Saturday, February 24, 2024

Penn faculty hearing board recommended sanctions for Amy Wax last summer; she is appealing

The recommended sanctions consist in "a one-year suspension at half pay, the removal of her named chair and summer pay, and a requirement for Wax to note in public appearances that she is not speaking on behalf or as a member of Penn Carey Law."  Only the last requirement (that she make clear she does not speak for the law school) is unproblematic.  It is unclear at this stage what precise "behavior" prompted the other sanctions, but it seems almost certain that Penn is punishing her for her offensive extramural speech, which is protected by her academic freedom rights.  (As I have noted before, only two incidents could, in principle, be sanctioned consistent with her academic freedom rights:  her denigration of the competence of an identifiable segment of the Penn student body [which was already sanctioned by then Dean Ruger]; and her invitation of a racist know-nothing to a law school class.  I strongly suspect the sanctions were not confined to these incidents.)

If Professor Wax loses her appeal, I would expect her to sue for breach of contract.

February 24, 2024 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Lateral hires with tenure or on tenure-track, 2023-24

These are non-clinical appointments that will take effect in summer or fall 2024 (except where noted); (recent additions will be in bold.)  Last year's list is here.

 

*Bethany Berger (property, American Indian law, conflicts of law) from the University of Connecticut to the University of Iowa.

 

*Sarah Burstein (intellectual property, design law) from Suffolk University to Illinois Institute of Technology/Chicago-Kent College of Law.

 

*Jenny Carroll (criminal law & procedure) from the University of Alabama to Texas A&M University.

 

*Robert Chang (Critical Race Theory; race, ethnicity & law) from Seattle University to the University of California, Irvine.

 

*Harlan Cohen (international trade, international law) from the University of Georgia to Fordham University (effective January 2024).

 

*James Coleman (energy law) from Southern Methodist University to the University of Minnesota.

 

*Keith Cunningham-Parmeter (labor & employment law, contracts) from Willamette University to Lewis & Clark (effective January 2024).

 

*Marc DeGirolami (law & religion, constitutional law) from St. John's University to Catholic University (effective January 2024).

 

*William Dodge (international business transactions, international litigation & arbitration, contracts) from the University of California, Davis to George Washington University.

 

*Jelani Jefferson Exum (criminal law & procedure) from the University of Detroit Mercy (where she is Dean) to St. John's University (to become Dean).

 

*Roger A. Fairfax, Jr. (criminal law & procedure, criminal justice administration) from American University (where he is Dean) to Howard University (to become Dean).

 

*Brian Gallini (criminal law) from Willamette University (where he is Dean) to Quinnipiac University (to become Dean).

 

*David Gamage (tax) from Indiana University, Bloomington to the University of Missouri, Columbia (effective January 2024).

 

*Andrew Gold (corporate, torts, private law theory) from Brooklyn Law School to the University of California, Irvine.

 

*Julie Andersen Hill (commercial law, banking law) from the University of Alabama to the University of Wyoming (to become Dean).

 

*George Horvath (health law, torts) from the University of Akron to the University of California, San Francisco (untenured lateral).

 

*Charles Jalloh (international law) from Florida International University to the University of Miami.

 

*Daniel Kelly (law & economics, property, trusts & estates, remedies) from the University of Notre Dame to the University of St. Thomas (Minneapolis) (to become Dean).

 

*J.D. King (criminal procedure, professional responsibility) from Washington & Lee University to Rutgers University (effective January 2024).

 

*Edward Lee (intellectual property, law & technology) from Chicago-Kent College of Law to Santa Clara University.

 

*Gary Lawson (administrative law, constitutional law) from Boston University to the University of Florida, Gainesville.

 

*Stefanie Lindquist (empirical legal studies, constitutional law) from Arizona State University to Washington University, St. Louis (to become Dean).

Continue reading

February 21, 2024 in Faculty News | Permalink

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Against the ABA proposal to increased required "experiential" learning credits

Lawprof Joshua Silverstein's submission to the ABA raises some interesting issues:  Download Silverstein Josh Comments Attachments re. Std 303 (and see also the attachments, including letters from then Stanford Dean Magill and UVA Dean Mahoney about the last proposal to increase the "experiential" learning requirement).

(Earlier coverage.)

February 20, 2024 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, February 19, 2024

Paul Campos, University of Colorado settle lawsuit

The lawsuit noted last summer has settled, it appears on the basis of the retaliation claim.  Professor Campos received $60,000, and his law firm received $100,000.

On the retaliation allegation, Professor Kerr had surmised last summer that the University would argue that removing Campos from a committee assignment wasn't retaliation for his complaining of discrimination because "Campos had said he anticipated suing the university because the evaluations committee had discriminated against him. That's the same committee he was set to join...."  That surmise turned out to be incorrect.  As a Colorado law professor (who sent the settlement to me) pointed out, "The evaluation committee he'd been assigned to wasn't the same committee (meaning with the same members) as had evaluated him."  Even when the underlying discrimination claim is without merit, retaliation claims are often winners (and have become easier to win since this SCOTUS decision).   (Campos, in his self-serving blog post about this, noted that the settlement agreement was not confidential, but did not disclose the amount he actually got, and I suppose we now know why.)

Continue reading

February 19, 2024 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Fellowships/VAPs for aspiring law professors

The Blog Emperor has updated his valuable listing.

February 13, 2024 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers | Permalink

Monday, February 12, 2024

Judges throws out lawsuit brought by Hastings descendents against UC San Francisco College of Law

Story here; the key bit:

A judge found that an 1878 California law saying the state’s law school in San Francisco “shall forever be known” as Hastings College of the Law was not a binding contract, but simply an ordinary statute that future lawmakers were free to amend or repeal.

February 12, 2024 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

ABA establishes "free speech" standards for law school accreditation purposes

Story here; an excerpt:

Law schools will now be asked to explicitly protect free speech rights for faculty, students and staff as part of the ABA accreditation process. Though law school faculty have long enjoyed protections for academic freedom, this would be the first accreditation standard to address free speech for the entire community within law schools.

The ABA House of Delegates on Monday voted in favor of the creation of the law school standards regarding academic freedom and freedom of expression at its midyear meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.

Resolution 300 was brought by the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. It calls for the adoption of Standard 208, which requires law schools to “protect the rights of faculty, students and staff to communicate ideas that may be controversial or unpopular, including through robust debate, demonstrations or protests.” It does not provide specific policy language.

Just as a sidenote, what's new here is the protection for free speech rights, not academic freedom, which faculty already enjoy in almost all (maybe all) law schools by contract or as a matter of constitutional right at public law schools.  Under the AAUP definition of academic freedom, faculty are protected from sanction for their extramural speech, e.g., on political or other topics.  In effect, this new provision appears to extend that protection to students and staff at a law school. 

February 7, 2024 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Harvard Law latest school to announce a free ride for students based on economic need

How many students will actually be affected by this is unclear from the announcement.

February 6, 2024 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, February 5, 2024

In Memoriam: Dan L. Burk (1962-2024)

A founding member of the law faculty at the University of California, Irvine, Professor Burk taught prior to that at the University of Minnesota and Seton Hall University.  He was a leading scholar in intellectual property and Cyberlaw (or "Internet law" as it was called when he was one of the first to write about it).  I will add links to memorial notices when they appear.

UPDATE:  A very nice remembrance from Lawprof Eric Goldman (Santa Clara).

ANOTHER:  UC Irvine's memorial notice.

February 5, 2024 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

San Francisco City Attorney subpoenas USNews.com over its hospital rankings...

...suspecting conflicts of interest, and USNews.com sues claiming violation of its First Amendment right to mislead consumers (OK, they left out the "mislead consumers" part).  As we've noted before, prevailing in a lawsuit against USNews.com would be difficult.

February 5, 2024 in Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

In Memoriam: Marshall S. Shapo (1936-2023)

I only just learned of Professor Shapo's death in December.   He was a longtime member of the law faculty at Northwestern University, where he was emeritus, and a leading scholar in the fields of torts and products liability.  The Northwestern memorial notice is here.

January 31, 2024 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

More on SCOTUS clerks and academia

A propos yesterday's post about the new half-million dollar signing bonuses for SCOTUS clerks and Professor Gordon's suggestion that this probably explains why we seem to be seeing fewer former SCOTUS clerks on the academic job market, Professor Sarah Lawsky (Northwestern) shared this useful graphs based on the data she collects on the rookie job market:

SCtClerks (002)

Obviously the total numbers are small, but it's clear there are fewer clerks taking law teaching jobs in the last few years than a decade ago.

 

January 30, 2024 in Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, January 29, 2024

$500,000 is the new "norm" for signing bonuses for Supreme Court clerks

Wow!  Perhaps some empirical legal studies scholars will examine whether hiring SCOTUS clerks really confers the appellate advantage some firms seem to think they do.

UPDATE:  Professor Jeff Gordon (Columbia) writes:  

Don't you think that one consequence of these lavish bonuses for Sup Ct clerks has been a marked fall off in the number of entry level profs who have clerked on the Court?  Yes, there is an interdisciplinary turn  which is inconsistent with the now 3 year path to the Sup Ct, but -- it's hard to turn down $500K for the $75K (maybe) in an academic fellowship with uncertain prospects thereafter.  

I suspect this is right, and while I haven't scrutinized the data systematically, it comports with my own impression of the rookie market in recent years (the SCOTUS clerks we do see typically have been out for several years).   Thoughts from readers?

January 29, 2024 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink | Comments (3)