TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, May 11, 2017

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)

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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.

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

2017 Princeton Review's Best 381 Colleges

Princeton ReviewThe Princeton Review has released The Best 381 Colleges — 2017 Edition.  According to the press release, the book contains 62 rankings based on surveys completed by 143,000 students at the 381 schools (375 per school) (methodology here), including these categories:

  • Best (Sarah Lawrence) classroom experience
  • Best (Wellesley), worst (New Jersey Institute of Technology) professors
  • Most (U.S. Military Academy), least U.S. Merchant Marine Academy) accessible professors
  • Best (Virginia Tech) quality of life
  • Most (Rice), least (Montana Tech) happy students
  • Students love (Virginia Tech) their school
  • Most (Rhodes), least (University of Dallas) beautiful campus
  • Best (Elon), worst (Hanover) run school
  • Most liberal (Sarah Lawrence), most conservative (BYU) students
  • Most (Thomas Aquinas),  least (Reed) religious
  • Students study the most (U.S. Military Academy), least (Trinity College Dublin)
  • Most (Vassar), least (SUNY-Purchase) financial aid

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May 9, 2017 in Book Club, Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wanted For LL.M. Programs:  Tax Nerds

LLMLLM Guide, Wanted for LL.M. Programs: Tax Nerds:

Richard Ainsworth, director of Boston University's Graduate Tax Program, is looking for one trait in applicants to his program.

"We're looking for tax geeks," Ainsworth says. "You have to show us that you like numbers.”

Common wisdom holds that the tax LL.M. is one of the most valuable post-J.D. law degrees, and the numbers tend to back that up. The median salary for a lawyer is just over $80,000, according to PayScale, a site that tracks average salaries for various professions, while the median salary for a tax lawyer hovers around $100,000.

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May 9, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Purdue Is No Longer The Only Big Ten University Without A Law School

Purdue ConcordNational Law Journal, Purdue Buys Kaplan’s Online-Only JD Program in Education Milestone:

Concord Law School is poised to become the first fully online Juris Doctor program at a public university.

Purdue University, a public institution in Indiana, on April 27 announced plans to purchase Kaplan University — a national consortium of online and brick-and-mortar degree programs that includes Concord Law School, the nation’s oldest online law school. ...

The move is expected to add credibility to Concord’s program, especially should it be renamed to reflect Purdue’s ownership. It also could be a boost to the small industry of online law programs, which like traditional law schools, has suffered waning interest in recent years. ...

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May 8, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Jennifer Bard Resigns Cincinnati Law School Deanship, Receives Two Year Sabbatical ($300,000/Year) And Will Return To Tenured Faculty In 2019-20

UC BardFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  newsPRos press release:

May 8, 2017, CINCINNATI — A settlement agreement was reached over the weekend between Dr. Jennifer S. Bard and the University of Cincinnati. The agreement vacates the University’s decision to place Bard on administrative leave — the outcome she sought for the unjustified damage to her reputation.

Dean Bard agreed to withdraw her claims for the violation of her Constitutional rights and for breach of contract. In return the University is granting her two years of academic leave, at her full Dean’s salary, while she retains her tenured professor position in the UC College of Law, with a secondary appointment in the UC College of Medicine. Today Bard resigned her position as Dean because the University failed to support her when a small faction of the faculty resisted her efforts to establish responsible fiscal policies.  

Interim Provost Landgren had earlier told a gathering of faculty, staff, and students that, regarding the administrative leave,  “there were no skeletons”, she had done “nothing illegal”, there were “no financial” issues and there were no “ethical or moral issues regarding the Dean’s departure.”  He also stated that there was “no smoking gun” that led to the decision.

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May 8, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Pepperdine Launches Online Masters Of Legal Studies (MLS) Program, Beginning August 2017


Pepperdine University Opens Applications for New Online Master of Legal Studies:

Pepperdine University School of Law is now accepting applications for its new online Master of Legal Studies program. Designed for mid-career professionals, the program provides non-lawyers with a fundamental understanding of the U.S. legal system and equips them with the legal expertise and critical-thinking skills needed to meet complex legal, ethical, and regulatory challenges across industries.

The School of Law’s online Master of Legal Studies program offers a concentration in dispute resolution for students interested in attaining arbitration and mediation skills. The concentration incorporates the curriculum from Pepperdine’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, which is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the #1 law school for dispute resolution.

The program’s online learning format will allow professionals working in an array of fields — such as health care, government, social work, education, and law enforcement — to receive a superior legal education without the need to relocate.

“We are thrilled to bring Pepperdine’s legacy of personal attention [#7 in Best Professors (The Princeton Review)] and experiential learning [#5 in Practical Training (The National Jurist)] to students across the United States. With the online Master of Legal Studies, our School of Law continues to provide a practical, values-centered legal education that helps ambitious students accomplish their personal and professional goals,” said Paul L. Caron, Dean Designate of the School of Law.

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

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Accreditation Battle Over Canada's First Christian Law School: Does Religious Freedom To Ban Student Sex Outside Of Heterosexual Marriage Trump LGBTQ Rights?

Trinity WesternFollowing up on my coverage of the accreditation battle over what would be Canada's first Christian law school (links below):

John Boersma (Ph.D. Candidate, LSU), The Accreditation of Religious Law Schools in Canada and the United States, 2016 BYU L. Rev. 1081:

Ongoing litigation in Canada suggests that the legal status of religiously affiliated law schools could be in jeopardy. In Canada, regulatory authorities have sought to deny accreditation status to a religiously affiliated law school (Trinity Western University) due to its commitment to a traditional Christian understanding of marriage. According to Canadian provincial authorities, this commitment has a discriminatory effect on LGBT students. Similar events could potentially occur in the United States. It is possible that American regulatory bodies could seek either to rescind or withhold accreditation from a religiously affiliated law school because of the discriminatory effects of its policies.

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May 7, 2017 in Conferences, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tax Prof Baby: Eva Rana-Gamage

Eva Rana-Gamage, daughter of David Gamage (Indiana) and Shruti Rana (Indiana), was born on April 28 and weighed in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces:



May 7, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Profs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Financial Times:  Artificial Intelligence Closes In On The Work Of Junior Lawyers

ROSSFinancial Times, Artificial Intelligence Closes in on the Work of Junior Lawyers:

After more than five years at a leading City law firm, Daniel van Binsbergen quit his job as a solicitor to found Lexoo, a digital start-up for legal services in the fledgling “lawtech” sector.

Mr Van Binsbergen says he is one of many. “The number of lawyers who have been leaving to go to start-ups has skyrocketed compared to 15 years ago,” he estimates. Many are abandoning traditional firms to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities or join in-house teams, as the once-unthinkable idea of routine corporate legal work as an automated task becomes reality.

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May 6, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Why Faculty Workshops Should Not Be 'Safe Spaces': Law Profs Need To Be Adversarial (But Not Jerks) Because Of Law Reviews' Lack Of Rigor

The JerkFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  You’re Wrong’: The Case for Confrontation, by Joseph Heath (University of Toronto):

I’m starting to think that some of the strange behavior that has been gripping college students in the United States has begun seeping north into Canada, where I teach. For the first time the other day, I came across the suggestion — made by a graduate student — that a philosophical research talk should be a "safe space." The concern was not that department members were abusive, merely that we were sometimes insufficiently "supportive" of the speaker. Apparently we’re supposed to find nicer ways of telling people how wrong they are. ...

As people who are familiar with how philosophy works will know, it is one of several disciplines that has an adversarial culture. This manifests itself most clearly in the Q&A after a research talk. Basically, after people present their views, the audience tries to tear them apart. Every question is a variation on "Here’s why I think you’re wrong. …" The environment is not supportive; in fact, it is the opposite of supportive. Furthermore, because this is the disciplinary culture, philosophers tend not to preface their comments with ingratiating verbiage like, "First let me thank you for the rich and thought-provoking discussion." Philosophers go straight to the "Here’s why I think you’re wrong" part.

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

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Florida A&M University Fires Four Deans, Including Law School Dean After Only Sixteen Months On Job

EppsOrlando Sentinel, FAMU Law School Dean Dismissed After 16 Months on Job:

Florida A&M University’s law school dean is out after 16 months on the job.

FAMU announced Angela Felecia Epps’ dismissal as leader of the downtown Orlando school this week.

She is the fourth dean to be removed in two days at the Tallahassee-based university that’s undergone major leadership changes. The deans of the education, pharmacy and journalism schools also were dismissed, according to a school statement this week. ...

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

Whittier: The Canary In The Law School Coal Mine

CanaryFollowing up on my previous posts:

EdSurge:  The Canary in the Law School Coal Mine, by Michael B. Horn:

Whittier College’s announcement ... that it will no longer admit students to its law program makes it the first fully accredited law school in the United States to shut down. There is a good chance it won’t be the last.

As Michele Pistone, a law professor at Villanova University, and I wrote in Disrupting Law School: How Disruptive Innovation Will Revolutionize the Legal World, although law schools have long enjoyed budget surpluses, the financial situation has reversed over the last few years.

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May 4, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Harvard's Junior Deferral Program Pushes Students To Gain At Least Two Years Of Work Experience Prior To Law School

After roiling legal education in March by beginning to admit 1Ls based on the GRE rather than the LSAT, Harvard Law School announced yesterday that it will allow college juniors to defer enrollment for at least two years to gain work experience before starting law school.

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May 4, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Merritt:  IT Managers, Pharmacists And Nurse Anesthetists Now Earn More Than Lawyers

BLS (2015)Deborah Jones Merritt (Ohio State), Jobs and Salaries for New Lawyers:

What does the job market look like for new lawyers? The ABA will soon release statistics about the Class of 2016, and NALP will add additional information by the end of the summer. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) gives us an advance peak.

Each year, BLS reports job numbers and salaries for a wide range of occupations. This series of reports includes only salaried positions; for the legal profession, the series omits both solo practitioners and equity partners in law firms. Still, since most new graduates seek salaried positions, these numbers offer a useful measure of the profession’s ability to absorb and pay new members.

BLS estimates that there were 619,530 salaried lawyers in 2016. That’s an increase of 9,600 jobs since 2015, when there were 609,930 lawyer positions. The increase is better than in the previous year, when the number of jobs grew by just 6,620. But it falls short of increases in 2012-2014, when lawyer jobs grew by more than 10,500 each year. There were 10,970 new jobs in 2012; 10,750 in 2013; and 10,640 in 2014.

The trend since 2012, in other words, is downward. The number  of salaried jobs for lawyers is still growing, but it is not clear how fast the pace will be in coming years.

The bigger news about lawyers lies in salary trends. The median salaried lawyer still takes home a healthy paycheck ($118,160 per year) but that amount is lower, in constant dollars, than it was in 2006. After adjusting for inflation, the median salaried lawyer earned 2.9% more ($121,562) in 2006 than today. ...

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May 3, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (16)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Dean Vik Amar: Legal Education’s Vital Signs — The Good (Jobs), The Bad (Applications), And The Ugly (Bar Passage)

Vital SignsAbove the Law: Evaluating Legal Education’s Vital Signs At The End Of The Academic Year, by Vik Amar (Dean, Illinois):

I’d like to offer a few big-picture thoughts on the state of legal education generally these days, highlighting the (relatively) good, the (pretty) bad, and the (downright) ugly.

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May 2, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

ABA Task Force Chair:  The Problem Of Law School Discounting — And What To Do About It

Tuition DiscountRandall T. Shepard (Chair, ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education), 2016 James P. White Lecture on Legal Education: The Problem of Law School Discounting — How Do We Sustain Equal Opportunity in the Profession?, 50 Ind. L. Rev. 1 (2016):

[M]any schools decided to get ahead of the applicant trend and shrink the size of incoming classes. The number of first-year matriculants shrank by 30% over a period of five years. To maintain even these numbers, many schools admitted students whose applications reflected lower measurable qualifications than those admitted in earlier, happier years. A fair number of schools took actions similar to those private enterprise might take but are pretty rare in education: hiring freezes, staff layoffs, and faculty buy-outs.

There has been yet another shift, driven partly by the drastic decline in demand, and partly by the rising tide of competition, made ever more fierce by the rankings issued each year by U.S. News & World Report (“U.S. News”). This shift has to do with student financial aid. ...

The extent of [tuition] discounts has grown over the last decade, both in law schools and in universities more generally. ... [This] shift away from offering financial aid on the basic of the economic need of the applicant and instead allocating aid on the basis of the applicant’s measurable credentials, particularly the applicant’s score on the Law School Admissions Test (“LSAT”) and grade point average (“GPA”).

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May 2, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 1, 2017

Formative Assessment Raised 1L Con Law Grades At Ohio State

Ohio State LogoDeborah Jones Merritt, Ruth Colker, Ellen E. Deason, Monte Smith & Abigail B. Shoben (Ohio State), Formative Assessments: A Law School Case Study, 95 U. Det. Mercy L. Rev. __ (2017):

Several empirical studies have shown that formative assessment improves student learning. We build on those studies by reporting the results of a natural experiment at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. Students in one of three first-year sections had the opportunity to complete a formative assessment in their spring-semester Constitutional Law course. The assessment consisted of an essay question that the professor had used on a prior exam. Students who submitted an essay answer received prompt, extensive written feedback; they also had the chance to discuss their answer with the professor.

Over the course of three years, about half of the students enrolled in the section took advantage of the formative assessment. Those students achieved significantly higher grades on the final exam even though the assessment score did not factor into their course grade. Notably, students receiving this formative feedback also secured a significantly higher GPA in their other spring-semester classes. Both of these effects persisted after controlling for LSAT score, UGPA, gender, race, and fall-semester grades. These controls helped reduce any effect of selection bias on our findings.

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May 1, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (9)

Is This The End Of Charlotte Law School?

Charlotte Logo (2016)

Following up on my previous posts on the deepening troubles at Charlotte Law School (links below):  Greensboro News & Observer, Is This the End of Charlotte Law?:

A few months ago in this space, I noted the crumbling of Charlotte School of Law. The ABA had put the school on probation in November, the feds cut off funding in December, and the school reopened after the winter break in late January despite losing a third of its students and laying off up to two-thirds of its faculty and staff.

The law school promised to stay open through May, and it’s shambling forward, zombie-like, toward the end of the semester, albeit without its interim dean, who quit April 13 after just three weeks on the job. ...

Now, according to Politico, N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein is poking his nose into Charlotte Law’s business. ... The next BOG meeting is May 19-20, and Politico notes that President Margaret Spellings might have a recommendation to the board then. Cue ominous music.

Could Charlotte Law survive a Stein-Spellings onslaught. Sure, I guess. But my money’s on Lucille, not the zombie.

For more on Charlotte Law, the TaxProfBlog is keeping a running list of all the things that have happened down there.

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

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

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May 1, 2017 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

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May 1, 2017 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Whittier Law School Died Many Years Ago, When It Strayed From Its Founding Mission To Prepare Students To Pass The Bar And Succeed As Lawyers

WhittierFollowing up on my previous posts on the closure of Whittier Law School (links below):  Jill Switzer (J.D. 1976, Whittier; Blogger, Old Lady Lawyer), Requiem For My Law School:

I will leave it to others to report, examine, and dissect the upcoming demise aka closing of Whittier Law School.

This is a very personal memorial to a school that had really died some years ago, although it didn’t know it then.

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April 30, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (21)

Saturday, April 29, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

More Data On The Closure Of Whittier Law School

WhittierFollowing up on my previous posts on the closure of Whittier Law School (links below):  Derek Muller (Pepperdine), Examining Whittier:

[W]hile emotions are still raw and much remains uncertain, I thought I'd dig into a few publicly-accessible details to examine what's happened at Whittier in the last decade or so. I'll try to be mostly descriptive. Whether one believes the best decision is to close the school, or to address the school's challenges in a different way, is far beyond the scope of this blog (and beyond the available information we have).

Here is one of the six charts:


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April 29, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Fleming, Peroni & Shay Receive Tulane Law Review Award For Excellence in Legal Scholarship

Tulane (2015)J. Clifton Fleming Jr. (BYU), Robert J. Peroni (Texas), and Stephen E. Shay (Harvard) received the Tulane Law Review's John Minor Wisdom Award for Academic Excellence in Legal Scholarship, given annually to the authors of the best article in the current volume, for their article, Two Cheers for the Foreign Tax Credit, Even in the BEPS Era, 91 Tul. L. Rev. 1 (2016):

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April 28, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Teetering Charlotte Law School Seeks To Toss Class Actions

Charlotte Logo (2016)Following up on my previous posts (links below):, Teetering Charlotte Law School Seeks to Toss Class Actions:

The Charlotte School of Law has fired back in court against students and recent graduates who allege they should have been informed sooner of the school’s shaky accreditation status that prompted the federal government to pull their access to student loans late last year.

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

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Harvard Law School, The GRE, And Moneyball

GRE Harvard MoneyballFollowing up on my previous posts:

Forbes, Harvard Law School's Moneyball Moment:

Starting with next year’s admissions cycle, Harvard Law school will launch a pilot program allowing applicants to apply with either the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), the standardized test that nearly all law schools have used for decades, or the GRE General Test (GRE), used by many graduate programs outside of law or medical school. ... 

[M]uch of what makes Harvard Harvard is the quality of the talent it is able to attract. The lure of Wall Street or Silicon Valley, the availability of capital for everything from biotech to software to social media start-ups, and the increasingly tenuous ROI for students ready to invest time and money in an expensive law degree are all siphoning off their share of recent college graduates who might otherwise have chosen law school.

It is to Harvard’s advantage to increase access to top talent and to be able to cast a wider net. As Jessica Soban, Harvard Law School’s Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Admissions, put it, “Harvard Law School works to eliminate barriers to legal education for top talent. We seek that talent from a variety of backgrounds: across different academic disciplines, different countries, and different socio-economic backgrounds.”

Enter the GRE. By accepting the GRE, in one fell swoop, Harvard gets access to 600,000 test takers in 160 different countries and a test that applicants can schedule 360 days a year. The LSAT, by comparison, is administered four times a year in 20 different countries, to about 85,000 students. If you are looking for talent, the GRE pool is far wider and far deeper, in part because the test is far more accessible. ... The wonder is not that they broke with tradition by accepting the GRE, the wonder is that they didn’t do it sooner.

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April 26, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Muller:  Visualizing Law School Employment Outcomes In California, Illinois, New York, And Texas

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Organ:  The 2016 Law School Transfer Market

ArtJerry Organ (St. Thomas) has a detailed blog post on the 2016 law school transfer market.  The transfer market is essentially flat, with Arizona State, Emory, George Washington, and Georgetown the dominant players (and Loyola-L.A., UCLA, and USC the dominant players in California):

Organ 1A

[I]n the. two charts [below], the “repeat players” are bolded — those schools in the top 15 for all three years are in black, those schools in the top 15 for two of the three years are in blue.

Organ 3

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April 25, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Temperature Rises In Debate Over Closure Of Whittier Law School; Are 5-25 Law Schools In A 'Death Spiral' Leading To Closure Over The Next Five Years?

WhittierFollowing up on my previous posts:

Dan Rodriguez (Dean, Northwestern), The Hubris of the Unknowing:

I would not presume to know nearly enough to opine about this issue in any public fashion. But this does not appear to deter various pundits — Prof. Stephen Diamond most recently.

Stephen Diamond (Santa Clara), From the Shores of Lake Michigan Came a Howl …:

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April 25, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (17)

North Carolina AG Opens Investigation Of Charlotte Law School

Charlotte Logo (2016)Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Politico, North Carolina Opens Investigation Into For-Profit Law School:

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has opened an investigation into Charlotte School of Law, the for-profit institution that the Obama administration cut off from federal funding last December. Laura Brewer, a spokeswoman for Stein, confirmed in an email to Morning Education that the office “is investigating the school under the state’s civil consumer protection laws and is very concerned about the current situation at the school.”

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

Monday, April 24, 2017

Jennifer Bard Sues University Of Cincinnati In Federal Court, Seeks Reinstatement As Law School Dean

UC BardFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  Press Release:

Jennifer Bard, the first female Dean of the College of Law at the University of Cincinnati (UC), late this past Friday filed a lawsuit against the University and its interim provost Peter F. Landgren in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, Western Division. 

The complaint asserts Landgren and the institution illegally placed Bard on administrative leave in March immediately following her response to local media reports about financial deficits at the College and faculty members’ responses to her efforts to reduce those deficits.

Marjorie Berman, of Krantz & Berman LLP in New York City and R. Gary Winters, of McCaslin, Imbus & McCaslin in Cincinnati, are representing Bard in the matter.

“The University of Cincinnati has deprived Dean Bard of her rights under the U.S. Constitution,” said Berman. “She has been wrongfully placed on administrative leave by an Interim Provost in violation of her constitutional rights and the explicit policies of the institution. Landgren retaliated against her for providing factual information to the media about substantive financial difficulties at the UC College of Law and the response of a small group of faculty to these difficulties.

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April 24, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Anderson:  Whittier Law School Closing Is Another Sad Story Of Generational Wealth Shifting, With Millennial Students Incurring Huge Debts To Subsidize Baby Boomer Faculty Sinecures

WhittierFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  Robert Anderson (Pepperdine), Generational Wealth Shifting and the Unnecessary Whittier Law School Story:

[G]iven the performance of Whittier's grads on the bar exam in recent years as well as the drop in applications, closing Whittier is probably the right decision.

The unfortunate truth of this story is that none of this needed to happen. ... When the contraction began, law schools should have reduced class sizes to maintain their traditional standards for admission. ... Of course, reducing class size would entail a decrease in revenues that would require a reduction in expenses. Normally, such a reduction would be hard to find.

But law schools had a unique opportunity during this contraction, which many of them squandered. The number of retirement-age faculty was (and is) enormous, likely larger than it has ever been. If faculties had looked beyond their own personal financial self interest they could have easily contracted to meet the market demand and avoided the disastrous effects that have afflicted law students and now law schools.

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April 24, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (17)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Diamond:  Whittier's Decision To Close Its Law School Violates AAUP Tenure Protections, Harms Diversity, And Ignores The Rebounding Legal Employment Market

WhittierFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  TaxProf Blog op-ed: Whittier’s Big Mistake, by Stephen Diamond (Santa Clara):

Inevitably law school critics are crowing over the recently announced closure by Whittier College of its 50 year old ABA accredited law school. The news shocked and angered students who appeared to have no advance notice. Faculty immediately filed for a TRO (represented by a recent star graduate of their own law school, by the way) which was denied but they no doubt intend to respond with a full lawsuit.

And they should.

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April 23, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Harvard Seeks To Hire A Clinical Tax Prof

Harvard Law School (2016)Job Announcement:  Clinical Fellow, Harvard Law Sc hool Federal Tax Clinic:

Duties & Responsibilities:  The Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School (LSC) seeks to hire a Clinical Fellow in the Federal Tax Clinic [launched in Fall 2015]. The Clinic — through which Harvard Law students receive hands-on lawyering opportunities — provides direct legal representation in tax controversies to low-income taxpayers.

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April 22, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

100 Students Protest Closure Of Whittier Law School

WhittierFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  Orange County Register, Dozens of Angry Whittier Law School Students Protest After College Announces Closure:

About 100 law students angry over the announced closure of Whittier College’s law school in Costa Mesa this week demonstrated at the college’s main campus on Friday, April 21.

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April 22, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Faculty Weighs Legal Options To Block Closure Of Whittier Law School After Court Rejects TRO; Board Pulled Plug With Only 40 Students Expected In Fall 2017 1L Class, Down 70% From 2016 (And 87% From 2010)

WhittierFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  

Orange County Register, Faculty Fights Back Against Plan to Close Whittier Law School:

Whittier Law School faculty, angered at this week’s announcement that the campus will close its doors, are mulling over legal options after last-minute efforts to delay the public disclosure fell short.

A day before the Whittier College Board of Trustees announced that the law school will be discontinued, attorneys for more than a half-dozen faculty members filed an attempt for a temporary restraining order against the parent school.

A judge denied their request. But the issues raised in the court filings — including questions about the fate of millions of dollars raised in a recent sale of the Costa Mesa campus property that faculty contend was promised to the law school — will likely be at the center of future litigation, an attorney for the faculty members said on Thursday.

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April 21, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)