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Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Post-Tenure Depression: Causes And Cures

Inside Higher Ed:  Posttenure Depression?, by Kerry Ann Rockquemore (President, National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity):

Dear Kerry Ann,
The president of our college recently told someone who got tenure to try not to fall into “posttenure depression.” Within the same week, another colleague said the same thing to him. He passed that same recommendation on to me. I had never heard of such a thing and thought it'd be important to know what that was about and how to combat it, as I just got tenure. Do you have any thoughts on what posttenure depression is and how to survive it?

Dear Confused,
Congratulations on winning tenure! That is a huge professional accomplishment, and I want to acknowledge all the time, energy and work that went into your promotion. ...

[A]nytime we move from one rank to another, there will be a period of transition in our status, identity, expectations and workload. You already experienced this when you transitioned from graduate student to professor, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the transition from pretenure to posttenure will also involve a shift in how others see you, how you see yourself (in relation to your campus and colleagues), what’s possible for you professionally and how you will manage an increased workload.

It’s true that there’s a  wide continuum of how people adapt to the tenure transition. Some faculty members adapt quickly and happily, others have a lengthier transition that is marked with confusion and uncertainty, and some struggle with disappointment and disengagement. The idea of posttenure depression is grounded in the negative end of this adaptive spectrum. I assume by your question that you aspire to the positive end of it.

The good news is that you get to choose how you transition and respond to your new status and role on campus. What your president doesn’t seem to realize is that it’s possible to create an environment where newly tenured faculty can make conscious and intentional transitions that are empowering -- as opposed to hoping faculty don’t fall into posttenure depression.

Here are several questions that you can ask yourself to start the process:

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October 8, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

NY Times: Judge Rejects Request By College To Change Its Name In Exchange For $20 Million Gift

Paul SmithNew York Times, Judge Rejects Request by Paul Smith’s College to Change Its Name:

In the rarefied world of multimillion dollar gift-giving, Paul Smith’s College, named for a 19th-century hotelier and tucked in the forests of northern New York State, carried little cachet. So when Joan Weill, the wife of the Wall Street billionaire Sanford I. Weill, proposed a $20 million gift that would lift the struggling college’s fortunes, its officials saw national prestige on the horizon.

Mrs. Weill’s only condition — one that experts say is becoming more common among major donors — was that the institution become Joan Weill-Paul Smith’s College.

But a state judge rejected that change, ruling in a decision released on Wednesday that Mrs. Weill’s money did not give the college license to violate a provision in its founder’s will that enshrined his father’s name on the college in perpetuity. ...

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October 8, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Henderson: Where Are The New Law Jobs? Legal Operations.

HendersonCool ABA Journal cover of my friend and co-blogger (The Legal Whiteboard, a member of our Law Professor Blogs Network) Bill Henderson (Indiana), What the Jobs Are: New Tech and Client Needs Create a New Field of Legal Operations:

In this article, Indiana University law professor William Henderson, who helped create the Paradigm Shift series, discusses new jobs for JDs providing a different kind of legal service in law firms, new businesses and in-house departments. These jobs blend technology and business skills with law into a field he calls legal operations. And in a profession showing little to no job growth for recent law school graduates, this field offers both steady income and new challenges to those who join it.

It's mid-March and I'm at the DocuSign conference at the Grand Hyatt in downtown San Francisco. It's a bustling gathering with a Fortune 500 vibe—room after room of people discussing various aspects of digital transaction management.

Yes, that’s right, digital transaction management. DTM. You know what that is, right?

Let me begin this story with a confession. I am a law professor. I am reputed to be an expert on the legal services industry. Until the morning of the conference, I had never heard of DocuSign, which is 33rd on the Wall Street Journal’s Billion Dollar Startup Club for September. I was also ignorant of DTM.

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October 8, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Back To The Future: Universities Return To Their Spiritual Roots To Provide Enduring Value To Students

New York Times op-ed:  The Big University, by David Brooks:

Many American universities were founded as religious institutions, explicitly designed to cultivate their students’ spiritual and moral natures. But over the course of the 20th century they became officially or effectively secular.

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October 7, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tacha: Why I Support California's Proposed 15 Credit Skills Requirement

Tacha (2015)In response to yesterday's post, Law School Deans As Conformists:  my non-conformist Dean, Deanell Tacha, has given me permission to post her June 22, 2015 letter requesting that the AALS Steering Committee reconsider its opposition to California's proposed 15 credit skills requirement:

I am so grateful for your leadership and work on behalf of the Association of American Law Schools.   These are such challenging times in legal education.  As those entrusted with guiding law schools through this period, we deans must all bring the full measure of our energy, insights, and experience to this important work.  It is in this spirit that I write to urge you to reconsider your decision to issue a statement in opposition to the TFARR recommendations promulgated under the auspices of the California State Bar and now pending in the California Supreme Court.

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October 7, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Best U.S. News Voter Swag: Texas A&M

As we approach mid-October, U.S. News ballots soon will be sent to deans, associate deans of academic affairs, faculty appointments committee chairs, and the most recently tenured faculty members at the nation's law schools.  My friend and recently tenured colleague Babette Boliek reports that law porn has been replaced with law swag:  her favorite (thus far):

Texas A&M

October 7, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (14)

House Holds Hearing Today On The Rising Costs Of Higher Education And Tax Policy

House LogoThe Subcommittee on Oversight of the House Ways & Means Committee holds a hearing today on The Rising Costs of Higher Education and Tax Policy.  In connection with the hearing, the Joint Committee on Taxation has released Background and Present Law Related to Tax Benefits for Education (JCX-133-15):

This document ... includes a description of present law and analysis relating to tax benefits for education. Present law includes a variety of provisions that provide tax benefits to individual taxpayers for education expenses.

Figure 3

Table 4

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October 7, 2015 in Congressional News, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

Harrison: Law School Rankings And The Law Professor 'Recognition Race'

Jeffrey L. Harrison (Florida), Message or Messenger: The Rise of Professor Porn and the Death of Ideas:

Gone are the days in which law professors could be viewed as people who lived a "life of the mind."[Not being quite old enough, I am not sure they ever lived a life of the mind as much as other academicians and I suspect not.] In those days, teaching, thinking, and writing were the principal activities. Professors put their work out there and it spoke for itself. They might attend a conference or two each year and mail out a few reprints. It seems old fashion now but the process of thinking was in itself a reward. Personal recognition was a side effect.

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October 7, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Law School Deans As Conformists

2016 U.S. News RankingsMichael Hunter Schwartz (Dean, Arkansas-Little Rock), Deans as Conformists:

I suspect at least some readers may be surprised by one aspect of the recent deans vs. clinicians debate relating to California’s proposed 15 credit-hour skills requirement. It should be no surprise that clinicians have come out in support of the initiative; clinicians are all about the skills. It should be no surprise that a group of deans acted collectively to oppose it; deans tend to oppose anything that might add to the cost side of the ledger. What may be surprising is the absence of comments from deans who support the proposed requirement.  Does anyone seriously believe that all deans oppose it?

Years ago, my tax law professor would regularly say in class, “If you ever observe people engaging in unexplainable behavior, think tax law.”  I have a corollary, “If you ever observe deans engaging in unexplainable behavior, think US News.” ...

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October 6, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Academic Journal Rockets To #1 Scholarly Impact Ranking Through Self-Citation

JournalChronicle of Higher Education, What Happens When a Scholarly Journal Constantly Cites Itself?:

The Journal of Criminal Justice has been on a roll. Once considered a somewhat middling publication — not in the same league as top journals like Criminology and Justice Quarterly — it is now ranked No. 1 in the field according to its impact factor, which measures the average number of citations a journal receives and is meant to indicate which titles are generating the most buzz.

Rocketing to No. 1 is even more impressive when you find out that in 2012 the Journal of Criminal Justice was way back in 22nd place. That’s quite a leap!

Predictably, that sharp uptick made some researchers in a field devoted to misdeeds a tad suspicious. Among them was Thomas Baker, an assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Central Florida. So Mr. Baker did what good researchers in all fields do: He took a hard look at the data. Then, after emailing it to a few friends, he decided to publish what he had found in the field’s widely read newsletter, The Criminologist.

What he found was this: Much of the rise in the journal’s impact factor was due to citations in articles published in the Journal of Criminal Justice itself.

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October 6, 2015 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Organ: 1L Attrition Increases As Median LSATs Decline

The Legal Whiteboard:  Part Two - The Impact of Attrition on the Composition of Graduating Classes of Law Students -- 2013-2016, by Jerry Organ (St. Thomas):

In late December 2014, I posted a blog entitled Part One – The Composition of the Graduating Classes of Law Students – 2013-2016. That blog posting described how the composition of the entering classes between 2010 and 2013 has shifted. During that time, the percentage at or above an LSAT of 160 dropped by nearly 20% from 40.8% to 33.4%. Meanwhile, the percentage at or below an LSAT of 149 increased by over 50% from 14.2% to 22.5%.

But this reflects the composition of the entering classes. How do the graduating classes compare with the entering classes? This depends upon the attrition experienced by the students in a given entering class. This much belated Part Two discusses what we know about first-year attrition rates among law schools.

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October 6, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Supreme Court Justices Get More Liberal As They Get Older

538 (2015)FiveThirtyEight, Supreme Court Justices Get More Liberal As They Get Older:

There’s an old saw, often mistakenly attributed to Winston Churchill, that goes something like this: “If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative when you’re 35, you have no brain.” A person should start left and drift right, and not the other way around, the adage suggests.

But when it comes to Supreme Court justices, growing older appears to incite a trend in the opposite ideological direction. One prominent measure of judicial ideology — the Martin-Quinn score — illustrates this tendency. ...


The current nine justices haven’t been shielded from these westward winds....

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October 5, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Lisa McElroy's Novel, Called On: 'This Generation's 1L'

COPB cover front_001Lisa McElroy (Drexel), Called On (2015):

Called On may be this generation’s One L — Tony Mauro, The National Law Journal

Lisa McElroy perfectly captures the pressures, challenges, and triumphs of both teaching and studying the law. Filled with big, memorable personalities, Called On is an utterly charming depiction of the 1L experience. — Alafair Burke, New York Times bestselling author of The Ex

Lisa McElroy nails law school—from first-day jitters to gunners and back-benchers—in a funny, perceptive, and poignant (but never predictable) first novel. Grab a Diet Coke and a handful of M&Ms and settle in; once you start reading, you won't want to stop. — Amy Howe, co-founder & editor, SCOTUSblog

In Called On, Lisa McElroy deftly chronicles the stories of law professor Connie Shun and first year law student Libby Behl, each of whom is trying to move past tragedy and forge a new path for herself. The intersection of their lives is both humorous and heartbreaking. In this thoughtful and thought-provoking commentary on life, love, and the law, McElroy demonstrates the rare gift to simultaneously entertain, educate, uplift, and inspire. — Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Kommandant’s Girl

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October 5, 2015 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Northwestern Suspends Accelerated J.D. Program

Northwestern (2016)News Release, Northwestern Law Suspends Accelerated JD Program:

I write to inform you that we are suspending indefinitely admissions recruitment for our Accelerated JD program. Consequently, we will not be enrolling a new class of AJD students this coming spring.

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October 5, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Darryll Jones Named Finalist For Florida A&M Deanship

Darryll-JonesFollowing up on my previous post:  Orlando Sentinel, Three Finalists Chosen for Dean at FAMU Law School:

The search for the next Florida A&M University Law School dean has been narrowed down to three finalists, according to the school. They are:

  • Angela Felecia Epps, a law professor at University of Arkansas at Little Rock's law school.
  • Darryll Jones, the interim dean at the FAMU Law School since July 1. Before that, he was a [tax] law professor and associate dean for academic affairs at the school.
  • Willajeanne McLean, the University of Connecticut School of Law's interim dean from 2012-13.

October 4, 2015 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink | Comments (0)

4th Annual Educating Tomorrow's Lawyers Conference: Building On The Foundations For Practice


The 4th Annual Educating Tomorrow's Lawyers Conference: Building on the Foundations for Practice concluded yesterday in Denver. Pepperdine is one of 35 law school consortium memberss, almost a quarter of which are in California (Golden Gate, McGeorge, Pepperdine, Southwestern, Stanford, UC-Hastings, UC-Irvine, USC):

In 2014, Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers launched Foundations for Practice, an ambitious national project to identify the foundations entry-level lawyers need for practice.

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October 4, 2015 in Conferences, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 3, 2015

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Friday, October 2, 2015

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Rosier Picture For Fall 2016 Law School Admissions

KaplanKaplan Test Prep, Survey: Majority of Law Schools Predict Application Bump in Current Cycle, But They Also Predict at Least One Law School Will Shut Down:

According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2015 survey of admissions officers at 120 law schools across the United States*, the vast majority of law school admissions officers predict that they are going to see something they haven’t seen in many years: an increase in applications. Nearly nine in 10 (88%) are confident that their law school will see a spike for the 2015-2016 application cycle, compared to the previous cycle. This level of optimism represents a dramatic reversal of opinion from Kaplan’s 2014 survey when only 46% expressed confidence that their law school would see an increase in applications over the previous cycle.  That spike that nearly half predicted didn’t come to fruition. In fact, the 2014 entering law school class was the smallest one in 40 years. ...

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October 2, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

ABA Accreditation Committee OKs Merger Of William Mitchell And Hamline Law Schools

MitchellPress release, Update on Law School Combination:

The Accreditation Committee of the American Bar Association (ABA) has notified Hamline University that it is recommending the ABA Council give its acquiescence to the combination of Hamline University School of Law and William Mitchell College of Law. The ABA Council will consider this recommendation at its December meeting. If the Council grants its acquiescence, the combined law school, to be named Mitchell Hamline School of Law, could begin operations in early 2016.

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October 1, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Lupo: Law School Provides Solid Foundation For Civic Responsibility

National Law Journal op-ed:   Measure of Legal Education's Value Extends Far Beyond Big Law, by James Lupo (Northwestern):

Despite the critics, law school still provides a solid foundation for civic responsibility.

No one disputes that the ­economic model of legal education needs to be modified. Law schools have been slow to restructure their corner of the triangular relationship among the history of tuition increases (and how they are financed), the exorbitant starting salaries at law firms, and the extraordinarily high fees clients pay for the work of law school rock stars. But the fact is, law schools are making the required structural modifications and thinking deeply and creatively about their students' needs in an increasingly dynamic legal services sector.

The criticisms — constant and haranguing — are terribly shortsighted. They are premised on assessments of the initial value of a law school education, not the socially critical values law school ­teaches. Evaluated in this way, disheartening numbers are readily available. To look at real worth, much more perspective and nuance are needed.

Students who choose to come to law school despite all of the empirical gloom and doom are doing so for what have always been the right reasons — not because they are liberal arts majors at wit's end about a career path and not because law school is a reliable entree to social status and financial gain.

They are coming because they want to be advocates and problem solvers. They want to learn the sharp, analytical cast of mind law school teaches. They recognize that an ethical practice of law is central to the functioning of a system of ordered justice and how that ordered justice upholds the rule of law. They are returning to first principles. They seek values, not just immediate value; they seek the necessary qualities of leadership, not just leading roles at the top of an increasingly unreliable ladder of success.

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October 1, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (10)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Motro: How To Write A Law Article That Reads Like A Good Story

Journal of Legal Education (2014)Shari Motro (Richmond), The Three-Act Argument: How to Write a Law Article That Reads Like a Good Story, 64 J. Legal Educ. 707 (2015):

Why do many law articles — my own included — leave readers cold? One reason may be that they lack fundamental elements that make up a good story. They lack tension. They lack narrative arc. Over my years teaching seminars and exchanging drafts with colleagues, I’ve developed a recipe inspired by dramatic plot that helps me organize ideas into a form that better engages the reader. I’ve also found it to be conducive to a richer, more generative, more joyful writing process. I hope it does the same for you!

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September 30, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Men Cite Their Own Work More Than Women

Inside Higher Ed, Men Who Admire Their Own Work:

Numerous studies have found that men are more likely to think highly of themselves and their talents than are women when they evaluate themselves.

A new study finds that these patterns extend to self-citation, in which scholars cite their own past work in new studies.  Some scholars frown on the practice, while others note that there may be circumstances where such citations are necessary. But whether one has permissive or skeptical attitudes about self-citation, shouldn't the patterns be the same for men and women?

The study -- released Monday at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association -- found that 31 percent of men engage in self-citation, compared to only 21 percent of women.  [Molly King (Stanford), Shelley Correll (Stanford), Jennifer Jacquet (NYU), Carl Bergstrom (Washington) & Jevin West (Washington), Men Set Their Own Cites High: Gender and Self-Citation Across Fields and Over Time]


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September 30, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

The DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel: Breeding Ground For 67 Law Professors

Yale Journal on Regulation Blog:  The DOJ OLC College of Law, by Chris Walker (Ohio State):

On the administrative law professor email listserv, my colleague Peter Shane sparked an intriguing discussion about the impact of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) on administrative law scholarship and the legal academy more generally. ...

I’ve reproduced below that working list of 67 ... OLC alums who have since spent time as law professors. ... Is there another institution that has produced anywhere near as many law professors?  

September 30, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Muller: The MBE Was Not 'Harder' Than Usual This Year

NCBEDerek Muller (Pepperdine), No, the MBA Was Not "Harder" Than Usual:

I frequently read comments, on this site and others, commenting that the bar exam was simply harder than usual. Specifically, I read many people, often law faculty (who didn't take the exam this year) or recent graduates (the vast majority of whom are taking the bar exam for the first time), insisting that the bar, especially the Multistate Bar Exam ("MBE") is "harder" than before.

Let's set aside, for now, and briefly, (1) rampant speculation, (2) cognitive biases suggesting that the instance in which someone is taking a multiple choice test that counts for something feels "harder" than ungraded practice, (3) erroneous comparisons between the MBE and bar prep companies, (4) retroactive fitting of negative bar results with negative bar experiences, or (5) the use of comparatives in the absence of a comparison.

Let's instead focus on whether the July 2015 bar exam was "harder" than usual. The answer is, in all likelihood, no--at least, almost assuredly, not in the way most are suggesting, i.e., that the MBE was harder in such a way that it resulted in lower bar passage rates. ...

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September 29, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Enrollment Plummets At Northeast Ohio Law Schools: Akron (-16%), Case (-36%), Cleveland (-39%)

Crain's Cleveland Business, Enrollment Is Falling at Northeast Ohio Law Schools:

Northeast Ohio’s law schools continue to see enrollments dwindle compared with the levels seen just a few years ago, but school officials and industry experts are hopeful the trend may soon turn around.

The consensus is the overall situation, here and nationwide, is worrisome, but not dire — yet.

Data from the University of Akron School of Law, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and Case Western Reserve University School of Law show that enrollments at those schools are down 3% to 6% from last year. More striking, though, are the decreases over the last several years.

Since 2010, total enrollment has dropped about 36% and 39% at Case Western Reserve and Cleveland-Marshall, respectively, and 16% at Akron. ...

Here are this fall’s total and first-year enrollment figures for J.D. programs:

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September 29, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (14)

NLJ: Law School Special Report

NLJNational Law Journal, Law Schools Special Report: Staying Sane, Before and After Graduation:

This week, we present a "how-to" for students and for lawyers starting their careers. Amid a tight job market and the high cost of legal education, entering the profession is not a decision to make lightly. But success, as you'll read, is not just about getting good grades and nailing the interview. It's about finding balance, enjoying the learning process and setting in motion a career that will cultivate a sense of purpose and professional fulfillment. It really is possible.

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September 29, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, September 28, 2015

The AALS Needs More Some Political Diversity

AALS (2017)John O. McGinnis (Northwestern), The Association of American Law Schools Needs More Political Diversity:

In the week that a new organization, Heterodox Academy, was established to press for more ideological diversity in academic life, the learned association in my own profession showed how much it is needed. The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) sent around a notice of its prospective annual meeting, highlighting its most prominent speakers. Of the thirteen announced, none is associated predominantly with Republican party, but eleven are associated with the Democratic Party. Many are prominent liberals. None is a conservative or libertarian.

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September 28, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Dean Performs Heimlich On Provost

Details here.

September 28, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Columbia Memorial Service For Marvin Chirelstein

ChirelsteinColumbia Law School is holding a memorial service this Wednesday for the legendary Marvin Chirelstein, who died on February 16 at the age of 86.  From Dean Gillian Lester:

Please join me to celebrate the life and achievements of our beloved friend and colleague Marvin Chirelstein. The memorial will be held as follows:

Date: Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Time: 6 p.m. Location: Jerome Greene Hall, Room 104

A reception in Drapkin Lounge will immediately follow.

Please email Briana Florio if you plan to attend.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

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September 27, 2015 in Legal Education, Obituaries, Tax, Tax Profs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Chronicle Of Higher Education: The Law School Co-Deaning Trend

Following up on my previous posts (links below) on the growing practice of law school co-deans:  Chronicle of Higher Education, A Deanship Divided in 2:

Sometimes, it seems, just the right person to fill a top post is two people. The provost of the University of New Mexico concluded as much in August, when he promoted two law professors, Alfred D. Mathewson and Sergio Pareja, to be co-deans of its School of Law. ...

Rather than conduct another national search, the university chose to hire the next dean internally. The new co-deans are both specialists in business and tax law. ...  The two men plan to share external-relations and fund-raising duties during their three-year term. Mr. Pareja will focus more on faculty and curriculum development, while Mr. Mathewson will head the New Mexico Judicial Nominating Commission, a traditional responsibility of the law dean. The co-deans will split between them the customary supplemental administrative compensation of about $60,000 a year.

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September 26, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Thursday, September 24, 2015

NY Times: Is The Bar Too Low To Get Into Law School And Practice Law?

NY Times Room for DebateNew York Times Room for Debate, Is the Bar Too Low to Get Into Law School?:

Bar exam scores have declined over the past few years, and last summer, graduates had some of the lowest scores in a decade. This years scores could be even worse. The National Conference of Bar Examiners, which creates and scores the multistate, multiple-choice portion of the exam, maintains that the quality of incoming law students has declined, while many law professors blame the bar exam itself.

Why are so many law students failing the bar exam?  

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September 24, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

MBA Applications Soar As Law School Applications Fall To 30-Year Lows

Bloomberg, Business Schools See Broadest Increase in Applications Since the Recession; Meanwhile, The Executive MBA May be Dying:

Traditional business school programs are experiencing the strongest level of interest from U.S. applicants since 2009, a new report shows. Fifty-nine percent of U.S. business schools said applications to full-time, two year MBA programs from Americans increased over last year, as reported in a survey of hundreds of programs conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council, the body that administers the main business school entrance exam.

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September 24, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Former Case Western Dean Resigns From Faculty

MitchellCleveland Scene, Former CWRU Law School Dean Lawrence Mitchell Was Supposed to Return to CWRU Faculty This Year; Thankfully That Didn't Happen:

The only mention of it was buried in a article on the appointment of new official co-deans of Case Western Reserve University's law school, but it's worth teasing out on its own. [Update: It was also fully fleshed out by the tremendous CWRU paper, The Observer, on August 21 here.]

Lawrence Mitchell, the former CWRU law school dean who was the subject of a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit originated in late 2013 that CWRU ended up settling in the summer of 2014, took a sabbatical in New York following his leave from the position.

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September 24, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Gregg Polsky Leaves North Carolina For Georgia

Polsky (2015)Georgia press release:

Georgia Law is pleased to announce that Gregg D. Polsky has agreed to join the law school's faculty in the fall of 2016. Polsky, currently the Willie Person Magnum Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law, has also served on the law faculties of the University of Minnesota and Florida State University, and visited at Duke University. Author of a casebook, Polsky has written articles appearing in the Duke Law Journal, the Iowa Law Review and the Virginia Law Review, among others.

A preeminent tax law scholar, he has served as Professor in Residence in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, and he regularly serves as an expert witness on tax matters. His teaching expertise includes tax, private equity and an innovative course on business basics for lawyers. 

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September 23, 2015 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink | Comments (2)

Former SMU Law School Dean Must Admit Prostitution Charge To Get Plea Deal

JohnFollowing up on my previous post, Former SMU Law School Dean Arrested on Prostitution Charge:  CBS DFW, Former Dean Of SMU’s Law School Must Admit Prostitution Charge To Get Deal:

The attorney who led SMU’s law school for 15-years has been put on pre-trial diversion for a prostitution charge.

John Attanasio was arrested in Collin County in February.

A KRLD legal analyst says to qualify for pre-trial diversion Attanasio has to admit to the prostitution charge. But if he successfully completes the program, his record will be wiped clean.

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September 23, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Miami Seeks To Hire Entry Level Or Lateral Tax Prof

Miami LogoThe University of Miami School of Law is seeking to fill a tenured or tenure-track tax faculty position:

The University of Miami School of Law is interested in all persons of high academic achievement and promise, including those who hold Ph.D. degrees. We will consider applications from candidates at any level and with any area of specialization within tax.  

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September 23, 2015 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

For Third Time, ABA Committee Votes To Eliminate Ban On Academic Credit For Paid Externships

ABA Logo 2ABA Journal, ABA Committee for Third Time Proposes Eliminating Ban on Academic Credit for Paid Externships:

For the third time in less than two years, an ABA committee has proposed lifting the ban in the law school accreditation standards on students receiving academic credit for paid externships.

But the Standards Review Committee, which met Friday and Saturday in Atlanta, also agreed to forward such a proposal to the governing council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar in case the council decides to keep the ban. ...

At its meeting in Atlanta, the committee approved several proposed changes in that standard, including one that would define what a field placement course is and one that would require a written agreement spelling out the details of the placement between the student, the faculty member overseeing the placement and the site supervisor.

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September 23, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Yale Law Students Prefer Efficiency Over Equality, Despite Self-Identifying As Democrats Rather Than Republicans By Over 10 To 1

Science 3Ray Fisman (Boston University), Pamela Jakiela (Maryland), Shachar Kariv (UC-Berkeley) & Daniel Markovits (Yale), The Distributional Preferences of an Elite, Science, Sept. 2015:

We compared the preferences of this highly elite group of students to those of a sample drawn from the American Life Panel (ALP), a broad cross-section of Americans, and to the preferences of an intermediate elite drawn from the student body at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB).

YLS subjects were substantially more efficiency-focused than were the ALP subjects drawn from the general population. Overall, 79.8% of YLS subjects were efficiency-focused, versus only 49.8% of the ALP sample. The YLS subjects displayed this distinctive preference for efficiency over equality in spite of overwhelmingly (by more than 10 to 1) self-identifying as Democrats rather than Republicans. In addition, YLS subjects were less likely to be classified as fair-minded and more likely to be classified as selfish than were the ALP subjects. Subjects from the intermediate elite fell between the YLS and ALP subjects with respect to efficiency-mindedness but were less likely to be fair-minded and more likely to be selfish than were the YLS subjects. We also demonstrate the predictive validity of our experimental measure of equality-efficiency tradeoffs by showing that it predicts the subsequent career choices of YLS subjects: More efficiency-focused behavior in the laboratory was associated with a greater likelihood of choosing private sector employment after graduation, whereas more equality-focused behavior was associated with a greater likelihood of choosing nonprofit sector employment.

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September 22, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Duke Professor Denied Job At UNC Brings Antitrust Lawsuit Alleging Non-Poaching Agreement Stifled Lateral Faculty Moves

Duke UNCFollowing up on my previous post, North Carolina Retains 64% Of Faculty Who Receive Lateral Offers; Lawsuit Challenges Alleged Agreement With Duke To Forswear Lateral Hiring Of Each Other's Faculty:  Inside Higher Ed, Good Neighbors or Conspirators?:

Colleges and universities lure top faculty members away from competitor institutions all the time, and the practice is (generally speaking) entirely legal. But while some relish it, others consider faculty poaching, or actively recruiting faculty members from competitors, bad form and try to avoid doing it regularly -- especially to institutions in the same geographic area.

A new antitrust lawsuit alleges much more than a neighborly understanding between Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, however. The suit, brought against Duke by a medical faculty member there, rather alleges a binding no-hire agreement between the two Research Triangle institutions prevented her from getting a job at Carolina that otherwise would have been hers. The faculty member alleges there are others like her, and she’s proposed a class action.

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September 22, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Condlin: Assessing Experiential Learning, Jobs And All

Robert Condlin (Maryland), Assessing Experiential Learning, Jobs and All: A Response to the Three Professors, 2015 Wis. L. Rev. Online ___ :

Does clinical practice experience improve a law student’s chances of getting a legal job? If not, would it, if employers were given better information about that experience? And if not, are there other reasons to justify a law school’s decision to fund a clinical program? The answer to the first two questions is almost certainly no. For many reasons — the uneven and situation-driven nature of clinical practice experience, the Delphic quality of practice evaluations, the availability of more effective in-house training options, and the like — most private law firms prefer to trust conventional academic credentials more than practice experience in deciding whom to hire.

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September 21, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Loyola-L.A. Seeks To Hire A Two-Year Summer Tax Visitor

Loyola-L.A. Logo (2013)Loyola-L.A. seeks to hire a Visiting Professor of Tax Law to teach its six-unit Business Tax Intensive course during the summers of 2016 and 2017:

The course covers basic and advanced Corporate Taxation and Partnership Taxation and meets Monday through Thursday for eight weeks from early June through the end of July. It is part of a twelve unit Intensive Summer Tax Session ("summer tax bootcamp”), offered as part of Loyola's unique Joint JD/Tax LLM Program.  By the end of bootcamp, students have most of the skills they need to operate at a first- or second-year big firm tax associate level; employers come to Loyola specially to recruit bootcamp graduates. Joint Program students, including visiting students from JD programs at other law schools, attend the bootcamp after their first or second JD year, take an additional 12 units of advanced tax courses during the regular academic year, and then graduate in three years with both a JD and a Tax LLM.

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September 21, 2015 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Department Of Education's New Loan Repayment Program Punishes Law School Grads

The American Lawyer:  A Loan Repayment Plan That Punishes Law Grads, by Matt Leichter:

Despite plummeting law school applications and a glut of highly indebted, underemployed law school graduates, Washington appears to believe that its student loan reforms treat law grads too gently.

After promoting the Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) repayment plan to ease debt burdens, the Department of Education is pulling back. In July 2015, the department posted the latest addition to its list of income-sensitive repayment plans: Revised Pay-As-You-Earn (REPAYE). As the new plan’s name implies, the government is dissatisfied with PAYE, which was itself intended to improve upon the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) option. The department hopes to make REPAYE available by Dec. 31, 2015.

REPAYE differs notably from its predecessor by demanding more from graduate and professional students, who tend to borrow more than undergrads. Instead of cracking down on tuition or curtailing its lending programs, the department proposes to extract more from the students. Unfortunately, most law school debtors do not have the large incomes necessary to fully repay their loans. And because law students make up a large proportion of the borrowers using federal loans to pay for graduate education, they will likely bear the brunt of REPAYE's graduate-student-unfriendly changes.

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September 21, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Saturday, September 19, 2015

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Is Legal Education In Crisis? A Dean Responds

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  The American Lawyer op-ed, Is Legal Education in Crisis? A Dean Responds, by Jeremy Paul (Dean, Northeastern):

I am pleased that my letter to The New York Times provoked a response by Steven Harper in The American Lawyer. We now see clearly how those dissatisfied with U.S. law schools are more interested in winning arguments than achieving reform. ...

Mr. Harper rightly calls everyone’s attention to the problem of student debt, a problem that goes far beyond law schools. But here too he ignores the realities. Student debt will begin dropping at many schools because tuition discounting has become a fact of life. Every law dean in the U.S. is working hard to contain costs and provide more value for student money. And legal education has never offered students more in terms of clinical experiences, broad curricula and individualized instruction. 

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September 19, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)