Friday, January 20, 2017
This post at The Faculty Lounge by David Frakt suggests utter chaos is underway at Charlotte School of Law, an Infilaw for-profit law school. Charlotte law had previously pushed back the start of the semester by one week and the Charlotte Law faculty also recently issued a no-confidence vote to the school's leaders. With wholesale firing of faculty, it is hard to see this school surviving.
Friday, December 9, 2016
David Lander (Saint Louis) is a guest blogger at Prawf Blawg this month. So far, Lander has two posts that may interest adjunct professors of law or persons interested in law school related commentary. They are:
- The Benefits of Closer Connections Among Law School Adjuncts and Full Time Law Faculty (December 1, 2016), and
- Comparison of law school adjuncts to adjuncts in other parts of the university (December 8, 2016).
Regarding the first post, I agree with commenters who find it unlikely that adjuncts with full-time jobs would participate on curriculum committees or other law school committee work. As for the suggestion adjuncts participate in faculty presentations, an invitation might be appreciated, but participation would likely be catch-as-catch-can.
Regarding the second post, I expect the only reason law schools have not already frozen tenured hires is that the ABA standards require law schools to maintain the full-time faculty they do is that a school that falls the ABA requirement risks a review. This alone is sufficient reason for law schools to reject the path undergraduate institutions have charted.
The two posts also raise the question whether blog post titles should be capitalized or not, because to be honest, I don't know (or know that it even matters).
I'm looking forward to hearing more from Professor Lander this month.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
California Law Review and the American Constitution Society is hosting a panel discussion, "What to Make of Obergefell?: A Moderated Discussion with Professor Melissa Murray" this week. The panel discussion will be September 10 at the Boalt Hall campus and will address the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. Participants include Elizabeth Gill, ACLU of Northern California; Alexandra Robert Gordon, California Deputy Attorney General; and Maxwell Pritt, Boies, Schiller & Flexner, L.L.P.
University of Illinois Law Review has published an online symposium with four essays in response to Alexander Tsesis's book, Free Speech Constitutionalism. The essays are collected in the most recent issue of the journal's online companion, Slip Opinions. Contributors are Mark A. Graber, David S. Han, Helen Norton and Margot E. Kaminsky.
Friday, September 4, 2015
Richard Carlson (South Texas) has posted, "A Child's Right to a Family versus a State's Right to Institutionalize the Child," on SSRN. Carlson's article explores tension in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child between institutionalization and family placement as options for children without parents or guardians. Carlson acknowledges the Convention adopts a "child's best interest" standard toward placement and embraces the benefits of raising children in a "family environment." However, Carlson argues that the Convention's grant of broad discretion to states to institutionalize children, "cannot be squared with a 'child’s best interests,' the 'family environment' ideal or modern child development theory.
Carlson's abstract reads:
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), declares that a child has the right to be raised in a "family environment." Nevertheless, the CRC grants states the discretion to institutionalize children who are without functioning families. States have this discretion because the CRC does not require states to arrange, facilitate, or even allow for child placement in a permanent, substitute family. In this article, I describe this contradiction in international law -- a child's right a family environment versus the state's discretion to institutionalize the child -- and I explore the possible reasons for the contradiction. A chief reason for the contradiction is anxiety about intercountry adoption. I propose some ways to resolve the contradiction and to pave the way for the creation of a true right to a family, including by placement in a permanent substitute family.
Thursday, September 3, 2015
Cass Sunstein (Harvard) has posted his essay, "In Praise of Law Reviews (And Jargon-Filled, Academic Writing)," on SSRN. The abstract reads:
Many people, including many lawyers and judges, disparage law reviews (and the books that sometimes result from them) on the ground that they often deal with abstruse topics, of little interest to the bar, and are sometimes full of jargon-filled, excessively academic, and sometimes impenetrable writing. Some of the objections are warranted, but at their best, law reviews show a high level of rigor, discipline, and care; they have a kind of internal morality. What might seem to be jargon is often a product of specialization, similar to what is observed in other fields (such as economics, psychology, and philosophy). Much academic writing in law is not intended for the bar, at least not in the short-term, but that is not a problem: Such writing is meant to add to the stock of knowledge. If it succeeds, it can have significant long-term effects, potentially affecting what everyone takes to be “common sense.”
Sunstein's essay is forthcoming in the Michigan Law Review.
Monday, August 10, 2015
Chilly at Work, is an interesting August 3, 2015 article from the New York Times. Ever notice how woman always seem cold at work? Well, as the article points out, this may be because air conditioning systems were designed for men.
Professor Charles Sullivan (Seton Hall Law School) and an editor over at Workplace Prof Blog, an expert in employment discrimination, raises the question whether such a claim could be actionable under Title VII under a disparate impact type theory. He appears very skeptical.
It seems to me that maybe, just maybe if employees are disciplined or not given certain office assignments because of the temp in the office, maybe there might be something to think about.
Seems like a perfect law review article.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
Friday, July 24, 2015
Professor Cynthia Bond writes to request that law professors answer a survey about popular culture in the law school classroom. A cover letter from Professor Bond and a link to her survey are below.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
Greetings Law Teacher Colleagues:
I am working on an article this summer on uses of popular culture in the law school classroom. I am defining popularculture broadly to include mass culture texts like movies, TV shows, popular music, images which circulate on the internet, etc, and also any current events that you may reference in the classroom which are not purely legal in nature (i.e. not simply a recent court decision).
To support this article, I am doing a rather unscientific survey to get a sense of what law professors are doing in this area. If you are a law professor and you use popular culture in your class, I would be most grateful if you could answer this quick, anonymous survey I have put together:
Thanks in advance for your time and have a wonderful rest of summer!
The John Marshall Law School
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Orin Kerr has posted "The Influence of Immanuel Kant on Evidentiary Approaches in Eighteenth Century Bulgaria" at SSRN. Kerr's short essay, a response to Chief Justice Roberts' 2011 critique of law reviews, is forthcoming in The Green Bag. This is the abstract:
In 2011, Chief Justice Roberts commented that if you "pick up a copy of any law review that you see," "the first article is likely to be, you know, the influence of Immanuel Kant on evidentiary approaches in 18th-century Bulgaria, or something, which I'm sure was of great interest to the academic that wrote it, but isn't of much help to the bar.” No such article exists, of course -- until now. This short essay explains why, in all likelihood, Kant’s influence on evidentiary approaches in 18th-century Bulgaria was none.
HT: Lawrence Solum, Legal Theory Blog.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Recovery for emotional harm in tort is a dicey proposition for any plaintiff. Court traditionally have cast a sharp eye to these claims and have erected procedural and substantive barriers against recovery. The rationale supporting these barriers is that emotional injury is "less susceptible to objective medical proof" than is physical injury. The Restatement (Third) of Torts adopts these distinctions between physical and emotional harm by requiring emotional harm be "serious" before any recovery for emotional injury may be had.
These barriers to recovery act as a check against claim's perceived subjective nature and resistance to objective proof. In a recent article, however, Professor Betsy Grey (Arizona) argues that advances in neuroscience have blurred the lines between emotional and physical harm and render emotional harm objectively measurable, at least in some circumstances. The article is "The Future of Emotional Harm," forthcoming in Fordham Law Review. This is the abstract:
Why should tort law treat claims for emotional harm as a second-class citizen? Judicial skepticism about these claims is long entrenched, justified by an amalgam of perceived problems ranging from proof difficulties for causation and the need to constrain fraudulent claims, to the ubiquity of the injury, and a concern about open-ended liability. To address this jumble of justifications, the law has developed a series of duty limitations to curb the claims and preclude them from reaching the jury for individualized analysis. The limited duty approach to emotional harm is maintained by the latest iteration of the Restatement (Third) of Torts. This Article argues that many of the justifications for curtailing this tort have been discredited by scientific developments. In particular, the rapid advances in neuroscience give greater insight into the changes that occur in the brain from emotional harm. Limited duty tests should no longer be used as proxies for validity or justified by the presumed untrustworthiness of the claim. Instead, validity evidence for emotional harm claims—like evidence of physical harm—should be entrusted to juries. This approach will reassert the jury’s role as the traditional factfinder, promote corrective justice and deterrence values, and lead to greater equity for negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED) claimants. The traditional limitations on tort recovery, including the rules of evidence and causation, are more than adequate to avoid opening the floodgates to emotional distress claims.
This article article makes clear that expert testimony regarding neuroscience may soon be (or already is) coming to the civil courtrooms in the various states. Whether you agree, disagree or reserve judgement on her conclusions, Professor Grey's article represents a treasure trove of resources on these scientific advances and a good reference for lawyers, judges or students searching for a point of entry on the subject.
Monday, January 26, 2015
Friday, December 19, 2014
The Virginia Law Review has published "Another Look at Professor Rodell's Goodbye to Law Reviews" by Judge Harry Edwards (D. C. Circuit) in its November 2014 issue. Michael Dorf (Cornell) added his thoughts here.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
- Impacts of recent developments on the use of adjuncts
- How many adjuncts and what courses should they or should they not teach?
- Maximizing the benefits of adjuncts
I have two initial responses:
Lander writes in the first post, "And if a school is looking for a quick way to cut a few thousand dollars from its expense budget, reduction in the number of adjuncts may seem a handy way to find that reduction while asking "underutilized" tenured faculty to teach the courses the adjuncts had been teaching."
This is true, but aren't greater saving realized by not hiring a tenure track professor and using two adjuncts to teach elective classes otherwise being taught by full-time staff, leaving required and bar classes for the the full-timers? At many adjunct pay scales, this approach would hold greater appeal to the bottom line.
Lander writes in his second post, "One very important concern is the effect of the dependence on adjuncts on scholarship and publications. Although many adjuncts do write articles, nearly all of the true legal scholarship is done by full-time faculty and very little is done by adjuncts. This lack of scholarship has many negative implications...Research and publications will suffer in any area where full time faculty is replaced by adjuncts. Areas which make major use of adjuncts such as trial practice, bankruptcy, and sports and entertainment law have probably reached a tipping point where the amount and quality of research is significantly affected by the mix of adjuncts and full-time faculty working in these fields."
I would certainly agree that in the law school arena adjuncts on the whole are less productive scholars than are full-time professors on the whole, if journal articles and books measure "true legal scholarship." The question, though, is this: How many fully tenured professors are no longer productive scholars (and here)? It seems unfair to criticize adjuncts for not contributing scholarship when tenured professors - those best situated to make scholarly contributions - do not themselves write.
I am looking forward to more from Mr. Lander during his time at The Faculty Lounge.
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
(Dobkin v. Univ. of Iowa, Iowa Ct. App. No. 2-1096/12-1012, 2/13/13) is an interesting case. The court held that the lower court properly denied admission of an article from a law journal newspaper written by a witness for the age-protected job applicant who was denied an employment offer at the law school, despite contentions that opinions contained in the article were based on empirical evidence and that the law school “opened [the] door” for the article's admission, where the article was inadmissible hearsay with no applicable exception.
One of these days law schools are going to start to get hit for institutional age discrimination.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
I am delighted to report that Richard Bales, Professor at Northern Kentucky Law School, and someone who I consider to be a friend, has just been named Dean at Ohio Northern Law School.
Readers should all be familar with Professor Bales. He is the editor of Workplace Prof Blog and an accomplished scholar whom I look to often. A press release from Ohio Northern University which provides a summary of Prof. Bales' career is available here.
Once again. Congrats. Well done.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
Monday, March 18, 2013
The SMU Dedmon School of Law will host its 10th Annual Symposium on Emerging Intellectual Property Issues on March 22, 2013, with a presentation titled "The Federal Circuit and Patent Law." The one day symposium includes four panel discussions - The Federal Circuit's Stewardship of Patent Law: A View from the Bench; Institutional Roles: The Federal Circuit and the Supreme Court; Allies or Competitors: The Federal Circuit and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; and Innovation, Disruptive Technologies and the Federal Circuit. Bernard J. Knight, Jr., General Counsel, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is scheduled to deliver the luncheon and keynote address. A complete brochure for the symposium is here.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The Texas Tech Law Review will host its 7th Annual Criminal Law Symposium: Juveniles & Criminal Law, on April 5, 2013, at the Mark and Becky Lanier Auditorium on the law school campus. The program as presented on the law review website:
Keynote Address: Franklin Zimring (Boalt)
Panel 1: When are (should) juveniles (be) tried as juveniles and when as adults?
- Ellen Podgor, Moderator (Stetson)
- Carissa Hessick (Arizona State)
- Janes HJoeffel (Tulane)
- David Pimentel (Ohio Northern)
- Christopher Slobogin (Vanderbilt)
Lexis/Nexis Luncheon Speaker: Arnold Loewry (Texas Tech)
Panel 2: Do (should) juveniles have more, less, the same, or different rights?
- Richard McAdams, Moderator (Chicago)
- Ronald Allen (Northwestern)
- Tamar Birckhead (North Carolina)
- Patrick Metze (Texas Tech)
- David Tanenhaus (UNLV)
Panel 3: What is (should be) the scope and limitations of juvenile punishment?
- Joshua Dressler, Moderator (Ohio State)
- Joseph Kennedy (North Carolina)
- Michael Perlin (New York)
- Kevin Saunders (Michigan State)
- The Honorable Irene Sullivan (State of Florida)
Friday, September 28, 2012
There has been much written in the blogosphere about Steven M. Davidoff's essay in the New York Times earlier this week as well as to Paul Campos's response to it, and I do not have much to add other than to say that I have just read the online comments to the Davidoff piece and I found there a substantially positive review for the value that adjunct faculty brings to the overall law school educational experience. This seems worth observing here, this being the Adjunct Law Profs Blog and all.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
The Central States Law Schools Association 2012 Scholarship Conference will be held October 19 and 20, 2012 at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, in Cleveland, Ohio. We invite law faculty from across the country to submit proposals to present papers or works in progress.
The purpose of CSLSA is to foster scholarly exchanges among law faculty across legal disciplines. The annual CSLSA conference is a forum for legal scholars, especially more junior scholars, to present working papers or finished articles on any law-related topic in a relaxed and supportive setting where junior and senior scholars from various disciplines are available to comment. More mature scholars have an opportunity to test new ideas in a less formal setting than is generally available for their work.
Additional details about this important conference can be found by downloading Download CSLSA 2012 Conference Announcement Blog Posting
Mitchell H. Rubinstein