TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, March 13, 2017

More On The Proposal To Ban The UNC Center For Civil Rights From Engaging In Litigation

North Carolina LogoFollowing up on last week's post, State May Ban UNC Center For Civil Rights From Engaging In Litigation:  Chapel Hill Herald-Sun editorial, UNC Legal Centers Help Students and Clients:

The late Jesse Helms used to refer to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as "Pink Hill" and to suggest that it be set aside as a hippie reservation.

Since taking over the General Assembly and packing the university's Board of Governors with their own people, Republicans have set out to swat the liberal Chapel Hill gadfly once and for all.

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March 13, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Settlement Finalized In University Of Houston And South Texas Houston Law Schools Trademark Dispute; Houston Astros Are On Deck


Following up on last week's post, University Of Houston, South Texas Law Schools Settle Naming Rights Dispute:  Houston Chronicle, UH Naming Dispute Could Now Draw in Astros, Houston Community College:

The University of Houston has settled the score in a protracted trademark dispute with rival South Texas College of Law Houston, but the fight over naming rights may not be over.

On deck are two new potential opponents: the Houston Astros and Houston Community College.

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March 12, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

As Deadlines Approach For College Financial Aid & Income-Based Loan Repayment, IRS Leaves Parents, Students & Graduates In Lurch By Taking Down Online Tax Return Data Retrieval Tool

FAFSAIRSJoint Statement of the IRS and the U.S. Department of Education:

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool on and is currently unavailable. We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. However, at this time, the IRS anticipates the online data tool will be unavailable for several weeks.

Forbes, IRS Data Retrieval Tool Outage Brings Applying For College Financial Aid To A Halt:

The IRS tool that sends parents' and students' tax data to the online filing system for the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has been taken offline for security concerns, derailing the aid application (FAFSA) process and causing a mess for students and colleges nationwide.

Fiscal Times, Leave More Time for Your Financial Aid Form This Year as IRS Shuts Down FAFSA Data Tool:

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March 12, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bainbridge:  The Law And Economics Of Jesus’ Parable Of The Talents

Bainbridge 2Stephen M. Bainbridge (UCLA), The Law and Economics of the Parable of the Talents (slides):

On its surface, Jesus’ Parable of the Talents is a simple story with four key plot elements: (1) A master is leaving on a long trip and entrusts substantial assets to three servants to manage during his absence. (2) Two of the servants invested the assets profitably, earning substantial returns, but a third servant — frightened of his master’s reputation as a hard taskmaster — put the money away for safekeeping and failed even to earn interest on it. (3) The master returns and demands an accounting from the servants. (4) The two servants who invested wisely were rewarded, but the servant who failed to do so is punished.

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March 12, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Arizona Summit Law School Affiliates With Bethune-Cookman University To Diversify Legal Profession Despite 25% Bar Pass Rate

ABCFollowing up on my previous post, Arizona Summit Law School's Bar Passage Rate Plummets To Shocking 24.6% (Down From 96.7% In 2008):

Arizona Republic, Arizona Summit Law School Moves to Affiliate With a Private, Nonprofit University:

A for-profit law school in downtown Phoenix that is struggling with falling bar-passage rates is moving to affiliate with one of the country’s historically black colleges and universities.

Arizona Summit Law School has signed an affiliation agreement with the private, nonprofit Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida [2,136 miles away].

The law school, founded in 2004, once boasted bar passage rates of 97 percent but has seen its percentages drop to 25 percent among first-time test takers.


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March 11, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Pepperdine Law School Dean Announcement

Friday, March 10, 2017

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Pittsburgh Law Dean Boycotts Local TV Station That Refused To Allow Muslim Law Prof To Participate In Panel Discussion Of President Trump's Travel Ban

PittABA Journal, Pitt Law Dean Will No Longer Appear on TV Station Over Alleged Bias Against Middle Eastern Prof:

A University of Pittsburgh School of Law professor says he was passed over as a guest on a local CBS affiliate news show, because he is Iraqi-American and a Muslim. And in the wake of these allegations William M. Carter Jr., dean of the law school and a constitutional scholar, has said that he will no longer appear on KDKA-TV programming.

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

Louisville's 5-Year Interim Dean Is Passed Over In Selection Of New Dean; Law School Fires Student Workers And RAs To Address Budget Deficit

LouisvilleFollowing up on my earlier post, Louisville Dean Finalists Include 5-Year Interim Dean And Associate Dean With Experience Addressing 50% Enrollment Decline:  

Lousiville Courier-Journal, Acting U of L Law School Dean Told She Won't Get the Job:

The acting dean of the University of Louisville's Brandeis School of Law for five years was notified this week she won’t get the job permanently.

Susan Duncan gave faculty the news on Thursday that she has been eliminated as a candidate for the position. In an interview, Duncan said she was informed of the decision Tuesday by Provost Dale Billingsley, whom she said didn’t cite any reasons for it. ...

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

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Lawmakers Ask Calif. Chief Justice To Cut State Bar Exam Score

California Bar ExamThe Recorder, Lawmakers Ask Calif. Chief Justice to Cut State Bar Exam Score:

Democratic members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee asked the California Supreme Court on Thursday to temporarily reduce the required passing score on the state bar exam.

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March 9, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Seto:  Associates Promoted To Partner in 2016 — The Top California Schools

Seto (2014)TaxProf Blog op-ed:  Associates Promoted to Partner in 2016: Top California Schools, by Theodore P. Seto (Loyola-L.A.):

According to the National Law Journal, the top 50 US law schools, ranked by the number of law firm associates promoted to partner nationally in 2016, included eight California schools:














Santa Clara














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March 9, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Harvard Is Second Law School To Admit 1Ls Based On GRE Rather Than LSAT

GREHLSPress Release, In Pilot Program, Harvard Law Will Accept GRE for Admission:

Accepting the GRE is part of an HLS strategy to expand access to legal education.

Starting in the fall of 2017, Harvard Law School will allow applicants to submit either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) to be considered for admission to its three-year J.D. program.

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March 9, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Meet The 'Blog Emperor,' Pepperdine Law's New Dean

Pepperdine Law School (2016)The Recorder, Meet the 'Blog Emperor,' Pepperdine Law's New Dean:

Pepperdine University School of Law has chosen its next dean, and the name will sound familiar to anyone who keeps up with the legal blogosphere.

Paul Caron, founder of the popular TaxProf Blog and the Law Professor Blog, will take the reins of the Malibu law school on June 1. Caron has been on the Pepperdine faculty since 2013 and currently serves as the associate dean for research and faculty development. The tax law expert taught at the University of Cincinnati College of Law for 23 years before moving to Pepperdine.

Caron replaces former dean and Judge Deanell Tacha of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, who [is retiring June 1].

We caught up with Caron to discuss his goals for the law school, Pepperdine's recent dip in the U.S. News & World Report rankings, and what will become of his blog. His answers have been edited for length and clarity.

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

Reuven Avi-Yonah Cancels Lateral Move To UC-Irvine, Stays At Michigan

Michigan Law Logo (2015)Following up on my previous post, Reuven Avi-Yonah Leaves Michigan For UC-Irvine (Sept. 1, 2016):

Brian Leiter reports (and I have independently confirmed) that Reuven Avi-Yonah has changed his mind and has decided to remain at Michigan and will not be making a lateral move to UC-Irvine.

March 8, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink | Comments (4)

Horwitz:  Some Suggestions For Dean Emperor Caron And The Buzzworthy New Regime At Pepperdine

Paul Horwitz (Alabama), Some Suggestions for Dean Emperor Caron and the Buzzworthy New Regime at Pepperdine:

As Brian Leiter enthusiastically announces, tax-law-blogger and blog-impresario Paul Caron, nicknamed in Frank Herbert fashion "Blog Emperor Caron," is about to become "Dean Emperor Caron" at Pepperdine Law School. Before taking a puckish turn with this post, let me say that of course I add my congratulations. I have found Paul lovely to talk with in person and via the occasional email and such. Among his many posts at TaxProf Blog over the years, a great number of them have evidenced his warm and caring relationship with his students and his abiding concern for them. I don't doubt he'll bring that same sensibility to his job as dean. Best wishes, Paul! 

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

Independent Law Schools And The Last Buggy Whip Manufacturer

Buggy WhipLawProfBlawg & TempDean, Independent Law Schools And The Last Buggy Whip Manufacturer:

LawProfBlawg and TempDean are both somewhat surprised that none of the recent closures have involved freestanding law schools. Freestanding law schools have been an important feature of the legal education landscape for the past century. ...

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

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Future Of TaxProf Blog

Pepperdine Law School (2016)ABA Journal, Popular Blogger and Scholar Tapped as Pepperdine Law Dean; He Plans to Keep Blogging:

Paul L. Caron, a professor at Pepperdine School of Law, has been selected as its new dean. The tax law scholar also blogs at TaxProf Blog, and owns and publishes the Law Professor Blogs Network.

Besides tax matters, the Tax Prof Blog also has many posts on various challenges in legal education. In 2016, National Jurist named Caron the third most influential person in legal education.

Caron has not shied away from posting about controversial topics in legal education, including bar passage rates in California and elsewhere. When asked if he plans to continue blogging as dean, Caron said yes.

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March 7, 2017 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (14)

NLJ:  Law School Rankings By Graduates In BigLaw Jobs

2017National Law Journal, The 2017 Go-To Law Schools:

New associate hiring ticked up slightly in 2016, with the country’s largest 100 law firms bringing on 3,521 new law school graduates. Among the 50 law schools most popular with those employers, 24 percent of last year’s graduates landed associate jobs—up one percent over the previous year.

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March 7, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

New Pepperdine Law School Dean Is 'Just A Mundane Tax Guy'

My News L.A., Presidential Sex Scandal Prosecutor Long Gone From Pepperdine: New Dean’s Just a Tax Law Guy:

While Pepperdine University announced Monday that a tax law expert has been named dean of its law school, it was a far more mundane selection this time around than when the Malibu campus hired an earlier dean who had been Bill Clinton’s special prosecutor involving presidential sex scandals.

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March 7, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, March 6, 2017

Paul Caron Named Dean Of Pepperdine Law School

Caron (2014)Press Release, Paul L. Caron Announced as Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean of the School of Law:

Paul L. Caron has been named the Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean of the Pepperdine School of Law. Caron, currently associate dean for research and faculty development and professor of law, will formally begin his responsibilities as dean on June 1, 2017.

“Since his first days as a distinguished visiting scholar through his selection as a tenured professor and now his candid and strategic participation in this search process, I have admired Professor Caron for his keen intellect, generous outreach to others, and his sterling reputation within the national legal community,” says Pepperdine president Andrew K. Benton. “It will be a privilege to work side-by-side with him to advance the Pepperdine School of Law, an entity we both hold in high esteem. He will be, I believe, a remarkable law dean.”

Caron came to the School of Law in 2010 as the D & L Straus Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law. He joined the School of Law tenured faculty in 2013 as professor of law and assumed the role of associate dean for research and faculty development in 2015. Previously Caron served as the associate dean of faculty and the Charles Hartsock Professor of Law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

“Paul Caron is a highly regarded scholar and wonderful mentor to our law school students,” says Pepperdine provost Rick R. Marrs. “He has a comprehensive knowledge of legal education in our country and a compelling vision for the place of our law school in that landscape. I eagerly anticipate working with him as he helps us achieve our goal to move the law school toward national prominence, providing our students with the highest educational experience and empowering them to become leaders in their communities.”

A widely respected expert in tax law, Caron has written over 50 books and scholarly articles and is the publisher and editor of Tax Prof Blog, the most popular tax blog on the Internet. He is also the owner and publisher of the Law Professor Blogs Network of more than 50 blogs in other areas of law edited by law professors around the country. He was named the third most influential person in legal education by the National Jurist in 2016 and has been listed as one of the 100 most influential people in tax and accounting every year since 2006 by Accounting Today.

"I am honored to be chosen as the next dean of this great law school at this important point in its history, following in the footsteps of Deanell Tacha, Ken Starr, Richard Lynn, and Ron Phillips," shares Caron. "I look forward to building on their work to advance Pepperdine's unique position in legal education by combining academic and research excellence with a deep-rooted commitment to our Christian mission that welcomes people of all faiths and backgrounds."

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March 6, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Profs | Permalink | Comments (29)

Black Law Prof Files Discrimination Complaint Over Tenure Denial: 'When Dr. King Called Sunday At 11 A.M. The Most Segregated Hour In America, He Could Have Just As Easily Referred To Law Faculty Meetings 50 Years Later'

JonesDiverse Issues in Higher Education, Renowned Black Law Professor Files Complaint Against Campbell University for Discrimination:

A Black law professor who gained national exposure for having predicted Donald J. Trump’s election victory in an eight-month series of 2016 television appearances and Harvard Law Record articles, has filed federal civil rights charges against Campbell University.

In documents obtained by Diverse, associate professor of law Amos Jones alleges a pattern of discrimination and retaliation in hiring and promotion amid a Whites-dominated tenure pattern at the 40-year-old, Raleigh, North Carolina, school historically related to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.

“I was punished because, on February 20, I approached Dean [J. Rich] Leonard and his Associate Dean Timothy Zinnecker with a respectful written request that they enter my classrooms and restore order among the students per our School’s code of conduct and the ethics of our profession — that is, to condemn the racial discrimination that several students had expressly written into my Fall 2016 evaluations by derogating me for being Black and being involved with a Black church,” Jones alleged in a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filing.

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March 6, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Two Harvard Law School Administrators Charged With Embezzling Over $100k Intended For Students With Disabilities To Purchase Personal items, Including Sex Toys

Harvard Law School (2016)Harvard Crimson, Former Law School Employees Accused of Stealing More Than $100,000:

Two former Harvard Law School administrators face felony charges after allegedly stealing funds from a Law School account while employees there several years ago. The defendants, Margaret DeMarco and Darris Saylors, have both been charged with two counts of larceny over $250.

DeMarco worked as the Director of Student Affairs at the Law School between 2008 and 2013, and now works as the Associate Director of the Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College. Saylors worked as a manager of student programs at the Law School and now works as the Assistant Director of the University of Chattanooga Honors College.

Daily Mail, Harvard Administrators Are Accused of Embezzling $110,000 Meant For Disabled Students and Spending It on Luxuries Including Sex Toys:

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

Saturday, March 4, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

AALS Refuses To Address Political Imbalance Of Law School Faculties

AALS (2018)Following up on my previous post, 28 Conservative/Libertarian Law Profs Demand That AALS Address Political Imbalance Of Law School Faculties:  Randy Barnett (Georgetown), AALS Executive Committee Responds to Our Letter Concerning Faculty Diversity:

[A]s we noted in our letter to the Executive Committee, we appreciate the efforts that were made to provide a more balanced program at the AALS Annual Meeting. But we also asked for two specific action items to address the current radical imbalance of law school faculties, neither of which is addressed in the Executive Committee’s response to our letter.

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March 4, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (20)

Trump Should Retain Funding For The Legal Services Corporation

LSCMinneapolis Star Tribune op-ed: The Trump Budget: Keep Civil Legal Aid Off the Chopping Block, by Robert K. Vischer (Dean, St. Thomas (Minnesota)):

Early drafts indicate that the Trump administration’s forthcoming budget may propose the elimination of the primary funding agency for civil legal aid in this country. Far from being a prudent candidate for elimination, legal aid is a government initiative that promotes individual empowerment and self-reliance — two values that loomed large in President Trump’s campaign and still garner support across the partisan divide. A populist focus on American greatness should bring a renewed commitment to remedy our nation’s scandalous failure to provide the working poor with meaningful access to our civil justice system.

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

Friday, March 3, 2017

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Khan Academy Offers Free LSAT Prep; Is Free Bar Exam Prep Next?

KALSATMBEThe Khan Academy and the Law School Admission Council have announced a partnership to offer free official online practice materials for the LSAT:

Aspiring law school students will soon have access to free online practice materials for the LSAT from Khan Academy and the Law School Admission Council, the maker of the test.

Today the organizations announced a new partnership to make personalized LSAT practice widely available to all, absolutely free. ...

 “The Law School Admission Council is committed to providing students an opportunity to learn the skills they need most to do well on the LSAT and succeed in law school,” said Athornia Steele, interim president of the Law School Admission Council. “We think those skills will have a positive long-term impact on their careers."

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March 3, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Thursday, March 2, 2017

JPMorgan Software Does in Seconds What Took Lawyers 360,000 Hours

J.P.MorganBloomberg, JPMorgan Software Does in Seconds What Took Lawyers 360,000 Hours:

At JPMorgan Chase & Co., a learning machine is parsing financial deals that once kept legal teams busy for thousands of hours.

The program, called COIN, for Contract Intelligence, does the mind-numbing job of interpreting commercial-loan agreements that, until the project went online in June, consumed 360,000 hours of work each year by lawyers and loan officers. The software reviews documents in seconds, is less error-prone and never asks for vacation.

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March 2, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Beyond The Cut Score: Piercing The Veil Of The California Bar Exam's Validity

California Bar ExamFollowing up on my previous post, California’s New Bar Exam Format And ABA’s Proposed 75% Bar Passage Requirement Will Adversely Impact Diversity, Women, And Access To The Legal Profession:

The Recorder op-ed: Beyond the Cut Score: Piercing the Veil of the California Bar Exam's Validity, by Dennis Saccuzzo & Nancy Johnson:

In July 2016, California's bar pass rate fell to 43.1 percent, a 32-year low for July bar exams. In December, the chief justice of the California Supreme Court, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, expressed her concern about California's falling bar pass rate, but said that she wanted to wait and see what happens to scores when the new, shortened format is administered in July 2017, with its scoring and format changes.

More recently, Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker, the executive director of the California State Bar, stated she had no good answer for California's unusually high cut score for the MBE. She had been testifying before the California Assembly Judiciary Committee following a Feb. 1, 2017, letter from nearly all of California's ABA law school deans to the California Supreme Court requesting that the cut score be lowered. As disconcerting as is this inability to justify the cut score, here we identify even deeper concerns about the validity of the test itself and its ability to make reliable pass/fail decisions, revealed in the bar's own statistical studies to justify the changes being implemented in July.

As we previously noted on the TaxProf Blog, the justification for the changes to the California bar is heavily based on conclusions by Klein and Bolus, statistical consultants for the California Bar.

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March 2, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

NALP:  Summer Associate Hiring Was Flat in 2016

NALPAmerican Lawyer, Summer Associate Hiring Was Flat in 2016:

The law firm summer associate hiring market looks to be cooling off.

Summer associate hiring held steady in 2016, according to the latest data from the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), ending two consecutive years of growth.

Some firms increased the number of offers they extended to law students for summer associate positions, but half said they made fewer offers than in 2015, the first time in four years that a majority reduced offers.

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March 2, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Lindgren:  'Things At Chicago-Kent Are Even Worse Than I Suspected'

Chicago-KentFollowing up on yesterday's post, More Law Prof Debate On Ideological Discrimination In Faculty Hiring At Chicago-Kent, Other Law Schools:

Jim Lindgren (Chicago-Kent, 1990-96; Northwestern, 1996-present):

So things at Chicago-Kent are even worse than I suspected.

In a prior posting, I noted that Chicago-Kent in the years ending in 1990 hired on both sides of the political spectrum (a period essentially bracketed by the hiring of Randy Barnett and myself). Asked to name how many Chicago-Kent faculty appointed after I was hired in 1990 who voted for Republicans in any of the last three elections, Ralph Brill names “Dale, Fred, Fred, Phil, Gerry, and, perhaps on some issues, Jeff.”

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March 1, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Death Of Virginia ('Ginny') Darden Meeks


From Kristin Gutting (Charleston):

Professor Virginia (“Ginny”) Darden Meeks
(June 2, 1969 – February 23, 2017)

After a hard-fought battle with triple negative breast cancer, on February 23, 2017, the Charleston School of Law, the legal profession, and to be honest, the world, lost a truly beautiful soul, Professor Virginia (“Ginny”) Darden Meeks [obituary]. I (along with many) lost a great friend and colleague that constantly inspired me to be a better person and whose memory will continue to inspire me. I met Ginny soon after moving to Charleston when I began teaching at the Charleston School of Law. Ginny graduated from the University of North Carolina and was a die-hard Tar Heel fan. She earned her law degree at the University of South Carolina and her Masters of Law in Estate Planning at the University of Miami. She was an estate planning attorney at a boutique tax firm in Charleston. She was well-respected within the community and was always helping others. She provided pro bono legal services to individuals in need and several area nonprofit organizations, including the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation and Lowcountry Lab Rescue. Ginny also served as a committee member for several professional and civic organizations, including the Grace Church Cathedral, the Charleston County Bar Association, and the South Carolina Bar Association. Within in five minutes of speaking to her, I knew I was in the presence of someone truly special.

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March 1, 2017 in Legal Education, Obituaries, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Law School Applicants From Top Colleges Increased 1% In 2016 (But Down 48% Since 2010)

Keith Lee, Top University Students Avoiding Law School 2017 Edition:

Back in 2013, I was the first person to notice students graduating from the top universities in the country were avoiding law school in droves. ... For the first time since 2010, the total number of graduates from the nation’s top universities increased instead of continuing to decline. From 1,916 to 1,939, a 1.20% increase. 

Top University

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March 1, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

NY Times:  Harvard Law Review Elects Its First Black Woman President

HLRUmanaNew York Times, After 130 Years, Harvard Law Review Elects a Black Woman President:

It has been 27 years since the first black man, an older student by the name of Barack Obama, was elected president of the prestigious Harvard Law Review. It has been even longer — 41 years — since the first woman, Susan Estrich, was elected to the position. Since then, subsequent presidents have been female, Hispanic, Asian-American, openly gay and black.

Only now, for the first time in the history of the venerable 130-year-old journal, is the president a black woman.

ImeIme (pronounced “Ah-MAY-may”) Umana, 24, the third-oldest of four daughters of Nigerian immigrants, was elected on Jan. 29 by the review’s 92 student editors as the president of its 131st volume. ...

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March 1, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Manhire Presents Peer-Based Leadership And Effective Listening For Lawyers (And Law Professors) At Texas A&M

Following up on his previous presentation, Why Lawyers (And Law Professors) Eat Last: A Workshop On Selfless Service, Jack Manhire (Texas A&M) presented The Force Is Strong With This One: Peer-Based Leadership and Effective Listening for Lawyers at Texas A&M yesterday as part of the Professionalism and Leadership Program (PLP) and the Professionalism and Academic Workshop Series (PAWS):

Continuing the theme on “how to lead without a rank,” this presentation will teach you the Jedi mind trick of effective listening that you can use with clients, employers, colleagues, and even children and spouses. The session builds on earlier topics from Breaking Implicit Bias, Resilience, and Why Lawyers Eat Last. You will learn why most lawyers have conversations backwards and how you can build trust in record time by doing it the correct way. This is for intermediate and advanced students only, as master-level secrets will be revealed.

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March 1, 2017 in Colloquia, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Professors And Politics: What The Research Says

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Inside Higher Ed, Professors and Politics: What the Research Says:

When Betsy DeVos on Thursday accused liberal faculty members of trying to force their views on students, the new education secretary infuriated many professors — and won praise from some conservatives. Most faculty members who weighed in on social media denied the indoctrination and unfairness charges. While not disputing her assertion that they are more likely than others to be liberal, they said it was unfair to say that this meant they were indoctrinating anyone. Many conservatives who applauded DeVos said their personal experiences (or those of their children, nieces, nephews, etc.) showed she was correct.

For all the back-and-forth of traded anecdotes, there is research on these subjects — in peer-reviewed articles, books published by scholarly presses and so forth. And most of these studies reach a consensus.

Yes, professors lean left (although with some caveats). But much of the research says conservative students and faculty members are not only surviving but thriving in academe — free of indoctrination if not the periodic frustrations. Further, the research casts doubt on the idea that the ideological tilt of faculty members is because of discrimination. Notably, some of this research has been produced by conservative scholars.

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February 28, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Law Profs Debate Prevalence Of Ideological Discrimination In Faculty Hiring At Chicago-Kent, Other Law Schools

Chicago-KentFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  one current and one former Chicago-Kent law professor debate the prevalence of discrimination against conservative/libertarian candidates in law faculty hiring:

Ralph Brill (Chicago-Kent, 1961-current):

I have never seen evidence at my school, nor at any of the schools I have inspected for the ABA, of a concerted effort to bar possible hires based on their political beliefs. Several of the signers of the letter have been on our faculty in fact. I think that most of the people who seek teaching jobs tend to be liberal but only because the conservatives are much more apt to stay in law firms and move up to much more lucrative partnerships. Pay scales in law schools do not match up well against what one can earn in private practice.

James Lindgren (Chicago-Kent, 1990-96; Northwestern, 1996-current):

Response to Ralph Brill (of Chicago-Kent):

I was on the Chicago-Kent faculty from 1990-96, and served on the appts. committee for many of those years (as a member, chair, or assoc. dean serving on the committee).

Chicago-Kent had an excellent record hiring libertarians and conservatives for only about 8 years in the 1980s, essentially ending around the time I was hired in 1990. That short spurt was partly because of the efforts of Randy Barnett who pushed the school to hire on both sides of the spectrum.

Since I was hired at Chicago-Kent in 1990, Ralph, how many conservatives, libertarians—or even moderate Republicans—has Chicago-Kent hired? Ralph, how many current C-K faculty hired since 1990 do you know who voted for any of the last three Republican presidential candidates? Do you think that maybe part of the reason that Chicago-Kent’s amazing improvement plateaued in the early to mid-1990s was that it ceased to do substantial hiring on the right half of the political landscape?

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February 27, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

California Legislator Proposes New Law School: UC-Riverside

Ucr_logoThe Recorder, California Needs Another Law School, State Legislator Says:

One week after California’s state bar leader declared a “crisis” in legal education due in part to a decline in student applicants, a first-year lawmaker has introduced legislation endorsing the creation of a new law school at UC Riverside.

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February 27, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

University Of Oregon Withholds From Public Discipline Of Tax Prof Nancy Shurtz For Wearing Blackface To Halloween Party


Register-Guard, University of Oregon Secrecy Keeps Shroud Over Actions Related to Law Professor and Assistant Offensive Coach:

During the past four months, the University of Oregon encountered two unprecedented high-­publicity crises with its employees.

Late last year, a law professor donned a Halloween costume that included blackface for a party at her house — sparking widespread outrage and defense of free speech.

Early this year, a newly hired assistant football coach was ­arrested on drunken driving charges in downtown Eugene — drawing ­public attention to a football program that new head coach Willie Taggart was striving to resuscitate and put a happy face on.

The UO took action on both the law professor and assistant coach, but the public may never know the details, because UO ­lawyers ­maintain that the public has no right to inspect the disciplinary records of these and many other UO employees.

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February 27, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

2016 San Diego Grad Sues Twitter, Law School For $100 Million Over Parody Account That Mocked Her Pro-Trump Political Views

DehenTech Dirt, Recent Law School Grad Sues Twitter Because Someone Made A Parody Twitter Account:

Another day, another wacky legal complaint. This one, first spotted by Eric Goldman was filed by a recent law school grad, Tiffany Dehen (FacebookTwitter; LinkedIn; Instagram). She's fairly upset that someone set up a parody Twitter account pretending to be her that portrayed her in an unflattering light. So she has sued. For $100 million. And she's not just suing the "John Doe" behind the account... but also Twitter. Oh, and also the University of San Diego, because she's pretty sure that someone there is responsible for this account (she just graduated from USD's law school). Oh, and according to the exhibits that Dehen put in her own lawsuit, the account is labeled as a parody account.

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February 27, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Blackman:  The First Step To Addressing The Political Imbalance Of Law School Faculties Is For The AALS To Acknowledge There Is A Problem

AALS (2018)Following up on my previous posts (links below): Josh Blackman (South Texas), The First Step To Improving Intellectual Diversity, Is To Acknowledge There Is A Problem:

Debates over the lack of intellectual diversity on law school campuses usually deadlock in one of three ways. ... Fortunately, there is a way to resolve this deadlock. The American Association of Law Schools (AALS) maintains extensive records of applicants on the entry-level hiring market through the Faculty Appointments Register (FAR). With proper protections for confidentiality, scholars can systematically compare the intellectual diversity of the applicant pool, with those in fact hired for tenure-track positions. The AALS granted access to the 2007 FAR registry to Professors Trace E. George and Albert H. Yoon. Their research considered how hiring was impacted by an applicant’s race, gender, clerkship, alma mater, advance degrees, and other factors. (Among their findings, “at the intermediate call-back interview stage … women and non-whites are statistically significantly more likely to be invited for a job talk interviews,” but are “no more likely than similarly situated men and whites to get a job offer.”). George and Yoon’s important work, however, did not focus on intellectual diversity.

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February 27, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, February 26, 2017

How Not To Address Liberal Bias In Academia

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Bloomberg View: How Not to Address Liberal Bias in Academia, by Megan McArdle:

Politically, academia is about as unbalanced as Norman Bates. Attempts to justify it contain eerie echoes of a 1950s CEO explaining why blacks and women simply weren’t qualified to ever do anything more taxing than make coffee and sweep floors.

I have argued about this topic before, and I am not going to rehash. Accept, arguendo, that academia isn’t balanced. The problem is bigger in some disciplines, smaller in others, but there’s nowhere that the skew doesn’t show up to some extent. Nor is it simply caused by academia hewing to its good old empirical priors while American politics moves wildly in other directions; academia has moved sharply to the left. What should we do about it?

Well, the first thing we should consider doing is “nothing.” As a public policy choice, "nothing" is far too often undervalued — indeed, often ignored. But as I like to say, the existence of a problem does not imply the existence of a solution. It does not guarantee that any plausible cure will be better than the disease.

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February 26, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Supreme Court To Decide Fate Of Canada's First Christian Law School: Does Religious Freedom To Ban Student Sex Outside Of Heterosexual Marriage Trump LGBTQ Rights?

Canadian LawyerFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  Toronto Globe and Mail, Supreme Court to Hear Appeals About Trinity Western University Law School:

The Supreme Court of Canada agreed Thursday to hear two appeals involving a private Christian university that demands all students sign a code of conduct forbidding sexual intimacy outside heterosexual marriage.

Trinity Western University has been seeking accreditation in all provinces for future graduates of its proposed law school but has faced pushback from law societies in Ontario, British Columbia and Nova Scotia over its controversial conduct code.

The Ontario and British Columbia cases, which pit religious freedom against equality rights, are now before the country’s top court.

Trinity Western’s “community covenant” or code of conduct requires students to abstain, among other things, from obscene language, harassment, lying, stealing, pornography, drunkenness and sexual intimacy “that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”

Critics say it discriminates against people in the LGBTQ community who are looking to enter the legal profession.

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February 26, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

28 Conservative/Libertarian Law Profs Demand That AALS Address Political Imbalance Of Law School Faculties

AALS (2018)Following up on my previous posts:

The Volokh Conspiracy: Our Letter to the Association of American Law Schools, by Randy Barnett (Georgetown):

Recently, the former-Provost of Stanford University, John Etchemendy, gave a speech entitled The Threat From Within in which he observed:

Over the years, I have watched a growing intolerance at universities in this country – not intolerance along racial or ethnic or gender lines – there, we have made laudable progress. Rather, a kind of intellectual intolerance, a political one-sidedness, that is the antithesis of what universities should stand for. . . . We need to encourage real diversity of thought in the professoriate, and that will be even harder to achieve. It is hard for anyone to acknowledge high-quality work when that work is at odds, perhaps opposed, to one’s own deeply held beliefs. But we all need worthy opponents to challenge us in our search for truth. It is absolutely essential to the quality of our enterprise.

As it happens, for several years, a group of conservative and libertarian law professors from a variety of law schools has quietly been urging the Association of American Law Schools, which has taken a leadership role in addressing racial and gender diversity—including by establishing a Racial Diversity Task Force in 1999—to do the same with viewpoint or political diversity. Our complaint was not limited to the gross political one-sidedness of the Annual Meeting of the AALS, but primarily concerned the gross political imbalance of law faculties—especially in such subjects as public law where viewpoint most affects a professor’s legal scholarship and teaching.

Although we were treated respectfully—and some marginal, though welcome, steps were taken this year to diversify the annual AALS program—as the following letter to the AALS explains, our requests for concrete preliminary steps to address the existing pervasive imbalance of law faculties have apparently been denied. ...

Having worked patiently behind the scenes for several years, we believe it is time to make our complaint more public. To that end, I reproduce below our joint letter to the Executive Committee–drafted by Case Western Reserve law professor George Dent, who led our effort. (I will be happy to publish in this space any reply that the AALS may wish to make.)

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February 25, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (21)

Brooklyn Dean:  Donald Trump Is Causing A Legal Education Renaissance, Just As Woodward & Bernstein Inspired A Generation To Pursue Journalism Careers


Following up on my previous posts (links below):  The Hill op-ed:  An Unexpected Trump Effect: Lawyer as Hero, by Nicholas W. Allard (Brooklyn):

Almost single handedly, President Trump has made lawyers the breakout stars in the early days of his new administration.

Legal experts in immigration and refugee law, international trade, religious freedom, and the constitutional powers of the executive branch have, seemingly overnight, become regular guests on network and cable news, quoted on front pages of national newspapers, and gained thousands of followers on social media.

Law schools can seize this moment and, like the generation inspired by Woodward and Bernstein to pursue careers in journalism, lead the renaissance in legal education that would revive a profession in need of an injection of youth, idealism, and high-tech savvy.

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February 25, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)