiso Law

Story here.

February 29, 2016 in Faculty News, Legal Profession | Permalink

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Professor Bainbridge does not approve of the rise of the JD/PhDs

His diatribe is amusing, though for the record I think that anyone who runs a regression on what Rawls thinks should be fired!  (Also, Steve, no one is interested anymore in what
Dworkin said--that's just a UCLA thing!)

February 25, 2016 in Faculty News, Legal Humor, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Replies from Milbank, Harvard Law School regarding the issues raised in the open letter

Thomas Arena, a partner at Milbank, sent a letter to several faculty signatories of the open letter noted the other day (including me), and kindly gave me permission to share the response with readers of the blog:

Dear Professors:

Your open letter, relying on allegations in press reports, erroneously suggests that Milbank sought to “censor or influence the viewpoints being expressed at student-run events” and that Milbank threatened to terminate its five-year pledge to Harvard Law School. As Harvard Law School has publicly stated, the allegations are not accurate. 

 

Here is what did happen. In 2012, Milbank agreed to establish the Milbank Tweed Student Conference Fund at the Law School. The Fund called for Milbank to make a substantial gift, spread out over five years, to broadly support the school’s student journals and organizations.

 

The Office of the Dean of Students at the Law School administered the Fund through an application process open to all student organizations and journals, and the Dean of the Law School and the Dean of Students had sole discretion to determine how to allocate monies from the Fund. Milbank had no input whatsoever into the selection of student organizations or journals to receive grants from the Fund.

 

For the current school year, Harvard awarded grants from the Fund to dozens of student organizations. Although Milbank was pleased to support student-run organizations and journals at the Law School, the awarding of grants from the Fund by Harvard was never intended to constitute or imply an endorsement of the viewpoints expressed by any particular organization or journal. Milbank is a diverse organization, comprised of partners and employees with varying points of views on many issues. We are extremely proud of that diversity in opinions. Consistent with that diversity, while individuals at the firm are free to express their political views, the firm does not take political positions or endorse particular political views.

 

In October 2015, a Harvard student organization used a grant from the Fund to sponsor an event entitled, “The Palestinian Exception to Free Speech.” We became aware of the event when the sponsoring student organization posted a Facebook page to promote it. The Facebook page contained a controversial image and included statements accusing governments of violating international law and other persons and institutions of engaging in wrongful or harmful conduct. The sponsoring group, without consulting the firm, also included a statement that the event “is brought to you by the generous support of Milbank LLP,” which created a false impression, among many who viewed it, that the firm endorsed the views expressed by the group. At the request of the Law School, the sponsoring student organization removed the statement relating to Milbank from its Facebook page about the event.

Continue reading

February 23, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Georgetown BLSA weighs in

A propos this, Georgetown's BLSA has issued the following open letter to the law school community; as it does not appear it can be linked directly, I post it below the fold:

Continue reading

February 23, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, February 22, 2016

Law firm support and freedom of speech in law schools

The New York Times and American Lawyer have both reported on the decision of the distinguished New York law firm Milbank Tweed to pull funding for speakers invited by student groups at Harvard Law School after one group invited a speaker of which, apparently, the firm disapproves.  This sets a very unfortunate precedent, and I would encourage other law professors to join me as a signatory to this open letter.   Law schools depend on generous support from alumni, whether as individuals or as partnerships or otherwise, but that support should be offered in a way consistent with the academic and pedagogical mission of a law school and be viewpoint-neutral.

February 22, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink