November 22, 2022

Lateral moves, 2012-2022

Professor Lawsky at Northwestern has an interesting analysis of data compiled here over the years.

November 22, 2022 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

November 14, 2022

What's going on at the University of San Diego School of Law?

This essay notes a number of retirements, including some surprising ones, like the constitutional law scholar Steven Smith.  (Larry Alexander, who is 79, is a less surprising retirement, although he is unquestionably the person singularly responsible for making USD a nationally recognized law faculty.  He has also been badly treated in recent years, as I have noted previously.)  San Diego's willingness in the past to hire "conservatives" has certainly allowed it to make some strong hires, although it also led to hiring some faculty who have proved notable mainly for being...conservative.   I think the real hallmark of USD's success has been its willingness to "go its own way" on hiring, like hiring white guys in jurisprudence who weren't even on law review!   USD--like Florida State, Cardozo and, at an earlier time, George Mason--has become one of those regional schools that top 20 law schools regularly raid because of its good eye for junior faculty talent.  (Faculty who started at USD are now teaching at Virginia, Duke, Southern California, Cornell, Berkeley, and elsewhere.)  Again, much of the credit for that goes to Larry Alexander.

November 14, 2022 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

November 09, 2022

The end of law Twitter?

Lawprof Heidi Feldman (Georgetown) is maintaining a list of law faculty and lawyers migrating to Mastodon in the wake of the Musk takeover of Twitter.   In a rather short time, there are more than 500 migrants!  Could this be the end of law Twitter?  Of Twitter?  Will Mastodon prove better, or will it also turn into a cesspool of stupidity, narcissism, and self-promotion?  I mostly use Twitter to post links to my blogs, and for now I'm staying put.  But we'll see...

November 9, 2022 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

September 29, 2022

Lawsky's (final) entry level hiring report for 2022

Here (earlier version).   118 tenure-track hires last year, at 75 schools!  That's the highest number in a decade, although still short of the 150+ figure most years prior to the Great Recession.

September 29, 2022 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

September 21, 2022

71 applicants in the 2nd FAR distribution from the AALS...

...compared to 39 last year.  Probably the attention accorded to the astonishingly low number of applicants in the first distribution in August inspired a few latecomers to enter the market.

September 21, 2022 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News | Permalink

Top 95 law faculty ranked by D-Index

MOVING TO FRONT FROM SEPTEMBER 8--ONE CORRECTION (Prof. Helfer [Duke] was not listed with Duke in the database).

The earlier reference to a ranking of chemists in connection with my post about ranking of law faculty with Google Scholar pages by H-Index was a bit misleading:  the ranking of chemists alluted to was by their D-Index, that is their H-Index but only in discipline-specific journals.  Even in the cases of the chemists, though, it's not always clear how the discipline-specific journals are being defined (many important chemists show up in the "Biology and Biochemistry" category, including faculty whose work is pretty squarely in other fields, like analytical chemsitry.)

But this same resource offers a ranking of law faculty by their D-Index, except the field is defined as "Law and Political Science."  Since law is lumped with political science, unsurprisingly, faculty whose work is interdisciplinary with the social sciences do quite well here.  Once again, the health law fields (including bioethics) are also well-represented.   By contrast, constitutional law scholars that are highly cited in the law reviews do not fare nearly as well here, suggesting there weren’t that many student-edited law reviews in the database.  Consider, too, that according to this database, Ronald Dworkin has a D-index of only 34, Hans Kelsen of 31, and H.L.A. Hart of 23--so there is a strong "presentism" bias in the results.  (The database also includes a lot of retired or deceased faculty:  see, e.g., the ranking of University of Chicago in “Law and Political Science.”)

Some law professors also appear in other categories, such as “Humanities & Social Science” (e.g., Martha Nussbaum [Chicago], D-Index of 89) and “Economics” (e.g., W. Kip Viscusi [Vanderbilt], D-Index of 84; Alan Auebach [Berkeley], D-index of 79; James Hines [Michigan], D-Index of 64).  It’s clear the databases differ in the journals covered.  So, e.g., Lucian Bebchuk (Harvard) appears in both Law & Political Science (D-index of 59) and Economics (D-index of 79), as does Steven Shavell (Harvard) (62 in Law & Political Science, 64 in Economics).   For purposes of comparison, I list below only the results for the “Law and Political Science” database, since it also looks like the databases are of very different sizes.

What follows are the 95 non-emeritus law faculty with a D-index of at least 20 in the "Law and Political Science" database.

Continue reading

September 21, 2022 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

September 20, 2022

Visiting Professors at the top six law schools, 2022-23

I haven't run one of these in awhile; here are the "visiting professors" in doctrinal subjects (some are "look-see" visitors, others "podium," i.e., filling a teaching need) at the top six law schools, who also invite the most visitors.  All are visiting from the law school of their home institutions, unless otherwise noted.  Only those visiting from another academic institution (as opposed, e.g., to practice) are listed:

Columbia University

Katherine Barnes (University of Arizona)

Eyal Benvenisti (Cambridge University)

Martin Flaherty (Fordham University)

Anjum Gupta (Rutgers University)

Clare Huntington (Fordham University)

Brian Langille (University of Toronto)

Thomas Lee (Fordham University)

Eliav Lieblich (Tel-Aviv University)

Moran Ofir (Radner Law School [Israel])

Ashira Ostrow (Hofstra University)

Alessio Pacces (University of Amsterdam)

Fred Smith (Emory University)

Continue reading

September 20, 2022 in Faculty News | Permalink

September 01, 2022

On Deaning while stuttering

August 31, 2022

Michigan lawprof sues university, law school, and Dean West...

...for discrimination on the basis of race, gender, disability, and family status.  Some of the allegations about discriminatory conduct are very vague and conclusory, and hard to assess; others are quite specific, such as about deviations from an allegedly lockstep salary structure to the disadvantage of plaintiff, and  allegations about shockingly inappropriate emails sent by Dean West to the plaintiff.  Paragraphs 50, 65 ff., 71, and 74 of the complaint make clear that there was considerable tension between plaintiff and the Law School over a period of years, with the Law School alleging misconduct by the plaintiff on more than one occasion, while the plaintiff claims these were retaliatory actions by the school for protected conduct (such as advocating for diversity).  If this gets to discovery, it will be extremely embarrassing either for the Law School or the plaintiff, and perhaps both.

August 31, 2022 in Faculty News | Permalink

August 26, 2022

Where did aspiring law teachers in the first FAR graduate law school? (And why are there so few candidates in the first FAR?)


The AALS has implemented a better search engine, which allows one to identify where candidates received their JD (thus excluding LLM and SJD graduates from the picture, which makes for a cleaner comparison between schools).  Here is the distribution in the first FAR for the 16 schools that produce the most law teachers:   Harvard (24), Yale (21), NYU (10), Michigan (9), Columbia and Georgetown (8 each), Berkeley (7), Stanford (6), UCLA (4), Chicago, Virginia, Penn, Cornell, and Duke (3 each), Northwestern and Texas (2 each).  Recall, of course, that the success rates of candidates varies quite a bit by school, and does not track the number of applicants.  And this year's first FAR is unusually small.

One puzzle is why so many fewer graduates of elite law schools are entering the FAR.  I have a couple of hypotheses, but would be glad to hear from readers as well.   First, the private sector market is strong right now, with salaries having risen signifcantly, and lawyers with some experience are particularly in demand.  Second, the barriers to successful entry to the tenure-track market have risen significantly over the last 25 years, and even over the last ten years.  25 years ago, plenty of folks got good tenure-track jobs on promise.  Now, of course, one needs publications in most cases, and often the kind of profile one would associate with a graduate of a PhD program (one reason JD/PhDs are increasing their share of the market).  I suspect it is harder now for even the typical very strong JD from an elite law school to contemplate the moves (e.g., to VAPs or Fellowships), or carve out the time (for writing), that is now required. 

Thoughts from readers?  Signed comments preferred, but all comments must include a valid email address (which will not appear).  Submit your comment only once, it may take awhile to appear.


August 26, 2022 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink | Comments (20)