We recently passed along the rumor that Professor Kenji Yoshino, one of Yale Law School’s most promising young scholars, might be leaving New Haven for one of the New York City law schools. It’s no secret that Professor Yoshino vastly prefers New York to New Haven. As noted on his website, he already splits his time between the two cities. And as some of you pointed out to us after our original item, Yoshino is visiting at NYU this year.
Yoshino has certainly “done his time” in the Elm City. In addition to the time he’s spent in New Haven as a YLS faculty member, Yoshino was there for law school, as well as his clerkship with Second Circuit judge (and former YLS dean) Guido Calabresi.
But Yale may not let Yoshino go without a fight. Several of you wrote to us about this; here’s one account:
During Alumni Weekend here at YLS, the “Guido Calabresi Chair” was established — and granted to Kenji Yoshino. I did not witness it firsthand, but it appears Guido was unaware, and the occasion was quite emotional….
Certainly looks like an attempt to retain one of the school’s star profs. Might be somewhat awkward now if he leaves for another job next fall.
Yes indeed — terribly awkward. Professor Yoshino and Judge Calabresi are quite close; “Guido,” as he’s known around Yale, has been a mentor to Yoshino over the years. In fact, Guido played an important role in helping Yoshino secure a junior faculty appointment at Yale (which rarely hires junior faculty).
So the Guido Calabresi professorship, in addition to giving Yoshino the greater prestige (and money) of a named chair, also carries sentimental value for him. And it might look like a slap in the face of his longtime mentor for Yoshino to vacate the Guido Calabresi chair after barely warming it.
We hope you like pizza, Kenji — ’cause you may be looking at a few more face-saving years in lovely New Haven.