Monday, August 11, 2014
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
This week, two of my co-bloggers shared some great insights on the revamped American Apparel board of directors. See Marcia Narine quoted in The Guardian article American Apparel adds its first woman to revamped board of directors; Joan Heminway, American Apparel 1, NFL 0. For those not following the American Apparel saga, the New York Times recently reported:
The founder and chief executive of American Apparel, Dov Charney, was fired this week because an internal investigation found that he had misused company money and had allowed an employee to post naked photographs of a former female employee who had sued him, according to a person with knowledge of the investigation.
Beyond the public relations problems surrounding Charney’s departure, American Apparel is struggling financially as sales have dropped dramatically. As an initial step in trying start a turnaround, the company announced four new board members, including the company’s first female director, Colleen Birdnow Brown, former chief executive of Fisher Communications.
When I opened the Guardian article quoting Marcia, I had another article open in the tab next to it from the Washington Post’s On Leadership section: For women and minorities, advocating for diversity has a downside. That article explained:
In corporate America, diversity is about as controversial as motherhood and apple pie. CEOs love to tout the number of women in their upper ranks. Human resource departments like to trumpet their diversity programs in glossy reports.
But a new study finds that for female and minority executives, being seen as an advocate for diversity could actually have a downside. The researchers behind the study, which will be presented at the Academy of Management's annual conference in early August, found that women and minorities who were rated by their peers as being good at managing diverse groups or respecting gender or racial differences also tended to get lower performance ratings. That's because they may be viewed as "selfishly advancing the social standing of their own low-status demographic groups," the researchers write, a no-no when it comes to rating good managers.
Please click below to read more.
Monday, July 28, 2014
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Last year, when many law schools made no new hires, Alabama was one of the most active law schools on the market. Alabama hired a new dean and five new faculty members. It appears that Alabama is looking to hire again this year.
The University of Alabama School of Law is seeking applications from entry level or lateral candidates. They will accept applications from applicants in all subject areas, but have a particular interest in applicants that research and teach in one or more of the following areas:
business law (including enterprise, finance, and/or securities); administrative regulation (including the regulatory state and/or regulated industries or activities); intellectual property (specifically trademark and copyright); and criminal law (including substantive criminal law and/or criminal procedure).
(Emphasis added, for the benefit of our business law readers.)
More information is available here.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania has posted a legal studies and business ethics professor opening. As you may suspect, Wharton has an extremely strong legal studies faculty. More information from the announcement is quoted below.
The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania invites applications for tenured and tenure-track positions in its Department of Legal Studies and Business Ethics. The Department has eighteen full-time faculty who teach a wide variety of business-oriented courses in law and ethics in the undergraduate, MBA, and Ph.D. programs and whose research is regularly published in leading journals. The Wharton School has one of the largest and best-published business school faculties in the world. In addition, the school has a global reach and perspective, as well as an interdisciplinary approach to business issues (embracing ten academic departments and over twenty research centers).
Applicants must have either a Ph.D., J.D., or both, from an accredited institution (an expected completion date no later than July 1, 2016 is acceptable) and a demonstrated commitment to scholarship in business ethics, business law, or a combination of the two fields. Specific areas of potential focus for hiring include corporate governance, normative ethics related to business, social impact/sustainability, securities regulation, and health law/bioethics. The appointment is expected to begin July 1, 2015.
Please submit electronically your letter of introduction, c.v., and one selected article or writing sample in PDF format via the following website by November 1, 2014: APPLY. Some decisions for interviews will be made before the deadline, so candidates are encouraged to apply early.
The University of Pennsylvania is an equal opportunity employer. Minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, protected veterans are encouraged to apply.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
I recently received notice of a legal studies position opening at Texas A&M University-Central Texas. Their needs include a professor who can teach the general business law course (legal environment), as well as employment and labor law courses.
More information, from the school, is available after the break.
Below is the information that I received this morning regarding a one-year Visiting Distinguished Service Faculty in Business Law position at the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas (MN). In April, I spoke at a social enterprise conference at the school and was quite impressed with the facilities, faculty members, and students.
The Department of Ethics & Business Law in the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas has an opening for a one-year position as a Visiting Distinguished Service Faculty in Business Law, for the 2014-15 academic year. This position will involve teaching three courses (including International Business Law) each semester. To apply (and for more information about this position), visit this site: https://facultyemployment-stthomas.icims.com/jobs/1252/visiting-distinguished-service-faculty-in-business-law/job, and submit an online application (two letters of recommendation to be sent separately). Additional questions can be directed to the search committee chair, Dale Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Friday, July 11, 2014
Troy University (in Troy, AL) has posted notice of a legal studies professor opening. (Confusingly, the heading of the posts says "assistant/associate professor" and the body of the post says "full-time, tenure-track," but the body of the post also says that the position is for a "lecturer.")
More information at the link above or after the break.
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Screening of applications begins September 15, 2014.
Applications can be sent to email@example.com or
Department of Business Law or College of Business Administration and Economics
California State University Northridge
Northridge, CA 91330-8375
More information here.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
The WVU College of Law's Center for Energy and Sustainable Development is seeking a fellow for 2014-16, and the details are below. As I have written before, the Future of Business is the Future of Energy. Just today, the New York Times Dealbook has an article, Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Ramps Up Investment Plans, which notes:
Norway’s giant sovereign wealth fund said on Tuesday that it would manage its $884 billion portfolio more aggressively over the next three years, taking larger stakes in companies and increasing its real estate portfolio.
. . . .
The fund’s investments have grown increasingly sophisticated under Yngve Slyngstad, the chief executive of Norges Bank Investment Management, who came to the fund in 1998 to build an equity portfolio and became C.E.O. in 2008. Since the end of 2007, equities have increased as a percentage of the portfolio to about 61 percent from 42 percent.
Mr. Slyngstad has also diversified the holdings into smaller companies and into emerging markets, but the stock investments remain concentrated in Europe and North America. The fund’s largest equity holdings are all companies based in Europe, including Nestlé, Novartis, HSBC Holdings, the Vodafone Groupand Royal Dutch Shell.
The fund has been under pressure from environmental groups and some political parties in Norway to shed investments in oil and natural gas and coal companies and to increase its green investments. The government has so far largely resisted. It created a panel of experts this year to study the issue.
Understanding the interplay between energy, finance, and the environment is becoming more and more critical to businesses (and their lawyers). Please share this opportunity with anyone you know who might have an interest in exploring this area.
ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT LAW
Accepting Applications Until June 30, 2014
West Virginia University College of Law’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development is now accepting applications for a Fellowship in Energy and Sustainable Development. The fellowship combines the opportunity to work with attorneys, faculty and students at the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development with the opportunity to obtain the WVU Law LL.M. degree in Energy and Sustainable Development Law. The LL.M. program provides a uniquely deep and balanced curriculum in perhaps the nation’s richest natural resource region. The fellowship position involves policy and legal research and writing, and assisting with organizing projects such as conferences and workshops.
The Center for Energy and Sustainable Development
The Center is an energy and environmental public policy and research organization at the WVU College of Law. The Center conducts objective, unbiased research and policy analyses, and focuses on promoting practices that will balance the continuing demand for energy resources—and the associated economic benefits—alongside the need to reduce the environmental impacts of developing the earth’s natural resources. One mission of the Center is to train the next generation of energy and environmental attorneys. The Center benefits from being located on the campus of a major research institution, with expanded opportunities for inter-disciplinary research and an integral role for the Center in providing the policy, legal and regulatory analyses to support the technical research being conducted across the WVU campus.
LL.M. in Energy and Sustainable Development Law
The WVU College of Law LL.M. in Energy and Sustainable Development Law is the only LL.M. program in the United States that provides a balanced curriculum in both energy law and the law of sustainable development. Working with WVUCollege of Law’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development, LL.M. students will develop the expertise to advise clients and provide leadership on matters covering the full range of energy, environmental and sustainable development law. The LL.M. in Energy and Sustainable Development Law provides a broad and deep offering of courses, experiential learning opportunities, and practical training for every part of the energy sector. Our broad spectrum of courses allows our students to prepare to be lawyers serving energy companies, investors, environmental organizations, landowners, utilities, manufacturing companies, lawmakers, policymakers, regulators and land use professionals.
Energy and Sustainable Development Law Fellow
This fellowship is a part-time (at least twenty hours per week), two-year position from August 2014 through July 2016. The Fellow will receive an annual stipend of $20,000 and tuition remission for the LL.M. program. The Fellow would take 6-7 credits per semester allowing time for part-time work at the Center. The Fellow will further the work of the Center by pursuing research on issues relating to energy and sustainable development law and policy, under the direction of the Center’s Director and the WVU Law faculty associated with the Center. The Fellow will be expected to generate policy-oriented written work to be published through the Center and other venues such as law journals. The Fellow will also assist with projects relating to the Center’s programs, including organizing conferences and other events, and public education and outreach efforts. Efforts will be made to match project assignments with the Fellow’s interest.
Candidates should possess a J.D.; a strong academic record; excellent analytical and writing skills; a demonstrated interest and background in energy, sustainability or environmental law and policy; and admission to the LL.M. program at West Virginia University College of Law (application for LL.M. admission can occur concurrently with the fellowship application).
Applicants should apply to Samatha.Stefanov@mail.wvu.edu. Please submit a letter discussing qualifications and interests, a resume, a law school transcript, a recent writing sample and contact information for three references.
We are now accepting applications. The application deadline is June 30, 2014(concurrent with the deadline for admission to the LL.M. program) or until the post is filled.
Visit our website at http://energy.law.wvu.edu/ for more information about our programs.
West Virginia University College of Law is an equal opportunity employer and has a special interest in enriching its intellectual environment through further diversifying the range of perspectives represented by its faculty and teaching staff.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Babson College (near Boston, MA), well-known for their entrepreneurship program, recently posted a tenure track assistant or associate professor of business law position.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
The New York Times ran two articles this week about administrator and executive pay that struck a chord with me. One piece was about a new report linking student debt and highly paid university leaders. The article discusses a study, “The One Percent at State U: How University Presidents Profit from Rising Student Debt and Low-Wage Faculty Labor.” The study reviewed “the relationship between executive pay, student debt and low-wage faculty labor at the 25 top-paying public universities.”
Then-Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee was the highest-paid public university president for the time period review. The study found that
Ohio State was No. 1 on the list of what it called the most unequal public universities. The report found that from fiscal 2010 to fiscal 2012, Ohio State paid Mr. Gee a total of $5.9 million. [$2.95 million per year.] During the same period, it said, the university hired 670 new administrators, 498 contingent and part-time faculty — and 45 permanent faculty members. Student debt at Ohio State grew 23 percent faster than the national average during that time, the report found.
[In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that President Gee is the president of my institution, for the second time, and he’s my neighbor. He also makes considerably less money here.]
The other article was about the health care industry, titled: Medicine’s Top Earners Are Not the M.D.s. That article reports that doctors, “the most highly trained members in the industry’s work force,” are in the middle of the pay scale for medical salaries. The article explains:
That is because the biggest bucks are currently earned not through the delivery of care, but from overseeing the business of medicine.
The base pay of insurance executives, hospital executives and even hospital administrators often far outstrips doctors’ salaries, according to an analysis performed for The New York Times by Compdata Surveys: $584,000 on average for an insurance chief executive officer, $386,000 for a hospital C.E.O. and $237,000 for a hospital administrator, compared with $306,000 for a surgeon and $185,000 for a general doctor.
And those numbers almost certainly understate the payment gap, since top executives frequently earn the bulk of their income in nonsalary compensation.
Is there a place where it isn't the case that administrators make more than those actually carrying out the endeavor? Maybe sports and entertainment, to a degree. There has been a significant change in those areas over the past 30 or so years. Owners (and production entities) often still make tons of money, but top player salaries often dwarf those of key executives, coaches, and managers. That was not always the case. Take the NBA for example. The average NBA salary in 1970 was $35,000 (equal to about $207,000 today.) Today’s average salary: $5 million. Actors and musicians take home a lot more than they used to, also, at least among those at the top.
I am not one to bash educational administrators. I have been one, so that may be part of it, but even before that, I appreciated that there are things that need to happen to deliver the full educational experience that are not part of the classroom. Still, it also seems that the number of people who are there to support the delivery of services, like education and medicine, continue to grow at an absurd rate. Even counting contingent and part-time faculty, Ohio State hired more than 1.23 new administrators for every new teacher in the test period.
Law faculty members can legitimately disagree about the best way to educate law students. But our goal should be to provide the best education we can, within the cost constraints we face. If professors at some law schools don’t take that responsibility seriously, we might lose students to schools focusing more on enrollment than education. If so, it’s sad for the profession, but at least we’ll go down fighting for what we know is right.
The same is true at the administrative level in law schools. We should commit to allocating resources to administrative support that supports the educational process of preparing students for practice and for ensuring students actually get to practice, if that is what they seek. This is often true for areas like career services, bar passage, and experiential learning. We should be educating students to be able to be good lawyers and sound professionals, but we also need to help ensure they have things they need to practice (e.g., bar admission) and the ability to practice (i.e., a job).
Sometimes that means new administrators in new or expanded roles, but that may mean reallocating resources from one area to another rather than adding new roles. The challenge, of course, is knowing whether the new administrative hires are delivering services that our students need or are they jobs that are serving the institution at the expense of our students. All institutions need to make a serious attempt to answer that question because it's not just about the number of administrators. It's also about what those administrators do.
Doing what’s right for our students is not always the same as doing what they want. Still, as faculty and administrators, we also need to be clear that doing what we want is often not the same as doing what is best for our students.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Before I went to law school, I worked in the video game industry, first for the industry trade association, the Interactive Digital Software Association (now known as the Entertainment Software Association). From there I moved to public relations for the public relations firm Golin/Harris in Los Angeles where my work was focused on product launches for Nintendo. (This was from 1998-2000.) In those jobs, I had the chance to work with some amazing people (and clients), and the experience has served me well, even as I went on to become a lawyer and professor.
One of those people was the managing director of the Los Angeles Golin/Harris office when I was hired, Fred Cook, who is now the CEO of Golin/Harris. Fred recently wrote a book that has caught the attention of the business world and is a top-25 book for corporate customers according to 800-CEO-READ. His book is Improvise: Unconventional Career Advice from an Unlikely CEO, and it’s worth a look.
Here’s an excerpt:
People entering the business world today are a commodity. They’ve gone to the same schools, taken the same courses, read the same books, and watched the same movies. Every summer they’ve dutifully worked at internships in their chosen field in hopes of landing the perfect job the day they graduate from college.
. . . .
While a college education is a prerequisite for most jobs, a life education should also be required. School delivers information. Life delivers ideas. Ideas that drive business. Twitter was an idea. Red Bull was an idea. South Park was an idea.
When I participate on industry panels, someone in the audience always asks what attributes make for a successful employee. My fellow panelists rightly answer that they’re looking for skilled writers, articulate communicators, and aggressive self-starters. My response? I would trade ten of the above for one person with a big idea. But brilliant ideas aren’t created in a vacuum. They’re formed by the experiences we have and the people we meet.
As usual, what Fred is talking about here is broader than just business or public relations. It applies to business lawyers, and non-business lawyers, and law professors, and pretty much everyone else who has a life to live and goals for a fulfilling career. We all have the chance to find our passion, if we’re willing to live, take chances, and find out what we are capable of doing.
Fred’s unique path to being a CEO is rather similar to my path to becoming a law professor in that it would be reasonable to call me an “unlikely law professor.” I was a mostly terrible undergraduate student at three major universities, and I did not go to a top-14 law school. I did well in law school (and practice) and that made it such that when I went on the job market a leading business law academic told me that my candidacy was “plausible.” And so it was. Fred is an unlikely CEO, perhaps, but he is most certainly an appropriate one. I like to think the same is true for me in my role.
My life experiences helped me in practice and helped me get my job as a law professor, and those experiences continue to help me as a lawyer, a scholar, and a teacher. By having had a career outside the law, I have additional experiences that inform my thinking about the law and the legal profession. I know (among other things) what it means to hire and fire people, make media calls, and schedule caterers for huge events. Of course, lawyers can do these things, too, but it’s different as a lawyer.
Beyond that, the people you meet along the way inform you, and guide you, and help you see the kind of person you want to be. I’m thankful for the large number of good people who have been a part of my work-life experience so far, and Fred is one of those people. I’m glad he has written a book that will share some of his insight with a much broader audience. Check it out.
Friday, April 25, 2014
Regular readers know of my view that energy and energy law are closely related to business and business law. Further to that point: Last week, a group of 20 organizations, including those representing the interests of business, oil, coal, aggregate, farm, and power sent an open letter to Pennsylvania state legislators stating their concerns about the state supreme court's decision in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. That decision overturned Act 13, which largely eliminated local government's ability to prevent oil and gas operations in their jurisdictions through zoning. The letter explains:
The opinion undermines the traditional and long-recognized authority of the Legislature to balance environmental and economic interests on a statewide basis, leading to the spectra of multiple levels of government and a myriad of agencies second guessing each other in deciding whether to approve particular developments and how to manage natural resources. This expansive, broad and vaguely case-by-case application of the Environmental Rights Amendment threatens to reestablish the very uncertainty and ambiguity that Act 13 and many other statutes were originally intended to address through adoption of a holistic, comprehensive regulatory program that carefully balances the Commonwealth twin interests in economic progress and environmental stewardship.
The plurality opinion opens the door to a myriad of litigation, at all levels of government, attempting to thwart virtually any type of industrial, agricultural, commercial or residential facility and development. The affects of this ruling will be felt by employers in all industries and will certainly adversely impact efforts to promote job creation throughout the state.
I agree with these organizations on a number of issues here. First, I think they are right the state legislature had the power to pass Act 13, or at least something similar. I also agree that the plurality opinion unnecessarily invites litigation in a variety of contexts that could negatively impact both business and the environment. On the other hand, I think that the legislature took an unnecessarily heavy-handed approach to the legislation when a more modest version of the act could have been similarly effective.
As I have explained previously, though there are very real risks related to hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas, much of the public, many politicians, and (in this case) judges are too easily distracted by risks that seem like they could be associated with the process, but aren't. When judges assume facts, bad law (and bad policies) are very likely to follow. Building on that assessment, I have posted my article, Facts, Fiction, and Perception in Hydraulic Fracturing: Illuminating Act 13 and Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on here on SSRN. Please click below to continue reading.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Washburn University has posted an opening for an Assistant Professor of Legal Studies.
I know not everyone can move to Kansas, but when I was first on the market, I even applied to jobs like this one in Kuwait. If you really want to be a professor, you can't let location get in your way. Granted, I know I would have had to use my best negotiating skills to convince my wife to move to Kuwait (or Kansas).
The details of the Washburn University position can be found after the break.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Friday, February 28, 2014
Law Professor Jobs in Business Schools: Georgia Tech, University of Louisiana (Lafayette), and Indiana University (South Bend)
The business schools of Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Louisiana (Lafayette), and Indiana University (South Bend) have posted openings for legal studies positions.
I have ties to two of the schools. Wade Chumney (Georgia Tech) was in my position at Belmont University before I arrived and he provided me with great advice. Wade seems like he would be a wonderful legal studies colleague. University of Louisiana (Lafayette) was one of the (very few) schools to make me a tenure track offer when I was first on the market. The faculty at UL-L were wonderfully hospitable, and I was a big fan of the Cajun food, music, and culture. Plus, how many schools have a lake/swamp with (small) alligators in the middle of campus? Proximity to family was the deciding factor in my decision, and I highly recommend the school.
I don’t have any personal information about Indiana University (South Bend), but I think there is a lot of be said for the public education system.
All three of these positions are solid opportunities that our readers on the market may be interested in pursuing. Given the well-publicized challenges facing many law schools, it would not be surprising if many current law professors were among those looking at legal studies positions in business schools.
The information on these positions is after the break. Business school legal studies positions tend to be more poorly publicized than law school professor positions, and while I will try to post good positions to this website, if you are interested in teaching law in a business school, it might be worth the $30 (new member price) to join the Academy of Legal Studies in Business, view their job postings, and receive the e-mails.
Previously, I wrote about some of the differences I see in teaching at a business school and teaching at a law school.
[Position Details After the Break]
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Harvard Law School's Petrie-Flom Center: Research Positon for New Project with NFL Players Association
In connection with our work on a sponsored research project with the National Football League Players Association, the Petrie-Flom Center seeks to hire a Senior Law and Ethics Associate immediately. (Please note that this is a distinct position from the one we recently advertised working with Harvard Catalyst on clinical and translational research.)
We are seeking a full-time doctoral-level hire (J.D., M.D., Ph.D., etc. in law, ethics, public health, social science, or other relevant discipline) with extensive knowledge of and interest in legal and ethical issues related to the health and welfare of professional athletes. The position will be funded for at least two years, with renewal likely for an additional year or more.
View the full job description and apply here.
For questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-496-4662.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Last night I attended a forum organized by the Ladies Empowerment and Action Program (LEAP). The panel featured female entrepreneurs from the culinary industry. Some were chefs, some owned restarurnts, some sold products, and others blogged and educated the public, but their stories were remarkably similar. They told the audience of business students and budding entrepreneurs that they generally didn’t like partners, were wary of investors because they tended to exert too much control over their vision, and that they wished that they had better financial advisors who cared about them and understood their business.
One panelist, who had received $500,000 in capital from an investor, indicated that she was glad that she had been advised to enter into her contract as though she may end up in litigation. As a former litigator who now teaches both civil procedure and business associations, I both agree and disagree with that advice. As a naïve newbie litigator in a large New York firm, I used to joke with the corporate associates that the only reason I needed to understand how their deals were done was so that I could understand how to defend them went they fell apart and the litigation ensued. Now that I am older and wiser I try to focus my students on considering an exit strategy of course, but also on how to ask the right questions so that the parties never have to consider litigation.
Many of my students will likely advise small and midsized businesses as well as large corporations and that’s part of the reason that I stress the importance of a baseline level of understanding of finance and accounting. But how will we prepare them to counsel entrepreneurs who may not see the value in partners or understand how startup capital works? Perhaps that’s not the job of a lawyer but if the issue comes up, will our graduates know how to provide balanced arguments for their clients? How will we prepare our students to add value so that accountants don’t provide the (potentially wrong) legal advice to these entrepreneurs or so that their clients don’t just turn to LegalZoom, which reportedly sets up 20% of the LLCs in California? In essence, how do we teach our students to think like business people and lawyers?
Although clinics where students advise entrepreneurs or small businesses are expensive, and skills-based transactions courses aren’t as plentiful as they should be in law schools, these are good starts. I currently try to integrate drafting, negotiation and role-play into my classes when appropriate, but would welcome additional ideas that work.