Paul L. Caron

Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Blog Must Go On For This Law Dean, The Blog Must Go On for This Law Dean:

Caron Headshot Cropped (2019)Pepperdine University Law Dean Paul Caron reflects on his two years of running a law school while also publishing his widely read TaxProf Blog, which chronicles legal education's biggest stories.

Paul Caron—legal education’s so-called Blog Emperor—took the reins at Pepperdine University School of Law in 2017, and his two years as dean have been a remarkable ride.

Things got off to a rough start in the spring of 2018 when the school was removed from the U.S. News & World Report rankings after Pepperdine discovered a mistake in the data it submitted that artificially increased its ranking and reported it to the publication. (Pepperdine returned to the ranking this year, moving up from its previous No. 72 to No. 51).

The challenges didn’t end there. In November, a Pepperdine law student was present at a nearby music venue when an armed man opened fire, killing 12. The law student was unharmed but the massacre, in which a Pepperdine undergraduate died, shook the Malibu, California, campus. A day later, the so-called Woolsey Fire tore through the area and came close to leveling the campus. The law school was spared, but closed for more than two weeks in the aftermath.

Through it all, Caron maintained his role as the town crier of legal education with his TaxProf Blog, which aggregates news about tax law and law schools. The 15-year-old blog is a must-read for legal educators and has become an important tool to raise Pepperdine’s profile and stature in the academy. Caron posts stories about events and initiatives at Pepperdine, not to mention plenty of photos of its seaside campus. caught up with Caron this week to discuss juggling the blog with his dean duties and why he hasn’t given TaxProf Blog up. His answers have been edited for length and clarity.

  • I remember your telling me that some people suggested that you shutter TaxProf Blog when you became dean. How do you feel about that advice now? ...
  • What’s the benefit of continuing to blog? I ...
  • How much of Pepperdine’s recent rise in the U.S. News rankings do you think is tied to the blog and your ability to spotlight the school? ...
  • How much time do you spend on the blog, versus dean duties? ...
  • Are there ever stories or articles that you would have put on the blog before you were dean that you have second thoughts about now? ...
  • What has been the toughest part of being a law school dean thus far?..
  • How has the fire changed Pepperdine? Is everything back to normal? ...

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Thank you so much for keeping alive your "just the facts" oasis in this world full of daily screeds.

Posted by: AMTbuff | Jul 18, 2019 4:24:25 PM

As a reader from inception, this blog has always seemed to hit the sweet spot for me in terms of content, comment policy and candor. It has become an invaluable staple. I am grateful for your continued efforts and sacrifices to keep it going, Dean Caron. Thank you!

Posted by: Anon | Jul 18, 2019 2:41:56 PM

Thank you for hosting this valuable service. Also, the new changes to the Blog format look great!

Posted by: Hilary Escajeda | Jul 18, 2019 8:47:31 AM

Boy, those answers really have been edited for length, haven't they?

Congrats on two years, Dean Caron.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jul 18, 2019 7:44:57 AM

Thanks for keeping the blog. It is an unique niche on the web.

Posted by: Dale W. Spradling PhD, CPA | Jul 18, 2019 7:16:34 AM

The new font is very cool

Posted by: Mike Livingston | Jul 18, 2019 5:37:07 AM