Tuesday, August 5, 2014
NLJ has a useful account, but it seems an exaggeration to describe this as a "makeover." Some (like the pointless increase in required clinical hours for law students) will raise the cost of legal education, but others (no minimum student-faculty ratio, no requirement of private faculty offices [!], greater latitude in granting variances from the other regs) may, at the margins, reduce costs, but only at the margins--the majority of law schools, who want to compete for students and faculty are not going to let their student-faculty ratios go sky-high or stop providing faculty their own offices. My guess is that, in the end, this is all much ado about nothing, except for the windfall for experiential teachers. The real changes afoot are being brought on by the declining applicant pool, which is affecting, in differing ways, 90% of the law schools in the country; most are contracting, some are increasing the teaching loads of their faculty, and a handful will probably close, barring a sudden turnaround.
Monday, August 4, 2014
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Thursday, July 31, 2014
I've added it to the earlier list, but am happy to report that Dhammika Dharmapala (tax law & policy, corporate law & finance, law & economics) from the Universityi of Illinois has accepted a tenured offer to join the faculty here at Chicago, beginning this academic year (14-15).
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
I would urge readers to sign this well-crafted petition in support of Prof. Sheinman, drafted by lawyer/philosopher Matthew Kramer (Cambridge) and philosopher Sergio Tenenbaum (Toronto).
UPDATE: An editorial in Haaretz criticizes the Bar-Ilan Dean, rightly so.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Another Israeli legal academic in the news, this time for sending an e-mail expressing some recognition of the suffering in Gaza (but not only there)
I am grateful to Prof. Ariel Katz (Toronto) for translation of the pertinent parts of this news item concerning Prof. Hanoch Sheinman, a well-known legal philosopher at Bar-Ilan University. Prof. Sheinman sent an e-mail announcing another exam date to his students. The message opened by expressing the hope that the message,
finds you in a safe place and that you, your families and friends...are not among the hundreds of people killed, thousands injured, or the tens of thousands whose homes were destroyed or forced to leave their homes during or as a direct result of violent conflict in the Gaza Strip and the surrounding area.
The Dean at Bar-Ilan was “shocked” and called the email “highly offensive”. The Dean announced that the,
Letter from Professor Scheinman - both content and style – is contrary to the values of the University and the Faculty of Law. The Faculty of Law champions the values of pluralism, tolerance and freedom of expression, but the inclusion of positions [such as those expressed in Prof. Scheinman’s email] in an administrative notice sent by Professor Scheinman to students regarding examinations is not an exercise of academic freedom or freedom of personal expression in every way acceptable. This is abuse of power by a lecturer who exploits his position as a jurisprudence teacher to send messages reflecting his views, which are highly offensive to the feelings of students and their families.
I agree with the Dean that this is not an issue of academic freedom, but his response to the benign recognition that many people are suffering and Prof. Sheinman's hope that his students are not among them is bizarre. As Prof. Katz wrote to me, "I guess this is what it looks like when a democracy is losing its mind."
Saturday, July 26, 2014
An unusually informative piece from a Miami newspaper, with new (to me) details about the murder and his acrimonious divorce. This bit, however, was rather surprising:
But Markel also had critics, including some conservative bloggers and law-school skeptics who complained PrawfsBlawg failed to challenge the legal establishment.
In 2012, Markel was the subject of an anonymous comment on the blog Inside the Law School Scam.
“Bullies like this need to be made radioactive,” the writer said, alleging Markel had deleted anonymous comments on PrawfsBlawg. “Their arrogance and imperiousness speaks for itself. All means necessary must be employed.”
A Florida State spokeswoman declined to say whether Markel had reported the incident to the university or had raised concerns about his safety.
That comment comes, of course, from the blog of Crazy Campos, who certainly did his best to incite hatred and calumny against many academics, including Dan Markel. But it seems a stretch to connect this blog comment with the heinous crime! One wonders how the reporter dug this up out of the bowels of cyberspace?
UPDATE: More gruesome details: the killer was waiting for him, shot him through the window of his car while he was talking on the phone. Earlier reports that he knew the killer seem to have been mistaken.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014