Evaluating the 2022 U.S. News Law School Rankings on its own terms

Last week marked the annual tradition of lawyers and law students eagerly reviewing the newest release of the US News Law School Rankings. There are many reasons to question the validity and reliability of US News’s yearly quantitative assessments of law schools. But my purpose here is not to rehash all of those legitimate concerns and questions.

Leaders in the Field of Domestic Violence: Sarah Deer

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In recognition of Native American leadership in the field of domestic and sexual violence, StrongHearts Native Helpline is honored to present its featured leader, Sarah Deer, J.D., a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma. She is currently a University Distinguished Professor of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and School of Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Kansas, and Chief Justice for the Prairie Island Indian Community Court of Appeals.

Finding her way to justice

India must endorse regional trade agreements as international trade negotiations becoming dynamic: Experts

Bengaluru: India must endorse regional trade agreements (RTA), as international trade negotiations are becoming dynamic in nature, a global economist advised India at an International Conference on Emerging Trends in International Trade Law (2021) organized by the CMR University School of Legal Studies.

“India should endorse regional trade agreements (RTA) and actively participate in them. India has been reluctant to join RTA where China plays dominating role,” said Prof Raj Bhala, Brenneisen Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas, School of Law, U.S.

Professor Bhala speaks at conference on international trade law

BENGALURU: An international virtual conference on emerging trends in International Trade Law will be held at 5.30pm on April 9.

The conference is organised by the School of Legal Studies of CMR University, Bengaluru.

The conference will be addressed by field experts like Prof Peter L H Van den Bossche, Director of Studies and Professor of International Economic Law, World Trade Institute, University of Bern, and Prof Raj Bhala, Brenneisen Distinguished Professor at The University of Kansa, School of Law. 

Why a peaceful Indo-Pacific needs a U.S.-Taiwan Trade Deal

Think a free trade agreement between America and Taiwan is about one large country (America) trying to reconcile its awkward relationship with a small island (Taiwan), with sure-bet howls from China, and no implications for India? 

Think again.

The U.S.-China stand-off that started in 1949, when Chiang Kai-Shek’s Nationalist Kuomintang Party lost the civil war on the Mainland to Mao’s Chinese Communist Party and fled to Formosa, need not cause Armageddon as the outcome of a ‘great powers competition’.

Social equity and sustainable energy intersect at UConn Law Conference

A conference explores energy justice, and emerging issue in the transition to renewable energy sources.

The rapid acceleration of climate change will soon force states to collaborate to combat it, Katie Dykes, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, told a large virtual audience at a UConn Law conference on April 16, 2021.

“We can no longer just put on our blinders and say we don’t care what’s happening outside of Connecticut,” Dykes said. “The recent winter storms and power grid failures in Texas illustrate that.”

Keynote address: Raj Bhala presents at international conference on Emerging Trends in International Trade Law 2021

Professor Raj Bhala presented the keynote address at an international conference on Emerging Trends in International Trade Law 2021, which was hosted by School of Legal Studies CMR University in Bangalore. Professor Bhala is on screen from 6:50 - 23:10 minutes.

Today's labor battles, legislation harken back to conflicts of nearly a century ago, professor writes

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Stephen Ware, center, speaks about arbitration law. Credit: KU Law.

LAWRENCE — President Joe Biden has pledged to support union organizing, and the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the union-supported Protecting the Right to Organize Act. Yet, high-profile efforts to unionize Amazon warehouse workers have not succeeded, and the PRO Act may not pass the U.S. Senate. These mixed results for labor unions are in today’s headlines, but a University of Kansas law professor notes how such news harkens back to labor conflicts of nearly a century ago.

Stephen Ware, the Frank Edwards Tyler Distinguished Professor of Law at KU, has recently written two articles on labor unions and labor arbitration. He explained that current unionization drives and proposed legislation are responding to a changing economy and workspace, but they are doing so in the context of laws mostly developed shortly after big labor battles of the early 20th century.

“Labor rights in the U.S. largely date back to landmark laws of the 1930s. But then labor activism faded in the second half of the 20th century as progressive reformers turned to other areas, such as the civil rights, consumer, women’s and environmental movements. Labor unions shrank from representing about 30% of private sector workers in the 1950s to under 7% today,” Ware said. “Now, however, with recent years’ renewed focus on inequalities of wealth, progressive energy — sometimes with support from populist conservatives — has returned to labor activism. For instance, efforts to unionize Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama have drawn national support from a variety of people, ranging from President Biden to Killer Mike, a rapper. The growth of companies like Uber and Door Dash has accelerated a shift of work away from stable employment to independent contractors in the gig economy. This shift has prompted some scholars and activists to try to adapt traditional labor law to newer industries.”

This new interest in labor law prompted Ware to reexamine its history “with the hope that learning from the past can helpfully inform today’s discussions,” he said. In an article published in the Arbitration Law Review, Ware examines how 1930s labor law enabled unions to replace at-will employment with arbitration of employee grievances.

The article documents how pre-1930s employers usually defeated unions and maintained the power to fire employees at will. However, 1930s labor laws prohibited anti-union contracts and exempted labor from antitrust laws enough to permit the cartelization of labor, or employees banding together to increase wages. This legally encouraged labor cartelization, Ware said, empowered unions to extract from employers contracts replacing at-will employment with arbitrators deciding what counts as good cause for employers to discharge or discipline employees.

An arbitration specialist, Ware also wrote a companion article, “Labor Grievance Arbitration’s Differences,” which details how labor arbitration differs from other arbitration in the United States. The article, which Ware recently presented to the Cumberland Law Review’s symposium on Alternative Dispute Resolution, shows how labor arbitration’s differences arose from its roots in legally enforced labor cartelization.

Ware’s comparisons of labor and other arbitration more broadly include his co-written 2020 “Arbitration” casebook. Surveying arbitration in many contexts — labor, commercial, employment, insurance, medical and religious — helps show, Ware said, “just how unique, and how old and traditional, labor arbitration is. So, it will be striking if unions and their allies in government choose to go down much the same path nearly a century later.”

Photo: Stephen Ware, center, speaks about arbitration law. Credit: KU Law.

Podcast: Do no harm... LGBTQ+ American conflict of rights

In today's episode, we talk to Kyle Velte, a professor of anti-discrimination law at Kansas University's School of Law, about LGBTQ+ protections in the US, the conflict between religious freedom and anti-discrimination, and the map forward for equality for the queer community. 

Check out the accompanying blog post at lawaccordingtoaking.blogspot.com to learn more about religious discrimination, the liberal approach to anti-discrimination law, and the legal basis for the policing of religious clothing. 

Study argues the trade sanctions imposed in response to China’s alleged human rights abuses

According to the international trade law expert, human rights and international trade are inextricably linked.

At the University of Kansas, a renowned expert released a report in the Journal of the National Human Rights Commission arguing the implementation of US trade sanctions in response to China’s alleged human rights abuses.

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