TaxProf Blog

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

Thursday, October 19, 2017

California Keeps Bar Exam Cut Score At 144, Second Highest In Nation

California Bar ExamCalifornia Courts News Release:

In view of the rising costs of legal education and the financial hardship potentially resulting from non-admission to the California bar, the court determined last February to assess whether the current pass score (cut score) of 1440 for the California bar exam is appropriate for evaluating the minimum competence necessary for entering attorneys to practice law in this state. 

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October 19, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nevada Lowers Bar Exam Cut Score From 140 to 138, Pass Rate Increases By 23%

UNLV Logo (2016)Following up on my previous post, Oregon Lowers Bar Exam Cut Score From 142 to 137, Pass Rate Increases By 36%:  Las Vegas Review-Journal, UNLV Law School Sees Big Jump in Bar Exam Passage:

The verdict for Nevada’s most recent bar exam is in, and it’s a positive outcome for UNLV’s Boyd School of Law. Boyd students who sat for the test for the first time in July passed at a rate of 81 percent, 15 percentage points higher than in July 2016. ...

Nevada’s bar exam, which is administered twice a year, is notorious for being one of the nation’s toughest. But this year, the state Supreme Court made several decisions to make the test more user-friendly.

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October 19, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Harvard Law School Report On The State Of Black Alumni

HarvardDavid B. Wilkins (Harvard) & Bryon Fong (Harvard), Harvard Law School Report on the State of Black Alumni II 2000-2016:

One hundred and fifty years ago this year, the Law School enrolled George Lewis Ruffin, who would go on to be the first black person to graduate from any law school in the United States. In the intervening years, Harvard has graduated more black lawyers — over 2,700 — than any law school in the country with the exception of the great Howard University School of Law. Among their ranks are some of the most powerful and influential lawyers in the world, including the 44th President of the United States and the country’s former First Lady, Michelle Obama ’88.

In 2000, the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession released a Report on the State of Black Alumni: 1869-2000 chronicling the achievements and continuing challenges of this remarkable group of lawyers on the basis of a comprehensive survey of the careers of over 650 of the school’s African American alumni. In this new Report, based on a second survey of the school’s black alumni, including those that graduated in the new millennium and matured during the Age of Obama, we both bring that history up to date and offer new perspectives for this new era.

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October 18, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

REMAND Makes National Television Broadcast Premiere Tonight

GashRemand: To remain indefinitely and hopelessly in prison while awaiting trial.

I encourage you to check out tonight’s national television broadcast premiere of the inspiring and award-winning documentary film REMAND.  The BBC and Washington Post both chronicle how Pepperdine Law professor Jim Gash’s representation of a wrongly accused Ugandan juvenile prisoner named Henry led to his exoneration and release.  Revolution Pictures dramatically captures how this case sparked transformative change in Uganda’s entire criminal justice system through the work of Pepperdine’s Sudreau Global Justice Program.

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October 18, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Columbia Is Seventh Law School To Accept GRE For Admissions

Columbia (2017)Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Columbia is the seventh law school to accept the GRE as an alternative to the LSAT,  joining (in chronological order) Arizona, Harvard, Northwestern, Georgetown, Hawaii, and Washington University:

As part of its ongoing commitment to preparing students to be leaders in the legal profession, as well as other fields such as science, technology, public policy, and business, Columbia Law School will accept Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores in addition to LSAT scores from applicants to the three-year J.D. program beginning on a trial basis in fall 2018. ...

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October 18, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sander & Steinbuch: Mismatch And Bar Passage: A School-Specific Analysis

Richard H. Sander (UCLA) & Robert Steinbuch (Arkansas-Little Rock), Mismatch and Bar Passage: A School-Specific Analysis:

Past research on law school mismatch has been hampered by the absence of school-specific data, thus requiring scholars to estimate individual levels of mismatch through various indirect techniques. In this paper, the authors use data on nearly four thousand students at three law schools to directly measure mismatch levels based on LSAT scores or an academic index. The analysis shows large and statistically significant effects of mismatch; when one controls for mismatch, racial effects lose statistical significance. The results highlight the importance of mismatch in explaining both racial bar passage gaps and individual outcomes on the bar. The results also illustrate the great importance of individual school-level data across a range of schools in studying mismatch.

Table 2

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

Harvard Law Review Elects First Ever Majority Female Class

HarvardHarvard Crimson, Law Review Elects First Ever Majority Female Class:

The Harvard Law Review selected more female editors than male editors to join the prestigious journal’s ranks this summer, welcoming a majority-female class for the first time in the publication’s history.

The editorial class, chosen after a rigorous competition tested the skills of prospective first-year law students, consists of 24 women and 22 men.

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October 17, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Law Professors As Triathletes

TriathleteJudith M. Stinson (Arizona State), The Teaching, Scholarship, and Service Triathlon:

How can legal writing faculty, who spend a significant amount of time and energy teaching, commenting on student papers, and working individually with students to explicitly teach the skills of legal analysis and communication, be successful in a discipline that requires the balancing of so many roles? For each professor, one part may be easier than the others or more enjoyable than the others. In addition, individual faculty members may be better at one part than at the others. But legal academia does not offer the luxury of choosing which core requirement or requirements to fulfill. Likewise, triathletes deal with the fundamental challenge of balancing three complementary but different core tasks. Swimming, cycling, and running each require different skills – yet the real difference between a successful and unsuccessful triathlete is how well one accomplishes all three components.

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October 16, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

More Reaction To The Wax & Alexander Op-Ed On The Breakdown Of The 'Bourgeois Culture' 

Following up on my previous coverage of the op-ed by Amy Wax (Pennsylvania) and Larry Alexander (San Diego), Paying the Price for Breakdown of the Country's Bourgeois Culture:

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  Black Americans Need Bourgeois Norms: Frederick Douglass Would Have Agreed With Amy Wax, by Robert L. Woodson:

This summer, law professors Amy Wax and Larry Alexander caused a stir with an op-ed lamenting the decline of what they called “bourgeois norms.” “All cultures are not equal,” they rightly observed. Those that encourage self-restraint, delayed gratification, marriage and a strong work ethic tend to thrive. Those that tolerate or excuse substance abuse, out-of-wedlock pregnancy and dropping out tend to break down.

Ms. Wax and Mr. Alexander were instantly accused of racism by the growing army of angry academics who police the prevailing narrative of black victimhood. According to this narrative, black progress is determined not by personal choices and individual behavior, but by white supremacy, America’s history of slavery and discrimination, and institutional racism. Touting “bourgeois values” is interpreted as an offense against authentic black culture. ...

A better life has always been available to those who reject undisciplined and irresponsible behavior, and embrace self-determination and personal responsibility. So-called bourgeois values have always empowered blacks to persevere and overcome bitter oppression. They provided the moral “glue” that held the black community together during the hardest of times.

The life-affirming values that enabled [Frederick] Douglass and others to survive retain their potency in the 21st century. ...

Above the Law:  Black People Do Have Bourgeois Values: That’s Why So Many White People Are Still Alive, by Elie Mystal:

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

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Court Uses First Amendment To Reverse Conviction Of Man Who Flipped The Bird At His Pastor During A Sermon

ABA Journal, Man Who Flipped the Bird At His Pastor Gets His Conviction Overturned On First Amendment Grounds:

A churchgoer convicted of disorderly conduct for flipping the bird at his pastor was engaging in speech protected by the First Amendment, according to the Georgia Supreme Court.

The court reversed the conviction of David Justin Freeman in a decision on Monday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

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

Saturday, October 14, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Friday, October 13, 2017

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

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October 13, 2017 in Legal Education, Weekly Legal Education Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

600 Friends Celebrate Charles Ogletree's Life As He Battles Alzheimer’s

Following up on my previous post, Charles Ogletree Sees 'Blessing' In Alzheimer’s Diagnosis At Age 63:  Harvard Law Today:  Honoring Charles Ogletree: 600 Colleagues, Former Students, Friends Gather to Celebrate Life and Legacy of Influential Law Professor:

It felt like a family reunion — with 600 relatives.

That many friends, former students, colleagues, and well-wishers gathered Oct. 2 in a joyful celebration of the life and career of Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree, advocate for Civil Rights, author of books on race and justice, and mentor to former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.

Last year, Ogletree ’78, the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and founding and executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice, revealed he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

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

ABA Legal Ed Committee Proposes Changes To Accreditation Standard On Law School Admissions Tests

ABA Section On Legal Education (2016)ABA Journal, ABA Legal Ed Committee Suggests Changes to Rule on Law School Admissions Tests:

After recent announcements from various law schools that they will accept the GRE from applicants in addition to the LSAT, an American Bar Association section committee recently made various accreditation standard recommendations, including doing away with the separate admissions test rule entirely.

In March, the council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar sought notice and comment for a proposed revision to Standard 503 — which covers admission tests — that called for the council to establish a process that determines the reliability and validity of other tests besides the LSAT. That’s a change from the current version, which directs law schools using alternate admissions tests to demonstrate that the exams are valid and reliable.

The section’s Standards Review Committee — which met Friday and Saturday in Boston —recommends that the council reject the earlier proposal, and consider three options:

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

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Advice To Law Students Seeking Letters Of Recommendation

Bridget Crawford (Pace) reprinted the great advice from Chris Walker (Ohio State) to law students seeking letters of recommendation:

1. When reaching out, please include resume, transcript, and talking points.
2. Talking points should tell me what you want me to cover substantively and bonus points if in a format I could cut and paste into letter.
3. Talking points are even better if they situate my letter within the context of any other letters, personal statement, etc.
4. Talking points should include as much detail of our substantive interactions as possible, as that detail really makes the letter.
5. Don't assume I'll remember the highlights of our interactions. Remind me. Even when I do remember, your framing is often much better.

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October 11, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

WSJ: Our Smartphones Are Making Us Dumber — Even When They Are Turned Off

IPhone XWall Street Journal, How Smartphones Hijack Our Minds: Research Suggests That as the Brain Grows Dependent on Phone Technology, the Intellect Weakens:

So you bought that new iPhone. If you are like the typical owner, you’ll be pulling your phone out and using it some 80 times a day, according to data Apple collects. That means you’ll be consulting the glossy little rectangle nearly 30,000 times over the coming year. Your new phone, like your old one, will become your constant companion and trusty factotum — your teacher, secretary, confessor, guru. The two of you will be inseparable.

The smartphone is unique in the annals of personal technology. We keep the gadget within reach more or less around the clock, and we use it in countless ways, consulting its apps and checking its messages and heeding its alerts scores of times a day. The smartphone has become a repository of the self, recording and dispensing the words, sounds and images that define what we think, what we experience and who we are. In a 2015 Gallup survey, more than half of iPhone owners said that they couldn’t imagine life without the device.

We love our phones for good reasons. It’s hard to imagine another product that has provided so many useful functions in such a handy form. But while our phones offer convenience and diversion, they also breed anxiety. Their extraordinary usefulness gives them an unprecedented hold on our attention and vast influence over our thinking and behavior. So what happens to our minds when we allow a single tool such dominion over our perception and cognition?

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October 10, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

FBA Tax Law Student Writing Competition

FBA

The Federal Bar Association Section on Taxation invites J.D. and LL.M. students to participate in the 2017 Donald C. Alexander Tax Law Writing Competition:

The Federal Bar Association Section on Taxation is once again sponsoring an annual writing competition and invites law students to participate. The Donald C. Alexander Tax Law Writing Competition is named in honor of former IRS Commissioner (1973-1977) Don Alexander, who passed away in 2010. Mr. Alexander was a widely admired role model and advocate for writing skills and style in the area of tax law throughout his career.

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October 10, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Protesters Force Cancellation Of Speech By State Representative At Federalist Society Event At Thurgood Marshall Law School

Thurgood Marshall LogoFollowing up on yesterday's post, Seattle Law School Is Latest Flashpoint Over Campus Speech; Petition Seeks Cancellation Of Immigration Debate Sponsored By Federalist Society:  KHOU, Protesters at TSU Prevent State Representative's Speech:

There was controversy on the Texas Southern University campus right before the cancellation of one lawmaker’s speech Monday.

After dozens of protesters filed into an event featuring House Representative Briscoe Cain, they wouldn’t allow Rep. Cain to speak, claiming he has ties to the Alt-Right and is anti-LGBT.

Rep. Cain was invited to the Thurgood Marshall School of Law by the Federalist Society to talk to the students about the recent legislative special session. Instead, the event was shut down before it even started. 

“No hate anywhere, you don’t get a platform here!" protesters yelled inside the room.

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October 10, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Artificial Intelligence And Its Implications For Lawyers And Law Schools

Robot Lawyer 2David Barnhizer (Cleveland State), Artificial Intelligence and Its Implications for Lawyers and Law Schools:

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett recently stated that capitalism inevitably cuts jobs in its quest for greater efficiency, productivity and profit.  That is what he says is going on with AI/robotics.  While lamenting this dynamic, Buffett did go as far as saying that government needed to develop strategies to help the “Roadkill” represented by workers pushed out of jobs that will not be recreated. If we accept the dismal placement figures for recent law school graduates, far too many are “Roadkill”, both because they find out on graduating that there is no place to go for work of the kind they anticipated, or any kind related to law, and because they are burdened by massive debt with little hope of being able to repay that obligation.

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October 10, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 9, 2017

Leiter: What In The World Is Going On At Emory Law School?

Emory LogoBrian Leiter (Chicago), What in the World Is Going On at Emory Law School?:

I've been hearing about the turmoil at Emory Law from both insiders and colleagues elsewhere, who have also heard from insiders. Here's what seems absolutely clear at this point:

1.  Prof. Robert Schapiro announced last March he would not seek another term as Dean.

2.  Disregarding faculty input, the central administration (itself in transition) appointed an alum, a retired partner from Alston & Bird, as the Interim Dean.

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October 9, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

ABA Tax Section Chair Explains Reduced Travel Support For Academics

ABA Tax Section (2017)Following up on my previous posts:

To:      ABA Taxation Section Teaching Taxation Committee members
From: Karen L. Hawkins, Chair, Taxation Section
Re:     Reimbursement for Academic leaders and speakers

As all of you are aware by now, during the business meeting of the Taxation Section Council, difficult financial decisions were made. These types of difficult belt-tightening decisions have had to be made over the past two years, and will continue to be required to reach, and maintain, a revenue neutral budget. If the Section is to maintain its stated commitments to provide services to its membership; tax assistance to vulnerable taxpayers; and leadership in support of a workable tax system, it is imperative that we continue to cut expenses while also seeking additional ways to increase income.

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October 9, 2017 in ABA Tax Section, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Seattle Law School Is Latest Flashpoint Over Campus Speech; Petition Seeks Cancellation Of Immigration Debate Sponsored By Federalist Society

Seattle

Bloomberg Law, Seattle Law School Latest Flashpoint Over Campus Speech:

An immigration debate at Seattle University School of Law is the latest front for the hot-button issue of campus speech rights. ...

At Seattle University’s law school, a Change.org petition purportedly signed by over 200 individuals is asking the school to cancel the Oct. 16 debate, which is being hosted by the school’s Federalist Society chapter.

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October 9, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (15)

Which Law School Will Become The Mayo Clinic Of Legal Education Via The Dean And Faculty's Use Of Social Media?

Mayo 3Kevin O’Keefe (CEO & Founder, LexBlog), Law Schools Need To Introduce Social Learning:

Little question that some law school students are using social media and blogging to build a name for themselves. ... But how many law students are blogging and using social media for learning? How many law professors and law schools are promoting its use for learning?

Sadly, not many — and that’s a loss for the students, as well possible malfeasance on a law school’s part for failing to do so.

ZDNet’s Dion Hinchcliffe recently reported that though technology has long been used to improve how we learn, today’s digital advances, particularly with social media, have taken learning in a powerful new direction:

[The digitization of learning] allows learning — for better or worse, depending on the critic — to be far more situational, on-demand, self-directed, infinitely customized, even outright enjoyable, depending on the user experience, all of which leads to more profound engagement of learners.

In addition, the rise of social networking technology has allowed people with similar learning interests to come together as a group to share knowledge on a subject — and perhaps even more significantly — to express their passion for an area of learning. This can create deeper, more intense, and more immersive educational experiences within a community of like-minded learners. ...

“Social learning” is more than theory, the use of digital platforms and social networks to bring together communities has proven to work. ... Hinchcliffe suggests organizations lay a foundation for social learning. In the case of law schools, a foundation means creating a positive environment for social media and blogging.

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October 9, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

L.A. Times Editorial: Lower The Cut Score To Increase Diversity Of The Bar

California Bar ExamLos Angeles Times editorial:  Ease Up on California's Bar Exam to Achieve More Diversity Among Lawyers:

California’s bar exam is notoriously difficult. Or, more to the point, it’s notoriously difficult to pass, which is not quite the same thing. The questions that prospective lawyers must answer aren’t necessarily harder here than those on other states’ exams, but the grading is tougher. It’s as if you only have to get a C+ to be an attorney in Illinois, but you need an A- in California. Fewer than half the would-be lawyers who took the test here in the last three years passed it.

That might be OK if it meant that California’s attorneys were more competent, and the public better protected against poor lawyering, than in other states. But there is no evidence to support any such contention. The pass rate, as set by the state, is relatively arbitrary.

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October 9, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, October 8, 2017

2018 Times Higher Education World Law School Rankings: Citations

THEFollowing up on my previous posts on the 2018 Times Higher Education World Law School Rankings (links below):  here are the Top 25 law schools in Citations: Research Influence (methodology below the fold), which counts 25% in the overall ranking:

  1. Arizona State (60 overall ranking)
  2. Harvard (9)
  3. Queensland (54)
  4. Ohio State (77)
  5. Yale (3)
  6. Stanford (2)
  7. South Australia (88)
  8. British Columbia(16)
  9. Duke (1)
  10. Chicago(4)
  11. Vanderbilt(46)
  12. Dalhousie (74)
  13. Texas (55)
  14. University of Washington (31)
  15. UC-Irvine (78)
  16. Melbourne (7)
  17. University College London (8)
  18. Leiden (20)
  19. Edinburgh (14)
  20. NYU (12)
  21. Cambridge (5)
  22. Manchester (28)
  23. Amsterdam (23)
  24. Georgetown (25)
  25. Hebrew University of Jerusalem (59)

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October 8, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Crossroads Cincinnati: What Would Jesus Disrupt?

CrossroadsCrossroads, our former church in Cincinnati, has been named the fastest growing church and the fourth largest church in America.  Bloomberg Businessweek had a a fascinating article about the church a few months ago, What Would Jesus Disrupt?:

For two days, the crowd sits in darkness in plush theater seats, watching the church stage. There are smoke machines and LED screens, harnessed climbers scaling a scaffold “mountain” and raising their arms in symbolic victory over the startup world’s arduous climb. There’s talk of destiny-defining “exits.” Of Jesus and his disciples: “The most successful startup in history!” Of the parable of the talents, in which two servants are lauded by their master for turning a profit with money he staked them: “The first recorded instance of venture capital and investment banking in history!” Of ancient business elites: “A church is the oldest marketplace in the history of the world.” Of the promised land of angel investing, where divinely inspired entrepreneurs dwell: “Because God creates things, too!” Mark Burnett, the producer of The Apprentice and Shark Tank, shows up to remind everyone that “the Bible is full of merchants and people doing work.”

At last, near the end of Unpolished 2015, a faith and entrepreneurship conference hosted by Crossroads, an evangelical church in Cincinnati, the marquee event begins: the final round of a pitch contest. Organizers have selected three prospective company founders out of more than 100 entrants, each of whom submitted a minute-long video pitch deck. ...

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

Saturday, October 7, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

2018 Times Higher Education World Law School Rankings: Research

THEFollowing up on my previous posts on the 2018 Times Higher Education World Law School Rankings (links below):  here are the Top 25 law schools in Research: Volume, Income, and Reputation (methodology below the fold), which counts 30.8% in the overall ranking:

  1. Duke (1 overall ranking)
  2. KU Leuven (24)
  3. Cambridge (5)
  4. Oxford (6)
  5. Stanford (2)
  6. Toronto (10)
  7. Hong Kong (18)
  8. Pennsylvania (11)
  9. Harvard (9)
  10. NYU (12)
  11. Chicago (4)
  12. University College London (8)
  13. Yale (3)
  14. UC-Berkeley (19)
  15. Michigan (15)
  16. Leiden (20)
  17. Edinburgh (14)
  18. King's College London (25)
  19. Melbourne (7)
  20. Cornell (22)
  21. Tilburg (36)
  22. National University of Singapore (30)
  23. Amsterdam (23)
  24. McGill (13)
  25. South Wales (31)

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October 7, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Florida 3L Shot In Las Vegas Narrowly Escapes Paralysis, Vows To Be Prosecutor When She Graduates

Friday, October 6, 2017

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

2018 Times Higher Education World Law School Rankings: Teaching

THEFolowing up on yesterday's post, 2018 Times Higher Education World Law School Rankings:  here are the Top 25 law schools in Teaching: The Learning Environment (methodology below the fold), which counts 32.7% in the overall ranking:

  1. Chicago (4 overall ranking)
  2. Stanford (2)
  3. Yake (3)
  4. UCLA (21)
  5. Duke (1)
  6. Georgetown (25)
  7. Virginia (29)
  8. Cornell (22)
  9. Penn (11)
  10. Toronto (10)
  11. NYU (12)
  12. Michigan (15)
  13. McGill (13)
  14. Columbia (17)
  15. Melbourne (7)
  16. UC-Berkeley (15)
  17. British Columbia (16)
  18. Cambridge (5)
  19. Oxford (6)
  20. Harvard (9)
  21. Singapore (30)
  22. Edinburgh (14)
  23. University College London (8)
  24. George Washington (38)
  25. Amsterdam (23)

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October 6, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oregon Lowers Bar Exam Cut Score From 142 to 137, Pass Rate Increases By 36%

Thursday, October 5, 2017

California Bar Spins Off Its Sections Amid Concerns Over Spending On Liquor, Resorts

CA state bar logo PNGABA Journal, California Bar Spins Off its Sections Amid Concerns Over Liquor Spending, Resort Functions:

The State Bar of California has spun off its 16 voluntary sections into a nonprofit entity, making the state bar strictly a disciplinary and regulatory agency that is mandatory for state lawyers.

The changes are authorized in a bill signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday, report Courthouse News Service, the Metropolitan News-Enterprise and a state bar press release.

The sections began to consider a split from the state bar last year, partly because of new restrictions that included a ban on spending on alcohol at events and on contracting with resort-style venues, Courthouse News Service reported in May. Sections had argued the restrictions would hurt membership. ...

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October 5, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lederman: The ABA Tax Section’s Reduced Travel Support For Academics

ABA Tax Section (2017)Leandra Lederman (Indiana-Bloomington), Analysis of the ABA Tax Section’s Reduced Travel Support for Academics:

A hot topic among professors at the recent ABA Tax Section meeting in Austin was the reduction in travel support for academics scheduled to take effect with the upcoming meeting in San Diego. As Prof. Bryan Camp wrote on TaxProf blog, the background is that, for years, and through the most recent meeting, full-time professors who have a leadership role in the section (Chair or Vice-Chair of a committee, or higher positions) have received a travel subsidy.

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October 5, 2017 in ABA Tax Section, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

2018 Times Higher Education World Law School Rankings

THETimes Higher Education has released its 2018 ranking of the Top 100 Law Schools in the world, based on this methodology:

  • Teaching:  The Learning Environment (32.7%)
  • Research:  Volume, Income and Reputation (30.8%)
  • Citations:  Research Influence (25%)
  • International Outlook:  Staff, Students and Research (9%)
  • Industry Income:  Innovation (2.5%)

Here are the Top 25 law schools:

  1. Duke
  2. Stanford
  3. Yale
  4. Chicago
  5. Cambridge
  6. Oxford
  7. Melbourne
  8. University College London
  9. Harvard
  10. Toronto
  11. Pennsylvania
  12. NYU
  13. Melbourne
  14. Edinburgh
  15. Michigan
  16. British Columbia
  17. Columbia
  18. Hong Kong
  19. UC-Berkeley
  20. Leiden
  21. UCLA
  22. Cornell
  23. Amsterdam
  24. KU Leuven
  25. Georgetown

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October 5, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Why Do Law Profs Provide Peer Review Of Scholarship, But Not Teaching?

Mary Lynch (Albany), Experience with Peer Support, Peer Review and Feedback on Teaching?

We are all familiar with engagement in peer review of scholarship. Law faculty culture prioritizes peer input and review of scholarly ideas and articles. Sending drafts of articles to colleagues for feedback, “workshopping” preliminary ideas, and vetting scholarship is part and parcel of the work we do. We visit other schools, make presentations and attend conferences because we value peer discussion and input. It is the basis by which we create and communicate knowledge.

I don’t believe, however, we have a similarly pervasive culture for formative peer review when it comes to teaching in law schools, although such culture exists at other higher education institutions.

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October 5, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Law School Is Changing Its Name To 'Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law'

HRC

Townhall, A University in Wales is Renaming Its Law School After Hillary Clinton:

Swansea University in Wales is renamingi ts law school after Hillary Clinton and will honor the two-time presidential candidate and former secretary of state with an honorary degree. Clinton is being honored for her "commitment to promoting the rights of families and children around the world," and will receive the degree on October 14.

WalesOnline, Hillary Clinton Is Visiting Swansea Next Month to Collect a Top Honour:

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October 4, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

20 Of 21 California Law School Deans Urge Supreme Court To Lower Bar Exam Cut Score On Interim Basis Pending Further Study

California Bar ExamLetter from Deans of 20 of the 21 ABA-Accredited California Law Schools to the Supreme Court of California (Oct. 2, 2017):

[W]e seek here to highlight what we believe are the key points for the Court's consideration, as well as to ask the Court for specific relief. We have organized this letter in four sections, as follows:

  1. We respectfully request that the Court schedule a meeting (or a hearing) with the State Bar, the Deans of the California law schools, and any other parties the Court believes should be present.
  2. We respectfully restate the position that we advanced during the public comment period, that the Standard Setting Study does not provide a valid basis to set an interim cut score. We include as attachments to this submission supporting Comments that set forth in detail the significant flaws present in the Standards Setting Study. We also briefly discuss the additional studies that we believe should be undertaken.
  3. We address the principal policy consequences that would follow from retaining California's exceptionally high current cut score of 1440, and state why we believe that, based on those policy considerations, the adoption of an interim cut score between 1350 and 1390 would best serve the public interest while the Court authorizes studies that are more thorough
  4. Conclusion.

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

Washington University Is Sixth Law School To Accept GRE For Admissions

GREFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  Washington University is the sixth law school to accept the GRE as an alternative to the LSAT,  joining (in chronological order) Arizona, Harvard, Northwestern, Georgetown, and Hawaii.  From Dean (and Tax Prof) Nancy Staudt's announcement:

“WashULaw wants to appeal to the best students in the country and the world, regardless of their academic, professional or personal background,” said Nancy Staudt, dean and the Howard & Caroline Cayne Professor of Law. “The class beginning this fall was one of the most accomplished and diverse in the history of WashULaw. The decision to accept the GRE will continue to build on these efforts, making the admissions process even more accessible to highly qualified and motivated students of all backgrounds interested in pursuing a legal education.” ...

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October 4, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ex-Big Law Associate Who Flunked Bar Can Proceed With Suit Against Examiners

WycheFollowing up on my previous post, Harvard Grad Who Flunked Bar Sues Over Loss Of Big-Law Job:  American Lawyer, Ex-Big Law Associate Who Flunked Bar Can Proceed With Suit Against Examiners:

A former Ropes & Gray associate and Harvard Law School grad who failed the bar exam twice can move ahead with parts of her federal lawsuit against the New York State Board of Law Examiners.

Tamara Wyche sued the board and its individual members in 2016, claiming the board's denial of testing accommodations, which she received in law school, caused her to fail the attorney licensing exam and lose her lucrative associate job at Ropes & Gray.

U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie of the Eastern District of New York formally dismissed two of Wyche's four claims — brought under the Americans With Disabilities Act and the New York City Human Rights Law — in a Sept. 25 opinion [T.W. v. New York State Board of Law Examiners, No. 16-CV-3029 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 26, 2017)], although Wyche already had agreed to withdraw those claims.

But Dearie deferred ruling on her two remaining claims — alleged violations of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 — in order to allow for discovery into whether they are barred under New York's sovereign immunity.

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

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Technology Offers Law Grads New Ways To Tap Into Job Market: Networking, Analytics, And Apps

American Lawyer, Technology Offers Law School Grads New Ways to Tap into the Job Market:

Law students or grads fresh out of law school have some new technologies at their disposal for getting into the job market. Here’s a look at some of the new tools helping new lawyers get a foot in the door to their legal career.

Teaching What Law Schools Don’t: Networking:
Among databases of legal job listings, and how-to resume and interview guides, some law schools around the country are offering something novel. It is a tool that instead of automatically introducing students to legal employers teaches them how to make their own connections. Lawcountability J.D., a cloud-based app that offers instructional videos on how prospective attorneys can market themselves and network, was recently deployed in over U.S. 70 law schools nationwide. ...

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October 3, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

McGinnis: The AALS Claims To Favor The Public Interest, While Advancing Its Own

AALS (2018)John O. McGinnis (Northwestern), The Association of American Law Schools Claims to Favor the Public Interest, While Advancing Its Own:

The American Association of Law Schools (AALS) is a professional guild. It never misses a chance to proclaim that it is working in the public interest, while nevertheless focusing on its own interests —expanding the perquisites and number of its members.  The latest newsletter makes this combination even more visible than usual. It devoted its opening essay to Access to Justice — which it claims to favor. Simultaneously, it announced its opposition to a proposal of the American Bar Association, now operating under the watchful eye of Antitrust Division, which could decrease the cost of going to law school — one of the principal barriers to access.   The problem is that the proposal might well over time reduce the number of tenured professors, who, of course, run the AALS.

The ABA proposes that after the first year of law, accredited law schools could permit part-time teachers to teach any or all second and third year courses. The first year would remain mainly the province of a full-time faculty. The rationale of the AALS’s opposition is that “full time faculty are essential to providing quality education.” It provides no empirical support for this claim. ...

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October 3, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Governor Brown Signs Bill Authorizing Release Of Names Of Those Who Pass California Bar Exam

California Bar ExamYesterday, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill No. 690, which authorizes the state bar to release the names of applicants to pass the bar exam, effective January 1, 2016.  So law schools will no longer have to troll social media to try to determine whether their graduates passed the bar.  Here is the description of the bill:

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October 3, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, October 2, 2017

Lawyers Bill Only 2.3 Hours Per 8-Hour Workday?

American Lawyer, What Do Lawyers Really Do With Their Time?:

No wonder so many lawyers in this country work long hours to meet productivity goals. A recent billing trends report finds lawyers spend only 29 percent of each workday on billable time.

That’s only 2.3 hours of billable time for each eight-hour workday, according to the second annual Legal Trends Report, which was prepared and made public today by Clio, a Canadian company that provides cloud-based practice management for firms. The report includes data analysis and also the results of a survey of legal professionals and consumers.

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

NY Times: Professors Behaving Badly

AdjunctNew York Times Sunday Review, Professors Behaving Badly:

Is there something about adjunct faculty members that makes them prone to outrageous political outbursts?

In August, Michael Isaacson, an adjunct instructor of economics at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, wrote on Twitter, “Some of y’all might think it sucks being an anti-fascist teaching at John Jay College but I think it’s a privilege to teach future dead cops.” Though he later said he was not wishing for his students’ deaths, but merely predicting some would die, his post was roundly condemned. He received death threats and was suspended from his job, ostensibly in the interest of campus safety. ...

Conservative commentators have glossed these incidents as the latest evidence that college and university faculties have been taken over by left-wing radicals. But the incidents might be viewed as part of a different phenomenon: adjunct alienation.

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October 2, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Architectural Digest: Law Schools Have Three Of The Eight Ugliest University Buildings In America

Architectural Digest, The 8 Ugliest University Buildings in America:

Though not reflective of the caliber of the schools that built them, these campus façades are undeniable eyesores.

University of Baltimore School of Law:

Baltimore

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

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October 2, 2017 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

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October 2, 2017 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)