Paul L. Caron
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Saturday, April 10, 2021

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Jones Day Nabs NINE U.S. Supreme Court Law Clerks From October Term 2019-20 With $400,000 Bonuses

Jones Day

Jones Day Adds Nine U.S. Supreme Court Clerks From October Term 2019:

The global law firm Jones Day has announced that nine former U.S. Supreme Court clerks from October Term 2019 have joined the Firm as associates in the Firm's Issues & Appeals Practice. Jones Day has recruited 64 U.S. Supreme Court clerks since October Term 2011.

"As we continue to be a leading destination for lawyers who want to work on important, cutting-edge legal issues from the earliest stages of litigation through appeal, we welcome this year's class of clerks, who join five different Jones Day offices," said Traci L. Lovitt, leader of Jones Day's Issues & Appeals Practice. "These talented lawyers have a terrific understanding of case law, and their analytical skills and deep insights into the latest legal developments will be of great value to clients."

The new arrivals, office locations, the Justices for whom they clerked, their law schools [Chicago (2), Duke, Harvard (3), Michigan, Notre Dame, Yale], and prior clerkships are as follows: ...

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April 10, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

7th Annual Parris Awards At Pepperdine Caruso Law

Congratulations to our student, staff, and faculty winners at THursday's 7th Annual Parris Awards at Pepperdine Caruso Law:

Parris 1Student Awards

Evan T. Carthen 1L Award
Section A: Tyler Lisea
Section B: Tyra Jenkins
Section C: Susan Posluszny

Excellence in Service
Brynn Barton

Excellence in Professionalism
Gage Eller

Excellence in Peacemaking
Zino Osehobo

Excellence in Courage
Roxanne Swedelson
Sophie Sarchet

Excellence in Leadership
Zachary Carstens
Amy Jicha

Excellence in Character
Alexandra Boutelle

Pepperdine Award
Kelly Shea Delvac

Preceptor Award
Awards are also presented to alumni preceptors, who are paired with first-year students as mentors during their first year of law school

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April 10, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Dorothy Brown: College Exacerbates The Racial Wealth Gap

Washington Post op-ed:  College Isn’t the Solution for the Racial Wealth Gap. It’s Part of the Problem, by Dorothy Brown (Emory):

Higher education is supposedly the ticket to a better future, and it usually translates to a larger salary regardless of race, according to a 2011 study from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. But college does not pay off for Black students the way it does for White students. At virtually every step — from taking out loans to facing a racist job market to dealing with repayment plans — Black students and their families have disadvantages. As a result, the Black-White wealth gap widens.

Black college graduates have higher debt loads, on average, than White college graduates. Black debt rises over time, White debt diminishes. Upon graduation, the average Black graduate owes $23,400 vs. the White graduate’s $16,000, according to the Brookings Institution. Four years later, the gap triples. Even at the top end of the income spec­trum, Black students have higher student loans ($4,643, on average) than White students ($3,835), and Black parents take out larger loans to help pay for college ($3,303 vs. $1,903).

What accounts for that difference? First, it’s the schools students attend. Wealthier colleges, which can afford to award financial aid and scholarships, disproportionately admit White students: White students are almost five times as likely to go to a selective university than Black students, even when controlling for income. Meanwhile, a higher share (12 percent) of Black students attend for-profit colleges than very selective universities (9 percent), because online and part-time features allow them to work while getting their degrees. These schools usually do not award any financial aid and are in effect extremely expensive, given their low graduation rates

Another factor is the wealth disparity between Black and White families. Black college students are less likely than their White peers to receive tax-free gifts from their parents and grandparents. ...

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April 10, 2021 in Tax, Tax News | Permalink

U.S. Department Of Education Terminates Florida Coastal Law School's Eligibility For Federal Student Loans; ABA Demands Teach-Out Plan

Statement of William E. Adams, Jr., Managing Director, ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar Regarding Florida Coastal School of Law:

Florida Coastal (2017)On April 2, 2021, the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar was informed of the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to end access to federal student financial aid for Florida Coastal School of Law effective April 1, 2021. While the Department of Education's action could have a bearing on the law school's ability to operate in compliance with the ABA Standards, Florida Coastal School of Law remains an ABA-approved law school. Under the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools, formal Council action is required to withdraw a law school’s approval. The process for the law school to qualify for and maintain its access to federal student financial aid is a U.S. Department of Education process.

In the wake of the Department of Education’s decision, the ABA has directed Florida Coastal School of Law to file a teach-out plan.

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April 10, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, April 9, 2021

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Eyal-Cohen Reviews Measuring And Valuing Wealth For Federal Wealth Tax Reform

This week, Mirit Eyal-Cohen (Alabama; Google Scholar) reviews David Gamage (Indiana; Google Scholar), Ari Glogower (Ohio State; Google Scholar) and Kitty Richards (Independent), How to Measure and Value Wealth for a Federal Wealth Tax Reform, Roosevelt Inst. Issue Brief (2021):   

Mirit-Cohen (2018)

One of the most debated topic in the last decade is wealth inequality and the unequal distribution of assets among individuals in the U.S.. Wealth distribution becomes even more skewed when race and ethnicity are involved with (not surprisingly) a staggering racial wealth gap.

Recent proposals to reduce the wealth gap (such as those proposed by Senators Warren and Sanders) encountered the hurdle that fails to succeed any tax reform—overcoming valuation issues.  Our current income tax system is cash realization–based and thus mostly takes a deferral-based approach to valuation of wealth accumulation, which makes valuation of wealth rather challenging. If we truly want to make a progress on narrowing the income inequality gap and tax income and wealth of the highest income taxpayers in our society, we have to find efficient ways to overcome assessment difficulties, namely how to measure and value taxpayers’ wealth. This report—published under the auspices of the Roosevelt Institute, a think tank of experts on the American economy—is a practical attempt by Gamage, Glogower, and Richards to do just that.  

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April 9, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Weekly SSRN Roundup, Weekly Tax Roundup | Permalink

Tax Policy In The Biden Administration

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Next Week's Virtual Tax Workshops

Monday, April 12: Anne Alstott (Yale) will deliver the annual Richard Crawford Pugh Lecture on Tax Law & Policy at San Diego on Child Care Reform After the Pandemic: Towards a Public Option. If you would like to attend, please contact San Diego Law Events.

Thursday, April 15: Allison Christians (McGill; Google Scholar) will present The Case for a Sustainable Excess Profits Tax (with Tarcisio Diniz Magalhaes (Antwerp)) virtually at Indiana as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Leandra Lederman.

Thursday, April 15: Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar) will present Law and the New Dynamic Public Finance virtually at Duke as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact  Richard Schmalbeck or Lawrence Zelenak.

Friday, April 16: Ronald J. Gilson (Columbia; Google Scholar) will present Value Creation by Business Lawyers: Legal Skills and Asset Pricing (with Michael S. Knoll (Penn) commentating) virtually at the Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs: Tax Meets Non-Tax Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Tsilly Dagan or Ruth Mason.

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April 9, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

2022 U.S. News Omnibus Specialty Rankings v. Overall Rankings

Following up on yesterday's post, 2022 U.S. News Omnibus Specialty Rankings:

Here are the law schools whose U.S. News Omnibus Specialty Ranking most exceeds their overall U.S. News Ranking:

  School Specialty Rank Overall Rank Difference
1 American 22 81 +59
2 Suffolk 75 129 +54
2 UIC-John Marshall 93 147 +54
4 Seattle 74 126 +52
5 Rutgers 46 91 +45
6 Denver 34 78 +44
7 Pace 97 139 +42
8 Pacific 100 141 +41
8 Santa Clara 85 126 +41
10 Mitchell-Hamline 107 147 +40
11 Loyola-New Orleans 105 144 +39
12 Hofstra 81 119 +38
13 Baltimore 94 129 +35
14 Brooklyn 49 81 +32
14 UC-Hastings 18 50 +32
16 San Diego 57 86 +29
17 Loyola-Chicago 50 78 +28
18 Houston 33 60 +27
18 Loyola-L.A. 45 72 +27
20 Chicago-Kent 66 91 +25
20 Miami 47 72 +25
22 New York Law School 95 119 +24
22 San Francisco 123 147 +24
24 Georgia State 55 78 +23
24 Howard 68 91 +23
24 Indiana (McKinney) 88 111 +23
27 Syracuse 80 102 +22
28 DePaul 90 111 +21
28 Ohio State 19 40 +21
28 South Texas 126 147 +21
28 UC-Irvine 14 35 +21
32 Widener (DE) 127 147 +20
33 Stetson 92 111 +19
33 Tulane 41 60 +19
33 Vermont 128 147 +19
33 Univ. of Washington 26 45 +19
37 George Washington 9 27 +18
38 Temple 36 53 +17
39 Southwestern 131 147 +16
40 Case Western 58 72 +14
40 Fordham 21 35 +14
40 Georgetown 1 15 +14
40 South Carolina 82 96 +14
44 Willamette 135 147 +12
45 Golden Gate 136 147 +11
45 Gonzaga 118 129 +11
45 Maryland 39 50 +11
48 Quinnipiac 119 129 +10
49 Widener (PA) 138 147 +9
50 UNLV 52 60 +8

Here are the law schools whose U.S. News Omnibus Specialty Ranking most trails their overall U.S. News Ranking:

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April 9, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

24th Annual Critical Tax Theory Conference At UC-Irvine

UC-Irvine hosts the 24th Annual Critical Tax Theory Conference (program):

UCI_Law_1lineblue_logoThe Critical Tax Theory Conference has a long history of fostering the work of both established and emerging scholars whose research challenges and enriches the tax law and policy literature. Critical tax scholars question assumptions of objectivity in tax, as their work explores how tax law and policy impact historically marginalized groups. At a time when tax policy is once again at the forefront of politics and public discourse, the work of these and other critical tax scholars supports a more robust discussion of the role for tax law in current and future social and economic policy.

Panel #1: 

  • Leslie Book (Villanova), Keith Fogg (Harvard) & Nina E. Olson (Center for Taxpayer Rights), Administrative Burdens, Sludge, and Individual Taxpayer Rights
  • Michelle Layser (Illinois), Subsidizing Gentrification: A Spatial Analysis Of Place-Based Tax Incentives
  • Nancy Shurtz (Oregon) & Esther Sherman, When We Breathe: Reinventing the EITC for a More Just and Caring World
  • Moderator:  Mirit Eyal-Cohen (Alabama) 
  • Commentators:   Joshua Blank (UC-Irvine) & Christine Kim (Utah) 

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April 9, 2021 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Workshops | Permalink

LSAC: Law School Policies And Practices — Justice-Impacted Individuals

Elizabeth Bodamer & Debra Langer (LSAC), Justice-Impacted Individuals in the Pipeline: A National Exploration of Law School Policies and Practices:

Approximately one in three adults in the United States has some form of criminal record—similar to the ratio of adults with 4-year college degrees in the U.S. (Friedman, 2015). The wide reach of the criminal justice system, including police contacts, arrests, and incarcerations, is heavily concentrated in poor communities and communities of color. Therefore, it is important to examine barriers specific to justice-impacted individuals throughout the application, enrollment, and educational experience in order to ensure that policies and practices do not unintentionally serve as mechanisms of exclusion that disproportionally impact applicants of color and low-income applicants.

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC), in collaboration with the National Justice Impact Bar Association (NJIBA), developed and administered the 2020 Justice Impact Law School Survey to explore policies and procedures that specifically affect law schools' justice-impacted applicants and students, focusing on policies, practices, and services during the 2019-2020 academic year. Eighty-five schools from across all geographic regions of the U.S. completed some or all of the survey. The results from the survey provide an overview of current law school practices related to (a) recruitment and admission; (b) applicants, admission, and enrollment; (c) application review procedures; (d) student information and services, (e) employees and training; and (f) policies. The purpose of this report is to initiate a conversation about justice-impacted individuals as part of LSAC’s mission to promote equity in access to legal education and to support diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

Key Survey Results

  • Only 2 of 85 responding schools reported intentionally recruiting students who were justice-impacted.
  • The majority of schools indicated that they require applicants to disclose felony convictions, misdemeanor convictions, felony charges, misdemeanor charges, arrests, juvenile convictions, juvenile charges, and juvenile arrests.mm

LSAC

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April 9, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Gender Equality, Taxation, And The COVID-19 Recovery

Yvette Lind (Copenhagen Business School; Google Scholar) & Åsa Gunnarsson (University of Umea), Gender Equality, Taxation, and the COVID-19 Recovery: A Study of Sweden and Denmark, 101 Tax Notes Int'l 581 (Feb. 1, 2021):

Tax Notes Int'lThe impact of COVID-19 is at the moment undeniably extensive as the world faces the most severe recession in nearly a century. Economic emergency programs, the design and implementation of COVID-19 tax policies and subsequent state aid actions have been launched in many countries to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. Women have, in comparison to men, also reduced their hours of work to care for, and home school, children. Aggregating already existing problems associated to both the loss of paid work hours and to the gender-segregated allocation of unpaid hours for household work and caring. The sudden closure of childcare programs and schools in many countries has had a crucial impact for women whose labour force participation depends on these institutions. The possibility of several waves of the virus that could trigger additional childcare closures make it extremely likely that married women (in general when considering the current norm of heterosexual couples) in particular may be slower to re-enter the work force in the hope of protecting the (single-breadwinner) family income.

The ambition with this paper is to tackle the complexity of both new and old societal challenges for the realization of gender equality obligations through tax provisions and tax policies at the national level.

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April 9, 2021 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Things They Don't Teach You In Dean School

I was ending a meeting with an alum in my yard and the development officer was taking our photo. We heard a rattle and thought it was the sprinklers coming on. Wrong:

Snake
 

April 8, 2021 in Legal Education | Permalink

Biden's Made In America Tax Plan

Cain: The Unfairness Of The Marriage Tax Penalty

Pat Cain (Santa Clara), The Unfairness of the Marriage Tax Penalty:

Wisconsin Republican U.S. Representative Glenn Grothman recently criticized the Covid-19 relief bill by pointing to the marriage penalty that is embedded in the earned income tax credit, the EITC. He then inexplicably used the penalty in the Democratic-backed bill to take a swipe at the Black Lives Matter movement, claiming they did not honor the traditional married family. Representative Grothman is just wrong about the BLM point. The group seeks to value all families, and there are many in all of our communities that do not fit the traditional married family model. On the other hand Representative Grothman is absolutely correct about the problem of the marriage penalty in our tax code.

Still, it doesn’t seem fair to lay the blame at the feet of the Democrats or attribute the problem to the Covid-19 relief bill, as though that is the law that created the problem. The marriage penalty has been lurking throughout the Internal Revenue Code for some time. Both Democrat and Republican administrations have contributed to the problem. Both parties have, at times, taken a stab at reducing the problem. But so far no one has succeeded. ...

How to Remedy the Marriage Penalty Problem

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April 8, 2021 in Tax | Permalink

Legal Education Needs A Wellness Reckoning

Bloomberg Law op-ed:  Legal Education Needs a Wellness Reckoning, by Janet Thompson Jackson (Washburn):

No one goes to law school with the expectation that their mental health and overall well-being will be significantly compromised during those three years. But, for a substantial number of law students, it is. It does not have to be this way.

Bloomberg Law

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April 8, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

A ‘Bank Run’ At Notre Dame Law School

Update:  Karen Sloan (Law.com), A 'Thunderdome' Competition? Admitted Students Got Shut Out at This Law School Amid Deposit Frenzy

Inside Higher Ed, A ‘Bank Run’ at Notre Dame Law:

Notre Dame Law (2020)It was a banner year for law school applications. The number of applicants this year was up about 21 percent compared to last year, according to the Law School Admissions Council. Total applications were up 32 percent.

An increase that big can be tricky for an admissions department. Now, at least one law school has overadmitted its incoming class.

Admitted applicants to University of Notre Dame Law School were told upon acceptance that there were no reserved spaces for students. The deadline was April 15, but if the university received its maximum number of $600 deposits, the rest of the admitted students would be waitlisted.

On Tuesday, a few minutes before 11 a.m. Eastern time, Notre Dame sent those admitted students an email. Two-thirds of the seats had been claimed by deposits, a benchmark usually reached two to three days before the deadline. The email said Notre Dame would send another note when 80 percent of seats were reserved, and two more emails when 90 and 100 percent of seats were claimed.

Five hours later, 80 percent of spots were taken, Notre Dame told admits. One hour after that, at 5 p.m., Notre Dame told applicants there was no more time.

“We have now reached our target number of deposits,” the email said. “We have turned off our deposit forms to ensure that we do not overenroll.”

The incident, first reported in Above the Law, a website for legal news, has shaken prospective law students. Applicants who were waiting on offers from other schools, who weren’t checking their email or who couldn’t come up with $600 quickly saw their chance to attend Notre Dame Law School vanish, despite the fact that they were admitted. ...

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April 8, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

2022 U.S. News Omnibus Specialty Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2022 U.S. News Specialty Rankings include the rankings for 13 specialty programs at 193 law schools. Here are the Top 100 law schools, determined by giving equal weight to each of the 13 separate specialty rankings:

  1. Business/Corporate Law
  2. Clinical Law
  3. Constitutional Law
  4. Contracts/Commercial Law
  5. Criminal Law
  6. Dispute Resolution 
  7. Environmental Law
  8. Health Care Law
  9. Intellectual Property Law
  10. International Law
  11. Legal Writing
  12. Tax Law
  13. Trial Advocacy

  School 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Avg.
1 Georgetown 12 1 9 11 7 24 7 7 13 5 9 3 15 9.5
2 Stanford 3 15 3 5 4 13 10 7 1 10 114 11 42 18.3
3 NYU 3 4 3 7 1 32 4 45 3 1 68 1 67 18.4
4 Michigan 9 6 13 7 10 32 37 23 15 6 9 8 67 18.6
5 Northwestern 12 9 15 13 13 7 44 37 19 26 25 4 21 18.8
6 Harvard 1 24 1 2 2 1 7 7 19 2 159 8 30 20.2
7 UC-Berkeley 3 9 6 7 2 32 1 45 1 6 121 23 17 21.0
8 UCLA 8 24 9 13 10 32 4 32 19 14 100 8 7 21.5
9 George Washington 22 24 27 26 27 24 10 20 4 6 34 28 54 23.5
10 Duke 12 50 9 13 13 52 16 23 15 10 34 16 67 25.4
11 Virginia 9 56 8 7 4 32 30 41 19 10 80 4 61 27.8
12 Texas 17 40 9 11 17 19 30 29 26 18 68 16 67 28.2
13 Penn 3 32 15 5 7 32 48 20 13 14 68 21 105 29.5
14 UC-Irvine 44 6 20 34 27 24 32 37 19 22 9 6 105 29.6
15 Washington Univ. 25 9 20 23 30 19 48 29 44 22 80 28 19 30.5
16 Columbia 2 22 6 1 7 15 7 45 15 3 159 11 105 30.6
17 Yale 9 4 1 4 4 32 20 15 52 3 154 14 90 30.9
18 UC-Hastings 28 19 33 34 30 8 24 13 30 26 121 16 21 31.0
19 Ohio State 44 56 27 18 13 2 65 18 44 49 25 34 54 34.5
20 Boston Univ. 19 40 24 26 23 63 57 4 12 32 68 16 67 34.7
21 Fordham 18 19 33 23 18 17 65 77 19 18 100 39 8 34.9
22 American 70 3 52 56 23 63 37 11 8 6 61 53 12 35.0
23 Arizona State 48 56 35 45 30 13 20 16 71 32 3 28 67 35.7
24 Minnesota 19 32 27 18 18 48 24 20 38 29 46 25 124 36.0
25 Vanderbilt 12 40 17 17 13 32 15 32 26 22 121 39 105 37.8
26 Univ. of Washington 48 32 46 26 36 19 34 41 15 39 41 34 105 39.7
27 Boston College 36 24 35 34 50 41 24 41 33 35 46 14 105 39.8
28 North Carolina 28 50 20 18 18 77 37 37 52 58 9 25 90 39.9
29 Chicago 7 40 3 2 10 63 73 45 38 18 159 6 79 41.8
30 Cornell 16 50 13 13 22 45 65 77 38 13 61 28 105 42.0
31 William & Mary 36 74 18 26 18 52 57 66 52 29 46 53 42 43.8
32 UC-Davis 22 90 18 26 23 24 24 57 44 26 132 27 61 44.2
33 Houston 52 90 67 45 61 52 20 5 8 43 46 53 42 44.9
34 Denver 64 9 71 56 36 41 24 83 63 58 9 60 12 45.1
35 Emory 22 107 24 22 40 112 48 23 38 32 46 34 42 45.4
36 Temple 52 74 60 53 61 63 90 18 63 16 7 39 1 45.9
37 Georgia 28 24 35 41 40 87 82 41 75 18 68 39 30 46.8
38 Florida 28 90 46 34 50 24 20 57 52 49 121 2 42 47.3
39 Maryland 52 9 41 56 50 15 16 7 97 68 114 73 30 48.3
40 USC 19 79 27 23 40 24 65 45 63 49 68 23 105 48.5
41 Tulane 36 32 46 34 50 52 18 71 63 39 80 47 67 48.8
42 Arizona 52 64 35 56 40 77 32 45 75 35 21 60 67 50.7
43 Indiana (Maurer) 25 79 52 26 40 77 37 57 26 35 68 16 124 50.9
44 Wisconsin 36 56 27 26 30 41 42 45 85 35 100 53 90 51.2
45 Loyola-L.A. 52 99 60 62 36 48 90 57 30 92 46 11 4 52.8
46 Rutgers 64 15 52 68 60 52 73 37 85 49 9 85 42 53.2
47 Miami 48 24 46 56 50 102 48 77 63 29 80 28 42 53.3
48 Colorado 44 79 46 45 36 77 10 66 33 62 80 39 79 53.5
49 Brooklyn 36 24 41 34 27 87 121 71 75 49 34 60 42 53.9
50 Loyola-Chicago 60 74 67 79 81 45 111 3 44 68 25 47 15 55.3
51 Notre Dame 28 74 24 41 66 112 48 83 33 22 100 47 42 55.4
52 UNLV 73 40 67 45 66 5 73 32 71 110 1 60 79 55.5
53 Texas A&M 64 32 76 62 97 8 34 83 7 68 25 73 124 57.9
54 Wake Forest 52 107 52 41 30 112 48 27 102 86 5 68 28 58.3
55 Georgia State 60 40 46 68 66 95 82 1 63 92 100 39 24 59.7
56 Utah 44 64 60 53 30 112 10 32 33 58 80 60 142 59.8
57 San Diego 28 135 20 45 40 112 65 57 19 43 144 21 54 60.2
58 Case Western 78 56 52 74 77 77 57 11 52 16 80 95 67 60.9
59 Cardozo 64 40 41 45 23 8 127 83 10 49 132 68 105 61.2
60 Northeastern 89 22 83 109 50 63 90 5 38 78 25 114 42 62.2
61 Washington & Lee 36 64 60 34 50 52 90 45 85 39 100 34 124 62.5
62 Illinois 28 107 35 18 40 95 82 71 38 62 100 53 90 63.0
63 Alabama 60 50 27 26 40 87 65 71 114 78 132 39 36 63.5
64 Florida State 52 135 41 45 40 77 18 83 75 43 132 28 61 63.8
65 Iowa 28 90 35 41 40 112 121 66 52 43 46 47 124 65.0
66 Chicago-Kent 78 120 52 68 81 63 90 57 10 92 46 85 4 65.1
67 SMU 60 64 76 68 50 102 90 45 44 49 138 53 42 67.8
68 Howard 73 32 52 62 50 95 104 110 52 86 41 95 30 67.8
69 BYU 36 120 60 56 72 95 57 108 44 62 80 47 67 69.5
70 Seton Hall 78 56 71 79 77 87 82 13 90 78 61 60 90 70.9
71 Pittsburgh 78 99 71 62 61 112 90 29 44 43 68 47 124 71.4
72 Richmond 52 129 52 68 50 77 57 77 44 68 68 68 124 71.8
73 St. John's 78 90 67 87 61 24 136 71 75 68 46 114 30 72.8
74 Seattle 73 24 89 87 97 112 48 110 63 86 7 95 90 75.5
75 Suffolk 125 15 121 109 108 32 104 45 52 104 4 141 24 75.7
76 Villanova 70 64 76 68 91 112 90 110 52 92 41 34 90 76.2
77 Connecticut 64 90 60 62 66 102 73 45 90 58 80 68 142 76.9
78 Pepperdine Caruso 64 64 60 74 113 3 136 136 97 49 132 39 36 77.2
79 Tennessee 25 19 83 53 72 112 111 83 114 110 41 77 105 77.3
80 Syracuse 96 90 76 94 81 102 90 83 75 68 61 95 11 78.6
81 Hofstra 89 74 83 101 72 63 127 96 90 86 46 82 21 79.2
82 South Carolina 78 50 110 87 72 112 44 71 121 104 100 53 30 79.4
83 Oregon 78 120 76 62 81 12 10 182 121 68 1 60 162 79.5
84 Drexel 78 64 89 94 108 52 147 32 97 110 21 129 12 79.5
85 Santa Clara 89 107 89 79 81 77 111 123 4 39 100 68 90 81.3
86 Lewis & Clark 111 90 89 101 97 52 1 123 75 68 21 114 124 82.0
87 Michigan State 70 79 71 79 81 87 100 123 52 78 121 82 54 82.8
88 Indiana (McKinney) 89 129 89 79 97 112 82 16 102 68 16 77 124 83.1
89 St. Louis 96 56 83 74 97 112 136 2 90 100 80 77 90 84.1
90 DePaul 89 107 103 109 91 110 151 23 30 100 41 82 61 84.4
91 George Mason 36 129 41 45 81 100 136 108 26 78 159 73 90 84.8
92 Stetson 117 107 103 94 81 24 73 143 151 121 5 95 2 85.8
93 UIC-John Marshall 135 50 143 109 127 41 147 96 33 78 16 129 24 86.8
94 Baltimore 125 15 83 131 66 48 104 123 97 78 46 85 162 89.5
95 New York Law School 105 64 89 131 81 63 127 123 85 68 46 108 79 89.9
96 CUNY 117 1 103 109 61 77 57 104 137 104 46 187 67 90.0
97 Pace 125 79 121 131 113 63 1 83 137 78 144 77 24 90.5
97 SUNY-Buffalo 89 79 89 101 72 112 82 96 102 92 100 108 54 90.5
99 Penn State-Dickinson 96 79 103 94 97 87 82 66 109 62 80 108 124 91.3
100 Pacific 117 135 131 109 127 48 57 143 109 43 21 141 8 91.5

If anyone at a law school outside the Top 100 would like the data for their school's rank, email me.

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April 8, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

AI For Tax Analogies And Code Renumbering

Andrew Blair-Stanek (Maryland; Google Scholar) & Benjamin Van Durme (Johns Hopkins; Google Scholar), AI for Tax Analogies and Code Renumbering, 170 Tax Notes Fed. 1997 (Mar. 29, 2021):

Tax Notes Federal (2020)Blair-Stanek and Van Durme present an artificial intelligence tool that can complete analogies in tax law and provide evidence-based guidance on how Congress can renumber IRC sections in future tax reform efforts.

Conclusion
We have described two limited applications of AI in tax law, but we and other researchers are pursuing many others. New models with millions of mathematical neurons approximating the neurons in the human brain promise much more power than the model we used here. Moreover, all AI models rely on data; having more data and higher-quality data is always better. The full Tax Analysts Federal Research Library, just released under an agreement between Tax Analysts and Deloitte Tax LLP, contains extensive, very high-quality tax law text. This combination of more powerful models with more and better data is reason for optimism that AI will result in many more tools to aid tax practitioners and policymakers.

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April 8, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

COVID-19 Blew Up The Bar Exam. Even Bigger Changes Are Coming.

Karen Sloan (National Law Journal), COVID-19 Blew Up the Bar Exam. Even Bigger Changes Are Coming.:

The first indication that COVID-19 would upend the bar exam status quo arrived March 22, 2020, in the form of a working paper penned by 11 legal academics and educational policy experts [The Bar Exam And The COVID-19 Pandemic: The Need For Immediate Action].

The paper argued that it would be unsafe—if not impossible—to administer the upcoming July bar exam in convention halls with hundreds of law graduates packed together. Instead, the academics urged bar exam authorities to rethink the exam and paths to attorney licensure and swiftly announce alternatives.

Their words proved prescient. One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the bar exam looks wildly different in most of the country. Examinees log into the exam from their bedrooms, kitchens or wherever they can find some peace and quiet and a strong Internet connection. Facial recognition technology scans their pictures to ensure they are who they claim to be. And their computer cameras and microphones track and record them to ward off cheating.

The sudden shift to online bar exams—more than 30,000 people took the first-ever national remote bar exam in October—is the single biggest shakeup in the history of the attorney licensing test. But it won’t be the last. As bar examiners struggled over the past year to find safe ways to test law graduates, the national organization that designs the test was also finalizing a long-gestating overhaul of the exam’s content and format. If all goes according to plan, the National Conference of Bar Examiners will roll out a vastly different test in 2025 that better integrates the evaluation of legal knowledge with the skills new lawyers need to succeed.

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April 8, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Dorothy Brown: ‘The System For Wealth Building Is Designed To Build White Wealth’

New York Magazine, Dorothy Brown: ‘The System for Wealth Building Is Designed to Build White Wealth’:

Whiteness of WealthHow often do you think about your taxes? Once a year, maybe, when it’s time to file, or when you got married, or when you bought a home? If you’re white, taxes are often an inconvenience at worst. The tax code may even benefit you when you get married and start filing a joint return. If you’re Black, says Emory University law professor Dorothy Brown, your story is likely different: The joint return is less likely to reward a marriage with a tax cut when two spouses of equal income work outside the home, something that’s more likely to be true of Black couples. That’s not an accident, she argues in her new book, The Whiteness of Wealth. Well-off, mostly white Americans litigated and lobbied their way into making sure the tax code protects their wealth. Black Americans, who typically lack family wealth, were left out and deliberately held back. They can’t catch up, and that’s the point. The system is working as designed for whom it was designed: white Americans.

In The Whiteness of Wealth, Brown brings the American tax code to life. Hands shape it and wield it like a shield in the defense of the most powerful among us. The tax code tells a story about American priorities. The news isn’t good, Brown writes, but there’s still time to change the future.

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April 8, 2021 in Book Club, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax News, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Hemel Presents Regulation And Redistribution With Lives In The Balance Virtually Today At Toronto

Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar) presents Regulation and Redistribution with Lives in the Balance, 88 U. Chi. L. Rev. ___ (2021), virtually at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series:

Hemel_danielA central question in law and economics is whether non-tax legal rules should be designed solely to maximize efficiency or whether they also should account for concerns about the distribution of income. This question takes on particular importance in the context of cost-benefit analysis. Federal agencies apply cost-benefit analysis when writing regulations that generate multibillion dollar impacts on the US economy and profound effects on millions of Americans’ lives. In the past, agency cost-benefit analyses typically have ignored the income-distributive consequences of those regulations. That may soon change: On his first day in office, President Biden instructed his Office of Management and Budget to propose procedures for incorporating distributive considerations into cost-benefit analysis, thus bringing renewed relevance to a long-running law-and-economics debate.

This article explores what it might mean in practice for agencies to incorporate distributive considerations into cost-benefit analysis.

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April 7, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Shay Presents Applying Section 265 To Address An Opaque Foreign Income Subsidy Virtually Today At Boston College

Stephen Shay (Boston College; Google Scholar) presents Applying Section 265 to Address an Opaque Foreign Income Subsidy virtually at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Shu-Yi Oei, Jim Repetti, and Diane Ring:

ProfileImage.img (2)This article considers whether gross income offset by deductions whose sole object is to exempt foreign income from U.S. tax (exemptive deductions), is a class of income wholly exempt from taxes for purposes of the deduction disallowance rule of Section 265(a)(1). The better analysis of the statute and regulation is that deductions (other than an exemptive deduction) allocable to income offset by an exemptive deduction are subject to disallowance under existing Code Section 265(a)(1). Allowing a U.S. shareholder deductions for expenses allocable to foreign income offset by an exemptive deduction would be an opaque subsidy for foreign investment. If permitted, the subsidy would advantage multinational over domestic businesses, shareholders over workers, and high income and foreign investors over other taxpayers.

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April 7, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Law Student Climate Change Activists Target Gibson Dunn Law Firm

Karen Sloan (Law.com), Law Student Climate Change Activists Target Gibson Dunn:

Gibson DunnLaw Students for Climate Accountability on Wednesday launched its #DoneWithDunn campaign, sending a letter to the firm denouncing its representation of clients in the fossil fuel industry and demanding that it adopt standards governing what cases and clients it will forgo.

“We call on Gibson Dunn to commit to a publicly available ethical standard that articulates its protocol for representation of the fossil fuel industry,” the letter reads. “Diversity programs, pro bono, and in-office sustainability are all welcome but are insufficient as long as Gibson Dunn continues to perpetrate immense harm through its work for paying clients. There must be a line that Gibson Dunn will not cross.”

Gibson Dunn is now the second major law firm to be targeted by law students concerned with the role the legal industry plays in climate change. In late 2019 and early 2020, law students at Harvard, Yale, New York University and several other law campuses staged protests at recruiting receptions held by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind & Wharton, demanding that the firm stop representing ExxonMobil in a series of climate change lawsuits. Hundreds of law students signed a pledge that they would not work for the firm as long as ExxonMobil remains on its client roster. (At the time, Paul Weiss chairman Brad Karp stood by the firm’s work for the oil and gas giant, saying it’s “committed to the principle that we represent our clients and safeguard the rule of law zealously and to the best of our abilities.”)

The #DropExxon campaign galvanized law students across the country and led to the formation of Law Students for Climate Accountability, which now boasts members from more than 50 law schools. That group made a splash in October, when it unveiled the first-ever Law Firm Climate Change Scorecard.

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April 7, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

2022 U.S. News Trial Advocacy Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2022 U.S. News Trial Advocacy Rankings include the trial advocacy programs at 187 law schools (the faculty survey had a 56% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.4 Temple
2 4.2 Baylor
2 4.2 Stetson
4 3.9 Chicago-Kent
4 3.9 Loyola-L.A.
4 3.9 South Texas
7 3.8 UCLA
8 3.7 Fordham
8 3.7 Pacific
8 3.7 Samford
11 3.6 Syracuse
12 3.5 American
12 3.5 Denver
12 3.5 Drexel
15 3.4 Georgetown
15 3.4 Loyola-Chicago
17 3.3 St. Mary's
17 3.3 UC-Berkeley
19 3.2 Campbell
19 3.2 Washington Univ.
21 3.1 Hofstra
21 3.1 Northwestern
21 3.1 UC-Hastings
24 3.0 Georgia State
24 3.0 Pace
24 3.0 Suffolk
24 3.0 UIC-John Marshall
28 2.9 Akron
28 2.9 Wake Forest
30 2.8 Georgia
30 2.8 Harvard
30 2.8 Howard
30 2.8 Maryland
30 2.8 South Carolina
30 2.8 St. John's
36 2.7 Alabama
36 2.7 Golden Gate
36 2.7 Mitchell-Hamline
36 2.7 Nova SE
36 2.7 Ohio Northern
36 2.7 Pepperdine Caruso
42 2.6 Brooklyn
42 2.6 Emory
42 2.6 Florida
42 2.6 Houston
42 2.6 Miami
42 2.6 Northeastern
42 2.6 Notre Dame
42 2.6 Quinnipiac
42 2.6 Rutgers
42 2.6 SMU
42 2.6 Stanford
42 2.6 William & Mary

2021 U.S. News Trial Advocacy Rankings

2022 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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April 7, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

2022 U.S. News Legal Writing Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2022 U.S. News Legal Writing Rankings include the legal writing programs at 176 law schools (the faculty survey had a 60% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.3 Oregon
1 4.3 UNLV
3 4.1 Arizona State
4 4.0 Suffolk
5 3.9 Stetson
5 3.9 Wake Forest
7 3.8 Seattle
7 3.8 Temple
9 3.7 Denver
9 3.7 Drake
9 3.7 Georgetown
9 3.7 Michigan
9 3.7 North Carolina
9 3.7 Rutgers
9 3.7 UC-Irvine
16 3.6 Indiana (McKinney)
16 3.6 Marquette
16 3.6 Nova SE
16 3.6 UIC-John Marshall
16 3.6 Washburn
21 3.5 Arizona
21 3.5 Drexel
21 3.5 Lewis & Clark
21 3.5 Pacific
25 3.4 Arkansas-Little Rock
25 3.4 Duquesne
25 3.4 Loyola-Chicago
25 3.4 Northeastern
25 3.4 Northwestern
25 3.4 Ohio State
25 3.4 South Texas
25 3.4 Texas A&M
25 3.4 Texas Tech
34 3.3 Arkansas-Fayetteville
34 3.3 Brooklyn
34 3.3 Duke
34 3.3 Elon
34 3.3 George Washington
34 3.3 Mercer
34 3.3 Missouri-Kansas City
41 3.2 DePaul
41 3.2 Howard
41 3.2 Tennessee
41 3.2 Univ. of Washington
41 3.2 Villanova
46 3.1 Boston College
46 3.1 CUNY
46 3.1 Baltimore
46 3.1 Chicago-Kent
46 3.1 Emory
46 3.1 Hofstra
46 3.1 Houston
46 3.1 Iowa
46 3.1 Loyola-L.A.
46 3.1 Minnesota
46 3.1 New York Law School
46 3.1 St. John's
46 3.1 Touro
46 3.1 William & Mary
46 3.1 Wyoming

2021 U.S. News Legal Writing Rankings

2022 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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April 7, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Appleby: Subnational Digital Services Taxation

Andrew D. Appleby (Stetson), Subnational Digital Services Taxation, 81 Md. L. Rev. ___ (2021):

Existing tax regimes fail to tax digital services appropriately. Digital services based on extracting and monetizing user data—most notably digital advertising—are particularly problematic because tax regimes do not adequately account for the enormous value derived from user data.

Internationally, taxing jurisdictions have recognized these failures and commenced a controversial push toward new digital services taxes or DSTs. Subnational taxing jurisdictions in the United States face the same issues and are searching for solutions.

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April 7, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Bar Exams May Soon Be Easier To Pass, As States Eye Changes

Bloomberg Law, Bar Exams May Soon Be Easier to Pass, as States Eye Changes:

Several states say they could make their bar exams easier to pass as a way to address racial diversity problems and access-to-justice issues entrenched in the legal profession.

Their statements coincide with the first data from California, which permanently lowered its “cut score” last summer just incrementally—but saw significant changes in the racial make-up of those passing the test to become its newest lawyers.

Last week, Rhode Island became the first to follow suit in lowering the state’s cut score. Several others say they’ll soon be weighing similar reforms. ... Court officials from Texas, Arizona, and Michigan said they’re also monitoring efforts from a national testing group to modify the bar exam, with an eye toward eventual changes in their own states. ...

Several other states—including New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, North Carolina, and Utah—said they could consider lowering cut scores based on their own reviews and after studying how the moves play out elsewhere. Their answers came in response to questions from Bloomberg Law to bar exam authorities and top courts in the 50 states and Washington, D.C.

What California Found
Lowering exam passing scores even slightly could boost the ranks of Black and Hispanic attorneys, according to the data from the State Bar of California released on March 5.

The state found that lowering the cut score from by about 3.5%—from a score of 1,440 to 1,390—led to about a 15% higher passage rate than would have been the case had the cut score not been lowered, said California state bar spokeswoman Teresa Ruano.

Comparing results specifically for first-time test takers from the October 2020 exam—with California’s lower passing score—to the July 2019 test showed that 28.5% more Hispanics, 25.8% more Asians, 23.9% more Blacks, and 20.8% more Whites passed.

Bloomberg

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April 7, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Shanske: Agglomeration And State Personal Income Taxes

Darien Shanske (UC-Davis), Agglomeration and State Personal Income Taxes: Time to Apportion (With Critical Commentary on New Hampshire’s Complaint Against Massachusetts), 48 Fordham Urb. L.J. ___ (2021):

The Supreme Court is currently considering granting certiorari in New Hampshire v. Massachusetts. At issue is the State of New Hampshire’s (and its amici’s) claim that Massachusetts’s insistence on applying its income tax to residents of New Hampshire, who once commuted to work in Massachusetts but now work for the same businesses remotely in New Hampshire because of the COVID-19 pandemic, violates the Due Process Clause and dormant Commerce Clause. The claim is simple and seductive: if these New Hampshire residents barely leave their own homes, much less their state, how can it accord with due process for Massachusetts to tax them?

In this short colloquium essay, I make the following points about the merits of this case. (I think the case should be dismissed on procedural grounds, but believe the merits are important and will eventually be reached on a similar fact pattern.)

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April 7, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Hickman Presents OIRA Review Of Tax Regulatory Actions Virtually Today At Florida State

Kristin Hickman (Minnesota; Google Scholar) presents An Overlooked Dimension to OIRA Review of Tax Regulatory Actions virtually at Florida State today as part of its Tax Workshop Speaker Series hosted by Jeffrey Kahn:

Kristin-hickman-webIn April 2018, the Treasury Department and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) signed a Memorandum of Agreement reversing an exemption and providing for the first time that significant tax regulatory actions would be subject to OIRA review under Executive Order 12866.  The transition to the Biden administration has raised questions whether the Memorandum of Agreement should be reversed and most tax rules and regulations again exempted from OIRA review.  Critiques of OIRA review in the tax context generally focus on disagreements over whether the benefit-cost analysis required by Executive Order 12866 is useful or should rely on different methodological assumptions.  This essay emphasizes instead the symbiotic relationship between OIRA review, benefit-cost analysis, and compliance with Administrative Procedure Act procedure and process requirements.  

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April 6, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Buchanan Presents Social Security Is Fair to All Generations Virtually Today At Duke

Neil Buchanan (Florida; Google Scholar) presents Social Security is Fair to All Generations: Demystifying the Trust Fund, Solvency, and the Promise to Younger Americans virtually at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Richard Schmalbeck & Lawrence Zelenak:

Buchanan_Neil_500x500The Social Security system has come under attack for having illegitimately transferred wealth from younger generations to the Baby Boom generation. This attack is unfounded, because it fails to understand how the system was altered in order to force the Baby Boomers to finance their own benefits in retirement. Any challenges that Social Security now faces are not caused by the pay-as-you-go structure of the system but by Baby Boomers’ other policy errors, especially the emergence of extreme economic inequality since 1980. 

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April 6, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Hierarchies Of Elitism And Gender: The Bluebook And The ALWD Guide

Steven K. Homer (New Mexico), Hierarchies of Elitism and Gender: The Bluebook and The ALWD Guide, 41 Pace L. Rev. 1 (2020):

Hierarchies persist in legal academia. Some of these, while in plain view, are not so obvious because they manifest in seemingly small, mundane choices. Synecdoche is a rhetorical device used to show how one detail in a story tells the story of the whole.

This Article examines hierarchies of elitism and gender through a lens of synecdoche. The focus is on the choice of citation guide. Even something as seemingly benign and neutral as choosing a citation guide can reveal hierarchies of elitism and gender bias in legal education and the legal profession. Put another way, the choice of citation guide exists in—is inextricably embedded in—structural hierarchies of the legal profession. This Article examines the ways the choice of a citation guide reinforces elitism and gender bias by examining the use of two common citation guides, The Bluebook and the ALWD Guide. The Bluebook was developed by law students engaged in prestige activities at top-ranked law schools and retains the traits of its birth. This is in contrast to the ALWD Guide, which was written by experienced, professional legal writing professors who have dedicated their careers to teaching lawyers how to practice law. The Article describes the ALWD Guide’s focus on educating students to be practitioners, and the role of elitism and gender bias in keeping the ALWD Guide from displacing The Bluebook, despite The Bluebook’s well-documented deficiencies in training attorneys.

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April 6, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

2022 U.S. News International Law Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2022 U.S. News International Law Rankings include the international law programs at 185 law schools (the faculty survey had a 56% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.7 NYU
2 4.5 Harvard
3 4.4 Columbia
3 4.4 Yale
5 4.3 Georgetown
6 4.1 American
6 4.1 George Washington
6 4.1 Michigan
6 4.1 UC-Berkeley
10 4.0 Duke
10 4.0 Stanford
10 4.0 Virginia
13 3.9 Cornell
14 3.8 Penn
14 3.8 UCLA
16 3.6 Case Western
16 3.6 Temple
18 3.5 Chicago
18 3.5 Fordham
18 3.5 Georgia
18 3.5 Texas
22 3.4 Notre Dame
22 3.4 UC-Irvine
22 3.4 Vanderbilt
22 3.4 Washington Univ.
26 3.3 Northwestern
26 3.3 UC-Davis
26 3.3 UC-Hastings
29 3.2 Miami
29 3.2 Minnesota
29 3.2 William & Mary
32 3.1 Arizona State
32 3.1 Boston Univ.
32 3.1 Emory
35 3.0 Arizona
35 3.0 Boston College
35 3.0 Indiana (Maurer)
35 3.0 Wisconsin
39 2.9 Santa Clara
39 2.9 Tulane
39 2.9 Univ. of Washington
39 2.9 Washington & Lee
43 2.8 Florida State
43 2.8 Houston
43 2.8 Iowa
43 2.8 Pacific
43 2.8 Pittsburgh
43 2.8 San Diego
49 2.7 Brooklyn
49 2.7 Cardozo
49 2.7 Florida
49 2.7 Florida Int'l
49 2.7 Ohio State
49 2.7 Pepperdine Caruso
49 2.7 Rutgers
49 2.7 SMU
49 2.7 USC

2021 U.S. News International Law Rankings

2022 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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April 6, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

2022 U.S. News Intellectual Property Law Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2022 U.S. News Intellectual Property Law Rankings include the intellectual property law programs at 187 law schools (the faculty survey had a 65% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.6 Stanford
1 4.6 UC-Berkeley
3 4.3 NYU
4 4.0 George Washington
4 4.0 New Hampshire
4 4.0 Santa Clara
7 3.9 Texas A&M
8 3.8 American
8 3.8 Houston
10 3.7 Cardozo
10 3.7 Chicago-Kent
12 3.6 Boston Univ.
13 3.5 Georgetown
13 3.5 Penn
15 3.4 Columbia
15 3.4 Duke
15 3.4 Michigan
15 3.4 Univ. of Washington
19 3.3 Fordham
19 3.3 Harvard
19 3.3 Northwestern
19 3.3 San Diego
19 3.3 UC-Irvine
19 3.3 UCLA
19 3.3 Virginia
26 3.2 George Mason
26 3.2 Indiana (Maurer)
26 3.2 Texas
26 3.2 Vanderbilt
30 3.1 DePaul
30 3.1 Loyola-L.A.
30 3.1 UC-Hastings
33 3.0 Boston College
33 3.0 Colorado
33 3.0 UIC-John Marshall
33 3.0 Notre Dame
33 3.0 Utah
38 2.9 Chicago
38 2.9 Cornell
38 2.9 Emory
38 2.9 Illinois
38 2.9 Minnesota
38 2.9 Northeastern
44 2.8 BYU
44 2.8 Loyola-Chicago
44 2.8 Ohio State
44 2.8 Pittsburgh
44 2.8 Richmond
44 2.8 SMU
44 2.8 UC-Davis
44 2.8 Washington Univ.

2021 U.S. News Intellectual Property Law Rankings

2022 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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April 6, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Foster & Lawson: Executive Tax Discretion

William E. Foster (Arkansas; Google Scholar) & Andrew Lawson (Arkansas; Google Scholar), Executive Tax Discretion, 73 Ala. L. Rev. ___ (2021):

Increasingly, Congress allows the president to determine tax consequences with the stroke of a pen. For example, if the president declares a major disaster under the Stafford Act, affected taxpayers are allowed a deduction for net personal casualty losses. This Article surveys instances of executive tax discretion scattered throughout the code, with a focus on disaster declarations.

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April 6, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Public Defender Gets $275,000 In Law School Loans Forgiven

Karen Sloan (Law.com), This Public Defender Just Got $275,000 in Law School Loans Forgiven. Here's How.:

Jessica Buck got some welcome news when she logged into her federal student loan account March 30: Her $275,000 loan balance had officially been wiped out four days earlier under the federal government’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

Buck, a 2010 graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law, has been working as a public defender in Danville, Kentucky, for the past decade and making payments on the $179,000 in loans she took out for law school. (The amount increased over time due to interest, though she paid nearly $26,000 toward them.) Under PSLF, which was created in 2007 to encourage people to pursue public service careers, federal loan borrowers who work in qualifying jobs and make qualifying payments on their loans for 10 years will have their remaining balance forgiven. (Monthly payments are capped at a percentage of the borrower’s income.) But actually obtaining that forgiveness has proven difficult for the earliest participants in the program. According to the most recent information available from the U.S. Department of Education, fewer than 3% of those who have applied for PSLF have been approved.

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April 6, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Should My Lawyer Do My Taxes? Income Tax Preparation, Accounting Services, And The Scope Of The Attorney-Client Privilege

Nicholas Evan Hakun (Temple & Georgetown), Should My Lawyer Do My Taxes? Income Tax Preparation, Accounting Services, and the Scope of the Attorney-Client Privilege, 72 Tax Law. 639 (2019): 

This Comment seeks to explore the contours of the attorney-client privilege and its intersection with the tax laws. The courts conflict and do not provide a clear answer. Congress's attempts to legislate a solution fall short. This leaves the taxpayer at the whim of the IRS or other prosecuting authority.

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April 6, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Eleven Tax Profs File Amicus Briefs In Supreme Court Supporting Disclosure Of Donors To Nonprofits

Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Rodriquez (No. 19-251), decision below:  903 F.3d 1000 (9th Cir. 2018)

Question Presented
Whether the exacting scrutiny this Court has long required of laws that abridge the freedoms of speech and association outside the election context—as called for by NAACP v. Alabama ex rel. Patterson, 357 U.S. 449 (1958), and its progeny—can be satisfied absent any showing that a blanket governmental demand for the individual identities and addresses of major donors to private nonprofit organizations is narrowly tailored to an asserted law-enforcement interest.

Brief of the California Association of Nonprofits as Amicus Curiae in Support of Respondent (Daniel Hemel (Chicago) & Anna-Rose Mathieson (California Appellate Law Group, San Francisco)):

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April 6, 2021 in Legal Education, New Cases, Tax | Permalink

Monday, April 5, 2021

Kim: Blockchain Initiatives For Tax Administration

Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Utah; Google Scholar), Blockchain Initiatives for Tax Administration, 69 UCLA L. Rev. ___ (2021):

A thriving body of literature discusses various legal issues related to blockchain, but often it mixes the discussion about blockchain with cryptocurrency. However, blockchain is not the same as cryptocurrency. Defined as a decentralized, immutable, peer-to-leer ledger technology, blockchain is a newly emerging data management system. The private sector—including the financial industry and supply chains—and the public sector—property records, public health, voting, and compliance, have all begun to utilize blockchain. Since more data is processed remotely, and thus digitally, the evolution of blockchain is gaining stronger momentum.

While scholarship on blockchain is growing, none of the scholarship has considered the impact of blockchain on the tax sector. This Article extends the study of blockchain to tax administration, evaluates the feasibility of incorporating blockchain within existing tax administrations, and provides policymakers with criteria to consider and some recommended designs for blockchain.

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April 5, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Kim: Digital Services Tax — A Cross-Border Variation Of The Consumption Tax Debate

Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Utah; Google Scholar), Digital Services Tax: A Cross-Border Variation of the Consumption Tax Debate, 72 Ala. L. Rev. 131 (2020):

The rise of highly digitalized businesses, such as Google and Amazon, has strained the traditional income tax rules on nexus and profit allocation. Traditionally, profit is allocated to market countries where consumers are located only if the business has physical presence. However, in the digital economy, profits can be easily generated in market countries without a physical presence, resulting in tax revenue loss for market countries. In response, market countries have started imposing a new tax, called the digital services tax (“DST”), on certain digital business models, which has ignited heated debate across the globe. Supporters defend the DST, designed as a turnover style consumption tax, as an effective measure to make up the foregone revenue in the digital economy because it is not bound by the traditional rules of income taxation. Opponents criticize DST as “ring-fencing” or segregating certain digital business models, discriminating against American tech giants, and arguably imposing a disguised income tax. The debate has been focused on the imminent impact, such as who is the immediate winner and loser, but the discussion lacks efforts to understand the fundamentals of DST, especially with regard to the consumption tax aspect.

This Article is the first academic paper that highlights DST as a consumption tax and provides normative implications for policy makers deliberating a DST.

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April 5, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

University Of Missouri Faculty Upset About Use Of Data In Promotion And Tenure

Columbia Daily Tribune, University of Missouri Faculty Members Upset About Use of Data in Promotion and Tenure:

Academic AnalyticsSome University of Missouri faculty members on Wednesday complained about the use of data and information from Academic Analytics in decisions on promotion and tenure of faculty.

Mun Choi, MU chancellor and UM System president, and MU Provost Latha Ramchand were the targets of the criticism.

The venue was the Spring General Faculty Meeting on Zoom. There were 225 participants at one point during the meeting.

Academic Analytics is a company that compiles information about journal articles, citations and other data for universities.

"I have concerns about using Academic Analytics data for promotion and tenure decisions," said faculty member Stephen Karian. "This is a radical break with previous practice."

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April 5, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

2022 U.S. News Health Care Law Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2022 U.S. News Health Care Law Rankings include the health care law programs at 181 law schools (the faculty survey had a 54% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.3 Georgia State
2 4.2 St. Louis
3 4.1 Loyola-Chicago
4 4.0 Boston Univ.
5 3.9 Houston
5 3.9 Northeastern
7 3.8 Georgetown
7 3.8 Harvard
7 3.8 Maryland
7 3.8 Stanford
11 3.7 American
11 3.7 Case Western
13 3.6 Seton Hall
13 3.6 UC-Hastings
15 3.5 Yale
16 3.4 Arizona State
16 3.4 Indiana (McKinney)
18 3.3 Ohio State
18 3.3 Temple
20 3.2 George Washington
20 3.2 Minnesota
20 3.2 Penn
23 3.1 DePaul
23 3.1 Duke
23 3.1 Emory
23 3.1 Michigan
27 3.0 Mitchell-Hamline
27 3.0 Wake Forest
29 2.9 Pittsburgh
29 2.9 Texas
29 2.9 Washington Univ.
32 2.8 Drexel
32 2.8 UCLA
32 2.8 UNLV
32 2.8 Utah
32 2.8 Vanderbilt
37 2.7 North Carolina
37 2.7 Northwestern
37 2.7 Rutgers
37 2.7 UC-Irvine
41 2.6 Boston College
41 2.6 Georgia
41 2.6 Virginia
41 2.6 Univ. of Washington
45 2.5 Arizona
45 2.5 Chicago
45 2.5 Columbia
45 2.5 Connecticut
45 2.5 NYU
45 2.5 SMU
45 2.5 Suffolk
45 2.5 UC-Berkeley
45 2.5 USC
45 2.5 Washington & Lee
45 2.5 Wayne State
45 2.5 Wisconsin

2021 U.S. News Health Care Law Rankings

2022 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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April 5, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

2022 U.S. News Environmental Law Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2022 U.S. News Environmental Law Rankings include the environmental law programs at 181 law schools (the faculty survey had a 59% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.5 Lewis & Clark
1 4.5 Pace
1 4.5 UC-Berkeley
4 4.3 NYU
4 4.3 UCLA
4 4.3 Vermont
7 4.1 Columbia
7 4.1 Georgetown
7 4.1 Harvard
10 4.0 Colorado
10 4.0 George Washington
10 4.0 Oregon
10 4.0 Stanford
10 4.0 Utah
15 3.9 Vanderbilt
16 3.8 Duke
16 3.8 Maryland
18 3.7 Florida State
18 3.7 Tulane
20 3.6 Arizona State
20 3.6 Florida
20 3.6 Houston
20 3.6 Yale
24 3.5 Boston College
24 3.5 Denver
24 3.5 Hawaii
24 3.5 Minnesota
24 3.5 UC-Davis
24 3.5 UC-Hastings
30 3.4 Texas
30 3.4 Virginia
32 3.3 Arizona
32 3.3 UC-Irvine
34 3.2 Texas A&M
34 3.2 New Mexico
34 3.2 Univ. of Washington
37 3.1 American
37 3.1 Indiana (Maurer)
37 3.1 Michigan
37 3.1 North Carolina
37 3.1 Widener (DE)
42 3.0 Montana
42 3.0 Wisconsin
44 2.9 Northwestern
44 2.9 Penn State-Univ. Park
44 2.9 South Carolina
44 2.9 Widener (PA)
48 2.8 Emory
48 2.8 Loyola-New Orleans
48 2.8 Miami
48 2.8 Notre Dame
48 2.8 Penn
48 2.8 Seattle
48 2.8 Wake Forest
48 2.8 Washington Univ.
48 2.8 Wyoming

2021 U.S. News Environmental Law Rankings

2022 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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April 5, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Lesson From The Tax Court: Passport Revocation Act Differs From Codification

Camp (2017)Justice John Marshall is typically credited as creating the idea that the judicial branch has the power to declare Acts of Congress unconstitutional.  See Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803).  But courts exercise that power cautiously, refusing to confront allegations of unconstitutionality if they can plausibly dodge the issue. See generally, Gunnar P. Seaquist, The Constitutional Avoidance Canon of Statutory Construction, The Advocate 25 (Summer 2015).

Robert Rowen v. Commissioner, 156 T.C. No. 8 (Mar. 30, 2021) (Judge Toro), shows us the caution of the Tax Court.  There, the taxpayer invited the Court to declare the passport revocation process, created by Congress in the FAST Act of 2015, unconstitutional.  The Court unanimously dodged the invitation, based on the taxpayer’s failure to distinguish between an Act of Congress and the codification of an Act.  The Tax Court viewed the only part of the FAST Act at issue to be the part codified in the Internal Revenue Code in §7345.  It held that since §7345 does not, on its own, trigger any deprivation of property or liberty, this was not the proper case for the Court to rule on the constitutionality of the entire passport revocation process.  I invite readers to form their own conclusions about the plausibility of the Court’s dodge.  Details below the fold.

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April 5, 2021 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Practice And Procedure, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Drumbl: #Audited — Social Media And Tax Enforcement

Michelle Lyon Drumbl (Interim Dean, Washington & Lee), #Audited: Social Media and Tax Enforcement, 100 Or. L. Rev. ___ (2021):

AuditedWith limited resources and a diminished budget, it is not surprising that the Internal Revenue Service would seek new tools to maximize its enforcement efficiency. Automation and technology provide new opportunities for the IRS, and in turn, present new concerns for taxpayers. In December 2018, the IRS signaled its interest in a tool to access publicly available social media profiles of individuals in order to “expedite IRS case resolution for existing compliance cases.” This has important implications for taxpayer privacy.

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April 5, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Easter: Recovering The Strangeness Of The Resurrection

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  Recovering the Strangeness of Easter, by Robert Barron (Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Los Angeles:

We are told in the Bible that three women, friends and followers of Jesus, came to the tomb of their Master early on the Sunday morning following his crucifixion in order to anoint his body. Undoubtedly they anticipated that, while performing this task, they would wistfully recall the things that their friend had said and done. Perhaps they would express their frustration at those who had brought him to this point, betraying, denying and running from him in his hour of need. Certainly, they expected to weep in their grief.

But when they arrived, they found to their surprise that the heavy stone had been rolled away from the entrance of the tomb. Had a grave robber been at work? Their astonishment only intensified when they spied inside the grave, not the body of Jesus, but a young man clothed in white, blithely announcing, “You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him.”

The mysterious messenger’s communication was, to put it bluntly, not that someone had broken into this tomb, rather that someone had broken out. In St. Mark’s version of the story—which is the earliest that we have—the reaction of the women is described as follows: “So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them.”

If the grave of a hero is customarily a place of serene contemplation, this one is so disturbing that people run from it in fear—and thereupon hangs the tale of Easter. Especially today, it is imperative that Christians recover the sheer strangeness of the Resurrection of Jesus and stand athwart all attempts to domesticate it. ...

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April 4, 2021 in Legal Education | Permalink

Passover: Lessons For Politicians (And The Rest Of Us)

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  Lessons for Politicians at Passover, by William A. Galston (Brookings Institution):

In the middle of the Passover celebration comes a well-known song that traces the journey’s steps, starting with the Exodus from Egypt and ending with the building of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. After each stage comes the refrain “dayenu,” which means: It would have been enough if God’s grace had ended there.

This is good theology: Every blessing from God is more than we deserve, and the correct response is gratitude. But from a practical standpoint, the premise is incorrect. Liberation is a precondition of freedom, but no guarantee of it. Revolutions can go awry, and usually do. Throwing off the shackles of tyranny often ends in new forms of bondage.

The shared experience of oppression holds the oppressed together, but once the tyranny ends, so does the unity. Revolutionary leaders can claim only tenuous authority, at least at first, unless they are buttressed by character and accomplishment. Envious rivals eventually mobilized the people against Moses and revolted against his leadership.

The newly liberated Israelites weren’t ready for freedom. Confronted with the rigors of life in the desert, they yearned for the guaranteed sustenance of oppression, and they blamed Moses for failing to meet their unrealistic expectations. The Exodus generation, which hadn’t been responsible for its own liberation, lacked the courage to fight for freedom. It took a new generation, hardened by deprivation and conflict, to develop the character needed to enter the Promised Land.

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April 4, 2021 in Legal Education | Permalink

U.S. Church Membership Falls Below 50% For First Time In Nearly A Century ... But Easter Teaches Us Not To Fear Religion's Decline

Gallup, U.S. Church Membership Falls Below Majority for First Time:

Americans' membership in houses of worship continued to decline last year, dropping below 50% for the first time in Gallup's eight-decade trend. In 2020, 47% of Americans said they belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque, down from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999.

Gallup

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April 4, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink