Monday, September 30, 2019

Bleg: Great Recession and the Legal Academy

Can anyone point me to studies or articles on the slowdown in legal academic hiring during and just after the Great Recession?

Posted by Howard Wasserman on September 30, 2019 at 07:24 PM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Research Fellowships at Stanford Constitutional Law Center

For those seeking an academic career. Information here.

Posted by Administrators on September 18, 2019 at 08:59 PM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 16, 2019

FIU Bar Passage

I do not know if I have ever done this before, but I wanted to highlight that FIU Law grads had a 95.7 % pass rate (111/116) for the July 2019 administration of the Florida Bar. A ton of credit to Louis Schulze, assistant dean for academic support, who does an amazing job working with students on how to learn and study, and Raul Ruiz, who runs our bar-prep program.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on September 16, 2019 at 10:46 AM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Dorf on the irrepressible myth of the great scholar/bad teacher

My experience, as a student and faculty member, lines up with Mike's: I have had, as teachers and colleagues, many excellent scholars who also were also excellent teachers. And I would add another category: Great scholars who are not great teachers, but want to be  and, even well into their careers, think a lot about teaching and how to improve. The archetype of the "prof who can't be bothered with teaching" is not a thing--or no more of a thing than the insurance salesman who can't be bothered. There are always people who are not good at their jobs.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on September 12, 2019 at 04:48 PM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (13)

Friday, September 06, 2019

Penn State Law Review Symposium

The Penn State Law Review is now accepting articles for its annual symposium, which will be hosted in the Spring of 2020. This year, the topic of the Penn State Law Review Symposium will focus on the legal implications of upcoming technological advances, for example, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, and big data.

The symposium is intended to increase the breadth of research on such novel topics; stimulate discussion amongst attorneys, students, and academics; and enhance the overall understanding of the legal effects of such rapidly developing technological advancements. 

 

To facilitate the application process as easily as possible, the Law Review requests that all applicants use the attached formhere: https://forms.gle/Lt95Z9zamMLKDAiz7. Please submit all application forms and inquiries no later than October 3, 2019 at 5:00 pm (EST) to Gaela Normile, the Law Review’s Executive Articles Editor, at [email protected]. 

 

Applicants should expect to write and present his or her article at the symposium, which will be either late March or early April. All travel expenses will be reimbursed by the Law Review. In addition, applicants should expect that the Law Review may request further information. The Law Review will notify applicants whether they remain under consideration by October 15, 2019. Thank you.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on September 6, 2019 at 11:13 AM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Faculty Hiring: FIU (two tenure/tenure-track positions)

Assistant, Associate, or full Professor of Law (two positions)

Florida International University College of Law, Florida’s public law school located in Miami, invites applicants for two tenured or tenure-track Assistant, Associate, or full Professor of Law positions to begin in the 2020-21 academic year. Our primary curricular interests are Cyber Law (focusing on cybercrime/forensics, interconnected cities, infrastructure security, and general cybersecurity training and education), Environmental Law, Wills & Trusts, and Torts. The Cyber Law position may be a joint appointment with another FIU School or College.

Candidates must have a J.D. degree or its equivalent (or a Ph.D. for the Cyber Law position) and a strong academic record. In addition, applicants should demonstrate a track record or promise of outstanding scholarly achievement and effective teaching. Successful candidates will be expected to engage in scholarship, teaching and service. Rank as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor will be determined based on qualifications and experience.

FIU Law is the only public law school in South Florida, established in 2001 on the idea that a high-quality legal education should be affordable and accessible to a broad, diverse community. In 6 of the past 8 administrations of the Florida bar exam, FIU Law has ranked first in bar passage among the 11 law schools in the State. In 2018, 84% of graduates secured full-time, long-term bar passage required and J.D. advantage jobs. FIU Law ranks as the most diverse law school in Florida, and the third most diverse nationally.

FIU is Miami’s public research university and in less than five decades has become a top 100 public university, according to U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges. The university is focused on student success and research excellence, with nearly $200 million in annual research expenditures. FIU is in the Carnegie R1 category (“highest research activity”), and was recently designated by the Board of Governors as an emerging preeminent university in the State’s public university system. FIU has 16 colleges and schools that offer more than 180 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, international relations, architecture, and medicine. FIU has awarded over 200,000 degrees and enrolls more than 54,000 students in two campuses and three centers. For more information about FIU, visit http://www.fiu.edu/.

Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply to Job Opening ID 519267 at https://facultycareers.fiu.edu and attach a cover letter and curriculum vitae in a single PDF file.

Prior to a campus interview, applicants will also be required to submit a list of references. For any questions related to the position, please contact Appointments Committee co-chairs Jan Osei-Tutu ([email protected]) or Scott Norberg ([email protected]). To receive full consideration, applications and required materials should be received by September 30. Review will continue until the positions are filled.

FIU is a member of the State University System of Florida and an Equal Opportunity, Equal Access Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on August 29, 2019 at 10:01 AM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Faculty Hiring: FIU

Lecturer in Legal Skills and Values

Florida International University College of Law, Florida’s public law school located in Miami, seeks applicants for entry-level or lateral appointments for the position of Lecturer in Legal Skills and Values. The start date for the position is August 2020.

The College of Law’s Legal Skills and Values program consists of two required courses in the first year of law school and an additional required course by the end of a student’s fourth semester. We are seeking dedicated legal writing and skills teachers to teach legal research, analysis, and written and oral communication skills, all with a heavy emphasis on professionalism.

Lateral candidates should show a demonstrated record of teaching excellence. Entry-level candidates should show commitment to excellence in teaching and significant potential as law teachers. Experience in legal practice and/or judicial clerkships is preferred. JD required. This is a full-time faculty appointment, with an initial one-year term, with the possibility of successive three-year or five-year terms.

Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply to Job Opening ID 519269 at https://facultycareers.fiu.edu and attach a cover letter and curriculum vitae in a single PDF file.

Prior to a campus interview, applicants will also be required to submit a list of references. The Appointments Committee may request additional material such as teaching evaluations, writing samples, and letters of recommendation. To receive full consideration, applications and required materials should be received by September 30. Review will continue until position is filled.

Questions about the position can be directed to search committee co-Chairs, Scott Norberg ([email protected]) and Jan OseiTutu ([email protected]).

FIU is a member of the State University System of Florida and an Equal Opportunity, Equal Access Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on August 29, 2019 at 09:31 AM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Legal Methods Hiring at Utah

The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law invites applications for one or more career-line faculty positions, on a presumptively renewable five-year contract basis, at the rank of assistant or associate professor beginning academic year 2020-2021.

The successful candidate(s) will teach one section of our year-long (6-credit) first-year legal methods course in addition to other teaching and program supervision responsibilities. Qualifications for the position include a record of excellence in legal practice, with a focus on strong writing and analytical skills, and successful teaching experience or potential as a teacher. Interest in scholarship will be considered but is not essential for this position. Interested persons should submit an application to the University of Utah Human Resources website: http://utah.peopleadmin.com/postings/91875.

The University of Utah is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and educator. Minorities, women, veterans, and those with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Veterans’ preference is extended to qualified veterans. Reasonable disability accommodations will be provided with adequate notice. For additional information about the University’s commitment to equal opportunity and access see: http://www.utah.edu/nondiscrimination/.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on August 28, 2019 at 10:35 AM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Using Reddit for Law School seminar?

A question for the Prawfs hive-mind:  Could it work well, for a seminar-style course, to create a (private, I assume) subreddit for class-related links, posts, discussion, etc.?  Or, are there excessive risks of distraction (or worse) from some of Reddit's more . . . colorful content?  Does anyone have any experience with this kind of discussion-mechanism?  (I am, I admit, trying to avoid having to learn how to use TWEN or Sakai for this kind of thing.)

Posted by Rick Garnett on August 21, 2019 at 08:53 AM in Rick Garnett, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (3)

Thursday, August 15, 2019

What about a tablet?

A question for those who do not allow laptops and do not allow students to type notes in class:

What about taking notes using a stylus and tablet (iPad, Surface, etc.)? On one hand, this is writing rather than typing, so the ability/temptation to stenography is absent; it is the same means of notetaking, with fewer dead trees. On the other, I presume the benefit is that the tablet program converts the handwritten notes into typeset notes, which can be cut-and-pasted into a study outline; this eliminates the need or use for retyping of notes, which is an important point at which learning and understanding occurs.

Thoughts? Does anyone familiar with the literature know of any studies comparing writing-on-tablet with writing-on-paper or typing?

(Note: I know many readers believe that my position on laptops is wrong. That is beside the point here, so please do not bother with comments to that effect. My question begins from the premise that laptops and typing for notes are out. Now what?)

Posted by Howard Wasserman on August 15, 2019 at 05:51 PM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (4)

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Welcome back 1Ls

We see similar things every year around this time. This is from Lawprofblawg, an anonymous prawf writing at Above the Law. It is good advice.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on August 13, 2019 at 10:18 PM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, August 10, 2019

"The Grievance Studies Affair," purpose, and result

FIRE's So to Speak podcast interviewed the three authors (Jim Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian, the latter of whom is on the faculty at Portland State) behind the "Grievance Studies Affair." The three wrote and submitted a series of papers designed to show that certain humanities disciplines, which they call "grievance studies," lack scholarly rigor and feature a broken peer-review process. Seven papers were accepted, four were published, and seven were still in play when everything was exposed last fall. Boghossian was sanctioned by his university (subscription required) for failing to obtain IRB approval for a study on human subjects (the editors and reviewers who read the papers).

Critics of the the authors and their hoax accused them of  trying to get people fired and departments shut down, comparing them with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's efforts to ban gender studies at Hungarian universities. The authors reject this criticism; they insist they respect academic freedom and did not want to see anyone fired or any departments closed. Instead, they hoped universities would use the information they exposed to recognize the defects in these fields and thus discount scholarship in these fields and these journals when making tenure and hiring decisions.

But what is the difference between people being fired and people being denied tenure or not hired? The result is the same--scholars who publish this stuff in these journals should not be working as professors in these universities. And if these departments cannot (or should not) hire these scholars, the departments will close. The difference is motive. Orban want to control what academics write and wants to close gender studies because of political and ideological objections to the field; Lindsay, Puckrose, and Boghossian want these journals to do better in their peer-review and publication decisions and want these scholars to do better in their research and writing. One opposes academic freedom; the other protects academic freedom by ensuring that a university is place of intellectual rigor and serious truth-seeking--that academic freedom serves its purpose.

So Lindsay, Puckrose, and Boghossian would like certain people not to have jobs in academia--those who write what they believe (and what they believe they have proven to be) poor scholarship undeserving of publication and tenure. They claim to have a good reason for that goal and we can debate the means and ends (I am largely agnostic over the whole thing). But it is disingenuous to suggest that lost jobs and empty departments are not the logical conclusion of what they believe they have shown and what should happen.

For what it is worth, I am somewhat surprised that FIRE cared about this case, except perhaps for the sanctions imposed on Boghossian, which are somewhat specious. And I am surprised FIRE approached the hoax and this interview as the typical culture-war/tyranny-of-the-left/silence-the-right campus-speech issue. The authors wrote papers reaching (sometimes silly) left-leaning conclusions, which fits the ideology of the journals and the fields. But FIRE usually does not care if lefties say or write silly things and it generally does not care about the vigor of  discourse in scholarly journals. FIRE cares about viewpoint discrimination, when one position is allowed and the other shut down or when one position is foisted on unwilling listeners. But the hoax did not show such discrimination--that otherwise similarly rigorous scholarship reaching a right-wing conclusion was not published. One of the authors described this as his one regret in the project--they never wrote a paper reaching that reverse ideological result to see if it would be published. Had they done so and the piece been rejected, they would arguably have shown the sort of political biases about which FIRE cares. Without that, this really looks like a take-down of silly lefties and silly academics--fun for many, but not FIRE's typical bailiwick.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on August 10, 2019 at 02:17 PM in First Amendment, Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, August 09, 2019

MAGA student speaks (with minor edits)

So now we know. The MAGA-hat-sporting student that Gonzaga Prawfs Jeffrey Omari described is Austin Phelps, a rising 3L who has taken to the pages of the same ABA Journal to give his side of the story.

Phelps' version differs from Omari's in two important respects. Phelps makes it sound as if the MAGA hat was not a late-semester sartorial one-off; it sounds as if he had worn the hat and a Trump-Pence 2020 shirt at various points in the semester and that his laptop was festooned with similar stickers.* He also says Omari did not call on him "with the frequency that left-leaning students enjoyed." Omari described a conservative student who participated in class (enough to make his views known) but how had to that point "not  . . . donned any political paraphernalia in the classroom."

[*] Yet another reason to ban laptops.

He also complains about called out for wearing a build-the-wall t-shirt to his "university-affiliated internship," which he attributes to Omari's op-ed. The internship enforced a neutral (although never-before-enforced) rule banning t-shirts with slogans while at work.

The rest of the piece combines a defense of free speech, with an explanation for his support for the President (including filling two SCOTUS seats "with conservative posteriors," so glad he writes like a serious future lawyer). All of which reflects "my struggle" as a conservative law student--which might not have been the best choice of phrase, considering the context.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on August 9, 2019 at 06:23 AM in First Amendment, Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (6)

Hiring: The Ohio State University College of Law

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law is conducting four separate faculty-line searches this year. Here are the details:

Williams Chair in Civil Rights & Civil Liberties

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law seeks an established teacher and scholar to serve as the Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Candidates should be tenured professors with a demonstrated record of excellence in scholarship and teaching. The research of the Williams Chair should focus on civil rights and civil liberties, which may include race law, critical race theory, gender and the law, sexual orientation and gender identity law, constitutional rights, or other related areas, including First Amendment freedoms, human rights, disability law, poverty, or economic or criminal inequality. The position will begin in the 2020-21 academic year. A J.D. or the equivalent is required. The successful candidate must satisfy Moritz’s requirements for tenure and promotion to full professor.

 

Entry-Level or Junior Lateral Tenure-Track Position with Drug Enforcement and Policy Center

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law seeks an entry-level or junior lateral tenure-track faculty member in the criminal justice field who will be part of its Drug Enforcement and Policy Center (DEPC). The faculty member will be expected to help advance the Center’s mission. Criminal law and procedure are closely intertwined with drug enforcement and policy; from police stops and searches and seizures, to sentencing and post-conviction forfeitures and disabilities, to concerns about disparate impact, the law of criminal justice and drug enforcement and policy mesh. The new faculty member will work with the Executive Director and other associated faculty to advance the Center’s mission. The position will begin in the 2020-21 academic year. A J.D. or the equivalent is required.

 

Entry-Level or Junior Lateral Tenure-Track Position

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law seeks entry-level or junior lateral candidates for at least one tenure-track position. Our primary areas of need are Dispute Resolution, Business Law, and Race and Law. Secondary areas of need include Antitrust, Banking/Insurance, Civil Procedure/Complex Litigation, Commercial Law, Evidence, Immigration, Intellectual Property/Law and Technology, Natural Resources/Energy Law, Poverty/Social Welfare Law, Property/Real Estate, and Wills & Trusts. The position will begin in the 2020-21 academic year. A J.D. or the equivalent is required.

 

Entry-Level Legal Writing Position

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law seeks entry-level candidates for a clinical-track faculty position teaching legal writing. The faculty member will be part of Moritz’s nationally recognized legal writing program. Candidates should have relevant occupational experience and strong potential in all relevant areas of performance, including classroom teaching, feedback on student work, public service, and maintaining knowledge in the field. The faculty member will be hired for a 3-5 year probationary period, then eligible for promotion to a long-term renewable contract that permits removal only for cause or financial exigency. The faculty member will be eligible for a summer research grant and a research budget. The position will begin in the 2020-21 academic year. A J.D. or the equivalent is required.

*          *          *

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law is committed to building and maintaining a diverse and inclusive community to reflect human diversity and improve opportunities for all. Diversity, inclusion, and equity are essential to the excellence of our community, culture, and curriculum, and the pursuit of this excellence is critical to our educational mission. We value diversity in all of its dimensions, including gender, gender identity or expression, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, physical and learning abilities, socioeconomic status, veteran status, and viewpoint. We seek to reflect multiple perspectives, backgrounds, and interests in all facets of our community. The Ohio State University is committed to equal employment opportunity and does not discriminate on any basis prohibited by law in its activities, programs, admission, and employment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to a protected status.

Candidates should send a cover letter and C.V. to Daniel Tokaji, Associate Dean for Faculty, [email protected], stating that they are applying for this position. Applicants are encouraged to submit the Equal Employment Identification Form.  

Posted by Howard Wasserman on August 9, 2019 at 12:27 AM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Hiring Announcement: Suffolk University Law School Transactional Clinic Director

My school is undertaking a search for an entry level assistant clinical professor to launch and direct a Transactional Law Clinic.  From the job description: 

We seek candidates with strong academic records and a commitment to excellence in teaching and scholarship. Prior experience in clinical education is preferred, and at least three years of transactional law experience is required. Applicants must be admitted or eligible for admission to the Massachusetts bar.
The Transactional Law Clinic will provide students with the hands-on, practical experience they need to navigate the rapidly evolving field of transactional law. At a minimum, the Clinic will provide free legal services to underserved clients on transactional issues and collaborate with several existing clinics at the Law School on transaction-related issues.
The ideal candidate will be a self-motivated individual who can launch and grow the Clinic by developing relationships within the greater Boston community, the University community, and the academy and Bar.
In addition to directing the Clinic, the faculty member will be expected to teach one non-clinical course in a related field, contribute to the Law School and community, and produce scholarship.
The Transactional Law Clinic, once launched, will be one of Suffolk’s 12 in-house clinics, adding depth and breadth to Suffolk Law’s nationally regarded Clinical Programs. Suffolk Law’s Clinics have been ranked among the top 20 such programs in U.S. News & World Report for more than a decade. The Clinic also will be a part of Suffolk Law’s successful Business and Financial Services concentration.
Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae, a list of references, and a cover letter addressed to Professor Sarah Boonin, Co-Chair of the Clinical Committee, Suffolk University Law School.

I can add that we have a "unified" tenure track that includes clinical and legal practice skills professors.

Posted by Jeff Lipshaw on August 6, 2019 at 03:10 PM in Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 05, 2019

DeStefano on "the Adjacent Possible"

Michele-DeStefano_cropLast week, one of the SSRN journal emails included a new piece by an old friend, Michele DeStefano (Miami, left) - Innovation: A New Key Discipline for Lawyers and Legal Education. From the abstract:

It begins by demonstrating that clients' call for innovation is really a call for transformation in service from their lawyers. It then explores why answering this call can be problematic for lawyers. It seeks to show that lawyers' professional identity, training, and temperament (along with extrinsic and intrinsic motivation) make it difficult for lawyers to adopt the collaborative, creative mindset and skillset of innovators. This chapter recommends that innovation be incorporated as a new key discipline at both the law school and executive education (continuing education) level because in the process of learning how to innovate, lawyers hone the mindset, skillset, and behaviors that clients desire. In support of this contention, it reveals that, as an added benefit, by honing the innovator's DNA, lawyers also grow into inclusive leaders our society needs us to be. The chapter concludes with some suggestions for lawyers to help them better collaborate towards innovation along with a pie-in-the-sky call to the legal universe to make innovation the new key discipline for practicing and aspiring lawyers.

This is music to my ears - because it's about the self-imposed limitations, for better or worse, that can be the result of the frames or presuppositions from which many lawyers (and law professors) see and make sense of the world (e.g., deliberately, logically, algorithmically, dispassionately, syllogistically). Michele's point here (and in her book Legal Upheaval: A Guide to Creativity, Collaboration, and Innovation in Law) is that kind of square-cornered thinking is just the beginning; clients will demand as well a collaborative and creative mindset in order to craft solutions to problems.

What was particularly delightful was finding Michele's incorporation of a coinage from Stuart Kauffman, M.D., theoretical biologist, and complexity researcher (University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, Santa Fe Institute, among other affiliations), about the "adjacent possible." I also recently came across Kauffman's work, and I've used it in the piece (title has changed but that's another blog post to come) from which I've been out-taking this month. The "adjacents possible" are the possible next states from the one in which we are in or which we are observing. Kauffman's point was to distinguish the adjacent possible in physics (or cybernetics) from that in a complex biological or economic system.  In a physics or computational system, all of the adjacents possible in either direction, all state changes, are predictable. But not so in biology (and I would add, in human thought). There, the move to the adjacent possible (the set of all possible next states), while not random, is not predictable. (I like this particular observation: the universe has constructed every possible stable atom, but not every possible protein.)

The connection to human creativity and innovation should be obvious.

More to come later.

Posted by Jeff Lipshaw on August 5, 2019 at 09:37 AM in Article Spotlight, Lipshaw, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 04, 2019

More on Malcolm Gladwell

Mike Dorf critiques the fourth season of Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History, which contains several episodes relevant to law and legal education. In particular, the first two episodes criticize the LSATs as the gateway into legal education. The basic argument is that the test's tight time constraints favor "hares" who think and react quickly over "tortoises" who take longer to think and analyze a problem, while the practice of law is more for tortoises.

But at least the first two episodes (I am midway through Ep. 3) are worse than Dorf suggests. The problem is that Gladwell tends to pick a thesis, find evidence that undermines one variable in furtherance of that thesis, then conclude (or assume) that his thesis has been proven, without exploring the other variables or other obvious explanations for the result. Dorf describes this as Gladwell "overclaim[ing]." Three glaring examples in these episodes.

The first is the story of Sixth Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton. Sutton attended The Ohio State University for law school because he did not get into Michigan, because it is assumed (without stating) his LSAT scores were not high enough. From this, Gladwell assumes that Sutton is a tortoise. And Sutton might have been overlooked for a clerkship by Justices such as Scalia (to whom Sutton was assigned as a clerk for the retired Powell) who hire based on law school (which is based on hare-favoring LSAT), which rewards hares over tortoises. This despite the fact that Scalia praises the tortoise Sutton as one of his best clerks because clerking and judging are jobs that favor tortoises. So the LSAT--and thus law schools, judges, and law firms--fails to identify, benefit, and reward brilliant tortoises such as Sutton.

There are many gaps in this logical progression. First, poor LSAT performance does not necessarily mean Sutton is a tortoise; it may mean he is a hare who had a bad day (the episode does not say how many times Sutton took the test). Second, we do not know that his LSAT scores kept him out of Michigan, as opposed to his undergrad grades or quality of his essay (Gladwell relies on the strong inference from LSAT being such a significant part of the admission calculus). Third, Sutton has some hare-like qualities--he did extraordinarily well in law school, which (Gladwell argues in Ep. 1) is framed to favor hares by using time in-class exams (this was even more true when Sutton was in law school in the late-'80s, where it was one end-of-semester in-class exam).*

[*] The reliance on timed exams in the first year is why the LSAT predicts 1L performance--both rely on time constraints in testing.

The second is a story told by Bill Henderson (Indiana-Maurer-Bloomington) about a 3L who booked his class, which relied on a take-home exam (I think it was 8 hours); this was that student's highest grade in law. The horror, Gladwell says. The school had labeled this person as an average student  by giving hare-like exams, when he was just a tortoise who, given the chance to take his time, could write a beautiful, well-organized essay.

Again, however, note the gaps and assumptions. I agree with the basic idea that ideal grading combines times and untimed assessments and I try to give both kinds within any class. But I have not not noticed a massive divergence in performance on the two types--good students do within a small range of well on both, weaker students do within a range of less well on both. And the testing format does not necessarily alone explain this one performance. Maybe the student related to that course's material (Gladwell does not identify the course, although Henderson teaches corporations and bus-org classes). Maybe the student responded well to Henderson's teaching style and learned well from him, which might produce stronger exam performance. We do not know how other IU professors assess--whether Henderson was the only prof giving take-home exams--and we do not know how this student performed in any other classes that used something other than in-class exams.

The third story discusses law practice. Gladwell describes a study showing that success in big-firm practice (especially rainmaking) is not correlated to the law school attended--the most successful attorneys attended night law school and schools the person never heard of. But big law firms continue to hire based on law-school prestige to bring in people who "look like them" (what Gladwell's subject called "mirrorocracy"). But that assumes that the people doing the hiring at big firms are the t-14-grad partners rather than the most successful attorneys at those firms--the hiring partners are t-14 grads looking for more t-14 grads, while ignoring the success of their partners who are non-t-14 grads but do the best work. But why aren't those non-t-14-grads who are the best lawyers also doing the hiring? Gladwell does not say.

Finally, not a criticism but a question: Gladwell describes the high enrollments of the three most prestigious schools in Canada--Toronto has 70k undergrads, British Columbia has 50K+, and McGill (the small, intimate school) has 25k. How do they avoid the problems that plague similarly large U.S. pubic schools--not enough teachers, over-reliance on adjuncts, massive classes, limited writing assignments that do not prepare students for the next level, etc.?

At some level, criticizing a podcast for not following and tying down every argument is similar to doing that to a blog post or twitter thread (although not fully--the first two episodes ran 79 minutes, time enough to tie-up obvious loose ends). But Gladwell purports to uncover the real story and offer real understandings, theories, and solutions to problems. It seems fair to hold him to the obvious flaws or incompletions in his arguments.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on August 4, 2019 at 01:48 PM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (11)

Friday, August 02, 2019

Free speech on campus

A random assortment of free-speech controversies on campus. Some were discussed in programs at SEALS.

• Complaints about MAGA hats (and other clothing) in the classroom are becoming a somewhat common thing for deans to deal with, complaints coming more from students than faculty. For the moment, everyone seems to conclude that the clothing is permitted as protected speech that, while offensive and derogatory to many, is tied to the sitting President and within the bounds of allowable public discourse. Although one colleague wondered about a time we could have said the same about a swastika, when that changed for the swastika, and when that might change for MAGA. The only true solution is a school or classroom dress code, which nobody seems to want.

• What is worse--the epithet or the offensive idea behind the epithet? Should it be impermissible for someone to use a derogatory word--even when that word is contained in course materials being discussed--but permissible for someone to use the precise language describing an idea we now regard as offensive? Is it possible to distinguish them?

For example, what is the difference between quoting from cases the derogatory words for African-Americans, people with mental disabilities, or undocumented immigrants, and quoting  the derogatory ideas about women in Justice Bradley's concurring opinion in Bradwell v. Illinois. For another example, what is the difference between one student calling another student a derogatory name and one student spouting, approvingly, derogatory ideas as part of the class discussion (e.g., minority populations causing more crime); the former should be sanctioned because students should not attack one another, but what about the latter?

On one hand, it seems odd that the word is worse than the idea. On the other, if you treat them the same and sanction (as opposed to challenging and exposing) the expression of "wrong" ideas in a class discussion, it really does interfere with the supposed academic mission of exploring ideas and seeking truth. And you can respond to, challenge, and demonstrate the wrong-headedness of an idea; you cannot do that with an epithet (this is the justification for the fighting-words doctrine).

• I learned about an ongoing controversy at the University of Tennessee. The state and the university have been trying to defund the student group Sexual Empowerment and Awareness at Tennessee (SEAT) and its signature event, "Sex Week." The legislature passed a law prohibiting state funds from being used for Sex Week. This was not a huge deal, because most of SEAT's non-private funds came from the student-activities fees program. Under Rosenberger, the university could not deny funds to SEAT because of disagreement with its sex-positive (and sex-provocative) viewpoint.*

[*] Rosenberger remains my favorite unintended-consequences case, in which a victory for one political position has been used as precedent to provide victories for the opposite political position. Religious conservatives cheered the decision, which held that the state could not deny activities funds to religious organizations. But the case's staunch prohibition on viewpoint discrimination has been used to stop university efforts to defund all manner of liberal student groups. I think this may make an interesting article, especially in showing the difference between judgment and opinion/precedent.

The university's solution, imposed after SEAT refused to "compromise with university administrators who have asked it annually to 'tone it down' and consider the impact of its language choices"** was to eliminate the student-activities fee pool, replacing it with a system in which the university approves and funds all speakers and programs. The university hopes this converts all student programs into the university's speech, allowing the university to pick and choose based on viewpoint or any other considerations. The new program has not been implemented, so it remains to be seen how it plays out.

I think it is a matter of allies. Right now, most student groups oppose the program; College Democrats and College Republicans both hate it. If many student groups do not get money under the new scheme, SEAT will continue to have many allies in the fight. If everyone gets money except SEAT (which is what the university and state hope will happen), SEAT may find itself alone in the fight.

[**] In other words, compromise by changing your speech to make it more palatable to the government.

• Last spring, three white University of Mississippi students posed holding weapons in front of an Emmett Till memorial the was riddled with bullet holes; the photo was taken by a fourth, unknown person, and posted on the private social-media page of one of the students. The identified students were suspended by their fraternity. The university referred the matter to the FBI, but did not continue its investigation because, it claims, it was unaware that the FBI had completed its investigation (the FBI concluded that the photograph was not a specific threat). News stories question how the university responded to that initial bias report in March, particularly whether the university knew the identities of the students at that time (they are Ben LeClere, John Lowe and Howell Logan). The university says it will resume its student-conduct investigation, although it initially said the photo did not violate the code of conduct because it happened off-campus in a non-school setting. And the story seems to be wrapped in broader discussions of removing Confederate monuments on campus.

Is there any doubt that the photo and posing in front of the monument are protected by the First Amendment? This is not an unprotected "true threat" because it is not targeted at "a particular individual or group of individuals." It occurred off campus and was posted to a private social-media page; so even if we allow a university greater leeway to regulate racist speech on the quad or in the dorm, it does not extend to these actions. The photo is racist and offensive and I am glad their fraternity expelled them. I would like to see the university take more seriously, in word and deed, its obligation to engage in counter-speech. And perhaps the three will crawl back into hiding. But a public university's speech code is limited by the First Amendment, which prohibits government from sanctioning someone for engaging in protected speech, no matter how much we hate what they say.

Update: An Ole Miss faculty member pointed to this 2016 story of two students who pleaded guilty to civil rights violations for hanging a noose and a Confederate flag around the campus statute of James Meredith. Other than one happening on campus and one off (which is irrelevant to the criminal charges), it is hard to see a meaningful distinction between this and the current case--they are equally threatening or equally non-directed.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on August 2, 2019 at 10:25 AM in First Amendment, Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (4)

Monday, July 29, 2019

Organizing a panel

As we enjoy SEALS at Boca Resort, some wise words for all academics from Yascha Mounk.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on July 29, 2019 at 10:29 PM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Random snippets of law

Each too short for a stand-alone post. Maybe this is why we have Twitter.

Here is everyone's Evidence question for the coming semester: The government in the Roger Stone prosecution has moved in limine to admit the clip from Godfather Part II in which Frank Pantangeli recants his prior statement implicating Michael Corleone. The government argues this is relevant to explaining Stone's repeated references in his communications with Jerome Corsi and shows that Stone was urging Corsi to lie to Congress.

• This point is moot with the announcement by the House Judiciary Committee that it is investigating "possible impeachment." But following Robert Mueller's testimony on Wednesday, Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi stated that their preferred next step was to complete litigation over various subpoenas; if the President disobeyed an Article-III-final court order, that would be the last straw prompting a move to formal impeachment.

I did not understand why that is or should be the relevant line. Some have flagged this as the line that Nixon would not cross, so crossing it would make Trump worse than Nixon. But it is hardly the worst or most wrongful thing a President could do. And it is not obviously worse or more impeachable than the misconduct--some criminal, some representing abuses of office or prospective office--described in Mueller's report and testimony.

I would guess that Pelosi and Schiff believed that Mueller had not described, in sufficiently dramatic terms, a single flashing-red-light act that would rally the public. Or they bought the media spin that Mueller's testimony was too dull to do that. So the strategy became to wait for the next single flashing-red-light act. Or the one after that. Or . . .

Posted by Howard Wasserman on July 27, 2019 at 09:02 AM in Civil Procedure, Constitutional thoughts, Howard Wasserman, Law and Politics, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 26, 2019

"Amadeus" and the academy

Keith Humphrey (Stanford Medicine) discusses how the movie Amadeus reflects life in the academy--specifically, how fortunate one is to be Salieri even if he cannot be Mozart.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on July 26, 2019 at 10:03 AM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (3)

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Meta Rankings of Law Reviews

Former guest Prawf Bryce Newell has updated his Law Journal Meta Rankings for 2019. This ranks mainline journals by combining US News ranking for the school, US News peer ranking for the school, Google Scholar rankings for the review, and W&L rankings for the review. It makes some of my recent or forthcoming pubs look better, others worse.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on July 24, 2019 at 09:53 AM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (1)

Classroom dress code?

In my post on the MAGA hat incident at Gonzaga, several commenters asked why the student was wearing a hat in the classroom. At some level, this is besides the point because the supposed problem is displaying offensive or provocative messages in class at a professor or colleague, not the medium. We would be having the same conversation over a MAGA t-shirt or whatever.

So the question is should we impose dress codes in the classroom (which would be dress codes in the building, since students are not going to change clothes all day)? As my daughter argued, we expect students to treat the classroom as a courtroom and to be prepared to engage at that level. If so, why allow them to dress in a way they would not be allowed in court. And if we do not go all the way to suits and dresses, at least "business casual."

I would not support such a move. They still are students and should be able to enjoy those comforts, even if we expect professionalism in other respects. But it is an interesting question, especially as politics get more divisive and people become more likely to be offended by the messages on someone's clothing. [Update: I should add that I wear shorts and a polo shirt on my non-teaching days, so I am not living what this would require of students]

Posted by Howard Wasserman on July 24, 2019 at 09:33 AM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (6)

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The rise and fall of laptops in the classroom

A discussion on the Civ Pro ListServ on how attorneys take notes (by hand or computer) morphed into another discussion of laptops in the classroom. Based on people who posted, it was something like 6:2 in favor of the ban. I record classes and make the audio available for those who want to relive the class verbatim and a couple people do the same. Reviewing previous discussions of laptop bans among Perma-prawfs and guests, the results are more mixed.

The pervasiveness of laptop bans caused me to think about the rise and fall of laptops, which tracks with my life in legal education:

• I started law school in fall 1994. One student in my 100-person section used a computer to take notes and I recall one professor stopping mid-lecture to stare at the screen in wonder. I think the number was about to about 5 by the end of the year. Most students did not even have laptops for writing projects.

• I started teaching as a VAP in 2001 and probably 80-90% of students used computers to take notes. When I started at FIU in 2003, that number was probably at 100 %.

• In fall 2007, I “recommended” that students not use laptops and urged them to try to go the first month of class without them. No one in two Civ Pro sections took me up on the offer. Several students complained about my attempt in the end-of-semester evals.

• Around 2008, some law professors began writing about how much they disliked the prevalence of laptops in the classroom--citing concerns for students surfing, distraction of others, and ineffective note-taking. I recall a piece in the Washington Post by David Cole (Georgetown) as one of the first public arguments. Others quickly jumped on board.
• In Winter 2009, I prohibited them in all classes. (This was my first semester after my faculty tenure vote--I regret that I did not do it pre-tenure for fear of student blowback). There were slight murmurings, but nothing major. I was one of about five FIU profs who did this around that time, albeit without coordination. So I think the students had become used to it.
• Studies purporting to show that handwritten notes are better began cropping up around 2013-or-so. The big Oppenheimer/Mueller study appeared in early 2014. The studies over the past 5 years are mixed.
• I continue to ban them from my classroom and have no intention of changing. I believe, based on talk in the hallway, that about 1/3-1/2 my faculty bans them, including many professors teaching doctrinal courses in the first year. More generally, profs are all over the map; I cannot tell--either anecdotally or empirically--whether we have reached the point that a majority of profs ban them.
• None of my students complains or even questions it anymore.
• I allow laptops for students given that accommodation by our disability resource office (obviously). I have seen a slight uptick in students given laptop use as an accommodation--1-2 students a year in the past 2-3 years. I suspect the increase in professors banning laptops has triggered that increase in accommodation.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on July 23, 2019 at 08:53 PM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (8)

Monday, July 22, 2019

Faculty Hiring: Wayne State University

WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL is seeking to fill up to three tenure-track or tenured faculty positions. One position is for a tax scholar.  For the others, we will consider outstanding candidates in any field, but we are especially interested in scholars working in corporations (and related business subjects), civil rights and social justice, criminal law and procedure, and property.  We warmly welcome applications from women, members of minority groups, and others who will contribute to the diversity of the faculty.  Wayne Law is a vibrant intellectual community in the heart of Detroit.  Candidates not listed in the FAR and those with particular interest in Wayne Law should send a cover letter, CV, and any other materials they wish the committee to consider to Professor Christopher C. Lund, Faculty Appointments Committee Chair, at [email protected].  The law school will be participating in the AALS Recruitment Conference in Washington, D.C., but we will consider applicants outside the FAR process.

 

Posted by Howard Wasserman on July 22, 2019 at 03:53 PM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Faculty Hiring: Wash U.

WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW invites applications from entry-level or junior lateral candidates for tenure-track positions, to begin in the fall of 2020. We are particularly interested in corporate & securities law and constitutional law.

Candidates must have at a minimum a JD, a PhD, or the equivalent in a related field. In addition, candidates should have strong scholarly potential and a commitment to excellence in teaching. Duties will include teaching assigned courses, researching and publishing scholarly work, advising students, and participating in law school and university service. Diversity and inclusion are core values at Washington University, and strong candidates will demonstrate the ability to create inclusive classrooms and environments in which all students can learn and thrive. The committee will be reviewing applications submitted through the AALS Faculty Appointments Register, but we are willing to consider materials outside of the FAR process.

Although we have no deadline, applications will have the best chance of full consideration if we receive them by August 19, 2019. Application materials should include a cover letter, a resume which includes at least three references, a list of publications, and up to three pieces of scholarly work. Please submit materials to Professor Susan Appleton, Chair of the Faculty Appointments Committee, Washington University School of Law, by emailing them to [email protected]

Washington University in St. Louis is committed to the principles and practices of equal employment opportunity and especially encourages applications by those underrepresented in their academic fields. It is the University’s policy to recruit, hire, train, and promote without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, or genetic information.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on July 20, 2019 at 11:57 AM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 19, 2019

PrawfHacks: Top 10 mobile productivity apps and tools for law professors

The following guest-post is from Matthew B. Lawrence (Penn State-Dickinson)

Out of necessity (I have a long commute) I have found a number of incredibly helpful tools for staying productive and organized in teaching, service, and especially scholarship on the “go.”  I often find myself explaining them to colleagues at conferences and the like, and just as often find myself getting great new ideas to improve my workflow from colleagues.  So I thought I would write up my favorites for the prawfsblawg audience and invite suggestions for other great tools I might have missed.
 
Here are my top ten #PrawfHacks:
  1. “Voice Dream Reader.”  This app, available for android and ios smart phones, reads .doc or .pdf files to you in a computer voice at any speed you wish.  It is invaluable!  I find that because of my legal training, if I am sitting in front of a book/case/law review article, I dissect it.  That’s good and important, but sometimes I don’t have that kind of time and just want to “read” legal scholarship or a case, to get a sense of it or to hear all its thoughts.  This is especially true of colleagues’ drafts, job talk papers, and when learning a new field or area.  Voice Dream Reader is great for those purposes.  One caveat: You’ll want .doc files, not .pdf, in most cases; otherwise it will read the footnotes.  You can get .doc versions of law review articles on Westlaw.
  2. Digital voice recorder.  See #3.
  3. Dragon Naturally Speaking.  This software has a “transcription” mode that will convert to text voice recordings you take on your voice recorder.  You can use this to record talks you give/classes, then transcribe them for later reference.  I find that to be super helpful if giving the same talk 6 months apart.  You can also use this to write—indeed transcription is how lawyers used to write!  I find I write differently when speaking, but not in a bad way; I’m more conceptual and free with ideas, less structured.  So it is perfect when developing a topic or flushing out the arguments.
  4. Wireless headphones/airpods.  Airpods are really, really useful for calls on the go or listening to podcasts and law review articles.
  5. “Bear.”  This is an app for writing on your phone or recording notes.  With Alexa on android or Siri on iphone, you can also use it to record notes on the go—“Hey Siri take a note in bear.”  You can also add hashtags to organize ideas.  Anecdote: I was waiting for security at BWI airport recently listening to a law review article on “voice dream reader,” and had an idea for a potential future paper.  So I just double tapped my airpods (they are useful!), said “add a note in bear,” and then “[insert the idea I thought was brilliant at the time here], #topics.”  It was thereby magically added to my “topics” category in Bear, which I consult whenever I’m thinking about/weaving together a project.
  6. Podcasts.  I got the idea for my most recently published article listening to an episode of “The Week In Health Law” while still in practice.  Ipse Dixit is also terrific.  Finally, many (but not enough!!!) schools post audio or video of events and workshops they hold that can make for great listening.  Chicago is particularly good at this.
  7. Ipad with Apple Pencil (or other tablet with stylus) and a cloud service (onedrive, box, or dropx box).  We have not even gotten to the Ipad yet!  This is a key tool because it unlocks the next several…
  8. iAnnotate PDF.  This is the pdf reader I have used for years.  When I’m not listening to law review articles, I’m reading them in iAnnotate.  It is searchable.  You can highlight or add comments or markup.  You can export ONLY your highlights and/or comments for future references.  You can have 12 tabs open at once.  It is great.  I also grade papers and mark up drafts, etc., with this.  There are times when the printed page is better, but the convenience of not having to print or lug around the things you printed, and being able to find them a year later (because saved to the cloud) is transformative.
  9. Good Notes.  I could go on, but I love to write notes in meetings, etc., by hand.  I can do this in good notes on ipad with an apple pencil.  It feels like I’m carrying around 12 notebooks at all times that I can quickly switch between.  One on the adjunct faculty committee, one on my current work in progress, and so on.  This app is also a great sandbox to draw diagrams, charts, sketches, etc., for inclusion in powerpoints or classroom use.  They might be really rough but they can get the point across!
  10. Office suite.  Microsoft office, excel, and powerpoint all have really good apps that works across phone, tablet, and pc or macbook.  They have come a long way and can now even handle track changes (though not macros).  I’m not proud: I have reviewed a law review’s (late round) edits on a draft article on my iphone while standing in the lobby waiting for my daughter’s ballet practice to finish.

That’s my list, but I’d love to hear others’ ideas for #prawfhacks!

Posted by Howard Wasserman on July 19, 2019 at 12:20 PM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (6)

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Remembering John Gardner

The following guest post is by Eric Miller (Loyola-LA)
 
Many of you will have heard the sad news that John Gardner died on July 11, 2019. John was the Senior Research Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and former Professor of Jurisprudence at Oxford, one of the major positions in legal philosophy in the Anglophone world. He was a kind, generous, brilliant, fun person, and influenced, directly and through his writings, a generation of legal scholars.
John and I lived on the same street in Glasgow, and went to the same school (Glasgow Academy), and he was my thesis supervisor when I went to Oxford. He stood on the side of social justice in ways big and small, and strove to include and support the people in his orbit. For example, I got the impression during our time together at Brasenose that he was was working behind the scenes to transform the college's deserved reputation as a bit of an upper-class sporty frat house into a place where students of all backgrounds could flourish. He taught a wonderful jurisprudence seminar with Anthony Honoré, and the two of them together produced an amazingly kind and supportive intellectual environment for those lucky enough to attend. His work ranged from the most general of analytic jurisprudence into the specific duties of police officers, and he covered topics in tort law, criminal, criminal procedure, constitutional law, discrimination law, and beyond. 
 
We didn't see much of each other after I left Oxford except for a brief sabbatical of mine in 2012. I am sure there are many others on this listserve who were closer to him academically and personally. But I have continued to be greatly indebted to his work and his example as a person and a professor, as I am sure have many others, and I wanted to make sure that his many friends and admirers had a chance to celebrate his life. 

Posted by Howard Wasserman on July 18, 2019 at 06:23 PM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

CFP: The Resiliance of International Law

EMERGING VOICES PANEL - CALL FOR PROPOSALS

International Law Weekend 2019: The Resilience of International Law

DEADLINE: JULY 29, 2019

International Law Weekend 2019 (ILW 2019) calls on scholars and practitioners to address the resilience of international law. The conference will explore international law’s capacity to preserve the rule of law, promote both peace and justice, and maintain stability in the face of growing fault lines. The world is changing. ILW 2019 seeks to answer whether its theme—The Resilience of International Law—is a question or an affirmation.

The ILW Organizing Committee invites the submission of abstracts relating to “The Resilience of International Law.” We will select several abstracts for presentation at ILW 2019 as part of a panel of new professionals. The abstracts may be based upon ongoing work. While all submissions are welcome, preference will be given to papers not already published. Eligibility is restricted to applicants working in the field of international law for five years or less. Applicants should be ABILA members at the time of their presentation. (To join ABILA, please visit: https://www.ila-americanbranch.org/accounts/reg_plans/.)

Applicants must submit the following in a single PDF document:
(1) a 500 word abstract of their paper;
(2) a cover letter describing their professional development and a statement explaining how their submission fits with the conference theme; and
(3) a curriculum vitae.

The submission deadline is July 29, 2019. Submissions should be sent to [email protected] with the subject line “Emerging Voices - ILW 2019.”

Questions may also be submitted to: [email protected]

Submissions will be competitively selected in a peer review process. Applicants will be notified by August 30, 2019.

ILW 2019 is scheduled for October 10-12, 2019 in New York City and will be held at Fordham Law School. Accepted applicants will be invited to present their papers at the Emerging Voices panel, which will be chaired by a senior scholar or practitioner. Accepted applicants will be required to pay for their own travel and lodging. A panel member who is only attending their individual panel is not required to register for the conference or pay the registration fee. If they plan to attend other panels, we do ask that they register for the conference and pay the fee.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on July 17, 2019 at 06:23 PM in Teaching Law | Permalink

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Sponsored Post: Reproductive Rights and Justice Stories

The following guest post is by Melissa Murray (NYU School of Law), Katherine Shaw (Cardozo), and Reva B. Siegel (Yale) and is sponsored by West Academic.

Reproductive Rights and Justice Stories (Foundation Press® 2019) examines the field of reproductive rights and justice, with attention to the dynamics of legal change inside and outside of courts.

Where reproductive rights are often defined as negative liberties that protect individuals against government coercion, reproductive justice thinks holistically about the conditions in which individuals make decisions about having and not having children. The field examines how relations of race, class, language, citizenship, sexuality, and gender shape decisions about reproduction and intimate life, inside and outside of law—in the organization of communities, markets, health care, religion, and other structures of social life. Pursuit of reproductive justice is not limited to greater access to contraception and abortion, but instead includes conflicts over sterilization, pregnancy, and assisted reproductive technologies. Critically, reproductive justice cannot be attained in courts alone, but instead requires action across many bodies of law, and in many social domains, to redress inequalities in intimate life.

The stories collected in this book present legal change broadly to capture the multiple social contexts in which these conflicts occur. This method for understanding constitutional change—what one of us has termed “democratic constitutionalism”—recognizes that debate over constitutional meaning unfolds inside and outside of courts and inside and outside of the state. Obviously, courts matter. But so do other actors and institutions—from grassroots organizations, NGOs, and political parties to state and federal legislatures to administrative agencies and bureaucrats to interested individuals.

Many chapters shed new light on cases that are very much part of the constitutional law canon—Griswold v. Connecticut, Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Geduldig v. Aiello. Others introduce the reader to less well-known cases from state and lower federal courts that illuminate paths not taken in constitutional law. All of the chapters contain lessons for contemporary controversies. (Indeed, a recent symposium, hosted by the Take Care blog, featured a number of response essays tying the chapters to developments in the law and politics of reproductive rights and justice.).

Contributing authors include: Melissa Murray, Neil Siegel, Linda Greenhouse, Reva Siegel, Deborah Dinner, Maya Manian, Khiara Bridges, Serena Mayeri, Priscilla Ocen, Sam Bagenstos, Kate Shaw, Cary Franklin, and Doug NeJaime.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on July 16, 2019 at 05:21 PM in Sponsored Announcements, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, July 12, 2019

MAGA in the classroom (edited)

This complaint from Jeffey Omari (Gonazaga) about a student wearing a MAGA hat in his classroom is absurd, as Jonathan Turley (GW) shows. I will leave aside whether "MAGA is an undeniable symbol of white supremacy and hatred toward certain nonwhite groups" or what this says about anti-conservative discrimination in legal education.*

[*] Although I cannot let this pass: Omari writes "Being a law professor, I understand the complexities of academic freedom and free speech. I respect students’ rights to freely express their political beliefs and values within the framework of the law. Yet, at the same time . . . " You could see that "yet" coming from a mile away.

I want to focus on classroom management, after the jump.

Omari writes:

law schools are inherently institutions of professional training. Just as faculty and staff are required to maintain professional formalities to aid the training and matriculation of their students, it seems only logical that students, too, should maintain similar businesslike etiquette. . . .  But when students fail to live up to such professional expectations, what are the professors’ options? . . . Surely, there must be protocol when African-American professors—whose presence is scarce in most law schools—find their authority defiantly undermined by an insensitive student.

In what way did this student fail to maintain businesslike etiquette or to meet professional expectations? A professor or school could prohibit baseball hats in the classroom (one of my colleagues does this), but neither Omari or Gonzaga has  done this. A professor or school could require students to dress in a professional or business-casual fashion in the classroom (i.e., no baseball hats or t-shirts with writing), but neither Gonzaga nor Omari requires this. I suppose a private school or professor at a private school could ban clothing with political messages or even conservative political messages in the classroom, although that would raise some concerns for academic freedom and basic common sense; but neither Gonzaga nor Omari has done this in any event.  So if, under the rules of the school and the professor, student can wear a baseball hat with any political message in this classroom, in what way did this student fail to meet his "professional expectations"? Other than by wearing a hat with a message the prof does not like.

As Omari describes his behavior, the student does not appear disruptive, disrespectful, unprofessional, or undermining. The student raised his hand to participate in class discussions, so he seems to be an engaged student who adheres to the rules of the classroom. Omari does not say the student's comments were unprofessional, provocative, or poorly thought out or expressed, or that the comments in any way interfered with the conversation or with the professor's authority. Since I expect Omari would have said so to support his case against the student, I infer from silence that the student's contributions were good, relevant, and well-stated remarks that furthered the classroom dynamic. Omari also says he "knew this student’s political leanings from our various class discussions throughout the course of the semester," without saying that this was revealed through prior irrelevant, disrespectful, or disruptive comments; again, his silence suggests an engaged student participating in the learning experience throughout the semester within the rules of the forum and not acting in an inappropriate or unprofessional way. Arguably, in fact, Omari, not the student, disrupted the class when he took the time from the substantive discussion to comment on the student's sartorial choices.*

[*] Turley makes a good point on this: The prof tells the student he likes the hat and the student smiles and says thank you. But the prof --who was untruthful in saying he liked the hat, describes the student as being the one using a mocking tone.

According to Omari, this incident occurred with three weeks left in the semester. He draws a lot from the fact that the student had not worn this hat or anything political to that point. But so what? No one wears the same hat or clothing every day. Moreover, I doubt Omari would be in less high dudgeon had the student done this on the first day rather than 75 % through the course. Which raises a more telling point. This was not the first encounter between professor and student, where this hat provided the professor's first impression of the student. This student had been in this class for most of the semester, participating  frequently enough that Omari knew his political leanings (which he obviously does not share) but without (apparent) incident. But none of that context comes through or affects Omari's telling. Regardless of anything that happened the previous weeks of the class, regardless of the student's overall performance and behavior, donning that hat, without more, rendered this person an "insensitive student" who "defiantly undermined" this professor.

Gonzaga dean Jacob Rooksby issued the following word salad: "The School of Law diligently works to provide a respectful and inclusive environment that welcomes all students, faculty, and staff. We respect the points of view of all members of our community. This situation presents an opportunity for our community to listen to and learn from each other." Frankly, I think the dean, who presumably knows something about law, has a bigger problem: One of his faculty members took to a national publication and called a student--unnamed but readily identifiable within a small institution (Gonzaga has about 350 students)--unprofessional, insensitive, disrespectful, and racist. For engaging in constitutionally protected speech supporting the sitting President.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on July 12, 2019 at 11:54 PM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (46)

Two Faculty Searches at Kansas

Below is information about two faculty search at University of Kansas School of Law.

Search # 1:

The University of Kansas School of Law invites applications for a tenure-track, associate professor to begin in the fall of 2020.  We are interested in candidates specializing in any field of law, but we are particularly interested in the fields of business, corporate, finance, transactional, and securities law, including both traditional and alternative approaches to these disciplines.

Applicants should possess a J.D. from an accredited US law school and evidence of potential for engaging in high quality research and teaching.  In a continuing effort to enrich its academic environment and provide equal educational and employment opportunities, the Law School actively encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups in higher education. Women, minorities, and candidates who will contribute to the climate of diversity in the school, including a diversity of scholarly approaches, are especially encouraged to apply.

Review of applications will begin September 3, 2019 and continue until the position is filled.  Applications should be made online at https://employment.ku.edu/faculty/14901BR and should include a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a detailed statement of research interests and future plans, and the names of three references.

The law school will participate in the AALS Recruitment Conference in D.C. October 3-5, 2019.  For further information, contact Professor Uma Outka, University of Kansas School of Law, 1535 West 15th Street, Lawrence, KS  66045-7608, 785-864-9241, [email protected]

KU is an EO/AAE.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, national origin, disability, genetic information or protected Veteran status.

Search # 2:

The University of Kansas School of Law invites applications for a tenure-track, associate professor to begin in the fall of 2020.  We are interested in candidates specializing in any field of law, but we are particularly interested in the fields of digital privacy law; law and technology; health law; insurance law; natural resources law (which includes water law and land use); and human rights law.

Applicants should possess a J.D. from an accredited US law school and evidence of potential for engaging in high quality research and teaching.  In a continuing effort to enrich its academic environment and provide equal educational and employment opportunities, the Law School actively encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups in higher education. Women, minorities, and candidates who will contribute to the climate of diversity in the school, including a diversity of scholarly approaches, are especially encouraged to apply.

Review of applications will begin September 3, 2019 and continue until the position is filled.  Applications should be made online at https://employment.ku.edu/academic/14903BR and should include a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a detailed statement of research interests and future plans, and the names of three references.   The law school will participate in the AALS Recruitment Conference in D.C. October 3-5, 2019.  For further information, contact Professor Uma Outka, University of Kansas School of Law, 1535 West 15th Street, Lawrence, KS  66045-7608, 785-864-9241, [email protected]

KU is an EO/AAE.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, national origin, disability, genetic information or protected Veteran status.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on July 12, 2019 at 09:32 AM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

On professional decline (Update)

This Atlantic essay from Arthur C. Brooks, until this week the president of the AEI, is fascinating. I am the age (51) that Brooks was when he overheard the conversation that launched him on this project four years ago.

I was especially interested in the mid-essay discussion of fluid v. crystallized intelligence and its connection to scholarship as opposed to teaching for academics (Brooks spent about seven years as a professor of public policy). Creative and scholarly highs (which rely on fluid intelligence) top-out about 20 years into our careers, because fluid intelligence diminishes in our 30s and 40s. Teaching effectiveness relies on the knowledge gained in the past and our ability to share that knowledge and can last much longer into a career and a life (Brooks uses the example of J.S. Bach, who moved from composing to teaching late in life). This lends a new angle on the discussion over how schools should treat faculty who are effective teachers but not productive scholars--it may be a product of age and time in the academy that, Brooks suggests, schools could use to their advantage.

Brooks offers one point that, given my age and career choice, I take as a source of optimism from the piece: "No matter what mix of intelligence your field requires, you can always endeavor to weight your career away from innovation and toward the strengths that persist, or even increase, later in life."

Update: One academic-specific thought that occurred to me after I hit "publish": One must care about teaching, enjoy teaching, and want to be a good teacher early in a career, during that creative heyday. Because I imagine the transition is easier when teaching is something a prof enjoys and can be proud of--the loss of "prestige" will be felt less.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on June 19, 2019 at 11:35 AM in Culture, Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

AALS Section on Federal Courts: Annual Award for Best Untenured Article on the Law of Federal Jurisdiction

The AALS Section on Federal Courts is pleased to announce the sixth annual award for the best article on the law of federal jurisdiction by a full-time, untenured faculty member at an AALS member or affiliate school ­and to solicit nominations (including self-nominations) for the prize to be awarded at the 2020 AALS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. 
 
The purpose of the award program is to recognize outstanding scholarship in the field of federal courts by untenured faculty members. To that end, eligible articles are those specifically in the field of Federal Courts that were published by a recognized journal during the twelve-month period ending on September 1, 2019 (date of actual publication determines eligibility). Eligible authors are those who, at the close of nominations (i.e., as of September 15, 2019), are untenured, full-time faculty members at AALS member or affiliate schools, and have not previously won the award.
 
Nominations (or questions about the award) should be directed to Seth Davis at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law ([email protected]). Without exception, all nominations must be received by 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on September 15, 2019. Nominations will be reviewed by a prize committee comprised of Tara Leigh Grove (William & Mary), Gillian Metzger (Columbia), Jim Pfander (Northwestern), Fred Smith (Emory), and Steve Vladeck (Texas), with the result announced at the Federal Courts section program at the 2020 AALS Annual Meeting.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on June 18, 2019 at 09:10 PM in Civil Procedure, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 14, 2019

AALS CFP: Race and Racism in Food and Agriculture

Call for Papers

AALS Section on Agricultural and Food Law

(Co-sponsored by the Sections on Minority Groups and Environmental Law)

Food and agriculture play important roles in maintaining systemic racial oppression. From the dispossession of Black and Latinx farmers to migrant workers’ rights to food-related health disparities, there are multiple opportunities for legal and policy interventions into food and agriculture that would lead to greater food sovereignty, food justice, and racial equality. This panel explores several topics at the intersection of critical race theory and food and agricultural law and policy.

Up to 2 papers will be selected for presentation on Thursday January 2nd from 3:30pm-5:15pm. Please submit an abstract of 250-500 words by Monday August 19 to Andrea Freeman at [email protected]. Executive board members will review the papers and notify selected presenters by the first week of September. Panelists must pay for their own travel. Please direct any questions to Andrea Freeman. 

Posted by Howard Wasserman on June 14, 2019 at 09:31 AM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 07, 2019

CFP: Picturing “Truth”: Visual Images and the Law

The Drexel University Kline School of Law is hosting two events to explore issues surrounding the use, reliability and interpretation of visual information in the legal context. These sessions are open to faculty of all ranks and from all disciplines, although they are primarily useful for those writing legal scholarship. These first of these workshops will bring together leading multidisciplinary experts with legal scholars who have an interest in the interpretation of visual media. The second will be a roundtable discussion for legal scholars who wish to share their discussion drafts.

Photographs, video and data representations serve vital functions in legal decision making. The law often treats images as static, self-evident objects and interpreted as if their meaning is singular and authoritative. In contrast, a significant body of multidisciplinary scholarship has engaged in extensive work that explores the use, reliability and interpretation of visual information. For example, some contend that representative images are comprised of constructed meanings based on ways of seeing, communal symbols, and collective communicative activities. Others are engaged in the problems inherent in using visuals to represent real-world events. In an era where the concepts of truth and post-truth are under examination, understanding how visual images convey information has become more valuable than ever.

The two sessions will proceed as follows:

First, the masterclass component will include several sessions presented by experts from various disciplines to introduce a rich set of frameworks for understanding and interpreting visual media. These sessions will provide legal scholars with a range of ways of thinking about visual images for their work. In addition, legal scholars will have the opportunity to workshop ideas for their own projects.

Applicants for this first session must submit a 1-2-page abstract by January 11, 2020, which describes their idea for a scholarly project that has some relation to visual media. Applicants are encouraged to submit at least one image along with their abstract. Notifications will be sent on February 9, 2020. If accepted, participants are asked to secure attendance with a $100 registration fee (waivers available). This masterclass will be held at the Drexel University Kline Institute of Trial Advocacy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 8, 2020.

Second, masterclass attendees will be invited to participate in a follow-on roundtable discussion of their draft papers that will be held during September 2020 at the same location. At a later time, Drexel Law will distribute a separate call for discussion drafts for this event.

All correspondence, including the submission of abstracts, should be directed to Professor Amy Landers at [email protected]. The conference webpage is at http://drexel.edu/law/picturingtruth.

 

Posted by Howard Wasserman on June 7, 2019 at 05:04 PM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

AALS CFP: Corpus Linguistics & IP

The following is a CFP for the 2020 AALS Annual Meeting, co-sponsored by the Sections on IP and Law & Interpretation

Recent developments in data-based text analysis provide tantalizing opportunities to transform constitutional and statutory analysis. They may also provide new opportunities to understand infringing similarities in patent claims and copyrightable expression and to track the acquisition and loss of source significance. This panel will consider how corpus linguistic and other data-driven text analysis techniques might transform our understanding of how IP rights are acquired, shaped, and enforced.

The Sections on Intellectual Property and Law & Interpretation are pleased to announce a Call for Papers from which up to three additional presenters will be selected for the above program, to be held during the 2020 AALS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, January 5, at 3:30pm.

We welcome 500-word proposals for presentations on this subject, to be submitted by August 15, 2019. Please send proposals electronically to Professors Jake Linford (Florida State) at [email protected] and Karen Petroski (Saint Louis) at [email protected] Presentations will be selected after review by members of the Executive Committees of both sections and the Program Committee of the Section on Law & Interpretation. Please contact Karen Petroski and/or Jake Linford with any inquiries or questions.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on June 4, 2019 at 09:31 AM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, June 03, 2019

Amar on exam-writing

Vik Amar at Above the Law offers some thoughts about writing good exam/assessment questions. He hits on four ideas: Offering more and different assessment opportunities; having a balance of open- and closed-book assessments (the latter to account for the need to prep for the Bar); using real cases or events (good idea, but be careful how you write it); and proper notice of the rules. Interestingly, on the third point, Amar does not warn about students being upset, offended, or traumatized by the real-world situations.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on June 3, 2019 at 08:30 PM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Florida State Law Review Summer 2019 Exclusive Submission Track

The Florida State University Law Review is delighted to open an exclusive submission track for Summer 2019. Authors who submit to the exclusive submission track agree to accept a binding publication offer, should one be extended. Authors agree to withhold submitting their manuscripts to any other journal until a decision has been made. The exclusive submission track will open from May 27th to June 16th and decisions will be rendered by June 23. Accepted manuscripts will be published in Volume 47 of the Law Review. Final manuscripts will be due November 15th for Issues 3 and 4. Articles selected for Issues 3 and 4 are expected to be published in August 2020.

The Florida State University Law Review accepts manuscripts from all areas of legal scholarship. Manuscripts should closely conform to The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (20th ed.). Authors interested in submitting to the exclusive submission track for Summer 2019 should email their CV and manuscript as a Word Document or PDF to Executive Article Selection Editor, Jemma Takx, at [email protected].

Posted by Howard Wasserman on May 21, 2019 at 10:55 AM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, May 17, 2019

Introducing Jessica Erickson on AALS hiring

Over the next few weeks and months, we will publish a series of guest posts from Jessica Erickson (Richmond). Jessica is the chair of the AALS Committee on Becoming a Law Teacher; the committee's new project is providing information on how law-faculty hiring functions, formally and behind the scenes. Jessica will interview directors of VAP and fellowship programs and will post edited transcripts here and at the AALS website.

Stay tuned.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on May 17, 2019 at 09:31 AM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Exclusive Submissions: Kentucky Law Journal

The Kentucky Law Journal is opening an exclusive article submission track for interested authors. The submission track will open on Wednesday, May 15 and close on Sunday, June 2, 2019. Final publication decisions will be made by Tuesday, June 4, 2019. Authors agree to accept a binding publication offer if the manuscript is selected for publication. Authors further agree to withhold manuscripts from other publications until final publication decisions are made. Accepted manuscripts will be published in Book 2 (final manuscript deadline July 1) and Book 3 (final manuscript deadline September 3). Please include a Book 3 preference in your cover letter if you cannot make Book 2 deadline.

We welcome manuscript submissions from any area of legal scholarship. We look forward to reviewing innovative manuscripts from a diverse academic field. Please send all submissions in PDF format, including manuscript, CV, and cover letter, to Alexander Pabon, Managing Articles Editor of the Kentucky Law Journal, at [email protected] If you have already submitted your manuscript via Scholastica, we ask that you please resubmit your materials in the method described above before the June 2 deadline.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on May 14, 2019 at 06:03 PM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fun with evidence

D6h4tVFWsAAGB3bThe problem set I use in class has this as a problem in the hearsay section. Supposedly Charles Manson's lawyer would make this objection.

The answer to the hearsay problem is that the name is not an assertion, because it labels someone without saying anything about the state of the world. But I have seen the point made that the real issue is not hearsay so much as lack of personal knowledge of the fact.

Anyway, something to share next semester.

Posted by Administrators on May 14, 2019 at 11:17 AM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, May 09, 2019

SEALS Prospective Law Teachers Workshop

Each year, SEALS hosts a Prospective Law Teachers Workshop (PLTW), which provides intensive opportunities for VAPs, fellows, and practitioners to network and participate in mock interviews and mock job talks—prior to the actual teaching market. The Workshop also includes a luncheon and 1-on-1 sessions for candidates to receive faculty feedback on their CVs. This year’s Prospective Law Teachers Workshop will be held at Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, Florida on Tuesday, July 30, and Wednesday, July 31, 2019. If you are interested in participating specifically in the Prospective Law Teachers Workshop, please send your CV, and a brief statement explaining your interest, to Professor [email protected]. Please also indicate when you are hoping to go on the teaching market. Applications are due by June 1, 2019. Past PLTW participants have secured tenure-track appointments at an impressive array of law schools.

Separate and apart from the Prospective Law Teachers Workshop, SEALS is offering a new workshop that is broader programming for anyone considering academia—even if one is earlier in the process. The Aspiring Law Teachers Workshop (ALTW) includes sessions on designing your teaching package, navigating the market as a nontraditional candidate, mapping academic opportunities, what’s in a job talk, crafting scholarship goals, the art of self-promotion, as well as a luncheon. You can peruse the programming, which will take place between Sunday, July 29-Tuesday, July 31, by searching “aspiring law teachers workshop” at the following link:

http://sealslawschools.org/submissions/program/programwp.asp.

The goal of these two workshops is, in tandem, to provide robust opportunities for those who hope to one day enter legal academia.

Frequently Asked Questions:

They both sound great. What exactly is the difference?

The Prospective Workshop is designed for those who are going on the market this fall, in 2019, and desiring a chance to moot job talks and interviews in advance of that time. The Aspiring Workshop is designed for anyone considering academia, including those who may not yet be ready to moot a job talk in the summer. The Prospective Workshop is acceptance-only while the Aspiring Workshop is open to everyone.

 Can I attend both workshops?

Possibly. Some of the times conflict, but the Aspiring Law Teachers Workshop will be generally open to anyone wishing to attend. Attendance in the Prospective Workshop is in contrast only by acceptance through our competitive selection process.

Is this the new faculty recruitment initiative that I heard SEALS has put together?

No, this is not the new hiring initiative that SEALS is conducting. That process is entirely separate. Information about SEALS’ new faculty recruitment initiative can be found at the following link: https://www.sealslawschools.org/recruitment/applicants/

Posted by Administrators on May 9, 2019 at 09:30 PM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Call for Papers: Second Annual Chicagoland Junior Scholars Conference

The Northern Illinois University College of Law will host the Second Annual Chicagoland Junior Scholars Conference at Loyola University Chicago School of Law on Friday, September 27, 2019. This conference will offer junior scholars (those who have spent 7 years or fewer as full-time professors) the opportunity to present their works-in-progress, to receive feedback from their colleagues, including senior faculty, and to network with other legal scholars from the Chicago area and beyond. Articles may be presented at various stages of development. If you are interested in presenting a paper at the conference, please submit a working title and abstract of 200-300 words to LeAnn Baie ([email protected]) no later than June 28, 2019. Selected authors will be notified by July 15, 2019. Final papers will be due no later than September 6, 2019. There is no registration fee for this conference. Meals will be provided. Email Prof. Sarah Fox at [email protected] with questions.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on May 7, 2019 at 10:36 PM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Florida State University System Free Expression Statement

The Florida State University System issued a Free Expression Statement to "support and encourage full and open discourse and the robust exchange of ideas and perspectives on our respective campuses." It is a good statement from a First Amendment standpoint. It emphasizes the purpose of higher education in allowing divergent ideas to be debated (a proposition with which my colleague Stanley Fish disagrees); the importance of not stifling ideas because some find them offensive or abhorrent; and that concerns for civility or respect be a cover for stifling expression. It also reiterates schools' power to regulate through neutral time, place, and manner regulations, which still allows administrations to restrict a lot of expression (including by counter-protesters).

The full statement is after the jump.

State University System Free Expression Statement

The State University System of Florida and its twelve public postsecondary institutions adopt
this Statement on Free Expression to support and encourage full and open discourse and the robust exchange of ideas and perspectives on our respective campuses. The principles of freedom of speech and freedom of expression in the United States and Florida Constitutions, in addition to being legal rights, are an integral part of our three-part university mission to deliver a high quality academic experience for our students, engage in meaningful and productive research, and provide valuable public service for the benefit of our local communities and the state. The purpose of this Statement is to affirm our dedication to these principles and to seek our campus communities’ commitment to maintaining our campuses as places where the open exchange of knowledge and ideas furthers our mission.

A fundamental purpose of an institution of higher education is to provide a learning environment where divergent ideas, opinions and philosophies, new and old, can be rigorously debated and critically evaluated. Through this process, often referred to as the marketplace of ideas, individuals are free to express any ideas and opinions they wish, even if others may disagree with them or find those ideas and opinions to be offensive or otherwise antithetical to their own world view. The very process of debating divergent ideas and challenging others’ opinions develops the intellectual skills necessary to respectfully argue through civil discourse. Development of such skills leads to personal and scholarly growth and is an essential component of the academic and research missions of each of our institutions.

It is equally important not to stifle the dissemination of any ideas, even if other members of our community may find those ideas abhorrent. Individuals wishing to express ideas with which others may disagree must be free to do so, without fear of being bullied, threatened or silenced. This does not mean that such ideas should go unchallenged, as that is part of the learning process. And though we believe all members of our campus communities have a role to play in promoting civility and mutual respect in that type of discourse, we must not let concerns over civility or respect be used as a reason to silence expression. We should empower and enable one another to speak and listen, rather than interfere with or silence the open expression of ideas.

Each member of our campus communities must also recognize that institutions may restrict expression that is unlawful, such as true threats or defamation. Because universities and colleges are first and foremost places where people go to engage in scholarly endeavors, it is necessary to the efficient and effective operations of each institution for there to be reasonable limitations on the time, place, and manner in which these rights are exercised. Each institution has adopted regulations that align with Florida’s Campus Free Expression Act, section 1004.097, Florida Statutes, and with the United States and Florida Constitutions and the legal opinions interpreting those provisions. These limitations are narrowly drawn and content-neutral and serve to ensure that all members of our campus communities have an equal ability to express their ideas and opinions, while preserving campus order and security.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on April 16, 2019 at 10:01 AM in First Amendment, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (3)

Thursday, April 11, 2019

FIU Law Review: Summit on the Future of Legal Education and Entry to the Profession

FIU Law Review has published its new issue, A Summit on the Future of Legal Education and Entry to the Profession; this was a live symposium in spring 2018. It was a great live event and the issue includes published contributions from Scott Norberg of FIU, who organized the program; Bernard Burk; Joan Howarth and Judith Wegner; Kyle McEntee; and Aaron Taylor.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on April 11, 2019 at 03:43 PM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 08, 2019

Thoughts on the Rothgerber Constitutional Law Conference-National Injunctions

I mentioned that last Friday I had the privilege of attending the 27th Rothgerber Constitutional Law Conference at Colorado Law, on the subject of national injunctions.

I did not take comprehensive notes on all the papers, but here are a few highlights, ideas, and questions that I took away:

• Two of the eleven presenters--Michael Morley (FSU) and I--oppose universal injunctions. And Michael thinks my reliance on judicial departmentalism is monstrous (my word, not his). Ahmed White (Colorado) talked about the use of labor injunctions and the jailing of Eugene V. Debs to warn against reliance on injunctions to achieve progressive policy goals. Everyone else argued that universality is fine, although courts should exercise discretion in issuing them. (Part of my objection is that I have not seen grounds for discretion that are not satisfied in every case).

• Alan Trammell (Arkansas) made a cute rhetorical move, trying to shift the focus from Trump and Obama (which naturally provoke partisan reaction) to the case of Kim Davis and whether, once she disregarded Obergefell, the district court should have been able to order Davis to issue licenses to all couples. I say no (and suggested that Alan could use the pre-Obergefell mess in Alabama as another example). Alan also made a nice historical move, tying these injunctions as another example of procedural innovation, the predecessor to 1960s developments such as Monroe v. Pape, structural-reform injunctions, and 23(b)(2) classes.

• Charlton Copeland (Miami) offered a separation-of-powers perspective, arguing that universal injunctions may be uniquely appropriate against executive overreach to restore a balance among the branches, even if universality would not be appropriate against the same policy enacted by the legislature. In other words, the separation of powers arguments against executive policies (in addition to any substantive constitutional arguments) changes the nature of the remedy.

• Zach Clopton (Cornell) talked about how preclusion (if applicable against the government, as it should be) can provide an additional policy consideration for the court in deciding the scope of the injunction. This triggered a question I have to address in my contribution for the symposium and in another article--Would allowing non-mutual offensive preclusion against the government undermine judicial departmentalism? If the executive has the power to disagree with judicial precedent but not injunctions in a given case, does giving that judgment preclusive effect undermine that executive power.

• Mila Sohoni (San Diego) talked about the history of universal injunctions against state laws, including in some famous First Amendment cases such as Barnette and Hague v. CIO. She showed the language of several of these injunctions, some of which expressly prohibited application to the plaintiff and others, while others were silent as to who was protected. As to the latter group, that presents an interesting question of default rules--if the injunction is silent, should we presume that the injunction is particularized to the plaintiff or presume that it is universal? Sohoni's history shows that these injunctions are not new. The  response is whether it matters--perhaps we have been doing it wrong all along. Mila joins me in using universality as the proper term, which captures the expansive who of the injunction.

• Portia Pedro (BU) started from her experience working for an LGBT organization during the marriage-equality litigation. She argued that prohibiting universality treats government defendants more favorably than other defendants. Or functionally prohibits injunctions, turning everything into nothing more than a declaratory judgment.

It was a great program. And it gave me a lot to think about and a lot to add to some current projects.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on April 8, 2019 at 02:08 PM in Civil Procedure, Constitutional thoughts, Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 04, 2019

27th Annual Rothgerber Constitutional Law Conference: National Injunctions

On Friday, I will participate in the 27th Annual Rothgerber Constitutional Law Conference, sponsored by the Byron R. White Center at University of Colorado Law School. Thanks to Suzette Malveaux for putting this great program together and including me in the conversation.

Participants include Zachary Clopton (Cornell), Charlton Copeland (Miami), Davis Hausman (ACLU), Michael Morley (Florida State), Portia Pedro (Boston University), Doug Rendelman (Washington & Lee), Mila Sohoni (San Diego), Alan Trammell (Arkansas), Ahmed White (Colorado). I look forward to the weather in Denver and to seeing how the speakers divide on the core question of the propriety of universal injunctions.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on April 4, 2019 at 09:31 AM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Call for authors: Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Property Opinions

Deadline for Applying: Friday, April 26, 2019

The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project seeks contributors of rewritten judicial opinions and commentary on the rewritten opinions for an edited collection tentatively titled Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Property Opinions.

This edited volume is part of a collaborative project among law professors and others to rewrite, from a feminist perspective, key judicial decisions in the United States. The initial volume, Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court, edited by Kathryn M. Stanchi, Linda L. Berger, and Bridget J. Crawford, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016. Cambridge University Press has approved a series of Feminist Judgments books. In 2017, Cambridge University Press published the tax volume titled Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions. Other volumes in the pipeline include rewritten trusts and estates opinions and rewritten family law opinions.

Property law volume editors Eloisa C. Rodriguez-Dod and Elena Maria Marty-Nelson seek prospective authors and commentators for fifteen rewritten property opinions covering a range of topics. With the help of an advisory board of distinguished property law scholars, the editors have selected a list of cases that have not appeared in other Feminist Judgment volumes; potential authors are welcome to suggest opinions which do not appear on the list.

Proposals must be either to (1) rewrite a case opinion (subject to a 10,000-word limit) or (2) comment on a rewritten opinion (subject to a 4,000-word limit). Rewritten opinions may be re-imagined majority opinions, concurrences, or dissents. Authors of rewritten opinions will be bound by the law and precedent in effect at the time of the original decision. Commentators should explain the original court decision, how the rewritten feminist opinion differs from the original decision, and the impact the rewritten feminist opinion might have made. The volume editors conceive of feminism as a broad movement and welcome proposals that bring into focus intersectional concerns beyond gender, such as race, class, disability, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, national origin, and immigration status.

To apply, please email (1) a paragraph or two describing your area of expertise and your interest in this project; (2) your top two or three preferences from the list of cases below; and (3) whether you prefer to serve as an author of a rewritten opinion or an author of a commentary to a rewritten opinion. Please submit this information via email to the editors, Eloisa C. Rodriguez-Dod and Elena Maria Marty-Nelson, at [email protected] and [email protected] by Friday, April 26, 2019. The Feminist Judgments Project and the Property book editors are committed to including authors from diverse backgrounds. If you feel an aspect of your personal identity is important to your participation, please feel free to include that in your expression of interest. The editors will notify accepted authors and commentators by Monday, May 13, 2019. First drafts of rewritten opinions will be due on Monday, September 16, 2019. First drafts of commentaries will be due on Monday, October 28, 2019.

Tentative List of Cases:  

1.         Moore v. City of E. Cleveland, 431 U.S. 494 (1977) (exclusionary zoning)

2.         Ass’n for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 569 U.S. 576 (2013) (patents)

3.         Sawada v. Endo, 561 P.2d 1291 (Haw. 1977) (tenancy by the entireties)

4.         Gruen v. Gruen, 496 N.E.2d 869 (N.Y. 1986) (inter vivos gifts)

5.         Coggan v. Coggan, 239 So. 2d 17 (Fla. 1970) (ouster of co-tenant)

6.         Phillips Neighborhood Hous. Tr. v. Brown, 564 N.W.2d 573 (Minn. Ct. App. 1997) (lease termination for illegal activity)

7.         Taylor v. Canterbury, 92 P.3d 961 (Colo. 2004) (secret severance of joint tenancy)

8.         White v. Samsung Elecs. Am., Inc., 971 F.2d 1395 (9th Cir. 1992) (publicity rights)

9.         Johnson v. M’Intosh, 21 U.S. 543 (1823) (Native American property rights)

10.       Dolan v. City of Tigard, 512 U.S. 374 (1994) (exactions/eminent domain)

11.       Bartley v. Sweetser, 890 S.W.2d 250 (Ark. 1994) (premises liability)

12.       Tate v. Water Works & Sewer Bd. of City of Oxford, 217 So. 3d 906 (Ala. Civ. App. 2016) (adverse possession and condemnation)

13.       Blake v. Stradford, 725 N.Y.S.2d 189 (Dist. Ct. 2001) (ejectment of domestic partner)

14.       Moore v. Regents of Univ. of California, 793 P.2d 479 (Cal. 1990) (property interest in one’s genetic material)

15.       Pocono Springs Civic Ass’n, Inc. v. MacKenzie, 667 A.2d 233 (Pa. Super. Ct.1995) (abandonment of real property)

Posted by Howard Wasserman on April 3, 2019 at 05:09 PM in Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Inclusive forests and racist-insult trees

The history podcast Backstory did an episode on the history of profanity. The fourth piece is an interview with Smith College history professor Elizabeth Pryor, who is the daughter of comedian Richard Pryor. (You can listen and read the full transcript of the story at the link).

Pryor begins with a story about a lecture on citizenship and the Civil War, in which a white student repeats the following joke from Blazing Saddles (which Richard Pryor co-wrote with Mel Brooks):

The joke is relevant to a lecture on 19th-century citizenship, a time in which Irish people did face discrimination.

But Pryor describes the class encounter as follows: "And she said, 'We don’t want the CH’s and the N words, but we will take the Irish,' but she said all the words."

Pryor got the joke backwards. The difference between the joke and how Pryor describes the joke gives it an extra layer, especially as it relates to that lecture. The people of Rock Ridge use racist epithets to describe Black and Chinese people but are willing to accept them in their community; they do not use epithets to describe the Irish people but are unwilling to accept them in their community. This presents some nice questions to explore: Which is worse--being excluded or being described in disparaging terms? How much do the epithets show that Black and Chinese people are not accepted in the community, even if allowed to live among them, because identified in disparaging terms? Does the sole focus on words obscure actions?

Posted by Howard Wasserman on March 24, 2019 at 01:52 PM in Culture, First Amendment, Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink | Comments (3)