Monday, 28 July 2008

Changes to SSRN

  • On the author pages (see e.g. my one) there is now a citations statistic (comment: good idea but bound to be quite incomplete), it is possible to sort papers by different criteria such as dates, downloads, or citations (comment: useful) and multiple versions of one paper are now presented in a collected form (comment: makes sense).
  • On pages for specific papers (see e.g. one of my papers) the main changes are presumably that there is a different outfit (comment: looks fine), which however requires two clicks to download a paper (comment: somehow annoying). And now there is a “Amazon-like” field “people who downloaded this paper also downloaded” (comment: interesting) and the field “export to BibTeX, EndNote,or RefMan” (comment: may be useful but I haven’t tried it).
  • A while ago Gordon Smith, Stephen Bainbridge, Daniel Solove and others also suggested a number of improvements (see e.g. here, here, here, here and here) which hopefully won’t be forgotten.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Oxford (and living a longer life)

In the next six weeks I am going to stay at St John’s College in Oxford as a Visiting Scholar. I have just been here for two days but – happening a lot – it feels much longer. Why? As explained in the recent edition of “All in the Mind” on BBC Radio 4, one’s time perception changes if there is a lot of variation. Thus, you can “manipulate” your brain by varying your live and make you feel that you live a longer life … a nice idea.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Empirical Legal Studies


I’m just returning from a workshop on empirical legal studies held at the ETH in Zurich. The programme can be found here.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

The Length of Legal Education

In the last few weeks US blawgs have discussed that some US law schools may reduce the JD programme from 3 to 2 years (summarised here). Few of these posts address whether insights from other countries may be useful. To be sure, legal education in the US is quite different from elsewhere (postgraduate education; no extensive traineeship). Still two brief comparisons may be interesting:

  • From a continental European perspective the US discussion about reducing the length of legal education may be quite puzzling. 3 years is already considerably shorter than in almost all European countries (for a – somehow dated – summary see here). Moreover, many Eastern and Northern European countries have implemented the Bologna process in a way that students have to complete 5 years (3 + 2) of legal education at university level (previously it was often 4 years).
  • From an English perspective this looks somehow different. In general, legal education is three years at university level (in Scotland it is four years), followed by professional training and exams. However, non-law graduates can also do a one or two year conversion course. Thus, there is a flexible system, which may be a model for other countries (such as the US).

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Riga (and happiness ranking)


I am currently spending a few nice days in Riga, Latvia (picture on the right hand side from an earlier visit), not confirming the recent ranking according to which Latvia is only ranked 87th of 99 countries in terms happiness.