Archives For George Mason University Law School

May 21-25 the GMU LEC will be hosting its Workshop on Empirical Methods for Law Professors once again this year.  Applications are available at the links below — and more information is available here.

The Workshop on Empirical Methods for Law Professors is designed to teach law professors the conceptual and practical skills required to (1) understand and evaluate others’ empirical studies, and (2) design and implement their own empirical studies. Participants are not expected to have background in statistical knowledge or empirical skills prior to enrollment. Instructors have been selected in part to demonstrate the development of empirical studies in a wide-range of legal and institutional settings including: antitrust, business law, bankruptcy, class actions, contracts, criminal law and sentencing, federalism, finance, intellectual property, and securities regulation. Class sessions will provide participants opportunities to learn through faculty lectures, drawing upon data and examples for cutting edge empirical legal studies, and participating in experiments. There will be numerous opportunities for participants to discuss their own works-in-progress or project ideas with the instructors.

Click Here to Apply

WORKSHOP FACULTY:

Eric Helland, Ph.D., Claremont-McKenna College
http://www.cmc.edu/academic/faculty/profile.asp?Fac=159

Jonathan Klick, J.D., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania School of Law
http://www.law.upenn.edu/cf/faculty/jklick/

Bruce Kobayashi, Ph.D., George Mason University School of Law
http://www.law.gmu.edu/faculty/directory/fulltime/kobayashi_bruce

Joshua Wright, J.D., Ph.D., George Mason University School of Law
http://www.law.gmu.edu/faculty/directory/fulltime/wright_joshua

SCHEDULE:

The workshop will take place at:
George Mason University School of Law
3301 N. Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
http://law.gmu.edu

The Workshop will begin on Monday May 21, at 8:30 a.m. and conclude on Friday May 25, at 12:00 pm. Classes on May 21 – 24 will run from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, and include lectures and applied “hands-on” sessions. On May 25, the participants will have an opportunity to present their own empirical projects or “works in progress” and receive feedback from instructors and other participants.

Topics covered include:

• Research Design
• Finding Data
• Basic Probability Theory
• Descriptive Statistics
• Formulating Testable Hypotheses
• Specification
• Statistical Inference
• Cross-Sectional Regression
• Time Series Regression
• Panel Data Techniques
• Sensitivity Analysis
• Experimental Methods

Click here to see the draft agenda.

REGISTRATION AND TUITION:

Click Here to Apply

Tuition for the Workshop on Empirical Methods is $1000 (with a discounted rate of $850 if received by April 1, 2012) for the first professor from a law school and $600 for additional registrants from the same school.

 

I am very pleased to pass along this information about the 15th Annual Symposium on Antitrust Law on January 26th, 2012 sponsored by the George Mason Law Review, GMU Law & Economics Center, and Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.

 

The George Mason Law Review, in partnership with the George Mason University Law & Economics Center and sponsor Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, is pleased to present its 15th Annual Symposium on Antitrust Law on January 26, 2012. The symposium, entitled “Antitrust in High-Tech Industries,” will be held in the Founders Hall Auditorium at George Mason University School of Law, located at 3301 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia.

The program will focus on the proper role of antitrust in high technology industries, including the extent to which current competition policy is adequate to address dynamic competition concerns that are prevalent in rapidly evolving sectors.  Specifically, panels will explore the application of antitrust laws to social media, mergers, online search, and online advertising.

The Keynote Address will be delivered by William Kovacic, former Chairman of the US Federal Trade Commission.

Please join us on January 26, 2012! To register, click here.

For a detailed description of the Symposium Panels, click here.

Fees:
General Admission: $150.00
Government/Academic: $50.00
Student: $50.00

Note: 5.5 CLE credit hours from the Virginia Bar Association are available for program attendees.

For more information, contact Katie Brown at gmusymposium@gmail.com or call (703) 375-9529.

15th Annual Symposium Brochure

Speakers and Agenda:

8:00 – 8:30am            Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 8:35am             Welcome and Introduction

8:35 – 10:00am          Panel 1: Perspectives on High-Tech Antitrust

Howard Shelanski, Georgetown University Law Center

Herbert Hovenkamp, University of Iowa College of Law

George L. Priest, Yale Law School

Keith Hylton, Boston University School of Law

10:15 – 11:45pm        Panel 2: Social Media

Catherine E. Tucker, MIT Sloan School of Management

Spencer W. Waller, Loyola University, Chicago School of Law

Frank Pasquale, Seton Hall Law School

11:45 – 1:45pm          Luncheon and Keynote Address

William E. Kovacic, The George Washington University Law School

1:45 – 3:15pm             Panel 3: Mergers

Luke M. Froeb, Vanderbilt University

Thomas W. Hazlett, George Mason University School of Law

Jonathan B. Baker, American University Washington College of Law

3:30 – 4:45pm           Panel 4: Search and Online Advertising

William C. MacLeod, Kelly Drye & Warren LLP

Joshua D. Wright, George Mason University School of Law

Daniel Crane, University of Michigan Law School

Scott A. Sher, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

4:45 – 5:00pm           Closing Remarks

5:00 – 6:00pm           Refreshments/ Reception

Location:
George Mason University School of Law
Founders Hall Auditorium
3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201

For directions, click here.

A very interesting group of essays on the future of law and economics by ten University of Chicago professors.  It is especially interesting in light of the attempt to revitalize law and economics in Chicago.  The essays exhibit a great diversity in views of what lies in store for the future of law and economics — a topic I’ve written about frequently at TOTM (and along with Henry Manne available here on SSRN).  Its an interesting discussion.  Here’s my quick, rough and ready guide to the 10 essays — which comes with a recommendation to check them all out in their entirety of course — followed by a few comments and reactions at the end of this  post.

  • Douglas Baird: Law and economics will return to its Chicago-born empirical roots, though the return is complicated by the reduced cost of empirical tools and access to data which give rise to the possibility of an “empirical bubble” (as Larry Ribstein has described it) and a tendency to settle into reliance upon those tools as a substitute for finding new and interesting questions to answer.
  • Omri Ben-Sharar: The view that law and economics will follow “technical” trend in economics is wrong.  One need not worry about law and economics losing its “retail value” — a concern I’ve raised on the blog a number of times — Omri argues, because law and economics has “maintained a stronghold on American legal academia for over 30 years by being relevant, accessible, and relentless in luring new audiences.”  I’m a bit confused by this essay; Ben-Shahar argues that the view that the trend towards the technical trend in economics and law and economics scholarship is no concern, but cites considerable evidence that the trend is real and be explained by the reduction in the return from traditional L&E scholarship.  However, Ben-Sharar is optimistic that higher return opportunities present themselves in exporting law and economic analysis across international boundaries and into new subject matter domestically.
  • Anu Bradford: international law and economics analysis, and public choice, have become incredibly complex in the modern world and are a growth area for future scholarship.
  • Eric Posner: This is my favorite of the essays.  Posner contemplates a strong form of the divergence between economists doing law and economics (ELE) and lawyers doing law and economics (LLE); he goes on to discuss an area in which there is indeed a significant gap between economic theorists and law and economics scholars: contracts.  Posner  discusses a variety of reasons for why this specialization is troubling for both fields.
  • Saul Levmore: The current empirical “bubble” will burst and increase the turns to greater theoretical work — primarily using economic insights to explain cases and doctrine (rather than modeling).  Empirical work is less valuable in law than other disciplines, argues Levmore, and while law and economics’ influence will increase in law schools, a question remains as to whether the work will shift away from technical empirics and toward scholarship more “useful” to the practice of law.
  • Anup Malani: Malani’s first line sums his position up nicely: “The future of law and economics is no different than the future of other applied microeconomics fields such as labor, health, and public economics: better identified empirical work with a solid connection to economic theory.”   Its an odd comparison for me; after all, law and economics is quite different in that it is the only of those applied microeconomic fields in which the producers of scholarship are in law schools and not economics departments.  Malani goes on to make some really interesting points about empirical methods in law and economics compared to labor economics and other applied fields, and some suggestions for improving those methods.  But why should law schools have the comparative advantage in this sort of scholarship?
  • Thomas J. Miles: More on the shift from law and economic theory to empirical work in the last decade.  Miles argues, consistent with others, that the returns to empirical work in law and economics (and the reduced cost of producing it) increased as the  theoretical space became saturated.   empirical scholarship in law and economics has surged.  Miles predicts that empirical work is likely “compose a greater share of law and economics scholarship in the future,” and holds out hope that the increase in the supply of JD/PhD’s along with reduced cost of coordinating between JD’s and PhD’s will reduce the trends towards specialization.
  • David A. Weisbach: “We will see more integration with economics departments, more professionalization of the field, better econometric techniques, and expansion into new  areas and new legal problems. But things will pretty much continue as they are.”  Weisbach’s essay complements Miles in that it emphasizes the key of coordinating between disciplines (for Weisbach, perhaps broader than just law and economics) to solve increasingly complex problems.
  • Richard Posner: Posner points to a strong trend towards increased specialization sacrificing the practical application of law and economics scholarship and is skeptical of the notion that the costs of coordination between disciplines has fallen.  “The increased formalization of economics makes it difficult for lawyers who do not have training in economics to collaborate with economists or lawyer-economists. Increasingly, economic analysts of law write for each other, in specialized journals, rather than for the larger profession. Increasingly, indeed, they write  not for economic analysts of law as a whole but for economic analysts of the writer’s subspecialty. The expansion of a field leads to the multiplication of its subspecialties.”    Like Ben-Sharar and Bradford, Posner describes law and economics as a mature discipline whose future lies in exporting its insights across boundaries and to new problems.  Posner largely subscribes to the view that the future of law and economics may continue to lose its “retail” and practical value as it becomes less connected to legal institutions.  He also uses a rather odd and, in my view, misplaced example about macroeconomics and the financial crisis as evidence of the gap between law and economic theory and practice.
  • Gary Becker: Becker continues the theme of arguing that the future lies in coordination between specialist theorists and econometricians,  Becker also argues that a robust area for future law and economics research lies at the “macro” level, i.e. how legal institutions and rules impact economic growth and how macroeconomic developments influence legal institutions.  No doubt these are interesting questions.  But why, again, is there an argument that law schools have a comparative advantage in producing this scholarship rather than remaining the province of economists?  Or teaching law students?

All interesting reads.  There is a good amount of discussion about coordinating theoretical and empirical work, and overcoming the problem of scholarship that is too formal and too technical for “retail application,” which are no doubt a key to ensuring a bright future for law and economic work.  There are some obvious omissions in the discussion.  Judicial education is one obvious role for law and economics scholars in harnessing the insights of economics for practical application in the law.  There is little discussion about the future of law and economics in the classroom, or the relationship between the role of economics in the law school classroom and the challenging facing law and economic scholarship discussed by the authors.

I have recently joined my colleague Bruce Johnsen as a co director of the Robert A. Levy Fellowship in Law and Liberty at GMU Law.  It is a very generous fellowship — a tuition waiver plus a generous stipend —  for economists who have their PhD’s or “ABD” status to come to law school on our dime along with a stipend of up to $27,000 annually.   PhD’s and doctoral candidates in other social science disciplines are also welcome to apply.  Several Levy Fellows have successfully ventured into the legal academic market over the past few years, and we continue to look for economists and economists-in-training with an interest in law and legal institutions.  Levy Fellow alumni include Jonathan Klick, now at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.  More recently, Levy alum Murat Mungan joined the faculty at Florida State as a Visiting Assistant Professor.  Levy Fellow alum Jeremy Kidd is also on the law school market this year.  If the opportunity is of interest — please contact me via email, or check out the details in the advertisement below, as well as the website with further details on the application process.

GMU Law is a great place to do law and economics.  The GMU Law and Economics Center, with a new and ambitious research and policy agenda under Henry Butler, is a wonderful asset for a rising law and economics scholar, and the law and economics faculty here are interested in a wide range of legal topics and play an integral part in the Levy Fellow program.  The program isn’t for everybody.  We’re looking for economists and other social scientists who are interested in understanding legal institutions and plan on entering the academic job market.  Experimental economists interested in the special opportunities available at the Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Center for the Study of Neuroeconomics might also find the program especially attractive.

The full text of the advertisement is below the fold.  Contact me if you have questions about the application process.

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

School of Law

Robert A. Levy Fellowship

George Mason University School of Law invites applications for the Robert A. Levy Fellowship in Law & Liberty. The Levy Fellowship includes an annual stipend of up to $27,000 per year plus a tuition waiver and is available to PhD or ABD economists who wish to pursue a JD at George Mason.

DESCRIPTION:

Applicants will be evaluated for their promise as Law and Economics scholars capable of making a significant contribution to understanding the institutions of a free society. We are pleased in recent years to have placed fellows in highly ranked institutions. Two or more fellowships will be awarded for the 2011/12 academic year. Applicants should arrange to take the LSAT no later than February 2012. George Mason University is an equal opportunity-affirmative action institution.

A special opportunity now exists for those interested in experimental economics. Levy Fellows will have the opportunity to run experiments and collaborate with faculty at the path breaking Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Center for the Study of Neuroeconomics.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:

Please provide all items requested in standard law school application process, including LSAT/LSDAS, PLUS cover letter with three references, curriculum vitae, graduate transcripts, and a copy of current research.

Letters should be sent to the:

CONTACT:

George Mason University School of Law
Office of Admissions
3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201

Or calls made to:

Tel: (703) 993-8010

The co-director of the Levy Fellowship program:

CONTACT: Professor Joshua Wright
Email: jwrightg at gmu dot edu

Thomson-Reuters has listed its “Citation Laureates,” its predictions for particular scholars winning a Nobel prize sometime in the future (not necessarily this year).  Of particular interest to readers of this blog is that George Mason Law Professor Emeritus Gordon Tullock (long mentioned as a favorite of those predicting the Economics prize on this blog) is now included in the list:

* Douglas Diamond at the Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago, for his analysis of financial intermediation and monitoring.

* Jerry A. Hausman of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Halbert White of University of California San Diego for their contributions to econometrics.

* Anne Krueger of Johns Hopkins University and Gordon Tullock of George Mason University School of Law, Arlington for their description of rent-seeking behavior and its implications.

Unfortunately, Thomson’s prediction rate has not been altogether impressive (see chart); but then again, predicting Nobel prizes isn’t so easy.

Here’s hoping the get this one on the first try.  Gordon is an incredibly well-deserving candidate.

Of course, Thomson-Reuters listed Armen Alchian & Harold Demsetz as Citation Laureates back in 2008 — and they remain my absolute favorites for the prize (along with fellow UCLA economist Benjamin Klein).

Wednesday, May 18th, I participated in a Mercatus event at George Mason focusing upon wireless competition, the forthcoming wireless competition report, FCC wireless policy, competition policy more generally.

The panel included:

Thomas W. Hazlett, Professor of Law & Economics, George Mason University School of Law

Joshua D. Wright, Associate Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law

Robert M. Frieden, Professor of Telecommunications & Law, Penn State University

Harold Feld, Legal Director, Public Knowledge

Video of the event is available at the link above.

Details are available here.  It should be an excellent program and I’m very pleased to be a part of it.  If you are a law professor and interested, but have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.   The link for applications is below.
Location: George Mason University School of Law | Event Date: Monday, May 23 to Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Workshop on Empirical and Experimental Methods for Law Professors is designed to teach law professors the conceptual and practical skills required to (1) understand and evaluate others’ empirical studies, and (2) design and implement their own empirical studies. Participants are not expected to have background in statistical knowledge or empirical skills prior to enrollment. Instructors have been selected in part to demonstrate the development of empirical studies in a wide-range of legal and institutional settings including: antitrust, business law, bankruptcy, class actions, contracts, criminal law and sentencing, federalism, finance, intellectual property, and securities regulation. Class sessions will provide participants opportunities to learn through faculty lectures, drawing upon data and examples for cutting edge empirical legal studies, and participating in experiments. There will be numerous opportunities for participants to discuss their own works-in-progress or project ideas with the instructors.

WORKSHOP FACULTY:

David Abrams, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania School of Law, http://www.law.upenn.edu/cf/faculty/dabrams/

Eric Helland, Ph.D., Claremont-McKenna College, http://www.cmc.edu/academic/faculty/profile.asp?Fac=159

Jonathan Klick, J.D., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania School of Law, http://www.law.upenn.edu/cf/faculty/jklick/

Bruce Kobayashi, Ph.D., George Mason University School of Law, http://www.law.gmu.edu/faculty/directory/fulltime/kobayashi_bruce

Kevin McCabe, Ph.D., George Mason University School of Economics and Law, http://www.law.gmu.edu/faculty/directory/fulltime/mccabe_kevin

Joshua Wright, J.D., Ph.D., George Mason University School of Law, http://www.law.gmu.edu/faculty/directory/fulltime/wright_joshua

SCHEDULE:

The Workshop will take place at:
George Mason University School of Law
3301 N. Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
http://law.gmu.edu

The Workshop will begin on Monday May 23, at 8:30 a.m. and conclude on Thursday May 26, at 12 pm. Classes on May 23, 24 and 25 will run from 8:30 am to 5pm, and include lectures, group sessions, and opportunities for participants to present their own empirical projects or “works in progress.”

Topics covered include:

• Research Design
• Finding Data
• Basic Probability Theory
• Descriptive Statistics
• Formulating Testable Hypotheses
• Specification
• Statistical Inference
• Cross-Sectional Regression
• Time Series Regression
• Panel Data Techniques
• Sensitivity Analysis
• Experimental Methods

REGISTRATION AND TUITION:

Tuition for the Workshop on Empirical and Experimental Methods is $850 for the first professor from a law school and $500 for additional registrants from the same school.

Tuition includes all session materials, access to statistical software (STATA), three lunches, four continental breakfasts, and one evening reception. You will need a laptop for this workshop. A check for $850 made payable to George Mason University Foundation (please note on the check that it is for “Empirical Workshop Tuition”) must be included with the registration form. Registration and payment should be received by May 13, 2011. Space is limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-accepted basis.

CANCELLATION POLICY:

Full refunds for cancellation of attendance to the Workshop on Empirical and Experimental Methods will be made for all written cancellations received before 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 16th. No refunds will be given for any cancellations received after Monday, May 16th.

ACCOMMODATIONS:

GMU School of Law is conveniently located across the Potomac from Washington, DC with easy access to the Metro’s Orange Line (Virginia Square Station).

Special hotel rates for workshop participants are available at two hotels within walking distance of the GMU School of Law: the Comfort Inn Ballston, (1211 N. Glebe Rd) at a group rate of $149 per night, and the AKA Virginia Square (3409 Wilson Blvd) at a group rate of $211 per night.

To make a reservation at the Comfort Inn call (703) 247-3399. The hotel’s website can be viewed at:
http://www.comfortinn.com/hotel-arlington-virginia-VA417

To make a reservation at the AKA Virginia Square contact Scott Foster at (202) 904-2505, or by email at sfoster@stayaka.com. The hotel’s website can be viewed at: http://www.hotelaka.com/locations/virginia_square/default.aspx

To obtain the workshop rates, please mention the George Mason School of Law Workshop on Empirical and Experimental Methods. In order to receive these special rates you must book your room by April 23, 2011. There are limited rooms available so please make your reservations as soon as possible.

LEC CONTACT:

Jeff Smith
703-993-8101
jsmithQ@gmu.edu

Click Here to Apply

Congratulations to my colleague (and office neighbor) Jonathan Mitchell, who has been appointed to serve as Solicitor General of Texas.  Here is an excerpt from the press release:

Effective immediately, Jonathan Mitchell will serve as Solicitor General of Texas. As the State’s chief appellate lawyer, Mitchell will oversee both criminal and civil litigation before state and federal appeals courts and will represent the State of Texas before the U.S. Supreme Court. As a senior member of the executive leadership team, Mitchell will also serve as a top legal advisor to Attorney General Abbott.

Mitchell succeeds outgoing Solicitor General James C. Ho, who departed the agency to return to private practice after nearly three years of dedicated service.

“A true legal scholar, Jonathan Mitchell is an outstanding lawyer with a tremendous legal mind,” Attorney General Abbott said. “After graduating with high honors from top-ranked University of Chicago Law School, Jonathan distinguished himself as a law clerk to one of the nation’s most highly respected appellate judges before earning a prestigious clerkship at the U.S. Supreme Court. Since then, as Jonathan dedicated himself to public service and the study of law, he has quickly earned a reputation as a brilliant lawyer who very ably represents Texas before the highest courts in the land.”

This is great news for both Jonathan and George Mason.  We will look forward to having him back in Arlington.

I have recently joined my colleague Bruce Johnsen as a co director of the Robert A. Levy Fellowship in Law and Liberty at GMU Law.  It is a very generous fellowship for economists who have their PhD’s or “ABD” status to come to law school on our dime along with a stipend of roughly $27,000 annually.   Several Levy Fellows have successfully ventured into the legal academic market over the past few years, and we continue to look for economists and economists-in-training with an interest in the economic analysis of law and legal institutions.  Levy Fellow alumni include Jonathan Klick, now at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.  If the opportunity is of interest — please contact me via email, or check out the details in the advertisement below, as well as the website with further details on the application process.

GMU Law is a great place to do law and economics.  The Law and Economics Center, with a new and ambitious research agenda under Henry Butler, is a wonderful asset for a law and economics scholar in the making, and the law and economics faculty here are interested in a wide range of legal topics and play an integral part in the Levy Fellow program.  The program isn’t for everybody.  We’re looking for economists who are interested in understanding legal institutions and plan on entering the academic job market.  Experimental economists interested in the special opportunities available at the Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Center for the Study of Neuroeconomics might also find the program especially attractive.

The full text of the advertisement is below the fold.  Contact me if you have questions.

Continue Reading…