Friday, February 28, 2020

Fellowships for Aspiring Law Professors

The Blog Emperor has updated his useful list.

February 28, 2020 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers | Permalink

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The meaningless "Primary Research Group" survey of "law faculty and staff"

This "survey" has been making the rounds, despite being obviously meaningless:  it is based on a survey of 96 "faculty and staff" in the U.S. and Canada.  Only 96! There are some 8,000 law faculty in the United States alone, and I would guess that the 16 law schools in Canada have another 800-1,000 academic staff as well.

February 27, 2020 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

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.

 

*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.

 

*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).

 

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

 

*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).

 

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

 

*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.

 

*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).

 

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

Continue reading

February 26, 2020 in Faculty News | Permalink

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Regarding memorial notices

It is not possible to record the passing of every member of the legal academic community.  I try only to post memorial notices for faculty who are likely to be nationally known for their work.  I'm sure I sometimes make mistakes of omission, for which my apologies.

February 25, 2020 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Monday, February 24, 2020

Concordia Law in Idaho to become part of Concordia University in Minnesota...

Friday, February 21, 2020

"What makes the San Diego originalism conference so good"...

...as described by my colleague Will Baude also explains exactly what makes the AALS annual meetings so worthless from an intellectual point of view.   The annual Analytic Legal Philosophy conferences used to be good in this way too for the first ten years or so, although not so much anymore unfortunately.

February 21, 2020 in Jurisprudence, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, February 20, 2020

What do you need to find out now that you've gotten a tenure-track offer?

MOVING TO FRONT FROM DECEMBER 12, 2019 (ORIGINALLY POSTED NOVEMBER 24, 2009--I HAVE UPDATED CERTAIN NUMBERS)--SEE ALSO THE COMMENTS, WHICH HAVE HELPFUL ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS

With luck, some of you seeking law teaching jobs will get offers of tenure-track positions in the next couple of months; a handful of offers have already been extended this season (2019-20).  What then?  Here's roughly what I tell the Chicago job candidates we work with that they need to find out, and in the interest of having it written down in one place and for the benefit of others too, here it is (not in order of importance):

1.  You will want to get (in writing eventually) the basic salary information, obviously, and the nature of summer research support and the criteria for its award (is it automatic for junior faculty?  contingent on prior publication [if so, how much?]?  awarded competitively (if so, based on what criteria/process)?).   You should also find out how salary raises are determined.  Are they, for example, lock-step for junior faculty?  Fixed by union contract?  (Rutgers faculty, for example, are unionized, a huge advantage and why they are among the best-paid faculty, not just in law, in the country.)  Is it a 'merit' system, and if so is it decanal discretion or is their a faculty committee that reviews your teaching and work each year?

2.  You should ask for a copy of the school's tenure standards and get clear about the expectations and the timeline.  Does any work you have already published count towards meeting the tenure standard?

3.  What research leave policy, if any, does the school have?  A term off after every three full years of teaching is a very good leave policy; some schools have even better policies, most have less generous leave policies.  (If there is a norm, it is a term off after every six years.)  Many schools have a special leave policy for junior faculty, designed to give them some time off prior to the tenure decision.  Find out if the school has such a policy.

4.  One of the most important things to be clear about is not just your teaching load, but what courses you will be teaching precisely.  You should ask whether the school can guarantee a stable set of courses until after the tenure decision.  Preparing new courses is hugely time-consuming, and you also get better at teaching the course the more times you do it.  As a tenure-track faculty member, having a stable package of, say, three courses (plus a seminar) will make a huge difference in terms of your ability to conduct research and write.   In my experience, most schools will commit in writing to a set of courses for the tenure-track years (and do ask for this in writing), but some schools either won't or can't.   In my view, it's a good reason to prefer one school to another that one will give you the courses you want and promise them that they're yours, while another won't--a consideration that overrides lots of other factors, including salary.

Continue reading

February 20, 2020 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers | Permalink | Comments (14)

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

In Memoriam: Francis McGovern (1945-2020)

A longtime member of the Duke law faculty, he was also a regular visiting professor of law at the University of California, Hastings.   He was an expert on products liability and mass tort litigation, and served as the court-appointed "special master" in many major tort cases involving opioids, silicone implants asbetos, lead paint and others.  I will add links to memorial notices when they appear.

(Thanks to Scott Dodson for the information.)

February 18, 2020 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Monday, February 17, 2020

Technology and lawyer's work

Article here, including interesting obserevations from Dean Jennifer Mnookin (UCLA).

February 17, 2020 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Student Advice | Permalink

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Novartis demands a 15% discount from its outside law firms unless they put more women and minority lawyers to work on Novartis legal matters (Michael Simkovic)

Bloomberg reports that Novartis AG, a Swiss Pharmaceutical firm with a Market Capitalization in excess of 220 billion USD and U.S. headquarters in Boston, is demanding that its U.S.-based outside law firms ensure that at least 30 percent of associate billable hours on Novartis matters are completed by associates who are female or members of racial minority groups or LGBTQ+ groups, and that at least 20 percent of partner billable hours are completed by partners who are members of such minority groups.  Any firm that does not meet these diversity targets will face demands from Novartis for an across the board 15 percent write down on its legal bill. The announcement of the policy is available here.

Under the new policy, above the 70 percent cap on straight-white-male associate hours, such non-minority associates would have to bill at least 4000 hours per year to be as financially valuable to Novartis's law firms as women or minorities billing 2000 hours per year on Novartis matters.

Novartis's policy represents a creative approach by Corporate Counsel to both cut costs and promote diversity.  Recent research suggests that much of the difference in employment outcomes between male and female law firm associates is attributable to men billing more hours, bringing in more revenue, and having greater aspirations to make partner.  The research could not rule out the possibility that law firms provided female associates fewer opportunities to bill hours. 

Affirmative action is generally legal under Swiss law.  The U.S. has historically been more permissive of affirmative action by private employers than by public employers or universities, but the legality of the policy above could potentially be challenged under more recent case law which imposes more limits on affirmative action and was decided under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which also applies to private employers.

However, standing and evidentiary issues could make a legal challenge to the new policy unlikely. Law firms are unlikely to sue a major client.  A suit would therefore have to be brought by an associate who was dismissed or denied a promotion or bonus at one of Novartis’s outside law firms.  The plaintiff would have to prove that he did not get enough work at the law firm specifically because of Novartis’s policy and that this led to adverse outcomes at his law firm.  The law firm and Novartis would both have incentives to point to other potential reason for the plaintiff's dismissal or lower pay.

Were policies similar to Novartis's diversity policy to become widespread among corporate clients, straight-white-men intent on career advancement at law firms could potentially claim LGBTQ+ status--which includes those who report that they are bisexual, asexual or questioning their sexuality. Evidentiary issues and basic privacy concerns would make it difficult for private employers to challenge such claims.  (However, courts have historically considered the factual truth of LGBTQ+ claims in asylum cases by requiring evidence of stereotypically effeminate behavior.  Social scientists say such behavior has little relation to LGBTQ+ status.  Courts have also asked asylum seekers to tell their "coming out" stories).

Widespread adoption of aggressive diversity targets could also raise questions about how much of one's ancestry would have to originate with individuals who were racial or ethnic minorities to claim minority status, and what kind of proof of such status would be required (i.e., self-report, an expert genealogy report, genetic testing, community involvement, or physical features stereotypically associated with racial minorities). Controversies related to similar issues have been raised to criticize Harvard law professor, Massachusetts Senator, and Democratic Presidential primary candidate Elizabeth Warren for claiming Native American ancestry based on family oral tradition and a small amount of Native American DNA. 

Issues of racial identity and passing were memorialized in a novel by Pulitzer Prize winning author Philip Roth, about a light skinned black man who passes for Jewish in the 1950s, only to see his career derailed in the 1990s by false accusations of racism brought by students who he calls out for repeatedly skipping his class. 

Aggressive diversity targets would also raise questions about whether Portuguese or white Spanish or Brazilian or Sephardic Jewish ancestry would entitle an individual to claim hispanic or latino status.

The Novartis Group General Counsel is Shannon T. Klinger, a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill and former attorney at Mayer Brown.  The U.S. General Counsel of Novartis AG is Elizabeth G. McGee, a graduate of Fordham Law School and a former attorney at Mayer Brown.

February 13, 2020 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic | Permalink

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Law review EICs at the top 16 law schools are all currently women

A conference in their honor was recently held in Washington, DC.  (Top 16, by the way, is a far more sensible demarcation than "top 14," which designates nothing of significance in the real world.)

February 12, 2020 in Legal Profession, Rankings | Permalink

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Blog Emperor links to "the College Fix" regarding his pet issue du jour

Here.  (The College Fix is part of the right-wing media-sphere devoted to attacking universities.)   Here's the relevant part of my exchange with the student author, Troy Sargent, of the College Fix piece now deemed newsworthy.

Mr. Sargent:  I am a reporter with the College Fix and appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.  What do you think of the underrepresentation of Christians in law? Are you aware of any other statistics regarding the religious beliefs of professors in other disciplines? Do you think this qualifies as "disparate impact"?

 

BL:  Christian believers are overrepresented in the legal academy compared not only to other academic disciplines but compared to law professors in, for example, England, which even has an established Church.   For data on the former, see this.

Continue reading

February 11, 2020 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, February 10, 2020

Who controls a journal: the editorial board or the publisher?

The entire editorial board of the European Law Journal has resigned in a dispute with publisher, Wiley, over who the new editors will be.   Legally, it looks like Wiley can appoint the editors, but the credibility of the journal is now shattered.

(Thanks to Matt Kramer for the pointer.)

February 10, 2020 in Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

Thursday, February 6, 2020

The need for standards governing the correction of errors in digital publications

Professor Janet Sinder (Brooklyn) discusses.

February 6, 2020 in Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Leshem v. University of Southern California

We recently noted an open letter regarding irregularities in Professor Leshem's tenure review, which is the subject of on-going litigation.   Here is Professor Leshem's most recent brief in the legal case:  Download Opening Brief Leshem (highlights added)

And here is USC's response:  Download 200204 Respondent's Brief dtd 2-4-20

February 5, 2020 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, February 3, 2020

"Academic feeder judges"

This is useful, from Professor Howard Wasserman (Florida International University).  Note that it includes judges who are no longer on the bench, as well as many who still are.

February 3, 2020 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Professional Advice, Rankings | Permalink

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Rostron & Levit's guide to submitting to law reviews updated

Their message follows:

Dear Colleagues,

We  just updated our charts about law journal submissions, expedites, and rankings from different sources for the Spring 2020 submission season covering the 203 main journals of each law school. 

We have created hyperlinks for each law review to take you directly to the law review’s submissions page. Again the chart includes as much information as possible about what law reviews are not accepting submissions right now and what months they say they’ll resume accepting submissions. 

There has been some change in law reviews’ submission preferences:  Now 74 schools prefer or require Scholastica as the exclusive avenue for submissions (15 more say Scholastica or email), 42 law journals prefer direct emails, and 10 law reviews prefer or require submission through ExpressO (19 more say ExpressO or email), with 13 accepting articles submitted through either ExpressO or Scholastica, and 22 accepting through ExpressO, Scholastica, or email. Seven schools now have their own online web portals.  Four schools have an all-symposia format. (This adds up to more than 203, because several of the schools with an all-symposia format welcome symposia proposals.

Continue reading

January 30, 2020 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Professional Advice | Permalink