April 1, 2008
Solove on the Contradictory Goals of Law School Rankings
If we step back from this year's frenzy, I believe that there's an important fact about law school rankings that accounts for much of the displeasure about them. Law school ranking systems have contradictory goals. Here's why. Law schools, like many institutions, are not incredibly dynamic and changing in the short term. They often change slowly, not dramatically. The result: We shouldn't see much movement year to year in the rankings. Most schools should stay about where they are. A few schools might move over time, but any one year's movement is not significant in the grand scheme of things. So to be accurate, rankings shouldn't change all that much.
But rankings systems have a contradictory goal: They need to reflect some kind of change, or else looking at the rankings each year would be like watching glaciers move. There must be some drama in the rankings year by year. We eagerly await our rankings each year, and we don't want rankings at five or ten year intervals. And we don't want stable rankings -- we want changes to cheer and kvetch about.
Section 108 Study Group Report
Peter Hirtle reports on the availability of the Section 108 Study Group Report, now available online:
The final report of the Section 108 Study Group, on which I have been serving for three years, has been released. You will find it, along with an executive summary, at http://www.section108.gov. The report and executive summary are found as links in the middle of the page; the press release about the final report is to the right.
The report examines what changes should be made to the exemptions for libraries and archives in copyright law in order to address changes brought about by digital technologies. It may be of interest to anyone engaged in preservation, document delivery, and ILL.
Among the recommendations are:
- Museums should be included for Section 108 eligibility, as they perform many of the same functions as libraries and archives.
- A new exception should be added to Section 108 to permit certain qualified libraries and archives to make preservation copies of at-risk published works prior to any damage or loss. Access to these "preservation-only" copies will be limited.
- A new exception should be added to Section 108 to permit libraries and archives to capture and reproduce publicly available Web sites and other online content for preservation purposes and to make those copies accessible to users for private study, research or scholarship. Rights holders would be able to opt out of this provision.
- Libraries and archives should be permitted to make a limited number of copies, as reasonably necessary, to create and maintain a single replacement or preservation copy. This alteration to the current three-copy limit would, among other things, enable libraries to more securely preserve digital materials, which often involves making copies.
(reprinted with permission) [JJ]
April Fool's Prank on Law Professor Blogs Network
From ContractsProf Blog:
The Law Professors Blog Network (LPBN) is suing bloggers Franklin G. Snyder and Keith A. Rowley for breach of contract in connection with their blogging activities on the Commercial Law blog. ... According to the complaint, although Snyder and Rowley are listed as Blog Editor and Contributing Editor respectively of the ContractsProfs Blog, they have joined "a ragtag crew of renegades seeking to undermine the LPBN's dominance in law prof blogging, promote communism and end civilization as we know it."
Not having funds for litigation fees and expenses, Blog Emperor Paul Caron and I are representing ourselves and you know what they say about that. LOL. [JH]
Professional Reading: Critical Perspectives on Web 2.0
Check out First Monday's March 2008 special issue on Critical Perspectives on Web 2.0. Each article, IMHO, deserves your thoughtful consideration. [JH]
- Preface: Critical Perspectives on Web 2.0 by Michael Zimmer
- Market Ideology and the Myths of Web 2.0 by Trebor Scholz
- Web 2.0: An Argument Against Convergence by Matthew Allen
- Interactivity is Evil! A critical investigation of Web 2.0 by Kylie Jarrett
- Loser Generated Content: From Participation to Exploitation by Søren Mørk Petersen
- The Externalities of Search 2.0: The Emerging Privacy Threats when the Drive for the Perfect Search Engine meets Web 2.0 by Michael Zimmer
- Online Social Networking as Participatory Surveillance by Anders Albrechtslund
- History, Hype, and Hope: An Afterward by David Silver
2008 CALI Conference: Call for Speakers
Among the many annual conferences, CALI's is my favorite. This year's conference theme is "Transforming Legal Education." CALI Executive Director John Mayer writes:
It is time to put the divisiveness of laptops in the classroom behind us. It is time to face our fears. Fear of USNews ranks, fear of the student debt implosion, fear of technology and change itself. It's time to consider the ideas of Carnegie and decide how technology impacts professionalism and ethics in legal education. What does transformation mean to you and your institution and does technology have a central or supporting role in accomplishing our goals?
Submit your session proposals. Remember, law school "transformation" means reforming legal education.
This year's conference will be on held Thursday-Saturday, June 18-21, 2008 in Baltimore, MD at the University of Maryland School of Law. Conference Home Page. Registration is now open. [JH]
Where Are the US News Top 30 Law Schools of 1996 Now?
If one is interested enough to get beyond the chatter about which law schools rose or fell a couple of places in the 2009 US News ranking, one might want to ask "where are the Top 10, or 20 (or even 30) law schools of 1996 now? Click on the image (left) to find out. You might note the position gains/losses for some Top 10 schools -- Penn, plus 4 from 11 to 7, Duke, minus 4 from 8 to 12, but the Top 10 list is relatively stable and that's hardly news.
The same can be said for law schools ranked 11-20 in 1996 with two notable exceptions, Iowa minus 8, from 19 to 27; and Illinois minus 7, from 20 to tied in 27th place with Iowa in 2009. Note also that Washington (St. Louis) advanced to 19th place in 2009 from 29th place in 1996.
Note well, the above-mentioned one-on-one 1996-2009 comparisons are probably misleading because US News changed its ranking method.
Historical Perspective. Any given year, law schools' US News fortunes rise and fall. Up 3 in US News one year, down 5 the next. The one-year comparison isn't very meaningful. It's just absurd fodder for University and law school PR machines. See Brian Leiter's (Texas) comments, Hall of Shame: Schools Publicizing Their Meaningless US News Ranking.
Given that US News rankings will be used, I think prospective law students, aspiring law profs, and others should be asking, how long has a law school been in the Top 10 or 20 (or even 30)? Is the current rank a fluke? Has a school's ranking shown incremental increases or declines during the last 5 or 10 or more years?
To answer these questions, click on the below image. It is a table that displays every law school that made the US News Top 30 at least once from 1996 through 2009. These schools are listed by name by their 2009 rank. A line chart plotting ranking change by school would have been too busy so table cells are colorized according to the following groupings: dark red for 1-10; teal for 11-20; blue-grey for 21-30; and medium gray for Below 30.
I think that by colorizing the table cells, one can visualize just how established the boundaries are for each tier. Despite US News ranking method changes only 39 schools have been ranked 30 or better during this 14-year period. It's a small group, smaller than I expected. Smaller still but not a surprise -- only 24 schools ranked in the Top 20 and 13 in the Top 10. Some sort of general US News "echo chamber" effect in play?" See Brian Leiter's posts on the echo chamber effect of US News peer review scores here and here.
Mindful of 1990s rank method changes, one can view the incremental changes in an individual law school's rank that led to the school breaking through the ceiling of a higher tier or falling through the floor into a lower tier. One can also easily spot unusual one-year declines that should be ignored. For example, how does a school like Texas go from 17-18th place for 1996-98, to 29th in 1999, then moves to 15th place in 2000 and for the next six years? The 1999 rank should be ignored. You'll see other instances where the rank reported for a law school in a particular year is too questionable to be taken seriously.
If you would like to re-sort the data by year or view a full screen display of the table, download the spreadsheet here: Download usranking19962009.xls. If you spot any errors, please file a comment for readers. I probably won't be making corrections because this is only a blog post.
Calls for US News law school ranking reform abound. See for instance, An Open Letter to Bob Morse of U.S. News by Brian Leiter, author of the leading source of alternative law school ranking information, Brian Leiter's Law School Rankings.
Endnote. Why not provide historical data for the Top 50 or Top 100 law schools? Because I subscribe to the notion that if a law school isn't listed in the US News Top 20 or its Fourth Tier, the ranking becomes increasingly more insignificant in the marketplace. "Top 20" and "Fourth Tier" mean something. Between the two lies the legal academy's middle ground, a large dot on the map that represents 69% of the ranked schools this year. [JH]
KM Apps in Law Firms
A Foolproof Guide for Aspiring Law Profs and Lateral Appointment Seekers
Joining the Workforce, Law School Style. The AALS Meat Market, the teleconference call, the airport interview, the day-long masquerade ball on site for applicants deemed worthy of consideration, these are the rituals of the legal academic hiring process that are truly mysterious to those wanting to become law profs (or academic law librarians) as well as those wanting to move onward and upward in the legal academy.
Getting a Foot in the Door. If you didn't graduate from a top feeder school, serve as a law clerk at the Supreme Court or one of the more "elite" federal Circuit Courts, work for a top-notch large law firm, Fortune 500 corporation or Federal agency in a "hot" practice area, aspiring law profs need to establish their street credentials. That means demonstrating that you can publish and teach, perhaps as an adjunct or fellow. Dust off your law review notes and comments, briefs, conference presentations, etc. Knocking on the door of a local law school for an adjunct gig is easy enough but getting a teaching fellowship is a different matter. Paul Caron (Cincinnati) has compiled one of the best lists of teaching fellowship resources I've seen. Check out his post on TaxProf Blog.
Landing that First Professorship. David Cases' The Pedagogical Don Quixote de la Mississippi, 33 U. Mem. L. Rev. 529 (2003) [Westlaw] is a must-read. In it, Case tells the story of his trials and tribulations as a practitioner who breaks into the Ivory Tower after several attempts.
Once a member of the Club, getting lifetime employment isn't very hard. Gladly (or pretend to be happy to) teach 1L courses so senior members of the faculty. But don't insist on teaching Con Law. Every school has an over-abundance of aspiring constitution law scholars. Go for contracts, property, torts, and those pesky mind-numbing upper-class bar exam courses like the UCC. Avoid at all costs, the legal research and writing program because that's a dead-end.
Despite the wailing over how difficult it is to get published because of the power held by law review student editors (what about the faculty advisor's input?) over your career, getting two published articles listed on your CV is substantially easier to achieve than almost any other academic discipline. There are some 170 law review titles, most of them are desperately seeking content and, unlike other disciplines, published legal scholarship does not need to be peer-reviewed. Unless you are publishing in law and economics, scholarly legal works are rarely "dead wrong." It's a "soft" discipline that defies empirical certitude. Just be sure to Shepardize your cases.
Don't worry about your articles being cited by other law review articles or court opinions. The majority aren't. Thank God for the string citation or the vast majority would never be cited. How do you get cited? Draft a sentence or two in black letter law fashion. Remember what Second Circuit Judge Robert Sack said about citation practices,when cited, law review articles are used the same way drunks use lampposts - for support rather than illumination. See Adam Liptak, When Rendering Decisions, Judges Are Finding Law Reviews Irrelevant, New York Time, March 19, 2007, at A8
In four years or so, you will be tenured. Almost every law prof gets tenure; "it's a state law". Ultimately what matters in tenure decisions is personality, not results; your peers know all too well, that the job security tenure brings means that they are going to see you in the hallways for a very long time. Upon tenure, you can start behaving like an ass but hopefully you will not become infected with the megalomania that runs rampant in the legal academy.
It's hardly a difficult road to travel when compared to the typical 7-year long odyssey associates make in large law firms where objective measures like billable hours, bringing in new clients, and winning in the transactional or litigation arenas matter in partnership decisions. You won't be compensated as much as practitioners -- hell, some of your 3Ls who land a BigLaw gig will be paid more as first year associates than you make at their hooding. But you get your summers off, can make extra cash above your annual salary during the summers if you play your cards right, be in line for those much sought after annual sabbaticals, and, if the trend towards reducing teaching loads to free up time for "scholarship" continues at its current pace, you probably will be teaching no more than one course each semester long before your retirement date arrives.
Moving Onward and Upwards. Many law profs stay put after their initial appointment, some for personal reasons. Many strive to move onward and upward. More money, more opportunities to pursue their academic interests ... working with notable colleagues, students more interested in scholarship than just passing the bar and the stimulating environment therein certainly motivate many lateral moves. Depending on where you start, what you accomplish there, and the associations you make, moving up the ranks of law schools to a Top 10 or Top 20 school is no easy task.
Hiring prominent faculty members to increase a school's reputation for US News & World Report's annual law school rankings is the name of the game and it becomes ever more competitive the closer a school is the top 10th-percentile. The law professor lateral hiring market is a seller's labor market but navigating it is no easy task. Employment law prof and co-editor of Workplace Prof Blog, Paul Secunda (Mississippi, soon Marquette) offers advice on how to go about it in his very interesting Tales of a Law Professor Lateral Nothing (SSRN) article. A "nothing," I don't think so. See this post. In offering advice on the lateral hiring market, Secunda writes:
I feel as well suited as anyone to undertake this delicate task. I offer these humble observations as someone who has been on the lateral market for the last three years and who has been turned down by numerous schools (including two after fly-back interviews), turned down a lateral offer, and finally, accepted a lateral offer from Marquette University Law School this year.
It's the best article I could find. Although I am generally dismissive of SSRN download clicks as being a measure of anything, the relatively high ratio of abstract views to downloads for Secunda's article appears to indicate that a not insignificant number of law profs are interested in learning more about this "mysterious world."
On Being Foolproof. To parse Brian Hayes for the convenience of this post , "proof is foolproof, it seems, only in the absence of fools." Today is April Fool's Day, right? [JH]
Not Aging Gracefully?
Are we an aging profession? I don't have any demographics to prove it but it seems like we may be. Of course my eyesight and short-term memory are both shot so I might not be seeing or remembering our younger colleagues. Thanks to Oprah, those of us who are not aging well have the following list of 14(!) reasons for our advancing decrepitude.
|Major Ager||Its Effect|
|Bad Genes and Short Telomeres||Memory Loss|
|Oxidation and Inefficient Mitochondria||Rusting Arteries|
|Stem Cell Slowdown||Damage From Stress|
|Declining Defenses||Run-down Immune System|
|Toxins||Cancer, Asthma, and Allergies|
|Glycosylation||Heart disease, Diabetes, Nerve Damage|
|Calorie Consumption & Slowing Sirtuin||Obesity, Digestive Issues, Age-Related Problems|
|Neurotransmitter Imbalance||Emotional Issues like Depression, Cognitive Decline, Sleep Problems|
|Wacky Hormones||Menopausal Issues in Women and Men|
|Declining Nitric Oxide||Erectile Dysfunction and Other Age-Related and Artery-Related Problems|
|UV Radiation||Cancer, Wrinkles, Vision Problems|
|Disuse Atrophy||Weakening Limbs and Bones|
|Wear and Tear||Age-Related Conditions like Hearing Loss|
Follow this link to read an explanation for each "aging enemy."
As if the above 14 reasons weren't enough, Oprah adds 10 more reasons why you may not be aging gracefully, including chronic exposure to noise loud (damn those teenagers) and sleep loss due to your partner's snoring (damn...wait, I'm the one who snores!).
April Fool's Prank. It may be April 1st but this post is no April Fool's joke. I do, however, want to thank Lisa Britt, Acquisitions Librarian, University of Cincinnati Law Library, for pulling off the best April Fool's prank on me one year ago today. Lisa told me was pregnant that morning last year and said I turned white upon hearing the news (read anxiety -- staffing, who's going to cover!). I swear I said "OMG" out loud in response but she said I didn't. I only learned that it was an April Fool's prank much later in the afternoon in front of entire law library staff. Thanks Lisa! (Now, respect your elders.) Lisa, btw, is expecting to "publish" soon; the working title is "Baby Rufus," due on April 14th. [JH]
Opening: Freelance Bibliographer, BNA Books
BNA Books is looking for an editor to compile, in the next several months, a one-year update to the bibliography for the ABA/BNA treatise International Labor and Employment Laws, Volume I (by approximately June 1) and to prepare the bibliography from scratch for Volume II (by approximately August 1).
Compensation provided. For more information please contact: Timothy J. Darby, BNA Books at email@example.com
March 31, 2008
Law Schools Flipping Out Over Falling US News Rankings
Above the Law is reporting excerpts and in some instances the full text of emails sent by law school deans to their students about their ranking decline in this year's US News Law School ranking. The schools? Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, Buffalo and one from Case-Western that is buried deep in the long list of comments. Dropping 3 spots, from 24 to 27, Iowa has scheduled nine discussion group meetings to give students some face time with their dean.
Hat tip to Adjunct Law Prof Blog. [JH]
Uniform Laws Commission To Study Online Authentication of Legal Materials
AALL is reporting that the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) recently approved the new Study Committee on Online Authentication of Legal Materials to investigate the issues and discuss the feasibility of a uniform law or model act. Congratulations to everyone involved in AALL’s National Summit on Authentic Legal Information in the Digital Age last April for bringing the complex issues of digital authentication to center stage.
The chair and members of the new study committee will be appointed this summer, and AALL has been invited to name an observer. How about Immediate Past President Sally Holterhoff who convened AALL's National Summit?
A Step in the Right Direction. Beginning with the 110th Congress, the Public and Private Laws on GPO Access have been digitally signed and certified. [JH]
Dennis Kennedy on Competitive Intelligence
"Gathering information on your client isn’t spying, and doing research on yourself isn’t egotism—it’s good business practice. Clients increasingly look to lawyers who know their business and industry well, and a common client wish is that their lawyers alert them to issues in advance, and not simply react when the client calls.
All of this has generated a new interest in something called competitive intelligence. CI addresses ways to get information you can use to be more effective in competing for business and serving clients. If you monitor court filings for your clients’ names, you might alert them to a filing and send a pleading well before they hear it elsewhere. You’re being helpful—and more likely to get the new assignment. If you monitor news items containing your firm’s name, you won’t be surprised when a client mentions the story he or she read about your firm." [RJ]
POD Publishers Outraged by Amazon's New Restrictions
"Some Print on Demand (POD) publishers are privately screaming 'Monopoly!' while others are seething with rage over startling phone conversations they're having with Amazon/BookSurge representatives. Why isn't anybody talking about it openly? Because they're afraid - very, very afraid..." That's how POD publisher Angela Hoy starts her recent post when she broke the story on Writers Weekly (check out the supplied links for POD industry reaction and commentary). Why? Because BookSurge, Amazon’s print-on-demand subsidiary, has told POD publishers that unless their titles are printed by BookSurge, the buy buttons on Amazon for their titles will be disabled. Apparently the buy buttons already have been disabled for some POD publishing houses.
Hoy is reporting that Amazon/BookSurge will be making money two ways on Amazon sales: first the fee for publishing the books and then 48% of the list price for each Amazon sale. While the initial catalog of books POD publishers can submit to Amazon/BookSurge is free, the contract states future books would cost $50 each to process (and the cost for individual authors to publish through BookSurge is considerably higher; the average publishing package cost is more than $1,000)
In Amazon Changes POD Tactics, Removes Velvet Gloves, Karria Krozser writes
It is not surprising that Amazon has told publishers that it’s their POD (print-on-demand) service or no sales through Amazon. It is surprising that, well, anyone is surprised. Did y’all think Amazon was buying Booksurge for the fun of it? What other outcome did you expect?
I am not joking. ... Amazon is amassing what is essentially a secret army. Amazon is a business, and like real businesses, engages in actions that further Amazon’s goals. Not yours…unless your goals dovetail with Amazon’s. ... Your content is being locked to their device. Your content is being locked to their service. They get to set the terms.
What's Happening Here: Amazon is using its eCommerce site's selling clout to generate more business for BookSurge. Acquired by Amazon in 2005, BookSurge has been trying somewhat unsuccessfully to cut into the market share of POD leader Lightning Source, the major provider of POD services for Amazon.com before this change. Provider no longer for Amazon? Apparently so. Lightning Source, by the way, is owned by the same firm that owns Ingram, the US wholesaler that fills those Amazon orders which do not go through an Amazon warehouse. Ouch!
I bet that larger POD publishers will use both BookSurge and Lightning Source for future titles to capture Amazon sales but will only convert BookSurge current titles that are popular. In general, expect higher prices for POD titles.
Publisher's Weekly reports that "an Amazon spokesperson explained that the new policy will allow the company to 'marry' books with other products that a customer might buy at Amazon." As in Kindle?
Endnote. Amazon does provide a sales option for POD publishers -- the Amazon's Advantage Program (which works on a consignment model) -- but it's pretty absurd. Besides having to pay Amazon 55% of a title's list price, POD publishers would have to send their books to Amazon for warehousing and shipment to customers. Wharehousing POD titles, is that how the publishing model is supposed to work? [JH]
Patent Failure, Patent Reform Legislation
Bessen and Meurer's Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk (Princeton UP, 2008)(book details below the fold) "is a pioneering and heroic effort to quantify the ways in which our patent system has failed to live up to its raison d'être: promoting innovation. The book will be controversial. But the authors make a forceful case that deserves to be heard." -- Eric Maskin, Albert O. Hirschman Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study and Nobel Laureate in Economics.
From AEI, There Is a Role for Congress in Patent Litigation Reform ("The patent litigation system is broken. Congress should make every effort to fix it by writing into this legislation reasonable formulas for damage awards and venue rules that discourage forum-shopping.") Is S. 1145, the Patent Reform Act of 2007, [Thomas Resources] the way to go?
[RJ & JH]
Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk
by James Bessen & Michael J. Meurer
List Price: $29.95
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Princeton University Press (March 23, 2008)
Book Description: In the last several years, business leaders, policymakers, and inventors have complained to the media and to Congress that today's patent system stifles innovation instead of fostering it. But like the infamous patent on the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, much of the cited evidence about the patent system is pure anecdote--making realistic policy formation difficult. Is the patent system fundamentally broken, or can it be fixed with a few modest reforms? Moving beyond rhetoric, Patent Failure provides the first authoritative and comprehensive look at the economic performance of patents in forty years. James Bessen and Michael Meurer ask whether patents work well as property rights, and, if not, what institutional and legal reforms are necessary to make the patent system more effective.
Patent Failure presents a wide range of empirical evidence from history, law, and economics. The book's findings are stark and conclusive. While patents do provide incentives to invest in research, development, and commercialization, for most businesses today, patents fail to provide predictable property rights. Instead, they produce costly disputes and excessive litigation that outweigh positive incentives. Only in some sectors, such as the pharmaceutical industry, do patents act as advertised, with their benefits outweighing the related costs.
By showing how the patent system has fallen short in providing predictable legal boundaries, Patent Failure serves as a call for change in institutions and laws. There are no simple solutions, but Bessen and Meurer's reform proposals need to be heard. The health and competitiveness of the nation's economy depend on it.
About the Authors: James Bessen, a former software developer and CEO, is lecturer at Boston University School of Law. Michael J. Meurer is the Michaels Faculty Research Scholar and professor of law at Boston University.
Google Books Releases New API
The new API, Books Viewability, gives web developers the ability, through a set of software protocols, to locate titles on Google Book Search and automatically embed links to those books on their own sites. Details. [JH]
Opening: Research and Instructional Services Librarian, Pritzker Legal Research Center
The Pritzker Legal Research Center of Northwestern University School of Law solicits applications from highly motivated individuals for the position of Research and Instructional Services Librarian. The successful applicant will join an energetic and experienced reference department that provides the highest level of reference assistance, research instruction, and support to meet the multifaceted information needs of faculty and students. We seek someone who is creative, flexible, capable of working in a dynamic environment, and committed to excellence.
The successful applicant will participate with other reference librarians in assisting faculty through our active liaison program; developing instructional materials, handouts, and research guides (including web-based materials); teaching research in the first-year program and a variety of advanced legal research courses; developing and offering informal research instruction sessions for faculty and students; providing reference assistance to a faculty and student body with increasingly interdisciplinary research interests; assisting in other public services activities; and working on team-based projects with other members of the Pritzker Legal Research Center. Participation in professional development activities is encouraged and supported. Some evening/weekend work may be required.
Required Qualifications: M.L.S. from an A.L.A.-accredited institution coupled with a strong service orientation and a demonstrated ability to work effectively and creatively in a collaborative environment. Substantial progress toward completion of the M.L.S. degree with law library reference experience may substitute. Applicants must have an excellent knowledge of print and electronic legal resources as well as successful teaching or training experience or a demonstrated aptitude for and interest in teaching. Must be self-directed, able to meet deadlines, and committed to providing the highest level of responsive and innovative service to a demanding patron base in a variety of settings. Excellent oral and written communication skills are essential.
Preferred Qualifications: J.D. from an A.B.A.-accredited law school. One to three years law library experience. Familiarity with social science and business research resources. Experience with course management systems (CMS), such as Blackboard; experience or interest in educational technologies, and ability to support faculty and students using such systems.
Salary: Competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Environment: Located in the heart of the Gold Coast on Northwestern’s Chicago campus, the Pritzker Legal Research Center supports the research and instructional needs of more than 900 J.D. and LL.M. students and 90 residential faculty of the Northwestern University School of Law. The library has a collection of more than 700,000 volumes and equivalents and subscribes to a wide array of electronic information resources. Further information about the Pritzker Legal Research Center is available at the Library's website http://www.law.northwestern.edu/library.
To Apply: Candidates should submit a letter of application, resume, and the names of three references with addresses and telephone numbers (electronic applications are encouraged) to:
Heidi Frostestad Kuehl
Chair, Search Committee
Pritzker Legal Research Center
Northwestern University School of Law
357 E. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until position is filled. To ensure full consideration, applications must be received by April 18, 2008. This is a full-time position.
Northwestern University is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
March 30, 2008
Lincoln Presidential Library Suits Coming to an End
After years of arguments between the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois and building contractors concerning overruns on the $145 Million project a settlement has finally been reached. According to the Chicago Tribune the nations busiest Presidential Library was seeking as much as $15 Million but has settled for more than $3M already paid and waiver of other future payments that were due from the state. Among the problems with the project were architectural issues, leaks, condensation and a faulty climate control system among the approximately 80 change orders. [BB]
A Quick Look at PatientsLikeMe
In Practicing Patients (New York Times Magazine, March 23, 2008), Thomas Goetz reviews the site and its implications. Goetz observes:
By telling so much, the members of PatientsLikeMe are creating a rich database of disease treatment and patient experience. ... The 7,000 members of PatientsLikeMe, in other words, are beta testers — they may be the vanguard of how we all will care and treat our resume of chronic diseases.
I highly recommend reading Goetz's article.
Personal Note. A friend has atypical trigeninal neuralgia, a very debilitating neuropathic disorder of the trigeminal nerve that causes intense pain in the eyes, lips, nose, scalp, forehead, and jaw. Trigeminal neuralgia is considered by many to be among the most painful of conditions and is often labeled the "suicide disease" because of the significant numbers of people taking their own lives when they cannot find effective treatments. [MedlinePlus Description | Patient Education Institute' Tutorial]. Oftentimes, I have suggest to her that she should share her experiences by creating a blog. PatientsLikeMe is probably a much better way to share experiences and information with other TN patients. [JH]
The New Middle East
"Confrontational U.S. policy that tried to create a “New Middle East,” but ignored the realities of the region has instead exacerbated existing conflicts and created new problems, argues a new report from the Carnegie Endowment. To restore its credibility and promote positive transformation, the United States needs to abandon the illusion that it can reshape the region to suit its interests.
In The New Middle East, Carnegie Middle East experts Marina Ottaway, Nathan J. Brown, Amr Hamzawy, Karim Sadjadpour, and Paul Salem examine the new realities of the region by focusing on three critical clusters of countries—Iran–Iraq, Lebanon–Syria, Palestine–Israel, and on the three most pressing issues—nuclear proliferation, sectarianism, and the challenge of political reform—to provide a new direction for U.S. policy that engages all regional actors patiently and consistently on major conflicts to develop compromise solutions." [RJ]