Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Where Are Declines in Law School Applications the Largest?

Vivia Chen at The American Lawyer reveals eighteen law school that have seen a decline in applications of 30% or greater since 2010.  Her February 19 post is here.

Craig Estlinbaum

February 27, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lesley University Adjuncts Form Union

Adjunct professors at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have voted to form a union, becoming the second adjunct group to unionize.  Tufts University adjuncts in Boston became the first local group to unionize in the nation last fall.  Matt Rocheleau at has the full story here.

Craig Estlinbaum

February 25, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews

Missouri-Kansas City professors Allen Roston and Nancy Levit, have for the last five years been posting on SSRN, "Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews & Journals."  They most recently updated the survey in January 2014.  This update includes contact and submission information, suggested format, and expedite/withdraw information for 203 law reviews and journals.

Since 2009, South Carolina professor Colin Miller has been regularly updating a similar article on SSRN -- "Submission Guide for Online Law Review Supplements, Version 7.0."  As the name suggests, this guide contains valuable information for authors seeking to publish shorter essays in the various online supplements found at leading law review and journal websites.  With the latest update, the article surveys 49 online law reviews and includes online law review name and contact information, the types of articles published, submission information and suggested format.

These two surveys are invaluable resources for prospective authors.

Craig Estlinbaum


February 25, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Maine Supreme Judicial Court rules in favor of transgender student on bathroom issue

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court, in a 6-1 split, has ruled that a school district violated a transgender student’s rights under the Maine Human Rights Act  when it prohibited her from using the girls’ communal restroom at school.

- See more at:

Doe v. Regional Sch. Unit 26, No. 12-582 (Me. Jan. 30, 2014)

February 24, 2014 in Constitutional Law, Education Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Robert Johnson's Son Wins Rights to Photographs

From The Guardian:

The son of legendary Delta bluesman Robert Johnson can keep profits from the only two known photographs of his father, the Mississippi supreme court ruled Thursday.

Robert Johnson died at the age of 27 in depression-era Mississippi having lived his brief adult life as an itinerant Delta bluesman.   In his life he only recorded 29 songs, and there are only two known photographs of him in existance.   He died before he turned 30 and the exact location of his grave is unknown (though there are three markers for him -- one in Morgan City MS, one in Quito MS, and one north of Greenwood MS).  After his death, Johnson became one of the most influential guitarists in music history --- in 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Johnson 5th among the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

The case is Aynne Anderson v. Stephen C. Lavere, No. 2012-CA-00601-SCT (Miss., February 20, 2012).  Mississippi courts had previously declared Robert Johnson's son, Claud Johnson, to be his sole heir in 1998.   This case turns on the relevant federal and state statute of limitations' application to the facts.   The case is interesting not only for its historical significance to music fans, but also as illustrating how testimony in once case case turn fatal in a subsequent claim.

According to the case, Plaintiffs Anderson, et al., initially believed they were the heirs to the Robert Johnson Estate -- Johnson died intestate in 1938 and left no estate of value, or so anyone then thought.  Plaintiffs opened Johnson's estate in 1989 believing themselves to be the bluesman's only heirs.  During the proceedings, they testified under oath that the recordings and two photographs were the Johnson Estate's property.  However, Mississippi courts ultimately found Claud Johnson to be Robert Johnson's only heir. 

In this subsequent litigation over rights to the two photographs, Plaintiffs' asserted the those same photographs belonged to them personally.  The court wrote:

Also, we note that during the [prior] heirship proceedings, Anderson and Harris did not claim the photographs belonged to Thompson. Rather, they claimed the photographs were assets of the Johnson estate. They assert that they did not bring a separate action because they thought they were the only heirs to the Johnson estate, and thus they were entitled to the photographs as Johnson’s heirs. So, only after losing the estate case did Anderson and Harris bring a separate action claiming that Thompson – and not the estate – owned the photographs. This strategy cannot serve to toll the statute of limitations.

A collection of Robert Johnson's recordings, "The Complete Recordings" won a Grammy Award in 1990 for Best Historical Album. 

Craig Estlinbaum

February 24, 2014 in Interesting Cases, Music, State Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Delay in Termination Does Not Change The Fact That Employee Not Eligible For Unemployment

Matter of Capello v. Commissioner of Labor, ___A.D.3d___(3rd Dep't. Jan. 16, 2014), is an interesting case. The employee tried to argue that he was not terminated for misconduct because the employer delayed firing him. The employee was absent a week after the incident and it then took the employer 2 weeks to investigate. 

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

February 19, 2014 in Employment Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Texas Tech: 2014 Criminal Law Symposium

Texas Tech Law Review will host its 2014 Criminal Law Symposium on the subject of Homicide on April 4 at the Mark and Becky Lanier Auditorium on the campus in Lubbock.  The schedule includes Carol Steiker (Harvard) as keynote speaker and panels on intentional homicide, unintentional homicide and capital murder.  For more information, look here.

Craig Estlinbaum

February 19, 2014 in Conferences, Faculty, Criminal Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hospital Employee States Whistleblower Cause of Action

Galbraith v. Westchester Medical Center, ___A.D.3d___(2d Dep't. Jan. 15, 2014), is an interesting read. A hospital  perfusionist stated a cause of action under N.Y. Labor Law Section 741. He alleged that  alleging that he was demoted in retaliation for his objections to the rapid infuser policy, which he voiced because he was concerned that it threatened the quality of patient care. 

Note, that this is a public sector employment law case. The law is far my restrictive in the private sector in New York.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

February 16, 2014 in Employment Law, Employment-At-Will & Exceptions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Law Professor Conference Assessment Across the Curriculum

Assessment Across The Curriculum

Institute for Law Teaching and Learning

Spring Conference 2014

Saturday, April 5, 2014


“Assessment Across the Curriculum” is a one-day conference for new and experienced law teachers who are interested in designing and implementing effective techniques for assessing student learning.  The conference will take place on Saturday, April 5, 2014, at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law in Little Rock, Arkansas.


Conference Content:  Sessions will address topics such as

  • ·         Formative Assessment in Large Classes
  • ·         Classroom Assessment Techniques
  • ·         Using Rubrics for Formative and Summative Assessment
  • ·         Assessing the Ineffable: Professionalism, Judgment, and Teamwork
  • ·         Assessment Techniques for Statutory or Transactional Courses


By the end of the conference, participants will have concrete ideas and assessment practices to take back to their students, colleagues, and institutions.


Who Should Attend:  This conference is for all law faculty (full-time and adjunct) who want to learn about best practices for course-level assessment of student learning.


Conference Structure:  The conference opens with an optional informal gathering on Friday evening, April 4.  The conference will officially start with an opening session on Saturday, April 5, followed by a series of workshops.  Breaks are scheduled with adequate time to provide participants with opportunities to discuss ideas from the conference.  The conference ends at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.  Details about the conference are available on the websites of the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning ( and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law ( 


Conference Faculty:  Conference workshops will be taught by experienced faculty, including Michael Hunter Schwartz (UALR Bowen), Rory Bahadur (Washburn), Sandra Simpson (Gonzaga), Sophie Sparrow (University of New Hampshire), Lyn Entrikin (UALR Bowen), and Richard Neumann (Hofstra).

Accommodations:  A block of hotel rooms for conference participants has been reserved at The DoubleTree Little Rock, 424 West Markham Street, Little Rock, AR 72201.  Reservations may be made by calling the hotel directly at501-372-4371, calling the DoubleTree Central Reservations System at 800-222-TREE, or booking online  The group code to use when making reservations for the conference is “LAW.” 

 Hat Tip: 

Kelly S. Terry | Associate Professor of Law

Co-Director, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning

Director, Externship Programs & Pro Bono Opportunities

UALR William H. Bowen School of Law

February 15, 2014 in Conferences, Faculty | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Best Law Teachers Conference, Chicago June 25-June 27

Northwestern Law and the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning ( are sponsoring the following conference:  What the Best Law Teachers Do: Educators in Action, June 25-27, 2014, in Chicago, Illinois. 

What the Best Law Teachers Do: Education in Action is a two-and-a-half day conference that will provide a forum to hear the insights and teaching techniques of one-dozen remarkable law educators, among those interviewed in Harvard Press’s newly-released book. The educators will share their insights and teaching techniques over the course of two full days. For more information, to register for the conference and to make reservations  please visit website

Hat Tip:

Deborah L. Borman, A.M., J.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor of Law
Northwestern University School of Law

February 14, 2014 in Conferences, Faculty | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Georgia: Legal Ethics & Professionalism Symposium

The University of Georgia School of Law is hosting its 14th Annual Legal Ethics & Professionalism Symposium on February 21, 2014, at the law school campus.  The symposium is titled, "Who Are They to Judge? Ethical and Professionalism Issues Facing the Bench."  Here is the description from the symposium website:

This annual legal ethics symposium is titled "Who Are They to Judge? Ethical and Professionalism Issues Facing the Bench." Members of the judiciary are facing increasing ethical challenges and being subjected to enhanced scrutiny as a result of the changing dynamics of both their jobs and the legal profession more generally.  During this symposium, an impressive lineup of judges, attorneys and professors will examine three important areas in this regard: (1) judicial elections and their effect on the decision-making process; (2) collegiality, decorum, and civility between the bench and the bar; and (3) the process, results, and aftermath of investigations into alleged judicial misconduct.

Here is the link for registration and program information.

Craig Estlinbaum

February 12, 2014 in Conferences, Faculty, Ethics, Judges | Permalink | Comments (0)

Charleston Law School Sale Under Legislative Scruitiny

A proposed sale of the Charleston (SC) Law School to a Florida-based company has captured the state legislature's attention, and it appears some there may have other plans for the stand alone law school. 

Some powerful S.C. lawmakers are trying to stop the sale of the Charleston School of Law to a Florida-based company to clear the way for it to merge with a state-supported school, a move that would give South Carolina two publicly funded law schools.

But other lawmakers say South Carolina already struggles to sustain the state’s 33 publicly funded colleges, universities and technical schools, adding the state should not interfere with private business transactions.

Here is the full story from Adam Beam of  According to the story, some legislators proposed to merge the law school with the College of Charleston, a public university located in downtown Charleston. 

Craig Estlinbaum

Read more here:

February 12, 2014 in Law Schools | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Human Rights First Opens Office at South Texas College of Law

Human Rights Watch ("HRW") today announced it would be opening a clinic at South Texas College of Law in Houston this April.   HRW provides pro bono legal representation to asylum seekers.  This office will be the organizations first beyond the East Coast.  From the HRW press release:

Human Rights First’s award-winning pro bono asylum program is built on a unique partnership with lawyers at private firms.  Human Rights First’s expert legal team recruits, trains, and mentors lawyers who volunteer their time to help refugees navigate the complex bureaucratic process of seeking asylum protection through the U.S. immigration system. Every year, Human Rights First helps more than 700 refugees with free legal help donated by private law firms. Last year, this program leveraged nearly $30 million in services to aid indigent refugees in need of protection. The organization wins more than 90% of its cases.

The full press release is here.

Craig Estlinbaum

February 10, 2014 in Federal Law, Law Schools, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Harvard Symposium: Freedom of the Press

Harvard Law Review will host its Symposium 2014:  Freedom of the Press this Saturday, February 15 at Harvard Law School.  The Symposium's focus will be the 50th Anniversary of the landmark First Amendment case New York Times v. SullivanHere is the Symposium webpage. 

Acknowledgement:  Ronald L. K. Collins at Concurring Opinions.

Craig Estlinbaum


February 10, 2014 in Conferences, Faculty, First Amendment | Permalink | Comments (0)

NLRB soliciting Briefs re: Olin/Spielberg Post-Arbitral Deferral

The NLRB is soliciting briefs regarding its Olin Corp./Spielberg post-arbitral deferral standard. You can view the announcement here:

February 10, 2014 in NLRB | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

School Law Jobs

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

February 9, 2014 in Lawyer Employment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Breaking News. Important District Court Decision Concerning Graduate Students

A United States District Court recently held ruled that legislation seeking to
prohibit Graduate Student Research Assistants from forming labor
organizations was invalid because it was adopted in violation of the
Michigan Constitution . The decision will open the door for GSRA in the
State of Michigan to decide if they wish to be represented by a union.

A copy of the decision can be downloaded by clicking  Download Decision

It will be interesting to see what effect this decision may have on the pending NLRB decision concerning the statutus of graduate students under the NLRA.

Mitchell  Rubinstein

February 6, 2014 in Law Review Ideas, NLRB, Public Sector Labor Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

House Staff Report on Adjuncts

The Just In Time Professor is an interestig staff report of the House Democrats which was recently released, here

Readers of this blog as well as faculty do not need a report to understand their conclusions:

By no means comprehensive or scientific, the eForum provided an alarming snapshot of life for
contingent faculty. While the occupation of “college professor” still retains a reputation as a
middle-class job, the reality is that a growing number of people working in this profession fill
positions not intended to provide the stability, pay, or benefits necessary for a family’s long-term
economic security. Whether some adjunct professors piece together a living from their teaching
job or only use it to supplement a more stable primary career elsewhere, many contingent faculty
might be best classified as working poor.
As one respondent put it: “[T]he bulk of instructors at
the college level fulfilling this goal [of educating students] are compensated less than their peers
despite equal expertise, are given no benefits despite obvious need, and are continually stripped
of their voice and dignity by a situation where they must overwork themselves or find a new
career.” Their story is another example of the shrinking middle class and another data point in
the widening gap between rich and poor. Policy solutions for part-time workers more generally,
such as the Part-Time Workers’ Bill of Rights, would help address some of the economic
security issues these faculty face.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

Hat Tip: Brent Newton

February 5, 2014 in Adjunct Information in General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Washington Senate Considers Shrinking State Supreme Court

From yesterday's Spokane Spokesman-Review:

A plan to shrink the state Supreme Court by two justices was praised Monday by some as a money-saver and criticized by others as payback for decisions some legislators don’t like.

The proposal, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Baumgartner, R-Spokane, would cut the nine-member court to seven. It moved out of the Senate Law and Justice Committee on Monday on a voice vote, giving it a chance for a vote by the full Senate in the coming weeks.

The article suggests this proposal has picked up steam in the legislature following a recent high court decision ordering the Legislature to spend more money on public schools.

The legislature notes that more populus states California and New York get by with seven high court justices.  On the other end of that spectrum, Texas leads the nation with 18 high court judges, with there being two high courts (one civil, one criminal) with nine judges each.

Craig Estlinbaum

February 5, 2014 in Judges, State Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Judge Is Disqualified After Sending Litigant a Facebook Friend Request

A Florida appellate court recently held that a motion to disqualify a judge should be granted where the judge in a divorce proceeding, sent a Facebook friend request to a litigant in the proceeding and the litigant refused the request.  The case is Chace v. Loisel, No. 5D13-4449 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App., January 24, 2013).

In this case, the judge, during the divorce proceeding, "reached out" to the party by making a Facebook friend request.  The party declined the request.  That party later claimed the judge retaliated against her by awarding her most of the marital debt.  The party filed a motion to disqualify which the trial court denied.

The appellate court wrote:

It seems clear that a judge’s ex parte communication with a party presents a legally sufficient claim for disqualification, particularly in the case where the party’s failure to respond to a Facebook  “friend” request creates a reasonable fear of offending the solicitor. The “friend” request placed the litigant between the proverbial rock and a hard place: either engage in improper ex parte communications with the judge presiding over the case or risk offending the judge by not accepting the “friend” request.

Florida Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee Opinion 2009-20 provides that by designating an attorney as a Facebook friend, a judge, "reasonably conveys to others the impression that these lawyer 'friends' are in a special position to influence the judge."  Florida takes a restrictive approach to judicial use of social media so the outcome in this case is not surprising.

Craig Estlinbaum

February 4, 2014 in Ethics, Interesting Cases, Judges | Permalink | Comments (0)