Monday, June 14, 2021

Call by ABA for comments on significant proposed changes to standards pertaining to "non-discrimination and equal opportunity" and "curriculum"

MOVING TO FRONT FROM JUNE 1--TWO MORE WEEKS TO SUBMIT COMMENTS TO THE ABA!

The proposed changes are available here.   Written comments on the proposals should be addressed to:  Scott Bales, Council Chair.  Please send comments to Fernando Mariduena (Fernando.Mariduena@americanbar.org) by June 28, 2021.

I am going to offer a few observations of my own on some of these proposals, which readers are free to incorporate into any comments they wish to send to Mr. Bales (with or without attribution to this blog).   Some of the proposed changes are minor, but many are not.  As a threshold matter, the ABA should have to explain why the existing standards were not more than adequate, especially since some of the proposed changes will impose substantial costs on schools and seem ill-supported by evidence.

(1)  Proposed changes would replace previous language requiring "concrete action" and "reasonable efforts" related to diversity, to a standard that demands "demonstrat[ing] progress."   What does "progress" mean?  If a very diverse law school becomes slightly less diverse after a few years (but is still extremely diverse), does that mean it is in violation of the standard?  That would seem bizarre.   Suppose a law school becomes more diverse by enrolling more Asian-American students, but fewer African-American students.  Is that "progress" within the meaning of the Standard?  What if it enrolls more students with disabilities, but fewer Hispanic students?  How is "progress" to be measured?  Why is it a preferable standard?

(2)  The proposals impose a substantial new burden on schools to collect and maintain data that will be both costly and time-consuming, and will almost certainly require schools to hire additional administrative staff (see esp. 206-3 and 206-4). This includes publishing "threshold data disaggregated by race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, or military status" (several of these categories are new), plus requiring "quantitative and qualitative measures of campus climate and academic outcomes disaggregated" again by all the preceding demographic categories.  Wouldn't the money spent on these reporting requirements be better spent on financial aid, for example, that increased diversity?

(3)  Recommended actions that would demonstrate "progress...under the Standard" would include (206-5) "Diversity, equity, and inclusion training."   This raises two concerns.  First, there is evidence that such "training" is not effective, and can even be counter-productive.  Second, and even more seriously, such training will almost certainly violate the academic freedom rights of faculty at many (probably most) schools by demanding conformity to a particular ideology about "diversity," its meaning, and its value.  The ABA should not even be suggesting that schools violate the contractual and/or constitutional rights of faculty to academic freedom.  (There is a related problem with the mandatory "diversity statements" at certain public universities.)

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June 14, 2021 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Congratulations to the University of Chicago Law School Class of 2021!

It's been a pleasure and a privilege to teach such talented young men and women, and I am sure I speak for all of my colleagues in wishing you much professional success and personal happiness in the years ahead!

June 12, 2021 | Permalink

Friday, June 11, 2021

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.

 

*Atinuke Adediran (legal profession, law & social science) from Boston College to Fordham University (untenured lateral).

 

*Aziza Ahmed (health law, constitutional law, gender/race & law) from Northeastern University to the University of California, Irvine.

 

*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).

 

*Alena Allen (health law, torts, feminist legal theory) from University of Memphis to University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

 

*Kate Andrias (labor, administrative & constitutional law) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor to Columbia University.

 

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

 

*Susan Bisom-Rapp (international and comparative employment law, labor law, employment discrimination) from Thomas Jefferson School of Law to California Western School of Law.
*Maggie Blackhawk (legislation, constitutional law, federal Indian law) from the University of Pennsylvania to New York University.

 

*Curtis A. Bradley (international law, foreign affairs law, federal courts) from Duke University to the University of Chicago.

 

*John R. Brooks (tax law & policy) from Georgetown University to Fordham University (starting fall 2022).

 

*Jay Butler (international business transactions, corporate law) from the College of William & Mary to the University of Virginia.

 

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

 

*Jennifer Chacon (immimgration law, constitutional law, criminal law & procedure) from the University of California, Los Angeles to the University of California, Berkeley.

 

*Guy-Uriel Charles (constitutional law, election law, race & law) from Duke University to Harvard University.

 

*Vincent Chiao (criminal law & procedure, legal theory, political philosophy) from the University of Toronto to the University of Richmond.

 

*Danielle Citron (privacy, civil rights, freedom of expression, Internet law) from Boston University to the University of Virginia (effective January 2021).

 

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

 

*Amy Cohen (ADR, mediation, property, law & development) from Ohio State University to Temple University.

 

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

 

*Colin Crawford (environmental law, land use) from the University of Louisville (where he is Dean) to Golden Gate University (to become Dean).

 

*John Czarnetzky (bankruptcy, corporate) from the University of Mississippi to Ave Maria School of Law (to become Dean).

 

*Meera Deo (legal education, race & law, law & society) from Thomas Jefferson Law School to Southwestern School of Law.

 

*Darby Dickerson (legal writing) from UIC John Marshall Law School (where she is Dean) to Southwestern Law School (to become Dean).

 

*Stephanie Holmes Didwania (criminal law & procedure, intellectual property, empirical legal studies, law & economics) from Temple University to University of Wisconsin, Madison (untenured lateral).

 

*Deborah Dinner (legal history, employment discrimination, family law) from Emory University to Cornell University.

 

*Tonya Evans (intellectual property, trusts & estates, entertainment law) from the University of New Hampshire to Pennsylania State University-Dickinson School of Law.

 

*Roger A. Fairfax, Jr. (criminal law & procedure, criminal justice administration) from George Washington University to American University (to become Dean).

 

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

 

*Pamela Foohey (bankruptcy, commercial law, consumer law) from Indiana University, Bloomington to Cardozo Law School/Yeshiva University.

 

*Cynthia Fountaine (civil rights, civil procedure, federal courts) from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale to the University of North Texas.

 

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

 

*César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández (criminal law, immigration law) from the University of Denver to Ohio State University.

 

*Jonathan Glater (education law & policy, disability law) from the University of California, Los Angeles to the University of California, Berkeley.

 

*Kevin Greene (intellectual property, entertainment law) from Thomas Jefferson School f Law to Southwestern Law School (effective January 2021).

 

*Linda Greene (constitutional law, civil rights, sports law) from the University of Wisconsin, Madison to Michigan State University (to become Dean).

 

*Caleb Griffin (corporate law, contracts) from Belmont University to University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (untenured lateral).

 

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

 

*Jasmine E. Harris (law & inequality, disability law, evidence) from the University of California, Davis to the University of Pennsylvania.

 

*Ran Hirschl (comparative constitutional law) from the University of Toronto to the University of Texas, Austin (joint with Government Department).

 

*Darren Hutchinson (civil rights, law & inequality, critical race theory) from the University of Florida, Gainesville to Emory University.

 

*Lolita Buckner Inniss (legal history, gender & law, critical race theory) from Southern Methodist University to the University of Colorado, Boulder (to become Dean).

 

*Jason Iuliano (contracts, commercial law, consumer law) from Villanova University to the University of Utah (untenured lateral).

 

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

 

*Jamila Jefferson-Jones (property, real estate transactions, housing law) from the University of Missouri-Kansas City to Wayne State University.  

 

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

 

*Michael J. Kaufman (civil procedure, education law) from Loyola University, Chicago (where he is Dean) to Santa Clara University (to become Dean).

 

*Melvin Kelley (property, fair housing, critical race theory) from Villanova University to Northeastern University (untenured lateral).

 

*Madhav Khosla (Indian constitutional law, comparative constitutional law) from Ashoka University (India) to Columbia University (untenured lateral, effective January 1, 2022).

 

*Nancy Kim (law & technology, contracts, commercial law) from California Western School of Law to Chicago-Kent College of Law/Illinois Institute of Technology.

 

*Ariel Jurow Kleiman (tax) from the University of San Diego to Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.

 

*Craig Konnoth (health law, law & sexuality) from the University of Colorado, Boulder to the University of Virginia.

 

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

 

*Anita Krishnakumar (legislation and statutory interpretation) from St. John's University to Georgetown University.

 

*Guha Krishnamurthi (criminal law & procedure, constitutional law, jurisprudence) from South Texas College of Law to the University of Oklahoma, Norman (untenured lateral).

 

*Margaret Kwoka (administrative law, civil procedure, federal courts) from the University of Denver to Ohio State University.

 

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

 

*Stacy Leeds (Federal Indian law) from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville to Arizona State University (effective January 2021).

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June 11, 2021 in Faculty News | Permalink

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

The Yale Law School spectacle continues

What an embarrassment, mostly for Yale, but there's also a fair bit of myth-making (both about Rubenfeld and to a lesser extent Chua, and, again, about Yale).  I do suspect Heather Gerken's Deanship is not going to be long-lived.  A couple of excerpts:

Faculty members I spoke to have mixed feelings about it all. “There’s a weird schism among the students where they want the place to be utterly transparent and utterly equitable,” mused one who is sympathetic to that critique, “but they also want to keep the prestige and privilege that the place affords.” Three other professors told me that Chua is the victim of overzealous zoomers who have confused the natural hierarchy of achievement — and Chua’s right to favor whomever she wants — with a social-justice outrage. “There are a lot of mediocre students at Yale who were superstars in their little county fairs, and now they’re in the Kentucky Derby and they’re not winning their races and they feel like it’s unfair because other students are doing better,” says one faculty member who thinks the dean, Heather Gerken, was too deferential to students in how she handled the small-group affair...

Good to know what some Yale faculty think of their students!

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June 9, 2021 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, June 7, 2021

Congratulations to the University of Chicago alumni and Fellows who secured tenure-track positions this year

MOVING TO FRONT FROM APRIL 27--UPDATED

This was a tough year for job seekers, with fewer schools hiring and the entire process being carried out remotely, but happily all our candidates on the market succeeded in landing tenure-track jobs, most with multiple offers.  They are:

 

Emilie Aguirre who will join the faculty at Duke University.  She is currently the Dickerson Fellow at the Law School.   She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2013, and also earned an LL.M. at Cambridge University.  She expects to receive her Ph.D. in Health Policy & Management from Harvard Business School shortly, where she is writing a dissertation on “Pairing Purpose and Profit.”   Prior to coming to Chicago, she was an Academic Fellow at the Resnick Center for Food Law & Policy at UCLA.   Her areas of teaching and research interest include corporate law and finance, securities regulation, contracts, health law, and food law. 

 

Evan D. Bernick’11 who will join the faculty at Northern Illinois University.  He is currently a Visiting Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Center for the Constitution at Georgetown University. He clerked for Judge Sykes on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and also served as a Visiting Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation and as Assistant Director of the Center for Judicial Engagement at the Institute for Justice.  His areas of teaching and research interest include constitutional law, administrative law, legislation, contracts, and torts.

 

Pedro Gerson '14 who will join the faculty at California Western School of Law. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at Louisiana State University.  He has also worked as an attorney at the Instituto Mexicano Para La Competitividad in Mexico City; a Law & Policy Fellow in the Office of the President of Mexico working in the National Digital Strategy Unit; and an Immigration Staff Attorney for the Bronx Public Defenders in New York.   His areas of teaching and research interest include immigration law, criminal law & procedure, comparative law, and administrative law.

 

Maria Macia '18 who will join the faculty at the University of Notre Dame.   She graduated with Honors from the Law School, where she was Articles Editor of the Law Review and also a Rubinstein Scholar.  She earned a Ph.D. in economics in 2019, also from Chicago, where she wrote a dissertation on "From Intent to Disparate Impact:  A Legal Standard's Effect on Lending Discrimination."  She clerked for Judge Andrew Hurwitz on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, before becoming a VAP at Notre Dame.   Her areas of teaching and research interest include corporate law, corporate finance, and empirical legal studies.

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June 7, 2021 in Faculty News | Permalink

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Open letter from Stanford Law faculty protesting the (mis)handling of the case of a law student who satirized the Federalist Society

Here.  (Earlier coverage.)

(Thanks to Bernadette Meyler for the pointer.)

June 5, 2021 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Friday, June 4, 2021

In Memoriam: Mary Kay Kane (1946-2021)

Longtime faculty member and Dean at the University of California, Hastings, where she was emeritus, Professor Kane was a leading expert on civil procedure.  Current Hastings Dean David Faigman's memorial announcement is here.

June 4, 2021 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Is the age bias in law school hiring a thing of the past?

In my other academic field, philosophy, it is quite common (indeed probably the norm) for faculty to make lateral moves later in their careers, rather than earlier:  faculty in their 50s and 60s frequently take tenured positions at peer or stronger departments.  When I started in law teaching in the early 1990s, this was very clearly not the case:  most lateral moves occurred 5-15 years into a teaching career, with lateral moves by faculty in their 50s, let alone 60s, almost unheard of, except for administrative appointments.  Yet just in the last couple of years, we've seen multiple lateral moves to peer or stronger schools by faculty age 55 and older.  For example:

Lateral faculty moving in their late 50s:  Curtis Bradley from Duke to Chicago; Robin Kundis Craig from Utah to Southern California; Mitu Gulati from Duke to Virginia; Ran Hirschl from Toronto to Texas; Nancy Kim from Cal Western to Chicago-Kent; Kimberly Krawiec from Duke to Virginia.

Lateral faculty moving in their 60s or older:   Naomi Cahn from George Washington to Virginia; Herbert Hovenkamp from Iowa to Penn; Lawrence Solum from Georgetown to Virginia; Gerald Torres from Cornell to Yale.

I may have missed some from the last two years that are also in these brackets, but this is fairly representative.

What explains this change in hiring practices?  I have a couple of hypotheses:

1.  As academic law as an interdisciplinary and scholarly field has matured, there is more appreciation for cumulative scholarly achievement over the long haul, with the result that more faculty with sustained achievement over decades are finding themselves in demand.

2.  The scholarly impact rankings that I started and Greg Sisk and colleagues at St. Thomas have continued--and which US News.com will now produce (and eventually incorporate into their rankings, I predict)--have probably enhanced the value of adding senior faculty with substantial scholarly profiles to a law faculty.  It may just be a coincidence that, for example, Virginia, which underperformed in the various impact studies, has hired a large number of high cited scholars in their 50s and 60s in recent years.

June 3, 2021 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice, Rankings | Permalink

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

"The Originalist Case for Inciting Insurrection" courtesy of the Stanford Federalist Society

UPDATE:  Stanford relents.  (The Stanford Law Dean has also sent a message to alumni noting that the Law School had nothing to do with this travesty.)

The Stanford Law student responsible for this very funny satire is now under investigation by Stanford, and his graduation is endangered!  What an embarrassment for Stanford!

Image

(Thanks to Jeremy Bearer-Friend for the pointer.)

June 2, 2021 in Legal Humor, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, May 27, 2021

"Why are so few law professors interested in antitrust?"

Lawprof, antitrust expert and Chicago alum Daniel Crane (Michigan) comments.

May 27, 2021 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

U Miami Law Dean Varona ousted by President and Provost effective July 1...

...and apparently without consultation with the faculty.  He moved to Miami just two years ago.  I don't know more at this stage, just that faculty were caught by surprise.

UPDATE:  More details here.

ANOTHER:  Another news item.

May 25, 2021 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, May 24, 2021

UIC John Marshall Law School to strike "John Marshall" from its name

Although the reason given is the historical John Marshall's racist views, I strongly suspect this will also have a positive effect on the school's peer evaluation scores in the USNEWS.COM rankings because of the  well-known halo effect of school names on scores (better to be a law school at the "University of Illinois" than a "John Marshall" law school).  (Recall the case of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles a few years back, where the loss of the brand known among law professors caused the reputation scores to plunge.)

UPDATE:  Derek Muller (Iowa) calls to my attention that the law school already got a huge boost in reputation score from the initial name change; we'll see if this new one has a further effect.

May 24, 2021 in Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

Friday, May 21, 2021

Judge at center of U of Toronto hiring scandal found by Judicial Council to have made a "serior error;" judge expresses "remorse"

(Earlier coverage.)  From the public announcement:

The Review Panel did find...that it was an error for Justice Spiro to raise such concerns [about the faculty candidate] in the manner he did. The judge properly recognized the mistakes he made and expressed remorse. The Review Panel found this error serious but that it did not warrant removal of Justice Spiro from office.

May 21, 2021 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

The class composition of the student body at Yale Law School...

MOVING TO FRONT FROM MAY 19--AFTER I POSTED THIS ORIGINALLY, YALE REMOVED THE REPORT; A YALE LAW STUDENT KINDLY SUPPLIED AN ALTERNATIVE LINK FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO READ THE REPORT

...and the effect of class background on the student experience.  As the report notes near the start, during the 2018-19 academic year,

"Students called out the 'whisper networks' and gamesmanship that funnel prized opportunities, like clerkships and Coker Fellowships, to those under the wings of a few connected faculty. Those networks were exposed for what they truly reward: savvy over skill, and privilege over equity."
   Some of this, of course, is the predictable consequence of the school not having grades, and it no
doubt disadvantages those less skilled at the upper-class arts of brown-nosing, social climbing etc.

May 21, 2021 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

In Memoriam: Christopher Stone (1937-2021)

A longtime member of the law faculty at the University of Southern California, Professor Stone was probably best-known for his contributions to environmental law.  The USC memorial notice is here.

(Thanks to Scott Altman for the pointer.)

May 19, 2021 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Monday, May 17, 2021

Lawsky's Entry-Level Hiring Report for 2021

Although Professor Lawsky will continue to update the report, an initial version is here.  A few notable results:

*There were 64 rookie hires, down from 88 last year.

*There were only 45 schools hiring, down from 66 last year.

*All rookie hires had some combination of a clerkship, a fellowship, and/or an advanced degree.  If I'm reading the data rightly, only one candidate got hired with only a clerkship.  88% of those hired had done a fellowship, and 45% of those hired had a PhD.

May 17, 2021 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News | Permalink

Entry-level hiring report: today is the last day to submit information...