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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Charleston Law School Offers Buyouts to Faculty

Charleston LogoCharleston Post and Courier, Charleston School of Law Offers Buyouts to Faculty Members:

Charleston School of Law has offered buyouts to some of its faculty members, adding another act in the drama that has been going on since owners announced a possible sale to the for-profit InfiLaw System in July 2013.

Law school dean Andy Abrams sent an email to some faculty members on Monday telling them that the school’s three-member board decided to offer a voluntary exit program for tenured, tenure-track and other tenure-equivalent faculty members. “The essence of the program is that the school will buy out the faculty member’s contract for consideration.”

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March 18, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

2016 U.S News Law School Rankings: Average Student Debt

Following up on my posts (links below) on the 2016 U.S. News Law School Rankings:  U.S. News, Which Law School Graduates Have the Most Debt?:

School (Rank)Ave. Debt of 2014 Grads% Grads With Debt
Thomas Jefferson (Tier 2) $172,445 91%
New York Law School (127) $166,622 83%
Northwestern (12) $163,065 80%
Florida Coastal (Tier 2) $162,785 93%
American (71) $159,316 83%
Vermont (122) $156,713 84%
Touro (Tier 2) $154,855 85%
San Francisco (138) $154,321 88%
Columbia (4) $154,076 76%
Whittier (Tier 2) $151,602 91%

Thirteen law schools did not supply U.S. News with debt data on their graduates: 

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March 18, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

WSJ: New ABA Rules on Reporting School-Funded Jobs Could Drop Some Law Schools' U.S. News Ranking

Following up on yesterday's post:  Wall Street Journal, Law Schools Face New Rules on Reporting Graduates’ Success; Move Could Lower Their Standings in U.S. News Rankings:

U.S. law schools face renewed scrutiny over claims about their ability to find work for their graduates, a crucial selling point amid one of the legal industry’s worst-ever job markets.

WSJ 2

Some of the schools have been creating temporary jobs for grads by paying nonprofits and others to employ them, a move that in some cases has boosted the schools’ standings in the much-followed U.S. News & World Report rankings.

A new rule adopted last week by the accrediting arm of the American Bar Association will tighten such claims, giving law schools less credit for jobs that they subsidize. ...

Critics say such jobs unjustifiably burnish the results reported by law school deans, who are under pressure to make their schools stand out as the financial value of a law degree increasingly has been questioned. ...

Under the new ABA rule, effective next year, all 204 schools accredited by the group will have to leave out jobs they subsidize when reporting how many graduates found long-term, full-time employment that requires a law license.

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March 18, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Leff Presents A New Method for Funding Law School Education Today at William & Mary

LeffBenjamin M. Leff (American) presents The Income-Based Repayment Swap: A New Method for Funding Law School Education (with Heather Hughes (American)) at William & Mary today as part of its Faculty Workshop Series:

The high cost of legal education and corresponding student debt levels is a subject of robust debate. Yet too few critics of degree cost show creativity in thinking about the optimal mechanism for funding a legal education. The traditional model for financing a legal education is that students borrow with (mostly) fixed-rate loans repayable soon after graduation. The federal government supplements loans with income-based repayment and loan forgiveness programs to protect students who have borrowed more than they can afford to pay back. The reach of these programs has expanded dramatically in recent years, with the programs covering 1.3 million graduates owing around $72 billion as of the first quarter of 2014, with every indication that those figures will grow dramatically unless the programs are modified. A significant segment of those who depend on income-based repayment and loan forgiveness programs will be law students, because those are among the students with the highest levels of qualifying debt.

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March 17, 2015 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

ABA Requires Separate Reporting of Law School-Funded Jobs, But Continues to Allow Reporting Them as Long-Term, Full-Time, Bar Passage-Required Jobs

ABA Logo 2Following up on last week's post, ABA May Prohibit Reporting Law School-Funded Jobs as Full-Time, Long-Term Bar Passage-Required Jobs:  ABA Journal, Legal Ed Section's Council Approves Change in Reporting of School-funded Jobs:

The governing Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has approved a proposal to change the way law schools classify school-funded jobs in their reporting of graduate employment outcomes.

The change, recommended by the Section’s Data Policy and Collection Committee, will create a new employment status category for graduates in school-funded jobs on the employment summary form that schools are required to complete for each year’s graduating class.

Under the change, the number of graduates reported in other employment status categories–such as “employed-bar passage required” and “employed-JD advantage”–will be reduced by the corresponding number of graduates in school-funded positions reported elsewhere.

ABA 4

But the council, which met Friday and Saturday in San Francisco, rejected the second part of the committee’s proposal, which was to re-classify most school-funded jobs–now counted as long-term, full-time jobs–as short-term positions.

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March 17, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Music Soothes the Savage Tax Beast

Music 2John Prebble (Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law), Music in Lectures and Examinations to Promote Right Brain Activity:

Since 1998, most of John Prebble’s classes in Laws 211 Contract and Laws 365 Elements of Taxation have been accompanied by background music from the Baroque era, approximately 1600 to 1750. The same music was played in 2012 and 2013 as background to classes in Taxn 301, Advanced Domestic Taxation, a course in the Victoria University Business School.

Broadly speaking, most music from the Baroque period is suitable to listen to while studying or in class. People are not entirely certain why this should be, but one plausible explanation is that Baroque music generally has a very regular tempo and, apart from fast movements, about one beat per second. That is said to be approximately the rate of alpha waves in the human brain. There are thought to be two possible benefits.

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March 17, 2015 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

March Madness Law School Bracket

March MadnessHere is the March Madness Law School Bracket, with outcomes determined by the 2016 U.S. News Law School Rankings (using academic peer reputation as a tiebreaker). The Final Four are Harvard (2 in U.S. News), Virginia (8), Duke (8), and Texas (15), with Harvard beating Virginia in the championship game.   The closest match ups are:

  • First Four:  BYU (34) over Mississippi (94)
  • First Round:  SUNY-Buffalo (87) over West Virginia (94)
  • Second Round:  Texas (15) over Notre Dame (22), Villanova 87) over LSU (94), Ohio State (34) over Arizona (42)
  • Sweet 16:  OSU (34, 3.2 peer) over BYU (34, 2.9 peer), UCLA (16) over Iowa (22)
  • Elite 8:  Duke (8) over UCLA (16)
  • Final Four:  Virginia (8, 4.3 peer) over Duke (8, 4.2 peer)
  • Championship:  Harvard (2) over Virginia (8) 

3107_001

March 17, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Symposium: Legal Education Looking Forward

SHSymposium, Legal Education Looking Forward, 44 Seton Hall L. Rev. 967-1129 (2014) (blogged here):

March 17, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Brown: Law School Without Borders

Following up on her op-ed in last Monday's Washington Post, Law Schools Are in a Death SpiralDorothy Brown (Vice Provost and Professor of Law, Emory), Law School Without Borders, 44 Seton Hall L. Rev. 1050 (2014):

LawyersNow that the music has stopped, instead of law schools having more people than seats, we have more seats than people. Accordingly, law schools are shrinking class size to stave off any negative impact on their U.S. News rankings. But shrinking class size means shrinking revenue, so either some part of the budget must be cut, or universities will have to subsidize the deficit in perpetuity—a very unlikely occurrence.

The largest expenditure in most law school budgets is faculty salaries and benefits, so that should be the natural focus of budgetcutting.  But it will not be. While law firms can fire partners, law schools cannot fire tenured law professors easily while remaining open. ...

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March 16, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (7)

Final Day for Proposals: Association for Mid-Career Tax Law Professors

Today is the final day to respond to the Call for Proposals issued by the Association for Mid-Career Tax Law Professors (“AMT”):

Mid-CareerAMT is a recurring conference intended to bring together relatively recently-tenured professors of tax law for scholarly discussion. Our inaugural meeting will be held on Thursday and Friday, June 4 & 5, 2015, on the campus of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. We anticipate that official proceedings will wrap up by noon on June 5. Thanks to the generous support of Law, Finance and Governance @ Ohio State and The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, AMT is able to provide attendees with conference meals and refreshments. AMT can commit to ensuring that these meals will not be “lavish or extravagant under the circumstances.” Attendees will be expected to cover their own travel and lodging expenses.

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March 16, 2015 in Conferences, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

WaPo: Who Says You Need a Law Degree to Practice Law: Limited License Legal Technicians

LLLTWashington Post op-ed:  Who Says You Need a Law Degree to Practice Law?, by Robert Ambrogi:

Michelle Cummings never went to law school. Her formal college education ended in 1998, with a paralegal studies degree from Highline Community College in Des Moines, Wash. But this summer, Cummings could start taking on legal clients who need help filing for divorce or child custody. Like a fully licensed attorney, she’ll be able to open an office and set her own fees.

Cummings is part of Washington state’s ambitious experiment to revolutionize access to legal services, particularly among the poor. ... Washington state’s answer is a new class of legal professionals called “limited license legal technicians.” They are the nurse practitioners of the legal world. Rather than earning a pricey law degree, candidates take about a year of classes at a community college, then a licensing exam. Once they do, they can help clients prepare court documents and perform legal research, just as lawyers do. “It will save time and heartache,” says Paula Littlewood, executive director of the Washington State Bar Association. “It’s groundbreaking.”

California, Oregon, Colorado and New Mexico say they may follow Washington’s lead. The program, if it spreads, could transform how middle- and lower-class Americans use the law. ...

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March 16, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Deborah Jones Merritt: What Happened to the Law School Class of 2010?

Deborah Jones Merritt (Ohio State), What Happened to the Class of 2010? Empirical Evidence of Structural Change in the Legal Profession:

Poor employment outcomes have plagued law school graduates for several years. Legal scholars have debated whether these outcomes stem from macroeconomic cycles or from fundamental changes in the market for legal services. This Article examines that question empirically, using a database of employment outcomes for more than 1,200 lawyers who received their JDs in 2010. The analysis offers strong evidence of structural shifts in the legal market. Job outcomes have improved only marginally for the Class of 2010, those outcomes contrast sharply with results for earlier classes, and law firm jobs have dropped markedly. In addition to discussing these results, the Article examines correlations between job outcomes and gender, law school prestige, and geography. In a concluding section, it offers four predictions about the future of the legal market and the economics of legal education.

Table 4A

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March 16, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (7)

Harvard Professor Sues Over Tenure Denial

HarvardBoston Globe, Harvard Professor Challenges School’s Denial of Tenure:

Harvard anthropology professor Kimberly Theidon has a dossier of letters from the university attesting to her “outstanding achievement,” including when she was awarded one of a small number of endowed chairs for untenured professors and when she received an unusually large salary increase.

Theidon says she was told her department had voted unanimously to grant her tenure, and e-mails from colleagues described “stellar” reviews of her work from scholars in her field.

But none of that mattered in the end. Harvard turned down Theidon for tenure last spring, and she must depart the university at the end of the month.

To Theidon, the rejection was evidence of both gender discrimination and retaliation for her support of students victimized by sexual assault and sexual harassment, just as the university was facing a burgeoning student movement alleging the college was mishandling sexual assault cases.

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March 16, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Should University Presidents Play a Bigger Role in Faculty Hiring and Tenure?

Inside Higher Ed, Wanting More Say:

Do most presidents really want a bigger role in faculty hiring and tenure decisions? Inside Higher Ed’s annual Survey of College and University Presidents suggests they do. And some of them are playing a larger role than faculty leaders might find reasonable. Ten percent of private college presidents, for example, say they've blocked the hire of scholars whose views they strongly disagreed with. While those findings didn't shock shared governance experts, some were uncomfortable with presidential sentiments.

According to the poll, some 55 percent of presidents say they should take a more active role in decisions about which faculty members to hire. Two-thirds agree or strongly agree that they should take a more active role in deciding who gets tenure. Just 8 and 5 percent of presidents strongly disagree with those statements, respectively. ...

All institutions by sector

 

All

Public

Private

Presidents Should Take More Active Role in faculty Hiring

5-Strongly agree (%)

23

24

22

4

32

31

33

3

20

18

23

2

17

19

15

1-Strongly disagree

8

9

7

Presidents Should Take More Active Role in Faculty Tenure

5-Strongly agree (%)

33

33

30

4

33

33

33

3

18

14

23

2

11

13

10

1-Strongly disagree

5

7

4

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March 15, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

California to Require 50 Hours of Pro Bono Work For Law Students to be Admitted to Bar

California State Bar (2014)ABA Journal, Following New York's Lead, California Bar Officials Plan to Require Pro Bono Work for Admission:

Following New York’s lead, bar officials in California are in the process of developing a pro bono program for law students who plan to practice in the state.

Like the policy adopted by the New York Court of Appeals, which took effect Jan. 1, the California plan requires 50 pro bono hours. However, the New York requirement must be completed before applying for admission to the bar. In California, young lawyers would be allowed to perform the 50 hours of free legal work either before or after they are admitted.

A State Bar of California web page provides additional details about the plan, which must be approved by the state legislature and the California Supreme Court before it is final, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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March 15, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (21)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Unsuccessful Conservative Faculty Candidate to Receive Second Trial in Discrimination Suit Against University of Iowa Law School

WagnerFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  National Law Journal, Justices OK Retrial for Law Prof's Political Bias Case:

A part-time legal writing instructor at the University of Iowa College of Law who alleges she was passed over for a faculty position because of her conservative political views will get a second chance to prove her case.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up the law school’s bid to block a second trial. The Iowa Attorney General’s Office in November asked the high court to overturn an appellate ruling ordering a new trial.

The initial verdict favored the defendants, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in July ordered a new trial because of procedural errors. A second trial in Teresa Wagner’s case is likely to be scheduled in April or May.  ...

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March 14, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Law School Launches First 'Teaching Law Firm'

LAC 2Legal Futures, The First “Teaching Law Firm”? Law School Applies for ABS Licence:

Nottingham Law School, part of Nottingham Trent University, has applied to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for an alternative business structure (ABS) licence that would allow it to create a “teaching law firm”.

The application is believed to be the first made by a university and, if granted, would apply to the law school’s newly expanded Legal Advice Centre.

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March 14, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

MIT Announces Its Admission Decisions Today (Pi Day), Via Drone?

Today, Pi Day (3.14.15 at 9:26), MIT is announcing its admission decisions for the Class of 2019:

March 14, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

A California Law Schools Rankings Renaissance?

2016 U.S. News RankingsFollowing up on my previous posts on the complaints by California law school deans last year that the U.S. News rankings penalize the state's schools:

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 have updated the Deans' data with the new 2016 U.S. News rankings.  Of the 12 ranked California law schools, the ranking of eight (67%) increased from 2015; two (17%) decreased; and two (17% were unchanged. The same four law schools either increased their ranking over four years (Stanford, UC-Berkeley, and Pepperdine) or remained the same (UCLA).

 

Name

2012

Rank

2014

Rank

2015

Rank

2016

Rank

1 Year

Change

4 Year

Change

Stanford

3

2

3

2

+1

+1

UC-Berkeley

9

9

9

8

+1

+1

UCLA

16

17

16

16

0

0

USC

18

18

20

20

-2

-2

UC-Irvine

30

UC-Davis

23

38

36

31

+5

-8

Pepperdine

54

61

54

52

+2

+2

UC-Hastings

42

48

54

59

-5

-17

Loyola-L.A.

54

68

87

75

+12

-21

San Diego

67

68

79

71

+8

-4

Santa  Clara

84

96

107

94

+13

-10

Chapman

104

126

140

127

+13

-23

McGeorge

100

124

146

Tier 2

n/a

n/a

San Francisco

100

144

Tier 2

138

n/a

-38

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

Tier 2

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, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Law School Rankings by BigLaw Partners

I received a press release and  executive summary of a forthcoming article in the Buffalo Law Review by Edward Adams (Minnesota) & Samuel Engel, Does Law School Still Make Economic Sense?: An Empirical Analysis of “Big” Law Firm Partnership Prospects and the Relationship to Law School Attended:

This study is the first to comprehensively examine the relationship between law school attended and achieving partnership in the 100 largest American law firms. Seeking to address issues related to a previous study by Ted Seto [Where do Partners Come From, 62 J. Legal Educ. 242 (2012)], the extensive empirical analysis included in this paper is a critical and seminal addition to the increasingly visible debate regarding the value of a legal education, law school rankings, and the factors that should be considered by potential law students when choosing a law school to attend. ...

Table 1 ranks the top 100 law schools, according to an index score based on the number of partners from each school and their weighted class size as further described below.  The table also includes an indicator that states the difference between this ranking and the United States News and World Report ranking.  Although the celebrated T-14 nearly stayed intact, significant differences are seen immediately outside that range.  The index score is included to demonstrate the actual magnitude between different rankings, and the last four columns provide supplementary information helpful in properly analyzing the index score. ...

Table 1:  Index Scores Evaluation

Rank

USNWR-Index

School

Index

% Younger than Mean

2025 Score

Value per Partner

Value Added

1

+3.5

Chicago

437

53.8

425.67

2.22

9.70

2

=

Harvard

413

42.7

368.89

2.29

9.46

3

-2

Yale

341

38.9

267.74

2.36

8.05

4

+.5

Columbia

329

45.1

283.61

2.48

8.16

5

+7

Northwestern

315

54.0

322.14

1.93

6.08

6

+2

Virginia

310

47.7

287.68

1.91

5.92

7

=

Penn

293

48.7

265.17

2.08

6.09

8

-2

NYU

273

52.2

256.89

2.39

6.52

9

-6

Stanford

261

46.5

256.82

2.21

5.77

10

+.5

Michigan

235.79

48.5

224.94

1.97

4.65

11

-.5

Duke

235.71

53.5

234.06

1.99

4.70

12

+1.5

Cornell

233

48.8

201.78

2.15

5.01

13

+.5

Georgetown

231

53.6

241.16

2.04

4.71

14

+7

G. Washington

197.0

53.7

188.14

1.87

3.68

15

-6

UC-Berkeley

196.6

45.4

171.61

2.08

4.10

16

+.5

Vanderbilt

176

51.5

183.39

1.66

2.92

17

+23.5

Illinois

164.2

55.4

197.20

1.77

2.90

18

+9.5

Boston U.

164.0

50.1

157.28

2.01

3.30

19

+18.5

Boston College

161

51.7

167.28

1.95

3.14

20

+6

Notre Dame

160

56.0

168.64

1.73

2.77

21

-6

Texas

157

54.0

155.74

1.81

2.84

22

-3

Emory

156

60.7

175.97

1.75

2.73

23

-2

USC

139

62.9

144.28

1.90

2.64

24

+13.5

Fordham

138

58.2

137.31

2.20

3.04

25

-8.5

UCLA

136

54.1

125.8

1.99

2.71

26

+17.5

Wash. & Lee

128.5

57.2

141.09

1.70

2.19

27

+2.5

Indiana–Bloom.

127.6

52.8

121.86

1.52

1.95

28

+41.5

Loyola–Chicago

121

61.3

136.37

1.69

2.04

29

+67

Villanova

120

42.2

103.2

1.59

1.91

30

+3

North Carolina

114

53.8

123.35

1.64

1.87

31

-13

Washington U.

113

61.2

134.58

1.57

1.77

32

+77.5

Catholic

107

51.3

92.98

1.84

1.97

33

+9

SMU

104.2

56.2

113.99

1.71

1.78

34

+41

American

103.7

61.7

107.54

1.96

2.04

35

+14.5

Florida

100.3

50.6

95.69

1.60

1.60

36

+26

Temple

99.8

55.4

100.4

1.60

1.60

37

+18.5

UC-Hastings

97.1

49.9

87.2

1.81

1.81

38

-13.5

William & Mary

97.0

62.6

105.34

1.68

1.68

39

-6

Wake Forest

95

58.3

104.5

1.44

1.44

40

+61.5

SUNY

94

36.7

72.57

1.72

1.72

41

-20

Minnesota

93

68.2

105.74

1.64

1.64

42

+54

South Carolina

92

50.7

102.95

1.28

1.28

43

-13.5

Georgia

90

52.1

92.7

1.48

1.48

44

+37.5

Pittsburgh

89

56.5

85.53

1.44

1.44

45

-20.5

Washington

88

58.6

97.77

1.46

1.46

46

+19.5

Case Western

86

45.7

82.216

1.32

1.32

47

+18.5

Missouri

84

56.5

95.26

1.30

1.09

48

-10.5

UC-Davis

82

55.6

85.61

1.89

1.55

49

+13

Miami

79.1

56.3

88.04

1.62

1.28

50

-17

Wisconsin

79.0

50.0

69.52

1.74

1.38

51

-23.5

Iowa

78.3

55.6

86.21

1.62

1.26

52

+17.5

Kansas

78.0

60.9

88.61

1.34

1.05

53

-20

Ohio State

76.5

58.2

78.72

1.62

1.25

54

+71.5

DePaul

75

60.9

83.55

1.69

1.27

55

-8

Tulane

72.1

71.6

83.28

1.82

1.31

56

+53.5

St. John’s

71.4

55.3

64.76

1.93

1.37

57

-10

Maryland

70.8

56.0

67.76

1.81

1.29

58

+79

Hofstra

70.25

56.7

68.96

1.89

1.32

59

+30.5

Loyola-L.A.

70.24

60.2

72.14

1.76

1.23

60

-8

Baylor

70.1

55.4

69.05

1.56

1.09

61

-14

George Mason

69.8

76.1

85.57

1.68

1.18

62

-10

Richmond

68.9

49.1

62.42

1.73

1.19

63

+56

Albany

66.98

46.5

52.11

2.10

1.41

64

+11

Chicago–Kent

66.94

67.8

78.32

1.64

1.10

65

+24.5

Seattle

66

77.0

93.72

1.54

1.02

66

+43.5

Santa Clara

65.1

70.3

79.62

1.77

1.15

67

N/A

San Francisco

64.6

53.0

65.83

1.76

1.14

68

-18.5

Utah

64.5

37.3

50.76

1.69

1.10

69

-10

Houston

64.0

65.2

77.38

1.71

1.09

70

-18

Penn State

63.8

56.1

61.76

1.57

1.00

71

+8.5

San Diego

63.4

68.6

78.05

1.65

1.04

72

-28.5

Colorado

61.4

55.8

68.22

1.57

0.96

73

-17.5

Pepperdine

60.77

76.9

78.27

1.73

1.06

74

+31

UMKC

60.76

56.8

69.78

1.23

0.75

75

+6.5

Rutgers-Camden

60.71

59.1

70.12

1.56

0.95

76

+8.5

Brooklyn

60

52.4

55.32

1.97

1.18

77

+19

Saint Louis

59

55.9

65.02

1.32

0.78

78

+31.5

Syracuse

57

58.5

52.27

1.83

1.04

79

N/A

Widener

56.4

78.5

60.63

1.30

0.73

80

+4.5

Rutgers–Newark

55.8

57.7

52.56

1.96

1.10

81

-43.5

Brigham Young

54

64.0

82.89

1.75

0.95

82

-16.5

Yeshiva

53

73.5

68.16

1.99

1.05

83

-8

Tennessee

50

42.9

41.35

1.49

0.75

84

+12

Northeastern

48

67.9

64.99

1.74

0.84

85

-5.5

Cincinnati

47

46.0

40.42

1.59

0.75

86

-16.5

Denver

44.3

62.4

58.83

1.43

0.63

87

+55

NY Law School

43.8

52.7

40.47

1.87

0.82

88

-43

Florida State

43.669

56.4

49.87

1.54

0.68

89

+35.5

Duquesne

43.666

54.8

41.00

1.44

0.63

90

-24.5

Georgia State

42

89.1

53.72

1.59

0.67

91

+5

Franklin Pierce

40.2

75.6

52.38

1.59

0.64

92

-36.5

Nebraska

39.6

55.6

48.27

1.28

0.51

93

-70

Alabama

38

61.3

34.77

1.70

0.65

94

+22

Creighton

37.3

58.6

41.59

1.41

0.52

95

+47

Pace

37.2

65.8

38.20

1.59

0.59

96

-55.5

Arizona

36.2

62.5

43.04

1.52

0.55

97

-7.5

Indiana-Ind.

36.1

62.6

44.11

1.46

0.53

98

-65

Arizona State

36.0

58.6

38.02

1.53

0.55

99

+10.5

Texas Tech

35.3

59.0

41.8

1.75

0.61

100

+5

Mercer

35.2

65.3

39.67

1.58

0.55

March 13, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

ABA Journal: As Law School Enrollment Drops, Experts Disagree on Whether the Bottom Is In Sight

ABA Journal, As Law School Enrollment Drops, Experts Disagree on Whether the Bottom Is In Sight:

Given recent trends, it came as no surprise that enrollment at ABA-accredited law schools fell again in 2014, according to figures released in December by the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. It was the fourth straight year in which law school enrollment dropped after peaking in 2010.

Total enrollment in JD programs (including both full-time and part-time students) at the nation’s 204 ABA-approved law schools fell to 119,775 in 2014, down nearly 7 percent from 2013 and about 18.5 percent from its historic high of 147,525 in 2010, according to the data collected by the legal education section. ... The last time total enrollment was so low ...  was 1987—when there were 29 fewer ABA-approved law schools than there are today.

Enrollment of first-year law students also fell in 2014 for the fourth straight year, to 37,924, down 4.4 percent from 2013 and nearly 28 percent off the all-time high of 52,488 1Ls in 2010, according to the numbers collected by the legal ed section. Enrollment of first-year students hasn’t been that low since 1973, according to the section, when there were only 151 ABA-approved law schools in existence—53 fewer than the current count.

ABA 2

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March 13, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

New 2016 U.S. News Tax Rankings

2016 U.S. News RankingsHere are the new 2016 U.S. News Tax Rankings, along with last year's rankings:

2016

Rank

 Tax

Program

2015

Rank

1

NYU

1

2

Florida

2

2

Georgetown

3

4

Northwestern

4

5

Virginia

11

6

San Diego

8

7

Boston University

5

8

Columbia

8

8

Harvard

8

10

Loyola-L.A.

14

11

UCLA

12

12

USC

12

13

Miami

5

13

Michigan

15

15

U. Washington

10

16

Indiana

n/r

17

Pennsylvania

n/r

18

Villanova

n/r

19

Boston College

n/r

19

Chicago

n/r

19

Texas

n/r

22

Duke

n/r

22

Washington U.

n/r

24

Denver

n/r

24

Yale

n/r

The biggest upward moves:

  • +6:  Virginia (#5)
  • +4   Loyola-L.A. (#10)
  • +2:  San Diego (#6), Michigan (#13)

The biggest downward moves:

  • -8:  Miami (#13)
  • -5:  U. Washington (#15)
  • -2:  Boston University (#7)

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

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March 12, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The End of College

The End of CollegeNew York Times:  College for a New Age, by Joe Nocera:

Kevin Carey has a 4-year-old girl. Carey, the director of the education policy program at the New America Foundation, has been thinking about the role of universities in American life for virtually his entire career. But after his daughter was born, that thinking took on a new urgency.

“All of a sudden there is a mental clock,” he told me the other day. “How am I going to pay for her college education? I wanted to write a book that asked, ‘What will college be like when my daughter is ready to go?’ ”

His answer is his new book, The End of College, which is both a stinging indictment of the university business model and a prediction about how technology is likely to change it. His vision is at once apocalyptic and idealistic. He calls it “The University of Everywhere.”

“The story of higher education’s future is a tale of ancient institutions in their last days of decadence, creating the seeds of a new world to come,” he writes. If he is right, higher education will be transformed into a different kind of learning experience that is cheaper, better, more personalized and more useful.

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March 12, 2015 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Can A Tenured Professor Be Fired For Being Rude?

McCardInside Higher Ed,  Discourteous Dismissal:

Is the University of North Georgia moving to terminate a tenured professor of Spanish at its Dahlonega campus for being rude? Some North Georgia faculty members say that’s what’s happening to their colleague, Victoria McCard, and that her case demonstrates the university’s disregard for the tenets of tenure.

Various faculty accounts of exactly what transpired between McCard and a guest lecturer on campus in mid-October differ slightly, but they’re essentially the same on key issues. McCard, whom colleagues described as outspoken, asked the guest lecturer to speak up during a public presentation in the library -- either because he was too quiet or because McCard thought he wasn’t being direct enough in his remarks about the political climate in his home country of El Salvador, or both. Either way, McCard offended the lecturer, who later met with her to discuss what had happened. He and McCard did not see eye to eye, and the lecturer lodged a complaint against her with the department chair. The chair reported it to the administration, which investigated the claim through a series of interviews with Spanish department faculty members.

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March 11, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Dean Advises Other Deans to Punish Law Schools in U.S. News Peer Reputation Voting for Manipulating Rankings With School-Funded Jobs and Transfer Students

2016 U.S. News RankingsFollowing up on my previous posts (here and here) on the 2016 U.S. News Law School Rankings:  Law Deans on Legal Education Blog:  Using USNWR to Impose Reputational Costs, by Rick Bales (Dean, Ohio Northern):

Much as I despise the USNWR ranking system, I’m a bit surprised that we deans (and associate deans) don’t use our relatively outsized influence as voters in the peer-assessment component of the ranking to police our own ranks.

When a school subsidizes the employment of large numbers of graduates for nine months and a day after graduation, or a quarter of its second-year class is comprised of students who it rejected for admission as first-year students, it’s obvious that the school is playing games to artificially inflate its employment outcomes and student selectivity and ultimately its USNWR ranking. In my mind, this is unethical, because it actively seeks to mislead consumers (prospective students and employers of current students) who may not understand the numbers-manipulation that is occurring behind the curtain. It’s also, I believe, a sure sign of structural weakness – if a school has to play games to maintain its employment statistics or entering-student credentials, the school is masking significant underlying problems. ...

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March 11, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (13)

Practice Ready? Law Students and Practitioners Disagree

BarBriNational Law Journal, Practice Ready? Law Students and Practitioners Disagree:

Are most law graduates ready to practice once they have their diplomas and bar cards in hand? That depends on whom you ask.

More than 70 percent of the third-year law students surveyed by bar exam prep company BARBRI believed they “possesses sufficient practice skills.” Another 76 percent believed they were ready to practice law “right now.”

By contrast, just 56 percent of lawyers who work with new graduates believed most third-year students were prepared to practice. And only 23 percent believed new lawyers have the necessary practical skills.

Law faculty fell in the middle, with 45 percent responding that third-year students have sufficient skills.

BARBRI surveyed more than 1,500 law students, faculty and lawyers for its inaugural State of the Legal Field Survey, which it said it would conduct annually from now on.

NLJ 1

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March 11, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

More on the 2016 U.S. News Law School Rankings

2016 U.S. News RankingsFollowing up on last night's post, 2016 U.S. News Peer Reputation Rankings (v. Overall Rankings):

Above the Law, The 2016 U.S. News Law School Rankings Are Here!:

Here are the biggest ranking declines:

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March 10, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

McIntyre & Simkovic: Lifetime Value of Law Degree Drops Only $30k For Those Who Graduate Into a Poor Economy

Frank McIntyre (Rutgers) & Michael Simkovic (Seton Hall), Timing Law School:

We investigate whether economic conditions at labor market entry have persistent effects on law graduate earnings. We find that unemployment levels at graduation continue to affect law earnings premiums within 4 years after graduation. For law graduates entering the labor market in strong economies, early outcomes are particularly good. However, the effect quickly fades as law graduates gain experience and the impact on lifetime earnings is relatively small. Outcomes data available prior to matriculation do not predict unemployment or starting salaries at graduation. Earnings premiums are not predicted by either cohort size or projected job openings. Even an effective “timing” strategy would likely be outweighed by the opportunity cost of a two-year delay in law school completion.

M&S1

Deborah Jones Merritt (Ohio State), Timing Law School:

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March 10, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (3)

Law School Funk

March 10, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 9, 2015

2016 U.S. News Peer Reputation Rankings (v. Overall Rankings)

2016 U.S. News RankingsContinuing a TaxProf Blog tradition (see links below for 2009-2015), here is the full list of the 198 law schools ranked by academic peer reputation, as well as their overall rank, in the new 2016 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

1

4.8

Stanford

2

4

4.6

Columbia

4

4

4.6

Chicago

4

6

4.5

NYU

6

7

4.4

Penn

7

7

4.4

UC-Berkeley

8

7

4.4

Michigan

11

10

4.3

Virginia

8

11

4.2

Duke

8

11

4.2

Cornell

13

13

4.1

Northwestern

12

13

4.1

Georgetown

14

15

4.0

Texas

15

16

3.9

UCLA

16

17

3.8

Vanderbilt

17

18

3.5

Washington U.

18

18

3.5

Emory

19

18

3.5

USC

20

21

3.4

Minnesota

20

21

3.4

G. Washington

22

21

3.4

Notre Dame

22

21

3.4

North Carolina

34

25

3.3

Boston University

26

25

3.3

UC-Davis

31

25

3.3

Wisconsin

31

28

3.2

Alabama

22

28

3.2

Iowa

22

28

3.2

William & Mary

29

28

3.2

Boston College

34

28

3.2

Fordham

34

28

3.2

Indiana

34

28

3.2

Ohio State

34

35

3.1

U. Washington

28

35

3.1

Georgia

31

35

3.1

Colorado

40

35

3.1

Illinois

41

35

3.1

Wash. & Lee

42

35

3.1

Florida

47

35

3.1

UC-Hastings

59

42

3.0

Arizona State

26

42

3.0

UC-Irvine

30

42

3.0

Arizona

42

42

3.0

Wake Forest

47

42

3.0

Tulane

50

47

2.9

BYU

34

47

2.9

Maryland

47

47

2.9

Florida State

50

50

2.8

Utah

42

50

2.8

Connecticut

63

50

2.8

American

71

53

2.7

George Mason

42

53

2.7

Miami

63

53

2.7

Denver

67

53

2.7

Cardozo

75

57

2.6

SMU

46

57

2.6

Pepperdine

52

57

2.6

Temple

52

57

2.6

Tennessee

52

57

2.6

Missouri

59

57

2.6

Kansas

67

57

2.6

San Diego

71

57

2.6

Pittsburgh

78

57

2.6

Oregon

82

66

2.5

Richmond

52

66

2.5

Georgia State

56

66

2.5

Case Western

59

66

2.5

Houston

59

66

2.5

Kentucky

63

66

2.5

Loyola-L.A.

75

66

2.5

Brooklyn

78

66

2.5

Chicago-Kent

78

74

2.4

Baylor

56

74

2.4

Nebraska

56

74

2.4

Oklahoma

67

74

2.4

New Mexico

71

74

2.4

Loyola-Chicago

78

74

2.4

Hawaii

82

74

2.4

Rutgers-Newark

87

74

2.4

Lewis & Clark

94

74

2.4

Santa Clara

94

74

2.4

Indiana-Indy

102

74

2.4

Rutgers-Camden

102

85

2.3

Seton Hall

63

85

2.3

UNLV

67

85

2.3

Arkansas

75

85

2.3

Cincinnati

82

85

2.3

Northeastern

87

85

2.3

Villanova

87

85

2.3

Michigan State

94

85

2.3

Mississippi

94

85

2.3

South Carolina

94

85

2.3

Marquette

105

85

2.3

Howard

110

96

2.2

Penn State

71

96

2.2

St. John's

82

96

2.2

St. Louis

87

96

2.2

SUNY-Buffalo

87

96

2.2

Syracuse

87

96

2.2

LSU

94

96

2.2

Maine

110

96

2.2

Seattle

113

96

2.2

DePaul

122

96

2.2

UMKC

127

106

2.1

Louisville

94

106

2.1

West Virginia

94

106

2.1

Stetson

105

106

2.1

Catholic

108

106

2.1

Hofstra

122

106

2.1

Loyola-NO

135

106

2.1

Arkansas-LR

135

106

2.1

San Francisco

138

114

2.0

Wyoming

108

114

2.0

Gonzaga

110

114

2.0

CUNY

113

114

2.0

Mercer

118

114

2.0

Willamette

118

114

2.0

Baltimore

122

114

2.0

Vermont

122

114

2.0

Drexel

127

114

2.0

Idaho

127

123

1.9

Tulsa

82

123

1.9

New Hampshire

87

123

1.9

Wayne State

105

123

1.9

Creighton

113

123

1.9

Drake

113

123

1.9

Montana

113

123

1.9

Quinnipiac

127

123

1.9

Pace

138

123

1.9

North Dakota

138

123

1.9

Texas A&M

149

123

1.9

Southwestern

Tier 2

123

1.9

McGeorge

Tier 2

135

1.8

Texas Tech

118

135

1.8

Washburn

122

135

1.8

Chapman

127

135

1.8

New York L.S.

127

135

1.8

St. Thomas (MN)

135

135

1.8

Memphis

142

135

1.8

William Mitchell

142

135

1.8

South Dakota

145

135

1.8

Suffolk

Tier 2

144

1.7

Florida Int'l

102

144

1.7

Duquesne

118

144

1.7

Cleveland State

127

144

1.7

Akron

127

144

1.7

Albany

138

144

1.7

Toledo

142

144

1.7

Hamline

145

144

1.7

Dayton

145

144

1.7

Cumberland

149

144

1.7

S. Illinois

149

144

1.7

J. Marshall (CHI)

Tier 2

144

1.7

Widener

Tier 2

156

1.6

South Texas

149

156

1.6

Elon

Tier 2

156

1.6

Golden Gate

Tier 2

156

1.6

Mississippi C.

Tier 2

156

1.6

N. Illinois

Tier 2

156

1.6

Roger Williams

Tier 2

156

1.6

St. Mary's

Tier 2

156

1.6

Valparaiso

Tier 2

164

1.5

Ohio Northern

145

164

1.5

Oklahoma City

149

164

1.5

Cal-Western

Tier 2

164

1.5

Campbell

Tier 2

164

1.5

New England

Tier 2

164

1.5

N. Kentucky

Tier 2

164

1.5

Nova

Tier 2

164

1.5

Touro

Tier 2

164

1.5

Puerto Rico

Tier 2

173

1.4

Capital

Tier 2

173

1.4

N.C. Central

Tier 2

173

1.4

Southern

Tier 2

173

1.4

St. Thomas (FL)

Tier 2

173

1.4

Texas Southern

Tier 2

173

1.4

Detroit Mercy

Tier 2

173

1.4

Dist. of Columbia

Tier 2

173

1.4

W. New England

Tier 2

173

1.4

Whittier

Tier 2

182

1.3

J. Marshall (ATL)

Tier 2

182

1.3

Faulkner

Tier 2

182

1.3

Florida A&M

Tier 2

182

1.3

Inter-Americana

Tier 2

182

1.3

Pontifical Catholic

Tier 2

182

1.3

Regent

Tier 2

182

1.3

Thomas Jefferson

Tier 2

189

1.2

Appalachian

Tier 2

189

1.2

Barry

Tier 2

189

1.2

Charleston

Tier 2

189

1.2

Charlotte

Tier 2

189

1.2

Florida Coastal

Tier 2

189

1.2

Liberty

Tier 2

195

1.1

Arizona Summit

Tier 2

195

1.1

Ave Maria

Tier 2

195

1.1

W. Mich. Cooley

Tier 2

195

1.1

Western State

Tier 2

Prior years' rankings:

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March 9, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Brown: Law Schools Are in a Death Spiral

Brown (Dorothy) (2015)Washington Post:  Law Schools Are in a Death Spiral. Maybe Now They’ll Finally Change., by Dorothy Brown (Vice Provost and Professor of Law, Emory):

“March madness” holds a different meaning in the legal world. While most of the country looks forward to fast breaks and Cinderella upsets, law schools are bracing themselves for another type of madness: the annual carnage left by the US News & World Report rankings. ...

No law school has figured out how to handle the new normal of legal education: the lowest number of applicants in four decades; fewer legal jobs for graduates; and, according to Moody’s, “no relief in sight.”

While some argue that going to law school is still a safe bet, little evidence exists to support this position. The most elite law schools — the top 1 percent —  will thrive. The other 99 percent: not so much. ...

While law firms can fire lawyers, law schools cannot cut their largest expense: faculty. Most faculty have tenure, which equals lifetime job protection — as long as the school remains open. While faculty could be part of the solution to legal education’s woes, we are actually the problem.

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March 9, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, Michael Simkovic Awarded ALI Young Scholars Medals

BurchThe American Law Institute Announces Young Scholars Medal Recipients:

The American Law Institute has announced that the Young Scholars Medal will be awarded this year to two exceptional law professors— Elizabeth Chamblee Burch of the University of Georgia School of Law and Michael Simkovic of Seton Hall University School of Law. The award is presented every other year to one or two outstanding early-career law professors whose work has the potential to influence improvements in the law.

Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court, who chairs of the Young Scholars Medal Selection Committee, will present the awards on Monday, May 18, at the ALI Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. "We are extremely proud of this year’s Medal recipients," said Justice Liu. “These two exceptional professors have produced first-rate scholarship that is already having an impact in legal debate and policy. Professor Burch’s work provides an innovative analysis of strategies for solving principal-agent problems in aggregate litigation, and Professor Simkovic's research on consumer finance and credit markets has influenced courts, regulators, fellow researchers, and the United States Congress.”

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March 9, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Symposium on The Role of the Associate Dean for Research

Symposium, Perspectives From an Associate Dean: Scholarship and School Visibility, 31 Touro L. Rev. 15-74 (2015):

Patricia Salkin (Dean, Touro), Associate Dean for Research & Scholarship Symposium Offers Perspectives on Engaged Scholarship and the Changing Definition of Scholarly Work:

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March 9, 2015 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Law Schools That Most Goosed Their U.S. News Ranking With School-Funded Jobs

Following up on yesterday's post, ABA May Prohibit Reporting Law School-Funded Jobs as Full-Time, Long-Term Bar Passage-Required Jobs:  Robert R. Kuehn (Washington University) passed along this chart (from ABA data for the Class of 2013) of the 38 law schools that boosted their full-time, long-term reported numbers by 2% or more through school funded jobs:

Law School

# Employed    Bar Passage Required FTLT

# Funded Bar Passage Required FTLT

% Funded Bar Passage Required FTLT

1.   WILLIAM & MARY

166

43

25.90%

2.   EMORY

244

62

25.41%

3.   GEORGE WASHINGTON

469

88

18.76%

4.   VIRGINIA

348

58

16.67%

5.   AMERICAN

231

37

16.02%

6.   GEORGETOWN

540

73

13.52%

7.   UCLA

252

31

12.30%

8.   ILLINOIS

168

20

11.90%

9.   LEWIS & CLARK

144

15

10.42%

10. UMASS

29

3

10.34%

11. UC-BERKELEY

261

25

9.58%

12. VANDERBILT

178

17

9.55%

13. CORNELL

173

16

9.25%

14. BOSTON UNIVERSITY

187

17

9.09%

15. NYU

505

42

8.32%

16. MARYLAND

152

12

7.89%

17. UC-DAVIS

138

10

7.25%

18. COLUMBIA

415

29

6.99%

19. CHICAGO

199

13

6.53%

20. USC

154

10

6.49%

21. CHARLOTTE

129

8

6.20%

22. YALE

160

9

5.63%

23. PENNSYLVANIA

235

13

5.53%

24. PACE

122

6

4.92%

25. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

21

1

4.76%

26. COLORADO

123

5

4.07%

27. TEXAS

296

12

4.05%

28. HAWAII

53

2

3.77%

29. RUTGERS-NEWARK

151

5

3.31%

30. GEORGE MASON

129

4

3.10%

31. LIBERTY

33

1

3.03%

32. TULSA

67

2

2.99%

33. STANFORD

170

5

2.94%

34. MINNESOTA

192

5

2.60%

35. ARIZONA SUMMIT

126

3

2.38%

36. NORTHWESTERN

225

5

2.22%

37. PITTSBURGH

135

3

2.22%

38. HARVARD

505

11

2.18%

Placement data counts 20% in the U.S. News Law School Rankings Methodology.  Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

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March 9, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, March 8, 2015

ABA May Prohibit Reporting Law School-Funded Jobs as Full-Time, Long-Term Bar Passage-Required Jobs

ABA Logo 2The Data Policy and Collection Committee (chaired by Stetson Dean (and Tax Prof) Christopher Petruszkiewicz) of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar has proposed prohibiting the reporting of law school-funded jobs as full-time, long-term bar passage-required jobs:

The reporting of law graduate employment outcomes is governed by Standard 509 of the ABA Standards for Approval of Law Schools. Standard 509(a) provides that “[a]ll information that a law school reports, publicizes, or distributes shall be complete accurate and not misleading to a reasonable law school student or applicant.” Standard 509(b) further provides that “[a] law school shall publicly disclose on its website, in the form and manner and for the time frame designated by the Council the following information: . . . (7) employment outcomes”.

The Data Policy and Collection Committee (Committee) considered how positions funded by law schools after graduation are classified by law schools and reported under Standard 509. Some law schools provide jobs for some of their graduates. The form of these jobs varies. In some cases, they are fellowships in public interest settings; in other cases, they are jobs doing research at the law school; and they can take other forms. Such positions generally have certain important features in common: the law school pays the graduates, directly or indirectly, and the jobs are temporary (they typically last up to a year, or very slightly longer). The question addressed by this memorandum is how these positions should be reported by the law schools to the ABA, and by the ABA and law schools to prospective students and other members of the public.

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March 8, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

An Online Kingdom: How Liberty U. Became a Model for the Future of Higher Education With Pervasive Christian Faith and Marketing, No Faculty Tenure

Liberty Logo

Chronicle of Higher Education, An Online Kingdom Come: How Liberty U. Became an Unexpected Model for the Future of Higher Education:

Maybe Jerry Falwell was right. The late evangelist always figured that most people would dismiss anything that started in this little city, where he founded Liberty University. ...

More than four decades after Liberty’s founding, in 1971, few in higher education would count the Rev. Falwell among academe’s historic visionaries. But college leaders, grappling with how to position their institutions for the future, might want to take a closer look at the legacy of Mr. Falwell, who is often better remembered for his divisive reputation as a firebrand conservative.

The little experiment that Mr. Falwell started in his hometown is a pretty big deal now, and the residential campus here does not begin to tell the story. Liberty’s online program boasts nearly 65,000 students, more than any other nonprofit college in the United States, according to federal data. Only the University of Phoenix, the for-profit behemoth with an enrollment of 207,000, trumps Liberty.

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March 8, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Saturday, March 7, 2015

ABA May Replace Mandatory Reporting of 25th, 50th & 75th Percentile UGPAs & LSAT Scores With Granular Grid

ABA Logo 2The Data Policy and Collection Committee (chaired by Stetson Dean (and Tax Prof) Christopher Petruszkiewicz) of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar has proposed replacing the current requirement that law schools report their 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile UGPAs and LSAT scores with a more granular grid that reports UGPAs and LSAT scores in bands:

At its upcoming meeting, the Data Policy and Collection Committee (Committee) will consider possible changes in the reporting of admissions data and entering class credentials (LSAT scores and UGPAs) pursuant to Standard 509 of the ABA Standards for Approval of Law Schools. The Committee is considering replacing the current reporting format, which requires schools to report 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile UGPAs and LSAT scores, with a more granular grid that reports UGPAs and LSAT scores in bands. Any changes will require approval of the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar (Council) upon recommendation of the Committee.

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March 7, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

How Men Can Succeed in the Boardroom and the Bedroom: Choreplay

ChoreplayNew York Times:  How Men Can Succeed in the Boardroom and the Bedroom, by Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook) & Adam Grant (Wharton):

It's easy to see how women benefit from equality — more leadership positions, better pay at work and more support at home. Men may fear that as women do better, they will do worse. But the surprising truth is that equality is good for men, too.

If men want to make their work teams successful, one of the best steps they can take is to bring on more women. ...

In a previous article, we highlighted why men ought to share the “office housework” — taking notes, planning meetings and helping others. Doing more actual housework matters, too. Research shows that when men do their share of chores, their partners are happier and less depressed, conflicts are fewer, and divorce rates are lower. They live longer, too; studies demonstrate that there’s a longevity boost for men (and women) who provide care and emotional support to their partners later in life.

If that isn’t exciting enough, try this: Couples who share chores equally have more sex. As the researchers Constance T. Gager and Scott T. Yabiku put it, men and women who work hard play hard. One of us, Sheryl, has advised men that if they want to do something nice for their partners, instead of buying flowers, they should do laundry. A man who heard this was asked by his wife one night to do a load of laundry. He picked up the basket and asked hopefully, “Is this Lean In laundry?” Choreplay is real.

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March 7, 2015 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Number of LSAT Test-Takers, Law School Applicants at 30+ Year Lows

LSAC has announced that it administered 101,689 LSATs in 2014-15, a 3.6% decline from the prior year and the lowest amount in the 27 years that the LSAC has been releasing this information:

LSAC

LSAC also has announced that "as of 2/27/15, there are 247,698 fall 2015 applications submitted by 36,120 applicants. Applicants are down 6.9% and applications are down 8.7% from 2014. Last year at this time, we had 71% of the preliminary final applicant count."

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March 6, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Sweet Briar College to Close; Who Gets the $80 Million Endowment?

SweetInside Higher Ed, Who Gets the Endowment:

Sweet Briar College’s closure seems all the more stunning given how much money it has socked away: more than $80 million in its endowment.

The women’s college in rural Virginia announced this week it would close at the end of the spring semester. The move seemed designed to preempt the sort of death spiral other small private colleges have fallen into, fighting to stay alive until they default on their debts, falling behind on their bills and having creditors at their door.

Sweet Briar looks like it may go out with such a fight. Yet it still could need a while to sort through its affairs and divvy up what it has left to divvy up, according to financial experts. Because most colleges that close have run out of all of their cash, there is no endowment to divide up. But within hours of Sweet Briar's announcement Tuesday, alumnae and higher education observers started posting comments to social media asking who would get the leftover funds.

Some of the money will have to be used to pay bills, other money may perhaps be given back to donors and yet other funds may be redirected to other charitable causes.

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March 6, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

L.A. Times: Classroom Technology Bans Improve Student Performance

GadgetLos Angeles Times, Classes That Go Off the Grid Help Students Focus:

USC professor Geoffrey Cowan is a scholar of free speech and communication. But Cowan, the former dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, insists that students sometimes should be cut off from the social media and websites that are so prevalent in their lives.

Cowan bans the use of laptops, cellphones and wireless devices during the freshman introductory class "The Changing World of Communication and Journalism" that he co-teaches in the fall with current Annenberg Dean Ernest J. Wilson III. Like a growing number of professors nationwide, the USC professors say that electronic equipment, even just for note taking, causes students to mentally disconnect from lectures and distracts them from class discussions.

The sneaky, or sometimes brazen, texting, Web surfing and Facebook browsing disrupts the teaching and learning environment, they say.

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March 6, 2015 in Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Barnhizer: The Declining Scale of the ‘Law School Industry’

David Barnhizer (Cleveland State), The Declining Scale of the ‘Law School Industry’:

Law Professors Are Academia’s 1 Percent!
This analysis is less about law schools than about the trends occurring outside law schools as in the changing conditions of the legal profession, the delivery of legal services and “law knowledge,” and in the economic climate within which lawyers and clients function. These changes have far more to do with the effects of those external conditions and needs on the future of law schools than the very limited steps that can be taken by law schools to mitigate the consequences of the ongoing “crisis” whether those steps relate to individual law schools or the overall “law school industry.” Of course an initial mea culpa is in order because the law schools contributed to the situation by their gross overproduction of new law graduates over the past twenty five years without asking whether there should be limits to the “high pressure stream” of new lawyers they were injecting into the legal profession on levels that that far exceeded the profession’s ability to assimilate the output.

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March 6, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Law School Applicants From Top Colleges Plunge 39%

Associate's Mind has updated its 2013 and 2014 posts and found that law school applicants from graduates of the Ivy league plus Chicago, Duke, and Stanford have plunged 39% since 2008 (click on chart to enlarge):

Top University Students Avoiding Law School 2015 Edition
Change From 2008 to 2014

AM 2

March 5, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

NALP: Law Grad Hiring 'Increased Measurably' in 2014

NALP New LogoNALP, Entry-level Law Firm Recruiting Ticks Up:

Six years after the Great Recession, entry-level law firm recruiting activity increased measurably in the summer and fall of 2014. While law firms continue to exercise cautious entry-level hiring, recruiting activity by U.S. law firms on the campuses of U.S. law schools increased during the most recent recruiting season compared with recruiting activity the year before. Over the last five years law firms have gradually increased their entry-level hiring activity after the collapse in entry level hiring reflected by the data from 2008 and 2009. ...

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March 5, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Georgetown Lateral Hires: Lilian Faulhaber (From BU), Brian Galle (From BC)

Georgetown Law School, Tax Scholars Join Georgetown Law Faculty:

Georgetown University Law Center is pleased to announce that tax scholars Lilian V. Faulhaber and Brian Galle will be joining the Law Center faculty next year. ...

Faulhaber (2016)Faulhaber joins Georgetown Law from Boston University School of Law. Since 2013, she has worked at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, where she is an adviser to the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project. Before joining the Boston University faculty, she was a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. Her research and teaching interests include international tax law, federal income tax law, tax policy, European Union law and international law.  She clerked for Senior Judge Robert E. Keeton and Judge William G. Young, both on the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and was an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP in New York. A graduate of Harvard College, she received an M.Phil. from Cambridge University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was editor-in-chief of the Harvard International Law Journal

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March 5, 2015 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tax Prof Richard Gershon Will Not Seek Another Term as Mississippi Dean

GershonOle Miss Law Dean Richard Gershon Resigns, Deborah Bell Appointed Interim:

After five school years at the helm of the University of Mississippi Law School, dean Richard Gershon will resign later this year.

In a release from Ole Miss, Provost Morris H. Stocks said:

Dean Richard Gershon has informed me that he has decided not to stand for quadrennial review and that his service as dean of the School of Law will conclude on June 30, 2015. I have asked Professor Deborah Bell to assume the role of interim dean of the School of Law in the near future. Dean Gershon and Dean Bell will begin to work out the plans for transition immediately.

March 5, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)