TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

AALS President:  'I Don’t See Legal Education As Being In Crisis At All'

AALS (2017)National Law Journal, As Law Professors Convene, New Leader Looks to Unite Profession:

The nation’s largest gathering of law professors kicks off Jan. 6 in New York with the Association of American Law School’s 110th Annual Meeting. About 3,000 legal educators will convene for a five-day program with more than 200 sessions.

The National Law Journal spoke with incoming AALS President Kellye Testy, dean of the University of Washington School of Law, about the challenges law schools face and her goals for the coming year. Testy, whose research and teaching focuses on business law and equality issues, takes over the AALS helm from outgoing president Blake Morant, the dean at George Washington University Law School. ...

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January 6, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (10)

Ave Maria, Charleston & Thomas Jefferson Law Schools On Federal Government's Financial Watch List

ACTNational Law Journal, Three Law Schools Face Government Scrutiny Over Finances:

The U.S. Department of Education has added two law schools to its updated list of educational institutions subject to heightened financial monitoring.

Thomas Jefferson School of Law and Charleston School of Law, a for-profit school, landed on department’s so-called “heightened cash monitoring list” for the first time in December. Ave Maria School of Law has been included since the list was first released publicly in March as part of the department’s push to boost accountability and transparency.

Department spokesman Jim Bradshaw declined to specify why the three law schools were included, although each was found to have fallen short in the general category of “financial responsibility.” ...

The law schools face the lower of two tiers of financial scrutiny by the department and will be subject to further review of how they manage their cash. The higher tier of scrutiny—which the law schools so far have avoided—requires institutions to front student loan payments before receiving a reimbursement from the federal government. ...

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January 6, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Better-Looking Female Students Get Better Grades; For Male Students, Looks Don’t Matter

Report CardSlate, Better-Looking Female Students Get Better Grades. But For Male Students, Looks Don’t Matter.:

Professors differ on how much their grading should be based on tests, written assignments, labs, class participation, and other factors. But students’ looks?

Most faculty members would deny that physical appearance is a legitimate criterion in grading. But a study presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association finds that—among similarly qualified female students—those who are physically attractive earn better grades than others. For male students, there is no significant relationship between attractiveness and grades. And the results hold true whether the faculty member is a man or a woman. [Student Appearance and Class Performance]

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January 5, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Technology Will Not Create A Lawyer 'Jobs-Pocalypse'

ABA Journal, Will Technology Create a Lawyer 'Jobs-Pocalypse'? Doomsayers Overstate Impact, Study Says:

Automation is having an impact on the job market for lawyers, but the future isn’t as dire as some headlines predict, according to a new study [Dana Remus (North Carolina) & Frank S. Levy (MIT), Can Robots Be Lawyers? Computers, Lawyers, and the Practice of Law].

The researchers analyzed law-firm billing data for the year 2014 provided by an analytics company and came up with this “ballpark estimate”: Lawyer employment would drop slightly more than 13 percent if automation is applied to law practice. ... A 13 percent drop would pose a big problem if it occurred in one year, but that impact would have less of an impact if it occurs over a more realistic five-year time frame, the study says. ...

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January 5, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Fall 2016 Law School Applicants Up 0.7%

LSACFollowing up on the nascent law school rebound (Number of LSAT Test-Takers Increases 7.4%, The Fourth Consecutive (And Biggest) Increase):  LSAC, Three-Year ABA Volume Comparison:

As of 01/01/16, there are 117,498 2016 applications submitted by 20,095 applicants for the 2016–2017 academic year. Applicants are up 0.7% and applications are down 2.3% from 2015–2016. Last year at this time, we had 36% of the preliminary final applicant count.


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January 5, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Richard Posner:  How To Fix Law School

Divergent PathsSalon:  Here’s How We Fix Law School: This Is The Real-World Training Future Lawyers Need, by Richard Posner (Judge. U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit) (from Divergent Paths: The Academy and the Judiciary (Harvard University Press, 2016)):

The first year of law school, usually so different from the student’s previous educational experiences, is bound to make a lasting, indeed a lifelong, impression.The first-year program at most law schools is demanding, though less than it used to be; current tuition levels tend to induce law schools to treat students more as customers than as plebes. I felt changed after my first year (1959–1960) as a student at the Harvard Law School—I felt that I had become more intelligent.The basic training was in learning how to extract holdings from judicial opinions in common law fields and how to apply those holdings to novel factual situations—in other words how to determine the scope and meaning of a legal doctrine.The courses were very difficult because the legal vocabulary was unfamiliar; the professors asked incessant, difficult questions, usually cold calling; the casebooks had very little explanatory material; and we were told not to waste our time reading secondary materials—and most of us were docile and so obeyed.That first year of Harvard Law School was active learning at its best.

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January 5, 2016 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (11)

Prof Sues Amherst, Says She Was Pressured To Have Sex With Students To Increase Enrollment

Monday, January 4, 2016

Krugman:  Professors Have Not Become More Liberal; They Have Rejected A GOP That Has Moved Sharply Right

New York Times:   The Conscience of a Liberal — Academics And Politics, by Paul Krugman (Princeton):

Via Noah Smith, an interesting back-and-forth about the political leanings of professors. Conservatives are outraged at what they see as a sharp leftward movement in the academy:

Chart 1A

But what’s really happening here? Did professors move left, or did the meaning of conservatism in America change in a way that drove scholars away? You can guess what I think. But here’s some evidence. ...

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January 4, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Loyola To Host Tax Prof Dinner At ABA Tax Section Midyear Meeting In Los Angeles

ABA Tax Section Logo (2012)Tax Professors attending the ABA Tax Section Midyear Meeting in Los Angeles are invited to a dinner at Loyola Law School on Friday, Jan. 29 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.  If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Jennifer Kowal.

On a related note, please let me know if would like to break away and see the many wonders of Malibu (a 35 minute drive from the conference hotel).  I'd be happy to get together for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or drinks at one of the many beachfront spots here, or show you around America's most beautiful campus:

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January 4, 2016 in ABA Tax Section, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Top Ten Legal Education Posts Of 2015

El Niño Hits Malibu


Don't worry about us: we've battened down the hatches and stocked up on the essentials:

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January 4, 2016 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

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January 4, 2016 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

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January 4, 2016 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Holiday Weekend Roundup

Saturday, January 2, 2016

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Prof Suing Law School For Access To Admissions Data Asks Court To Stay Investigation Into His Alleged Bias Against Minority Students Initiated By Two 'Race-Baiting Professors'

UALRFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):

Arkansas Online, Professor Modifies Law School Challenge:

A professor suing the University of Arkansas at Little Rock law school over public records is now asking a judge to prevent the school from forcing him to participate in an investigation he refers to as "a witch hunt" before a hearing in his case takes place.

Law professor Robert Steinbuch sued the W.H. Bowen School of Law and the school's dean, Michael Schwartz, in November over Schwartz's refusal to turn over certain student admissions records.

Steinbuch amended his public records lawsuit earlier this month to add Associate Dean Theresa Beiner as a defendant, accusing her of retaliation over his litigation.

After two professors emailed complaints about Steinbuch's lawsuit -- questioning his grading practices and whether he is biased against minority-group students given his research conclusions that the school has lower admissions standards for black students -- an investigation into his grading and the bias complaint has begun.

A hearing over that retaliation complaint is set for Jan. 25. Steinbuch has sought relief from a judge from participating in the investigation, which he says is "based on nothing more than the baseless allegations of two rogue, race-baiting professors."

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January 2, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Friday, January 1, 2016

LexisNexis Sells Law School Publishing Business To Carolina Academic Press

LNCAPAs a LexixNexis author, I received the following email:  Law School Publishing News from LexisNexis Matthew Bender and Carolina Academic Press (posted with permission of LexisNexis):

Dear Author,

On December 31, LexisNexis® Matthew Bender® completed the sale of our law school publishing business to Carolina Academic Press. As part of this transaction, Matthew Bender® assigned all of the associated author agreements to Carolina Academic Press, and Carolina Academic Press agreed to assume all of the Matthew Bender obligations under such agreements. Therefore, Carolina Academic Press is now the publisher of your title(s).

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January 1, 2016 in Book Club, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

NLJ:  The Top 10 Legal Education Stories Of 2015

National Law JournalNational Law Journal, The Year in Law Schools:

Here are 10 of The National Law Journal’s top stories on law schools and legal education in 2015.

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January 1, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

ABA:  The Top 10 Law Stories Of 2015

ABA Journal (2014)ABA Journal, 10 Most Important Legal Stories of 2015:

As the ABA Journal staff looked back over the past year, these were the 10 legal stories which seemed the most important and prominent. ABA Journal legal affairs writer Victor Li provides a summary of each below.

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January 1, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 31, 2015

WSJ:  Japanese Law Schools Facing ‘Unprecedented Crisis’ Amidst 84% Applicant Decline

JapanWall Street Journal Law Blog: Japanese Law Schools Facing ‘Unprecedented Crisis’, by Jacob Gershman:

About a decade ago Japan embarked on an ambitious plan to groom more lawyers.

With its long tradition of out-of-court dispute resolution and lack of litigation, the country never had a lot of need for lawyers. But by 2004, a surge of civil suits and other court cases led the country to adopt a legal education system more like the one here. The country opened 68 new U.S.-style law schools within universities and set out to more than double its lawyer population, which stood at just 23,000. (The United States has more than one million lawyers, in comparison.)

Under the old system, you didn’t have to graduate from law school to become a lawyer in Japan, but had to pass an extremely difficult exam. Under the new system, a law degree was required. But it turned out that demand for lawyers and law degrees was much less than anticipated. And now, according to a new report, many of its government-subsidized law schools are shutting down or on the brink of closure.

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December 31, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ohio State Republican Law Faculty Holiday Party Enjoyed By Both

A More Practical Model For Law Schools: Medical School Residency Programs

Harvard Business Review LogoHarvard Business Review:  A More Practical Model for Law Schools, by Alice Armitage (UC-Hastings) & Robin Feldman (UC-Hastings):

The JD is no longer the ticket it once was to a stable career and high earnings. With skyrocketing levels of student debt and limited job opportunities, potential law students are foregoing legal careers. And with depleted budgets and enrollment at a 40-year low, law schools are scrambling to remain relevant.

Legal education needs a radical change. To do this, it is imperative that we rethink the standard law school model — a series of required classes, some of which have little connection to the work most students will actually do as lawyers. There is a need for scalable, affordable experiences that connect students to firms and the practice of law — similar to medical school residency programs. ...

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December 30, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Organ:  The 2015 Law School Transfer Market

TransferJerry Organ (St. Thomas) has a detailed blog post on the 2015 law school transfer market.  Interestingly, the number of transfer students (1,979) is down 9.5% from 2014 and 20.9% from 2013.  David Yellen (Dean, Loyola-Chicago) asks:  "[H]ow much lower do you think that number would be if transfer students were counted in U.S. News data?"  Arizona State continues to dominate the law school transfer market, enrolling 65 transfer students in 2015, 45.5% of its 1L class.  Other major players in the law school transfer market are Georgetown (110 students/19.0% of its 1L class), George Washington (109/20.2%), Emory (51/22.9%), Miami (44/19.2%), UC-Berkeley (49/17.9%), and Florida State (32/17.0%).

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December 30, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Solove:  Guide To Grading Law School Exams

Check out Dan Solove's very funny Guide to Grading Exams, which endorses this tried-and-true method:


December 29, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Ethics Of Law Faculty Buyouts

Faculty BuyoutsJeff Redding (St. Louis), Revisiting Buyout Ethics:

I've written on this before, but even more so now than before, it’s buyout season in American legal academia.  While there are only a few law schools’ buyout programs which have been made public, many suspect that most law schools have tried to handle their declining enrollments, in part, by buying out tenured faculty.  For the most part, buyouts are handled confidentially, lending inscrutability to their parameters—and also their ethics.  In this post, I’d like to revisit this topic and suggest again some ethical queries that should be a part of the design of every law school’s buyout program.  The following set of queries is certainly not exhaustive;  I’m sure there’s many others that could be—and will be—raised!

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December 29, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bluebook Seeks To Squelch Free Legal Citation Alternative: Does Harvard Own The Word 'Blue'?

Bluebook (20th edition)Following up on my previous post, Is The Bluebook Subject to Copyright Protection?:  Wall Street Journal Law Blog, ‘Bluebook’ Critics Incite Copyright Clash:

For close to a century "The Bluebook" has reigned as the “bible of legal citation," the guide that practicing lawyers, judges and law students turn to when they need to know the proper way to reference a case, a statute, book or article.

Now, a copyright clash is heating up between the Ivy League publishers of The Bluebook and legal activists who are preparing to post online what they describe as a simpler, free alternative to the manual’s punctilious precepts.

The latest turn came this month when open-records activist Carl Malamud tweeted about the coming release of “Baby Blue,” the name that he and his project partner New York University law professor Christopher Sprigman are calling their rival guide. ...

On Christmas Eve a consortium of four law reviews that publishes The Bluebook responded with a letter from a white-collar IP litigator [Peter M. Brody, Ropes & Gray] cautioning them about their plans.

TechDirt, Harvard Law Review Freaks Out, Sends Christmas Eve Threat Over Public Domain Citation Guide:

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December 29, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Louisville Law Prof Objects To 'Chinese Mind Control' Diversity Training

LouisvilleLouisville Courier-Journal op-ed:  U of L's Diversity Gone Awry, by Russell Weaver (Professor of Law and Distinguished University Scholar, Louisville):

A couple of years ago, the acting dean of the law school ordered all law faculty and staff to attend “diversity training” sponsored by the vice president for diversity. At that training, we were first asked to identify our religious preferences: Would everyone who is Catholic please stand up? Would everyone who is Jewish please stand up? Would everyone who is agnostic please stand up? Would everyone who is atheist please stand up? We were then asked to identify our sexual orientation. Would everyone who is gay please stand up? Would everyone who is a lesbian please stand up? We were asked then asked to stand if we were disabled.

The session was conducted like Chinese mind-control training. Before the first group was asked to stand up, we were instructed that we were expected to clap for each group, and we were told that polite clapping was simply insufficient. For each group, we were required to clap and affirm with a “woo-hoo” level of vigor. Thus, devout Catholics were required to go “woo-hoo” for agnostics and atheists, agnostics were required to do likewise for Catholics, and heterosexual individuals were required to go “woo-hoo” for gays and lesbians.

Group speak was the agenda of the day. Individuality and, indeed, diversity of thought were adamantly discouraged. ... Even more troubling, Brandeis law school’s acting dean and the vice president for diversity ordered students to undergo the same type of diversity training at orientation. ...

From faculty hiring to diversity training, the University of Louisville has veered badly off course in recent years. It is time for change.

Louisville Courier-Journal letter to the editor:  Why Air U of L Diversity Issues Publicly?, by Bruce Kleinschmidt (J.D. 1978, Louisville):

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December 29, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (11)

Monday, December 28, 2015

Merritt:  Should Law Professors Know The Rules Of Professional Conduct?

MPREDeborah Jones Merritt (Ohio State), Should Law Professors Know the Rules of Professional Conduct?:

I graduated from law school before the ABA mandated courses in professional responsibility. I was also sworn into the bar before my jurisdiction required candidates to take the MPRE. As a judicial clerk and law firm associate, I knew a few of the most relevant (to my position) rules--but that wasn't many. For most of my tenure as a law professor, I ignored the rules; I figured they were the province of my colleagues who taught Professional Responsibility.

Then, when I waived into the Ohio bar a few years ago, I had to sign an affidavit swearing that I had read Ohio's rules. I don't like to lie, and I knew there must be a rule against that, so I spent a few days reading all of the rules and comments. Now I'm a convert: Every law professor should know her state's rules of professional conduct. In fact, I believe that every law professor (including those without law licenses) should (1) pass the MPRE and (2) participate regularly in workshops related to the rules of professional conduct. Why so? There are at least five reasons.

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December 28, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (9)

A Harvard Medical School Professor Makes The Case For The Liberal Arts And Philosophy

Washington Post:  A Harvard Medical School Professor Makes the Case for the Liberal Arts and Philosophy, by David Silbersweig (Harvard Medical School):

Recently, when philosophy and America’s higher education system were devalued by Sen. Marco Rubio during the Republican presidential debate and in subsequent statements, my thoughts returned to my sophomore year at Dartmouth, when I went back to my childhood dentist during a school break.

In the chit-chat of the checkup, as I lay back in the chair with the suction tube in my mouth, he asked: “What are you majoring in at college?” When I replied that I was majoring in philosophy, he said: “What are you going to do with that?”

“Think,” I replied.

And what a continuously giving gift philosophy has been.

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December 28, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Chronicle:  At Harvard Law School, A Sex-Assault Case That Won't Go Away

HHChronicle of Higher Education, At Harvard Law, a Sex-Assault Case That Won't Go Away:

Nearly five years ago Kamilah Willingham, then a student at Harvard Law School, told university officials that a fellow student, Brandon Winston, had sexually assaulted her and a friend. Since then the case has been adjudicated several times, through both criminal and campus proceedings, and both parties have indicated that they are trying to move on. Ms. Willingham, who graduated in 2011, now works at a women’s law center; Mr. Winston, who was convicted of a misdemeanor charge but not of sexual assault, re-enrolled at Harvard this fall for his final year of school.

But the alleged assaults against the two women, which occurred after an evening of drinking in January 2011, continue to haunt Ms. Willingham, Mr. Winston, and the university. A continuing debate over the public’s perception of what happened that night has again flared up. And many law-school professors have joined in, raising a new round of questions about the university’s past and future handling of sexual-assault complaints.

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December 28, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Holiday Weekend Roundup

Sunday, December 27, 2015

NY Times: The 2-Year J.D. Fails To Take Off

NY Times Dealbook (2013)New York Times Deal Book:  The 2-Year Law Education Fails to Take Off, by Elizabeth Olson:

A quicker, cheaper law degree — which got a major vote of confidence when President Obama, a lawyer and former law professor, unexpectedly endorsed it in August 2013 — has been widely promoted as an ideal way to slash growing student debt and give beginning lawyers a leg up in a difficult job market.

But one of the most visible experiments, the two-year law degree, has foundered so far. The only elite school to adopt it, the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, this fall ended its accelerated two-year juris doctor program after it failed to attract enough applicants.

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December 27, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Friday, December 25, 2015

A Hallelujah Christmas

In Hoc Anno Domini

The Wall Street Journal has published this wonderful editorial each Christmas since 1949, In Hoc Anno Domini:

When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar.

Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was so.

But everywhere there was something else, too. There was oppression -- for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar. There was the tax gatherer to take the grain from the fields and the flax from the spindle to feed the legions or to fill the hungry treasury from which divine Caesar gave largess to the people. There was the impressor to find recruits for the circuses. There were executioners to quiet those whom the Emperor proscribed. What was a man for but to serve Caesar?

There was the persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world?

Then, of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's.

And the voice from Galilee, which would defy Caesar, offered a new Kingdom in which each man could walk upright and bow to none but his God. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. And he sent this gospel of the Kingdom of Man into the uttermost ends of the earth.

Read the rest here.

December 25, 2015 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Feldman:  Do Christians, Muslims And Jews Worship The Same God?

JCIBloomberg View:  One God for Christians, Muslims and Jews? Good Question, by Noah Feldman (Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Harvard Law School):

Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God, as Pope Francis and suspended Wheaton College professor Larycia Hawkins affirm? Or are Allah and the Christian deity two different things, as the Wheaton administration believes? ... [T]he debate is also a major issue for Jewish-Christian relations. If Christians and Muslims don’t worship the same God, then neither do Christians and Jews. ...

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December 25, 2015 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

'Twas the Night Before Christmas (Legal Edition)

Twas 6

Check out the original and legal versions of the classic poem, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas [click on chart to enlarge]:


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December 24, 2015 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

How A Christmas Carol Shaped My World

Christmas CarolBarry Sullivan (Loyola-Chicago), A Book that Shaped Your World: Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, 50 Alberta L. Rev. 934 (2013):

To celebrate the Alberta Law Review's fiftieth volume, the book review editors invited friends and alumni to put aside for a moment their required reading, and reflect briefly on the books that have shaped their approaches to life and the law. Professor Sullivan chose to reflect upon the perennially popular A Christmas Carol, to thoughtful and poetic effect.

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December 24, 2015 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

McEntee:  Law School Tuition Is Still Too High

Kyle McEntee (Law School Transparency), Breaking News: Law School Tuition Still Too High:

Okay, so that’s not breaking news. But with the ABA’s annual law school data dump last week, we have another year of tuition data to analyze.

Let’s start with the basics.

Tuition has increased each year as far back as we can see. Some point out that tuition discounts increased too, but more than one-third of students enrolled at ABA-approved law schools are paying full price this year. With scholarships predominately provided in exchange for relatively higher LSAT scores and GPAs, the weakest one-third subsidizes the strongest two-thirds.

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December 24, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (9)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Frakt:  Whittier Law School's Abysmal Bar Exam Results

WhittierFollowing up on Monday's post, July 2015 California Bar Exam ResultsDavid Frakt (Former Dean Candidate, Florida Coastal), It Ain't Getting Prettier, Whittier:

Back on December 4, Whittier Law Professor Sheldon Lyke wrote a post here on TFL which was sharply critical of Law School Transparency. In fact, he accused Law School Transparency of “instigating a dangerous national discourse” by suggesting that law schools were admitting students at very high risk of failing out of law school and/or failing the bar based on their poor LSAT scores and grades.  In his post, Professor Lyke claimed that the “LSAT is at best a weak predictor of first-time bar passage” and  “there is no evidence that law school graduates are not eventually passing the bar.”  Both of these claims are nonsensical. ...

Whittier’s first-time pass rate in July 2015 was 38% (46 of 122).  This was the lowest of the 21 (!) ABA-Accredited law schools in California, just edging out Golden Gate (48 of 122 for a 39% first-time pass rate).  In fact, Lincoln Law School of Sacramento, a California-accredited, non-ABA approved school had better results than Whittier. (23 of 53 for a 44% rate). Two other state accredited schools also surpassed Whittier’s results, albeit with very small groups of takers.  And Whittier’s summer 2015 results were no fluke.  In Feb 2015, their first time pass rate was 30% (3 of 10). In July 2014, it was 43% (70 of 164).

So, Dean Penelope Bryan, do you still contend that “[t]he LSAT score has no predictive value for the success of Whittier Law School students on the bar exam” as you told the LA Times?

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December 23, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Teacher, Scholar, Mother: Re-Envisioning Motherhood In The Academy

YoungTeacher, Scholar, Mother: Re-Envisioning Motherhood in the Academy (Anna M. Young (Pacific Lutheran University), ed.) (2015) (Table of Contents):

Anna Young’s edited collection Teacher, Scholar, Mother offers an important examination into the challenges mother-scholars continue to face, yet the insights provided by the authors extend beyond academia. Covering topics as varied as breastfeeding choices to mediated representations of mothers, the eighteen chapters will be of interest to anyone who is interested in promoting the possibility of a more empowered motherhood. (Sara Hayden, University of Montana)

Teacher, Scholar, Mother is a conceptually rich and accessible interdisciplinary collection that vividly captures the unique challenges women face as they balance their diverse roles at different stages in their lives as mothers and academics. Young’s collection stands out from other works on motherhood and academic life in its reflective focus on how the experience of mothering brings new life and understanding to research in the arts, humanities, and sciences. (Anne T. Demo, Pennsylvania State University)

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December 23, 2015 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog's 10,000th Tweet


December 23, 2015 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

NYU Spends $1.1 Million To Renovate President's Penthouse While Students Drown in Debt

NYU (2014) 2New York Times, Penthouse for N.Y.U.’s President Gets a Costly Upgrade:

New York University is known for bestowing lavish perks on its leaders. Its new president, Andrew Hamilton, will be no exception.

Anticipating his January arrival from the University of Oxford, where he has been vice chancellor, N.Y.U. has been completely renovating a 4,200-square-foot penthouse duplex with four bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms and an expansive rooftop terrace. The apartment is in a landmark building at 37 Washington Square West in Greenwich Village, and it will be Dr. Hamilton’s residence, a university spokesman said.

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December 23, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Law School Nonprofit Buys Bill Henderson's Lawyer Metrics Company

HendersonABA Journal, Law School Nonprofit Buys Bill Henderson's Lawyer Metrics Company:

A nonprofit group made up of about 200 law schools is acquiring the assets of Lawyer Metrics, a company formed in 2010 partly to help law firms use statistics to hire and retain the best legal talent.

The Access Group announced the acquisition in a press release. Lawyer Metrics was co-founded by Indiana University law professor William Henderson and Pennsylvania State University statistics professor Christopher Zorn, and both will stay with the company after the sale to the Access Group. ...

Henderson says he and Zorn were eager for their company to become a nonprofit and sought out the Access Group as a potential buyer. “This is an absolutely ideal outcome for us,” says Henderson, who says the deal will allow him to do high-impact work.

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December 22, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thomas Jefferson Grad With $170k Debt Working As Uber Driver Sues School Over Misleading Placement Data

Thomas Jefferson Logo (2015)Business Insider, A Guy With $170,000 in Student Loans Who Can't Find a Job in the Legal Profession Is Suing His Law School and Working Full Time for Uber:

Clark Moffatt, 35, says he dreamed of a career in criminal justice when he graduated from San Diego's Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 2006.

But since graduating, he says he's never held a job in the legal profession, or earned more than $25,000 a year. He lives in a rented mobile home and receives food stamps to provide for his wife and two children, he says. ...

Moffatt is one of 12 former TJSL students now suing the law school, which they claim intentionally inflated postgraduation employment figures and salaries in order to lure applicants. ...

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December 22, 2015 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Last-Minute Christmas Gift Idea For Faculty And Students

NapTax Prof Jack Bogdanski (Lewis & Clark) passed along this wonderful Christmas gift idea for your favorite faculty colleague (for use at faculty meetings) (right) or student (for use in class) (below):

The Power Nap Head Pillow This is the head-enveloping pillow that blocks out noise and light to create a private zone for catching a quick power nap. Designed in Spain, the cozy cocoon fits snugly over the head and neck while leaving a large opening for the nose and mouth. The pillow allows users to tune out their surroundings, creating a dark, quiet microenvironment ideal for achieving a deep, restful sleep whether stranded in a crowded airport or recharging between meetings at work. Pockets over the ears muffle ambient sound and serve as a place to tuck hands while leaning forward over a tray table or desk. The soft pillow cradles the head with more than 4" of hypoallergenic stuffing and collapses for easy packing and storage. It can also be used as a standard pillow. Includes storage bag. Viscose rayon fabric can be spot cleaned. Gray exterior, Blue interior. 17 3/4" H x 11" W x 6" D. (2 1/4 lbs.)

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December 21, 2015 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

July 2015 California Bar Exam Results

California State BarThe July 2015 California bar passage rates by school are out. Here are the results for first time test takers for the 21 California ABA-approved law schools, along with each school's U.S. News ranking (California and overall):

Bar Pass

Rank (Rate)



US News Rank

CA (Overall)

1 (88.8%)


1 (2)

2 (86.7%)


4 (20)

3 (85.4%)


3 (16)

4 (84.8%)


2 (8)

5 (79.8%)


5 (30)

6 (76.5%)


10 (75)

7 (74.3%)


6 (31)

8 (72.0%)

San Diego

9 (71)

9 (71.2%)


12 (127)

10 (69.9%)


Tier 2

11 (69.3%)

Santa Clara

11 (94)

12 (68.7%)


7 (52)


Statewide Ave. (CA ABA-Approved)

13 (67.5%)


8 (59)

14 (59.9%)


Tier 2

15 (55.6%)

Western State

Tier 2

16 (53.3%)

La Verne


17 (50.6%)


Tier 2

18 (47.7%)

T. Jefferson

Tier 2

19 (47.4%)

San Francisco

Tier 2

20 (39.3%)

Golden Gate

Tier 2

21 (37.7%)


Tier 2

One of the California-accredited law school (Lincoln Law School of Sacramento) had a higher pass rate (44.3% (23/52)) than two of the ABA-accredited law schools (Golden Gate (39.3%) and Whittier (37.7%)).

Here are the out-of-state schools with the highest and lowest pass rates:

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December 21, 2015 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup