February 07, 2019
January 31, 2019
That's the conclusion of a study by three colleagues of mine, Adam Chilton (just tenured, easy case!), Jonathan Masur, and Kyle Rozema (our Behavioral L&E Fellow). I've not looked at the details of the study, but I wonder how much the results are affectedd by Harvard's historical pattern (changed in recent years) of hiring and then tenuring everyone based on good grades in law school, which results in more "dead wood" there than elsewhere. Even if Harvard has some effect on the findings, I think their basic point is correct: law schools, especially those maintaining a high scholarly profile, should be more demanding about tenure.
December 19, 2018
Samuel Moyn (Yale): Law schools are too focused on public law to serve the public interest (Michael Simkovic)
In a thought provoking essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Professor Samuel Moyn argues that law schools' focus on judge made law in general, and the Supreme Court in particular, is counterproductive especially when justified on ostensibly progressive grounds. Offline, Professor Moyn suggested that, to better help students understand how the legal system influences the distribution of economic and political power, progressives should focus more on teaching business law subjects like taxation and anti-trust.
Samuel Moyn, Law Schools Are Bad for Democracy: They whitewash the grubby scramble for power, Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 16, 2018.
December 14, 2018
This time in CHE, with additional details about the complainants and Professor Kesan's creepy behavior. The title of the article suggest something "went wrong," but I confess that's not obvious beyond the fact that it took far too long for the investigation to conclude. His behavior, which is damning in its own right, doesn't appear rise to the level of "hostile climate" sexual harassment (at least not on the record that is public), as the investigation concluded. The University could adjust its sexual harassment rules to cover cases like this, but as it is, he was found to have violated other university rules and sanctioned. Did he reform his behavior subsequently? That we don't know.
December 01, 2018
AAUP investigation of Vermont Law School for "eviscerating tenure" could jeopardize Vermont's reaccreditation (Michael Simkovic)
The American Association of University Professors recently authorized an investigation of Vermont Law School following a restructuring that stripped most of Vermont's tenured faculty members of tenure and slashed their pay. The restructuring was reportedly undertaken without sufficient evidence of financial exigency and did not follow proper procedures. I've previously noted that if allegations prove true, this restructuring could present challenges for Vermont when it seeks to renew its ABA accreditation because the restructuring may violate ABA standard 405. A negative report from the AAUP could influence the ABA site visit team and the Section on Legal Education. Vermont's next site visit is scheduled for the 2019-2020 academic year.
Even without regulatory action, a negative report could severely damage Vermont's academic reputation. Vermont remains home to well-respected legal scholars, such as Jennifer Taub, but since the restructuring the overwhelming majority of its classes are taught by adjuncts and lecturers.
AAUP's announcement of the investigation appears below:
November 21, 2018
Judging from my inbox and other conversations, these were the lateral moves during 2017-18 that readers thought were most significant, for either the hiring or the losing school, and sometimes both.
*William Boyd (environmental law, energy law) from the University of Colorado, Boulder to the University of California, Los Angeles.
*Samuel Bray (remedies, property, constitutional law) from the University of California, Los Angeles to the University of Notre Dame.
*Anupam Chander (law & technology, international trade) and Madhavi Sunder (intellectual property, gender & the law), both from the University of California, Davis to Georgetown University.
*Melissa J. Durkee (international law, transnational law, corporate) from the University of Washington, Seattle to the University of Georgia.
*Victor Fleischer (tax, corporate law) from the University of San Diego to the University of California, Irvine.
*Andrew Gold (private law theory, fiduciary law, corporate) from DePaul University to Brooklyn Law School.
*Gillian Hadfield (law & economics, contracts, institutional design, regulation of markets) from the University of Southern California to the University of Toronto.
*Justin McCrary (law & economics, empirical legal studies, corporate) from the University of California, Berkeley to Columbia University.
*Melissa Murray (family law, law & sexuality) from the University of California, Berkeley to New York University.
*Anne Joesph O'Connell (administrative law) from the University of California, Berkeley to Stanford University.
*Angela Onwuachi-Willig (employment law, family law, civil rights, law & race) from the University of California, Berkeley to Boston University (to become Dean)