January 23, 2016

LAW SCHOOL DIVERSITY UPDATE: McGinnis: Law Schools Should Give Greater Weight To Objective Data In Faculty Hiring To Combat Bias Against Conservative/Libertarian Law Profs. “In a fascinating article, James Phillips has focused on the productivity, citations, and credentials of scholars at the top sixteen law schools. His analysis suggests that conservatives and libertarians are more productive, better cited, and, with one important exception, better credentialed than other scholars. The powerful combination of these findings is thus consistent with the hypothesis that conservatives suffer discrimination in hiring, perhaps particularly in the lateral market when productivity and citation data are very visible. It is as if they are competing in a race with an extra weight on their backs. … [T]he normative implication that I draw is that in hiring schools should weigh more objective data, like productivity and citations counts more heavily and take less account of their faculty’s more subjective impression of scholarship.”

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