TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, April 1, 2016

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April 1, 2016 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

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April 1, 2016 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 31, 2016

George Mason Renames Law School The Antonin Scalia School Of Law For $30 Million

U.S. News:  Five Law School Pioneers

2017 U.S. News LogoU.S. News & World Report, Law Schools Innovate With Hands-On Learning: These Five Pioneers Are Among the Law Schools Overhauling Programs to Build in Extensive Hands-On Practice:

Law school continues to be more of a buyer's market than in years past, as many programs invent new ways to reel in applicants who've been wary of the poor job outlook and steep tuitions. The legal education community is still trying to regain its footing after the Great Recession forced firms to radically tighten their belts, shutting out many new grads and sending applications into a spiral.

Among the more unconventional curricular experiments law schools will keep an eye on are several new programs. ... Meanwhile, more established schools continue to recast their programs by condensing coursework, addressing tuition and adding intensive on-the-job training, perhaps the biggest trend of all. Here's a look at what's happening at a few of the pioneers. ...

Pepperdine University School of Law
Students in Pepperdine Law School's accelerated J.D. program get their experiential learning at a somewhat reduced cost by packing three years of law school into two. But most students who choose accelerated programs like Pepperdine's have already been out in the professional world and are willing to double down to get back to it sooner.

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March 31, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Conference On The Fate Of Scholarship In American Law Schools

FateBaltimore hosts a two-day conference beginning today on The Fate of Scholarship in American Law Schools:

The conference will reexamine first principles of legal scholarship – its value (to legal education, to the legal profession, to society) and its essential aspects – and will survey particular issues of contemporary concern, including emerging scholarly forms and technologies and the relationship among legal scholarship, journalism and new media.

The two-day conference will consist of themed plenary sessions, concurrent small-group sessions, opportunities to interact informally and a keynote address by Jack M. Balkin, Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School.

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March 31, 2016 in Conferences, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Hackers Breach Computer Systems At Cravath, Other BigLaw Firms

Diamond:  Lawyers Get A Raise

Stephen F. Diamond (Santa Clara), Lawyers Get a Raise:

One of the enduring myths about lawyers is that there is a deep incurable structural crisis in incomes and jobs for lawyers. In fact, lawyer incomes and the number of employed lawyers has increased steadily over the last twenty years.

Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported its latest data on employment and, once again, the number of lawyers employed* as well as lawyer incomes have increased. The BLS reports that the total number of lawyers employed as of May 2015 is 609,930 as compared to 603,310 in May 2014. The mean annual wage for lawyers has climbed from $133,470 to $136,260. The median has climbed from $114,970 to $115,820. ...

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March 31, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (29)

California Auditor:  University Of California Favors Less Qualified Out-Of-State Applicants Over More Qualified California Residents For Increased Tuition Revenue

UCCalifornia State Auditor, The University of California: Its Admissions and Financial Decisions Have Disadvantaged California Resident Students:

As requested by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, the California State Auditor presents this audit report concerning the University of California’s (university) enrollment, executive compensation, and budget. This report concludes that over the past several years, the university has undermined its commitment to resident students. Specifically, in response to reduced state funding, the university made substantial efforts to enroll nonresident students who pay significantly more tuition than residents. The university’s efforts resulted in an 82 percent increase in nonresident enrollment from academic years 2010–11 through 2014–15, or 18,000 students, but coincided with a drop in resident enrollment by 1 percent, or 2,200 students, over that same time period.

The university’s decision to increase the enrollment of nonresidents has made it more difficult for California residents to gain admission to the university. According to the Master Plan for Higher Education in California, which proposes the roles for each of the State’s institutions of higher education, the university should only admit nonresidents who possess academic qualifications that are equivalent to those of the upper half of residents who are eligible for admission. However, in 2011 the university relaxed this admission standard to state that nonresidents need only to “compare favorably” to residents. Combined with the university’s desire to enroll more nonresidents because of the additional tuition that they pay, the relaxing of this admission standard had dramatic results. During the three-year period after this change, the university admitted nearly 16,000 nonresidents whose scores fell below the median scores for admitted residents at the same campus on every academic test score and grade point average that we evaluated. At the same time, the university denied admission to an increasing proportion of qualified residents at the campus to which they applied—nearly 11,000 in academic year 2014–15 alone—and instead referred them to an alternate campus. However, only about 2 percent of residents who the university referred actually enrolled. Moreover, increasing numbers of nonresident students have enrolled in the five most popular majors that the university offers at the same time that resident enrollment has generally declined in those same majors.

Figure 6

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March 31, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sarah Lawsky Leaves UC-Irvine For Northwestern

LawskySarah B. Lawsky, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at UC-Irvine, has accepted a lateral offer to join Northwestern's faculty in the fall.  After working as a tax associate in New York City for five years, Sarah joined the George Washington faculty in 2007.  She moved to UC-Irvine in 2010 (and will receive her Ph.D. in philosophy there in 2017).  She visited Northwestern in Fall 2015 (and Virginia in 2009-10).  Her recent publications include:

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March 30, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink | Comments (1)

Law School Rankings By Influential Judicial Alumni Measured By H-Index: Michigan Is #1

Ravel, The Law School with the Most Influence Will Surprise You:

Forget Yale and Harvard as the training grounds for future judges. It turns out that Michigan Law has the most concentrated impact on national jurisprudence. Surprised? So were we.

In Ravel’s new power ranking of law schools based on which schools turn out influential judges, Michigan Law tops the list. Instead of looking just at the number of judges a school graduated, we used a new data analysis to rank judges based on both quantity and quality of their work, and then we connected that analysis to where the most influential judges studied.

Judges 2

More About Our Methodology
We based Ravel’s Influence Score on Hirsch’s index. Originally, the h-index was used to compute the impact of researchers in the scientific community, with the goal being to quantify the impact and relevance of an individual’s scientific output. Studies have shown that the h-index is predictive of career trajectory and that it could be applied to compute the impact of research groups. For more on how an h-index score is calculated, check out this explanation.

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March 30, 2016 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Seven Fired Professors Return To Work At Charleston Law School, Despite 48% Decline In Enrollment

Charleston LogoFollowing up on my earlier posts (links below):  Charleston Regional Business Journal, Fired Professors Set to Return to Work at Charleston Law School:

Former Charleston School of Law professors who were fired in May, including some who later sued the school, are returning to work, according to Dean Andy Abrams.

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March 30, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

SSRN Tax Professor Rankings

SSRN LogoSSRN has updated its monthly rankings of 750 American and international law school faculties and 3,000 law professors by (among other things) the number of paper downloads from the SSRN database.  Here is the new list (through March 1, 2016) of the Top 25 U.S. Tax Professors in two of the SSRN categories: all-time downloads and recent downloads (within the past 12 months):

 

 

All-Time

 

Recent

1

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Mich.)

54,150

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Mich)

9988

2

Michael Simkovic (S. Hall)

30,903

Michael Simkovic (S. Hall)

4778

3

Paul Caron (Pepperdine)

30,485

D. Dharmapala (Chicago)

3897

4

D. Dharmapala (Chicago)

25,873

Paul Caron (Pepperdine)

2436

5

Louis Kaplow (Harvard)

25,518

Richard Ainsworth (BU)

2238

6

Vic Fleischer (San Diego)

22,042

Jeff Kwall (Loyola-Chicago)

1912

7

James Hines (Michigan)

21,480

Louis Kaplow (Harvard)

1870

8

Richard Kaplan (Illinois)

20,727

Robert Sitkkoff (Harvard)

1842

9

Ted Seto (Loyola-L.A.)

20,717

Nancy McLaughlin (Utah)

1741

10

Ed Kleinbard (USC)

19,431

Ed Kleinbard (USC)

1723

11

Katie Pratt (Loyola-L.A.)

18,469

David Weisbach (Chicago)

1611

12

Richard Ainsworth (BU)

17,322

Chris Hoyt (UMKC)

1588

13

Carter Bishop (Suffolk)

16,709

Jack Manhire (Texas A&M)

1548

14

Robert Sitkoff (Harvard)

16,557

Dan Shaviro (NYU)

1536

15

Jen Kowal (Loyola-L.A.)

16,281

Omri Marian (UC-Irvine)

1479

16

David Weisbach (Chicago)

16,520

Gregg Polsky (N. Carolina)

1467

17

Brad Borden (Brooklyn)

16,168

Katie Pratt (Loyola-L.A.)

1434

18

Chris Sanchirico (Penn)

16,136

Vic Fleischer (San Diego)

1431

19

Dennis Ventry (UC-Davis)

15,897

Chris Sanchirico (Penn)

1283

20

Francine Lipman (UNLV)

15,616

Francine Lipman (UNLV)

1192

21

Bridget Crawford (Pace)

15,299

Ruth Mason (Virginia)

1147

22

David Walker (BU)

14,867

Yariv Brauner (Florida)

1146

23

Dan Shaviro (NYU)

14,465

Jen Kowal (Loyola-L.A.)

1135

24

Herwig Schlunk (Vanderbilt)

13,082

Jordan Barry (San Diego)

1128

25

Steven Bank (UCLA)

12,719

Carter Bishop (Suffolk)

1052

Note that this ranking includes full-time tax professors with at least one tax paper on SSRN, and all papers (including non-tax papers) by these tax professors are included in the SSRN data.

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March 30, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Prof Rankings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Minnesota Seeks To Hire A Part-Time Tax Clinician

Minnesota LogoPosition Description:

University of Minnesota Law Clinics, the clinical program of the University of Minnesota Law School, welcomes applicants for the Adjunct Clinical Supervising Attorney-Qualified Tax Expert position in its Ronald M. Mankoff Tax Clinic. The Tax Clinic is an in-house clinic partially subsidized with a grant from the I.R.S. Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) program. The position is a 12-month, part-time (40% time) position. The Tax Clinic is a 7-credit course that runs Fall through Spring.

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March 30, 2016 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Will Yale Move To Florida To Avoid Proposed Connecticut Tax On Its Endowment?

Yale FloridaFollowing up on last week's post, Connecticut Bill Would Tax Yale's $25.6 Billion Endowment:

Press Release, Gov. Scott Renews Call for Connecticut Business to Move to Florida – Including Yale University:

Today, Governor Rick Scott called on Yale University to consider moving operations to Florida following news that the Connecticut state legislature is proposing to levy a 7 percent tax on the net investment profits of Yale University’s $25.6 billion endowment.

Governor Rick Scott said, “With news that the Connecticut Legislature wants to unfairly tax one of the nation’s most renowned universities to deal with the state’s budget shortfall, it is clear that all businesses in Connecticut, including Yale, should look to move to Florida.  Since I took office in 2011, we have not raised any taxes or fees in Florida.  In fact, we have cut taxes 55 times, including $1 billion in tax cuts over the last two years, which saved Floridians $5.5 billion. This has not only resulted in a million new jobs in five years, but our state has a budget surplus of more than $1 billion.

“If Connecticut lawmakers are seriously considering another tax on Yale, businesses and families should be concerned about the other tax increases their Legislature will consider. We would welcome a world-renowned university like Yale to our state and I can commit that we will not raise taxes on their endowment. This would add yet another great university to our state.”

Tom Conroy (Press Secretary, Yale):

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March 30, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Rise Of The ‘Gentleman’s A’ And The GPA Arms Race

Washington Post:  The Rise of the ‘Gentleman’s A’ and the GPA Arms Race, by Catherine Rampell:

The waters of Lake Wobegon have flooded U.S. college campuses. A’s — once reserved for recognizing excellence and distinction — are today the most commonly awarded grades in America.

That’s true at both Ivy League institutions and community colleges, at huge flagship publics and tiny liberal arts schools, and in English, ethnic studies and engineering departments alike. Across the country, wherever and whatever they study, mediocre students are increasingly likely to receive supposedly superlative grades.

WaPo 3

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March 29, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Law Firms Try 'Hoteling' For Some Partners

National Law Journal, The Law Offices of the Future Are Here, and Your Name Might Not Be On the Door:

Reed Smith may be among the first Am Law 100 firms to try "hoteling" for some of its partners.

When Reed Smith moved 35 lawyers from a Falls Church office building into the new Tysons Tower on Monday, two partners gave up the very thing they had worked years for: Their names on office doors.

Those Northern Virginia-based lawyers and others in the San Francisco office are part of a pilot program Reed Smith has started to try “hoteling,” or the practice of lawyers sitting at changeable temporary desk spaces when they work out of their home office buildings.

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March 29, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, March 28, 2016

Map Of The Top 50 Law Schools:  1/3 Are West Of The Mississippi River

U.S. News & World Report, Map: See the Top 50 Law Schools in the U.S.:

The law schools on the map below placed in the top 50 of the 2017 Best Graduate Schools rankings. The map includes data on each school's acceptance rate, tuition costs and more. Due to ties, there are 54 law schools represented on the map.

USN

March 28, 2016 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Denver Aims To 'Leapfrog' Colorado, Become The Stanford Of 'Silicon Mountain'; Law School Offers 'Experiential Advantage Curriculum' (Students Work One Year In Legal Practice)

DSDenver Post, Building the Stanford of Denver at the Speed of an Entrepreneur:

Within eight months of becoming the dean of the University of Denver's computer school, entrepreneur J.B. Holston started something that could change the institution forever. Together with the deans of the law and business schools, Holston created a program infused with entrepreneurship. But this isn't just about curriculum. It's about connecting to local businesses and the community and creating an ecosystem that becomes so sustainable, it merits its own nickname.

"This is all part of my sneaky vision to turn DU into the Stanford of Denver," Holston said after hiring Erik Mitisek, CEO of the Colorado Technology Association, this month to lead the effort called Project X-ITE. "Just as Silicon Valley needed a Stanford, Denver needs DU to make this happen."

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March 28, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Academia Is Not (And Cannot Be) A Meritocracy:  Positive Feedback Loops, Matthew Effect Citation Bursts, And Social Networks Can Predict Success, Not Stars

Scott Weingart (Carnegie Mellon), Who Sits in the 41st Chair?:

This post is about why academia isn’t a meritocracy, at no intentional fault of those in power who try to make it one. None of presented ideas are novel on their own, but I do intend this as a novel conceptual contribution in its connection of disparate threads. Especially, I suggest the predictability of research success in a scarce academic economy as a theoretical framework for exploring successes and failures in the history of science. But mostly I just beat a “musical chairs” metaphor to death.

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March 28, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Death Of Ira Shepard

ShepardFrom Marty McMahon (Florida):

I am deeply saddened to let you know that my dear friend Ira Shepard, Professor Emeritus at the University of Houston Law Center, passed away earlier today.  Ira and I have been friends for over thirty years and have worked closely together.  Over the past twenty-five years, Ira and I made some seventy-five odd CLE current development presentations all over the country, including over 20 consecutive years at the ABA Tax Section Mid-Winter Meeting and the University of Texas Tax Conference and seventeen years at Southern Federal Tax Institute and North Carolina Tax Institute, as well as many others.  We published our current developments outline in the Florida Tax Review every year since 2000.

Ira was smart, erudide, witty, and had a keen sense of humor.  He always provided great insights as to the history of tax law and practice, made me laugh, and was a wonderful companion at the many speaking engagements we did together.  I doubtless ate more meals with Ira than anyone who is not a member of my own family.

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March 28, 2016 in Legal Education, Obituaries, Tax | Permalink | Comments (7)

NYU B-School Did Not Provide GMAT Scores To U.S. News, Falls From #11 To #20 In Rankings

NYUUSNRobert Morse (Director of Data Research, U.S. News & World Report), Why New York University Fell in the Best Business Schools Rankings:

When U.S. News calculates our annual rankings of the Best Graduate Schools, we get all the statistical data we use from the schools themselves. This means U.S. News depends on those schools to provide accurate and complete data in response to our statistical surveys.

When a school does not provide data that are used in the rankings methodologies, that can have a significant effect on its position in the rankings.

During the statistical data collection process for the newly released 2017 edition of Best Business Schools, New York University's Stern School of Business did not submit its data for the number of new entrants to both its full-time and part-time MBA programs who provided GMAT scores. These data were for the fall 2015 entering class. ...

The data are used as part of the calculation to compute a value for a school's average GMAT and GRE scores. This measure is included in the rankings to determine the strength of a school's entering class relative to other full-time and part-time MBA programs. The average GMAT and GRE scores have a weight of 16.25 percent in the full-time MBA rankings and 15 percent in the part-time MBA rankings.

The Stern School of Business' position in both the full-time and part-time MBA rankings for the 2017 edition were negatively affected as a result of the data omission. The school is ranked at No. 20 in the full-time rankings and No. 10 in the part-time rankings. In the 2016 edition of the rankings, the school tied for No. 11 among full-time programs and ranked fourth among part-time programs.

Stern later provided U.S. News with the omitted data points, which are noted on its profile page on usnews.com. These data points are only visible to U.S. News Grad School Compass users, as is the case for all business schools.

U.S. News will not recalculate NYU’s rankings – or any other school’s rankings – because of nonreporting.

NYU Press Release, Why Stern’s Ranking Fell to 20, and Why You Shouldn’t Take it at Face Value:

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March 28, 2016 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (9)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Next Big Thing In Employee Benefits:  401(k)s For Student Loan Repayment

401kNew York Times, Medical, Dental, 401(k)? Now Add School Loan Aid to Job Benefits:

Fidelity will apply up to $2,000 annually to the principal of its employees’ student debts. ... Fidelity is one of the more prominent employers to announce the student loan repayment benefit in recent months, a policy that seems likely to gain traction. The benefit helps address what some employers describe as a challenge attracting and retaining younger workers, many of whom can’t see beyond the burden of their student debt. Most employers that are offering the new perk also cap their costs at, say, $10,000 total per employee.

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March 27, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Court Allows Pace Law Grad Working As Secretary After Failing Bar To Discharge $15,000 Bar Loan; $300,000 Student Loan Debt Remains

Pace (2016)Wall Street Journal, Judge Says Bankrupt Law Grads Can Cancel Bar Loans:

A federal judge ruled law-school graduates who file for bankruptcy protection can cancel the debt they racked up while studying for the bar exam, finding such loans are different from traditional federal student loans that are rarely canceled by bankruptcy.

In an opinion filed Thursday [Campbell v. Citibank, No. 14-45990 (Bankr. E.D.N.Y. Mar. 24, 2016)], Judge Carla Craig of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Brooklyn, N.Y., said bar-exam loan debt is “a product of an arm’s-length agreement on commercial terms” and doesn’t fall into the category of student loans that stick with a borrower who files for bankruptcy.

The decision, which is the most thorough recent ruling on the matter, contradicts the widely accepted notion that student loan-related debt can be canceled in bankruptcy only under rare cases of extreme financial hardship.

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March 26, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Thomas Jefferson Law School's Lawyer:  'This Is Not Trump University'

TJTFollowing up on yesterday's post, Jury Rejects Fraud Claim Against Thomas Jefferson Law School:

Above the Law, Thomas Jefferson Law’s Attorney Defends The School In An Interesting Way That’s Sure To Piss Off Donald Trump:

This is not, you know, Trump University. It is so not that. It is such a really excellent law school.

Michael Sullivan, an attorney for Thomas Jefferson School of Law, in comments made to reporters after a jury returned a verdict for the law school over plaintiff Anna Alaburda in her suit alleging the school published fraudulent job statistics in order to induce students to enroll. Trump University is currently embroiled in similar fraud suits.

Deborah Jones Merritt (Ohio State), Jury Verdict for Thomas Jefferson:

I would interpret Alaburda and its kin as a more cautionary tale. The widespread reporting practices provoking these lawsuits damaged the reputation of legal education. Most educators now agree that our prior practices were–at the very least–not as informative for prospective students as they should have been. Some of the practices, such as failing to report the number of students supplying salary data, bordered on deceitful.

After the jury verdict, Thomas Jefferson’s attorney told a reporter: “This is not, you know, Trump University. It is so not that.” In my opinion, law schools should have worked harder to avoid even the possibility of that comparison.

Quartz, A Law School Has Won a Court Case About Its Own Worth as a Law School:

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March 25, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Assistant Professor Sues Columbia For $20 Million, Says Senior Professor Sabotaged Her Work After She Rejected His Sexual Advances

Columbia 5New York Law Journal, Columbia Professor Accuses Colleague of Sabotaging Her:

An assistant professor in Columbia University's business school has filed a sexual harassment suit against the school, alleging that a senior professor sabotaged her work after she rejected his sexual advances and that Columbia refused to take steps to curb his behavior.

Enrichetta Ravina, an assistant finance professor, alleges in Ravina v. Columbia University, 16-cv-2137, that business professor Geert Bekaert used his authority to stall her research after she rebuffed him. Bekaert is not a party in the lawsuit.

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March 25, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)

Diana Leyden Named Special Trial Judge On U.S. Tax Court

LeydenDiana Leyden, Director of UConn's Low Income Taxpayer Clinic from 1999-2015 and currently Taxpayer Advocate in the New York City Department of Finance, has been named a Special Trial Judge of the United States Tax Court, effective June 2016:

Ms. Leyden is a magna cum laude graduate of Union College, received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law, and holds a Masters in Tax Law (LLM) from Georgetown University Law Center.

Ms. Leyden formerly served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Herbert Chabot, United States Tax Court. She practiced tax law with Steptoe & Johnson (Washington, DC), Powers & Hall (Boston, MA), and Day Pitney (Boston, MA.) In 1988 she worked as an Appeals officer and then an Appeals Bureau manager in the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, before working as a staff attorney in the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services handling business taxes and sales taxes. ...

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March 25, 2016 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (4)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Jury Rejects Fraud Claim Against Thomas Jefferson Law School

Thomas Jefferson Logo (2015)San Diego Union-Tribune, Jury Rejects Fraud Claim Against Law School:

A San Diego Superior Court jury on Thursday disagreed with a former law student who claimed the Thomas Jefferson School of Law willfully misrepresented employment data to perspective students.

The jury was split, 9-3, in the school's favor.

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March 24, 2016 in Legal Education, New Cases | Permalink | Comments (12)

Life After Law School: Long Term Outcomes And The Value Of Legal Education

NYU Celebrates 70th Anniversary Of Graduate Tax Program (And 20th Anniversary Of International Tax Program)

NYU (2015)Today, NYU is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Graduate Tax Program and the 20th anniversary of the International Tax Program. The speakers are:

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March 24, 2016 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Connecticut Bill Would Tax Yale's $25.6 Billion Endowment

Yale University LogoBloomberg, Cash-Strapped Connecticut Wants to Tax Yale Endowments:

Yale University’s endowment earned $2.6 billion in investment gains in fiscal 2015. A proposed bill in the Ivy League school’s home state of Connecticut is eyeing a share of the bounty as a source of revenue.

Schools with funds of $10 billion or more -- affecting Yale only -- could face a tax on endowment income, according to legislation introduced this month. Yale’s record $25.6 billion fund is the second largest in U.S. higher education, behind Harvard University’s $37.6 billion.

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March 24, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Henderson:  Solving The Legal Profession's Diversity Problem

William D. Henderson (Indiana), Solving the Legal Profession's Diversity Problem (blogged here):

Among both diverse and white lawyers, there is a widespread perception that the legal profession's lack of diversity is due to a lack of moral resolve. As a result, each successive generation of leadership pledges to deepen its level of commitment. This article argues that the lack of progress is attributable to a systems problem rather than a moral deficit.

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March 24, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

UMKC Law School Seeks To Hire Two Tax Clinicians

UMKCThe University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law seeks two clinical faculty members who will serve as Director and Assistant Director of the Tax Clinic, in the role of Assistant/Associate Clinical Professors, beginning in summer 2016. These are non-tenure track appointments subject to continuing receipt of grant funding from the IRS:

The primary role of these position will be to serve as a clinical professors in the Low Income Taxpayer’s Clinic, providing legal assistance to clients and supervising student work. The successful applicants would also assist with the Law School’s Taxation LLM by teaching or co-teaching taxation coursework, and engaging in other tasks related to the law school tax curriculum as appropriate. Required qualifications include: A J.D. degree from an accredited Law School with a strong academic record; admission to the Missouri Bar (or eligibility for reciprocal admission); at least five years of experience in federal tax practice, including extensive experience in representation before the Internal Revenue Service; excellent interpersonal and communication skills; the ability to work in teams; and experience in teaching or advising students or junior lawyers.

Applicants must apply by submitting a resume, letter of interest and list of at least three references through UMKC’s Human Resources website.

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March 24, 2016 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thomas Jefferson Law School Trial Over Placement Data Goes To Jury

Thomas Jefferson Logo (2015)Times of San Diego, Deliberations Begin in Fight Against SD Law School:

Jurors began deliberating Wednesday in the trial of a lawsuit filed by a woman who claims the San Diego-based Thomas Jefferson School of Law misrepresents the ability of graduates to find jobs.

Anna Alaburda, 37, filed her lawsuit in 2011, claiming false advertising and misrepresentations by the school.

Her attorney, Brian Procel, told the jury she spent more than $100,000 for her degree but was unable to find a full-time job as an attorney because she relied on the school’s false employment figures.

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March 24, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Loan Counseling For Graduate And Professional Students

60 American Law Profs Condemn Anonymous Student For Posting 'All Lives Matter' On Prof's Door

WACampus Reform, American Univ. Profs: Saying ‘All Lives Matter’ Is ‘White Supremacy’:

Dozens of professors from American University’s Washington College of Law (WCL) openly condemned an unknown student as a white supremacist for posting a sign with the catchphrase “All Lives Matter” on a faculty member’s door.

“The ‘All Lives Matter’ sign might seem to be a benign message with no ill intent, but it has become a rallying cry for many who espouse ideas of white supremacy and overt racism, as well as those who do not believe the laws should equally protect those who have a different skin color or religion,” the professors wrote in a statement to the WCL community. ..

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March 23, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (34)

The Best Law Schools For Practical Training

National JuristBest Schools for Practical Training, Nat'l Jurist, p. 22, Spring 2016:

Annually, The National Jurist honors those schools that go above and beyond in preparing law students for the real world in our ranking of Best Law Schools for Practical Training. We look at a number of factors, including which schools have the greatest percentage of students in clinics, externships and simulation courses. We also look at the most robust moot court options.  [Methodology (number of positions filled/number of 2Ls & 3Ls):  Clinics (38%), Externships (24%), Simulations (21%), Additional Offerings (0%), Interschool Competitions (5%).]

Jeffrey Baker witnesses the power of practical training on a daily basis. He's the director of clinical education at Pepperdine University School of Law, which finished 10th on our list, with an A+. "Students are hungry for it," he said.

Top 25

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March 23, 2016 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Georgetown Law Prof Files Defamation Grievance Against Dean in Wake Of E-mail Kerfuffle Over Justice Scalia's Death

PellerFollowing up on my previous posts:

Georgetown Law Weekly, Professor Files Defamation Grievance Against Dean in Wake of Scalia E-mails:

On Monday, March 21st, the Law Weekly obtained a Notice of Grievance filed by Law Center Professor Gary Peller [right] against Dean William Treanor with the Georgetown University Grievance Committee.  The Notice of Grievance alleges that Dean Treanor defamed Peller in retaliation for his criticism of Treanor’s public statement issued in the wake of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia last month, and demands a public apology and retraction.  The grievance is available in full here.

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March 23, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (10)

Melissa Murray Named Interim Dean Of UC-Berkeley Law School In Wake Of Former Dean's Resignation In Sexual Harassment Scandal

MurrayFollowing up on my previous posts:

Press Release, Melissa Murray Named Interim Dean of UC Berkeley School of Law:

Law professor Melissa Murray has been named interim dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law. Her appointment, which begins today, was decided with broad input from Berkeley Law faculty, students, staff, and alumni following the March 10 resignation of former Dean Sujit Choudhry. ...

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March 23, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Minow & Tacha:  U.S. Needs A Government Of Laws, Not People

Boston Globe op-ed:  US Needs a Government of Laws, Not People, by Martha Minow (Dean, Harvard) & Deanell Tacha (Dean, Pepperdine):

Sometimes you don’t value what you have until you experience its absence close up.

We each are deans of law schools; we each have seen, close up, nations without courts independent of political or partisan control. Plagued by conflict and distrust, countries without operating independent judiciaries struggle to earn local and international confidence. In the United States, we see how a fair, impartial, unbiased, and nonpolitical judiciary is central to American justice, permitting economic exchange and peaceful solutions to disagreements. This treasure depends upon the aspiration to maintain a government of laws, not men, focused on each case decided in light of the factual record and not political winds or personal preferences. And this treasure is in jeopardy at the highest level if the Senate refuses even to consider the president’s nominee to be the next associate justice of the Supreme Court.

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March 22, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Tallahassee Police Release Reports In Hopes Of Generating Fresh Leads In Investigation Of Dan Markel's Murder

MarkelThe Tallahassee Police Department has released five pages of police reports in the investigation of the July 2014 murder of Dan Markel in the hopes of generating fresh leads in the case.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

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March 22, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Law Professor Resigns After Accusations Of Sleeping With Students

RizerAbove the Law, Professor Resigns After Accusations Of Sleeping With Students:

Arthur Rizer, until late last week a professor at West Virginia University College of Law, is a former WVU Law Professor of the Year with a focus on national security law. A retired Lt. Colonel, he served in Fallujah and has a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He’s also a candidate for a Ph.D. in Criminology from Oxford. This all adds up to a rare academic specimen. Last week came the news that Professor Rizer had resigned. ...

While the school is keeping a lot hidden, if the reports we’ve received, then frankly, consensual relationships with adults don’t seem like a big deal. Sure, the conflict of interest of sleeping with someone in your class is deserving of discipline, but, really, in a state where you can marry your sister, is it a fireable offense to hookup with a twenty-something attorney-to-be? Obviously, if there were more serious allegations that would be another matter, but so far we’ve only learned of this more benign brand of misconduct. ... Whether Professor Rizer ever returns to a classroom or goes into the think talk or civilian security advisor world remains to be seen.

March 22, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Michael Cahill (Former Vice Dean, Brooklyn), Ronald Chen (Acting Dean, Rutgers) Named Co-Deans At Rutgers

RutgersPress Release, Noted Legal Education Innovator and Criminal Law Scholar Named Co-dean of Rutgers Law School in Camden:

Michael T. Cahill, a noted criminal law scholar and an experienced law school administrator committed to promoting affordability, public engagement, and student success, was named today as the first permanent co-dean of the Rutgers Law School location in Camden by Phoebe A. Haddon, chancellor of Rutgers University–Camden. The appointment takes effect on July 1.

Cahill will join Ronald Chen as co-deans of Rutgers Law School, New Jersey’s only public law school. In July 2015, the ABA approved the unification of Rutgers’ two legacy law schools to become one Rutgers Law School with locations in Camden and Newark. Chen serves as co-dean in residence at the Rutgers University–Newark campus.

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

Monday, March 21, 2016

U.S. News Data:  Law School Costs, Starting Salaries For Grads

Texas A&M Law School Shrinks Entering Class By 42% (To 140), Vaults 38 Spots (To 111) In U.S. News Rankings

Texas A&M Law Logo (2016)Texas Lawyer, Which Texas Law School Zoomed Up in Rankings?:

Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth zoomed up in the 2017 Best Law Schools rankings compiled and made public this week by U.S. News & World Report.

Texas A&M ranked 111th on the list this year, up from 149th the previous year.

Andrew Morriss, dean of the Texas A&M law school, wrote in an email that the school's investment in new faculty (12 hired last year) paid off in its reputation scores, used for the magazine's ranking. The dean also credited for the ranking rise the school's decisions to cut class size over two years from 240 to 140, boost scholarships, and slash tuition by more than 15 percent. "That enabled us to be the fifth most selective school in the country," Morriss wrote.

Fort Worth Star Telegram, Our A&M Law School Climbs in Rankings:

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March 21, 2016 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

After Topping Florida State Law School Again With #48 U.S. News Ranking, University Of Florida's New Dean Sets Sights On #35 Ranking Within 3-5 Years

Florida Logo (GIF)Daily Business Review, Florida Law School Proves to be King of State:

The University of Florida has done it again.

Its law school, one of the oldest and largest in the state, scored highest overall among Florida's law schools on the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of the nation's law schools.

UF landed in 48th place, two spots ahead of its top rival, Florida State University. This is the second consecutive year UF took the number one spot, stealing it from Florida State two years ago.

UF law dean Laura Ann Rosenbury, who took over this year, was pleased but nowhere near satisfied with the score, which was down one from last year. "I still think we are undervalued as far our overall score, and I'm going to work hard to make sure we move up the national rankings," Rosenbury said, adding she hopes to move to the mid 30s within three to five years. Boosting the school's ranking was one of the goals she listed in her job interview with UF, she said. ...

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March 21, 2016 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Alternative Non-J.D. Revenue Sources For Law Schools:  Is A 40% University Tax 'Typical'?

LLM 2Jose Gabilondo (Florida International), Business Model Changes at Law Schools:

Law schools are experimenting with ways to diversify revenue in response to declining state support and tuition shortfalls, including those caused by smaller entering classes. This report [Alternative Revenue Generation Practices for Law Schools] reviews the range of things that schools have done. A common strategy has been to supplement the juris doctorate degree with other programs. This one [Alternative Non-JD Programming for Law Schools] does a good job of surveying these programs.

Jason Yackee (Wisconsin):

[At the Wisconsin of Wisconsin Law School,] any "extra" income a campus unit generated would just find its way into the state (or University) coffers; units didn't get to "keep" the new money. The obvious effect is to disincentivize entrepreneurial activity. Even where a law school does get to keep "new" money, it may have to pay a hefty "tax" to central campus; I understand that 20% would be very much on the low end; maybe 40% would be more typical. Once you take account of a University "tax", the economics of the most obvious money-raisers (e.g. LLM programs) looks a lot less promising. It takes *a lot* of LLM students to generate a meaningful amount of $$ when you face a large University tax.

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March 21, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup