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In Nebraska next week

by Walter Olson on September 4, 2013

I’ll be speaking at the University of Nebraska College of Law on Monday and Creighton University School of Law on Tuesday, both lunchtime addresses sponsored by the Federalist Society. More of my speaking schedule for this fall:

Sept. 17, Washington, D.C., panel moderator, Cato Institute annual Constitution Day.

Sept. 19, Baltimore, Md., Baltimore Lawyers Chapter, Federalist Society.

Sept. 25, Ann Arbor, Mich. University of Michigan Law School, Federalist Society.

Sept. 27, South Royalton, Vt. Vermont Law School conference, “The Disclosure Debates: The Regulatory Power of an Informed Public.”

Oct. 15, Frederick, Md.

Oct. 30, Buffalo, N.Y., Canisius College.

Nov. 7, Baltimore, Md., University of Baltimore School of Law, guest lecture.

Nov. 11, Chicago, Ill. University of Chicago Law School, Federalist Society.

If you’d like me to visit your campus or group, drop me a line. (& welcome Joe Patrice, Above the Law readers)

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Mark your calendar to be in Washington, D.C. Sept. 17 for the Cato Institute’s annual Constitution Day. Among the highlights: introductory talks by Cato’s Roger Pilon and Ilya Shapiro, a series of topical panels including many scholars, writers and lawyers oft linked in this space, a preview of next year’s term with star Court-watchers Tom Goldstein (SCOTUSBlog), Marcia Coyle (National Law Journal), and Howard Bashman (How Appealing), and a wrap-up address by Judge David Sentelle on freedom of the press. Full program and registration here.

I’ll be speaking in Indianapolis on Thursday to the lawyer’s chapter of the Federalist Society, at noon at the Conrad Indianapolis, 50 W. Washington. My topic: “Why Do American Law Schools Tilt Left?” Details here.

I’ve also scheduled some extra time for myself in town that day in case anyone would like to introduce themselves before or after, or even take me out for coffee.

This will be a busy fall season for me as I’m set to give speeches or participate on panels in Baltimore, the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago, Canisius College, Nebraska, Creighton, and Vermont, among others. Often I’ll be speaking on my book Schools for Misrule, on legal academia, but I also give speeches on quite a few other themes including the nanny state and the American way of litigation. If you’d like me to visit your campus or group, drop me a line.

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  • If you didn’t see my Saturday post previewing the DOMA and Prop 8 cases that reach the Supreme Court this week, I’ve now got a virtually identical version up at the Cato blog.
  • On Wednesday, immediately after the Court’s oral argument in Windsor, I’ll be moderating a panel at Cato with former Republican National Committee head Ken Mehlman (NPR profile), Freedom to Marry founder Evan Wolfson (BuzzFeed profile), and Cato’s Ilya Shapiro (AFF profile). Details and RSVP here. If you’re in DC, don’t miss it! If not, watch live online at www.cato.org/live and comment via #CatoEvents.
  • A collection of links on the cases is currently headlining the Cato website.
  • I’ll be speaking Wednesday evening about the cases before the Washington, D.C. chapter of Log Cabin Republicans. I also expect to be doing some national broadcast commentary — details to follow.
  • Last week I spoke at a panel in Cato’s social media series with Jimmy LaSalvia (GOProud) and Trevor Burrus (Cato) on conservatives and same-sex marriage, on topics that included the changing poll numbers and demographics. Aside from going through my analysis of November’s election results, I commented on various aspects of the debate such as the difference between civil and religious marriage (“the same as that between a birth certificate and a christening,” I like to say), the non-connectedness of the gay marriage and abortion issues (on which many others seem to agree with me), and the issue of religious exemptions (“As libertarians, we’re ahead of the curve in considering how anti-discrimination law can trample freedom of conscience.”) No video at the moment.
  • By coincidence, that panel happened to be scheduled against a crosstown event making the opposite case at the Heritage Foundation, which suffice it to say is at a very different place from Cato on this topic. On the question of using 11-year-olds to try to tear down other people’s families, by the way, Rob Tisinai at Box Turtle Bulletin has a nice pre-rejoinder to Heritage: “But Gracie, no one is trying to take one of *your* parents away.”
  • I couldn’t help noticing the following from a March 22 Clarus survey of U.S. voters:

    “Do you think each individual state should be allowed to decide whether same-sex couples can legally marry, or not?”

    Should 53%
    Should not 45%

    “Do you think same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, or not?”

    Do 53%
    Do not 43%

    If these figures are to be credited, at least 6% of the voting public (and possibly much more) overlappingly believes both that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, and that “each individual state should be allowed to decide” on that same question. I think it may be time for a refresher course in constitutional law.

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At Duke on Friday

by Walter Olson on February 20, 2013

On Friday at Duke Law School, the Duke Forum for Law and Social Change is giving its annual symposium, this year’s subject being legal approaches to obesity prevention. The organizers have kindly invited me to participate in a late morning panel, where my views are likely to differ from those of the other participants; details here.

If you’d like to book me to speak at your own event or campus, contact me directly at editor – at – overlawyered – dot – com, through the Cato Institute’s Events staff, or, if you’re associated with a Federalist Society chapter, through the Society’s national office.

Food and farm roundup

by Walter Olson on February 6, 2013

  • In Washington, DC today? Come to Cato New Media lunch where I’ll be on a panel on the nanny state;
  • Future of food freedom looking brighter these days at state level [Baylen Linnekin] Polls looking good for it, too [same] “The FDA’s Pathetic Food Safety Proposal” [same]
  • “Class claim against Crock-Pot seems a crock” [Sean Wajert]
  • USDA issues proposed rules on vending machine fare and other school “competitive foods” [Lunch Tray, SmarterTimes, Julie Gunlock/IWF (good news: rules don't address bake sales and birthday cupcakes. Bad news: why is this Washington's business at all?)]
  • Lawyer suing Subway over “Footlong” also handled controversial red-light camera action [NJLRA]
  • So, lung, it’s been good to know you: fans of authentic Scottish haggis still vexed by US ban [BBC]
  • “New Year, New Hot Coffee Case” [Abnormal Use]

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Here’s the video of our Wednesday event at which author Brian Tamanaha (Washington U.) discussed his book Failing Law Schools. Neal McCluskey (Cato) and Paul Campos (Colorado) commented, and I moderated. We’ve had lots of appreciative comments from those who’ve watched, and I wholeheartedly endorse the book, which is persuasive in both its analysis and its recommendations.

More: After the panel, Megan McArdle of Newsweek/Daily Beast interviewed Prof. Campos on the latest bad numbers for law schools. Other comments include Paul Caron/TaxProf, Stephen Diamond of Santa Clara University (disapproving of Cato and the panelists) and Constitutional Daily here, here and here (differing sharply with Diamond).

And: Cato Daily Podcast (audio) with Prof. Tamanaha.

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Law schools roundup

by Walter Olson on January 11, 2013

  • In Washington next week? Be sure to register for Brian Tamanaha’s speech at Cato Jan. 16 on his book Failing Law Schools (more). I’ll be moderating and Paul Campos and Neal McCluskey will comment. Or watch live;
  • Lawsuit claims man was defamed by portrayal in law review article [Caron]
  • “How law schools evade market competition” [George Leef, Minding the Campus; Lawrence Velvel, Minding the Campus] Paul Campos, “The Crisis of the American Law School” [SSRN, U. Mich. JLR, PDF] “Law Dean Takes to the NYT Op-Ed Page to Blame Media for Declining Law School Applications” [Above the Law]
  • Terms used to describe NYU School of Law in a Washington Examiner column [Althouse]
  • St. Louis U.: “Trial Lawyer Does Double Duty as SLU Law Dean While Winning $25M in Settlements” [ABA Journal]
  • Law reviews criticized, defended [Inside Higher Ed: John Browning, Brian Farkas]
  • Law schools’ faculty “poaching” ban would attract antitrust notice were ordinary businesses to try it [Thom Lambert]

Mark your calendar! On January 16 at noon in Washington, D.C., Prof. Brian Tamanaha of Washington University will speak at a Cato Book Forum on his much-acclaimed new book, Failing Law Schools. Commenting will be Neal McCluskey, who directs Cato’s program on education policy, and University of Colorado law professor Paul Campos, like Tamanaha a celebrated critic of the American law school scene. I’ll be moderating. The event in Washington, D.C. is free and open to the public; details on how to register here.

From the event description:

For decades, American law schools enjoyed one of the world’s great winning streaks. Amid swelling enrollments and what seemed an insatiable demand for new lawyers, they went on a spree of expansion; even as tuitions soared, the schools basked in an air of public-interest rectitude symbolized by Yale law dean Harold Koh’s description of his institution as a “Republic of Conscience.” Then came the Great Recession—and a great reckoning. New graduates were unable to find decently paying legal jobs even as they staggered under enormous debt burdens; it became impossible to ignore long-standing complaints from the world of legal practice that the law curriculum does not train students well in much of what lawyers do; and creative efforts to reduce the cost of law school were stymied by an accreditation process that closely constrains the format of legal education. In Failing Law Schools, one of the most talked-of books in years about higher education, Brian Tamanaha of Washington University has written a devastating critique of what went wrong with the American law school and what can be done to fix it. None of the key contributors to the problem—faculty self-interest, university administrators’ myopia, cartel-like accreditation—escape unscathed in his analysis.

We’ve often cited the work of Profs. Tamanaha and Campos in this space and linked to reviews and discussions of Failing Law Schools here, here, here, here, here, and here. National Jurist just named Prof. Tamanaha as #1 on its list of the year’s most five most influential people in legal education. See you there on Jan. 16!

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Welcome BBYO students

by Walter Olson on December 4, 2012

I spoke this morning at University of Maryland Hillel on the paradoxes of the federal school lunch program, on a panel with Julie Gunlock of the Independent Women’s Forum. You can read more about the school lunch program here.

I much enjoyed my trip there last week, sponsored by the Federalist Society chapter and with Prof. Jacqueline Fox providing a spirited counterpoint to my remarks on Schools for Misrule. The school has posted a Facebook photo album of the event.

Speeches in October

by Walter Olson on September 27, 2012

I’ll be speaking at these five law schools in October, sponsored by the Federalist Society and at lunchtime unless otherwise specified:

Oct. 2, Lewis and Clark, Portland, Ore., debating Prof. Henry Drummonds, on federal quotas on disabled hiring (more).

Oct. 3, University of Oregon, Eugene, Ore., on tort law and the “invisible fist” theory (U of O calendar).

Oct. 9, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C., on Schools for Misrule, debating Prof. Jacqueline Fox (Facebook event page, FedSoc).

Oct. 29, Boston University, Boston, Mass., topic to be announced.

Oct. 30, New England School of Law, on tobacco litigation, debating Ilana Knopf.

To inquire about having me speak to your group, email editor – at – overlawyered – dot – com.

Upcoming October travel

by Walter Olson on September 3, 2012

I’m set to speak in October in Boston, South Carolina, and Oregon. If you want to add on a speaking stop for me in one of these places or someplace nearby, let me know quickly before I buy air tickets. And if you’d like to book me to speak to your group, drop me a line at editor – at – overlawyered – dot – com.

In Birmingham tomorrow

by Walter Olson on June 13, 2012

I’ll be speaking in Birmingham, Alabama tomorrow to a lunch gathering of the city’s Federalist Society Lawyers’ chapter, about my book on legal academia, Schools for Misrule. The event will be at noon at the Summit Club, Sixth Ave. N. More details here.

Speaking of Alabama, the Eleventh Circuit has broadly sided with artist Daniel Moore over his right to create and sell artistic depictions of Crimson Tide sporting events without paying a licensing fee to the University of Alabama [Jon Solomon/Birmingham News, AP/Tuscaloosa News, earlier here and here]

P.S. Music lover? You might see me at this.

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At Vanderbilt tomorrow

by Walter Olson on April 10, 2012

Tomorrow, Wednesday, I’ll be giving a lunchtime talk on Schools for Misrule in Nashville at Vanderbilt Law School, hosted by the student Federalist Society chapter there. It’s open to the public, so drop by and say hello.

In Boston today

by Walter Olson on March 19, 2012

I’m speaking at 1 p.m. today at Boston University Law School to the school’s Federalist Society chapter about my book Schools for Misrule. The event is open to the public. See you there!

Atlanta readers: a reminder that I’ll be speaking today at 12:15PM at Emory Law School, 1301 Clifton Rd. The closest visitor parking is at the Emory Hospital (map). Also speaking will be Prof. George Shepherd, who’s written extensively on legal education and law and economics and is co-author of the interesting new paper, “Law Deans in Jail” (and you thought I was the one critical of law schools). The Federalist Society chapter is sponsoring.

I’ll be discussing Schools for Misrule today at Syracuse University College of Law, tomorrow in Cleveland at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at 4 p.m., and Thursday in Pittsburgh at noon at Pitt Law with critical commentary from Prof. Peter Oh. Federalist Society student chapters are sponsoring the events, which are open to the public. Come out and introduce yourself!

Thanks to my hosts over the past two weeks at Fordham (where I debated Prof. Zephyr Teachout), Brooklyn Law School, and Yale (where Prof. John Fabian Witt contributed generous comments).

Why not book me to speak at your own city or campus? You can contact me directly at editor – at – overlawyered – dot – com, call the Cato Institute at 202-789-5269, or, if you’re a Federalist Society chapter, through the Society’s home office.