TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, May 27, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

88% Of Law Firms Have 'Chronically Underperforming Lawyers': 'Decreasing Demand For Legal Services Is Endemic In The Profession'

ABA Journal, Law Firm Leaders Report Lawyer Oversupply and 'Chronically Underperforming Lawyers':

Fifty-two percent of law firm leaders responding to Altman Weil’s Law Firms in Transition Survey  said their equity partners are not sufficiently busy. Sixty-two percent said nonequity partners are not busy enough, and 25 percent said associates don’t have enough work. Eighty-eight percent of the leaders said they have “chronically underperforming lawyers” at their firms. When asked why, 82 percent identified weak business development skills and 59 percent said flat or declining market demand was part of the problem.

Continue reading

May 27, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Last Weekly Tax Highlight And Roundup?

TaxProf Blog LogoOn August 1, 2016, I announced that, due to my growing other commitments, I was reducing the amount of time that I devote to TaxProf Blog by dropping my weekly tax, legal education, SSRN, and student tax note roundups.  Happily, Joe Kristan took over the weekly tax roundup, Scott Fruehwald took over the weekly legal education roundup, and David Gamage (Indiana), Ari Glogower (Ohio State), Daniel Hemel (Chicago), and Erin Scharff (Arizona State) took over the weekly SSRN roundup — and frankly have done better jobs than I did. (Regrettably, no one volunteered to take over the weekly student tax note roundup and it remains dormant.) 

As Joe describes below, this is the 31st and last installment of his weekly tax roundup on TaxProf Blog.  On behalf of all of my readers, I thank Joe for sharing his great work with us.  Joe belongs on the Mount Rushmore of tax bloggers.  We will miss him greatly. 

As I get ready to assume the Pepperdine deanship on June 1 (more here, here, here, here, and here), I am struggling to fulfill my commitment to continue TaxProf Blog.  If you are a law professor who has found TaxProf Blog a helpful resource and would like to help it continue by contributing legal education or tax content on a regular basis, please email me.

Continue reading

May 26, 2017 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax, Weekly Tax Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Henderson:  The Number Of Law School Graduates Has Fallen 28% Amidst Declining Demand For Legal Services

Bill Henderson (Indiana), Supply of Law Graduates Is Shrinking, But So Is Demand:

Henderson 3

The ABA just released 10-months out employment data for the class of 2016.  The percentages of grads employed in full-time/long term Bar Passage Required and JD Advantage jobs is up (72.5% compared to 70.1% in 2015).  However, the total number of these jobs is down (28,029 to 26,923).

Is this good news for law schools? Not really.  The employment percentage is up only because the number of law grads is dropping faster than the number of jobs. But both numbers — grads (supply) and jobs (demand) — are declining. A true recovery would show the opposite.

The graph above reveals a dramatic drop in the number of law grads.  The green bars reflect historical data.   The orange bars are projections for the next three years based on incoming 1L classes that have already enrolled. (Based on a 10-year historical average, 90.1% of entering 1Ls receive a JD three years later.)  Between 2013 and 2019, the size of graduating classes will drop 28.0%.

Continue reading

May 26, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Former UC-Hastings Dean's Advice To Those Considering Law School: 'Choose Wisely, My Friend'

Choose WiselyHuffington Post: Is Law School Worth It?’ It Depends!:  Choose Wisely, My Friend, by Frank Wu (Former Dean, UC-Hastings):

I hate hyperbole. And that’s no exaggeration. It’s likely a consequence of my profession: I teach law. So my business is training advocates, and, contrary to cartoon caricatures, you are more persuasive in a court governed by rules by emphasizing reason over rhetoric.

The debate over legal education nonetheless tends toward extremes. So-called scam bloggers allege legal education is worthless and ruins lives. Their opponents, whom they note rightly are not free of self-interest, insist on its abundant merit for the individual and doubtless necessity for our society. These claims are extravagant. They do not hold up.

Continue reading

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

The Introvert Law School Dean

IntrovertJane Byeff Korn (Dean, Gonzaga), The Dean As Introvert, 48 U. Tol. L. Rev. 298 (2017):

You might be thinking about becoming a dean. You wonder about whether you have what it takes, what you could offer to a law school, and what contributions you could make to advance the mission of a law school. There are many reasons to become a dean, and you probably know them already. If you are thinking about it, you are probably already an associate dean enjoying (usually) the challenges and opportunities offered by being an administrator. You are probably an effective teacher and scholar. You likely enjoy working with faculty, staff, and students, and are good at problem solving. But you might be unsure whether you have the personality to be a successful dean. In particular, if you are an introvert, you might question your ability to be an effective leader.

The common wisdom is that law deans are outgoing people with an easy ability to engage others in conversation and make small talk. In a world sometimes divided into extroverts and introverts, many people think that deans are extroverts and that if you are not an extrovert, you should not think about becoming a dean. I am an introvert and a dean; they are not mutually exclusive.

Continue reading

May 25, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

One Year After Arrest Of Alleged Hit Man, Prosecutors Are No Closer To Charging Adelsons In Murder Of Dan Markel, Despite 'Mountain Of Strong But Circumstantial Evidence'

Markel SuspectsTallahassee Democrat, Prosecutor Not Ruling Out Charges For Ex-In-Laws In Markel Case:

A year ago today, one of Tallahassee’s most enthralling whodunits took an explosive turn when Sigfredo Garcia was arrested at a Miami-area gas station.

His arrest began the dominos falling in a nearly two-year long investigation into who killed Florida State law professor Dan Markel. Soon enough, Garcia's arrest on murder charges would be followed by that of his alleged accomplice and the woman investigators say helped broker the deal between the hitmen and Markel’s former in-laws.

But a year later, none of those who investigators and prosecutors say paid to have Markel shot in his Betton Hills garage have been charged in connection with the July 2014 killing. Donna and Charlie Adelson, the mother and brother of Markel’s ex-wife Wendi Adelson, vehemently deny involvement in the plot despite being implicated as the instigators and financial backers of the murder-for-hire plot.

Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman said at this point there is a lack of direct evidence to arrest anyone in the Adelson family. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. She pointed out there is no statute of limitation for murder charges and the investigation continues.

Continue reading

May 25, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Henderson:  Overcapacity In Legal Education

Bill Henderson (Indiana), A Measure of Overcapacity in Legal Education:

Henderson

Between 1971 and 2010, the average entering 1L class at an ABA-accredited law school was 246 students with a very narrow band of fluctuation. The high-water mark was 262 in 2010. Every year since 2012 has set a new historical low. As the chart above shows, the average has tumbled by a staggering 31%. ...

Continue reading

May 24, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

After Hiring Lobbyist Who Helped Get Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Confirmed, Charlotte Law School Gets Federal Student Loan Lifeline

Charlotte DOEFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  National Law Journal, With New Lobbyists, Charlotte Law Disperses Federal Student Loans as School Year Ends:

The beleaguered Charlotte School of Law finally got some good news earlier this month when the U.S. Department of Education released federal loan money to some students just days before the spring semester ended. That development comes several months after the school hired a trio of lobbyists to make its case in Washington, one of whom helped shepherd Education Secretary Betsy DeVos through the confirmation process in January.

Continue reading

May 24, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Battle Of The Network Stars Returns To Pepperdine

BattleToday is a big day at Pepperdine:  ABC starts filming a "reboot" of the Battle of the Network Stars, which was hosted on our campus and aired on ABC from 1976-1988. From Variety:

The original “Battle of the Network Stars” aired on ABC from 1976 to 1985 and featured teams representing ABC, CBS, and NBC competing in events such as kayaking, golf, three-on-three footbal, and tug of war. The show was hosted for most of its run by Howard Cosell. Among the co-hosts and competitors featured over the years were Ron Howard, Penny Marshall, Bruce Jenner, O.J. Simpson, Rob Reiner, LeVar Burton, Billy Crystal, David Letterman, Tony Randall, Robin Williams, Dick Van Dyke, Lynn Redgrave, Tom Selleck, William Shatner, and Michael J. Fox.

Continue reading

May 23, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

2016-17 Moot Court Rankings

Moot Court2016-17 Moot Court Rankings:

1.   South Texas
2.   Oklahoma
3.   St. Mary's
4.   Stetson
5.   Georgetown
6.   SMU
7.   Chicago-Kent
8.   Texas Tech
9.   Michigan State
10. UC-Hastings
11. Pepperdine
12. McGeorge
12. Wake Forest
14. Ohio State
15. Mississippi College

Continue reading

May 23, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, May 22, 2017

WSJ:  Law Firms Finally Say It’s OK to See a Therapist

Wall Street Journal, Law Firms Finally Say It’s OK to See a Therapist:

Big firms have long been reticent to openly address addiction and other mental-health problems, despite research showing lawyers face higher rates of substance abuse, depression and suicide than the wider population. Law-firm leaders say the need to keep up appearances in a competitive industry has contributed to the resistance.

That attitude, however, is slowly changing.

Some U.S. law firms are tackling mental-health issues head-on. They’re offering on-site psychologists, training staff to spot problems and incorporating mental-health support alongside other wellness initiatives. ...

Continue reading

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

GOP Senate Cuts UNC Law School's Budget 30% As Payback To Liberal Faculty (Especially Gene Nichol), Rankings Slide From 20 (1979) To 39 (2017)

North Carolina LogoFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  News & Observer, The GOP Crafts a Message to UNC, With a Chain Saw:

The state Senate took a chain saw to the University of North Carolina law school this month, cutting nearly a third of the state appropriation for one of the nation’s oldest law schools.

The official explanation from the Republican-controlled Senate is that we have too many lawyers in North Carolina. But not even the teenaged pages in the Senate believe that.

The GOP is sending a message: It thinks the law school faculty is liberal leaning, it doesn’t like the Center for Civil Rights, and it particularly doesn’t like Gene Nichol. ...

Continue reading

May 22, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (35)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, May 21, 2017

San Diego Dean: It Is Time To Rethink The California Bar Exam

California Bar ExamStephen Diamond (Santa Clara), Time to Rethink the California Bar Exam, San Diego Dean Stephen Ferruolo Testifies:

It was the testimony [before the Standing Committee on the Judiciary of the California State Assembly] of Stephen Ferruolo, the dean of the University of San Diego’s Law School, that really caught my attention. Dean Ferruolo shared his full statement to the committee with me and you can read it here. (The dean’s testimony begins at 57:54 on the video archive.)

The conclusion I drew from his testimony and the discussion that ensued with the legislators is that the current form of the California bar (including the new 2 day version that starts this summer) is, in essence, an outdated regulatory barrier to needed innovation in legal education. Because of the exceptionally large number of subjects tested as well as because of the bias towards multiple choice questions (now heightened with the 2 day bar) law school curriculum is being distorted in a way that creates a disconnect between what is taught in law schools and what it is new lawyers need to know to be successful.

Continue reading

May 21, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Closing More Law Schools Won't Solve The Problem; Changing The Model And Delivery Of Legal Education Will

SorrySusan Cartier Liebel (Founder & CEO, Solo Practice University), If We Close Some Law Schools, Legal Education Will Be Saved! Wrong.:

[W]e do not have too many law schools.  ...  What we have is too many law schools operating under an antiquated model and that is why we are turning out too many under-educated lawyers who cannot qualify or compete in a changing market. This creates a glut of debt-ladened, disillusioned students, ill-equipped to fend for themselves.

Closing schools doesn’t solve the problem.

Closing schools just reduces the number of debt-ladened, disillusioned students still ill-equipped to fend for themselves. Changing the education model and method of delivery of this education will fix the problem. ...

Continue reading

May 21, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Should La Verne And Other Law Schools With Low First-Time Bar Passage Rates Follow Whittier's Lead And Close?

Laverne (2017)Bloomberg Law, Are Law Schools with Low Bar Pass Rates at Risk of Closing?:

The University of La Verne College of Law enrolls over 100 students each year, and if past history is any indication, only slightly more than half, 54 percent, will likely pass the bar on their first try after graduation.

Should that affect whether it stays open?

The disconnect between a school’s low bar passage rate, relative to other schools in the country, and its ability to draw applicants raises a question that’s been looming for legal education regulators: Is the bar passage rate the best way to measure whether a law school is adequately preparing its students to become lawyers?

Continue reading

May 20, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (9)

Facing Competition From GRE, LSAC Allows Applicants To Take LSAT An Unlimited Number Of Times

LSAT (2015)In the face of growing competition from the GRE (which is now accepted by Arizona and Harvard), the LSAC today is permitting 1,000 applicants to take a digital version of the LSAT.  In additional, the LSAC is removing the limit on how many times students can take the LSAT (the former limit was three times in any two-year period).

The ABA and LSAC require law schools to report each applicant's highest LSAT score, which counts 12.5% in the U.S. News rankings.  The rule change thus gives wealthier students who can afford to take the LSAT multiple times an enormous advantage in law school admissions.

The rule change also will increase LSAC's revenues, which were $59.7 million in its most recent publicly available Form 990.  LSAC has $238 million of assets and paid its President $692,000.  Four other employees were paid over $300,000. 

Continue reading

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

Friday, May 19, 2017

Congratulations, Pepperdine Law School Class of 2017!

SOL Graduation 2017 (1)
Photo Credit: Jessie Fahy

Continue reading

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

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Trump Proposes To Dramatically Cut Law Student Loans

Washington Post, Trump and DeVos Plan to Reshape Higher Education Finance:

Budget documents obtained by The Washington Post show President Trump’s administration is proposing a raft of changes that could have significant impact on college students and graduates.

One of the most striking higher education proposals calls for replacing the five income-driven student loan repayment plans with a single plan to the benefit of undergraduate borrowers. As Trump promised last year on the campaign trail, the new plan would cap repayment to 12.5 percent of the borrower’s income and forgive the balance of the loan after 15 years. That would apply if the loans were taken out for an undergraduate degree. Anyone with graduate loans would expect to pay the same percentage of their income, but would only receive forgiveness after 30 years.

Continue reading

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

Debby Merritt Criticizes Doug Kahn’s 'Ignorance Of Clinical Education'

ClinicalFollowing up on Monday's post, The Downside of Requiring Additional Experiential Courses in Law School:  Deborah Jones Merritt (Ohio State), What Do Students Do in Clinics?:

Douglas Kahn has posted an article criticizing the “proliferation of clinical and other experiential courses” in legal education. These courses, he argues, reduce the number of “doctrinal” courses that students take, leaving them “ill-prepared to practice law as soon after graduation as law firms would like.” The TaxProf Blog posted a summary of the article, and a baker’s dozen of readers have offered pro and con comments.

It’s an old debate, one that has bristled for more than 50 years. The discussion doesn’t surprise me, but Professor Kahn’s ignorance of clinical education does. His bold assertions about clinics reveal little familiarity with the actual operation of those courses. Let’s examine some of Kahn’s claims. ...

Continue reading

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

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Law School Rankings By Federal Judicial Clerkships

Derek Muller (Pepperdine), Visualizing Law School Federal Judicial Clerkship Placement, 2014-2016:

The release of the latest ABA employment data offers an opportunity to update the three-year federal judicial clerkship placement rates. Here is the clerkship placement rate for the Classes of 2014, 2015, and 2016. Methodology and observations below the interactive visualization. The "placement" is the three-year total placement; the "percentage" is the three-year placement divided by the three-year graduating class total.

Here are the California Law School rankings:

California Ranking

Here are the Top 10 law schools nationally:

Continue reading

May 17, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Private College Tuition Discounts Hit All-Time High Of 49%

49%National Association of College and University Business Officers, Private College Tuition Discounts Hit Historic Highs Again:

Private colleges and universities are discounting their tuition revenue at the highest rates yet, a new report from the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) shows.

By offering grants, scholarships, and fellowships, the 411 private nonprofit institutions that participated in the 2016 NACUBO Tuition Discounting Study averaged an estimated 49.1 percent institutional tuition discount rate for first-time, full-time students in 2016-17—the highest in the history of the survey. This means that for every dollar in gross tuition revenue from those freshmen, institutions used nearly half for grant-based financial aid. Among all undergraduates, the estimated institutional tuition discount rate was similarly record-setting at 44.2 percent.

NACUB

Continue reading

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

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Non-Elite B-Schools Urge 'Just Say No' Approach To Rankings

US NewsWall Street Journal, Business Schools Take a Stand Against Academic Rankings:

Business-school deans and research faculty at more than 20 universities are taking a stand against the academic rankings published by media outlets such as Bloomberg Businessweek, Nikkei Inc.’s Financial Times and the Economist Group.

Rather than “acquiesce to methods of comparison we know to be fundamentally misleading,” the administrators are urging their peers at other schools to stop participating in a process they say rates programs on an overly narrow set of criteria.

The plea, issued by deans and faculty from institutions including University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business and the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, comes in the form of a research paper to be published in the May edition of the Decision Sciences Journal [On Academic Rankings, Unacceptable Methods, and the Social Obligations of Business Schools].

Continue reading

May 16, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Alice Abreu Receives Temple University's Great Teacher Award

Abreu (2017)Temple Law Professor Alice Abreu Honored with Great Teacher Award:

From the volume of letters offered in support of her nomination, it is clear that Temple Law Professor Alice Abreu has been a Great Teacher for a very long time. On April 25th, Temple University made that official by honoring her with the Great Teacher Award, the highest honor bestowed by Temple upon its faculty.

Temple Law Dean Gregory Mandel took the opportunity to heap praise upon Professor Abreu, tempered with light-hearted teasing for her “boundless and infectious passion for tax law.” “Yes, you heard me correctly,” he confirmed to laughter from the faculty in attendance. “I realize that phrase has never before been uttered.” Mandel went on to describe the “universal admiration of all who know Professor Abreu,” not only for her “zeal for tax law,” but also for her “passion for teaching… and her excitement for drawing colleagues into the intersection of tax law and their practice areas.”

Continue reading

May 16, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (1)

Chair Of Legal Ed Section Weighs In On ABA President's Attempt To Strip Non-Accreditation Activities From Section, 'Urban Legend' That Shift To MBE Has Caused Slippage In Bar Exam

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

Greg Murphy (Chair, ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar), The Section Lives, and a Few Words on Bar Admissions and Examiners:

To accomplish the proposed changes in our Section described above, amendments to the ABA Bylaws would have been required. However, the deadline for the submissions of proposals for changes to the ABA Bylaws in advance of the August 2017 annual meeting was March 10, 2017. I am informed that no proposals for amendments relating to our Section were submitted.  Therefore, the first section of the ABA, the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, lives on.

Speaking of bar admissions, and since “Admissions to the Bar” is in our Section’s name, many of the readers of Syllabus are already aware that the House of Delegates adopted a resolution urging the bar admitting jurisdictions to adopt expeditiously the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE). The resolution enjoyed the enthusiastic support of the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division and Law Student Division, and passed the House overwhelmingly. Support of the UBE is now official ABA policy. ...

It bears noting that an urban legend seems to persist that recent disappointing bar passage results in some jurisdictions are somehow tied to jurisdictions adopting the UBE.  That is both a legend, and a myth.

Continue reading

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

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Downside of Requiring Additional Experiential Courses in Law School

Douglas A. Kahn (Michigan), The Downside of Requiring Additional Experiential Courses in Law School:

In recent years, the bar has expressed dissatisfaction with what is considered by some to be inadequate preparation of law students to begin practicing law immediately after graduation. There are several reasons why this has become a matter of concern for the legal profession. The ABA, state bars and law schools have responded by adopting graduation requirements that force students to take a certain number of experiential courses.

The contention of this article is that the imposition of additional, required experiential courses will have a negative effect on the adequacy of a student's preparation to practice law because it contributes to a reduction in the student's exposure to a range of doctrinal courses (especially core courses) and to the skills that those courses develop.

Continue reading

May 15, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (21)

Denver Law School Faces Federal Equal Pay Lawsuit From Eight Female Professors

Denver Logo (2015)Following up on my earlier posts:

Rocky Mountain PBS News, University of Denver Faces Federal Equal Pay Suit from Female Law Professors:

It was a memo from the Dean of the University of Denver law school that Professor Lucy Marsh will never forget. The University said it was paying all female full law professors thousands of dollars less than their male counterparts for doing the same work. “Something had to be done about that,” she said. “That's against the law.”

But when she went to the Dean to protest, asking what he was going to do about the pay disparity?  “He said ‘nothing”, and I thought man I'm not going to take that.”

Marsh and seven of her female colleagues are now cited as examples of violation of the Equal Pay act in an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission suit against the University.  Administration officials say the law professors’ compensation is based on a fair and unbiased evaluation of faculty and that every female full professor in the law school is entitled to less.  The university hired an outside consultant to examine their compensation system.

Continue reading

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

Muller:  The Incredible Shrinking Law School

Derek Muller (Pepperdine) has a typically thoughtful post on The Incredible Shrinking Law School, including this chart showing the 27% reduction in the median graduation class size from 2013 (206) to 2016 (161):

Continue reading

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

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Vermont Law School Receives $17m Loan From U.S. Department Of Agriculture To Fund Online Education Program, Restructure Debt

Vermont Law School Logo (2017)ABA Journal, Vermont Law Receives $17 Million Loan From US Department of Agriculture:

Vermont Law School has received a $17 million loan from the United States Department of Agriculture. The loan will be used to restructure debt and further develop an online education program and year-round classes that offer greater flexibility for students. ...

The law school laid off staff in 2013 following a [39%] enrollment decline and in 2014, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded revenue bonds [to junk status] that led to the law school “technically” defaulting on a loan agreement with TD Bank. ...

Continue reading

May 14, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Religiously Affiliated Law Schools, Olympianism, And Christophobia

Michael V. Hernandez (Dean, Regent), In Defense of Pluralism: Religiously Affiliated Law Schools, Olympianism, and Christophobia, 48 U. Tol. L. Rev. 283 (2017):

Daniel Webster observed that “Christianity, general, tolerant, Christianity, Christianity independent of sects and parties” was the foundation of our liberties and legal system. In the spirit of this tradition, I have explained in my scholarship that the law must zealously guard religious liberty for all, while the substance of law should be based on principles of truth knowable by and accessible to all and not on principles unique to one faith. In other words, a Christian-based jurisprudence does not inherently involve the imposition of uniquely Christian principles and, thus, is not theocratic.

Continue reading

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

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Law School Rankings By Full-Time, Long-Term Bar-Passage Required (Excluding School-Funded) Jobs (CORRECTED)

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Department Of Education Throws Student Loan Lifeline To Teetering Charlotte Law School

Charlotte Logo (2016)Politico, Devos Reinstates Some Funding to Troubled For-Profit Law School:

The Trump administration has indicated that it plans to greenlight the flow of some federal student loans to the embattled for-profit law school whose funding the Obama administration cut off last year. Education Department officials last week told the Charlotte School of Law that they're "prepared" to disburse loans to students for the current semester, according to an email to students from school president Chidi J. Ogene that was obtained by POLITICO. Only students who previously received a federal loan in the fall will be eligible for the late spring disbursement, which Ogene said he expects by this Thursday.

Continue reading

May 13, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Comparing Class Of 2016 Employment Outcomes With Class Of 2015 And Class of 2014

Following up on yesterday's post, ABA Releases Class of 2016 Employment Data: 7% Drop In Law Grads Lead To Placement Rate Increase, Numerical Decrease In Long-Term J.D.-Required/Advantage Jobs:

The ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar posted the Class of 2016 Employment Summary spreadsheet yesterday.

In this initial post, I provide a brief summary of the Class of 2016’s employment outcomes compared with the Class of 2015 and the Class of 2014.

Continue reading

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

Alum Donates $1.5m To University Of Florida To Fuel Law School's Rise In U.S. News Rankings From 48 To 35

UFUSNFollowing up on my previous posts:

Daily Business Review, Hugh Culverhouse Jr. Pledges $1.5M to UF Levin College of Law:

University of Florida Levin College of Law alumnus Hugh Culverhouse Jr. has pledged $1.5 million to be used by the school for incoming student scholarships if the law school's community raises an additional $1.5 million by Aug. 14, the first day of classes.

Culverhouse, a Coral Gables-based lawyer who graduated from the law school in 1974, said he was inspired to create the Culverhouse Challenge by the school's leap from 48 to 41 in the most recent U.S. News national rankings of law schools. It was the highest ranked law school in Florida, followed by the law schools at Florida State University (48), University of Miami (77), Stetson (96) and Florida International University (100). Six more Florida law schools were not ranked.

Continue reading

May 12, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

ABA Releases Class of 2016 Employment Data: 7% Drop In Law Grads Lead To Placement Rate Increase, Numerical Decrease In Long-Term J.D.-Required/Advantage Jobs

Press Release, ABA Legal Education Section Releases Employment Data for Graduating Law Class of 2016:

Employment data for the graduating law class of 2016 as reported by American Bar Association-approved law schools to the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is now publicly available.

The ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has released aggregate national data on law graduate employment outcomes for the class of 2016. An online table provides select national outcomes and side-by-side comparisons between the classes of 2016 and 2015. Individual law school outcomes are available online.

ABA Table 2

Continue reading

May 11, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Why Are Law Professors So Unhappy?

PublishLaw Prof Blawg, Why Do Law Professors Write Law Review Articles?:

Publish or perish, but is there a point to it?

Why do I write law review articles?  Other professors are starting to ask the same question of themselves.  Or more precisely, others are trying to measure who is making a “scholarly impact.”  ...

This whole quest started with another bad idea.  Publish or perish.  The whole game of academia is to publish articles so that one can get tenure, get promoted, and be on top of the world.  This means publication in student-run law reviews, preferably at the highest U.S. News and World Report ranks. ...

Continue reading

May 11, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (8)

ABA Tax Section May Meeting

ABAThe ABA Tax Section May Meeting kicks off today in Washington, D.C. The full program is here. Tax Profs with speaking roles include:

  • Diversity: Anthony Infanti (Pittsburgh),  Jacqueline Lainez (UDC), Francine Lipman (UNLV)
  • Employee Benefits:  Jon Forman (Oklahoma), Kathryn Kennedy (John Marshall)
  • Fiduciary Income Tax:  Jerome Hesch (Miami)
  • Financial Transactions:  Itai Grinberg (Georgetown)

Continue reading

May 11, 2017 in ABA Tax Section, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tax Prof Beau Baez Launches Learn Law Better

BaezH. Beau Baez, a Georgetown Law and Tax LL.M. graduate, was a Tax Prof for seventeen years at three law schools before being fired by Charlotte Law School in its January purge of faculty.  Beau has dusted himself off and launched Learn Law Better, LLC, with a website and YouTube channel dedicated  to helping students thrive in law school and pass the bar exam:

Law school is difficult. Professors don’t tell you what they expect on an exam and when you get your grades back you don’t really know why you received that grade, let alone understand how to improve. But we can help you on your journey.

Most law schools do a poor job at providing students with the detailed help they need to get good grades and pass the bar exam.  Learn Law Better is here to be your guide so that you can follow the right path. It is hard work–as anything worth having is — but now you have someone to show you how to work smarter so that you can achieve your life goals.

Continue reading

May 11, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Merritt:  The Bar Exam Is Broken

AALSAALS Faculty Perspectives: Validity, Competence, and the Bar Exam, by Deborah Jones Merritt (Ohio State):

The bar exam is broken: it tests too much and too little. On the one hand, the exam forces applicants to memorize hundreds of black-letter rules that they will never use in practice. On the other hand, the exam licenses lawyers who don’t know how to interview a client, compose an engagement letter, or negotiate with an adversary.

Continue reading

May 10, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)

David Hasen Leaves Colorado For Florida

HasenDavid Hasen, Professor of Law at Colorado, has accepted a tenured lateral offer from Florida, beginning in Fall 2017.  Here are David's recent publications:

Continue reading

May 10, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (1)

What Law Schools Can Learn About Assessment From Medical Schools

Law MedicineNeil W. Hamilton (St. Thomas), Professional-Identity/Professional-Formation/Professionalism Learning Outcomes: What Can We Learn About Assessment From Medical Education?, 13 U. St. Thomas L.J. ___ (2017):

The accreditation changes requiring competency-based education are an exceptional opportunity for each law school to differentiate its education so that its students better meet the needs of clients, legal employers, and the legal system. While ultimately competency-based education will lead to a change in the model of how law faculty and staff, students, and legal employers understand legal education, this process of change is going to take a number of years. However, the law schools that most effectively lead this change are going to experience substantial differentiating gains in terms of both meaningful employment for graduates and legal employer and client appreciation for graduates’ competencies in meeting employer/client needs. This will be particularly true for those law schools that emphasize the foundational principle of competency-based learning that each student must grow toward later stages of self-directed learning — taking full responsibility as the active agent for the student’s experiences and assessment activities to achieve the faculty’s learning outcomes and the student’s ultimate goal of bar passage and meaningful employment.

Medical education has had fifteen more years of experience with competency-based education from which legal educators can learn. This article has focused on medical education’s “lessons learned” applicable to legal education regarding effective assessment of professional-identity learning outcomes. The principal lessons learned in Part III with respect to assessment are:

Continue reading

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

Law Schools Gone Innovating

Forbes:  Law Schools Gone Innovating, by Michael Horn:

Non-elite law schools are in crisis. If people didn’t believe that before, they should now after Whittier College’s announcement last month that it would close its law school.

But the legal education landscape is not uniform. Different regions have different contexts in which law schools educate students. There are good examples of innovation occurring.

In the aftermath of publishing Disrupting Law School: How Disruptive Innovation Will Revolutionize the Legal World, a white paper that Michele Pistone, a professor at Villanova’s law school, and I wrote about the existential threat facing non-elite legal education, I embarked on a listening tour and spoke with a handful of law school deans from around the country.

Continue reading

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

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Kuehn:  Clinical Experience For All Students: It’s Not a Question of Cost

KuehnTax Prof Blog op-ed:  A Clinical Experience For All Students: It’s Not a Question of Cost, by Robert Kuehn (Associate Dean for Clinical Education, Washington University):

Unlike the education and licensing requirements for other professions, legal education and admission to the bar in the United States lack a mandated clinical experience in law school. American Bar Association Accreditation Standard 303(b) simply requires that a school provide “substantial opportunities” for its students to participate in law clinics or field placements (what are termed “clinical” courses) where they gain lawyering experiences from advising or representing clients. Under this permissive standard, only one quarter of schools ensure that each student can graduate with clinical training; five provide no opportunities to enroll in any law clinic; one provides positions in clinical courses for only 10% of its students.

Although lawyers agree that students need the training that comes from clinical courses, many legal educators and officials question the feasibility, particularly the cost, of ensuring that every student graduates with a clinical experience. However, the experiences of a growing number of schools and ABA data demonstrate that clinical education can be provided to all J.D. students without additional costs to students.

Continue reading

May 9, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (7)