TaxProf Blog

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

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Harvard Law School Unveils Memorial Honoring Slaves Who Enabled Its Founding

HLSHarvard Law Today, Harvard Law School Unveils Memorial Honoring Enslaved People Who Enabled Its Founding:

On September 5, at the opening of its Bicentennial observance, Harvard Law School unveiled a memorial to the enslaved people whose labor helped make possible the founding of the school.

The plaque, affixed to a large stone memorial placed at the Crossroads in the center of the Law School’s plaza, reads:

In honor of the enslaved whose labor
created wealth that made possible
the founding of Harvard Law School

May we pursue the highest ideals
of law and justice in their memory

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

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Law Schools With The Best Employment Rates

Following up on last week's post, The 49 Law Schools With The Most Improved Employment Rates: The National Jurist, Most Improved Employment Rates:

The National Jurist took into consideration all forms of post-graduation employment. The employment rates were weighted, giving the most heft to full-time jobs that require bar passage. Other jobs, such as J.D.-advantage jobs and positions in other professions, received less weight.


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September 6, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

What Law Students Say About Experiential Learning

David I. C. Thomson (Denver) & Stephen Daniels (American Bar Foundation), If You Build it, They Will Come: What Students Say About Experiential Learning:

In the Fall of 2013, soon after the reduction in applications that many law schools experienced in 2011-13, the University of Denver’s law school lead the way nationally in making a significant additional investment in experiential learning. Starting that fall, it provided the option for all incoming students to spend one entire year of law school in experiential learning courses and programs. While this commitment was being rolled out, the authors prepared a study of the impact of the program on enrollment and the educational experience of students. A three-year study — each year surveying 1Ls — also included follow up surveys of 2Ls and 3L/4Ls, with additional “look back” questions for the 3L/4L surveys. What we learned was that applicants chose Denver Law on several traditional factors (such as cost and location) but also strongly indicated that the experiential learning component was an important part of their decision. In the 3L/4L surveys, students reflected back on their law school education, and still ranked experiential learning as very important to them, while noting the importance of other practical concerns, such as employment outcomes for graduates.


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September 6, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

The 100 Most Influential People In Tax And Accounting

100 CoverI am honored to be included on the list of Accounting Today's 100 Most Influential People in Tax and Accounting for the twelfth consecutive year:

Not only is Caron’s blog one of the most important in tax — it hit an alltime high of 1.5 million page views a month in 2016 — its prominence also helped elevate him to his new position as dean of his law school; proof, if any was needed, that thought leadership really does pay off.

I am honored to be on the Top 100 list with such high-powered people in the tax and accounting worlds, including:

  • Karen Abramson (CEO, Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting)
  • Joe Baron (Managing Director, Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting)
  • Wayne Berson (CEO, BDO)
  • Kevin Brady (Chair, U.S. House Ways & Means Committee)
  • James Doty (Chair, PCAOB)
  • Lynne Doughtie (Chair & CEO, KPMG)
  • Kimberly Ellison-Taylor (Incoming Chair, AICPA)
  • Cathy Engelbert (CEO, Deloitte)
  • George Farrah (Executive Director, Tax & Accounting, Bloomberg BNA)
  • J. Russell George (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration)

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September 6, 2017 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

How You Can Help Houston Law Students, Staff, And Faculty In The Wake Of Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane HarveyI reached out to the deans at the three Houston law schools (University of Houston Law Center, South Texas College of Law Houston, and Thurgood Marshall Law School) to see how the law school community can best support their students, staff, and faculty in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Deans Baynes and Guter responded with links to websites set up by their schools for this purpose:

Here are the full responses I received:

From Len Baynes (Dean, University of Houston Law Center):

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September 5, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Holiday Weekend Roundup

Monday, September 4, 2017

A Personal Tribute To Judge Posner And The Life Of The Mind

PosnerBack in September 2004, when I was still the general counsel of a corporation, I had begun to dip my toes into legal academia some twenty-five years after graduating from law school.  I eventually told some of that story in How Not to "Retire and Teach" (and its sequel six years later).  I didn't include it in the essays, but I have occasionally told friends this heretofore unpublished story involving Judge Posner.

The great change between 1979 and 2004 was, of course, the rise of interdisciplinarity in legal scholarship. It didn't take me long to figure out that law-and-economics and Judge Posner's contribution were the models par excellence of the shift in emphasis from doctrine to theory.  My first re-introductions to the theoretical perspective came from books like The Problematic of Moral and Legal Theory and The Problems of Jurisprudence.  I didn't necessarily agree with them; my experience was too many other factors intervened to make microeconomics meaningful in the extension from transactions to subjective decision making.  Indeed, from the beginning, I was more interested in what was going on in the head of the utilitarian "rational frog" (Judge Posner's wonderful coinage in Economic Analysis of Law) whose decision-making could be plotted on a curve.  Clearly, I thought moral theory was less problematic.

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September 4, 2017 in Legal Education, Miscellaneous, News | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Death Of Lesley McAllister

McAllisterLesley McAllister, an environmental law professor at San Diego (2005-13) and UC-Davis (2013-), died on August 30 at the age of 47 after a four year battle against cancer.  She leaves behind her husband Andrew and two young children, Erin and Nathan.  A Celebration of Lesley's Life is being held today at 4:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis.  In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions in Lesley's honor may be made to Camp Kesem, a camp that helps children whose parents have cancer.

I got to know Leslie during my many summers at USD, and we often were neighbors in a suite of faculty offices.  I prevailed on her to take over our network's Environmental Law Prof Blog, which she did with her customary élan.

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September 3, 2017 in Legal Education, Obituaries | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pepperdine's New LL.M. In Entertainment, Media, And Sports Law

AEGA nice write up of Pepperdine's new LL.M. program in Entertainment, Media, and Sports Law in Lawyer & Statesman, Entertainment, Media and Sports Law: Becoming an Expert:

The practice areas of entertainment, media and sports law are multidisciplinary, global and challenging. Lawyers that establish expertise in these fields work with entertainers, athletes, production companies and other businesses that support these international industries.

Practicing attorneys who want to gain specialized legal knowledge of the entertainment, media or sports industries should consider an LL.M. program designed to develop a higher level of expertise. ...

Starting fall of 2017, Pepperdine Law offers an LL.M. in Entertainment, Media and Sports Law. The program is designed to provide practicing attorneys with a holistic understanding of the sports industry.

“The program will give students access to the industry, hone skills specific to sports law, and provide unique networking opportunities, said Victoria Schwartz, co-director of the LL.M. and Certificate Programs in Entertainment, Media and Sports Law at Pepperdine Law.

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September 3, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 2, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Golden Gate Seeks To Hire A Faculty Director Of Its Tax & Estate Planning LL.M. Programs

Golden Gate Logo (2018)Golden Gate University School of Law is seeking to hire a Director of its LL.M. in Taxation and LL.M. in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law programs:

This position is a full time, tenure or tenure-track position. Our LLM in Taxation has provided 40 years of instruction and has 1,600 plus alumni and is consistently ranked as the best LLM in Taxation in California. We are also proud of our newest LLM in Estate Planning which started in 2015 and is the first LLM in Estate Planning west of the Mississippi River. We welcome the opportunity to work with a director to help shape these programs to best meet the needs of lawyers seeking to enhance their learning and training in these specialty areas. 

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September 2, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

California Bar Law School Council Recommends Lowering Cut Score to 135-139; Bar Examiners Recommend Keeping It At 144

A California Bar survey revealed that 80% of attorneys surveyed (34,295) and 2% of applicants (4,188) support leaving the cut score at 144:

On Wednesday, the California Bar's Law School Council recommended lowering the cut score to 135- 139.

On Thursday, the Committee of Bar Examiners voted 13-1 to recommend leaving the cut score at 144.

The California Bar's Board of Trustees will meet on September 6 and 7 to make its recommendation to the California Supreme Court.

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

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

Sorry, Charlotte. You Don’t Need A Law School.

Charlotte Logo (2016)Charlotte Observer, Sorry, Charlotte. You Don’t Need a Law School, Officials Say.:

Charlotte appears set to regain its crown as the largest U.S. city without a law school, given the closing of Charlotte School of Law and a quiet announcement by UNC Charlotte this month that it does not intend to fill the void. “We do not envision creating another law school in the state,” Chancellor Phil Dubois told the school’s faculty last week during UNCC’s annual fall convocation.

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

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

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The 49 Law Schools With The Most Improved Employment Rates

The National Jurist, Most Improved Employment Rates:

As the legal market continues to rebound and moves closer to pre-recession levels, law schools big and small are bolstering employer outreach efforts and reconsidering their curricula to strengthen graduate employability. Looking at this year’s employment statistics to find the most improved employment rates, The National Jurist took into consideration all forms of post-graduation employment. The employment rates were weighted, giving the most heft to full-time jobs that require bar passage. Other jobs, such as J.D.-advantage jobs and positions in other professions, received less weight.

Top 50

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August 31, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Caron: From Moses To Hamilton: A Dean’s Journey

Caron HamiltonFor my Southern California friends:   I have the great honor of speaking this Sunday (Sept. 3) at Pepperdine University's campus church service held in Elkins Auditorium starting at 10:15 am.  The title of my talk is From Moses to Hamilton: A Dean’s Journey.  For a teaser, see C.S. Lewis & Lin-Manuel Miranda: How I Found My Faith In Mere Christianity And Deepened It In Hamilton:

I repeatedly (perhaps excessively) extol the genius of Hamilton (see links below). I often tell people that the play changed my life and led me to seek the deanship of Pepperdine law school.  

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August 31, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Survey Confirms Significant 'Trump Bump' In Law School Applications

Following up on last month's post, Did 'Trump Bump' Cause Surge Of LSAT Test-Takers?:  a survey of law school applicants by Blueprint LSAT Preparation revealed that over 52% listed the Trump presidency as “moderately influential” to “very influential” in their decision to apply to law school:

Trump Bump

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August 30, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Feds Have Opened A Criminal Investigation Of Charlotte Law School

Charlotte Logo (2016)ABA Journal, Feds Started Criminal Investigation of Charlotte School of Law, According to Civil Filing:

A federal criminal investigation involving Charlotte School of Law was opened more than a year ago, according to recently unsealed court documents in a qui tam lawsuit. The Orlando U.S. attorney’s office recently opted not to intervene in the case.

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August 30, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Impact Of Hurricane Harvey On Houston Law Schools

HoustonNational Law Journal, 'Horrific' Storm Shutters Houston-Area Law Schools:

Houston’s three law schools are closed, and likely will remain so for the rest of the week as flooded waterways turn many of the city’s streets and freeways into rivers. Forecasts call for heavy rain through Wednesday. All three schools had been in session for at least a week when the the remnants of Harvey swept through.

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

Creating An Assessment-Centered Legal Education

Steven Friedland (Elon), Rescuing Pluto from the Cold: Creating an Assessment-Centered Legal Education:

This article uses principles of design theory and high-impact practices to explore how to move assessment from the outsider place it usually occupies in traditional legal education to an insider position.

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

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Areen: Legal Education Reconsidered

Judith C. Areen (Georgetown), 2016 James P. While Lecture on Legal Education: Legal Education Reconsidered, 50 Ind. L. Rev. 1087 (2017):

The title of my talk, “Legal Education Reconsidered,” is not meant to suggest that legal education needs to be reconsidered. On the contrary, I will explore why the many criticisms of legal education made over the past six years combined with a significant decline in the legal job market have led many people — including many college students and recent graduates — not only to reconsider legal education, but to draw the conclusion that it is no longer a worthwhile investment.

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August 29, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Top 100 Law Schools, Based On 5-, 10-, And 15-Year Rolling Average U.S. News Rankings

2018 U.S. News Law 3Bradley A. Areheart (Tennessee), The Top 100 Law Reviews: A Reference Guide Based on Historical USNWR Data:

The best proxy for how other law professors react and respond to publishing in main, or flagship, law reviews is the US News and World Report (USNWR) rankings. This paper utilizes historical USNWR data to rank the top 100 law reviews. The USNWR rankings are important in shaping many — if not most — law professors’ perceptions about the relative strength of a law school (and derivatively, the home law review). This document contains a chart that is sorted by the 10-year rolling average for each school, but it also contains the 5-year and 15-year rolling averages. This paper also describes my methodology and responds to a series of frequently asked questions. The document was updated in August 2017.

Here are the Top 25 law schools based on their 10-year rolling average overall U.S. News ranking:

US News

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August 29, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

California Western Law School Seeks To Hire A Tax Prof

Cal Western (2017)California Western School of Law (CWSL) is seeking applications from entry-level and junior-lateral candidates for a tenure-track position to begin on or about August 1, 2018. We are looking for candidates with strong academic backgrounds, a commitment to excellence in teaching, and demonstrated potential to be productive scholars. The Appointments Committee is particularly interested in candidates with a strong desire to teach civil procedure, family law, immigration law, tax, or trusts/estates. CWSL welcomes applications from individuals who would contribute to the vibrancy and diversity of our faculty.

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August 29, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 28, 2017

Former Charlotte Law Prof's Whistleblower Lawsuit Claims School Bilked $285 Million From Taxpayers

Charlotte Logo (2016)Following up on my previous post, Charlotte Law School Closes 'Effective Immediately':  Charlotte Observer, Charlotte School of Law Bilked $285 Million From Taxpayers, Former Faculty Member Says:

A lawsuit filed by a former professor of Charlotte School of Law accuses the failed school and its corporate owner of defrauding taxpayers out of $285 million by admitting hundreds of unqualified students, then manipulating records to keep them enrolled so the school could collect their government-backed tuition.

Barbara Bernier says the for-profit school, which closed last week, conspired with its owner, the InfiLaw System, to inflate enrollment and maximize profits. She says Charlotte Law lowered admissions and retention standards while misrepresenting both the state bar exam scores of their graduates and their success in finding jobs, according to a 2016 complaint that became public for the first time this month.

“The goal of the school has never been focused on education,” said Coleman Watson, Bernier’s Orlando, Fla.-based attorney. “The shareholder tended to be more important than the student body, and that’s why she came forward.”

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August 28, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

ABA Seeks Comments On Proposed Changes To Accreditation Standard On Branch Campuses

ABA Section On Legal Education (2016)At its meeting held on August 11, 2017, the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar approved for Notice and Comment proposed revisions to Standard 106 (Separate Locations and Branch Campuses) of the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools. Comments must be submitted here by Friday, September 22. A hearing on the proposed changes is scheduled for Thursday, September 28 in Chicago.

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

19 Of 21 California Law School Deans Urge State Bar To Reduce Cut Score From 144 To 133-139

California Bar ExamLetter to State Bar of California (Aug. 25, 2017):

We write as deans of 19 ABA-accredited California law schools to provide comment on the 2017 Standard Setting Study and related options for the California Bar Examination cut score. [Fn: Signatories to this letter include the Deans of all but two ABA-accredited California law schools (Davis and Whittier).] ...

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August 28, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Florida Increases Median LSAT And GPA Of Entering Class, Fueling Rise Toward The Top 35

Florida Logo (2017)Following up on my previous posts (links below):   Florida is continuing its march toward Dean Laura Rosenbury's goal to increase its U.S. News ranking to the Top 35 (from 41 this year and 48 last year). Florida increased its median LSAT (to 161, from 160 in 2016 and 157 in 2015) and UGPA (to 3.69, from 3.60 in 2016 and 3.50 in 2015) while keeping the entering class roughly flat (301, compared to 314 in 2016 and 310 in 2015), fueled by raising $4.5 million in non-endowed scholarship funds:

About half the entering class of the University of Florida's Levin College of Law is receiving scholarship money this year, after an alumnus' $1.5 million fund­raising challenge turned into a $4.5 million windfall for scholarships.

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August 28, 2017 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Saturday, August 26, 2017

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Law Prof Who Sued Dean For Assault Loses Round 2

Ohio Northern LogoFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):, Law Prof Who Sued Dean for Assault Loses Round 2:

A law professor at Northern Ohio Petit School of Law who claims he was assaulted in 2012 by the school’s former interim dean has lost his second round in court.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit last week upheld a lower court decision dismissing plaintiff Scott Gerber’s lawsuit against colleague Stephen Veltri.

Gerber claimed that Veltri, who was then interim dean of the Ada, Ohio, law school, grabbed and squeezed his shoulder during a campus encounter five years ago, causing lasting physical damage. He sued Veltri in 2014 alleging assault and battery.

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

Friday, August 25, 2017

Lawyers Make Better CEOs Than MBAs

Harvard Business Review LogoHarvard Business Review:  Do Lawyers Make Better CEOs Than MBAs? (full article here), by M. Todd Henderson (Chicago):

We were interested in how lawyer CEOs might influence firm decision making more broadly — and whether they differ from CEOs without a law degree. I collaborated with Irena Hutton, Danling Jiang, and Matt Pierson to compare the behavior of CEOs with law degrees with those who earned a bachelor’s degree, MBA, or other degree. We looked at about 3,500 CEOs, about 9% of whom have law degrees. They were associated with nearly 2,400 publicly traded firms in the S&P 1500 from 1992 to 2012.

The most obvious impact a lawyer CEO might be expected to have is on the amount of litigation their company is involved in. We looked at over 70,000 lawsuits filed against our sample of firms in federal courts during those 10 years. We focused on nine common types of corporate litigation: antitrust, employment civil rights, contract, environmental, intellectual property, labor, personal injury, product liability, and securities.

The result was clear: Firms run by CEOs with legal expertise were associated with much less corporate litigation. Compared with the average company, lawyer-run firms experienced 16% to 74% less litigation, depending on the litigation type. Employment civil rights, antitrust, and securities lawsuits were reduced the most, while contract saw the smallest (but still significant) reduction with a lawyer CEO. The results were economically meaningful, since the reduction was several fewer suits per year in some cases. ...

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

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Reaction To Law Profs' Op-Ed On The Breakdown Of The 'Bourgeois Culture'

Following up on last week's post on the op-ed by Amy Wax (Pennsylvania) & Larry Alexander (San Diego), Paying The Price For Breakdown Of The Country's Bourgeois Culture:

Philly Voice, 18 Law Professors Argue Colleagues' 'Bourgeois' Ideal Is Racist and Classist:

There are rare occasions ... in which the opinions expressed by another law professor display both a moral toxicity and an intellectual bankruptcy that require us to put collegiality aside, and to call out such opinions for what they are. Such is the case with the opinions expressed recently on by University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax and University of San Diego law professor Larry Alexander. ...

There are assertions ... which are divorced from intellectual rigor and serve no purpose beyond coddling the existing prejudices of their speakers and listeners who wish to justify similar prejudices. The opinions expressed by Professors Wax and Alexander fall squarely within the latter category and do not deserve our respect. They are dehumanizing, inherently racist, and ultimately irrational. It bears emphasizing that the professors’ opinions are offered without evidentiary support, which is — to say the least — a glaring omission from two trained lawyers and frankly shocking coming from two professors charged with educating students about law and logic.

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

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Gail Agrawal To Step Down After Eight Years As Iowa Law School Dean

AgrawalMembers of the Law School Community,

I have decided to step down as dean at the conclusion of the 2017-18 academic year.  Serving on this faculty as dean has been a privilege and a joy.  I am grateful to my immediate predecessors as dean, Bill Hines and Carolyn Jones, for their leadership and tireless work on behalf of the College and to then-President Sally Mason and Provost Wallace Loh for giving me this incredible opportunity.

I am proud of all the law school community has accomplished since I joined you in 2010.  We welcomed outstanding scholars and teachers to our faculty ranks; those who became members of our faculty in the early years of my deanship have all achieved tenure and promotion and have already taken on important leadership roles in the law school and the University.  We expanded learning opportunities for our students, including new clinical and field placement offerings.  We created new pathways to the JD, an early matriculation program and an advanced standing program for international lawyers, as well as a new SJD and Master’s degree.  We strengthened our relationships with our early-matriculation partner institutions and the Bar and Bench in the state of Iowa.  We brought in a $50 million capital campaign, over goal and on time.  We added a simulcast classroom and as of this month, a new state-of-the art courtroom, and we fulfilled the dream of building a student Commons in the Boyd Law Building.  We celebrated our 150th anniversary and recognized some of the people who have made this law school the amazing place it is today.

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August 24, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Missouri Seeks To Hire A Tax Visitor

Missouri Logo (2017)The University of Missouri School of Law in Columbia, Missouri seeks to hire a visiting professor to teach Corporate Tax and Tax Planning in Spring 2018.

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

How To Fight The ABA’s Anticompetitive And Discriminatory Accreditation Power

ABA Logo (2016)Allen Mendenhall, How to Fight the ABA’s Anticompetitive and Discriminatory Practices:

Recently I urged top law schools to stand up to the excesses and abuses occasioned by the ministrations of the American Bar Association (ABA). These schools could band together and follow the lead of the journalism schools at Northwestern and Berkeley, which dropped their accreditor, the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, earlier this year because accreditation standards were outmoded and not worth the cost of compliance.

But states can also fight the ABA and are arguably in a better position to do so. ... Why, exactly, would states want to push back against the ABA? There are two reasons, the first involving economics and the second involving racial diversity in the legal profession. In other words, both the Right and the Left have a standing interest in diminishing the ABA’s power. ...

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

The LSAT's 'Noteworthy' Correlation To Bar Passage

National Jurist: Rebuttal: LSAT’s Predictive Value Despite Diversity Issues, by Robert Steinbuch (Arkansas-Little Rock):

Aaron Taylor's recent piece here on diversity in law school admissions discusses racial disparities in outcomes in legal education.  While Taylor recognizes that this could be caused by "differences in applicant quality" and that there are "[v]ast racial and ethnic LSAT score disparities," Taylor contends that the "value [of the LSAT] is often inflated by law schools."  I present some additional data to consider. 

After offering a few studies in support of his thesis, Taylor states that "[s]tudies of empirical relationships . . . are uncommon in legal education. In the absence of this data, inflated assumptions about the LSAT’s power pervade, to the inequitable detriment of many applicants, most profoundly black applicants."

Taylor may be unaware of my coauthored 2016 study of admissions data from my school — the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law — which analyzed the correlation of LSAT and undergraduate GPA with bar passage.  It was published in the Texas Review of Law and Policy.  Specifically, that study evaluated Bowen data from 2005 to 2011; Taylor served as Bowen's admissions dean from 2006 to 2011.  

The underlying data from my article show the following distribution of bar passage at my school segmented by LSAT score bands for the time period analyzed:

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

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

DuVivier, Sterling (Associate Dean For Faculty Scholarship) Join Lawsuit Alleging Gender Discrimination In Faculty Salaries At Denver Law School

DenverFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  Number of Women Law Profs Suing Univ. of Denver Rises to Six:

A pay discrimination lawsuit filed on behalf of women law professors against the University of Denver by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission continues to grow.

Two more tenured female law professors are seeking to intervene in the 2016 suit, which alleges that the law school systematically underpaid women on the faculty for years. So far, six women professors claim disparate pay against the law school

Professors Joyce Sterling and K.K. DuVivier last week asked a federal judge to join the suit. If allowed, there will be six plaintiffs named in the suit, which the EEOC filed on behalf of longtime professor Lucy Marsh and other female law professors they determined were underpaid after conducting a study of faculty compensation. The university is not opposing their motion to intervene.

Each of the named plaintiffs and proposed intervenors were identified by the EEOC as receiving lower compensation than similarly situated male colleagues, and all six still work at the law school. ...

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

Oregon Lowers Bar Exam Cut Score From 284 To 276 (Deans Had Requested 266)

Daily Emerald, Oregon Supreme Court Lowers Bar Passage Standard:

The Oregon Supreme Court recently lowered the required score to pass the state’s bar exam  — the test required for all law graduates to pass in order to become practicing attorneys.

Documents show that in March the deans of Oregon’s three law schools sent a letter to the Board of Bar Examiners (BBX) encouraging them to lower the minimum passing score, citing Oregon’s high standards compared to other states. At the time the letter was sent, Oregon had the third highest minimum score (284) in the country behind Delaware and California.

The deans of Oregon’s three law schools proposed that the score be lowered to 266, but the BBX decided to settle on 276. Vice President of the Faculty Senate Bill Harbaugh says that lowering the requirement will have a significant impact on student’s futures.

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

UC-Berkeley Seeks To Hire A Tax Prof

UC Berkeley (2016)The University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, invites applications from entry-level and lateral candidates for full-time, tenured and tenure-track faculty positions with an expected start date of July 1, 2018. We welcome applications from candidates across all areas of law, although subject areas of particular interest include business law; civil procedure; comparative and international law; contracts; criminal law and criminal procedure; evidence; property; tax; and torts.

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August 23, 2017 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Tenure Track Is Too Rigid to Help Faculty Diversity

Bloomberg:  The Tenure Track Is Too Rigid to Help Diversity, by Tyler Cowen (George Mason):

The brouhaha over the Google diversity memo has turned attention toward gender imbalance in other professions, including academia and economics. Over the last two weeks I’ve seen plenty of condemnations of discrimination, which is all to the good, but not enough consideration of the underlying incentive problems. So I’d like to make a radical suggestion for higher education, including at the elite levels: move away from the emphasis on tenure by elevating the pay and status of non-tenure-track academic jobs.

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

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Women Economists Face A 'Toxic' Work Environment

Alice H. Wu, Gender Stereotyping in Academia: Evidence from Economics Job Market Rumors Forum:

This paper examines whether people in academia portray and judge women and men differently in everyday “conversations” that take place online. I combine methods from text mining, machine learning and econometrics to study the existence and extent of gender stereotyping on Economics Job Market Rumors forum. Through a topic analysis, I find that the discourse tends to become significantly less academic or professional oriented, and more about personal information and physical appearance when women are mentioned. The words with the strongest predictive power on gender, selected by the Lasso-logistic model, provide a direct look into the gender stereotyping language on this forum. Moreover, a panel data analysis reveals the state dependence between the content of posts within a thread. In particular, if women are mentioned previously in a thread, the topic is likely to shift from academic to personal. Finally, I restrict the analysis to discussions on specific economists, and find that high-profile female economists tend to receive more attention on EJMR than their male counterparts.  

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New York Times, Evidence of a Toxic Environment for Women in Economics:

A pathbreaking new study of online conversations among economists describes and quantifies a workplace culture that appears to amount to outright hostility toward women in parts of the economics profession. 

Alice H. Wu, who will start her doctoral studies at Harvard next year, completed the research in an award-winning senior thesis at the University of California, Berkeley. Her paper has been making the rounds among leading economists this summer, and prompting urgent conversations.

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

Westfahl & Wilkins: The Leadership Imperative — A Collaborative Approach To Professional Development

Scott A. Westfahl (Harvard) & David B. Wilkins (Harvard), The Leadership Imperative: A Collaborative Approach to Professional Development in the Global Age of More for Less, 69 Stan. L. Rev. 1667 (2017):

Notwithstanding the increasing importance of technology, the practice of corporate law is — and is likely to remain for the foreseeable future — a human capital business. As a result, law firms must continue to attract, develop, and retain talented lawyers. Unfortunately, the traditional approach, which divides responsibility for professional development among law schools, which are supposed to teach students to think like a lawyer; law firms, which are expected to train associates to “be” lawyers; and corporate clients, whose job it is to foot the bill, is no longer well aligned to the current realities of the marketplace. In this Article, we document the causes for this misalignment and propose a new model of professional development in which law schools, law firms, and corporate clients collaborate to train lawyers to be lifelong learners in the full range of technical, professional, and network-building skills they will need to flourish throughout their careers. We offer specific proposals for how to achieve this realignment and confront the resistance that will inevitably greet any attempt to do so.

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August 22, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Most Lawyers Are Satisfied With Their Careers

Milan Markovic (Texas A&M) & Gabriele Plickert (Cal Poly Pomona), Attorneys' Career Dissatisfaction in the New Normal:

The 2008 economic recession had a seismic impact on the legal profession. This Article is the first to empirically assess whether the recession has made law an unsatisfying career.

Relying on survey data from over 11,000 active members of the State Bar of Texas, we find that only 13.5% of all attorneys and 11.5% of full-time attorneys are dissatisfied with their careers. Newer attorneys report greater career dissatisfaction than more experienced attorneys, yet they too are largely satisfied.

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August 22, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Friedman: Fixing Law Reviews

Harvard Law ReviewBarry Friedman (NYU), Fixing Law Reviews:

Very few people are happy at present with the law review publishing process, from article submission and selection to editing. Complaints are longstanding, and similar ones emerge from faculty and students alike. Yet, heretofore, change has not occurred. Instead, we are locked in our ugly world of submit and expedite, stepping on the toes of numerous student editors in the process. And the editing process falls far short of ideal.

This Article recommends wholesale change to the submission and editing process.

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August 22, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Tax Profs Enjoy Today's Solar Eclipse

Huang: Adventures In Higher Education, Happiness, And Mindfulness

Peter H. Huang (Colorado), Adventures in Higher Education, Happiness, and Mindfulness:

This Article recounts my unique adventures in higher education, including being a Princeton University freshman mathematics major at age 14, Harvard University applied mathematics graduate student at age 17, economics and finance faculty at multiple schools, first-year law student at the University of Chicago, second- and third-year law student at Stanford University, and law faculty at multiple schools. This Article analyzes why law schools should teach law students about happiness and mindfulness. This Article discusses how to teach law students about happiness and mindfulness. Finally, this Article provides brief concluding thoughts about how law students can sustain happiness and mindfulness once they graduate from law school.

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August 21, 2017 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

More Law School Deans Call For Lowering California Bar Exam Cut Score

California Bar ExamABA Journal, More Law School Deans Call For Lowering California Bar Exam Cut Score:

Law school deans at public hearings this week in San Francisco and Los Angeles called on the state of California to lower its bar exam cut score. ...

The state bar commissioned a standard setting study, which offered two suggestions: Set a new interim bar exam cut score at 141 from the current 144, or make no change to the current score.

Among those who spoke Tuesday in San Francisco were Anthony Niedwiecki of Golden Gate University School of Law, Courthouse News Service reports. He said a shift in teaching strategy is needed. “With California scores so out of sync with other states, California schools are required to spend more time teaching students how to take the bar exam instead of providing them the essential skills and opportunity to engage with clients in real practice,” Niedwiecki said.

Only 26 percent of 148 Golden Gate graduates sitting for the July 2016 California bar passed it, according to a supplemental statistics report posted on TaxProf Blog.

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August 21, 2017 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)