May 05, 2015
USNWR Reputation Scores Aren't Just Sticky, They Are Deflated
Posted by Christine Hurt

I admit that I don't tear into every paper reverse engineering the USNWR rankings out of principle, but this paper by Robert L. Jones (hat tip:  Tax Prof Blog) seemed worth the read.  (The paper is a shorter essay updating a longitudinal research paper from two years ago that I missed.)  Both papers look at those ever-so-important "academic reputation" scores that show up in the USNWR to make every law school strive to improve its academic reputation.  These scores are the result of surveys sent to every law school dean, academic associate dean, chair of appointments and newly tenured faculty member.  Each school is rated 1 to 5.  If you've ever stepped foot into a law school as a faculty member, you have been in a conversation on how to boost this score.  Splashy new hires?  Increasing scholarship?  Increasing visibility of scholarship?  Conferences?  And you will inevitably hear someone say that academic reputation scores are "sticky" -- they do not seem to move quickly or substantially, no matter what schools do.  This paper answers the "why" of the sticky question and concludes that the scores are not sticky -- they are intentionally deflated.  First, here's Jones' graph showing that the average ARS has declined since 1998, with a particular trend since the disruption in the legal market during the financial crisis, despite all the investments schools have made in increasing scholarship and expanded hiring. Moreover, these scores have declined while judge/lawyer reputation scores have increased.

 Chart A

Why this decline then? Jones contends that because of the importance of the rankings and the competition the rankings engender, that voters act strategically by deflating the rankings of competitor schools. The more important the rankings are, then the more strategic the voting. No voter has an incentive to give high reputation scores, but a real incentive to give low ones. Therefore, Jones concludes, the academic reputation scores are worthless. (I could see an argument that if all voters systematically gave lower grades to everyone, then the scores are valid as a ranking, much like a 2.7 grading curve mean. But, we don't know how systematic the strategic ranking is. One could imagine that competitor schools over-punish schools that make large, visible investments in academic quality and ignore schools that are not seen as threats.) I have just begun to foment thoughts on this theory, but if it's true then it calls into question many firmly-held beliefs about expensive practices that are thought to "boost the rankings."

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April 10, 2015
Professor as Intermediary in the Textbook Wars
Posted by Usha Rodrigues

I co-teach a year-long Business Ethics class that culminates in the students writing and presenting a case study.  (It occurs to me that I haven't blogged much about this class, and I will rectify that, but that's for another post.) 

Today I want to talk about a case study that focused on textbook pricing-- undergraduate, because there is more information available.  One student recounted a single Intro Bio textbook that cost $500.   I remember thinking books were expensive back in my college days, but $500!  How does textbook inflation compare with other metrics? According to the GAO, the price of textbooks increased 82% between 2002-2021, tuition and fees increased by 89%, and overall consumer prices grew by 28% (this stat and the others come via the excellent case study).  

Where does all that money go?  I've always wondered. According to this US News article, 21.6 %of the purchase price of a new book goes to the bookstore, 1% to shipping, and 77.4% to the publisher.  And according to the same article, in 2008 (the last available data) 15.4% of the purchase price went to marketing, 11.7% to authors, 32.2% to paper, printing, and overhead. 

We told the students to be neutral in the case study, so here's the publishers' position: students increasingly want products that accompany textbooks, including study guides and applications like online quizzes and homework for teachers. These things cost money to develop.

While the case study focused on college textbooks, of course the students talked about their experiences in law school.  The consensus is that casebooks are way too expensive.  There's a lot of frustration over the fact that rental prices and digital casebooks are not much less expensive than new ones. The students heartily condemned the widespread practice of changing a few pages in a casebook and then trotting out a new edition to avoid cannibalization from the secondary market.  

I had pushed the case study author to address the professor's role in all this--not the casebook authors, but the professor selecting a casebook.  Because, as the students are all too aware, this isn't a pure market, it's a mediated one.  Students enrolled in a course are captive to their professor's textbook choices.  Which brings me to my ethical question: what responsibility do I as a teacher have to my students in selecting a casebook?  Should I pick the cheapest one?  How much, if at all, should price matter to me?  Some of my colleagues have even developed online casebooks, that are either free or available at a very low cost.

I can't go that far. I switch Corporations casebooks every year because 1) I'd get bored otherwise and 2) the students would have the notes from prior years and they would phone it in.  And, frankly, I'm not excited about the prospect in compiling and editing a bunch of cases--there are plenty of people out there who have spent a lot of time thinking about how to structure a casebook, and they've done a better job than I could.  The compromise I've currently struck is never to select a casebook in the first year of a new edition.  That way at least the students have the choice of buying used.  I'm not sure this is the right balance, but it's one I can feel okay about, at least for now.   More deeply, it seems like as we move to digital publishing something has got to give. 

 

 

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April 07, 2015
Does Vermont Law School Want To Be Bought By UVM?
Posted by David Zaring

VLS is a beautiful law school, in a beautiful place, and it isn't owned by the state of Vermont.  So why did it commission a study establishing its economic importance for the Vermont economy?  I would guess that it is either an effort to lay the groundwork for a bailout, or a pitch that the law school should be made a part of the state university system.  The study's bottom line:

VLS is shown be a very strong contributor to the local economy. By virtue of the unusually high proportion of operating expenditures made in Vermont, itself a product of relatively high salaries of its professional staff, VLS is responsible for a high level of job and income creation. VLS generates not only strong payroll-related spending, but when combined with student and visitor expenditures, resulting employment growth is very strong. The 2.9 employment multiplier for VLS, discussed in the section on total economic impact, is dramatic evidence that VLS produces a highly localized impact in a small state that normally sees a high proportion of expenditures flow from the State for goods and services produced elsewhere.

It's hard to know what the future holds, of course, but the school has been engaged in some serious downsizing - the sort of downsizing that would suggest that hiring a consultant to defend the value of the school is an expense worth foregoing.  And there have long been mutters about a takeover, either by Dartmouth or UVM - the law school is located almost exactly between them.  Could the law school be making a case for a merger?  There's also all of this previously.

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April 05, 2015
Position Announcement: Assistant Director of the Center for Transactional Law and Practice at Emory
Posted by David Zaring

Assistant Director of the Center for Transactional Law and Practice

Emory Law School

Emory Law School seeks an Assistant Director of the Center for Transactional Law and Practice to teach in and share the administrative duties associated with running the largest program in the Law School.  Each candidate should have a J.D. or comparable law degree and substantial experience as an attorney practicing or teaching transactional law.  Significant contacts in the Atlanta legal community are a plus.

Initially, the Assistant Director will be responsible for leading the charge to further develop the Deal Skills curriculum.  (In Deal Skills – one of Emory Law’s signature core transactional skills courses – students are introduced to the business and legal issues common to commercial transactions.)  The Assistant Director will co-teach at least one section of Deal Skills each semester, supervise the current Deal Skills adjuncts, and recruit, train, and evaluate the performance of new adjunct professors teaching the other sections of Deal Skills.

As the faculty advisor for Emory Law’s Transactional Law Program Negotiation Team, the Assistant Director will identify appropriate competitions, select team members, recruit coaches, and supervise both the drafting and negotiation components of each competition.  The Assistant Director will also serve as the host of the Southeast Regional LawMeets® Competition held at Emory every other year.

Additionally, the Assistant Director will be responsible for the creation of two to three new capstone courses for the transactional law program.  (A capstone course is a small, hands-on seminar in a specific transactional law topic such as mergers and acquisitions or commercial real estate transactions.)  The Assistant Director will identify specific educational needs, recruit adjunct faculty, assist with curriculum design, and monitor the adjuncts’ performance.  

Besides the specific duties described above, the Assistant Director will assist the Executive Director with the administration of the transactional law program and the Transactional Law and Skills Certificate program.  This will involve publicizing the program to prospective and current students, monitoring the curriculum to assure that students are able to satisfy the requirements of the Certificate, and counselling students regarding their coursework and careers.  The Assistant Director can also expect to participate in strategic planning, marketing, fundraising, alumni outreach, and a wide variety of other leadership tasks.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:  

Emory University is an equal opportunity employer, committed to diversifying its faculty and staff.  Members of under-represented groups are encouraged to apply.  For more information about the transactional law program and the Transactional Law and Skills Certificate Program, please visit our website at: 

http://law.emory.edu/academics/academic-programs/center-for-transactional-law-and-practice/index.html

To apply, please mail or e-mail a cover letter and resumé to: 

Kevin Moody

Emory University Law School

1301 Clifton Road, N.E.

Atlanta, GA  30322-2770

sue.payne@emory.edu.

APPLICATION DEADLINE:  April 30, 2015

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March 17, 2015
Law Professors Are Number 1!
Posted by David Zaring

In a short story sure to enrage the scambloggers, and already on AboveTheLaw, note this:

Law schools are in crisis: Enrollment is plummeting, bar exam pass rates are declining, and the employment rate for fresh graduates is abysmal. There's one area, however, in which these institutions still outpace the rest of academia: how much they pay. Tenured law professors pulled in a median salary of $143,509 in 2014, more than professors in any other discipline, according to new survey data.

Here's a chart:

This is a case where medians are ... appropriate?  Tons of business school professors, who finish second on the list, make not so much.  But there are way more business schools than law schools, and the variation in quality, and pay, is high.  It looks like the law professor ranks include legal studies professors at colleges and business schools, and that might be a reason to suggest that the median for the salary of tenured law professors in law schools is higher than the listed number.  And don't even get me started on a conflation of biological and biomedical sciences.  

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Maybe Law School Tenure Rates Aren't So Idiosyncratic
Posted by David Zaring

In the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the central academic unit and where Theidon works, female professors had a 66 percent success rate gaining tenure in the last five years, compared to three-quarters of men.

That is the tenure rate for Harvard's faculty of arts and science, which presumably includes the economics and government departments.  Which means the tenure rate at other departments must be high indeed - or that everyone is hustled out the door before a tenure decision is made.

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March 09, 2015
Charity and Debate
Posted by Gordon Smith

 

Earlier today my friend Steph Tai at Wisconsin got me thinking about academic debates. She was writing about the live debates that are a staple of FedSoc and ACS events, but the thoughts may also apply to written debates. While the debate format has some virtues, the key shortcoming of debates is that people are cast in roles that require disagreement and that lead -- often ... perhaps inevitably, if we really want to win -- to distortion and misunderstanding. Debates are sometimes fun and often interesting, but if the goal is to advance understanding, they are too often unproductive or even counterproductive.

All of this reminded me of the "principle of charity." Although this has religious overtones, I am talking about the idea from philosophy, defined on the linked page as "a methodological presumption ... whereby we seek to understand [a point of] view in its strongest, most persuasive form before subjecting the view to evaluation." This is a useful principle, even for debaters, though my experience has been that it is often ignored.

Maybe the format of our events can make a difference here. Next week I am participating in the annual Law and Entrepreneurship Retreat, hosted this year by Usha at the University of Georgia. One of the features of this event that I really appreciate is the format because we present each other's work. For example, I have a work in progress this year, but it is being presented by Bobby Bartlett at Berkeley. I will get a little time to talk after he presents, but authors mostly just listen and respond to questions during the Q&A. It's not an attempt to reach consensus but an attempt to understand. I am quite certain that everyone at the Retreat will learn more about my topic in this way than they would from a debate.

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Dorothy Brown on Law Schools' "Death Spiral"
Posted by Usha Rodrigues

In advance of the US News rankings to be published tomorrow, my friend Dorothy Brown (Emory) has a provocative post at WaPo titled Law schools are in a death spiral. Maybe now they’ll finally change

She makes some interesting points, but her concluding prediction, that "In three years, a top law school will close. Then watch how quickly things change" seems to come out of left field.  I have been waiting for law school closures for some time now, but I expect them to come from the third- and fourth-tier schools.  As Dorothy points out,

Law schools are currently in a bidding war for the students with the highest LSATs and GPAs because U.S. News heavily emphasizes those factors in its rankings. Students with higher LSATs tend to have a higher socioeconomic status; poorer law students lose out on scholarships and end up paying full tuition, financed through student loans, subsidizing their richer classmates. And law schools are still struggling to break even. Most JD programs are hoping their central administrators will remember a not-too-distant past when law schools subsidized the greater university.

But these pressures seem to me to strain to the breaking point at the low end of the pecking order. My instinct is that a "top law school"--meaning, even by a generous metric, a top-50 law school--will try to ride out the current economic situation and trust that it can ride out a storm that will take out lower-ranked schools.  We'll see...

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March 03, 2015
Fixing Law Review Submissions
Posted by Usha Rodrigues

Redyip has returned, and by virtue of my new role as Associate Dean for Faculty Development, I'm more interested than usual in the annual springtime flood of submissions to the newly minted law review editorial boards (although I do have an article out this cycle.  And it's totally awesome).

The problem is one of volume: ExpressO and Scholastica have lowered the cost of submission to each additional journal to mere dollars, giving an author the incentive to submit to dozens and dozens of journals.  The fall cycle is diminished, and so more and more submissions funnel into the weeks of February and March.  For years this system limped along mostly on expedites, where authors submitted to large numbers of journals.  Once an author received an offer from a journal, she would expedite up, and law reviews in the tier above the offering school would use those expedites as a screening mechanism.  But anecdotal reports suggest that the sheer volume of articles may be overwhelming students, and expedited articles are going unread.

The typical law prof response is to tut-tut, and murmur approvingly about peer reviewed journals.  But a peer review journal means exclusive submissions, the torture of revise and resubmit, and a whole lot of work from the peers (i.e., us).  I think most professors, when alone with their thoughts in the dark of night, would admit that they like the ability to submit simultaneously, and the closure of knowing where their piece will land come April. So what to do?

ExpressO's now offers two limited forms of relief to student editors: First, it allows law reviews to set a maximum number of simultaneous requests for expedite.  Second, it allows law reviews to select "peers" from which to receive expedites.

Here's a bolder solution: what if authors could credibly commit that they were only offering to 10-20 journals at a time?  This would reduce submissions significantly, and also allow journals more comfort in knowing that the authors really are interested and that their offers, while being shopped, aren't being shopped to every single school ranked higher than they are. 

The problem is that it would be hard for authors to credibly commit, since any individual is best served by cheating.  But what if the system's intermediaries--ExpressO and Scholastica--offered this feature?  That is, allowed authors to signal that they'd only submitted to a limited number of reviews at any one time, and then flagged those pieces as "exclusive" (or at least, semi-exclusive) for law review editors?  If the reviews collectively stated a preference--even a mild one--for such submissions, maybe we'd all be better off. 

 

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February 25, 2015
Job Announcement: Fellow - Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy (BCLBE)
Posted by David Zaring

The business law group there is extremely strong, and the way to apply can be found here.  The announcement:

Fellow - Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy (BCLBE)

  • Boalt School of Law - JD Program

RECRUITMENT PERIOD

Open Feb 23, 2015 through Apr 30, 2015

DESCRIPTION

Salary Range: Commensurate with experience 
Start Date: August 2015 or earlier by agreement 
This is a 100% time, one-year term contract position, with the possibility of renewal for a second year.

Overview: 
The Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy is seeking to hire a Research Fellow.

The Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy (BCLBE) is Berkeley Law’s hub for rigorous, relevant, empirically based research and education on the interrelationships of law, business, and the economy. BCLBE informs students, policymakers and the public of the implications of this innovative work to promote positive outcomes on business operations, economic growth, and market efficiency. BCLBE’s interdisciplinary approach to basic research, timely policy research, curriculum innovation, and public education empowers current and future leaders in business, law and policy to tackle the most pressing problems of today and tomorrow.

For more information on BCLBE, see http://www.law.berkeley.edu/bclbe.htm. If you have questions about the position, contact academicpositions@law.berkeley.edu.

Primary Responsibilities: 
The Fellow’s primary responsibilities will include:

• Working with the BCLBE faculty and staff to arrange and implement programming, including student events, conferences workshops and alumni and practitioner events. 
• Working with the BCLBE faculty and staff, to develop research topics in law, business and the economy; 
• Researching and writing white papers of publishable quality for policy-focused audiences, under the direction of faculty and staff; 
• Speaking at workshops, to the academic community and the press about research initiatives; 
• Assisting with other necessary aspects of the operation of BCLBE; and 
• Assisting faculty in research questions involving data collection.

In addition, the Fellow will be provided with a significant opportunity to develop a research and writing agenda, including authorship of their own research work.

Minimum Qualifications: 
• J.D. degree or equivalent is required at the time of application

Preferred Qualifications: 
• Relevant experience in corporate finance, programming, and/or quantitative research is preferred; 
• Excellent research, analytical and writing skills; 
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills; 
• Organizational skills; 

• Self-starter able to prioritize and function both independently and collaboratively; 
• The ideal candidate will have a high degree of organization skills, experience and knowledge of business law and the ability to work capably with faculty and staff. The candidate should also have an interest in research and academia.

Benefits: 
UC Berkeley offers an excellent benefits package as well as a number of policies and programs in place to support employees as they balance work and family. Information about health and retirement benefits can be viewed online at http://atyourservice.ucop.edu/.

Early applications are encouraged. The final deadline for applications is April 30, 2015.

Letters of reference and copies of scholarly transcripts may be requested of top candidates. All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a dossier service or career center, to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality (http://apo.berkeley.edu/evalltr.html) prior to submitting their letters.

Berkeley Law is interested in candidates who will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education through research. Qualified women and members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/NondiscrimAffirmAct.

LEARN MORE

More information about this recruitment: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/index.html

REQUIREMENTS

DOCUMENTS

  • Curriculum Vitae

  • Cover Letter

  • Writing Sample

REFERENCES

3 references required (contact information only)

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February 22, 2015
New Article: The Limited Liability Partnership in Bankruptcy
Posted by Christine Hurt

I hope everyone is having a great Oscar Sunday!  Scholastica and ExpressO tell me that I have successfully submitted my latest paper, but I think they mean that I have successfully uploaded my latest paper.  Anyway, months before it is published (if at all), you can get <i>The Limited Liability Partnership in Bankruptcy</i> here.  Here is the abstract:

Brobeck. Dewey. Howrey. Heller. Thelen. Coudert Brothers. These brand-name law firms had many things in common at one time, but today have one: bankruptcy. Individually, these firms expanded through hiring and mergers, took on expensive lease commitments, borrowed large sums of money, and then could not meet financial obligations once markets took a downturn and practice groups scattered to other firms. The firms also had an organizational structure in common: the limited liability partnership.
In business organizations classes, professors teach that if an LLP becomes insolvent, and has no assets to pay its obligations, the creditors of the LLP will not be able to enforce those obligations against the individual partners. In other words, partners in LLPs will not have to write a check from personal funds to make up a shortfall. Creditors doing business with an LLP, just as with a corporation, take this risk and have no expectation of satisfaction of claims by individual partners, absent an express guaranty. In bankruptcy terms, creditors look solely to the capital of the entity to satisfy claims. While bankruptcy proceedings involving general partnerships may have been uncommon, at least in theory, bankruptcy proceedings involving limited liability partnerships have recently become front-page news. The disintegration of large, complex LLPs, such as law firms, does not fit within the Restatement examples of small general partnerships that dissolve fairly swiftly and easily for at least two reasons. First, firm creditors, who have no recourse to individual partners’ wealth, wish to be satisfied in a bankruptcy proceeding. In this circumstance, federal bankruptcy law, not partnership law, will determine whether LLP partners will have to write a check from personal funds to satisfy obligations. Second, these mega-partnerships have numerous clients who require ongoing representation that can only be competently handled by the full attention of a solvent law firm. In these cases, the dissolved law firm has neither the staff nor the financial resources to handle sophisticated, long-term client needs such as complex litigation, acquisitions, or financings.  These prolonged, and lucrative, client matters cannot be simply “wound up” in the time frame that partnership law anticipates. The ongoing client relationship begins to look less like an obligation to be fulfilled and more like a valuable asset of the firm.
Partnership law would scrutinize the taking of firm business by former partners under duty of loyalty doctrines against usurping business opportunities and competing with one’s own partnership, both duties that terminate upon the dissolution of the general partnership or the dissociation of the partner. However, bankruptcy law is not as forgiving as the LLP statutes, and bankruptcy trustees view the situation very differently under the “unfinished business” doctrine. The bankruptcy trustee, representing the assets of the entity and attempting to salvage value for creditors, instead seeks to make sure that assets, including current client matters, remain in partnership solution unless exchanged for adequate consideration, even if the partners agree to let client matters stay with the exiting partners. This Article argues that the high-profile bankruptcies of Heller Ehrman LLP, Howrey LLP, Dewey & LeBeouf, LLP, and others show in stark relief the conflict between general partnership law and bankruptcy law. The emergence of the hybrid LLP creates an entity with general partnership characteristics, such as the right to co-manage and the imposition of fiduciary duties, but with limited liability for owner-partners. These characteristics co-exist peacefully until they do not, which seems to be at the point of dissolution. Then, the availability of limited liability changes partners’ incentives upon dissolution. Though bankruptcy law attempts to resolve this, it conflicts with partnership law to create more uncertainty.

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February 13, 2015
Job Announcement: Cardozo Dean Search
Posted by David Zaring

It's got to be the school that is the shortest total distance from both midtown Manhattan and Wall Street - the perfect deanship for our financially-minded readership!  Here's the announcement:

The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law is beginning a search for a new Dean.  The new Dean would succeed Matthew Diller, who has served with distinction for nearly six years, and who will be stepping down this summer.  The law school will post a formal search announcement in the near future.  In the meantime, immediate nominations, inquiries, and expressions of interest are welcome and encouraged.  Please send them to the Cardozo School of Law Dean Search Committee via Kathleen Horton, Director of the Cardozo Dean's Office, at khorton@yu.edu

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February 03, 2015
Admissions by Algorithm?
Posted by Christine Hurt

This morning on NPR, I listened to a short report on how people tend to lose trust in computer algorithms much more quickly than we lose trust in humans.  We compare a world of computer mistakes to a false world of zero human mistakes.  For example, if driverless cars get popular and one causes an accident, trust in driverless cars will plummet, even if driver-ful cars cause more accidents.  The report was merely interesting until Steve Inskeep and Shankar Vedantam used a hypothetical example far closer to home:  law school admissions.

INSKEEP: I wonder if there's another factor that comes into play here because you said one other reason that we trust humans is we presume that humans can learn. Aren't we entering a world in which the algorithms themselves will be learning more and more?
VEDANTAM: In fact, I think we've already entered that world, Steve. Algorithms not only learn, but they learn very well. So one of the things that computers are very good at doing is quickly learning how much weight to attach to the different components of a decision. So if you have students applying to law school, the computer might be able to say, here's how much attention you pay to their grades in college, to their LSAT scores, to their recommendation letters. Now, of course, many of us are comfortable with algorithms making decisions for other people. We just don't like it when algorithms make decisions about us.
INSKEEP: (Laughter) Don't make a decision about my law school application.
VEDANTAM: Precisely. Because we think we're unique and special, how can it possibly be that an algorithm can judge us? 

First, I'm very interested in why Vedantam used this example -- does he know of a law school that uses an admissions algorithm?

Second, if Vedantam does know of a law school that uses an admissions algorithm, I'll bet a lot of money that the algorithm isn't weighting and using factors that we believe will predict a student's future success, whether in law school or in the practice of law. I'm willing to bet that the algorithm judges whether the law students will improve/weaken their class profile of USNEWS purposes.

Finally, I wish we did live in the false world that Inskeep and Vedantam believe we live in -- where admissions committees not only are interested in the "whole file" of a candidate and treat them as unique and special and not as numbers, but also the second-best world that Inskeep and Vedantam are predicting -- where committees use algorithms to predict candidate success in the classroom and beyond based on markers and proxies.  I was talking to a physician friend who serves on the admissions committee of his medical school alma mater.  (Can you imagine a law school having practicing attorneys on admissions?)  He said they were not that interested in grades.  He said they looked for "hungry" and proxies for that.  He said his ideal med school candidate was someone who worked 40 hours a week during undergrad.  That sounds like a good world to me.

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January 15, 2015
The Law Student Transfer "Problem"
Posted by Christine Hurt

I saw this week at Tax Prof Blog a link to this article about the high numbers of transfer students that George Washington School of Law is accepting from oher schools, namely American University's Washington College of Law.  American's Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs has some choice words for this practice, which of course stems from the fact that a law school can bring in additional revenue with transfer students, whose LSAT/gpa's might otherwise have been reportable to ABA/USNews if admitted as 1Ls.  Theoretically, a school could shrink the entering class to maintain good stats, then increase transfers to make up the revenue.

One might criticize the practice as rankings gamesmanship, but Dean Varona seems to say the practice is "predatory" and unethical (he praises GW's new dean as being "ethical," so by reverse implication. . . .).  And, transfers obviously create categories of those who benefit, with those who have their best students skimmed off the top each year.  And, some law schools will be both the poached and the poachers.

So, I've had this debate with several of my professor friends at different schools, both the poaching and the poached.  And, of course, we wouldn't even be having this conversation without the USNews rankings.  (Back in the day, transfers were for fiancees and students with transferred spouses).  Even in today's climate, I think I come down on the side of the poached student.

First, I don't agree that ethical law schools have a duty not to take transfers in large numbers.  This comes close to a "gentlemen's agreement," which are usually nonagreements by nongentlemen.  I think there are enough regulatory monopolies at play here without adding more anti-competitive restrictions.  I also don't think students are being disloyal.  If they have performed especially well and have the opportunity to transfer to a school that has more on-campus interviews, networking possibilities, course offerings, and name recognition, then I say so be it.  I say let the market play out.

But, if we don't like this practice, what (legally) should be done?  (Abolishing the rankings being put aside.)  The NCAA has eligibility requirements that limit transfers, but what's a law school without a football team to do?

Feeder Schools could contract with law students.  Presumably, some of these top students are receiving scholarships from their 1L school.  Could that school require an incoming student to agree that, should the student transfer after 1L year for a non-emergency reason, then the student would have to repay the scholarship?  Would that scare off students or not?

Feeder Schools could make it administratively more difficult.  This seems pretty sneaky, but feeder schools could make their first-year curriculum different than recruiting schools so that transferring is hard.  For example, School A could leave off Con law until the second year.  Then, students transferring would be told that they have to take Con law with the first year students.  It might not stop the transfer, but it might give the student pause. I'm sure someone more creative could create a thornier transfer problem.

The ABA could require reporting of transfer students, whose statistics would be included in the statistics of the incoming class the year they transfer.  This would take away the benefit of shifting part of the X Year incoming class into the X+1 Year 2L class.

The ABA could create standards for the number of transfers as a percentage of the class.  I think this one is baloney, but I can imagine others disagreeing.

Of course, all of these suggestions are anti-student -- they restrict the student's decisionmaking on some very important decisions.

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October 15, 2014
Good Luck At AALS, And Here Are Some Alternatives!
Posted by David Zaring

I'm looking forward to seeing some of you at the meat market, Wharton is interviewing (and the deadline for applications is yet to come!).  We're not the only business law place, and I like to post the hiring notices of our competition for those inclined to peruse them.  After the fold, a few more, all in quite desirable locations.

CLINICAL PROFESSOR IN ETHICS

 

The Boston University School of Management is now accepting applications for a full-time, non-tenure-track Clinical Professor in Ethics, effective July 1, 2015.   Successful applicants will be a senior faculty member who possesses an international reputation in business ethics.   Successful candidates will have an established record of teaching and writing in the area of ethics that may include any business discipline; demonstrated teaching abilities at the graduate level; and a terminal degree in business, management, or related areas. Applicants are welcome from business academic disciplines including: accounting, organizational behavior, finance, business law, information systems, marketing, strategy and strategic management, and operations management. The position will be housed in a department within the School based upon the successful candidate’s discipline.

 

We anticipate that this position will serve as the inaugural Academic Director for the newly created Harry Susilo Institute for Ethics in a Global Economy (http://www.bu.edu/today/2014/harry-susilo-institute-for-ethics-in-a-global-economy/), as well as serve as advisor to other institutional organizations. 

 

Interested candidates should electronically submit a letter of application, curriculum vita, and representative publications and teaching materials by November 15, 2014 via smgfacac@bu.edu  and addressed to: 

 

Professor Karen Golden-Biddle, Chair

Ethics Search Committee

Boston University School of Management

595 Commonwealth Avenue

Boston, MA  02215

 

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We are a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

 

GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY:

Robinson College of Business, Department of Risk Management & Insurance

 

TENURE TRACK and/or NON-TENURE TRACK POSITIONS IN LEGAL STUDIES

 

GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY invites applications for one or more tenure track and/or non-tenure track appointments in Legal Studies for openings effective fall 2015 in the Department of Risk Management and Insurance at the Robinson College of Business.  Rank is open but we expect to hire at the level of Assistant Professor (tenure track) and/or Clinical Assistant Professor (non-tenure track).

 

JOB QUALIFICATIONS

 

Candidates for a non-tenure track position must have significant professional experience as a lawyer, the capability for publishing research in refereed professional or pedagogical journals, evidence of excellence in teaching preferably in an accredited AACSB business school, and an earned J.D. from an ABA accredited law school.

 

Candidates for a tenure track position must have an earned J.D. from an ABA accredited law school, have the capability of significant scholarship in law reviews as well as peer reviewed journals, and capability for high quality teaching.  Candidates for more senior positions must have a significant and current scholarly research record consistent with appointment at the appropriate rank.

 

For all candidates we are particularly interested in those who study the relationship between law and risk. Applications from those with specific interests in the areas of life and disability insurance, employee benefits, and/or financial planning are especially welcome, but candidates in all areas of business law will be considered.

 

ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT

 

The mission of the Department of Risk Management and Insurance at Georgia State University is to better understand how risks faced by individuals, institutions, and societies can be more accurately measured and more efficiently managed. Faculty members have risk-related research interests including behavioral economics, experimental methods, actuarial science, mathematical finance, econometrics, household finance, corporate decision making, legal risk, and insurance economics, among others. 

 

The department is one of the oldest and most influential risk management programs in the U.S. and has a distinguished history of serving students, alumni, and the risk management profession for more than 60 years. We are currently rated #4 in the U.S. News and World Report ranking of RMI programs; we hold a Center of Actuarial Excellence designation from the Society of Actuaries; and we are an Accredited Risk Program according to the Professional Risk Management International Association (PRMIA).

 

The salary level and course load are competitive. 

 

Positions are contingent on budget approval. Applications received prior to November1 may be given preference, but applications will be accepted until the position is filled. To apply, send a letter of application, curriculum vitae, three recommendation letters, teaching evaluations, if any, to ademicjobsonline.org (strongly preferred) or mailed to Ms. Carmen Brown, Department of Risk Management & Insurance, Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, PO Box 4036, Atlanta. GA 30302. Be sure to indicate in the cover letter that you are applying for the legal studies position (tenure track) or the legal studies position (Non-tenure track).

 

Georgia State University is an equal opportunity educational institution and an affirmative action employer.

 

Associate or Full Professor, Tenured

Legal Studies/Law

Departments of Legal Studies and Political Science

University of Central Florida

 

The University of Central Florida invites applicants for a faculty position at the rank of tenured Associate or Full Professor in the area of Legal Studies, International Law and/or National Security Law to begin August 2015.  We are seeking applications from distinguished senior scholars of law, who have exemplary records of research and publication, the potential for continued research and publications, and documented commitment to both undergraduate and graduate level teaching. 

The University of Central Florida (UCF) is the second largest university in the United States located in Orlando, Florida, with a student population of approximately 60,000 students.  The primary appointment for this position will be with the Department of Legal Studies, with a secondary joint appointment with the Department of Political Science. The Department of Legal Studies is within the College of Health and Public Affairs and the Department of Political Science is within the College of Sciences, two of twelve academic colleges within UCF.  The successful candidate will teach equally in both Departments and be expected to maintain a robust research and publication agenda.  The successful candidate will teach courses on international law and be expected to develop national security law courses and offerings for both the Legal Studies and Political Science Departments.  The University of Central Florida stresses the importance of community engagement and partnerships, and offers the unique opportunity for collaborative funded research and work with the community in a wide range of policy and management areas.

Qualifications:  The successful candidate must hold a J.D. and Ph.D. in Political Science, or a J.D. and LL.M. in International Law, National Security Law, or other closely related discipline (e.g., Military Law, Foreign Affairs Law, et cetera).   The successful candidate will be eligible for appointment as a tenured associate or full professor upon hire and must have a distinguished record of scholarly achievement and teaching experience commensurate with a tenured faculty appointment at the rank of associate or full professor.  Preference will be given to those candidates who have a strong background in undergraduate, graduate and/or professional level teaching and an active and well documented research record and agenda, as well as experience with funded research.  The successful candidate will also have the ability to effectively maintain productive collaborative relationships with the faculty of both Legal Studies and Political Science and mentor students from both programs. 

Application Process:  To apply, candidates must complete an online application at www.jobswithucf.com. Please also attach the following information:  1) a curriculum vitae; 2) a letter of intent succinctly describing your experience as related to the candidate qualifications delineated above; and 3) the names, addresses, and phone numbers of five professional references.  Applications for this position will be accepted October 30, 2014.

NOTE: Please have all documents ready when applying so they can be attached at that time. Once the online submission process is finalized, the system does not allow applicants to submit additional documents at a later date.

 

For further questions about the position, please contact Dr. Carol Bast, the Search Committee Chair, at carol.bast@ucf.edu.

 

UCF is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply, including minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities.  As a Florida public university, UCF makes all application materials available to the public upon request.  For further questions about the position, please contact Dr. Carol Bast, the Search Committee Chair, at Carol.Bast@ucf.edu.   

 

Assistant or Associate Professor

Department of Management, College of Business

 

The Position:  The Department of Management is inviting applications for a full time tenure-track position in Business Law / Legal Environment of Business beginning in Fall 2015.  Position is contingent on funding.  As a university that educates students of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds, we value a diverse faculty and staff. The University is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate against persons on the basis of race, religion, color, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, medical condition, National origin, sex, sexual orientation, covered veteran status, or any other protected status. We also welcome those who share a passion and commitment to the University's Strategic Priorities-http://www.csuchico.edu/vpaa/wasc/StrategicPrior/.

 

Minimum Qualifications:  The minimum education requirement for appointment to this position is a Jurist Doctorate (JD) from an ABA-accredited law school.

 

Preferred Qualifications:  Preference will be given to applicants with strong oral and written communication skills, excellent interpersonal skills, prior teaching experience, an undergraduate degree in business or a related field, an MBA from an AACSB international-accredited school, and a strong record of practicing law in areas relating to business. Preference will also be given to applicants with Membership in the State of California Bar.

 

Responsibilities: This tenure-track position carries responsibilities in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service. Primary teaching responsibilities will include undergraduate courses in legal environment of business/business law, employment law, labor law, and law for the entrepreneur. Successful candidates must have demonstrated ability or a high potential for outstanding teaching and the capacity to conduct publishable research in refereed pedagogical, practitioner, or disciplinary journals. Faculty typically teach three sections per semester, fulfill service obligations, and publish in double-blind refereed, peer reviewed journals. 

                        

Salary: Salary commensurate with education and experience.

 

The Department:   The Management Department is the largest of the four departments within the College of Business (http://www.csuchico.edu/cob/) and offers several degree options as part of the B.S. in Business Administration:  Management, Human Resources Management, Project Management and Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, as well as minors in Managing Diversity in Organizations, Managing for Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Project Management.  The department also offers several of the required courses for students pursuing their MBA.  The primary focus of California State University, Chico is teaching, and the College of Business’ mission statement emphasizes a student-centered learning environment. The College of Business is accredited by AACSB International.  

 

The University offers an excellent comprehensive benefits package.  For a detailed description of these benefits, see http://www.csuchico.edu/hr/benefits/. Scholarship is supported by the college and university through attractive research incentive programs, professional and pedagogical travel support, access to databases, grant writing support, and professional development funds. 

 

The city of Chico is located in beautiful northern California at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains – just hours away from San Francisco, Napa, Lake Tahoe and the Redwoods. 

 

Closing Date:  Formal review of applications will begin on October 3nd.  Applications received after that date may not receive full consideration.

 

 

 

How to Apply:   All applicants must complete (with original signature) the Application for Academic Employment Form, which is available on-line at http://www.csuchico.edu/faaf/facultyrecruit/facultyapplication.pdf  to be submitted with the following:

 

• A cover letter clearly stating the candidate’s teaching and research experience and interests and that addresses the duties and qualifications articulated in the position description;

• A current curriculum vitae;

• Three references, with contact information;

• A research writing sample (manuscript, publication, etc.);

• A statement of teaching philosophy;

• Sample course syllabi and official student evaluations, if available

 

Finalists for the position will be required to:

• Make a research presentation;

• Make a teaching presentation.

 

Electronic submissions are highly preferred and should be addressed to the Department of Management Search Committee for Business Law.  Please address all nominations, inquiries, and hard copy application materials as early as possible to:

 

Tess Hocking  tkhocking@csuchico.edu

For the Chair, Department of Management

College of Business

The California State University, Chico

Chico, CA 95929-0031

Phone:  (530) 898-5663

Fax:      (530) 898-5501

 

 

An annual security report disclosing crime statistics for California State University, Chico

can be obtained by contacting the Chico State University Police Department (530-898-5555)

or by accessing the following website: www.csuchico.edu/up/clery_report.shtml

 

The person holding this position is considered a “mandated reporter” under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

 

For disability related accommodations please call ADA Coordinator at (530) 898-5959.

 

CSU, Chico is EOE/M/F/Vets/Disability Employer and also only employs individuals authorized to work in the U.S. Final candidates will be required to undergo a background check using LiveScan Screening at the CSU Chico police department.

 

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