Paul L. Caron
Dean




Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Fleischer Presents Tax Policy — Legislative Updates Today At UC-Irvine

Victor Fleischer (UC-Irvine; Google Scholar) presents Tax Policy - Legislative Updates at UC-Irvine today:

UCI Logo (2018)Professor Fleischer will provide an overview of the tax legislation currently under consideration on Capitol Hill, including important changes to individual tax, capital gains, carried interest, corporate tax, and international tax provisions. He will also discuss developments at the OECD and the interaction between the OECD process and U.S. domestic legislation.

December 1, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Layser: A Spatial Analysis Of Place-Based Tax Incentives

Michelle D. Layser (Illinois; Google Scholar), Subsidizing Gentrification: A Spatial Analysis of Place-Based Tax Incentives, 12 U.C. Irvine L. Rev. 163 (2021):

Place-based tax incentives, such as the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) and Opportunity Zones incentives, are often used to promote investment in low-income neighborhoods. However, not all low-income neighborhoods have an equal need for investment subsidies. Subsidies for investment in already gentrifying neighborhoods, for example, may reflect inefficient inframarginal investment, and they may lead to inequitable outcomes. Critics fear that when gentrifying neighborhoods are eligible for tax incentives, they will draw investment away from the neighborhoods that need it most. However, few studies have provided empirical analysis to assess whether these concerns have merit. Through a novel geospatial analysis of the location patterns of tax-subsidized projects, this Article provides new evidence that critics’ concerns are justified.

This Article analyzes fifteen years of NMTC data to explore the location patterns of tax-subsidized projects in twenty U.S. cities.

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December 1, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

If You Build It, They Will Come: What Students Say About Experiential Learning

David I. C. Thomson (Denver; Google Scholar) & Stephen Daniels (American Bar Foundation; Google Scholar), If You Build It, They Will Come: What Students Say About Experiential Learning, 13 Fla. A & M U. L. Rev. 203 (2018): 

Our purpose here is to explore one of the “natural experiments” cited by the Task Force: the Experiential Advantage (EA) program at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law (Denver Law). EA was developed as a part of a greater general focus on experiential learning and is built upon the three “Carnegie Apprenticeships” – “the intellectual or cognitive,” “the forms of expert practice,” and “identity and purpose.” It was implemented at Denver Law starting with students entering in August 2013. To explore this natural experiment, we took a particular route and did so for what we see as good reason. It is often the case with such curricular experiments that the views of students are missing. But of course, it makes little sense to neglect them because such changes are supposedly made for the students’ benefit. So, it seems more than appropriate to ask them – from their perspective – if a change worked, or improved matters, as it was designed to do. This article is a first report on the findings of an extensive case study — a three-year, survey-based, study of Denver Law students concerning the EA Program “natural experiment.” The findings should be of considerable interest to the legal community, given that there is general support for experiential learning across most law schools, but a study of this kind — one exploring student views on curricular innovation — has never been conducted before.

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December 1, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Clinicians Reflect On COVID-19: Lessons Learned And Looking Beyond

Deborah N. Archer (NYU), Caitlin Barry (Villanova), Lisa Bliss (Georgia State), G.S. Hans (Vanderbilt), Vida Johnson (Georgetown), Wilkes Kaas (Quinnipiac), Lynnise Pantin (Columbia), Kele Stewart (Miami), Priya Baskaran (American), Jennifer Fernandez (Penn), Crystal Grant (Duke), Anjum Gupta (Rutgers), Julia Hernandez (CUNY), Alexis Karteron (Rutgers) & Shobha Mahadev (Northwestern), Clinicians Reflect on COVID-19: Lessons Learned and Looking Beyond, 28 Clinical L. Rev. 15 (2021):

As a result of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, clinical faculty had to abruptly adapt their clinical teaching and case supervision practices to adjust to the myriad restrictions brought on by the pandemic. This brought specialized challenges for clinicians who uniquely serve as both legal practitioners and law teachers in the law school setting. With little support and guidance, clinicians tackled never before seen difficulties in the uncharted waters of running a clinical law practice during a pandemic.

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December 1, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

ABA Permits Law Schools To Accept GRE Scores In Lieu Of The LSAT

Summary of Actions of the Section’s Council at its Public Meeting Nov. 19, 2021:

ABA Legal Ed (2021)In closed session, the Council also voted to permit law schools to accept GRE test scores from applicants in lieu of an LSAT score under Standard 503. The Council reminds schools that the use of test scores to make admissions decisions is subject to Standard 501(a)’s requirement that a school adhere to “sound admission policies and practices,” and that a law school may not admit applicants who do not “appear capable of satisfactorily completing its program of legal education and being admitted to the bar.” The Council also reminds schools that although Standard 503 does not prescribe the weight that law schools must give to an applicant's test score, it does require law schools to use admissions tests in a manner consistent with the test developer's current guidelines regarding the proper use of the results.

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December 1, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Economists Don’t Always Agree. On This Hot-Button Issue (Child Tax Credit), They Do.

Stanford Law, Economists Don’t Always Agree. On This Hot-Button Issue, They Do.:

Goldin (2021)Jacob Goldin recently helped pull off an unlikely feat: As federal lawmakers battled over President Biden’s economic agenda, he worked to recruit more than 460 American economists in urging that a large, but temporary, cash benefit for children as part of an earlier $1.9 trillion stimulus package be made permanent.

In September, the economists, led by Hilary Hoynes and Diane Schanzenbach, sent a letter to Congress that proved propitious. Soon after, the cash benefit they were advocating for — the Child Tax Credit (CTC) — took center stage in negotiations over the future of Biden’s bid to expand the country’s social safety net. Not only are the potential costs of the CTC a point of contention, so, too, is the rekindled argument by opponents that motivated welfare reform a quarter century ago — the notion that giving a handout to the lowest-income families creates disincentives to work.

Goldin’s leading role in corralling support for the expanded CTC makes sense. An associate professor at Stanford Law School and faculty fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), he is an expert on the taxation of low-income households and how human behavior shapes economic decision-making. He understands the CTC’s historical limitations as a poverty-reducing tool. He is also the co-author of a new working paper that gets to the heart of the current debate: What will broadening the credit ultimately cost the federal government, and are the benefits worth the price? [Whose Child is this? Improving Child-Claiming Rules in Safety Net Programs, 131 Yale L. J. ___ (2022) (with Ariel Jurow Kleiman (Loyola-L.A.)]

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December 1, 2021 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax News, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

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December 1, 2021 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

Nuts And Bolts Of the 2021 Advanced, Enhanced Child Tax Credit

Francine J. Lipman (UNLV; Google Scholar) & James E. Williamson (San Diego State), Nuts and Bolts of the 2021 Advanced, Enhanced Child Tax Credit, 173 Tax Notes 319 (Oct. 18, 2021):

Tax-notes-federalThe enhancements in the child tax credit (CTC) in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) signed by President Biden on March 11 are a targeted child-centered, economic stimulus. Economists estimate that the 2021 CTC enhancements will increase consumer spending by $27 billion to $37 billion, generate $1.9 billion in state and local sales taxes, and create 511,000 new jobs at the median wage. Similar to the economic stimulus in rural areas from Social Security benefits, the enhanced CTC doubles its pre-ARPA spending power of $14 billion for households in rural America.

Less than four months after enactment starting on July 15, Treasury, through the IRS, is delivering almost 40 million monthly installments of estimated advanced, enhanced child tax credits (AECTC) to households, including 60 million children and their families. The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center estimates that 92 percent of families with children will receive an average annual CTC of $4,380 in 2021. The Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that ARPA CTC enhancements cost $110 billion, while Columbia University based Center on Poverty and Social Policy determined that the benefits should be about eight times the cost at $800 billion. CTC benefits include increases to children’s future earnings, retirement benefits, and tax payments, and decreases in child protection and criminal justice services as well as healthcare costs for children and their families because of better health and longevity.

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December 1, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

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December 1, 2021 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

The Application Of International Tax Treaties To Digital Services Taxes

Katherine E. Karnosh (J.D. 2021, Chicago), Comment, The Application of International Tax Treaties to Digital Services Taxes, 21 Chi. J. Int'l L. 513 (2021):

ChicagoAs digital services and electronic commerce have become more prevalent aspects of the global economy, there have been concerns over how tax systems will adapt to this change. International tax treaties in particular seem to be outdated and unprepared for the digital economy. Many international tax treaties provide that businesses are to be taxed on their income only in jurisdictions where they have a sufficient physical presence. By establishing their European headquarters and digital servers in countries with low corporate income tax rates (such as Ireland) and then using those headquarters to provide digital services to the rest of Europe, large, sophisticated, multinational digital businesses have been able to generate much revenue from most European countries without paying significant taxes in those countries.

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December 1, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Auerbach Presents Tax Policy Design With Low Interest Rates Today At NYU

Alan Auerbach (UC-Berkeley; Google Scholar) presents Tax Policy Design with Low Interest Rates at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium hosted by Daniel Shaviro:

Alan-auerbachInterest rates on government debt have fallen in many countries over the last several decades, with markets indicating that rates may stay low well into the future. It is by now well understood that sustained low interest rates can change the nature of long-run fiscal policy choices. In this paper, we examine a related issue: the implications of sustained low interest rates for the structure of tax policy. We show that low interest rates (a) reduce the differences between consumption and income taxes; (b) make wealth taxes less efficient relative to capital income taxes, at given rates of tax; (c) reduce the value of firm-level investment incentives, and (d) substantially raise the valuation of benefits of carbon abatement policies relative to their costs.

Conclusion
It is by now generally recognized that the presence of low interest rates – sustained over time and across countries – has important implications for the fiscal stance of the federal government. In this paper, we argue that if low interest rates are expected to persist, there are important implications for the design of tax policy as well.

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November 30, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Dean & Brakman Reiser Present For-Profit Philanthropy Today At Georgetown

Steven Dean (Brooklyn) & Dana Brakman Reiser (Brooklyn; Google Scholar) present For-Profit Philanthropy: Constraining Elite Power in Limited Liability Companies, Donor-Advised Funds and Strategic Corporate Giving (Oxford University Press 2022) at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop hosted by Brian Galle:

Dean-brakmanreiserConclusion
In response to revelations that more than 100 extremely wealthy taxpayers paid no income tax at all (without breaking a single rule) the Tax Reform Act of 1969 created the alternative minimum tax. More than half a century later, the country seems genuinely surprised to find that while they may have traded yachts for spacecraft, the wealthiest Americans still often pay not even one dollar of tax. As was true decades ago, they need not break—or even bend—any laws to do so.

Perhaps doubting its wherewithal to directly turn private wealth into public resources through taxation, the 1969 tax reform also attempted to tame elite power with a strategic Grand Bargain. And for a time, it seemed to have succeeded. Its private foundation regime demanded accountability and a golden age of philanthropy unfolded. Extraordinary public benefits flowed from a partnership between the wealthiest Americans and the most vulnerable.

While other legislative bulwarks of the 1960s have been sunk by devastating broadsides, the Grand Bargain’s slow death has been one of a thousand small cuts. The Supreme Court eviscerated the 1965 Voting Rights Act’s protections against discrimination, dismissing its worries about the disenfranchisement of voters as “based on 40-year-old facts having no logical relationship to the present day.” The unsettling consequences of the Supreme Court’s failure to anticipate a new wave of voting limits have come to dominate our nation’s political discourse.

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November 30, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Steven Dean Named Co-Director Of Block Center For International Studies At Brooklyn Law School

Professor Steven Dean Named Co-Director of Block Center for International Studies:

Dean_steven_blockcenter 500x310Professor Steven Dean, an expert in international tax policy, has been named co-director of the Dennis J. Block Center for the Study of International Business Law, joining co-directors Professors Julian Arato and Robin Effron to lead one of the most active international law institutions in New York. Professor Roberta Karmel, who founded the center with Professor of Law Emeritus Arthur Pinto in 1987, has stepped down from a leadership role.

Dean has previously served as Vice Dean at Brooklyn Law School and, while a Visiting Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, as Faculty Director of its Graduate Tax Program. He is also host of the Tax Maven Podcast.

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November 30, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink

Former Temple Dean Convicted In U.S. News Rankings Scandal Fraud; AUSA Hopes Case Send A Message To Administrators At Other Schools

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Philadelphia Inquirer, Former Temple Business School Dean Guilty in Rankings Scandal Fraud Case:

Temple University (2018)The rankings scandal cost Porat his job as dean and the university hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal settlements.

The former dean of Temple University’s Fox School of Business was convicted Monday of orchestrating a complex fraud scheme to propel his college to the top of national rankings and defraud its students and donors based on that unearned reputation.

Moshe Porat — who led the school for more than two decades until he was fired for the misrepresentations in 2018 — shook his head quietly as the jury announced it had found him guilty of federal conspiracy and wire fraud charges now likely to send him to prison.

It took the panel of eight women and four men less than an hour to conclude that he, along with two of his subordinates, had for years knowingly embellished the data they were sending on Fox’s students to the magazine U.S. News & World Report, allowing its online MBA program to achieve its No. 1 ranking for four straight years.

The distinction helped Fox more than double its enrollment for the program between 2014 and 2017, raking in millions in tuition payments from students and donor dollars.

“The hope is that this case sends a message to other college and university administrators that there are real consequences to making representations that students and applicants rely on,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark B. Dubnoff said. “So many people turn to these rankings … to help them make informed decisions of where to go to college, graduate school, and it’s important that people are honest and fully truthful with the representations they make.”

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November 30, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Law School Applicants Are Down, Breaking Five-Year Streak

Following up on yesterday's post, One-Third Of The Way Through The Fall 2022 Law School Admissions Cycle: Applicants Are Down 4.4% And In All LSAT Bands (Especially 170-180 (-13.6%)), Except 150-159 (+0.3%):

Reuters, Law School Applicants Are Down, Breaking Five-Year Streak:

Is legal education’s pandemic boom beginning to fade?

The number of applicants to law schools nationwide has declined year-over-year for the first time since 2018, according to data from the Law School Admission Council, a nonprofit that administers the Law School Admission Test. As of Nov. 28, 22,662 people had applied to start law school in fall 2022, nearly 5% fewer than this time last year, the council reported.

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November 30, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

SSRN Tax Professor Rankings

SSRN Logo (2018)SSRN has updated its monthly ranking of 750 American and international law school faculties and 3,000 law professors by (among other things) the number of paper downloads from the SSRN database.  Here is the new list (through November 1, 2021) of the Top 25 U.S. Tax Professors in two of the SSRN categories: all-time downloads and recent downloads (within the past 12 months):

    All-Time     Recent
1 Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan)  203,642 1 Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan) 8,180
2 Dan Shaviro (NYU) 123,837 2 Daniel Hemel (Chicago) 4,706
3 Lily Batchelder (NYU) 123,137 3 Lily Batchelder (NYU) 4,658
4 Daniel Hemel (Chicago) 122,232 4 David Kamin (NYU) 4,211
5 David Gamage (Indiana-Bloom.) 120,170 5 Bridget Crawford (Pace) 4,184
6 Darien Shanske (UC-Davis) 113,104 6 Kim Clausing (UCLA)     3,944
7 David Kamin (NYU) 110,865 7 D. Dharmapala (Chicago) 3,346
8 Cliff Fleming (BYU)    106,579 8 Ruth Mason (Virginia) 3,129
9 Manoj Viswanathan (UC-Hastings) 103,426 9 Richard Ainsworth (Boston Univ.) 2,682
10 Rebecca Kysar (Fordham) 102,517 10 David Gamage (Indiana-Bloom.) 2,632
11 Ari Glogower (Ohio State) 101,869 11 Zachary Liscow (Yale) 2,524
12 Michael Simkovic (USC) 46,038 12 Margaret Ryznar (Indiana-Indy)   2,390
13 D. Dharmapala (Chicago) 45,841 13 Darien Shanske (UC-Davis)  2,288
14 Paul Caron (Pepperdine) 38,834 14 Robert Sitkoff (Harvard) 2,264
15 Louis Kaplow (Harvard) 35,870 15 Dan Shaviro (NYU) 2,179
16 Richard Ainsworth (Boston Univ.) 33,587 16 Yariv Brauner (Florida) 2,152
17 Bridget Crawford (Pace) 29,420 17 Louis Kaplow (Harvard) 2,005
18 Ed Kleinbard (USC) 28,191 18 Hugh Ault (Boston College) 1,848
19 Vic Fleischer (UC-Irvine) 27,859 19 Ari Glogower (Ohio State) 1,772
20 Robert Sitkoff (Harvard) 27,335 20 Brad Borden (Brooklyn) 1,759
21 Brad Borden (Brooklyn) 27,066 21 Gregg Polsky (Georgia) 1,522
22 Jim Hines (Michigan) 26,180 22 Francine Lipman (UNLV) 1,481
23 Ted Seto (Loyola-L.A.) 25,257 22 Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College)  1,457
24 Ruth Mason (Virginia) 24,954 24 Michael Simkovic (USC) 1,416
25 Katie Pratt (Loyola-L.A.) 24,841 25 Vic Fleischer (UC-Irvine) 1,398

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November 30, 2021 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Prof Rankings, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

ABA Finds Cleveland-Marshall Law School In Compliance With Accreditation Standards

Following up on my previous post, ABA Finds Cleveland-Marshall Law School Out Of Compliance With Financial Resources Accreditation Standard:  Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Notice of Law School Demonstrating Compliance With Standards 202(a), (c), and (d): Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (Nov. 2021):

ABA Legal Ed (2021)Following consideration of the record in the matter and the Law School’s response to the Council’s August 2021 Decision Letter, the Council concluded that the information provided by the Law School is sufficient to demonstrate compliance with Standards 202(a), (c), and (d). Accordingly, the Rule 13(a)(2) hearing is cancelled in accordance with Rule 20(d). Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law remains an approved law school.

ABA Journal, Ohio Law School Back in Compliance With Program Standard, ABA Legal Ed Section's Council Finds:

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November 30, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Avi-Yonah: A Different Way to Tax Stock Buybacks

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan), A Different Way to Tax Stock Buybacks, 173 Tax Notes Fed. 1107 (Nov. 22, 2021):

Tax Notes Federal (2020)In this article, Avi-Yonah reviews the Build Back Better Act, which would impose a 1 percent excise tax on corporate stock buybacks. He argues that while the measure is an effective way to raise revenue from high-income taxpayers, it will not address the main tax problem with buybacks: the tax exemption for foreign shareholders, which Congress should reconsider.

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November 30, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Monday, November 29, 2021

Salib: The Pigouvian Constitution

Peter N. Salib (Houston; Google Scholar), The Pigouvian Constitution, 88 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1081 (2021): 

How can lawmakers reduce the skyrocketing rate of gun deaths in the United States? How can they stymie the spread of viral fake news stories designed to undermine our elections? Certain constitutionally protected activities—like owning a gun or speaking online—can generate social harms. Yet when lawmakers enact regulations to reduce those harms, they are regularly struck down as unconstitutional. Indeed, the very laws designed to most aggressively reduce social harms—like total criminal bans—are the least likely to be upheld. As a result, regulators appear stuck with an unpleasant choice—regulate constitutionally or effectively, but not both.

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November 29, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Mitchell: State Income Tax Rankings

Dan Mitchell, Ranking State Income Taxes:

Motivated in part by an excellent graphic that I shared in 2016, I put together a five-column ranking of state personal income tax systems in 2018.

Given some changes that have since occurred, it’s time for a new version. The first two columns are self explanatory and columns 3 and 5 are based on whether the top tax rate on households is less than 5 percent (“Low Rate”) or more than 8 percent (“Class Warfare”).

Mitchell

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November 29, 2021 in Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Jason Oh Named Lowell Milken Chair In Law At UCLA

Oh Receives Faculty Chair Appointment:

Oh (2021)UCLA School of Law Professor Jason Oh has received a faculty chair appointment in recognition of his substantial contributions to the study of tax law. ...

Faculty chairs acknowledge the distinction of the law school’s outstanding professors and are made possible by the incredible generosity of UCLA Law’s alumni and friends. UCLA Law has 69 full-time faculty members and 35 endowed chairs. ...

Oh has been appointed to the Lowell Milken Chair in Law. A member of the UCLA Law faculty since 2012 and the faculty co-director of UCLA Law’s Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy, he is an authority in tax policy and public finance. His record of scholarship and policymaking features multiple publications, appearances in the media, and testimonies before Congress. Oh also serves on the board of directors of the National Tax Association. The Lowell Milken Chair in Law was endowed in 2020 with a $1 million gift to support the career development of an emerging leader in the tax or business law areas. ...

Before joining UCLA Law, Oh was a tax attorney at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and an acting assistant professor of tax law at NYU School of Law. He earned his B.A. from Harvard University and J.D. from Harvard Law School.

November 29, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink

ETS Establishes Legal Education Advisory Council To Expand And Create New Pathways In Legal Education

ETS Establishes Legal Education Advisory Council to Expand and Create New Pathways in Legal Education:

GREAs ETS continues to pursue its vision of expanding and creating new pathways to and through legal education that prioritize fairness and equity, the organization has announced today the establishment of the Legal Education Advisory Council (LEAC) to help deliver on this vision.

As the pathway from considering law school attendance to obtaining legal employment continues to encounter demands for innovation, legal education — and thus ETS — bears a heavy responsibility to reevaluate how law school aspirants, students and graduates are recruited, prepared, assessed and licensed. The GRE test has brought an innovative approach to law school admissions that has enriched law school communities and has the potential to improve diversity access for years to come. The members of LEAC will play a critical role in helping shape the future of legal education.

“Meaningful innovation in legal education requires the active engagement of all relevant stakeholders, including those centrally involved in the recruitment and admissions pipeline, student services and career strategy professionals, faculty and senior administrators, and employers,” said Alberto Acereda, Associate Vice President of Global Higher Education at ETS. “I am thrilled to have these 10 esteemed members of the legal community join us as we form this new council to further innovation and access in the law school space.”

The Council is being established with 10 initial members but will continue to expand. Those who have joined LEAC include:

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November 29, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

One-Third Of The Way Through The Fall 2022 Law School Admissions Cycle: Applicants Are Down 4.4% And In All LSAT Bands (Especially 170-180 (-13.6%)), Except 150-159 (+0.3%)

We are now 33% of the way through Fall 2022 law school admissions season. The number of law school applicants reported by LSAC is down 4.4% compared to last year at this time.

LSAC 1

122 of the 199 law schools are experiencing an increase in applications. Applications are up 50% or more at 7 law schools, and 30% or more at 25 law schools:

LSAC 2

Applicants are up in only one region: South Central; and are down the most in Midwest (-13.4%), Northeast (-10.7%), and Far West (-9.6%) :

LSAC 3

Applicants' LSAT scores are down -13.6% in the 170-180 band, -5.9% in the 160-169 band, and -10.8% in the 120-149 band; and up +0.3% in the 150-159 band:

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November 29, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Lesson From The Tax Court: Who Is An IRS Employee's Immediate Supervisor For §6751 Penalty Approval?

Camp (2021)Today’s lesson involves yet more litigation over IRS compliance with the penalty approval process required by the formerly toothless §6751(b)(1).  In Sand Investment Co., LLC, et al. v. Commissioner, 157 T.C. No. 11 (Nov. 23, 2021) (Judge Lauber), the Tax Court continues teaching us the scope and operation §6751(b), a series of lessons it started back in 2017 when its decision in Graev v. Commissioner, 149 T.C. 485 (2017), gave the statute sharp teeth.  Among other requirements, the statute says approval must come from an IRS employee's “immediate supervisor.”  In today’s case, the IRS employee who proposed a bunch of penalties had two supervisors but only one definitely signed timely.  Judge Lauber finds that function trumps form in identifying which of the two supervisors was the right one to approve the proposed penalties.  This is a short lesson, and also one that will may be rendered moot.  Legislation passed by the House and now before the Senate de-fangs §6751(b).  Details below the fold.

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November 29, 2021 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Practice And Procedure, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Koppelman On The Yale And UIC Law School Controversies

Following up on my previous posts:

Chronicle of Higher Education, The Review: 'Many Administrators Are Cowards':

Faculty susceptibility to administrative sanction is at the center of the highly politicized culture wars playing out across universities in the last five years or so. Law schools are no exception. In the last year, Northwestern Law’s Andrew Koppelman has emerged as a sort of monitor of what he sees as flagrant instances of administrative overreach. “Many administrators,” he told me, “are cowards who are pre-disposed to grovel before student demands. The way to make cowards behave appropriately is to give them fears in the other direction.” I spoke with Koppelman about recent events at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Law and at Yale Law School. Here’s some of that conversation.

You’ve written two pieces for the Review in relatively short order, the first about the Trent Colbert affair at Yale Law, and the second about Jason Kilborn at UIC. Both cases involve members of the law school, students or faculty, getting in trouble for putatively racist speech — speech which elicited great distress among other students. I’m reminded of a somewhat different but not unrelated dilemma, what Jeannie Suk Gersen at The New Yorker has described as new challenges around teaching rape law because of student sensitivity. What’s happening?

There are two different sets of sensitivities. There are the sensitivities of students, and there are the sensitivities of administrators. It’s important to keep them apart. There are always going to be some students who take offense at things. A teacher always needs to keep that in mind. Part of a teacher’s job is not to lose the room. So teaching is an exercise in rhetoric; rhetoric has a moral dimension. It forces you to learn about your audience, to get outside your own head and into the heads of other people. This is the morally attractive aspect of rhetoric. ...

What I thought happened at Yale was that the administrators were so rigidly attached to a particular narrative that they misunderstood the situation and they made horrible mistakes. The impression I get is of quite possibly well-intentioned people who made really bad judgments.

What you are are seeing at UIC is much worse. It’s positively malevolent — there’s just no excuse for it. ...

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November 29, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Holiday Weekend Roundup

Sunday, November 28, 2021

WSJ: Fans Pour Funding—And Faith—Into 'The Chosen': A Hit Drama About Jesus

In July, I blogged The Chosen: Christian America’s Must-See TV Show and shared that I love the show so much that my wife and I were going to host weekly watch parties of Season 1 with lunch on Fridays in the fall semester at Pepperdine Caruso Law School. I am thrilled to report that it was such a success that we will be showing Season 2 in the spring semester. The weekend Wall Street Journal has a fascinating report on the show: Fans Pour Funding—and Faith—Into a Hit Drama About Jesus:

The Chosen 2Crowdfunding has raised millions for ‘The Chosen,’ an ambitious series exploring characters from the New Testament. Fans have already chipped in enough for three seasons—and are driving ticket sales for a Christmas special coming to movie theaters.

Dallas Jenkins, the filmmaker who created “The Chosen,” says the show’s style is modeled more on “Friday Night Lights” than other Christian TV shows and movies. Mary Magdalene relapses into vice. The apostle Matthew is on the autism spectrum. Jesus’ miracles get back stories.

By fleshing out biblical characters across multiple seasons, the show has inspired fan discussion, debate and squabbling on a level more typical of the Marvel or Star Wars series. Except that for “Chosen” fans, the dynamic is fueled by religious faith. ...

The success of the series is a powerful reminder to Hollywood that faith-focused projects can sometimes become breakthrough hits. But what makes “The Chosen” even more of an outlier is the way it is supercharging the crowdfunding model to sustain production through multiple seasons. Though “The Chosen” is free to watch, viewers have poured $40 million and counting into its production budget, enough to pay for three out of a planned seven seasons. The costs of building the new production facilities, on a 1,200-acre camp owned by the Salvation Army, are being covered by a smaller group of the show’s fans.

Producers say viewership was sluggish when the first season premiered for a fee in 2019. But the audience spiked when they made the series free on a “Chosen” app, now the show’s main distribution hub, and viewers continued to multiply during the pandemic’s lockdown months. The show has been translated into 50 languages, and is licensed to video services from Amazon to Peacock. Producers estimate that its 16 episodes have been viewed 312 million times. Now the “Chosen” audience is set to converge in person in movie theaters.

Starting Dec. 1, about 1,700 theaters will feature screenings of a “Chosen” Christmas special, including musical performances and a new episode in which Mother Mary (a series character played by Vanessa Benavente) flashes back to her son’s birth. Distributor Fathom Events, known for one- or two- day releases of classic movies, live opera and other specialty fare, expanded the “Chosen” event to 10 days. Ticket sales are approaching $6 million so far, putting “Christmas with ‘The Chosen’” on track to be Fathom’s bestseller ever, according to chief executive Ray Nutt.

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November 28, 2021 in Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Dave Chappelle, Reinhold Niebuhr, And The Gospel

Following up on my previous post, Norm Macdonald’s Comedy Was Quite Christian:  Russell Moore (Christianity Today), What Stand-Up Comedians Can Teach the Church:

The CloserGood comedy is strange and surprising. So is the gospel.

Apparently, comedian Dave Chappelle isn’t welcome at his own high school. According to news reports, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts delayed a ceremony to celebrate the renaming of its theater after the famous alum because students threatened to walk out.

Netflix fielded similar threats from its employees after Chappelle’s controversial standup comedy special aired on the streaming service. Many felt it was insulting toward transgender people and others. Chappelle’s special has since prompted a thousand debates about political correctness, cancel culture, and the nature of respect and civility in the public square.

While those debates are important, let’s set them aside for a moment and reflect instead on the question of who was laughing—and why.

As the Chappelle controversy has unfolded, I have found myself in conversations with two specific people on opposite sides of the “love him or hate him” spectrum. Both of these individuals were surprised by their mixed feelings—not about the social commentary or the rhetoric of the comedian but by their own reactions and responses.

One of them is a staunch conservative who’s been concerned about our country entering a “What are your pronouns?” era. He agreed with Chappelle’s arguments on that point but said he never laughed at them. In fact, he cringed several times at the crude language in the routine. “I was with him on the issue,” he said. “It just wasn’t my kind of humor.”

The other person is a committed progressive outraged by what he sees as Chappelle taking cheap shots at a vulnerable population—and yet he had the reverse response. “I hated what he was saying, at least at those parts,” he said, before looking down and wincing. “But I have to admit, he was funny.”

So while the conservative felt obligated to laugh, he felt left out because he didn’t. And although the progressive despised what was said, he felt guilty because he did laugh.

In September, David Sims of The Atlantic profiled another controversial and politically charged comedian, Norm Macdonald, after Macdonald’s death from cancer. As with Chappelle, part of Macdonald’s legacy was that he could prompt people to “laugh and gasp in shock in equal measure.” The key to all of this, Sims argued, was not Macdonald’s place on the political spectrum, which was to the right of most of his cohort. It wasn’t even his comedic material itself, which was often rather coarse. Instead, it was Macdonald’s view of what comedy is meant to do—or, more specifically, of how laughter works.

According to Sims, Macdonald argued that standups should “hunt for laughter, not applause.” The comedian went on to explain, “There’s a difference between a clap and a laugh. A laugh is involuntary, but the crowd is in complete control when they’re clapping. They’re saying, ‘We agree with what you’re saying; proceed!’ … But when they’re laughing, they’re genuinely surprised. And when they’re not laughing, they’re really surprised. And sometimes I think, in my little head, that that’s the best comedy of all.”

This seems to have little to do with the witness of the church. After all, we’re not trying to make people laugh. But that element of surprise—an involuntary reaction that goes beyond our sets of ideologies and expectations—is actually a key part of what we are called to do, and the lack of it partially explains why we so often fail.

In the mid-20th century, theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote an essay on the relationship between humor and faith that was utterly humorless but nonetheless insightful. In it, Niebuhr argued that at the core of human existence is a paradox. We see ourselves as insignificant in the broad sweep of space and time, per Psalm 8: “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (v. 4). But our very ability to ponder that insignificance seems to place us at the center of the universe: “You have made them a little lower than the angels” (v. 5). ...

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November 28, 2021 in Legal Education | Permalink

Morse Tan Named Dean Of Liberty University School of Law

Former State Department Ambassador Morse Tan Selected to Head Liberty University School of Law:

Tan (2021)Liberty University has announced that Morse Hyun-Myung Tan has been named the new dean of Liberty University School of Law. Tan will assume his duties on Jan. 1, 2022.

Most recently, Tan served as Ambassador at Large for the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Criminal Justice, where he oversaw the indictment, sanctioning, capture, and/or conviction of war criminals in Sri Lanka, Rwanda, the Balkans, and Lebanon. In his professional law career, Tan has served briefly as an attorney and counselor at law for major law firms. He has worked primarily in legal academia and has published numerous law review articles and delivered presentations on bioethics and international human rights, most notably as an expert on North Korea. Tan has served as a law professor or visiting scholar at University of Texas at Austin School of Law, University of St. Thomas School of Law, Florida Coastal School of Law, Northern Illinois University College of Law, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, and Handong International Law School in Pohang, Korea, where he took part in founding the first American J.D. program in Asia. Ambassador Tan authored “North Korea, International Law and the Dual Crises” (Routledge). He has taught courses on North Korean policy, international criminal law, international human rights, bioethics, and constitutional law.

“At Liberty, we look for leaders who not only bring a wealth of experience in their field but are bold about their faith and fully support our Christian mission,” said President Jerry Prevo. “We are excited to welcome Ambassador Tan, who will help train future law professionals with the biblical principles that are so desperately needed in our nation today.”

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November 28, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

The Top Five New Tax Papers

There is a bit of movement in this week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads, with a new paper debuting on the list at #5:

  1. SSRN Logo (2018) [296 Downloads]  The Tax Gap's Many Shades of Gray, by Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar), Janet Holtzblatt (Tax Policy Center) & Steve Rosenthal (Tax Policy Center)
  2. [210 Downloads]  The 2021 Compromise, by Ruth Mason (Virginia; Google Scholar) (reviewed by Charlotte Crane (Northwestern; Google Scholar) here)
  3. [194 Downloads]  Implementing an International Effective Minimum Tax in the EU, by Joachim Englisch (Münster) & Johannes Becker (Münster; Google Scholar)
  4. [188 Downloads]  Colorblind Tax Enforcement, by Jeremy Bearer-Friend (George Washington; Google Scholar)
  5. [169 Downloads]  Slicing the Shadow: A Proposal for Updating U.S. International Taxation, by Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan; Google Scholar)

November 28, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink

Saturday, November 27, 2021

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Columbia Settles COVID-19 Class Action Tuition Refund Suit For $12.5 Million

Law360, Columbia U. Settles COVID-19 Tuition Refund Suit For $12.5M:

Columbia University Logo (2021)Columbia University has agreed to pay $12.5 million to resolve a lawsuit seeking tuition and fee reimbursements in the wake of coronavirus-spurred campus closures, according to a settlement proposal filed in New York federal court.

Students brought a putative class action last year, alleging the Ivy League school deprived them of in-person instruction, access to campus facilities, student activities and other benefits for which they had paid tuition and fees. Certain refunds the school had already provided were insufficient, according to the complaint filed Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman trimmed the students' tuition claims, but said they were able to reclaim all the fees paid.

Under the deal announced Tuesday, the university will return more than $8.5 million in fees and pay an additional $4 million so the plaintiffs don't seek to revive the tuition claims, according to a lawyer for the students, Roy T. Willey IV.

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November 27, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Cravath Kicks Off Associate Bonus Season With Payouts Up To $115,000

Cravath (2021)Cravath once again has kicked off associate bonus season:

  • 1st Year Associate (Class of 2021):  $15,000 (prorated)
  • 2nd Year Associate (Class of 2020):  $20,000
  • 3rd Year Associate (Class of 2019:  $30,000
  • 4th Year Associate (Class of 2018):  $57,500
  • 5th Year Associate (Class of 2017):  $75,000
  • 6th Year Associate (Class of 2016):  $90,000
  • 7th Year Associate (Class of 2015):  $105,000
  • 8th Year Associate (Class of 2014): $115,000

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November 27, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Break Into Tax: Capital Gains & Losses — An Introduction

Learn or review the building blocks of capital gains & losses. This video covers the 3 elements needed for a gain or loss to be "capital" rather than "ordinary," including what constitutes a "capital asset." It also discusses holding period. Professor Lederman & Professor Emily Cauble co-host. Planned future videos will cover the capital gains preference and the limitation on capital losses.

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November 27, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

Friday, November 26, 2021

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Next Week's Tax WorkshopsTuesday, November 30: Steven Dean (Brooklyn) & Dana Brakman Reiser (Brooklyn; Google Scholar) will present For-Profit Philanthropy as part of the Georgetown Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Brian Galle.

Tuesday, November 30: Alan Auerbach (UC-Berkeley; Google Scholar) will present Tax Policy Design With Low Interest Rates as part of the NYU Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Daniel Shaviro

Wednesday, December 1: Victor Fleischer (UC-Irvine; Google Scholar) will present Tax Policy - Legislative Updates on behalf of the UC-Irvine Graduate Tax Program. If you would like to attend, please contact taxpolicy@law.uci.edu

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November 26, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Tax Policy In The Biden Administration

NY Times Op-Ed: Thanksgiving, Gratitude, And The Shocking Privilege Of Life

New York Times op-ed:  Five Ways to Exercise Your Thankfulness Muscles, by Tish Harrison Warren (Priest, Anglican Church; Author, Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life (Christianity Today's 2018 Book of the Year)):

Warren 3I’m from a family that doesn’t talk much about feelings. We keep it mostly to jokes, sarcasm and sports. When I was growing up, perhaps the biggest perceived sin was being overly earnest and sincere. So all of us kids were shocked when one Thanksgiving, out of nowhere, my parents announced that we’d begin a new ritual. The 20 to 30 of us gathered for the Thanksgiving meal each had to share something we were grateful for.

Over the years, this practice took on the repetitive qualities all liturgies have. Some people expressed gratitude for their health or friends and family. Every year, my great-uncle gave thanks for being a Democrat, and our friend Art strategically positioned himself directly after him in the circle so he could say that he was grateful “for canceling out his vote,” and everyone laughed. My introverted brother-in-law would tease my parents about the horror of the dreaded “circle of thanks.”

But the dreaded circle became part of why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is a day that spotlights the need for gratitude. ...

The practice of gratitude is central to nearly every religious and spiritual tradition. And all of us have much to be grateful for. We get the shocking privilege of living on this planet that is uniquely made so that humans can be born, breathe, grow, work, harvest and create. We have bodies that know the pleasures of strawberries, guacamole and buttery popcorn. We hear laughter and breathe in the steam of hot coffee.

The practice of gratitude teaches us, as the theologian Christine D. Pohl put it, “the giftedness of our total existence.” This posture of receptiveness — living as the thankful beneficiary of gifts — is the path of joy because it reminds us that we do not have to be the makers and sustainers of our life. Gratitude is how we embrace beauty without clutching it so tightly that we strangle it.

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November 26, 2021 in Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, November 25, 2021

WKRP In Cincinnati Thanksgiving Turkey Drop

WSJ Refuses To Cancel Its Annual Thanksgiving Editorials

Wall Street Journal editorial, Censoring the Pilgrims:

WSJ OpinionNo doubt it was only a matter of time. The progressives have come for our annual Thanksgiving editorials. They won’t succeed, but we thought we’d share the tale with readers for an insight into the politicization of everything, even Thanksgiving.

Since 1961 we’ve run a pair of editorials written by our former editor Vermont Royster. The first is a historical account about the Pilgrims in 1620 as related by William Bradford, a governor of Plymouth Colony. The second is a contemporary contrast from the mid-20th century about the progress a prosperous America has made that we can all be thankful for.

The editorials are popular with readers, who tell us they appreciate the sentiments about hardship and gratitude during what should be a unifying national holiday. For decades we’ve run them with nary a discouraging word.

But we live in a new era when the left sees nearly everything through the reductive lens of identity politics. It sees much of American history as a racist project that should be erased. This is the motivation of a petition campaign to censor the Pilgrim editorial.

The effort comes via Change.org, a website that calls itself “the world’s platform for change.” It mobilizes campaigns to promote progressive causes. The petition driver is Randy Kritkausky, an author who writes about Native Americans. His petition has gathered some 50,000 signatures and here’s its argument:

Tell the Wall Street Journal that it’s 2021. It’s time to stop publishing 17th century racism. ...

We don’t mind giving critics a chance to make their case, but we won’t bend to political demands for censorship. We will run the editorials as usual this week.

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  Don’t Let Ideologues Steal Thanksgiving, by Melanie Kirkpatrick (Hudson Institute):

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November 25, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

Happy Thanksgiving, Pepperdine

Pepperdine

November 25, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

Avi-Yonah Posts Three New International Tax Papers On SSRN

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan; Google Scholar), Slicing the Shadow: A Proposal for Updating U.S. International Taxation:

This article advances a proposal for market-based formulary apportionment.

Gucci Gulch Redux: The Problems of Wyden Proposal:

This paper addresses the problems of Sen Wyden’s international tax reform proposal.

The New International Tax Regime:

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November 25, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Rosenbloom & Shaheen: Toulouse — No Treaty-Based Credit?

H. David Rosenbloom (Caplin & Drysdale; NYU) & Fadi Shaheen (Rutgers; Google Scholar), Toulouse: No Treaty-Based Credit?, 104 Tax Notes Int'l 417 (Oct. 25, 2021):

Tax Notes Int'lThis article maintains that the U.S. Tax Court’s decision in Toulouse [v. Commissioner, 157 T.C. No. 4 (2021)]— that U.S. tax treaties with France and Italy do not provide a treaty-based foreign tax credit against the net investment income tax — is mistaken.

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November 24, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Kim: Taxing Teleworkers

Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Utah; Google Scholar), Taxing Teleworkers, 55 U.C. Davis L. Rev. __ (2021):

UC Davis Law ReviewSince COVID-19 has forced many governments to restrict travel and impose quarantine requirements, telework has become a way of life. The shift towards teleworking is raising tax concerns for workers who work for employers located in another state than where they live. Most source states where these employers are located could not have taxed income of out-of-state teleworkers under the pre-pandemic tax rules. However, several source states have unilaterally extended their sourcing rule on these teleworkers, resulting in unwarranted risk of double taxation — once by the residence state and again by the source state. At this time, there is no uniform guideline by state or federal governments.

Recently, New Hampshire, supported by fourteen other states, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to exercise its original jurisdiction challenging Massachusetts’ telecommuting taxes of nonresident teleworkers. Tax commentators believed this case would be one of the most significant tax decisions in recent years, but the Supreme Court declined to hear it. New Jersey also opposes New York’s long-standing telecommuting taxes under the “convenience of the employer” rule. This Article examines the constitutional challenges of maintaining pre-pandemic work arrangements for tax purposes, arguing that a source state’s extraterritorial assertion to tax nonresident teleworkers’ income likely violates the Dormant Commerce and Due Process Clauses. Also, this Article finds the Supreme Court’s decision not to exercise original jurisdiction dissatisfying in light of the substantial increase in remote work.

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November 24, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Table Of U.S. Law School Mission Statements (2019 & 2021); 58 Schools Lack Explicit Mission Statements

Frances Tung (American Bar Foundation) & Elizabeth Mertz (Wisconsin; Google Scholar), Table of U.S. Law School Mission Statements, 2019 & 2021:

This Table continues a data-sharing effort begun by Irene Scharf and Vanessa Merton in 2016, as part of their research on U.S. law schools’ mission statements. They had been inspired, in part, by Jerome Organ’s earlier work on this topic in 2010. Scharf and Merton made their 2016 data publicly available on the University of Massachusetts website; we are following in their footsteps by sharing the results of our own efforts, undertaken in 2019 and 2021, on SSRN and on the American Bar Foundation webpage. In the spirit of open access and collegial cooperation within our scholarly community, we invite readers to send corrections to us c/o ftung@abfn.org. This is part of a larger project on law school education funded by the American Bar Foundation and directed by Elizabeth Mertz. 

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November 24, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Yale Dean Finds 'Something Fishy' In B-School Rankings, Highlights Need For Greater Transparency

Chronicle of Higher Education, Is This College Ranking Faulty?:

Bloomberg Business School Rankings (2021-22)A dean found something fishy in a magazine’s list of business schools. The editors say he’s off base.

There was a lot that Anjani Jain liked about Bloomberg Businessweek’s ranking of business schools. It was only when the deputy dean at the Yale School of Management dug deeper that it stopped making sense to him.

Like most publications that rate institutions of higher education, this one chose certain categories to evaluate, such as how much money graduates make, and weighted each category based on its importance. But unlike with many other rankings, Businessweek asked students, recent alumni, and recruiters what was important to them, and used their responses to determine how much weight to give to each of the five categories it used to evaluate schools: compensation, learning, networking, entrepreneurship, and diversity. To Jain, this seemed like a good idea.

The dean, who has a background in mathematics, physics, and operations research, began poking around at the numbers, trying to replicate the ranking using the information that was public. He has tinkered with other rankings too; digging into the calculations can be a way for him to procrastinate when he has other work. But when following Businessweek’s published methodology, Jain’s ranking of the business schools did not come out in the same order.

“I noticed that somehow there were numerical anomalies,” he said. The crowdsourced weights that the magazine said it gave to each of its five categories didn’t seem to yield the ranking order the magazine had published.

Perplexed, Jain wrote to Businessweek. An editor wrote back, explaining that the weights had been applied to raw scores, rather than the scores published.

Jain was skeptical. He believed that he had deduced what the weights would have to be in order to recreate the list that Businessweek published. Those weights, he said, were not the same as what the magazine had gotten from its surveys.

The way Jain sees it, one of two things happened. Either the weights were applied to the data before it was normalized — a mathematical process that can be used to ensure that data sets are being compared on the same numerical scale — which would be a statistical error, he said. Or the ranking was calculated accurately, but after the fact some sort of “mysterious manipulation,” as Jain put it, took place.

Businessweek editor did not respond to The Chronicle’s request for comment. The magazine stands by its ranking. ... The spokesperson said that the magazine’s methodology was vetted by multiple data scientists and that disclosing raw data “would create the possibility that the rankings could be reverse-engineered or gamed by a school for an unfair advantage.” ... 

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November 24, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

International College Enrollments Begin to Recover

Open Doors 2

Inside Higher Ed, International Enrollments Begin to Recover:

The number of international students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities has begun to rebound following a precipitous pandemic-related drop in international enrollments last fall, according to new data being released today.

The number of new international students increased by 68 percent this fall over last fall, and the number of total international students grew by 4 percent across more than 860 U.S. higher education institutions that responded to a “snapshot” survey on fall international enrollments conducted by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and nine other higher education associations.

The increases this fall follow a 46 percent drop in new international students, and a 15 percent drop in total international students, in academic year 2020–21 compared to the year before. Those numbers come from the newly released Open Doors census of international enrollments, conducted annually by IIE with funding from the U.S. Department of State.

Chronicle of Higher Education, International Enrollments Tumble Below One Million for the First Time in Years, and Covid Is to Blame:

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November 24, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Lederman: Best Practices In Tax Rulings Transparency

Leandra Lederman (Indiana; Google Scholar), Best Practices in Tax Rulings Transparency:

Tax rulings reflect agreement by a tax administration to a particular tax treatment of a planned transaction. They provide certainty to taxpayers and the government, lowering costs on both sides. Such rulings are therefore used by many countries. Yet, secrecy that is followed by leaks and criticism is a recurring aspect of these rulings. Perhaps most well known in this regard is the 2014 LuxLeaks scandal. LuxLeaks revealed numerous tax rulings issued by the European country of Luxembourg containing what the press sometimes termed “sweetheart deals” between the Luxembourg tax authority and multinational companies. The United States has also experienced embarrassing revelations in the tax rulings context, such as during the period before it began disclosing anonymized versions of letter rulings.

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November 24, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Rodriguez: Legal Education As A Key Stakeholder In Legal Services Reform

Dan Rodriguez (Former Dean, Northwestern), Legal Education as a Key Stakeholder in Legal Services Reform:

Legal Evolution Logo (2021)The fierce and fascinating struggle underway in the American states over legal services reform brings to the table a large collection of interest groups.  These groups include law firms, legal aid organizations, entrepreneurs who might benefit financially from the liberalization of entry rules, and of course the gatekeeper entities, including state bar authorities and the state supreme courts, whose decisions are crucial to the evolution and shape of reform. ...

What remains somewhat opaque in this robust and interconnected battle over the reform of legal services is the voice of legal educators and the law schools.  These are, after all, the places in which future lawyers are educated and professional values are instilled.  It is had to imagine a more fertile and opportune time to discuss the ambitions and philosophies of this next generation of legal professionals. ...

However configured, law schools can certainly be valuable venues for deep and broad discussions about reform and, under the right conditions, places for discernible movements to emerge and flourish.  Yet, as we look over the battlefield in which stakeholder groups take strong positions, there is a still deeper question for legal education worth—that is, whether and to what extent our system of legal education has a significant stake in the outcomes of these battles? And just as important, on what side of these struggles ought law schools to be on? ...

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November 24, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

The Renewed Need For Guidance Addressing Partnership 754 Election Revocations

Dion S. Toledo (J.D. 2020, UC-Irvine), Note, The Renewed Need for Guidance Addressing Partnership 754 Election Revocations, 11 U.C. Irvine L. Rev. 999 (2020):

UC Irvine Law ReviewThe section 754 election of the Internal Revenue Code allows partnerships to make basis adjustments to avoid potentials for double taxation that can arise following transfers of partnership interests and distributions of partnership property. Once made, a 754 election applies to all future tax years and is revocable only with the consent of the Internal Revenue Service (Service). One subsection of the Treasury Regulations addresses when the Service might approve or deny a partnership’s request to revoke a 754 election. Despite the process contemplated in this regulation, until recently, partnerships could default out of a 754 election without Service approval through a technical termination. The lack of recorded application of the regulation implies that partnerships have largely not needed to rely on—and the Service has not needed to apply—the 754 election revocation regulation.

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November 24, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink