TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Organ:  The 2016 Law School Transfer Market

ArtJerry Organ (St. Thomas) has a detailed blog post on the 2016 law school transfer market.  The transfer market is essentially flat, with Arizona State, Emory, George Washington, and Georgetown the dominant players (and Loyola-L.A., UCLA, and USC the dominant players in California):

Organ 1A

[I]n the. two charts [below], the “repeat players” are bolded — those schools in the top 15 for all three years are in black, those schools in the top 15 for two of the three years are in blue.

Organ 3

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April 25, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Temperature Rises In Debate Over Closure Of Whittier Law School; Are 5-25 Law Schools In A 'Death Spiral' Leading To Closure Over The Next Five Years?

WhittierFollowing up on my previous posts:

Dan Rodriguez (Dean, Northwestern), The Hubris of the Unknowing:

I would not presume to know nearly enough to opine about this issue in any public fashion. But this does not appear to deter various pundits — Prof. Stephen Diamond most recently.

Stephen Diamond (Santa Clara), From the Shores of Lake Michigan Came a Howl …:

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April 25, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

North Carolina AG Opens Investigation Of Charlotte Law School

Charlotte Logo (2016)Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Politico, North Carolina Opens Investigation Into For-Profit Law School:

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has opened an investigation into Charlotte School of Law, the for-profit institution that the Obama administration cut off from federal funding last December. Laura Brewer, a spokeswoman for Stein, confirmed in an email to Morning Education that the office “is investigating the school under the state’s civil consumer protection laws and is very concerned about the current situation at the school.”

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April 25, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Jennifer Bard Sues University Of Cincinnati In Federal Court, Seeks Reinstatement As Law School Dean

UC BardFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  Press Release:

Jennifer Bard, the first female Dean of the College of Law at the University of Cincinnati (UC), late this past Friday filed a lawsuit against the University and its interim provost Peter F. Landgren in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, Western Division. 

The complaint asserts Landgren and the institution illegally placed Bard on administrative leave in March immediately following her response to local media reports about financial deficits at the College and faculty members’ responses to her efforts to reduce those deficits.

Marjorie Berman, of Krantz & Berman LLP in New York City and R. Gary Winters, of McCaslin, Imbus & McCaslin in Cincinnati, are representing Bard in the matter.

“The University of Cincinnati has deprived Dean Bard of her rights under the U.S. Constitution,” said Berman. “She has been wrongfully placed on administrative leave by an Interim Provost in violation of her constitutional rights and the explicit policies of the institution. Landgren retaliated against her for providing factual information to the media about substantive financial difficulties at the UC College of Law and the response of a small group of faculty to these difficulties.

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April 24, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Anderson:  Whittier Law School Closing Is Another Sad Story Of Generational Wealth Shifting, With Millennial Students Incurring Huge Debts To Subsidize Baby Boomer Faculty Sinecures

WhittierFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  Robert Anderson (Pepperdine), Generational Wealth Shifting and the Unnecessary Whittier Law School Story:

[G]iven the performance of Whittier's grads on the bar exam in recent years as well as the drop in applications, closing Whittier is probably the right decision.

The unfortunate truth of this story is that none of this needed to happen. ... When the contraction began, law schools should have reduced class sizes to maintain their traditional standards for admission. ... Of course, reducing class size would entail a decrease in revenues that would require a reduction in expenses. Normally, such a reduction would be hard to find.

But law schools had a unique opportunity during this contraction, which many of them squandered. The number of retirement-age faculty was (and is) enormous, likely larger than it has ever been. If faculties had looked beyond their own personal financial self interest they could have easily contracted to meet the market demand and avoided the disastrous effects that have afflicted law students and now law schools.

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April 24, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (16)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Diamond:  Whittier's Decision To Close Its Law School Violates AAUP Tenure Protections, Harms Diversity, And Ignores The Rebounding Legal Employment Market

WhittierFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  TaxProf Blog op-ed: Whittier’s Big Mistake, by Stephen Diamond (Santa Clara):

Inevitably law school critics are crowing over the recently announced closure by Whittier College of its 50 year old ABA accredited law school. The news shocked and angered students who appeared to have no advance notice. Faculty immediately filed for a TRO (represented by a recent star graduate of their own law school, by the way) which was denied but they no doubt intend to respond with a full lawsuit.

And they should.

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April 23, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Harvard Seeks To Hire A Clinical Tax Prof

Harvard Law School (2016)Job Announcement:  Clinical Fellow, Harvard Law Sc hool Federal Tax Clinic:

Duties & Responsibilities:  The Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School (LSC) seeks to hire a Clinical Fellow in the Federal Tax Clinic [launched in Fall 2015]. The Clinic — through which Harvard Law students receive hands-on lawyering opportunities — provides direct legal representation in tax controversies to low-income taxpayers.

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April 22, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

100 Students Protest Closure Of Whittier Law School

WhittierFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  Orange County Register, Dozens of Angry Whittier Law School Students Protest After College Announces Closure:

About 100 law students angry over the announced closure of Whittier College’s law school in Costa Mesa this week demonstrated at the college’s main campus on Friday, April 21.

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April 22, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Faculty Weighs Legal Options To Block Closure Of Whittier Law School After Court Rejects TRO; Board Pulled Plug With Only 40 Students Expected In Fall 2017 1L Class, Down 70% From 2016 (And 87% From 2010)

WhittierFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  

Orange County Register, Faculty Fights Back Against Plan to Close Whittier Law School:

Whittier Law School faculty, angered at this week’s announcement that the campus will close its doors, are mulling over legal options after last-minute efforts to delay the public disclosure fell short.

A day before the Whittier College Board of Trustees announced that the law school will be discontinued, attorneys for more than a half-dozen faculty members filed an attempt for a temporary restraining order against the parent school.

A judge denied their request. But the issues raised in the court filings — including questions about the fate of millions of dollars raised in a recent sale of the Costa Mesa campus property that faculty contend was promised to the law school — will likely be at the center of future litigation, an attorney for the faculty members said on Thursday.

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April 21, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Experts: Whittier Law School’s Collapse Won’t Be The Last

WhittierNational Law Journal, Whittier Law School’s Collapse Won’t Be the Last: Experts:

Whittier Law School on Wednesday became the second law school in the past year to announce plans to shutter, leaving legal education pundits speculating as to if — or, more likely, when — the next school will collapse.

“It’s a big deal,” said Paul Caron, incoming dean of Pepperdine University School of Law who writes about legal education on the TaxProf Blog.

Whittier’s demise reflects the larger struggle legal education faces as enrollments have fallen and the entry-level legal job market stagnates. Adding to Whittier’s woes is an angry faculty that has taken to the courts to try and stop its closure.

Whittier’s closure likely could be the first of others, because its economic troubles are not unique, Caron said.

“There has been a thought that there might be some university presidents out there not wanting to go first, who feel their law school no longer makes financial sense but were hesitant to pull the plug,” he said. ...

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April 20, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

LSAC Moves Toward Digital LSAT (Ten Years After MCAT), Says It Was Not Due To Growing Use Of GRE In Law School Admissions

LSAT (2015)National Law Journal, Embracing Digital, LSAT Loosens Its Grip on the No. 2 Pencil:

The Law School Admission Test’s 69-year stint as a pencil-and-paper exam could be coming to a close.

The Law School Admission Council Inc., which administers the LSAT, on May 20, will conduct the first nationwide digital exam with 1,000 prospective law students taking the test on tablet computers. The May exam is just a pilot to test the logistics of deploying the tablets, and the scores won’t be official or be provided to schools for admissions purposes. But the large-scale test signals that the LSAC is closely examining a digital future.

“The LSAT is the last remaining paper-and-pencil test out there, at least in the graduate school admissions space,” said Jeff Thomas, executive director of pre-law programs for Kaplan Test Prep. “They’re late to the game.”

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

Tenured Faculty Sue To Stop Closure Of Whittier Law School

WhittierFollowing up on yesterday's post, Whittier Law School To Close, Will Not Admit A 1L Class This Fall:  several tenured faculty have filed this lawsuit to enjoin the law school's closing:

Since 1985, the Law School has been fully accredited by the American Bar Association (the "ABA").  In 1996, the College acquired a 14-acre campus in Costa Mesa on which the Law School has operated continuously. Throughout that time, the Law School has remained a highly profitable part of the College. The Law School tuition revenues have covered all of the Law School's operating expenses, including servicing all debt on its 14-acre campus. And the lion's share of all residual Law School tuition revenues has been appropriated each year by the College-purportedly to cover overhead services allegedly provided by the College to the Law School.

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April 20, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (13)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Whittier Law School To Close, Will Not Admit A 1L Class This Fall

WhittierA Message from the Whittier College Board of Trustees:

The Board of Trustees has been greatly concerned by the challenges affecting our law program in recent years and, in 2015, the Board appointed a subcommittee to explore options for the future of the Law School. These have included working with the administration and faculty to redirect resources and efforts to improve student outcomes and right-size the operation in a manner to achieve enhanced academic viability. The Board invited a faculty task force to assess the educational program and considered faculty plans for improvement. The Board also entered into conversations with entities capable of investing in, merging with, or acquiring the Law School.

We believe we have looked at every realistic option to continue a successful law program. Unfortunately, these efforts did not lead to a desired outcome.

Accordingly, on April 15, 2017 the Board voted not to enroll new 1L classes at the Law School beginning this fall. We are committed to ensuring that students currently enrolled will have an opportunity to complete their degree in a timely fashion. At the appropriate time, the program of legal education will be discontinued.

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April 19, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

President Trump Threatens Law Schools' $350 Million Revenue From Foreign LL.M. Students

Trump LLMNational Law Journal, Will Law Schools’ LL.M Programs Suffer from Trump’s ‘America First’ Stance?:

Law school administrators say concerns are growing from foreign students about how the myriad immigration and travel policies emerging from Washington could impact their plans to obtain LL.M degrees in the United States.

The advanced law degree programs bring in about $350 million annually to the more than 100 U.S. law schools that offer them, with around 10,000 foreign students coming here each year to pursue an LL.M.

LL.M faculty are worried that those lucrative programs could lose their luster should the United States gain a reputation as unwelcoming to foreigners, and they say some LL.M applicants are grappling with whether they want to come to such a place.

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April 19, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (13)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

BYU And Pepperdine Are The Most Ideologically Balanced Faculties Among The Top 50 Law Schools (2013)

Adam Bonica (Stanford), Adam S. Chilton (Chicago), Kyle Rozema (Northwestern) & Maya Sen (Harvard), The Legal Academy's Ideological Uniformity:


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April 18, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (8)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Female Professors Outperform Men in Service, To Their Professional Detriment

Inside Higher Ed, Female Professors Outperform Men in Terms of Service — To Their Possible Professional Detriment:

Women shoulder a disproportionately large workload at home in ways that might disadvantage them professionally. But are female professors also “taking care of the academic family” via disproportionate service loads? A new study [Faculty Service Loads and Gender: Are Women Taking Care of the Academic Family?] says yes and adds to a growing body of research suggesting the same.

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April 17, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Thomas Brennan Named Stanley Surrey Professor of Law At Harvard Law School

Harvard Law School, Focus and Perspective in Taxation: Tom Brennan receives the Stanley S. Surrey Professorship of Law:

In a lecture marking his appointment as the Stanley S. Surrey Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Tom Brennan ’01 delivered a talk titled “Focus and Perspective in Taxation.”

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April 17, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Horwitz:  Why Full-Time Law Profs Should Support The ABA's Proposal To Permit Adjunct Profs To Teach More Courses

ABA Section On Legal Education (2016)Following up on my previous posts:

Paul Horwitz (Alabama), The Legal Academy Becomes More Like the Rest of the Academy, Part XVIIII:

Via TaxProf Blog and the ABA Journal comes the news that the ABA's Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has proposed a rule change to the current ABA standard requiring that more than half of all credit hours offered by accredited law schools be taught by full-time, and hence generally "academic," faculty. The proposal would reduce the required number to one third. Some observations: ...

2)  This is a proposal driven by real or perceived economic necessity, and a desire to legitimate changes that either are already happening — or that might need to happen if law schools are to remain afloat while cutting to the bone. ...

3)  On the whole and as an initial matter, I favor the proposal. In a now-ancient book review of Brian Tamanaha's Failing Law Schools [What Ails the Law Schools?, 111 Mich. L. Rev. 955 (2013)], I wrote approvingly of Tamanaha's proposal that we "pare down ABA accreditation requirements that force law schools into a single educational model," so that some schools can maintain the traditional and more "elite" model while others offer a "cheaper and more practically oriented model."

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April 17, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, April 16, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Gene Nichol Criticizes 'Nakedly Ideological' Attack On UNC Center For Civil Rights, Calls Out 'Cowardly' Dean, Provost, And Chancellor

North Carolina LogoFollowing up on my previous posts:

News & Observer op-ed: Julius Chambers Warned That Conservatives Would Oppose UNC’s Civil Rights Center, by Gene Nichol (North Carolina):

The law school in Chapel Hill is a storied institution. It has produced remarkable North Carolina leaders like Frank Graham, Bill Friday, Terry Sanford, Bill Aycock, Suzie Sharp, Jim Hunt and Henry Frye. But, at bottom, it’s a school for lawyers. And none doubt UNC’s greatest lawyer was Julius Chambers.

When I came to Carolina to become dean in 1999, one of my principal goals, ratified by the faculty and Chancellor Michael Hooker, was to establish a civil rights center. It would link powerfully to the state’s history, focus on its continuing challenges, provide otherwise unattainable experiences for students, and, I hoped, be led by America’s greatest civil rights lawyer, then N.C. Central chancellor, Julius Chambers.

It took eighteen months to talk Chambers into coming. I visited him eight times during his last year at Central. The first four he said no. The next couple, he bent a little, saying he’d think about it. On the last visit, he was serious. He began by asking, “do you have some kind of death wish?” This is North Carolina, he explained. “They won’t let you open a center to represent poor black people.” And if they do, “and if we do our work, they’ll close us down.” I was naïve. He wasn’t.

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April 16, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (21)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

UC-Berkeley, Former Law School Dean Settle All Litigation Over Alleged Sexual Harassment; Sujit Choudhry Agrees To Pay $100,000, Resign From Tenured Faculty In Spring 2018

ChoudryFollowing up on my previous posts (links below): National Law Journal, Berkeley Law, Ex-Dean Settle Suits Over Alleged Sexual Harassment:

UC Berkeley has reached a settlement with ousted law school dean Sujit Choudhry, ending a tumultuous saga that erupted last year after his former executive assistant sued him for sexual harassment. The settlement terminates the university's ongoing disciplinary action against Choudhry, and resolves the civil lawsuit brought by his former assistant, Tyann Sorrell.

The former law dean will pay $50,000 to Sorrell's attorneys and another $50,000 to a charity of Sorrell's choice under the terms of the deal. He will also be allowed to remain a tenured professor while on sabbatical until spring 2018, at which point he will resign. ”It was important that the world understand that he [is] a tenured professor in good standing," Choudhry's lawyer, William Taylor of Zuckerman Spaeder, told The Recorder Friday evening.

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April 15, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Groups Representing 40% Of Harvard Law Students Endorse David Wilkins For Dean

WilkinsHarvard Law Record, HLS Affinity Groups Endorse Professor Wilkins for Dean:

Thank you for including student input in your search for the next Dean of Harvard Law School. We write you as student leaders from the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA), Harvard Black Law Students Association (HBLSA), Harvard African Law Association (HALA), Lambda, La Alianza, Middle East Law Students Association (MELSA), Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), Queer Trans People of Color (QTPOC), South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA), and Women’s Law Association (WLA). It is difficult to calculate the number of unique individuals we represent due to the intersecting identities of some of our members, but our combined membership totals at least 700 students, which is about 40% of the J.D. student body.

Collectively, we wholeheartedly offer our endorsement of Professor David Wilkins, a scholar, a researcher, an innovator, and a member of the Harvard Law School faculty. While we do not know the list of candidates under your consideration, we sincerely believe that Professor Wilkins has demonstrated a strong commitment to innovative legal thought, a deep understanding of the legal profession and legal education, and an unwavering commitment to equality and justice in the rule of law. His lived experience and nuanced understanding of the power of discourse puts him in a unique position to lead Harvard Law School into arguably one of the most crucial chapters in our school’s two-hundred-year history.

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April 15, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Charlotte Law School Dean Resigns After Three Weeks On The Job

Charlotte Logo (2016)Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Charlotte Observer, Seen as Last Hope, Charlotte School of Law Dean Resigns Three Weeks Into Job:

Scott Broyles, whose appointment as dean of Charlotte School of Law temporarily reunited students, faculty and alumni behind the struggling school, unexpectedly resigned Thursday morning after three weeks on the job.

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

Harvard Business Review:  How Gender Bias Corrupts Performance Reviews, And What To Do About It

Harvard Business Review LogoHarvard Business Review:  How Gender Bias Corrupts Performance Reviews, and What to Do About It, by Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio (Harvard Law School):

The annual performance review already has many strikes against it. Harried managers end up recalling high and low points on the fly; employees often get unclear direction.

Here’s another flaw: Women are shortchanged by these reviews. In my forthcoming book on gender bias in the workplace, cowritten with journalist Kim Kleman, we present scores of successful interventions I have used in large domestic and international professional services firms to level the playing field for women in appraisals and promotions, among other areas. One of my findings, using content analysis of individual annual performance reviews, shows that women were 1.4 times more likely to receive critical subjective feedback (as opposed to either positive feedback or critical objective feedback).

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April 14, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

ABA:  Are Record Low Multistate Bar Exam Scores The Result Of Declining Law School Admissions Standards?

MBEFollowing up on my previous post, Muller: February 2017 MBE Bar Scores Collapse To All-Time Record Low:  ABA Journal, Multistate Bar Exam Scores Drop to Lowest Point Ever; Is There a Link to Low-end LSAT Scores?:

The average score on the multistate bar exam in February 2017 dropped by another point, reaching the lowest level since the exam was first administered in 1972.

Erica Moeser, president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, confirms that the average score was 134.1, compared to an average score of 135 in February 2016.

The decline likely portends another drop in overall bar passage rates, according to the blog Excess of Democracy, which broke the news after finding the information in statistics released by the state of Pennsylvania. Above the Law and TaxProf Blog note the blog post. ...

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April 13, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

64% Of Law Grads Want Law Schools To Raise Admissions Standards; 58% Say Their Debt Load Is 'Unmanageable'

KaplanKaplan Bar Review Survey, Law School Graduates Want Law Schools to Raise Their Admissions Standards:

Law schools might want to reconsider who they let in … according to their own alumni. A new Kaplan Bar Review survey of nearly 350 recent law school graduates shows that almost two-thirds (64 percent) think law schools should raise their academic standards — which would include higher LSAT scores and GPAs — when deciding who gets in.

These results come at a time of both introspection and infighting among law schools about who’s to blame for the low bar passage rates for some state bar-specific exams and the lowest Multistate Bar Examination scores in recorded history. In recent years, many law schools have begun to admit students with lower LSAT scores and GPAs than they previously had because of the multiyear slump in applications. In addition, to boost application numbers and diversify the pool of prospective students, a handful of law schools now allow applicants to submit scores from the GRE [more here] — the exam traditionally used for graduate schools and more recently business schools— instead of the LSAT, though the jury is still out on what the results may be. ...

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April 13, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Tax March: How A Law Professor Sparked A Global Event To Demand Trump's Returns

TaubThe Guardian, Tax March: How a Law Professor Sparked a Global Event to Demand Trump's Returns:

Inspired by the Women’s March in January, law professor Jennifer Taub ‘impulsively’ called for action. Now people from New York to Tokyo are preparing to take to the streets.

Donald Trump’s adviser Kellyanne Conway accidentally inspired a law professor and a comedian to convince thousands of people to take to the streets this Saturday to demand that the president release his tax returns.

The day after attending January’s Women’s March in Boston, Jennifer Taub was proudly looking at photos and coverage online when a video of Conway popped up. Conway, Trump’s former campaign manager, declared that Trump was “not going to release his tax returns” and that voters didn’t care.

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April 13, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (7)

Adler:  Law School Faculties Need More Intellectual Diversity

Jonathan H. Adler (Case Western), Law School Faculties Need More Intellectual Diversity:

There is something about judicial nominations that brings out the worst in U.S. Senators. Judging from the academic debate over the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, it seems to bring out the worst in legal academics too.

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

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Debate Over The Impact Of Different MBE Cut Scores In Different States

MBESuzanne Darrow Kleinhaus (Touro), UBE-Shopping: An Unintended Consequence of Portability? (Mar. 2016):

Getting our students ready for the UBE, may require more than just learning the law; it also means learning in which jurisdiction you should take it. While there is not much that is new about the UBE’s individual components — the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) and the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) — what is new is that where you take the UBE may make the difference between passing and failing. This is possible because of the convergence of bar exam test practices of “portability,” “relative grading,” and “scaling” of scores.

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April 12, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

University Of Wisconsin Faculty Survey Finds Widespread Bullying: Does Reward System Breed 'Academic Assholes'?


Inside Higher Ed, Madison Faculty Survey Finds Widespread Bullying:

Some 35 percent of faculty members who completed a survey on work-life issues at the University of Wisconsin at Madison reported having been bullied by colleagues within the last three years, The Cap Times reported. “The measure of incidence of hostile and intimidating behavior is rather surprising,” reads a new report on survey results prepared by the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute at Madison.

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April 12, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Amidst 71% Enrollment Decline, Florida Coastal Seeks To Avoid Fate Of Its Sister Law Schools Arizona Summit And Charlotte

Florida Coastal (2017)Jacksonville Daily Record, Florida Coastal School of Law Making Changes:

InfiLaw owns three for-profit law schools in the U.S.

Arizona Summit Law in Phoenix and Charlotte Law School in North Carolina were placed on probation in November by the American Bar Association, and Charlotte in December became the first law school in history to lose access to student loan programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

At issue are admission standards, quality of education and how relatively few of the schools’ graduates pass the Bar exam on their first attempt.

That leaves Florida Coastal School of Law, and the local legal education provider is taking steps to avoid sanction by the ABA.

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April 12, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Davis Polk Invites Back Women Lawyers Who Left Firm To Raise Children

Davis PolkDavis Polk Revisited:

We are strongly committed to our lawyers throughout their professional careers, including those who have had an extended break from the legal profession.

Davis Polk Revisited is a re-entry program that reintegrates former Davis Polk lawyers who wish to return to full-time legal careers. It provides Davis Polk alumni with the opportunity to return to the firm and receive the training, CLE and reintegration support they need to resume their careers. The program is open to alumni who have three or more years of Davis Polk experience and who have been away from the legal profession for at least two years.

Wall Street Journal Law Blog, Davis Polk Welcomes Back Female Lawyers Who Took Break From Law:

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April 11, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Universal Clinical Legal Education: Necessary And Feasible

ClinicalRobert R. Kuehn (Washington University), Universal Clinical Legal Education: Necessary and Feasible, 53 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y ___ (2017):

Although bar officials and most legal educators agree that law students need to learn not just to “think like a lawyer” but also the professional skills needed to “do like a lawyer,” legal education lags far behind other professions in the clinical training it provides its graduates. The justification usually given for such lack of training is the claim that it is not financially feasible for law schools to ensure that every student graduate with a clinical experience.

This Essay challenges this mistaken justification.

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April 11, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Henderson:  U.S. News Eliminates The Rankings Advantage Of The GRE, But Harvard Has Started A 'Quant' Arms Race For Diverse Students Who Will Thrive In A Transformed, Tech-Driven, Disrupted Legal Profession

GRE.USNEWS.LSATThe Legal Whiteboard: The GRE and the Revised US News Ranking Methodology, by William Henderson (Indiana):

When I initially learned that Harvard Law would start accepting the GRE as an alternative to the LSAT, I viewed it through the prism of the US News & World Report ranking and concluded that it was a very good thing for Harvard and all of legal education. Aggressive rankings management has led to tremendous over-reliance on the LSAT. By using on the GRE, I reasoned, Harvard would have sufficient test score information to assess a candidate's intellectual capacity while also obtaining the freedom to use other admissions methods to explore the larger and more diverse universe of candidates who are destined to become great leaders and lawyers.  

My thinking is crudely sketched out in the diagram below.


If Harvard Law was trying to get around U.S. News rankings formula, the USN chief strategy officer, Bob Morse, saw it coming.  ...

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April 11, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Lipshaw:  Beyond Legal Reasoning — A Critique Of Pure Lawyering

LipshawJeffrey Lipshaw (Suffolk), Beyond Legal Reasoning: A Critique of Pure Lawyering (Routledge 2017):

The concept of learning to ‘think like a lawyer’ is one of the cornerstones of legal education in the United States and beyond. In this book, Jeffrey Lipshaw provides a critique of the traditional views of "thinking like a lawyer: or "pure lawyering" aimed at lawyers, law professors, and students who want to understand lawyering beyond the traditional warrior metaphor. Drawing on his extensive experience at the intersection of real world law and business issues, Professor Lipshaw presents a sophisticated philosophical argument that the "pure lawyering" of traditional legal education is agnostic to either truth or moral value of outcomes. He demonstrates pure lawyering’s potential both for illusions of certainty and cynical instrumentalism, and the consequences of both when lawyers are called on as dealmakers, policymakers, and counsellors.

This book offers an avenue for getting beyond (or unlearning) merely how to think like a lawyer. It combines legal theory, philosophy of knowledge, and doctrine with an appreciation of real-life judgment calls that multi-disciplinary lawyers are called upon to make. The book will be of great interest to scholars of legal education, legal language and reasoning as well as professors who teach both doctrine and thinking and writing skills in the first year law school curriculum; and for anyone who is interested in seeking a perspective on ‘thinking like a lawyer’ beyond the litigation arena.

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April 11, 2017 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, April 9, 2017

2017 Religious Law School Rankings

Cooley Law School Enrollments (68%), Revenues (49%) Fall, Tuition Rises 48% (To $50,790); 60% Of Faculty Terminated, Dean's Pay Cut 20% (To $537,000)

Thomas Cooley Logo (2014)Lansing State Journal, Where Did All the Cooley Students Go?:

Law school enrollment fell by 25% nationwide between 2010 and 2016. Cooley’s enrollment fell more than 60%, dropping from a peak of 3,931 students in 2010 to fewer than 1,300 last year, according to data Cooley submitted to the American Bar Association.


At its peak in 2010, Cooley brought in more than $123 million. By 2014, the most recent year for which tax records are available, revenue had plummeted to $63 million. ... Cooley responded by laying off more than half [60%] of its full-time faculty and closing its Ann Arbor campus.

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April 9, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, April 8, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Muller:  February 2017 MBE Bar Scores Collapse To All-Time Record Low

MBEDerek Muller (Pepperdine), February 2017 MBE Bar Scores Collapse to All-Time Record Low in Test History:

On the heels of the February 2016 multistate bar exam (MBE) scores reaching a 33-year low, including a sharp drop in recent years, and a small improvement in the July 2016 test while scores remained near all-time lows, we now have the February 2017 statistics, courtesy of Pennsylvania (PDF). After a drop from 136.2 to 135 last year, scores dropped another full point to 134. It likely portends a drop in overall pass rates in most jurisdictions. This is the lowest February score in the history of aggregated MBE results.

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April 8, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Pepperdine Law Review Symposium:  The Supreme Court, Politics And Reform


The United States Supreme Court has long been criticized for injecting politics into its decision-making instead of adhering to the rule of law. Yet the recent events surrounding President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Court, and the successful gamble of the Senate Republicans to refuse to hold confirmation hearings in hopes that the presidential election would allow their party to fill the seat, has cast this criticism into even starker relief.

But has the confirmation process become so dysfunctional and contentious because the Court itself has become unduly political? Or has the Court become unduly political because of external political pressures? Or has the Court remained faithful to the rule of law while political tempests attempt to threaten its independence as an institution of laws? And if for whatever reason the Court has become unduly political, what reforms can best address this problem? At this symposium, renowned legal scholars, and past and present judges, will explore these questions which remain critical to maintaining a proper separation of powers in our constitutional system.

We hope you can join us for this important and exciting debate that will feature lead presenters Akhil Amar (Yale), Erwin Chemerinsky (Dean, UC-Irvine), Michael McConnell (Stanford), Richard Posner (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit), and Mark Tushnet (Harvard). A LiveStream of the symposium is available here.

Opening Address (8:45 a.m. PST):  Michael McConnell (Stanford)

Presentation (9:45 a.m.):  Hon. Richard Posner (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit)
Respondents:  Jennifer Chacon (UC-Irvine), Deanell Tacha (Dean, Pepperdine)

Presentation (11:00 a.m.):  Mark Tushnet (Harvard)
Respondents:  Paul Finkelman (Pittsburgh), Robert Pushaw (Pepperdine)

Luncheon Address: (12:00 p.m.):  Erwin Chemerinsky (Dean, UC-Irvine)

Presentation  (1:45 p.m.):  Akhil Amar (Yale)
Respondents:  Rebecca Brown (USC), Douglas Kmiec (Pepperdine)

Break-Out Sessions (3:45 p.m.):

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

Friday, April 7, 2017

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

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April 7, 2017 in Legal Education, Weekly Legal Education Roundup | Permalink | Comments (3)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

George Washington Law School Applications Jump 9%, Thanks To A 'Trump Bump'?


The GW Hatchet, Law School Application Numbers Rise With Waived Fees, ‘Trump Bump’:

Applications to the law school jumped up by 9 percent for this year’s admissions cycle as the school received the second largest number of applications nationwide, a law school spokeswoman said last week.

A 9-percent increase means more than 7,500 students applied to the law school this year – up from about 6,900 a year ago and the largest pool since 2011. Faculty and experts said the school’s decision to waive its application fee coupled with President Donald Trump’s administration sparking an increased interest in law, likely contributed to the increase. ...

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April 6, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

LSAT Test-Takers Rose 3.3% In Fall 2017 Admissions Cycle, But Law School Applicants Are Down 1.9%

The number of LSAT test-takers rose 3.3% in 2016-17, on the heels of last year's 4.1% increase, which followed five consecutive years of declines.  The 5.4% increase in February's final test of this year's cycle is the largest February increase since 2009.


Matt Leichter, LSAT Tea-Leaf Reading: February 2017 Edition:

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LSAC also has announced that "As of 3/31/17, there are 319,072 applications submitted by 47,916 applicants for the 2017–2018 academic year. Applicants are down 1.9% and applications are up 0.3% from 2016–2017. Last year at this time, we had 87% of the preliminary final applicant count."

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

Under Pressure From Feds, ABA Cracks Down On Four Law Schools (Arizona Summit, Ave Maria, Charlotte, Valparaiso)

ABA Section On Legal Education (2016)Inside Higher Ed, ABA Cracks Down on Low Performing Law School in Wake of Criticism from Feds:

During the last year, the American Bar Association has cracked down on four law schools [Arizona Summit, Ave Maria, Charlotte, Valparaiso] — two of which are for-profits.

A tightened job market for law school graduates has helped draw the ABA's attention to some of the lowest-performing institutions it accredits. Less academically prepared students, who are gaining easy access to these law schools, face large student debt loads and slim chances of finding employment, according to experts.

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

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Ex-Cincinnati Law Dean Challenges Her Removal: 'Faculty Unwilling To Put Student Needs Ahead Of Their Own' Is Not Adequate Ground. But Is There More To The Story?

UC BardAmerican Lawyer, Fired (And Lawyered) Up:

Two weeks ago, we told you about the former dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Law, who was removed from her position, she says, for doing exactly what she was brought on to do: cut spending. At the time, Jennifer Bard made that claim in the press herself, but now she's hired a lawyer, Marjorie Berman of New York firm Krantz & Berman, to do the talking. Berman said the university violated its own internal rules when it pushed Bard out of the dean job on March 22 and placed her on leave while it investigates her leadership of the law school. "The interim provost placed Dean Bard on administrative leave without the slightest factual basis for doing so,” said Marjorie Berman, an attorney with New York firm Krantz & Berman. “Administrative leave implies conduct requiring an immediate separation, that the university well knows does not exist here. Faculty unwilling to put the needs of the students and the law school ahead of their own does not constitute such conduct.” University spokesman Greg Vehr did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.

National Law Journal, Ex-Cincinnati Law Dean Claims Her Removal Was Improper:

The former dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Law says she was improperly removed from that position two weeks ago and placed on administrative leave after clashing with some faculty over proposed budget cuts.

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April 5, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Harrison:  Academic Freedom And The Scheduling Of Law School Classes

Florida Logo (GIF)Jeffrey Harrison (Florida), Those Bastards!!:

Yes, it's that time of year again — teaching schedules for the  next two semesters. And, as usual, when I filled in the form asking for my preferences, I gave the Deans all kinds of options. I am willing to teach Monday-Wednesday at 1-2 or Monday-Wednesday 1:05-2:05.  Mornings are out! I spend the morning reading the Times until my massage at 11. Lunch is at noon.  But what do they give me? Monday-Wednesday 2-3. These people do not know who I am. Do they have me mixed up with someone who went to a state school?

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April 5, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)