Thursday, October 20, 2016
According to Professor Lawsky, there were 86 law schools at the FRC this past weekend in Washington, DC, compared to 89 in 2015. This doesn't account for the number of slots schools are looking to fill, but my guess is that, like last year, we will see at least 80 new tenure-track academic faculty hired, perhaps a bit higher.
The 94 in 2013 is misleading, since that was a year in which many schools went to the FRC but did no hiring, due to budgetary stresses. The real contrast, of course, is with the last reasonably good year on the market, 2012-13, when 142 schools participated in the FRC.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Monday, October 10, 2016
It's Nobel Prize season, and Law, like my other field, Philosophy, is not a recognized subject for the prize. But what if there were a Nobel Prize? I surveyed my philosophy readers, and came up with ten deserving candidates. But what about for law? I've limited this just to those working in the U.S., though there are many deserving candidates in other legal cultures, but I suspect few readers will know enough about them to meaningfully compare (outside jurisprudence, I hardly know enough to even correctly identify plausible candidates).
So which living legal scholar in the U.S. should get a Nobel Prize in Law? We'll rank the top ten. Have fun!
ADDENDUM: I hope it goes without saying that there are no doubt errors of omission in the list. One that has come to my attention, who might have had a shot for the top ten, is Richard Delgado, now at Alabama. But I fear there will be others.
A LAST ONE: Some other good suggestions for folks who should have been included: Elizabeth Warren, Wayne LaFave, Suzanna Sherry, Charles Lawrence.
Friday, October 7, 2016
The distinguished criminal law scholar Susan Bandes (DePaul) invited me to share a story she recently shared via a listserve:
In September I posted an article on SSRN (What Executioners Can--and Cannot--Teach Us About the Death Penalty http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2835145). I chose the allotted 10 subject matter classifications. I learned yesterday that three of these classifications were rejected: criminal law e-journal, criminal procedure e-journal and criminology e-journal. I was surprised by all of these rejections, and especially criminal law, since the article is focused on the purposes of punishment, a core criminal law concern. I called SSRN this morning, and they explained to me that SSRN sometimes rejects classifications, even when they are substantively appropriate, if they view them as overlapping with other classifications. In this case, they accepted my "corrections and sentencing" classification, and apparently viewed the criminal law, criminal procedure, and criminology e-journals as overlapping with corrections and sentencing and therefore rejected all three of those broader classifications. In short, the only criminal-law related e-journal in which my article will be listed is corrections and sentencing. I asked SSRN to review this decision, which they are now doing.
To my mind, there are a few problems with this way of doing things:
First of all, I haven't checked the subscription numbers, but it's hard to believe that the corrections and sentencing journal reaches nearly the same audience as the journals with broader classifications, such as criminal law and criminal procedure. As both an author and a reader, I expect relevant articles to be included in the broader topic areas. What is the interest in refusing to include an article in an e-journal squarely within its substantive reach? I suppose the goal is to avoid inundating e-journal readers. Is this an adequate justification? (it might be; that's a genuine question).
Second, SSRN authors are permitted 10 classification choices at the outset. My article will now be distributed in only 7 of the 10 journals I chose. Until now I assumed such rejections were based on substance. To the extent they aren't, shouldn't SSRN give us the allotted 10 journals to disseminate our work?
And finally, for those of us who care about such things (and I count myself among that group), CrimProf Blog has a nice feature: it lists the top ten downloads in the Criminal Law e-journal and the Criminal Procedure e-journal. That's a very reasonable choice of e-journals, since one would think they cover the broadest substantive areas. But for those who like to read--and for those who hope sometimes to be included on--the CrimProf blog list, SSRN's practice of rejecting relevant articles from those classifications (for reasons that cannot be predicted) is all the more problematic.
Professor Bandes tells me that "on appeal," the article was included in the criminal procedure journal! Why the criminal law e-journal excluded a piece on the death penalty by a leading criminal law scholar--who knows? Interestingly, the problem is somewhat the opposite for the "Jurisprudence & Legal Philosophy" e-journal, which (though better than in the past) often contains articles that are neither jurisprudence nor legal philosophy. (Please, if your work isn't jurisprudence or legal philosophy, don't put it there!) Here are some examples of recent articles that appeared in, but do not belong in, the "Jurisprudence & Legal Philosophy" e-journal:
Law and Macroeconomics: The Law and Economics of Recessions
New Wine in Old Wineskins: Metaphor and Legal Research
The Impact of Biological Psychiatry on the Law: Evidence, Blame and Social Solidarity
No doubt these are useful and interesting articles, but those of us subscribing to that e-journal aren't expect these pieces!
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Tuesday, October 4, 2016