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June 29, 2017

Law schools that made multiple lateral hires with tenure during 2016-17

Based on our running list, these law schools made at least three lateral hires with tenure this year:

Georgetown University:  Sheila Foster from Fordham University; Brad Snyder from the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Urska Velikonja from Emory University.


Rutgers University:  Sahar Aziz from Texas A&M University; Rachel Godsil from Seton Hall University; Rosa Villazor from the University of California, Davis.


University of California, Berkeley:  Adam Badawi from Washington University, St. Louis; Erwin Chemerinsky from the University of California, Irvine (as Dean); Catherine Fisk from the University of California, Irvine; Frank Partnoy from the University of San Diego.


University of New Hampshire:  Megan Carpenter from Texas A&M University (as Dean); Tonya Evans from Widener Commonwealth University; Ryan Vacca from the University of Akron.


University of Pennsylvania:  Allison Hoffman from the University of California, Los Angeles; David Hoffman from Temple University; Herbert Hovenkamp from the University of Iowa.


University of Southern California:  Orin Kerr from George Washington University; Michael Simkovic from Seton Hall University; Franita Tolson from Florida State University. 

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 29, 2017 in Faculty News | Permalink

June 23, 2017

Least educated county on Oregon's Pacific Coast shuts its last public library rather than increase taxes by $6 per month per household (Michael Simkovic)

Douglas County in rural Oregon recently shut its last public library rather than increase property taxes by around $6 per month per household.  Less than 16 percent of the population of Douglas County has a bachelor's degree or above, making it the third least educated county on the Pacific Coast of the United States and the least educated coastal county in Oregon. 


Across the Pacific, cities like Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai have built globally competitive workforces by investing heavily in education and infrastructure and embracing global trade.  In the United States, excessive anti-tax movements have contributed to disinvestment and have slowed U.S. economic growth.


Update:  Michelle Anderson (Stanford) and David Schleicher (Yale) debate policy responses to local economic decline and migration of educated populations away from depressed areas.  Hat tip Paul Diller. (Willamette).


Posted by Michael Simkovic on June 23, 2017 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Of Academic Interest, Science, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink

June 21, 2017

House Democrats propose bill to reduce debt burden for graduate students (Michael Simkovic)

Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) (Pasadena) recently introduced H.R. 2526, the Protecting Our Students by Terminating Graduate Rates that Add to Debt (POST GRAD) Act. The bill would restore the in-school interest subsidy for graduate and professional students who borrow federal Direct Stafford Loans.  

Federal in-school subsidies were terminated by The Budget Control Act in 2011, which ended the debt ceiling crisis of 2011.  During the debt ceiling crisis of 2011, Congressional Republicans successfully maneuvered for large cuts to federal spending (other than military spending and pension and health benefits for retirees) by threatening to force the federal government to default on its sovereign debt unless then President Obama agreed to large spending cuts.

The POST GRAD Act would reduce the disparity between funding policy for graduate education and undergraduate education by reinstating graduate students’ eligibility for federal subsidized student loans, although graduate student borrowers, who have lower default rates, would continue to pay a higher interest rate after they complete their studies.

Christopher P. Chapman, CEO of the AccessLex Institute, estimated that the bill would save the typical law student $4,000 if passed.  

If the interest rate subsidy encourages more investment in graduate education, it could more than pay for itself with higher future tax revenue.


UPDATE:  The New America Foundation, which has close ties to the private student loan industry, has condemned proposals to reduce federal student loan interest rates.   NAF claims that the immediate benefits of higher education financing only benefit a "small majority" of households and therefore are bad policy.  New America argues that an increased military presence in Syria, Iraq and surrounding countries would be a better use of taxpayer dollars.


UPDATE 2, 6/30/2017: The New York Law Journal covers efforts to reduce student loan interest rates for graduate students.

Posted by Michael Simkovic on June 21, 2017 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Of Academic Interest, Science | Permalink

New personal homepage

I've got a new personal homepage, courtesy of graphic designer Patrick Hennessey.  If you like his work for academic homepages (see also Monique Wonderly's page, which he also designed), consider hiring him:  more information, including contact information here.

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 21, 2017 in Navel-Gazing | Permalink

June 13, 2017

In Memoriam: Herma Hill Kay (1934-2017)

The lovely memorial notice sent out by Berkeley's Interim Dean Melissa Murray is below the fold:


It is with a very heavy heart that I write to share the sad news that our dear friend and colleague, Herma Hill Kay, the Barbara Nachtrieb Armstrong Professor of Law and former Dean of Boalt Hall, passed away Saturday, June 10, 2017, in her sleep.  

Herma was on the Boalt faculty for 57 years, from 1960 to 2017.  She served as Dean of Boalt Hall from 1992 to 2000—the first woman to lead a top ten U.S. law school.  Over the course of her long career, Herma made enormous contributions to the law, to women in the law, to the Law School, and to the Berkeley campus.  

Herma received her B.A., from Southern Methodist University in 1956 and her J.D. from the University of Chicago School of Law in 1959.  Prior to joining the academy, she served as a law clerk to Justice Roger Traynor of the California Supreme Court.

Raised in rural South Carolina, Herma decided she wanted to be a lawyer when she was in the sixth grade.  Her mother told her: “Don’t be silly, you can’t make a living as a lawyer—you’ll get married.”  Years later, Karl Llewellyn, then a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, told her that she didn’t belong in law school.  Nevertheless, she persisted.  Undaunted by these experiences, Herma was a stellar student, served as an editor on the law review, and worked as a research assistant for Brainerd Currie, with whom she co-authored two leading articles.  Indeed, Justice Roger Traynor hired her as a clerk on Currie’s recommendation. 

Herma’s career at Berkeley Law is the stuff of legends.  She was the second woman hired to the Boalt faculty.  She was hired when the first woman, Barbara Armstrong, announced plans to retire.  At Boalt, she was a much-admired professor of Family Law, Conflicts of Law, Sex-Based Discrimination, and California Marital Property Law.  Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote of Herma: 

“Herma has spearheaded countless endeavors to shape the legal academy and the legal profession to serve all the people the law exists (or should exist) to serve, and to make law genuinely protective of women’s capacity to chart their own life’s course.”

Herma’s interest in expanding women’s opportunities would be felt throughout the Law School and the legal profession.  During her tenure at Boalt, the number of women students increased from a small handful to over fifty percent of the class.  As Professor Eleanor Swift recounts:

“[Herma’s] mentoring of women law students and young faculty opened the door to legal careers that simply did not exist before she and other women of her generation began to imagine them.  The women law professors whom she mentored throughout her career constitute her enduring legacy to the law and to legal education.”

Herma’s influence as a scholar can be felt in the fields of Family Law, Conflicts of Law, and Anti-Discrimination Law.  As part of Governor Edmund Brown’s 1966 Commission on the Family, she was pivotal in shepherding California’s shift to “no-fault” divorce, a move that was later adopted in almost every American jurisdiction.  As I observed in a California Law Review symposium dedicated to Herma:  “She literally transformed the legal landscape of American family life.  In the late 1960s and 1970s, as a revolution in substantive sex equality was sweeping California, Herma was at its center.”

Herma was a co-author of the leading casebooks on Sex Discrimination and Law and Conflict of Laws.  Her casebook on Sex Discrimination in the Law, which she co-authored with Kenneth Davidson and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was the first published course material in the field.  Herma also served as a Co-Reporter of the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act in 1968.  She published numerous articles and book chapters on subjects including sexual discrimination and the law, conflict of law, family law, divorce, adoption, reproductive rights, and representing under-represented women.  At the time of her death, she was nearing completion of a history of women in law teaching between 1900 and 2000.  The first part of this work recounts the stories of the fourteen women appointed to a law faculty in the U.S. before 1960, when she joined the Boalt faculty.

As the Dean of Boalt Hall, Herma faced important challenges and opportunities.  Recognizing the need and desire for hands-on legal training, she launched the Center for Clinical Education, making Boalt one of the first top law schools to enter the field of clinical education.  She led the Law School in the aftermath of Proposition 209, maintaining the Law School’s commitment to diversity and providing opportunity for the disadvantaged.

Although she was prodigiously accomplished, Herma was also a generous institutional citizen—at the Law School, on campus, and in the profession.  In 1998, she was named one of the 50 most influential female lawyers in the country and one of the eight most influential lawyers in Northern California by the National Law Journal.  She was a Member of the Council of the American Law Institute, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Member of the American Philosophical Society, President of the Association of American Law Schools, and Chair of Berkeley’s Academic Senate, among other positions.

Not surprisingly, Herma’s pioneering work as a scholar, teacher, and administrator has been widely recognized.  In 1992, she was awarded the Margaret Brent Award to Women Lawyers of Distinction from the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession.  In 2015, she received the AALS’s Triennial Award for Lifetime Service to Legal Education and the Law.  That same year, the AALS Section on Women in Legal Education awarded Herma its Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award.  Poignantly, Justice Ginsburg was there to present the award to her longtime friend and co-author.

In her spare time, Herma was a pilot, an avid swimmer, and an accomplished gardener.  Her husband, Dr. Carroll Brodsky, passed away in 2014.  She is survived by his three sons and by four grandchildren.

Although I have tried to capture the scope and magnitude of Herma’s legacy and her incalculable impact on this community, I fear that words alone cannot do justice to such an extraordinary friend and colleague.  She will be sorely missed. 

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 13, 2017 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

June 12, 2017

Applicants down half of one percent in 2016-17 cycle...

...while the drop in high-end LSAT scores is steeper.

I'll be on a reduced blogging schedule for the summer (look for one or two items per week), but will update the lateral moves list periodically as well as start the new one in August.  (Mike Simkovic, who has posting privileges here as well, may be posting as well in the summer.)

Thanks for reading, and I wish everyone a productive and pleasant summer.

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 12, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

June 10, 2017

Congratulations to the University of Chicago Law School Class of 2017!

It's been a pleasure and a privilege to teach such talented young men and women, and I am sure I speak for all of my colleagues in wishing you much professional success and personal happiness in the years ahead!

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 10, 2017 | Permalink

June 9, 2017

Congratulations to the University of Chicago alumni and Bigelows who accepted tenure-track jobs this year

We didn't have many candidates this year, but are delighted by the success of those we did have in what was an extremely tight market. They are:

Ben Grunwald, who will be joining the faculty at Duke University.  He received his J.D. (cum laude) in 2014 and his Ph.D. in Criminology in 2015, both from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was also Articles Editor of the Law Review.   He clerked for Judge Ambro on the Third Circuit, and served as a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School. His teaching and research interests include all aspects of criminal law, procedure and the justice system, torts, professional responsibility and empirical legal studies.  


Adi Liebovitch LLM ’11, SJD ’16, who will be joining the faculty at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.   She earned her first law degree (magna cum laude) in 2005 and an MBA in 2007, both from the Hebrew University.  Before commencing graduate work at Chicago, she practiced criminal and military law for four years in Israel, first as Prosecutor and Deputy Head of the Intelligence and Narcotics Section in the Office of the Chief Military Prosecutor, and then as a public defender in the Office of the Military Public Defender.   Most recently, she was an academic fellow at Columbia Law School.   Her teaching and research areas include all aspects of criminal law, procedure, and the justice system, as well as evidence, military law, and law and economics.  


Michael C. Pollack, who will be joining the faculty at Cardozo Law School/Yeshiva University.  He received his J.D. summa cum laude from New York University in 2011, where he was a Furman Scholar and Articles Editor of the Law Review. He clerked for Judge Brown on the D.C. Circuit and for Justice Sotomayor on the Supreme Court, and was also a trial attorney for two years in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C., before coming to the Law School as a Bigelow Fellow.   His teaching and research interests include property, land use, local government law, administrative law, and environmental law.


In addition, two alumni who recently took tenure-track jobs have lateraled to tenure-track jobs at new schools already.  They are:

Joshua Sellers '08, who joined the faculty at the University of Oklahoma, Norman in 2015-16, and is now moving to Arizona State University.  At Chicago, he was Articles Editor of the Law Review and also earned a Ph.D. in Political Science with a dissertation on "The 'Crown Jewel' at a Crossroads: Appraising the Contemporary Political Function of the Voting Rights Act."  He clerked for Judge Barkett on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and was an associate at Jenner & Block in Washington, D.C. for three years, where he primarily litigated insurance claims.  Before that, he was a post-doc in the Maxwell School of Public Policy at Syracuse University.  His research and teaching interests include election law, civil rights, constitutional law, legislation, insurance law, and torts.  


Matthew J. Tokson '08, who  joined the faculty at the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University in 2015-16, and is now moving to the University of Utah.  He graduated with High Honors and Order of the Coif from the Law School, where he served as both Executive Articles Editor and Book Review Editor of the Law Review.  He clerked for Judge Randolph on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, served first as a Kauffman Fellow then as a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School from 2009-2011, before clerking on the U.S. Supreme Court for both Justice Ginsburg and Justice Souter in 2011-12.  He was also a litigation associate at WilmerHale in Washington, D.C.  His teaching and research interests include criminal procedure, privacy, intellectual property, judicial behavior, criminal law and torts. 


If you're curious, you can read about some of our recent placements in law teaching hereherehereherehere and here, and see a more comprehensive listing here.   You can see a comprehensive list of past Bigelows and where they now are here.

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 9, 2017 in Faculty News | Permalink

June 6, 2017

"Justifying Academic Freedom: Mill and Marcuse Revisited," revised version now on-line...

...here.  The last version benefitted from talks and workshops at Iowa, Tel-Aviv, Haifa, and Chicago.  The abstract:

I argue that the core of genuinely academic freedom ought to be freedom in research and teaching, subject to disciplinary standards of expertise. I discuss the law in the United States, Germany, and England, and express doubts about the American view that distinctively academic freedom ought to encompass "extramural" speech on matters of public importance (speakers should be protected from employment repercussions for such speech, but not because of their freedom qua academics).

I treat freedom of academic expression as a subset of general freedom of expression, focusing on the Millian argument that freedom of expression maximizes discovery of the truth, one regularly invoked by defenders of academic freedom. Marcuse argued against Mill (in 1965) that "indiscriminate" toleration of expression would not maximize discovery of the truth. I show that Marcuse agreed with Mill that free expression is only truth- and utility-maximizing if certain background conditions obtain: thus Mill argues that the British colony in India would be better off with "benevolent despotism" than Millian liberty of expression, given that its inhabitants purportedly lacked the maturity and education requisite for expression to be utility-maximizing. Marcuse agrees with Mill that the background conditions are essential, but has an empirical disagreement with him about what those are and when they obtain: Mill finds them wanting in colonial India, Marcuse finds them wanting in capitalist America.

Perhaps surprisingly, Marcuse believes that "indiscriminate" toleration of expression should be the norm governing academic discussions, despite his doubts about the utility-maximizing value of free expression in capitalist America. Why think that? Here is a reason: where disciplinary standards of expertise govern debate, the discovery of truth really is more likely, but only under conditions of "indiscriminate" freedom of argument, i.e., academic freedom. This freedom is not truly "indiscriminate": its boundaries are set by disciplinary competence, which raises an additional question I try to address.

In sum, the libertarians (Mill and Popper) and the Marxists (Marcuse) can agree that academic freedom is justified, at least when universities are genuine sites of scientific expertise and open debate.

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 6, 2017 in Jurisprudence | Permalink

June 1, 2017

John Manning is the new Dean at Harvard Law

Announcement hereNot unexpected and seems like a strong choice!

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 1, 2017 in Faculty News | Permalink