Saturday, June 10, 2017

Congratulations to the University of Chicago Law School Class of 2017!

It's been a pleasure and a privilege to teach such talented young men and women, and I am sure I speak for all of my colleagues in wishing you much professional success and personal happiness in the years ahead!

June 10, 2017 | Permalink

Friday, June 9, 2017

Congratulations to the University of Chicago alumni and Bigelows who accepted tenure-track jobs this year

We didn't have many candidates this year, but are delighted by the success of those we did have in what was an extremely tight market. They are:

Ben Grunwald, who will be joining the faculty at Duke University.  He received his J.D. (cum laude) in 2014 and his Ph.D. in Criminology in 2015, both from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was also Articles Editor of the Law Review.   He clerked for Judge Ambro on the Third Circuit, and served as a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School. His teaching and research interests include all aspects of criminal law, procedure and the justice system, torts, professional responsibility and empirical legal studies.  

 

Adi Liebovitch LLM ’11, SJD ’16, who will be joining the faculty at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.   She earned her first law degree (magna cum laude) in 2005 and an MBA in 2007, both from the Hebrew University.  Before commencing graduate work at Chicago, she practiced criminal and military law for four years in Israel, first as Prosecutor and Deputy Head of the Intelligence and Narcotics Section in the Office of the Chief Military Prosecutor, and then as a public defender in the Office of the Military Public Defender.   Most recently, she was an academic fellow at Columbia Law School.   Her teaching and research areas include all aspects of criminal law, procedure, and the justice system, as well as evidence, military law, and law and economics.  

 

Michael C. Pollack, who will be joining the faculty at Cardozo Law School/Yeshiva University.  He received his J.D. summa cum laude from New York University in 2011, where he was a Furman Scholar and Articles Editor of the Law Review. He clerked for Judge Brown on the D.C. Circuit and for Justice Sotomayor on the Supreme Court, and was also a trial attorney for two years in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C., before coming to the Law School as a Bigelow Fellow.   His teaching and research interests include property, land use, local government law, administrative law, and environmental law.

 

In addition, two alumni who recently took tenure-track jobs have lateraled to tenure-track jobs at new schools already.  They are:

Joshua Sellers '08, who joined the faculty at the University of Oklahoma, Norman in 2015-16, and is now moving to Arizona State University.  At Chicago, he was Articles Editor of the Law Review and also earned a Ph.D. in Political Science with a dissertation on "The 'Crown Jewel' at a Crossroads: Appraising the Contemporary Political Function of the Voting Rights Act."  He clerked for Judge Barkett on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and was an associate at Jenner & Block in Washington, D.C. for three years, where he primarily litigated insurance claims.  Before that, he was a post-doc in the Maxwell School of Public Policy at Syracuse University.  His research and teaching interests include election law, civil rights, constitutional law, legislation, insurance law, and torts.  

 

Matthew J. Tokson '08, who  joined the faculty at the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University in 2015-16, and is now moving to the University of Utah.  He graduated with High Honors and Order of the Coif from the Law School, where he served as both Executive Articles Editor and Book Review Editor of the Law Review.  He clerked for Judge Randolph on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, served first as a Kauffman Fellow then as a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School from 2009-2011, before clerking on the U.S. Supreme Court for both Justice Ginsburg and Justice Souter in 2011-12.  He was also a litigation associate at WilmerHale in Washington, D.C.  His teaching and research interests include criminal procedure, privacy, intellectual property, judicial behavior, criminal law and torts. 

 

If you're curious, you can read about some of our recent placements in law teaching hereherehereherehere and here, and see a more comprehensive listing here.   You can see a comprehensive list of past Bigelows and where they now are here.

June 9, 2017 in Faculty News | Permalink

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

"Justifying Academic Freedom: Mill and Marcuse Revisited," revised version now on-line...

...here.  The last version benefitted from talks and workshops at Iowa, Tel-Aviv, Haifa, and Chicago.  The abstract:

I argue that the core of genuinely academic freedom ought to be freedom in research and teaching, subject to disciplinary standards of expertise. I discuss the law in the United States, Germany, and England, and express doubts about the American view that distinctively academic freedom ought to encompass "extramural" speech on matters of public importance (speakers should be protected from employment repercussions for such speech, but not because of their freedom qua academics).

I treat freedom of academic expression as a subset of general freedom of expression, focusing on the Millian argument that freedom of expression maximizes discovery of the truth, one regularly invoked by defenders of academic freedom. Marcuse argued against Mill (in 1965) that "indiscriminate" toleration of expression would not maximize discovery of the truth. I show that Marcuse agreed with Mill that free expression is only truth- and utility-maximizing if certain background conditions obtain: thus Mill argues that the British colony in India would be better off with "benevolent despotism" than Millian liberty of expression, given that its inhabitants purportedly lacked the maturity and education requisite for expression to be utility-maximizing. Marcuse agrees with Mill that the background conditions are essential, but has an empirical disagreement with him about what those are and when they obtain: Mill finds them wanting in colonial India, Marcuse finds them wanting in capitalist America.

Perhaps surprisingly, Marcuse believes that "indiscriminate" toleration of expression should be the norm governing academic discussions, despite his doubts about the utility-maximizing value of free expression in capitalist America. Why think that? Here is a reason: where disciplinary standards of expertise govern debate, the discovery of truth really is more likely, but only under conditions of "indiscriminate" freedom of argument, i.e., academic freedom. This freedom is not truly "indiscriminate": its boundaries are set by disciplinary competence, which raises an additional question I try to address.

In sum, the libertarians (Mill and Popper) and the Marxists (Marcuse) can agree that academic freedom is justified, at least when universities are genuine sites of scientific expertise and open debate.

June 6, 2017 in Jurisprudence | Permalink

Thursday, June 1, 2017

John Manning is the new Dean at Harvard Law

Announcement hereNot unexpected and seems like a strong choice!

June 1, 2017 in Faculty News | Permalink

Rookie hiring collapsed again this year (only 60+ rookie hires nationwide)...

...according to the data helpfully compiled by Professor Sarah Lawsky (Northwestern).  On the other hand, my strong impression is that there's been an increase in untenured lateral movements--several schools that advertised for rookies, and indeed interviewed at the "meat market," ended up hiring untenured laterals--not surprising, given that the tight market the last few years means many candidates probably underplaced to how they would have done in normal times.

You can see figures on the total number of graduates each school had on the market this year here.  The top ten were:

Harvard University (35)

Georgetown University (31)

Yale University (26)

New York University (25)

University of Michigan (18)

Columbia University (16)

Northwestern University (14)

Stanford University (12)

University of California, Berkeley (12)

University of Pennsylvania (9)

George Washington University (8)

(Chicago had a light year, just three graduates on the market, only two of whom we were working with, one of whom got multiple offers and did accept a job.  Some other recent Chicago JDs were among the untenured laterals this year as well.)

June 1, 2017 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

George Fletcher sues Columbia and his Law School Deans for age discrimination

The complaint is here.  Fletcher has apparently enjoyed an arrangement in which he teaches his 10 credits in the fall and then spends the Spring in Israel.  His new Dean, Gillian Lester, and the Associate Dean, Avery Katz--both defendants in the suit--had concerns about student enrollments and evaluations of some of his classes.  Fletcher claims they want him to retire, and so are trying to disrupt his cozy teaching arrangement, or something like that.  This ranking of mine makes a surprising implicit appearance in paragraph 29 of the complaint: 

[Dean Gillian] Lester further stated in her communication [to Professsor Fletcher] in January of 2016 that the Law School would "like to go back to offering just two sections of Introduction to American Law, taught by the other instructors." The other instructors referenced by Lester are less qualified than Fletcher: for instance, they are not members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, to which Fletcher was elected in 2004. Membership in the Academy is a primary measurement of prestige in law school circles, and is used in determining law school rankings. Upon information and belief, the other two professors are ten (10) or more years younger than Fletcher.

The argument here is obviously absurd:  no one is elected to the AAAS because of their teaching ability, but because of their scholarly accomplishments--often ones from long ago.  Moreover, faculty are typically elected later in their career, as Fletcher was--of course most of his younger colleagues are not elected to the American Academy!  

Be that as it may, I'm not sure the complaint pleads enough facts to suggest that age discrimination was at work here, but we will find out soon enough, as Columbia has moved, predictably, to dismiss.

ADDENDUM:  The complaint mentions that Fletcher taught at UCLA from 1969 until 1983, when he moved to Columbia.  For reasons unknown, it omits that his first teaching job was at the University of Florida (1965-66), and then the University of Washington (1966-1969), where he was, bizarrely, denied tenure, a decision that did not redound to the credit of the UW law school. 

UPDATE:  Reader Eric Chiappinelli kindly passed along a copy of Columbia's motion to dismiss:   Download 2017.05.23 Fletcher v. Columbia MOTION TO DISMISS.  I expect the case will be dismissed.

May 30, 2017 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The ongoing investigation into the murder of Dan Markel and the involvement of his ex-inlaws

The Adelsons are still under investigation, but still no formal charges.  We may find out in July who is paying the legal bills for the go-between between the accused killers-for-hire and the Adelson family; the state clearly suspects it is the Adelsons.

May 25, 2017 in Faculty News | Permalink

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

UC Irvine's founding Dean Erwin Chemerinsky to become new Dean at Berkeley

Here's a nice reflection on his accomplishments at Irvine from his colleague Rick Hasen.  And here's the announcement from Berkeley's Interim Provost:

I am very pleased to announce that Erwin Chemerinsky, current and founding Dean of the UC Irvine School of Law, has been appointed to be the next Dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law. He will begin his five-year term on July 1st.

 

One of the nation’s foremost scholars of constitutional law and federal civil procedure, Dean Chemerinsky is also a skilled administrator who, in less than a decade, built UCI Law from its founding into an institution whose faculty rank among the top in the country in scholarly impact, and whose student body admissions qualifications are comparable with the nation’s best law schools. Over the course of nine years, Dean Chemerinsky has been a central figure in the creation of UCI Law’s experiential learning-focused teaching philosophy, as well as in its highly successful faculty recruitment, curriculum development, fundraising, and strategic planning efforts.

 

As a professor and legal scholar, Dean Chemerinsky prizes public service and embodies the role of a public intellectual. He is the author of ten books and more than 200 law review articles, a weekly column for the Orange County Register, monthly columns for the ABA Journal and the Daily Journal, and regular op-eds in newspapers across the country. He frequently argues appellate cases, including in the United States Supreme Court. Dean Chemerinsky’s support for public service at UCI Law has placed the institution among the very top law schools in terms of number of federal clerkships, graduates in government and public interest jobs, and community service contribution. In January 2017, National Jurist magazine named him the most influential person in legal education in the United States.

 

Dean Chemerinsky graduated from Northwestern University in 1975, and received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1978. Prior to assuming his deanship at Irvine, he was a professor at Duke Law School and the University of Southern California Law School.

 

Dean Chemerinsky’s appointment comes at the end of a thorough search process, and I would like to extend my thanks to search committee chair Dean Henry Brady, the entire search committee, and everyone in the extended Berkeley Law community who provided feedback on the next dean. I would like to also extend particular thanks to Berkeley Law Interim Dean Melissa Murray, who took the reins at a difficult time and has provided steadfast leadership over the course of the past year.

 

Dean Chemerinsky is an acclaimed researcher, gifted teacher, and accomplished administrator, and I believe he will be a phenomenal leader for our law school, someone who will ensure that Berkeley Law remains not only a powerhouse of legal scholarship and training, but also a community built on mutual respect and inclusion.

 

Please join me in welcoming Erwin Chemerinsky to our campus.

 

Sincerely,

Carol Christ

 

Congratulations to Berkeley on a major catch for their Deanship!

UPDATE:  Berkeley's news release about the appointment.

May 17, 2017 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Penn Law (& Political Science) Professor Beth Simmons elected to the American Philosophical Society

A full list of newly elected members is here.

May 13, 2017 in Faculty News | Permalink

Monday, May 8, 2017

Former Law Dean Bard and U of Cincinnati settle lawsuit...

...on terms that look to me quite favorable to Professor Bard and which vindicate her position.

May 8, 2017 in Faculty News | Permalink