Friday, February 2, 2018

Harvard Law School actually advertises its SSRN ranking

It's pretty clear civilization has ended.  The SSRN citation ranking is almost as worthless as the download ranking, since it skews very heavily to just a handful of areas that are well-represented on SSRN.

February 2, 2018 in Legal Humor, Rankings | Permalink

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

How Democracy Dies: A Case Study of Poland

In light of the current interest in the general topic, many readers will find Professor Sadurski's knowledgeable discussion of the situation in Poland illuminating and instructive.

(Thanks to Tomasz Gizbert-Studnicki for calling it to my attention.)

January 30, 2018 in Jurisprudence, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, January 29, 2018

Rostron & Levit's updated guide to submitting to law reviews

Professors Rostron & Levit asked me to share the following about their useful guide:

Dear Colleagues,

We  just updated our charts about law journal submissions, expedites, and rankings from different sources for the Spring 2018 submission season covering the 203 main journals of each law school. 

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

First, again the chart includes information from the handful of journals that posted on their websites that they are not accepting submissions right now and what dates they say they'll resume accepting submissions. 

Second, while 62 law reviews still prefer or require submission through ExpressO, 31 schools (up from 27 at this time last year) now require Scholastica as the exclusive avenue for submissions, with 31 more preferring or strongly preferring it, and 28 accepting articles submitted through either ExpressO or Scholastica. Thirteen schools now have their own online web portals.  And one school each accepts articles on Twitter and bepress, while two accept submissions through Lex Opus.

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 who you think might find it useful.   We appreciate any feedback you might have.

Happy writing!

All the best,

Allen and Nancy

Professor Allen Rostron

Associate Dean for Students and William R. Jacques Constitutional Law Scholar and Professor of Law

Professor Nancy Levit
Interim Associate Dean for Faculty and Curators' Distinguished Professor and Edward D. Ellison Professor of Law

I do think the W&L data is pure noise, since it does not control for volume of publication.

January 29, 2018 in Professional Advice | Permalink

Thursday, January 25, 2018

BarBri in violation of the ADA

Good for the students who brought this lawsuit.

January 25, 2018 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

"Multi-level marketing" and "pyramid schemes"

Retired attorney Bruce Craig would welcome hearing from law professors interested in the following issue (you may reach Mr. Craig at brucecrai-at-gmail-dot-com):

As a former assistant attorney general (Wis.) I litigated against a number of pyramid schemes starting in 1968 and ending, for all practical purposes, in 1979 when the FTC ruled in favor of Amway. Now retired,  living in New York, and still involved with this issue to a limited extent.


Since 1979, and Reagan, Amway has become a $9 billion/yr world-wide operation, the overall industry's annual revenues about $150 billion. Qualified estimates indicate that the loss ratio of participants in these operations exceeds 95%.


Not only has this made the pyramid owners billionaires but, as a direct result, it has also funded a political and governmental machine that has fundamentally suppressed any meaningful enforcement or legislative oversight. This is primarily the result of the victims of these schemes being politically invisible to both sides of the aisle and ignored on the basis they didn't work hard enough. Victims seldom file complaints as they feel they were part of an illegal process and involved family members and friends.


The press has primarily focused on disputes between Wall Street titans and not on the ethical and legal underpinnings which have enabled this to happen. Unfortunately, it appears the legal academia has not examined this as well.


At present, there is no formal legal distinction between pyramid schemes and "Multi-Level Marketing", with limited enforcement only after the fact. This phenomenon has enabled those not yet sued to claim they are legal MLM and not illegal pyramid schemes. 


Given the significant and continuing massive losses, incurred by those mostly in the lower part of the middle class.  This note is to inquire whether legal scholars might be interested in exploring the issue. From a philosophical standpoint I've noticed that the investment and financial communities seem to ignore the underlying damage caused by those listed on the NYSE.

This is far beyond my competence, but I offered to share this with the community of legal scholars and legal theorists, some of whom might be able to help.

January 24, 2018 in Jurisprudence, Legal Profession | Permalink

Thursday, January 18, 2018

New study of longterm outcomes and value of a law degree

The full document here.  I may say more when I've had a chance to digest it.   Signed reader comments welcome (full name required, valid e-mail address); submit comment only once, it may take awhile to appear.

January 18, 2018 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice, Student Advice | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 15, 2018

Greenberg vs. Dershowitz on whether Trump can obstruct justice

The always awful Alan Dershowitz has been all over the media arguing that Trump can't obstruct justice; Mark Greenberg (UCLA) here takes the argument apart.

January 15, 2018 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, January 11, 2018

In Memoriam: Geoffrey C. Hazard, Jr. (1929-2018)

A preeminent figure for many decades in both civil procedure and legal ethics, Professor Hazard taught at Berkeley, Chicago, Yale, Penn, and, since 2009, at the University of California, Hastings.  The Penn memorial notice is here and the ALI notice here.

(Thanks to Scott Dodson for the pointer.)

January 11, 2018 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

ABA moves for summary judgment in lawsuit brought by Cooley Law School

The motion is here, and it is quite damning about Cooley.  My guess is the motion will be granted, and Cooley will lose its accreditation and close within the next year or two.

January 10, 2018 in Legal Profession | Permalink

Monday, January 8, 2018

SSRN download rankings now measure mentions in newspapers

The top 11 "most downloaded" law authors in the last 12 months are eleven tax professors who co-authored two papers on the recent tax overhaul, which garnered a prominent mention in The New York Times, leading to more than 70,000 downloads in the last month.  For 10 of these 11 tax professors, these two NYT-plugged papers constitute 95% or more of all their downloads.  The traditional #1 in downloads among law professors, Cass Sunstein, is now a mere 12th!  This has happened before with SSRN, but usually involving one author (e.g., Christopher Fairman, or Daniel Solove).   Farewell to SSRN downloads as a metric of any interest for at least a year!

January 8, 2018 in Faculty News, Legal Humor, Rankings | Permalink