Thursday, April 10, 2014
Anyone following Al Brophy's reports on the LSAC data will notice that, while applications are still down from last year, they are down a bit less with each subsequent report. That's consistent with anecdotal reports from colleagues who teach undergraduates who report being asked to write letters of recommendation later and later in the season than just a few years ago. One surmises that at least part of what is happening is that (1) students waivering about going to law school are realizing that they don't have other tangible professional plans, (2) students are realizing their chances of getting good admissions offers--either in terms of the caliber of the school and/or the cost--are much better this year than just a few years ago. Along with this indicator, I suspect the decline in applications is about to bottom out. It will still take a couple more years, though, for most law schools to begin hiring new faculty again given the dramatic decline in applications and enrollments of the last few years.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
This was the most difficult year in the law teaching market in decades (my guess is maybe sixty or seventy new faculty were hired nationwide this year--down from over a hundred last year, and over 150 just a few years ago). Fortunately, most of the Chicago graduates and Fellows were extremely successful in securing tenure-track positions in this challenging market. They are:
Vincent Buccola '08, who will join the faculty at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated with High Honors and Order of the Coif from the Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review. He clerked for Judge Easterbrook on the 7th Circuit, and was a litigator at Bartlit Beck in Chicago for three years before becoming a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School. His scholarship has appeared in Kansas Law Review and George Mason Law Review. His areas of research and teaching interest include bankruptcy, contracts, business associations, corporate finance, and civil procedure.
Adam Chilton, who will join the faculty at the University of Chicago, where he is presently a Bigelow Fellow. He earned both his J.D. and his Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University. His scholarship has appeared or will appear in University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Yale Journal of International Law, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, and elsewhere. Hhis teaching and research interests are primarily in international law and empirical legal studies.
Roger Ford '05, who will join the faculty at the University of New Hampshire. He graduated with Honors and Order of the Coif from the Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review. He practiced patent and trademark litigation and privacy law at Covington & Burlington for five years, and also clerked for Judge Easterbrook on the 7th Circuit. He has also been a Microsoft Research Fellow at NYU, and an adjunct professor at George Mason, where he taught Federal Courts. Most recently, he was a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School. His articles appear in Cornell Law Review, George Mason Law Review, and elsewhere. His research and teaching interests include intellectual property (esp. patents and trademarks), property, information privacy, criminal and civil procedure, and antitrust.
Randall K. Johnson '12, who will join the faculty at Mississippi College School of Law. At the Law School, he held the NAACP Legal Defense Fund Earl Warren Legal Training Scholarship for two years. He then served as a Law Fellow with the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. His articles appear in Northern Illinois Law Review and Wake Forest Law Review Online. His research and teaching interests include property, evidence, real estate transactions, land use, and civil rights.
Greg Reilly, who will join the faculty at California Western School of Law in San Diego. He is presently a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2006 and clerked for Judge Dyk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He was a patent and products liability litigator with Morrison & Foerster in San Diego for five years before coming to Chicago. His articles appear in Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review Dialogue, and elsewhere. He has research and teaching interests in intellectual property (esp. patents), civil procedure and complex litigation, federal courts, and contracts.
Nathan Richardson '09, who will join the faculty at the University of South Carolina. He graduated with Honors from the Law School, where he was Articles Editor of the Chicago Journal of International Law. He is presently a Research Scholar at Resources for the Future in Washington, DC, where he has extensive experinece doing legal and interdisciplinary research, often in collaboration with economists. His dozen publications appear in Environmental Law, Stanford Journal of Environmental Law, Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, and elsewhere. He has research and teaching interests in environmental law, property, administrative and energy law, and law and economics.
Veronica Root '08, who will join the faculty at the University of Notre Dame, where shes is presently a VAP. At the Law School, she was Managing Editor of the Chicago Journal of International Law, and also received the Mulroy Prize for Excellence in Appellate Advocacy. She clerked for Judge Stewart on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and then litigated with Gibson Dunn in Washington, D.C. for three years, before taking up a Visiting Assistant Professorship at Notre Dame Law School, where she has taught professional responsibility. Her articles appear in University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law and University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform. Herresearch and teaching interests include professional responsibility, employment law, business associations, contracts, and commercial law.
If you're curious, you can read about some of our recent placements in law teaching here, here and here, and see a more comprehensive listing here. You can also see a list of past Bigelows and where they now teach here.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
The Supreme Court has denied the petition for certiorari in the much watched case of Elane Photography v. Willock, which began when a commercial wedding photography company in New Mexico refused to sell its services to a same-sex couple. Last August, the New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously found that the company's conduct violated the state public accommodations statute and that the company was not entitled to a special First Amendment exemption from that law. The Supreme Court has now declined to review the First Amendment portion of that ruling.
The plaintiff, Vanessa Willock, was represented throughout the appellate stages of the case by Tobias Barrington Wolff (Penn). Eugene Volokh (UCLA) and Dale Carpenter (Minnesota) joined with the Cato Institute in filing an amicus brief on the First Amendment issues before the New Mexico Supreme Court and again in support of the company's certiorari petition. (It's just like the 1960s, when you could count on libertarians to be friends of discrimination!) Thankfully, for the plaintiff and for fairness, Professor Wolff prevailed.
Monday, April 7, 2014
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Monday, March 31, 2014
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
In typically irresponsible fashion, ATL yesterday posted factually inaccurate rumors about Denver (which they are slowly correcting). Here is what a tenured colleague at Denver wrote to me:
The truth is that we are reducing our tenure and tenure-track faculty by 10 over multiple years. This is consistent with a long-term plan to shrink the size of the school that began in 2007, prior to the economic downturn. At that point we had 380 students. Our ultimate goal was and is approximately 250 students. The school needs *at most* one person to retire or take a buyout this year to meet our budget for 2014-2015. In subsequent years the faculty who will be offered the option of buyouts will be exclusively tenured faculty who have held their positions for a minimum number of years. The buyouts will NOT include tenure-track faculty who are not yet tenured. That is, the ATL story is simply wrong when it says that untenured tenure-track faculty are being asked to leave. None has been asked to do so. In fact, Denver Law has recommended 4 tenure-track faculty for tenure this year. While tenure is not official until the summer, it is common knowledge that the Dean has recently assured those four faculty members that the planned buyouts will not affect their tenure process. Finally, ATL's unattributed claim that the Denver Law faculty is "quite displeased" with direction of the school is simply false. Of course there are outliers in every institution, but the overall faculty climate is collegial and the vast majority of faculty are pleased with Dean Katz's leadership during a difficult time for all law schools. Of course, it is never ideal for ATL to report facts that are patently false, particularly with respect to untenured faculty, and one would hope that they care enough about their credibility to print a correction.
I've heard the same about Dean Katz from other faculty at Denver as well. (I hope Blog Emperor Caron will learn a lesson from this incident, namely, not to reprint nonsense from ATL without independent verification.)