Paul L. Caron

Friday, June 9, 2023

One Week Later . . .

Paul at Beach (2013)

It is exactly one week ago to the hour that we put down our beloved sweet dog Josie. I am astonished by how much I miss her. She had been a daily presence in our lives during our entire time at Pepperdine (10 1/2 years). My days would begin with her bounding out of our bed and end with her jumping into our bed as we settled down for the night. In between, she was a full participant in our hectic lives — joining me for early morning tennis at Pepperdine and cardio and weight training in our bedroom, and later for walks in our neighborhood, dinners at our home with students, and beach outings. But my favorite time was the countless hours she slept at my feet while I worked in our dining room — it was so comforting to have her nearby.

I choose to remember the Josie in the photo below, racing toward the setting sun, brimming with excitement at what awaits her, confident that her "binky ball" will magically appear, at just the right spot and bouncing at just the right height for her to jump and catch it in her mouth, so she can trot back to me proud of her accomplishment and drop the binky ball at my feet so I can toss it again and again and again. The difference now is that Josie kept racing toward the setting sun, still brimming with excitement at what awaited her. I take comfort in C.S. Lewis's theology about dogs and heaven, and hope that when my time comes to race toward the setting sun, I will find Josie awaiting me, with a shiny new binky ball at her feet, waiting to resume the chase again and again and again.

Beach (2016)

June 9, 2023 in Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tax Policy In The Biden Administration

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Great Teachers 2023: Jennifer Bird-Pollan Guides Students Through Complicated Tax Law

University of Kentucky News, Great Teachers 2023: Jennifer Bird-Pollan Guides Students Through Complicated Tax Law:

In February, the University of Kentucky Alumni Association honored the six recipients of this year’s Great Teacher Awards. Launched in 1961, they are the longest-running UK awards that recognize teaching. Over the next six weeks, UKNow is highlighting the passionate and accomplished educators who were named a 2023 Great Teacher.

Jennifer Bird-Pollan [Google Scholar], Ph.D., associate dean in the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law, is one of this year’s Great Teacher Award recipients. She joined the UK faculty in 2010 and is now the Judge William T. Lafferty Professor of Law. She teaches federal income tax, estate and gift tax, international tax, partnership tax, corporate tax and a seminar in tax policy.

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June 9, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax News, Tax Profs, Teaching | Permalink

Garnett: True Campus Diversity

Richard Garnett (Notre Dame; Google Scholar), True Campus Diversity:

Higher education in America, it is often observed, confronts serious challenges, even crises. True, many of the world’s leading research institutions are in the United States. And yet: Tuition-costs are soaring; the footprints and portfolios of human-resources, student-services, and other administrators are expanding; tenure-track faculty positions (especially in the humanities) are disappearing; reliance on (often exploited) adjuncts, graduate students, and short-term instructors is increasing; and regulatory burdens are growing.

What is more, it seems clear that partisan homogeneity and ideological conformity are crowding out the dialogue, debate, and diversity that should be at the heart of academic life and student experience. We are all familiar by now with stories and illustrations of how meaningful education is being undermined by divisive identity politics, incivility and uncharity in disagreement, and the weaponization of concepts like “safety” and “harm.” It is unlikely that our colleges and universities are preparing young people well either for responsible participation in the politics of our constitutional democracy or for everyday life in our workplaces and neighborhoods (let alone our social-media platforms).

Arguments about diversity in higher education are, of course, both unavoidable and highly charged. Generally, these debates have to do with the use of race in the admissions practices of elite institutions or with the dramatically one-sided make-up of these institutions’ faculty, administration, and leadership. A crucial dimension of the diversity problem, however, is less noticed: In a nutshell, we should be concerned about not only intellectual diversity within institutions, but also meaningful diversity among institutions, that is, what John Garvey, the President Emeritus of the Catholic University of America, called “institutional pluralism.” ...

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June 9, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Four Tax Questions For ChatGPT And Other Language Models

Libin Zhang (Fried Frank, New York), Four Tax Questions for ChatGPT and Other Language Models, 179 Tax Notes Fed. 969 (May 8, 2023):

Tax-notes-federalSince ChatGPT was released to the public in late 2022, it and other language models have rapidly gained recognition for their ability to respond to queries with natural language text. This article tests the usefulness of three language models, ChatGPT, Bing Chat, and Google Bard, by asking each four tax-related questions:

1. Can I engage in a section 1031 like-kind exchange if I sell my Picasso painting?
2. Does a decedent recognize gain if she dies with assets that have debt in excess of tax basis?
3. Why should the federal government tax stock buybacks?
4. Can you tell me six original jokes about tax lawyers?

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June 9, 2023 in Legal Ed Tech, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Building Belonging: Proven Methods To Decrease Attrition And Best Serve Law Students

Leila Lawlor (Georgia State; Google Scholar), Building Belonging: Proven Methods to Decrease Attrition and Best Serve Law Students, 91 Tenn. L. Rev. __ (2024):

A crucial task for legal educators is to determine how to retain our students, especially those who may be most vulnerable to attrition — first-generation students and students of color. This article looks at nine similarly situated ABA-accredited law schools and assesses these schools’ success at retaining their students. The nine schools are all public, operate both part-time and full-time programs, generally enjoy above average diversity, and have somewhat similar national rankings. The nine schools also report similar median LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs of recent incoming classes. 

Belonging 1

The overall attrition rates and attrition rates for students of color vary somewhat among these schools; however, taken as a whole, the schools show a downward trend in attrition over the last eleven years.

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June 9, 2023 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Haneman: 529 Plans And School Choice

Victoria J. Haneman (Creighton; Google Scholar), 529 Plans and School Choice, 21 Pitt. Tax Rev. __ (2023):

Pittsburgh Tax Review (2021)Some politicians believe that market-based approaches to education will meaningfully reshape public education in the United States. Advocates of school choice insist that competition for students will improve academic outcomes, drive innovation and improvement, and reduce political interference in the education system. Critics believe that there is little empirical support for any of these claims, and fear that school choice policies worsen the problem of educational inequality. The purpose of this essay is not to rehash the topic of school choice, which has been exhaustively considered and debated by academia, think tanks, media and government. 

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June 8, 2023 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Muller Critiques The 7% Weighting Of Ultimate 2-Year Bar Passage Rates In The U.S. News Law School Rankings

Following up on my previous post, Methodology Changes In The New 2024 U.S. News Law School Rankings:  Derek Muller (Iowa; Google Scholar), Does a School's "Ultimate Bar Passage" Rate Relate to That School's Quality?:

US News (2023)With a loss of data that USNWR used to use to assess the quality of law schools, USNWR had to rely on ABA data. And it was already assessing one kind of outcome, first-time bar passage rate.

It introduced “ultimate bar passage” rate as a factor in this year’s methodology, with a whopping 7% of the total score. That’s higher than the median LSAT score now. It’s also much higher than the at-graduation [jobs] rate in previous methodologies (4%). ...

The ABA’s “ultimate” standard is simply a floor for accreditation purposes. Very few schools fail this standard. The statistic, and the cutoff, are designed for a minimal test of whether the law school is functioning appropriately, at a very basic level. (It’s also a bit circular, as I’ve written about—why does the ABA need to accredit schools separate and apart from the bar exam if it’s referring to accreditation standards as passing the bar exam?) ...

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June 8, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Aprill: For-Profit Philanthropy And The 1969 Tax Reform Act

Ellen P. Aprill (Loyola-L.A.; Google Scholar), Reviewing For-Profit Philanthropy And the 1969 Tax Reform Act, 179 Tax Notes Fed. 825 (May 1, 2023):

Tax Notes Federal (2022)For-Profit Philanthropy criticizes recent developments in philanthropy, arguing that they demonstrate “the unraveling of a pact between elites and the public that fueled half a century of philanthropic achievement.” My review recognizes the achievement of this book, in particular the breadth of its examination, but, of course, also critiques it. The authors argue that recent philanthropic activity by wealthy elites betrays the grand bargain of the 1969 Tax Reform Act that set out the rules for private foundations. I believe this thesis claims somewhat too much. In my view, it does not sufficiently weigh the value of donor privacy and by ignoring other philanthropic vehicles blessed by tax law, both before and after the 1969 Tax Reform Act.

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June 8, 2023 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

ABA Approves 'JD-Next' As Admissions Test For Arizona, Other Law Schools With Variances

Following up on my previous post, JD-Next: A Valid And Reliable Tool To Predict Diverse Students’ Success In Law School:, ABA Approves 'JD-Next' as Admissions Test for UArizona Law, Other Schools With Variance:

JD-Next 0The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law has been working on developing the JD-Next exam as an alternative law school admissions test since 2019, and on Friday the Council of the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions approved a variance for the law school to use the JD-Next exam for admission.

JD-Next, a national program designed to reduce disparities in preparation for law school and to provide a more reliable predictor of student success, can be used in lieu of the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and Graduate Record Exam (GRE) at Arizona Law.

Additionally, the ABA Council invited other law schools to use JD-Next in lieu of the LSAT or GRE by filling out a simple variance request form, according to Marc Miller, dean and Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law at the University of Arizona Law.

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June 8, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tax Classification Of Cryptocurrency, NFTs, DAOs, And Other Digital Assets

Billy Abbott (O'Melveny & Myers, Silicon Valley), The Anything Asset: The Tax Classification of Cryptocurrency, NFTs, DAOs and Other Digital Assets, 26 Chap. L. Rev. 459 (2023):

The first question for any tax practitioner looking at a digital asset will be this: What is it? Given the flexibility of digital assets as evidenced by their already varied use, in a sense, a digital asset can be almost anything. Although tax advisors are used to applying old rules to classify new assets, the versatility of digital assets will stretch that approach and change the practice of tax law. This Article explores the interesting and challenging issue of classifying digital assets: first, through specifically considering the tax classification of common categories of digital assets--cryptocurrency, DAOs and NFTS--and second, by asking whether any or all of those assets can be classified as "securities" or "commodities" under a few key provisions of the Code.

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June 8, 2023 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

In-House Counsel From Top 50 Schools Earn $650,000, 30% More Than Grads Of Non-Top 100 Schools

Corporate Counsel, Study Reveals How Pedigree of Law Schools, Law Firms Influence In-House Pay:

In-house attorneys who went to a Top 50 law school earn an average of 30% more than those attending schools ranked 100 or lower. If they went to a Top 50 law school and worked at an Am Law 50 law firm, they earned 76% more than those who didn’t.

Those were among the findings from the recruiting firm BarkerGilmore’s recently released annual compensation report, which was based on responses from 3,800 U.S.-based corporate counsel, 48% of whom attended a top-50 U.S. law school. ...

A general counsel who went to a Top 50 law school received $650,000 in compensation last year, as opposed to $511,000 for general counsel who attended a school ranked between 51-100, and $455,000 for general counsel who attended law school ranked below 100, the report found.

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June 8, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Jonathan Choi Leaves Minnesota For USC

Jonathan Choi (Minnesota; Google Scholar) has accepted a later offer from USC effective Fall 2023:

Jonathan choiProfessor Jonathan H. Choi specializes in law and artificial intelligence (applying natural language processing to study legal issues), statutory interpretation, and tax law.

Professor Choi earned his B.A. from Dartmouth College, summa cum laude, with a triple major in Computer Science, Economics, and Philosophy and high honors for his Computer Science thesis. He received a J.D. from the Yale Law School, where he was Executive Bluebook Editor of the Yale Law Journal. Before entering the academy, he practiced tax law at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

Professor Choi has published articles in the New York University Law Review, Stanford Law Review, Yale Journal on Regulation, and Yale Law Journal, among others. His work has been covered by a wide variety of news outlets, including ABC News, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, the Daily Mail, Fox News, NBC Nightly News, the New Yorker, Reuters, the Star Tribune, and the Washington Post.

His recent publications include:

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June 7, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink

Open Conversations At Pepperdine Caruso Law School: Building Culture, Developing Discourse, Nurturing Democracy

Jeffrey R. Baker (Pepperdine; Google Scholar) & Tanya Asim Cooper (Pepperdine; Google Scholar), Open Conversations: Building Culture, Developing Discourse, Nurturing Democracy:

Caruso Logo (Two Lines) (Tight) (2020)[A]t our first Open Conversation, ... [o]ver fifty students attended, and we set out some simple guidance. This was not a teaching moment for the faculty, and it was not a debate. It was a conversation, discourse to share perspectives, an opportunity to speak and listen, to engage across difference, to give voice to pain and anger, to explore paths forward, all from the students’ perspectives and experiences. With general prompts and light moderation while breaking bread together, the conversation was rich, critical, vibrant, heartfelt, and serious. It did not fix all of the issues or resolve all the tension within our school, but it was a moment of genuine community struggling with itself but refusing to alienate each other. 

After that first Open Conversation, we continued to offer them when controversies erupted nationally or locally, refining the approach. ... The broad objective for Open Conversations is to build a healthy culture within our law school community. It is not to resolve every issue or to engage in antagonistic debate; there are plenty of other opportunities for that during law school. Rather, it is to enrich our discourse with care, respect, and dignity, even over the most contentious issues. Moderation and centrism are also not the aims; students advocate and argue in Open Conversations with conviction but within a framework that aims to hold our shared life at the heart of our discussions. In our current national season of extreme polarization, brutal partisanship, personal antagonism, and so-called “cancel culture” (all of which have been topics of our discussions), the Open Conversations are counter-cultural exercises in democratic engagement. 

To these ends, we developed a practice of lightly-moderated discussions over lunch around curated topics with important ground rules for the conversation. We typically have fifty to sixty students and another ten staff and faculty in the room. The ground rules are “conversational harnesses” to preserve the objectives of discourse and engagement, and we share them at the top of each open conversation:

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June 7, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Taxing Zero

Hillel Nadler (Wayne State), Taxing Zero, 26 Fla. Tax Rev. __ (2023):

Florida tax review“Zero-price” transactions—in which goods or services are provided at a cash price of zero—are an increasingly important feature of economic life. Consumers can search the web, use email, listen to music, and even trade stocks, all without paying anything out of pocket. But zero-price transactions are not free: for-profit businesses provide products at zero-price because they get something valuable from consumers in return. Consumers pay with their time, attention, or private information. Zero-price transactions are not giveaways; they are a form of barter exchange.

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June 7, 2023 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

NY Times: Columbia University Drops Out Of U.S. News Rankings After Fall From #2 To #18 Last Year

New York Times, Columbia University Drops Out of U.S. News Rankings for Undergraduate Schools:

Columbia US News

Columbia University announced on Tuesday that its undergraduate schools would no longer participate in the U.S. News & World Report college rankings, the first major university to refuse to supply information to the influential undergraduate guide for students and parents. ...

Columbia’s move comes after it dropped in the rankings released in September — to No. 18 from No. 2 — and after many prestigious law and medical schools, including Columbia’s, decided to boycott the listings by refusing to provide data to U.S. News. ...

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June 7, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

The Unacknowledged Realities Of Extraterritorial Taxation

Laura Snyder (AARO, SEAT), The Unacknowledged Realities of Extraterritorial Taxation, 47 S. Ill. U. L.J. 243 (2023):

The U.S. extraterritorial tax system has evolved such that today it is more consequential than one century ago. The system, conceived in the stigmatization of overseas Americans, consists of highly penalizing taxation and banking policies that make it difficult for overseas Americans to live normally. The IRS is also a victim: it is unable to administer the system.

Many have sought to educate policymakers and the public. Detailed survey reports have been issued, documenting how overseas Americans experience the system. Research articles have been published, exposing certain problems of the system and, in some cases, proposing solutions.

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June 7, 2023 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Former UC-Hastings Law School Loses Appeal To Block Suit Over Name Change

Reuters, Former 'Hastings' Law School Loses Appeal to Block Suit Over Name Change:

UC Hastings Name ChangeDescendants of Serranus Hastings suing over the name change of the former University of California Hastings College of the Law cleared a hurdle on Monday when a California appeals court tossed a bid brought by school officials who tried to block the lawsuit.

The California appeals court affirmed the dismissal of a motion brought by law school officials who are seeking to end litigation over the school’s name. Their anti-SLAPP motion argued that the name change was a protected public activity.

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June 7, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Pop & Perjury: The IRS Valuation War With The Estate Of Michael Jackson

Beckett Cantley (Northeastern) & Geoffrey Dietrich (Cantley Dietrich), Pop & Perjury: The IRS Valuation War with the Estate of Michael Jackson, 21 New Hampshire L. Rev. 93 (2022):

When Michael Jackson died unexpectedly in Los Angeles, California, on June 25, 2009, his career and earnings were nearing an all-time low. Plagued by past sexual abuse allegations, scandals, and questionable health, Michael Jackson’s personal finances were purported to be in complete disarray. However, following his unexpected death, the value of his estate, which was reported to be near to nothing, swelled as the world remembered his beloved contributions to the world and began to purchase accordingly. Sales of Michael Jackson’s music began to soar high. The estate’s value soared even higher as it signed licensing agreements and released new feature films and theatrical material of Michael Jackson.

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June 6, 2023 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Chat GPT-4 Understands Academic Attrition's Impact On Bar Passage But Does Anyone Else?

Rory D. Bahadur (Washburn) & Kevin Ruth (PhD Mathematics, Miami), Chat Gpt-4 Understands Academic Attrition's Impact on Bar Passage But Does Anyone Else?, 63 Washburn L.J. Online __ (2023):

Artificial Intelligence allows us to understand the relationship between bar passage and academic attrition. This relationship is often obscured by the continued conflation of the concepts of causation and correlation. Disentangling these two concepts is essential to refute the empirically baseless narrative that the bar exam tests competency and to expose the systemic racism and monopolistic business practices the above narrative perpetuates. 

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June 6, 2023 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Ed Tech, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Apple v. European Commission: Losing The War On Corporate International Transfer Pricing

Beckett Cantley (Northeastern) & Geoffrey Dietrich (Cantley Dietrich), Apple v. European Commission: Losing the War on Corporate International Transfer Pricing, 45 Loy. L.A. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 1 (2022):

For the last several years, Apple has been defending tax strategies utilized in Ireland before the European Union (EU) General Court. The European Commission, using Article 107 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, argues that Ireland provides state aid to Apple regarding several tax rulings, and that Apple owes a substantial tax liability. Although Apple was able to secure a favorable ruling before the EU General Court, the European Commission has appealed the General Court’s decision, and the final resolution to this case could be several years away. 

The outcome of this case has the potential to cause changes to the corporate tax structure within the EU and could either strengthen or weaken the Commission’s success in challenging the lack of arm’s length principles in transfer pricing methods through state aid concerns. If the European Commission is unsuccessful in this case, there may be a push for the EU to harmonize the corporate tax system in the hopes of limiting corporations’ ability to reduce tax liabilities by shifting profits between countries in the EU. 

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June 6, 2023 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

ABA Journal: Omnibus Law School Specialty Rankings Based On U.S. News Data

ABA Journal, These Law Schools Did Best in Blog's 'Omnibus Specialty Rankings' Based on US News Data:

US News (2023)The best law school for its showing in specialty rankings by U.S. News & World Report is Georgetown University, according to “omnibus specialty rankings” devised by a law dean.

The Georgetown University Law Center was ranked No. 15 in overall law school rankings by U.S. News & World Report. ... But Paul L. Caron, dean of the Pepperdine Caruso School of Law, looked at how well law schools did in 13 separate specialty rankings by U.S. News & World Report to put together his omnibus specialty rankings for 100 law schools, which he published at the TaxProf Blog. The top 10 law schools for their performance in the specialty rankings are:
1. Georgetown University (tied for first for clinical law and had an average ranking of 10 in all 13 specialties)

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June 6, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

The Worker Classification Dilemma: The IRS Test And The Platform Economy

Griffin Toronjo Pivateau (Oklahoma State; Google Scholar) & Gina Nerger (Tulsa), The Worker Classification Dilemma: The IRS Test and the Platform Economy, 53 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 535 (2021):

The American workplace continues to evolve. The creation of the platform economy enabled employers to use independent contractors to perform work that employees traditionally performed. Proponents suggest that the platform economy offers the benefits of entrepreneurship to great numbers of people who would otherwise lack opportunity. Detractors argue that the platform economy robs workers of the benefits and protections provided to employees.

Courts, states, and administrative agencies use a confusing array of classification tests to determine whether workers are employees or independent contractors. These tests share roots in the common law agency test, which grew out of the historic rules of the master-servant relationship. The common law agency test, created in a different time and for a different purpose, does not address the problems of the modern workplace. In search of a test better suited to dealing with issues created by the platform economy, many states have recently turned to the use of the ABC worker classification test, a test that begins with the rebuttable presumption of employee status.

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June 6, 2023 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Tom Hanks' Harvard Commencement Address: A Rare Moment Of Grace

Washington Post Op-Ed:  At Harvard, Tom Hanks Offered an Increasingly Rare Moment of Grace, by Nancy Gibbs (Harvard Kennedy School):

[L]ong after I forget what was said, I will remember what was done in a case I got to watch up close, a master class in class and wisdom about the moment we find ourselves in. When Tom Hanks, beloved actor, occasional author, typewriter aficionado and Most Trusted Person in America, spoke at Harvard’s 372nd commencement, he gave a performance in which the unscripted layers surpassed the careful text. And I’m betting those layers left a deeper mark on the more than 9,000 graduating students plus parents and friends who spread out across the quad to watch the show. ...

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June 6, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, June 5, 2023

Thomas & Scharff: Fake News And The Tax Law

Kathleen DeLaney Thomas (North Carolina; Google Scholar) & Erin Scharff (Arizona State), Fake News and the Tax Law, 80 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 803 (2023):

Washington & Lee Law ReviewThe public misunderstands many aspects of the tax system. For example, people frequently misunderstand how marginal tax rates work, misperceive their own average tax rates, and believe they benefit from tax deductions for which they are ineligible. Such confusion is understandable given the complexity of our tax laws. Unfortunately, research suggests these misconceptions shape voter preferences about tax policy which, in turn, impact the policies themselves.

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June 5, 2023 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Legal Ed News Roundup

Tax Policy And COVID-19: An Argument For Targeted Crisis Relief

Assaf Harpaz (Drexel), Tax Policy and COVID-19: An Argument for Targeted Crisis Relief, 31 Cornell J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 235 (2021):

Cornell Journal of Law & Public PolicyThe COVID-19 pandemic caused a sharp global economic decline. By the end of 2021, the U.S. government responded to the downturn with record fiscal legislation totaling over $5 trillion, which includes considerable tax relief. Most notably, the U.S. government distributed over $800 billion in three rounds of advanced refundable tax credits (known as recovery rebates, or stimulus checks) to most households. Tax relief has been unprecedented in scale but has often been the product of political circumstances rather than principled policy design. Tax relief thus remains largely undertheorized and politically motivated.

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June 5, 2023 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Texas Federal Judge Requires All Lawyers To File Certificate Verifying Any Use Of AI

Following up on my previous post, New York Times, Here’s What Happens When A Lawyer Uses ChatGPT

Open AI ChatGPTEugene Volokh (UCLA; Google Scholar), Federal Judge Requires All Lawyers to File Certificates Related to Use of Generative AI:

The certificates must "attest[] either that no portion of the filing was drafted by generative artificial intelligence (such as ChatGPT, Harvey.AI, or Google Bard) or that any language drafted by generative artificial intelligence was checked for accuracy, using print reporters or traditional legal databases, by a human being."

David Lat (Original Jurisdiction), Judge of the Week: Judge Brantley Starr:

Remember the debacle I discussed last week involving lawyers who filed a brief replete with multiple citations to fake cases, courtesy of ChatGPT? One judge is already taking action to prevent that from happening in his court.

As reported by Professor Eugene Volokh, Judge Brantley Starr (N.D. Tex.) issued a standing order for a “Mandatory Certification Regarding Generative Artificial Intelligence” ... Judge Starr identified two problems with AI tools: “hallucinations,” when they just make stuff up, and bias, when they “act according to computer code rather than conviction, based on programming rather than principle.”

Judge Starr’s order generated ample buzz, positive and negative.

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June 5, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Tech, Legal Education | Permalink

Lesson From The Tax Court: Temporary vs. Indefinite Commutes

Camp (2021)When I worked in downtown Washington D.C. I had a 50+ minute commute from my home in Wheaton Md.  But I did not have to drive.  I walked 15 minutes to Wheaton metro, had a 30+ minute metro ride to Federal Triangle, and then a 5 minute walk to my office.  That was a lovely commute.  Longish but low-stress.

Now I work at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.  This is not a town for walking.  So I drive to work.  But it’s only 4-6 minutes from my home.  Sweet!  I really cannot complain. 

Lots of folks, however, have the worst of both worlds: they have a long commute and they have to drive it.  That can be stressful.  And expensive.

It is not surprising that folks with really long drive commutes might think they should be able to deduct their commuting costs, especially if they are at a job where continued employment may be uncertain.  To them, their work seems temporary because they know it might end at any time.  But in Joseph Michael Ledbetter and Ashley Jones Ledbetter v. Commissioner, T.C. Summ. Op. 2023-19 (May 25, 2023) (Judge Paris), we learn that just because work might end at any time does not make it temporary.  It makes it indefinite.  And while travel to a temporary work location outside the area where the taxpayer lives may be deductible, travel to an indefinite work location is not.  Details below the fold.

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June 5, 2023 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

NY Times: CUNY Law Graduate's Commencement Speech Denouncing Israel And NYPD Is Condemned By Administration; Faculty Demands Apology From Administration

New York Times, She Attacked Israel and the N.Y.P.D. It Made Her Law School a Target.:

CUNY (2023)A student gave a commencement address at the famously progressive CUNY law school. Two weeks later, she was attacked by the tabloids and the mayor, and the school disavowed her speech.

Commencement season rarely passes without incident. In a bit of counterprogramming, last week the actress Michelle Yeoh addressed Harvard Law School’s Class of 2023, talking about “leaping off high perches into scary voids.” Nevertheless, it was a Yemeni immigrant named Fatima Mousa Mohammed, speaking to her graduating class of the City University of New York School of Law, whose words — absent the genre’s heavy-handed metaphors if not the heavy hand itself — left a more powerful impression on the news cycle.

Within a few weeks, she had achieved a notoriety she could not have expected and was unlikely to want, as her views — which is to say the views of a 24-year-old woman coming out of a small, modestly ranked law school in Queens — became the subject of nearly nonstop, consistently furious international tabloid coverage.

The law school at CUNY exists both as the most diverse in the country and among the most ideologically filtered. Like so many public law schools, it skews toward the production of lawyers who end up working in the interest of the common good. “Law in the service of human needs” is the institutional motto; the politics of resistance remain its dominant ethos.

Two years ago, the dean, Mary Lu Bilek, long known for her commitments to racial justice, resigned after inadvertently likening herself to a “slaveholder” in a meeting in which she had been trying to make the point that she was responsible for whatever injustices remained at the school. Students petitioned for her to turn over the remainder of her salary to the Black Law Students Association and remove her name from their diplomas.

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June 5, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Josie Shands Caron (2007-2023)

We put down our beloved dog Josie on Friday and are filled with grief and gratitude. Grief because our home and our lives are emptier now without her. Gratitude because she was everything one could want in a dog.

Josie joined our family in November 2009 when we were living in Cincinnati. We had put down our dog Sandy in 2006, and I had issued a decree: no more dogs. Because our son Reed and daughter Jayne would be leaving for college in August 2009 and August 2010, respectively, my wife Courtney and I did not want to be saddled with a dog in our empty nest years. Jayne took the news particularly hard, as she has a special love for dogs.

In early November 2009, the senior pastor of our church gave a wonderful message on the importance of celebrating important milestones in our lives. He talked about how he was trying to make his high school senior's last year at home special by taking his son on a long road trip on Harley-Davidson motorcycles. After watching a hokey Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie, A Dog Named Christmas, in which a family provides a foster home over Christmas for a dog from a local shelter, I thought that would be a great thing to do for Jayne before she left for college. Following up on the movie, animal shelters nationwide were sponsoring a Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays Promotion, and I found a wonderful participating local shelter. I told Jayne we wanted to make this last Christmas at home a memorable one for her by fostering a dog over the holidays. I made her sign a contract promising that the dog would go back to the shelter on December 26 — no exceptions, and no fuss.

Jayne chose the dog, and we opened our home (and our hearts) to Josie, a mutt mix of Pit Bull, Chow, and German Shepherd. After Josie's first days in our home, Courtney and I decided we would tell Jayne on Christmas morning that we were adopting Josie. We also decided to keep the foster ruse going by dropping Josie off at the shelter on Saturdays so they could bring her to adoption fairs at a local PetSmart. Jayne prayed in the car that Josie would not be adopted, but I said we had to think of Josie's best interests and hope that a wonderful family would adopt her. I worked things out so the shelter would not bring Josie to the adoption fair, and Jayne and I would return three hours later to take Josie home (to Jayne's great relief). It was a very special Christmas, as Jayne cried with delight when she opened the last present under the tree: Josie's adoption papers.

Josie 1

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June 4, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (6)

NY Times Op-Eds: The Role Of Technology In Our Lives

Tish Harrison Warren (Priest, Anglican Church; Author, Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep (2021) (Christianity Today's 2022 Book of the Year)) has published three New York Times op-eds on the role of technology in our lives:

  1. Warren 3How do we help kids navigate a technological world?
  2. How do we discern what technology to adopt?
  3. How does technology change our understanding of what it is to be human?

1. Managing Screen Time Is a Family Matter:

[W]hen I get together with friends who are also parents, the conversation eventually turns to a repeated theme: how to handle screens and technology use with our kids. It feels like every parent I know is wrestling with this. I am, too.

In 2018, Krista Boan and Tracy Foster co-founded Screen Sanity, a nonprofit to help parents, grandparents and other caregivers navigate these concerns. Screen Sanity offers tips, tools and trainings to “help families raise happy, healthy kids in an increasingly digital world.” I wanted to speak with Boan about the practical things caregivers need to keep in mind as we think through technology use in our homes. This interview has been edited and condensed. ...

Tish Harrison Warren: My growing concern is that even the best types of screen use displace the actual material world around us. Minutes or hours on screens are minutes or hours kids (and adults) are not talking to people around them, going on walks, learning an instrument, staring into space or interacting with the material world.

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June 4, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

NY Times Op-Ed: Tim Keller Showed Me What A Christian Leader Should Be

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  New York Times Op-Ed:  Tim Keller Showed Me What a Christian Leader Should Be, by Tish Harrison Warren (Priest, Anglican Church; Author, Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep (2021) (Christianity Today's 2022 Book of the Year)):

Warren 3In my early 20s, I attended an event where Tim Keller, an orthodox, evangelical Presbyterian pastor, was having a public debate with a secular humanist. In the nearly 20 years that have passed since the event, I still recall one moment distinctly. The secular humanist struggled with a point he was making and was unclear, something that happens often enough in public speaking. Keller could have chosen to go in for the kill rhetorically and make his opponent look foolish. Instead, he paused and asked, “Is this what you mean?” Keller then restated the secular argument in a clearer, better way, arguing against his own point of view. The other speaker agreed that was what he had meant, and Keller continued, countering the (now much stronger) point.

This generosity and understanding toward those with whom we disagree helped shape the way I now see the world. It had more of an impact on me, as a Christian, than any argument could. Keller refused the easier route of debate, insisting on finding the best argument of others, even if it meant strengthening his opponent’s case. He was in pursuit of truth and kindness, not point scoring. That night I saw what Christian leaders should be like.

Keller died [last] month, at 72, from pancreatic cancer. ... Keller had a remarkably brilliant mind and an ability to communicate complicated theological ideas in simple, relatable ways. He was courageous yet profoundly humble. What I will most remember him for, though, is his generous kindness. ... Mostly, Tim wanted to talk about the hope and beauty he found in Jesus and how we might best communicate that hope in our moment. ...

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June 4, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

The Top Five New Tax Papers

There is quite a bit of movement in this week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads, with new papers debuting on the list at #1 and #5:

  1. SSRN Logo (2018)[340 Downloads]  The Unacknowledged Realities of Extraterritorial Taxation, by Laura Snyder (Association of Americans Resident Overseas)
  2. [311 Downloads]  Taxation of Information and the Data Revolution, by Yariv Brauner (Florida; Google Scholar)
  3. [238 Downloads]  Capital Taxation and Market Power, by Kimberly Clausing (UCLA; Google Scholar)
  4. [231 Downloads]  The Employment Effects of Tax Subsidies for the Construction of Amazon Facilities, by Ike Brannon (Jack Kemp Foundation) & Matthew Winden (University of Wisconsin (Whitewater); Google Scholar)
  5. [196 Downloads]  The Inflation Reduction Act's Impact On Tax Compliance—And Fiscal Sustainability, by Natasha Sarin (Yale; Google Scholar; Former Counselor on Tax Policy, U.S. Treasury Department) & Mark J. Mazur (Former Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, U.S. Treasury Department),

June 4, 2023 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink

Saturday, June 3, 2023

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Top Ten 2Legal Education:

  1. New York Times, Here’s What Happens When A Lawyer Uses ChatGPT
  2. U.S. News, 2024 Omnibus Law School Specialty Rankings
  3. U.S. News, 2024 Omnibus Law School Specialty Rankings v. Overall Rankings
  4. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), Preview Of The 2024 U.S. News Law School Rankings: Admissions
  5., Duquesne, FIU, Kansas, Oklahoma, And Texas A&M Are Among The Biggest U.S. News Law School Rankings Winners
  6. ABA Journal, Some Law Schools Already Are Using ChatGPT To Teach Legal Research And Writing
  7. Inside Higher Education, 17 Universities And Law Schools Have Full Satellite Campuses In Washington, D.C.
  8. John Bliss (Denver) & David Sandomierski (Western), Learning Without Grade Anxiety: Lessons From The Pass/Fail Experiment In North American J.D. Programs
  9., Tenured Law Professor Pulled From His Classroom Faces Termination. He Wants To Know Why?
  10. U.S. News 2024 Law School Specialty Rankings:


  1. Bryan Camp (Texas Tech), Lesson From The Tax Court: Substantiating Gambling Losses On Per-Casino Basis
  2. Daniel Shaviro (NYU), Two New Tax Papers on SSRN
  3. Bryan Camp (Texas Tech), Lesson From The Tax Court: On Time Is Late
  4. Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan), Three New International Tax Papers On SSRN
  5. Law, Society, And Taxation, Thursday's Panel
  6. Law, Society, And Taxation, Friday's Panels
  7. Law, Society, And Taxation, Saturday's Panels
  8. SSRN, The Top Five New Tax Papers
  9. David Elkins (Netanya), Review Of Ancillary Benefits And Income Versus Consumption Taxation in Liam Murphy’s And Thomas Nagel’s 'The Myth of Ownership,' by Daniel Shaviro (NYU)
  10. Roundup, Tax Policy In The Biden Administration


  1. Tim Keller, Growing My Faith In The Face Of Death
  2. Roundup, The Life, Death, And Legacy Of Tim Keller
  3. Roundup, More On The Life, Death, And Legacy Of Tim Keller
  4. New York Times Op-Ed (Ross Douthat), Pro-Trump Christians, Never-Trump Christians, And Tim Keller
  5. New York Times Op-Ed (Tish Harrison Warren), How a Cancer Diagnosis Makes Jesus’ Death and Resurrection Mean More: An Interview With Tim Keller

June 3, 2023 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Daily | Permalink

A 'Return To Normalcy' For Law School Admissions

Reuters, It’s a 'Return to Normalcy' for Law School Admissions:

The number of people applying to law school has dropped for the second straight year—further indication that the 13% applicant surge in 2021 was a COVID-19 one-off.

Law school applicants were down 2.4% over last year as of Thursday, according to the latest data from the Law School Admission Council. By that time last year, the council had received 96% of the applicant total. That means this cycle’s national applicant pool is likely to be slightly smaller than the previous year, which was 12% smaller than in 2021.

"It's a return to normalcy," said Susan Krinsky, the council’s executive vice president for operations. "It's very consistent with the last five years except for 2021."

Applicants are down the most in New England (-8.3%), Mountain West (-6.5%), and Northeast (-6.2%):


Applications are down at 121 law schools, up at 68 law schools, and flat at 9 law schools:

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June 3, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Today's Law, Society, And Taxation Panels

Today's Law, Society, and Taxation panels at the 2023 Law & Society Association Annual Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico:

Law and society associationTaxation & Social Impact (Tessa Davis (South Carolina), Chair/Discussant):

The tax code is used in a vareity of ways to enact or support social goals that are not necessarily explicitly tied to economic ends. The papers in this session will think about how tax and spending programs are used to achieve particular ends. Papers in the session will consider both intended and unintended consequences of the relevant provisions on the social outcomes of the individual taxpayers affected by the rules.

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June 3, 2023 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

ABA Council Finds Law School In 'Significant Noncompliance' With Admissions Accreditation Standard: 137 LSAT|3.26 UGPA Medians, 73% 2-Year Ultimate Bar Passage Rate

ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Notice of Finding of Significant Noncompliance With Standards 501(a) and 501(b) (May 31, 2023):

ABA Legal Ed (2022)At its May 11-12, 2023, meeting, the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association (the “Council”) considered the status of Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico School of Law (the “Law School”) and concluded that the Law School is not in compliance with Standards 501(a) ["A law school shall adopt, publish, and adhere to sound admission policies and practices consistent with the Standards, its mission, and the objectives of its program of legal education."] and 501(b) ["A law school shall only admit applicants who appear capable of satisfactorily completing its program of legal education and being admitted to the bar."].

In accordance with Rule 51(b)(7), the Managing Director shall provide public notification of the Council’s conclusions and decision concerning a law school’s significant noncompliance with one or more ABA Standards under Rule 11(a)(4). The Council considers any finding of noncompliance with Standard 501 to be such a finding. ...

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June 3, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, June 2, 2023

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Elkins Reviews Shaviro's Income Versus Consumption Taxation In 'The Myth of Ownership'

This week, David Elkins (Netanya; Google Scholar) reviews a new paper by Daniel Shaviro (NYU, Google Scholar), Ancillary Benefits and Income Versus Consumption Taxation in Liam Murphy’s and Thomas Nagel’s 'The Myth of Ownership':

Elkins (2018)

The question of whether income or consumption is a more appropriate tax base has occupied a prominent place in the tax policy discourse since about the 1970s. Although deliberated in the literature for centuries — the names Hobbes, Smith, Mill, Fisher, and Kaldor come to mind — it appears to have been William Andrews’ 1974 Harvard Law Review article, A Consumption-Type or Cash Flow Personal Income Tax, that brought the issue to the attention of tax academics and policymakers. That article, which may also be credited with having introduced the Cary Brown theorem into the legal academic discourse, triggered debate concerning the proper tax base and analysis of the extent to which the current income tax actually does tax income. It may also have indirectly sparked the call in some political quarters to replace the income tax with a consumption tax.

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June 2, 2023 in David Elkins, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Tax Policy In The Biden Administration

2024 U.S. News Omnibus Specialty Rankings v. Overall Rankings

Following up on yesterday's post, 2024 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 Santa Clara 77 158 +81
2 Brooklyn* 46 111 +65
3 Illinois-Chicago 97 159 +62
3 Suffolk 71 133 +62
5 American* 28 89 +61
6 Howard 66 125 +59
7 Hofstra 82 140 +58
8 Widener (DE) 119 175 +56
9 Denver 25 80 +55
10 Rutgers* 57 109 +52
11 CUNY 104 154 +50
11 Mitchell | Hamline* 117 167 +50
13 Syracuse* 75 122 +47
14 Pacific 95 141 +46
15 UC-San Francisco* 18 60 +42
15 UNLV 47 89 +42
17 Baltimore 96 135 +39
18 UC-Davis* 22 60 +38
19 Nova 134 171 +37
20 Missouri-Kansas City 99 135 +36
21 Golden Gate 145 180 +35
22 Pace 98 131 +33
23 Loyola-Chicago* 53 84 +31
23 Willamette 124 155 +31
25 Hawaii 105 135 +30
25 San Diego 48 78 +30
25 San Francisco* 135 165 +30
28 Chicago-Kent 70 99 +29
28 South Texas* 133 162 +29
30 Seattle* 83 111 +28
31 DePaul 108 135 +27
31 Houston 33 60 +27
31 Michigan State 84 111 +27
31 Vermont 137 164 +27
35 Creighton* 130 155 +25
36 Cal-Western* 151 175 +24
36 Case Western 56 80 +24
36 Temple 30 54 +24
36 UC-Irvine* 11 35 +24
40 District of Columbia 158 180 +22
40 George Washington 13 35 +22
42 Catholic 101 122 +21
43 Miami 51 71 +20
44 Indiana (McKinney) 80 99 +19
45 University of Arizona 36 54 +18
45 Widener (PA) 141 159 +18
47 Fordham 12 29 +17
47 Maryland* 34 51 +17
49 Loyola-L.A. 44 60 +16
49 North Dakota 164 180 +16

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

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June 2, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Today's Law, Society, And Taxation Panels

Today's Law, Society, and Taxation panels at the 2023 Law & Society Association Annual Meeting:

Law and society associationTax Advocacy & Tax Justice (Mirit Eyal-Cohen (Alabama; Google Scholar), Chair/Discussant):

Tax lawyers operate inside a system that often challenges traditional notions of zealous advocacy in lawyering. Further, decisions around tax law, tax policy, and tax lawyering must be made in the larger context of goals around social policy and desired social outcomes. The papers in this session examine both particular tax lawyers but also the larger issues faced by tax lawyers as a whole. Also considered is the role the tax law plays in affecting lawyers' actions and infuencing their decisions.

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June 2, 2023 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Bridging The Gap Between Law Knowledge And Legal Practice, Bridging the Gap Between Law Knowledge and Legal Practice: How Lean Adviser Can Help Students:

ALM_Lawcom_Lean_Adviser (2023)We’ve all heard the criticism that a law school education doesn’t prepare future attorneys for the realities of practicing law.

Despite many recent efforts by law schools to combat this stigma, there remains a gap between learning to think like a lawyer and actually understanding how to work as one. recently interviewed Alex Geisler, London-based litigation partner with Duane Morris and creator of Lean Adviser—a structured program that helps lawyers efficiently and consistently deliver high value to clients resulting in repeat business and long-term profitable relationships for all parties—to discuss how Lean Adviser could supplement traditional legal education. ... What would you want law deans to know about Lean Adviser?

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June 2, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Grewal: Billionaire Taxes And The Constitution

Andy Grewal (Iowa; Google Scholar), Billionaire Taxes and the Constitution, 57 Ga. L. Rev. ___ (2023):

Georgia Law ReviewThe United States now has ten times as many billionaires as it had just a few decades ago. This ever-growing class has sparked congressional interest in “billionaire tax” proposals. These proposals would generally require that billionaires recognize income when their asset values increase, even if they have not sold their assets.

Under existing doctrine, billionaire taxes likely violate the realization requirement embedded in the Sixteenth Amendment of the Constitution. However, this Article argues that existing Sixteenth Amendment doctrine suffers from deep infirmities and theoretical inconsistencies. With the conceptually sound interpretive approach advanced in this Article, a billionaire tax would pass constitutional muster.

June 1, 2023 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Learning Without Grade Anxiety: Lessons From The Pass/Fail Experiment In North American J.D. Programs

John Bliss (Denver) & David Sandomierski (Western), Learning without Grade Anxiety: Lessons from the Pass/Fail Experiment in North American J.D. Programs, 42 Ohio N.U. L. Rev. 555 (2022):

One of the core goals of legal education is to help students learn. A conventional assumption is that hierarchical grading, as a motivator for student effort, is a key factor that promotes learning. This assumption should be rigorously assessed rather than taken for granted. Our findings, in the unique Spring 2020 context of Pass/Fail grading in North American J.D. programs, only weakly support the notion that grades incentivize effort. And, to the extent that grades do somewhat incentivize effort, our findings do not support the conclusion that extra effort is necessarily supportive of learning. Moreover, we find that grades may negatively impact student anxiety to an extent that is detrimental to learning. In sum, our analysis provides little support for the notion that hierarchical grades support learning in legal education.


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June 1, 2023 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wallace: A Democratic Perspective On Tax Law

Clint Wallace (South Carolina), A Democratic Perspective on Tax Law, 98 Wash. L. Rev. ___ (2023):

Washington Law Review (2023)As democracies around the world have faltered, legal scholars in fields as diverse as election law, labor law, and administrative law have turned to tax law to repair and support democratic governments. Taxation offers a toolset well equipped to address concerns raised by democratic theorists focused on the conditions that shape a democratic community and help it to flourish. Tax laws can rectify social dynamics characterized by economic inequality and can help establish and strengthen civic institutions, among many possible interventions. But legal scholars evaluating and designing tax policies generally focus on the standard normative criteria of efficiency, equity, and administrability, with little specific regard for democratic concerns. This separation from democratic theory has left tax law scholars ill-equipped to respond to calls for help from more democracy-focused fields of law. Thus, tax scholarship mostly has not engaged with the increasingly important project of strengthening democratic governance.

This Article argues that democracy should be a more central consideration in designing and evaluating tax laws in a democratic system of government, exploring a set of democracy criteria that can bolster the standard normative criteria used to evaluate tax policy.

The democracy criteria considered here ask: does a change in tax rules strengthen or undermine democratic governance? This Article draws on democratic theory to identify pressure points where taxation might shape democracy, building on work by tax scholars who have tried to integrate democratic values into the standard criteria. I make the case that democratic considerations should not be subordinated to other criteria, but rather should stand on their own. I apply the democracy criteria to wealth tax proposals, showing how a democratic perspective illuminates a contemporary debate in U.S. tax policy.

Approached in this way, a democratic perspective on tax law and policy can facilitate tax responses—in scholarly discourse and in policy prescriptions—to current challenges facing democracies around the world, answering the calls of scholars in other fields who (appropriately) view tax rules as sites of important potential interventions to shore up democracy.

June 1, 2023 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

2024 U.S. News Omnibus Specialty Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2024 U.S. News Specialty Rankings include the rankings for 13 specialty programs at 196 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 15 14 4 21 12 6 7 5 8 3 22 10.0
2 Harvard* 1 13 1 3 2 1 9 6 19 3 121 13 37 17.6
3 Northwestern* 14 6 15 11 15 7 44 41 22 18 21 4 31 19.2
4 Michigan* 9 9 9 8 12 34 37 17 14 10 8 10 74 19.3
5 Stanford* 4 19 3 3 2 11 9 5 1 10 104 13 68 19.4
6 UC-Berkeley* 4 13 5 5 7 29 3 39 1 7 122 24 15 21.1
7 UCLA* 9 25 12 8 12 34 4 19 9 15 115 7 6 21.2
8 NYU* 4 5 5 5 1 29 4 52 3 1 104 1 68 21.7
9 Duke* 15 25 12 14 4 34 15 29 9 18 84 10 80 26.8
10 Virginia* 8 69 5 8 7 21 26 46 22 10 46 5 80 27.2
11 UC-Irvine* 47 6 24 35 25 43 32 35 9 25 8 6 80 28.8
12 Fordham 19 9 35 19 17 15 61 79 22 18 52 24 6 28.9
13 Columbia* 1 25 8 2 4 26 7 52 19 2 118 7 108 29.2
13 George Washington 32 34 35 54 30 34 12 20 4 7 46 24 47 29.2
13 Texas 19 34 9 14 22 16 39 46 18 25 84 16 37 29.2
16 Yale* 9 4 2 11 12 34 26 15 46 3 115 22 96 30.4
17 Penn* 4 25 12 5 7 34 42 20 14 18 110 18 96 31.2
18 UC-San Francisco* 36 22 29 29 36 11 18 11 31 25 122 18 24 31.7
19 Arizona State 44 45 35 38 36 14 19 14 46 25 4 36 74 33.1
20 Washington University 22 9 21 19 22 18 71 26 36 25 122 40 24 35.0
21 Cornell* 15 51 9 14 22 29 55 52 28 15 68 36 80 36.5
22 Ohio State 44 78 24 35 15 2 42 15 51 58 32 50 40 37.4
22 UC-Davis* 22 59 17 38 17 32 17 39 22 23 122 31 47 37.4
24 North Carolina 29 34 21 18 17 68 32 35 60 58 13 24 80 37.6
25 Denver 68 9 57 64 30 43 19 61 51 35 13 46 6 38.6
26 Vanderbilt* 12 45 17 13 7 34 7 46 28 18 122 62 96 39.0
27 Boston University 19 59 24 29 36 60 61 1 9 25 98 13 80 39.5
28 American* 60 1 57 64 30 64 44 20 7 5 104 50 15 40.1
29 Minnesota 22 25 24 19 30 68 32 26 42 23 68 22 126 40.5
30 Florida 25 69 29 38 45 18 19 46 67 58 68 2 59 41.8
30 Temple 60 59 57 38 61 68 71 17 46 10 25 29 2 41.8
32 Chicago 1 34 3 1 7 68 71 67 36 9 118 7 126 42.2
33 Houston 47 69 86 47 50 68 26 9 6 53 21 44 24 42.3
34 Maryland* 60 13 48 72 36 9 19 6 46 47 98 68 40 43.2
35 Emory 25 89 29 23 36 50 58 29 31 38 42 81 35 43.5
36 University of Arizona 36 45 35 59 45 34 39 29 67 38 8 62 80 44.4
37 Georgia 29 34 42 29 61 50 71 41 74 15 77 50 13 45.1
38 Boston College 25 34 35 25 61 60 44 41 42 38 52 16 139 47.1
39 University of Washington* 54 34 65 54 25 43 19 52 28 47 16 44 139 47.7
40 William & Mary 29 89 17 25 20 68 44 94 46 25 52 68 47 48.0
41 Wake Forest 47 89 48 38 36 68 55 20 74 67 5 62 40 49.9
42 USC 17 89 35 19 36 64 19 61 42 75 113 24 64 50.6
43 Indiana (Maurer) 36 89 42 47 45 68 32 46 36 25 52 18 126 50.9
44 Loyola-L.A. 54 69 65 59 30 60 125 52 51 67 32 10 5 52.2
45 Notre Dame 32 69 17 29 50 68 61 94 60 25 84 46 47 52.5
46 Brooklyn* 32 34 42 38 20 68 131 83 92 47 16 40 47 53.1
47 UNLV 66 34 65 45 50 9 80 41 60 90 2 46 108 53.5
48 San Diego 36 106 21 47 30 68 71 52 22 58 122 18 47 53.7
49 Colorado 47 78 53 54 25 68 15 79 36 58 68 50 80 54.7
49 Texas A&M 68 51 79 47 119 7 32 67 9 58 32 62 80 54.7
51 Miami 54 25 53 54 84 50 39 67 67 25 98 40 68 55.7
51 Wisconsin* 44 59 29 25 36 68 44 67 81 42 90 31 108 55.7
53 Loyola-Chicago* 74 59 57 95 73 43 88 4 74 58 46 50 13 56.5
54 Georgia State 78 19 42 72 50 67 103 1 42 67 122 50 24 56.7
55 SMU 47 51 79 64 36 50 80 29 60 42 104 50 47 56.8
56 Case Western 66 59 57 72 84 68 44 11 60 10 46 119 47 57.2
57 Rutgers* 92 19 57 64 50 68 80 41 81 53 16 68 68 58.2
58 Florida State 47 106 29 29 50 68 19 52 60 75 122 36 74 59.0
59 Tulane* 32 45 74 47 45 43 26 94 60 35 122 50 108 60.1
60 Washington & Lee 36 45 53 45 50 68 80 61 74 42 77 40 126 61.3
61 Utah 54 89 42 72 25 68 12 25 31 35 122 68 166 62.2
62 Alabama 47 51 24 35 50 68 101 67 105 90 90 36 47 62.4
63 Pepperdine Caruso 54 34 53 59 84 2 113 103 88 53 110 29 59 64.7
64 Villanova 68 51 65 64 73 68 101 61 67 84 68 31 47 65.2
65 Iowa 25 59 48 23 61 68 88 67 51 58 110 50 158 66.6
66 Howard 92 34 74 47 45 68 125 103 51 50 52 109 40 68.5
67 Illinois 36 89 29 25 61 43 80 83 51 67 122 68 139 68.7
68 Cardozo 60 83 48 54 25 5 131 118 14 84 122 46 108 69.1
69 Seton Hall 92 89 65 59 68 68 71 11 74 80 122 50 64 70.2
70 Chicago-Kent 92 114 86 72 68 68 103 67 14 90 32 99 9 70.3
71 Suffolk 125 17 140 95 84 26 103 52 31 90 5 119 31 70.6
72 Northeastern* 140 22 86 144 61 68 94 9 36 67 21 91 80 70.7
73 BYU 17 133 48 38 68 50 71 118 74 58 122 31 96 71.1
74 Oregon 60 114 74 80 84 11 9 118 92 67 1 68 166 72.6
75 Syracuse* 100 106 79 95 61 68 80 67 67 90 42 81 15 73.2
76 Pittsburgh* 78 89 65 80 73 68 80 29 51 50 122 31 139 73.5
77 Santa Clara 74 89 107 80 84 68 94 113 4 42 52 74 96 75.2
78 South Carolina 60 25 97 80 73 68 71 79 123 127 122 50 15 76.2
79 Richmond 74 89 35 95 50 68 58 118 31 75 122 50 126 76.2
80 Indiana (McKinney) 92 106 97 87 84 68 103 20 92 67 16 74 108 78.0
81 Tennessee 36 22 57 47 94 68 103 61 117 175 46 81 108 78.1
82 Hofstra 78 89 86 109 73 50 138 83 81 103 42 74 22 79.1
83 Seattle* 92 25 107 95 50 68 61 103 92 75 8 91 166 79.5
84 George Mason 36 133 42 29 94 68 125 135 22 90 122 74 64 79.5
84 Michigan State 68 83 74 64 108 21 94 135 67 67 90 99 64 79.5
86 Drexel 92 51 97 121 94 68 157 29 92 84 25 119 15 80.3
87 Stetson 125 89 107 80 94 18 88 94 130 127 3 91 1 80.5
88 Lewis & Clark 125 51 79 109 73 68 2 135 88 75 16 119 108 80.6
89 St. John's* 87 106 65 64 84 50 131 113 92 90 25 109 37 81.0
90 New Mexico 100 17 86 87 94 68 26 83 130 116 52 90 126 82.7
91 Wayne State 100 69 97 80 73 68 94 46 130 53 122 81 80 84.1
92 Connecticut* 68 89 57 87 73 68 88 79 105 53 90 81 166 84.9
93 Kansas 78 106 65 72 108 26 44 135 105 84 68 91 139 86.2
94 St. Louis 125 69 79 72 94 68 145 1 81 119 68 74 139 87.2
95 Pacific 100 114 120 121 108 34 94 135 130 38 32 119 9 88.8
96 Baltimore 140 6 107 144 68 60 61 103 88 90 77 81 139 89.5
97 Illinois-Chicago 116 78 140 95 149 68 131 118 51 103 25 99 24 92.1
98 Pace 116 106 131 144 94 68 1 94 130 103 122 74 24 92.8
99 Missouri-Kansas City 87 114 120 95 94 68 118 94 105 127 13 119 59 93.3
100 Penn State-Dickinson* 87 78 115 87 108 68 61 52 92 80 122 109 158 93.6

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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June 1, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink