Friday, April 20, 2012
Former SUNY Buffalo Law Professor Jeffrey Malkan is suing the school's dean, Dean Makau W. Mutua, on the grounds that he fired Malkan illegally in 2008. Malkan, the former director of UB's legal research and writing program, argues that the school didn't follow proper process in dismissing him. Among other things, he argues that he was entitled to faculty review of the decision. Mutua argues that the firing was legitimate because it resulted from the shutdown of the school's entire legal writing program. The program was replaced by something called a "skills" program. More details here.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Swamped with real work, I haven't had a chance to add much new material to the ranking site lately, but a few projects are in the works: an updated ranking of schools based on AAAS membership; a study of where the top litigation boutiques (as ranked by Vault) go to hire legal talent; and a new scholarly impact study, being prepared by Gregory Sisk and his team at St. Thomas (I'm offering help, but they're doing the real work). All of these should be on-line by the fall, the first two much sooner than that.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
...though some "new rich" may be emerging. Particularly striking this year were that NYU led Columbia in new members across all fields, and Northwestern similarly led Chicago, though by a smaller margin. Here are the schools with at least two faculty elected this year:
1. Harvard University (13)
1. Massachussetts Institute of Technology (13)
3. Northwestern University (9)
3. Stanford University (9)
5. New York University (8)
5. Princeton University (8)
5. University of Chicago (8)
8. Yale University (6)
9. University of Pennsylvania (5)
10. Columbia University (4)
10. University of California, Berkeley (4)
10. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (4)
13. Indiana University, Bloomington (3)
13. Rutgers University, New Brunswick (3)
13. University of Wisconsin, Madison (3)
All of the following schools had two faculty each elected this year: Cornell, UC San Diego, Southern California, Duke, Washington University in St. Louis, UC Irvine, Johns Hopkins, and Illinois/Urbana-Champaign.
You can see last year's tally here.
The "rich get richer" mainly because all existing members can vote on nominated candidates, regardless of field.
Friday, April 13, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
A colleague elsewhere writes
[S]adly, with comments, the list has degenerated into including lots of people who cannot possibly be called “empiricists”. There are several categories of false positives: (1) non-empiricists who once or twice co-authored with empiricists, but clearly did not and cannot do empirical work on their own; (2) people who do “soft” empirical work, case studies and such; (3) people who have a non-empirical main field and clearly don’t know any math, but did a project or two counting random things and putting them into silly tables to support some position they took in their substantive field. The category #3 no doubt sounds vague, but empirical work is a lot more than counting random stuff, so you’d see a surprising level of consensus among serious empiricists re who is in category #3 who is not. My own simple but reliable proxy: if a person published an empirical paper in a top econ/finance/law-econ/polisci journal and *he did the empirical analysis himself* (rather than relying on a co-author), he is an empiricist. Otherwise, no. This promptly removes more than half of the list.
Perhaps this would set the bar too high, but I am worried about (1) and (3) especially resulting in significant padding of the lists. Not sure at this point how we will proceed.
UPDATE: Paul Edelman, a professor of both law and mathematics at Vanderbilt, writes:
There are certainly definitional problems with the project of ranking empirical legal studies groups, but I had to laugh at the criticism of “people who have a non-empirical main field and clearly don’t know any math” since damn few empiricists know any math. They have sophisticated training in some techniques but only a sophomore undergraduate's view of mathematics. Really, these guys have to get off their high horse. Good empirical work is not brain surgery.