January 20, 2021

More on UIC John Marshall Law School and the case of Professor Kilborn

Law professor Andrew Koppelman (Northwestern) offers a critical (and fair) assessment of the case we noted last week.


January 20, 2021 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

January 18, 2021

Lateral hires with tenure or on tenure-track, 2020-21

These are non-clinical appointments that will take effect in 2021 (except where noted); I will move the list to the front at various intervals as new additions come in.   (Recent additions are in bold.)  Last year's list is here.  Feel free to e-mail me with news of additions to this list.

 

*Aziza Ahmed (health law, constitutional law, gender/race & law) from Northeastern University to the University of California, Irvine.

 

*Ifeoma Ajunwa (law & technology, race & law, labor & employment law, health law) from Cornell University (Industrial & Labor Relations School) to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (effective January 2021).

 

*Shyamkrishna Balganesh (intellectual property, private law theory) from the University of Pennsylvania to Columbia University (effective January 2021).

 

*Nancy Chi Cantalupo (civil rights, human rights, sex discrimination) from California Western School of Law to Wayne State University (untenured lateral).

 

*Guy-Uriel Charles (constitutional law, election law, race & law) from Duke University to Harvard University.

 

*Danielle Citron (privacy, civil rights, freedom of expression, Internet law) from Boston University to the University of Virginia (effective January 2021).

 

*Kimberly Clausing (public finance, tax, international trade) from Reed College (Economics) to the University of California, Los Angeles.

 

*Robin Kundis Craig (environmental law, water law) from the University of Utah to the University of Southern California.

 

*Deborah Dinner (legal history, employment discrimination, family law) from Emory University to Cornell University.

 

*Tonya Evans (intellectual property, trusts & estates, entertainment law) from the University of New Hampshire to Pennsylania State University-Dickinson School of Law.

 

*Joseph Fishkin (constitutional law, employment discrimination, election law, equal opportunity) from the University of Texas, Austin to the University of California, Los Angeles.

 

*Cary Franklin (constitutional law, antidiscrimination law, legal history) from the University of Texas, Austin to the University of California, Los Angeles.

 

*Michael Z. Green (labor & employment law) from Texas A&M University to Chicago-Kent College of Law/Illinois Institute of Technology.

 

*Kevin Greene (intellectual property, entertainment law) from Thomas Jefferson School f Law to Southwestern Law School (effective January 2021).

 

*G. Mitu Gulati (contracts, sovereign debt, law & economics, empirical legal studies, race/gender & law) from Duke University to the University of Virginia.

 

*Osamudia James (administrative law, race & law, education law) from the University of Miami to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

 

*Kristin Johnson (financial regulation, securities regulation) from Tulane University to Emory University (effective January 2021).

 

*Michael J. Kaufman (civil procedure, education law) from Loyola University, Chicago (where he is Dean) to Santa Clara University (to become Dean).

 

*Kimberly Krawiec (corporate) from Duke University to the University of Virginia.

 

*David S. Law (comparative constitutional law, law & social science) from the University of California, Irvine to the University of Virginia.

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January 18, 2021 in Faculty News | Permalink

January 15, 2021

Violation of academic freedom at UIC John Marshall Law School

IMPORTANT UPDATE BELOW:   PROFESSOR KILBORN WAS NOT SUSPENDED BECAUSE OF THE EXAM QUESTION

Last month, we noted UIC John Marshall Dean Darby Dickerson's suggestion "that law schools should be 'transformed' into 'anti-racist institutions' [as distinct from being non-racist ones that comply with equal opportunity laws]," observing that it "would portend a massive violation of the academic freedom of all faculty (for example)."   Alas, this proved more prophetic than we realized.

Professor Jason Kilborn gave a civil procedure exam last month involving an employment discrimination hypothetical, in which one worker used racist and sexist epithets.   As the petition denouncing Professor Kilborn reports:

The question at-issue contained a racial pejorative summarized as follows: “‘n____’and ‘b____’ (profane expressions for African Americans and women).” The fact pattern involved an employment discrimination case where the call of the question was whether or not the information found was work product.

Just to be clear:   the exam neither used nor mentioned the actual offending words, just the first letters of those words followed by the underline, as quoted above.  Professor Kilborn has actually used variations on this hypothetical, with the n- and b-words (as above), for a decade without any incident!

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January 15, 2021 in Faculty News, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

December 09, 2020

Canadian Association of University Teachers passes motion of censure of University of Toronto...

...for permitting outside political interference in the appointments process at the Law School.  CAUT censure means all faculty are discouraged from attending conferences at Toronto, collaborating with faculty there, etc.  A shame the Law School's misconduct may bring this sanction down on the entire university in six months. (Earlier coverage.)


December 9, 2020 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

December 07, 2020

It's a good thing the President of the AALS doesn't really matter to legal education...

...or there would be reasons to be quite worried about some parts of the recent missives from current AALS President Darby Dickerson (who is also Dean at UIC John Marshall Law School).  In the past, I have commended to the attention of readers some of Dean Dickerson's advice, so these recent statements come as a surprise to me.

To be clear:  there is much that Dean Dickerson says that is sensible and decent, and it's shocking to learn, e.g., that some doctrinal faculty do not treat their clinical or legal writing colleagues with appropriate respect and courtesy.   So, too, greater job security is a good in any line of work, academic or otherwise; no doubt so many academic or "doctrinal" faculty enjoy it only because the ABA mandates it.

But to refer to the existence of different jobs and positions, with different qualifications and expectations, as a "caste" system is just a rhetorical trick, harnessing the pejorative connotation of "caste" to raise doubts about a system of differing qualifications, expectations and authority.  Is it a "caste" system that in a hospital the doctors have different professional status, differential educationl and professional attainments, and different responsibilities and authority than nurse's aides?  Is it a "caste" system that PhDs in chemistry with tenure have different responsibilities and authority than the post-docs or research technicians in their labs?  Unlike real caste systems, a chnage in status is possible with a change in education, experience, and accomplishments.  The only real question is whether the differing qualifications, responsibilities and authority are justified, not whether they are a "caste."  But there is not even the pretense of a substantive analysis and critique of the division of labor and responsibility in Dean Dickerson's letter.  (Surely it is not mysterious, for example, why clinical and doctrinal faculty should have more responsibility and control over the school and its curriculum than, e.g., adjuncts or staff who are not lawyers?)

(I'll just note, as an aside, that the idea at the conclusion of Dean Dickerson's letter that law schools should be "transformed" into "anti-racist institutions" [as distinct from being non-racist ones that comply with equal opportunity laws] would portend a massive violation of the academic freedom of all faculty (for example)-- just as transforming law schools into "anti-communist" or "anti-capitalist" institutions would.   Law schools exist to train lawyers and produce knowledge about the law, not to promote extraneous social goals, even meritorious ones.)


December 7, 2020 in Faculty News, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

November 16, 2020

The dumbest law teacher in America?

Quite possibly.   He's a lecturer, teaching skills courses, but not a member of the clinical or academic faculties at the University of Miami.  Assuming he enjoys contractual protection for academic freedom (I don't know if he does), then he is protected from sanction by Miami for his extramural speech.  There is no evidence that he has been sanctioned, only criticized.  But in addition to being stupid and a provocateur, he seems to be a bit of a drama queen as well, claiming, without evidence, that he "will" be fired.  There's now a mock twitter account that captures this aspect of the melodrama well.

UPDATE:  Michael Froomkin (Miami) reports that lecturers are covered by Miami's academic freedom policy, which the university has not violated.  Professor Froomkin makes some other interesting observations about this melodrama.


November 16, 2020 in Faculty News, Law Professors Saying Dumb Things, Legal Profession | Permalink

November 12, 2020

Law professors who are part of the Biden transition teams

Law professor Jonathan Adler (Case Western) compiles the names.


November 12, 2020 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

November 11, 2020

AALS announces winners of this year's Scholarly Paper Competition

The winner is "Distributing Civil Justice" by Matthew A. Shapiro (Rutgers).

Honorable mention went to:  "The Case for Abolition of Criminal Confessions" by Guha Krishnamurthi (South Texas), "Bankruptcy Grifters" by Lindsey Simon (Georgia), and "Foreign Dictators in U.S. Court" by Diego Zambrano (Stanford).


November 11, 2020 in Faculty News | Permalink

November 05, 2020

Two big changes in hiring for law teaching jobs over the last decade

In my conversation with Professor Kerr awhile back, I said there were two, but we ended up discussing only one:  namely, the way in which a PhD or VAP/Fellowship has now become almost essential for being hired.  The other big change that I've observed over the last ten years has been the dramatic increase in hiring driven by "diversity" considerations (I dislike the "diversity" label for reasons discussed here).  Some context:  I have been working with candidates on the law teaching job market since the late 1990s, first at the University of Texas, then at the University of Chicago since 2008.  I've worked by now with 150+ candidates for nearly 25 years of hiring seasons. 

It has been the case for quite some time that "diverse" candidates got more interviews than comparable non-diverse candidates, but often one worried that schools were just trying to fulfill their equal opportunity obligations by making sure their slate of interviews was "diverse."  But what has changed during the last decade is that "diverse" candidates are getting hired far more often than before, and hired at stronger schools.  The job market for "diverse" candidates for law teaching positions has never been more favorable than it is now.


November 5, 2020 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

October 27, 2020

How NYU recruited faculty from top law schools in the 1990s: a case study

Richard Stewart, a leading scholar of administrative and environmental law at Harvard, moved to NYU in the early 1990s.  He lived in a 4,000 square foot town house in Greenwich Village, a few blocks from NYU's law school.  This was rented to him by the University at an undisclosed price, but no doubt well below market rates which even a law professor could not ordinarily afford in that area.  As part of the deal, he had the option to sell the property, with some of the gain going to NYU, and some to Professor Stewart.  He exercised that option a few years ago, netting over eight million dollars.  Eight million divided by the 25 years he taught at NYU up to that time works out to an additional $320,000 per year of service, on top of his salary.  (The article notes that another NYU law faculty member, recruited from Chicago in the early 1990s, lives in a similar townhouse, but without the option to profit from a sale.)


October 27, 2020 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink