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April 29, 2022

Seven law professors elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences

They are:  Richard Brooks (NYU), Guy-Uriel Charles (Harvard), Justin Driver (Yale), Lauren Edelman (Berkeley), Martha Fineman (Emory), Robert W. Gordon (emeritus, Yale and Stanford), and Dorothy Roberts (Penn).

(I'll add as a point of personal privilege that I was pleased to see two Chicago alumni among the honorees:  Professor Brooks graduated from the Law School in 1998, and Professor Fineman in 1975.)

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 29, 2022 in Faculty News | Permalink

April 27, 2022

A change to the USNews.com ranking formula that would actually be salutary

The arbitrary adjustments to weightings and the like to one side, here's a change that would improve legal education and law school admissions:   drop the median GPA as a factor.  Not all GPAs are equal.  A 3.9 in communications or education is inferior to a 3.5 in engineering or chemistry or philosophy or economics.  Some majors are harder than others.   But US news generates massive pressure to ignore field of study in favor of GPA.  It's a disaster.  Drop median GPA as a factor.

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 27, 2022 in Rankings | Permalink

April 26, 2022

What are standard law school teaching loads these days?

Professor Jeff Sovern (St. John's) writes:

I wonder whether schools that perform better on lists like the citation lists posted on this blog from time to time have lower requirements for the amount of teaching professors do and if so, how much. I am also curious to know what standard law school teaching expectations are these days, something others may also wonder about.  Could those of you who read this please post the teaching requirements at your law school in the comments? At my school, St. John’s, the default teaching load is twelve credit hours per year. Professors with chairs are expected to teach ten hours per year while early-career professors get a course reduction of about one course a year and in one semester in their first few years teach no courses. Professors may seek a research leave every seventh year consisting of a semester at full pay or a year at half-pay.  

Comments are open; submit your comment only once, they are moderated and may take awhile to appear.  Include a valid university email address, which will not appear.   It would be preferable for posters to name the school in question, which is why I need to know the email address, even if you choose not to post your full name.

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 26, 2022 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice, Rankings | Permalink | Comments (8)

April 23, 2022

In Memoriam: Michael A. Olivas (1951-2022)

A longtime member of the University of Houston law faculty, where he was emeritus, Professor Olivas was a leading expert on higher education law and immigration law, and served in many public capacities, including as General Counsel of the AAUP, as President of the AALS, and as Interim President of the University of Houston-Downtown.  A UHD announcement is here, and a memorial notice from the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund is here.

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 23, 2022 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

April 21, 2022

Dan Markel's brother-in-law Charlie Adelson finally arrested and charged with his murder

Story here.

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 21, 2022 in Faculty News | Permalink

The case against student-edited law reviews, an ongoing saga

The latest shot fired by Professor Paul Heald (Illinois).  He is, of course, right, but I don't expect anything to change.

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 21, 2022 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

April 19, 2022

Yale Law School melodrama, part 325

This time in CHE; an excerpt:

Some professors lay the blame at Gerken’s feet. “I have the sinking feeling that the values of the school are being eroded under this deanship,” one faculty member told me. Another said Gerken is a “genuinely nice person who doesn’t like telling people hard truths to their face.” The critics, who sought anonymity, basically accused the dean of repeatedly caving in to progressive students.


Gerken’s defenders were likewise reluctant to have their names printed. Several I spoke with argued that those taking shots at the dean are the law school’s old guard, and what they’re really upset about is Gerken’s emphasis on diversity and on punishing sexual harassment. One faculty member told me he thought the dean’s critics were setting a poor example for students.


The fact that no one will talk frankly on the record speaks to an overall loss of trust between certain factions of professors. More than one of them mentioned to me that they feared their comments in faculty meetings would be recorded and leaked.

I hope this doesn't need saying, but:  secretly recording a faculty meeting and leaking the recording is not protected by academic freedom, and a tenured faculty member could be severely sanctioned for such misconduct.  

In addition, as the recent scholarly impact studies show, Yale needs its "old guard"!

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 19, 2022 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

April 14, 2022

"Do the U.S. News rankings rely on dubious data?"

CHE actually posted this as a question, and not a rhetorical one!

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 14, 2022 in Rankings | Permalink

April 13, 2022

More on expenditures and the USNews.com ranking stew

Derek Muller (Iowa) comments.

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 13, 2022 in Rankings | Permalink

April 11, 2022

Congratulations to the Chicago Alumni and Fellows on the law teaching market who secured tenure-track jobs this year

All our candidates received offers this year (including those that only searched selectively), and several received more than one offer.  They are:


Adam A. Davidson’17, who will join the faculty at the University of Chicago.  He is currently a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School.  He graduated with Honors from the Law School where he was Articles Editor of the Law  Review and a Rubenstein Scholar all three years.  He clerked for Judge James Gwin in the Northern District of Ohio; for Judge Diane Wood on the the Seventh Circuit; and for Judge Guido Calabresi on the Second Circuit.  His areas of teaching and research interest include criminal law and procedure, constitutional law, federal courts, and race and the law. 


Aneil Kovvali, who will join the faculty at Indiana University, Bloomington.  He is currently a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School.  He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2012, clerked for Judge Christopher Droney on the Second Circuit, and was a litigation associate at Wachtell, Lipton for six years before coming to Chicago.  His areas of teaching and research interest include corporate law, contracts, securities regulation, bankruptcy, and antitrust.  


Abigail Moncrieff ’06, who will join the faculty at Cleveland-Marshall School of Law at Cleveland State University, where she will also be Co-Director of the Health Law and Policy Center and have a courtesy appointment in the Department of Political Science.  She graduated with Honors from the Law School, where she served on the Law Review.  She clerked for Judge Sidney R. Thomas on the Ninth Circuit, before joining the law faculty at Boston University, where she taught for several years.  She is presenting finishing a PhD in Government at the University of Texas at Austin, with a focus on constitutional theory.  Her areas of teaching and research interest include constitutional law, administrative law, health law, legislation, and torts.


Joe Schomberg '17, who will join the faculty at Drake University.  Since graduating from the Law School, he has been a bankruptcy associate at Sidley Austin in Chicago.   His teaching and research interests include bankruptcy and commercial law


Daniel Wilf-Townsend, who will join the faculty at Georgetown University.  He is currently a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School.  He earned his J.D. from Yale in 2015, where he was a Coker Fellow.  He clerked for Judge Marsha Berzon on the Ninth Circuit and then for Judge Jeffrey Meyer of the District of Connecticut.  He practiced law for three years with Gupta Wessler in Washington, DC, focusing on class actions and complex litigation on behalf of consumers, workers, and government entities.  His areas of teaching and research interest include civil procedure, federal courts, contracts, consumer law, and administrative law.  

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 11, 2022 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News | Permalink