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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Jennifer Bird-Pollan to be Fulbright Visiting Professor in Vienna

FulbrightUniversity of Kentucky Professors Receive Fulbrights:

Congratulations are in order for a University of Kentucky husband and wife team – Philosophy Professor Stefan Bird-Pollan and College of Law Professor Jennifer Bird-Pollan. They are first-time recipients of Fulbright Visiting Professorships, given by the Fulbright Scholar Program.

Stefan will be the Fulbright Visiting Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Vienna during the Fall 2014 semester. While there, he will be teaching Contemporary Ethical Theory and working on his book manuscript interpreting Kantian ethics.

Jennifer will be joining the family in Austria in December for her Spring 2015 semester award. ... Jennifer will be the Fulbright Visiting Professor at the Vienna University of Business and Economics (the Wirtschafts Universität, or the “WU”) and will teach a course on U.S. Tax Law. Jennifer’s appointment will allow her to participate in the Institute for International Tax Law and Policy, which is housed in the University.

March 12, 2014 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Baradaran: Teaching While Woman

MehrsaMehrsa Baradaran (Georgia), Teaching While Woman:

I was fairly naïve my first few semesters teaching and thought that I would just be myself in the classroom and I would earn the class’s respect (or "R-S-P-E-C-T"). I’m naturally averse to hierarchy and formality and wanted to run a democratic classroom. I didn’t want to impose draconian rules or shame my students into submission—I worked hard to know the materials and offer it in a way that they would learn it—without having to force them to pay attention by forbidding laptops or cold-calling. The result: my first few semesters were disasters. It turns out that they didn’t automatically see me as an authority and a few loud talkers began to dominate my “democratic” classroom. There was also rampant disrespect and eye rolling. I called on a student once who wouldn’t take the lollipop out of his mouth to answer my questions, which he did in a very dismissive way. (I should mention that my 1L classes were predominantly male at BYU).

Continue reading

March 11, 2014 in Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (2)

2015 U.S. News Peer Reputation Rankings (v. Overall Rankings)

U.S. News 2015Continuing a TaxProf Blog tradition (see links below for 2009-2014), here is the full list of the 194 law schools ranked by academic peer reputation, as well as their overall rank, in the new 2015 U.S. News Law School Rankings (methodology here):

Peer Rank

Peer Score

School

Overall Rank

1

4.8

Yale

1

1

4.8

Harvard

2

3

4.7

Stanford

3

4

4.6

Columbia

4

4

4.6

Chicago

4

6

4.4

NYU

6

6

4.4

UC-Berkeley

9

6

4.4

Michigan

10

9

4.3

Pennsylvania

7

9

4.3

Virginia

8

11

4.2

Duke

10

12

4.1

Northwestern

12

12

4.1

Cornell

13

12

4.1

Georgetown

13

15

4.0

Texas

15

16

3.9

UCLA

16

17

3.8

Vanderbilt

16

18

3.6

Washington (St. Louis)

18

19

3.5

Minnesota

20

19

3.5

USC

20

19

3.5

North Carolina

31

22

3.4

Emory

19

22

3.4

George Washington

20

22

3.4

Notre Dame

26

22

3.4

UC-Davis

36

26

3.3

Boston University

27

26

3.3

Wisconsin

31

28

3.2

William & Mary

24

28

3.2

Iowa

27

28

3.2

Indiana (Bloomington)

29

28

3.2

Ohio State

31

28

3.2

Boston College

36

28

3.2

Fordham

36

28

3.2

Washington & Lee

43

35

3.1

Alabama

23

35

3.1

Washington (Seattle)

24

35

3.1

Georgia

29

35

3.1

Wake Forest

31

35

3.1

Arizona

40

35

3.1

Illinois

40

35

3.1

Florida

49

35

3.1

UC-Hastings

54

43

3.0

Arizona State

31

43

3.0

Colorado

43

43

3.0

Tulane

46

46

2.9

BYU

36

46

2.9

Florida State

45

46

2.9

Maryland

46

49

2.8

Utah

49

49

2.8

Connecticut

54

49

2.8

Cardozo

64

49

2.8

American

72

53

2.7

George Mason

46

53

2.7

Temple

61

53

2.7

Miami

61

53

2.7

San Diego

79

53

2.7

Oregon

100

58

2.6

SMU

42

58

2.6

Pepperdine

54

58

2.6

Houston

58

58

2.6

Case Western

64

58

2.6

Denver

68

58

2.6

Kansas

68

58

2.6

Tennessee

72

58

2.6

Pittsburgh

81

58

2.6

Loyola (Los Angeles)

87

67

2.5

Richmond

51

67

2.5

Nebraska

54

67

2.5

Kentucky

58

67

2.5

Oklahoma

58

67

2.5

Georgia State

64

67

2.5

Missouri (Columbia)

64

67

2.5

Loyola (Chicago)

68

67

2.5

Chicago-Kent

72

67

2.5

Brooklyn

83

76

2.4

Baylor

51

76

2.4

Penn State

51

76

2.4

Lewis & Clark

72

76

2.4

New Mexico

72

76

2.4

Cincinnati

79

76

2.4

Rutgers (Camden)

81

76

2.4

Rutgers (Newark)

83

76

2.4

Indiana (Indianapolis)

87

76

2.4

Marquette

93

76

2.4

Hawaii

100

76

2.4

Santa Clara

107

87

2.3

Arkansas (Fayetteville)

61

87

2.3

Seton Hall

68

87

2.3

UNLV

83

87

2.3

Michigan State

87

87

2.3

Seattle

87

87

2.3

Northeastern

93

87

2.3

South Carolina

93

87

2.3

Villanova

93

87

2.3

SUNY (Buffalo)

100

87

2.3

Catholic

107

87

2.3

Syracuse

107

87

2.3

DePaul

121

99

2.2

LSU

72

99

2.2

Louisville

87

99

2.2

Mississippi

104

99

2.2

Missouri (Kansas City)

104

99

2.2

Gonzaga

107

99

2.2

St. John's

107

99

2.2

Arkansas (Little Rock)

121

99

2.2

Maine

129

99

2.2

Hofstra

135

99

2.2

Howard

135

109

2.1

West Virginia

83

109

2.1

Wayne State

87

109

2.1

Stetson

93

109

2.1

St. Louis

93

109

2.1

Vermont

129

109

2.1

Loyola (New Orleans)

Tier 2

109

2.1

San Francisco

Tier 2

116

2.0

Tulsa

72

116

2.0

Mercer

104

116

2.0

Texas Tech

107

116

2.0

CUNY

113

116

2.0

Albany

118

116

2.0

Idaho

118

116

2.0

Montana

121

116

2.0

Willamette

121

116

2.0

Drexel

129

116

2.0

Wyoming

129

116

2.0

Baltimore

135

116

2.0

Suffolk

Tier 2

128

1.9

New Hampshire

93

128

1.9

Drake

113

128

1.9

Cleveland State

115

128

1.9

Creighton

115

128

1.9

Washburn

115

128

1.9

Quinnipiac

118

128

1.9

North Dakota

129

128

1.9

New York Law School

140

128

1.9

Pace

140

128

1.9

McGeorge

147

128

1.9

Southwestern

Tier 2

139

1.8

Duquesne

121

139

1.8

Hamline

121

139

1.8

Akron

121

139

1.8

St. Thomas (Minneapolis)

129

139

1.8

Samford

135

139

1.8

William Mitchell

135

139

1.8

Chapman

140

139

1.8

Memphis

140

139

1.8

Toledo

140

139

1.8

South Dakota

145

139

1.8

Southern Illinois

Tier 2

139

1.8

Dayton

Tier 2

139

1.8

Widener

Tier 2

152

1.7

Florida International

100

152

1.7

South Texas

146

152

1.7

John Marshall (Chicago)

Tier 2

152

1.7

Roger Williams

Tier 2

152

1.7

Texas A&M

Tier 2

152

1.7

Valparaiso

Tier 2

158

1.6

California Western

Tier 2

158

1.6

Elon

Tier 2

158

1.6

Golden Gate

Tier 2

158

1.6

Mississippi College

Tier 2

158

1.6

Northern Illinois

Tier 2

158

1.6

Northern Kentucky

Tier 2

158

1.6

Nova Southeastern

Tier 2

158

1.6

Oklahoma City

Tier 2

158

1.6

St. Mary's

Tier 2

158

1.6

Touro

Tier 2

168

1.5

Campbell

121

168

1.5

Capital

Tier 2

168

1.5

New England

Tier 2

168

1.5

North Carolina Central

Tier 2

168

1.5

Ohio Northern

Tier 2

173

1.4

John Marshall (Atlanta)

Tier 2

173

1.4

Southern Illinois

Tier 2

173

1.4

St. Thomas (Miami)

Tier 2

173

1.4

Texas Southern

Tier 2

173

1.4

Detroit

Tier 2

173

1.4

District of Columbia

Tier 2

173

1.4

Western New England

Tier 2

173

1.4

Whittier

Tier 2

181

1.3

Appalachian

Tier 2

181

1.3

Charleston

Tier 2

181

1.3

Faulkner

Tier 2

181

1.3

Florida A&M

Tier 2

181

1.3

Thomas Jefferson

Tier 2

186

1.2

Arizona Summit

Tier 2

186

1.2

Barry

Tier 2

186

1.2

Charlotte

Tier 2

186

1.2

Florida Coastal

Tier 2

186

1.2

Liberty

Tier 2

186

1.2

Regent

Tier 2

186

1.2

Thomas M. Cooley

Tier 2

186

1.2

Western State

Tier 2

194

1.1

Ave Maria

Tier 2

Prior years' rankings:

Press and blogosphere coverage:

Update:   Brian Leiter (Chicago):    "Schools clearly underranked in this year's academic survey include Southern California, Illinois, Florida State, and San Diego (2.7).  In the case of Illinois, they are clearly still suffering from the scandal about student credentials."

March 11, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Law Students Sue Their Law Schools for Deceptive Employment Reporting Practices

Ogechi Achuko (J.D. 2013, Virginia), Note, The Blame Game: Law Students Sue Their Law Schools for Deceptive Employment Reporting Practices, 20 Va. J. Soc. Pol'y & L. 517 (2013):

Since the Great Recession, the legal job market has markedly declined leaving many recent law school graduates without employment and frustrated. In response, a number of graduates are blaming their law schools for providing misleading employment statistics that they claim to have detrimentally relied upon in their decision to attend law school. This Note focuses on the recent wave of class action lawsuits against several American law schools for their alleged use of deceptive employment reporting practices based on legal theories such as fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and state consumer protection law violations. This Note analyzes the viability of these legal claims and the various defenses raised by the law school defendants. In conclusion, the Note discusses how these class action lawsuits along with pressure from the media and the government have increased law school transparency and accountability.

March 11, 2014 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 10, 2014

NLJ: Dilemma for Law Schools: Lower Standards or Enrollment?

National Law Journal: Consider the Legal Educator's Dilemma: Lower Standards, or Live With Enrollment Decline?, by Karen Sloan:

The number of students heading into law schools in 2013 tumbled for the third straight year, according to data released by the ABA. New student enrollment at all ABA-accredited law schools fell by 8 percent, meaning the number of 1Ls has declined by more than 24 percent since 2010.

But not all law schools have felt the same amount of pain. The ABA has released school-specific enrollment figures showing that 13 law schools saw 1L enrollment drop by 30 percent or more in the span of 12 months, while an additional 27 recorded declines of 20 to 30 percent. In all, 132 of the 199 ABA-accredited law schools saw declines in their 1L classes, while eight schools saw no change in new enrollment. Slightly more than a quarter of schools—62—actually posted 1L enrollment gains.

Shrinking applicant pools have forced many law schools into a difficult choice: maintain their admissions standards and bring in a smaller 1L class, or relax standards to boost the number of incoming students. Some law schools have even had to cope both with smaller classes and lower Law School Admission Test scores and undergraduate grade-point averages, University of St. Thomas School of law professor Jerome Organ noted in a post on The Legal Whiteboard blog.

In the chart below, we highlight the 20 law schools that saw the largest percentage decline in their 1L class in 2013, and the 20 law schools that saw the biggest percentage increase. We’ve also indicated any change in each school’s median LSAT score, which sheds some light on how they balanced class size and admissions standards.

Continue reading

March 10, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Student Selectivity (Median LSAT/GPA) Changes for the 2015 U.S. News Law School Rankings

US NewsIn advance of tomorrow's release of the new 2015 U.S. News & World Report Law School Rankings:  Brian Huddleson has added to my ranking of the 202 ABA-accredited law schools by student selectivity of the entering Fall 2013 class weighted by LSAT scores (12.5%) and undergraduate GPAs (10%) using the U.S. News methodology a ranking of the entering Fall 2012 class. (Brian's data excludes provisionally accredited schools and law schools in Puerto Rico.) Here are the biggest improvements and declines in student selectivity of the Top 100 schools for the forthcoming 2015 rankings.

Update:  I have deleted the chart because the methodology of my student selectivity ranking for the Fall 2013 class is not consistent with Brian's ranking for the Fall 2012 class.  I will post an updated chart as soon as I can.

March 10, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

WSJ: College Financial Aid Planning for Affluent Families

Wall Street Journal:  College Aid for the Affluent: How Parents With Above-Average Income Can Try to Lower a Tuition Bill:

Most affluent families with college-age children don't qualify for financial aid. But there are several moves that parents with above-average income can make before applying for aid that could result in a lower tuition bill.

Nearly half of all undergraduates received grants based on financial need in 2011-12, the most recent year for which U.S. Education Department survey data are available, according to an analysis by Mark Kantrowitz, senior vice president with Las Vegas-based Edvisors.com, which tracks financial aid. The average recipient received $4,787 in grants, up 20% from four years earlier.

WSJ Chart

But only 14% of students whose families have $100,000 or more in adjusted gross income received need-based grants for that year, according to the analysis. The rest either didn't apply or didn't qualify. ...

Many families can increase the amount of financial aid they qualify for by lowering their income in the calendar year before they submit the aid application, and by shifting assets into certain types of accounts before they file.

The key is understanding how the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form works. The Fafsa is used to determine the amount of federal and state aid a family will receive, and most colleges use it to calculate how much additional need-based aid they provide. ...

Here are several steps families can take to boost their chances of getting assistance:

  • Move a student's funds into protected accounts.
  • Postpone making cash gifts.
  • Make the most of tax benefits.
  • Avoid home-equity loans.

March 10, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Michael Helfand: Pepperdine Scholar and Teacher of the Year

HelfandKudos to my friend and colleague Michael Helfand, whose selection as Scholar of the Year (along with Trey Childress) and Teacher of the Year (along with Kris Knaplund and Steve Schultz) was announced last night at Pepperdine's 41st Annual Law School Dinner.  Since joining the Pepperdine faculty in 2010, Michael has published a number of important articles, including:

He is also the editor of the forthcoming book, Negotiating State and Non-State Law: The Challenges of Global and Local Legal Pluralism (Cambridge University Press).

Michael embodies what I love most about Pepperdine, a university with a strong Christian mission and rigorous academic and scholarly standards that is welcoming of faculty of all faiths.   

March 9, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Advice for Parents and Their Daughters

Interesting juxtaposition in the Weekend Wall Street Journal book review section:

BossyThe Saturday Essay:  Don't Call Us Bossy:

Confident girls are often called the other B-word, and it can keep them from reaching their full potential, write Sheryl Sandberg and Anna Maria Chávez.

Although the two of us come from different backgrounds, we both heard the same put-down. Call it the other B-word. Whether it is said directly or implied, girls get the message: Don't be bossy. Don't raise your hand too much. Keep your voice down. Don't lead.

Even our most successful and celebrated female leaders cannot rise above these insults. A foreign-policy adviser once described former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as "the bossy intrusive Englishwoman." Susan Rice, the U.S. national security adviser, was described as having a "bossy demeanor" by a fellow diplomat, while Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has been described as "difficult" and "nasty" by lawyers.

The phrase "too ambitious" is leveled at female leaders from Madeleine Albright to Hillary Clinton and perpetuates our most damning stereotypes. Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has a pillow in her California home that declares: "I'm not bossy. I just have better ideas."...

Despite earning the majority of college degrees, women make up just 19% of the U.S. Congress, 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs and 10% of heads of state. Most leadership positions are held by men, so society continues to expect leadership to look and act male and to react negatively when women lead.

The irony, of course, is that so-called bossy women make great leaders. And we need great leaders. Our economic growth depends upon having women fully engaged in the workforce. Our companies perform better with more women in management. And our homes are happier when men and women share responsibilities more equally.

It's time to end the gendered speech that discourages girls from an early age. So the next time you hear a girl called "bossy," do what CBS anchor Norah O'Donnell advised: Smile, take a deep breath and say, "That girl's not bossy. She has executive leadership skills."

Marry SmartCharlotte Allen, Battle Hymm of a Tiger Mother (reviewing Susan Patton, Marry Smart: Advice for Finding THE ONE (2014)):

If mating today is a game of winner-take-all, should women treat college as a time for husband hunting?

Susan Patton is the infamous "Princeton Mom." A graduate of Princeton (class of '77), with two Princeton sons, Ms. Patton wrote a letter last year to the campus newspaper advising female Tigers: "Find a husband on campus before you graduate." Her point was that never again would these high-achieving and highly ambitious young women have access to so large a pool of single young men who were their intellectual equals. After college, as these educated young women entered the workplace, they would discover that the most desirable men are usually already married. As the letter went viral online, feminists jumped all over Ms. Patton, accusing her of perpetuating archaic gender roles, meddling in her sons' romantic lives and chewing on sour grapes because her own marriage, to a non-Princeton man long after graduation, had ended in divorce after 25 years.

The current expectation for most women attending college, especially a top-ranked college, is to spend their 20s building their careers, experimenting with relationships, and not even thinking about wanting a husband and children until they reach age 30 or so. In "Marry Smart," essentially a book-length expansion of her Daily Princetonian letter, Ms. Patton forthrightly explains why this trajectory is all wrong. "Let's face it: By the time you are thirty years old, your marriage prospects will have diminished dramatically from what they were when you were twenty," she writes. "And when you're thirty and still hope to have children, a distinct panic will start to set in." 

For one thing, there is the matter of looks. "You'll never be more attractive than you are as a very young woman," Ms. Patton writes. This is true. If you want to see beautiful people, visit any college campus. Even the plain girls and the slovenly girls in their sweatpants and rubber shower sandals radiate vitality. They all may still look fine a decade later, but if mating is a game of winner-take-all—and Ms. Patton is quite sure it is—the question is whether men in their own age cohort will prefer their now-older selves to the younger competition.

Since men, even young college men, distinguish between the women they want to have casual sex with and the women they want to marry and have children with, Ms. Patton devotes much of her book to telling readers how to fall into the second category. Avoid the campus hookup scene—it's a waste of precious time. Don't binge-drink—you will do stupid things. Realistically assess your looks and act accordingly: If you are only a "six," that handsome "ten" knows he can do better than you and is probably out of your league. Lose excess weight. Act like a lady. Don't swear like a fishwife. Learn to cook. Don't be a whiny, moody, spoiled, entitled princess ("hothouse tomato" is Ms. Patton's term). Cultivate a generous spirit and a readiness to forgive. Don't chase after "bad boys," especially if they display traits such as drug abuse and physical violence. Don't be a gold-digger ("earn your own fortune").

For some young women, "Marry Smart" will be like a trip to the carwash, where the dust of antagonistic feminist doctrine about sex and marriage gets blasted off the windshield so they can see clearly. Ms. Patton's advice mirrors sociologist Peter Berger's observation that "the lightning shaft of Cupid seems to be guided rather strongly within very definite channels of class, income, education, racial and religious background." Although Ms. Patton's tone can seem snobbish and Ivy-centric, what she has to say is meant to apply equally to young women whose best educational prospects turn out to be a state school, a community college or perhaps no college at all: Start looking for a lifelong mate seriously and early on; don't waste time with jerks, criminals and, unless you are exceptionally beautiful, men outside your social class; and cultivate the moral qualities that will make you attractive to a man of moral quality.

March 9, 2014 in Book Club, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (4)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

World University Rankings by Reputation (For Research and Teaching)

World Reputation RankingsLondon-based Times Higher Education has released its 2014 World University Rankings based exclusively on reputation for research (66.7%) and teaching (33.3%) from surveys of 10,536 academics from 133 countries (methodology) (Top 100).  The Top 25 are (click on the links for each school's research and teaching ranking):

  1. Harvard (U.S.)  100.0
  2. MIT (U.S.)  90.4
  3. Stanford (U.S.)  74.9
  4. Cambridge (U.K.)  73.3
  5. Oxford (U.K.)  67.8
  6. UC-Berkeley (U.S.)  63.1
  7. Princeton (U.S.)  35.7
  8. Yale (U.S.)  30.9
  9. Cal-Tech (U.S.)  29.2
  10. UCLA (U.S.)  28.8
  11. Tokyo (Japan)  27.7
  12. Columbia (U.S.)  21.6
  13. Imperial College of London (U.K.)  20.9
  14. Chicago (U.S.)  20.8
  15. Michigan (U.S.)  18.9
  16. ETH Zurich (Switzerland)  17.4
  17. Cornell (U.S.)  16.9
  18. Johns Hopkins (U.S.)  16.8
  19. Kyoto (Japan)  15.1
  20. Toronto (Canada)  14.9
  21. National University of Singapore (Singapore)  13.5
  22. Pennsylvania (U.S.)  12.8
  23. Illinois (U.S.)  12.7
  24. London School of Economics (U.K.)  11.8
  25. University College London (U.K.)  11.5

8 of the Top 10, 17 of the Top 25, and 29 of the Top 50 are U.S. universities.

March 8, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Today's Law Grads Will Enjoy the 'Most Robust Legal Market That Has Ever Existed in This Country'

René Reich-Graefe (Western New England), Keep Calm and Carry On, 27 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 55 (2014):

This Essay examines some of the hard data available for today’s legal market and develops very basic forecasts and hypotheses about what the future will bring for the U.S. legal profession during the next decades. In conclusion, it projects that recent law school graduates and current and future law students are standing at the threshold of the most robust legal market that ever existed in this country — a legal market which will grow, exist for, and coincide with, their entire professional careers. Using admittedly back-of-the-envelope math based on current trends affecting the legal market (in particular, lawyer retirements, population growth, and additional demand for legal services driven by increased volume and complexity), the Essay estimates over 840,000 new employment opportunities for lawyers between 2010 and 2030 alone. In other words, the Essay projects that, statistically, the legal profession market is moving into the direction of close-to-guaranteed legal employment for all law school graduates over the course of the next two decades.

[T]he remaining pages of this essay are ... intended merely as a brief exercise in some eclectic apologetics of the present state of legal education for those of us who refuse to become card-carrying members of the contemporary ‘Hysterias-R-Us’ legal lemming movement. Thus, as a mere starting premise, the following six projections examine some of the hard data available about today’s legal market and provide some very basic forecasts and hypotheses about what the future will bring for the legal profession during the next decades—without the hype or any need to sell advertisement space.

  1. Over half of currently practicing lawyers in this country will retire over the next fifteen to twenty years).
  2. Over the next ten years, the current annual retirement rate of lawyers will double; over the next fifteen years, it will triple.
  3. The U.S. population will increase by over one hundred million people, i.e., by one third, until 2060, thus, increasing total demand for legal services accordingly.
  4. The two largest generational wealth transfers in the history of mankind— dubbed the ‘Great Transfer’ and the even ‘Greater Transfer’—will occur in the United States over the course of the next thirty to forty years, thus, increasing total demand for legal services even further.
  5. Everything in the law, by definition, will continue to change, increase in volume, and become more complicated and complex—a trend further accelerated by the developments discussed in 3. and 4. above.
  6. As a result of Projections 1 through 5 above, recent law school graduates and current and future law students are standing at the threshold of the most robust legal market that ever existed in this country—a legal market which will grow, exist for, and coincide with, their entire professional career. ...

Law is about both substance and perception; it has both imperative and expressive functions. At least for our own sake—if not society’s sake as a whole—we, as lawyers and legal educators, should be more measured in what we believe and express is; what we believe and express should be; and what we believe and express will be. And, in doing so, be as rational and thorough, as empirical and scientific, and as practical and equitable about it as we can be—which is what we owe society, what we owe our law students (former, current and future), and what we owe ourselves as a profession and as professionals. Hindsight may show that our current collective deflationary treatment of legal education and its value—at least, for purposes of income generation (as opposed to its holistic value for both individual and society)—is only a footnote, and an interesting incident of mass hysteria, in the early history of the twenty-first century. The above-mentioned article in the Washington Post speculated, in its opening paragraph, that a “perhaps permanent—sharp constriction in the job market for new lawyers” has occurred. In the end, nothing could be further from the truth.

(Hat Tip: Brian Leiter.)

March 7, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (10)

NYU's Tax Exceptionalism

NYU Logo (2013)Daniel N. Shaviro (NYU), Only at NYU Law School:

Perhaps I can be forgiven for a spasm of institutional chauvinism. There is no place like NYU Law School, in the U.S. or indeed around the world, for studying tax law and policy. A case in point today came from an event [a paper presentation by Alfons Weichenrieder (Goethe University, Department of Economics] that was organized pretty much on the fly, yet drew a strong audience response. ...

OK, onto the NYU Law School chauvinism. One point is simply that we had an event like this, and have many such in the course of a typical semester. But another point is that, despite a late start on our part in promoting the event (basically because everyone is every busy), we got more than 20 people to show up (and then engage in lively discussion), on short notice, on a Thursday night from 6 to 7 pm, with no food available (other than a Cadbury chocolate bar that Alfons whimsically brought), on a rather specialized topic, for an empirical paper by an economist who is not from the U.S. and thus is not known to most people here, and on a night when many or even most of the tax students who might have come were unavailable because they were going to Washington for a job fair. The audience included NYU students, NYU faculty, and tax people from outside the institution who are regularly participating members of our broader community.

I tend to doubt that all this could have happened at any other U.S. law school.  

NYU has been ranked #1 in tax every year by U.S. News & World Report.

March 7, 2014 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Student Selectivity (Median LSAT/GPA) for the 2015 U.S. News Law School Rankings

US NewsIn advance of Tuesday's release of the new 2015 U.S. News & World Report Law School Rankings:  below is a ranking of the 202 ABA-accredited law schools by student selectivity weighted by LSAT scores (12.5%) and undergraduate GPAs (10%) using the U.S. News methodology:

1

YALE

2

HARVARD

3

CHICAGO

4

STANFORD

5

PENNSYLVANIA

6

VIRGINIA

7

DUKE

8

UCLA

9

COLUMBIA

10

NYU

11

NORTHWESTERN

12

UC-BERKELEY

13

GEORGETOWN

14

VANDERBILT

15

MICHIGAN

16

ALABAMA

17

MINNESOTA

18

EMORY

19

USC

20

CORNELL

21

GEORGE WASHINGTON

22

WASHINGTON - ST. LOUIS

23

WILLIAM & MARY

24

TEXAS

25

INDIANA - BLOOMINGTON

26

BOSTON UNIVERSITY

27

WASHINGTON - SEATTLE

28

BOSTON COLLEGE

29

GEORGIA

30

BYU

31

NOTRE DAME

32

SMU

33

COLORADO

34

UC-IRVINE

35

WAKE FOREST

36

IOWA

37

WASHINGTON & LEE

38

UC-DAVIS

39

OHIO STATE

40

WISCONSIN

41

ARIZONA STATE

42

FORDHAM

43

PEPPERDINE

44

GEORGE MASON

45

ARIZONA

46

NORTHEASTERN

47

ILLINOIS

48

FLORIDA

49

BAYLOR

50

NORTH CAROLINA

51

RICHMOND

52

PENN STATE

53

MARYLAND

54

UC-HASTINGS

55

FLORIDA STATE

56

UTAH

57

SAN DIEGO

58

CARDOZO

59

CINCINNATI

60

VILLANOVA

61

LOYOLA – LOS ANGELES

62

HOUSTON

63

TENNESSEE

64

NEBRASKA

65

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL

66

MICHIGAN STATE

67

TEMPLE

68

LEWIS & CLARK

69

CONNECTICUT

70

TULANE

71

NEVADA - LAS VEGAS

72

KENTUCKY

73

SETON HALL

74

BROOKLYN

75

CHICAGO-KENT

76

DENVER

77

OKLAHOMA

78

PITTSBURGH

79

CASE WESTERN

80

GEORGIA STATE

81

MISSOURI - COLUMBIA

82

LOYOLA - CHICAGO

83

WAYNE STATE

84

OREGON

85

AMERICAN

86

NEW HAMPSHIRE

87

MISSISSIPPI

88

TEXAS TECH

89

MIAMI

90

LSU

91

ARKANSAS - FAYETTEVILLE

92

KANSAS

93

TULSA

94

SUNY - BUFFALO

95

BELMONT

96

SAINT LOUIS

97

RUTGERS – CAMDEN

98

RUTGERS – NEWARK

99

ST. JOHN'S

100

CHAPMAN

101

INDIANA - INDIANAPOLIS

102

HAWAII

103

SEATTLE

104

NEW MEXICO

105

ST. THOMAS - MINNESOTA

106

WEST VIRGINIA

107

MAINE

108

DREXEL

109

CITY UNIV. OF NEW YORK

110

STETSON

111

LOUISVILLE

112

SANTA CLARA

113

SYRACUSE

114

QUINNIPIAC

115

DUQUESNE

116

MARQUETTE

117

SOUTH CAROLINA

118

WILLIAM MITCHELL

119

ALBANY

120

MONTANA

121

REGENT

122

DEPAUL

123

MERCER

124

AKRON

125

GONZAGA

126

HAMLINE

127

WASHBURN

128

MCGEORGE

129

TOLEDO

130

SAN FRANCISCO

131

CLEVELAND STATE

132

CATHOLIC

133

WYOMING

134

HOFSTRA

135

DRAKE

136

MEMPHIS

137

PUERTO RICO

138

CAMPBELL

139

MISSOURI - KANSAS CITY

140

IDAHO

141

BALTIMORE

142

CREIGHTON

143

NORTHERN KENTUCKY

144

ARKANSAS - LITTLE ROCK

145

SOUTHWESTERN

146

LIBERTY

147

VERMONT

148

PACE

149

MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE

150

TEXAS A&M

151

SAMFORD

152

NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL

153

SUFFOLK

154

LOYOLA - NEW ORLEANS

155

SOUTH TEXAS

156

OHIO NORTHERN

157

CALIFORNIA WESTERN

158

DETROIT

159

HOWARD

160

WIDENER - DELAWARE

161

NORTH DAKOTA

162

WESTERN NEW ENGLAND

163

WILLAMETTE

164

ROGER WILLIAMS

165

OKLAHOMA CITY

166

CHARLESTON

167

PONTIFICAL CATHOLIC

168

GOLDEN GATE

169

NORTHERN ILLINOIS

170

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

171

WESTERN STATE

172

ST. MARY'S

173

AVE MARIA

174

JOHN MARSHALL - CHICAGO

175

ELON

176

CAPITAL

177

NOVA SOUTHEASTERN

178

SOUTH DAKOTA

179

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

180

NEW ENGLAND

181

DAYTON

182

NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL

183

WIDENER - HARRISBURG

184

FAULKNER

185

JOHN MARSHALL - ATLANTA

186

APPALACHIAN

187

WHITTIER

188

MASSACHUSETTS

189

INTER AMERICAN UNIV.

190

TOURO

191

ST. THOMAS - FLORIDA

192

FLORIDA A&M

193

TEXAS SOUTHERN

194

BARRY

195

LA VERNE

196

THOMAS M. COOLEY

197

THOMAS JEFFERSON

198

FLORIDA COASTAL

199

CHARLOTTE

200

VALPARAISO

201

ARIZONA SUMMIT

202

SOUTHERN

March 7, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Death of Sarah Tran

TanSarah McQuillen-Tran (SMU) died last Friday at the age of 34:

Sarah Elizabeth McQuillen-Tran passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends on Friday, February 28th at the age of 34. She had a strong spirit and heroically fought a relapse of leukemia over the past year.  Sarah received bone marrow transplants from her brother Paul and her sister Kathy.  She received excellent medical care from both Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore and Baylor Medical Center in Dallas.  Sarah and her family received tremendous support and encouragement from her family, friends and the local community, especially her Fondren Family, (friends and faculty) at Southern Methodist University.  Sarah's family would like to thank Armstrong elementary school, Highland Park Presbyterian Church, and Highland Park United Methodist Church for their wonderful support, as well as the ministers of Baylor and the Music Fairy.

Sarah was born in Leidschedam, Holland in 1979. She went to school in England and Saudi Arabia, and attended high school in the USA and Philippines.  After graduating from high school,  she spent a year volunteering in the Philippines, India and Nepal before going to college at UC Berkeley. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in Civil Engineering, Sarah and her college sweetheart Thuan Tran joined the Peace Corps and served in Guinea, West Africa. They were married in Oakland, California in 2004.

FarrahSophia, their first great love, was born in Oakland, California in 2005. Sarah and Thuan then moved to Washington, D.C, where Sarah attended Georgetown Law School and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She later Clerked for the Honorable Judge Timothy Belcher Dyk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and worked for the Energy Group at Jones Day law firm.

Sarah won her first battle with Leukemia at Johns Hopkins Cancer Research Center in Baltimore, MD.   She received a bone marrow transplant from her brother Paul in 2008, which enabled her to live a happy and healthy life for four and a half more years, and give birth to their second great love, Jimi Owen Tran in 2010.

Since January 2011, Professor Tran served as an Assistant Professor of Law at the Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law in Dallas, Texas. She specialized in Intellectual Property, Regulatory and Environmental Law. A nationally recognized legal scholar, Professor Tran published articles in many of the leading U.S. law journals. During the 2012-2013 academic year, Professor Tran served as a Fellow in the SMU Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute. Professor Tran was equally dedicated to her teaching.  She taught Property Law and other courses to over one hundred students at the law school.  She also taught courage and determination amongst other qualities to her students, often conducting lectures from her hospital bed at Baylor Medical Center via Skype. ...

Sarah is survived by her husband Thuan and their two children FarrahSophia and Jimi Owen, her mother Jacqueline Conci and husband Michael Conci of Auburn, California and her Father Roland McQuillen and wife Gabrielle Kelly-McQuillen, of Ireland.  Sarah is also survived by her brother Paul and his partner Heather, her brother Mark and her sister Kathy, her husband Mo and her niece.

A memorial service celebrating Sarah’s life and spirit will be held on Saturday, March 15th at the Highland Park Methodist Church on 3300 Mockingbird Lane in Dallas, Texas at 10:00 a.m. A potluck lunch will follow the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests you consider making a contribution to the Tran Children Development Fund.

Sarah was a compassionate, affectionate wife and a devoted, loving mother. She will live on in our hearts as a shining example of brilliance, tenacity, an adventurous ‘can do’ spirit, dedication to family, students, fun, love and life.  Au revoir until we meet again.

For more of Sara's amazing story, see  SMU Property Law Professor Battling Leukemia Teaches From Hospital Bed. (Hat Tip: Babette Boliek.)

March 7, 2014 in Legal Education, Obituaries, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Georgetown Symposium on Tamanaha's Failing Law Schools

FailingSymposium, Brian Z. Tamanaha's Failing Law Schools, 26 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 341-442; 521-539 (2013):

March 7, 2014 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Law School Applicants From Top Colleges Plunge 36%

Associate's Mind has updated its prior post and found that law school applicants from graduates of the Ivy league plus Chicago, Duke, and Stanford have plunged 36% since 2008 (click to enlarge):

AM 1 AM 2

March 6, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Median GPAs for the 2015 U.S. News Law School Rankings

US NewsIn advance of Tuesday's release of the new 2015 U.S. News & World Report Law School Rankings: here is a spreadsheet of the 202 ABA-accredited law schools by median undergraduate GPAs for the law school class entering in Fall 2013 (which counts 10% in the forthcoming rankings). (Yesterday, I blogged the rankings by median LSAT scores.)

Here are the Top 52 law schools by median GPAs:

Rank

Law School

Median GPA

1

Chicago

3.90

1

Yale

3.90

3

Pennsylvania

3.89

4

Harvard

3.88

5

Stanford

3.87

5

Virginia

3.87

7

Alabama

3.86

8

Indiana

3.80

9

UCLA

3.79

9

Minnesota

3.79

11

UC-Berkeley

3.78

12

Duke

3.77

12

BYU

3.77

14

Northwestern

3.75

14

Emory

3.75

16

Georgetown

3.74

16

Vanderbilt

3.74

18

William & Mary

3.73

19

NYU

3.72

20

Michigan

3.71

20

G. Washington

3.71

22

Columbia

3.70

22

USC

3.70

24

Washington U.

3.69

24

Georgia

3.69

26

Texas

3.68

27

Boston U.

3.67

28

Cornell

3.66

29

Ohio State

3.65

30

U. Washington

3.64

31

SMU

3.63

32

Boston College

3.61

32

Nebraska

3.61

34

Notre Dame

3.60

35

Iowa

3.59

35

Florida Int’l

3.59

35

Pepperdine

3.59

38

Colorado

3.58

38

Wisconsin

3.58

38

Penn State

3.58

41

Arizona

3.57

41

Wake Forest

3.57

43

Illinois

3.56

43

Villanova

3.56

45

Florida

3.55

45

George Mason

3.55

45

UC-Davis

3.55

48

Arizona State

3.54

48

Tennessee

3.54

50

Baylor

3.53

50

Maryland

3.53

50

Northeastern

3.53

March 6, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Court Orders Divorced Dad to Pay 50% of $225k Cost for Estranged Daughter to Attend Cornell Law School; Dad Had Offered to Pay for Rutgers

Cornell LogoNational Law Journal:  Dad on the Hook For Half Daughter's Cornell Law Tuition, by Karen Sloan:

A father who’d agreed to shoulder half the cost of his daughter’s legal education—before she got into Cornell Law School, which costs $225,000 to attend—found no relief from a New Jersey court late last month. A two-judge appellate panel of the New Jersey Superior Court ruled that James Livingston’s divorce settlement obliges him to pay approximately $112,500 to help his daughter attend Cornell.

Livingston argued that circumstances including his estrangement from his daughter and her decision to attend an expensive private law school rather than a cheaper public school should relieve him of any obligation to help foot the bill. Judges Joseph Yannotti and Victor Ashrafi were unconvinced, and in an unpublished opinion on Feb. 20 upheld a lower court decision that Livingston must pay. ...

Livingston declined to pay a portion of her costs when asked, but offered to contribute $7,500 a year if the daughter went to Rutgers School of Law instead and lived at home. He complained that his daughter had not consulted him in her law school choice.

March 6, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Disney's Frozen: Let It (Winter) Go, Chicago

(Hat Tip: Dan Rodriguez.)

March 5, 2014 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Median LSAT Scores for the 2015 U.S. News Law School Rankings

US NewsIn advance of Tuesday's release of the new 2015 U.S. News & World Report Law School Rankings:  here is a spreadsheet of the 202 ABA-accredited law schools by median LSAT scores for the law school class entering in Fall 2013 (which counts 12.5% in the forthcoming rankings).  Here are the Top 55 law schools:

Rank

Law School

Median LSAT

1

Harvard

173

1

Yale

173

3

Columbia

171

3

Stanford

171

5

Chicago

170

5

NYU

170

7

Duke

169

7

Pennsylvania

169

7

Virginia

169

10

Georgetown

168

10

Michigan

168

10

Northwestern

168

13

Cornell

167

13

UC-Berkeley

167

13

UCLA

167

13

Vanderbilt

167

17

Texas

166

17

USC

166

17

Washington U.

166

20

Boston U.

165

20

Emory

165

20

G. Washington

165

23

Alabama

164

23

Boston College

164

23

UC-Irvine

164

23

Minnesota

164

23

U. Washington

164

23

Washington & Lee

164

23

William & Mary

164

30

Fordham

163

30

Georgia

163

30

Notre Dame

163

33

Arizona State

162

33

Colorado

162

33

Indiana

162

33

SMU

162

33

UC-Davis

162

33

Wake Forest

162

39

BYU

161

39

George Mason

161

39

Iowa

161

39

North Carolina

161

39

Northeastern

161

39

Richmond

161

39

Wisconsin

161

46

Arizona

160

46

Baylor

160

46

Cardozo

160

46

Florida

160

46

Houston

160

46

Illinois

160

46

Ohio State

160

46

Pepperdine

160

46

Temple

160

46

Tulane

160

Jerry Organ (St. Thomas) analyzes the change in LSAT scores from the 2012 to 2013 classes among the 195 ABA-accredited law schools in the 48 contiguous states and Hawaii (thus excluding Belmont, LaVerne, UC-Irvine, and UMass):

[T]he entering first-year class average LSAT profile fell one point at all three measures [75th percentile/50th percentile/25th percentile] between 2012 and 2013, from 159.6/157/153.5 to 158.6/156/152.5.  The entering first-year class average LSAT profile fell roughly two points at all three measures between 2010 and 2013, from 160.5/158.1/155.2 to 158.6/156/152.5.

The average decline in median LSAT scores between 2012 and 2013 across U.S. News “tiers” of law schools was .98 among top 50 schools, 1.18 among schools ranked 51-99, .72 among schools ranked 100-144, and 1.13 among schools ranked alphabetically.

Notably, 133 law schools saw a decline in their median LSAT between 2012 and 2013, with 80 down one point, 38 down two points, 12 down three points, one down four points, one down five points and one down six points, while 54 law schools were flat and 7 saw an increase in their median LSAT.

In terms of schools experiencing “larger” declines in median LSAT scores between 2012 and 2013, five schools in the top 50 saw a three point decline in their median LSAT, five schools ranked 51-99 saw at least a three point decline (of which one was down four points), three schools ranked 100-144 saw a three point decline, and two schools ranked alphabetically saw large declines – one of five points and one of six points.

The average decline in median LSAT scores between 2010 and 2013 across U.S. News “tiers” of law schools was 1.54 among top 50 schools, 2.27 among schools ranked 51-99, 2.11 among schools ranked 100-144, and 2.79 among schools ranked alphabetically.  If one were to unpack the top 50 schools a little more, however, one would discover that the top 20 schools saw an average decline in their median LSAT of 1.05 between 2010 and 2013, while the bottom 15 schools in the top 50 saw an average decline in their median LSAT of 2.53.

In terms of schools experiencing “larger” declines in median LSAT scores between 2010 and 2013, three schools in the top 50 have seen declines of four or more points, nine schools ranked 51-99 have seen declines of four or more points, 11 schools ranked 100-144 have seen declines of four or more points and 17 schools ranked alphabetically have seen declines of four or more points.

When looking at the 2012-13 data in comparison with the 2010-2013 data, one sees that lower ranked schools have had more of a sustained challenge in terms of managing profile over the last few years, while schools ranked in the top 50 or top 100 had been managing profile fairly well until fall 2013 when the decreased number of high LSAT applicants really began to manifest itself in terms of impacting the LSAT profiles of highly ranked schools.

The overall decline in the LSAT profile of first-year students also can be demonstrated with two other reference points. In 2010, there were 74 law schools with a median LSAT of 160; in 2013, that number has fallen to 56.  At the other end of the spectrum, in 2010, there were only 9 schools with a median LSAT of less than 150 and only one with a median LSAT of 145. In 2013, the number of law schools with a median LSAT of less than 150 has more than tripled to 32, while the number of law schools with a median LSAT of 145 or less now numbers 9 (with the low now being a 143).

Update:  ABA Journal, Which Law Schools Have the Best LSAT Profiles? And How Many Are Struggling? Law Profs Have Answers

March 5, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Cleveland State Offers Nation's First 'Risk-Free J.D.'

Cleveland StatePress Release, Cleveland-Marshall First School to Offer Risk-Free J.D. with ‘Convertible’ Degree Option:

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University is removing some of the personal and financial risk that goes along with committing to a three-year law degree.

Beginning this spring, if a J.D. student decides not to continue law school after completing the first year of studies, the student can graduate with a Masters in Legal Studies (M.L.S.) degree, without taking any additional courses.

“There are many good reasons why a law student may decide not to continue to pursue a J.D.,” said Craig M. Boise, dean of Cleveland-Marshall. “They might have financial concerns, family or personal issues, or they may realize that though they still have an interest in law, a career in traditional legal practice is not right for them. For these students, the first year of law school might have seemed like a waste, and a hard-to-explain item on their resumes. Now they can leave with a master’s degree that we believe will be attractive to employers.”

Update:   National Law Journal, 'Risk-Free' J.D. Offers Students a One-Year Escape Hatch

March 5, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (13)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

1L Enrollment Fell More Than 20% at 40 Law Schools in 2013

National Law Journal:  ABA Releases Details of Law Schools Enrollment Declines, by Karen Sloan:

ShrunkSome law schools fared much worse than others as enrollment declined last year, according to data released by the American Bar Association.

Thirteen law schools saw 1L enrollment drop by 30 percent or more in the span of 12 months, while an additional 27 recorded declines of 20 to 30 percent. In all, 132 of the 199 ABA-accredited law schools saw declines in their 1L classes, while eight schools saw no change in new enrollment.

Slightly more than a quarter of schools—62—actually posted 1L enrollment gains.

The ABA had reported in December that new student enrollment had declined significantly last fall, and the latest figures put the decline at 8 percent. The organization also offered a school-by-school breakdown of its findings.

New England School of Law saw the largest single-year decline in 1Ls, according to the ABA’s statistics. The Boston school enrolled 238 new students last fall, compared to 450 the previous year—a 47 percent decline.

NLJ

Here are the 25 law schools with the biggest enrollment decreases and increases:

Rank

Law School (US News Rank)

2013 Enrollment Decline

1

New England (Tier 2)

47.1%

2

Washington & Lee (26)

40.6%

3

Iowa (26)

40.0%

4

McGeorge (124)

36.9%

5

Hawaii (80)

35.3%

6

Cooley (Tier 2)

35.1%

7

Case Western (68)

35.1%

8

Golden Gate (Tier 2)

33.9%

9

Quinnipiac (134)

33.9%

10

Hofstra (113)

32.4%

11

Florida A&M

32.3%

12

Arizona Summit (Tier 2)

30.2%

13

Widener (Tier 2)

30.2%

14

Saint Louis (102)

29.3%

15

Hamline (126)

29.0%

16

San Francisco (144)

27.7%

17

Miami (76)

27.7%

18

New York Law School (Tier 2)

27.3%

19

Roger Williams (Tier 2)

26.5%

20

Villanova (98)

26.4%

21

Loyola-Chicago (76)

25.8%

22

Mississippi (102)

25.4%

23

Regent (Tier 2)

25.4%

24

Appalachian (Tier 2)

25.3%

25

UC-Davis (38)

24.9%

 

Rank

Law School (US News Rank)

2013 Enrollment Increase

1

Puerto Rico (n/r)

64.3%

2

Mercer (105)

44.2%

3

Wake Forest (36)

43.2%

4

Samford (113)

43.0%

5

Tennessee (61)

31.7%

6

John Marshall (Atlanta) (n/r)

29.8%

7

Valparaiso (Tier 2)

27.6%

8

St. Mary’s (140)

25.4%

9

Colorado (44)

21.1%

10

George Washington (21)

20.9%

11

St. Thomas (Florida) (Tier 2)

20.8%

12

Rutgers-Camden (91)

20.7%

13

Southern Illinois (140)

18.8%

14

Pace (134)

16.3%

15

Howard (126)

16.2%

16

William & Mary (33)

15.3%

17

Catholic (80)

14.2%

18

Baylor (54)

14.0%

19

La Verne (n/r)

13.6%

20

Missouri (Kansas City)

12.4%

21

South Dakota (Tier 2)

11.3%

22

Western New England (Tier 2)

11.1%

23

Florida (46)

10.6%

24

Utah (41)

10.3%

25

Northeastern (86)

10.1%

Jerry Organ (St. Thomas) notes the change in 1L enrollment from 2010 to 2013:

Between fall 2010 and fall 2013, the 195 law schools in the 48 contiguous states and Hawaii fully-accredited by the ABA’s Section for Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar as of 2010 (excluding Belmont, LaVerne, California-Irvine, and Massachusetts-Dartmouth), experienced the following first-year enrollment changes:

28 schools had a decline in first-year enrollment of 40% or more,
29 schools had a decline in first-year enrollment of 30% to 39.99%
43 schools had a decline in first-year enrollment of 20% to 29.99%
43 schools had a decline in first-year enrollment of 10% to 19.99%
36 schools had a decline in first-year enrollment of 0% to 9.99%
10 schools had an increase in first-year enrollment of 0.01%to 9.99%
6 schools had an increase in first-year enrollment of 10% or more.

Overall, more than half (100) had a decrease in first-year enrollment of at least 20%, while only roughly 8% (16) had any increase in first-year enrollment.

Across these 195 schools, first-year enrollment declined from 50,408 to 38,773, a drop of 23.1%. The average decline in first-year enrollment across U.S. News “tiers” of law schools was 14.7% among top 50 schools, 22.5% among schools ranked 51-99, 22.8% among schools ranked 100-144, and 26.8% among schools ranked alphabetically.

March 4, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Go Ahead, Let Your Kids Fail

Following up on my prior post, Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success:  Bloomberg, Go Ahead, Let Your Kids Fail, by Megan McArdle:

UpI’m on the road this week, giving talks on my new book [The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success (2014)] about learning to fail better: that is, first, to give ourselves the permission to take on challenges where we might very well fail; second, to pick ourselves up as quickly as possible and move on when things don’t work out. This is, I argue, vital on a personal level, as well as vital for the economy, because that’s where innovation and growth come from.

The other day, after one of my talks, a 10th-grade girl came up and shyly asked if I had a minute. I always have a minute to talk to shy high school sophomores, having been one myself.

And this is what she asked me:

“I understand what you’re saying about trying new things, and hard things, but I’m in an International Baccalaureate program and only about five percent of us will get 4.0, so how can I try a subject where I might not get an A?”

I was floored. All I could think as I talked to this poor girl is “America, you’re doing it wrong.”

I was 15 in 10th grade. If you can’t try something new in 10th grade, when can you? If you can’t afford to risk anything less than perfection at the age of 15, then for heaven’s sake, when is going to be the right time? When you’re ready to splash out on an edgy assisted-living facility?

Now is when this kid should be learning to dream big dreams and dare greatly. Now is when she should be making mistakes and figuring out how to recover from them. Instead, we’re telling one of our best and brightest to focus all her talent on coloring within the lines. This is not the first time I’ve heard this from kids and teachers and parents. But I’ve never heard it phrased quite so starkly. ...

Do we want a society that dreams new things and then makes them happen? I hear that we do, every time I hear a teacher, or a politician, give a speech. So why are we trying so hard to teach the next generation to do the exact opposite?

March 4, 2014 in Book Club, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Case Western Dean Mitchell, Facing Sexual Harassment Allegations and Prof's Lawsuit, Resigns

Bilionis Will Not Seek Third Term as Cincinnati Dean

BilionisLouis Bilionis, Dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Law since 2005, has announced that he will not seek a third term as dean and will return to the faculty on July 1, 2015.  Lou has been a spectacular dean in every respect, but these three decanal attributes stand out to me:

The Dean as Intellectual Leader.  Prior to coming to Cincinnati, Lou was the Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law at North Carolina and had a distinguished publication record (including articles in the Emory Law Journal, Georgetown Law Journal, Michigan Law Review (2), North Carolina Law Review (3), Texas Law Review, and UCLA Law Review).  He was a voracious reader of faculty drafts, and would offer constructive suggestions that always improved the pieces and their placement.  At workshops, he would typically hang back and then offer trenchant observations that invariably pushed the speaker in new and unanticipated directions.  In annual performance reviews, he would prod faculty to expand their scholarly ambitions.

The Dean as Institutional Leader.  Lou's leadership style combined a deep commitment to faculty governance with an action-oriented mindset.  He would solicit faculty views on issues and then lead the school toward those shared goals.  I have never seen a dean accomplish so much with so little faculty pushback.  And I have never seen a dean navigate a university bureaucracy on behalf of a law school with such skill and success.

The Dean as Inspiring Leader.  Lou has an infectious enthusiasm that ennobles those around him.  His relentlessly positive attitude rubs off on faculty, students, staff, and alumni.  He is one of those rare people who breathe life into those around him.  These qualities have never been more crucial than in this time of crisis for legal education.

I have been thinking about Lou quite a bit as I prepared my recent talk on The Role of Faculty Scholarship at Faith-Based Law Schools.  One of the great privileges of my career was serving as his Associate Dean of Faculty in 2007-10, and much of what I know about legal education I learned from him.  Lou was a great dean and colleague, and an even better friend.  He and I share a love of baseball, and I will never forget our too-infrequent trips to Great American Ballpark to watch the Reds and spend hours chatting about life, family, and legal education.  My wife rightly says that the greatest contribution I made in my 20+ years at Cincinnati was serving on the dean search committee that recruited Lou to come to Cincinnati.

March 4, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

ACTEC Issues Call for Proposals for $20,000 Grant to Host T&E Symposium

ACTECThe Legal Education Committee of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel requests proposals for a $20,000 grant to host a symposium on trust and estate law during academic year 2015-2016:

The ACTEC Foundation Symposium is intended to be the premier academic symposium on trust and estate law in the United States. The goals of the symposium are to stimulate development of scholarly work in trust and estate law, to bridge the gap between the academic community and practitioners, to provide opportunities for junior academics to present papers and interact with more senior academics, to provide an opportunity for trust and estate professors to interact with each other, to involve academics from other disciplines in discussions of trust and estate topics, and to strengthen ACTEC’s image as the leading organization for trust and estate lawyers, both practitioners and academics.

Please submit your proposal by April 15, 2014 to Susan Gary or Nancy McLaughlin.

March 4, 2014 in Conferences, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Improving Job Prospects for Law Grads (Especially Those Who Pass the Bar on Their First Attempt)

The Legal Whiteboard:  Is the Employment Market for Law Graduates Going to be Improving?, by Jerry Organ (St. Thomas):

this post will focus solely on the market for full-time, long-term Bar Passage Required jobs. Initially, it will analyze those jobs in relation to all graduates; then it will look more specifically at the percentage of graduates who are likely to be eligible for Bar Passage Required jobs for whom full-time, long-term Bar Passage Required jobs likely will be available, a point on which few others appear to have focused up until now. ...

Classes of 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 – An Improving Dynamic.  What are the employment prospects for those currently in law school or considering starting law school in the fall of 2014? They almost certainly will be getting better – not necessarily because there will be more jobs, but because there will be fewer graduates. ...

Even if the number of full-time, long-term Bar Passage Required jobs does not continue to rebound, but plateaus at 26,000, as the number of graduates declines over the next few years, the percentage of law graduates obtaining a full-time, long-term Bar Passage Required job ... will grow to between 77% and 84% by 2017 (depending upon first-year enrollment in fall 2014) [from 56% in 2012]. ...

Even if we assume no growth in the number of full-time, long-term Bar Passage Required jobs in the coming years and simply hold the number of such jobs at a constant 26,000, the decreasing number of law graduates will mean an even more improved employment market for those seeking full-time, long-term Bar Passage Required jobs who will be eligible for those jobs by virtue of having passed the bar exam on their first attempt, increasing from nearly 70% in 2012 and 2013 to nearly 90% by 2016 and over 90% by 2017. ...

Whether this improving employment situation will be enough to change the trend in terms of declining number of applicants to law school remains to be seen.  While the future may be brightening, the "news" in the coming weeks will be the report on employment outcomes for 2013 graduates nine months after graduation.  As noted above, that may be somewhat uninspiring because any increase in the number of full-time, long-term Bar Passage Required jobs may be masked by the larger number of graduates in 2013 compared to 2012.  As a result, potential law school applicants may remain reluctant to make the commitment of time and money that law school requires because the "good news" message regarding future employment prospects for law graduates may fail to gain traction if the messages about employment outcomes for recent law school graduates continue to be less than encouraging.

March 3, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

It's All Downhill After 40

GeniusBenjamin Jones (Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management), E.J. Reedy (Director, Kauffman Foundation) & Bruce A. Weinberg (Ohio State University, Department of Economics), Age and Scientific Genius:

Great scientific output typically peaks in middle age. A classic literature has emphasized comparisons across fields in the age of peak performance. More recent work highlights large underlying variation in age and creativity patterns, where the average age of great scientific contributions has risen substantially since the early 20th Century and some scientists make pioneering contributions much earlier or later in their life-cycle than others. We review these literatures and show how the nexus between age and great scientific insight can inform the nature of creativity, the mechanisms of scientific progress, and the design of institutions that support scientists, while providing further insights about the implications of aging populations, education policies, and economic growth.

NBER

(Hat Tip:  Greg Mankiw.)

March 3, 2014 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

NLJ: Corrected Law School Rankings by Graduates in BigLaw Jobs

I am re-publishing the ranking of law schools by graduates in BigLaw jobs because the National Law Journal has issued a correction:  "We mistakenly omitted five University of Chicago graduates who were hired by Mayer Brown. The addition of these associates brings the percentage of 2013 Chicago graduates at NLJ 250 firms to 55.34%, which moves them from the No. 4 spot to No. 2."

Go to Law SchoolsLarge law firm associate hiring ticked up for a second straight year in 2013—welcome news, considering law schools sent more newly minted juris doctors into the job market than ever before. Among the 50 schools most popular with hiring firms, 27 percent of graduates landed associate jobs—up from 25 percent in 2012. That was the highest hiring percentage recorded since 2010.

We’ve ranked the top 50 law schools by the percentage of 2013 law school graduates who took jobs at NLJ 250 firms—the nation’s largest by headcount as identified in The National Law Journal’s annual survey. We’ve also identified the law schools that saw the most alumni promoted to partner during 2013, and compared how each law school’s cost compares to its large firm hiring record.

The Top 50 Go-To Law School:  These schools sent the highest percentage of new graduates to NLJ 250 firms:

Rank Law School 2013 Grads @ NLJ 250 2013 JDs % of Grads @ NLJ 250 Tuition
1 Columbia 286 437 65.45% $55,488
2 Chicago 119 215 55.34% $50,727
3 NYU 295 537 54.93% $51,150
4 Harvard 309 577 53.55% $50,880
5 Pennsylvania 136 259 52.51% $53,138
6 Northwestern 146 286 51.05% $53,468
7 Duke 117 241 48.55% $51,662
8 Stanford 89 189 47.09% $50,802
9 Cornell 87 193 45.08% $55,301
10 UC-Berkeley 135 301 44.85% $48,068
11 Virginia 161 364 44.23% $46,400
12 Michigan 165 400 41.25% $48,250
13 Yale 80 206 38.83% $53,600
14 Georgetown 238 638 37.30% $48,835
15 Texas 120 378 31.75% $32,376
16 Vanderbilt 65 206 31.55% $46,804
17 UCLA 101 332 30.42% $45,221
18 USC 65 220 29.55% $52,598
19 Fordham 118 481 24.53% $49,526
20 Notre Dame 45 184 24.46% $45,980

March 3, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Thomas Jefferson Offers Guaranteed 3-Year 'Merit' Scholarships: 2.0 GPA/140 LSAT = $3k; 2.5 GPA/158 LSAT = $132k

TJ LogoThomas Jefferson Law School has announced the following guaranteed merit scholarships to entering and transfer students (the school charges $44,000 tuition):

Entering Student Merit Scholarships
Beginning with the class that enters August 2014, TJSL has adopted an exciting new scholarship policy. Thomas Jefferson offers guaranteed merit scholarships to first time entering students based on the students highest LSAT score and undergraduate grade point average (UGPA). An entering student is guaranteed to retain his or her scholarship as long as he or she remains enrolled and in good standing. Full-time students receive scholarships for six semesters. ... There is no need to submit a separate scholarship application.

TJ1

To learn more, go to the Entering Student Merit Scholarships FAQs.

Transfer Student Merit Scholarships
Under its new scholarship program Thomas Jefferson offers guaranteed merit scholarships to transferring students based on the student’s first year law school grade point average. A transferring student is guaranteed to retain his or her scholarship as long as he or she remains enrolled and in good standing. There is no need to submit a separate scholarship application.

TJ2

To learn more, go to the Transfer Student Merit Scholarship FAQs.

Update:

March 1, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law School Rankings by Net Bar Passage Required, Full-time, Long-term Jobs

Gary Rosin (South Texas) nets out law-school funded jobs from the reported jobs in the Bar Passage Required, Full-time, Long-term category.  He identifies the 27 law schools that added at least one percentage point to their reported Bar Passage Required, Full-time, Long-term employment rate, due to law school funded jobs, led by George Washington's whopping 20.7%.  He also ranks the 197 law schools by their net Bar Passage Required, Full-time, Long-term employment rate after subtracting out law school funded jobs, led by Penn (#1, with 92%), down to Golden Gate (#197, with 22%).  Here are the Top 20:

Top 20

The average rate is 55.5%.  The breakdown by decile is:

1:    90%+
10:  80-89%
17:  70-79%
51:  60-69%
54:  50-59%
42:  40-49%
15:  30-39%
7:    20-29%

Six of the thirteen schools with the lowest net Bar Passage Required, Full-time, Long-term employment rate are in California.

March 1, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, February 28, 2014

Caron Presents The Role of Faculty Scholarship at Faith-Based Law Schools Today at Regent

Caron 2012 PhotoPaul L. Caron (Pepperdine) presents Faculty Scholarship at Faith-Based Law Schools: Long Tails, Moneyball and Rankings in a Time of Crisis at Regent today:

I have written extensively on legal scholarship and teaching in a variety of contexts, particularly the impact of technology in transforming faculty roles in research and in the classroom.  In What Law Schools Can Learn From Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics, 82 Tex. L. Rev. 1483 (2004), Rafael Gely and I argued that legal education must use technology to develop more sophisticated measures of law school success and faculty contributions to law school success.  In Ranking Law Schools: Using SSRN to Measure Scholarly Performance, 81 Ind. L.J. 83 (2006), Bernie Black and I contended that SSRN downloads can play a role in measuring faculty scholarly performance along with the existing measures of reputations surveys, publication counts, and citation counts.  In The Long Tail of Legal Scholarship, 116 Yale L.J. Pocket Part 38 (2006), I showed that legal scholarship is shifting from a hit-driven model represented by citation counts to a niche-driven model represented by download counts.  In Are Scholars Better Bloggers? Bloggership: How Blogs Are Transforming Legal Scholarship, 84 Wash U. L. Rev. 1025 (2006), I argued that blogs illustrated the shift away from traditional scholarship and traditional methods of disseminating scholarly ideas.

Two things have changed since the publication of those articles.  First, legal education is confronted with an existential crisis,  In The Law School Crisis: What Would Jimmy McMillan Do?, 31 Pepperdine Law 14 (2012), I argued that the law school crisis results from the confluence of four factors:  skyrocketing costs and student loan debt, and plummeting job placement and enrollments.  Second, after over twenty years at the University of Cincinnati College of Law (a public, secular law school), this past fall I joined the tenured faculty at Pepperdine University School of Law (a private, Christian law school).

I argue that religious law schools are uniquely positioned to thrive in the midst of the law school crisis because our faith-fueled commitment to our students and to each other empowers us to better define the pathways to success for our schools, our students, and our faculties and equips us to make that journey together.

February 28, 2014 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Villanova to Offer Online Tax LL.M.

Villanova has announced that it will offer an online tax LL.M. program, becomming at least the seventh such online program:

Villanova University Graduate Tax Program is proud to announce the launch of the Master of Laws in Taxation and Master of Taxation in an online modality in addition to its on-campus counterparts. These programs can be completed in as few as 24 months. Applications are currently being accepted for the Fall 2014 term.

“We are so thrilled that our renowned Graduate Tax Program is now available in the online arena. This delivery method expands our geographic reach and enhances the level of diversity in our classes. It also allows our esteemed taxation faculty to support legal and accounting professionals across the globe in broadening their expertise and achieving their goals,” said Leslie Book, professor of law and online program director of the Villanova University Graduate Tax Program.

February 28, 2014 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Publication Opportunities in the Pepperdine Law Review

Pepperdine Law ReviewThe Pepperdine Law Review publishes two volumes: the Traditional Volume and the Annual Volume.  The Annual Volume differs from the Traditional Volume in only two ways: (1) the Annual Volume publishes shorter works, consistent with the guidelines outlined below; and (2) hard copy reprints are printed on demand rather than by default.  This volume retains the same editorial standards as material published in the Traditional Volume and bears a Pepperdine Law Review citation because it is part of the same publication. 

The Annual Volume features shorter works such as Commentaries and Traditional Book Reviews and innovative, responsive dialogue pieces in the form of Multi-Author Discussions and Book Review Symposia.  The Annual Volume allows authors and editors to publish material on a tighter acceptance and publication schedule, eliminating the lengthy editorial calendar of traditional law review publishing.  We guarantee decisions on Annual Volume submissions within five business days and will create PDF galleys within two to four weeks depending upon the publication type. 

Overview of the Content Types Published in the Annual Volume

For all content types, we accept or reject proposals within five (5) business days.  Offers to publish expire within forty-eight (48) hours.  Word limits are approximate and inclusive of footnotes. 

Commentaries – We publish brief commentary (4000 words) on current topics.  All accepted commentary pieces are published on the PLR website and are available in PDF galleys within fourteen (14) days. 

Traditional Book Reviews - We publish traditional book reviews (6000 words).  Accepted reviews are published on the PLR website and are available in PDF galleys within four (4) weeks of submission.  We also strongly encourage supplemental book reviews that respond to recently hosted Book Symposia (see below).

Multi-Author Discussions – We organize brief discussions between scholars on timely issues.  Once two or more scholars have agreed to participate, production begins the following week.  Opening statements (2000 words) and rebuttals/responses (1000 words) are published to the PLR website on consecutive Mondays.  Closing statements (500 words) are published Friday of the second week.

Book Review Symposia – We organize mini-symposia on recently published books and books in pre-publication proofs.  This is a dialogue between the author and the reviewers, which begins at a time agreed upon between the author, reviewers, and PLR.  Initial reviews (2000 words) and the author’s responses (2000 words) are published to the PLR website on consecutive Mondays.  Closing statements (500 words) are published Friday of the second week.

Traditional Volume, Citation: XX PEPP. L. REV. XX (Year)

Annual Volume, Citation: XXXX PEPP. L. REV. XX (Year)

Articles

Multi-Author Discussions

Comments

Commentaries

Case Notes

Book Review Symposia

 

Traditional Book Reviews

February 27, 2014 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

In Defense of Disciplines: Rejecting the Siren Song of Interdisciplinary Research

Inside Higher Ed:  A Call to Embrace Silos:

In DefenseEveryone, it seems, wants to promote interdisciplinary work. College and university presidents love to announce new interdisciplinary centers. Funders want to support such work. Many professors and graduate students bemoan the way higher ed places them in silos from which they long to free themselves, if only they could get tenure for interdisciplinary work.

Jerry A. Jacobs, a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, wants to end the interdisciplinary love fest. His new book, In Defense of Disciplines: Interdisciplinarity and Specialization in the Research University (University of Chicago Press, 2013), challenges the conventional wisdom that academe needs to get out of disciplines to solve the most important problems and to encourage creative thinking. The most significant ideas (including those related to problems that cross disciplines) in fact come out of specialized, discipline-oriented work, Jacobs argues. Further, he says that the idea that disciplines don't communicate right now is overstated -- and that such communication can be encouraged without weakening disciplines.

In an interview, he said common sense shows that interdisciplinary problems require many disciplines to work on them -- from the strength of their scholarly backgrounds.

February 26, 2014 in Book Club, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

NLJ Releases Data for 168 Law Schools in its Rankings by Graduates in BigLaw Jobs

Go to Law SchoolsThe National Law Journal has again released the complete data for 168 law schools in its Law School Rankings by Graduates in BigLaw Jobs (prior posts here and here):  

For the second year in a row, we are making all of the data from our Go-To Law Schools Report on large firm associate hiring available to the public in a searchable format.  Select a law school from the list to see where 2013 juris doctor graduates from those institutions were hired.  Scroll over the chart to find the school's number of graduates placed at each firm, percentage of graduates at NLJ 250 firms, and tuition.  Click the tabs above to search by law firm, view the complete list of law school data, and see our Value Index.

February 26, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Colleges Rethink Honor Codes Amidst Rampant Cheating

Middlebury LogoInside Higher Ed, The Proctor Is In:

Only 100 or so colleges maintain honor codes, which are thought to bolster integrity and trust among professors and students by involving the latter in the creation and enforcement of academic standards. When a campus culture values open and frequent discussion about when and why cheating is socially unacceptable, the thinking goes (and some research shows), students are less likely to flout the rules – and more likely to report their peers who do.

Except when they aren’t. Most traditional honor codes allow for unproctored exams, where the professor leaves the room and students are expected to report any cheating they observe. (Some even let students take the exam wherever they choose.) But the system is not working out so well at Middlebury College, where faculty members in economics will proctor their exams this spring semester.

Continue reading

February 25, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

18 Law Schools Just Missed NLJ Top 50 Ranking of Grads in BigLaw Jobs

Go to Law SchoolsFollowing up on yesterday's post, NLJ: Law School Rankings by Graduates in BigLaw Job:  National Law Journal, Tight Race at Bottom of Go-To Law Schools Rankings, by Karen Sloan:

Seven law schools came within a hair of ranking among The National Law Journal’s Go-To Law Schools—the NLJ’s list of the 50 that led in sending their 2013 juris doctors into associate jobs in the 250 largest law firms in the country.

Every year, a handful of law schools come oh-so-close to making the list, but 2013 posed an especially tight race. Just a single graduate made the difference in some instances. ... [T]he University of Kansas School of Law snagged the No. 50 spot by sending 8.62 percent of its 2013 graduates to the largest law firms. The University of Arizona James E. Rogers School of Law sent 8.5 percent of its graduates into that same future, but that fell about one-tenth of a percentage point short of making the list. ... The University of Alabama School of Law; Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law; University of Colorado Law School; University of South Carolina School of Law; Rutgers School of Law–Newark; and the University of Georgia School of Law each came within one percentage point of Kansas’ placement rate.

Another 11 law schools came within two percentage points of making the top 50, led by Seton Hall University School of Law at 7.49 percent, the University of Cincinnati College of Law at 7.38 percent and the University of Florida Levin College of the Law.

February 25, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

2013 Washington & Lee (and Google Scholar) Law Review Rankings

W&L LogoWashington & Lee has released its 2013 Law Review Rankings.  David Lat has a detailed analysis here, including a comparison of the W&L rankings with the U.S. News rankings:

  1. Stanford Law Review (2 in U.S. News)
  2. Harvard Law Review (2)
  3. Columbia Law Review (4)
  4. Yale Law Journal (1)
  5. University of Pennsylvania Law Review (7)
  6. Georgetown Law Journal (14)
  7. UCLA Law Review (17)
  8. Michigan Law Review (9)
  9. California Law Review (9)
  10. Virginia Law Review (7) 

Google ScholarHere are the Google Scholar rankings (with each publication’s W&L rank noted parenthetically):

  1. Columbia Law Review (3 in W&L)
  2. Harvard Law Review (2)
  3. Stanford Law Review (1)
  4. University of Pennsylvania Law Review (5)
  5. Yale Law Journal (4)
  6. Georgetown Law Journal (6)
  7. Michigan Law Review (8)
  8. UCLA Law Review (7)
  9. Texas Law Review (11)
  10. Virginia Law Review (10)

February 25, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

WSJ: Hiring Improves for Law Grads

NALP New LogoFollowing up on last week's post,  NALP: Entry-Level Law Firm Recruiting Remains Flat:  Wall Street Journal, Hiring of Law Grads Improves for Some; Offer Rates for Summer 2013 Interns Approach Pre-Financial Crisis Levels:

Here's some good news for law students set to graduate this year: The job-offer rate for those lucky enough to have landed a summer job at a law firm in 2013 is nearly as high as it was before the financial crisis.

Summer-associate programs are the traditional path to employment at big law firms. Students interview with dozens of firms in the late summer and early fall of their second year. Those who are selected spend the following summer working at a law firm in hopes of being offered a permanent position after they graduate.

The recession put a crimp in that pipeline. Many firms, facing a collapse in demand for their services, scaled back hiring programs, and summer associates faced greater competition for permanent slots.

But things are looking up for the class of 2014, at least by some measures, according to figures released last week by the National Association for Law Placement, a nonprofit group that tracks legal employment figures.

About 92% of law students who worked as summer associates last year received job offers. In 2007, before the financial crisis upended the legal profession, the offer rate was about 93%.

The most recent NALP employment data shows a bump up from 2012, when 90% of summer associates got offers. And it is a significant improvement from 2009, when many firms slashed jobs and the summer offer rate hit a 20-year low. "This is a huge change from the stark offer rate of only 69% measured in 2009," says a 23-page report by the group, which polled 123 law schools and 389 law firms.

Finding full-time work as a lawyer remains a challenge for new graduates, who are often saddled with hefty student loans.

According to a separate NALP survey, only 64.4% of the 2012 law graduates for whom employment status is known got a job that required bar passage, the lowest percentage the group has ever measured. Just over half of 2012 graduates found work in private practice; typically such jobs account for 55% to 58% of postgraduate employment.

February 25, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 24, 2014

University of Chicago Law School Study: Better Scholars Are Better Teachers

Tom Ginsburg (Chicago) & Thomas J. Miles (Chicago), The Teaching/Research Tradeoff in Law: Data from the Right Tail:

There is a long scholarly debate on the tradeoff between research and teaching in various fields, but relatively little study of the phenomenon in law. This analysis examines the relationship between the two core academic activities at one particular school, the University of Chicago Law School, which is considered one of the most productive in legal academia. We use standard measures of scholarly productivity and teaching performance. For research, we measure the total number of publications for each professor for each year, while for teaching, we look at the average teaching rating. Net of other factors, we find that, under some specifications, research and teaching are positively correlated. In particular, we find that students’ perceptions of teaching quality rises, but at a decreasing rate, with the total amount of scholarship. We also find that certain personal characteristics correlate with productivity. The recent debate on the mission of American law schools has hinged on the assumption that a tradeoff exists between teaching and research, and this article’s analysis, although limited in various ways, casts some doubt on that assumption.

Chicago Chart

February 24, 2014 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (1)

NLJ: Law School Placement Offices Focus More on Employer Relations, Not Just Student Career Counseling

Employer RelationsNational Law Journal:  It's Their Job to Find the Jobs for Law Students, by Karen Sloan:

Since the 2008 recession, when large law firms cut back on new associate hiring, roughly two dozen law schools have created positions ... that focus exclusively on employer relations rather than student career counseling. Many more have given employer-relations duties to their existing career services staff. ...

In line with the level of interest, NALP is developing a set of best practices for employer outreach as members share notes about what works and what doesn't. ... In flusher times, law schools could wait for legal recruiters to come to them, but those days have passed. Schools understand that they need to go directly to employers, said Donna Davis, assistant dean of career development at Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland.

The school takes a national approach: Each year, it polls students about the top three locations where they would like to practice, along with favored practice areas. The staff then creates an outreach schedule. Those trips might include alumni receptions or small dinners with employers, Davis said. Her office has made 140 employer outreach visits during the past year. "In the past, you did some employer outreach, mostly locally," Davis said. "Every now and then you would go somewhere regionally. But now we go to California, New York, Boston, Chicago and Texas. We're covering the country, and I think that's really different from five years ago." ...

The way law schools handle employer relations varies. ... For big-name law schools that steer high percentages of graduates into associate jobs at large firms, employer relations might entail coordinating on-campus interviews. Many ­lower-tier law schools target small and midsized law firms, government offices and corporate legal departments.

February 24, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

NLJ: Law School Rankings by Graduates in BigLaw Jobs

National Law Journal, The Go-To Law Schools:

Go to Law SchoolsLarge law firm associate hiring ticked up for a second straight year in 2013—welcome news, considering law schools sent more newly minted juris doctors into the job market than ever before. Among the 50 schools most popular with hiring firms, 27 percent of graduates landed associate jobs—up from 25 percent in 2012. That was the highest hiring percentage recorded since 2010.

We’ve ranked the top 50 law schools by the percentage of 2013 law school graduates who took jobs at NLJ 250 firms—the nation’s largest by headcount as identified in The National Law Journal’s annual survey. We’ve also identified the law schools that saw the most alumni promoted to partner during 2013, and compared how each law school’s cost compares to its large firm hiring record.

The Top 50 Go-To Law School:  These schools sent the highest percentage of new graduates to NLJ 250 firms:

Rank Law School 2013 Grads @ NLJ 250 2013 JDs % of Grads @ NLJ 250 Tuition
1 Columbia 286 437 65.45% $55,488
2 NYU 295