June 26, 2010
How Long Does It Take to Write a Blog Post?
Ten minutes according to Scott Greenfield. "I average about ten minutes a post, often interrupted with important things like refilling my coffee mug, talking to my kids or listening to Dr. SJ's instructions on what I shouldn't screw up that day." That remark got Bob Ambrogi's attention. While it might take Greenfield only 10 minutes to draft a post, Ambrogi writes
Many bloggers will tell you that writing is only the half of it. Equally, if not more, time consuming is finding something to write about. For many who blog, the routine involves some combination of these steps:
- Review your usual news sources, blogs, RSS feeds, court opinions or whatever.
- Read some or all of the items that strike your fancy.
- Choose an item or theme to write about.
- Mentally compose your thoughts.
- Put those thoughts in writing.
- Give it a second read to see if it makes any sense.
- Hit that “publish” button.
That takes time. Blogging is not just writing. It is reading and digesting and selecting and composing and editing. Even a brief post rarely consumes just 10 minutes... .
If only it took a mere 10 minutes! [JH]
Grade Inflation in Law Schools
A June 22 New York Times article reports that grade inflation in law schools is being justified by the competitive edge it provides for students in this challenging economy. Try to reconcile the preamble of the ABA Standards with this practice:
" . . . law schools should continuously seek to . . . improve the quality of legal education and to promote high standards of professional responsibility and conduct."
Also consider the typical academic integrity code. Most codes place the burden of academic integrity on students and do not explicitly address the duty of the institution to maintain academic integrity. Apparently the Golden Rule doesn't apply here . . . [BA]
June 25, 2010
iPhone Failure Rate: 26% Within 2 Years, 35% to 40% Within 3 Years (with PSA on How to Hold the iPhone 4)
The two-year failure rate for iPhones is reportedly better than the industry average and only 7.5% of the reported failures were due to a hardware malfunction according to SquareTrade, the warranty provider for the iPhone. See the full report here. Last year, a similar SquareTrade analysis found that 31% of all iPhones failed during the first 24 months of ownership so the iPhone's reliability rating is improving. The latest report makes for interesting reading. For example, iPhone 3GS owners have reported almost 50% more power issues than users of the older iPhone 3G. Do note that SquareTrade forecasts that three-year-old iPhones will experience a failure rate of 35% to 40%. Hat tip to Computerworld and Mashable. Well, by then iPhone folks will have bought an iPhone 4.
iPhone 4 -- a "Hands Free" iPad Nano? EE Times reports that "You could call the new Apple iPhone 4 an iPad Nano because it uses at least seven chips from the popular Apple tablet, according to analysts from UBM TechInsights that have done a teardown of the new smartphone." See First look inside iPhone 4 reveals high reuse. SquareTrade is concerned about the iPhone 4's glass back, which apparently is being used to improve voice and data reception. iPhone reception problems have been problematic especially in high-density cities. However, iPhone 4 reception remains a bit of a problem. "Hold it the wrong way and you can completely lose your signal," quoted from Mashable's How Did Apple Miss the iPhone 4’s Reception Issue? Maybe It Didn’t. See also Steve Jobs to iPhone 4 Owners: Stop Holding the Phone Wrong and the below video. [JH]
Friday Fun: LOST Re-enacted by Cats in 1 Minute
I know plenty of cat loving law librarians so today's Friday Fun video feature is for them with a big hat tip to LLB's co-editor Mark Giangrande. [JH]
A Wishlist for eBooks
Think make them more "social." Hat tip to LISNews. [JH]
Law of the Land Trumps Law of God: God's Not Going to be Happy with This Faculty Salary Survey Results
The College and University Professional Association for Human Resources has released its 2009-2010 academic year survey results for average faculty salaries by field and rank at four-year public and private colleges and universities. The data are based on reports covering 215,309 faculty members and 4,031 researchers at 822 colleges and universities. The figures cover full-time faculty members on 9- or 10-month contracts. God will not be happy to hear that theologians are the lowest paid. Guess who is the highest paid (and by a fairly immodest premium)? [JH]
|Top Three in Salaries|
|Field||Professor||Associate professor||Assistant professor||New assistant professor||Instructor|
|Legal professions and studies||$134,146||$101,045||$83,991||$92,033||$64,292|
|Business, management, marketing, and related support services||$109,919||$92,573||$85,996||$95,822||$57,192|
|Computer and information sciences and support services||$101,219||$82,230||$70,791||$72,199||$51,854|
|Health professions and related clinical sciences||$94,610||$74,162||$62,704||$64,296||$52,279|
|Natural resources and conservation||$91,420||$68,653||$58,170||$59,361||$47,029|
|Biological and biomedical sciences||$91,184||$68,294||$57,545||$57,021||$44,193|
|Theology and religious vocations||$71,473||$59,979||$51,605||$50,535||$42,752|
|Source: The Chronicle's Average Faculty Salaries by Field and Rank at 4-Year Colleges and Universities, 2009-10|
Opening: Reference Librarian, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego
JOB TITLE: REFERENCE LIBRARIAN
REPORTS TO: ASSOCIATE LIBRARY DIRECTOR
SUPERVISES WHOM: CIRCULATION ASSISTANTS (in absence of Circulation librarians)
CLASSIFICATION: EXEMPT (PROFESSIONAL)
SUMMARY DESCRIPTION: The Reference Librarian serves as a member of the Library’s Reference Department, providing a wide range of reference and research services to the law school community.
MINIMUM LEVEL OF EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE: Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science and J.D.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
- Provides reference and research services to faculty in support of their teaching and scholarship;
- Provides current awareness services relating to faculty research and teaching interests;
- Manages or participates in creation and maintenance of course research guides using LibGuides;
- Provides reference services and instruction to non-faculty patrons;
- Teaches Advanced Legal Research course on regular basis;
- Teaches electronic and print legal research classes to students, faculty and alumni;
- Coordinates or participates in library social media presence, including blog, Facebook and Twitter;
- Manages or participates in maintenance and troubleshooting of subscription databases, to include online LLM databases;
- Coordinates or participates in vendor relations with LexisNexis, Westlaw and CALI to ensure proper ID distribution, timely patron training, and the highest level of vendor services for our community;
- Serves as liaison to student-edited law review and provides training as necessary;
- Manages or participates in maintenance of study aids collection;
- Participates in collection development;
- Supervises circulation desk student workers when Circulation/Reserve Librarians are absent;
- Other duties as assigned.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
- Excellent interpersonal and communications skills;
- Demonstrated interest and proficiency in computer applications for legal research;
- Demonstrated ability and desire to teach the Advanced Legal Research course;
- Demonstrated competence in delivering legal research services;
- Solid knowledge of legal bibliography;
- Firm commitment to law librarianship and to a high level of outreach services;
- Ability to work cooperatively with staff, fostering team building so as to constantly improve service;
- Ability to work with initiative and flexibility in order to respond to changing information needs;
- Ability to exhibit grace under pressure while performing multiple tasks and helping demanding patrons;
- Knowledge of Millennium Circulation Module.
SPECIALIZED TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT USED: Millennium Integrated Library System (Innovative Interfaces, Inc.) – primarily the Circulation module; Microforms reader-printer.
- Able to sit and work at a computer workstation.
- Able to lift 20 pounds and reach and move books from 90 inch high library shelving.
- Able to load book trucks and maneuver loaded book trucks alone or with assistance from another library staff member.
WORK SCHEDULE: Eight hours, five days a week. May be asked to work regular night and weekend shifts.
TO APPLY: Please send your resume and the names and e-mail addresses of three references to hr(at)tjsl.edu.
June 24, 2010
What's Popular at 2010 AALL
One of the nice features of the Annual Conference is the online conference planner. The conference planner (an idea that originated with librarian Tom Boone at an earlier conference and was wisely adopted by AALL) lets you select the programs, events, meetings, or whatever is AALL sponsored from the entire list and puts it into a customized list complete with rooms numbers and times for your easy reference. Unfortunately, I do not see any way to import this calendaring function into my Outlook or Google calendar so syncing it into my phone was a bit clumsy; however, you can just print it out, put it on your calendar manually and then sync up your phone. Even for people like me who are calendar challenged, it was pretty simple.
A fun thing to do with the calendar is to see what events are popular with people using the conference planner. When you go to the site, change the view from Quick to List. When you are in the "List View," The number of people who have selected that entry for their calendar is posted next to the name of the program. At the time of this post, the most popular educational program was D:6 Research Guides 2.0 with 173 attendees. The closest competitor is program C:3 A Vision for the Future: Authenticated Official Online Legal Resources. Other programs range from single digits to about 100 attendees noted - but remember, this only counts people who use the planner.
I'm not sure why more people aren't using the conference planner. It is really very useful even if you have to manually calendar your selections. If more people participated, the speakers would have a better idea of how many participants to expect and maybe alter their presentation or number of hardcopy handouts to match the situation. (VS)
Kudos to the Tech Staff in the Westlaw "Bunker"
Well, that was interesting. Today's Westlaw outage was apparently caused by a UN/PW addressing malfunction but the Westlaw IT staff in the "bunker" had it fixed in a matter of a couple of hours. Apparently the outage was nationwide. The Westlaw Research Attorney who was handling the overflow of tech support calls said they also had no access in Eagan so I teased good-heartedly about "are you pulling digests off the shelves?"
While an inconvenience, when was the last time you remember a Westlaw outage? I'm not a big Westlaw user but I I can't remember an instance. On the Lexis side, the last outage I remember was when the Pope was shot -- phone lines couldn't handle the telecom traffic so technically it wasn't an outage but Lexis was inaccessible at our firm. I had to run to Chicago-Kent because I had a special number to call to access Lexis and Kent had one of Mead's last remaining dial-up dedicated terminals.
Bottom line: good job today, Westlaw IT staff! [JH]
Drats, No TR Legal Inmate Orange Jumpsuits Allowed in Denver
The June 2010 Annual Meeting Update reminds attendees that "recommended dress for the conference is business casual." Drats! Guess I better cancel my request for TR Legal orange jumpsuits from our county Sheriff's office. The update provides this link for tips on dealing with the effects of Denver's high altitude. Very useful. The page notes that at 5,280 feet above sea level, alcoholic beverages pack more of a wallop than at sea level. Considering the abysmal programming trend continues in Denver, that's a good thing.
Finding 2 or 3 programs to attend (and stay awake while attending) is a real task. I can't remember the last time interesting programs filled the day, even half a day; I usually end up attending some simply because a friend has to attend one and wants needs someone to sit nearby in case he or she starts nodding off like a bobblehead doll. If you need a waker-upper, just email me. Thankfully, BNA is sponsoring complimentary Wi-Fi in the meeting rooms, so multi-tasking will be available when the presentations lead to the urge to escape. Online Texas Hold'em anyone?
Like Caren Biberman, I go to AALL to talk with vendor reps face to face, troll the Exhibit Hall looking for new vendors and products that might be of interest and to touch base with other law librarians to compare notes, etc. Programming leaves plenty of time to do that. Perhaps unlike Caren, I also look over the programming every year to see how I can cut at least one day, if not more, out of the trip. Not hard to do.
Bud Lite Lime at the BNA Booth? It's probably too late, but maybe BNA could provide a cash bar in the Exhibit Hall in addition to free Wi-Fi! Nothing fancy needed. A couple of coolers filled with my BNA account manager's (Pete DeNuzio) beer of choice, Bud Lite Lime, tucked away under a table in a corner of the BNA booth would be fine. Yes, it is swill but if alcoholic beverages really do pack more of a wallop in Denver, I can stand downing one or two. If no hidden coolers BNA, then put Pete on a plane and book him into the Westin Tabor Center! [JH]
In the Cloud by 2020
A solid majority of technology experts and stakeholders say they expect they will ‘live mostly in the cloud’ in 2020 and not on the desktop according to Pew Internet's recent survey, The Future of Cloud Computing. While large businesses may be less likely to rely on cloud computing anytime soon because of control and security issues -- watch for private cloud developers to step in -- public cloud computing may help bridge the digital divide: "low-income people in least-developed areas of the world are most likely to use the cloud, accessing it through connection by phone." And one might say, hopefully by the availability of broadband spectrum for low cost PC-based access someday. Main findings from The Future of Cloud Computing displayed below.
Additional Reading Material: See the following articles from the May/June 2010 issue of EDUCAUSE Review:
- Rob Bristow, Ted Dodds, Richard Northam, and Leo Plugge, Cloud Computing and the Power to Choose
- John Leslie King, Clearing the Air on Cloud Computing
- Richard N. Katz, Looking at Clouds from All Sides Now (commentary and discussion with six corporate and higher education leaders)
See also The Cloud Computing Bill of Rights: 2010 edition. [JH]
A Corrective to Legal Research Performed Through Traditional Means
"Legal research beyond case law ... offers opportunities for judges and lawmakers to better gauge the real impact of the policies they promote" writes Jeremy Patrick, a Ph.D. candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School, in Beyond Case Reporters: Using Newspapers to Supplement the Legal-Historical Record [SSRN].
Newspapers are an excellent supplement to the narrow range of legal materials found in case reporters. They offer several advantages over traditional legal research: (1) Details about the specific parties and events involved in a legal dispute that, for one reason or another, were not included by the judge writing a particular opinion;17 (2) Information about the social context in which the case took place, including the moral presuppositions held by the actors involved (victim, accuser, judge, jurors, and more); (3) Descriptions of cases never recorded in traditional reporters, allowing the researcher to better gauge the real prevalence of certain types of disputes while also gaining insight into legal decision-making that diverged from mainstream legal doctrine.
Patrick argues that newspapers are a valuable supplement and corrective to legal research performed through traditional means because they provide insights in the history of how legal concepts work in practice. One would hope Patrick will follow up this research with a study of how the legal blogosphere also supplements the legal-historical record.
June 23, 2010
OMG! Google Wins Against Viacom In $1BN Copyright Suit
Round 1 to Google. Judge Louis L. Stanton agreed with Google that it was covered by the DMCA safe harbor rules against Viacom's arguments that Google had actual knowledge of infringement on YouTube and ignored it, this depriving Google of the safe harbor defense. Viacom tried to portray Google as having a burden to affirmatively seek out copyright violations because of their knowledge that infringement takes place on YouTube.. Judge Stanton wrote:
Although by a different technique, the DMCA applies the same principle, and its establishment of a safe harbor is clear and practical: if a service provider knows (from notice from the owner, or a “red flag”) of specific instances of infringement, the provider must promptly remove the infringing material. If not, the burden is on the owner to identify the infringement. General knowledge that infringement is “ubiquitous” does not impose a duty on the service provider to monitor or search its service for infringements.
Judge Stanton also noted that Google followed the rules and removed infringing content on notice of Viacom. The ruling was based on references to the legislative history of the DMCA, and recent cases discussing concepts of actual notice, red flags, and the duties of a provider in the circumstances of Google. The fact that Google implemented both a three-strikes policy against repeat offenders and a an automatic digital fingerprint analysis tool did not subject Google to liability for activities before the implementation.
The case was decided on cross motions for summary judgment. The next court date is July 14, 2010 where the parties will submit a report about any issues requiring judicial attention. Like maybe a motion for reconsideration by Viacom? The opinion is available via Scribd. Coverage is available in Bloomberg Businessweek. More on this later as the details sink in. [MG]
What exactly is Bing's "decision engine" and how does it work?
Microsoft has just upped the ante in the search engine war (or maybe not according to most reader comments) with the introduction of Bing's new "decision-engine" search interface which is designed to help users find results they may not know they wanted. Confused? As the blog Gizmodo explains:
Microsoft's called Bing a "decision engine" since it launched. But what's that mean? Today's interface overhaul makes it pretty clear: Bing's a search engine for people who don't know quite what they're searching for. And it's good at it!
Everything about the new interface is designed to gently guide users towards information they might need, starting with the left-hand side of the page.
For example, if you plug "Orlando, Florida" into the search engine, in addition to the expected links, you'll also get suggestions for things to do in Orlando. The big question for Bing is whether people really need help deciding what to do when planning a trip to Orlando that a few simple Google searches doesn't already give them. Don't most people already know to search for restaurants if they want to go out to eat in Orlando, search for comedy clubs if they want a night on the town, or, if they're not sure what they want to do, search for "things to do in Orlando"? I'm assuming most users care about the relevance of their search results rather than, for example, getting a dubious list of suggested restaurants provided by a multinational corporation.
If you want to know more about Bing's "decision engine" click on this link for plenty of screen-shots and a sample test-drive.
A big hat tip for my student Corey Friedman for sending me the link.
A new guide to help scholars navigate copyright issues in connection with their research.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Ed:
Communications scholars often fret over the legal nuances of using copyrighted material in their research, says Pat Aufderheide, a professor of communication at American University and director of its Center for Social Media. Ms. Aufderheide and Peter A. Jaszi, a law professor at American, hope to help researchers rest easy with a new guide to using copyrighted work—like political cartoons or screenshots from online games—in their studies.
Because of the "fair use" provisions of copyright law, copyrighted work can be quoted if it is being used for a purpose different from its original intent, according to the report, which was vetted by a committee of lawyers.
The report, released today, gives communications scholars four types of research-related situations as examples: analyzing copyrighted material, quoting it to illustrate a point, using it to spark discussion, and storing it in a collection. The situations in the report were based on 387 responses to a survey of communications scholars conducted in collaboration with the International Communication Association.
The center's guides establish what's acceptable for a field and tell scholars how to apply the law to the cases they encounter, said Ms. Aufderheide.
I certainly hope the foregoing qualifies as fair use on my part and what irony if it doesn't.
You can read the rest of CHE's story here.
More Thoughts On LAW.GOV
I read Joes's post on Kent McKeever's proposal concerning LAW.GOV. I would agree with some of the ideas for the site if one of the assumptions for it is that the courts accepted officially produced and verifiable online primary legal documents without forcing a filer/citer to get paper copies as a parallel or de facto official citation. Let me be clear that the concept that LAW.GOV has a tremendous value as a single source repository for the primary law of the federal and state governments. There is nothing in existence that remotely approaches the concept. Still, there is potential for so much more utility. Courts seem to inconsistently embrace electronic access. One one hand they require litigation documents to be filed electronically, or implement rules on e-discovery and online sourced evidence. On the other, they don't trust the veracity of the opinions they produce unless it was edited by a commercial publisher.
The Arkansas Supreme Court is documented as the first state court system to produce officially verified reports online, ceasing official paper publication. A highly progressive move, but, big deal. Rule 5-(d)(1) states in part "Parallel citations to the regional reporter, if available, are required." The text continues with examples citing to the new electronic format with parallel citation to the Southwestern Reporter. Electronic access to Arkansas court opinions is a modern convenience tied to tan books with black bands and numbers on the spine. At West, it will be business as usual. Only the official citations change.
The dream back in the 90's was the so-called universal system of citation. Documents would be individually numbered and broken into paragraphs. Neutral citation with precision would break West's control of legal publishing, so the theory went. It even went to a hearing before the Supreme Court in Wisconsin. The court adopted the system but didn't exclude publishing official reports or citing to the Northwestern Reporter. Again, it was business as usual for West. LAW.GOV has the potential to be more than a mere repository. It may actually give courts reason to adopt it as an official source of opinions without depending on private industry to validate a court's work. I also realize that one has to start somewhere. They courts are key. If there is going to be any lobbying by commercial publishers on LAW.GOV, it's going to be with the courts and less so with Congress.
I disagree with McKeever on the value of XML distribution. I believe he dismisses the value XML can have on getting the law to the people. One of the major problems with even official documents online is finding them through search. Google and other search engines are literally the best we can do, and sites that post legal information aren't even necessarily that good for their own local search. Sites that tap into officially produced XML can at least offer search alternatives for officially produced documents. XML is essentially a data scheme. Structured documents are one of the advantages exploited by Westlaw and Lexis. They break documents into pieces and offer field searches coupled with Boolean logic. (Well, not WestlawNext, at least, not without backsliding into the past.) XML can provide some of that functionality for third party sites, especially with opinions, if the schema is consistent across jurisdictions.
The Internet is actually awash in law in my opinion. It's easy to locate if one knows what to look for and where though it's not the easiest thing for the general public to develop that expertise. Finding a document is easy with a little knowledge. Searching legal concepts and document relationships is not easy. How many free legal sites are there with more than broad word search? The problem is less getting the materials up there, than it is searching through the mass of documents for the ones that are relevant. That's still not impossible with today's technology (Google, et al.), but it's more time consuming than using a commercial database. Lexis and Westlaw will always be a viable and better alternative in these circumstances if nothing about search changes. If the open source community really wants to do something useful, it should come up with a search tool that does more than keyword search (and without violating someone's algorithm patent). A third party will have to create imaginatively implemented search to complement the repository. It's the state search and the courts' clinging to paper citations that make Lexis and Westlaw competitive for primary legal materials.
The online secondary legal materials market belongs commercial publishing. Of that there is no doubt. A repository of primary legal materials is nice, but it won't diminish the hold of Lexis or Westlaw until there is a better way to dig through the mass of public documents already scattered online. The unknown licensor ot the Google case database must have thought so, at least enough that raw data on its own wasn't a competitive threat. The contract restrictions were based on features Google could have implemented for manipulating the data. They will start to worry if someone came up with a free viable alternative for conceptual search. I believe LAW.GOV should structure the data on the site to enhance its access, whatever form it takes. De-emphasizing XML is the wrong approach. [MG]
Just Connect the Bubbles Dots That Are Leading to Touch-Based Desktop Computing
I, for one, haven't bought into the iPhone craze. I'm not paying AT&T because 10-plus years ago the old AT&T resisted the whole 3G thing simply because it did not want to pay QCOM licensing fees for a better chip technology and I don't care for Apple tying the iPhone to a single provider --- gone are the "for the rest of us" days at Apple, long gone. If iPhones ever become available via Sprint, I'll reconsider.
But I did buy a Palm Pre (Sprint) when my Blackberry toasted recently and I really like its touch interface because I can play Bubbles. I haven't completely given up on getting a free TR Legal-branded iPad despite repeated "hints" to the folks in the land of 10,000 invoices on this blog -- it will be the first thing I look for in my goodies bag at the registration desk in Denver -- but I am bidding on iPads at QuiBids when I'm not busy playing Bubbles, high score 788! (and only bidding on the Wi-Fi models because I'm not paying AT&T data charges for the 3G iPad). I'm not paying list price for this gizmo either because I think the iPad is just a footnote, albeit a significant one, for things to come. Maybe TR CEO Tom Glocer will FedEx his used iPad to me if Denver swag disappoints. See A Blogosphere Handshake: Tom Meet Jason Wilson, Jason Meet Tom Glocer and its comment trail.
And I'm still hoping that one day Tom and I will share a beer because I think it would be a very interesting experience (at least for me; probably not for Glocer) to talk with the one TR person who doesn't have a script he/she must follow. See Removing Our Inherited Blinders: Thomson Reuters CEO on the Next Generation of Westlaw (Dec. 1, 2009) ("Dear Tom, Nice blog. Let's have a beer. Teach this old dog a new trick. First beer is on me. Joe"). But I digress ... .
A New Desktop Interface is Coming. Like Jason Wilson, I wish my desktop (and laptop) environment was different. No less an industry authority than Tim O'Reilly says it will be: "If the iPhone didn’t tell us that the 25-year reign of the mouse and windows user interface popularized by that original Macintosh was soon to be over, the iPad shouts it loud and clear." Quoted in Is the iPad Setting the Stage for the Wider Adoption of the Touch-Screen Interface?
Also like Wilson, I think information users are ready for, perhaps eagerly awaiting, this interface transformation. He writes
I think for content creators and designers, we need to be concerned about the iPad effect. Forget the iPhone 4, Droid whatever, or Windows Mobile 7. It is the large appliance any two-year old can use that is telling us our ideas of how we should be (want to be) physically manipulating and interacting with digital objects (content) are changing, and probably faster than we think. And I don’t think this is bleeding edge stuff either. I think the community is ready for it.
When I bought a new Windows 7 laptop last December, I wasn't interested in waiting for a touch-based tablet because I'm not an early adapter and, besides, I want a multi-touch interface that replaces the keyboard and mouse with a touch pad controller. Is touch-based hardware under development? You bet. "Over the next several years, touch screens will undergo strong growth in large-size applications such as all-in-one PCs, Mini-note/slate PCs, and education/training," noted Jennifer Colegrove, Director of Display Technologies at DisplaySearch in Touch Screen Shipments Pass 600 Million in 2009, Up 29% Y/Y. Watch Microsoft jump a couple of versions to Windows 10. All one has to do is connect the bubbles, ah I mean, dots. [JH]
|Photo Credit: The Blog Widow|
Leiter's 2010 Ranking of Top 40 Law Schools by Student Numerical Quality
Chicago law prof Brian Leiter's latest ranking of the top 40 schools in terms of student quality as measured by the average of the 75th and 25th percentile LSAT scores for the full-time class that entered in fall 2009 shows little change among the top law schools from previous annual rankings [found here]. Here's the Top 5:
- Harvard (1 in 2009, 2 in 2008)
- Yale (2 in 2009, 1 in 2008)
- Columbia (3 in 2009, 3 in 2008)
- New York (4 in 2009, 4 in 2008)
- Chicago (5 in 2009, 5 in 2008)
Among the top 5 schools the the average of 75th/25th LSAT ranges from 171 to 173.5. Leiter writes
It bears repeating that it would be a mistake to take small ordinal differences as meaning anything at all: there are too many variables unrelated to strength of the student body that could easily explain them. No doubt the student body is stronger on average at #3 than #23, and at #23 than at #39, but a student would be foolish to choose between #3 and #6 on the basis of their ordinal placement here (or between #23 and #28, and so on).
Opening: Associate Dean for Library and Technology Services, St. John's Univ. School of Law
St. John’s University School of Law seeks applications for the position of Associate Dean for Library and Technology Services and Research Professor of Law, which will be advertised at the AALL Annual Meeting Placement Office in Denver. Two members of the search committee will be available on Monday and Tuesday, July 12-13, for 30-45 minute information meetings. Please advise the Committee of your interest as soon as possible.
St. John’s Rittenberg Law Library boasts a collection of over 400,000 volume / volume equivalents and an annual materials budget of $1.65 million. The library serves about 60 faculty members and approximately 900 law students.The Rittenberg Law Library team, comprising 8 professional librarians and 17 staff members, supports the curricular and scholarly activities of the faculty and students at the law school.
The Associate Dean for Library and Technology Services manages all aspects of the operation of the library including: collection development and management; personnel management and supervision; implementation and maintenance of library technology; and developing and implementing the library budget. The Associate Dean for Library and Technology Services, in collaboration with the Dean and faculty, is responsible for establishing and implementing both technological and traditional methods of delivery of information to support the research and other resource-related needs of faculty and students. The Associate Dean for Library and Technology Services also manages the physical space of the Library to preserve and enhance its central role in the life of the law school.
Consistent with the need to ensure that information technology serves the research and curricular needs of faculty and students, the Associate Dean for Library and Technology Services also oversees the law school information technology department, which consists of 4 full-time staff members.
In addition to the administrative position of Associate Dean for Library and Technology Services, the successful candidate will receive an appointment to a faculty position as Research Professor of Law. It is anticipated that the candidate, as a full-time faculty member, will engage in law school teaching and scholarship.
A J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school and a graduate degree in library science (or its equivalent) from an ALA-accredited institution are required. The successful candidate should be an innovative administrator with a record of accomplishment and experience in a major university law library or have comparable experience. The successful candidate must demonstrate a thorough understanding of the scope, process, and demands of a twenty-first century law school and the library’s need to align services to changes occurring in the legal academy, the legal profession, and legal publishing. An intellectual curiosity in and familiarity with new educational technologies is essential. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. A generous benefits package is included.
Candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information for three references. Submit applications and nominations by email or U.S. mail to
Paul F. Kirgis
Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship
St. John’s University School of Law
8000 Utopia Parkway
Jamaica, N.Y. 11439
June 22, 2010
Will the Price War for Low-end eReaders Lead to Their Demise?
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that yesterday Barnes & Noble cut the price of Nook to $199 from $259 and introduced a Wi-Fi only model for $149. Amazon responded by slashing its $259 standard Kindle to $189. Take that! See Price Cuts Electrify E-Reader Market for details. WSJ digits video here. On PC World, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols calls the price war pointless because "dedicated e-readers will be dead within a year," if not sooner.
Revenue losses from gizmo sales expected to be made up by increasing eBook pricing? Of course. [JH]