Category: Law School


Summer Law Review Submissions

I’m trying to compile a list of law reviews that will accept submissions during the summer.  (I’m the Associate Dean for Research at my school.)  If anyone can point me to a source or if law review editors want to contact me directly, I’d be much obliged.


Faculty and staff

The proximate cause of Danielle’s inviting me to guest-blog at Concurring Opinions was a celebration we had at Fordham of my colleague Robert Kaczorowski‘s publication of “Fordham University School of Law: A History,” the publication of which she had blogged here. The  first half the book analyzes decanal administrations prior to those of Dean John Feerick, who remains an illustrious and beloved member of the Fordham faculty. This section of the book is remarkable for being the very opposite of “law porn“: it tells the story of several decades of a law school’s decline. This decline, Kaczorowski convincingly argues, was driven largely by the insatiable voraciousness with which the central university plundered the law school’s revenues (read student tuition) for its own, non-law purposes. Today, we call that plundering the “central services charge.” At many universities, not just my own, central charges are a major driver of law school costs.

The central services charge is related to the explosive growth of the administrative sector within universities. Read More


Snapshot Of The Legal Market

Like a blog barnacle, I continue to hang on to the good ship Concurring Opinions.  At least for another month.  Thank you for inviting me to stay on.

Today, an observation about the legal market (and a plug for a friend’s start up). Len Gray is a former Latham & Watkins associate who, prior to law school, worked as a headhunter in Atlanta.  Even so, Len was turned off by legal headhunters, whom he regarded as too aggressive and often insensitive to finding the right fit. Read More


Vanderbilt Law Review, Volume 66, Number 2 (March 2013)

Vanderbilt Law Review, Volume 66, Number 2 (March 2013).

The Vanderbilt Law Review is pleased to announce the publication of our March 2013 issue.



Eric Biber, Cultivating a Green Political Landscape: Lessons for Climate Change Policy from the Defeat of California’s Proposition 23, 66 Vand. L. Rev. 399 (2013).

Kristin E. Hickman, Unpacking the Force of Law, 66 Vand. L. Rev. 465 (2013).

Michael S. Pardo, The Nature and Purpose of Evidence Theory, 66 Vand. L. Rev. 547 (2013).



Matthew Chiarizio, An American Tragedy: E-Books, Licenses, and the End of Public Lending Libraries?, 66 Vand. L. Rev. 615 (2013).

Justin P. Gunter, Dual Standards for Third-Party Intervenors: Distinguishing Between Public-Law and Private-Law Intervention, 66 Vand. L. Rev. 645 (2013).

Eric Yeager, Looking For Trouble: An Exploration of How to Regulate Digital Searches, 66 Vand. L. Rev. 685 (2013).


Are you interested in writing a response to one of these pieces? Visit Vanderbilt Law Review En Banc for more details.


Sunday Night Monday Morning music

I’m re-reading Gravity’s Rainbow (Pynchon now on Kindle by the way). Finished V. Finished Crying of Lot 49. Tried to pick up Vineland which I loved. Wanted the difficult, mad, beautiful language. Back to Gravity’s Angel. For fans I post a song I knew before I read the book. It is Laurie Anderson’s Gravity’s Angel. Honestly, she’s not for everyone. Maybe not for most. But if you dig experimental music and complex lyrics give it a shot. The album Mister Heartbreak from which the track comes is fun too. Again fun for some. It has William Burroughs on Sharkey’s Night. I quoted it at my Cal graduation. That is below too. Shorter.

Where’s the law? Not sure. As Burroughs intones, “And sharkey says: hey, kemosabe! long time no see. he says: hey sport. you connect the dots. you pick up the pieces.” OK for a bit more, as I have said here before, life beyond the law matters. And it turns out that knowing life beyond the law might make you a better lawyer. That, by the way, is why empathy for a judge is important and a good thing. If you can’t walk in someone else’s shoes, at least read more, listen to more, watch more. Great writing, great communication opens the door to the world beyond yours and mine. At least those are the dots I connect. The pieces I pick up.


Upcoming Conference

The Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law is pleased to announce that its second annual conference will be held on April 18-19, 2013, at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, Indiana. The purpose of the conference is to highlight, develop, and promote the scholarship of new and younger comparativists, defined as scholars who have been involved in comparative law for fewer than ten years. More than 130 younger scholars from around the world submitted abstracts in response to a Call for Papers issued in September 2012. Over 80 younger scholars who have been involved in comparative law for less than ten years as well as a select group of graduate students are slated to present their research at this conference covering a wide range of topics in comparative private and public law.

More information about the conference and a preliminary agenda are available on the following website:


Warren Buffett’s Institutional Imperative and Law Schools

Warren Buffett minted a concept he calls the institutional imperative to describe a nettlesome phenomenon in business organizations that can introduce costly and enduring mistakes. The concept may explain something about how law schools got themselves into the difficulties they are in today, and why it may be so hard to escape them.

Buffett’s concept is encapsulated in the following series of attributes, adapted suitably for law schools. Their cumulative effect is to cause rationality to wilt in institutional decision making:

(1) as if governed by Newton’s First Law of Motion, an institution will resist any change in its current direction.

(2) just as work expands to fill available time, academic projects or appointments will materialize to soak up all available resources.

(3) academic cravings of the Dean, however foolish, will often be quickly supported by committees charged with bold tasks reflected in names such as Strategic Planning and Self Study and platoons of Associate Deans and Program Directors eager to produce glossy brochures boasting of the latest academic achievement.

(4) the behavior of peer schools, whether in changing the first year curriculum, adding clinical programs or other experiential learning, renovating the third year, adding new specialty journals, making splashy lateral appointments, reducing course loads, paying summer research grants or whatever, will be mindlessly imitated.

Institutional dynamics, not venality or stupidity, set schools on these courses, which are often misguided. Deans today and faculty seeking to hire new deans would do well to think hard about Buffett’s institutional imperative and organize and manage their schools in ways that minimize its influence.

* See The Essays of Warren Buffett (ch. II.F: Cigar Butts and the Institutional Imperative).



What is the Point of Symposia?

Over at the Faculty Lounge, the estimable Michelle Meyer argues that it’s possibly inconsistent to take account of race, gender, and sexual orientation in symposia invitations but not to do so when selecting articles in law reviews.  Her post is thoughtful and well-written, though I believe it rests on a false premise.  Go over there and read it and then come back to find out which one.

Read More


The Blue Book and its Times

Yale Robinson, a student in my Corporations class, today told me about his law review note topic, which happened to be in the same field as my Note, published back in 1987. After class, Yale went and found my Note and emailed me a report about it.  In the email, Yale added:

As an aside, it is amusing to see that the Table of Contents in the Cardozo Law Review of that time does not list the author of a Note, only the title, and the first page of the Note also does not give the author’s name. You have to go to the last page to see the author’s name. I don’t know why this was done, but it appears that this omission was rectified beginning with the April 1991 issue.

I replied as follows:

The curious style you mention was the standard practice at all law reviews at all schools for [decades, since 1926,] up through 1991 when the Blue Book announced the change. Before 1991, notes were “unsigned” and citation was merely to Note, . . .  rather than Cunningham, Note . . . .

Another practice changed around the same time: in the old days, only an author’s last name was used (Cunningham or Robinson etc); thereafter the first name and initial are included.

I think these changes reflect things about the times, such as elitism that wore away in the case of naming Note authors and a sense of full identity . . . in the case of the full name.

The keepers of the Blue Book keep citation practice up with the times.  Looking back at the styles of earlier eras can be amusing.  I wonder what other amusing anachronisms are to be found in the old style books.


You can see the covers of a dozen different editions of the Blue Book, from which the two in this post are taken, here 





Masters Degrees at Law Schools

One trend that will probably become pronounced in legal education over the next five years is the development of masters degrees in law.  These would be geared towards folks who want some legal training for one year but are not interested in becoming attorneys.  Some schools already have specialized versions of this (say, for journalists), but one can imagine interest in these degrees from scientists, doctors, corporate human resource departments, or folks in business.  This type of program is attractive from the law schools’ perspective because it (1) would generate revenue; (2) would lead to a more diverse student body; and (3) is  unregulated by the ABA.

The question that these programs raise, though, is whether they would undercut the JD degree or a JD education.  In other words, would some people inclined to get a JD substitute to the masters if they could?  Will JD students be upset at the prospect that some jobs could be taken from them by masters graduates?  And how about alumni–would they feel like their degrees would be diluted if their school offers a masters?  Thoughts are welcome.