« November 30, 2008 - December 6, 2008 | Main | December 21, 2008 - December 27, 2008 »

December 20, 2008

Naming innovations at law school

The National Law Journal has this interesting article, headlined "Fla. law school takes 'naming rights' concept to a new level."  The piece discusses one law school's innovative approach to naming rights.  Here are some excerpts:

While all law schools seem to be launching naming rights campaigns to raise funds these days, St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami has taken the concept to a new level.

Not only is the small private law school selling naming rights to its school for $10 million, it is also offering donors the opportunity to have their names plastered on the student center, law library, conference room, annexes, breezeways, classrooms, instructor's offices, and a new "Center for Global Justice and Dialogue." The bathroom, however, is not for sale.

"The genesis of this is the law school is about to celebrate its 25th anniversary next year, and this is the first serious concerted fundraising effort we have launched," said Al Garcia, dean of the law school.

The naming rights fundraising campaign was launched one year ago.  And while the big enchilada — the naming of the law school for $10 million — is still up for grabs, the school has had considerable success selling off pieces of the school, raising some $600,000 so far....

[L]ast month, alumnus Alex Hanna donated $250,000 to name the school's law library. Hanna previously donated $25,000 to name the law school's main entrance.  Other donations include $50,000 from attorney Pat Cordero for a breezeway, $25,000 from Phil and Denise Gerson for the law school conference room, $10,000 from Miami-Dade Judge David Gerstein for the moot courtroom atrium, $10,000 from Sean Greene for the law school walkway and $10,000 from Michael P. Rudd for the student affairs walkway.

Other, smaller gifts will be used to name classrooms and faculty suites, said Mark Casale, director of alumni affairs and major gifts.....  But hasn't the economy hit lawyers?  Apparently not, according to Casale. "The economy is hitting hard everywhere, but there are attorneys in all walks of life doing well," he said.

Especially because I teach at a named law school and hold a named professorship, I am not inclined to be critical of law schools selling "naming right."  In fact, this article leads me to wonder whether (or when) law school might start getting extremely aggressive in this arena.  Administrative offices, copy centers, bulletin boards, seats in classrooms, and even books in the law library all have naming potential. 

Is there any reason law schools should resist "selling" rights to any and every commodity it can imagine?

Posted by DAB

December 20, 2008 in The mission of law schools | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 17, 2008

An innovative legal magazine ... which some law schools might emulate?

337_SueI keep getting e-mail telling me about the soon-to-be published new magazine pictured here.  The magazine's website provides this information about the publication: 

Introducing a brand new publication designed specifically for women professionals in the litigation practice specialty.

Demolishing stereotypes. Acknowledging strengths.

A publication for women, not of a certain experience level — but of a certain attitude.

Here is what now appears on the Suewebsite concerning the cover story and some feature stories to appear in the Inaugural January 2009 issue:

If Women Wrote the Laws : What would our world look like if women wrote the laws? What would your life be like? Noted Professor Laurie L. Levenson, Professor of Law & William M. Rains Fellow at Loyola Law School and regular contributor to CNN, MSNBC, NBC, & The National Law Journal explores how the Good Samaritan laws, Voluntary Manslaughter and Heat of Passion laws and Laws of War would have made our society very, very different had they only been written by women.

The Thin Pink Line:.....the fine line women very carefully walk to achieve professional, personal and financial goals. Coined by Dr. Kathleen Reardon, this term describes women who go over the line. Lean in one direction and you are labeled "too aggressive". Move over to the other direction and you're "too girlish"

Where are the Female Litigation Blawgers?Blawging (the latest nomenclature for blogging in the legal field) has caught on to the point that there are over 2,000 legal blogs just in the U.S. Added to that impressive number, social networking, say the pundits, is the way to boost your career, position yourself as an authority and create new avenues for your income. Why, then, are there so few female blawgers?

Though I had thought that print publications were sooo 20th Century, I am pleased to see this innovative new (niche?) publication entering the market.  (I must say, though, that the preview of these article lead me to think that the magazine may reinforce rather than demolish some stereotypes.)  It will be interesting to see if this magazine can persevere in tough economic times (especially given its seemingly considerable annual subscription price for a bi-monthly publication).

Noticing that Professor Levenson wrote the lead article for Sue's first issue, I got to thinking about whether some law schools ought to consider producing specialty legal magazines rather than more specialty law reviews.  I think I am not alone in believing there are far too many law reviews, and also far too few thoughtful legal magazines.  It would be nice to see some law school consider producing more of the latter and fewer of the former.

I suspect there are relatively few thoughtful legal magazines because they not very commercially viable (and the failure of Legal Affairs suggests that ever having lots of big names involved does not ensure success in the marketplace).  But, of course, there are so many law reviews because their viability is sustained by law schools rather than by the marketplace.  Moreover, the potential in-house institutional benefits of producing yet more specialty law review copy is likely limited for many law schools, but the potential in-house institutional benefits of producing a thoughtful specialty legal magazine might be considerable.

Posted by DAB

December 17, 2008 in The mission of law schools | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 16, 2008

Is anyone teaching a post-Heller seminar on the Second Amendment?

As regular readers on my home blog know, I find the debate and litigation surrounding the Second Amendment after Heller to be fascinating (and also incomplete and stunted in various ways).  For this reason and others, I have been lately toying with the notion of developing a upper-level law school seminar on the law, policy and practice of the Second Amendment after Heller.

Before getting serious about a potential new teaching project, however, I thought it might be useful to inquire whether anyone else has been working on such a seminar or course.  (I have heard varying reports about the Second Amendment becoming a more prominent topic in constitutional law classes in various law school, but I have not heard about a class or seminar devoted just to the Second Amendment after Heller.)

In addition to seeking information about whether anyone is now teaching or developing a post-Heller Second Amendment course, I would also welcome general comments from practitioners and others about whether they think such a course would be a valuable addition to a law school curriculum.

Posted by DAB.  Cross posted at Sentencing Law and Policy.

December 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack