Friday, July 19, 2019

International ranking of law journals

A group of Israeli legal scholars undertook this quantitative and qualitative study,resulting in a tiered ranking of journals as A*, A, B, C and unranked.   One could quibble here and there, but it's a reasonably sensible result.

July 19, 2019 in Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

Thursday, July 18, 2019

This year's FAR form surprise

Last year it was the addition of the silly but harmless "student leadership" and "community service" sections, this year it's more consequential:   candidates can now upload their job talk papers along with their FAR form, CV and research agenda.  But of course many candidates are still polishing their job talk papers because they expected, reasonably enough, that they would have until the first FAR distribution in eary-to-mid-August to get them ready for circulation.   So I expect many candidates will not upload a job talk paper initially, and hiring schools shouldn't draw any adverse inferences from that given that AALS just sprung this on everyone.

It would be nice if the AALS would alert member schools well in advance of these changes, so we can advise candidates to prepare accordingly.

July 18, 2019 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers | Permalink

Faculty appointments committees for 2019-20... can announce yourselves (and your school's hiring priorities) here.

July 18, 2019 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers | Permalink

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

It's good the AALS has created a new website about careers in law teaching...

...but not so good that they simply pilfered Prof. Lawsky's data (without even crediting her by name).  Professor Lawksy comments here.

UPDATE:  This morning (July 17), James Greif, Director of Communications for the AALS wrote me, and gave me permission to share his message:

I noticed your post about our website “Becoming a Law Teacher” and wanted to let you know that not including Professor Lawsky’s name along with her data was an oversight on our part. We have reached out to her and are in the process of correcting the error on our site, per her updated post. Not recognizing her work was not our intention and proper attributions will be up shortly.

Thank you for your attention to this issue and your coverage of legal education issues on your blog.

ANOTHER:  It turns out there is other pilfered material on the new AALS law teaching website.  I have alerted them to it.  This may all be inadvertent, but it is still disgraceful for a professional organization.

July 16, 2019 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers | Permalink

Saturday, July 13, 2019

In Memoriam: James A. Henderson, Jr. (1938-2019)

A leading authority in the fields of torts and products liability, Professor Henderson taught for nearly thirty years at Cornell Law School.  The Cornell memorial notice is here.

(Thanks to Anita Bernstein for the pointer.)

July 13, 2019 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Why we need to read scholarship for ourselves and cannot rely on citation counts alone (Michael Simkovic)

Citation counts and other metrics can be a useful starting point for identifying scholarship and scholars that seem promising.  Such measures are quantitative, sortable, and rankable.  Metrics are quick and easy compared to the time-consuming effort of reading scholarship and forming an opinion of its merit based on expert knowledge of the underlying subject matter.  Some scholars argue that metrics should play a larger role in tenure and lateral hiring decisions—perhaps larger than qualitative assessments.  Metrics appear to be “objective” because they are external to an individual reader (although they are in fact subjective—they reflect many choices about what to cite). 

For the past two years, I’ve served on USC’s appointments committee, and I’ve read many academic articles.  My sense is that on average, scholars who are more highly cited tend to be qualitatively strong as well.  However, citations are a noisy signal of quality—some highly-cited work by highly-cited scholars is deeply flawed.  Conversely, some good work slips through the cracks.

While I wish to avoid embarrassing any particular individual—and will therefore avoid using names—I feel that it is necessary to provide illustrative examples.  I use these examples only because I encountered them recently, not because I have reason to believe they are the most egregious.

One extremely highly cited scholar at a reputable institution claimed that unrestricted e-cigarette marketing would improve public health.  The article did not acknowledge any potential downsides.[1]  

I've observed other scientifically questionable claims in the environmental and health law space.  A well-cited article advocating for more state and local environmental regulation and less federal oversight claimed that most environmental problems are local or state-specific.

I asked an expert on environmental science—a well-credentialed environmental engineer for the state of Vermont—about this claim and she wrote that it is:

“Unlikely. Groundwater, surface water, and contaminated air does not stop at state boundaries.”

It is therefore difficult to address issues like air or water quality purely at the state or local level; spillovers are incredibly common, especially along borders.  Air quality in China can reportedly affect the West Coast of the United States.  Similarly, many migratory animals have habitats that extend across state and even national lines. 

Continue reading

July 10, 2019 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic | Permalink

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

It's time to end life tenure on the U.S. Supreme Court

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Lateral hires with tenure or on tenure-track, 2018-19

These are non-clinical appointments that will take effect in 2019 (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.


*Sarah Adams-Schoen (land use, ocean & coastal law) from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock to the University of Oregon (untenured lateral).


*Jane Aiken (torts, evidence, experiential education) from Georgetown University to Wake Forest University (to become Dean).


*Mehrsa Baradaran (banking law, bankruptcy) from the University of Georgia to the University of California, Irvine.


*Kristen Barnes (property, housing law, international human rights, voting rights) from the University of Akron to Syracuse University. 


*Michael F. Barry (complex litigation, legal education & pedagogy) from St. Mary's University to South Texas College of Law (to become Dean and President).


*Valena E. Beety (criminal law & procedure) from West Virginia University to Arizona State University.


*Matt Blaze (computer and network security) from the University of Pennsylvania Department of Computer & Information Sciences to Georgetown University (joint appointment in Law and Computer Science).


*Mary Anne Bobinski (health law) from the University of British Columbia to Emory University (to become Dean).


*Pamela Bookman (contracts, civil procedure, arbitration) from Temple University to Fordham University (untenured lateral).


*Maureen Brady (property, land use, legal history) from the University of Virginia to Harvard University (untenured lateral).


*William Wilson Bratton (corporate law) from the University of Pennsylvania (where he will become emeritus) to the University of Miami (effective July 1, 2020).


*Khiara Bridges (race & the law, family law, reproductive rights) from Boston University to the University of California, Berkeley.


*Neil Buchanan (tax) from George Washington University to the University of Florida, Gainesville.


*Michael Cahill (criminal law) from Rutgers University back to Brooklyn Law School (to become Dean).


*Richard Chen (contracts, international law & arbitration) from the University of Maine to the University of Hawaii (untenured lateral).


*Albert Choi (law & economics, contracts, corporate) from the University of Virginia to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


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


*Zachary Clopton (civil procedure, international business transaction, national security law) from Cornell University to Northwestern University.


*G. Marcus Cole (bankruptcy, law & economics) from Stanford University to the University of Notre Dame (to become Dean).


*Blanche Cook (criminal law & procedure, evidence, critical race theory) from Wayne State University to the University of Kentucky.


*Giuseppe Dari Mattiacci (law & economics, comparative law, corporate law, contracts) from the University of Amsterdam to Columbia University.


*Danielle Conway (public procurement law, entrepreneurship, intellectual property) from the University of Maine (where she is Dean) to Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law (to become Dean).


*Lincoln Davies (energy law & policy) from the University of Utah to Ohio State University (to become Dean).


*Ryan Doerfler (legislation/statutory interpretation, administrative law, law & philosophy) from the University of Pennsylvania to the University of Chicago.


*Justin Driver (constitutional law) from the University of Chicago to Yale University.


*Trevor Gardner (criminal law) from the University of Washington, Seattle to Washington University, St. Louis (untenured lateral).


*Jonah Gelbach (law & economics, civil procedure, empirical legal studies) from the University of Pennsylvania to the University of California, Berkeley.


*Marc-Tizoc Gonzalez (property, critical race theory, poverty law) from St. Thomas University (Florida) to the University of New Mexico. 


*D. Wendy Greene (employment law, race & law, constitutional law) from Cumberland Law/Samford University to Drexel University.


*David Grewal (international trade, law & technology, political economy, political theory) from Yale University to the University of California, Berkeley.


*Vinay Harpalani (race & law, education law, constitutional law) from Savannah Law School to the University of New Mexico (untenured lateral).


*Jonathan Kahn (health law, bioethics, constitutional law, torts) from Mitchell|Hamline School of Law to Northeastern University.


*John Kang (constitutional law, law & gender, legal theory) from St. Thomas University (Florida) to the University of New Mexico.


*Orin Kerr (criminal procedure, computer crime law) from the University of Southern California to the University of California, Berkeley.


*Catherine Kim (civil procedure, administrative and immigration law) from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill to Brooklyn Law School.


*Anita Krug (securities regulation, financial regulation) from the University of Washington, Seattle to Chicago-Kent College of Law/Illinois Institute of Technology (to become Dean).


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


*Kate Levine (criminal law and procedure) from St. John's University to Cardozo Law School (untenured lateral).


*Myrisha Lewis (health law, bioethics, family law) from Howard University to the College of William & Mary (untenured lateral).


*Ji Li (Chinese law and politics) from Rutgers University to the University of California, Irvine.


*Leah Litman (constitutional law, federal courts) from the University of California, Irvine to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (untenured lateral).


*M. Elizabeth Magill (administrative law, constitutional law) from Stanford University to the University of Virginia (to become Provost).


*Andrea Matwyshyn (law & technology, cybersecurity, privacy, intellectual property) from Northeastern University to Pennsylvania State University, University Park (where she will also be founding director of the Policy Innovation Lab of Tomorrow).


*James McGrath (legal education & pedagogy, health law) from Texas A&M University to Western Michigan University Cooley Law School (to become President and Dean).


*Ralf Michaels (comparative law, conflicts of law) from Duke University to the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and Private International Law (Hamburg).


*Daniel Morales (immigration law) from DePaul University to the University of Houston.


*Rachel Moran (education law, civil rights, race & the law) from the University of California, Los Angeles to the University of California, Irvine.


*Minor Myers (corporate law) from Brooklyn Law School to the University of Connecticut, Hartford.


Continue reading

July 2, 2019 in Faculty News | Permalink