TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, January 22, 2016

Muller:  Law Schools Have Added Administrators (+16%) While Shedding Full-Time Faculty (-14%)

Number of LSAT Test-Takers Increased For Fifth Consecutive Period

After five years of declines in the number of LSAT test-takers, the LSAC reports that the number of LSAT test-takers in December 2015 increased 1.9%, the fifth consecutive period with an increase:

LSAT 3

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January 22, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Lloyd:  Raising The Bar, Razing Langdell

WakeHarold Lloyd (Wake Forest), Raising the Bar, Razing Langdell, 49 Wake Forest L. Rev. 1213 (2014):

As an introduction to the Wake Forest Law Review’s symposium edition on Revisiting Langdell: Legal Education Reform and the Lawyer’s Craft, this article highlights longstanding, substantial damage Christopher Columbus Langdell has inflicted on law schools and legal education. Much of this damage stems from three of Langdell’s wrong and counterintuitive notions: (1) law is a science of principles and doctrines known with certainty and primarily traced through case law; (2) studying redacted appellate cases is “much the shortest and best, if not the only way” of learning such law, and (3) despite Langdell’s own roughly fifteen years of practice experience, practice experience taints one’s ability to teach law. This article highlights problems with, and harms resulting from, each of these wrong notions.

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January 21, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (8)

Bar Exam Carnage Likely Will Worsen In 2016, 2017, And 2018

Following up on my recent posts on the widespread declines in bar exam pass rates (links below):  Jerry Organ (St. Thomas), Changes in Composition of the LSAT Profiles of Matriculants and Law Schools Between 2010 and 2015:

Given that the LSAT profiles of matriculants and of law schools for fall 2013, fall 2014 and fall 2015 are less robust than those for fall 2011 and fall 2012 (the classes that graduated in 2014 and 2015, respectively), one can anticipate that the declines in median MBE scaled scores and corresponding bar passage rates in 2014 and 2015 will continue in July 2016, 2017 and 2018 absent increases in attrition (I discussed attrition rates in a blog posting in October), significant improvement in academic support programs at law schools, or improved bar preparation efforts on the part of graduates.

Organ

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January 21, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (9)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Pepperdine Tax Policy Workshop Series (Spring 2016)

Here is the schedule for my Spring 2016 Pepperdine Tax Policy Workshop Series:

  • Jan. 25    Omri Marian (UC-Irvine), The State Administration of International Tax Avoidance
  • Feb. 8     Adam Chodorow (Arizona State), Bitcoin, Foreign Currency, and the Case for Basis Pooling
  • Feb. 22   John Brooks (Georgetown), Quasi-Public Spending
  • Mar. 7    Ellen Aprill (Loyola-L.A.),  The Section 527 Obstacle to Meaningful Section 501(c)(4) Regulation
  • Mar. 28  Shuyi Oei (Tulane), The Tax Lives of Uber Drivers: Evidence from Internet Discussion Forums
  • Apr. 11   Jason Oh (UCLA), How the Rich Drive Progressive Tax Rates
  • Apr. 25   Lily Kahng (Seattle), Who Owns Human Capital?

I will of course blog each professor's paper on the day of their presentation.  Southern California professors and practitioners are welcome to attend any of the sessions (11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.) -- just let me know.

Pepperdine Law School (2016)

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January 20, 2016 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Chodorow & Hackney:  Post-Graduate Legal Training — The Case For Tax-Exempt Programs

ASUAdam Chodorow (Arizona State) & Philip Hackney (LSU), Post-Graduate Legal Training: The Case for Tax-Exempt Programs, 65 J. Legal Educ. ___ (2016):

The challenging job market for recent law school graduates has highlighted a fact well known to those familiar with legal education: A significant gap exists between what students learn in law school and what they need to be practice-ready lawyers. Legal employers historically assumed the task of providing real-world training, but they have become much less willing to do so. At the same time, a large numbers of Americans — and not just those living at or below the poverty line — are simply unable to afford lawyers. In this Article, we argue that post-graduate legal training, similar to post-graduate medical training, is a good way to address these market failures and reduce the gap in both skills and legal services.

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January 20, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Washburn Unveils Faculty Retirement Incentive Plan

Washburn LogoThe Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Washburn has unveiled a retirement incentive program for faculty and staff age 62 or older with at least ten years of service: a lump sum payment equal to the lesser of 100% of salary or $125,000, plus continued coverage in the university's group health insurance plan until the age of 65. 

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January 20, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The 25 Most Influential People In Legal Education

MIPThe 25 Most Influential People in Legal Education (2015), The National Jurist (Jan. 2016):

These key players continue to be major forces in shaping legal education.  Many have pushed for more practical training, lowering law school debt, maintaining standards in the face of dropping application numbers and better employment outcomes. ... As in years past, in creating our list, we sought nominations from the nation's law schools and added our own nominees.  We then narrowed the list to 48 and asked every law school dean and one professor from each school to rate them.  Here are the top 25:

  1. Bill Henderson (Professor, Indiana)
  2. Erwin Chemerinsky (Dean, UC-Irvine)
  3. Paul Caron (Professor, Pepperdine)
  4. Brian Leiter (Professor, Chicago)
  5. Blake Morant (Dean. George Washington; Immediate Past-President, AALS)
  6. Kellye Testy (Dean, University of Washington; President, AALS)
  7. David Yellen (Dean, Loyola-Chicago)
  8. Martin Katz (Dean, Denver)
  9. Frank Wu (Former Dean, UC-Hastings) 
  10. Michael Simkovic (Professor, Seton Hall)

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January 20, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Bainbridge:  Louisville Exposes An Ugly Law School Secret: 'A Leftist Hegemony Pervades American Legal Education'

LouisvilleFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  Stephen Bainbridge (UCLA), The University of Louisville Pulled Back the Curtain to Expose an Ugly Law School Secret:

Apparently the University of Louisville law school has decided to meet declining enrollments and dwindling funds not by upping their game, but by "branding" itself as a "progressive" institution committed to "social justice." ...

U of L's interim dean has filed trumped up charges against someone who limply objected to the project by encouraging his students to think [for] themselves. Which is obviously heresy in the left-liberal reeducation camp U of L has become.

The real tragedy, however, is that what's happening at U of L is just an express embracing of the leftist hegemony that pervades American legal education. Conservatives, libertarians, people of faith ... heck, anybody to the right of Hillary Clinton are hugely underrepresented in the legal academy and our students who profess such values have learned to hide their light under a bushel lest they be sent off to the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Tolerance, and Goodness (higher education's version of the Ministry of Love).

Ultimately, of course, this is why U of L's branding effort will fail miserably. Virtually every other law school the country--with very few honorable exceptions--has precisely the same identity, they just don't advertise it. And why should they when everybody knows the dirty little secret, except the parents and state legislators who fund this cuckoo in their nest.

Ann Althouse (Wisconsin), "Apparently the University of Louisville law school has decided to meet declining enrollments and dwindling funds not by upping their game, but by 'branding' itself as a 'progressive' institution committed to 'social justice':

Are "compassion" and "social justice" neutral terms? Are they starkly, intentionally leftist? Maybe it's something in between: They feel neutral to those who are living within a left-wing environment, like fish in water. It's that third option that occurred to me when I read Marcosson's words: "I do not believe it ever occurred to anyone who proposed this at the law school or voted for it that it had any ideological or partisan content at all."

Althouse Poll

Louisville Courier-Journal, U of L Law School Adopts 'Compassion' Decree:

After a fierce and sometimes emotional debate, the faculty of University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law on Tuesday voted 26-2 to “champion the cause of compassion.” ...

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January 20, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ayres Data On 1L Enrollment Changes, 2011 To 2014

Following up on yesterday's post, Ayres: The U.S. News Rankings Keep Dozens Of Weak Law Schools Afloat, Preventing A 'Culling Of Legal Education's Herd':  Ian has asked me to post this spreadsheet with the underlying data.  Here is a chart of the law schools (ranked and unranked) with the largest percentage contraction in their first-year class from 2011 to 2014:

Ayres

January 19, 2016 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Borman:  Tenure-Track, 405(c) And Legal Writing Faculty — Promotion Standards, Security Of Position, And Gender

Deborah Borman (Northwestern), The Inifinte Loop (Returning to AALS):

[L]aw faculty members who are employed on an ABA 405(c) contract have increasingly been subject to requirements for promotion that rival those of a tenured faculty member. In other words, the obligations for teaching, service, and scholarship are relatively equivalent for tenure track and 405(c) track faculty. As a result, ABA accreditation standard 405(c) rewards these faculty members with “tenure-like” security of position.

Notwithstanding the above, many non-tenure track/contract faculty members have found their positions to be unstable. Some faculty members have been released from positions that are defined as “tenure-like,” after receiving a contract that is "presumptively-renewable." Others have had contractual provisions changed or teaching obligations increased significantly with no additional compensation. As a result, faculty members who have served for many years and earned security of position by satisfying tenure-like standards are denied the proposed reassurance of their contractual provisions. Even more disturbingly, the majority of law faculty members who hold these positions are female.

Screenshot 2016-01-15 10.19.02

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January 19, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Merritt:  'There’s Something Deeply Sad' About The AALS Hiring Unpaid Law Student Interns

AALS (2017)Deborah Jones Merritt (Ohio State), AALS Internships:

The Association of American Law Schools wants to employ several law students, who will “work on research and writing projects related to [the Association’s] mission of improving legal education.” In particular, students will have the opportunity to work on projects related to “the value of a U.S. legal education” and “financial aid for law students.” There’s just one catch: These are unpaid internships.

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January 19, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Federal Judge Dismisses Texas Wesleyan Law Grads' Lawsuit Against Texas A&M Over Their Alumni Status

Texas A&M Law Logo (2016)Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Courthouse News Service, Texas A&M Doesn't Owe Law Grads Recognition:

Law school graduates claiming they were disavowed as alumni after Texas A&M bought their alma mater didn't show that their rights were violated, a federal judge ruled.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge John McBryde dismissed a proposed class action lawsuit filed by lead plaintiff Kristin Brown, a graduate of Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, or TWU Law [Order; Final Judgment].

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January 19, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pepperdine Dean Deanell Tacha To Be Feted As 2015 Legal Person Of The Year

Tacha (2015)Deanell Reece Tacha, Dean of Pepperdine Law School, has been named one of three 2015 Persons of the Year by the Metropolitan News-Enterprise, a Los Angeles daily legal newspaper.  She will be feted at the 28th annual black-tie dinner at the California Club on Jan. 29.  Check out the wonderful profile published by the newspaper, From Kansas to Malibu, Federal Judge-Turned-Law School Dean Has ‘Done It All’:

It’s 1,241.8 miles from Goodland, Kansas to Malibu.

But distance alone hardly describes the route Deanell Reece Tacha has taken. The prairie native—she still has a home in Kansas—has probably had as varied a career as any lawyer in America.

Can you name anyone else who has been a small-town sole practitioner, an associate at one of the country’s largest firms, a law professor and dean, and a federal appellate judge in between those two?

Not to mention being a 2015 MetNews Person of the Year.

It’s a story of determination, drive, and good timing. And like many such stories, it begins in a small town in the American Midwest.

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January 19, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Holiday Weekend Roundup

Monday, January 18, 2016

Ayres:  The U.S. News Rankings Keep Dozens Of Weak Law Schools Afloat, Preventing A 'Culling Of Legal Education's Herd'

2016 U.S. News RankingsIan Ayres (Yale), Lower-Ranked Law Schools Should Be Thanking U.S. News:

Law professors love to hate on the U.S. News law school rankings. Lower-ranked schools in particular find it very difficult competing for an important segment of applicants who are intent on simply going to the highest ranked school possible.

But these rankings may have been responsible for keeping dozens of lower and unranked law schools in business. ...

The top 50 schools with the highest U.S. News rankings saw their enrollments drop by about 8%. Why wouldn’t highly ranked schools be willing to reduce their admission standards to keep their classes filled?

One important reason is the fear of falling in future U.S. News rankings. A school that dramatically reduced its admission standards would fall in the rankings and have a harder time recruiting applicants in future years (and might have poor bar results which would lead to a further fall in the rankings). ... [A]ny school dropping credentials in order to boost class size would have to worry that its peers would instead invest (by running a deficit) in maintaining students’ entering credentials – and as a result would shoot by them in the U.S. News rankings. ...

If the top 150 ranked schools had maintained their 2011 enrollment class size there would have likely been 5828 fewer students for the 53 unranked law schools to admit. This would have forced the unranked schools as a group to shrink their first year classes by 57.4%. The unranked schools had already seen their first-year enrollment drop by 29.5% (4255) so the loss of 5828 more students would have counterfactually meant a total contraction of 70%. ...

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January 18, 2016 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Louisville Prof:  Law School Has Embraced A 'Partisan Liberal Agenda', With Conservatives Treated As 'Outsiders'

LouisvilleFollowing up on yesterday's post, Louisville Prof, Student Call Criticism Of 'Nation's First Compassionate Law School' Brand A 'Tired Cliché':  Louisville Courier-Journal op-eds:

U of L Law Professor: 'Veered to Partisan Agenda', by Russell Weaver (Louisville):

In a recent commentary, one of my colleagues attempted to portray the law school’s decision to embrace “social justice” and “compassion” as benign, and having nothing to do with a “liberal agenda.” He viewed these concepts as essential in a modern society.

I agree with the idea that compassion is a worthwhile and understandable objective. Indeed, it is an essential part of life. If the movement toward a “compassionate organization” were nothing more than that, who could object? However, to suggest that the law school has not adopted a partisan social agenda, and that it has not labeled non-liberals “outsiders,” is (at the very least) wrong and misleading.

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January 18, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

NY Times:  Should Harvard Be Free?

Harvard (2016)New York Times, How Some Would Level the Playing Field: Free Harvard Degrees:

Should Harvard be free?

That is the provocative question posed by a slate of candidates running for the Board of Overseers at Harvard, which helps set strategy for the university. They say Harvard makes so much money from its $37.6 billion endowment that it should stop charging tuition to undergraduates.

But they have tied the notion to another, equally provocative question: Does Harvard shortchange Asian-Americans in admissions?

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January 18, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (10)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Louisville Prof, Student Call Criticism Of 'Nation's First Compassionate Law School' Brand A 'Tired Cliché'

LouisvilleFollowing up on last week's post, Louisville Prof: 'Nation's First Compassionate Law School' Brand Betrays Brandeis’s Nonpartisan Vision:  Louisville Courier-Journal op-eds: 

Samuel A, Marcosson (Louisville), Defending U of L Law School's Compassion Project:

As I approach the end of my 20th year as a law teacher, I should no longer be surprised that law professors can find a way to complain about things as seemingly pleasant and uncontroversial as blue skies and children’s laughter.  Or, in this instance, compassion.

Nevertheless, I found myself not only surprised, but deeply disappointed and frankly embarrassed that my colleague, Professor Luke Milligan, wrote a misleading opinion column in this space on Jan. 13, objecting to the proposal to have the Brandeis School of Law partner with the city, and many of our leading corporate and civic institutions, as part of the Compassionate Louisville campaign.  The views Professor Milligan expressed completely misrepresented both the nature of the Compassionate Louisville campaign and the law school’s commitment to it.

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January 17, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

How Studying Judaism Fits Into A Christian University

Jewish Journal, How Studying Judaism Fits Into a Christian University:

HelfandThe first thing any visitor to Pepperdine University’s Malibu campus is likely to see is a prominent, thin, 125-foot stucco tower inlaid with a cross. Probably not surprising for a school founded in the tradition of the Church of Christ.

Jews make up less than half a percent of undergraduates there, so when Michael Helfand, an Orthodox Jew, took a job on the law school faculty in 2010, he didn’t expect his religion to become part of his job description. Then Helfand became associate director of the Diane and Guilford Glazer Institute for Jewish Studies.

“One of the most exciting things I get to do at Pepperdine is trying to think about how you introduce a primarily Christian campus to the Jewish story,” he told the Journal. “I would say that’s really, if you want to boil it down, what the Glazer Institute is about.”

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January 17, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, January 16, 2016

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Law School Parody Ad Causes YouTube Sensation

Australasian Lawyer, Law School Parody Ad Causes YouTube Sensation:

The [real] ad tells the remarkable story of Deng Adut is Sudanese refugee who was taken from his mother and forced to fight with Ethiopian rebels, escaped to Western Sydney, taught himself English and lived in a car, eventually managing to complete a UWS law degree, before becoming a refugee lawyer.  

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January 16, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, January 15, 2016

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Cumberland Seeks To Hire A Visiting Tax Prof

CumberlandSamford University Cumberland School of Law seeks to hire a visiting tax professor for the 2016-17 academic year:

We are seeking candidates with practice or teaching experience in the area of tax law. All applicants must have a strong academic record and be committed to outstanding teaching. We particularly welcome applications from persons of diverse background. Salary and rank are negotiable based on qualifications.

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January 15, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kerr:  Law Faculty Productivity At Different Career Stages

Orin Kerr (George Washington), Law Faculty Productivity at Different Career Stages:

My friend and co-blogger Jonathan Adler recently flagged a new article on faculty productivity and citation rates, and I wanted to draw attention to some interesting information found inside it. The author, James Phillips, collected data on publication and citation rates for faculty at different stages of their careers. Although Phillips presents the data divided into different ideological groups, I contacted him and asked him to combine the numbers to include all professors.

He generously agreed, and he sent me this graph:

Kerr

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January 15, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Harper:  The Law School Crisis Is Over ... For AALS President, But Not For Students

Steven J. Harper (Adjunct Professor, Northwestern; author, The Lawyer Bubble), The Crisis in Legal Education Is Over!:

Wishful thinking is never a sound strategy for success.

“I don’t see legal education as being in crisis at all,” said Kellye Testy, the new president of the Association of American Law Schools and dean of the University of Washington Law School. She made the observation on January 5, 2016 — the eve of the nation’s largest gathering of law professors.

Perhaps her declaration made attendees more comfortable. Unfortunately, it’s not true. ...

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January 14, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (39)

Manhire:  The Most (And Least) Representative Law Schools For Gender, Race, and Ethnicity

Jack Manhire (Texas A&M), The Most (and Least) Representative Law Schools for Gender, Race, and Ethnicity:

To what extent do U.S. law school demographics concerning gender, race, and ethnicity reflect the same demographics of their applicant populations? This is a preview (highlighting law school rankings) of a forthcoming paper that attempts to answer the question by developing a measurement of demographic representation with a single index. It derives this measure for law school and baseline populations with various demographic dimensions (the boring technical stuff in Appendix A, page 16). It then ranks law schools against various demographic baselines, including the U.S. population as a whole and the state populations in which each school operates (the more exciting “does-my-school-rank-higher-than-your-school” stuff in Appendix B, page 21). The results let individual law schools know how close their student populations are to their overall target populations with respect to gender, race, and ethnicity.

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January 14, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Louisville Prof:  'Nation's First Compassionate Law School' Brand Betrays Brandeis’s Nonpartisan Vision

LouisvilleLouisville Courier-Journal op-ed:  U of L Law School Is No Longer Neutral, by Luke Milligan (Louisville):

Since 1846 the law school at the University of Louisville has provided nonpartisan space for individuals to teach, discuss, and research matters of law and public policy. Despite the thousands of partisans who’ve walked its halls, the law school as an institution has remained nonpartisan, preserving its neutrality, and refusing to embrace an ideological or political identity.

Unfortunately, this long run of institutional neutrality seems headed for an abrupt end. Promotional materials for the law school now proclaim its institutional commitment to “progressive values” and “social justice.” Incoming students and faculty are told that, when it comes to the big issues of the day, the law school takes the “progressive” side.

The plan, in short, is to give the state-funded law school an “ideological brand.” (The Interim dean says it will help fundraising and student recruitment.) In 2014, the law faculty voted — over strong objection — to commit the institution to “social justice.” Now we’re at it again, seeking to brand ourselves “the nation’s first compassionate law school.”

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January 14, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Tribeca Real Estate Bails Out New York Law School Amidst 50% Decline In Revenues, Enrollment

NYLS Logo (2013)Crain's New York Business, Booming TriBeCa Real Estate Lifts New York Law School:

It turns out the decision 50 years ago to locate New York Law School in Manhattan's Tribeca neighborhood might just bolster the institution's finances for the future. The private school, founded in 1891, sold $139 million of tax-exempt debt through the Build NYC Resource Corp. on Tuesday at lower than initial yield levels, with investor demand more than four times the amount of securities sold. ...

Aside from its valuable real estate, the law school's finances are strained like similar institutions across the U.S. as applications fall to 15-year lows and the job market for lawyers stagnates. New York Law had to draw down 10 percent of its investments to cover an operating shortfall in 2015, offering documents show. Full-time enrollment fell to 578 from 1,365 four years earlier, cutting tuition revenue in half over the period to $36 million.

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January 14, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Henderson, McEntee & Shepard Propose Changes To U.S. News Law School Rankings Methodology

2016 U.S. News RankingsKyle McEntee (Law School Transparency), How To Fix The U.S. News Law School Rankings:

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the U.S. News rankings methodology is the expenditures per student component, which actually includes two related metrics. The first, worth 9.75% of total rank, is the amount spent on faculty, staff, and services divided by total JD students. The second, worth 1.5% of total rank, adds the amount spent on financial aid to the equation. If you burn money (literally), you improve your standing on the rankings as long as there’s an educational purpose. ...

Last year, I wrote a memo to Morse and his team, co-signed by Chief Justice Randall Shepard (former CJ of the Indiana Supreme Court) and professor Bill Henderson, asking U.S. News to adopt one of two alternatives to the expenditures per student metric.

We also asked that the new metric replace two other metrics: student-to-faculty ratio and library resources. The library resources component does not relate to a 21st century legal education. Additionally, the ABA Section of Legal Education determined that the student-faculty ratio is an outdated proxy for quality and no longer uses it in assessing accreditation.

In sum, the proposed metric would replace 15% of total rank. Importantly, it aligns rankings incentives with the goal of providing an accessible, affordable legal education. Here are the two proposals:

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January 14, 2016 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Why Are There So Few Conservative/Libertarian Law Profs, Even Though They Are More Productive Scholars Than Liberal Law Profs?

James Cleith Phillips (Ph.D. Candidate, UC-Berkeley), Why are There So Few Conservatives and Libertarians in Legal Academia? An Empirical Exploration of Three Hypotheses, 39 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y ___ (2016):

There are few conservatives and libertarians in legal academia.

Graph 3

Why? Three explanations are usually provided: the Brainpower, Interest, and Greed Hypotheses. Alternatively, it could be because of Discrimination. This paper explores these possibilities by looking at citation and publication rates by law professors at the 16 highest-ranked law schools in the country. Using regression analysis, propensity score matching, propensity score reweighting, nearest neighbor matching, and coarsened exact matching, this paper finds that after taking into account traditional correlates of scholarly ability, conservative and libertarian law professors are cited more and publish more than their peers.

Graph 6

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January 13, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (11)

Is the Law School Crisis Affecting Harvard?

Harvard Law School Logo (2014)Bloomberg, Is the Law School Crisis Affecting Harvard?:

Harvard Law School accepted 55 students who transferred from other schools in 2015, according to data recently released by the American Bar Association. In the four prior years, the school never took in more than 35 transfer students. Harvard Law is one of the most exclusive law schools in the country, with its pick of the very best future lawyers in America. It's not a huge school, either; class sizes generally hover at 560. Why did Harvard decide to accept so many additional transfer students last year? ...

Other schools’ current students are a safer bet than new applicants. If Harvard was not confident that it could draw enough good students from the incoming crop of law applicants to maintain enrollment numbers and test scores, it might look to students who were already at the top of classes at other schools.

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January 13, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

2016 Niche College Rankings

NicheNiche has ranked 1,164 colleges and universities using this methodology. Here are the Top 25:

  1. Stanford
  2. MIT
  3. Yale
  4. Harvard
  5. Rice
  6. Penn
  7. Duke
  8. Brown
  9. Cal-Tech
  10. USC
  11. Princeton
  12. Washington University
  13. Notre Dame
  14. Columbia
  15. Bowdoin
  16. Texas
  17. Vanderbilt
  18. Georgetown
  19. Williams
  20. Chicago
  21. Michigan
  22. Dartmouth
  23. Cornell
  24. Carleton
  25. Virginia

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January 13, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Ari David Glogower, NYU VAP, To Join Ohio State Tax Faculty

GlogowerAri David Glogower, Acting Assistant Professor of Tax Law at NYU, will join the Ohio State tenure-track tax faculty in August 2016:

Before joining the NYU School of Law faculty, Ari Glogower worked as a tax associate in the New York office of Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP, where he advised on mergers, acquisitions, separations, private equity and joint ventures. Ari also has expertise with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and related taxpayer compliance programs.

Ari received an LL.M. in taxation from NYU School of Law, a J.D. (magna cum laude) from NYU School of Law, and a B.A. (with honors) from Yale University. During law school, Ari was an editor for the Tax Law Review and the NYU Environmental Law Journal. Before law school, Ari taught mathematics in Jackson, Mississippi and founded a tutoring business.

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January 12, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink | Comments (1)

Law Schools Have Shed 1,206 Full-Time Faculty (13.3%) Since 2010

Matt Leichter has published the 2015 edition of his Which Law Schools Are Shedding Full-Time Faculty?  Law schools have shed 1,206 full-time faculty (13.3%) since 2010, and 249 full-time faculty (3.1%) since last year.

142 law schools have shed full-time faculty since 2010, with 21 law schools shedding 20 or more full-time faculty:

FULL-TIME FACULTY (FALL)
RANK SCHOOL ’10 ’14 ’15 ANNUAL CHANGE NET CHANGE
1. WMU Cooley 101 49 44 -5 -57
2. Penn State (Dickinson Law) 57 47 19 -28 -38
3. George Washington 106 72 70 -2 -36
4. Florida Coastal 69 36 37 1 -32
5. SUNY Buffalo 54 48 24 -24 -30
5. John Marshall (Chicago) 75 56 45 -11 -30
7. Pacific, McGeorge 63 36 34 -2 -29
8. Vermont 55 26 27 1 -28
9. Hofstra 60 42 34 -8 -26
10. Arizona Summit [Phoenix] 32 15 7 -8 -25
11. Hamline 34 14 10 -4 -24
11. Catholic 56 38 32 -6 -24
11. DePaul 56 39 32 -7 -24
14. Syracuse 60 51 37 -14 -23
14. New York Law School 71 57 48 -9 -23
14. Texas 103 80 80 0 -23
17. Seton Hall 59 38 37 -1 -22
17. California-Berkeley 90 72 68 -4 -22
19. Cleveland State 39 23 19 -4 -20
19. Santa Clara 65 54 45 -9 -20
19. St. Louis 65 46 45 -1 -20

49 law schools have added full-time faculty since 2010, with 13 law schools adding 10 or more full-time faculty:

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January 12, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (15)

Here’s What Happened When A Law School Dean Challenged A U.S. News Ranker

2016 U.S. News RankingsBlake Edwards (Bloomberg BNA), Here’s What Happened When a Law School Dean Challenged a U.S. News Ranker:

On Saturday, at the American Association of Law Schools’ annual meeting in New York, the AALS’s Section for the Law School Dean hosted a panel on law school rankings. There were at least a couple hundred people in attendance. Many in the room, including the moderators, directed their frustration at Robert Morse, Chief Data Strategist for U.S. News.

When the meeting was opened up for questions, Nebraska Law School Dean Susan Poser stepped up to the microphone. “I don’t know anything about schools except the one I went to and the one I’m at now,” Poser said. “How do you justify asking us to rank the prestige of other schools, and how do you justify giving this component such a large weight?”

When Posner finished her question, the crowd broke into eager applause. Morse smiled and waited patiently before defending the rankings.

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January 12, 2016 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Monday, January 11, 2016

Baylor Seeks To Hire A Tax Prof

BaylorBaylor Law School is seeking to fill a tenure-track tax faculty position as an Assistant Professor:

RESPONSIBILITIES:
1. Teach courses in the areas of basic tax principles, taxation of business entities (partnerships and corporations) and advanced business topics, such as finance and investment structures. ...

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Applications will be reviewed beginning January 29, 2016 and will be accepted until the position is filled. To ensure full consideration, complete applications must be submitted by February 28, 2016.

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January 11, 2016 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Symposium On Law School Survival

January 11, 2016 in Conferences, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Schizer Named President Of America’s Voices In Israel

Schizer (2016)The Jewish Press, Columbia Law School's Former Dean to Head America's Voices in Israel:

America’s Voices in Israel (AVI), founded by Malcolm Hoenlein, has appointed David Schizer, the Dean Emeritus of Columbia Law School, as its new President. AVI organizes week-long missions to the Jewish State, which have been attended by prominent headline-makers, including leading journalists, prime-time media and Hollywood TV stars, as well as religious and political leaders in the Latino and African- American communities. Participants have described these missions as “fascinating” and even “life-changing,” while the Israeli government has also recognized the value of these trips. During the course of AVI’s week-long treks, visitors meet with a wide variety of politicians and academics. They offer a broad range of perspectives, since these missions are non-partisan.

“America’s Voices in Israel plays a vital role in educating prominent Americans about Israel,” Professor Schizer said. “Once they visit this remarkable country, they develop a more informed and sophisticated understanding of the extraordinary promise, as well as the complex challenges, that define life in Israel today. AVI provides new visitors with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am honored to be involved.”

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January 11, 2016 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Framework for Thinking About Law School Affordability

AGAccess Group:  A Framework for Thinking About Law School Affordability, by Sandy Baum (George Washington):

Rapid rises in tuition, dramatic growth in average debt levels in recent years, and a weakening of the job market for lawyers all raise questions about whether and for whom going to law school is a sound financial decision. Regardless of their motivation for studying law, people enroll expecting to be able to live at a higher standard of living than would have been possible without this education, even after repaying the debt they incur. Understanding what makes law school “affordable” for students in different circumstances requires thinking about how well the investment in this professional training pays off.

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January 11, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Many Law Students Are Hiding Depression, Drug And Alcohol Use

BE-Dec2015-AbridgedBloomberg Business, Study: Future Lawyers Are Hiding Depression and Drug and Alcohol Use:

Some law students fear that getting help for addiction and mental health problems will hurt their chances of becoming lawyers.

Some of America’s future lawyers are hiding drug, alcohol, and depression problems instead of seeking help, a new report shows [Helping Law Students Get the Help They Need: An Analysis of Data Regarding Law Students' Reluctance to Seek Help and Policy Recommendations For a Variety of Stakeholders]. Law students with addiction and mental health issues may be afraid to report the problems because they think that doing so would jeopardize their chances of being admitted to the bar or getting a good job after graduating, according to the study, which was conducted by a law professor, a dean of law students, and the programming director of a nonprofit focused on lawyers' mental health. It was published last month in the Bar Examiner, an industry magazine.

“Students who probably need to seek help are profoundly reluctant to, because they don’t perceive seeking help as being beneficial to their bar admission process,” said Jerome Organ, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and one of the report’s authors. Organ suggested that the effect of untreated addiction or depression in lawyers could affect their ability to serve clients. “If I am dealing with mental health issues that are untreated, and I am not taking care of myself, I’m probably not going to be able to take care of someone else well.”

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January 11, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Law Firms Risk Obsolescence By Following Kodak's Path

KodakNew York Times: Law Firms Risking Obsolescence, Report Says, by Elizabeth Olson:

As the legal industry faces sluggish demand for services, weakened pricing power and falling productivity, a new report is warning that the country’s law firms are failing to make “bold, proactive changes.”

The report, compiled annually by the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at the Georgetown University Law Center, said that firms needed to overcome resistance to change and even shake up the partnership structure if they are to thrive. Comparing the situation to the Eastman Kodak Company’s refusal to face major changes in the photography industry, the report found that the legal industry was ignoring recent transformations in its marketplace, at its peril.

Georgetown Law Center for the Study of the Legal Profession, 2016 Report on the State of the Legal Market:

Chart 1

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January 10, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Saturday, January 9, 2016

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

This Lawsuit Could Destroy America’s Worst Law Schools

Thomas Jefferson Logo (2015)Following up on my recent posts (links below):  

Wall Street Journal Law Blog, Law School Accused of Duping Students to Face Trial:

Judges haven’t looked too kindly at lawsuits brought by disgruntled former law-school students accusing their alma maters of deceptive marketing. Of the more than a dozen complaints accusing schools of misrepresenting their post-graduation employment data, most have been thrown out of court.

But at least one is headed for trial.

A California judge in San Diego ruled that false-advertising claims made against Thomas Jefferson School of Law by four former students are strong enough to get the plaintiffs their day in court.

The struggling, debt-burdened graduates sued Thomas Jefferson in 2011, claiming that the private law school in San Diego lured them with phony data about the employment outcomes of their graduates and demanding restitution.

Thomas Jefferson defended its data and argued that the plaintiffs were exaggerating the degree to which the former students relied on the job figures when they were deciding whether to enroll. Lawyers for the law school noted that the students didn’t have a lot of choice about where to go to law school since Thomas Jefferson was the only one that accepted them.

Superior Court Judge Joel M. Pressman, who issued the ruling, rejected that argument. “[T]he fact that TJSL was the only school accepting plaintiffs does not render the employment statistics immaterial. Plaintiffs still had a choice in accepting and attending TJSL,” he wrote in a decision handed down just before the New Year.

Daily Caller, This Lawsuit Could Destroy America’s Worst Law Schools:

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January 9, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (17)

Friday, January 8, 2016

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Tax Section Program At AALS Annual Meeting

AALS (2017)Today's highlight at the 2016 AALS Annual Meeting in New York:

Section of Taxation Program
Advising Taxpayers in the 21st Century: Ethical Challenges

Fundamental ethical principles do not generally change, but the context in which tax advisers must assess their duties does. Changes in the business, economic and political world pose challenges for tax advisers who must interpret their ethical duties and obligations in new circumstances. In the second decade of the 21st century we see: (1) tremendous internationalization of business (a taxpayer need not be a multinational to engage in cross border commerce); (2) backoffice functions regularly performed offshore; (3) increasing audit activity outside the U.S.; (4) global focus on information sharing and disclosure; (5) new interest in whistleblowing; (6) the rise of social media; (7) increasing interest by bar associations in pro bono obligations; and (7) and the growing role of electronic technology. These developments generate broader questions regarding: (1) the risks and benefits of advances in technology and communication; (2) how to advise clients in the face of increasing disclosure and reporting requirements; (3) the implications of a multinational legal practice; (4) the tensions at play in tax planning, minimization, and avoidance; and (5) ethical obligations to foreign jurisdictions. Drawing upon a range of experiences and perspectives, this panel will explore the pressing ethical challenges facing the contemporary tax adviser.

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January 8, 2016 in Conferences, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Only 1/3 Of Law Students Pay Full Tuition

Matt Leichter, Full-Time Students Paying Full Tuition Fell ~5 Percentage Points in 2014:

Once upon a time, more than half of law students at the typical law school paid full tuition. ... Now, only about a third of law students at the average law school pay full tuition. ...

 Chart 3

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January 8, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Triumph Of Email: 'The Best Thing You Can Do Is Destroy It Quickly, As If Every Email Were A Rabid Bat Attacking Your Face'

AtlanticThe Atlantic, The Triumph of Email: Why Does One of the World’s Most Reviled Technologies Keep Winning?:

Email, ughhhh. There is too much of it, and the wrong kind of it, from the wrong people. When people aren’t hating their inboxes out loud, they are quietly emailing to say that they’re sorry for replying so late, and for all the typos, and for missing your earlier note, and for forgetting to turn off auto-reply, and for sending this from their mobile device, and for writing too long, and for bothering you at all.

For an activity that’s so mundane, email seems to be infused with an extraordinary amount of dread and guilt. Several studies have linked frequent email-checking with higher levels of anxiety. One study found that constant email-checkers also had heart activity that suggested higher levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress—until they were banned from their inboxes.

In the mobile Internet age, checking email is simultaneously a nervous tic and, for many workers, a tether to the office. A person’s email inbox is where forgotten passwords are revived; where mass-mailings are collected; and where pumpkin-pie recipes, toddler photos, and absurd one-liners are shared. The inbox, then, is a place of convergence: for junk, for work, for advertising, and still sometimes for informal, intimate correspondence. Email works just the way it’s supposed to, and better than it used to, but people seem to hate it more than ever.

Over the course of about half a century, email went from being obscure and specialized, to mega-popular and beloved, to derided and barely tolerated. With email’s reputation now cratering, service providers offer tools to help you hit “inbox zero,” while startups promise to kill email altogether. It’s even become fashionable in tech circles to brag about how little a person uses email anymore.

Email wasn’t always like this. We weren’t always like this. What happened? ...

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January 7, 2016 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Roiphe:  Tilting At Stratification — Against A Divide In Legal Education

Rebecca Roiphe (New York Law School), Tilting at Stratification: Against a Divide in Legal Education:

Critics suggest we divide law schools into an elite tier whose graduates serve global business clients and a lower tier, which would prepare lawyers for simple disputes. This idea is not new. A similar proposal emerged in the early twentieth century. This article draws on the historical debate to argue that this simplistic approach cannot solve the myriad problems facing the legal profession and legal education. Supporters of separate tiers of law school rely on a caricature of the early history to argue that the Bar is acting in a protectionist way to ensure its own monopoly and keep newcomers out of the profession. A closer analysis of the debate in the 1920s demonstrates that those in favor of two separate educational tracks were similarly motivated by status and elitism. They hoped to relegate the bottom tier of the profession to a permanent lower caste.

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January 7, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (3)