February 19, 2024

Paul Campos, University of Colorado settle lawsuit

The lawsuit noted last summer has settled, it appears on the basis of the retaliation claim.  Professor Campos received $60,000, and his law firm received $100,000.

On the retaliation allegation, Professor Kerr had surmised last summer that the University would argue that removing Campos from a committee assignment wasn't retaliation for his complaining of discrimination because "Campos had said he anticipated suing the university because the evaluations committee had discriminated against him. That's the same committee he was set to join...."  That surmise turned out to be incorrect.  As a Colorado law professor (who sent the settlement to me) pointed out, "The evaluation committee he'd been assigned to wasn't the same committee (meaning with the same members) as had evaluated him."  Even when the underlying discrimination claim is without merit, retaliation claims are often winners (and have become easier to win since this SCOTUS decision).   (Campos, in his self-serving blog post about this, noted that the settlement agreement was not confidential, but did not disclose the amount he actually got, and I suppose we now know why.)

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February 19, 2024 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

January 17, 2024

Law professors take on the Supreme Court

A lively account of the scholarly debate in the Washington Monthly.

January 17, 2024 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

January 09, 2024

Most "influential" people in American legal education?

It's not for me to say; a lot of Deans and administrators, plus some guys with blogs.  The "top twenty":

1.  Erwin Chemerinsky (Dean, Berkeley)

2.  Kellye Testy (President & CEO, LSAC)

3.  Mark Alexander (Dean, Villanova; 2023 AALS President)

4.  Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine, and "Blog Emperor"!)

5.  Bobby Ahdieh (Dean, Texas A&M)

6.  Aaron Taylor (Executive Director, AccessLex)

7.  Brian Leiter (Professor, UChicago; guy with a blog)

8.  Meera Deo (Professor, Southwestern Law; Director, Law School Survey of Student Engagement)

9.  Michael Hunter Schwartz (Dean, McGeorge)

10.  Darby Dickerson (President & Dean, Southwestern Law)

11.  Jenny Martinez (Provost, Stanford; former Law Dean there as well)

12.  Eugene Volokh (Professor, UCLA; guy with a blog)

13.  Andrew Perlman (Dean, Suffolk)

14.  Melanie Wilson (Dean, Washington & Lee; 2024 AALS President)

15.  William Treanor (Dean, Georgetown)

16.  Megan Carpenter (Dean, New Hampshire)

17.  Peter "Bo" Rutledge (Dean, Georgia)

18.  Anthony Varona (Dean, Seattle)

19.  William Henderson (Professor, Indiana/Bloomington)

20.  Jerry Organ (Professor, St. Thomas; guy who blogs at TaxProf)

I think I've been on this list every time since 2014.  If this isn't "fake news," then I have only you, dear readers, to thank for reading all these years!

January 9, 2024 in Faculty News, Navel-Gazing, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

January 08, 2024

There is no "caste" system in American law schools

I am in favor of increasing job security for all workers, including those in law schools, but it is beyond absurd to describe job security as a response to a "caste" system problem, for reasons I've explained before:

[T]o 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 educational 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 change 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.

January 8, 2024 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

December 12, 2023

Faculty fleeing "red" states where governors and legislatures are interfering with curriculum, tenure and so on

This CHE article starts with the example of lawprof Mary Ziegler, who left Florida State for UC Davis.  One wonders about what role political interference with tenure and curriculum played in other recent cases of law faculty leaving or declining offers in Texas (e.g., Ran Hirschl, in comparative public law, who moved from Toronto to UT Austin and then about a year later went back to Toronto).

December 12, 2023 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

December 06, 2023

The costs of being outspoken about Israel/Gaza

Columbia Law School professor Katherine Franke has been a severe critic of Israeli policy; I often disagree with her, but all her speech on these topics is clearly lawful and protected by academic freedom.  The costs of taking unpopular views will, alas, be familiar to many, and they deserve notice.  Professor Franke writes:

[G]iven positions I have taken on the Israel/Gaza war, I’ve received hundreds of hostile emails, suspicious packages in the mail at work such that the mailroom has a new protocol for mail addressed to me, and some death threats on my home voice mail (eg: “Katherine, you antisemitic cunt, we know where you live, we’re watching you, we’re coming for you”).  Usually the email threats/harassment/attacks are sent from someone’s private email, or even a fictional address.  This week I filed at formal grievance against attorney Roger Plawker who used his firm email to send me several sexist, violent, and harassing emails - and he chairs his firm’s Attorney Ethics and Professional Misconduct practice!

There are many threats to democracy right now, but the ability of citizens to speak in the public square is clearly impeded not only by government sanction but also by online threats and abuse.

December 6, 2023 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

November 01, 2023

Law professor and family targetted by crazed cyber-stalker

The unbelievable ordeal that lawprof Alex Sinha (Hofstra) and his family have endured is described in detail here.  It has some resonance with this recent CHE story about a Berkeley professor stalking a UC Davis professor (sometimes in person!).  

November 1, 2023 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

September 19, 2023

Former Idaho law professor settles discrimination suit against law school for $750,000

Details here, including the interesting structure of the payout from the settlement.

September 19, 2023 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

September 15, 2023

Amy Wax, academic freedom and Penn, once again

As I've noted before (also here), most of Penn's case against Amy Wax involves trying to punish her for her lawful extramural speech, and is thus a flagrant violation of the University's contractual commitment to her academic freedom. 

But the student newspaper now reports that Professor Wax has once again invited Jared Taylor--an actual white supremacist, with no scholarly or intellectual merit--to speak in her class on conservative political and legal thought.   Whether this invitation is protected by academic freedom depends on whether scholarly experts in conservative political and legal thought would deem this an appropriate invitation (I very much doubt they would).  Academic freedom, recall, imposes significant limits on classroom conduct and choices, namely, those that are imposed by the standards of the discipline in question.  You can't invite a geocentric crank to lecture in your astronomy class, and it's arguable you can't invite a racist crank to lecture in any class, even one on "conservative political and legal thought."  Here Penn may be within its rights to act.



September 15, 2023 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

August 30, 2023

Chicago Alumni and Fellows on the law teaching market, 2023-24


This post is strictly for schools that expect to do hiring this year.

In order to protect the privacy of our candidates, please e-mail me to get a copy of the narrative profiles of our candidates whom we have vetted who are on the entry-level market this year and participating in the FAR.  (We have one strong rookie candidate who is only applying selectively, and is not included in these profiles.)

We have an excellent group of seven candidates this year, three Bigelow fellows, three JD alumni, and one JSD alum.  They cover a wide range of curricular areas, including administrative law, antitrust, business organizations, civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, copyright, criminal law, criminal procedure, constitutional law, employment discrimination, evidence, family law, federal courts, First Amendment, food & drug law, health law, immigration law, jurisprudence, law & religion, law & technology, legal history, legislation/statutory interpretation, privacy, professional responsibility, and torts. 

Our candidates include former federal appellate clerks; Law Review editors; JD/PhDs (in history, philosophy, and religion); and accomplished practitioners as well as scholars, some with multiple publications, and all have writing samples available upon request.  All also have teaching experience.

If when you e-mail, you tell me a bit about your hiring needs, I can supply some more information about all these candidates, since we have vetted them all.

August 30, 2023 in Faculty News | Permalink