December 01, 2022
Penn State may reunify its two law schools--one in Carlisle, one on the main campus at University Park--with Carlisle being the main site for the law school
This is pretty dramatic, and faculty in University Park cannot be pleased, especially by this: "Whether any law school programming would remain at University Park or what would happen with the imposing, $60 million Lewis Katz Building, erected in 2009 as a home for the school, is uncertain."
November 30, 2022
...it will still #1 for graduates convicted of seditious conspiracy! I would love to see Mr. Rhodes's application file!
November 22, 2022
November 21, 2022
Michigan Law becomes 7th school to decline to cooperate with USNews.com rankings (UPDATED: also Duke and Northwestern)
November 17, 2022
If over the next week, most of the other top 10-20 law schools withdraw, USNews.com will be in trouble. It would undoubtedly be excellent for legal education if its current master were dethroned: schools could resume making all decisions--from admissions to expenditures--based solely on academic considerations. I recently mentioned three scenarios that might finish off USNews.com, but I hadn't thought of this one!
November 16, 2022
That would be a tad expensive!
The lawsuit cites an 1878 agreement with the state of California to create and fund the law school, which promised Hastings’ heirs $100,000, plus interest, should the school ever “cease to exist.” One hundred forty-four years later, that would amount to $1.7 billion, the San Francisco Chronicle has reported.
November 15, 2022
I thought this was interesting and perceptive:
Behavioral changes occur as a side effect of something called operant conditioning, which is the underlying mechanism of social media addiction. This is the core mechanism analogous to the role alcohol plays in alcoholism.
In early operant conditioning, pioneered by famous behaviorists like B.F. Skinner, animals were given positive and negative feedback in the form of treats and electric shocks. The behavior of each individual animal was monitored so that the stimulus given was constantly optimized to a purpose. A similar scheme targets people through their phones today.
November 14, 2022
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 10, 2022
It seems like the writing is on the wall. The real driving force, that we're seeing across multiple fields, is concern that standardized testing hurts "diversity." If in fact the LSAT becomes optional, the next question will be what the masters of legal education at USNews.com decide to do. If they decide to just increase the weight on GPA, then expect a boom in communications and education majors among prospective law students seeking the highest possible GPA!
November 09, 2022
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...