The Record’s Wish List: Other Things Dean Kagan Should Steal From Chicago


Dean Kagan can take a T-Rex like Sue, no problem. Media credit

This week, Harvard Law announced possibly its biggest recruiting coup in years: Professor Cass Sunstein, the most-cited scholar in the legal academy, will be joining the HLS faculty next year from the University of Chicago Law School. Sunstein, who has written widely in administrative, environmental, and constitutional law, as well as other areas, will be heading a new Program on Risk Regulation.

This constitutes a major victory for Dean Elena Kagan, who famously joked in her State of the School address in the fall that she was indeed out to poach top faculty from peer law schools. Chicago, where Kagan herself once taught, seems to be number one on that mission: Harvard has lured away not only Dean of Students Ellen Cosgrove, but former Chicago professors Jack Goldsmith and Adrian Vermeule. With the addition of Sunstein, it’s clear Dean Kagan can get us almost anything we want (that’s not Martha Nussbaum). Here are our next suggestions for her.

1. Judge Richard Posner. We’re sure you can just have his appointment switched to the 1st Circuit. We’ve also heard he’s been seen on Second Life. Prof. Nesson, have you invited him to one of your poker games yet?

2. Barack Obama. He’s still listed in the Chicago faculty directory – easy enough to switch his placeholder office to Areeda. The Law Review might even let him have his old office back, so long as it doesn’t appear partisan.

3. Alfonso Soriano. The corporations and securities faculty has seriously been lacking in base-stealing ability.

4. The ferris wheel from Navy Pier. Just put it next to the ice skating rink!

5. The Second City improve comedy troupe. Trial Advocacy Workshop and Negotiation Workshop are OK, but this says killer Winter Term class all over it.

6. Sue, the huge T-Rex skeleton from the Page Museum. What, there’s no room for her? There is if we install her in…

7. The John Hancock building. Forget that piddling Northwest Corner building – nothing says best law school in America like 100 floors of prestige.

8. An extra-large deep dish pizza from Gino’s East. With mushrooms. Please deliver to Ames Basement. Thanks, Dean Kagan!

9. Salacious faculty gossip (although Cass’s addition is a good start). HLS professors are too clean living to catapult us into the legal tabloids.

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