TaxProf Blog

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

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Top Students Increasingly Are Not Interested In Law School

Following up on my previous posts:

Indiana Lawyer, Top Students Still Not Interested in a JD:

A few months before law schools around the country begin a new academic year, the number of people applying for admission has slipped, with the greatest decline coming from applicants posting the highest LSAT scores.

The number of applications to law schools has reached 344,358 as of June 9, according to the Law School Admissions Council. That represents a 1.4 percent increase over the applications submitted in 2016 but the number of applicants for the 2017-2018 school year is 53,101, a 0.5 percent decline from last year.

Paul Caron, dean of Pepperdine University School of Law and author of the Tax Prof Blog, crunched the data and found the top performers are turning away from legal education. ...

LSAT

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June 22, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Elaine Wilson Wins Faculty Scholarship Award

WilsonWest Virginia Record, Wilson Wins WVU Law's 2017 Faculty Scholarship Award:

West Virginia University College of Law has selected its 2017 Facility Significant Scholarship Award recipient, an in-house honor that recognizes work addressing significant public issues.  

Elaine Wilson, a WVU tax professor and president of the West Virginia Tax Institute, won for her article titled Cooperatives: The First Social Enterprise. It examines the issues of “charitable values and economic benefit within the corporative business model,” the WVU announcement said. She joined the university's faulty in 2012. Her work will be published in DePaul Law Review in the coming months.

“I was surprised, especially because of the talent (here) – there’s a lot of really great scholars who are doing really interesting work and competition is stiff," Wilson told The West Virginia Record.

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June 22, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Profs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Clock Is Ticking For Charlotte Law School

Charlotte Logo (2016)Following up on my previous posts (links below): News & Observer,  The Clock Is Ticking For Charlotte School of Law to Prove It’s Financially Stable:

The Charlotte School of Law has until early August to prove its financial stability or face revocation of its license to operate in North Carolina.

A committee of the UNC Board of Governors, acting on behalf of the full board, voted Wednesday to severely restrict the school’s activities as it seeks to survive long enough to graduate its remaining 100 students.

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June 22, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wonder Woman And Female Law Professors

Wonder WomanLawProfBlawg, Wonder Woman And Academia:

I enjoyed [the movie] because the first thought in my mind when she entered a room full of men was, “Oh, it’s like she’s joining a law school faculty.” Of course, she wasn’t. But the way that portion of the movie went reminds me of so many job talks.

She turns out to be an expert at languages, a point rejected by the men. The men actually don’t initially believe her, and there seems to be a point where they are flabbergasted that they do not know more than her. That’s like many of the job talks I’ve seen or head described to me, usually ending with the candidate’s demise because “she couldn’t possibly know more than me,” right?

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June 21, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trial Date Set For Alleged Hit Man In Dan Markel's Murder

Garcia 2A trial date has been set for Sigfredo Garcia, one of the two alleged hit men in the 2014 murder of Florida State law professor Daniel Markel.  The other hit man, Luis Rivera, plead guilty, and is serving a 19-year second-degree murder. The other alleged accomplice, Katherine Magbanua, plead not guilty, and is awaiting trial. Garcia will be brought to court on January 22.

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June 21, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

House And Senate Agree To Cut North Carolina Law School's Budget 'Only' 4% ($500k), Not 30% ($4m) Sought By Senate

North Carolina LogoFollowing up on my prior posts (links below):  News & Observer, UNC Law School’s Budget Is Cut – but It Could Have Been Worse:

The negotiated state budget deal leaves UNC’s law school with a cut of $500,000 – smaller than an earlier $4 million proposed reduction.

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June 21, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

BYU Law School Launches New Legal Design Lab

LawXPress Release, Introducing LawX, BYU Law's New Legal Design Lab:

BYU Law School is pleased to announce the launch of LawX, a legal design lab that will create products and other solutions to address the pressing issues relating to access to legal services. 

“LawX will tackle some of the most challenging issues facing our legal system today,” said Gordon Smith, Dean of BYU Law School. “Some gaps in legal services may not be attractive targets for innovation by small, private startups or larger profit-oriented businesses, but closing these gaps would make a tremendous difference to many people who feel priced out of the market for legal services. A legal design lab embedded within a law school is an ideal platform for addressing these issues. LawX will use design thinking to address these problems, and when appropriate, to create products to solve them.”

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June 20, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Three More Female Law Profs Sue University Of Denver Over Pay Gap

DenverFollowing up on my earlier posts (links below):  Law.com, Three More Female Law Profs Sue U of Denver Over Pay Gap:

Three women law professors at the University of Denver have joined a pay discrimination lawsuit filed last year by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of a colleague, alleging that the law school pays women faculty substantially less than men in the same jobs.

Nancy Ehrenreich, Kris McDaniel-Miccio and Catherine Smith on June 16 intervened in the EEOC suit centered on the case of longtime professor Lucy Marsh. That suit has garnered significant attention within the legal academy.

The four women professors claim that the law school pays men significantly more, and that their attempts to gain pay parity went nowhere with former law dean Martin Katz. The school has denied in court papers that any such pay disparity exists, and said pay is based on performance.

“Despite their laudable performance in [teaching, scholarship and public service], plaintiff-intervenors were and continue to be paid less than the mean annual salary for male full law professors,” reads the complaint from the three new plaintiffs, filed June 16 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. ...

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June 20, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Nominations Sought: Best Law Mentors, Best New Lawyers

HUPFollowing up on his book, What the Best Law Teachers Do (Harvard University Press, 2013), Michael Hunter Schwartz (Dean, McGeorge) is seeking nominations for his two forthcoming books:

What the Best Law Mentors Do (Harvard University Press Forthcoming 2019):

We are looking for the best law mentors in America. Our goal is to find the mentors who transform junior lawyers’ careers and even lives, study those mentors in depth, understand why they are so effective, and, in so doing, synthesize a set of behaviors, attitudes, and habits of mind for the benefit of all the rest of us who aspire to be transformative mentors. We hope to produce a work that is a manual for mentors, a source of inspiration, and a tool that new and newer lawyers might use to find good mentors.

Our methodology will be qualitative: we will solicit nominations, gather evidence of nominees' excellence, pare the list to the most extraordinary legal mentors, and then study the mentors where they work, interviewing both the mentors and focus groups of current and former mentees. We also hope to observe mentoring interactions. The interviews and our notes will generate thousands of pages of data. We will sift that data, identify what the best mentors have in common and areas of important difference, and organize the book by the common themes. We plan to finish our research over the next three years and complete What the Best Law Mentors Do by January 2019.

What The Best New Lawyers Do (Harvard University Press Forthcoming 2019):

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June 20, 2017 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Independent Accountant Confirms Financial Viability Of Florida's Graduate Tax Program

Florida Logo (GIF)Following up on my previous posts on Florida Law Prof Robert Rhee's remarkable critique of its graduate tax program (my perspective is here) and Dean Laura Rosenbury's ambitious plan to become a Top 35 law school (links below):  an independent accountant has issued an in-depth report on the finances of Florida's graduate tax program.  The report takes a detailed look at revenues and expenses, including the 10% overhead charge paid to the university and the method of allocating faculty compensation to the program.  As Dean Rosenbury notes in an email to the Florida tax community, the report "puts to rest concerns about the program's financial viability so long as we maintain or increase student enrollment."

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June 19, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

86% Of The Civil Legal Needs Of Low-Income Americans Are Unmet

LSCLegal Services Corp., The Justice Gap: Measuring the Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-income Americans:

The phrase “with liberty and justice for all” in the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance represents the idea that everyone should have access to justice, not just those who can afford legal representation.In criminal cases, legal assistance is a right. Americans accused of a crime are appointed legal counsel if they cannot afford it. As a general matter, however, there is no right to counsel in civil matters. As a result, many low-income Americans “go it alone” without legal representation in disputes where they risk losing their job, their livelihood, their home, or their children, or seek a restraining order against an abuser.

This “justice gap” – the difference between the civil legal needs of low-income Americans and the resources available to meet those needs – has stretched into a gulf. State courts across the country are overwhelmed with unrepresented litigants. In 2015, for example, an estimated 1.8 million people appeared in the New York State courts without a lawyer. And we know that 98% of tenants in eviction cases and 95% of parents in child support cases were unrepresented in these courts in 2013. Comparable numbers can be found in courts across the United States. 

This study explores the extent of the justice gap in 2017, describing the volume of civil legal needs faced by low-income Americans, assessing the extent to which they seek and receive help, and measuring the size of the gap between their civil legal needs and the resources available to address these needs.

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June 19, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Charleston President Touts Rebirth Of Law School With 150% Enrollment Boost, Removal From DOE's 'Naughty List'; He Urges Graduates To Work As Policemen And Firemen

Charleston Logo (2017)Following up on my previous post, Charleston, Florida Coastal Law Schools Fail 'Gainful Employment' Test, Will Lose Federal Student Loans If They Fail Again Next Year; Three Other Law Schools In Danger Zone:  Post and Courier, Charleston School of Law Off U.S. Education Department's 'Naughty' List:

Several years after the Charleston School of Law became engulfed in chaos over a pending sale to a private company, its president says the institution has rebounded in enrollment and finances.

"The school is turning around quicker than anyone could imagine," President Ed Bell said Friday. "We literally thought it would take four to five years, but we've done it in less than two."

Bell noted that in October 2015, the school had only 82 members in its freshman class. Last year, that had climbed to 202, and he said he expects between 200 and 225 this fall. ...

Meanwhile, the law school's Financial Ratio Responsibility score — a federal benchmark of a school's financial health — rose from a failing minus 0.6 in 2014 and 2015, to 2.6 last year, he said. A school must score a 1.5 or higher to avoid getting on the department's so-called "naughty list." The Department of Education has not published its 2015-16 list.

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June 18, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

How Professors Can Avoid The 'Summer Slump'

Chronicle of Higher Education, More Than a ‘Summer Slump’: How the Loss of Structure Affects Academics:

For nine months a year at research universities, instructors and students build communities from a transient group of academics unified by one thing: classes. Professors invest time in students, committees, and teaching; students invest time in their assignments. Pushed to the side are research projects, dissertations, authorial goals, and, often, social lives.

That changes in the summer. The fixed schedule disappears, the community disperses, and the work that has been building up over the school year can loom dangerously close to deadline. Although professors sometimes teach summer courses, those classes are often less time-intensive, leaving weeks of unregulated time between sessions.

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June 17, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Friday, June 16, 2017

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Bilionis:  Bringing Purposefulness To Professional Identity Formation

Louis D. Bilionis (Cincinnati), Bringing Purposefulness to the American Law School's Support of Professional Identity Formation,  13 U. St. Thomas L.J. ___ (2017):

Ten years after the publication of Educating Lawyers, a growing number of American law schools are taking initiative to better support their students in the formation of professional identity. There is widespread recognition that success in these efforts requires an element of “purposefulness” on the part of law faculty and staff. Experiences, environments, and pedagogies that actually work for professional identity formation must be crafted and promoted with intentionality. Bringing the requisite purposefulness to the effort, however, will take a mindset about the education of a lawyer that will be new to many in legal education.

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June 16, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Newspaper Editorializes Against GOP Senate's 30% Cut To UNC Law School Budget As 'Petty Revenge Politics' Against Gene Nichol

North Carolina LogoFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  News & Observer editorial, Cutting the UNC Law School Budget Is a Clumsy Attempt to Quiet a Critic:

The state Senate proposes to cut 30 percent of the school’s state appropriation, or $4 million. ... The proposed cut isn’t aimed at Martin Brinkley, the respected and affable dean who took over in 2015 after a successful career in corporate law. Brinkley is a North Carolinian who moves well among Republicans and Democrats and he’s most interested in preparing law students for careers.

Rather, the proposal seems to squarely target Gene Nichol, another unquestionably brilliant faculty member. ... That’s not responsible budgeting. It’s petty revenge politics, and at its worst, it’s a dangerous attempt to muffle free speech in a place where it should thrive. If anything, his outspokenness spurs more intelligent debate from the right as well as the left. ...

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June 15, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Nick Mirkay Leaves Creighton For Hawaii

Bursting The Legal Scholarship Bubble: Some Retrograde Recommendations

BubbleFrank O. Bowman III (Missouri), Days of Future Past: A Plea for More Useful and More Local Legal Scholarship, in The Fate of Scholarship in American Law Schools (Cambridge University Press 2017):

Legal scholarship is at an inflection point because the legal education industry, to which legal scholarship is merely an internally overvalued appendage, is passing from a period of affluent abundance to a period of relative austerity. Scarcity stimulates self-examination.

This essay describes how the population explosion in American law schools during the 1990s and the simultaneous rise of the U.S. News rankings mania created a kind of tulip bubble in legal scholarship — a bubble that is rapidly, and properly, deflating. I make several concededly retrograde recommendations for dealing with a post-bubble world, including changing law school hiring practices to favor professors with more legal experience than has long been the fashion, assessing scholarship more by effect and less by placement, and devoting more of our scholarly attention to questions of state law and practice.

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June 15, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (36)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pepperdine On Skid Row

URMOne of the great joys of my first two weeks as dean has been learning more about the incredible work being done by so many people at Pepperdine. Today, my wife, daughter, and I had the privilege of spending part of the day at our Legal Aid Clinic and Low Income Taxpayer Clinic at the Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles. Pepperdine faculty members and clinic directors Brittany Stringfellow Otey and Isai Cortez gave us an inspiring tour of the facilities and introduced us to current Pepperdine law students who are working at the clinics over the summer.  Our Director of Clinical Education Jeff Baker joined us for a wonderful lunch at mission-driven HomeGirl Cafe before our trek back to Malibu.

Students

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June 14, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Del Wright Leaves Valparaiso For UMKC

WrightDel Wright (Valparaiso) has accepted a lateral offer to join the University of Missouri Kansas City Law School faculty. Del's recent publications include:

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June 14, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink | Comments (2)

$110 Million Buys You Nothing At The University Of Wisconsin

WisconsinInside Higher Ed, A School Money Can't Buy:

The price to buy nothing has gone up over the last 10 years, and an exclusive group of donors is very interested in finding out what the next 10 will bring.

In the fall of 2007, the University of Wisconsin Madison announced an unusual naming partnership for its business school. A group of 13 donors made gifts totaling $85 million. In exchange, the Wisconsin School of Business would not change its name for a period of at least 20 years.

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June 14, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Law Schools Must Restructure. It Won't Be Easy.

Forbes, Law Schools Must Restructure. It Won't Be Easy.:

Law schools and firms have long had a symbiotic relationship. It’s not surprising, then, that they are are confronting similar challenges -- an outdated model; entrenched stakeholders that oppose change; declining demand; high cost; failure to deploy technology and process/project management to promote more efficient delivery of services; high customer dissatisfaction; and customers ‘voting with their feet.’ Their challenges are the inevitable result of a failure to adapt to a changed marketplace. Most law schools and law firms—apart from a handful of elites—have two options: differentiate or die.

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June 13, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (13)

Academic 'Mansplaining'

ManplainingInside Higher Ed, Academic 'Mansplaining' 101:

“Let her speak, please!” That’s what a member of the audience yelled at last weekend’s World Science Festival in New York during a panel on Pondering the Imponderables: The Biggest Questions of Cosmology. Video of the incident has since gone viral, with many calling it a prime example of "mansplaining" and general sexism.

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June 13, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)

Monday, June 12, 2017

Proportion Of Law School Applicants With LSATs > 160 Is Down 35% Since 2010; < 150 Is Up 146%

Although the number of LSAT test-takers increased 3.3% in the Fall 2017 admissions season, the LSAC has announced that the number of law school applicants decreased 0.5%. The applicant decline continues to be most pronounced in the highest LSAT score bands:

LSAT Scores

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June 12, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)

Tulane Seeks To Hire A Tax Prof

Tulane (2015)Tulane University School of Law invites applications for several faculty positions beginning in the 2018-19 academic year:

Both lateral and entry-level candidates are welcome to apply. Although all subject areas will be considered, we are especially interested in candidates interested in teaching tax courses. Applicants must possess a J.D. or equivalent degree and have strong academic credentials. We are especially committed to a diverse faculty, staff, and student body. Applications from women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and others whose background, experience, and viewpoints contribute to the diversity of our institution are encouraged.

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June 12, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Chaired Professor Wages Court Battle Against Tenure

WWInside Higher Ed, Case Against Tenure:

James Wetherbe, Richard Schulze Distinguished Professor at Texas Tech University’s Rawls College of Business, is the rare academic who doesn’t want tenure. He thinks so little of tenure, in fact, that he’s been waging a four-year legal battle against the notion that professors must assume it to advance their careers.

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June 11, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (28)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

UNC Law School Alums Rally Against Proposed 'Catastrophic' 30% Budget Cut As Payback To Liberal Faculty (Especially Gene Nichol)

North Carolina LogoFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  News & Observer, UNC Law School Rallies as Legislators Consider Big Budget Cut:

UNC law alumni are building their case against a budget cut that they say would be catastrophic to the state’s oldest professional school.

As state House and Senate budget negotiators work out their differences in the coming days, supporters of the UNC School of Law are working the phones and sending emails to try to win legislators over. The Senate, which rolled out its budget last month, proposed a $4 million reduction, which amounts to 30 percent of the school’s state appropriation. The more recent budget plan, from the House, had no cut for the law school.

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June 10, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (19)

Keith Fogg Leaves Villanova For Harvard

FoggT. Keith Fogg Named Clinical Professor of Law:

Keith Fogg, an expert in tax law and procedure and director of Harvard Law School’s Federal Tax Clinic at the Legal Services Center, has been named clinical professor of law at Harvard Law School.

For more than 30 years, Fogg worked in the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service. He joined the faculty of Villanova Law School, and has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School. He developed a course for the Georgetown LL.M. program, Federal Taxation of Bankruptcy and Workouts, which he taught there for 15 years as an adjunct. He has also taught as an adjunct professor at William and Mary and University of Richmond law schools and as a visiting professor at University of Arizona.

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June 10, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, June 9, 2017

How Could Silicon Valley Re-Invent Law School?

Silicon ValleyFollowing up on my previous post, MIT Law School: Legal Education in the 21st Century:  Andrew Guthrie Ferguson (District of Columbia), If Silicon Valley Re-Invented the Law School:

What would a Silicon Valley-inspired law school look like?  I ask because I have been spending the last few years studying disruptive technologies, and, I wondered — as a thought experiment — how Silicon Valley entrepreneurs might rethink how to teach law for the digital age.

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June 9, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Eight Of The Twelve Law Schools With The Highest Unemployment Rates Are In California

Law.com, Where the Law Jobs Are: The 2016 Edition:

We’ve delved into the ABA’s trove of jobs data to determine which schools had ... the highest unemployment rates. ... The charts are based on data submitted to the ABA by the law schools.

Unemployed

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June 9, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Cravath School Of Law: Should Law Firms Own Law Schools?

Cravath (2016)Huffington Post:  Should Law Firms Own Law Schools?, by Jay Conison (Charlotte):

Legal education reform proposals abound. One frequent recommendation is that lawyers and law firms should have greater involvement in training lawyers and in shaping curriculum. These recommendations, however, have had limited impact, so the calls continue for the profession to have more involvement and influence in educating lawyers. The question then arises of how greater involvement and influence can be achieved. This note offers one such approach.

Consider first that, in recent years, some law schools have established law firms or similar entities, such as incubators. The motivations vary but generally relate to career development. One motivation is rooted in the example of a medical school owning (or otherwise closely associating with) a hospital; the law firm or incubator analogously seeks to help law students or recent graduates develop practical skills and client experience. Another motivation is assisting graduates to move into solo or small law firm practice, under the guidance of experienced attorneys.

These firm and incubator structures can clearly benefit students, recent graduates, and the school. They provide a close connection between law schools and law practice organizations. But what about the reciprocal structure? What about law schools owned by law firms? I believe such a business model can facilitate meaningful involvement of lawyers and firms in law schools, and yield other benefits to firms, schools, students, and legal education as a whole.

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June 8, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

WSJ:  Improvement In Student Critical Thinking Skills Often Lags At Prestigious Schools

Wall Street Journal, Exclusive Test Data: Many Colleges Fail to Improve Critical-Thinking Skills:

Freshmen and seniors at about 200 colleges across the U.S. take a little-known test every year to measure how much better they get at learning to think. The results are discouraging.

At more than half of schools, at least a third of seniors were unable to make a cohesive argument, assess the quality of evidence in a document or interpret data in a table, The Wall Street Journal found after reviewing the latest results from dozens of public colleges and universities that gave the exam between 2013 and 2016 (full results).

At some of the most prestigious flagship universities, test results indicate the average graduate shows little or no improvement in critical thinking over four years.

Some of the biggest gains occur at smaller colleges where students are less accomplished at arrival but soak up a rigorous, interdisciplinary curriculum.

WSJ 2

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June 8, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Chemerinsky, Testy, Caron All Take On New Roles

CTCNational Jurist, Chemerinsky, Testy, Caron All Take on New Roles:

The three most influential leaders in legal education are taking on new positions and challenges. Erwin Chemerinsky and Paul Caron head a list of new deans and Kellye Testy will take over leadership of LSAC.  

Chemerinsky, listed by The National Jurist as the most influential person in legal education, will step down on June 30 as dean of University of California-Irvine Law School and move north to take over as dean at University of California-Berkeley School of Law. ...

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June 8, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tax Profs Remember Bill Andrews

AndrewsFollowing up my post on the May 20 death of Harvard tax legend Bill Andrews: below the fold are remembrances of Bill from these Tax Profs:

  • Alice Abreu (Temple)
  • Huge Ault (Boston College)
  • Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan)
  • Jennifer Bird-Pollan (Kentucky)
  • Paul Caron (Pepperdine)
  • Alan Feld (Boston University)
  • Cliff Fleming (BYU)
  • Susan Morse (Texas)

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June 8, 2017 in Legal Education, Obituaries, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

ABA Seeks Input On Proposed Changes To Bar Passage Accreditation Requirement, Bar And Employment Questionnaires

ABA Section On Legal Education (2016)ABA Journal, ABA To Ask Law Schools How Tightening Bar Passage Standards Could Impact Accreditation Compliance:

A questionnaire about the proposed revision to Standard 316, which deals with bar passage rates, will be sent to ABA-accredited law schools, the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar decided this weekend. The questionnaire will ask law schools how the revised standard, if implemented, might change their ability to be in compliance with the rule, according to a statement from the section. Under ABA rules, the house can send the proposed rule back to the council twice for review with or without recommendations, but the council has the final decision on Standard 316 and other matters related to law school accreditation. Survey results will be made public, according to the statement, and the proposed revision could return to the House of Delegates at the 2018 ABA Midyear Meeting.

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June 7, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Bard & Cunningham:  The Bench, Bar & Academy Should Join Forces To Expand Availability Of Legal Services

Washington Post op-ed:  The Legal Profession Is Failing Low-Income and Middle-Class People. Let’s Fix That., by Jennifer S. Bard (Former Dean, Cincinnati) & Larry Cunningham (Vice Dean, St. John’s):

80 percent of low-income individuals in the United States cannot afford the legal assistance they need to avoid the loss of their homes, children, jobs, liberty and even lives. The middle class doesn’t fare much better: Forty to 60 percent of their legal needs go unmet.

In case after case, people caught up in our court system must represent themselves in matters of landlord-tenant lawsuits, foreclosures and family disputes — often failing to navigate the complexities of substantive and procedural law. Less visible are people who do not seek legal representation because they do not realize they have a claim. No system of pro bono lawyers or government-funded legal-services organizations can meet these needs.

We do not expect charities and generous doctors to provide 80 percent of the medical needs for low-income patients, so why do we think this is possible for our legal needs? As law schools become increasingly unaffordable — resulting in plummeting enrollment and debt levels that make it impossible for graduates to offer legal services at affordable prices — the legal profession needs some major changes. 

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June 7, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Median Pay For New Associates Has Not Budged In Two Years

NALP Press Release:

The National Association for Law Placement (NALP) today released its 2017 Associate Salary Survey report, showing that the overall median first-year salary as of January 1, 2017, was $135,000, the same as in 2015, the year of the most recent previous survey — with both survey years reflecting response pools in which offices in firms of 251+ lawyers accounted for about 70% of responses. 

NALP

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June 7, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

ABA Reverses Course, Gives Provisional Accreditation To Dallas Law School

UNT Dallas (2017)Following up on my recent posts (links below):  ABA Journal, Law School Previously Flagged By ABA Receives Provisional Accreditation:

The University of North Texas Dallas College of Law has received provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association, according to a press release from the school on Tuesday. ...

In August 2016, the ABA’s accreditation committee recommended that the public law school not receive accreditation, reportedly because it admitted a large number of students with low LSAT scores, and there was concern about those students being able to pass the bar exam. Also, it was reported that 20 percent of the school’s initial class was placed on academic probation, and the school admitted 17 students in 2014 and 2015 who were dismissed from other law schools, mostly for bad grades.

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June 7, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Deans' Leadership In Legal Education Symposium

Toledo Logo14th Deans' Leadership in Legal Education Symposium, 48 U. Tol. L. Rev. 189-317 (2017):

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June 6, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

2017 AccessLex Institute Legal Education Data Deck

Data Deck Cover
AccessLex Institute, 2017 Legal Education Data Deck: Key Trends on Access, Affordability, and Value:

This living document is updated periodically with the most current aggregate data on legal education, with source credits to the American Bar Association, the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), and the National Conference of Bar Examiners [2015 Data Deck]. The 2017 update of the data deck includes a few notable changes. In particular, LSAC now reports applicant and admission data for all terms rather than just the fall term. As a result, the latest applicant and admission data is no longer comparable to prior years.

Data Deck 1

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June 6, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Better School, Better Scholars, Right? Not So Much

Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed: Better College, Better Scholars, Right? Not So Much, by Jacques Berlinerblau (Georgetown):

Deadwood blossoms among Ivy. World-class sprinters labor at institutions considered also-rans.

We live in an age ... where countless deserving individuals find themselves trapped in dismal professional situations that are completely incommensurate with their achievements. Good scholars routinely end up ’juncting and underemployed. Lesser scholars routinely end up at elite places vying for tenure. Herein lies the crisis of which I speak: the crisis of standardlessness. ...

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June 6, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (14)

AALS Call For Papers: The Ethics Of Legal Education

AALS (2019)The AALS Section on Professional Responsibility has issued a Call for Papers on The Ethics of Legal Education for the Section’s program at the January 2018 AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego:

In addition to featuring invited speakers (Professor Joan Howarth, Dean Andrew Perlman, and Dean Daniel Rodriguez), we will select up to two speakers from this call.

This panel will explore the ethical challenges U.S. law schools have faced during the past decade and will consider the path ahead. Speakers will address various subjects that may include: alternative and accelerated degree programs, for-profit law schools, accreditation decisions, admissions and scholarship practices, employment issues, and litigation filed by students and alumni against law schools. The panel will explore the factors that have influenced ethical and values-based decision-making, leadership challenges, and how law school leaders’ ethics and values in this area may influence the future of the legal education and the legal profession.

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June 6, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 5, 2017

Creighton Seeks To Hire A Tax Visitor

Creighton (2017)Creighton University School of Law seeks applications from qualified persons for a visiting professor position in the areas of Trusts & Estates and, ideally, Tax for the 2017-2018 academic year. A J.D. degree is required and teaching experience is strongly preferred. Applications should be directed to Associate Dean David P. Weber. We will begin reviewing applications immediately. Please share this information with any qualified individuals whom you think may be interested.

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June 5, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

At 89, Law Prof Is Still Going Strong: 'Some Day, They’ll Come ... And Carry Me Out'

CrawfordThe Advocate, At 89, LSU Law Professor Still Going Strong: 'Some Day, They’ll Come ... And Carry Me Out':

At 89, [Bill Crawford] is LSU’s oldest faculty member. He teaches two classes a semester at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center [Louisiana Civil Procedure I & II; Louisiana Security Devices; Advanced Louisiana Torts].

“Some day, they’ll come in here and carry me out,” Crawford says.

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June 5, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

My First Day In The Office As Dean

Because I was at Texas A&M on June 1-3, today is my first day in the office as dean. I walked in this morning to this very nice greeting:

Office

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June 5, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (5)