Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Web Name: Brian Leiter's Law School Reports






In my other academic field, philosophy, it is quite common (indeed probably the norm) for faculty to make lateral moves later in their careers, rather than earlier: faculty in their 50s and 60s frequently take tenured positions at peer or stronger departments. When I started in law teaching in the early 1990s, this was very clearly not the case: most lateral moves occurred 5-15 years into a teaching career, with lateral moves by faculty in their 50s, let alone 60s, almost unheard of, except for administrative appointments. Yet just in the last couple of years, we ve seen multiple lateral moves to peer or stronger schools by faculty age 55 and older. For example:Lateral faculty moving in their late 50s: Curtis Bradley from Duke to Chicago; Robin Kundis Craig from Utah to Southern California; Mitu Gulati from Duke to Virginia; Ran Hirschl from Toronto to Texas; Nancy Kim from Cal Western to Chicago-Kent; Kimberly Krawiec from Duke to Virginia.Lateral faculty moving in their 60s or older: Naomi Cahn from George Washington to Virginia; Herbert Hovenkamp from Iowa to Penn; Lawrence Solum from Georgetown to Virginia; Gerald Torres from Cornell to Yale.I may have missed some from the last two years that are also in these brackets, but this is fairly representative.What explains this change in hiring practices? I have a couple of hypotheses:1. As academic law as an interdisciplinary and scholarly field has matured, there is more appreciation for cumulative scholarly achievement over the long haul, with the result that more faculty with sustained achievement over decades are finding themselves in demand.2. The scholarly impact rankings that I started and Greg Sisk and colleagues at St. Thomas have continued--and which US will now produce (and eventually incorporate into their rankings, I predict)--have probably enhanced the value of adding senior faculty with substantial scholarly profiles to a law faculty. It may just be a coincidence that, for example, Virginia, which underperformed in the various impact studies, has hired a large number of high cited scholars in their 50s and 60s in recent years. The proposed changes are available here. Written comments on the proposals should be addressed to: Scott Bales, Council Chair. Please send comments to Fernando Mariduena ( by June 28, 2021.I am going to offer a few observations of my own on some of these proposals, which readers are free to incorporate into any comments they wish to send to Mr. Bales (with or without attribution to this blog). Some of the proposed changes are minor, but many are not. As a threshold matter, the ABA should have to explain why the existing standards were not more than adequate, especially since some of the proposed changes will impose substantial costs on schools and seem ill-supported by evidence.(1) Proposed changes would replace previous language requiring concrete action and reasonable efforts related to diversity, to a standard that demands demonstrat[ing] progress. What does progress mean? If a very diverse law school becomes slightly less diverse after a few years (but is still extremely diverse), does that mean it is in violation of the standard? That would seem bizarre. Suppose a law school becomes more diverse by enrolling more Asian-American students, but fewer African-American students. Is that progress within the meaning of the Standard? What if it enrolls more students with disabilities, but fewer Hispanic students? How is progress to be measured? Why is it a preferable standard?(2) The proposals impose a substantial new burden on schools to collect and maintain data that will be both costly and time-consuming, and will almost certainly require schools to hire additional administrative staff (see esp. 206-3 and 206-4). This includes publishing threshold data disaggregated by race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, or military status (several of these categories are new), plus requiring quantitative and qualitative measures of campus climate and academic outcomes disaggregated again by all the preceding demographic categories. Wouldn t the money spent on these reporting requirements be better spent on financial aid, for example, that increased diversity?(3) Recommended actions that would demonstrate progress...under the Standard would include (206-5) Diversity, equity, and inclusion training. This raises two concerns. First, there is evidence that such training is not effective, and can even be counter-productive. Second, and even more seriously, such training will almost certainly violate the academic freedom rights of faculty at many (probably most) schools by demanding conformity to a particular ideology about diversity, its meaning, and its value. The ABA should not even be suggesting that schools violate the contractual and/or constitutional rights of faculty to academic freedom. (There is a related problem with the mandatory diversity statements at certain public universities.) These are non-clinical appointments that will take effect in 2021 (except where noted); I will move the list to the front at various intervals as new additions come in. (Recent additions are in bold.) Last year s list is here. Feel free to e-mail me with news of additions to this list. *Atinuke Adediran (legal profession, law social science) from Boston College to Fordham University (untenured lateral). *Aziza Ahmed (health law, constitutional law, gender/race law) from Northeastern University to the University of California, Irvine. *Ifeoma Ajunwa (law technology, race law, labor employment law, health law) from Cornell University (Industrial Labor Relations School) to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (effective January 2021). *Alena Allen (health law, torts, feminist legal theory) from University of Memphis to University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. *Kate Andrias (labor, administrative constitutional law) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor to Columbia University. *Shyamkrishna Balganesh (intellectual property, private law theory) from the University of Pennsylvania to Columbia University (effective January 2021). *Susan Bisom-Rapp (international and comparative employment law, labor law, employment discrimination) from Thomas Jefferson School of Law to California Western School of Law.*Maggie Blackhawk (legislation, constitutional law, federal Indian law) from the University of Pennsylvania to New York University. *Curtis A. Bradley (international law, foreign affairs law, federal courts) from Duke University to the University of Chicago. *John R. Brooks (tax law policy) from Georgetown University to Fordham University (starting fall 2022). *Jay Butler (international business transactions, corporate law) from the College of William Mary to the University of Virginia. *Nancy Chi Cantalupo (civil rights, human rights, sex discrimination) from California Western School of Law to Wayne State University (untenured lateral). *Jennifer Chacon (immimgration law, constitutional law, criminal law procedure) from the University of California, Los Angeles to the University of California, Berkeley. *Guy-Uriel Charles (constitutional law, election law, race law) from Duke University to Harvard University. *Vincent Chiao (criminal law procedure, legal theory, political philosophy) from the University of Toronto to the University of Richmond. *Danielle Citron (privacy, civil rights, freedom of expression, Internet law) from Boston University to the University of Virginia (effective January 2021). *Kimberly Clausing (public finance, tax, international trade) from Reed College (Economics) to the University of California, Los Angeles. *Amy Cohen (ADR, mediation, property, law development) from Ohio State University to Temple University. *Robin Kundis Craig (environmental law, water law) from the University of Utah to the University of Southern California. *Colin Crawford (environmental law, land use) from the University of Louisville (where he is Dean) to Golden Gate University (to become Dean). *John Czarnetzky (bankruptcy, corporate) from the University of Mississippi to Ave Maria School of Law (to become Dean). *Meera Deo (legal education, race law, law society) from Thomas Jefferson Law School to Southwestern School of Law. *Darby Dickerson (legal writing) from UIC John Marshall Law School (where she is Dean) to Southwestern Law School (to become Dean). *Stephanie Holmes Didwania (criminal law procedure, intellectual property, empirical legal studies, law economics) from Temple University to University of Wisconsin, Madison (untenured lateral). *Deborah Dinner (legal history, employment discrimination, family law) from Emory University to Cornell University. *Tonya Evans (intellectual property, trusts estates, entertainment law) from the University of New Hampshire to Pennsylania State University-Dickinson School of Law. *Roger A. Fairfax, Jr. (criminal law procedure, criminal justice administration) from George Washington University to American University (to become Dean). *Joseph Fishkin (constitutional law, employment discrimination, election law, equal opportunity) from the University of Texas, Austin to the University of California, Los Angeles. *Pamela Foohey (bankruptcy, commercial law, consumer law) from Indiana University, Bloomington to Cardozo Law School/Yeshiva University. *Cynthia Fountaine (civil rights, civil procedure, federal courts) from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale to the University of North Texas. *Cary Franklin (constitutional law, antidiscrimination law, legal history) from the University of Texas, Austin to the University of California, Los Angeles. *César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández (criminal law, immigration law) from the University of Denver to Ohio State University. *Jonathan Glater (education law policy, disability law) from the University of California, Los Angeles to the University of California, Berkeley. *Kevin Greene (intellectual property, entertainment law) from Thomas Jefferson School f Law to Southwestern Law School (effective January 2021). *Linda Greene (constitutional law, civil rights, sports law) from the University of Wisconsin, Madison to Michigan State University (to become Dean). *Caleb Griffin (corporate law, contracts) from Belmont University to University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (untenured lateral). *G. Mitu Gulati (contracts, sovereign debt, law economics, empirical legal studies, race/gender law) from Duke University to the University of Virginia. *Jasmine E. Harris (law inequality, disability law, evidence) from the University of California, Davis to the University of Pennsylvania. *Ran Hirschl (comparative constitutional law) from the University of Toronto to the University of Texas, Austin (joint with Government Department). *Darren Hutchinson (civil rights, law inequality, critical race theory) from the University of Florida, Gainesville to Emory University. *Lolita Buckner Inniss (legal history, gender law, critical race theory) from Southern Methodist University to the University of Colorado, Boulder (to become Dean). *Jason Iuliano (contracts, commercial law, consumer law) from Villanova University to the University of Utah (untenured lateral). *Osamudia James (administrative law, race law, education law) from the University of Miami to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. *Jamila Jefferson-Jones (property, real estate transactions, housing law) from the University of Missouri-Kansas City to Wayne State University. *Kristin Johnson (financial regulation, securities regulation) from Tulane University to Emory University (effective January 2021). *Michael J. Kaufman (civil procedure, education law) from Loyola University, Chicago (where he is Dean) to Santa Clara University (to become Dean). *Melvin Kelley (property, fair housing, critical race theory) from Villanova University to Northeastern University (untenured lateral). *Madhav Khosla (Indian constitutional law, comparative constitutional law) from Ashoka University (India) to Columbia University (untenured lateral, effective January 1, 2022). *Nancy Kim (law technology, contracts, commercial law) from California Western School of Law to Chicago-Kent College of Law/Illinois Institute of Technology. *Ariel Jurow Kleiman (tax) from the University of San Diego to Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. *Craig Konnoth (health law, law sexuality) from the University of Colorado, Boulder to the University of Virginia. *Kimberly Krawiec (corporate) from Duke University to the University of Virginia. *Anita Krishnakumar (legislation and statutory interpretation) from St. John s University to Georgetown University. *Guha Krishnamurthi (criminal law procedure, constitutional law, jurisprudence) from South Texas College of Law to the University of Oklahoma, Norman (untenured lateral). *Margaret Kwoka (administrative law, civil procedure, federal courts) from the University of Denver to Ohio State University. *David S. Law (comparative constitutional law, law social science) from the University of California, Irvine to the University of Virginia. *Stacy Leeds (Federal Indian law) from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville to Arizona State University (effective January 2021). Lawprof, antitrust expert and Chicago alum Daniel Crane (Michigan) comments. ...and apparently without consultation with the faculty. He moved to Miami just two years ago. I don t know more at this stage, just that faculty were caught by surprise.UPDATE: More details here.ANOTHER: Another news item. Although the reason given is the historical John Marshall s racist views, I strongly suspect this will also have a positive effect on the school s peer evaluation scores in the USNEWS.COM rankings because of the well-known halo effect of school names on scores (better to be a law school at the University of Illinois than a John Marshall law school). (Recall the case of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles a few years back, where the loss of the brand known among law professors caused the reputation scores to plunge.)UPDATE: Derek Muller (Iowa) calls to my attention that the law school already got a huge boost in reputation score from the initial name change; we ll see if this new one has a further effect. (Earlier coverage.) From the public announcement:The Review Panel did find...that it was an error for Justice Spiro to raise such concerns [about the faculty candidate] in the manner he did. The judge properly recognized the mistakes he made and expressed remorse. The Review Panel found this error serious but that it did not warrant removal of Justice Spiro from office. MOVING TO FRONT FROM MAY 19--AFTER I POSTED THIS ORIGINALLY, YALE REMOVED THE REPORT; A YALE LAW STUDENT KINDLY SUPPLIED AN ALTERNATIVE LINK FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO READ THE REPORT...and the effect of class background on the student experience. As the report notes near the start, during the 2018-19 academic year, Students called out the whisper networks and gamesmanship that funnel prized opportunities, like clerkships and Coker Fellowships, to those under the wings of a few connected faculty. Those networks were exposed for what they truly reward: savvy over skill, and privilege over equity. Some of this, of course, is the predictable consequence of the school not having grades, and it no doubt disadvantages those less skilled at the upper-class arts of brown-nosing, social climbing etc. A longtime member of the law faculty at the University of Southern California, Professor Stone was probably best-known for his contributions to environmental law. The USC memorial notice is here.(Thanks to Scott Altman for the pointer.) Although Professor Lawsky will continue to update the report, an initial version is here. A few notable results:*There were 64 rookie hires, down from 88 last year.*There were only 45 schools hiring, down from 66 last year.*All rookie hires had some combination of a clerkship, a fellowship, and/or an advanced degree. If I m reading the data rightly, only one candidate got hired with only a clerkship. 88% of those hired had done a fellowship, and 45% of those hired had a PhD. An Argentinian legal philosopher, and longtime member of the law faculty at the University of Buenos Aires, Professor Bulygin enjoyed an international reputation for important contributions to all aspects of jurisprudence (see a collection of his papers from OUP for a sense of the range of issues he worked on); his most famous and influential work was probably 1971 s Normative Systems. An obituary in Spanish is here.On a personal note, I had the great honor of meeting him a number of years ago when he came to my lecture at the University of Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires. A great legal philosopher and a very gracious man.(Thanks to Luís Duarte d Almeida for calling his death to my attention.) There s an alarmist, and not entirely accurate, report here. I received an anonymous e-mail to the same effect. I do not know who sent it, or if they were even at Northwestern. A few points:First, there were several faculty on the Dean search committee. The finalists did not, however, meet the full faculty, which is unusual, but also not unheard of at other schools (including other top law schools). Outside Deans (and Presidents and Provosts) are always hired with tenure in the appropriate unit and, more often than not, without doing a job talk. I assume the search committee would have been tasked with making sure candidates were suitable for tenure in the law school and prepared a report to that effect. If not, that would be a violation of normal procedures.Second, the final candidate, Dean Hari Osofsky of Penn State-University Park, is not a Critical Race Theory scholar. (There was another finalist who does work in CRT, who would have been an excellent choice too by the way.) My impression is Professor Osofsky has been a successful and quite capable Dean, which no doubt explains why she was also a finalist for the Presidency at the University of Iowa. (Osofsky was, by the way, previously a tenured professor at the University of Minnesota, a top 20ish law school.) Here. The AALS also cancelled last fall s in-person hiring convention for the obvious reasons. What this means for academic jobs seekers is that they have to be ready to do screening interviews (via Zoom) within a week or two of the FAR forms being released next August 18 (forms will be due before that of course). It will also mean that the hiring season will have a less predictable timetable, with many callbacks in September and October and offers before Thanksgiving likely. That happened last year too, but a countervailing force was that many law schools entered the market quite late in 2020-21, as it became clearer that the pandemic might end and that enrollments (and thus income) were shaping up favorably: as a result, many hiring schools did not enter the market until early 2021. 2021-22 promises to be an excellent year for law school enrollments, and early indicators suggest that the 2022-23 year will be at least as strong. Since enrollments drive hiring at 80-85% of the law schools in the country, this bodes very well for academic job seekers. I expect many more law schools to be in the market for new teachers this coming year, compared to this past year. (This past year, 1 in 5 tenure-track jobs weren take by Chicago alums and/or Fellows. Needless to say, we hope that will continue, and we appreciate the strong interest in law schools in our graduates and Fellows.) I doubt we ll get back to the pre-2010 levels of hiring (when 150+ new faculty were hired each year), but I would not be surprised if next year saw 100 or so new faculty hired.ADDENDUM: A colleague elsewhere points out to me a possible countervailing consideration: namely, uncertainty about whether foreign LLMs will be able to come to the US next year for their degrees. LLM enrollment is a significant source of tuition revenue at many schools. My guess is that a majority of foreign LLM students will be able to enter the country for purposes of study. The Provost has issued a statement regarding the case we noted previously, that reads in part:We recently received complaints relating to a post by USD Law Professor Tom Smith on his personal blog concerning the causes of COVID-19. The complaints alleged violations of various university and School of Law policies.As a threshold matter, we sought to determine whether the blog post at issue was protected by our policy on academic freedom. After a thorough legal review, it was determined that the expression was protected by that policy.This conclusion in no way amounts to an endorsement by the university of the opinions shared in the blog post.Happily, the Provost reached the correct conclusion; it should not have taken so long. This is about as easy an academic freedom case as one can imagine.

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