Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Lateral hires with tenure or on tenure-track, 2020-21

These are non-clinical appointments that will take effect in 2021 (except where noted); I will move the list to the front at various intervals as new additions come in.   (Recent additions are in bold.)  Last year's list is here.  Feel free to e-mail me with news of additions to this list.

 

*Ifeoma Ajunwa (law & technology, race & law, labor & employment law, health law) from Cornell University (Industrial & Labor Relations School) to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (effective January 2021).

 

*Shyamkrishna Balganesh (intellectual property, private law theory) from the University of Pennsylvania to Columbia University (effective January 2021).

 

*Kimberly Clausing (public finance, tax, international trade) from Reed College (Economics) to the University of California, Los Angeles.

 

*Robin Kundis Craig (environmental law, water law) from the University of Utah to the University of Southern California.

 

*Joseph Fishkin (constitutional law, employment discrimination, election law, equal opportunity) from the University of Texas, Austin to the University of California, Los Angeles.

 

*Cary Franklin (constitutional law, antidiscrimination law, legal history) from the University of Texas, Austin to the University of California, Los Angeles.

 

*Michael Z. Green (labor & employment law) from Texas A&M University to Chicago-Kent College of Law/Illinois Institute of Technology.

 

*G. Mitu Gulati (contracts, sovereign debt, law & economics, empirical legal studies, race/gender & law) from Duke University to the University of Virginia.

 

*Osamudia James (administrative law, race & law, education law) from the University of Miami to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

 

*Kristin Johnson (financial regulation, securities regulation) from Tulane University to Emory University (effective January 2021).

 

*Kimberly Krawiec (corporate) from Duke University to the University of Virginia.

 

*David S. Law (comparative constitutional law, law & social science) from the University of California, Irvine to the University of Virginia.

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November 24, 2020 in Faculty News | Permalink

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Constitutional Court of South Africa: the building

A lovely tour from former Justice Albie Sachs, a brilliant judge and a deeply humane and courageous man, a kind of jurist utterly foreign in the highest reaches of the U.S. legal profession in recent years.

 

November 23, 2020 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Clearing away some jurisprudential myths

The myth that H.L.A. Hart had a "practice theory" of rules.

The myth that the so-called "normativity" of law presents a problem for legal positivism, let alone a special or interesting one.

The more recent myth that Hart made any kind of "category mistake" in his account of social rules or the rule of recognition.

 

November 19, 2020 in Jurisprudence | Permalink

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

In Memoriam: Drew S. Days III (1941-2020)

A former Solicitor General of the United States, Professor Days was also a longtime member of the Yale faculty.  The Yale memorial notice is here.

November 18, 2020 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Monday, November 16, 2020

The dumbest law teacher in America?

Quite possibly.   He's a lecturer, teaching skills courses, but not a member of the clinical or academic faculties at the University of Miami.  Assuming he enjoys contractual protection for academic freedom (I don't know if he does), then he is protected from sanction by Miami for his extramural speech.  There is no evidence that he has been sanctioned, only criticized.  But in addition to being stupid and a provocateur, he seems to be a bit of a drama queen as well, claiming, without evidence, that he "will" be fired.  There's now a mock twitter account that captures this aspect of the melodrama well.

UPDATE:  Michael Froomkin (Miami) reports that lecturers are covered by Miami's academic freedom policy, which the university has not violated.  Professor Froomkin makes some other interesting observations about this melodrama.

November 16, 2020 in Faculty News, Law Professors Saying Dumb Things, Legal Profession | Permalink

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Law professors who are part of the Biden transition teams

Law professor Jonathan Adler (Case Western) compiles the names.

November 12, 2020 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

AALS announces winners of this year's Scholarly Paper Competition

The winner is "Distributing Civil Justice" by Matthew A. Shapiro (Rutgers).

Honorable mention went to:  "The Case for Abolition of Criminal Confessions" by Guha Krishnamurthi (South Texas), "Bankruptcy Grifters" by Lindsey Simon (Georgia), and "Foreign Dictators in U.S. Court" by Diego Zambrano (Stanford).

November 11, 2020 in Faculty News | Permalink

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Jones Day seems rather too tightly linked to Trump...

...and some lawyers there are worried.  Law students may not be formally boycotting Jones Day (as some are boycotting Paul, Weiss), but one suspects that the choices of many will be influenced by this high-profile association.

November 10, 2020 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Friday, November 6, 2020

Western Michigan University ends "affiliation" with Cooley Law School

Not good for Cooley, but perhaps not fatal:  Cooley has already changed enormously in the wake of the 2010 downturn in law school applicants.  From the article:

Once a large law school with four campuses, Cooley downsized in the past decade. Enrollment fell from more than 3,900 students in 2010-11 to 1,156 in 2019-20. The law school announced in August that it would close its campus in Grand Rapids, Mich., in August 2021 and move all classes and operations to its campus in Lansing, the state capital. It also closed its campus in Auburn Hills, Mich., last year and reduced the footprint of the Lansing campus. Cooley still maintains one other campus in Tampa Bay, Fla.

November 6, 2020 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Two big changes in hiring for law teaching jobs over the last decade

In my conversation with Professor Kerr awhile back, I said there were two, but we ended up discussing only one:  namely, the way in which a PhD or VAP/Fellowship has now become almost essential for being hired.  The other big change that I've observed over the last ten years has been the dramatic increase in hiring driven by "diversity" considerations (I dislike the "diversity" label for reasons discussed here).  Some context:  I have been working with candidates on the law teaching job market since the late 1990s, first at the University of Texas, then at the University of Chicago since 2008.  I've worked by now with 150+ candidates for nearly 25 years of hiring seasons. 

It has been the case for quite some time that "diverse" candidates got more interviews than comparable non-diverse candidates, but often one worried that schools were just trying to fulfill their equal opportunity obligations by making sure their slate of interviews was "diverse."  But what has changed during the last decade is that "diverse" candidates are getting hired far more often than before, and hired at stronger schools.  The job market for "diverse" candidates for law teaching positions has never been more favorable than it is now.

November 5, 2020 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Law school applicants up more than a third so far this year...

...which will bode well for law school faculty hiring next year, and may even lead some schools to invest this year in new faculty.   Given the tight job market for college grads, it may also be that more college seniors have decided to apply to law school already.  If economic conditions brighten, some of them may turn out to forego a law school spot.  We'll see what the pool looks like after January (and assuming the monster-child in the White House is replaced).

November 3, 2020 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, October 29, 2020

A lot of anxiety, resentment, self-deception, and sour grapes about the law teaching job market...

...on display here, especially in many of the comments (and there's also pushback in the comments).  The law teaching job market is very far from a "lottery" (as one commenter put it); if it were a lottery, it wouldn't be possible to predict fairly well how candidates will fare.   It is true that the law teaching job market is even more pedigree-sensitive than most academic job markets, and that is not a good thing.   But in other respects it rewards conventional markers:  e.g., decent publications, strong oral presentation skills.   Max Weber observed, correctly, that "luck" plays an outsized role in academic careers, which is undoubtedly true; but that doesn't mean the results are wholly random, as they would be in a lottery.  It does mean that even if one does all the right things, the outcome is far from assured.

October 29, 2020 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

How NYU recruited faculty from top law schools in the 1990s: a case study

Richard Stewart, a leading scholar of administrative and environmental law at Harvard, moved to NYU in the early 1990s.  He lived in a 4,000 square foot town house in Greenwich Village, a few blocks from NYU's law school.  This was rented to him by the University at an undisclosed price, but no doubt well below market rates which even a law professor could not ordinarily afford in that area.  As part of the deal, he had the option to sell the property, with some of the gain going to NYU, and some to Professor Stewart.  He exercised that option a few years ago, netting over eight million dollars.  Eight million divided by the 25 years he taught at NYU up to that time works out to an additional $320,000 per year of service, on top of his salary.  (The article notes that another NYU law faculty member, recruited from Chicago in the early 1990s, lives in a similar townhouse, but without the option to profit from a sale.)

October 27, 2020 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

Monday, October 26, 2020

Evidence-driven education policy, money, and influence (Michael Simkovic)

I recently discussed research debunking claims that law school and business school are only worthwhile for those privileged enough to gain admission to elite programs.  Press coverage has been curiously oblivious to social science research using high quality data and well-established methods. 

Why might the press overlook high quality information sources while instead elevating the views of less reputable sources of information like think tanks and advocacy shops?  Experts proffered by such sources often have questionable credentials, use dubious methods, and rely on opaque sources of funding.

Anti-education narratives have become increasingly prominent in press coverage since the Gates Foundation and its partners began sponsoring news coverage and affiliated charities at a vast number of publications including the New York Times (see also here), NBC, BBC and its affiliated charity, NPR, PBS (see also here), The Guardian (see also here), Gannet (which owns USA Today), the Hechinger Report, The Atlantic, the Texas Tribune, the Financial Times, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, among many others. 

The Gates Foundation and its partners have also funded education policy analysts at many think tanks and advocacy groups, as well as groups like the Education Writers Association that connect the press with education experts and award prizes to journalists and editors. Gates has reportedly spent more than $250 million on press sponsorship—which is more than enough to outright buy several newspapers. 

Gates has not only funded advocacy and news coverage of that advocacy, but also new approaches to measuring the ripple effects of news coverage to ensure that his organization gets a good return on investments in influence.  The echo chamber created by Gates-funded press, quoting Gates-funded policy advocates, packaging and promoting minor variations on Gates’ personal views—all the while concerned that layoffs will be even worse if another round of funding does not materialize—can make it difficult for dissenting voices to be heard.

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October 26, 2020 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic | Permalink