TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Stadler Says Tax Law Is a "Strong Buy" in Market for Law School Professors

Nelson Ssrn_logo_31 My friend and former colleague Sara K. Stadler (Emory) has posted a wonderful essay, The Bulls and Bears of Law Teaching (forthcoming in Washington & Lee Law Review), on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

This Essay provides readers with a unique perspective on the world of law teaching:  Employing a quirky methodology, Professor Stadler predicts which subjects are likely to be most (and least) in demand among faculties looking to hire new professors in future - rating those subjects, like so many stocks, from "strong buy" to "weak buy" to "weak sell" to "strong sell." To generate the data on which her methodology is based, Professor Stadler catalogued, by subject, almost every Article, Book Review, Booknote, Comment, Essay, Note, Recent Case, Recent Publication, and Recent Statute published in the Harvard Law Review between and including the years 1946 and 2003. In the end, she found an interesting (and, she thinks, predictive) relationship between the subjects on which faculty choose to write and the subjects on which students choose to write.

Larry Solum says "I love this essay!" -- and I agree.  After all, Sara rates tax as one of her "strong buys":

Strong Buys

Weak Buys

Weak Sells

Strong Sells



Civ Pro/Evid


Education Law

1st Amendment









Crim Law & Pro

Con Law

Health Law

Int’l Trade

Election Law

Envt’l Law

Labor & Emp.

Law and

Legal History



Media Law





Sara explains her "strong buy" tax recommendation:

This is the kind of chart about which technical analysts dream.  After tracing an undulating “price channel” to the downside, Excess Interest in tax law broke out of its bearish trend in 1988, then traced the beginnings of a new price channel — a bullish one.  Since then, of course, Excess Interest has turned negative, but even a sine curve has its ups and downs. I admit to being influenced by the fundamentals here, which suggest that if President Bush delivers on hispromise (threat?) to reform the tax code, then we might have the opportunity to engage in a national debate about tax policy for the first time in twenty years.  This might be an opportune time:  the tax burden on Americans (which includes income taxes, real property taxes, personal property taxes, sales taxes, and use taxes) is at its highest ever.  Yes, my handful of law schools has hired significantly in the area, adding ten new professors to teach courses in tax law since 1999 (2.30% of the total), but who says economics is a science?  Strong buy.

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