Friday, April 3, 2020

Independent Law schools and small to mid-sized law firms can apply for low interest, partly forgiveable SBA loans (Michael Simkovic)

As part of the CARE Act passed in March, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is working with private banks to make several hundred billion dollars available to businesses with fewer than 500 employees.  Non-profits are eligible.  Law schools that are separate legal entities from their universities (or are independent and unaffiliated) may qualify, as may small law firms. The loans carry a 1% interest rate and are partly forgivable, based mainly on a firm's payroll expenses and in part on its mortgage or rent.

The funds are being distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and are expected to be quickly used up.

Details are available here.

Bank of America is processing applications today.  Chase will begin processing applications next week.


April 3, 2020 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic | Permalink

Lateral hires with tenure or on tenure-track, 2019-20

These are non-clinical appointments that will take effect in 2020 (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.


*Bryan Adamson (civil procedure, civil rights, media law) from Seattle University to Case Western Reserve University.


*Chaz Arnett (criminal law, education law) from the University of Pittsburgh to the University of Maryland (untenured lateral).


*Mario Biagioli (intellectual property, history of intellectual property, science and technology studies) from the University of California, Davis (Law and Science & Technology Studies) to the University of California, Los Angeles (joint in Law and Communications).


*Hannah Bloch-Wehba (law & technology, criminal procedure, First Amendment) from Drexel University to Texas A&M University (untenured lateral).


*Shawn Boyne (criminal law & procedure, comparative law) from Indiana University, Indianapolis to Iowa State University (to become Director of Academic Quality and Undergraduate Education [ISU does not have a law school])


*William Wilson Bratton (corporate law) from the University of Pennsylvania (where he will become emeritus) to the University of Miami.


*Brian Broughman (corporate, venture capital) from Indiana University, Bloomington to Vanderbilt University.


*Nancy Cantalupo (civil rights, human rights, sex discrimination law) from Barry University to California Western School of Law (untenured lateral).


*Josh Chafetz (constitutional law & history, legislation) from Cornell University to Georgetown University.


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


*Raff Donelson (criminal procedure & law, jurisprudence) from Louisiana State University to Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law (untenured lateral).


*Kristen Eichensehr (national security and foreign relations law, cybersecurity law) from the University of California, Los Angeles to the University of Virginia.


*Barbara Evans (law & technology, law & medicine) from the University of Houston to the University of Florida, Gainesville.


*Andrew Guthrie Ferguson (criminal law & procedure, evidence) from the University of the District of Columbia to American University.


*Kimberly Kessler Ferzan (criminal law, law & philosophy) from the University of Virginia to the University of Pennsylvania.


*Gina-Gail Fletcher (financial regulation, securities regulation) from Indiana University, Bloomington to Duke University.


*Russell Gold (criminal law & procedure) from Wake Forest University (LRW faculty) to University of Alabama (untenured lateral).


*Paul Gowder (constitutional law, political and legal theory) from the University of Iowa to Northwestern University.


*Tara Leigh Grove (federal courts, constitutional law, civil procedure) from College of William & Mary to the University of Alabama.


*Blake Hudson (environmental law, land use, natural resources) from the University of Houston to the University of Florida, Gainesville.


*Cathy Hwang (corporate) from the University of Utah to the University of Virginia.


*Rebecca Ingber (international law, national security law) from Boston University to Cardozo Law School/Yeshiva University.


*Thea Johnson (criminal law & procedure, evidence) from the University of Maine to Rutgers University (untenured lateral).


*Ali Rod Khadem (Islamic law, business law) from Deakin University to Suffolk University (untenured lateral).


*Jaime King (health law & policy) from the University of California, Hastings to the University of Auckland.


*Kyle Langvardt (First Amendment, contracts, law & technology) from the University of Detroit Mercy to the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.


*Matthew Lawrence (health law, administrative law) from Pennsylvania State University-Dickinson School of Law to Emory University (untenured lateral).


*Timothy Lovelace (legal history) from Indiana University, Bloomington to Duke University.


*Sheldon Bernard Lyke (property, trusts & estates, critical race theory) from Northern Kentucky University to University of Baltimore (untenured lateral)


*Brendan S. Maher (health law, ERISA) from the University of Connecticut to Texas A&M University.


*Cesar Rosado Marzan (domestic, comparative, and international labor & employment law) from Chicago-Kent College of Law to the University of Iowa.


*Dayna Bowen Matthew (health law & policy) from the University of Virginia to George Washington University (to become Dean).


*Goldburn P. Maynard, Jr. (tax law & policy) from the University of Louisville to Indiana University, Bloomington (Business School) (untenured lateral).


*Agnieszka McPeak (law & technology, torts, privacy) from Duquesne University to Gonzaga University.


*Derek Muller (election law) from Pepperdine University to the University of Iowa.

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April 3, 2020 in Faculty News | Permalink

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Adrian Vermeule, redux

So it appears the notorious tweets that we noted recently were not anomalous, as Professor Vermeule's latest public foray into morbid reactionary fantasies suggests:

[O]ne can imagine an illiberal legalism that is not “conservative” at all, insofar as standard conservatism is content to play defensively within the procedural rules of the liberal order.


This approach should take as its starting point substantive moral [sic] principles that conduce to the common good, principles that officials (including, but by no means limited to, judges) should read into the majestic generalities and ambiguities of the written Constitution. These principles include respect for the authority of rule and of rulers; respect for the hierarchies needed for society to function; solidarity within and among families, social groups, and workers’ unions, trade associations, and professions; appropriate subsidiarity, or respect for the legitimate roles of public bodies and associations at all levels of government and society; and a candid willingness to “legislate morality”—indeed, a recognition that all legislation is necessarily founded on some substantive conception of morality [even wrong ones, apparently!], and that the promotion of morality is a core and legitimate function of authority...


[C]ommon-good constitutionalism does not suffer from a horror of political domination and hierarchy, because it sees that law is parental, a wise teacher and an inculcator of good habits. Just authority in rulers can be exercised for the good of subjects, if necessary even against the subjects’ own perceptions of what is best for them—perceptions that may change over time anyway, as the law teaches, habituates, and re-forms them. Subjects will come to thank the ruler whose legal strictures, possibly experienced at first as coercive, encourage subjects to form more authentic desires for the individual and common goods, better habits, and beliefs that better track and promote communal well-being....


The Court’s jurisprudence on free speech, abortion, sexual liberties, and related matters will prove vulnerable under a regime of common-good constitutionalism. The claim, from the notorious joint opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, that each individual may “define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life” should be not only rejected but stamped as abominable, beyond the realm of the acceptable forever after. So too should the libertarian assumptions central to free-speech law and free-speech ideology—that government is forbidden to judge the quality and moral worth of public speech, that “one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric,”  and so on—fall under the ax. Libertarian conceptions of property rights and economic rights will also have to go, insofar as they bar the state from enforcing duties of community and solidarity in the use and distribution of resources.

One hopes this does not mark the arrival of a "Harvard School" of constitutional fascism!

April 2, 2020 in Faculty News, Jurisprudence, Law Professors Saying Dumb Things, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Wake Forest Dean Jane Aiken should resign...

...since she has unnecessarily humiliated a member of her faculty and violated his academic freedom.  I don't often agree with Eugene Volokh (UCLA), but I agree with his criticism of the Dean's handling of this situation.  (For earlier discussion of these issues, involving another Dean who did not understand his obligations, see here.)

April 1, 2020 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

New "Emergency Relief Fund" for law students, funded by Access Lex, administered by law schools (Michael Simkovic)

The Access Lex Institute is providing $5 million in total to fund an emergency relief fund for students at each of 200 law schools.  Each law school will receive $25,000.  Law schools will be responsible for administering the funds to assist students in need.  

The press release describes the purpose of the funds as follows:

"Beyond the concerns around adapting to online learning, completion of hands-on legal clinics, and the potential for delays in the bar exam, this crisis has exacerbated financial pressures on law students . . . It is imperative that we act on our mission to positively impact the lives of law students in a tangible way when they need the support most" 

Access Lex will provide more details about the program later this week. 

The funds should be particularly helpful to law schools with small class sizes and limited resources.  JD class sizes at law schools range from more than 500 students per year to less than 50.

March 31, 2020 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic | Permalink

Monday, March 30, 2020

Would triage plans for the use of ventilators (etc.) that favored those who were younger and healthier violate civil rights law?

I'm curious to hear what informed readers make of this story.   Comments may take awhile to appear (as they are moderated when I have time), please submit your comment only once.  Thanks.

March 30, 2020 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink | Comments (5)

Thursday, March 26, 2020


Here I am mostly continuing with my usual coverage of law school-related news.  At my other blog on philosophy and the academy more generally, I am doing a lot of posts about the coronavirus, for anyone who is interested (the link will take you to the posts specifically about coronavirus matter).  Good luck to all readers during this challenging time!

March 26, 2020 | Permalink

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Pass/fail grading?

Some law schools (including some that didn't have real grades to start with) have switched officially to pass/fail as classes move online; others have not.   Law professor Jonathan Adler (Case Western) argues against switching to P/F, while Noah Zatz (UCLA) argues in favor.  My own view is that it probably depends on the school and the course, and that there is no "one size fits all" answer.  (An example:  I can imagine a school switching a course to P/F for all students if the instructor falls ill for several weeks; or a school might allow students afflicted with illness or caregiving responsibilities to switch to P/F as needed.)  I will note that the economic fallout from the pandemic will almost certainly affect law firm hiring significantly, meaning that actual grades will be more important for students than before (again, how important will depend on the school, but we know from the Great Recession of 2008 that all schools will be affected, even if to differing degrees).    Mandatory P/F may hurt some students if they are competing against students from schools that continued to grade.

UPDATE:  I'm told that many students at Harvard Law School objected when the Dean announced they were switching to P/F.

March 25, 2020 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Another online guide to using Zoom...

...from law professor Josh Blackman (South Texas).

(Thanks to Paul Horwitz for the pointer.)

March 21, 2020 in Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

Friday, March 20, 2020

Teaching online

A short video guide from law professor Seth Oranburg (Duquesne).

March 20, 2020 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, March 19, 2020

UCLA chapter of NLG is an embarrassment to the NLG

The UCLA Federalist Society had the temerity to invite Professor Doriane Lambert Coleman from Duke Law School, a former competitive female athlete who has written carefully and thoughtfully about the complex issues raised by the participation of trans women in female sports (see, e.g., this article).  The UCLA Law School chapter of the NLG decided to disrupt the event, apparently wholly unaware of the NLG's traditional staunch support for academic freedom, most famously during the Mcarthy era, but continuing to the present.   As the former faculty advisor to the NLG chapter at the University of Texas, I decided to point out their betrayal of NLG principles on Twitter; I was then derided as a "neoliberal white man" by these law students (and then subjected to a bizarre defamatory outburst by one Stephano Medina, who also turns out to be a UCLA 3L and not, as I had thought, a creepy teenage boy in his mother's basement).  What an embarrassment.

March 19, 2020 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

All U.S. law schools have now moved to online instruction...

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

New "program" rankings for law schools "program" rankings for law schools have usually been even more worthless than the "overall" rankings of law schools, mostly tracking how well schools market a "program" than the actual quality of faculty or offerings.  (Tax is the classic example.)   This year they added four new categories:  "Business and Corporate Law", "Contracts and Commercial Law," "Criminal Law" and "Constitutional Law."  Although there were some halo effects from school names, the results are actually more sensible than one might have expected.  Here's the top ten in each of these categories (outside the top 10-15, the lists mostly just track a school's overall U.S. News rank it seems to me).

Business and Corporate Law

1 Columbia University (NY) 4.8
1 Harvard University (MA) 4.8
3 New York University 4.7
4 University of California--Berkeley 4.6
5 Stanford University (CA) 4.5
6 University of Pennsylvania Carey 4.4
7 University of Chicago (IL) 4.3
8 Georgetown University (DC) 4.2
8 University of California--Los Angeles 4.2
8 University of Virginia 4.2
8 Yale University (CT) 4.2

NYU should have been tied with Columbia and Harvard at #1, but that's minor.  Not quite sure, however, how evaluators would be interpreting "business law" apart from corporate.  I suspect many were including some of what might also belong under commercial law.

Constitutional Law

1 Yale University (CT) 4.9
2 Harvard University (MA) 4.8
3 Stanford University (CA) 4.7
4 University of Chicago (IL) 4.6
5 Columbia University (NY) 4.5
5 New York University 4.5
7 University of California--Berkeley 4.4
7 University of Virginia 4.4
9 Duke University (NC) 4.3
9 Georgetown University (DC) 4.3

This one is a little quirkier.  NYU and Chicago are both plainly stronger than Stanford in constitutional law, which should be in the top ten, but not the top five.  The rest of the top ten is fairly plausible, although I wouldn't take the precise ordinal ranking very seriously.   University of San Diego came in at #28 (score of 3.3), some indicator that evaluators were actually thinking about the faculties and not just the "brand name," although #28 still seems low for USD.

Contracts/Commercial Law

1 Columbia University (NY) 4.7
1 University of Chicago (IL) 4.7
3 Harvard University (MA) 4.6
3 New York University 4.6
3 University of California--Berkeley 4.6
6 Stanford University (CA) 4.5
6 University of Pennsylvania Carey 4.5
8 University of Michigan--Ann Arbor 4.4
8 University of Texas--Austin 4.4
8 Yale University (CT) 4.4

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March 17, 2020 in Rankings | Permalink

Saturday, March 14, 2020

92% of law school have moved to remote teaching due to coronavirus

Blog Emperor Caron has the details.

March 14, 2020 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

"Capitalism, Social Democracy and Socialism: Which is Right for America?"

In what is probably my last trip for a good while (having so far cancelled events in Canada, England, and Ireland,with no doubt more to come), I'll be driving up to Madison today for a debate/discussion with the economist Bryan Caplan (George Mason).  So probably not much new until Friday.   Since "social distancing" is the new norm for America, no handshakes, but I hope to see some readers there!

March 11, 2020 in Navel-Gazing | Permalink

Monday, March 9, 2020

What is your law school doing in response to the impending coronavirus pandemic?

This is an open thread for law faculty to post about what their schools are doing:  e.g., cancelling classes, "remote" teaching or exams, cancelling conferences, prohibiting faculty work-related travel etc.   Feel free to link to public resources/statements by your schools.  Submit your comment only once, they are moderated, and may take awhile to appear.

March 9, 2020 in Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice, Student Advice | Permalink | Comments (4)

Friday, March 6, 2020

Coronavirus comes to Yeshiva University and (maybe) its Cardozo Law School


Message to the Yeshiva and Cardozo community here.

UPDATE:  New York Law School taking precautions as well.

ANOTHER:  Promising news out of Cardozo, from the Dean; an excerpt:

There are still no known cases of the Coronavirus in the Cardozo community.

The Manhattan attorney who tested positive for the virus has improved and is in stable condition. Likewise, his son, the undergraduate YU student from the Washington Heights campus who tested positive, has also improved. The son’s roommate and another student, who were considered at risk because of very close proximity, have been tested and the results were negative.

We continue to be in touch with the Cardozo student who has self-quarantined and continues to be symptom free and in good spirits. That person’s last exposure to the attorney who tested positive was 14 days ago. The Health Department tested her late last night, and we are awaiting the results.

SOME GOOD NEWS AT CARDOZO (MARCH 6):  The student in self-quarantine has tested negative for the new coronavirus.

March 6, 2020 in Legal Profession | Permalink

Thursday, March 5, 2020

What happened to Adrian Vermeule?

Here he is suggesting conservatives opposed to Trump should be sent "to the camps" and here he is defaming atheists.   Bizarre.

UPDATE:  He's apparently deleted his Twitter account in the wake of the former episode.

March 5, 2020 in Faculty News, Law Professors Saying Dumb Things | Permalink