January 18, 2024

SCOTUS: Where's the originalism?

Lawprof Eric Segall (Georgia State) comments.

January 18, 2024 in 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 11, 2024

The full text in English of the Israeli Supreme Court's decision on the "reasonableness amendment" is available...


January 11, 2024 in 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

January 04, 2024

Law school policies on use of generative AI by students?

One report here.  (LINK FIXED.)  What are your schools doing?  Submit your comment only once, it may take awhile to appear.

January 4, 2024 in Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink | Comments (1)

January 02, 2024

Law schools, barred from considering "diversity" in admissions, adopt new approaches

Some are described here.  What, I wonder, prevents an applicant from writing a "perspective statement" (as HLS calls it) that creates the impression that he or she is a racial minority, when they are not?  I imagine this will start to happen, and unless an applicant flat out lies about something, I can't see that law schools can do anything about it.

January 2, 2024 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | 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

December 04, 2023

Annals of garbage "reporting" about law schools

No, it's not from the trashy online tabloid Above the Law (their garbage reporting wouldn't be news to anyone), but rather the right-wing Washington Free Beacon and its reporter Aaron Sibarium.  Mr. Sibarium has become well-known for his selective interest in free expression issues on campus, and especially at law schools.   But his latest is pure fiction and innuendo:  he implies that Gillian Lester will step down as Dean of Columbia Law School at the end of this academic year (after nine years as Dean, an impressively long tenure!) because of recent "antisemitism" controversies, and then he writes, "Though the law school has not announced Lester’s replacement, an alum with ties to the administration said that David Schizer, who served as dean from 2004 to 2014, is the leading candidate."  Maybe this is an alum of Columbia College in Chicago, rather than Columbia University in NYC, since this is also fiction.

What an embarrassment for a journalist who recently benefitted from a puff piece in Politico.

December 4, 2023 in Law in Cyberspace, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink