Monday, November 20, 2017

Schools offering VAPs and Fellowships...

...can post about it here.

November 20, 2017 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers | Permalink

Friday, November 17, 2017

Erin Rousseau, MIT: House Republicans Just Voted to Bankrupt Graduate Students (Michael Simkovic)

Following up on my previous post, Republican Tax Hikes Target Education

[U]nder the House’s tax bill, our waivers will be taxed. This means that M.I.T. graduate students would be responsible for paying taxes on an $80,000 annual salary, when we actually earn $33,000 a year. That’s an increase of our tax burden by at least $10,000 annually.

It would make meeting living expenses nearly impossible, barring all but the wealthiest students from pursuing a Ph.D. The students who will be hit hardest — many of whom will almost certainly have to leave academia entirely — are those from communities that are already underrepresented in higher education. . . .

The law would also decimate American competitiveness. . . . 

Graduate students are part of the hidden work force that drives some of the most important scientific and sociological advancements in the country. The American public benefits from it. Every dollar of basic research funded by the National Institutes of Health, for example, leads to a $1.70 output from biotechnology industries. The N.I.H. reports that the average American life span has increased by 30 years, in part, because of a better understanding of human health. I’d say that’s a pretty good return on investment for United States taxpayers."

November 17, 2017 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Law in Cyberspace, Of Academic Interest, Science, Weblogs | Permalink

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Valparaiso Law School to begin winding down operations (at least in Indiana) due to financial pressures

That seems to be the import of this somewhat cryptic announcement.  Those with more information may post that in the comments; submit your comment only once, it may take awhile to appear.

November 16, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ten law schools will now accept the GRE

Blog Emperor Caron has a round-up.  I hope and expect more will.  This is a particularly good development for JD/PhD students, who in the past had to taken two different standardized tests.

November 16, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Not much new until the end of the week

I was in Boulder for a couple of days last week (hence the quiet here), and will be at Columbia tomorrow, so don't expect much new before Thursday.

November 14, 2017 in Navel-Gazing | Permalink

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Top 40 U.S. law faculties in terms of scholarly excellence, 2017 edition

The poll covering the rest of the top 40 got more than 300 votes (compared to a bit more than 160 for "the top 20"), no doubt because more schools were involved.   The obvious drawback of a poll like this--namely, that people can vote for their own school and try to vote strategically--is counteracted by the Condorcet method (which defeats most strategic voting) and by sufficient participation; in the end, the folks who rank their own school #1 have little effect on their own school, what matters is their relative ordering of everyone else.

I've combined the results of the two polls to produce a "top 40" law faculties in terms of scholarly distinction.  Especially outside the top 20, presenting lists of faculty names seems to have muted the U.S. News effect present from earlier polls even more, as reflected in, e.g., the disappearance of Wisconsin and Arizona State from the top 40 (they are all top 40 in U.S. News), and the significant improvements for San Diego, Brooklyn, and Cardozo.  (I actually think ASU should be in the top 40 for faculty quality, but the poll had it a bit outside.)

In any case, this seems to be a far more plausible "top 40" in terms of scholarly quality of the faculty than we've gotten from prior surveys, let alone from U.S. News.  (Personally, I think Illinois and Hastings are underranked here, but that's another story.)

1. Yale University  (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
2. Harvard University  loses to Yale University by 77–67
3. University of Chicago  loses to Yale University by 118–32, loses to Harvard University by 127–21
4. New York University  loses to Yale University by 122–28, loses to University of Chicago by 79–60
5. Stanford University  loses to Yale University by 121–29, loses to New York University by 73–65
6. Columbia University  loses to Yale University by 126–21, loses to Stanford University by 85–56
7. University of California, Berkeley loses to Yale University by 137–15, loses to Columbia University by 113–29
8. University of Pennsylvania loses to Yale University by 140–9, loses to University of California, Berkeley by 74–62
9. University of Virginia loses to Yale University by 138–9, loses to University of Pennsylvania by 75–55
10. University of Michigan loses to Yale University by 140–9, loses to University of Virginia by 69–52
11. Duke University loses to Yale University by 144–6, loses to University of Michigan by 78–49
12. Northwestern University loses to Yale University by 142–8, loses to Duke University by 67–62
13. Georgetown University loses to Yale University by 140–10, loses to Northwestern University by 70–63
14. Cornell University loses to Yale University by 144–5, loses to Georgetown University by 71–63
15. University of California, Los Angeles loses to Yale University by 141–9, loses to Cornell University by 66–61
16. University of Texas, Austin  loses to Yale University by 144–4, loses to University of California, Los Angeles by 74–49
17. Vanderbilt University loses to Yale University by 139–6, loses to University of Texas by 77–41
18. University of Southern California loses to Yale University by 141–6, loses to Vanderbilt University by 67–54
19. George Washington University  loses to Yale University by 138–11, loses to University of Southern California by 81–43
20. University of California, Irvine loses to Yale University by 143–6, loses to George Washington University by 70–57
21. University of Minnesota loses to Yale University by 141–7, loses to University of California, Irvine by 62–56
22. Boston University
23. Emory University  loses to Boston University by 142–119
24. Washington University, St. Louis loses to Boston University by 141–125, loses to Emory University by 141–124
25. Fordham University loses to Boston University by 158–91, loses to Washington University, St. Louis by 149–108
26. University of Notre Dame Boston University by 159–97, loses to Fordham University by 137–116
27. University of California, Davis loses to Boston University by 170–83, loses to University of Notre Dame by 127–117
28. Boston College loses to Boston University by 174–66, loses to University of California, Davis by 131–118
29. College of Wiliam & Mary loses to Boston University by 180–69, loses to Boston College by 129–115
30. Brooklyn Law School  loses to Boston University by 172–74, loses to College of Wiliam & Mary by 129–114
30. University of San Diego  loses to Boston University by 175–78, loses to Brooklyn Law School by 123–121
32. Cardozo Law School loses to Boston University by 189–55, loses to University of San Diego by 128–118
33. University of Illinois loses to Boston University by 184–60, loses to Brooklyn Law School by 128–107
34. Ohio State University  loses to Boston University by 184–58, loses to University of Illinois by 121–112
35. University of North Carolina loses to Boston University by 183–68, loses to Ohio State University by 121–115
36. Indiana University, Bloomington loses to Boston University by 203–44, loses to University of North Carolina by 123–111
37. University of California, Hastings loses to Boston University by 185–67, loses to Indiana University, Bloomington by 121–110
37. University of Iowa loses to Boston University) by 192–56, loses to University of California, Hastings by 117–115
39. Florida State University loses to Boston University by 197–47, loses to University of Iowa by 118–112
40. George Mason University loses to Boston University by 188–53, loses to Florida State University by 124–97
Runner-up:  University of Alabama loses to George Mason University by 115–103

November 13, 2017 in Rankings | Permalink

Saturday, November 11, 2017

From Texas Wesleyan to Texas A&M...

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Now the rest of the top 40 law faculties in terms of scholarly excellence

This is the follow-up to the poll last week, seeking to evaluate 30 additional law faculties that might have some claim to being in the "top 40" for scholarly distinction.  Recall that UC Irvine and Minnesota rounded out the top 21, so this poll will rank 22 through 40.  Have fun!   Remember that the listing of faculty is merely representative (basically, the roughly 15 most-cited faculty at each school), but you may of course take into account other faculty at the school in assessing its scholarly strength.  Also, note that the poll will ask you to rank 1-30, but only "the top 19" will "win," i.e., fill out the top 40 when conjoined with the earlier poll.

UPDATE:  There's a typo in the Hastings faculty list:  the last person should be Joan C. Williams (not "John").  And for Notre Dame, it's "Richard Garnett" (not "Barnett").   In addition, Thomas Mitchell is wrongly listed with Wisconsin; he is now the Interim Dean at Texas A&M (Ann Althouse is also retired at Wisconsin).

PLEASE NOTE:  Any school that uses social media to rally voters will be disqualified from the results!  It is fine, however, to e-mail colleagues to invite them to participate in the survey; this will help wash out some of the attempts at strategic voting that affects the early results.  But no twitter or Facebook or blog postings about this!  (Please e-mail me if you spot violations of our strict survey protocol!)

ANOTHER ERROR OF OMISSION:  Stewart Sterk was supposed to have been on the Cardozo Law School faculty list.  Someone just pointed out that he was left off in error.

November 8, 2017 in Rankings | Permalink

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

How Long After "Meat Market" Before Candidates Hear from Schools?

MOVING TO FRONT FROM LAST YEAR (SINCE TIMELY AGAIN--AND MORE COMMENTS WELCOME--ORIGINALLY POSTED NOVEMBER 2007)

A rookie job seeker writes:

A question about the law teaching market, which I suspect will be of interest to a number of candidates who read your Law School Reports blog:  When can we expect to hear from hiring committees we spoke with at AALS?  Do the better schools tend to wait longer to make their calls?  And do schools tend to notify candidates that they *won't* be inviting them for a job talk, or do you only hear from them if they're interested?

If you think this is a worthwhile topic, perhaps you could open a post for comments so that hiring committee members could say what their procedure is.

My impression is that schools will contact the candidates they are most interested in within the first two weeks after the AALS hiring convention, and, more often than not, within the first week.  Schools will often have some candidates "on hold" beyond this period of time:  e.g., because they are reading more work by the candidate, or collecting references, or waiting to see how they fare with their top choices.  So it is quite possible to get call-backs beyond the two-week window.  Schools tend to be much slower in notifying candidates they are no longer in contention (you might not hear for a month or more). 

Schools higher in the "food chain" in general do move at a somewhat more, shall we say, "leisurely" pace, and schools lower in the "food chain" are more likely to have tiers of candidates they remain interested in, on the theory that they are likely to lose their first-round choices.

Those, to repeat, are my impressions, based on a decent amount of anecdotal evidence.  But I invite others to post their impressions and/or information about their school's practices.  No anonymous postings.  Post only once, comments are moderated and may take awhile to appear.

November 7, 2017 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Professional Advice | Permalink | Comments (16)

Monday, November 6, 2017

LSAT takers up more than 10% in September/October compared to last year

That's on the heels of a nearly 20% increase in June test-takers.  It seems clear that not only has the decline in law school applications bottomed out (it has been stable the last two years), but now seems poised for a non-trivial increase.   Law schools would be wise not to expand too much, though, especially with the ABA policing more carefully bar passage rates.   But stable or increasing enrollments means that law schools can invest in faculty lines again, which we're already seeing this year.

November 6, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Republican tax hikes target education (Michael Simkovic)

The draft tax plan unveiled last week by House Republicans targets students and educational institutions for tax increases.  The Republican proposal would eliminate the lifetime learning credit (worth as much as $2,000 per year per student), tax graduate students on tuition waivers, eliminate the (already limited) tax deduction for student loan interest, and tax endowments at leading research universities. 

The plan would also eliminate the tax deduction for most state and local taxes.  If taxpayers react by demanding state and local tax cuts, this move will put pressure on budgets at K-12 public schools and at public universities.  It will also make it more challenging for local and state governments to fund police and fire protection and economically vital physical infrastructure.  A lower cap on the mortgage interest deduction for new buyers might cause property values to fall, further eroding local tax revenues.

Cuts to funding for education and local government will help defray the costs of major reductions in corporate income tax rates, tax cuts for passive income, and elimination of taxes on inherited estates larger than $5.5 million. 

In aggregate the Republican tax plan is expected to increase federal debt levels by more than $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.  Repaying this debt without future tax increases will likely require significant cuts to funding for Social Security, Medicare and the U.S. military.  These programs account for the overwhelming majority of federal spending.

Reductions in funding for education and infrastructure could hurt economic growth.  A few Republicans claim that the tax cuts will dramatically boost growth, but many acknowledge that this is unlikely.  In the 1980s, and again in the early 2000s, Republicans claimed that tax cuts would cause the economy to grow so fast that the ratio of debt to GDP would fall.  Those predictions proved to be incorrect.  Tax revenue lagged projections and the ratio of federal debt to GDP grew from from 30 percent in the 1981 to more than 100 percent today. 

November 6, 2017 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Law in Cyberspace, Of Academic Interest, Weblogs | Permalink

Friday, November 3, 2017

Top 20 U.S. law faculties in terms of scholarly excellence, 2017 edition

So with a bit more than 160 votes over the last 48 hours, here are the results for the poll that presented evaluators with faculty names, rather than simply school names:

1. Yale University  (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
2. Harvard University  loses to Yale University by 77–67
3. University of Chicago  loses to Yale University by 118–32, loses to Harvard University by 127–21
4. New York University  loses to Yale University by 122–28, loses to University of Chicago by 79–60
5. Stanford University  loses to Yale University by 121–29, loses to New York University by 73–65
6. Columbia University  loses to Yale University by 126–21, loses to Stanford University by 85–56
7. University of California, Berkeley loses to Yale University by 137–15, loses to Columbia University by 113–29
8. University of Pennsylvania loses to Yale University by 140–9, loses to University of California, Berkeley by 74–62
9. University of Virginia loses to Yale University by 138–9, loses to University of Pennsylvania by 75–55
10. University of Michigan loses to Yale University by 140–9, loses to University of Virginia by 69–52
11. Duke University loses to Yale University by 144–6, loses to University of Michigan by 78–49
12. Northwestern University loses to Yale University by 142–8, loses to Duke University by 67–62
13. Georgetown University loses to Yale University by 140–10, loses to Northwestern University by 70–63
14. Cornell University loses to Yale University by 144–5, loses to Georgetown University by 71–63
15. University of California, Los Angeles loses to Yale University by 141–9, loses to Cornell University by 66–61
16. University of Texas, Austin  loses to Yale University by 144–4, loses to University of California, Los Angeles by 74–49
17. Vanderbilt University loses to Yale University by 139–6, loses to University of Texas by 77–41
18. University of Southern California loses to Yale University by 141–6, loses to Vanderbilt University by 67–54
19. George Washington University  loses to Yale University by 138–11, loses to University of Southern California by 81–43
20. University of California, Irvine loses to Yale University by 143–6, loses to George Washington University by 70–57
Runner-up (essentially tied with UC Irvine):  University of Minnesota loses to Yale University by 141–7, loses to University of California, Irvine by 62–56

 

Now compared to earlier Condorcet Internet polls I've run here, which just presented school names, this survey did seem to have some minor impact on muting the U.S. News effect:  e.g., Stanford dropped from third to fifth, while NYU easily bested Columbia.  I may try to put together another such poll for schools in the 21-30 range, say--perhaps next week. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 3, 2017 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Top 20 law faculties in terms of scholarly excellence

Each fall, I've run a condorcet poll about "top law faculties," but just listing school names.  This year, I am going to try something slightly different, and if it works, I'll expand it beyond the top 20.   At this link, you will get a list of roughly 15 faculty members at 24 law schools that might be in the "top 20."   The listing of faculty is representative; we primarily used the most recent Sisk citation data, but sometimes added faculty who were elected to the American Academy even if not in the top 15 for citations.   The name of the school appears parentheses, but let's see if asking readers to look at the names of faculty first affects their ranking.

Have fun!

ADDENDUM:  The list for Georgetown should have included David Luban, that was an accidental omission.

November 1, 2017 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

ABA issues notices about possible non-compliance with ABA standards

Blog Emperor Caron collects links to them all, but they differ quite a bit.  The notice to Buffalo reflects record-keeping issues, I suspect, while those to Appalachian and Thomas Jefferson, for example, seem far more ominous.

October 31, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, October 30, 2017

Tuition-discounting at law schools

There's a lot of it, unsurprisingly, according to a new study (which included data from only 36 schools, however).

October 30, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, October 23, 2017

Light (maybe no) blogging this week...

...as I'm on the road.  At the University of Turin currently to receive the Paolo Bozzi Prize from the Philosophy Department and give some talks and seminars, and then off to Harvard Law for a panel as part of their bicentennial.   More next week!

October 23, 2017 | Permalink