Friday, September 21, 2018

$26.5 million dollar naming gift to University of Alabama Law School

The Alabama announcement here.

September 21, 2018 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Yale's Chua, Rubenfeld now center stage in the Kavanaugh confirmation drama as new allegations emerge about what Kavanaugh likes in clerks

Many readers have sent me this article from The Guardian; some excerpts:

[Amy Chua], who strongly endorsed supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a “mentor to women” privately told a group of law students last year that it was “not an accident” that Kavanaugh’s female law clerks all “looked like models” and would provide advice to students about their physical appearance if they wanted to work for him....[She] was known for instructing female law students who were preparing for interviews with Kavanaugh on ways they could dress to exude a “model-like” femininity to help them win a post in Kavanaugh’s chambers, according to sources....

 

In one case, Jed Rubenfeld, also an influential professor at Yale and who is married to Chua, told a prospective clerk that Kavanaugh liked a certain “look”.

 

“He told me, ‘You should know that Judge Kavanaugh hires women with a certain look,’” one woman told the Guardian. “He did not say what the look was and I did not ask...."

 

Chua advised the same student Rubenfeld spoke to that she ought to dress in an “outgoing” way for her interview with Kavanaugh, and that the student should send Chua pictures of herself in different outfits before going to interview. The student did not send the photos....

 

The Guardian has learned that Rubenfeld is currently the subject of an internal investigation at Yale. The investigation is focused on Rubenfeld’s conduct, particularly with female law students. Students have also raised related concerns to Yale authorities about Chua’s powerful influence in the clerkships process.

September 20, 2018 in Faculty News, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Why do some college students choose law school over other advanced degree programs? (Michael Simkovic)

The AALS today released a new report, Before the JD: Undergraduate Views on Law School, based on a survey with responses from 22,0000 college students and 2,700 law students.  The report discusses, among other things, the considerations that might drive college students pursuing advanced degrees to apply to law school over other advanced degree programs, when students first contemplate going to law school, and important sources of information and advice about law school and other advanced degrees to which undergraduates turn.

Some interesting findings include:

  • Students considering law school are also likely to consider a PhD, Masters Degree or MBA instead of a law degree, but are much less likely to consider Medical School
  • Only 15 precent of students considering a graduate degree were considering a law degreee
  • Law was seen as better preparation for a career in politics, government, or public service than other options
  • Compared to other advanced degrees, students are less concerned about time to completion for law degrees, but students are more concerned about work life balance in law than in other fields
  • Debt /cost was slightly less of a concern for a law degree than for other advanced degrees
  • Students interested in law school developed this interest early, often even before attending college
  • Law was not seen as using cutting edge technology as much as other fields

September 20, 2018 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

10 Most-Cited Antitrust Faculty in the U.S. for the period 2013-2017

Based on the latest Sisk data, here are the  ten most-cited antitrust faculty in U.S. law schools for the period 2013-2017 (inclusive) (remember that the data was collected in late May of 2018, and that the pre-2018 database did expand a bit since then).  Numbers are rounded to the nearest five.    Faculty for whom 75% or more of their citations (based on a sample) are in this area are listed; others with less than 75% of their citations in this field (but still a plurality) are listed in the category of "other highly cited scholars who work partly in this area." 

Rank

Name

School

Citations

Age in 2018

1

Herbert Hovenkamp

University of Pennsylvania

985

70

2

Joshua Wright

George Mason University

560

41

3

Michael Carrier

Rutgers University

400

48

4

Daniel Crane

University of Michigan

355

48

5

William Kovacic

George Washington University

345

66

6

C. Scott Hemphill

New York University

305

45

7

Christopher Leslie

University of California, Irvine

290

54

8

D. Daniel Sokol

University of Florida

250

44

9

Spencer Waller

Loyola University, Chicago

220

61

10

Timothy Muris

George Mason University

215

69

 

Runner-up

     
 

Bruce Koboyashi

George Mason University

210

59

   

Other highly-cited scholars who work partly in this area

   
 

Mark Lemley

Stanford University

2200

52

 

Louis Kaplow

Harvard University

1080

62

 

Einer Elhauge

Harvard University

  645

57

 

George Priest

Yale University

  480

65

 

Douglas Ginsburg

George Mason University

  400

72

 

September 19, 2018 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Most-Cited Health Law Scholars, 2013-2017, inside and outside law faculties

Mark Hall (Wake Forest) and Glenn Cohen (Harvard) have compiled a list of most-cited health law faculty using the Sisk data, but including some folks who do not teach in law schools, making it a bit less comparable to the lists I've been posting.  Also, given the small volume of citations in this field, I wouldn't assign much weight to results outside the top 10-15.

September 18, 2018 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Monday, September 17, 2018

Book by UCLA law professor Adam Winkler finalist for nonfiction National Book Award

Interesting!

(Thanks to Frank Partnoy for the pointer.)

September 17, 2018 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Friday, September 14, 2018

20 Most-Cited International Law & Security Scholars in the U.S. for the period 2013-2017

Based on the latest Sisk data, here are the twenty most-cited international law and security faculty in the U.S. for the period 2013-2017 (inclusive) (remember that the data was collected in late May of 2018, and that the pre-2018 database did expand a bit since then).  Numbers are rounded to the nearest five.    Faculty for whom 75% or more of their citations (based on a sample) are in this area are listed; others with less than 75% of their citations in this field (but still a plurality) are listed in the category of "other highly cited scholars who work partly in this area."      

Rank

Name

School

Citations

Age in 2018

1

Jack Goldsmith

Harvard University

1220

56

2

Harold Koh

Yale University

1070

64

3

Curtis Bradley

Duke University

  835

54

4

Oona Hathaway

Yale University

  655

46

5

Philip Alston

New York University

  510

68

6

Andrew Guzman

University of Southern California

  480

51

 

Jose Alvarez

New York University

  480

63

8

W. Michael Resiman

Yale University

  475

79

9

Kal Raustiala

University of California, Los Angeles

  460

52

10

Alan Sykes

Stanford University

  445

64

11

Ryan Goodman

New York University

  390

48

12

Gregory Shaffer

University of California, Irvine

  380

60

13

Laurence Helfer

Duke University

  375

53

14

Benedict Kingsbury

New York University

  330

57

15

Sean Murphy

George Washington University

  320

58

16

David Kennedy

Harvard University

  315

64

17

Bruno Simma

University of Michigan

  300

77

18

William Dodge

University of California, Davis

  290

54

 

Robert Chesney

University of Texas, Austin

  290

47

 

Peter Spiro

Temple University

  290

57

   

Runners-up

   
 

Daniel Bodansky

Arizona State University

  285

62

 

Michael Scharf

Case Western Reserve University

  280

55

 

Beth Simmons

University of Pennsylvaina

  280

60

   

Other highly-cited scholars who work partly in this area

   
 

Eric Posner

University of Chicago

2330

53

 

John Yoo

University of California, Berkeley

  955

51

 

Stephen Vladeck

University of Texas, Austin

  455

39

 

Michael Ramsey

University of San Diego

  350

54

 

September 14, 2018 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

10 Most-Cited Torts/Insurance Faculty in the U.S. for the period 2013-2017 (UPDATED AND CORRECTED)

Based on the latest Sisk data, here are the ten most-cited torts/insurance law professors (several on the list below work at the intersection of insurance and tort law) in the U.S. for the period 2013-2017 (inclusive) (remember that the data was collected in late May of 2018, and that the pre-2018 database did expand a bit since then).  Numbers are rounded to the nearest five.    Faculty for whom 75% or more of their citations (based on a sample) are in this area are listed; others with less than 75% of their citations in this field (but still a plurality) are listed in the category of "other highly cited scholars who work partly in this area" (I usually list no more than five in this category, except where the fifth and sixth are very close in total cites.

Rank

Name

School

Citations

Age in 2018

1

John C.P. Goldberg

Harvard University

445

57

2

Benjamin Zipursky

Fordham University

405

58

3

Tom Baker

University of Pennsylvania

375

59

4

Catherine Sharkey

New York University

350

48

5

Kenneth Abraham

University of Virginia

315

72

 

Robert Rabin

Stanford University

315

79

7

David Rosenberg

Harvard University

275

75 (est.)

8

Anita Bernstein

Brooklyn Law School

200

57

9

Daniel Schwarcz

University of Minnesota

195

40

 

Stephen Sugarman

University of California, Berkeley

195

76

   

Other highly-cited scholars who work partly in these areas

   
 

Richard Epstein

New York University; University of Chicago

2165

75

 

Steven Shavell

Harvard University

1245

72

 

Saul Levmore

University of Chicago

  415

65

 

Douglas Kysar

Yale University

  390

45

 

Keith Hylton

Boston University

  375

58

September 11, 2018 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Jason Stanley (Yale): Universities should resist government and donor pressure to reinforce propaganda (Michael Simkovic)

In the Chronicle of Higher Education, Yale philosophy Professor Jason Stanley warns about rising neo-fascist tendencies around the world and related efforts to deligitimize universities.  Of particular interest to readers of this blog, Stanley recommends against appeasing critics by hiring faculty members who will promote viewpoints that are popular with donors or political leaders.  He instead advocates retaining a strictly merit-based approach to academic hiring, protected from outside influences.  

Professor Stanley writes:

"In recent years, several countries across the world have been overtaken by a certain kind of far-right nationalism; the list includes Russia, Hungary, Poland, India, Turkey, and the United States. . . . [P]atterns have emerged that suggest the resurgence of fascist politics globally. Increasingly, attacks on universities and conflicts over their policies are a symptom of this phenomenon. . . [M]y interest is in fascist politics as a mechanism to achieve power. . .  

 

Honest politics needs intelligent debate. One of the clearest signs of fascist politics, then, is attacks on universities and expertise — the support systems of discussion and the sources of knowledge and facts. Intelligent debate is impossible without access to different perspectives, a respect for expertise when one’s own knowledge gives out, and a rich enough language to precisely describe reality. When education is undermined, only power and tribal identity remain.

 

This does not mean that there is no role for universities in fascist politics. In fascist ideology, only one viewpoint is legitimate. Colleges are meant to introduce students to the dominant culture and its mythic past. Education therefore either poses a grave threat to fascism or becomes a pillar of support for the mythical nation. It’s no wonder, then, that cultural clashes on campuses represent a true political battleground and receive national attention. The stakes are high. . . .

 

Where speech is a right, propagandists cannot attack dissent head-on; instead they must represent it as something violent and oppressive (a protest therefore becomes a "riot"). . . .

 

Fascist politics seeks to undermine the credibility of institutions that harbor independent voices of dissent. One typical method is to level accusations of hypocrisy. Right now, a contemporary right-wing campaign is charging universities with hypocrisy on the issue of free speech. Universities, it says, claim to hold free speech in the highest regard but suppress any voices that don’t lean left. Critics of campus social-justice movements have found an effective method of turning themselves into the victims of protest. They contend that protesters mean to deny them their own free speech. . . 

 

These accusations also extend into the classroom. . . . a far-right activist who has been targeting universities . . .  published a book, The Professors, naming the "101 most dangerous professors in America," a list of leftist and liberal professors . . . The goal of Students for Academic Freedom is to promote the hiring of professors with conservative worldviews, an effort marketed as promoting "intellectual diversity and academic freedom at America’s colleges and universities," according to Young America’s Foundation. . . .

 

Some will argue that a university must have representatives of all positions. Such an argument suggests that being justified in our own positions requires regularly grappling with opposing ones (and that there was no room for those views in the first place). . . . Nevertheless, the general principle, upon reflection, is not particularly plausible.

 
No one thinks that the demands of free inquiry require adding researchers to university faculties who seek to demonstrate that the earth is flat. Similarly, I can safely and justifiably reject ISIS ideology without having to confront its advocates in the classroom or faculty lounge. I do not need to have a colleague who defends the view that Jewish people are genetically predisposed to greed in order to justifiably reject such anti-Semitic nonsense. Nor is it even remotely plausible that bringing such voices to campus would aid arguments against such toxic ideologies. More likely, it would undermine intelligent debate by leading to breakdowns of communication and shouting matches.

 

Universities should supply the intellectual tools to allow an understanding of all perspectives. But the best way to achieve that is to hire the most academically qualified professors. No method of adjudicating academic quality will be free from controversy. But trying to evade that difficulty by forcing universities to hire representatives of every ideological position is a particularly implausible fix, one that can perhaps be justified only by a widespread conspiracy theory about academic standards being hijacked by, say, a supposed epidemic of "political correctness."

 

Continue reading

September 6, 2018 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

More to come in specialty rankings...

...although not until next week (and after) as I'm participating in a conference in Europe for the next few days.  Family law, Critical Theories of Law, Evidence, Property, International Law, Antitrust, Legal Ethics/Legal Profession and perhaps others still to come.   Please do not e-mail me about possible errors until Tuesday, September 11, when I will once again have regular access to the Internet and to Westlaw.

September 5, 2018 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

10 Most-Cited Civil Procedure Faculty in the U.S. for the period 2013-2017 (UPDATED AND CORRECTED)

Based on the latest Sisk data, here are the ten most-cited civil procedure faculty in the U.S. for the period 2013-2017 (inclusive) (remember that the data was collected in late May of 2018, and that the pre-2018 database did expand a bit since then).  Numbers are rounded to the nearest five.    Faculty for whom 75% or more of their citations (based on a sample) are in this area are listed; others with less than 75% of their citations in this field (but still a plurality) are listed in the category of "other highly cited scholars who work partly in this area."     

This is the first ranking to incorporate the Sichelman data for multi-author articles (here affecting Issacharoff and G. Miller).  I will be updating some of the older rankings soon; the biggest effect on already published rankings will be on the law & social science category. 

Rank

Name

School

Citations

Age in 2018

1

Arthur Miller

New York University

1105

84

2

Judith Resnik

Yale University

  940

68

3

Kevin Clermont

Cornell University

  520

73

4

Stephen Burbank

University of Pennsylvania

  460

71

5

Myriam Gilles

Cardozo Law School/Yeshiva University

  370

47

6

Richard Marcus

University of California, Hastings

  360

70

7

Deborah Hensler

Stanford University

  350

76

8

Linda Mullenix

University of Texas, Austin

  305

68

9

James Pfander

Northwestern University

  300

62

10

A. Benjamin Spencer

University of Virginia

  280

44

   

Other highly-cited scholars who work partly in this area

   
 

Samuel Issacharoff

New York University

 1000

64

 

Geoffrey Miller

New York University

  990

68

 

Martin Redish

Northwestern University

  975

73

 

Pamela Karlan

Stanford University

  670

59

 

Robert Bone

University of Texas, Austin

  555

67

 

September 4, 2018 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Monday, September 3, 2018

20 Most-Cited Intellectual Property & Cyberlaw Scholars in the U.S. for the period 2013-2017

 Based on the latest Sisk data, here are the twenty most-cited intellectual property and/or cyberlaw professors in the U.S. for the period 2013-2017 (inclusive) (remember that the data was collected in late May of 2018, and that the pre-2018 database did expand a bit since then).  Numbers are rounded to the nearest five.    Faculty for whom 75% or more of their citations (based on a sample) are in this area are listed; others with less than 75% of their citations in this field (but still a plurality) are listed in the category of "other highly cited scholars who work partly in this area."     

Rank

Name

School

Citations

Age in 2018

1

Mark Lemley

Stanford University

2200

52

2

Robert Merges

University of California, Berkeley

  920

59

3

Pamela Samuelson

University of California, Berkeley

  685

70

4

Dan Burk

University of California, Irvine

  670

56

5

Rochelle Dreyfuss

New York University

  625

71

6

Julie Cohen

Georgetown University

  620

54

 

Timothy Wu

Columbia University

  620

46

8

Peter Menell

University of California, Berkeley

  600

60

9

John Duffy

University of Virginia

  595

55

10

Rebecca Tushnet

Harvard University

  545

45

11

Michael Meurer

Boston University

  520

60

12

Yochai Benkler

Harvard University

  475

54

13

Jay Kesan

University of Illinois

  460

56

14

Rebecca Eisenberg

University of Michigan

  455

63

15

Jane Ginsburg

Columbia University

  450

63

16

Colleen Chien

Santa Clara University

  435

44

17

Dennis Crouch

University of Missouri, Columbia

  425

43

 

Jessica Litman

University of Michigan

  425

65

19

Ted Sichelman

University of San Diego

  420

47

20

Eric Goldman

Santa Clara University

  400

50

   

Other highly cited scholars who work partly in this area

   
 

Jack Balkin

Yale University

1580

61

 

Lawrence Lessig

Harvard University

1430

57

 

Daniel Solove

George Washington University

1060

46

 

Gideon Parchomovsky

University of Pennsylvlania

  620

50

 

Robert Bone

University of Texas, Austin

  555

67

 

Danielle Citron

University of Maryland

  545

50

 

September 3, 2018 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Friday, August 31, 2018

15 Most-Cited Law & Social Science (excluding economics) faculty in the U.S. for the period 2013-2017 (UPDATED AND CORRECTED)

 Based on the latest Sisk data, here are the fifteen most-cited law & social science (excluding economics) faculty in the U.S. for the period 2013-2017 (inclusive) (remember that the data was collected in late May of 2018, and that the pre-2018 database did expand a bit since then).  This is meant to capture scholars who work under the "law & society" rubric and/or who deploy methodologies from psychology, sociology, political science and anthropology to law, including empirical legal studies scholars.  Numbers are rounded to the nearest five.    Faculty for whom 75% or more of their citations (based on a sample) are in this area are listed; others with less than 75% of their citations in this field (but still a plurality) are listed in the category of "other highly cited scholars who work partly in this area."  

The updates and changes incorporate the Sichelman data for multi-author articles which affected many faculty here, including Rachlinski, Hoffman, Guthrie, Heise and Braman.

Rank

Name

School

Citations

Age in 2018

1

Tom Tyler

Yale University

985

68

2

Lee Epstein

Washington University, St. Louis

840

60

3

Jeffrey Rachlinski

Cornell University

725

52

4

Tom Ginsburg

University of Chicago

695

50

5

David Hoffman

University of Pennsylvania

580

42

6

Chris Guthrie

Vanderbilt University

530

51

7

John Ferejohn

New York University

500

74

8

Malcolm Feeley

University of California, Berkeley

440

76

9

Charles Sabel

Columbia University

435

71

10

Linda Hamilton Krieger

University of Hawaii

425

64

11

Michael Heise

Cornell University

395

58

 

Jonathan Simon

University of California, Berkeley

395

59

13

Herbert Kritzer

University of Minnesota

385

71

14

Anne Joseph O’Connell

Stanford University

375

48

15

Donald Braman

George Washington University

370

49

   

Other highly-cited scholars who work partly in this area

   
 

Dan Kahan

Yale University

1025

52

 

G. Mitu Gulati

Duke University

  735

50

 

Brian Tamanaha

Washington University, St. Louis

  685

61

 

Bernard Black

Northwestern University

  515

65

 

Carrie Menkel-Meadow

University of California, Irvine

  465

69

 

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August 31, 2018 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Correcting for the problem of multi-author articles cited as "John Smith et al." in citation studies

Ted Sichelman (San Diego) contacted me with a proposed solution to the problem of undercounting multi-author articles in citation studies, a problem that washes out at the school level, but not necessarily at the level of individual authors, as noted before.  Prof. Sichelman here explains what he did:

Using the HeinOnline citation data, which does not suffer from multi-author limitations, I examined every 3+-author article with a large number (70+) of all-time citations in HeinOnline (as of late 2016), because articles with fewer citations are very unlikely to have any sizable effect on the most-cited lists (which I confirmed for a medium-sized sample set). For each second and later-listed author of these highly cited articles, I estimated a high number of "missing" citation counts in Westlaw's "law review & journals" database for the period 2013-17. Then, using this high-estimate missing count, Brian examined the raw data from Sisk et al. to determine if any author in the Hein-generated list might make a most-cited list (who didn't originally) or might substantially move up a list in ranking. Next, for each of the authors Brian flagged, I searched Westlaw to determine the missing (Westlaw) citation count (using the Sisk et al. methodology) for the period 2013-17 in two phases (providing information to Brian in each phase), generating accurate counts of missing citations for flagged authors. For completeness, these final counts included missing Westlaw citations not only for highly cited articles, but all articles in HeinOnline with more than 10 citations (as of late 2016) published since 1995 (other than for Mark Lemley and Cass Sunstein, because the additional citations for their less highly cited articles would not materially increase their cite counts). If you have any questions on the methodology, please feel free to email me (tsichelman@sandiego.edu).

I am grateful to Prof. Sichelman for undertaking this and sharing the results with me.  I will be updating some earlier rankings (no dramatic differences, but some slight ones) and incorporating this data into the specialty area citation rankings to come.

August 29, 2018 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Pope Center: UNC Chapel Hill remains "a problem" for suggesting that programs to alleviate poverty might help alleviate poverty (Michael Simkovic)

When North Carolina researchers who study poverty criticized conservative law makers in North Carolina, political leaders reminded academics of the dangers of speaking out against their bosses.  Republicans responded by shutting down the law school's poverty center, crippling its civil rights center, and voting for draconian cuts to UNC Chapel Hill law school's budget.  North Carolina's Republicans were also among the first to pass the Koch funded, Goldwater Institute backed "Campus Free Speech Act", which is a thinly veiled effort to politicize universities, and monitor and intimidate administrators, students, and faculty under the guise of promoting "free speech."

North Carolina's leading funder of libertarian and Republican causes, James Arthur Pope (usually referred to as 'Art' Pope), is apparently displeased that even after the punishment meted out on the University of North Carolina, the University still hasn't completely capitulated.  Mr. Pope's point person on bullying universities into submission, George Leef of the John Pope Franklin Center, recently penned an editorial in the National Review calling UNC "a problem" because of its summer reading list for incoming students.

One of several UNC campuses committed the mortal sin of asking incoming students to read and discuss a pulitzer prize winning non-fiction book which tells the story of American families struggling with the hardships of poverty.  The book suggests that government programs to alleviate poverty actually sometimes help alleviate poverty.  (In libertarian parlance, this is "advocating statism.")  Worse yet, it seems like the kind of book that might be appreciated by Senators Sanders and Warren, two progressive Democrats.

What's notable about Leef's criticism of the book is that he doesn't point to factual errors, inconsistencies, selective citations, logical errors or other problems of quality.[1]  For Leef, the book isn't bad because it's sloppy. It's bad because it might create sympathy for policies that extremely rich people who want lower taxes dislike.

An essay in Commentary which Leef praises also attacks scientists at UNC for supporting the international scientific consensus on man-made Global Warming.  Universities agreeing with the international scientific consensus allegedly violates principles of "political neutrality." 

To some major donors and those whom they fund, "free speech" is too often a euphemism for donor control of public dialogue, and by extension public policy.  

 

[1] This should not be read as an endorsement of the book.  To my mind, there are substantive flaws which could have been pointed out, such as failing to note that high cap rates on low income housing often reflect higher risks for investors and lower expectations of appreciation in value.

August 29, 2018 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Ludicrous Hyperbole Watch, Of Academic Interest, Weblogs | Permalink

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Which law school's alumni are in the first FAR?

This sometimes includes LLM and SJDs, as well as laterals:

1.  Harvard University (28)

2.  New York University (25)

3.  Yale University (20)

4.  Columbia University (15)

5.  Stanford University (12)

5.  University of Michigan (12)

7.  University of California, Berkeley (11)

8.  University of Chicago (9)

9.  University of California, Los Angeles (8)

9.  University of Pennsylvania (8)

11. University of Texas, Austin (7)

12. University of Virginia (6)

13.  Northwestern University (5)

14. Cornell University (3)

14.  Duke University (3)

14. University of Minnesota (3)

Apart from NYU, which has far too many candidates on the market, these numbers look about right given past placement performance.

August 28, 2018 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

In a USNews.com world, don't confuse citation counts with quality

I assume this is obvious, but just in case let me say it:   citation counts have a very imperfect correlation with quality.  But in a world where law faculties are ranked by Bob Morse, an ignorant non-academic looking to make a living, we need alternative metrics that reflect what we in the legal academy actually do.  There are many first-rate scholars who are as good as any of those on the various lists I have been and will be posting but who didn't happen to make them; off the top of my head:  in law & philosophy, Mark Greenberg (UCLA) and Stephen Perry (Penn); in law & economics, Eric Talley (Columbia) and Abraham Wickelgren (Texas); in legal history, Risa Goluboff (Virginia) and Sally Gordon (Penn); in empirical legal studies, Anup Malani (Chicago) and Ed Morrison (Columbia); in administrative law, Anne O'Connell (Stanford) and Ed Rubin (Vanderbilt); and many others.

 

August 28, 2018 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Monday, August 27, 2018

10 Most-Cited Tax Faculty in the U.S. for the period 2013-2017

Based on the latest Sisk data, here are the ten most-cited tax faculty in the U.S. for the period 2013-2017 (inclusive) (remember that the data was collected in late May of 2018, and that the pre-2018 database did expand a bit since then).  Numbers are rounded to the nearest five.    Faculty for whom 75% or more of their citations (based on a sample) are in this area are listed; others with less than 75% of their citations in this field (but still a plurality) are listed in the category of "other highly cited scholars who work partly in this area."     

Rank

Name

School

Citations

Age in 2018

1

Michael Graetz

Columbia University

390

74

2

Reuven Avi-Yonah

University of Michigan

370

61

 

David Weisbach

University of Chicago

370

55

4

Daniel Shaviro

New York University

340

61

5

Victor Fleischer

University of California, Irvine

300

47

 

Lawrence Zelenak

Duke University

300

60

7

Leandra Lederman

Indiana University, Bloomington

240

52

8

Edward McCaffery

University of Southern California

220

60

 

Edward Zelinsky

Cardozo Law School/Yeshiva University

220

68

10

Alan Auerbach

University of California, Berkeley

215

67

 

Other highly-cited scholars who work partly in this area

     
 

Louis Kaplow

Harvard University

1080

62

 

Kristin Hickman

University of Minnesota

   395

48

 

Brian Galle

Georgetown University

   320

45

 

Mark Gergen

University of California, Berkeley

   260

62

 

August 27, 2018 | Permalink

Friday, August 24, 2018

10 Most-Cited Legal History Scholars in the U.S. for the period 2013-2017

Based on the latest Sisk data, here are the ten most-cited legal historians in the U.S. (teaching in law schools) for the period 2013-2017 (inclusive) (remember that the data was collected in late May of 2018, and that the pre-2018 database did expand a bit since then).  Numbers are rounded to the nearest five.    Faculty for whom 75% or more of their citations (based on a sample) are in this area are listed; others with less than 75% of their citations in this field (but still a plurality) are listed in the category of "other highly cited scholars who work partly in this area."    

Rank

Name

School

Citations

Age in 2018

1

Lawrence Friedman

Stanford University

  990

88

2

Michael Klarman

Harvard University

  800

59

3

G. Edward White

University of Virginia

  535

77

4

James Whitman

Yale University

  425

61

5

Phillip Hamburger

Columbia University

  395

61

6

Stuart Banner

University of California, Los Angeles

  345

55

7

William Nelson

New York University

  315

78

8

John Witt

Yale University

  275

46

9

Edward A. Purcell, Jr.

New York Law School

  245

77

10

William E. Forbath

University of Texas, Austin

  240

66

 

Christopher Tomlins

University of California, Berkeley

  240

65

 

Other highly-cited scholars who work partly in this area

     
 

Reva Siegel

Yale University

1340

62

 

Herbert Hovenkamp

University of Pennsylvania

  985

70

 

Robert W. Gordon

Stanford University

  365

77

 

David Bernstein

George Mason University

  420

51

 

August 24, 2018 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Thursday, August 23, 2018

10 Most-Cited Law & Philosophy Scholars in the U.S. for the period 2013-2017

Based on the latest Sisk data, here are the ten most-cited law & philosophy faculty in the U.S. for the period 2013-2017 (inclusive) (remember that the data was collected in late May of 2018, and that the pre-2018 database did expand a bit since then).  Numbers are rounded to the nearest five.    Faculty for whom 75% or more of their citations (based on a sample) are in this area are listed; others with less than 75% of their citations in this field (but still a plurality) are listed in the category of "other highly cited scholars who work partly in this area." 

Rank

Name

School

Citations

Age in 2018

1

Jeremy Waldron

New York University

1120

65

2

Martha Nussbaum

University of Chicago

  930

71

3

Joseph Raz

Columbia University (part-time)

  705

79

4

Michael S. Moore

University of Illinois

  470

75

5

Brian Leiter

University of Chicago

  460*

55

6

John Finnis

University of Notre Dame

  350

78

7

Scott Shapiro

Yale University

  300

52

8

Seana Shiffrin

University of California, Los Angeles

  280

49

9

Brian Bix

University of Minnesota

  210

56

10

Andrei Marmor

Cornell University

  205

59

   

Scholars who work partly in this area

   
 

Frederick Schauer

University of Virginia

1530

72

 

Lawrence Solum

Georgetown University

  845

64

 

Larry Alexander

University of San Diego

  680

75

 

David Luban

Georgetown University

  640

69

 

Kent Greenawalt

Columbia University

  580

82

* Raw count adjusted downward (based on a sample of 100 hits) by 17% (to arrive at 460) to reflect percentage of citations to my blogs unrelated to my law & philosophy work (a small number were related, most were about legal education).

August 23, 2018 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Westlaw searches: misspellings, multi-author articles and other problems

Greg Sisk gave me permission to share his response to an inquiry (on which I was cc'd) about some deficiencies of the Westlaw database and the searches Prof. Sisk and colleagues perform.  One difficulty that has come up is common misspellings of names; another is that in multi-author articles or books, sometimes (not all the time) only the first author is listed.   Here is what Prof. Sisk had to say, which seems to me sensible:

Your email raises an issue that we’ve seen and thought about every time we do this.  And it affects me as well, as I’ve conducted empirical research that has left me at the end of a list of authors on a piece.

Any methodology has limitations, which we've always forthrightly acknowledged.  The strength of Westlaw is also sometimes a weakness – that it is quite literal.  Being a literal search engine means that if a name is missing in a citation, then a Westlaw search simply will not uncover it.

When it comes to methodology, we have to consider what is practical and possible in a large-scale study involving thousands of tenured faculty members at a hundred law schools and how to implement that in a manner consistent across-the-board.  When we are looking a literally hundreds of thousands of citations for thousands of law professors, we have to rely mostly on a mechanical counting method.

Your email illustrates why we’re unable to integrate a resolution to the et al. issue into our methodology.  To do so consistently across the board, we’d first have to know each individual professor that is affected by this (which of course wouldn’t be apparent in the Westlaw database but would require outside information), and then run not merely one alternative search but potentially multiple alternatives for each type of “et al.” citation.  Within each of those searches, we’d then have to eyeball each of the citations to determine whether it is a correct hit and is duplicative of results from another alternative, and then calculate the right formula for coming up with a final count.  And we’d have to replicate the process across 3,378 law professors.

Importantly, our primary objective is comparison of law faculties, and this issue is not isolated to a particular law school’s faculty.  I've run some test searches in the past -- admittedly on an ad hoc basis and not thoroughly empirical in nature -- and it appears that this problem is vanishingly small when looking at the collective impact of a law school's faculty, which is the central feature of the Leiter Scholarly Impact ranking.  In other words, given that this phenomenon exists at any school with productive faculty, it washes out across the comparison of one faculty to another.  Indeed, as a rough calculation, citation counts for the typical school would have to be under-stated by a few hundred before it likely would affect a school’s overall ranking.

By contrast, for a dean conducting an annual evaluation, it would be quite right for these individual re-calculations to be made to come up with a better count.  Indeed, as we’ve noted, for individual evaluation, one might consult other databases, such as Google Scholar which allows for setting up a profile that, on a case-by-case basis, pulls these citations into one measure.  While that’s not practical for a large-scale study like ours, it may be indispensable for an individual evaluation.

And, because this affects me as well, it is one more reason that I have a policy of insisting with law reviews that citations in my articles include the names of all authors, at least out to three (and sometimes I’ve been able to insist that it go out to four).

Now this is probably far more than you wanted to know.  But I hope it helps explain things and at least shows that we really do take methodology matters seriously and try to think them through.

Of course, in the lists of high-impact scholars in particular areas, this may matter more, though whether it would have significant effects on the results (as opposed to just affecting one or two ordinal placements, which are meaningless anyway) is not clear.

UPDATE:  Ted Sichelman (San Diego) sent me an example, and its effect was to move the author from 4th to 3rd in the law & social science category.  That strikes me as quite minor, but I did make the change.

August 23, 2018 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

15 Most-Cited Law & Economics (incl. behavioral L&E) faculty in the U.S. for the period 2013-2017

Based on the latest Sisk data, here are the fifteen most-cited law & economics scholars (including behavioral law & economics) in the U.S. for the period 2013-2017 (inclusive) (remember that the data was collected in late May of 2018, and that the pre-2018 database did expand a bit since then). Typically these scholars deploy economic analysis across multiple legal domains.  Numbers are rounded to the nearest five.    Faculty for whom 75% or more of their citations (based on a sample) are in this area are listed; others with less than 75% of their citations in this field (but still a plurality) are listed in the category of "other highly cited scholars who work partly in this area."   

Rank

Name

School

Citations

Age in 2018

1

Eric Posner

University of Chicago

2340

53

2

Steven Shavell

Harvard University

1245

72

3

Ian Ayres

Yale University

1170

59

4

Louis Kaplow

Harvard University

1080

62

5

Robert Cooter

University of California, Berkeley

  840

73

6

Einer Elhauge

Harvard University

  645

57

7

Russell Korobkin

University of California, Los Angeles

  610

50

8

Christine Jolls

Yale University

  560

51

9

A. Mitchell Polinsky

Stanford University

  485

71

10

George Priest

Yale University

  480

65

11

Michael Abramowicz

George Washington University

  470

46

12

Saul Levmore

University of Chicago

  415

65

13

W. Kip Viscusi

Vanderbilt University

  410

68

14

Lewis Kornhauser

New York University

  405

68

15

Douglas Ginsburg

George Mason University

  400

72

   

Other highly-cited scholars who work partly in this area

   
 

Cass Sunstein

Harvard University

4955

64

 

Mark Lemley

Stanford University

2200

52

 

Richard Epstein

New York University, University of Chicago

2165

75

 

Lucian Bebchuk

Harvard University

  985

63

 

Robert Scott

Columbia University

  890

74

 

August 22, 2018 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Westlaw JLR vs. Google Scholar

According to the Sisk data using the Westlaw JLR ("Journals and Law Reviews") database, 553 articles mentioned me between 2013 and 2017; according to Google Scholar, I had over 2,000 citations during this same time period (and over 500 in 2017 alone).   This isn't atypical for many law professors, and certainly is quite typical for those doing interdisciplinary scholarship of various kinds.  Why the differences?  There are two main reasons:

First, Google Scholar tracks references to individual works, so an article that mentions, say, five different articles by a scholar produces 5 citations in Google Scholar, but just 1 via the Westlaw method, which tracks names, not individual works.

Second, Google Scholar tracks not simply law journals, but journals in all fields, as well as books, dissertations, and draft papers that are on-line.  That is the most important difference.

Should we prefer Google Scholar as an "impact" measure in law?  Put aside the logistical problem that most law faculty do not have Google Scholar pages, though that is a serious obstacle.  Google Scholar may give a better picture of general scholarly impact based on citations, but it does less well in terms of impact on law and legal scholarship precisely because it is so broad in its reach, capturing citations in, e.g., philosophy journals, books and dissertations.   (Do the 600+ citations to my 2002 book on Nietzsche's moral philosophy make me a more impactful legal philosopher?  Not for most legal philosophers, I suspect (but they don't know what they're missing)!)  Westlaw is probably a better snapshot of impact on other legal academics.

Still, if more law professors would set up Google Scholar pages, some enterprising person could examine the differences more carefully with Westlaw's database of law journals and reviews.

August 22, 2018 in Rankings | Permalink