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joanheminway
Knoxville, TN
Law Professor, The University of Tennessee College of Law
Recent Activity
A bunch of great points here, Marty. I am interested in your reading of the case as applying to directors' exercise of religion--which would make more sense to me. I just have trouble finding that in the Court's opinion when read as a whole (notwithstanding the references to which you point). I especially appreciate the following passage from your post: "Indeed, the Hahns (and the Greens) have not attempted to explain or articulate—nor does Justice Alito—why their religion would make them morally culpable in such a case, where the decision has been taken out of their hands and where they therefore would not be responsible for 'directing' the Conestoga and Hobby Lobby plans to include IUD coverage. Therefore, without more, it would appear that the Hahns and Greens have not alleged facts that would explain why the law imposes a substantial burden on their religious exercise in their capacities as corporate directors." I want to think about it a lot more, but that has some traction (assuming the Court does intend to refer to the directors' exercise of religion). Thanks for giving me a lot to think about.
Steve, this looks like a solid list. The ordering is rather tricky, however. Truth be told, it may vary based on the existing attributes of a law school. Teasing out the attributes that matter to the type or timing of educational reforms may represent an additional challenge (should you want to take on that task), but is certainly worth the try. I have observed that law school class sizes already are shrinking at a number of law schools. It's been tough for non-elite schools (whatever that might mean) to balance desired enrollment against class quality given the steep decreases in applications at many schools. That might move reduction in class size up on the list. But then again, some law schools already have increased transparency about graduate employment and increased experiential learning opportunities. So those items do need to be high up on the list. In addition, a number of law faculties have already begun to shrink. As this occurs, remaining law faculty members are being redeployed to teach core doctrinal courses. Justice Scalia noted last week during his visit with us in Knoxville that this means that law faculty members will teach fewer "pet" classes (small seminars on detail-oriented topics relevant to their scholarship or other interests) and more credit hours. These collateral effects may not rise to the level of independent or "Big 10" reforms, but they're worth considering. These effects may, in turn, generate further changes. Some of those "pet" seminars represented ways for students, as well as faculty members, to explore topics from foundational doctrinal courses in greater detail in smaller groups. These experiences may be important to the educational process for some or all of the students who registered for those courses--more important than we believe. Moreover, additional class hours or increased student loads for law faculty members may change the nature or quality of law school instruction in undesirable ways. For example, law teachers may not be able to offer additional (or even as much) individualized assessment of student work during the semester. I think you get the point . . . . Anyway, good luck with the talk. I am happy to share with you anything further that I know. Just ask.
Personally, I am a fan of the Robert E. Lee statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond and the related explanations of Northerners and Southerners as to why Lee and his horse are facing South . . . . :>)
Toggle Commented Sep 1, 2012 on Romney's Monument Moment at The Faculty Lounge
David, thanks for telling this side of the story. And thanks for all you do for your students and legal education. I know how hard you and many others work on making legal theory, policy, and doctrine accessible to students and how you help them to translate all of that into skills-based learning experiences. I was thinking of this post when I posted my first writing assignment in Securities Regulation last night (writing a small part of a public offering prospectus and writing a cover memo that reasons through what should be drafted for that purpose). Again, thanks for sharing.
As someone who moved into the law academy after 15 years of private practice in Big Law (albeit 11 years ago), I believe there are mid-career folks who would take the substantial pay cut that making that move requires. I did come in with a starting salary substantially below $100,000 a year and have a 2-2 teaching load. But one of the attractions of the job for me was the opportunity for scholarship--researching and writing in a way that a practitioner cannot about important legal questions. I am not sure I would have left were it not for that . . . . So, I do think that that may affect the number or type of faculty that would be attracted to this venture from a lucrative private practice position. I do agree that the attraction of a school modeled like the one Roger describes would likely come from more than the cost--geography, a market niche of some kind, etc. would likely be needed. In Tennessee, we have had two new private law schools open in the past few years (one is starting classes this fall) with practical curricula and tuition in excess of $20,000. I cannot speak for the newest entrant in the market (charging over $32,000 in tuition and fees) or give any details on the last immediate entrant (charging almost $30,000 in tuition and fees for its full-time day program) in terms of meeting enrollment or financial expectations, but I can say that some students have been attracted to the latter, which is located here in Knoxville and offers a part-time/night program alternative (which we do not do).
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2011 on The No-Frills Law School at The Faculty Lounge