TaxProf Blog

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

Saturday, November 4, 2017

ABA Council Clears The Way For All Law Schools To Admit Students Based On The GRE (Or To Ignore Admissions Tests Entirely)

GRELSATFollowing up on Wednesday's post, ETS Releases Study Establishing Validity Of GRE In Predicting Law School Success, Using Data On 1L Grades From 21 Law Schools:, GRE or LSAT? ABA Council’s Latest Move Could Nix Tests Altogether:

Future law school applicants could avoid taking the Law School Admissions Test — or any other admissions test, for that matter — if a proposal by the nation’s law school accrediting body passes. The key word, however, is “if.”

After 90 minutes of discussion on Friday afternoon and a split vote, the council of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar approved a recommendation from one of its committees to delete an accreditation standard that requires law schools to test students using a “valid and reliable” admissions test.

If the proposal passes, technically, law schools wouldn’t have to test applicants at all, but they would still need to follow sound admissions practices, which likely would include the LSAT or Graduate Records Examination, since a different accreditation standard would still require schools to make sure that applicants appeared capable of graduating and passing the bar. And to determine if schools were living up to that, the legal education council still would look at admissions test data.

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

Friday, November 3, 2017

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

List Of 140 Colleges With Endowments Greater Than $100,000 Per Student That Would Be Subject To GOP's Proposed 1.4% Tax On Investment Income

Chronicle of Higher Education, If House Republicans Get Their Way, These Colleges Would See Their Endowments Taxed:

In a sweeping plan to rework the tax code unveiled on Thursday, Republicans in the House of Representatives floated a new strategy for raising revenue: Tax college endowments.

Some college endowments, that is.

Deep within the plan — look here, on Page 75 — is the language that spells out which institutions would be affected. The bottom line: Only the most-affluent colleges need worry. Colleges would be subject to the tax, set at 1.4 percent of net investment income, only if their endowment assets total at least $100,000 per student.

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November 3, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (12)

Jones: The U.S. News Law School Academic Reputation Scores, 1998-2017

2018 U.S. News LawRobert L. Jones (Northern Illinois), Academic Reputation Scores for Law Schools Rebound in 2016 and 2017 to Reclaim 2013 Levels:

This essay summarizes the results of the U.S. News & World Report (“U.S. News”) rankings published in 2016 and 2017 with respect to the academic reputation scores of law schools. In contrast to the general trend over the last twenty years, the U.S. News academic reputation scores for law schools improved in both 2016 and 2017. With respect to the 172 law schools analyzed as part of a longitudinal study published by this author four years ago, law school academic reputation scores improved by an aggregate of 4.1 points in 2016 and by another 5.9 points in 2017. These recent increases offset declines from 2014 and 2015 and brought the average academic reputation score for the law schools in the data set back to 2.542, virtually the same average for those law schools in 2013.4 The median score of the law schools in the data set rose in 2017 as well, from 2.3 to 2.4.

Chart 3

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November 3, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Tougher Bar Pass Standard And Use Of GRE In Law School Admissions Are On Agenda At ABA Meeting

ABA Section On Legal Education (2016), Tougher Bar Pass Standard for Law Schools on Agenda at ABA Meeting:

A fight over a controversial proposal to toughen law school accreditation standards regarding bar exam pass rates is headed for round two.

Although it failed earlier this year in the effort, the nation’s accrediting body for law schools, the American Bar Association Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, is expected to try again at its meeting from Nov. 2 to 4 in Boston with a proposal to require law schools to have at least 75 percent of their graduates pass the bar within two years of graduation.

The debate over the rule comes at a time when schools are under pressure due to falling bar pass rates, mounting student debt, and a tight legal job market. The ABA’s legal education council has faced criticism for being too lenient and the new bar pass rule was supposed to show the council is trying to protect the consumer interests of students. The council has also cracked down on some law schools.

This week, it sent Florida Coastal School of Law, which had a 47.7 percent bar pass rate, a letter warning it was significantly out of compliance with standards. In March, it put Arizona Summit School of Law on probation for having a 25 percent bar passage rate among July 2016 test-takers, among other things. In addition, the ABA has sent noncompliance letters, for a variety of reasons, to seven other schools this year, including Atlanta’s John Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law and SUNY Buffalo School of Law, according to Paul Caron, editor of TaxProf Blog

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

Pepperdine Launches Disaster Relief Clinic

PDRPepperdine Law Launches Disaster Relief Clinic:

Pepperdine Law has launched a Disaster Relief Clinic to serve people affected by the hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands as well as the wildfires in California. Professor Sophia Hamilton is leading the immediate responses with student volunteers through the School of Law’s pro bono program. Professor Jeff Baker will lead the full Disaster Relief Clinic in January.

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

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Princeton Review's Best 169 Law Schools (2018 Edition)

Princeton ReviewThe Princeton Review has published the 2018 edition of The Best 169 Law Schools (press release) (FAQs) (methodology):

The Princeton Review tallied its lists based on its surveys of 19,900 students attending the 169 law schools [an average of 118 per school]. The 80-question survey asked students to rate their schools on several topics and report on their experiences. Some ranking list tallies also factored in school-reported data.

Best Professors:  Based on student answers to survey questions concerning how good their professors are as teachers and how accessible they are outside the classroom.

  1. Virginia
  2. Duke
  3. Boston University
  4. Stanford
  5. Chicago
  6. Pepperdine
  7. Washington & Lee
  8. Notre Dame
  9. Boston College
  10. Charleston

Best Quality of Life:  Based on student answers to survey questions on: whether there is a strong sense of community at the school, whether differing opinions are tolerated in the classroom, the location of the school, the quality of social life at the school, the school's research resources (library, computer and database resources). 

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November 1, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

ETS Releases Study Establishing Validity Of GRE In Predicting Law School Success, Using Data On 1L Grades From 21 Law Schools

GRE ETSPress Release, The GRE General Test is a Valid Predictor of Law School Success:

As a result of new research, the GRE ® General Test is poised to help law schools expand access to legal education and ease the burden for students interested in multiple education opportunities who would otherwise be required to prepare and pay for two tests.

After a series of school-specific studies, Educational Testing Service (ETS) — working with 21 U.S. law schools — conducted a national validity study to determine how well GRE ® scores predict success in law schools. Written by David M. Klieger, Brent Bridgeman, Richard J. Tannenbaum, Frederick A. Cline and Margarita Olivera-Aguilar, "The Validity of GRE ® Scores for Predicting Academic Performance at U.S. Law Schools" indicates that the GRE General Test is a strong, generalizably valid predictor of first-year law school grades. Furthermore, results show that the test adds to the prediction even when undergraduate grade point average already is available to predict those grades. The study also reiterated the reliability of the GRE test that had been shown in prior research.

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Lawyer Who Blamed Ethics Case On Mother Can't Discharge $500k In Student Loans

ABA Journal, Lawyer Who Blamed Ethics Case on Mother Can't Discharge $500k in Student Debt, Federal Judge Rules:

An Illinois lawyer who claimed his license suspension made it impossible to find appropriate work isn’t entitled to discharge student debt totaling more than $500,000, a Chicago federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer ruled late last month against lawyer Donald Rosen, who was suspended from practice for at least three years after allegedly misappropriating over $85,000 in client funds, the Cook County Record reports.

Pallmeyer affirmed a bankruptcy court’s ruling against Rosen, who had paid only about $11,000 in student debt over 37 years. Rosen, 63, is a certified public accountant who has two master’s degrees along with a JD he earned in 2001. He was 50 when admitted to the Illinois bar in 2003.

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October 31, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

ABA Notices To Law Schools About Potential Non-Compliance With Accreditation Standards

My Richard Nixon Moment


Politico, Richard Nixon, Awkward American Icon:

In many ways, Richard Nixon’s story is as American as The Great Gatsby — or so writes John Farrell in his recent article for Politico Magazine. He came from humble beginnings, pursued a dream beyond his rank in life and harbored great ambition fueled by the “laughs and slights and snubs” that he grew to expect from the moneyed political class. But even once secure in the Oval Office, Nixon, who died 20 years ago this week, was perpetually uncomfortable in the limelight, with a staff that struggled tirelessly to humanize him for public consumption. It was a challenge, and it inspired some of the most strained photo ops in the history of the American presidency. ... This photo of President Nixon walking on the beach in black wing-tipped shoes came to symbolize Nixon’s awkwardness. He once explained his fondness for formalwear to Bob Greene, the author of Fraternity: A Journey in Search of Five Presidents. “It isn’t a case of trying to be formal,” Nixon told Greene. “But I’m more comfortable that way … I’m always wearing a coat and tie. Even when I’m alone. If I were to take it off, probably I would catch cold. That’s the way it is.”

I had my Richard Nixon moment yesterday, as I agreed to be photographed at Paradise Cove in Malibu for the forthcoling issue of our Pepperdine Law magazine. The photographer insisted that I wear a suit to the beach, and then asked me to pose in the sand, ala Richard Nixon.

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October 31, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Monday, October 30, 2017

Private Law School Tuition Discount Rate Rose To 39% In 2016

Tuition DiscountingAccessLex Institute & National Association of College and University Business Officers, Tuition Discounting Study of Private Law Schools:

The practice of tuition discounting — providing institutional aid to select students to offset the price of attending a college or university — is widespread in higher education, and its use has increased over the past few decades. NACUBO annually collects tuition discount rates and other data related to discounting among undergraduates at private nonprofit institutions, but very little is known about discounting practices at law schools or other graduate/professional programs.

The 2016 NACUBO/AccessLex Tuition Discounting Study of Private Law Schools was commissioned by AccessLex Institute in part to provide more recent information on tuition discounting practices at law schools, and to measure the effects of discounting on law schools’ finances. The use of institutional grant aid to attract and retain law students has become even more important, as many programs have had to grapple with declines in their numbers of applicants and enrollments. This challenging context has prompted law schools to implement a variety of practices and policies to raise their enrollments, including increasing their financial aid expenditures.

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October 30, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brittany Stringfellow Otey Is Honored At Union Rescue Mission's Dare To Dream Gala

URMCongratulations to Brittany Stringfellow Otey, Director of Pepperdine's Legal Aid Clinic at the Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles, on receiving the Lyman Stewart Founders Award Saturday night at the Dare to Dream Gala.  The Union Rescue Mission is a Christian organization that is the largest private mission serving the homeless in the United States.  I was honored to present the award to Brittany, and told the audience in part:

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October 30, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Georgetown Student Group Faces Loss Of University Funding For Promoting Catholic Church's Views On Marriage; Monday Hearing Will Decide If Group Is Guilty Of 'Fostering Hatred And Intolerance'

Love Saxa

Washington Post, Georgetown Students Have Filed a Discrimination Complaint Against a Campus Group Promoting Heterosexual Marriage:

A Catholic student group at Georgetown University that promotes the benefits of traditional marriage risks losing its funding and other university benefits after being accused of fostering hatred and intolerance.

Love Saxa advocates for marriage as “a monogamous and permanent union between a man and a woman,” the group states in its constitution. [Georgetown's motto is Hoya Saxa ("What Rocks").] That definition of marriage happens to be in line with that espoused by the Catholic Church, raising the question of how administrators at Georgetown, the United States’ oldest Catholic and Jesuit institution of higher learning, will handle the controversy if it eventually comes before them.

“I suppose the question for Georgetown is whether they think Catholic kids can still be Catholic there,” said Chad Pecknold, a theology professor at the Catholic University of America. ...

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October 29, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

University Of Arkansas To Change Tenure Policy To Permit Firing Of Faculty For Lack Of Collegiality

Arkansas LogoChronicle of Higher Education, U. of Arkansas System Considers Changes to Ease Tenured-Faculty Firings:

The University of Arkansas system is considering proposed changes in its tenure policy that could make it easier to fire professors and, faculty members say, chip away at academic freedom.

A key concern, they say, is language in the proposal that outlines when professors may be fired for cause. It includes a "pattern of disruptive conduct or unwillingness to work productively with colleagues." That language, some faculty members say, effectively means collegiality — or the lack thereof — can be used as a reason to dismiss a professor.

Using collegiality as a criterion to evaluate faculty members has long been condemned by the American Association of University Professors.

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October 29, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (9)

Christian Legal Society National Conference On Discovering Joy In The Law

CLSI was honored to join the Pepperdine contingent at this weekend's Christian Legal Society's National Conference on Discovering Joy In The Law () in Newport Beach, California. Pepperdine was one of the sponsors of the conference (and apparently paid for this chocolate fondue mountain), so I had the honor of giving brief welcoming remarks.  I cannot be sure, but my guess is that it was the first time the attendees heard C.S. Lewis compared to Lin-Manuel Miranda.


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October 29, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Saturday, October 28, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Predicting Enrollment At Michigan: The Strategic Use Of Financial Aid To Craft A Class

Michigan Law Logo (2015)Heeyun Kim,  Meghan Oster,  Natsumi Ueda & Stephen DesJardins (Michigan), Predicting Law School Enrollment: The Strategic Use of Financial Aid to Craft a Class:

In this study, we explore what factors predict student decisions to enroll at law schools and how the probability of enrollment varies across students with various profiles and conditions. To find the predictors of enrollment and differences in the probability of enrollment across groups, we employ a logistic regression model using the institutional data obtained from one of the top-ranked law schools in the nation. After estimating the logistic regression model, the probabilities of enrollment are calculated for students with specific profiles and conditions based on the coefficients generated by the logistic regression analysis. The findings reveal many factors that are associated with the probability of enrollment at this law school. Particularly, students with higher academic qualifications, underrepresented minority status, the most selective undergraduate school, STEM background, and previous applicant status have a lower probability of enrollment compared to their respective counterparts.

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October 28, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

A 'Marvel'ous Dinner

Tax Court (2017)On October 19th the Tax Court was in Lubbock in the person of Chief Judge Paige Marvel.  The Court’s involvement with the ABA Tax Section is well known, but I did want to give a shout-out to its equally important involvement with legal education.  Each year the tax faculty at Tech Law (myself, Alyson Outenreath, Steve Black, Vaughn James, and Terri Morgeson) hold a Tax Careers Panel at the Law School (graciously sponsored in recent by the Texas State Bar Tax Section). We always time it so that we can invite the Tax Court Judge to be on the panel. We are delighted that every judge has participated.

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October 28, 2017 in Bryan Camp, Law School, Legal Education, Miscellaneous, Tax, Tax Profs, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

ABA Legal Ed Council To Consider Changing Accreditation Standards On Bar Passage, LSAT Alternatives At November Meeting

ABA Section On Legal Education (2016)ABA Journal, Bar Passage and Admissions Tests Among Topics to be Revisited by ABA Legal Ed Council:

A proposal to tighten up bar passage requirements for ABA-accredited schools, which the House of Delegates rejected in February, will be revisited in November by the council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

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October 27, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Arizona Deans: It's Time To Rethink The Law School Entrance Exam Monopoly

GRELSATThe Hill op-ed:  It's Time to Rethink the Law School Entrance Exam Monopoly, by Marc Miller (Dean, Arizona) & Christopher Robertson (Associate Dean for Research and Innovation, Arizona):

Sometimes modest changes spark huge debates. That has been the case with the decision by some law schools, led by the University of Arizona, to accept the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as an additional basis for law school admissions.

The openness to innovation at U.S. law schools has been spurred by the changing legal market and the dramatic downturn in applications for JD programs since 2010. But the addition of the GRE would have been a good idea at any time. For many decades, virtually every applicant to a U.S. JD program was required to take the Law School Admissions Test, or LSAT.

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October 26, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

NY Times: John Grisham Prosecutes For-Profit Law Schools In ‘The Rooster Bar’

RoosterNew York Times, John Grisham Prosecutes For-Profit Law Schools in ‘The Rooster Bar’:

Earlier this year, John Grisham announced that his next legal thriller would be about the scams behind many for-profit law schools. But it’s a long leap from subject matter to story, and Grisham’s newly reanimated storytelling skills are what make “The Rooster Bar” such a treat. ...

He begins by describing the sleaziest for-profit law school he can imagine. Foggy Bottom Law School advertises the ease with which its happy graduates land high-paying jobs at prestigious firms, but this book’s three main characters — Mark, Todd and Zola — are not happy. Halfway through their final year at school, they have wised up to the only real attainment Foggy Bottom has earned them: A mountain of debt. ...

Always helpful to his readers, Grisham lays out the basics simply, including this list: “(1) FBLS was a subpar law school that (2) made too many promises, and (3) charged too much money, and (4) encouraged too much debt while (5) admitting a lot of mediocre students who really had no business in law school, and (6) were either not properly prepared for the bar exam or (7) too dumb to pass it.” ...

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October 26, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

An Inside Look At Wayne State's Push To Fire Five Underperforming Tenured Professors

Wayne State University LogoFollowing up on my previous posts:

Chronicle of Higher Education, What It Looks Like When a University Tries to Revoke a Professor’s Tenure:

Over the past year, Wayne State University officials have been taking the rare step of trying to strip tenure from five medical-school professors. The transcript from one former professor’s hearing offers an inside view into how that process plays out.

Administrators argue the faculty members in question haven’t been doing their jobs well for years and are therefore abusing their tenure. Faculty union representatives dispute that, and argue that the attempt to revoke tenure is a result of a perverse shift in priorities among the university’s leadership. According to union leaders, M. Roy Wilson, the president, and several senior administrators drastically ramped up the pressure on medical-school faculty members to bring in outside grant funding a couple of years ago. Officials then deemed those who fell short "unproductive" and began trying to dismiss some of them.

Union leaders say such an approach undermines academic freedom. But Mr. Wilson told The Chronicle that at most medical schools there’s an expectation that professors earn at least part of their salary by generating grants. He added that the academic-freedom argument was "nonsense." "In my view, we risk further eroding the public trust in higher ed if we continue to protect and pay tenured professors who check out and stop working," he said.

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

Call For Tax Papers And Panels: SEALS 2018 (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

SEALs Logo (2013)Now that we are deep into the fall semester, it's time to think about SEALS 2018! The conference will be held August 6-12, 2018 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The conference submission tool is now open, and I am eager to coordinate people who are interested in presenting tax work at the SEALS conference into relevant panel groups. In addition, we have also had a very successful Tax Policy Discussion Group in recent years.

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October 26, 2017 in Conferences, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Deceptive Linearity Of Law Review Rankings

We're at that time of year - the fall law review placement season, the FRC and hiring, tenure applications and review - when the question of the value of the placement of an article in a particular journal raises its questionably meaningful head.

The point I am raising here is related to but somewhat different than that made by Paul in his 2006 essay, The Long Tail of Legal Scholarship.   That was about the top-end loading of citations. Along the lines of the 20-80 principle, not only do 20% of the articles account for 80% of the citations (in concept), but the tail of seldom or never cited work stretches out a long, long way.  I add to it something I observed about US News "peer assessment" rankings around the same time:  the rankings masked the underlying distribution curve under which the ordinal rankings were significantly less meaningful once you got beyond the very top ranked schools (and apart from all the other issues with the meaningfulness of those rankings).

Somebody in my hearing raised the question of the relative value of a law review article placement based on the Washington & Lee law school library's ranking system.  So I took a closer look at it.

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October 25, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Deaning in LA: The World Series, Hamilton, And Memories Of 1967

What could be better than watching the Dodgers beat the Astros last night in Game 1 of the World Series?  Watching it with Michael Luwoye, who is playing Alexander Hamilton in the Los Angeles production of Hamilton!  Thanks to Mark Hiepler, co-chair of our board of visitors, for his generosity in sharing a special night with several Pepperdine faculty, staff, students, and alumni.


The only other time I attended a World Series game was in 1967, when my father somehow got one ticket to Game 6 and drove me to Fenway park and walked me to the gate as a scared and excited 10 year old.  I watched the Red Sox win 8-4 while he waited in a bar across the street and drove me home after the game.  I wish I could have returned the favor last night (he died in 2007, and I miss him more each passing year). 

For more on my obsession with interest in Hamilton, see here and:

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

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Cumberland Seeks To Hire A Tax Prof

CumberlandSamford University Cumberland School of Law  invites applications for experienced or entry level tenure track faculty positions to begin in the 2018-2019 academic year:

We have a particular need for candidates interested in teaching in the area of tax. All applicants must have a strong academic record and be committed to outstanding teaching and scholarship. We particularly welcome applications from persons of diverse background. Salary and rank are negotiable based on qualifications. All applications should include a letter of application, resume, references and teaching evaluations (if available) to:

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October 24, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Maureen O’Rourke To Step Down After 14 Years As Dean Of BU Law School

BUMaureen O’Rourke to Step Down as Dean of the School of Law:

From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer

Professor Maureen O’Rourke, who has served with distinction as Dean of the School of Law (LAW) since 2004, has announced that she plans to step down from her administrative role in June 2018 and return to the faculty, following a sabbatical leave.

O’Rourke has been an exceptional leader at LAW since her appointment, first in an interim role for two years and then as permanent Dean beginning in 2006. She has led advances in the quality, relevance, and accessibility of the School’s academic programs, as well as in its national reputation among top law schools. She spearheaded the launch of several innovative new programs – including the Executive LLM in International Business Law, Legal English Certificate Program, and an online version of the LLM in Taxation. Among Dean O’Rourke’s most notable recent accomplishments was overseeing the successful completion of a state of the art law school complex, including the Sumner M. Redstone Building, a nearly 100,000-square-foot, five-story classroom building that opened in 2014, and the 17-story LAW tower, which re-opened in 2015 after a complete renovation.

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

Monday, October 23, 2017

Georgia State Launches Legal Analytics Lab To Apply Big Data To Several Areas Of Law

LAAGSLegal Analytics Lab Tackles Projects at the Intersection of Business, Law and Big Data:

A groundbreaking new lab at Georgia State University is bringing business and legal scholars together with data scientists to analyze millions of litigation filings and outcomes, corporate financial disclosures, patent applications and other legal documents to identify patterns and evaluate how the law operates to predict future outcomes.

The Legal Analytics Lab, an initiative of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business with support from Georgia State’s College of Law, will be housed in Robinson’s big data analytics facility, the Institute for Insight. The lab will first focus on three subject areas: civil litigation, intellectual property, and compliance and corporate social responsibility.

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October 23, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Elizabeth Warren Says A Senior Faculty Member Sexually Harassed Her When She Was A 'Baby Law Professor', Presumably At Rutgers

WarrenBoston Globe, Elizabeth Warren Recalls Story of Sexual Harassment by Law School Colleague:

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is joining the growing chorus of women talking about their experiences with sexual harassment in the wake of allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

The Massachusetts Democrat shared a story from when she was a “baby law professor” during a videotaped interview session with three other female senators that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

Warren says a senior faculty member had asked her to stop by his office one day. When she did, he slammed the door and “lunged” for her. He then chased her around a desk, trying to get his hands on her.


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

Victoria Schwartz Receives Pepperdine University's Highest Teaching Honor

SchwartzCongratulations to my friend and colleague Victoria Schwartz, who has received Pepperdine University's highest teaching honor, the Howard A. White Award for Teaching Excellence:

The Howard A. White Award for Teaching Excellence recognizes outstanding teachers who embody Pepperdine University's commitment to excellence. The award honors teachers who inspire, stimulate, challenge, and motivate their students; teachers who develop in students the ability to think critically and creatively about the world; teachers who instill in their students a lifelong love of learning.

Victoria was awarded tenure this year and received the law school's 2016 Faculty Scholarship Award.  Victoria's recent articles include:

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October 23, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, October 22, 2017

WSJ: Can Evangelicals And Academics Talk to Each Other?

Wall Street Journal Essay:  Can Evangelicals and Academics Talk to Each Other?, by Alan Jacobs (Baylor):

Last year, as the fire and fury of the presidential election were intensifying and people all around me were growing more and more hostile to one another, I was struck by the familiarity of the situation. For all my adult life, I’ve been dealing with the kinds of hostilities and misunderstandings that now dominate American politics, because I belong to two very different and mutually suspicious groups. I am an academic, but I am also an evangelical Christian.

When I hear academics talk about Christians, I typically think, “That’s not quite right. I don’t believe you understand the people you think you’re disagreeing with.” And when I listen to Christians talk about academics, I have precisely the same reaction.

I have spent decades trying to figure out how these pervasive misunderstandings arise and looking for ways to correct them. But they are very hard to combat, because academics and Christians (like the rest of us) treasure their enmities. And where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

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October 22, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Saturday, October 21, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

How Faculty Can Publicize Their Research And Increase Their Scholarly Metrics And Reputation

BlogsChronicle of Higher Education, Publicize Your Research:

Legislators and the public are often skeptical that higher-education tax dollars are being put to good use. Colleges see it as more important than ever, then, for academics to be able to explain their research in lively, accessible ways. At Michigan State University, a group of faculty members recently gathered to learn how.

The leaders of a three-hour workshop outlined a number of ways to to communicate beyond academic peers. Among them: 30-second elevator speeches, jargon-free writing, linking your work to real-world problems, and cultivating a certain level of media savvy. Equally important is a sense of urgency. "We need everyone to understand," says Stephen Hsu in a video that kicks off the training, "why what we do is important."

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October 21, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sukhsimranjit Singh Named Managing Director Of Pepperdine's #1 Ranked Straus Institute For Dispute Resolution

SinghSukhsimranjit Singh Named Managing Director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution:

Professor Singh came to the Institute in 2016 as an Associate Director of the Institute and Director of the LL.M. program. He brought with him nearly a decade of teaching and administrative experience as the founding Associate Director of Willamette School of Law’s Center for Dispute Resolution, where he ran the LL.M. program and also taught at the school of management. He is an excellent trainer, teacher and mediator. Singh will now take on expanded responsibilities, managing the day-to-day operations of Straus and joining the leadership team.

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October 21, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 20, 2017

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Law School Responses To Speech Protests, From Best (Georgetown) To Worst (Seattle, Thurgood Marshall)

GSTFollowing up on my previous posts:

American Lawyer, At Law Schools, Rowdy Protests Provide Teachable Moments:

Since February, when violent protests canceled a speech by provocative writer Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley, colleges and universities nationwide have faced criticism for caving to opposition by canceling events.

Law schools have not escaped the clashes. The nationwide free-speech-on-campus debate took root at three law schools this fall as protesters opposed speakers or events, prompting widely different responses from schools.

Those reactions from law school administrators provide examples of best and worst practices in the free-speech realm, and they come at a time when First Amendment advocates say it’s more important than ever for law schools to be role models in upholding free speech. ...

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October 20, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Does A Professor's Scholarly Productivity Decline With Age?

Inside Higher Ed, Productivity: Age Is Just a Number:

Conventional wisdom on faculty research productivity, backed by decades of studies, says that it’s all downhill after tenure. A new paper challenges that paradigm, suggesting great variability in peak research activity among individual scientists — even if their aggregate productivity curve still feeds the posttenure “dead weight” myth.


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

Thursday, October 19, 2017

California Keeps Bar Exam Cut Score At 144, Second Highest In Nation

California Bar ExamCalifornia Courts News Release:

In view of the rising costs of legal education and the financial hardship potentially resulting from non-admission to the California bar, the court determined last February to assess whether the current pass score (cut score) of 1440 for the California bar exam is appropriate for evaluating the minimum competence necessary for entering attorneys to practice law in this state. 

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October 19, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Nevada Lowers Bar Exam Cut Score From 140 to 138, Pass Rate Increases By 23%

UNLV Logo (2016)Following up on my previous post, Oregon Lowers Bar Exam Cut Score From 142 to 137, Pass Rate Increases By 36%:  Las Vegas Review-Journal, UNLV Law School Sees Big Jump in Bar Exam Passage:

The verdict for Nevada’s most recent bar exam is in, and it’s a positive outcome for UNLV’s Boyd School of Law. Boyd students who sat for the test for the first time in July passed at a rate of 81 percent, 15 percentage points higher than in July 2016. ...

Nevada’s bar exam, which is administered twice a year, is notorious for being one of the nation’s toughest. But this year, the state Supreme Court made several decisions to make the test more user-friendly.

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October 19, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Harvard Law School Report On The State Of Black Alumni

HarvardDavid B. Wilkins (Harvard) & Bryon Fong (Harvard), Harvard Law School Report on the State of Black Alumni II 2000-2016:

One hundred and fifty years ago this year, the Law School enrolled George Lewis Ruffin, who would go on to be the first black person to graduate from any law school in the United States. In the intervening years, Harvard has graduated more black lawyers — over 2,700 — than any law school in the country with the exception of the great Howard University School of Law. Among their ranks are some of the most powerful and influential lawyers in the world, including the 44th President of the United States and the country’s former First Lady, Michelle Obama ’88.

In 2000, the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession released a Report on the State of Black Alumni: 1869-2000 chronicling the achievements and continuing challenges of this remarkable group of lawyers on the basis of a comprehensive survey of the careers of over 650 of the school’s African American alumni. In this new Report, based on a second survey of the school’s black alumni, including those that graduated in the new millennium and matured during the Age of Obama, we both bring that history up to date and offer new perspectives for this new era.

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October 18, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

REMAND Makes National Television Broadcast Premiere Tonight

GashRemand: To remain indefinitely and hopelessly in prison while awaiting trial.

I encourage you to check out tonight’s national television broadcast premiere of the inspiring and award-winning documentary film REMAND.  The BBC and Washington Post both chronicle how Pepperdine Law professor Jim Gash’s representation of a wrongly accused Ugandan juvenile prisoner named Henry led to his exoneration and release.  Revolution Pictures dramatically captures how this case sparked transformative change in Uganda’s entire criminal justice system through the work of Pepperdine’s Sudreau Global Justice Program.

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October 18, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Columbia Is Seventh Law School To Accept GRE For Admissions

Columbia (2017)Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Columbia is the seventh law school to accept the GRE as an alternative to the LSAT,  joining (in chronological order) Arizona, Harvard, Northwestern, Georgetown, Hawaii, and Washington University:

As part of its ongoing commitment to preparing students to be leaders in the legal profession, as well as other fields such as science, technology, public policy, and business, Columbia Law School will accept Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores in addition to LSAT scores from applicants to the three-year J.D. program beginning on a trial basis in fall 2018. ...

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October 18, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sander & Steinbuch: Mismatch And Bar Passage: A School-Specific Analysis

Richard H. Sander (UCLA) & Robert Steinbuch (Arkansas-Little Rock), Mismatch and Bar Passage: A School-Specific Analysis:

Past research on law school mismatch has been hampered by the absence of school-specific data, thus requiring scholars to estimate individual levels of mismatch through various indirect techniques. In this paper, the authors use data on nearly four thousand students at three law schools to directly measure mismatch levels based on LSAT scores or an academic index. The analysis shows large and statistically significant effects of mismatch; when one controls for mismatch, racial effects lose statistical significance. The results highlight the importance of mismatch in explaining both racial bar passage gaps and individual outcomes on the bar. The results also illustrate the great importance of individual school-level data across a range of schools in studying mismatch.

Table 2

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October 17, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (3)

Harvard Law Review Elects First Ever Majority Female Class

HarvardHarvard Crimson, Law Review Elects First Ever Majority Female Class:

The Harvard Law Review selected more female editors than male editors to join the prestigious journal’s ranks this summer, welcoming a majority-female class for the first time in the publication’s history.

The editorial class, chosen after a rigorous competition tested the skills of prospective first-year law students, consists of 24 women and 22 men.

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October 17, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)