June 05, 2024

Cornell Law rebuffs $25 million from Leonard Leo with ideological strings attached...

...but Texas A&M takes it.  Cornell lawprof Michael Dorf comments.

June 5, 2024 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

May 09, 2024

Federal judges (most in Texas) now threaten to boycott Columbia University graduates

This routine is getting tiresome.

UPDATE:  Professor Stephen Burbank (Penn) writes (with permission to quote from Professor Geyh's forthcoming piece):

It is not only tiresome but may violate the Code of Conduct for United States Judges. In a forthcoming article in Law and Contemporary Problems, in response to an earlier, smaller, boycott of clerkship applicants from Yale, Professor Charles Geyh proposes that the Judicial Conference’s Committee on Codes of Conduct[1] … issue an advisory opinion on the ethics of a judge’s hiring practices. It should admonish judges that the duty to appoint clerks “on the basis of merit,”[2] coupled with the proscription on lending the prestige of judicial office to advance their personal interests,[3] forbids blackballing qualified clerkship applicants who graduated from law schools with which the judge has an ideological beef.”


[1] The Committee on Codes of Conduct is a Subcommittee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. https://ballotpedia.org/Committee_on_Codes_of_Conduct_of_the_Judicial_Conference_of_the_United_States#:~:

2 Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges, Canon 3(B)(3).

3 Id.,Canon 2(B).

May 9, 2024 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

May 07, 2024

The "Executive Unbound": University President edition

Lawprof David Pozen (Columbia) uses recent events at Columbia to look at university governance, drawing some striking analogies with problems familiar from public law.

May 7, 2024 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

May 01, 2024

Elite law firms are now recruiting 1Ls in spring, bypassing the traditional on-campus recuirtment process

On FB, Mark Lemley and Kate Litvak brought to my attention this Bloomberg story; an excerpt:

On-campus interviews, long the chief recruiting method for major firms and controlled by law schools and the National Association for Law Placement, now take a back seat to direct hiring by firms who want first crack at talent. The coveted summer associate roles are the most common path to Big Law careers, serving as a tryout for full-time positions after graduation.


“This direct hire process will likely be filling about 50% of our class, at least,” said Nicole Wanzer, director of attorney recruiting at Morrison Foerster. “Were we to wait for traditional OCI and lean only on traditional OCI, we feel like we would be missing out on some of the talent that’s getting picked up earlier in the process.”


The shift has had a snowball effect. Weil Gotshal & Manges has already opened applications for its 2025 summer program, allowing first-year law students to apply directly—a process dubbed “pre-OCI”. Other prominent players such as Jones Day, Milbank LLP, Paul Hastings, and Davis Polk & Wardwell open up their direct applications as early as mid-April for jobs that start the summer after the second year of school is completed. MoFo is launching its own advanced consideration application system for first-year students this year, which opens May 1.

May 1, 2024 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

April 30, 2024

Law review publication contracts with unreasonable terms

April 23, 2024

Letter from many Columbia Law faculty to the University President about the handling of protests on campus

Here.  Signatories include Vince Blasi, Kimberle Crenshaw, Jane Ginsburg, Michael Graetz, Ronald Mann, David Pozen, Carol Sanger, Robert and Elizabeth Scott, and others.

April 23, 2024 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

April 22, 2024

Some student-edited law reviews are calling to be compensated for their work

This is surprising; if it gets traction, it will probably lead to law schools closing down most of their student-edited reviews.  Maybe U.S. law schools would do what other common-law law faculties do, and have the faculty take charge of editing the school journal.  I doubt it will get to that, however, given the importance of Law Review membership as a sorting mechanism for clerkships and elite law jobs.

UPDATE:  Law professor Hillel Nadler (Wayne State) writes:

You may be interested to know that at least some law reviews used to pay students for their work.


In the Tax Court case Wassenaar vs Commissioner, which is often included in basic income tax casebooks for its discussion of the deductibility of education-related expenses, the court mentions that:


"[Wassenaar] served on law review while at Wayne State in both 1971 and 1972, and although he was a member of the board of editors, his services were no different from those of any other law review member. His duties included editing legal material, checking sources of legal articles, and writing legal articles. He received compensation for such services from Wayne State in the amounts of $845 in 1971 and $1,314 in 1972."


April 22, 2024 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

April 17, 2024

Law faculty contributions to political candidates

Notre Dame lawprof Derek Muller compiled data for the period 2017 to early 2023 (so during the Trump era), and I was surprised by how many contributed to Republicans, given the condition of that party, although this fits with the general perception of the American legal academy as conservative by global standards.  Most Republican supporters in the academy I know are motivated by the hope that something of the libertarian policy agenda still survives, but perhaps that's only true of faculty at the law schools I know best.  I note that according to additional data from Professor Muller, the highest percentage of Republican donors are at religious law schools--and even there, there are relatively few donors overall.   Of course, it bears remembering that donating to Mitch Romney is not like donating to Ted Cruz, and donating to Sherrod Brown is not like donating to Joe Manchin, so just looking at "Democratic" and "Republican" donations is not really that informative.



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

April 11, 2024

Some Berkeley law students have lost their minds

A measured statement from Dean Chemerinsky describing recent bad behavior at his law school.  It's pretty clear what's going on:  students who feel impotent in the face of the horrors in Gaza are taking it out on a symbolic representative, i.e., their Jewish Dean.  There's a word for that, and it's not one that reflects well on them.

April 11, 2024 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

April 10, 2024

Representative Foxx continues her attack on the constitutional rights of public university faculty...

...now targetting Rutgers University and law professor Sahar Aziz in particular.    There's a good letter from law professors in response here.

April 10, 2024 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink