Thursday, October 13, 2016

Not much new until next week... and conferences on the horizon!

October 13, 2016 in Navel-Gazing | Permalink

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

New Minnesota Law Dean talks about adjusting to significant application and enrollment declines

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Hitman Rivera, who took a plea, implicate Wendi Adelson with knowledge of the plot to kill Markel

Monday, October 10, 2016

A Nobel Prize in Law?

 It's Nobel Prize season, and Law, like my other field, Philosophy, is not a recognized subject for the prize.  But what if there were a Nobel Prize?  I surveyed my philosophy readers, and came up with ten deserving candidates.  But what about for law?  I've limited this just to those working in the U.S., though there are many deserving candidates in other legal cultures, but I suspect few readers will know enough about them to meaningfully compare (outside jurisprudence, I hardly know enough to even correctly identify plausible candidates).

So which living legal scholar in the U.S. should get a Nobel Prize in Law? We'll rank the top ten.  Have fun!

ADDENDUM:  I hope it goes without saying that there are no doubt errors of omission in the list.  One that has come to my attention, who might have had a shot for the top ten, is Richard Delgado, now at Alabama.  But I fear there will be others.

A LAST ONE:  Some other good suggestions for folks who should have been included:  Elizabeth Warren, Wayne LaFave, Suzanna Sherry, Charles Lawrence.

October 10, 2016 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

A law journal at Berkeley will abandon the Bluebook

Friday, October 7, 2016

The mysteries of SSRN e-journal classifications

The distinguished criminal law scholar Susan Bandes (DePaul) invited me to share a story she recently shared via a listserve:

In September I posted an article on SSRN (What Executioners Can--and Cannot--Teach Us About the Death Penalty  I chose the allotted 10 subject matter classifications. I learned yesterday that three of these classifications were rejected: criminal law e-journal, criminal procedure e-journal and criminology e-journal. I was surprised by all of these rejections, and especially criminal law, since the article is focused on the purposes of punishment, a core criminal law concern. I called SSRN this morning, and they explained to me that SSRN sometimes rejects classifications, even when they are substantively appropriate, if they view them as overlapping with other classifications. In this case, they accepted my "corrections and sentencing" classification, and apparently viewed the criminal law, criminal procedure, and criminology e-journals as overlapping with corrections and sentencing and therefore rejected all three of those broader classifications. In short, the only criminal-law related e-journal in which my article will be listed is corrections and sentencing. I asked SSRN to review this decision, which they are now doing.

To my mind, there are a few problems with this way of doing things:

First of all, I haven't checked the subscription numbers, but it's hard to believe that the corrections and sentencing journal reaches nearly the same audience as the journals with broader classifications, such as criminal law and criminal procedure. As both an author and a reader, I expect relevant articles to be included in the broader topic areas. What is the interest in refusing to include an article in an e-journal squarely within its substantive reach? I suppose the goal is to avoid inundating e-journal readers. Is this an adequate justification? (it might be; that's a genuine question).

Second, SSRN authors are permitted 10 classification choices at the outset. My article will now be distributed in only 7 of the 10 journals I chose. Until now I assumed such rejections were based on substance. To the extent they aren't, shouldn't SSRN give us the allotted 10 journals to disseminate our work?

And finally, for those of us who care about such things (and I count myself among that group), CrimProf Blog has a nice feature: it lists the top ten downloads in the Criminal Law e-journal and the Criminal Procedure e-journal. That's a very reasonable choice of e-journals, since one would think they cover the broadest substantive areas. But for those who like to read--and for those who hope sometimes to be included on--the CrimProf blog list, SSRN's practice of rejecting relevant articles from those classifications (for reasons that cannot be predicted) is all the more problematic.

Professor Bandes tells me that "on appeal," the article was included in the criminal procedure journal!  Why the criminal law e-journal excluded a piece on the death penalty by a leading criminal law scholar--who knows?  Interestingly, the problem is somewhat the opposite for the "Jurisprudence & Legal Philosophy" e-journal, which (though better than in the past) often contains articles that are neither jurisprudence nor legal philosophy.  (Please, if your work isn't jurisprudence or legal philosophy, don't put it there!)   Here are some examples of recent articles that appeared in, but do not belong in, the "Jurisprudence & Legal Philosophy" e-journal:

Law and Macroeconomics: The Law and Economics of Recessions

New Wine in Old Wineskins: Metaphor and Legal Research

The Impact of Biological Psychiatry on the Law: Evidence, Blame and Social Solidarity

No doubt these are useful and interesting articles, but those of us subscribing to that e-journal aren't expect these pieces!


October 7, 2016 in Law in Cyberspace, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

Thursday, October 6, 2016

More from the Blog Emperor on Adelson/Markel

Emperor Caron has been all over this case, it's a good place to go for regular updates.

October 6, 2016 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

One of two murderers-for-hire in Markel killing, Rivera, takes a plea

A promising development, which presumably means some number of Adelsons will soon be arrested.

October 4, 2016 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

William Baude's "Hamilton"-welcome to the University of Chicago Law School

Monday, October 3, 2016

50 Best Law Faculties, 2016 edition

Well, respondents to the poll were supposed to be evaluating the scholarly distinction of the faculties, but it's not clear they were, given how close many (but not all) results track the U.S. News nonsense number, which is many things, but not a measure of the scholarly distinction of the faculty.   How else to explain, say, the fact that NYU ranks behind Columbia, a result which fits the U.S. News result but not plausible metrics of faculty quality?   Still there were several schools that over-performed their U.S. News rank, in each case rightly so I think:

UC Irvine came in #21 here, but #28 in U.S. News

Fordham came in #27 here, but #37 in U.S. News

University of Illinois came in #29 here, but #40 in U.S. News

UC Hastings came in #37 here, but #50 in U.S. News

Florida State came in #39 here, but #50 in U.S. News

San Diego came in #44 here, but #74 in U.S. News

Brooklyn came in #46 here, but #97 in U.S. News

Cardozo came in #48 here, but #74 in U.S. News

Schools that underperformed here in comparison to U.S. News by a significant margin include:

Arizona State University:  #25 in U.S. News, #40 here.

Indiana University, Bloomington:  #25 in U.S. news, #35 here.

University of Georgia:  #33 in U.S. News, #43 here

Brigham Young University:  #38 in U.S. News, not in the top fifty here

In some of these cases, there are good reasons why the schools fare better in U.S. News (e.g., caliber of student body, job placement).

In any case, with 422 votes cast here are the results for 2016 (and for comparison, here's 2014--an ambitious person might see whether changes from 2014 to 2016 are explained by change in U.S. news rank of the school!):

1. Yale University  (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
2. Harvard University  loses to Yale University by 197–158
3. Stanford University  loses to Yale University by 294–68, loses to Harvard University by 287–72
4. University of Chicago  loses to Yale University by 304–58, loses to Stanford University by 211–144
5. Columbia University  loses to Yale University by 326–43, loses to University of Chicago by 193–154
6. New York University  loses to Yale University by 334–31, loses to Columbia University by 195–154
7. University of California, Berkeley  loses to Yale University by 351–23, loses to New York University by 262–93
8. University of Pennsylvania  loses to Yale University by 351–16, loses to University of California, Berkeley by 205–137
9. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor  loses to Yale University by 355–15, loses to University of Pennsylvania by 181–151
10. University of Virginia  loses to Yale University by 356–10, loses to University of Michigan, Ann Arbor by 189–135
11. Duke University  loses to Yale University by 354–9, loses to University of Virginia by 202–130
12. Georgetown University  loses to Yale University by 356–10, loses to Duke University by 205–128
13. Northwestern University  loses to Yale University by 351–12, loses to Georgetown University by 177–148
14. Cornell University  loses to Yale University by 355–10, loses to Northwestern University by 167–156
15. University of California, Los Angeles  loses to Yale University by 358–12, loses to Cornell University by 176–152
16. University of Texas, Austin  loses to Yale University by 356–7, loses to University of California, Los Angeles by 194–129
17. Vanderbilt University  loses to Yale University by 354–7, loses to University of Texas, Austin by 203–100
18. University of Southern California  loses to Yale University by 346–8, loses to Vanderbilt University by 201–95
19. Tied:
Boston University  loses to Yale University by 353–5, loses to University of Southern California by 192–99
University of Minnesota  loses to Yale University by 347–6, loses to University of Southern California by 181–103
21. University of California, Irvine  loses to Yale University by 355–8, loses to Boston University by 169–124
22. Tied:
George Washington University  loses to Yale University by 350–5, loses to University of California, Irvine by 148–147
Washington University, St. Louis  loses to Yale University by 348–2, loses to University of California, Irvine by 151–144
24. Emory University  loses to Yale University by 347–6, loses to George Washington University by 151–118
25. University of Notre Dame  loses to Yale University by 347–4, loses to Emory University by 164–98
26. University of California, Davis  loses to Yale University by 345–11, loses to University of Notre Dame by 144–129
27. Fordham University  loses to Yale University by 348–6, loses to University of California, Davis by 149–136
28. Boston College  loses to Yale University by 346–8, loses to Fordham University by 137–135
29. University of Illinois  loses to Yale University by 341–4, loses to Boston College by 154–111
30. University of Iowa  loses to Yale University by 342–3, loses to University of Illinois by 129–113
31. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill  loses to Yale University by 344–4, loses to University of Iowa by 130–120
32. University of Wisconsin, Madison  loses to Yale University by 341–2, loses to University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill by 154–102
33. College of William & Mary  loses to Yale University by 341–6, loses to University of Wisconsin, Madison by 130–123
34. University of Alabama  loses to Yale University by 336–8, loses to College of William & Mary by 143–115
35. Indiana University, Bloomington  loses to Yale University by 337–3, loses to University of Alabama by 126–117
36. Ohio State University  loses to Yale University by 343–3, loses to Indiana University, Bloomington by 130–108
37. University of California, Hastings College of Law  loses to Yale University by 342–5, loses to Ohio State University by 129–114
38. University of Arizona  loses to Yale University by 339–7, loses to University of California, Hastings College of Law by 130–111
39. Florida State University  loses to Yale University by 335–6, loses to University of Arizona by 137–104
40. Arizona State University  loses to Yale University by 331–9, loses to Florida State University by 125–116
41. University of Colorado  loses to Yale University by 335–5, loses to Arizona State University by 124–107
42. George Mason University  loses to Yale University by 340–7, loses to Arizona State University by 137–111
43. University of Georgia  loses to Yale University by 334–4, loses to University of Colorado by 124–102
44. University of San Diego  loses to Yale University by 342–9, loses to University of Georgia by 125–110
45. University of Washington, Seattle  loses to Yale University by 335–3, loses to University of San Diego by 122–113
46. Brooklyn Law School  loses to Yale University by 337–11, loses to University of Washington, Seattle by 131–117
47. University of Florida  loses to Yale University by 330–3, loses to Brooklyn Law School by 125–110
48. Yeshiva University/Cardozo School of Law  loses to Yale University by 331–4, loses to University of Florida by 121–110
49. Washington & Lee University  loses to Yale University by 333–4, loses to Yeshiva University/Cardozo School of Law by 122–100
50. University of Maryland  loses to Yale University by 329–4, loses to Washington & Lee University by 115–101

October 3, 2016 in Rankings | Permalink