TaxProf Blog

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

Friday, January 19, 2018

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Rebecca Kysar Leaves Brooklyn For Fordham

KysarAfter visiting at Forham last semester, Rebecca Kysar (Brooklyn) is joining the tenured faculty in the fall.  Rebecca's publications include:

Continue reading

January 19, 2018 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Interested In Law School? Click Here

Click, Interested in Law School? Click Here:

Two of legal education’s biggest players are teaming up to ease the path to law school for interested high school and college students.

The Law School Admission Council—which administers the Law School Admission Test and serves as the central clearinghouse for law school applications—and the Association of American Law Schools—which counts nearly all American Bar Association-accredited law schools as members—have launched a new partnership aimed at getting information about legal education into the hands of prospective students earlier in their academic careers.

Continue reading

January 18, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

NY Times: Accountant (Penn)|Lawyer (Georgetown)|MBA (Chicago) Hunts The Taliban

New York Times, He Studied Accounting. Now He Hunts the Taliban.:

When Navy Lt. William Conway is piecing together clues about a new Taliban or Islamic State terrorist cell in Afghanistan, he often falls back on skills he learned hauling crooks, swindlers and embezzlers into court in Chicago.

Lieutenant Conway is not your typical military intelligence analyst. A former state prosecutor in Chicago, he comes armed for his sleuthing duties with a law degree from Georgetown University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. Not to mention an undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Continue reading

January 18, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Touro Law School Offers New York's First Hybrid J.D.

Touro LogoNew York Law Journal, Touro Law Offers New York's First Hybrid JD:

Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center this fall will launch New York’s first hybrid J.D.

The new FlexTime J.D., as the program is dubbed, combines online and in-person classes and can be completed just under four years. It’s an alternative to the Long Island school’s more traditional day and evening part-time programs.

FlexTime J.D. students will take online classes year round for the first two years of the program. During that time, they will attend classes on the Long Island campus every other Sunday. Much of the remaining two years of the program’s coursework can be completed online.

Continue reading

January 18, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Who Had Dan Markel Killed?

Markel 3The Forward, Who Had Dan Markel Killed?:

[O]bservers have accused the Adelsons of planning the hit on Markel. The Adelsons have called the accusations a “fanciful fiction.”

It is possible that Wendi Adelson had no idea about a planned hit on her ex-husband. Police testimony suggests that Charlie Adelson joked about having Markel killed. Wendi Adelson also told People magazine that an ex-boyfriend from after her divorce, a law professor named Jeffrey Lacasse, may have had something to do with it.

“I’m the paranoid ex-boyfriend,” Lacasse reportedly told the police. “I was surprised that you guys didn’t call me earlier, though, because I probably said a hundred times that I’d like to kick his ass because he kept, like, really making Wendi suffer.”

Both Rivera and Magbanua have yet to go to trial for the murder. Magbanua’s trial was recently moved to October after it was scheduled to begin on January 22. Garcia’s trial was originally set for December 2017 but was moved to July of this year.

Continue reading

January 18, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

AccessLex And Gallup Release National Study On The Long-Term Outcomes Of A Law Degree

AccessLex Institute and Gallup Release National Study on the Long-Term Outcomes of a Law Degree:

With the recent decline in law school applications, AccessLex Institute commissioned Gallup to conduct a study on how the value of the law degree is perceived when compared to other higher education degrees. The study, Examining Value, Measuring Engagement: A National Study of the Long-Term Outcomes of a Law Degree, builds on AccessLex Institute and Gallup's 2016 report, Life After Law School.

The study adopted a holistic conception of value, encompassing not only employment outcomes, but also well-being and professional engagement. The study finds that the perceived value of the law degree is high among law graduates and recipients of other higher education degrees. Moreover, most law graduates report they would still get a law degree if they could go back and do it all over again.

Perceptions of the law degree differed, however, based on student loan debt and graduation date. Law graduates who accumulated $100,000 or more in student loan debt in order to obtain their law degree or who graduated during or after the Great Recession had less favorable perceptions of the degree's value.

Figure 1

Continue reading

January 17, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Law Schools Are Under The Microscope

Inside Higher Ed, Law Schools Under the Microscope:

The ABA has publicly posted reports on the accreditation status of more than 5 percent of the law schools it approves in the last 18 months, providing a window into the continued aftereffects of the law school bubble. ...

Cooley Law School’s case stands as a microcosm of developments that have been battering nonelite legal education for years. After enjoying an enrollment surge in the first decade of the new century, many law schools have more recently struggled mightily amid a dearth of jobs for young lawyers, dwindling student interest, worries schools were encouraging students to take on high debts they would struggle to repay, and intense criticism that many schools had been admitting students who never had the academic chops necessary to become practicing lawyers. At the same time, the accreditation world has been grinding toward greater transparency, placing some institutions under an unwelcome harsh light.

Continue reading

January 17, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Merritt:  Faculty Salaries And The Extraordinary Cost Of Research At A Top 25 Law School

Merritt (2018)TaxProf Blog op-ed:  Salaries and Scholarship, by Deborah J. Merritt (Ohio State):

Law professors teach a wide variety of subjects: Property, Civil Procedure, Legal Writing, Law & Economics, Business Associations,  Feminist Legal Theory, Law Clinics. Professors bring diverse backgrounds to this teaching. Some hold JDs, some hold PhDs, some hold both. Some have practiced law, while others have not. Some earned high salaries before joining a law faculty, while others drew more modest paychecks in government, legal aid, nonprofits, or other academic fields.

Despite this variety, there is one constant: professors who focus their teaching on legal writing or clinical courses earn significantly less money than those who teach other types of classes. This is true regardless of degrees, prior professional experience, or past salary level. What explains this pay gap? And what does the gap tell us about our values in legal education?

Before answering those questions, we have to understand the size of the gap. Academics shy away from salary discussions, but silence can hide inequity. To break that silence, I have been gathering information from salary databases released by public universities. I don’t have information on every public law school, but a surprising amount of data is available.

In this post, I will refer to salaries at one leading law school. US Newsranks this school among the top 25 schools nationally, and it is a clear leader in legal education. The salaries at this school, which I’ll call the Myra Bradwell College of Law, do not reflect salaries at every law school. They do, however, illustrate the type of salary gap our schools maintain between professors who teach clinics/legal writing and those who teach other subjects.*

Continue reading

January 17, 2018 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (11)

The Ethics Of Baiting And Switching In Law Review Submissions

BaitRyan Scoville (Marquette), The Ethics of Baiting and Switching in Law Review Submissions, 101 Marq. L. Rev. ___ (2018):

Sometimes the authors of law review articles engage in a bait-and-switch: they insert exaggerated claims of novelty or significance into their submission to student editors, and then, after securing a satisfactory offer of publication, moderate those claims in drafts made available to colleagues and the public. By doing so, the authors manage to improve their chances at a desirable placement and avoid unscholarly claims before peers.

Continue reading

January 17, 2018 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Muller: The Rise And Fall Of My Use Of Twitter

TwitterFollowing up on Friday's post, Law Profs: Beware The Perils Of Twitter:  Derek Muller (Pepperdine), The Rise and Fall of My Use of Twitter:

I have found that the reward from "status" on Twitter is simply not great. For journalism, it remains, sadly, nearly ubiquitous. A majority of media inquiries now start from a tweet; indeed, a non-trivial number of media mentions fail to even inquire of me and simply (lazily) cite my tweet. Using Twitter less means fewer citations in journalists' pieces, but such is the tradeoff. Furthermore, I've found that a lot of media now focuses on what people say on Twitter, and then how others react to those statements on Twitter—a deeply meta, and often, I think, deeply superficial way of thinking about newsworthiness.

Furthermore, I've watched a number of law professors (and others) lose a significant amount of their credibility (in my eyes, at least, and I think, to some degree, in the eyes of at least some others) by succumbing to the allure of fleeting social media fame. It moves beyond branding into a quasi-celebrity status. It's something that I want to separate myself from. ...

Continue reading

January 16, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Tyranny Of Metrics: 'Not Everything That Is Important Is Measurable, And Much That Is Measurable Is Unimportant'

MetricsWall Street Journal:  A Cure for Our Fixation on Metrics, by Jerry Z. Muller (Catholic University; author, The Tyranny of Metrics (Princeton University Press 2018)):

Measuring results is all the rage in organizations, but it is often wrongheaded and counterproductive.

In recent decades, what I call “metric fixation” has engulfed an ever-widening range of institutions: businesses, government, health care, K-12 education, colleges and universities, and nonprofit organizations. It comes with its own vocabulary and master terms. It affects the way that people talk and think about the world and how they act in it. And it is often profoundly wrongheaded and counterproductive.

Metric fixation consists of a set of interconnected beliefs. The first is that it is possible and desirable to replace judgment with numerical indicators of comparative performance based on standardized data. The second is that making such metrics public (transparency) assures that institutions are actually carrying out their purposes (accountability). Finally, there is the belief that people are best motivated by attaching rewards and penalties to their measured performance, rewards that are either monetary (pay for performance) or reputational (rankings).

But not everything that is important is measurable, and much that is measurable is unimportant. Most organizations have multiple purposes, and that which is measured and rewarded tends to become the focus of attention, at the expense of other essential goals.

Continue reading

January 16, 2018 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Updated Analysis Of Law School Attrition Data — 2018

In October 2015 and February 2016, I posted blogs discussing attrition rates between 2010 and 2014, and 2010 and 2015, respectively. With the release of the 2017 Standard 509 reports in December, I now have compiled attrition data from all of the fully-accredited ABA law schools outside of Puerto Rico for the last seven years, through 2016-17. I have calculated average attrition rates for the class as a whole and then broken out average attrition rates by law schools in different median LSAT categories – 160+, 155-159, 150-154 and <150. (Earlier this month, Brian Tamanaha noted that there are 14 law schools that have non-transfer attrition rates in the 2016-17 academic year in excess of 20%, the threshold set forth in Interpretation 501-3 which the Council for the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar adopted early in 2017.)

This blog reports that overall first-year non-transfer attrition increased each year until the 2016-17 academic year, going from 5.81% to 7.33% through 2015-16, before dropping back to 6.46% in 2016-17. This overall increase, however, results largely from increases in non-transfer attrition among schools with a median LSAT less than 150, as the non-transfer attrition rates for law schools with a median LSAT of 150 or greater have generally been in a downward trend over this period. Interestingly, one point reflected in this data is the inverse relationship between median LSAT category and attrition rates. “Academic attrition” rates increase significantly as median LSAT of law schools decreases; for four of the last five years, “other attrition” rates also increase as median LSAT decreases. 

The decline in non-transfer attrition in 2016-17 is noteworthy given that it is the first decline in non-transfer attrition in the last several years.  Notably, one significant contributor to the decline in non-transfer attrition in 2016-17 was the exclusion of Charlotte from the calculations given its closure.  (For example, had Charlotte not been included in the 2015-16 non-transfer attrition calculations, the overall non-transfer attrition rate for 2015-16 would have been 6.96% rather than 7.33%.)  That said, even taking into account the "Charlotte" factor, 2016-17 still shows the first decline in overall non-transfer attrition in the last several years.

Continue reading

January 16, 2018 in Jerry Organ, Law School, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

TaxProf Blog Holiday Weekend Roundup

Monday, January 15, 2018

NY Times: An Einstein For The Subway? A Lawyer — 'B' Student At BU Law School — Suggests A ‘Genius’ Fix

GeniusNew York Times, An Einstein for the Subways? A Lawyer Suggests a ‘Genius’ Fix:

It has been about a month since Craig Avedisian was declared an almost-genius, a finalist in a “genius challenge” contest with a $1 million prize. Whatever else is going on in the right and left hemispheres of his brain, the designation has not sunk in yet, he said.

“Here’s a guy, a solo lawyer, who thought he had an idea, and I got this far,” he said. “It was David versus Goliath, and David got heard. That’s the essence of it.”

Mr. Avedisian, 54, is not one of those a disheveled-looking Nobel Prize types who has tramped around an Ivy League campus the way Albert Einstein or John F. Nash Jr., of “A Beautiful Mind,” did. He is tallish and looks trim in a dark suit, a crisp white shirt and a carefully knotted tie. A commercial litigator, he lives on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. ...

Other measures of exceptionalness? He said he did not know his I.Q. He said he had a B average in law school.

But then, he is only an almost-genius. For now. Maybe he will win the contest and become a full-fledged genius.

He reached his current status because of an idea he submitted when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced the “genius challenge” last summer, a few days after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the city’s failing subway system. By the agency’s count, Mr. Avedisian’s was one of 438 entries from 23 countries. ...

Mr. Avedisian ... said his idea could expand capacity on subway trains by 40 percent on average and by 65 percent on some trains. He called it “simple” and “user-friendly.” ...

Continue reading

January 15, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (14)

Group Pushes For New Texas Public Law School In El Paso

El PasoFollowing up on my previous post, Texas Legislators Push For New Public Law School In The Rio Grande Valley Because 'Everybody Has A Law School':  KFOX14, Group of El Pasoans Continue Fight to Bring Law School to the Borderland:

A group of El Pasoans is fighting to bring a law school to the Borderland.

The El Paso Law School Initiative was formed in August 2016 to begin the process of bringing a law school to the Sun City. ...

The El Paso Law School Initiative met Saturday morning to continue efforts to bring a law school to El Paso. They’ve met multiple times over the past year and a half.

In that time, they’ve managed to get some substantial backing from Texas lawmakers. ...

Continue reading

January 15, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Key To Success Is Not Talent Or Hard Work, But Instead Pruning Your Tasks And Excelling In What's Left On Your Plate

Great at WorkWall Street Journal:  The Key to Success? Doing Less, by Morten T. Hansen (UC-Berkeley; author, Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More (2018)):

Talent and hard work are important, but most top performers in business have one thing in common: they accept fewer tasks and then obsess over getting them right.

Most Americans work impossibly hard. We put in long hours and maximum effort, but better performance often eludes us. ...

The knee-jerk answer to what distinguishes great performers from others is simple: talent. Social scientists and management experts explain performance at work by pointing to people’s innate gifts and natural strengths. How often have you heard phrases such as “She’s a natural at sales” or “He’s a brilliant engineer”? These talent-based explanations deeply influence our perceptions of what makes for success.

Are they right? Some experts say no, arguing that an individual’s sustained effort is just as critical as talent or even more so in determining success. According to this view, people perform well because they work hard and put in long hours. They end up doing more, taking on many assignments and running to lots of meetings.

But neither of these arguments ... explain[ed] the performance differences I had observed between equally hardworking and talented people.

In 2011, I decided to try to answer the question of why some people outperform others. I recruited a team of researchers with expertise in statistical analysis and began generating a set of hypotheses about which specific behaviors lead to high performance. We then conducted a five-year survey of 5,000 managers and employees, including sales reps, lawyers, actuaries, brokers, medical doctors, software programmers, engineers, store managers, plant foremen, nurses and even a Las Vegas casino dealer.

The common practice we found among the highest-ranked performers in our study wasn’t at all what we expected. It wasn’t a better ability to organize or delegate. Instead, top performers mastered selectivity. Whenever they could, they carefully selected which priorities, tasks, meetings, customers, ideas or steps to undertake and which to let go. They then applied intense, targeted effort on those few priorities in order to excel. We found that just a few key work practices related to such selectivity accounted for two-thirds of the variation in performance among our subjects. Talent, effort and luck undoubtedly mattered as well, but not nearly as much.

Continue reading

January 14, 2018 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Seton Hall's Innovative Weekend J.D. Program

Seton Hall 4Following up on my previous post, Loyola-Chicago, Mitchell|Hamline, And Seton Hall Offer Weekend J.D. Programs:  David Frakt, An Innovative Part-Time Program at Seton Hall:

Recently, I raised questions about whether some schools might be exploiting their part-time students, noting that at many law schools, the admissions credentials for part-time students were far lower than for their full-time students, in some cases, dipping dangerously into the high-risk pool of applicants.

Seton Hall was one of the schools that I identified that had a large disparity in the quality of their full-time and part-time classes.  While Seton Hall had very respectable numbers for their full-time entering class in 2016 (LSAT 75/50/25 of 161/157/155),  their 2016 part-time class was not nearly as strong, at 155/150/147.  UGPAs were also much lower:  3.69/3.40/3.07 for full-time vs. 3.46/3.13/2.95.  This was a consistent pattern at Seton Hall for the past several years.

After my column, I learned that for the 2017 entering class Seton Hall had changed the structure of their part-time program from an evening program to a weekend program. ...

Continue reading

January 13, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, January 12, 2018

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Law Profs: Beware The Perils Of Twitter

Twitter, For Law Profs, Beware the Perils of Twitter:

Twitter was awash with law professors proffering legal opinions a year ago when activists sued President Donald Trump for alleged violations of the emoluments clause.

Not all those weighing in were constitutional law experts with a firm grasp on the somewhat obscure statute barring officials in the federal government from receiving gifts from foreign governments, however.

That’s a problem, according to Carissa Byrne Hessick, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law and author of a new essay urging her colleagues to exercise caution on Twitter in order to protect their professional reputations and preserve the standing of the legal academy.

With more law professors using Twitter to weigh in on the issues of the day—and sometimes veering into the platform’s culture of snark and incivility—it’s time for law professors to have a conversation about how best to use the medium, Hessick argues in her draft article, Towards a Series of Academic Norms for #LawProf Twitter, which will appear in an upcoming edition of the Marquette Law Review.

Continue reading

January 12, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

NY Times: Women Force A Reckoning Over Bias In Economics

AEAFollowing up on my previous post, Women Economists Face A 'Toxic' Work Environment:  New York Times, Wielding Data, Women Force a Reckoning Over Bias in the Economics Field:

It is not difficult to find an all-male panel at the annual January mega-gathering of American economists. They are as common as PowerPoint presentations and pie charts. One such panel this year met to sleepily critique President Trump’s economic policies, but it was overshadowed by another panel, two ballrooms away, that jolted a profession that prides itself on cool rationality.

That panel on Friday was stocked with women, each of whom presented new research that revealed a systemic bias in economics and presaged a move by the field’s leaders to promise to address some of those issues.

Paper after paper presented at the American Economic Association panel showed a pattern of gender discrimination, beginning with barriers women face in choosing to study economics and extending through the life cycle of their careers, including securing job opportunities, writing research papers, gaining access to top publications and earning proper credit for published work.

Continue reading

January 12, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

American College of Employee Benefits Counsel Student Writing Competition

ACBThe American College of Employee Benefits Counsel is sponsoring its 14th Annual Employee Benefits Writing Competition on any topic in the field of employee benefits law. The competition is open to any J.D. and graduate (L.L.M. or S.J.D) law students enrolled at any time between August 15, 2017 and August 15, 2018.

Continue reading

January 12, 2018 in Legal Education, Tax, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 11, 2018

'Dancing Backwards In High Heels': Study Finds Students Set Higher Standards For Female Profs

FredInside Higher Ed, 'Dancing Backwards in High Heels': Study Finds Female Professors Experience More Work Demands and Special Favor Requests, Particularly From Academically "Entitled" Students:

Numerous studies have found that female professors shoulder a disproportionate amount of service work compared to their male peers. Research also suggests that students hold female instructors to a different standard than they do male faculty members, especially when it comes to personality. Women are expected to be more nurturing and are perceived harshly when they’re not, for example.

Both sets of findings matter because they have negative implications for women’s professional success: service is generally the least valued criterion in the tenure and promotion triad of research, teaching and service, and students who view female professors as unfriendly may rate their teaching poorly as a result.

Both lines of inquiry also intersect in a new paper, which says that students request more special favors and friendship behaviors from their female professors than they do of men — resulting in more actual work demands and emotional labor. The paper also suggests that "academically entitled" students more strongly expect that women will grant their favor requests than will male professors, and that they react strongly when women deny those requests.

“If students set higher standards for their female professors, it is more difficult for female professors to meet student expectations, perhaps resulting in poorer course evaluations, and putting more work demands and emotional strain on female professors,” lead author Amani El-Alayli, an associate professor of psychology at Eastern Washington University, said Tuesday. “Female professors may consequently be more likely to experience burnout and low job satisfaction than their male counterparts.”

Continue reading

January 11, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Exploring The Meaning Of Experiential Deaning

Margaret Martin Barry (Vermont), Robert Dinerstein (American), Phyllis Goldfarb (George Washington), Peggy Maisel (Boston University) & Linda Morton (California Western), Exploring the Meaning of Experiential Deaning, 67 J. Legal Educ. ___ (2018):

This article explores the position of associate dean of experiential education in law schools across the country and the central role associate deans play in the changing landscape of legal education. Experiential deans have broad responsibility for overseeing law schools’ experiential education programs. Additional responsibilities differ between institutions, but range from leading efforts to comply with new ABA standards to overseeing the integration of experiential education into the broader curriculum. Analyzing survey data collected from associate experiential deans across the country, the authors find the structure, content, and authority of the position is under-developed.

Continue reading

January 11, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

ABA Hits Back Against Cooley Law School In Accreditation Lawsuit

Thomas Cooley Logo (2017)Following up on my previous posts (links below):, ABA Hits Back Against Cooley Law School in Accreditation Suit:

The American Bar Association is pulling no punches in its fight over Western Michigan University Cooley Law School’s tenuous accreditation status.

The ABA’s newly filed motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by the Michigan-based law school highlights a series of problems at the school, from falling Law School Admission Test scores among the students it enrolls to plummeting bar pass rates among its graduates.

“The record amply demonstrates that Cooley has done just that, admitting many students who do not appear capable of graduating and being admitted to the bar, implicating the [ABA standards’] purpose to protect students from investing in an education that does not deliver,” reads the motion, filed Jan. 8. ...

Continue reading

January 10, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

ABA Journal: Judge Accused Of Bullying Law Students For Sex

ABA Journal (2014)ABA Journal, Italian Judge Accused of Bullying Law Students for Sex:

After accusations that he pressured female students for sex, made merit scholarship recipients sign secrecy and loyalty oaths and implemented a dress code that mandated miniskirts for women, an Italian judge and law school leader has been barred from teaching and faces removal from the bench.

Francesco Bellomo, who the Washington Post says sits on one of the country’s highest courts, was also director of Diritto e Scienza, a school that prepares students for the state exam to become a judge.

Continue reading

January 10, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Profiles Of California's 21 Law Schools

California DreaminCalifornia Dreamin', preLaw, Fall 2017, p. 19:

The Golden State is golden with law schools. Want to rub shoulders with Hollywood stars? Go to a Tinsel-Town area law school and that may happen. ...

California may be considered laid-back, but a number of its law schools will challenge that perception, [] with their academic demands. ... The state is so large and home to so many law schools that options abound.

California offers many dynamic choices. We start in San Diego and travel north. Grab your sunblock. ...

Pepperdine University School of Law
Pepperdine is perhaps best known for is beautiful location on a hill in Malibu that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. But it likes to focus on other strengths and aims to be the nation’s premier Christian law school by combining academic and research excellence with a deep-rooted commitment to a Christian mission that welcomes people of all faiths and backgrounds. Practical training continues to be one of its hallmarks. Few schools do it better.

No. 4 Most Devout — Christian School
No. 5 Practical Training
No. 15 Best Moot Courts of the Decade

January 10, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Why Do Male Ph.D. Candidates Publish More Than Females At The Same Institution?

Inside Higher Ed, Why Do Male Ph.D. Candidates Publish More Than Women At The Same Institution?:

Numerous studies have found that men in the sciences publish at higher rates than women. But the designs of some of those studies make it difficult to isolate the possible origins of that gap. Women are less likely than men to attend prestigious doctoral programs, complicating any study of gendered publication rates among researchers with different educational backgrounds, for example, as journals favor prestige.

A new study [Sex Differences in Doctoral Student Publication Rates] sought to level the contributing factor field, as it were, by considering researchers — Ph.D. candidates — in the same academic stage at the same institution. The authors wanted to know, specifically, how the number of scholarly works submitted for publication, first authored and published, differed between male and female students. They also asked how those differences varied by field, both within and outside the sciences.

The authors found that men submitted and published substantially more scholarly works than their female peers. That pattern occurred in both the male-dominated engineering and physical sciences, they note, as well as the more gender-balanced natural and biological sciences and even in the sometimes female-dominated humanities and creative arts and social sciences and applied health fields.

Continue reading

January 9, 2018 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

ABA Finds Appalachian, Arizona Summit & North Carolina Central Law Schools Out Of Compliance With Accreditation Standards

AANABA Journal, North Carolina Central, Arizona Summit Found Out of Compliance With ABA Accreditation Standards:

The ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar recently notified two law schools—North Carolina Central University School of Law and Arizona Summit Law School—that they were not in compliance with specific accreditation standards. Additionally, the section released a December 2017 accreditation committee decision that the Appalachian School of Law remains noncompliant with Standards 501(a) and 501(b), which deal with law school admissions. ...

Continue reading

January 9, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Leiter: 11 Tax Profs Blow Up The SSRN Download Rankings

SSRN LogoBrian Leiter (Chicago), SSRN Download Rankings Now Measure Mentions in Newspapers:

The top 11 "most downloaded" law authors in the last 12 months are eleven tax professors who co-authored two papers on the recent tax overhaul, which garnered a prominent mention in The New York Times, leading to more than 70,000 downloads in the last month.  For 10 of these 11 tax professors, these two NYT-plugged papers constitute 95% or more of all their downloads. ... Farewell to SSRN downloads as a metric of any interest for at least a year!

Continue reading

January 9, 2018 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Rankings | Permalink | Comments (0)

WSJ: Even Elite Business Schools Discount MBA Degrees By 50% Or More

MBA 2Wall Street Journal, An M.B.A. Is Cheaper Than You Think, As Schools Beef Up Aid Packages:

One of America’s priciest graduate degrees is on sale.

Top business schools are subsidizing the cost of two-year master’s degrees in business administration by setting aside millions in scholarships and financial aid to lure young professionals out of a strengthening job market.

The advertised price for a traditional M.B.A. can top $200,000 at the most competitive schools in the U.S., but some 61% of this year’s students are receiving scholarships based on merit, financial need, or a combination of the two, according to data from the Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers the standardized test commonly taken by business-school applicants. That is up from 41% in 2014.

For the Harvard Business School class of 2019, the average fellowship award cuts tuition to $35,000 from $72,000 a year, according to a spokesman. HBS administrators draw from a pool of $32 million to help more than half the M.B.A. program’s 900 students each year, up from $15.5 million in 2009.

Continue reading

January 9, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 8, 2018

Faculty Do Not 'Swing For The Fences' In Their Research After Tenure

Inside Higher Ed, New Study of Economics Professors' Research Effort and Impact Says They're Not Exactly "Swinging for the Fences" After Getting Tenure:

Malaise, slump, deadwood — there are lots of words for what supposedly happens to professors’ research outputs after tenure. A forthcoming study in the Journal of Economic Perspectives [Do Economists Swing for the Fences after Tenure?] doesn’t use any of those terms and explicitly says it must not be read as an “indictment” of tenure. But it suggests that research quality and quantity decline in the decade after tenure, at least in economics.

Chart 1

Continue reading

January 8, 2018 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Reynolds: Eliminating Lower Federal Court Clerkships (And Limiting Supreme Court Justices To One Clerk) Would Strike Blow Against Sexual Harassment, Inequality

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  Why Do Federal Judges Need Clerks, Anyway?, by Glenn Reynolds (Tennessee):

Chief Justice John Roberts wants to do something about sexual harassment by federal judges. ... Judges have inordinate power over their clerks—and the best solution is to abolish clerkships. ...

Getting rid of law clerks would eliminate the harassment problem and get judges doing their own work. Justice Louis Brandeis, who served from 1916-39, is said to have observed that the high court’s members “are almost the only people in Washington who do their own work.”

Continue reading

January 8, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Judge-in-Residence Apologizes After Telling Law Students She Was Uncomfortable Walking Into Room 'Full Of Big Dark People' And Was Used To Being In An 'Ivory Tower' Away From The 'Riff-Raff'

CalgaryGlobe and Mail, University of Calgary Says Judge Apologizes After Making Comments ‘Insensitive to Racial Minorities’:

A dean at the University of Calgary says a judge has apologized to a class of second-year law students for offensive comments she reportedly made.

Law school dean Ian Holloway said the school received complaints that Court of Queen's Bench Justice Kristine Eidsvik made comments that "were insensitive to racial minorities" at a Q-and-A session about judicial mediations.

CBC News reported Eidsvik told the class that she was uncomfortable walking into a room "full of big dark people." 

She reportedly said that she was used to being in an "ivory tower" away from "the riff-raff."

Continue reading

January 8, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, January 7, 2018

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

NY Times: As Flow Of Foreign Students Wanes, U.S. Universities Feel The Sting

New York Times, As Flow of Foreign Students Wanes, U.S. Universities Feel the Sting:

Just as many universities believed that the financial wreckage left by the 2008 recession was behind them, campuses across the country have been forced to make new rounds of cuts, this time brought on, in large part, by a loss of international students.

Schools in the Midwest have been particularly hard hit — many of them non-flagship public universities that had come to rely heavily on tuition from foreign students, who generally pay more than in-state students.

The downturn follows a decade of explosive growth in foreign student enrollment, which now tops 1 million at United States colleges and educational training programs, and supplies $39 billion in revenue. International enrollment began to flatten in 2016, partly because of changing conditions abroad and the increasing lure of schools in Canada, Australia and other English-speaking countries.

And since President Trump was elected, college administrators say, his rhetoric and more restrictive views on immigration have made the United States even less attractive to international students. The Trump administration is more closely scrutinizing visa applications, indefinitely banning travel from some countries and making it harder for foreign students to remain in the United States after graduation.

Continue reading

January 7, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

TaxProf Baby

My favorite photo at #AALS2018:  Eva Rana-Gamage:

Tax Prof Baby

January 7, 2018 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Proposed Changes To Student Loans Worry New AALS President Wendy Perdue

AALS (2018), Proposed Changes to Student Loans Worry Law School Association's New President:

We caught up with incoming AALS President Wendy Perdue, dean at the University of Richmond School of Law, to discuss her goals for the association, the apparent boost in law school applicants this year, and whether the closure of some schools is good for legal education. ...

How is the mood at the annual meeting? Are deans and faculty optimistic that legal education is poised to rebound?

You can’t be a dean without being optimistic. Among deans, we are always hopeful about the future. I think the concern right now is the pending education bill that would dramatically limit access to loan funds for graduate students. The house bill, at the moment, caps graduate borrowing at $28,500 and would eliminate public service loan forgiveness, that’s of great concern to all law deans. ...

Is the closure of some law schools a good or bad thing for legal education as a whole?

Continue reading

January 6, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

AALS Tax Section Panel: Tax Legislation In The 115th Congress

Tax Panel
The AALS Section on Taxation put on a fantastic program yesterday on Tax Legislation in the 115th Congress:

  • Lily L. Batchelder (NYU)
  • Victor Fleischer (San Diego)
  • Susan Morse (Texas)
  • George K. Yin (Virginia)
  • Lawrence A. Zelenak (Duke)

Continue reading

January 6, 2018 in Conferences, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 5, 2018

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Invitation: Pepperdine Law School Reception Tonight At AALS

Pepperdine AALS

Pepperdine Law School invites law professors and deans to a reception
hosted by our new dean, Paul Caron, at the 2018 AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego:

Friday, Jan. 5, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Del Mar Room | South Tower, Level 3
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina
Please join us for hors d'oeuvres, a hosted bar, and some tunes from Hamilton!

January 5, 2018 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sexual Harassment At Annual Academic Meetings

Inside Higher Ed, Harassment at Annual Meetings:

A "sizable" minority of women and a smaller but still notable share of men have experienced harassment or other inappropriate behavior at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, according to a survey of members that the association has just released.

A solid majority (63 percent) of the 2,424 members who responded to the survey indicated that they had never been harassed or treated inappropriately at the meeting. But the figures were different for men (74 percent) and women (51 percent).


Continue reading

January 5, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

From Business Tax Theory To Practice In Law School Clinics

Alina S. Ball (UC-Hastings) & Manoj Viswanathan (UC-Hastings), From Business Tax Theory to Practice, 24 Clinical L. Rev. 27 (2017):

The past decade has seen a dramatic increase in the number of business law clinics in legal academia. This increase in clinical transactional courses has not, however, resulted in a proliferation of transactional tax clinical offerings. Although tax issues, including federal, state, and local tax matters, are an integral consideration of nearly every business transaction, most business law clinics explicitly exclude tax representation from their client services. For clients of business law clinics that are social enterprises — companies that combine market-based business strategies and social mission — this lack of tax-focused representation is problematic for two reasons.

Continue reading

January 5, 2018 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Dan Markel's Family Is In 'Agony' Over Delays In Murder Trials

Markel 3Seattle Times, Family of Slain Professor in ‘Agony’ Over Trial Delays:

The family of a slain law professor is speaking out the delay of the trial of a woman charged in the killing.

An attorney representing the parents of Dan Markel said Wednesday they “remain in agony” due to the delay. Markel was shot in his garage in the summer of 2014. Police said that killing was sparked by a bitter divorce and family squabbles.

Media outlets reported a judge agreed to push back the trial of Katherine Magbanua until October. She is one of three people charged in the slaying of the Florida State University professor and Toronto native.

Magbanua has pleaded not guilty to charges that she helped orchestrate the plot. Sigfredo Garcia is scheduled to stand trial in July. Luis Rivera has already pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Continue reading

January 5, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Kuehn: Clinical Faculty Demographic And Salary Data

KuehnTax Prof Blog op-ed:  Clinical Faculty — Who Are You? Who, Who, Who, Who?, by Robert Kuehn (Associate Dean for Clinical Education, Washington University):

Though clinical faculty have largely moved out of the proverbial basement, they remain a distinct sub-group within most law faculties. Often labeled as something other than law professors (“clinicians”) because of their teaching methods and goals, faculty that teach law clinic and externship courses also differ as a group by gender, race, employment status, and salary from “podium” faculty teaching doctrinal courses. And unlike the movement out of the basement, it’s not clear that clinical and doctrinal faculty are moving closer to each other on those attributes.

So who are the faculty who teach law clinic and externship courses? Predominantly female, and more so today than in the past. In the latest survey by the Center for the Study of Applied Legal Education (CSALE) of over 1000 faculty who teach in a law clinic or externship course, 62% identified as female. Externship courses are more heavily taught by female faculty than law clinics, as 75% of full-time externship teachers are female. As the graph below shows, over the last decade an increasing proportion of clinical faculty are female.

Graph of Clinic Faculty make up by Gender

Continue reading

January 4, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Missouri, Pepperdine 1Ls Play Division I Basketball

Aldridge 4St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Juggling Basketball, Law School Is Quite a Feat:

Even Wonder Woman wonders how she does it.

Lauren Aldridge is the starting point guard for Mizzou’s women’s basketball team.

Lauren Aldridge is a first-year student at Mizzou’s law school.

It’s mind-boggling to think she has the energy to do both of these, considering people push themselves to unfathomable limits to succeed at just one of them. But there’s a superhuman in Columbia, practicing on the court and for court, while showing young people that when someone says “follow your dreams,” it really can be plural. ...

Continue reading

January 4, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Mitchell-Hamline Hybrid-J.D. Program To Graduate Its First Class

Mitchell Hamline (2018)Twin Cities Pioneer Press, Online Law School? Mitchell-Hamline’s Unique Program Will Graduate Its First Attorneys:

Mitchell-Hamline School of Law’s first-in-the-country “hybrid” juris doctor program [is] [n]ow entering its fourth year. [T]he fully accredited program enrolls more than 80 students per year to complete law school through “e-learning,” on top of one or two weeks of on-campus coursework per semester. ...

Continue reading

January 3, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tamanaha: 14 Law Schools With Attrition Rates >20% May Fail Accreditation Standard 501(b) (Admitting Students Capable Of Passing The Bar)

Tamanaha (2017)TaxProf Blog op-ed:  14 Law Schools With Attrition Rates >20% May Not Be In Compliance With Accreditation Standard 501(b) Because They Are Admitting Students Who Are Not Capable Of Passing The Bar, by Brian Tamanaha (Washington University):  

ABA Accreditation Standard 501(b):
A law school shall only admit applicants who appear capable of satisfactorily completing its program of legal education and being admitted to the bar.

Interpretation 501-3:
A law school having a cumulative non-transfer attrition rate above 20 percent for a class creates a rebuttable presumption that the law school is not in compliance with the Standard.

This interpretation was adopted to prevent schools from admitting large numbers of unqualified students, collecting tuition, then failing them out. In particular, the concern motivating the new interpretation was that law schools in danger of violating bar passage standard 316 might protect their bar pass rate by dismissing students they perceive to be a high risk of failing the bar. The term “cumulative non-transfer attrition” means schools must keep track of each admitted class and count every student who is dismissed at any time thereafter (including the second and third year).

The 509 reports indicate that 14 law schools have run afoul of interpretation 501-3, thus incurring a presumption that they have violated Standard 501(b):

2017 ABA 509 Reports

Law School

% 1L Attrition

# Students

# Minority Students

Minority Student
% 1L Attrition











John Marshall (Atlanta)





Lincoln Memorial





Western State




















Florida Coastal





Arizona Summit





Golden Gate










Thomas Jefferson





N. Carolina Central





To put these numbers in context, consider the attrition rates at most law schools:  at 50 law schools attrition is between 0% and 2%; at 47 law schools attrition is between 2% and 5.1%; and at 50 law schools attrition is between 5.1% and 9.9%.

Continue reading

January 3, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (9)