Friday, July 7, 2017

In Memoriam: Norman Dorsen (1930-2017) and John A. Robertson (1943-2017)

My former Texas colleague John Dzienkowski kindly called to my attention the recent passing of two well-known figures in the legal academy.

Professor Dorsen was a leading civil liberties advocate and longtime member of the NYU Law faculty.  The New York Times obituary is here.

I was particularly saddened to learn of the death of my former Texas colleague John A. Robertson, a leading figure in law and bioethics.  The Austin-American Statesman obituary is here, and there is a lovely remembrance from Glenn Cohen (Harvard) here.

July 7, 2017 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wall Street Journal trims legal coverage (Michael Simkovic)

The Wall Street Journal closed several of its blogs on Monday, including its Law Blog.  The WSJ has maintained its blogs with broader readership, such as those about economics and personal finance.  

July 5, 2017 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Weblogs | Permalink

A law professor's advice for Jeff Bezos

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Law schools that made multiple lateral hires with tenure during 2016-17

Based on our running list, these law schools made at least three lateral hires with tenure this year:

Georgetown University:  Sheila Foster from Fordham University; Brad Snyder from the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Urska Velikonja from Emory University.

 

Rutgers University:  Sahar Aziz from Texas A&M University; Rachel Godsil from Seton Hall University; Rosa Villazor from the University of California, Davis.

 

University of California, Berkeley:  Adam Badawi from Washington University, St. Louis; Erwin Chemerinsky from the University of California, Irvine (as Dean); Catherine Fisk from the University of California, Irvine; Frank Partnoy from the University of San Diego.

 

University of New Hampshire:  Megan Carpenter from Texas A&M University (as Dean); Tonya Evans from Widener Commonwealth University; Ryan Vacca from the University of Akron.

 

University of Pennsylvania:  Allison Hoffman from the University of California, Los Angeles; David Hoffman from Temple University; Herbert Hovenkamp from the University of Iowa.

 

University of Southern California:  Orin Kerr from George Washington University; Michael Simkovic from Seton Hall University; Franita Tolson from Florida State University. 

June 29, 2017 in Faculty News | Permalink

Friday, June 23, 2017

Least educated county on Oregon's Pacific Coast shuts its last public library rather than increase taxes by $6 per month per household (Michael Simkovic)

Douglas County in rural Oregon recently shut its last public library rather than increase property taxes by around $6 per month per household.  Less than 16 percent of the population of Douglas County has a bachelor's degree or above, making it the third least educated county on the Pacific Coast of the United States and the least educated coastal county in Oregon. 

 

Across the Pacific, cities like Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai have built globally competitive workforces by investing heavily in education and infrastructure and embracing global trade.  In the United States, excessive anti-tax movements have contributed to disinvestment and have slowed U.S. economic growth.

 

Update:  Michelle Anderson (Stanford) and David Schleicher (Yale) debate policy responses to local economic decline and migration of educated populations away from depressed areas.  Hat tip Paul Diller. (Willamette).

 

June 23, 2017 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Of Academic Interest, Science, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

House Democrats propose bill to reduce debt burden for graduate students (Michael Simkovic)

Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) (Pasadena) recently introduced H.R. 2526, the Protecting Our Students by Terminating Graduate Rates that Add to Debt (POST GRAD) Act. The bill would restore the in-school interest subsidy for graduate and professional students who borrow federal Direct Stafford Loans.  

Federal in-school subsidies were terminated by The Budget Control Act in 2011, which ended the debt ceiling crisis of 2011.  During the debt ceiling crisis of 2011, Congressional Republicans successfully maneuvered for large cuts to federal spending (other than military spending and pension and health benefits for retirees) by threatening to force the federal government to default on its sovereign debt unless then President Obama agreed to large spending cuts.

The POST GRAD Act would reduce the disparity between funding policy for graduate education and undergraduate education by reinstating graduate students’ eligibility for federal subsidized student loans, although graduate student borrowers, who have lower default rates, would continue to pay a higher interest rate after they complete their studies.

Christopher P. Chapman, CEO of the AccessLex Institute, estimated that the bill would save the typical law student $4,000 if passed.  

If the interest rate subsidy encourages more investment in graduate education, it could more than pay for itself with higher future tax revenue.

 

UPDATE:  The New America Foundation, which has close ties to the private student loan industry, has condemned proposals to reduce federal student loan interest rates.   NAF claims that the immediate benefits of higher education financing only benefit a "small majority" of households and therefore are bad policy.  New America argues that an increased military presence in Syria, Iraq and surrounding countries would be a better use of taxpayer dollars.

 

UPDATE 2, 6/30/2017: The New York Law Journal covers efforts to reduce student loan interest rates for graduate students.

June 21, 2017 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Of Academic Interest, Science | Permalink

New personal homepage

I've got a new personal homepage, courtesy of graphic designer Patrick Hennessey.  If you like his work for academic homepages (see also Monique Wonderly's page, which he also designed), consider hiring him:  more information, including contact information here.

June 21, 2017 in Navel-Gazing | Permalink

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

In Memoriam: Herma Hill Kay (1934-2017)

The lovely memorial notice sent out by Berkeley's Interim Dean Melissa Murray is below the fold:

Continue reading

June 13, 2017 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Monday, June 12, 2017

Applicants down half of one percent in 2016-17 cycle...

...while the drop in high-end LSAT scores is steeper.

I'll be on a reduced blogging schedule for the summer (look for one or two items per week), but will update the lateral moves list periodically as well as start the new one in August.  (Mike Simkovic, who has posting privileges here as well, may be posting as well in the summer.)

Thanks for reading, and I wish everyone a productive and pleasant summer.

June 12, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Congratulations to the University of Chicago Law School Class of 2017!

It's been a pleasure and a privilege to teach such talented young men and women, and I am sure I speak for all of my colleagues in wishing you much professional success and personal happiness in the years ahead!

June 10, 2017 | Permalink