Thursday, March 10, 2016

Apparently accidentally released their nonsense ranking of law schools early...

...but since the only data in circulation is the "overall rank"--the "nonsense number"--I'll just link to last year's post, which is as relevant to this year's "results" as it was last year.  When we get some of the underlying data next week, I may have more to say.

March 10, 2016 in Rankings | Permalink

Choudhry resigns as Dean at Berkeley

Via Twitter (this is about 1:30 pm CST)--a formal announcement is expected later today.

UPDATE:  This news clip includes an interview with the victim of the sexual harassment.

ANOTHER:  This announcement has gone out to faculty and staff at Berkeley:

UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks has accepted the resignation of Sujit Choudhry, as dean of the university’s School of Law, effective immediately.

Under the University of California’s tenure policy, Choudhry remains a member of the school’s faculty at present.

Chancellor Dirks and Provost Steele said:

"We believe the dean’s resignation is an outcome in the best interests of Berkeley Law and the university as a whole. At the same time we are under no illusion that a resignation could or even should bring this matter and broader, related issues to a close. It is clear, as we heard during our meeting with law school faculty this morning, that the initial decision not to remove the dean from his position is the subject of legitimate criticism.

We can and must do better as a campus administration. We must move in the direction of stronger sanctions, and in doing this we want and need the broad input of the campus community.

We are sharply focused on this issue and committed to ensuring a supportive and safe environment for every single person on this campus. We will act quickly to generate action that will produce lasting change in our culture and practices.

Tomorrow we will be reaching out to faculty leaders for their help in quickly putting all of these commitments into motion.

The statement that "Choudhry remains a member of the school's faculty at present" (emphasis added) is a bit ominous.  While the finding of a violation of the sexual harassment policy seems warranted, and should have been sufficient to have removed him from the Deanship, is the Administration implying that this might constitute a firing offense from a tenured position?

March 10, 2016 in Faculty News | Permalink

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The lateral moves list

I'm going to start adding untenured laterals--i.e., those moving from one tenure-track position to another at a different school--to my list.  The reason I had excluded them in the past was a carry-over from the academic philosophy context:  junior laterals rarely matter for prospective PhD students.  But the audience for the laterals list in law is largely faculty, rather than prospective students, so I might as well include them too.  Please feel free to e-mail me about such moves.

March 9, 2016 in Faculty News | Permalink

Latest LSAC data: applicants up 2.2% over last year

"As of 03/04/16, there are 279,020 applications submitted by 42,981 applicants for the 2016–2017 academic year. Applicants are up 2.2% and applications are up 1.8% from 2015–2016."

March 9, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

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