Law Schools

Here are some interesting news items and blog posts from this morning:


Once again, Vermont Law School is the #1 Environmental Law program in the United States according to USNWR’s 2011 rankings.  See here.

Today I had the pleasure of presenting my research at a “seminar” (we’d call it a roundtable or workshop) at one of the oldest universities in Europe.  Uppsala Universitet was founded in 1477.  I presented in the original and ornate law faculty room complete with chandeliers, 500 year old paintings, and amazing marble.  I presented my comparative work on eco-labeling regimes for food, and, in addition to the Uppsala Faculty of Law, many private organic certifiers were in attendance.  It was a great event followed by tea and pastries.  I have never had so much tea and coffee with colleagues ever as I have had this week–time for us to put in a free expresso machine in the hallway at Vermont Law School. 

And below is a photo of the church that I view out of my office window (my office is in the white building in the lower left hand corner).

Over at The Faculty Lounge, they’ve decided to rank the “Most Productive Environmental Law Scholars 2005-2009 at “Top” Environmental Schools.”  (It seems I’m #7.)

So says the title of this article in the Burlington Free Press.

Leiter Reports Headline:

ABA Considers Dropping LSAT Requirement for Law School Admissions

I like data and I like to ask empirical questions (see my old blog), but often translating data so it can be understood is difficult.  And I lack the necessary graphic and computer skills to make my data come to life.  In fact, I wish my own classes and paper presentations had far more visual flair than I know how to do with PowerPoint.  Watch this video, which is an amazing display of data visualization.  Imagine if law professors had the resources and/or expertise to make their presentations come alive this way.  (And I note that any faculty job candidate who did this would be hired immediately based on what this would mean for their classroom experience.)

Hat tip: Matt Sag

Today I delivered the Stegner Center Young Scholar Lecture at the University of Utah entitled “The Environment, Food, and Law.”  Turnout was good and everyone has been wonderful in planning my visit.  The talk was about the environmental harms of the modern industrial food system, and discusses the role of informational regulation and structural change (e.g.,  access to different food models) in achieving a more sustainable food system.  This builds upon my forthcoming article in the Stanford Law Environmental Law Journal and my forthcoming piece in the University of Utah’s Journal of Land, Resources & the Environment.

The talk when relatively well, mostly because the topic of food and the environment has grown sexy thanks to folks like Michael Pollan, but the topic also proves challenging given the diverse and complex set of concerns and interests.  What is clear is that on the labeling front, I need to make a better case as to what circumstances eco-labeling is most effective, and, on the structural front, I still need better data on successful initiatives to create a sustainable food systems from a planning and/or implementation perspective.  Finally, I need to think harder about how this all relates to food costs.

Given the complexity of food and ag systems I’m really excited about the new book contract I’ve just signed with co-authors Professor Mary Jane Angelo (University of Florida) and Bill Eubanks entitled “Food, Agriculture Policy, and the Environment: History, Law & Proposals for Reform” (Environmental Law Institute Press, forthcoming 2012).

Tomorrow is talk #2 in Salt Lake City entitled, “Climate Policy and US-China Relations.”  More details here.

I have been chosen as the 2010 Stegner Center Distinguished Young Scholar.  See here (page 8).  The announcement is here about my CLE presentation in Salt Lake City on ‘Climate Policy and U.S.-China Relations’ on Nov. 17.  I’ll also be presenting on ‘The Environment, Law, and Food’ on Nov. 16 at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law next week as well.  See schedules here.

What’s going on at SSRN?  Over at Prawfsblawg, Dan Markel has a post entitled “SSRN, WTF?” questioning SSRN’s terms of service which allow editing and translation.  Now see below my correspondence with SSRN, since they now want to print and sell my work.  I emailed my colleagues immediately about this, writing: “Colleagues.  See the email below.  I have chosen to opt out of this option for environmental reasons and so as not to upset the apple cart on all my pre-existing copyright agreements that allowed for online publication of my articles on SSRN, but failed to make any mention of actual print distribution.”

My edited (for length) reply to SSRN with their original email below:

I do not want to have my papers on the SSRN eLibrary available for the new hard copy service.

I suspect many others will not want his as well since it may conflict with various copyright agreements.


Jason J. Czarnezki

Professor of Law

Vermont Law School

From: Gregg Gordon []
Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 1:49 PM
Subject: SSRN Announces Forthcoming “Purchase Bound Hard Copy” option for Free PDF documents in SSRN eLibrary

Dear Jason J. Czarnezki,

In response to requests from authors and readers to purchase printed and bound hard copies of papers on SSRN, we will soon release a “Purchase Bound Hard Copy” service for most free PDF files in SSRN’s eLibrary. We have contracted with a New York company to do the printing, binding and shipping.

The price for one or more bound hard copies will be $9.99 per copy plus shipping. Free PDF files with a minimum of 19 pages and a maximum of 240 pages will be eligible for printing. The PDF document will be printed in black and white, “perfect bound” with a glossy color cover, and shipped to United States addresses only. A “Purchase Bound Hard Copy” option will be added on the abstract page of each eligible paper. The existing options, including free One-Click Download, will remain the same, and each purchased hard copy will count as a download.

Any author, who does not want to have his or her free papers in the SSRN eLibrary available for this new service, can opt out at any time by emailing the request to, or calling the SSRN office at 877-SSRNHelp (877.777.6435) in the United States, or +1 585 442 8170 outside of the United States, between 8:30 am and 6 pm Monday through Friday (U.S. Eastern). If you request to opt out of the “Purchase Bound Hard Copy” service, ALL papers that are authored or co-authored by you will not display the “Purchase Bound Hard Copy” option on your abstract page(s). Please notify us by Friday, October 29, 2010 if you do not want your papers included in the initial roll-out of this new service. You may change your participation status at any time in the future.

We hope you will enjoy the convenience of this new service.

Gregg Gordon
Social Science Research Network

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