It's my pleasure to announce that Marc Roark of Savannah Law School is stepping into the faculty lounge to sit with us for a spell. Marc teaches and writes in the areas of property, secured transactions, sales, payment systems, and law and literature. Marc was educated at LSU, Loyola of New Orleans, and Duke, and practiced commerical law in New Orleans. Before moving to Savannah in 2012, Marc taught at La Verne, the University of Missouri -- Columbia, and the University of Tulsa. His articles have appeared in the Duke Law and Technology Review, the University of Cincinnati Law Review, the Louisiana Law Review, the UCC Law Journal, the Loyola Law Review, and the UMKC Law Review, and he has articles forthcoming in the Journal of Legal Education and the Cumberland Law Review. Marc is working on an extended project tentatively titled “Popular Property,” on the nature of property outside of legal regimes. We're also working together on an article that bridges legal history and property pedagogy, which Marc may talk a little bit about.
I was thinking about how landscape art reflected the pre-war concern with dominion over the land as I was reading Steven Brown's charming new volume on Supreme Court Justice John McKinley. While in the Senate, McKinley stood up for the rights of squatters who'd improved public land and then sought title to them. As Brown points out, "the very improvements wrought by squatters that gave 'purpose to the soil' also made the land much more valuable. Consequently, squatters on public lands often faced the worst possible combination of circumstances: they had cleared the land, built their homes and barns, established their crops, and then found out that the land they had improved was now too valuable for them to purchase at public sale." The image of property conveys well the work that squatters -- and other settlers -- did to clear the land and links the law to those practices.
The image of "Lake George and the Village of Caldwell" is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum. It's one of the illustrations of the Times article, though I think I might have used something from, oh, American Scenery.
Dean David Yellen from Loyola University Chicago School of Law will be joining us as a guest this month. David, who holds a JD from Cornell, entered teaching in 1988 and has an expertise in criminal law. In 2001, he becamse the dean at Hofstra. In 2005, he moved to Chicago to become dean at Loyola. David is a particularly thoughtful professor and law school dean and I'm really looking forward to discovering what's on his mind in these turbulent times.
We're ready to go with this year's list of lateral law professor moves. As always, I've cribbed other lists to get things going. Thanks Brian! I rely on news from all of you to do this thing; please send along information to firstname.lastname@example.org. One thing I know for sure: I'll fall behind on the project. Ultimately, though, I hope the list will be pretty complete. (I'm doing my best with this year's dean search list.) I've made the executive decision to exclude from this year's list anyone include in last year's list.
Litigation finance is third-party funding of litigation for a profit -- a booming and controversial new industry. In this project, I am suggesting draft model provisions, and ultimately a full contract, and inviting the public - academics and practitioners - to opine. Currently, all such contracts contain confidentiality provisions and international arbitration clauses which means the practice is completely secretive. Provisions and contracts that have become publically available -- usually when claimants sue funders -- have revealed less than optimal arrangements (putting it mildly). The success of the project will revolve on participation by readers. I believe this is a novel way of doing academic work: posting draft model legal instruments and inviting and moderating a public debate on them.
In the past day or two, we've seen a spate of articles and posts highlighting the newest LSAC application data and announcing that law schools are poised for a big drop in applications this year. It's true that there is new LSAC application data, it's true that as a whole it shows a big drop in applications this year as compared to last year, and it's true that law schools will probably net a much smaller application pool.
But if news is to be faithful to its name - that is, if news is supposed to be new - these stories are a little late. We've seen a lot of coverage about the drop in applications over the past month and a half. And it turns out that, if you look at the fresh LSAC data, over the past few weeks there has actually been a comparative uptick in applications.
As of 1/18/13, total applicants were down 20.1% and applications were down 22.3%.
As of 1/4/13, total applicants were down 22.1% and applications were down 23.8%.
As of 12/7/12, total applicants were down 22.4% and applications were down 24.6%.
This fall's entering class of law students will inevitably be both smaller and statistically weaker than last fall's class. There is an earthquake going on in legal education. But the most recent data from LSAC didn't break any fresh ground; the only thing new was that the decline is slightly less pronounced now than a was a month and a half ago.
While this year's drop is dramatic, I'm surprised at how few people have been talking about the longer term story of law school applications: with the exception of two years (2009 and 2010), the number of law school applicants has dropped every year since a high of 100,600 in 2004. This chart tells that story graphically. If you take a look here, you discover that the big pool in 2004 was the cap to a dramatic 33% spike in applicants: only four years earlier, in 2000, there were a total 74,600 applicants - roughly halfway between the 2011 and 2012 applicant pools.
Dean Mark Niles of the Seattle University School of Law has announced that he will be leaving the deanship and returning to Washington DC and the American University law faculty. He has been at Seattle University since 2010. He was at AU from 1998 to 2010.
I'm heard some discussion of late that one way to explore a lateral move is to sign up with the AALS Visiting Faculty Register. This register lists experienced faculty members interested in visiting for a semester or two in the next academic year. Associate deans and hiring chairs often check the register, I am told, to fill their curricular holes, especially at this time of year. Moreover, I've heard people say that being on this list may signal to hiring committees a willingness to relocate. And of course visiting is a great way to get to know a new school and extend one's network of friends and colleagues. Please note that you must have at least three years of full-time law teaching to register and be a full-time faculty member at an AALS Member or Fee-paid school. Here is the description of the registry from the AALS' website:
Since 1971, the AALS has offered to full-time law teachers at member and fee-paid schools an opportunity to be listed in the Visiting Faculty Register. This register, which is sent to deans and is made available to appointments committees, lists information such as the subjects a visitor is interested in teaching, as well as time period and location preferences. It is a service available to those interested in considering invitations to visit for all or part of an academic year, but does not apply to summer visiting positions. The Visiting Faculty Register is published online.
This register includes only full-time and emeriti tenure-track or equivalent (meaning long-term contract) law faculty who are currently (or were within the last two academic years) permanently associated with an AALS member or fee-paid law school. Visiting positions do not qualify. To be listed in the visiting faculty register, a person must have completed three years of full-time law teaching. Individuals with three years of law teaching experience who are not currently or who have not been permanently associated with an AALS member or fee-paid law school within the last two academic years may register for the visiting faculty register for a cost of $450. Please be aware that once the form has been completed online, eligibility must be verified before the entry can be manually uploaded, which may take 1-2 weeks.
Email email@example.com with any further questions. As of 2012, the Retiring Faculty Register has been combined with the Visiting Faculty Register.
Here is a link to the registration form. The register is now distributed on-line, so there is no longer a deadline. However, early registration is suggested so that schools know about potential visitors as soon as possible.
I also just realized that the AALS has a foreign visiting facutly registry, which I did not know about. I've mentioned this resource before to folks thinking about a lateral move. I'd be interested in hearing the experiences of people who've used it. Has this been a useful experience for candidates and schools?
One of the most entertaining op-eds I've read in a long time comes in today's New York Times from University of Virginia history professor Grace Elizabeth Hale. It's called "When Jim Crow Drank Coke," but given that it's partly about the reason Pepsi was seen as a drink for African Americans in the 1950s and Coke was seen as a drink for white people, perhaps it should be called "When Jim Crow Drank Pepsi." There's a lot of history packed into that op-ed -- from the reasons for prohibition to the ways that Coke catered to white southerners, to Coke's turn to supporting African Americans, such as through support for the NAACP (and one might think also about its Grutter brief in favor of affirmative action).
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, the oldest law
school in the nation’s sixth largest city, invites applications for a position
on its clinical law faculty as the Director of the Innovation Advancement
Program (IAP). The IAP is an interdisciplinary clinic devoted to a wide
array of legal and business planning services for inventors, technology entrepreneurs, tech transfer professionals,
and emerging technology companies. The Director will be expected to lead
all aspects of the IAP’s operations including: educating students in both
classroom and live client formats, identifying and choosing clients, recruiting
students, curriculum development, relationship building within the university,
relationship building with the Arizona entrepreneurial ecosystem, and fund
raising activities. The selected candidate will also be expected to
fulfill the duties of a faculty member of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of
Law. More information about the IAP is available at www.law.asu.edu/iap.
Minimum qualifications for the position include a JD degree,
3 years of experience either running a similar law school clinic or substantive
experience providing legal counseling to entrepreneurs and early stage startup
companies. Preferred applicants will have demonstrated experience as a leader
in the field or the potential to become a leading figure in the field, an
interest in the business side of entrepreneurship and startups (not just the
legal issues they face), and an ability to foster relationships with faculty
and departments across the university, and an interest in building
relationships in the Arizona entrepreneurial community.
The application deadline for the position is 15th
February, 2013; if not filled, the 1st of the month thereafter until
the position is filled or the search is closed. To apply, please submit a
CV and references to Ms. Gina Wilson, Appointments Committee Coordinator,
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, 1100 S.
McAllister Ave., Tempe, AZ 85287-7906, or electronically to GinaWilson@asu.edu.
Additional information about the Sandra Day O’Connor College of
Law and Arizona State University is available at: http://www.law.asu.edu.Information
about Professors at ASU, including status, rank, titles, and appointment
categories, can be found at http://www.asu.edu/aad/manuals/acd/acd505-02.html.
ASU is an equal opportunity employer.
All the panelists should prove insightful but I'm personally looking forward to hearing from Prakash Tyagi, who
has the distinction of coming the greatest distance to be part of the
symposium. Prakash is the executive director of GRAVIS,
an Indian NGO working with the marginalized rural population of the
Indian state of Rajasthan, where sex-selective abortion is a significant
problem. I came to know Prakash while I was teaching at the National Law
University in Jodhpur, Rajasthan as a Fulbright Scholar. I am delighted that he will be
able to attend this symposium and look forward to hearing his comments
about the "on the ground" situation in his part of India.
The conference is free to all registrants and there are plenty of top-notch accommodations neaby. Let me know if you'd like to come and I'll steer you in the right direction.
From our friends at Savannah Law School comes this announcement of several faculty positions, which is targeted particularly at lateral candidates:
Savannah Law School seeks to fill several tenure-track faculty positions for the 2013-2014 academic year. We encourage applicants with any specific field of expertise, including all first year courses, Business Associations, Evidence, Administrative Law, Environmental Law, Land Use, International Law, and Intellectual Property. We are primarily interested in lateral hires.
Savannah Law School is a private law school located in historic Savannah, Georgia (pop. 140,000) where the mansions are affordable, the coastal sun shines brightly, and artists still make art. Visit http://www.savannahlawschool.org
Savannah Law School, an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, promotes an equitable, creative, and robust scholarly environment by affirmatively recruiting a diverse group of students, faculty, and staff. We strongly encourage applications from all racial and ethnic backgrounds, women, persons with disabilities, and other underrepresented communities. We also consider the needs of dual-career couples.
Please send your cover letter, resume, and references to Professor Caprice Roberts, Chair, Appointments Committee, Savannah Law School, 516 Drayton Street, Savannah, Georgia 31401 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For readers desperate to confirm that Katie Holmes, actress and ex-wife of Scientologist Tom Cruise, is headed to law school, I have very good news: there has never been a better year for the daughter of Toledo attorney, 67 year old Martin J. Holmes Sr. to attend law school. I trust that, if she is going to learn to think like a lawyer, she'll head to the family law school: the University of Toledo College of Law. Her dad and her brother (the Junior, of course) are both graduates of UT and both practice in Toledo.
I assume that having survived all the law-talk over the dinner table, as a kid, she'll get boffo LSAT scores and win a generous scholarship. (Shoot: she got a 1310 on her SAT's and could have attended Columbia University. She didn't, of course, and now she's going to have to complete 3/4 of her college degree first in order to go to an ABA accredited law school. Alternatively, she could attend the California accredited Southern California Institute of Law, which seems to admit people with no virtually no undergrad coursework, so long as 90% of the coursework that does exist is nonvocational. But she should be forewarned that the school is boasting a 0% pass rate on the California bar recently.)
In any case, she may not want to spend a ton on her legal education so she can stash away most of the $400K in annual child support she receives so that Suri's 529 plan will be nicely stuffed when it's time for her to head to college. At the current pace, Suri's tuition at Columbia - should she be accepted and choose to attend - will be $84,702 per year in 2024, when she turns 18. Of course, she could save a ton of money by attending a state school - say, the University of Toledo - for her BA. At $43, 335 per year, it's sure to be a bargain!
Standing outside elite or even middling circles, outsiders who were marginalized by limitations on their freedom and their need to labor for a living had a unique grasp on the profoundly social nature of print and its power to influence public opinion. In Empowering Words, Karen A. Weyler explores how outsiders used ephemeral formats such as broadsides, pamphlets, and newspapers to publish poetry, captivity narratives, formal addresses, and other genres with wide appeal in early America.
To gain access to print, outsiders collaborated with amanuenses and editors, inserted their stories into popular genres and cheap media, tapped into existing social and religious networks, and sought sponsors and patrons. They wrote individually, collaboratively, and even corporately, but writing for them was almost always an act of connection. Disparate levels of literacy did not necessarily entail subordination on the part of the lessliterate collaborator. Even the minimally literate and the illiterate understood the potential for print to be life changing, and outsiders shrewdly employed strategies to assert themselves within collaborative dynamics.
Empowering Words covers an array of outsiders including artisans; the minimally literate; the poor, indentured, or enslaved; and racial minorities. By focusing not only on New England, the traditional stronghold of early American literacy, but also on southern towns such as Williamsburg and Charleston, Weyler limns a more expansive map of early American authorship.
Shortly after Dan Filler started this blog in the spring of 2008 I put up a couple of posts about blogging. One asked why I'm doing this (or, to use the inverse of Kim Krawiec's phrase, why would anyone blog). Another post discussed blogger's disease. Over the past -- wow, I guess it's -- five years I've become more convinced that blogger's disease is a real problem, though I've also finally turned to the view that blogging can be positive. Funny how I'm behind the times in this. I had a conversation recently with a friend who's a serious blogger and I mentioned that I was finally developing a positive attitude towards blogging. He looked at me somewhat oddly and aked, "are blogs still relevant?"
Without entering the really interesting discussion of whether blogs are still (or ever were) relevant, let me try to crowd source some informaiton on the subject of another post I put up back in 2008: trends in the legal academy. I predicted that there would be a renewed focus on teaching and an increase in teaching loads along with it. I thought of this post when a friend at another school asked me how schools are implementing increased teaching loads. I had to confess that I didn't know. There's a significant difference in the utility to the students and schools in how they manage this. Does the increase come in a major lecture course or in a small enrollment course, for instance? Or does the increase come in an experiential learning course -- which has lots of student contact already -- or an upper-level lecture class, which though it has a lot of students may not have nearly so much contact?
I've heard a lot recently about schools looking at the student credit hours that faculty teach (the number of credits for each course multiplied by students enrolled in the course). Is this part of the calculations at schools that are increasingly teaching loads? Are schools increasing teaching loads across the board or are they increasing some teachers' loads more than others?
A panel of the DC Circuit has ruled, in Noel Canning v. NLRB, that President Obama's appointment of three new members to the NLRB under the recess appointment power was invalid. The appointments were made while the Senate was in session but operating under a unanimous consent agreement that provided the Senate would meet pro forma every three days during a month in which the Senate was not otherwise conducting business (a so-called "intrasession" recess). The recess appointments clause of the Constitution provides that "[t]he President shall have Power to fill up all
Vacancies that may happen during the Recess
of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their
next Session."Art. II, s.2, cl.3.
The court, in an opinion by Judge David Sentelle, placed stress on the fact that the Constitution refers to "the Recess," which implies that there is but one recess, that which occurs between sessions of Congress. To construe "the Recess" to mean "any recess" is not only inconsistent with the singular nature of the Constitution's text on this point, but would open the door to presidential evasion of the advice and consent requirement. Said the court: “Some undefined but substantial number of days-break is
not a plausible interpretation of ‘the Recess.’”
As an alternative holding, the court noted that the recess appointments clause also limits the power to those vacancies "that may happen" during "the Recess." Thus, the recess appointment power only applies to those vacancies that actually first occur during "the Recess" -- the intersession recess. Because the NLRB vacancies occurred prior to the intrasession "recess" they did not happen during that alleged recess, and so could not be filled by the recess appointments power. Said the court: “The power of a written constitution lies in its words.
It is those words that were adopted by the people. When those words speak
clearly, it is not up to us to depart from their meaning in favor of our own
concept of efficiency, convenience, or facilitation of the functions of
government. In light of the extensive evidence that the original public meaning
of ‘happen’ was ‘arise,’ we hold that the President may only make recess appointments
to fill vacancies that arise during the recess.”
The court rejected the functional reasoning of the Eleventh Circuit, in Evans v. Stephens, 387 F.3d 1220 (11th Cir. 2004), cet. denied, 544 u.s. 942 (2005), thus increasing the likelihood that the issue will ultimately be decided the the Supreme Court.
The opinion is an impressive blend of textual, historical, and structural analysis. The vague functional approach promises to permit presidents to evade the Senate's advice and consent function, which by itself should be enough to reject the functional reading.