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Friday, March 14, 2014

More on the 2015 U.S. News Law School Rankings

U.S. News 2015Fortune, And the U.S. News Law School Ranking Fallout Begins...:

Deans of the country's law schools are either kicking back and breathing a sigh of relief, or quivering in their boots, amid the release of the much-feared U.S. News & World Report on national law school rankings. ...

Critics routinely denounce the rankings as misleading and incomplete, but almost anyone connected in any way with the legal profession obsesses over the results.

For the institutions that moved down the yardstick, second-guessing came fast and furious. Washington & Lee Law School, for example, sank 17 notches, to No. 43, showing how the overhaul in job placement numbers are affecting the rankings. ...

Dean Nora Demleitner attributes the school's drop to "the poor employment and bar passage numbers from 2012, the year that figures into this year's rankings." The Lexington, Va.-based school, she says, has begun to give "stronger bar support and changes in our approach to the employment market," which already has shown improvements for the class of 2013.

At the same time, enrollment at Washington & Lee was down 40%, which also could have been affected by its overhaul of the third year to focus on "practice ready" skills, which has been all the rage as law school administrators try to push back against evaporating enrollment and jobs. Demleitner says she does not believe the ranking "reflects on our third-year curriculum reform," noting that it is likely to "take five to 10 years for the benefits of the program to become apparent."

American University's law school plunged 16 slots, from No. 56 last year -- likely a sign that its nine-month-out employment placement of 53.6% does not pass U.S. News & World Report muster. That compared to an 83% employment figure, for the same period, from Louisiana State University law school, in Baton Rouge.

"There's no question that employment is a major driver for the rankings," said Mike Spivey, a law school consultant. ...

Despite reorienting the rankings to include more real-world concerns, Kyle McEntee, founder of Law School Transparency, writes on Law.com that "despite the importance of job outcomes, they account for only 18% of the rank and credit schools for jobs few attend law school to pursue." 

McEntee also takes the rankings to task for making national comparisons when "only a handful of schools have a truly national reach in job placement. The rest have a regional, in-state, or even just local reach." So comparing two schools in broadly different geographical locations is "virtually meaningless. Graduates from these schools do not compete with one another," he writes.

"It turns out," he says, "that 161 schools place at least half of their employed class of 2012 graduates in one state. The top state destination for each school accounts for 67.3% of employed graduates. "A much smaller 7.7% of employed graduates go to a school's second-most popular destination, with just 4.4% of employed graduates working in the third-most popular destination. Only 20.6% of employed graduates (16.9% of the entire class) end up in a state other than the top three," he says.

However, "rankings are not inherently bad," he concludes, adding that "credibility may be lost when methodologies are unsound, through irrational weighting or meaningless metrics, or when the scope is too broad."

Spivey agrees, but he notes that "my phone has been ringing off the hook [with] people concerned about whether they should go to a school which dropped one place, or [if] they [can] transfer to another school if their current school lost out.

"The rankings do dramatically impact behavior."

Infographic: 2015 Best Law Schools:

2015 Best Law Schools infographic

March 14, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Deans Say Rankings Penalize California Law Schools for Bad Economy; U.S. News Rejects Call for State-Adjusted Employment Data

U.S. News 2015The Recorder:   Deans Say U.S. News Rankings Penalize Schools in the Golden State:

In the wake of declining rankings in the all-important U.S. News & World Report, one California law school dean says the problem is not underperforming schools, but an underperforming state economy.

Tom Campbell, whose Chapman University School of Law has fallen from No. 104 in 2011 to No. 140 in the list released Monday, says the state's poor employment prospects are a drag on the rankings at all 21 accredited California law schools. The rankings take into account the percentage of a school's recent graduates that have found legal jobs—an awfully low number at some schools.

So Campbell emailed his fellow deans to rally them to demand the state's employment picture be factored into the U.S. News methodology. His proposition triggered a "flurry of emails" in support, said Lisa Kloppenberg, dean of Santa Clara University School of Law.

"The slow recovery of California's economy, compared with the rest of the nation, has had a deleterious effect on all of us, once again; and it's particularly cruel to our students, who are punished twice: once by the difficulty of getting a job, and a second time by falling US News rankings of their law school," Campbell said in his email, which was forwarded to The Recorder on Tuesday. ...

The overall rankings at eight California law schools—USC, UC-Davis, UC-Hastings, Loyola, University of San Diego, Santa Clara, Pacific McGeorge and University of San Francisco —have fallen, in some cases plunged, in recent years. The rankings at four other programs—Stanford, UC-Berkeley, UCLA and Pepperdine—have remained relatively stable. (The remaining eight schools remain unranked.)

I had seen this trend last year, and now its overwhelmingly clear," Campbell said Wednesday. "[The data suggests] not a single California school has improved its performance. That's a false statement."

Inspired by U.S. News' method for adjusting for bar passage rates, which takes into account the average rate in particular states, Campbell proposes that schools designate the state where the largest number of their graduates land jobs. "The percentage of each law school's graduates with jobs would then be normalized by the state's unemployment rate compared with the national unemployment rate," he wrote.

In essence, he wants the U.S. News formula tweaked so that schools whose students are looking for work in California won't pay a price for the state's relatively poor employment prospects. Campbell said he proposed this method to U.S. News last year, to no avail, but plans to resubmit it with another year of evidence substantiating what he calls the "California effect" on the rankings. He also said he'll have unanimous support from California's law school deans. ...

But Bob Morse, U.S. News director of data research, isn't buying it. "The schools that are underperforming or falling in the ranking, [it's] not because of the state of California's employment woes," he told The Recorder Wednesday, "but because their students are not in demand, or they're unable to obtain real legal jobs," defined by the magazine as full-time positions requiring a J.D. "That's broadly independent of the state of California's economy."

For proof, he pointed to the list: "The top ten schools in California have seen little change in their rankings over the last few years, showing that their graduates are still in demand and they're still getting real legal jobs, despite the California employment status."

School

Name

2012

Rank

2013

Rank

2014

Rank

2015

Rank

1 Year

Change

3 Year

Change

Stanford

3

2

2

3

-1

0

UC- Berkeley

9

7

9

9

0

0

UCLA

16

15

17

16

+1

0

USC

18

18

18

20

-2

-2

UC-Davis

23

29

38

36

+2

-13

UC-Hastings

42

44

48

54

-6

-12

Pepperdine

54

49

61

54

+7

0

Loyola-L.A.

54

51

68

87

-19

-33

San Diego

67

65

68

79

-11

-12

Santa  Clara

84

96

96

107

-11

-23

Chapman

104

110

126

140

-14

-36

McGeorge

100

101

124

146

-22

-46

San Francisco

100

106

144

Tier 2

-2 +

-46+

Cal Western

Tier 2

Tier 2

Tier 2

Tier 2

n/a

n/a

Golden Gate

Tier 2

Tier 2

Tier 2

Tier 2

n/a

n/a

Southwestern

121

129

Tier 2

Tier 2

n/a

-25+

T. Jefferson

Tier 2

Tier 2

Tier 2

Tier 2

n/a

n/a

Western State

Tier 2

Tier 2

Tier 2

Tier 2

n/a

n/a

Whittier

Tier 2

Tier 2

Tier 2

Tier 2

n/a

n/a

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

Five Questions That May Cause Your Tenure-Track Offer to be Rescinded (If You're a Woman)

Inside Higher Ed, Negotiated Out of a Job:

The worst they can say is no. That's the advice a new Ph.D. receives about negotiating with a department that has extended a job offer. Sure, you might not get everything you want, but there's no harm in trying. This may be your best shot at getting good pay or working conditions and, after all, they have offered you the job and won't take that away.

Or maybe not, according to recent post on Philosophy Smoker. The blog, popular among philosophy graduate students and junior faculty, recounts a job offer negotiation gone wrong at a small liberal arts college.

The candidate, identified in the blog as “W,” sent the following email to search committee members at Nazareth College, in Rochester, N.Y., after receiving a tenure-track job offer in philosophy:

As you know, I am very enthusiastic about the possibility of coming to Nazareth. Granting some of the following provisions would make my decision easier[:]

  1. An increase of my starting salary to $65,000, which is more in line with what assistant professors in philosophy have been getting in the last few years. 
  2. An official semester of maternity leave.
  3. A pre-tenure sabbatical at some point during the bottom half of my tenure clock.
  4. No more than three new class preps per year for the first three years.
  5. A start date of academic year 2015 so I can complete my postdoc.

She ended the email by saying I know that some of these might be easier to grant than others. Let me know what you think.

In a reply, the search committee said it had reviewed the requests, as had the dean and vice president of academic affairs.

“It was determined that on the whole these provisions indicate an interest in teaching at a research university and not at a college, like ours, that is both teaching and student centered,” the email continues. “Thus, the institution has decided to withdraw its offer of employment to you.”

The search committee ended by thanking the candidate for her “interest" and wishing her “the best in finding a suitable position.”

Jezebel, Female Professor Loses Job Offer When She Tries to Negotiate:

Horror stories like this are why it's so hard for women to ask for raises. It's why women don't negotiate salaries for their first job while their male coworkers do, and it's why over a career, women's earnings suffer massively. We're behind the 8-ball from the start, and it's in part because we're afraid something like this might happen to us.

March 13, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (9)

Tweet of the Day: Percent of Women First Year JD, MBA & MD Students, 1947-2012

Wolfers

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

The Most Overrated and Underrated Law Schools

U.S. News 2015Following up on yesterday's post, John Yoo on the U.S. News Rankings: Peer Reputation Is the Only Thing That Matters:  the charts below list the most overrated and underrated law schools in the 2015 U.S. News Law Schools Rankings, based on the discrepancy between a school's overall rank and its peer reputation rank:

  • Overrated law schools:  overall rank is better than academic peer reputation rank
  • Underrated law schools:  overall rank is worse than academic peer reputation rank

Overrated Rank

Law School

Overall Rank

Peer Rank

Difference

1

Florida International

100

152

+52

2

Campbell

121

168

+47

3

Tulsa

72

116

+44

4

New Hampshire

93

128

+35

5

LSU

72

99

+27

6

Arkansas (Fayetteville)

61

87

+26

6

West Virginia

83

109

+26

8

Baylor

51

76

+25

8

Penn State

51

76

+25

10

Wayne State

87

109

+22

11

Seton Hall

68

87

+19

12

Duquesne

121

139

+18

12

Hamline

121

139

+18

12

Akron

121

139

+18

15

SMU

42

58

+16

15

Richmond

51

67

+16

15

Stetson

93

109

+16

15

St. Louis

93

109

+16

19

Drake

113

128

+15

20

Nebraska

54

67

+13

20

Cleveland State

115

128

+13

20

Creighton

115

128

+13

20

Washburn

115

128

+13

24

Alabama

23

35

+12

24

Arizona State

31

43

+12

24

Louisville

87

99

+12

24

Mercer

104

116

+12

28

Washington (Seattle)

24

35

+11

29

BYU

36

46

+10

29

Quinnipiac

118

128

+10

29

St. Thomas (Minneapolis)

129

139

+10

 

Underrated Rank

Law School

Overall Rank

Peer Rank

Difference

1

Oregon

100

53

-47

2

Hofstra

135

99

-36

2

Howard

135

99

-36

4

DePaul

121

87

-34

5

Santa Clara

107

76

-31

6

Maine

129

99

-30

7

Loyola-L.A.

87

58

-29

8

San Diego

79

53

-26

9

Hawaii

100

76

-24

10

American

72

49

-23

10

Pittsburgh

81

58

-23

12

Arkansas (Little Rock)

121

99

-22

13

Catholic

107

87

-20

13

Syracuse

107

87

-20

13

Vermont

129

109

-20

16

UC-Hastings

54

35

-19

16

Baltimore

135

116

-19

16

McGeorge

147

128

-19

19

Marquette

93

76

-17

20

Washington & Lee

43

27

-16

20

Brooklyn

83

67

-16

22

Cardozo

64

49

-15

23

UC-Davis

36

22

-14

23

Florida

49

35

-14

23

Tennessee

72

58

-14

26

SUNY (Buffalo)

100

87

-13

26

Drexel

129

116

-13

26

Wyoming

129

116

-13

29

North Carolina

31

19

-12

29

New York Law School

140

128

-12

29

Pace

140

128

-12

March 13, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (12)

LSAT Test-Takers Increase for First Time in Four Years

LSAC reports that LSAT test-takers increased in February 2014 for the first time since June 2010:

LSAT 2

(Hat Tip:  LSAT Blog.)

Update:  Matt Leichter, LSAT Tea-Leaf Reading: February 2014:

LSTB

Update:

March 13, 2014 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Harvard Law School Exhibit: Women Inspiring Change

Women Inspiring

Harvard Law School, Women Inspiring Change:

In honor of International Women’s Day, [the Harvard Women's Law Association and Harvard Law and International Development Society] are hosting a two-week long photo exhibit featuring inspiring women in law and policy nominated by members of the HLS community. To view the portraits and listen to accompanying audio recordings, click the “Nominees” tab. For information about the photo exhibit and a link to the audio recording RSS feed, click the “Photo Exhibit” tab.

Several past and present women law professors are featured, including Judy Areen (Georgetown), Jacqueline Bhabha (Harvard), Mary Ann Glendon (Harvard), Lani Guinier (Harvard), Catharine MacKinnon (Michigan), Martha Minow (Harvard), and Cheryl Saunders (Melbourne), as well as my Pepperdine colleague Kris Knaplund (audio; transcript):

KnaplundProfessor Kristine S. Knaplund began her career in law teaching in 1983 at UCLA Law School, where she was honored with several awards for excellence in teaching prior to joining Pepperdine University School of Law. She teaches Property, Wills and Trusts, Advanced Wills and Trusts, and the Bioethics Seminar. In 2006 [and 2014] she received the 1L Professor of the Year Award, and in 2008 she received the University’s Howard White Award for Excellence in Teaching. She has published numerous academic articles on diverse topics such as property rights, inheritance law, and bioethics. She has tirelessly served in legal professional organizations as well, including as an Academic Fellow for the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, on the board of trustees for the Law School Admission Council, as chair of the ABA Committee on Bioethics, and on the board of the California Legal Historical Society. Knaplund has been inspirational for her “genuine warmth and tireless willingness to mentor those who follow her. She supports her students with a great devotion and generosity. She also provides a refreshing model of collegiality and leadership for young professionals in legal academia.”

Friday, March 14 is the final day to see the exhibit at Wasserstein Hall at Harvard Law School.

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

U.S. News Top 50 Law Schools, 2010-2015

Matthew Schmoldt of LawyerWrit.org has graciously granted TaxProf Blog permission to re-print his great charts on the 2009-2014 U.S. News Top 50 Law Schools (which in customary parlance are the 2010-2015 rankings):

Top 14
15-24
26-31
36-43 45-49

March 13, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Law School Rankings by Experiential Learning

The National Jurist - March 2014The National Jurist has published a ranking of law schools based on the experiential learning opportunities offered to students.  The National Jurist used ABA data to calculate the ratio of experiential opportunities per full-time student in clinics, field placements, and simulations (with the ratio of clinical opportunities given the most weight), and added "bonus points" for requiring experiential courses, having a dean of experiential education, and offering experiential "innovations" (capstone courses, pro bono requirements, winter session courses, unique practicums, legal practice programs, and practical court programs).  The National Jurist ranked the Top 93 schools, with schools assigned A+, A, A-, B+, and B grades.  Here are the 11 schools that received an A+ grade and the 10 schools that received an A grade from The National Jurist, along with the schools' U.S. News ranking:

Experiential Rank (US News Rank)

School

1 (129)

St. Thomas (Minneapolis)

2 (93)

Northeastern

3 (31)

Wisconsin

4 (36)

BYU

5 (93)

New Hampshire

6 (83)

Brooklyn

7 (54)

Pepperdine

8 (46)

Maryland

9 (51)

Baylor

10 (68)

Loyola (Chicago)

11 (146)

McGeorge

12 (49)

Utah

13 (68)

Seton Hall

14 (54)

Connecticut

15 (61)

Temple

16 (12)

Northwestern

17 (Tier 2)

Thomas Cooley

18 (81)

Rutgers (Camden)

19 (Tier 2)

Golden Gate

20 (27)

Boston University

21 (Tier 2)

Liberty

March 12, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

John Yoo on the U.S. News Rankings: Peer Reputation Is the Only Thing That Matters

Following up on yesterday's post, 2015 U.S. News Peer Reputation Rankings (v. Overall Rankings):  John Yoo (UC-Berkeley), Do Law School Rankings Matter?:

U.S. News 2015The US News and World Report rankings of graduate schools are out today. One part of me feels like Steve Martin in The Jerk, running out of his house proudly yelling that the phone books are out and his name is finally in it. (I also laughed hard at the advice that Martin's father gave him upon leaving home but that is another story).

Another part of me realizes that the rankings are to be taken seriously — because everyone else takes them seriously: law students choosing where to attend, law firm partners making hiring decisions, law school administrators, faculty, and especially alumni.

The problem with US News is that it factors in lots of odd things in calculating its rankings. For example, in the past they've weighed things like how big the library is, even though most law students only use the library as a study hall because most materials are online now. It has also used money as a proxy for greatness, though, as we have seen from K-12, money spent per pupil and educational performance do not correlate. The rankings also look at bar passage rates, employment outcomes (on which schools have "cheated" by hiring their own students for a year), average LSAT and GPAs, etc.

For all those law students who will spend the next few weeks considering where to go, one of the biggest factors will probably be academic reputation. After all, those obscure considerations above don't matter — and aren't even generally known — to most people on the bench or in a practice. If you were to choose a law school based on anything other than academic reputation (which is a function of the quality of the faculty and the success of the alumni) you are making a big mistake. ... [T]his and this alone should guide the prospective student in deciding where to go and steer the judge or partner on where to hire.

March 12, 2014 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

President Obama's Interview With Zach Galifianakis

New 2015 U.S. News Tax Rankings

U.S. News 2015Here are the new 2015 U.S. News Tax Rankings, along with last year's rankings:

2015

Rank

 Tax

Program

2014

Rank

1

NYU

1

2

Florida

3

3

Georgetown

2

4

Northwestern

4

5

Boston University

7

5

Columbia

13

5

Miami

5

8

Harvard

12

8

San Diego

14

10

U. Washington

10

11

Virginia

7

12

UCLA

10

12

USC

5

14

Loyola-L.A.

7

15

Michigan

14

n/r

Boston College

16

n/r

UC-Hastings

17

n/r

Houston

18

The biggest movers are:

  • +8:  Columbia (#5)
  • +6   San Diego (#8)
  • +4:  Harvard (#8)
  • -7:   USC (#12), Loyola-L.A. (#14)
  • -4:   Virginia (#11)  

Boston College (#16), UC-Hastings (#17), and Houston (#18) were ranked last year and are unranked this year.

Here are the rankings of the graduate tax programs, along with last year's rankings.

2015

Rank

Grad Tax

Program

2014

Rank

1

NYU

1

2

Florida

3

3

Georgetown

2

4

Northwestern

4

5

Miami

5

5

Boston University

6

7

San Diego

9

8

U. Washington

8

9

Loyola-L.A.

7

n/r

Houston

10

Houston (#10) was ranked last year and is unranked this year.

The U.S. News tax survey instrument states that it is intended "to identify the law schools having the top programs in tax law." The survey is sent "to a sample of law school faculty listed in the AALS Directory of Law Teachers 2012-2013 as currently teaching a course or seminar in tax law." Recipients are asked "to [i]dentify up to fifteen (15) schools that have the highest-quality tax law courses or programs. In making your choices consider all elements that contribute to a program's excellence, for example, the depth and breadth of the program, faculty research and publication record, etc."

As Donald Tobin (Ohio State) has noted, it is more than strange that NYU has finished ahead of Florida and Georgetown each year that U.S. News has conducted the survey.  Because the survey ranks the schools by how often they appear on the respondents' "Top 15" lists, this means that some folks list NYU, but not Florida and Georgetown, among the Top 15 tax programs.

For more on tax rankings, see our article, Pursuing a Tax LLM Degree: Where?, which compiles information about 13 highly ranked tax LLM programs: (1) NYU; (2) Florida; (3) Georgetown; (4) Northwestern; (5) Miami; (6) Boston University; (7) San Diego; (8) Loyola-L.A./LMU; (9) SMU; (10) Denver; (11) University of Washington; (12) Villanova; and (13) Chapman. The topics on which information is reported in the Article include: (1) tuition; (2) scholarships; (3) the full-time tax professors who teach in each program and the tax courses they teach; (4) the number of full-time and part-time students enrolled in each program; (5) general information about adjunct professors teaching in each program; (6) required courses; (7) elective courses, specialty certificates, and concentrations; (8) opportunities to develop tax practice skills by taking experiential learning courses and simulated practice courses; (9) extracurricular tax activities; (10) opportunities to graduate with honors or receive academic prizes; and (11) career planning and placement services offered to students in each program. The article also ranks the tax faculty at these thirteen law schools by citations (the Top 5 are NYU (1), Florida (2), Georgetown (3), Miami (4), and Northwestern (5)) and SSRN downloads (the Top 5 are Loyola-L.A. (1), NYU (2), Chapman (3), Florida (4), and San Diego (5)).

Other resources available on TaxProf Blog include:

March 12, 2014 in About This Blog, Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Jennifer Bird-Pollan to be Fulbright Visiting Professor in Vienna

FulbrightUniversity of Kentucky Professors Receive Fulbrights:

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Baradaran: Teaching While Woman

MehrsaMehrsa Baradaran (Georgia), Teaching While Woman:

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

Continue reading

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

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

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

Peer Rank

Peer Score

School

Overall Rank

1

4.8

Yale

1

1

4.8

Harvard

2

3

4.7

Stanford

3

4

4.6

Columbia

4

4

4.6

Chicago

4

6

4.4

NYU

6

6

4.4

UC-Berkeley

9

6

4.4

Michigan

10

9

4.3

Pennsylvania

7

9

4.3

Virginia

8

11

4.2

Duke

10

12

4.1

Northwestern

12

12

4.1

Cornell

13

12

4.1

Georgetown

13

15

4.0

Texas

15

16

3.9

UCLA

16

17

3.8

Vanderbilt

16

18

3.6

Washington (St. Louis)

18

19

3.5

Minnesota

20

19

3.5

USC

20

19

3.5

North Carolina

31

22

3.4

Emory

19

22

3.4

George Washington

20

22

3.4

Notre Dame

26

22

3.4

UC-Davis

36

26

3.3

Boston University

27

26

3.3

Wisconsin

31

28

3.2

William & Mary

24

28

3.2

Iowa

27

28

3.2

Indiana (Bloomington)

29

28

3.2

Ohio State

31

28

3.2

Boston College

36

28

3.2

Fordham

36

28

3.2

Washington & Lee

43

35

3.1

Alabama

23

35

3.1

Washington (Seattle)

24

35

3.1

Georgia

29

35

3.1

Wake Forest

31

35

3.1

Arizona

40

35

3.1

Illinois

40

35

3.1

Florida

49

35

3.1

UC-Hastings

54

43

3.0

Arizona State

31

43

3.0

Colorado

43

43

3.0

Tulane

46

46

2.9

BYU

36

46

2.9

Florida State

45

46

2.9

Maryland

46

49

2.8

Utah

49

49

2.8

Connecticut

54

49

2.8

Cardozo

64

49

2.8

American

72

53

2.7

George Mason

46

53

2.7

Temple

61

53

2.7

Miami

61

53

2.7

San Diego

79

53

2.7

Oregon

100

58

2.6

SMU

42

58

2.6

Pepperdine

54

58

2.6

Houston

58

58

2.6

Case Western

64

58

2.6

Denver

68

58

2.6

Kansas

68

58

2.6

Tennessee

72

58

2.6

Pittsburgh

81

58

2.6

Loyola (Los Angeles)

87

67

2.5

Richmond

51

67

2.5

Nebraska

54

67

2.5

Kentucky

58

67

2.5

Oklahoma

58

67

2.5

Georgia State

64

67

2.5

Missouri (Columbia)

64

67

2.5

Loyola (Chicago)

68

67

2.5

Chicago-Kent

72

67

2.5

Brooklyn

83

76

2.4

Baylor

51

76

2.4

Penn State

51

76

2.4

Lewis & Clark

72

76

2.4

New Mexico

72

76

2.4

Cincinnati

79

76

2.4

Rutgers (Camden)

81

76

2.4

Rutgers (Newark)

83

76

2.4

Indiana (Indianapolis)

87

76

2.4

Marquette

93

76

2.4

Hawaii

100

76

2.4

Santa Clara

107

87

2.3

Arkansas (Fayetteville)

61

87

2.3

Seton Hall

68

87

2.3

UNLV

83

87

2.3

Michigan State

87

87

2.3

Seattle

87

87

2.3

Northeastern

93

87

2.3

South Carolina

93

87

2.3

Villanova

93

87

2.3

SUNY (Buffalo)

100

87

2.3

Catholic

107

87

2.3

Syracuse

107

87

2.3

DePaul

121

99

2.2

LSU

72

99

2.2

Louisville

87

99

2.2

Mississippi

104

99

2.2

Missouri (Kansas City)

104

99

2.2

Gonzaga

107

99

2.2

St. John's

107

99

2.2

Arkansas (Little Rock)

121

99

2.2

Maine

129

99

2.2

Hofstra

135

99

2.2

Howard

135

109

2.1

West Virginia

83

109

2.1

Wayne State

87

109

2.1

Stetson

93

109

2.1

St. Louis

93

109

2.1

Vermont

129

109

2.1

Loyola (New Orleans)

Tier 2

109

2.1

San Francisco

Tier 2

116

2.0

Tulsa

72

116

2.0

Mercer

104

116

2.0

Texas Tech

107

116

2.0

CUNY

113

116

2.0

Albany

118

116

2.0

Idaho

118

116

2.0

Montana

121

116

2.0

Willamette

121

116

2.0

Drexel

129

116

2.0

Wyoming

129

116

2.0

Baltimore

135

116

2.0

Suffolk

Tier 2

128

1.9

New Hampshire

93

128

1.9

Drake

113

128

1.9

Cleveland State

115

128

1.9

Creighton

115

128

1.9

Washburn

115

128

1.9

Quinnipiac

118

128

1.9

North Dakota

129

128

1.9

New York Law School

140

128

1.9

Pace

140

128

1.9

McGeorge

147

128

1.9

Southwestern

Tier 2

139

1.8

Duquesne

121

139

1.8

Hamline

121

139

1.8

Akron

121

139

1.8

St. Thomas (Minneapolis)

129

139

1.8

Samford

135

139

1.8

William Mitchell

135

139

1.8

Chapman

140

139

1.8

Memphis

140

139

1.8

Toledo

140

139

1.8

South Dakota

145

139

1.8

Southern Illinois

Tier 2

139

1.8

Dayton

Tier 2

139

1.8

Widener

Tier 2

152

1.7

Florida International

100

152

1.7

South Texas

146

152

1.7

John Marshall (Chicago)

Tier 2

152

1.7

Roger Williams

Tier 2

152

1.7

Texas A&M

Tier 2

152

1.7

Valparaiso

Tier 2

158

1.6

California Western

Tier 2

158

1.6

Elon

Tier 2

158

1.6

Golden Gate

Tier 2

158

1.6

Mississippi College

Tier 2

158

1.6

Northern Illinois

Tier 2

158

1.6

Northern Kentucky

Tier 2

158

1.6

Nova Southeastern

Tier 2

158

1.6

Oklahoma City

Tier 2

158

1.6

St. Mary's

Tier 2

158

1.6

Touro

Tier 2

168

1.5

Campbell

121

168

1.5

Capital

Tier 2

168

1.5

New England

Tier 2

168

1.5

North Carolina Central

Tier 2

168

1.5

Ohio Northern

Tier 2

173

1.4

John Marshall (Atlanta)

Tier 2

173

1.4

Southern Illinois

Tier 2

173

1.4

St. Thomas (Miami)

Tier 2

173

1.4

Texas Southern

Tier 2

173

1.4

Detroit

Tier 2

173

1.4

District of Columbia

Tier 2

173

1.4

Western New England

Tier 2

173

1.4

Whittier

Tier 2

181

1.3

Appalachian

Tier 2

181

1.3

Charleston

Tier 2

181

1.3

Faulkner

Tier 2

181

1.3

Florida A&M

Tier 2

181

1.3

Thomas Jefferson

Tier 2

186

1.2

Arizona Summit

Tier 2

186

1.2

Barry

Tier 2

186

1.2

Charlotte

Tier 2

186

1.2

Florida Coastal

Tier 2

186

1.2

Liberty

Tier 2

186

1.2

Regent

Tier 2

186

1.2

Thomas M. Cooley

Tier 2

186

1.2

Western State

Tier 2

194

1.1

Ave Maria

Tier 2

Prior years' rankings:

Press and blogosphere coverage:

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

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

Law Students Sue Their Law Schools for Deceptive Employment Reporting Practices

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

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

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

Monday, March 10, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading

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

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

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

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

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

WSJ: College Financial Aid Planning for Affluent Families

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

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

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

WSJ Chart

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

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

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

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

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

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

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Michael Helfand: Pepperdine Scholar and Teacher of the Year

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

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

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

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

Advice for Parents and Their Daughters

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

BossyThe Saturday Essay:  Don't Call Us Bossy:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, March 8, 2014

World University Rankings by Reputation (For Research and Teaching)

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 7, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Hat Tip: Brian Leiter.)

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

NYU's Tax Exceptionalism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1

YALE

2

HARVARD

3

CHICAGO

4

STANFORD

5

PENNSYLVANIA

6

VIRGINIA

7

DUKE

8

UCLA

9

COLUMBIA

10

NYU

11

NORTHWESTERN

12

UC-BERKELEY

13

GEORGETOWN

14

VANDERBILT

15

MICHIGAN

16

ALABAMA

17

MINNESOTA

18

EMORY

19

USC

20

CORNELL

21

GEORGE WASHINGTON

22

WASHINGTON - ST. LOUIS

23

WILLIAM & MARY

24

TEXAS

25

INDIANA - BLOOMINGTON

26

BOSTON UNIVERSITY

27

WASHINGTON - SEATTLE

28

BOSTON COLLEGE

29

GEORGIA

30

BYU

31

NOTRE DAME

32

SMU

33

COLORADO

34

UC-IRVINE

35

WAKE FOREST

36

IOWA

37

WASHINGTON & LEE

38

UC-DAVIS

39

OHIO STATE

40

WISCONSIN

41

ARIZONA STATE

42

FORDHAM

43

PEPPERDINE

44

GEORGE MASON

45

ARIZONA

46

NORTHEASTERN

47

ILLINOIS

48

FLORIDA

49

BAYLOR

50

NORTH CAROLINA

51

RICHMOND

52

PENN STATE

53

MARYLAND

54

UC-HASTINGS

55

FLORIDA STATE

56

UTAH

57

SAN DIEGO

58

CARDOZO

59

CINCINNATI

60

VILLANOVA

61

LOYOLA – LOS ANGELES

62

HOUSTON

63

TENNESSEE

64

NEBRASKA

65

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL

66

MICHIGAN STATE

67

TEMPLE

68

LEWIS & CLARK

69

CONNECTICUT

70

TULANE

71

NEVADA - LAS VEGAS

72

KENTUCKY

73

SETON HALL

74

BROOKLYN

75

CHICAGO-KENT

76

DENVER

77

OKLAHOMA

78

PITTSBURGH

79

CASE WESTERN

80

GEORGIA STATE

81

MISSOURI - COLUMBIA

82

LOYOLA - CHICAGO

83

WAYNE STATE

84

OREGON

85

AMERICAN

86

NEW HAMPSHIRE

87

MISSISSIPPI

88

TEXAS TECH

89

MIAMI

90

LSU

91

ARKANSAS - FAYETTEVILLE

92

KANSAS

93

TULSA

94

SUNY - BUFFALO

95

BELMONT

96

SAINT LOUIS

97

RUTGERS – CAMDEN

98

RUTGERS – NEWARK

99

ST. JOHN'S

100

CHAPMAN

101

INDIANA - INDIANAPOLIS

102

HAWAII

103

SEATTLE

104

NEW MEXICO

105

ST. THOMAS - MINNESOTA

106

WEST VIRGINIA

107

MAINE

108

DREXEL

109

CITY UNIV. OF NEW YORK

110

STETSON

111

LOUISVILLE

112

SANTA CLARA

113

SYRACUSE

114

QUINNIPIAC

115

DUQUESNE

116

MARQUETTE

117

SOUTH CAROLINA

118

WILLIAM MITCHELL

119

ALBANY

120

MONTANA

121

REGENT

122

DEPAUL

123

MERCER

124

AKRON

125

GONZAGA

126

HAMLINE

127

WASHBURN

128

MCGEORGE

129

TOLEDO

130

SAN FRANCISCO

131

CLEVELAND STATE

132

CATHOLIC

133

WYOMING

134

HOFSTRA

135

DRAKE

136

MEMPHIS

137

PUERTO RICO

138

CAMPBELL

139

MISSOURI - KANSAS CITY

140

IDAHO

141

BALTIMORE

142

CREIGHTON

143

NORTHERN KENTUCKY

144

ARKANSAS - LITTLE ROCK

145

SOUTHWESTERN

146

LIBERTY

147

VERMONT

148

PACE

149

MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE

150

TEXAS A&M

151

SAMFORD

152

NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL

153

SUFFOLK

154

LOYOLA - NEW ORLEANS

155

SOUTH TEXAS

156

OHIO NORTHERN

157

CALIFORNIA WESTERN

158

DETROIT

159

HOWARD

160

WIDENER - DELAWARE

161

NORTH DAKOTA

162

WESTERN NEW ENGLAND

163

WILLAMETTE

164

ROGER WILLIAMS

165

OKLAHOMA CITY

166

CHARLESTON

167

PONTIFICAL CATHOLIC

168

GOLDEN GATE

169

NORTHERN ILLINOIS

170

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

171

WESTERN STATE

172

ST. MARY'S

173

AVE MARIA

174

JOHN MARSHALL - CHICAGO

175

ELON

176

CAPITAL

177

NOVA SOUTHEASTERN

178

SOUTH DAKOTA

179

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

180

NEW ENGLAND

181

DAYTON

182

NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL

183

WIDENER - HARRISBURG

184

FAULKNER

185

JOHN MARSHALL - ATLANTA

186

APPALACHIAN

187

WHITTIER

188

MASSACHUSETTS

189

INTER AMERICAN UNIV.

190

TOURO

191

ST. THOMAS - FLORIDA

192

FLORIDA A&M

193

TEXAS SOUTHERN

194

BARRY

195

LA VERNE

196

THOMAS M. COOLEY

197

THOMAS JEFFERSON

198

FLORIDA COASTAL

199

CHARLOTTE

200

VALPARAISO

201

ARIZONA SUMMIT

202

SOUTHERN

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

Death of Sarah Tran

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Georgetown Symposium on Tamanaha's Failing Law Schools

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

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

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Law School Applicants From Top Colleges Plunge 36%

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

AM 1 AM 2

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

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

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

Here are the Top 52 law schools by median GPAs:

Rank

Law School

Median GPA

1

Chicago

3.90

1

Yale

3.90

3

Pennsylvania

3.89

4

Harvard

3.88

5

Stanford

3.87

5

Virginia

3.87

7

Alabama

3.86

8

Indiana

3.80

9

UCLA

3.79

9

Minnesota

3.79

11

UC-Berkeley

3.78

12

Duke

3.77

12

BYU

3.77

14

Northwestern

3.75

14

Emory

3.75

16

Georgetown

3.74

16

Vanderbilt

3.74

18

William & Mary

3.73

19

NYU

3.72

20

Michigan

3.71

20

G. Washington

3.71

22

Columbia

3.70

22

USC

3.70

24

Washington U.

3.69

24

Georgia

3.69

26

Texas

3.68

27

Boston U.

3.67

28

Cornell

3.66

29

Ohio State

3.65

30

U. Washington

3.64

31

SMU

3.63

32

Boston College

3.61

32

Nebraska

3.61

34

Notre Dame

3.60

35

Iowa

3.59

35

Florida Int’l