TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Conservative Backlash Against Vic Fleischer's Appointment As Co-Chief Tax Counsel For Senate Finance Committee Democrats

Fleischer (2016)Following up on my recent posts:

Politico, Morning Tax: Backlash Begins:

It took a little while, but prominent conservatives in the tax field are starting to question Sen. Ron Wyden’s decision to bring on Victor Fleischer as co-chief tax counsel for Finance Committee Democrats. Fleischer, a University of San Diego law professor, helped jump-start the movement to end the preferential tax treatment of carried interest, which has become something of a cause celebre among Democrats.

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July 26, 2016 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Johnson:  How And Why We Built A Majority-Minority Faculty At UC-Davis Law School

UC Davis Logo (2017)Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed: How and Why We Built a Majority-Minority Faculty, by Kevin R. Johnson (Dean, UC-Davis):

In the summer of 1989, the law school at the University of California at Davis added three new faculty members: two Latino men and an African-American woman. I was one of the Latinos, and I didn’t know until I read it in the local paper that the new arrivals were the only people of color on a previously all-white faculty.

I wasn’t surprised. At that time, the faculty at every top-tier American law school was overwhelmingly white and predominantly male. There was nothing unusual about the situation on my new campus, nor about the law school’s apparent intention to diversify.

What has proved unusual is that we succeeded. Today I am dean of the law school, and our faculty diversity is broad: gay and straight, white, Latino, African-American, and Asian. On a faculty of 36 tenured and tenure-track scholars, we have Filipino-, Iranian-, Indian-, and Algerian-Americans, as well as Korean-, Japanese-, and Chinese-Americans. With our most recent hires, we now have a faculty that is 47 percent female and 56 percent minority.

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July 26, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

2016 Google Law Review Rankings

Google Scholar (2015)PrawfsBlawg: Google Scholar Law Review Rankings — 2016, by Bryce C. Newell (Tilburg University):

Includes only flagship/general law reviews at ABA accredited schools (I think I've captured (almost) all of these, but let me know if I've missed any). Rankings are calculated based on the average of Google's two scores (h5-index and h5-median), as proposed here by Robert Anderson. The final column shows how much a journal's rank has changed in 2016 versus last year's ranking (0 indicates no change, a positive number indicates the ranking has gone up in 2016, while a negative number indicates a drop in ranking in 2016).

Bryce lists 194 flagship law reviews. Here are the Top 25:

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July 26, 2016 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Vermont Law School Seeks $15 Million Federal Loan To Restructure Its Debts Via Sale-Leaseback With Related LLC

Vermont Logo (2016)Following up on my previous posts (links below) on the financial difficulties at Vermont Law School: VT Digger, Vermont Law School Seeking Federal Loan to Ease Debt Costs:

Vermont Law School is hoping to borrow $15 million from the federal government to help restructure its debts and take advantage of lower interest rates.

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July 26, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, July 25, 2016

U.S. News:  Law Schools With The Lowest Debt, Highest Rank—BYU, Georgia State, Nebraska, Tennessee

2017 U.S. News LogoU.S. News & World Report, 10 Law Schools Where Alumni Have the Least Debt:

With tuition and fees often running at $30,000 per year or more, many students take out loans. Among the 183 ranked law schools that submitted debt data to U.S. News, the average debt for 2015 graduates who borrowed was $112,748. ... Of the 10 schools where graduates borrowed the least, the average debt was $62,735. ...

Below are the 10 schools where 2015 graduates who borrowed for law school had the least debt. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report.

School Average Debt U.S. News Rank
Hawaii $54,988 92 (tie)
South Dakota $57,170 143
North Carolina Central $57,924 RNP*
Nebraska $58,744 57 (tie)
BYU $62,423 38 (tie)
Arkansas (Fayetteville) $64,901 86 (tie)
Georgia State $66,637 57 (tie)
Tennessee $66,939 65 (tie)
Liberty $68,667 RNP
Arkansas (Little Rock) $68,960 136 (tie)

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July 25, 2016 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Department Of Education's New Fraud Defense To Loan Repayment Will Spur Spurious Lawsuits

Department of Education LogoFollowing up on my previous posts:

Law360 op-ed: No Good Reason For New Student Loan Forgiveness Rules, by Anthony T. Caso (Chapman):

You may have read news reports over the past few years that new lawyers are having more and more trouble finding a job. The recession that hit in 2008 seems to linger on, especially in the legal market. The U.S. Department of Education has a solution. It has proposed new regulations that will spawn a new industry of spurious lawsuits against colleges and universities. Everybody will have to hire lawyers — and lawyers will be the only clear winners in the battles to come.

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July 25, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Fall 2016 Law Review Article Submission Guide

SubmissionsNancy Levit (UMKC) & Allen Rostron (UMKC) have updated their incredibly useful document, which contains two charts for the Fall 2016 submission season covering 204 law reviews.

The first chart (pp. 1-51) contains information gathered from the journals’ websites on:

  • Methods for submitting an article (such as by e-mail, ExpressO, regular mail, Scholastica, or Twitter)
  • Any special formatting requirements
  • How to request an expedited review
  • How to withdraw an article after it has been accepted for publication elsewhere

The second chart (pp. 52-58) contains the ranking of the law reviews and their schools under six measures:

  • U.S. News: Overall Rank
  • U.S. News: Peer Reputation Rating
  • U.S. News: Judge/Lawyer Reputation Rating
  • Washington & Lee Citation Ranking
  • Washington & Lee Impact Factor
  • Washington & Lee Combined Rating

They also have posted a list of links to the submissions information on each law journal’s website. Nancy notes two highlights in this updated document:

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July 25, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Social Media For Academics

Social Media for AcademicsMark Carrigan (University of Warwick), Social Media for Academics (Sage 2016):

Social media is an increasingly important part of academic life that can be a fantastic medium for promoting your work, networking with colleagues and for demonstrating impact. However, alongside the opportunities it also poses challenging questions about how to engage online, and how to represent yourself professionally.

This practical book provides clear guidance on effectively and intelligently using social media for academic purposes across disciplines, from publicising your work and building networks to engaging the public with your research.  It is supported by real life examples and underpinned by principles of good practice to ensure you have the skills to make the most of this exciting medium.

You’ll find advice on:

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July 25, 2016 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, July 24, 2016

If Black Lives Matter At Whittier, Shouldn't Law School Address Graduates' Abysmal Bar Passage And Employment Rates?

LBLMFollowing up on my previous posts (here and here):  The College Fix, Law Professor Who Wore Black Lives Matter Shirt to Class Has a Long Trail of Student Grievances, by Samantha Figueroa:

When a law professor wore a Black Lives Matter shirt to class earlier this year, she saw it as a teaching tool and exercise in academic freedom.

Some of her “concerned students” saw the gesture as an attempt to push her “personal beliefs” on them, but also a threat to their ability to become practicing lawyers – and told her so in a much-derided memo.

The incident was revived this month after Inside Higher Ed confirmed the institution was southern California’s Whittier Law School, whose student body is majority-minority, and the professor was Patricia Leary.

Though Leary’s public critique of the anonymous memo has drawn most of the attention, the students’ deeper anxieties have been overshadowed: Whittier’s bar passage rate is plummeting.

And if new accreditation standards under review at the American Bar Association are implemented, the value of students’ degrees from the $46,000-a-year institution may be imperiled. ...

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July 24, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Senate Bill Would Exempt Student Loans Discharged For Any Reason From Being Taxed As Income

Student Loans CautionSenators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) have introduced the Student Loan Tax Relief Act:

The bill amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exempt student loans discharged for any reason from being taxed as income, including through participation in the federal income-based repayment (IBR) and income-contingent repayment (ICR) loan forgiveness programs; through death or disability of the recipient; or due to fraud by an institution of higher education, known as "borrower defense to repayment."

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July 23, 2016 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (7)

Amazon Enters Student Loan Business

Amazon logoWall Street Journal, Amazon Tiptoes Into Banking Business Through Student Loans:

Amazon is stepping into the student-loan marketplace.

The online retailer has entered into a partnership with San Francisco lender Wells Fargo in which the bank’s student-lending arm will offer interest-rate discounts to select Amazon shoppers. ...

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July 23, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Could Your Social Media Posts Prevent You From Becoming A Lawyer?

Social MediaKeith Lee, Could Your Social Media Posts Prevent You From Becoming A Lawyer?:

The July bar exam is coming up next week and is on the minds of many law school graduates. ... But after law school, and before the bar exam, there is one other hurdle law school graduates must clear on their path to becoming a licensed attorney – they must pass a Character and Fitness Evaluation (CFE). ...

[Otion] Gjini was denied admission to Bar of Maryland. [He is not] a sympathetic applicant. Gjini was mostly denied because he had frequent DUIs and did not disclose that he was facing a charge of violating his probation until the charge was found by the Maryland Character Committee (MCC) and brought up during his hearing.

But also at issue when Gjini appeared before the MCC, were his online postings. During law school, Gjini, like almost every law school student, frequently commented on various social media services. During his examination, the MCC came across Gjini’s public accounts and found the following comments:

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July 22, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

ABA Question Of The Week: Did You Like Law School?

ABA Logo (2016)ABA Journal Question of the Week:  Did You Like Law School?:

In the last week, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence—who graduated from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1986—was named Donald Trump’s running mate on the Republican presidential ticket. In a 1994 news story unearthed in response to Pence’s nomination, Pence said he didn’t like law school.

“No one I know likes law school,” he told the Indianapolis Business Journal at the time. “It was a bad experience. I wouldn’t wish it on a dog I didn’t like.”

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July 22, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Amidst Financial Free Fall, Nine Thomas Jefferson Faculty Retire

Thomas Jefferson Logo (2015)Amidst a very challenging budgetary environment caused by an ill-fated building project and a 38% enrollment decline since 2011 (links below), nine Thomas Jefferson Law School faculty have retired:

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July 22, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

'A Talent For Teaching Simply Does Not Factor Into Tenure Decisions At Dartmouth'

DartmouthDartBlog, Tenure/Teaching: The Pendulum Swings:

A member of the faculty writes in:

Faculty hired 5-7 years ago were told explicitly that a couple of peer-reviewed articles and a book contract with a well-respected academic press was sufficient for tenure. I often used the word “humane” to describe the requirements for tenure, in that they rewarded both scholarship of a high caliber and teaching prowess. ...

Professors hired at that time are now coming up for tenure. ... Recent tenure decisions have many members of my cohort scrambling for the exits—going on the market and taking on visiting appointments elsewhere—now that they understand that they were given a false impression of how different aspects of their trajectories would be evaluated.

I hate to say this, but many younger colleagues express regret at having agonized over their lesson plans and expended so much effort on honing their skills as classroom instructors, when a talent for teaching simply does not factor into tenure decisions. Phil Hanlon’s recent remarks on education only confirm what we already know, that Dartmouth is moving toward a corporate state university model wherein professors are retained for their “productivity”—quantity of publication over quality—and ability to bring in large grants, while underpaid adjuncts teach undergraduates. ...

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July 22, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Should After-Hours Work-Related Email Be Illegal?

GmailFast Company, What Sending After-Hours Emails Does To Your Productivity:

In a new report called "Exhausted But Unable to Disconnect," professors from Lehigh University, Virginia Tech, and Colorado State University found that an "always on" culture may prevent employees from fully disengaging from work, causing stress.

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July 21, 2016 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Georgetown 3L:  Law School Is A Terrible Idea For Most People

Boston Globe: Put Down That Law School Application Before It’s Too Late, by Isvari Mohan (J.D. 2016, Georgetown ("among the 1 percent of students who love law school"):

I’m going to bet that many of you have considered going to law school. Whether you’re a scientist, a doctor, an engineer, a businesswoman, or a stereotypical liberal arts grad, you might have thought that law school would help you with something. Most of the time, it won’t. Here’s why law school is a terrible idea for most people:

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July 21, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (18)

David Cole Named National Legal Director Of ACLU

Cole 3Press Release, ACLU Taps Constitutional Expert David Cole as National Legal Director:

The American Civil Liberties Union has tapped David Cole, a leading constitutional law expert and litigator, to become its National Legal Director, leading its Supreme Court practice and overseeing the work of the organization’s nearly 300 lawyers, Executive Director Anthony D. Romero announced today. The ACLU has participated in nearly every landmark case involving political expression, freedom of the press, speech on the internet, and separation of church and state in the U.S. Supreme Court during the last 96 years. Cole will replace Steven R. Shapiro, who has served as National Legal Director for a quarter century. ...

In his role as National Legal Director, Cole will direct a program that includes approximately 1,400 state and federal lawsuits on a broad range of civil liberties issues. He will directly manage 100 ACLU staff attorneys in New York headquarters, oversee the organization’s U.S. Supreme Court docket, and provide leadership to more than 200 staff attorneys who work in ACLU affiliate offices in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. Another 1,700 volunteer cooperating attorneys throughout the country are engaged in ACLU litigation. With an annual headquarters budget of $140 million, and 1.3 million supporters, the ACLU is the nation’s largest and oldest civil liberties organization. ...

Cole is currently the Hon. George J. Mitchell Professor in Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches constitutional law, national security, and criminal justice. ...

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July 21, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Houston College Of Law Seeks To Hire Staff Attorney In Its Low Income Taxpayer Clinic

Houston College 2Houston College of Law seeks to hire a Staff Attorney in its Low Income Taxpayer Clinic:

Job Description

SUMMARY  Houston College of Law, located in downtown Houston, recently received approval from the IRS to receive a grant to operate a LITC. Beginning with the fall 2016 semester, the LITC will provide direct representation in federal tax controversies to low income taxpayers. Clients assisted by the LITC might need a variety of types of assistance in resolving their federal tax issues with the IRS, including entering into installment agreements, submitting offers in compromise, negotiating with IRS Appeals, requesting Collection Due Process Hearings, and filing petitions and litigating in the United States Tax Court. Funding for this position through the IRS grant currently is available only for the fall 2016 semester. Houston College of Law has applied for grant funds for calendar year 2017 and intends to apply for grant funds for future years. Employment as a Staff Attorney in the LITC following the fall 2016 semester is contingent on grant funding and the law school’s requirements.

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July 21, 2016 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law School App Tracks Students’ Professional Skills

UNNational Law Journal, Law School App Tracks Students’ Professional Skills:

Want to graduate from law school as a well-rounded attorney?

There’s an app for that.

Next month, the University of Nebraska College of Law will roll out an app designed to help students develop 27 distinct professional skills by tracking their activities and coursework. Administrators say that the app, built by students in the university’s computer science school over the past year with input from law faculty and students, is the first of its kind at a law school.

“The goal is to help students focus on the broad range of skills they will need as lawyers,” said Interim Law Dean Richard Moberly. “In some ways, I want students to use this to take ownership over their educational opportunities.”

The Build Your Character app aims to encourage students to look beyond reading, writing and “thinking like a lawyer” to hone abilities including networking, listening, organizing and problem solving—skills that students tend to overlook.

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July 21, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Law School 2.0: How Legal Tech Disrupted Traditional Legal Education

LHLegal Tech News, Law School 2.0: How Legal Tech Disrupted Traditional Legal Education:

Data-driven law school decisions and more hands-on technology courses are upending conventional legal education.

Providing attorneys with the economic mobility and technical acumen to survive in today's competitive marketplace should seem like the goal of any modern legal education. But oftentimes, it is an area where law schools fall short.

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July 20, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Grads Of Mid- And Low-Tier Law Schools Hang Out Their Shingles To Survive In Brutal Job Market

AttyNational Law Journal, In Tight Job Market, New Law Grads Boldly Hang a Shingle:

Let’s face it, the Big Law life isn’t for everyone. Some 4.4 percent of law school graduates—or about 1,900 each year—launch their own firms, according to the National Association for Law Placement, which last ran the numbers in 2014.

In talking to young lawyers who went into business for themselves during the past few years, found that some had no choice: They couldn’t find a place at a law firm, where hiring from top-tier schools has improved since the recession but generally not from lower-ranked schools. Some of the recent graduates we talked to did find a law firm job; they didn’t like it. Others were realizing ambitions—they preferred the flexibility and autonomy of running their own practices, plus the close interaction with clients.

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July 20, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (28)

North Carolina Central Law School Seeks To Hire A Tax Clinic Director

NCC LogoNorth Carolina Central University School of Law invites applications from entry-level and lateral candidates for the position of Director/Supervisor of its Low Income Taxpayer Clinic:

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July 20, 2016 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Malcolm Gladwell-Bowdoin College Food Fight Over Student Amenities v. Financial Aid To Low-Income Students

GBInside Higher Ed, Food Fight:

Why do some seemingly similar colleges admit more low-income students than others?

Malcolm Gladwell, the popular writer (The Tipping Point, among other books), has an answer for that question. Elite colleges that spend to have quality food and other amenities for students are making choices he finds immoral. Letting students make do with mediocre food would enable these colleges to admit more low-income students and provide them with the aid and support they need to succeed, he maintains.

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July 20, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Vassar Faculty Propose Reducing Teaching Load To 2-2, Freeing Up Time For Research, Student Mentoring

Vassar 3Inside Higher Ed, The Price of Cutting Course Loads:

Faculty members at Vassar College generally agree that teaching five classes per year makes it hard to keep up with research and the one-on-one interaction that students expect. Many professors also worry that students are taking on too many courses at one time. So a new proposal to address the issue -- shrinking the teaching load to four classes per year while adding a new student supervisory component, and cutting the number of units students need to graduate -- has attracted significant faculty support.

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July 19, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

South Carolina Seeks To Hire A Tax Prof

South Carolina Logo (2016)The University of South Carolina School of Law invites applications for tenured, tenure-track, or visiting faculty positions to begin fall semester 2017:

The School of Law is interested in candidates who are qualified to teach in the areas of taxation and clinical legal education, but will also be considering candidates in a variety of other areas of need. The School of Law is also interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity of our law school community.

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July 19, 2016 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Public College President Salaries, 2014-15

Monday, July 18, 2016

Is It Time For Authors To Leave SSRN?

ESSRNFollowing up on my previous post, Elsevier Acquires SSRN:  Authors Alliance, Is It Time for Authors to Leave SSRN?:

As feared, it now appears that SSRN is taking up restrictive and hostile positions against authors’ ability to decide when and how to share their work. Reports are surfacing that, without notice, SSRN is removing author-posted documents following SSRN’s own, opaque determination that the author must have transferred copyright, the publisher had not consented to the posting, or where the author has opted to use a non-commercial Creative Commons license. One author, Andrew Selbst, reported that SSRN refused his post even though the article’s credits reflected his retained copyright.

This policy fails to honor the rights individual authors have negotiated in order to put their work on services like SSRN. It misreads the Creative Commons licenses authors adopt in order to share their work. And it is a marked departure from the standard notice and takedown procedures typically used to remove user-uploaded copyright-infringing works from the web, eliminating both any apparent notice from the putative copyright owner and any clear recourse for the affected authors.

SSRN authors: you have not committed to SSRN. You can remove your papers from their service, and you can opt instead to make your work available in venues that show real commitment to the sharing, vetting, and refinement of academic work.

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July 18, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (4)

Harrison:  University Of Florida Cancels Sick-Leave Payouts, Sparking Faculty Retirements

Florida Logo (GIF)Jeff Harrison (Florida), Charity for the Haves and Administrative Stipends:

My university, in a jaw-drooping exercise of hubris, just up and unilaterally terminated payment of part of compensation already due employees. This compensation was in the form of a pay out for unused sick leave.  (As an aside (note the parentheses) there should not be sick leave payouts. It is the ultimate class-based benefit. Why? Guess which folks in the University are least likely to use sick leave? You've got it—elitist professors and high level administrators who are then able to cash in for upwards of 100K while staff people account for every hour.)

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July 18, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tax Prof Schadenfreude

What could be better for a law student than being on the same flight as your tax professor the day after your exam? Being on the same return flight:


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July 18, 2016 in Book Club, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Today Marks Two Year Anniversary Of Dan Markel's Murder

Markel 3Following up on this morning's post, Lawyer Denies Adelson Family's Involvement In Dan Markel's Murder, Fingers Florida State Law Students, PrawfsBlawg Readers As Possible Suspects: Tallahassee Democrat, Markel Murder Marks Two Years; Details Flood Second Anniversary of Markel Slaying:

On a sunny summer morning two years ago today, prominent Florida State legal scholar Dan Markel was killed in broad daylight in his garage with two gunshots to the head. ...

The motive for Markel’s murder, court documents say, “stemmed from the desperate desire” of the family of his ex-wife Wendi Adelson to allow the couple’s two young sons to move to South Florida. Documents implicate Adelson’s mother Donna Adelson and brother Charlie Adelson as co-defendants in the plot. Police say more arrests are expected. ...

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July 18, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Lawyer Denies Adelson Family's Involvement In Dan Markel's Murder, Fingers Florida State Law Students, PrawfsBlawg Readers As Possible Suspects

Markel & AdelsonThe Orlando Sun-Sentinel has a long (2,200 word) article on Dan Markel's murder, FSU Law Professor Fought Ex-wife in the Courts Until Murderous End. The article includes a lot of detail on Dan's divorce from Wendi Adelson, the animosity between Dan and the Adelson family, and the police's belief that the Adelsons hired the hit men who killed Dan. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the article is the Adelson family lawyer's comments about possible other suspects in the murder:

"The Adelsons had absolutely nothing to do with Dan Markel's murder," Michael D. Weinstein, lawyer and family friend to the Adelsons, said Saturday from Norway, where he is vacationing. "There might be other people who had motive as well." ...

Garcia's probable cause affidavit, investigators laid out their theory, which focused mainly on Donna Adelson and Wendi's brother Charlie. Charlie Adelson also did not like Markel; he is the apparent link between the family and Garcia, police said. Investigators said Charlie Adelson had a "personal relationship" and frequent phone contact with Katherine Magbanua, a South Florida woman who has two children with Garcia.

Perhaps FSU students, or people reacting to Markel's blog, PrawfsBlawg, had it in for the law professor, Weinstein said Saturday. "He had a lot of people angry with him," Weinstein said. ...

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July 18, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (19)

Associate Deans Symposium:  Student-Edited Law Reviews—Future Publication Platforms

Associate Dean Symposium, Student-Edited Law Reviews: Future Publication Platforms, 32 Touro L. Rev. 235-74 (2016):

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July 18, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Revised Bar Passage Law School Accreditation Standard Threatens Compliance With Diversity Standard

ABA Logo (2016)Law Practice Today: Proposed ABA Law School Accreditation Standard 316: A Threat to Diversity in Law Schools and the Legal Profession?, by Robert Furnier:

On the one hand, the amendment to Standard 206 (Diversity and Inclusion) would strengthen the obligation that law schools “demonstrate by concrete action a commitment to diversity and inclusion.” On the other hand, the revised Standard 316 (Bar Passage) would hamstring the ability of law schools to comply with Standard 206 by toughening the bar passage requirement for accreditation.

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July 17, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (10)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

NY Times:  Law Firms Offer Cash to Help New Lawyers Pay Student Loans—Like 'Sushi In The Workplace Cafeteria'?

NY Times Dealbook (2013)New York Times Deal Book: Firms Offer Cash to Help New Lawyers Pay Student Debt, by Elizabeth Olson:

Young lawyers, struggling with tens of thousands of dollars in student debt, are finding relief from a new source: their employers.

Some law firms are starting to contribute cash to help their newly hired lawyers meet monthly payments on education loans that can be as large as a mortgage payment on a house. That is a step beyond what some law firms now do in helping their junior lawyers refinance with lower-interest loan

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, a large firm founded in San Francisco that specializes in technology, energy and infrastructure law, plans to announce on Friday that it will contribute a monthly amount to its new associates to offset accumulated education debt. Other firms are also beginning to embrace the idea, seeing substantial debt as a big worry for their entry-level lawyers. ...

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July 16, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (11)

University Of Memphis Gives Adjuncts 40% Raise; Adjunct Teaching Full Load Would Earn Less Than Minimum Wage (But No Adjuncts Teach Full Load Because Of ObamaCare)

MemphisInside Higher Ed, When a 40% Raise Is Just Getting Started:

The University of Memphis has proposed a 40 percent increase in minimum adjunct pay, from $1,500 to $2,100 per three-credit-hour course. This marks the first pay raise for adjuncts at the university in three decades. Yet as adjuncts at other universities are winning contracts with minimums more than three times higher, progress may not mean that adjuncts at the University of Memphis will be taking home a decent wage. ...

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July 16, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Friday, July 15, 2016

More On The Law Prof/Law Review Editor Publication Spat

Update on Wednesday's post, Law Review Editor And Prof Spar After He Declines To Publish Article Rather Than Accept Offer From Low-Ranked Journal:  Above the Law, Fight Between Law Professor And Law Review Editor Gets Published:

Well, we just had to know what was the real story behind the article. Was it an actual conversation that happened between an editor and a law professor? Inspired by actual events? Was it just a work of satire, or meant to be a “teachable moment”? I reached out to the author, Dan Subotnik, a professor at Touro Law Center, to get the scoop, and he was coy in his response. Though he was able to confirm the article was NOT purely fictional/satirical:

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July 15, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Albany Is 16th Law School To Offer 2-Year J.D., But First To Charge Only 2 Years Of Tuition

Albany logoAlbany Law School Announces 2-Year J.D. Program:

Accelerated Track Offers One-Year Tuition Savings and a Faster Return to the Workforce

Albany Law School today announced the launch of an accelerated program for highly motivated students to earn a law degree in two years, eliminating tuition costs for the third year. The program begins January 2017.

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July 15, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Mike Pence:  ‘No One I Know Likes Law School’

TP1Wall Street Journal, Mike Pence: ‘No One I Know Likes Law School’:

Unlike Mr. Trump, [Mike Pence] has a law degree. And his bumpy experience earning it may be relatable to some.

From a 1994 profile of Mr. Pence published in the Indianapolis Business Journal:

[Pence] tried to enter the Indiana University School of Law, but scored far too low on the admission test. So he spent the next two years traveling to what seemed like every town in the state as an admissions representative for Hanover–gaining a great education about Indiana, he said.

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July 15, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law Grads Are 'Terrified' Of Failing The Bar Exam

WhisperAbove the Law, Law School Graduates ‘Terrified’ About Failing The Bar Exam:

With graduation in the rearview mirror, law school graduates now find themselves about a week away from one of the most important tests of their lives: the bar exam. This one test will determine whether or not they’ll be able to find success in the job market and whether or not they’ll become practicing lawyers.

It’s an intense time for recent law school graduates, and following wave after wave of record-setting failure rates on bar exams nationwide, many of them are incredibly nervous about how they’ll perform on the July 2016 exam. How confident are they?

Recent law school graduates have started using Whisper, an anonymous messaging service, to tell the world about how they’re feeling about the bar exam.

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July 15, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

15 Years Later, Legally Blonde is Still Inspiring People To Go To Law School

LBPeople Magazine, Legally Blonde Is Still Inspiring People to Go to Law School – Plus, How Reese Witherspoon is Celebrating the Film's 15th Anniversary:

Fifteen years ago, Legally Blonde hit screens – and the legal profession has never been the same.

Suddenly, law school was no longer just for "ugly, boring and serious" people (Elle Woods' words, not ours). Bright pink dresses were deemed acceptable courtroom attire. Identifying shoe designers and hair care procedures became integral in cracking a case. Okay, so not all of Legally Blonde applies to actual life as a lawyer, but regardless, it's had a big impact.

Elle Woods has inspired a lot of people – men and women – to go to law school, including Shalyn Smith, 24, of Columbus, Ohio. A sorority president in California, Smith says she always felt a connection with Elle – especially because people would underestimate her and her ambitions for a career in law, despite the fact that she had a 4.0.

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July 15, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Law Schools Should Teach Students How To Write Email

GmailKatrina Lee (Ohio State), Process Over Product: A Pedagogical Focus on Email as a Means of Refining Legal Analysis, 44 Cap. U. L. Rev. 655 (2016):

The prevalence of emails in law practice alone provides a compelling reason for assigning emails in the 1L legal writing course. Law students should learn how to write the types of documents they will be expected to write in law practice. Not surprisingly, over the past several years, email communications have increasingly become part of legal writing curricula.

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July 14, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (3)

Cravath Names First Woman Managing Partner

CravathNew York Times, Faiza Saeed to Become First Woman to Lead Cravath, Swaine & Moore:

One of the biggest deal makers at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a pre-eminent law firm on Wall Street, is poised to take over its top spot — and become the first woman to do so.

Cravath plans to announce on Thursday that Faiza J. Saeed, one of the two leaders of its mergers practice, will become the 16th presiding partner in the nearly two-century history of the law firm. Ms. Saeed’s 25 years at the firm have been punctuated by some of the most prominent corporate deals in recent history. ...

Among the nation’s 200 largest law firms in 2015, only three had women as managing partners, according to a study by the National Association of Women Lawyers.

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July 14, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Law Review Editor And Prof Spar After He Declines To Publish Article Rather Than Accept Offer From Low-Ranked Journal

Dan Subotnik (Touro), A Law Review Editor and Faculty Author Learn to Speak Honestly, 32 Touro L. Rev. 441 (2016):

[From Professor S on Aug. 28 via ExpressO] ...
I am a law teacher of twenty-five years standing and am widely published in the areas of contracts, professional responsibility, and legal education. Attached is an article for your consideration, “Forward to the Law School Past,” which I am sending to a select number of law reviews. ...

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July 13, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (16)

A Game Theory Model Of Law Faculties: Greater Turnover Needed To Curb Antisocial Faculty Behavior

Shi-Ling Hsu (Florida State), A Game-Theoretic Model of Cooperation in Law School Faculties:

A standard account of group cooperation would predict that group stability would bring about greater cooperation, because repeat-play games would allow for sanctions and rewards. In an academic unit such as a department or a law faculty, one might thus expect that faculty stability would bring about greater cooperation. Faculty turnover, by contrast, would cause faculty to invest less in each other, and depress cooperative behavior.

However, academic units are not like most other groups. Tenured professors face only limited sanctions for failing to cooperate, for engaging in unproductive conflict, or for shirking. It is thus open to question as to whether faculty turnover actually leads unambiguously to a decline in cooperation. This article posits that within limits, some faculty turnover may enhance cooperation. Certainly, excessive and persistent loss of faculty is demoralizing, and reduces the number of individuals among which administrative work can be spread. But for less dire losses, faculty turnover may play the disciplining role that academic units are deprived of by the tenure system.

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July 13, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)