Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Brian Leiter
University of Chicago Law School

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

12 Israeli international law scholars weigh in on the legality of cutting off electricity and water to Gaza

A propos the debate noted last week, 12 Israeli scholars have weighed in on the legal question.

(Thanks to David Enoch for the pointer.)

UPDATE:  My colleague Eric Posner weighs in, disagreeing with the preceding legal analysis.

July 23, 2014 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bargain tuition leads to notable initial applicant pool for new U North Texas law school

Story here.  At roughly 14K per year that's going to put some real pressure on SMU and Texas Wesleyan (now Texas A&M) which are significantly more.

July 22, 2014 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Saturday, July 19, 2014

In Memoriam: Dan Markel (1972-2014)

I am very sorry to report the horrible news that Professor Markel, a well-known criminal law scholar and theorist at Florida State, has died, apparently murdered during an attempted robbery of his home in Tallahassee on Friday.  (The details are unclear at this point, I will post more as soon as I know more.)

UPDATE:  This news item confirms that he was shot and died of the gunshot wound.  The circumstances of the shooting and the perpetrator remain unspecified.

ANOTHER:  From what colleagues at FSU tell me, Prof. Markel was murdered after opening the door of his home, though whether as part of a robbery or something else is unclear.  It's just ghastly.

AND ANOTHER:  His colleagues at PrawfsBlog have posted a memorial notice, and the thread is open for remembrances and condolences.

MORE:  Local police have confirmed they are investigating the crime as a homicide, without any mention of robbery, attempted or otherwise.

JULY 21:  Local police now confirm that Prof. Markel's murder was "targetted," not a random act of violence.  I would imagine there are a rather limited number of people with the requisite motive, so we may hope a perpetrator of this heinous crime will be apprehended soon.

ANOTHER UPDATE:  I did not know Dan Markel nearly as well as many others who have written movingly about him (see, e.g., here, and here and here).  We met a couple of times, I knew a bit about his criminal law scholarship, and we corresponded periodically, often about legal academia and "blog stuff."  One thing I always liked about Dan was his forthright manner and his ethical standards, so rare in the blogosphere.  During his years of running the successful Prawfs blog, he was always good about moderating comments and deleting nonsense, and never hesitated to identify, expose and, if necessary, ban cyber-miscreants; he succeeded in making Prawfs a place where a serious, adult discussion could actually sometimes take place in cyberspace!  He was feisty and principled, and admirably so (I felt that way even when I disagreed with the principles!).  In addition to his collegial and scholarly constrributions (to which the many on-line testimonials attest), he also made the "blawgosphere" a better and more interesting place.  Like so many others, I deeply regret his passing and extend my deepest condolences to his colleagues, his family and his many close friends.

AND MORE:  The FSU memorial notice is here.

A FINAL UPDATE:  Based on the latest reports from police, it is clear that Prof. Markel was the victim of a pre-meditated murder.  Who was behind it is still unknown, but I suspect there is quite a lot that is not yet known.

July 19, 2014 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Thursday, July 17, 2014

More on a controversial legal opinion about Israel's options in Gaza: Professor Bell responds and corrects the record (UPDATED: Prof. Enoch replies)

Avi Bell (Bar-Ilan & San Diego) writes:

I saw your posting on my short paper on Israel’s legal duties to supply electricity to the Gaza Strip.

I understand that you have been in contact with David Enoch, who may not have fully appraised you of the facts.

I have written about the legal subject several times in past years: here and here, for example.

None of the material I have written on the subject is classified, and it has always been open to all to read, and reflective of my opinion of the law.

Several days ago, an article appeared in Haaretz written by a reporter who had not contacted me that incorrectly reported that I had “authorized” steps by Israel in a report prepared for a classified Knesset committee on the subject (apparently the English translation of the article dropped the claim that the work was classified). I have not produced a classified report. I have no position in the Israeli government allowing me to authorize any steps; I work for the state of Israel only in the sense that I am a faculty member of a state school. I do not have the security classification to participate in classified Knesset committee hearings. I did not prepare any writing for a committee hearing on the subject. In fact, I did not know, and still do not know if there ever was a Knesset committee hearing on the subject, or if one was even planned.

I found out about the newspaper article by receiving a carbon copy of a posting David Enoch made in a Hebrew University listserv to which I have no access as I am not a member. In the posting, David criticized me for the content of the “classified report” (apparently, the reporter was referring to the second of the above short pieces) and, in the last part of his posting, addressed to me directly, demanded that I deny the content of the newspaper article (about which I had not known until receiving the copy from David), lest he be forced to respond, creating unspecified consequences in the international academic legal community.

I invited David several times to have a substantive discussion about the piece in a forum which was open to us, without the threats. Repeatedly, he did not assent. All our mails were addressed to each other and the listserv. After four rounds, the moderator of the listserv informed me that none of my mails had been or would be posted on the listserv. I forwarded that email to David. I did not hear from him thereafter.

I did not refuse to forward David any of my writings, and I presume he is sufficiently skilled in Google to find them on his own in any event.

I believe that the legal opinions I wrote are more reflective of mainstream thinking on the subject than David appears to think, though, of course, in the best spirit of academic exchange, I think there’s nothing wrong with us disagreeing about what the law says. Likewise, I don't think there's anything wrong with out-of-the-mainstream views. I welcome feedback on my legal analysis, and have received a number of interesting comments so far, some in agreement, and some not....

As a matter of policy, I would suspect that most people – including most Israelis – would oppose a policy of Israel suddenly cutting off Israeli-supplied electricity and water to the Gaza Strip (which, if memory serves, is about two-thirds of the electricity and one sixth of the water used by Gaza). In fact, I think many of the policy arguments against cutting off electricity and water have merit, but that, of course, is not the question I addressed in either of the pieces. In fact, several weeks ago, I was asked in an interview whether I support cutting off electricity to Gaza, and I unequivocally answered that I would not recommend doing it. The fighting, and its adverse effects on innocent civilians, is nothing less than a tragedy, and I am chary of recommending too strongly courses of action that seem likely, no matter what is done, to result in harming the innocent.

You can do with this information as you wish. On the one hand, I think it is important to protect my good name from David’s attacks. On the other hand, I...don’t want to get into a mud-slinging fight. I did feel it important to convey to you an accurate picture of events because your opinion is valuable to me, and I hold you in highest possible esteem, as I’m sure you know.

UPDATE:  Professor Enoch writes in response:

Avi Bell denies many things – not the important ones, though, and mostly not anything I said. I did not, for instance, say that his opinion was classified, or that he holds governmental office, or that he has authorized such drastic measures, or that he supports it as a matter of policy. What he doesn’t deny – what he seems proud of – is that he’s written, on different occasions, that cutting off the water and electricity supply to Gaza is permissible as a matter of international law.   


This is not just a matter of the quality of the legal analysis (though it is that too, of course, as people in the field who have read the text and are working on a response assure me). Bell knows what he’s doing – he’s making this point in public settings, as the issue is being debated, with the clear aim of increasing the likelihood of Israel taking these measures. His 3-page opinion has now been posted online here (published on the website of a forum in which he is a member, and so, I suspect, with his permission), and here you can see an interview on Israeli television where he’s making the same claims again (starting around minute 26). All of this is in Hebrew, I’m afraid, so here are my translations of some of the main points:  


-          The title reads: “Israel is permitted to stop supplying power and water to the Gaza Strip”.

-          “Electric power does not count as a basic humanitarian need and therefore Israel is permitted to stop supplying it.” And later on “There is good reason to believe that unlike food and medications, electricity does not count as a humanitarian need according to the laws of war, and that therefore Israel is not even under an obligation to allow third parties to supply electric power to the Gaza Strip.”

-          “Still, several legal arguments have been voiced against the implementation of these sanctions by Israel. Subjecting them to scrutiny shows that none of them is valid.”

-          “Although international law forbids ‘collective punishment’, the denial of access to water and electricity does not constitute such punishment.”

[English version here.] 

I have no interest in conducting a civilized, academic discussion with Bell, or in reading his “scholarship” on the matter. Life’s too short (it tends to be shorter, by the way, with no water and electricity). What I have an interest in is exposing the moral horror (and with the help of experts in the field, the legal incompetence) of his relevant texts, thereby minimizing to the extent possible the chance of the implementation of the measures he deems permissible.

July 17, 2014 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Controversy over an Israeli scholar's "legal opinion" justifying cutting off water and electricity to Gaza

David Enoch, the leading legal philosopher in Israel, who teaches on both the law and philosophy faculties at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, writes:

Apparently, one of the measures considered by the Israeli government against the Hamas in Gaza is to cut off Israeli supply of water and electric power to Gaza (which pretty much consists of all of the supply of water and power to Gaza). Israeli government lawyers are apparently opposed to such measures.


Here ends the good news, though, because right-wing members of the Israeli Knesset have found the legal scholar who would write an opinion permitting such practices: Professor Avi Bell, from Bar Ilan University and the University of San Diego School of Law, has written such an opinion. (Though he refused to share it with me, I now have a copy, and I’ll be happy to share it with anyone who may be interested; I should say, though, that it’s in Hebrew). An item about this appeared in the daily Haaretz.


Israeli academics working in international humanitarian law are working, of course, on detailed documents refuting the legal technical claims made in Bell’s opinion. But I don’t think this is enough. I think that the legal academic community should do what it can to make it clear that there are consequences of such abuse of legal pseudo-scholarship and status in the service of gross immoralities – if nothing else, in terms of reputation.

July 16, 2014 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Highly cited election law scholars

Now we know!  I suspect more than 25% of the cites to some of these folks are to non-voting rights scholarship, but I may be wrong.

July 15, 2014 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

Shocking scandal: Blog Emperor Caron's "traffic" rankings...

...are BS.  The main problem, unnoted by Prof. Hasen, is that they don't incorporate reader IQ, which would push InstaIgnorance, Outhouse and some of the others way down.  (GoogleAnalytics hasn't figure that out yet, I'm told.)  Nonetheless, we love Blog Emperor Caron because he figured out how to turn LawProf pontificating into dollars.  Long live the Blog Emperor!

July 15, 2014 in Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

Monday, July 14, 2014

Rostron & Levit update their materials on submitting to law reviews

Professors Rostron & Levit asked me to share the following:

Dear Colleagues,

We  just updated our charts about law journal submissions, expedites, and rankings from different sources for the Fall 2014 submission season covering the 203 main journals of each law school.

A couple of the highlight from this round of revisions are:

First, the chart now includes as much information as possible about what law reviews are not accepting submissions right now and what dates they say they'll resume accepting submissions.  Most of this is not specific dates, because the journals tend to post only imprecise statements about how the journal is not currently accepting submissions but will start doing so at some point in August, at some time in the Spring 2015, or that the “submissions will close no later than September 15, and may close earlier, depending on acceptances,” etc.   

Second, a couple of schools have had name changes (for instance, Phoenix Law Review is now Arizona Summit Law Review, and Texas Wesleyan Law Review is now Texas A&M Law Review), and the charts reflect these changes. 

Third, there is a gradual increase in the number that are using Scholastica instead of ExpressO or accepting emails, but it is still a minority of the total: eight school list Scholastica as the exclusive method of submission, eighteen strongly prefer it, and seven more list it as one of the alternative acceptable avenues of submission.

The first chart contains information about each journal’s preferences about methods for submitting articles (e.g., e-mail, ExpressO, Scholastica, or regular mail), as well as special formatting requirements and how to request an expedited review.  The second chart contains rankings information from U.S. News and World Report as well as data from Washington & Lee’s law review website.

Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews and Journals:

We’d welcome you to forward the link to anyone whom you think might find it useful.  

We appreciate any feedback you might have.

Happy writing!

All the best,

Allen and Nancy

Professor Allen Rostron

William R. Jacques Constitutional Law Scholar and Professor of Law

Professor Nancy Levit

Curators' and Edward D. Ellison Professor of Law

July 14, 2014 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Sunday, July 13, 2014

"Marx, Law, Ideology, Legal Positivism"

This draft is for a conference in the fall at UVA Law School on "Jurisprudence and History" organized by Charles Barzun and Daniel Priel; I may not revise it before then, but I will definitely revise it afterwards and before publication.

July 13, 2014 in Jurisprudence | Permalink

Saturday, July 12, 2014

June 2014 LSAT takers down 9.1% from prior year

Blog Emperor Caron has the details.  One pattern that seems to be emerging is that applicants are applying later in the season (recall that we actually saw a slight increase in February 2014 LSAT takers compared to the prior year).  But a 9% decline in June takers almost surely guarantees that the law school teaching market this coming fall will be as bad as last year, since schools can't re-enter the market for new faculty without the ability to project enrollments into the future.

July 12, 2014 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Case Western law professor Raymond Ku settles lawsuit...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Signs of the times: Boston-area law schools adjust

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Visiting Faculty at the Top Six Law Schools, 2014-15, 3rd Draft

As I've done in the past, I'm posting a list of the visiting professors (who hold university appointments elsewhere) at the top six law schools, the schools that are "top six" by almost all measures of faculty quality--which are also the schools that also typically have the most visiting professors on a regular basis. While many visiting stints are made with an eye to possible permanent appointment, not all are; some are so-called "podium" visits, which aim to fill an immediate teaching need at the school. By my calculation, for example, much less than 10% of the visits last year resulted in (or are in process of resulting in) offers of permanent employment--perhaps a slightly higher percentage of the non-podium visits resulted in such offers. Often visitors from local schools in the area are invited for podium visit purposes--though some "locals" may also be "look-see" visitors, i.e., under consideration for appointment. NYU also has a fair number of "enrichment" and "global" visitors, well-known senior folks who are keen to spend some time in New York, but who aren't necessarily interested in, or being considered for, lateral moves. (Columbia gets some of these folks too.) From the outside, of course, it's very hard to tell all these apart, so here, without further comment, are the visiting professors for 2014-15; please e-mail me about omissions or corrections (though I'm hopeful this is the final version).

Please note that not every visit, below, is for the entire academic year; indeed, my guess is at least half are not, meaning students can expect many of these faculty to *also* be teaching at their home institution. In the case of HLS, many of the visitors come in the Winter Term, i.e., just the month of January.

Please also note that this is supposed to be a list of visiting faculty who have gone through some kind of appointments process at the school at which they are visiting, whether a process for look-see visitors, "enrichment" visitors, or podium visitors.  (Not all schools use podium visitors--Chicago does not, for example.  But Harvard and NYU, among others, do.) These are supposed to be faculty who are teaching at the host school and who are being paid by the host school to teach.

Columbia Law School

John Brooks (Georgetown University)

Amichai Cohen (Ono Academic College)

Hanoch Dagan (Tel-Aviv University)

Yehonatan Givati (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)

Julie Goldscheid (City University of New York)

Sudhir Krishnaswamy (Azim Premji University)

Alice Ristroph (Seton Hall University)

Russell Robinson (University of California, Berkeley)

Wolfgang Schoen (Max-Lanck Institute)

Alex Stein (Cardozo Law School/Yeshiva University)

Guglielmo Verdirame (King's College, London)

Harvard Law School

Robert Anderson (University of Washington)

Noa Ben-Asher (Pace University)

Sergio Campos (University of Miami)

Daniela Caruso (Boston University)

Jennifer Chacon (University of California, Irvine)

Daniel Coquilette (Boston College)

Susan Crawford (Cardozo Law School/Yeshiva University)

Elizabeth Emens (Columbia University)

Mark Geistfeld (New York University)

John Golden (University of Texas, Austin)

Helen Hershkoff (New York University)

Scott Hershovitz (University of Michigan)

Bert Huang (Columbia University)

Sanford Levinson (University of Texas, Austin)

Catharine MacKinnon (University of Michigan)

James Salzman (Duke University)

David Skeel (University of Pennsylvania)

Sonja Starr (University of Michigan)

Jordan Steiker (University of Texas, Austin)

Michael Stein (College of William & Mary)

Chantal Thomas (Cornell University)

George Triantis (Stanford University)

Alain-Laurent Verbeke (University of Leuven)

Tess Wilkinson-Ryan (University of Pennsylvania)

New York University School of Law

Fareda Banda (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)

Eyal Benvenisti (Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law)

Charles Cameron (Princeton University)

Robert Cooter (University of California, Berkeley)

Graeme Dinwoodie (Oxford University)

Zev Eigen (Northwestern University)

John Gillespie  (Monash University)

Stefan Grundmann (Humboldt University, European University Institute)

Scott Hemphill (Columbia University)

Johanna Hey (University of Cologne)

Robert Inman (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)

Frederic Jenny (ESSEC Business School)

Michael McConnell (Stanford University)

Melissa Murray (University of California, Berkeley)

Stanford Law School

Ryan Bubb (New York University)

Ariela Gross (University of Southern California)

Marian Pargendler (Fundação Getulio Vargas School of Law, Sao Paulo)

Camille Gear Rich (University of Southern California)

Alan Sykes (New York University)

Chantal Thomas (Cornell University) 

Tess Wilkinson-Ryan (University of Pennsylvania)

University of Chicago Law School

Kelli Alces (Florida State University)

Corey Brettschneider (Brown University)

Stavros Gadinis (University of California, Berkeley)

George Geis (University of Virginia)

Alon Harel (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)

Douglas Levene (Peking University Transnational Law School)

Katerina Linos (University of California, Berkeley)

Ariel Porat (Tel-Aviv University)

Louis Michael Seidman (Georgetown University)

Robert Simpson (Monash University)

Pierre-Hugues Verdier (University of Virginia)

Yale Law School

Eyal Benvenisti (Tel-Aviv University)

Philip Bobbitt (Columbia University)

Steven Calabresi (Northwestern University)

Aaron Dhir (Osgoode Hall/York University, Toronto)

Zev Eigen (Northwestern University)

Emmanuel Gaillard (Sciences Po, Paris)

Moshe Halbertal (Hebrew University, Jerusalem; New York University)

Edward Janger (Brooklyn Law School)

Johanna Kalb (Loyola University, New Orleans)

Aaron Seth Kesselheim (Harvard Medical School)

Mattias Kumm (New York University)

Christine Landfried (University of Hamburg)

Margaret Lemos (Duke University)

Sanford Levinson (University of Texas, Austin)

Angela Onwuachi-Willig (University of Iowa)

Charles Sabel (Columbia University)

Norman Silber (Hofstra University)

Wojciech Sadurski (University of Sydney)

Gerald Torres (Cornell University)

Neil Walker (University of Edinburgh)

July 6, 2014 in Faculty News | Permalink

Friday, July 4, 2014

Intelligent write-up about Hobby Lobby issues... journalist Dan Fisher at Forbes.  I talked to him prior to the perplexing injunction on behalf of Wheaton, but he integrated that effectively.  And Justice Sotomayor gets it exactly right in the bit he quotes:  it really is preposterous on its face that anyone's free exercise of religion is burdened by a bit of paperwork (if only it were so--I might find God!).  (The 7th Circuit disposed of the other argument in the Notre Dame case--Justice Sotomayor noted the relevant bit, as does Mr. Fisher.)

July 4, 2014 in Jurisprudence, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hiring committees for 2014-15 can announce themselves...

Monday, June 30, 2014

Shorter Hobby Lobby

Owners of a closely held corporation, like non-profit organizations, can be exempted from the requirement of paying for provision of at least four kinds of post-conception contraceptive drugs/devices as required by the Affordable Care Act if they have a sincere religious belief that life begins at conception, since the government can, in any case, just pay for these drugs/devices directly.  Nothing in the decision should be taken to suggest that sincere religious belief in otherwise illegal discrimination, or in the wrongness of blood transfusions or vaccinations, will get similar accomodation.

Even shorter Hobby Lobby:  conscientious objections count when they involve post-conception contraception, otherwise probably not.

Long version here.

UPDATE:  And now some longer thoughts on Hobby Lobby.  I preface this by noting that I think RFRA is a bad law, and Employment Division v. Smith got it basically right, but none of that is at issue.  The Court's holding that closely held corporations are "persons" for purposes of RFRA isn't implausible, especially when, as here, the corporate entities were essentially family businesses, in both cases very Christian families who believe "sincerely" (as we are told repeatedly) that life begins at conception.  (I do believe that people who hold sincere but pernicious false beliefs, such as that life begins at conception, should be encouraged to abandon those beliefs, but that also isn't at issue in this case!)  I also agree with the Court that the costs of non-compliance with the ACA would be very substantial for those challenging the law.  I also agree with the Court that the fact that the government has already established a simple procedure for non-profit organizations with religious objections to contraception to opt out (with the insurers bearing the costs, rather than the employees) is pretty overwhelming evidence that there are "less restrictive" alternatives to meeting what the Court concedes is a compelling governmental interest, namely, providing contraception to covered employees without additional cost to the employee.  The least plausible part of the majority opinion is p. 36's argument that it is not for the Court to assess whether it is reasonable for the Hahns and the Greens (the family-owners of the corporations) to sincerely believe that paying for insurance that an employee might use to access medical services of which they disapprove; but as Justice Ginsburg points out in dissent (pp. 21-22), it is for the Court to assess whether, as a matter of law, there is actually a substantial burden on their religious beliefs.  What if the Hahns and Greens have a sincere religious belief that the ACA burdens their free exercise rights under RFRA?  The Court obviously isn't bound by that.  The Court need not decide whether it is reasonable to believe that life begins at conception or that the "morning after" pill is akin to murder.  But it is most definitely for the Court to decide whether those beliefs are burdened by paying for health insurance that an emplyoee might use to get a "morning after" pill.

Justice Ginsburg has perhaps been going to the opera too often with Justice Scalia, since her dissent begins on a note of rhetorical overkill worthy of Scalia!  The majority decision is not broad; indeed, it is remarkably narrow, which was the point of my "shorter Hobby Lobby," above.  (I was being a tad facetious, though, in saying it will only reach conscientious objections to post-conception contraceptives--though parts of the opinion read that way!)  General Motors won't be challenging any part of RFRA based on this decision; closely held corporations run by Christian Scientists or Jehovah's Witnesses may bring suit, but they are going to lose on the evidence of Justice Alito's opinion.  The biggest burden of today's decision falls on insurers, who will now be paying for the contraceptive coverage of a lot more employees than previously.  And today's decision strongly suggests that the non-profit orgagnizations challenging the opt-out procedures are going to lose if it gets to the Supreme Court.

All that being said, I would have voted against the Hahns and Greens:  I think it would have been better, and equally plausible, to simply hold that corporations are not "persons" for RFRA purposes; and it would have been far more plausible to deny that there was any substantial burden on the religiosu beliefs of the Hahns and Greens by requiring them to pay for health insurance that their employees might use for medical services of which their employers disapprove for religious reasons.

(Jonathan Adler [Case Western] points out that my "shorter Hobby Lobby" elides the fact that the ACA did not require contraception coverage directly, but only that HHS regulations specify covered services, and that it was these regluations that incorporated FDA-approved contraceptive drugs and devices.  Had the ACA specifcally mandated contraceptive coverage, this would have opened the door, Prof. Adler suggests, for the government to argue that RFRA does not apply.)

 CORRECTION:  A health law attorney knowledgeable about these matters writes:

Good post on the Hobby Lobby decision, but one quick correction -- under the federal regs, insurers aren't directly on the hook for providing separate contraceptive coverage.  They get "paid" for that coverage through the exchange funding mechanism -- basically, they get to deduct the coverage costs from their exchange fee (i.e., a percentage payment of the premiums for exchange plans, currently set at 3.5%).  The exchanges are supposed to be self-sufficient by 2015, and it's my understanding that this isn't anticipated to be a problem.  If that's wrong for some unexpected reason, CMS would just tweak the exchange fee.

MORE READING:  Predictably there's a huge outpouring of commentary, most of it misleading (even by law professors).  But two good assessments are those by Joey Fishkin and Sandy Levinson, both law professors at UT Austin (Levinson a former colleague, Fishkin after my time).  Fishkin identifies what this case is really about (despite its very narrow holding) and Levinson comments on the rhetoric of Ginsburg's dissent.

June 30, 2014 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Slate business columnist: now's the time to go to law school

Friday, June 27, 2014

An entertaining interview with Judge Posner

Here.  An excerpt:

I've changed my views a lot over the years. I'm much less reactionary than I used to be. I was opposed to homosexual marriage in my book Sex and Reason, published in 1992, which was still the dark ages regarding public opinion of homosexuality. Public opinion changed radically in the years since. My views have changed about a lot of things. I've become much more concerned with long prison sentences; softer on drugs; more concerned with consumer protection, the environment and economic inequality; less trustful of purely economic analysis—the last partly because of the crash of 2008 and the ensuing economic downturn. That shook some of my faith in economic analysis. And developments in psychology have required qualification of the "rational choice" model of economic behavior. So my views have changed a lot. You don't want a judge who takes a position and feels committed to it because he thinks it's terrible to change one's mind.

June 27, 2014 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, June 26, 2014

On Raz's service conception of authority

Anyone working in legal philosophy ought to read this essay.

June 26, 2014 in Jurisprudence | Permalink

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

University of Toronto Faculty of Law Dean Search

Sponsored by University of Toronto Faculty of Law

TorontoThe University of Toronto is conducting an extensive international search for the position of Dean of the Faculty of Law, and invites expressions of interest, nominations and applications for the position. The appointment will be effective January 1, 2015, or as soon thereafter as possible.

Established in 1827 by royal charter, the University of Toronto, with one of the strongest research and teaching standings in North America, is consistently ranked in the top 20 universities in the world and first in Canada. Located in the heart of vibrant, cosmopolitan Toronto, the University has more than 20,000 faculty and staff and some 80,000 students enrolled across three campuses, an annual budget of $2 billion, and research grant and contract support of more than $1.2 billion. Its library is consistently ranked as one of the top three research libraries in North America, with over 21 million holdings. Additional information is available at the University’s website.

The Faculty of Law has an illustrious history as one of the oldest professional faculties at the University of Toronto. Today, it is preeminent among Canadian law schools and one of the best in the world. More than 50 full-time and 60 adjunct and distinguished visiting faculty members from the world’s leading law schools come together with approximately 600 academically gifted and engaged JD and graduate students to form a dynamic intellectual community. The Faculty’s challenging and diverse academic programs are supplemented by its many public interest clinics and programs. The Faculty of Law enjoys close links to its more than 7,000 alumni, who enjoy rewarding careers and positions of leadership in every sector of Canadian society and remain involved in many aspects of life at the law school. A high level of interaction with the rest of the University also yields numerous interdisciplinary programs, combined degree options, and cross appointments for faculty members. Following a successful capital campaign, construction of the new Jackman Law Building commenced in 2013 and will become the Faculty’s new home in 2015. For further information, please see here.

The Dean of the Faculty of Law will be an accomplished and visionary scholar, educator, communicator and leader, with a history of exemplary administration that reflects a commitment to  excellence, equity and diversity; a capacity to build and lead collaborative teams; and a record of effective relationships with a range of internal and external partners. The Dean will also have the necessary skills, qualities and interests to be an effective fundraiser. Responsible to the Vice-President and Provost, the Dean will lead the ongoing academic and administrative operations of the Faculty and form part of the senior leadership of the University of Toronto. The Dean will enhance the Faculty of Law’s endeavours and reputation, and participate in realizing the aspirations of the University of Toronto’s academic plan, Towards 2030.

Recently named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for the 7th year in a row, and one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for the 6th consecutive year, the University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

The search committee will begin considering potential candidates immediately and will continue until the role is successfully filled. Applications including a curriculum vitae, a letter of introduction and the names of three references (who will not be contacted without the consent of the candidate) should be submitted electronically, in confidence, to:

Laverne Smith & Associates Inc.
1 Yonge Street, Suite 1801
Toronto, ON  M5E 1W7

June 25, 2014 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Student debt is not the problem facing higher ed...

...according to a new report, which will no doubt be ignored by the fact-free crowd in cyberspace!

June 24, 2014 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Writing Prize inflation at Yale Law School

No surprise here, courtesy of my colleague Eric Posner.  A Yale resume without several writing prizes should be inherently suspect!

June 24, 2014 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink