Friday, December 14, 2018

More on the Kesan case at Illinois

This time in CHE, with additional details about the complainants and Professor Kesan's creepy behavior.   The title of the article suggest something "went wrong," but I confess that's not obvious beyond the fact that it took far too long for the investigation to conclude.   His behavior, which is damning in its own right, doesn't appear rise to the level of "hostile climate" sexual harassment (at least not on the record that is public), as the investigation concluded.   The University could adjust its sexual harassment rules to cover cases like this, but as it is, he was found to have violated other university rules and sanctioned.   Did he reform his behavior subsequently?  That we don't know.

December 14, 2018 in Faculty News, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Nevada's Boyd School of Law celebrates 20 years

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Taking the LSAT will soon become more convenient (Michael Simkovic)

LSAC is rolling out several initiatives to make the LSAT more accessible, including a tablet-based version of the test that will increase the number and type of facilities that can serve as test administration centers, and will pave the way for more frequent test administration.  LSAT takers will also be able to take the essay portion of the exam from home through "remote proctoring."

LSAC is also offering free online LSAT test preparation and practice questions.

A competing standardized test that is less universally accepted for law school admission, the GRE, is available at administration centers on an almost continuous basis.

Bar examiners might want to consider investing in technology to increase the frequency with which the bar is administered and reduce the amount of time it takes to grade.  

 

December 12, 2018 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Law in Cyberspace, Ludicrous Hyperbole Watch, Of Academic Interest, Student Advice, Web/Tech | Permalink

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

ABA approves Illinois/Chicago acquisition of John Marshall Law School

Details.  Assuming tuition is set at more typical levels for public law schools in Illinois, that, together with the University of Illinois brand, will change the legal education marketplace in Chicago, especially for the Chicago private schools like DePaul, Chicago-Kent, and Loyola/Chicago.

December 11, 2018 in Legal Profession | Permalink

Monday, December 10, 2018

$33 million gift to U of Michigan Law School

The Michigan press release here.

December 10, 2018 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Thomas Jefferson Law School on the brink

An account of the school's troubles from a local San Diego paper.

December 4, 2018 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Saturday, December 1, 2018

AAUP investigation of Vermont Law School for "eviscerating tenure" could jeopardize Vermont's reaccreditation (Michael Simkovic)

The American Association of University Professors recently authorized an investigation of Vermont Law School following a restructuring that stripped most of Vermont's tenured faculty members of tenure and slashed their pay.  The restructuring was reportedly undertaken without sufficient evidence of financial exigency and did not follow proper procedures.  I've previously noted that if allegations prove true, this restructuring could present challenges for Vermont when it seeks to renew its ABA accreditation because the restructuring may violate ABA standard 405.  A negative report from the AAUP could influence the ABA site visit team and the Section on Legal Education.  Vermont's next site visit is scheduled for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Even without regulatory action, a negative report could severely damage Vermont's academic reputation.  Vermont remains home to well-respected legal scholars, such as Jennifer Taub, but since the restructuring the overwhelming majority of its classes are taught by adjuncts and lecturers.

AAUP's announcement of the investigation appears below:

Continue reading

December 1, 2018 in Faculty News, Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Student Advice | Permalink

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Law Deans at Hastings, San Diego, and UCLA ask: why is California failing more bar takers than any other state?

It's a good question.  It obviously isn't because the quality of law practice is better in California than elsewhere.

November 29, 2018 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

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

MOVING TO FRONT FROM NOVEMBER 7 (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 (2018-19).  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

November 27, 2018 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers | Permalink | Comments (14)

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Eleven lateral moves that made law professors take notice during 2017-18

Judging from my inbox and other conversations, these were the lateral moves during 2017-18 that readers thought were most significant, for either the hiring or the losing school, and sometimes both. 

*William Boyd (environmental law, energy law) from the University of Colorado, Boulder to the University of California, Los Angeles.

 

*Samuel Bray (remedies, property, constitutional law) from the University of California, Los Angeles to the University of Notre Dame.

 

*Anupam Chander (law & technology, international trade) and Madhavi Sunder (intellectual property, gender & the law), both from the University of California, Davis to Georgetown University.

 

*Melissa J. Durkee (international law, transnational law, corporate) from the University of Washington, Seattle to the University of Georgia.

 

*Victor Fleischer (tax, corporate law) from the University of San Diego to the University of California, Irvine.

 

*Andrew Gold (private law theory, fiduciary law, corporate) from DePaul University to Brooklyn Law School.

 

*Gillian Hadfield (law & economics, contracts, institutional design, regulation of markets) from the University of Southern California to the University of Toronto.

 

*Justin McCrary (law & economics, empirical legal studies, corporate) from the University of California, Berkeley to Columbia University.

 

*Melissa Murray (family law, law & sexuality) from the University of California, Berkeley to New York University.

 

*Anne Joesph O'Connell (administrative law) from the University of California, Berkeley to Stanford University. 

 

*Angela Onwuachi-Willig (employment law, family law, civil rights, law & race) from the University of California, Berkeley to Boston University (to become Dean)

November 21, 2018 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

USNews.com to change the way it ranks law schools in specialties

Blog Emperor Caron has the details.  The existing specialty rankings are mostly garbage, bearing little relationship to faculty quality in the area, but quite a lot to how well a school advertises having a "program."   Will this new method be better?  Probably not, but we'll see.

November 20, 2018 in Rankings | Permalink

Friday, November 16, 2018

UCLA Law Prof Sander sues University of California seeking anonymized admissions records to determine whether the university is still considering race in admissions

IHE has the details.

November 16, 2018 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Berkeley Law to drop the "Boalt Hall" name

A sensible explanation from Berkeley Dean Erwin Chemerinsky.

November 15, 2018 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

In Memoriam: Alan Watson (1933-2018)

A leading authority on Roman law, legal history, and comparative law, Professor Watson taught for many years at the University of Georgia and, prior to that, at the University of Pennsylvania.  The Georgia memorial notice is here.

November 14, 2018 in Memorial Notices | Permalink