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February 28, 2014

New York Times v. Sullivan fifty years later

What do you think?  I'm sure everyone would have their preferred wording, but I assume everyone can locate their own view in one of the three options below, so don't get hung up on the precise wording--choose the option closest to your view of the case and its legacy.  (The second and third options got chopped: the second should say "by requiring the plaintiff too prove too much" and the third  should conclude "into public figures who can be defamed with impunity".)

online survey software

Posted by Brian Leiter on February 28, 2014 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

February 26, 2014

Another law school offering major tuition incentives to residents in its part of the country

Tulsa.  I am told that maintaining "good standing" for purposes of these scholarships simply means "not failing out"!  So it is not some higher standard that poses a risk of losing the scholarship.

Posted by Brian Leiter on February 26, 2014 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

February 25, 2014

Where the NLJ 250 firms hire

Blog Emperor Caron reports on the brand new listing.  Some shuffling about, but basically the same as in prior years (Columbia, Harvard, Chicago, Penn almost always in the top five; NYU, Northwestern almost always in the top six; Stanford, Cornell, Duke, Berkeley almost always in the top ten; etc.).  Yale's typically weak performance is due to the fact that the NLJ 250 study does not capture graduates who go into clerkships, are doing PhDs, going into government service, joining elite litigation boutiques, and so on.

Posted by Brian Leiter on February 25, 2014 in Rankings | Permalink

February 24, 2014

In Memoriam: Theodore Eisenberg (1947-2014)

I am sorry to report the startling and unhappy news that Professor Eisenberg, a longtime member of the Cornell faculty and a pioneer in "empirical legal studies," has passed away.  The Cornell memorial notice is here.

Posted by Brian Leiter on February 24, 2014 in Faculty News, Memorial Notices | Permalink

February 21, 2014

Law schools with biggest drops in enrollment since 2010


Posted by Brian Leiter on February 21, 2014 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

February 20, 2014

In Memoriam: George Anastaplo

Loyola-Chicago law professor George Anastaplo passed away earlier this week.  He was 88.  He joined the Loyola faculty in 1981.  In addition to his work as a faculty member, he may be best known for being denied admission to the Illinois Bar because he refused to answer when the Bar asked whether he was a member of the Communist party.  He litigated the matter up to the Supreme Court where the Court ruled 5-4 that Illinois was within its rights to deny him membership.  

Updated to clarify eliminate any implication that Anastaplo was affiliated with the Communist party and to include a link to an obituary.

Posted by Dan Filler on February 20, 2014 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Law firm hiring, the latest NALP report for fall 2013

Good, not great:  much better than the depths of the recession, and holding steady or improving from last year in most parts of the country, but not close to being back to pre-recession levels (no surprise there).

Posted by Brian Leiter on February 20, 2014 in Legal Profession, Rankings, Student Advice | Permalink

February 19, 2014

Harvard's own survey of employers about what classes students should take

Here.  Unsurprisingly, "experiential" learning of the kind a minority is trying to force upon everyone does not loom large.

UPDATE:  Blog Emperor Caron breaks out charts showing the results.

Posted by Brian Leiter on February 19, 2014 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

February 18, 2014

A survey for academics and practitioners in the transactional/business law areas

Eric Talley (Berkeley) asked me to share this; it might shed some light on whether law schools are really equipped to offer the "experiential" learning that some are trying to mandate ill-advisedly.


To: Practitioners and Educators in Transactional/Business Law

From: Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy (BCLBE)

                        UC Berkeley School of Law

Re: Assessing skills/competencies for transactional attorneys

Date: 14 Feb. 2014

We write to ask two small (but important) favors of you that are directly related to law schools' pedagogical mission as well as the rapidly changing future of legal education.

As you may know, an ABA task force has recently proposed to establish minimum requirements within ABA-accredited law schools for "experiential" learning related to building practical skills and competencies. (Similar proposals are percolating up from state bar association task forces as well.)  We believe this endeavor to be an intriguing and important invitation for law schools to re-imagine how they deliver legal education, and on this basis we are generally supportive.  At the same time, a challenging question that the ABA and other task forces face is the question of what topics constitute "skills and competencies." Within business law, this challenge is perhaps greatest for attorneys whose practice is principally "transactional" in nature (in contrast to work that is oriented around litigation).  It is unclear how much input transactionally-oriented business law practitioners (attorneys, other professionals, educators) have had on the process of drafting the proposed guidelines, or whether there has been much systematic analysis of what topics constitute important "skills" for entering transactional attorneys. 

To address these gaps, we have developed an on-line survey instrument to help gauge what sorts of core competencies established professionals in transactional practice areas consider important.  We hope the results of the survey will help both practitioners and legal educators assess (and if necessary, work to amend) the current proposed guidelines.  Although largely directed to practicing attorneys, the survey is also open to other professionals who work closely with practicing attorneys in transactional practices (such as bankers, accountants, financial advisers, etc.).  

Here are the two favors we ask of you:

(1) Please take a few moments yourself to fill out the survey.  It will not take longer than 5-10 minutes of your time.
(2) Please ask your colleagues, partners, associates, co-workers, and other professional contacts to consider filling out the survey.  


The more input we can get from experts in the area the better advice we'll both receive and be able to give.

The survey is available on-line, at


When complete, results of the survey will be made available on the website for the Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy (BCLBE), at http://www.law.berkeley.edu/bclbe.htm.


Many thanks for considering this - we very much appreciate it.


Eric Talley

Faculty Co-Director, Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy

UC Berkeley

Posted by Brian Leiter on February 18, 2014 | Permalink

UCLA Law's student body now only about 3% African-American

Students have made a video about the experience; there is also a thoughtful response from Dean Moran at the end of the linked article.

Posted by Brian Leiter on February 18, 2014 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink