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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Henderson: Is the Legal Profession Showing Its Age?

The Legal Whiteboard:  Is the Legal Profession Showing Its Age?, by William D. Henderson (Indiana):

The figure below suggests that a growing number of students are attending law school but not going on to become lawyers.  This conclusion requires some explanation, which I will supply below.  Alternative explanations are also welcome, as I’d like to find a plausible narrative that foreshadows a brighter future for the licensed bar. [PDF version of this essay]


I have shown this chart to various law firms, legal departments, law faculty and bar association audiences.  Through this process, I have developed two working theories that are not mutually exclusive:

  1. Increased exits from law practice based on gender integration
  2. Slowing absorption of law graduates into the licensed bar

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October 14, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Should Law Schools Consolidate Multiple Sections of a Course to Save Money, Free Up Faculty Time?

Inside Higher Ed, A New Metric:

It’s hard to raise much excitement over a chart, but a recent one that breaks down how colleges can reduce the number of sections they teach and reduce faculty time while educating the same number of students might be getting there. But not all the excitement is positive. 

The chart is part of a summary of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded studies by the Education Advisory Board, a business that produces research for colleges. The board looked at seven colleges, mostly regional public universities whose names have not been revealed, and tried to figure out what it costs to teach students. Analysts combed through 250 million rows of data to draw up reports that spelled out the costs of each student credit hour in each section in each department of each college. ...

On a simple chart, the results are stunning: here’s how many classes are empty compared to the current maximum class size -- so, if you combined enough relatively empty classes, you could teach the same number of students without increasing caps on class size. The data also allow administrators to easily see how much it costs to teach the average credit hour in each department, a comparison that has been done elsewhere but that faculty say can be dangerous.


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October 13, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Why Do Lawyers Blog?

Legal Productivity, Why Do You Blog? 23 Lawyers Weigh In:

Blogging means different things to different people but I’m less interested in narrowly defining blogging, than examining why lawyers blog. So I went to the source and asked: “Why do you blog?” Twenty-three lawyers responded, some of whom have been at it for a very long time.

Several have their own practice or are part of a larger firm. Many still maintain their blog, while some write for other blogs. Topics range from their area of legal expertise to other interests like technology and practice management. But these blogging lawyers all have one thing in common: they write with passion and purpose. Business development doesn’t drive their writing. These lawyers blog because they love to write and share their knowledge, experience, and passions.

October 13, 2014 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Henderson: Does Coop Placement Accelerate Law Student Professional Development?

The Legal Whiteboard:  Does Cooperative Placement Accelerate Law Student Professional Development?, by William D. Henderson (Indiana):

NortheasternThe title of an earlier essay posed a threshold question for legal ed reform: "If We Make Legal Education More Experiential, Would it Really Matter?" (Legal Whiteboard, Feb 2014) (PDF). I answered "yes" but admitted it was only my best guess.  Thus, to be more rigorous, I outlined the conditions necessary to prove the concept.

The essay below is a companion to the first essay.  It is a case study on how one type and brand of experiential education -- cooperative placements at Northeastern Law -- appears to accelerate the professional development of its law students. The outcome criteria are comprised of the three apprenticeships of Educating Lawyers (2007) (aka The Carnegie Report) -- cognitive skills, practice skills, and professional identity.

The better outcomes flow from Northeastern's immersive, iterative, and integrative approach. First, students are immersed in full-time coops that last a standard 11 weeks. Second, students move through four iterations of coops interspersed with four quarters of upper-level classes. Third, this experiential approach is integrated into the Law School's value system -- i.e., the experiential component is perceived as central rather than marginal to the School's educational mission.

Northeastern's coop model asks more of faculty and students, thus it may be hard to replicate. Yet, there is evidence that such an approach does in fact accelerate professional development in ways that ought to please law school critics and reformers. The benefits may be well worth the costs. ...

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October 13, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, October 12, 2014

More on Canaries in the Law School Coal Mine

Following up on my previous post, Former AALS President: Thomas Jefferson Is 'The Canary in the Coal Mine of Legal Education,' Expects Six Law Schools to Close:  George Leef, The Canary in the Law School Coal Mine?:

CanaryCoal miners used to bring a canary down into the mine to warn them when the air was becoming too dangerous. If the canary went limp, it was time to get out.

For the last several years, conditions for American law schools have been getting progressively more dangerous, as students respond to the realities of the market: the legal profession is over-saturated with people holding Juris Doctor credentials. Law schools have been graduating far more students than there are legal jobs, and the number of jobs is apt to shrink further as technology sinks its teeth into legal work.

In his recent City Journal article Machines v. Lawyers, Northwestern Law School professor John O. McGinnis explained why the demand for lawyers will keep shrinking. “Law is, in effect, an information technology – a code that regulates social life. And as the machinery of information technology grows exponentially in power, the legal profession faces a great disruption not unlike that already experienced by journalism, which has seen employment drop by about a third….”

Throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s, law was a growth industry and a great many people (especially students who had taken “soft” majors in college) figured that earning a JD was an attractive option. Naturally, law schools expanded to accommodate the throngs of degree seekers, who were aided by federal student loan programs. Going to law school both delayed the need to start repaying undergraduate loans and appeared to be the pathway into a bright and lucrative career.

That’s not true anymore. ...

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October 12, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

U.S. News to Issue Global University Rankings

U.S. News Logo (2014)Inside Higher Ed, 'U.S. News' to Issue New Global University Rankings:

U.S. News and World Report has announced that it will release its first global ranking of universities on Oct. 28. U.S. News plans to publish a global ranking of the top 500 universities across 49 countries, as well as four regional, 11 country-level, and 21 subject area-specific rankings. 

The Best Global Universities ranking will be based on reputational data, bibliometric indicators of academic research performance, and data on faculty and Ph.D. graduates. Robert Morse, U.S. News’s chief data strategist, said that there will be no cross-over of data between the publication's longstanding ranking of American colleges and the new global ranking, which will rely on data from Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters also provides data for the global university ranking compiled by Times Higher Education (THE). 

“What we’re doing is completely, 100 percent independent from THE,” Morse said. “It’s our methodology, our choice of variables, our choice of weights, our choice of how the calculations are done, our choice of how the data’s going to be presented.”

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October 12, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Camille Nelson to Step Down as Suffolk Law School Dean

Boston Business Journal, Suffolk Law School Dean to Leave at Year's End:

SuffolkThe dean of Suffolk University Law School, Camille Nelson, will step down at the end of the current academic year, Suffolk University said in a press release.

Nelson joined the law school in September 2010 as the first woman and the first person of color to lead the law school. Suffolk University will conduct a national search to replace her.

In an email sent to the Suffolk University community on Thursday announcing her decision, Nelson offered no explanation, though Suffolk said in its press release that she is leaving to pursue other opportunities. ...

Nelson's announcement comes on the heels of the university's news in August that James McCarthy, the former president, had abruptly stepped down and being replaced by Norman Smith, who now serves as Suffolk University's interim president. The university little explanation for McCarthy's departure, except that he would be pursuing business and consulting opportunities.

Earlier this summer, Suffolk Law School announced that it had closed its Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service and returned the $5 million endowment it had received from the Jerry and Phyllis Rappaport and the Jerome Lyle Rappaport Charitable Foundation to launch the center in 2006. The university's decision, which also included ending an endowed chair at the law school, came as a surprise to the Rappaport family.

Suffolk's 2010-2013 admissions and placement data.  Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

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

Elon Law School Shortens J.D. to 2.5 Years, Cuts Total Tuition by $14k (to $100k)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

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

SALT Teaching and Junior Faculty Development Conference

SALTUNLV is hosting the 2014 SALT Teaching Conference Program on Legal Education in a Time of Change: Challenges & Opportunities and 12th Annual LatCrit-SALT Junior Faculty Development Workshop.

Teaching Tax/Business Law Courses Through a Social Justice Lens:
As Congress continues to use the federal tax systems (e.g., income, FICA, Medicare) for delivering social benefits and redistributing wealth these concepts are critical to understanding tax theory and practice generally. Moreover as our tax systems become more opaque, the public and political discourse regarding how these systems work or don’t work has become disconnected from the facts. As tax policy and administration have become increasingly politicized, presenting these issues to our law students has become even more critical and challenging. This group of tax faculty will discuss these issues generally and specifically will discuss techniques and strategies for incorporating consideration of race, gender, sexual orientation, poverty, and politicization of tax matters into the basic tax law course.

  • Anthony Infanti (Pittsburgh)
  • Francine Lipman (UNLV)
  • Leo Martinez (UC-Hastings)

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

Do Professors Have a Right to Be Told Why They Have Been Denied Tenure?

Inside Higher Ed, Right to Know Why Not:

Kessler 2Some 28 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, $1.4 million in research funding and strong evaluations along the way – but still no tenure. The only thing more disturbing to Dylan Kesler, an assistant professor of wildlife sciences at the University of Missouri at Columbia, than his failed bid this summer is that he still hasn’t been told why. Kesler thinks he’s being retaliated against for blowing the whistle on alleged misuses of federal research funds in his department. But he says can’t confirm that or appeal the university’s decision without a formal reason for his denial.

While admittedly more complicated than most tenure disputes, Kesler’s case raises a basic question: Does a professor have a right to know why he or she didn’t earn tenure?

The American Association of University Professors says yes. Its Statement on Procedural Standards in the Renewal or Nonrenewal of Faculty Appointments recommends that “in the event of a decision not to renew an appointment, the faculty member should be informed of the decision in writing, and, upon request, be advised of the reasons which contributed to that decision.” The statement also says that the faculty member should be able to request reconsideration of the unsatisfactory decision.

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October 10, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

WSJ: In-State Students Are Increasingly Left Out as Colleges Welcome More Higher-Paying Out-of-State Students

Wall Street Journal, Colleges’ Wider Search for Applicants Crowds Out Local Students; State Schools Look to Higher-Paying Out-of-State Students to Fill Budget Holes:

Last spring, Nicholas Anthony graduated as co-valedictorian of Malibu High School with a résumé that included straight A’s, top marks on nine advanced placement exams, varsity quarterback and baritone horn in the wind ensemble.

But Mr. Anthony didn’t get into the top two public schools in his home state: the University of California, Berkeley or the University of California, Los Angeles. Instead, he is going to Brown University, an Ivy League school which will cost over $100,000 more during four years.

Mr. Anthony’s experience is an example of an aftershock still reverberating across higher education in the wake of the recession: Qualified residents are getting crowded out of their state universities by students paying higher tuition from out-of-state and foreign countries.

“If I had been born five years earlier, I would have gotten in,” said Mr. Anthony.

State funding for public universities fell by 23% in real dollars between 2008 and 2013, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.

To backfill the billions that evaporated from their budgets, public schools around the nation raised tuition and fees. When public outcry forced them to moderate those increases, scores of universities turned to out-of-state students who pay two to three times as much in tuition as their in-state counterparts.

But that out-of-state windfall is coming at a cost that is now being paid by people like Mr. Anthony: fewer seats for in-state students, even the most highly qualified.

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October 9, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (18)

Kirk Stark Named Barrall Family Professor of Tax Law and Policy at UCLA

Kirk J. Stark (UCLA) has been named Barrall Family Professor of Tax Law and Policy at UCLA:

Stark (2014)James D. C. Barrall ’75 and Carole Barrall (UCLA ’75) established the UCLA School of Law Barrall Family Endowed Chair in Tax Law and Policy in honor of Jim's parents, Raymond C. and Shirley C. Barrall. James Barrall is a partner in the Los Angeles office of the international law firm Latham & Watkins and serves as the global co-chair of the firm's Benefits and Compensation Practice. The chair recognizes the achievements of a distinguished faculty member whose scholarship and teaching contribute to excellence in the field of tax law and and policy at UCLA School of Law. Professor Kirk J. Stark, whose research focuses on taxation and public finance, with a particular emphasis on state and local tax policy and U.S. fiscal federalism, is the first Barrall Family Endowed Chair in Tax Law and Policy.


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

Princeton Review's Best 169 Law Schools (2015 Edition)

Princeton 2015The Princeton Review has published the 2015 edition of The Best 169 Law Schools (FAQ) (User's Guide):

The Princeton Review surveyed over 19,500 students to create our book's school profiles and its 11 unique ranking lists.

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

  1. Duke
  2. Boston University
  3. Virginia
  4. Washington & Lee
  5. Chicago
  6. Pepperdine
  7. Stanford
  8. St. Thomas (Minnesota)
  9. Samford
  10. Regent

Huffington Post, Law Schools With the Best Professors

Best Quality of Life:  Based on student assessment of:  whether there is a strong sense of community at the school, how aesthetically pleasing the law school is, the location of the law school, the quality of the social life, classroom facilities, and the library staff.

  1. Virginia
  2. Duke
  3. Chapman
  4. St. Thomas (Minnesota)
  5. Northwestern

Best Classroom Experience:  Based on student answers to survey questions concerning their professors' teaching abilities, the balance of theory and practical skills in the curricula, the level of tolerance for differing opinions in class discussion, and their assessments of classroom facilities.

  1. Stanford
  2. Duke
  3. Virginia
  4. Chicago
  5. Northwestern

Best Career Prospects:  Based on school reported data and student surveys. School data include: the average starting salaries of graduating students, the percent of students immediately employed upon graduation and the percent of these students who pass the bar exam the first time they take it. Student answers to survey questions on: how much the law program encourages practical experience; the opportunities for externships, internships and clerkships, and how prepared the students feel they will be to practice the law after graduating.

  1. Northwestern
  2. UC-Berkeley
  3. Chicago
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. NYU

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October 9, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Will Social Justice Save Law Schools?

Following up on Tuesday's post on Edward Rubin (Vanderbilt), The Future and Legal Education: Are Law Schools Failing and, If So, How?, 39 Law & Soc. Inquiry 499 (2014):  Orin Kerr (George Washington) noted in the comments:

Social JusticeIf I understand Rubin correctly, he believes that two future trends will profoundly reshape U.S. legal education: (1) The future will be technologically different from today, and lawyers will be needed create the new legal arrangements for that different future based on an understanding of new technologies, and (2) Our future society will realize that social justice demands that everyone get free lawyers paid for by the state for their legal problems, which will create a dramatically expanded need for lawyers. As for (1), it's not clear to me why law school training would need to change in any substantial way for that. As for (2), the evidence supporting that prediction seems very thin. Or so it seems to me; I'm curious if others who have read the article have a different reaction.

Here is an extended excerpt of Ed's argument on "The Social Justice Agenda and Legal Education" (citations and footnotes omitted):

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October 9, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

2014 World Law School Rankings

QSHere are the U.S. law schools in the 2014 World Law School Rankings (based on academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per paper, and h-index per faculty member), along with each school's position in the latest SSRN World Law School Faculty Rankings):

1.   Harvard (#1 in SSRN)
4.   Yale (#7)
5.   NYU (#6)
6.   Stanford (#5)
9.   Chicago (#3)
10. UC-Berkeley (#12)
11.  Columbia (#4)
17.  Georgetown (#8)
24.  Pennsylvania (#9)
30.  Cornell (#30)
31.  Michigan (#19)
35.  UCLA (#13)
39.  Virginia (#20)
42.  Duke (#16)
45.  Northwestern (#10)
51-100.  American (#41)
51-100.  Boston University (#29)
51-100.  Notre Dame (#48)
51-100.  Texas (#28)
51-100.  Wisconsin (#97)
101-150.  Arizona State (#60)
101-150.  Fordham (#22)
101-150.  George Washington (#2)
101-150.  Minnesota (#21)
101-150.  North Carolina (#45)
101-150.  UC-Davis (#40)
101-150.  USC (#23)
101-150.  University of Washington (#82)
151-200.  Florida (#54)
151-200.  Illinois (#17)
151-200.  Indiana (#47)
151-200.  Ohio State (#69)
151-200.  Penn State (#61)
151-200.  Pittsburgh (#95)
151-200.  Temple (#32)
151-200.  UC-Irvine (#31)
151-200.  William & Mary (#84)
151-200.  Washington University (#33)

October 8, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Mnookin: A Dissent From the Practice-Ready Movement

Jennifer L. Mnookin (UCLA), Reflections on Law Teaching, 62 UCLA L. Rev. Disc. 126 (2014):

PracticeThere is one goal that is being bandied about now with some frequency that I think we, as teachers, should resist.  That’s the idea that one of our chief functions is to make our students, as we often hear it put, “practice ready on day one.”

I confess I don’t entirely know what it means for students to leave law school “practice ready on day one.”  Our students will be practicing in so many different ways, and in so many distinct areas, that what they need, in terms of grounded, concrete, practical knowledge, cannot possibly be reduced to a checklist.  There surely are not one-size-fits-all solutions, notwithstanding some of the unfortunate proposals gaining traction these days, like the potential—and in my view distressingly excessive—fifteen credits of experiential education requirement put forward by the California Bar.7   Perhaps every law student should indeed have some exposure to experiential or skills-based training while in law school, but to say that every lawyer is better off with a full  semester of such training fails to ask the “compared-to-what?” question.  

For some students fifteen credits of skills training may be a quite appropriate and valuable use of their time.  But, for others, it may mean many missed opportunities to pursue other options that would have been more personally and professionally valuable.  It should be the students, the law schools, and the marketplace that decide whether, for example, an externship is or is not more valuable for the future transactional lawyer than a variety of upper-level courses in corporate finance and other subjects that may have significant practical payoff without being explicitly defined as experiential; or whether the future would-be appellate litigator is better served by a skills class followed by a live-client clinic or, instead, selections from the many upper level doctrinal offerings.

There are, to be sure, major challenges facing law schools right now, but this  should, in my view, be a moment for curricular deregulation, not intensified gatekeeping by the bar of what law schools do.  I say this not because I believe that law schools should continue in their teaching as if it is business as usual, but rather as a corollary to what I said before: We should be encouraging experimentation and innovation, not stymying it, nor limiting it by channeling it in only in one predetermined direction.

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October 8, 2014 in Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (6)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Hidden Sources of Law School Stress: Avoiding the Mistakes That Create Unhappy and Unprofessional Lawyers

HiddenLawrence Krieger (Florida State), The Hidden Sources of Law School Stress: Avoiding the Mistakes That Create Unhappy and Unprofessional Lawyers (Kindle 2014):

This brief book has been purchased for students by more than half the law schools in the United States, Canada, and Australia. It tells you why law school can be so stressful (p.s. -- it's not what you think!), and why it doesn’t have to be that way. The content combines the experience of generations of law students and lawyers, many law teachers, and 40 years of scientific research on what determines whether you will be happy, anxious, or depressed.

The author is a recognized expert in attorney and law student well-being. He recently completed the largest in-depth study of lawyer mental health to date, involving several thousand lawyers in four states.

October 7, 2014 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rubin: Are Law Schools Failing?

FailingEdward Rubin (Vanderbilt), The Future and Legal Education: Are Law Schools Failing and, If So, How?, 39 Law & Soc. Inquiry 499 (2014):

In Failing Law Schools (2010), Brian Tamanaha recommends that law schools respond to the current economic crisis in the legal profession by reducing support for faculty research and developing two-year degree programs. But these ideas respond only to a short-term problem that will probably be solved by the closure of marginal institutions. The real challenge lies in the powerful long-term trends that animate social change, particularly the shift to a knowledge-based economy and the demand for social justice through expanded public services. These trends demand that law schools transform their educational programs to reflect the regulatory, transactional, and interdisciplinary nature of modern legal practice.

October 7, 2014 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (12)

Adam Chodorow: Teaching Tax Policy with Senator Kyl

TaxProf Blog op-ed:  Teaching Tax Policy with Senator Kyl, by Adam Chodorow (Arizona State):

Chodorow KylePerhaps I’m a little biased, but after Basic Income Tax, I think Tax Policy is the best course in the law school curriculum. The course can be taught in a variety of ways, ranging from a traditional seminar, where students read and discuss academic articles and write a seminar paper or a series of reaction papers, or as a colloquium, where tax scholars present their works in progress to students, who are asked to engage with the works and provide feedback to the presenters. For the past two years, I have had the opportunity to teach tax policy with Senator Jon Kyl, who served on the Finance Committee for many years before he retired in 2012. Given his experience and interests, we decided to structure the class around current reform proposals and to combine the discussion of tax policy with some practical skills training. While I’m sure we’re not the first to hit upon this format, I offer up our experiences as food for thought for those looking to create or modify a tax policy course.

The basic idea is to alternate weeks between teaching and lobbying. In the first week, I assign readings on and teach the basic issues surrounding a particular reform under discussion, such as changes to the charitable deduction or switching from a global to territorial international tax regime. At the end of that class, I assign each student to an interest group and have them prepare a 3 page position paper. In week 2, Senator Kyl attends, pretending to be a senator on the finance committee (a real stretch on his part). We start each class with a discussion of the politics surrounding the proposals under discussion or some other aspect of the tax writing process, such as the scoring rules, after which the students lobby the senator. The class finishes with a broad discussion about the policy under consideration. At the end of the semester, the students must write a 5 page reflection piece on how their thoughts on tax policy had changed, or not, as a result of the semester’s journey.

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October 7, 2014 in Legal Education, Tax, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (1)

Retired CUNY Professor Gets $560k/Year Pension: 'Darn Right I Deserve It'

New York Post, Retired CUNY Professor Gets $560K a Year Pension:

He’s New York’s pension king.

Retired Queens College history professor Edgar J. McManus, 90, gets a city pension of $561,286 a year, newly released figures show. His payout is the highest by far in both the city and state teachers retirement systems, according to data obtained by the Empire Center for Public Policy, an Albany-based think tank. ...

The city’s second-biggest pension, $308,358, goes to Alvin Marty, a Baruch College economics professor who retired after 55 years in 2008. Fifteen other retirees collect more than $200,000 a year — including city Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, who gets $208,506. And 1,796 retired educators get more than $100,000 a year. ...

McManus, who has written groundbreaking books on slavery, retired in February 2012 after teaching history and constitutional law for more than 50 years. His final salary was $116,364. “They don’t pay you much when you’re working, but the pension is certainly good,” McManus told The Post. “Darn right I deserve it.”

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October 7, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Hoffman: Law Schools Should Stop Apologizing and Playing Defense and Instead Go on Offense and Brag About How Well We Prepare Students for a Demanding Job

Dave Hoffman (Temple), “If You Don’t Like What’s Being Said, Change the Conversation.”:

SitzfleischLaw Schools ... now ask “who do we want to teach.” Some – like Penn State – increasingly make foreign LLMs a key constituency, rather than a tolerated budgetary crutch. Other schools compete in the increasing crowded online education/certification market for domestic lawyers, or paralegals.  And all over the country, law professors teach increasing numbers of undergrads. ...

There’s ... something faintly defensive and catastrophic about the enterprise. If law schools say: “we have to teach new skills to new people,” they in effect admit “the old skills are no longer particularly valuable.” But that position is profoundly stupid, not to mention self-defeating. It reinforces a prevailing narrative about law schools – they are broke, and need fixing. The reason that law schools are in trouble today is that every single person going to law school is being told by everyone who loves them not to go. That’s not entirely a reflection of the projected future employability of members of the bar in 2025 (when the robots take over). It’s also a current gestalt cultural judgment: legal education doesn’t deliver the value it ought to.  Whose at fault for that? In part, law schools, which, everywhere you look, remind you with new, practice-ready/real-world/constantly innovating slogans, that they are slightly ashamed of what they’ve always done.

But, as the great ad man put it, if you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation. Law Schools (and synagogues) should spend less time justifying and perseverating on their decline, and more time trumpeting what they do well – much better than any alternative out there.  What’s that? As one of my colleagues keeps on hammering at me, we’re really good at three things. Maybe they are the only things we’re good at – everything else is just a loss-leader, including legal scholarship.

  1. Teaching students how to read cases with the requisite degree of care.
  2. We prepare students for a very hard, demanding, job which rewards sitzfleisch more than any other personality trait.
  3. We teach judgment in the only way it can be taught: by watching error.

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October 6, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)

Kyle Graham Announces He Does Not Want Tenure at Santa Clara Law School: 'I Don't Want To Be That Guy'

Kyle F. Graham has announced that he will not seek tenure from Santa Clara Law School:

So, I decided a while back that I didn’t want to apply for tenure, and advised the administration and (more recently) the faculty at Santa Clara Law of my decision. I reached this conclusion after conducting an inventory of my strengths and weaknesses. Pursuant to this census, I determined that, assuming I remain in academia, I’d probably be a better teacher and scholar without the cushion that tenure provides.

I was worried that my colleagues on the Santa Clara faculty would — to use a scientific term — freak out at my decision. So far, that hasn’t been the case. To the extent I have spoken with other faculty members on the topic, they generally have responded with characteristic equanimity. I suspect that most of them pegged me as an odd duck long  ago (in hindsight, my commissioning of Scalia and Ginsburg puppets probably represented the tipping point), and believe that, by a milligram, my positives outweigh my quirks. ...

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

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Larson: The Return of George Washington, 1783-1789

My friend and colleague Ed Larson has published his latest book, The Return of George Washington, 1783-1789 (2014):

ReturnPulitzer Prize-winning historian Edward J. Larson [Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion (2006)] recovers a crucially important—yet almost always overlooked—chapter of George Washington’s life, revealing how Washington saved the United States by coming out of retirement to lead the Constitutional Convention and serve as our first president.

After leading the Continental Army to victory in the Revolutionary War, George Washington shocked the world: he retired. In December 1783, General Washington, the most powerful man in the country, stepped down as Commander in Chief and returned to private life at Mount Vernon. Yet as Washington contentedly grew his estate, the fledgling American experiment floundered. Under the Articles of Confederation, the weak central government was unable to raise revenue to pay its debts or reach a consensus on national policy. The states bickered and grew apart. When a Constitutional Convention was established to address these problems, its chances of success were slim. Jefferson, Madison, and the other Founding Fathers realized that only one man could unite the fractious states: George Washington. Reluctant, but duty-bound, Washington rode to Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 to preside over the Convention.

Although Washington is often overlooked in most accounts of the period, this masterful new history from Pulitzer Prize-winner Edward J. Larson brilliantly uncovers Washington’s vital role in shaping the Convention—and shows how it was only with Washington’s support and his willingness to serve as President that the states were brought together and ratified the Constitution, thereby saving the country.

Wall Street Journal, George Washington’s Years of Retirement Shaped the Republic as Much as the Victories He Won on the Battlefield, by Richard Snow:

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October 5, 2014 in Book Club, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law as a Calling for Christian Lawyers

Joshua C. Wilson (Denver) & Amanda Hollis-Brusky (Pomona), Lawyers for God and Neighbor: The Emergence of “Law as a Calling” as a Mobilizing Frame for Christian Lawyers, 39 Law & Soc. Inquiry 416 (2014):

Law & SocialDrawing on movement framing, collective identity, and mobilization scholarship, this article examines the emergence and potential effects of framing “law as a calling” for the Christian Lawyering community. The article finds that the term should have strong resonance and salience in the broader Christian community. It also finds that because of its interpretive malleability, “law as a calling” has been discussed and actualized in three related, but distinct, ways. That is, “law as a calling” has been conceptualized as requiring Christian Lawyers to turn inward, turn outward by pursuing social justice, and turn outward as a culture warrior. The article argues that while the different interpretations of “law as a calling” address a range of needs required to mobilize potential and existing Christian Lawyers, the different ideological factions of self-identifying Christian Lawyers emphasize different understandings of “law as a calling.”

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

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Thomas Cooley Law School to Close Ann Arbor Campus on Dec. 31

Thomas Cooley Logo (2014)Statement of Intent to Close:

Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School has notified its students that it intends to cease operations at its Ann Arbor campus on December 31, 2014, subject to the approval of teach-out plans submitted to its accrediting agencies, the Higher Learning Commission and American Bar Association - Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar.

This action follows implementation of a financial management plan announced July 1, 2014.

Anticipating the possibility of the closure, the Law School told its Ann Arbor students in August of accommodations it would provide them should the campus close. Those include:

  • early registration at other campuses
  • $1,500 cash stipend to help cover costs of attending a different campus
  • $3,500 stipend for a bar review course for graduates
  • specialized advising for registration, financial aid, housing and other issues
  • possible adjustment to available financial aid
  • additional consideration to students with special circumstances.

Starting January 2015, the affected Ann Arbor students may choose to take their classes at any of the Law School’s other campuses, including Lansing or Auburn Hills located about an hour away from Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids located about two hours away, or at its Tampa Bay, Florida campus.

(Hat Tip: Above the Law.)  Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

October 4, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Details Emerge in Murder of Dan Markel

Markel[Continually Updated]  More details are emerging in the July 18 murder of Dan Markel, D’Alemberte Professor of Law at Florida State and founder of PrawfsBlawg, as the result of a shooting in his home:

I have collected links to the many tributes to Dan here.

Dan Markel Memorial Fund To Benefit His Sons, Benjamin Amichai Markel and Lincoln Jonah Markel:


October 4, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Legal Services Sector Sheds Jobs at Highest Rate in Five Years

BLSWall Street Journal, Legal Services Jobs Drop Sharply in September:

The U.S. legal services sector shed 4,600 jobs in September, the biggest one-month drop in employment for the field in nearly five years.

The total number of legal jobs now stands at 1,133,800, a preliminary and seasonally adjusted figure, according to the U.S. Labor Department’s latest monthly report. ... The sector is down 2,900 jobs since the start of the year, dipping to its lowest point since July 2013. Employment numbers are about 46,000 jobs below pre-recession record levels set in 2007. ...

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October 3, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

October 3, 2014 in Legal Education, Weekly Legal Education Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Unlike Virginia, North Carolina Does Not Hire Its Own Law Grads, Resulting in Rankings Decline

Daily Tar Heel, Activists Push for Law School Transparency; Many Schools, But Not UNC, Fund Jobs For Graduates:

University of Virginia School of Law applicants are likely attracted by the school’s ranking — eighth, according to U.S. News and World Report. It also has the highest employment rate in the nation, 95.6 percent, within nine months of graduation.

But about 16 percent of those graduates hold jobs funded by the university.

Only about 62.2 percent of 2013 law school graduates nationwide reported having a full-time job within nine months of graduation that required passing the bar exam.

Many schools have fellowship programs to assist graduates who are unable to find long-term employment — and students who accept these university-funded jobs are considered to be employed full time when the school reports employment data nine months after graduation.

Among the top 10 schools ranked by U.S. News and World Report, six schools fund jobs for at least 5 percent of graduates nine months after graduation.

UNC School of Law doesn’t have a fellowship program, and its employment rate is about 69 percent, ranking 33rd nationally.

“It does hurt us in the rankings,” said Brian Lewis, assistant dean for career development at UNC School of Law. “Our employment numbers aren’t as good as other schools that are counting people that they’re paying as employed. But we’ve tried to be as transparent as possible.” ...

UVa. Law School Dean Paul Mahoney said while the school does employ a number of graduates in university-funded jobs, most are participating in a yearlong fellowship program for graduates, who work in the nonprofit or government sector. “They are not working here at the law school,” he said.

In contrast, Duke University has an employment rate of 85.9 percent, with less than 1 percent of students working in jobs funded by the school. ...


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October 3, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Georgia Seeks to Hire a Tax Prof

Georgia Law LogoThe University of Georgia School of Law is seeking entry-level and junior lateral candidates in tax.  Course needs are flexible but include Income Tax, Corporate Tax, International Tax, and State & Local Tax.  Interested persons should contact Randy Beck, Chair of the Faculty Recruitment Committee.

October 2, 2014 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nebraska Offers Early Retirement Buyouts to 30% of Tenured Faculty

NebraskaThe University of Nebraska (press release; plan) is offering early retirement buyouts to tenured faculty 62 years of age and older with at least ten years of experience (30% of the tenured faculty):  a one-time payment of 90% of salary. (Hat Tip: Inside Higher Ed.)

October 2, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Indiana Tech Seeks to Hire a Tax Prof

Indiana Tech (2014)Indiana Tech Law School invites applications for Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor of Law positions for the 2015-16 academic year who will teach primarily in one or more of the following areas:  Tax and related courses, Wills, Trusts, and Estates and related courses, Torts, Family Law, and Civil Procedure.  More details here.  The application deadline is October 6.

October 2, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kerr: Five Tips on Placing Law Review Articles

Orin Kerr (George Washington), Tips on Placing Law Review Articles:

HarvardI've come back to guest-blog this month at Prawfs in memory of my friend Dan Markel. Dan started Prawfs as a forum for junior law professors. ... I thought it would be fitting to focus my guest-blogging on the topic that originally formed the core of Dan's vision. In particular, I'm going to blog about topics of special interest to junior law professors and those currently on the teaching market. I'll start with a topic that a lot of junior profs worry a lot about: How to place a law review article in a good journal. Here are five tips to consider.

  1. Submit in the spring
  2. Make your abstract and introduction clear and easy to read
  3. Proof-read and Blue Book properly
  4. If you have relevant experience, consider saying so in an "About the Author" blurb
  5. Shorter titles are usually better than longer titles

October 2, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Do Law Schools Teach (and Model) Inefficiency (Especially in Tax Law)?

SeytLines Blog, Another Reason to Re-Think Legal Education:

EfficiencyLawyers have suggested many reasons for changing legal education. I have another one to add to the list. I think legal education teaches inefficiency. From day one in law school, law students are taught to be inefficient in the practice of law. By the time they hit the world outside academia and start practicing, they have three years of intensive inefficiency training. In a world that has moved towards reducing waste, at least in corporations, having someone join the workforce who has been taught inefficiency adds some complications. At a minimum, it means we will spend years re-training them, at the same time they are learning to practice. More realistically, we will end up with many lawyers who are never re-trained. ...

The good news is that this one issue could be fixed at little or no cost. The first step is teaching law school faculty about the modern practice of law. Seminars, workshops, and other training tools can accomplish that goal. The second step is to have law school faculty start modifying existing courses to reflect these modern practices and incorporate them as part of the core learning experience. My son is taking accounting, yet they don’t have him using accounting ledger paper from the 1930s to learn double-entry bookkeeping. If he can learn the basics of accounting with Excel, I’m not sure why law students can’t learn the basics of contract law in combination with Word and contract automation. Third, law schools should start thinking about law in the context of problems presented by clients. This isn’t a novel suggestion, but it still is a good one. Some classes should be integrated classes where students confront problems that require cross-functional thinking. Three years of training students to think one-dimensionally creates habits that are difficult to break. Problems don’t come neatly sliced into property law, tax, or other substantive areas.

The last point involves a personal pet-peeve, so I’ll share a story about it. As a corporate general counsel, I spent a fair amount of time on tax issues. The companies where I worked had global businesses, so we had plenty of international tax “opportunities.” On more than one occasion, partners from whichever of the Big Four accounting firms my company used would come to us with a tax proposal. They would have spent a fair amount of time working on the proposal and consulting with our tax team. They would invite the corporate lawyers to an overview presentation. We would identify several fatal flaws in the plan almost immediately. Those flaws were missed because the tax practitioners knew nothing about and didn’t take the time to ask about, the corporate law aspects of what they proposed. We would suggest many ways to work around the problem, and usually, after much additional work by the tax practitioners, we would land on a solution. I would always ask why the tax practitioners didn’t come to us right at the start, knowing that the key to the entire plan depended on corporate work, so that we could develop an integrated solution that worked. They always responded, “we were taught to look at the tax issues and let someone else think about the rest.” Not very efficient.

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

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Lewis & Clark Law School Closes Legal Clinic, Cites Enrollment, Revenue Decline

The Oregonian:  Lewis & Clark Law School Closes Downtown Legal Clinic, Cites Enrollment, Revenue Decline:

Lewis & Clark LogoLewis & Clark Law School is closing its namesake legal clinic in downtown Portland that provides services to the poor, a high-profile victim of the school's budget constraints.

As Lewis & Clark and the state's two other law schools get their new years underway this month, they are dealing with 13 to 30 percent enrollment declines from the peak two to four years ago. Corresponding declines in revenue have forced the schools to cut costs, downsize staff and make other efficiency moves.

"What we have to do, like everybody else, is face budget realities," said Jennifer Johnson, the new dean at Lewis & Clark. The clinic "has largely been a tuition-driven enterprise that we can't afford. It's purely financial."

The clinic's pending closure -- the doors will close Dec. 31 -- has disturbed other public-interest lawyers in town who say the move will worsen an already significant shortage of legal services for the low-income. ...

Lewis & Clark's total enrollment, including part-time evening students, hit 609 this fall. That's down from a peak of 735 in 2010.

Enrollment of law students at the University of Oregon Law School fell to 376 this year, from a peak of 526 in 2010.

Willamette Law School enrollment hit 341 this year, down from a peak of 429.

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

University of Arizona Professor Plagiarized Student's Work

Arizona Daily Star, UA Professor Plagiarized Student's Work, School Finds:

Arizona (University)A University of Arizona professor recently lauded as a top new teaching talent in her field has been reprimanded for plagiarizing the work of a former student.

Susannah Dickinson, an assistant professor in the UA’s school of architecture since 2009, recently received a formal admonishment from the university’s provost after the student accused Dickinson of poaching material from his master’s thesis and presenting it as her own.

The finding is a rare one in academia, where professors often are accusers rather than accused in plagiarism cases involving students.

But one national expert believes such cases happen more often than reported because graduate students fear potential repercussions if they complain about professors.

Compare the student's thesis with the professor's paper.

Chronicle of Higher Education, U. of Arizona Reprimands Professor in Wake of Plagiarism Inquiry

(Hat Tip: Bob Kamman.)

October 1, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

A Mother's Love

(Hat Tip: Naomi Goodno.)

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

UC-Berkeley Law School to Raise Tuition 5.4%

The Daily Californian, Campus Law School Proposes Tuition Increase:

UC-Berkeley (2014)In addition to the proposed supplemental tuition increase, Berkeley Law anticipates systemwide as well as campus tuition increases. Berkeley Law projects that these increases will total a 5.4-percent increase for California residents, raising the total cost of attendance from $51,320 to $54,091. Nonresidents’ total fees would increase by 5.3 percent, from $55,271 to $58,225.

Above the Law, Hey, Let’s Make Law School More Expensive! Top School Dean Proposes Tuition Increase

October 1, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

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October 1, 2014 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

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October 1, 2014 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Elizabeth Garrett (USC) Named President of Cornell University

Cornell Press Release, Elizabeth Garrett, USC Provost, Named Cornell's 13th President:

GarrettThe Cornell University Board of Trustees today approved the appointment of Elizabeth Garrett, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Southern California, as Cornell’s next president. Garrett will assume the presidency July 1, 2015. ...

Garrett is married to Andrei Marmor, professor of philosophy and the Maurice Jones Jr. Professor of Law at USC, who will be joining the Cornell faculty as a full professor with joint appointments in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Law School. ...

Garrett’s primary scholarly interests include legislative process, the design of democratic institutions, the federal budget process and tax policy. She is the author of more than 50 articles, book chapters and essays, and is co-author of the nation’s most influential casebook on legislation and statutory interpretation, now in its fifth edition. At Cornell, Garrett will be a tenured faculty member in the Law School with a joint appointment in the Department of Government in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Garrett has an exemplary record of public service. In 2005, President George W. Bush appointed her to serve on the nine-member bipartisan Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform. ... Before entering academics, Garrett served as budget and tax counsel and legislative director for Sen. David L. Boren (D-Okla.) and clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall on the U.S. Supreme Court.

September 30, 2014 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

How to Get Into an Ivy League College—Guaranteed (For $600,000)

Bloomberg, How to Get Into an Ivy League College—Guaranteed (For $600,000):

IVYThe academic transcript looked like a rap sheet. The 16-year-old had dropped out of boarding schools in England and California because of behavioral problems and had only two semesters left at a small school in Utah. Somehow, he had to raise his grade-point average above a C before applying to college. His confidence was shot, and though his parents didn’t openly discuss it, he knew they were crushed at the thought that he might not get into a reputable college. What the boy didn’t know was that back home in Hong Kong, where his dad is chief executive officer of a big publicly traded investment company, the family was calling in a miracle worker.

Through a friend, his father reached out to Steven Ma, founder of ThinkTank Learning, a chain of San Francisco Bay Area tutoring centers that operate out of strip malls. Like many in the field, Ma helps kids apply to college. Unlike his competitors, Ma guarantees that his students will get into a top school or their parents get their money back—provided the applicant achieves a certain GPA and other metrics. He also offers a standard college consulting package that doesn’t come with a guarantee; for a lower price, Ma’s centers provide after-school tutoring, test prep, college counseling, and extra class work in English, math, science, and history.

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September 30, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Rapp: The Professor as Node

Geoffrey Rapp (Toledo), The Professor as Node:

LTIt's hard not to notice a shift this fall(?) among the lawblog world to Twitter.  Though the cool kids are already up on something called "Ello," the rest of us, having only recently figured out how to create a "split post" on a blog are now trying to limit ourselves to 140 characters through imaginative vowel-deletion.

When I entered full-time teaching, the big, symposium-worthy question was whether blogging "counted" as scholarship [Bloggership: How Blogs Are Transforming Legal Scholarship, 84 Wash. U. L. Rev. 1025-1261 (2006)]. At that time and today, I thought that question somewhat off point -- it didn't and doesn't matter whether blogging is scholarship or counts as scholarship. The only real question was whether blogging was a worthwhile activity for a scholar and teacher.  That is to say, is blogging what our students are borrowing money to have us do?  Because Twitter posts are necessarily less detailed and thus, at least individually, seem to lack the usual scholarly weight, they perhaps more obviously raise the question of appropriateness as an activity for those whose lives are funded by the future repayment obligations of others.

I've come to the opinion that Tweeting, "LinkedIn-ing", and blogging -- along with other forms of online networking -- are exactly what our students are paying us to do.

(Hat Tip: Michael Helfand.)

September 30, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mounting Debt Makes Law School a Gamble, But Students Continue to Enroll

New York Observer:  Mounting Debt Makes Law School a Gamble But Students Continue to Enroll, by Gary M. Stern:

Law SchoolIt is a risky proposition getting a graduate degree in the humanities these days, what with the prospect of crippling debt and high unemployment rates. But enrolling in a law program is among the riskiest of all.

“Law school is a major gamble,” said Daniel A. Hochheiser, a criminal attorney and managing partner at New York-based Hochheiser & Hochheiser. “It works only for a minute number of students, leaving the majority of students holding the bag, entering a saturated market struggling with debt.”

In 2013, the average public law school graduate carried a debt of $84,600, while graduates of private colleges incurred $122,158 in debt. At the same time, legal firms are cutting back on hiring, causing a glut of attorneys and rising unemployment.

In 2012, only 56.2 percent of all law school graduates found full-time employment in their chosen field, and nearly 28 percent were unemployed or underemployed, according to Law School Transparency, a reform group.

When the end result, it seems, is likely to be high debt and little to no employment, one has to wonder why more wannabe lawyers aren’t screaming “Objection!” before they apply. ...

Oliver Bateman, an assistant professor of law at the University of Texas at Arlington, qualified Mr. Hochheiser’s sentiment, but in far blunter terms. “If you’re not going to be first at a mid-tier or lower-level school,” Mr. Bateman said, “you may as well be last.” ...

Not everyone in the field, however, is quite as negative.

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September 30, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Three Chicago Law Schools Prevail in Fraud Lawsuits Brought by Alumni Over Placement Data

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Law Schools Prevail in Suit Over Job Stats:

Disgruntled alumni from three local law schools cannot claim their schools deceived them in marketing materials containing high employment and salary statistics, the 1st District Appellate Court ruled today in a trio of orders.

For several years, The John Marshall Law School, DePaul University College of Law and IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law each published post-graduation employment rates for their classes above 90 percent.

But that rate included graduates holding a job, not necessarily one requiring the time and expense of earning a law degree.

In one published opinion and two unpublished orders — each written by Justice Mary K. Rochford, each addressing one school — the panel found the former students did not show how the data was deceptive or how the data was the cause of any injuries.

(Hat Tip: Brian Leiter.)

September 30, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 29, 2014

How to Build a Better Law Professor

National Law Journal Special Report, How to Build a Better Law Professor:

Book 2A good legal education offers more than an understanding of case law — it provides students with the real-world skills they need to succeed, an appreciation for the role of attorneys in society and the confidence to pursue their career goals. In this special report, we look at a new book [What the Best Law Professors Do (Harvard University Press, 2013)] that identifies the top law teachers in the country and spotlight how some of those honorees approach teaching.

Patti Alleva (North Dakota)
Rory Bahadur (Washburn)
Cary Bricker (McGeorge)
Roberto Corrada (Denver)
Bridget Crawford (Pace)

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September 29, 2014 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Deep Rift Exposed as SUNY-Buffalo Dean Resigns; Faculty Foes Allege Perjury, Mismanagement of Law School

MutuaFollowing up on my previous posts:

Buffalo News, Deep Rift Exposed as UB Law’s Dean Resigns; Faculty Foes Allege Perjury, Mismanagement of School:

Behind the scenes at one of Buffalo’s oldest and most important legal institutions, there is a growing rift, an internal family feud fueled by allegations of perjury against its leader, a near vote of no confidence and an internal review that paints a portrait of a deeply divided institution.

At the center of the storm is Makau Mutua, a Harvard Law graduate, an internationally known human rights activist, and the dean of the University at Buffalo Law School. Mutua suddenly gave up that position Monday in the wake of criticism over his leadership, and he will step down in December to return as a faculty member.

Mutua’s seven years as dean appear to have divided the law school, pitting a man known across the world for human rights activism against many of the school’s most distinguished faculty members.

“It’s very toxic. It’s very sad,” one faculty member said of the environment at the law school. “We have a community that feels alienated by the administration and distanced from the school.”

The dean’s critics, and they are numerous, include some of the school’s most highly regarded faculty members.

They claim Mutua’s management style divided the school at a time of great economic turmoil. Applications and enrollment at UB Law, like at most law schools across the country, are down dramatically, and the school is going through a downsizing of both faculty and students.

Critics say Mutua, who came from within the ranks of the faculty, arrived in the dean’s office with a “divide and rule” philosophy that placed a priority on loyalty and penalized critics while rewarding allies.

But many alumni and donors view his stewardship as a much-needed step forward.

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September 29, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)