BLAWG REVIEW #75
Welcome to Blawg Review #75. We’re proud to be continuing this venerable tradition at its diamond anniversary. Others also just hitting this milestone: The University of Wisconsin Hoofers, Blondie (Dagwood’s better half), and
Bilbo Baggins Ian Holm.
When it comes to diamonds, the entire world is reduced to the 4 C’s: carats, cut, clarity and color. And so it is with Blawg Review #75.
This post was created with the collaboration of the entire permablogger crew at Concurring Opinions — Dan Filler, Dave Hoffman, Nate Oman, Daniel Solove, and Kaimi Wenger.
Carat: The World is Not Enough
Venkat Balasubramani has launched Spamnotes, a blog about litigation related to spam.
Bruce MacEwen, at Adam Smith Esq., chewed on the possibility of a Dewey-Orrick merger. Who knew that the received wisdom is that two “elite New York firms will never merge.” Which leads to the questions of whether this merger will happen, and whether these firms qualify as NY elites. Somehow I don’t think the folks over at Cravath are doing much quaking right now. (Granted, it’s hard to quake when you are dead-tired, yelling at three paralegals simultaneously, and worried whether Seamless Web is down tonight. Can you tell that we miss practice?)
A large group of law professors and lawyers have launched Consumer Law & Policy Blog.
And David Lat of the famous Underneath Their Robes blog, has started a new blog, Above the Law. He’s gone from being Underneath to Above — now that’s moving up in the blawgosphere! Belle Lettre, however, is decidedly not impressed: “So this guy is out of stiletto drag now, and we are still supposed to care about his juvenile characterizations of legal figures?” Ann Althouse stooped from her lofty perch to attack young Lettre and generalize from her to a entire generation’s political strategy:
This dread of triviality, does it hurt? I wonder if Belle has considered whether this grim, censorious, humorless — nay, humor-phobic — attitude helps women. I know you want to be taken seriously, but being so intent on being taken seriously is one of the main things that make people want to mock you. And not just you, but feminism.
And then Althouse promptly launched what has become known as “boobgate“, leading to a powerful retort (and a further retort) and prompting Ann Bartow to ask: “What leads a law professor who describes herself as a feminist to do something like this?”
For a different feminist perspective, check out this terrific post by Christine Hurt (Conglomerate), who described how in 1925, the governor of Texas convened the first – and last – all woman Supreme Court of Texas. This three judge panel heard a single case involving a fraternal organization – the Woodmen of the World – and was immediately disbanded. But we digress…
Jurisdynamics has launched an affiliate blog, First Movers, written by law students, graduate students in law, and law school graduates. The blog will focus on “law amid societal and technological change.”
Bobby Chesney, guesting at PrawfsBlawg while simultaneously starting a new blog, asked: “Here’s a question for the students out there: does it bother you when a professor cancels a class in order to attend a conference or workshop?” Will Baude, a Yale Law School student, offered his thoughts at his blog, Crescat Sententia. Professor Michael Froomkin offered his views at Discourse.net. Will Baude replied.
Speaking of expansion, law prawfs are beginning to buzz about faculty hiring.
Each year, law schools hire new law professors through a process known affectionately as the “meat market.” Roughly 1000 people apply each year, and their resumes are currently being pored over by committees across the nation. Most law schools do first round screening interviews at a conference in Washington, DC. Each school interviews about 15-30 people. Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, Orin Kerr estimated the chances a person will get a second-round interview (the “callback”) at 20%. And the odds that a candidate will get an offer after the callback interview? Kerr estimated that at about 33%.
Meanwhile, Al Brophy at Moneyball considered the possibility of law school affirmative action based on class background. He wondered whether prawfs from lower income backgrounds might be more likely to support what he terms “aloha jurisprudence.” We’ll hold off on assessing the coherence of this new
jurisprudence movement category, but he’s surely got a Top 50 article title on his hands.
Then there’s the century-old debate about whether size matters, and exactly what counts anyway. Joe Hodnicki of Law Librarian Blog attacks Chapman Law School’s claim that it has the highest scholarly output of all law schools in the country. Dan Markel of PrawfsBlawg weighed in, and over at MoneyLaw, Tom Bell of Chapman responded.
Clarity: Law Professors and Others Try To Make The World Coherent, And Also Contemplate The Process By Which Their Ideas Are Distributed
One of the great attractions of the legal blogosphere this week was the cage match on corporate governance at the Manhattan Institute’s blog Point of Law (Motto: “Two will enter, one will leave”) between Gordon Smith and Stephen Bainbridge. Topics included shareholder power, authority and accountability, director primacy, hymns of praise to the status quo, and calls for change. Needless to say, it was the sort of thing that gets the adrenaline pumping among teenage boys.
Duncan Hollis (Opinio Juris), analogizing presidential signing statements to treaty reservations, suggested that the comparison might save IL from the “not law” objection, and might constructively restrain the executive to boot. Not bad for a morning’s blogging. Perhaps it’s work like this that has led the increased prominence of IL in flagship law reviews, as Peter Spiro observed here.
Over at the Yale Law Journal’s PocketPart, Christopher Bracey, Paul Caron, Eugene Volokh, Jack Balkin, Ann Althouse, and Steve Vladeck ruminate on the future of legal scholarship. Over at Madisonian.net, Mike Madison critiques the symposium: It “had a chance to advance the ball, but failed.” Mike writes: “The problem is that things like The Pocket Part, and Harvard’s Forum, for example, aren’t really designed to extend the law review in new and innovative directions; they’re designed to save the law review, and all of its traditional tics, from various challenges to its authority and prestige.”
Terry Smith (Blackprof) considered the racially-charged primary in New York’s 11th Congressional District. After attacking both black and white candidates for undermining what he sees at the spirit of the Voting Rights Act, Smith concluded
Black voters will ultimately have to take matters into their own hands by forming strong community-based satellite parties (often referred to as political clubs) to conduct informal caucuses among black aspirants as a means of winnowing the field.
Miriam Cherry (guesting at PrawfsBlawg) lamented being preempted by a paper on SSRN. After Miriam solicited sniglets for such a happenstance, Adam Kolber commented: “After someone posted on the same topic I was writing about, I realized my project had reached its ‘SSREnd’.”
Meanwhile, the folks at Shlep are trying to tear the walls down. They asked if your local bar a “guide (helping to improve and expand self-help) or a guild (building walls against self-help and looking after the financial interests of lawyers first)?”
Dennis M. Kennedy at Between Lawyers wrote: “Professor Charles Nesson, Rebecca Nesson, Gene Koo making their class at Harvard Law School called “CyberOne: Law in the Court of Public Opinion” available to anyone using the Internet for free.” The course website is available here. Question: will the online Nesson experience involve techno music, dancing, and a exam question asking students “what they learned in this semester?”
In a beautiful “day in the life” post, Scoplaw painted a picture of his first courthouse adventure as a criminal defense clinic student.
Hanno Kaiser of Law and Society Blog offered some interesting thoughts about terrorism: “The crux with terrorism is that it terrifies, even though it is, objectively speaking, not particularly dangerous.”
Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, Orin Kerr compared attitudes toward the USA-Patriot Act and the Specter Surveillance bill.
And finally, a moment of clarity. Criminal defense lawyer Lawrence Taylor, one of the few critics of DUI laws that is not employed by the hospitality or liquor industry, decries those jurisdictions that prosecute individuals found sleeping (and drunk) in cars pulled off to the roadside.
Bobby Chesney slices, dices, and parses the statistics on terrorism prosecutions. Elsewhere, the British, after an eight-century long prohibition on double jeapordy, have finally decided to convict people notwithstanding a previous jury acquittal, and Opinio Juris opines on the first conviction under the relaxed standards.
According to Religion Clause the IRS has revoked the tax-exempt status of Operation Rescue. Elsewhere on the non-profitish front, in a shocking departure from institutional and family reputation, Eric Posner extolled the virtues of the for-profit charity on the University of Chicago Law School Faculty Blog. Meanwhile Times & Seasons had a post on the law and economics of religious utopias and the preference for institutions over property rules.
Cut: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Mike at Crime & Federalism had some tips about what not to write on a Bar Exam essay and what not to say in an interview at the prosecutor’s office.
Yale Law School graduate and Information Society Project fellow Katherine McDaniel created The Clerkship Notification Blog as a “forum for law clerk applicants to share information regarding their clerkship applications.”
Tung Yin at PrawfsBlawg wrote about what makes for an effective letter of recommendation for a judicial clerkship.
Ian Best at 3L Epiphany offered a roundup of law advice to second year law students. Hanno Kaiser of Law & Society Blog offered advice to LLM students. So there’s a lot of advice out there for 1Ls and 2Ls — and even LLM students — but what about 3Ls? 3Ls need some tips for what to do in the few minutes when they’re not slacking off.
Color: Fun Oddities From Around the Blawgosphere
In the law and popular culture category, Blackprofs had a post on the politics of race in the new season of Survivor (Survivor does not come off well), and Larry Ribstein opined about corporations and the movies.
Evan Schaeffer at Evan Schaeffer’s Legal Underground has a post listing Nobel Prize winners in literature who studied or practiced law. Sadly, we hadn’t heard of most of these writers. And we didn’t realize that Gabriel Garcia Marquez (the writer on the list we’re most familiar with) studied law before becoming a journalist. Many of those on the list never completed their legal studies. Who was the first – and thus far only – law professor to win the Nobel Prize in literature? Theodor Mommsen, a law professor at the University of Leipzig who won in 1902. And today, it seems, writing a novel is the “in” thing for law professors to do – Paul Goldstein, Kim Roosevelt, Stephen Carter, and Jed Rubenfeld have recently written novels.
Paul Horwitz (Prawfs) wondered who is the coolest professor in the legal academy in American today. Hint: it’s not him, it’s someone who likes lyrics. Hey, we can play that game too: “Everybody hurts . . .”
Finally, TaxProf, Paul Caron had a great post pulling together coverage of 9-11.
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