November 2012

See here.


With articles by the AP and the National Law Journal, it was only a matter of time before the law prof blogsphere began commentary on potential faculty buyouts at Vermont Law School. The NLJ piece states, quoting my Dean Marc Mihaly:

“I think it’s safe to say that some sort of voluntary buyout package will be offered to the faculty, and I think it will be early next year,” Mihaly said. “We don’t want to go there if we don’t have to.”

The Faculty Lounge is up with this commentary. The post concludes:

“It remains to be seen whether Vermont is headed toward faculty buyouts, but if this is a sign of a trend, we should all be paying close attention (at every level). What is tenure worth? Can it be assigned a dollar value? Is there some idiosyncratic or personal value attached to this form of property (see my earlier post on personality theory)? Is it fungible? Can partner buyouts at underperforming law firms be a model for these initiatives? I look forward to your thoughts on this.”


Additional commentary/stories:

The U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law (“China Program”) at Vermont Law School invites applications for a two-year graduate fellowship starting in August 2013. The fellowship combines the opportunity to obtain an LLM in Environmental Law or an LLM in American Legal Studies from one of the leading environmental law programs in the nation with the opportunity to gain practical international environmental law experience on a variety of policy coordination, research, and educational outreach projects. The fellowship includes a full tuition waiver. A salary stipend may be available for the selected LLM fellow depending on available funding.

Nature of the Fellowship
The LLM fellow will work closely with the faculty director, the program director and other team members of the China Program to help coordinate and implement the range of projects being carried out. In addition to pursuing an LLM in Environmental Law or an LLM in American Legal Studies, the fellow will work closely with China Program faculty and will take the lead role in at least one major project.

The goal of the China Program is to strengthen the rule of law in environmental protection and to build capacity among individuals and academic, government, and private-sector institutions to solve pollution and energy problems. The program has three main objectives:

• strengthen the capacity of the Chinese educational, governmental, nonprofit, and business sectors to become effective environmental and energy problem solvers
• improve China’s policies, systems, laws, and regulations to advance the development and enforcement of environmental and energy law and to help develop the rule of law
• enhance municipal, provincial, national, and international networks in China to advance best practices in environmental protection and energy regulation

These objectives are being pursued through environmental and energy law workshops and conferences in China and the U.S., through efforts to build the institutional capacity of law schools, NGOs, courts, and government agencies, and through student and faculty-led research and policy development projects.

For more information about the U.S.-China Partnership for
Environmental Law, please visit the program’s homepage,

LLM in Environmental Law
The LLM in Environmental Law degree is designed for a select group of post-JD candidates seeking to specialize in the practice of
environmental law, or pursue careers in teaching, research, or public policy. Candidates include recent law school graduates and practicing lawyers who wish to develop an environmental law specialty. The cornerstone of the LLM program is the Graduate Seminar. A minimum of 30 academic credits are required to complete the program. For the China Program fellow, this thirty credit program is spread over two years. Vermont Law School’s environmental law curriculum includes more than fifty courses in environmental law, policy, science, and ethics. For more information about the LLM in Environmental Law degree program, please visit the LLM degree page.
LLM in American Legal Studies
The Master of Laws in American Legal Studies is specifically designed for students who hold a law degree from an institution outside of the United States. Our LLM students take all their courses together with the JD students, so they have immersion in the US law school experience. The required courses provide a solid foundation in US law and US legal method. Again, for the China Program fellow, the LLM in American Legal Studies program is spread over two years. Some US states permit foreign lawyers who earn an LLM in US law to take the bar exam and be admitted to practice in their state, if certain other requirements are met. For more information about the LLM in American Legal Studies program, please visit the LLM degree page.

Fellowship Qualifications
Qualifications for the China Program LLM Fellowship include: • admission to the LLM in Environmental Law or the LLM in American Legal Studies programs
• a demonstrated commitment to environmental or energy issues in China/Asia • prior practice or other experience in environmental or energy law • strong legal writing and communications skills
• some Chinese language skills or acquiring such skills

How to Apply for the Fellowship
Applicants interested in the China Program LLM Fellowship must submit the LLM application to the Vermont Law School admissions office by March 1, 2013. In addition to materials required for LLM
applications, applicants need to submit a brief statement (not longer than one single-spaced page) explaining the applicant’s interest in the fellowship. Decisions on the China Program LLM Fellowship will be made by May 1, 2013.
If you have any question about the China Program LLM Fellowship, please contact Jingjing Liu, the Associate Director of the U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law, at

Dear Fellow Law Profs around my age and/or Anyone who graduated law school in early 2000s and works for a non-profit:

According to a Brian Leiter post, “Graduates who perform 120 months of public service (at least 30 hours a week for any federal, state, or local government, or
any 501(c)(3) organization) get forgiveness after 10 years instead of 20 years. ” Is this true? If so, what is the process for loan forgiveness since ten years is or will soon be up?

1:29: It’s late.  I’m signing off, going to watch Obama’s victory speech, and then go to bed.  Thanks for reading.

1:18am: Since Miami-Dade stopped counting ballots, Florida will have to wait until tomorrow, but numbers look reasonably good for Obama that he will end up with 332 electoral votes.  If that’s the case, Nate Silver would have predicted it perfectly, though he is joined by a few others.

1:10am: I was surprised that Romney’s concession speech was so short.  I’m also interested to learn more about Obama’s ground game over the next few days and the strategy that went in to potentially winning 7 of 8 battleground states.

1:07am: If projections are correct, Obama will end up with 303 or 332 electoral votes.  Only waiting on FL based on aggregate network calls.

1:04am: Times and AP have called VA for Obama.

12:54am: Romney to give concession speech shortly.

12:41am: Obama looks like he’ll win popular vote.  Networks may not call FL tonight because Miami-Dade is stopping their vote count until morning.  FL looks good for Obama.  VA still very close.

12:19am: Fischer (R) wins NE Senate race.

12:18am: Hoffer wins VT auditor race.

12:16am: Still waiting on Montana (Tester v. Rehberg) and Nebraska (Kerrey v. Fischer) Senate races.

12:13am: All networks have declared Obama winner.  Just waiting on final Electoral Vote total for Obama which will be somewhere between 274-332.

12:12am: Obama declared winner in CO and Nevada.  Too see all network calls, click here.

12:11am: NY Times calls Obama winner in VA.

12:09am: Obama is catching up in the popular vote.  FL, VA, CO and NV are all too close to call, but Obama leads in all four.

11:41: Romney campaign is not conceding Ohio yet…

11:36: It’s really amazing that, depending on the CO outcome, Obama may have still have won without Ohio.

11:29: Reports are that Romney will concede soon.  Issues lingering: Who will win the popular vote?  Who will win FL and VA?

11:18: Fox News declares Obama winner.

11:16: The Obama Midwest firewall wins him re-election.

11:15: Obama wins presidency.

11:13pm: Barring a miracle, Obama will have another four years.


11:11pm: Assuming Obama wins Nevada, and with the Obama Iowa win, Romney now needs to sweep CO, OH, FL, and VA.

11:10: Since Obama wins IA and assuming he wins Nevada, then Obama needs only one more state of these 4: CO, OH, FL, VA

11:09: Obama wins Iowa.

11:04pm: Romney is “apparent winner” in NC…whatever that means?!?!

11:01: Chuck Todd says “Obama is winning every swing county.”

11:00pm: With Obama winning CA and other west coast states, and Romney winning Idaho, the count is: O 243 to R 188.

10:56pm: Kaine (D) wins VA Senate race.  Dems look very good to keep the US Senate.

10:54pm: Things look good for Obama in Colorado.  Could Obama win the Electoral College but lose the popular vote?

10:48pm: Fox News calls Tammy Baldwin (D) for US Senate in WI.

10:43pm: looks like OH, VA, FL, IA, and CO are the key states left since MN was just called for Obama.   Obama needs FL or VA or OH or IA AND CO and he wins.   Romney needs 4 of those 5 to win.

10:33pm: Still waiting for more votes to come in Hamilton and Cuyahoga counties in OH. Romney wins AZ.

10:31pm: CO too close to call. EC count: O 162, R 163.

10:28pm: Most VT state-wide races called.  See here.  Hoffer leads in auditor race.

10:25pm: In my view, tonight looks like either (a) an Obama victory after a couple/few more hours, or (b) a very long night or day or week that includes provisional ballots and legal battles in FL, OH and/or VA.

10:18pm: Ohio still not called.

10:15pm: NBC just went to break saying they’d discuss OH after.  Will OH be called?

10:07: Mccaskill (D) wins Senate race in Missouri.

10:05pm: I’m still interested in the VA and Montana Sentate races.  VA looks to be close and too early in MT.

10:00: Iowa and NV too early to call, but O leads. R wins Utah, MT.  Tied at 162 electoral votes.  VA, NC, OH (with O leading), and FL (with O leading with 85% in) are  too close to call.  If I’m at Obama headquarters in Chicago, I’m optimistic.

9:51pm: Electoral votes: O 162, R 153

9:50pm: Obama wins NH.

9:47pm: Florida: Obama 3,655,716 Romney: 3,636,173

9:44pm: As of right now, this looks like a good night for Dems.

9:43: Donnelly (D) wins US Senate race in Indiana.

9:42: Elizabeth Warren wins U.S. Senate race in Mass.

9:41pm: Donnelly (D) leading Mourdock (R) in Indiana.  MA U.S. Senate race very close; Warren with small lead.

9:33pm: Obama wins Ohio and he’s likely to win the presidency as a result of the WI victory.

9:31pm: Really amazing how close the vote is in FL.

9:30pm: Obama wins my birth state of WI and its 10 electoral votes.  I’m not surprised. VP nominees rarely deliver a state.

9:28pm: The 538 Blog keeps posting info that would be perceived as positive for Obama.

9:23pm: “Thus, early returns show Mr. Obama to win Hispanic-Americans over all by 20 percentage points in Florida, and if he wins that, it’d be larger than the 15-point margin he had in 2008. If Mr. Obama ekes out a win in Florida, this will have a lot to do with it.— Nate Silver”

9:19pm: The PA win, coupled with too close to call in NC, FL, VA and OH is very good for Obama camp.

9:18pm: EC Vote Count: R 153; O 148.

9:17pm: Obama wins PA.

9:14: 193 vote difference in FL!

9:08pm: EC Vote Count: NBC O 114, R 153.  CNN: 152, 123

9:07: Casey (D) wins U.S Senate race in PA.  Obama wins NJ.  Menendez (D) wins US Senate in NJ.

9:06: Early vote in OH looks good for Obama.

9:02pm: US Senate races still close in VA and MA.  NC looking decent for Romney. FL is going to be a very close race.

9:00pm: Polls close in many states.  CO too close to call. Minn, AZ, WI too early to call.  O wins: NY; MI; NM;   R wins: TX; LA; KS; NE; ND, SD , WY.

8:50pm: Puerto Rican vote in FL (Orange County) may help Obama.  Hat Tip: NBC’s Chuck Todd.

8:48: tone of the election coverage is weakly expectant of Obama victory…but this will turn on dime is Romney’s numbers in VA and FL improve.

8:47: exit polls show hurricane sandy response helped Obama.

8:41pm: Obama with slight lead in FL with 58% of precincts in.

8:35pm: Northern VA  (i.e. fairfax county) results still not close to out and that is good news for Obama.

8:33pm: FL and VA results so far must be making Romney campaign nervous.

8:32pm: VA and NC too close to call, but Romney leading.  FL, NH, and OH too close to call, but Obama leading.  PA to early to call.  Murphy (D) wins US Senate race in CT.

8:30pm: Romney wins Arkansas. O 64, R 88.

8:19pm: Obama looking good in VA as of 8:14pm, and reports look good for Obama in the I-4 corridor in FL, but perhaps not good enough to win the state.  NBC talking about “status quo” election, which is good for Dems in presidency and Senate and GOP in the House.

8:17pm: Obama performing much better with the white working class voters in Ohio compared to his numbers nationwide.   The auto bailout may play a huge role in this election.

8:15pm: NH too close to call. PA too early to call.

8:12pm: VT auditor race going to be close.  Scott pulling away in Lt Gov race…incumbents are hard to beat in VT.

8:11pm: The important thing to know so far: FL, OH, VA are too close to call.

8:08pm: Obama early vote numbers looking good, especially in FL.

8:07pm: FL still too close to call.  EC Count: O 64; R 82.

8:04pm: Obama wins ME, CT, RI, MA, MD, DE, IL.  Romney wins W VA, KY, SC, OK.

7:51pm: A bunch of states close at 8pm.

7:49pm: Romney wins S. Carolina.

7:44pm: In VT, Hoffer is leading auditor race and Lt. Gov. race close.  See here.

7:34pm: EC vote count: Obama 3; Romney 24.

7:30pm: North Carolina and Ohio are too close to call as polls close in those state.   VA still to close to call. Romney wins West Virginia.  Manchin wins W. VA senate race and Ohio senate race too close to call.  I’m am curious about VT Lt. Gov race.

7:25pm: As I’m looking at early results, it could be a long night as VA and FL look close.

7:24pm: Gov. Shumlin and Congressman Welch win re-election in VT.

7:17pm: VA still too close to call.

7:11pm: VA senate race Kaine v. Allen is too close to call.  Too close to call in VA is good for Obama but it’s VERY early.

7:10pm: NC and OH close at 7:30pm.

7:07: Electoral Votes so far: Obama 3, Romney 19.  Need 270 to win.

7:05pm: Mourdock (R) slightly ahead in IN U.S. Senate race with only 3% in.

7:01pm: VA too close to call.  Romney wins Indiana, Kentucky. Vermont is first state to be called for Obama once again. Bernie Sanders projected U.S. Senator winner in VT.  Too close to call in Indiana senate race.

7:00pm: Virginia polls now closed!

6:54pm: NBC exit poll results – close in right/track wrong track numbers.  NBC’s Chuck Todd mentions that 9:30pm/10pm as times when we might have good info about winners in east coast battleground states.

6:42pm ET: I still can’t figure out how NJ allowed voting by email.  I’m totally OK with the sentiment, but how can this be managed?

6:38pm ET: Major network coverage now up and running.  Personally, I like NBC.  22 minutes until VA.

6:32pm: According to CNN exit polls, 67% of FL voters are white this year versus 71% in 2008.  If the white vote is 72% or less nationwide, this would be good news for Obama.

6:11pm ET: Early poll numbers coming in from Kentucky and Indiana, but battleground state numbers won’t come in until 7pm.  Virginia is the state to watch.  If Virginia is too close to call, that’s good for Obama…it’s hard to see how Romney wins without VA.

5:57pm ET: Report from Wisconsin – When  a voter received his ballot this morning it was already marked for Romney.  Also, official receiving photo ID complaints from Wauwatosa.  Snow and freezing rain in Northern Wisconsin may lower turnout.

5:56pm ET: CNN has started to release exit poll info.

5:20pm ET: The netwworks will start to release exit poll data soon.  Turnout seems good nationwide so far.

5:18pm: Voter appears to die, then asks “Did I vote?”

5:17pm: For my Milwaukee friends, my dad, Joseph Czarnezki, is on the ballot for Milwaukee County Clerk.

2:24pm: This is an amazing video of an electronic voting machine that changed a vote for one presidential candidate to another.  The studies I’ve read usually endorse optical scanner paper ballots.

1:39pm ET: By the way, if there is an Electoral College tie, it is governed by the 12th Amendment.   Though there could always be a faithless elector.

1:32pm ET: PA as the new OH?  A Romney win in PA would be surprising and PA has been fool’s gold for the GOP before (see McCain 2008).  Stories like this make the Obama campaign smile.  That said, Nate Silver thinks PA is a good risk for the Romney campaign to take, and I don’t think PA offers early voting to, unlike much of the country, election day is election day.

1:23pm ET: What if there is a tie?  Hat tip: My neighbor Lexi.

12:14pm ET: Another useful viewing guide.

12:02pm ET: What are the pundits predicting? See here.

11:30am ET: I enjoy live blogging the election every fall.  I hope to do so again today.So here are some early results from midnight voting.  Dixville Notch, NH: Obama 5, Romney 5.  Hart’s Location, NH: Obama 23, Romney 9, Gary Johnson 1.  I’m curious to see if Liberation candidate Gary Johnson picks off any conservative voters, and will intently watch early returns in Virginia and Ohio.   Courtesy of First Read, Here are all the final poll closing times in ET:

7:00 pm: GA, IN, KY, SC, VT, VA
7:30 pm: NC, OH, WV
8:00 pm: AL, CT, DE, DC, FL, IL, ME, MD, MA, MS, MO, NH, NJ, OK, PA, RI, TN
8:30 pm: AR
9:00 pm: AZ, CO, KS, LA, MI, MN, NE, NM, NY, ND, SD, TX, WI, WY
10:00 pm: IA, MT, NV, UT
11:00 pm: CA, HI, ID, OR, WA
1:00 am: AK

Finally, Nate Silver at 538 says things look promising for the President.

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