November 15, 2018

Berkeley Law to drop the "Boalt Hall" name

A sensible explanation from Berkeley Dean Erwin Chemerinsky.

November 15, 2018 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

October 31, 2018

Valparaiso Law School to close

IHE has the details.  Good wishes to the students and the faculty.  Hopefully some other law schools will hire some of the excellent and experienced faculty there.

October 31, 2018 in Faculty News, Legal Profession | Permalink

89-year-old prisoner murdered upon transfer to a new prison

There are many threats to the "rule of law" these days, but notorious prisoners being murdered while in state custody should feature among the threats law professors are taking seriously.

October 31, 2018 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

October 29, 2018

Michigan State College of Law to actually become part of Michigan State University

October 23, 2018

$25 million gift to Stanford Law School...

October 18, 2018

Average salaries and indebtedness

Interesting stats, but bear in mind three things:  first, this includes only students who refinanced their law school loans; second, schools continue to be a bit slippery about how they report average starting salaries; and third, average starting salaries are sensitive to region of the country (any school that primarily places in NYC "big law" will come out with higher average salaries, all else equal).  The strong performance by major regional schools--like BYU and Georgia--is striking.

October 18, 2018 in Legal Profession, Rankings, Student Advice | Permalink

October 16, 2018

Valparaiso's Law School a step closer to moving to Middle Tennessee State University


Both  universities have now formally approved the transfer. State higher education officials in Tennessee must now approve it.

UPDATE:  The Tenn. Higher Education Commission has rejected the plan.

October 16, 2018 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

October 03, 2018

Letter from law professors opposed to the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

The letter and details about how to sign here.

ADDENDUM:  I provide this for those interested.  I don't feel I should sign since I was already opposed to Judge Kavanaugh's nomination to the Court, for reasons one can gather here.  He holds some reactionary moral and political views that will inevitably influence some of his decisions:  that's enough for me to be opposed.   I think the allegations against him add reasons to oppose the nomination, but I feel less strongly that his belligerent performance before the Senate does.  (I would think the best evidence of "judicial temperament" is the temperament on display while judging--which he has done for a dozen years--not that on display while defending oneself from serious, public allegations.)  But some readers will no doubt feel differently, and perhaps there are even some for whom the performance in the Senate hearing changed their prior view about the merits.

October 3, 2018 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

October 01, 2018

A damning indictment of the culture of Yale Law School by an alumnus

Here; an excerpt:

Distinction at Yale is not tied all that closely to grades: The law school abolished traditional grades in the late 1960s, adopting a system whereby there are essentially only two grades: Honors and Pass. Career advancement is tied particularly to networking—making a few well-connected faculty members see themselves in you, so that down the line they’ll call their friends on the bench. Clerkships were an obsession: a good one, we gathered, had the power to make a career.


The resulting patronage system fostered a sort of self-interested blindness on the part of faculty and students alike. Most federal judges, in my experience, are reasonable and desirable bosses for the handful of clerks they employ each year. Some, however, are not. And all preside, even more than the standard boss, over a dictatorship. Federal anti-discrimination laws do not apply to federal judges. Meanwhile, given their stature and connections, federal judges hold tremendous power over the reputations and career prospects of their clerks.


Notorious among the judges to avoid, when I was in school, was Alex Kozinski, the appeals judge for whom Kavanaugh clerked. Kozinski retired last year amid a flurry of sexual harassment allegations by former clerks, junior staff, attorneys and judges who accused the judge of behavior ranging from explicit comments to forcible and unwanted kissing and groping. (Kozinski has apologized for making “any of my clerks … feel uncomfortable,” but has also disputed these allegations.) Kozinski’s sexual innuendo—both in chambers and on an email list of former clerks—has become infamous, but when I was in school, the rumor mill among students spoke only in hushed and vague tones.


Typically, at least one of Judge Kozinski’s clerks each year came from Yale, propelled in part by connections from law professors. For faculty, sending students to clerk for judges like Kozinski and Kavanaugh—“feeder” judges whose clerks often go on to clerk on the Supreme Court—is a point of pride, a way to further distinguish oneself in the upper echelons of the legal profession. But the self-interested blindness of faculty can lead to obvious and tangible harms for students who become clerks. Kozinski’s harassing conduct, it seems, was an open secret: visible to those who knew to look, while hidden to those who didn’t—or didn’t want to see.

Continue reading

October 1, 2018 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

September 24, 2018

Yale Law investigating allegations about Amy Chua's advice to clerkship applicants to Judge Kavanaugh

IHE has some details, including Professor Chua's denial of the allegations.

September 24, 2018 in Faculty News, Legal Profession | Permalink