From an email message that I received earlier today:
The University of Akron School of Law invites applications
for the position of Director of Legal Clinics, a 12-month or 9-month tenured or
tenure-track faculty position, to begin in Summer 2014. The Law School
seeks a Director who possesses an energetic and entrepreneurial nature to serve
as a strong advocate for clinical programs both internally and externally.
The Director will work with the two other clinical faculty
members to implement current clinical programs, which include: Civil
Litigation Clinic (cases referred from Community Legal Aid, primarily
landlord-tenant), Prisoner Legal Assistance Clinic, Jail Inmate Assistance
Legal Clinic, Appellate Review, Reentry Clinics (Expungement, Clemency,
Certificate of Qualification for Employment (CQE)), and SEED Legal Clinic
(services for small businesses). The Director will be expected to stay current
with respect to the types and nature of clinical offerings and to lead the
clinic to state-of-the-art offerings appropriate to the Law School’s strategic
goals and the particular needs of the community. Responsibilities will include
training and supervising students, being a spokesperson for the work of the
clinical programs, overseeing administration of clinic staff, and seeking
funding sources for new programs.
The University of Akron School of Law is a public, mid-size
law school of 500 students located in the Cleveland/Akron metropolitan
area. Akron Law is a “best value” law school offering excellent teaching,
relatively low tuition and a commitment to student success.
Required Qualifications: Requires a J.D. degree and a
license to practice law.
Preferred Qualifications: Professional practice
experience, a demonstrated record of effective clinical teaching, a
demonstrated record of effective supervision of students or others, and
successful prior experience in either grant-writing efforts or publicity
For complete details and to apply for this position, visit: http://www.uakron.edu/jobs/. Job
#8040. While all candidates are required to submit their applications via this
centralized system, please feel free to direct any inquiries to Professor
Kalyani Robbins, Chair of the search committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Review of applications
will begin immediately. Anticipated start date: July 1, 2014. The
University of Akron is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity
and to the principles of affirmative action in accordance with state and
my last post, I discussed the Yellen-Summers Fed Chair debate and noted
that the discussion bore many similarities to the corporate board diversity
debate. Let me outline just a few of
those similarities here. For
many critics point to the “insular” and “clubby” nature of the Obama White
House and to its economic policy positions, in particular, which are held by “a
small, close-knit group of men who have known one another since the Clinton
administration, if not before.” This,
according to sources quoted in the New York Times leaves Janet Yellen (along
with other women) “on the outside looking in.”
It probably will not surprise most readers to learn that the
corporate boardroom is frequently described in similar terms, even by those who
are a part of the club. Indeed, countering this very insularity is a common
rationale put forward in favor of boardroom diversity. As Lissa Broome, John Conley, and I
discuss in our article recently posted to SSRN -- The Danger of Difference: Tensions in
Directors’ Views of Corporate Board Diversity -- our respondents frequently
asserted both the avoidance of group- think and an ability to facilitate board
independence as rationales in favor of race and gender diversity. Yet, as we
note in the article, these rationales are in some tension with our respondents’ even
more frequently asserted contentions that boards must get along with both each
other and senior management, be collegial, and avoid confrontation.
For example, one respondent, a proxy advisor with
substantial experience in board and corporate governance issues, told us that
most of the investors whom his company advised did not take board diversity seriously,
as they did not believe it improved shareholder value. Among those that did,
however, the most important reason was likely the avoidance of groupthink:
A: I think people know especially on the risk side that
whenever you get anything involving sort of groupthink, everybody in the room
having the same background, group of experiences and so forth that that is an
absolute breeding ground for risk, for problems to occur. . . . and I think by
and large the folks that believe that diversity is important put a very high
value on it for that exact reason that they think this creates greater,
frankly, psychological independence in the board room. It creates more
viewpoints in the board room and that leads to better decision making I think,
and I think that’s a change from certainly fifteen or twenty years ago— when I
think it was purely viewed in terms of sort of social equity issues about
increasing participation by women and minority group members on boards of
directors—and I don’t see that as much today.
I think the arguments in favor of board diversity are much
more sophisticated today, and that we’re really talking about trying to help
boards to provide stronger oversight. We’re trying to help boards to eliminate
the possibility of groupthink I think.
Yet, this supposed role of diverse directors is in some
tension with two other strong narratives that emerge from our interviews: (1)
the importance of collegiality and getting along in the boardroom and (2) the
efforts undertaken by female and minority directors to fit in and conform to
the prevailing boardroom culture – in short, to behave like, and be accepted on
the same terms as, any other board member. This “fitting in” is a task on which
many of our respondents report spending substantial time and effort.
In my next post, I’ll describe those efforts in more
More details from Brian Leiter here and from Steve Diamond here. I had no idea LST had been seeking angel funding.
Update: Kyle McEntee from LST responds on the issue of angel funding:
We are not seeking angel funding from a VC or anybody
else who would take a stake in LST. We are a nonprofit. Nonprofits cannot sell
equity because nonprofits have no equity to sell. The ABA Journal was
interested in our vision for LST beyond what people knew through the press. Our
vision required a full-time staff, and one way would have been through an angel
As part of working on the Nat Turner rebellion and the trials afterward I wondered a lot about how to interpret Turner. There was a lot of discussion in the white community about the role of abolitionist literature in spurring the rebellion. Virginia's governor collected several recent pamphlets as evidence of the ideas that were being discussed in the north -- the pamphlets included David Walker's Appeal, William Garrison’s An Address Delivered Before the Free People of Color in Philadelphia, New York, and other Cities (1831), and the Minutes and Proceedings of the First Annual Convention of the People of Colour (1831).Turner may not have read much beyond the Bible, and perhaps never read David Walker’s Appeal to the Coloured Citizens, but he inhabited a world of ideas and possibilities that set loose ideas about freedom. This is a key question of the history of the book project -- to try to trace out whether ideas are propagated by print or by other means.
That invites a further question about how to interpret Turner's motivations. One of my favorite letters that emerged from the rebellion was written by Rachel Lazarus to her relatives in Raleigh. She asked whether the impetus was the desire for freedom or blood lust: “I know not whether to ascribe [Turner’s rebellion] to the evil inherent in man, or the powerful influence [of] that noble principle the love of freedom." Historians have been asking the same question ever since.
I have used a photograph of Rebecca Vaughan's house in Southampton, which is the last home where rebels killed anyone. I took this last spring when I was passing through Courtland. They've done a great job of restoring the house since I first visited Southampton back in 2009.
want to thank Al for inviting me into the Lounge.
He has been urging me to pull up a chair for a number of years. Now that I have some time between writing
projects and before classes start up again, I thought I'd finally take him up on
Al and I first met when we
both moved to the Triangle in 2008, he to UNC and me to Duke for a VAP. It was a great experience for me to have such
a well-established and compatible legal historian nearby to talk shop with as I
transitioned from grad school to law teaching.
We quickly realized that we shared many of the same views on our discipline,
as well as life generally.
Eventually we began
meeting up for lunch at Nantucket
Grill in Chapel Hill (pictured) on a somewhat regular basis. He’d have the clam chowder. I’d have a burger. (And who could forget the ginormous desserts!) We’d discuss various goings on in history, legal
history, and the legal academy, and whatever else came to mind; it was mostly an exercise in free association. When I was on the teaching
market Al, gracious as always, kept up my spirits when I worried if I was
ever going to get a job. He would never
accept credit for it, but he is largely responsible for me having the job I
have (and love). Al and I catch up from
time to time at the occasional conference, but I do miss those lunches.
during my time in the Lounge I want to write in the spirit of my lunches with
Al. I plan to say
a few things about history and legal history, and yes, popular constitutionalism too. (Al knows me too well.) I’d also like to talk about legal education and pedagogy, and
perhaps a few other things that come to mind. I’m sure I’ll work in a random post or two
about my Steelers as well; training camp has begun after all.
Here's a stupid question for the end of July. I was wondering if anyone would like to weigh in on the issue of formatting articles for submission to law reviews. I have usually used the Word template that Eugene Volokh posts on his website because many years ago I was told it would give me an "edge" at getting editors' attention. Now, everyone uses that format and I have inadvertently been drafting an article in a good old-fashioned Word format. I'm wondering if now I could buck the trend and my article will garner attention for *failing* to look like all the other articles.
Seriously, though, I'm interested in whether there are any specific word templates, fonts etc that law review editors prefer for submissions these days. In the digital age, I assume they can re-format however they like at the push of a button so it's probably a moot point, but it's been niggling away at me so I thought I see if there are any new trends emerging.
A debate is heating up on Canada's left coast. Trinity Western University in British Columbia is seeking to open a law school which would require students to pledge to live up to (their conception of) Christian values by voluntarily abstaining from "sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a
woman." Advocates are out arguing for and against accreditation of the institution. For: National Post commentator Jonathan Kay, arguing that gay students should just go somewhere they'd feel more comfortable and adding that "Canada has not yet become a country that bends to every demand from secular extremists." Against: lawyers Clayton Ruby and Gerald Chan, arguing that the school is imposing a "queer quota" and stating that "Mr. Kay’s solution is to tell homosexual students to go to one of the other law schools. That is precisely what Jews were told in the 1940s and 1950s. Stick to your own kind."
Gay students would be able to attend TWU but not have sex with people of the same sex. In the U.S., of course, religious schools discriminate - not only based on actual sexual acts, but on articulated views about such conduct. I wonder what Ruby and Chan would say about this language from Liberty University:
The School of Law does notdiscriminate on the basis of sexual orientation but does discriminate on the basis of sexual misconduct, including, but not limited to, non-marital sexual relations or the encouragement or advocacy of any form of sexual behavior that would undermine the Christian identity or faith mission of the University.
Query whether this rule is actually consistent with ABA Accreditation Standard 211(c) which provides:
(c) This Standard does not prevent a law school from having a religious afﬁ liation or purpose and
adopting and applying policies of admission of students and employment of faculty and staff
that directly relate to this afﬁ liation or purpose so long as (i) notice of these policies has been
given to applicants, students, faculty, and staff before their afﬁ liation with the law school, and
(ii) the religious afﬁ liation, purpose, or policies do not contravene any other Standard, including
Standard 405(b) concerning academic freedom.
These policies may provide a preference for
persons adhering to the religious afﬁ liation or purpose of the law school, but shall not be applied
to use admission policies or take other action to preclude admission of applicants or retention of students on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age
or disability. This Standard permits religious afﬁliation or purpose policies as to admission,
retention, and employment only to the extent that these policies are protected by the United
States Constitution. It is administered as though the First Amendment of the United States
Constitution governs its application.
And what about Interpretation 211-4?
The denial by a law school of admission to a qualiﬁ ed applicant is treated as made upon the basis of race,
color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability if the basis of denial relied
upon is an admissions qualiﬁ cation of the school which is intended to prevent the admission of applicants
on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability though
not purporting to do so.
Over at Prawfs, Fred Vars has a petition calling for full funding of Federal Defender Services. Initially people signed on by adding a comment, but comments are now closed. I hope many of our readers will join in this call by emailing Fred at email@example.com with your name, institutional affiliation (if any) and city of residence. The full text of of the petition follows.
Sequestration imperils the constitutional right of criminal defendants to adequate legal representation. About 90% of federal criminal defendants require court-appointed counsel. In FY 2013, sequestration resulted in a $52 million cut to Federal Defender Services, bringing massive layoffs and furloughs. It is estimated that in FY 2014, if nothing is done, FDS will be forced to terminate as many as one-third to one-half of employees.
Funding for prosecutors is apparently headed in the opposite direction. The Senate Appropriations Committee last week announced a $79 million increase to the FY 2014 budget for U.S. Attorneys’ offices for the express purpose of bringing more criminal cases in federal court. This radical imbalance threatens the fundamental right to counsel.
Please join me in urging Congress and the President to restore adequate funding for Federal Defender Services.
New Calls for Papers have arrived in inbox and I've included these CFP's from the AALS Sections on Education Law and on Disability Law and the Section on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues in my list here.
In recent debates about the relative merits of Janet Yellen
versus Larry Summers for the job of Fed Chair, one of the more interesting
aspects to me has been the gender issues that very quickly rose to the
fore. Sometimes those issues are
explicit, such as when
Ezra Klein mentions the “sexist whispering campaign against Janet Yellen,”
or when Binyamin Appelbaum and Annie Lowrey in
a New York Times headline reference the “gender undertones” of the
Other times they are more subtle. For example, while not
explicitly tied to gender,
many point to the “insular” and “clubby” nature of the Obama White House, where
influential economic policy positions are held by “a small, close-knit group of
men who have known one another since the Clinton administration, if not
before.” Janet Yellen (along with
other women, according to this narrative) is “on the outside looking in.”
I find statements like those of Christina Romer, former
chief of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under Obama, even more
interesting. Romer elaborates
on the difference between formal inclusion and real influence:
“I was always officially where I should be,” Ms. Romer said
of her White House experience. “When there was a quick meeting on the phone, or
the side meeting, that’s when you felt like maybe business was being done or
maybe I was being left out of things.”
Yellen and Summers also have stylistic and ideological
differences that can be perceived as gendered. For example, Yellen (and, according to former Administration
officials, other senior female economic policy officials) are further to the
left than the Rubinites. Yellen is
considered more focused on unemployment than is Summers, which I suppose could translate somehow into “touchy-feely.” And, Yellen
isn’t “tough,” lacks “gravitas,” is too “soft-spoken,” and “passive.” She may not be able to handle the
inevitable tough fights with Congress. Whatever criticisms one might throw at
Summers, a lack of toughness isn’t likely to make the list, though it is
notable that Ben Bernanke is typically described in terms more similar to those
used to describe Yellen than Summers – a soft-spoken consensus builder.
Naturally, the Obama administration denies that gender would
play any role in selection of the fed chair. The determining factors will instead be the President’s comfort with the candidate, how well he believes he
or she will do the job, and how successful the new chair will be in dealing
with the market and Wall Street. (a point to which I’ll return later)
This debate has intrigued me because it bears so many
similarities to discussions we have heard about corporate board diversity. Corporate boards remain, despite some
recent progress, overwhelmingly male (and white, though that isn’t particularly
relevant to this post). Moreover,
they are frequently characterized as insular, clubby, and cloistered, even by
those who are a part of the club and even when that club includes board members
that bring racial and gender diversity to the table.
In later posts I’ll elaborate on these similarities between
the Yellen-Summers debate and the dialogue surrounding board diversity. Be back soon . . .
I noted last week that the intersection of Michigan law and the Bankruptcy Code provided some interesting questions about the scope of the Supremacy Clause, the Tenth Amendment, and federalism generally. On a more lighthearted note, the Wall Street Journalreported today that the bonds issued for construction of the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument (which featured briefly in Jack Nicholson's About Schmidt) would get $50,000 on a $20 million tab. That's .0025%. But it's worse than that: The initial issue was for $60 million, which was voluntarily written down by the bondholders to $20 million in 2002. Talk about haircuts!
But on a positive note, "'Not many bonds were sold locally,' Joel Johnson, the foundation board’s chairman, told Bankruptcy Beat."
Detroit bondholders beware: Matters could be worse. Much worse.
My colleague at Education Law Prof Blog, LaJuana Davis, posted on a new stand your ground case out of Florida last week. In T.P. v. Florida, a Florida appellate court overturned a lower court decision that had rejected a student's attempt to assert protection under Florida's stand your ground statute in the context of a school fight. The basic facts involve two students getting in a fight on the school bus. They dispute who started the fight, but, in essence, it involved coat-pulling and a punch or two. After the fight, one of the students was arrested and charged with battery in a juvenile proceeding (another problematic issue unto itself).
The appellate court indicated that a school bus is a place where "a person is entitled to be" under the statute. If the juvenile defendant had, in fact, been confronted with force, he has entitled to use force in response and was immune from juvenile or criminal charges. The court was careful to note, however, that a tort battery, consisting of an unwanted touching (such as tugging on one's coat), would not amount to force.
What's next? Exemption from school expulsion. The stand your ground statute speaks only to criminal immunity, but, if I were representing a child in an expulsion hearing, I would press the fact that the child was only acting in a way that the law affirmatively protects and it would be inconsistent for a school to punish a child for something the law says he or she can do. Of course, this only shows how absurd stand your ground is. Many schools take the position that when a fight occurs and both students act with violence, there are no innocent parties. In other words, schools expect students to deescalate a situation or be prepared to suffer the consequences. Application of stand your ground to school grounds obviously sends the opposite message.
For more on the case itself, see Professor Davis's posting from last Wednesday here.
The rebellion's ripples stretched to Chapel Hill. Students formed a voluntary guard, then petitioned Governor Stokes for muskets. They wrote that the "truly alarming attitude of a few . . . of our black population has reached our ears, and as you may well suppose has created no little excitement amongst us." While the students did not believe "we need apprehend danger in this quarter from insurrection," they realized that such a "thing is possible." And they pleaded that "in the event of an attack, we should in our present situation, destitute of weapons, be wholly unprepared to resist them." That was the wind-up to a big ask of the Governor: send us guns.
From these considerations we feel the imperious necessity of taking some step to equip ourselves with arms. We therefore have thought it expedient to request your Excellency to furnish us with sixty stand of arms, or more if practicable.
That is, the students were asking for as many guns as the Governor would send; it won't surprise you to hear that Governor Stokes' papers in Raleigh are littered with similar requests. And just to drive home that the Governor should send guns to the University, UNC's President Joseph Caldwell separately wrote to promise the governor that “measures will be taken agreeably to any directions that may be given . . . to inspect the muskets once a day, and deposit them when not in use, in a place of safe keeping, so that they may be preserved free from damage...."
I've crossed paths with President Caldwell a few times before -- as a graduation orator and as a character in an obscure Caroline Hentz novel (thanks to a paper by Susannah Loumiet). People who trek across UNC's campus will be familiar with the Caldwell monument. But I'm partial to a more obscure monument on our campus and I use it as an illustration of this post. It's the monument to Caldwell's slaves, which is in the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery.
I keep seeing announcement of various Association of American Law Schools sections calling for papers for panels at the 2014 meeting in New York City. They're tacked up on different blogs right now and I thought it might be useful to have as comprehensive a list as possible in one place. Is the list complete? I'm not sure - but I'm optimistic that, by the time readers get to the comments, it will be.
This long list is the happy result of the AALS incentivizing sections to open up their panels using CFP's. Kudos to the folks who pushed that new policy through. One helpful hint, though: it would be nice if the AALS required earlier announcement dates so that non-insider faculty had a better shot of perparing a strong submission in time for the deadline. And a caveat for readers: the AALS limits submissions to full-time faculty at AALS member schools.
Here's my initial shot at the list, in no particular order:
I also received this call for papers for which I have no link:
AALS Section on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues: Courting Justices: LGBT Law Advances in the Twenty-First Century.
In the past two decades, lawyers, activists, individuals and organizations have contributed to enormous changes in the legal landscape for LGBT people and their families. With pending Supreme Court decisions on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, and a wide variety of issues related to adoption, immigration, and inheritance for LGBT families coming to a head, the Section on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues of the AALS is seeking scholars interested in presenting papers or works in progress at the annual meeting in New York, NY. Our hope is that this panel will place the experiences, stories, and scholarship of gay and lesbian persons and their families at the center of the discussion of twenty-first century legal developments in immigration, family law, and criminal law. The program, entitled, “Courting Justices: LGBT Law Advances in the Twenty-First Century” is designed to encompass a wide variety of emerging issues that are important to LGBT individuals and their families. Scholars interested in presenting papers or works in progress should send abstracts to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 10, 2013.
I arrived in Istanbul on Friday evening. As I left the airport, one of the first views
of Istanbul was a large shopping mall in the Atakoy district (here).
What is more symbolic of neoliberal capitalism and consumerism taking
over a country than the spread of shopping malls? This sentiment was certainly at the heart of
what initially started the protests in Gezi Park at the end of last May (details here). I hope to expand on this further as I meet
some protestors in the next week.
After Friday night traffic and an interesting conversation
on gender with my female taxi driver, I arrived at Divan Hotel, located across
from Gezi Park. The hotel hosted one of
the memorable moments of the protests, when it opened its doors to the
protestors running away from tear gas and water cannons. The video of a protestor sitting in the Divan
Hotel lobby minutes after swallowing tear gas and playing a beautiful tune
from the movie Good Bye Lenin
was widely shared on social media. There
was no trace of those days (less than two months ago) as I entered the hotel lobby. However, as we approached the hotel in the
neighborhood of Taksim, I saw groups of police walking the streets. It was not immediately apparent why there was
any need for groups of police to be patrolling what appeared to be rather calm
streets on a Friday evening.
Before dinner, I went to Gezi Park with two friends, both of
whom were at the protests from the beginning, and one of whom has been active
in grassroots organizing throughout the protests, or Direnis (Resistance), as
the protestors have referred to it. Gezi
Park was calm, with people scattered around on the grass enjoying a summer
evening throughout the park. My friends
told me that since the protests the park had been cleaner and safer for all to
enjoy- a successful outcome of civil disobedience. Walking around the neighborhood at night, there
were only some remnants of the protests: a water cannon waiting quietly in a
side street, undercover police in civilian clothes roaming the park, walls with
ugly grey patchwork paint to cover the graffiti from the protests, and a
memorial to those who had died during the protests (pictures to come
later). As I understand, there are still
occasional protests complete with police use of gas and pressurized water, but
they are in other Istanbul neighborhoods and other Turkish cities.
My first evening in Istanbul left me thinking about a book I
am reading: Corpus
Anarchicum: Political Protest, Suicidal Violence, and the Making of the
Posthuman Body by Hamid Dabashi. In
June, during the height of the protests, I saw a documentary of street
interviews with some protestors (unfortunately, in Turkish only). One man says that he is there “as a body” to protest the current
government (starting at around 3:23 of the video). Roughly translated, he explains: “We are not poets, or film makers. They’ve written poems, made films; people
have signed petitions on social media- none of it worked. The political system has left us no other
choice, so we’ve come here as bodies
to say to the government ‘we the people do not want you’.” Since I first listened to these words, I have been
thinking about the human body as the most potent and crucial site of resistance
against the State. I have written about
the Muslim woman’s hair as a site of struggle between different political
and discussed in this chapter),
but the recent rise in protests around the world, especially since the Arab
uprisings of 2011 (which I discuss in this
symposium piece) have highlighted that the human body is increasingly the
primary means of any sustained protest against power structures, including the
State. This is especially true where the
people perceive that they will not achieve justice through established formal
legal and political means- from the Arab uprisings to the protests understandably
objecting to the outcome of the Zimmerman trial (for example, here).
I will expand more on this at the end of
my trip, hoping that my discussions with the protestors will help crystallize
The press release is here. The article from the Anchorage Daily News is here. (Nothing special in the Anchorage Daily News; I just like the idea that the ADN editors thought this content would interest its readers. Perhaps they're hoping that InfiLaw will open the state's first law school.)
There's been a lot of talk about the American Historical Association's recent statement advising that departments embargo the on-line publication of dissertations for six years. I completely understand the sentiments behind this -- they're trying to protect the intellectual property of the authors. And there's a lot to fear here -- from personal experience across a lot of different fields, I've seen the ideas and data rapidly move into the public domain. This is a real problem for young scholars whose hard-won data and insights might become the backbone of someone else's book. We'll see how long it takes for people to forget that they first heard the suggestion that the author of the Confessions of Nat Turner was gay, or that Nat Turner's "real" lawyer was perhaps skeptical of Virginia slave society, or that the petitions for compensation for slaves killed in the rebellion reveal a sophisticated ideas about risk-spreading in the community. I'm guessing not long.