Paul L. Caron

Monday, April 6, 2020

Law Students In The Age Of Coronavirus

K.G. Molina (Oklahoma 2L) & Lawprofblawg (Anonymous Professor, Top 100 Law School), Law Students In The Age Of Coronavirus:

CoronavirusLaw students are facing a new and precarious danger: Coronavirus has not only quieted streets and shut down restaurants, it has thrust the economy into a deep recession, perhaps even depression. During the chaos and disquieting calm since we all retreated into quarantines, law students and law professors are faced with the situation of trying to carry on as normal to finish the semester, all the while knowing it isn’t normal at all.

Some schools have recognized the new normal, allowing students to finish pass/fail. Some have opted for an ignorance is bliss approach, preferring to continue with grades as if the world of law students hasn’t changed. Others, in a particularly callous effort, have requested that students write essays justifying pass/fail, as if COVID-19 were not justification enough. ...

Suddenly, class, grades, and rank feel less important — I’m not certain what the world will look and who will be there after the pandemic passes. Then again, even getting a job after law school seems unlikely. Let’s not forget that there’s also a recession. Law students from lower-ranked state schools cannot compete with the top-tier law schools whose graduates will be scrambling for anything they can find this and next year.

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April 6, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Deans, Law Students Weigh In On California Bar Exam

CoronavirusLetter From Deans of 20 California Law Schools to California Supreme Court and State Bar:

We write now to make three requests.

(1)  We recognize the importance of thinking carefully and seriously about how to proceed. As deans of California’s ABA accredited law schools, who train a significant majority of the state’s lawyers, we offer our assistance in the discussion of options and the review of the implications of each option for our students, our community of lawyers, and the communities of citizens who need the services of lawyers. The decisions that must be made about the July bar exam will have enormous implications for all those constituencies. We believe that our input can help the Committee of Bar Examiners and the Court resolve the difficult issues that surround this decision.

(2)  We further recommend that California not rush to make a definitive decision about how to proceed, and especially not move to cancel or postpone July’s exam without planning for an alternative pathway for licensing new attorneys. We know that a closed Emergency CBE meeting has been called for tomorrow, March 29th, to discuss the bar exam. We commend the CBE for beginning this process when there is still time for discussion and deliberation, and we hope that no action will be taken without a process of consultation with us and others, including legal employers in the private and public sectors as well as public interest lawyers.

(3)  As the Court and the CBE work to address this critical situation, we hope that you will be open to considering a variety of alternatives. We recognize the need for ensuring minimum competency, but equally for creative thinking and ingenuity. We are also well aware that we potentially face an extended period of some degree of disruption. We are concerned that New York’s decision to postpone its bar exam until some undeclared date in the fall will cause as many new problems as it will solve. For example, there is no assurance that large convention halls will be safe then, either—and what then? We are concerned that the backlog of bar exams and results, as well as the licensing of attorneys, could be deferred for an indefinite period of time, to the detriment not only of our students but of employers, clients and access to justice.

Students Letter To California State Bar:

We are a collective of law students who have recently graduated law school or will graduate in May 2020 and who plan on practicing law in California, as well as professors of California law schools and practitioners in California. We urge the California State Bar Admissions Board to adapt to the current crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic by revising the state licensing system in California to ensure that the legal needs of our communities are met during this uncertain time. Specifically, we respectfully request that the Admissions Board enact a diploma privilege for all recent graduates and 2020 graduates who plan on taking the July 2020 Bar Exam and practicing law in California. ...

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April 6, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 5, 2020

NCBE Sets Two Dates For Fall Bar Exams As Alternatives To July: Sept. 9-10, Sept. 30-Oct. 1

National Conference of Bar Examiners, COVID-19 Updates:

NCBE (2020)At NCBE, we understand the anxiety and frustrations that law students and graduates have regarding the uncertainty surrounding administration of the July bar exam. The bar admissions process, like everything else, is being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

NCBE’s mission is to promote fairness, integrity, and best practices in admission to the legal profession for the benefit and protection of the public. That mission is more important than ever at a time when there is such great need for a competent and ethical legal profession to serve the public. It is with that aim in mind that we are seeking to ensure that the bar exam can be administered to as many candidates as possible in 2020.

To provide needed flexibility for jurisdictions and candidates, in addition to preparing materials for a July bar exam, NCBE will make bar exam materials available for two fall administrations in 2020: September 9-10 and September 30-October 1. Each jurisdiction will determine whether to offer the exam in July, in early September, or in late September. 

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April 5, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Law School Class Of 2020 Should Not Be Subjected To A Prolonged 'Professional Coma'

National Law Journal op-ed:  An 'Immodest Proposal': Bar Exam Requires Innovative Accommodations Amid Pandemic, by Judith Welch Wegner (North Carolina; co-author, The Bar Exam and the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Need for Immediate Action):

CoronavirusAs bar leaders and examiners across the nation collectively face the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, I write with an “immodest proposal.”

In his 1729 essay “A Modest Proposal,” Jonathan Swift ironically proposed that poor Irish toddlers be fattened and sold as food for the wealthy, to control overpopulation and unemployment and improve the economy. In writing, he hoped to shock the policymakers of his time to move beyond simplistic and ineffectual responses to the Irish plight. However, I fear that Swift’s description is all too accurate in describing how bar licensing authorities and senior bar leaders are approaching the COVID-19 pandemic as it affects graduating law students.

In using this analogy my point is to remind decision-makers of the stark realities facing graduating students and desperate citizens if recent law graduates are placed into a prolonged professional coma with crippling adverse effects. Let’s look those realities in the eye.

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April 5, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Pepperdine Caruso Law School Dinner (Social Distancing Edition)

Dinner Invitation

Last night was supposed to be our annual law school dinner celebrating our 50th anniversary, $50 million naming gift from Rick and Tina Caruso, and rise into the Top 50 in the latest U.S. News law school rankings. My first law school dinners as dean have been memorable, highlighted by keynote speakers Gary Haugen (Founder and CEO of International Justice Mission) in 2018 and Justice Clarence Thomas in 2019. And this year's speaker would have been our biggest "get" ever.

We are very much looking forward to the rescheduled dinner in October. In the meantime, we improvised in this social-distancing time with a Law School Dinner Zoom Happy Hour last night:

Happy Hour 4

I was a tad overdressed (on top):

Happy Hour 2

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April 5, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (1)

Deans, Law Students, Task Force Weigh In On New York Bar Exam

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Covid-19 Was A Leadership Test. It Came Back Negative.

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  Covid-19 was a Leadership Test. It Came Back Negative., by Sam Walker (author, The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams (2018)):

Captain ClassOne lesson from the coronavirus is that we need leaders who prevent crises more than we need managers who scramble to handle them.

On some glorious day in the future, when the Covid-19 pandemic has been controlled and contained, it will be time to hand out trophies.

The recipients may include scores of medical professionals, business executives, school administrators, shopkeepers and yoga instructors all over the world who acted decisively to prevent the virus from spreading; often at considerable personal cost and well before the people they protected thought it was necessary.

I look forward to that. Dark stories need heroes, too. But if the worst disease outbreak in modern history only teaches us one lesson, let it be this: The global response to this pandemic will never be anything more than a case study in crisis management. It has already failed the fundamental tests of leadership.

Leadership is what prevents a pandemic.

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April 4, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

During COVID-19 Pandemic, Harvard Law School's 46 Clinics Continue To Virtually Serve Clients

Harvard Crimson, During COVID-19 Pandemic, Harvard Law School Continues Clinics Virtually:

CoronavirusDespite leaving campus in mid-March due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Harvard Law School students will continue to serve Boston residents in need of free legal services online.

Students in the Law School’s clinical programs gain practical experience by working as pro bono attorneys for clients in the Boston area. The Law School offers 46 clinics and student practice organizations covering a wide range of legal specialties, including health, taxes, immigration, and BGLTQ advocacy.

The clinics offer students the opportunity to interview clients, take depositions, and try cases in court — activities that typically occur in-person rather than thousands of miles away.

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April 4, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, April 3, 2020

My Daughter, My Hero

Jayne NYUAlmost four years ago, my beloved, brilliant, and beautiful daughter Jayne began her medical education at NYU. Her mother and I had planned to be at her graduation in seven weeks, but instead she and her classmates are graduating today in a virtual ceremony due to the coronavirus. We are thrilled that Jayne will be doing her residency near us at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a mere 25 miles from Malibu. Yet instead of taking a well-deserved vacation after a grueling four years of medical school, Jayne has volunteered to work at the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic at NYU's hospital beginning on Monday. 

My late mother would have turned 93 tomorrow. Jayne is named after my sister, who died shortly after birth. My mother was a secretary at a nursing school and absolutely loved the medical profession. Shortly before my mother died in 1992, my pregnant wife and I told her we were going to name our daughter Jayne. My mother would be bursting with pride and gratitude today, tinged with fear for Jayne's safety, just as Jayne's parents and brother are.

Last week, Jayne wrote about her desire to serve in On Being An Almost Doctor During A Pandemic:

Today I found out that I matched to become an obstetrician/gynecologist. On Friday I will discover where I matched. For those in the medical community, “Match Day” is a huge celebration with family, friends, peers and mentors coming to celebrate your accomplishments. You all get together, open your envelopes (sometimes on stage in front of everyone) and cry either happy or sad tears with all of your closest friends and family and the people with whom you have survived four years of medical school. Instead, this year, I will get an e-mail at noon in my apartment alone. I will FaceTime my brother in Madison, WI and my parents in Los Angeles, CA who could no longer come in person to celebrate with me. My brother’s fiancé is on immunosuppressive medications for IBD and has a father going through chemotherapy right now. My parents are over the age of sixty. We all agreed the risk was far too great to be together in person. Quite frankly, I don’t know when I’ll see them again. 

In two and a half months I will graduate and become a fully-fledged physician. I don’t know right now if this timeline will be sped up as NYC is depleted of physicians who are not sick themselves or under quarantine and as more and more patients present for care. Part of me yearns to graduate early, to be able to do something instead of stay at home, aimlessly refreshing my phone for virus news, hoping for a glimpse into what is going on inside the halls of the hospitals that have become my home over these past four years, hospitals that I am now no longer allowed to visit because I am not “essential personnel.” I answer texts and questions from family and friends and send along the emails and graphics from my medical institution, calming panic, urging social distancing, trying to stay positive for the other people in my life. And yet, I think, lying in bed, put me in coach, wishing my medical school would send the promised email this morning about what we as medical students could do to help.

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April 3, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (7)

'Nobody Is Recruiting Over The Summer': OCI Season Postponed, 'Nobody Is Recruiting Over the Summer': OCI Season Postponed:

CoronavirusLaw firms won’t be recruiting summer associates in late July and early August this year.

All but one of the so-called T-14 law schools by Thursday had announced postponements to their on-campus interview programs due to the coronavirus pandemic, and a growing number in the top 50 of the U.S. News & World Report rankings have followed suit.

Columbia Law School, which sends a higher number of graduates into associate jobs at large firms than any other school, became the first to postpone OCI on March 23. But the movement picked up steam this week when Harvard Law School, New York University School of Law and the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School joined the list of campuses delaying summer associate recruiting. Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law is the one T-14 school that hasn’t yet announced a delay.

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April 3, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Legal Internships In The Administrative State During The Covid-19 Summer Of 2020

Christopher J. Walker (Ohio State), Legal Internships in the Administrative State During the Summer of 2020:

CoronavirusFor a half dozen years or so, I’ve had the privilege of directing my law school’s Washington, DC, summer program. Each summer we place about twenty students (mostly rising 2Ls) in our DC summer program—usually in unpaid internships and most often at federal agencies, on the Hill, and at non-profits. As part of the summer program, I teach a professional responsibility class a couple evenings each week, and the students write a final term paper based on a topic from their internship. More details about the program are here.

In these unprecedented and uncertain times, I have spent dozens of hours more than usual communicating with potential host organizations in DC to brainstorm how to navigate through all of the uncertainty. I been so impressed with the flexibility and creativity that many federal agencies, congressional committees and member offices, and nonprofits have embraced for their internship programs this summer.

I thought I’d highlight in an anonymous fashion some of what we are learning and discussing, with the hope that these ideas will help state and federal administrative agencies, legislative staffs, and nonprofits structure their internship programs this summer. I’m focusing on legal internships that intersect with administrative law and regulatory practice, but all of these ideas have broader applicability to summer internships more generally.

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April 3, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Pepperdine Provides Covid-19 Legal Resources For Those In Need

CoronavirusIn response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Pepperdine Caruso Law School's Community Justice Clinic has assembled resources to help (1) nonprofits, churches, and other organizations navigate federal loan, grant, and tax programs under the new CARES Act, and (2) employees who lose their jobs during this crisis, including this memorandum.

Kudos to Assistant Dean of Clinical Education and Global Programs and Associate Clinical Professor of Law Jeff Baker and his team for once again using their legal talents to help those in need during difficult times.

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April 2, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

‘A Decidedly Suboptimal Set of Circumstances’: Harvard Law Profs Evaluate Online Instruction

Harvard Crimson, ‘A Decidedly Suboptimal Set of Circumstances’: Harvard Law Professors Evaluate Online Instruction:

CoronavirusHarvard Law School’s transition to remote learning during the coronavirus pandemic has garnered mixed reactions from professors — while some report no significant difficulties in teaching online, others say they struggle to facilitate class participation. ...

Professor Jeannie Suk Gersen, who teaches the course “Constitutional Law: Separation of Powers, Federalism, and Fourteenth Amendment,” wrote in an email that her class was able to transition smoothly to the video conference platform Zoom because of its discussion-based format.

“The Socratic method that I use involves cold-calling students and engaging in questioning and dialogue,” she wrote. “It translates well to an online format: I call on a specific student, they unmute themselves, and we do the same thing that we would be doing in person.” ...

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April 2, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Hawaii Is Fourth State To Postpone July Bar Exam

In the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii, In the Matter of the July 2020 Hawaii Bar Examination for Admission to the Bar of the State of Hawaii:

CoronavirusUpon consideration of the public health emergency arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and upon consultation with the Hawaii Board of Bar Examiners,
1. The July 2020 Hawaii bar examination presently scheduled to take place on July 28, 2020 and July 29, 2020 will not be administered on those dates. The examination will be rescheduled to the Fall of 2020, on dates to be determined.
2. The deadline to submit the application for this examination is extended from April 1, 2020 to May 1, 2020.

TaxProf Blog coverage of the July 2020 bar exam:

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April 2, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

With Pass/Fail Now The Norm, Outlier Law Schools Face Student Backlash

Karen Sloan (, With Pass/Fail Now the Norm, Outlier Law Schools Face Student Backlash:

CoronavirusLaw students at Arizona State, University of Georgia and Georgia State are among those pushing campus administrators to adopt mandatory pass/fail grading.

Arizona State University law dean Douglas Sylvester is well aware that he’s not the most popular guy on his (virtual) campus at the moment.

The school’s Student Bar Association on Monday issued an open letter denouncing the school’s handling of spring semester grading, saying students feel “betrayed” by the announced policy, which requires them to go through a formal accommodation process to request that their grades be reported as pass/fail. Students may choose to go that route immediately, or they may make that request after grades have been issued if their spring semester grade point average is lower than their cumulative GPA. Students have vented their frustrations on legal blogs and online forums such as Reddit, calling the scheme “heartless” and a “prisoner’s dilemma.”

Sylvester is among a number of law deans and university administrators receiving backlash from students who are unhappy over the grading policies their schools have rolled out amid the coronavirus pandemic. The University of Georgia School of Law, the University of Michigan Law School, the University of Chicago Law School, and Georgia State University College of Law also have seen pushback over grading, as have numerous other schools. Though students harbor an array of opinions over what grading system is best, the most vocal and organized among them are pushing for mandatory pass/fail grading.

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April 1, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Law Schools' Pass/Fail Decision Doesn't Ace All Tests

Washington Times, Law Schools' Pass/Fail Decision Doesn't Ace All Tests:

CoronavirusLaw schools, like colleges and universities, increasingly are assigning pass/fail grades to facilitate remote learning amid travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19. But the grading scheme doesn’t level the playing field, professors say.

“For those [students] who are in the middle of class, this was a god-send. For students who were already very high in their class, this is good news because they can’t go down,” said Josh Blackman, who teaches constitutional law at the South Texas College of Law in Houston. “But for students who want to move up in the class row and are set to graduate, this is definitely a setback.”

Law school grades play an outsized role in graduates landing clerkships and entry-level professions, meaning that third-year students now eyeing graduation, the state bar exam and future employment face greater uncertainty than ever before.

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April 1, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

AccessLex Donates $25,000 To Student Emergency Funds At All 200 Law Schools

AccessLex Institute Donates $5 Million to Establish Law Student Emergency Relief Fund:

AccessLex (2020)The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has sparked fear, disruption and uncertainty across the country, and law students have not been spared. In response, AccessLex Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping aspiring lawyers find their path to professional success, has created a $5 million Law Student Emergency Relief Fund to provide direct resources to law students during this unique time. Beyond the concerns around adapting to online learning, completion of hands-on legal clinics, and the potential for delays in the bar exam, this crisis has exacerbated financial pressures on law students—in many cases, to a level that can jeopardize the continuation of their studies.

Through this $5 million fund, AccessLex will make $25,000 available to every nonprofit and state-affiliated ABA-approved law school in the nation, with monies going directly to each school's designated student emergency fund. Law schools will then administer the funds in a manner consistent with the established criteria for emergency relief on their campuses.

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March 31, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Amid More Bar Exam Delays, Push For Diploma Privilege Grows

Karen Sloan (, Amid More Bar Exam Delays, Push for Diploma Privilege Grows:

CoronavirusNew York on Friday became the first jurisdiction to officially postpone the July bar exam, clearing the path for others to follow suit, including Massachusetts and Connecticut, which both announced Monday that they will also postpone the exam to an as-yet-undermined date in the fall.

Those announcements come after the National Conference of Bar Examiners, which develops the test, said last week that it will offer a separate exam in the fall for jurisdictions that can’t or don’t want to move ahead with the test in July amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The move to fall bar exams is distressing many law students, who fear additional postponements and cancellations if the COVID-19 pandemic drags on as some public health officials predict. Those changes could put their professional future on hold for the foreseeable future, they say. ...

Law students in New York, Florida, California, the District of Columbia and other jurisdictions have circulated petitions and open letters to bar examiners, urging them to go the emergency diploma privilege route. A group of legal educators last week kicked off the diploma privilege push with a paper that recommended it as a practical way to deal with attorney licensing at an unprecedented time. ...

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March 31, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Connecticut Is Third State To Postpone July Bar Exam

State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, Connecticut Bar Examining Committee, Connecticut Bar Exam Postponed:

CoronavirusThe Connecticut Bar Examining Committee announces today that, due to the ongoing public health emergency arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Connecticut bar examination will not be administered on July 28 – 29, 2020 as previously scheduled. The bar exam has been postponed until fall, on dates to be determined.

The Connecticut Bar Examining Committee will suspend acceptance of applications after March 31, 2020, and will announce at a later date the rescheduled dates for the examination and for an extended application filing period.

TaxProf Blog coverage of the July 2020 bar exam:

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March 31, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Third Of MBA Admits May Defer; 43% Want Tuition Lowered If Classes Are Online

Poets&Quants Survey, A Third Of Admits May Defer, While 43% Want Tuition Lowered If Classes Are Online:

CoronavirusThe disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic is fueling a lot of anxiety among MBA applicants, admits and students in the top MBA programs. Roughly a third of prospective students already admitted to top business schools say they may want to defer their admission this year if classes fail to return to campus in the fall. Even more worrisome for B-schools, 43% believe tuition fees should be cutback by an average of 37.5% if the first part of their MBA program is shifted online due to the pandemic.

The results come from a Poets&Quants survey of more than 300 current admits to top MBA programs this year. Some respondents believe their tuition bills should be cut on a prorated basis for the time they are denied a more fully immersive on-campus learning experience. Only 17% of the prospective MBA students say they would be okay attending online classes, while 96% say that missing out on the full on-campus experience such as face-to-face classes, participating in co-curricular activities, building a network with peers and relationships with faculty is a major concern. ...

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March 31, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Arizona Board Of Regents Demanding Repayment Of Room & Board For Students Displaced By Covid-19

Lawsuit Filed Against Arizona Board of Regents For Displacement of Students Amid COVID-19:

Arizona Board of RegentsA class action lawsuit has been filed against the Arizona Board of Regents, the governing board for Arizona's three public universities, after the three schools refused to refund room, board and campus fees to students who were displaced because of coronavirus.

All three universities, Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University, moved their classes to online only for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester to protect students and staff and prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Students who lived on-campus were either told to move out or encouraged to do so. The lawsuit says the Arizona Board of Regents has refused to offer refunds for the unused portion of their room and board and their campus fees. The lawsuit seeks payment of the prorated, unused amounts of room and board and fees that the class members paid but were unable to use.

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March 31, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, March 30, 2020

A Tax Prof's Day In Covid-19 America Without Child Care

Slate, A Day in America Without Child Care:

CoronavirusAs the COVID-19 pandemic shuts down day cares and schools, countless parents have been left with no child care at all. Some are trying to do their jobs remotely, while also changing diapers and helping bored teens figure out online courses and brainstorming games to distract toddlers. Some essential workers are still going in every day, while exhausted family members take on child care duties or school-age kids find ways to entertain themselves. So we picked a single weekday—last Thursday—and asked a bunch of parents all around the country to record how that stretch of time unfolded for them without child care, hour by hour. Here’s the combined timeline of their days.

8 p.m. Steven, New York, tax law professor: We play bingo with a college buddy of mine. I send her a photo of a bingo card and patch her in by video. My wife ends up winning and our son comes in second, followed by a team of stuffed animals that was also playing.

9 p.m. Steven, New York, tax law professor: Simpsons!

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March 30, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Spivey: How Will COVID-19 Impact Law Schools?

Mike Spivey (Spivey Consulting Group), How Will COVID-19 Impact Law Schools As The Summer Progresses?:

CoronavirusWith the [Covid-19] growth factor still curving upward, where does this leave law school applicants and law school classes? First to the applicants. The March LSAT was recently canceled, and the April administration is looking precarious (for context, combined those tests had/have about 20,000 registrants). This is actually good news if you are on a waitlist at a law school and you did not plan to retake the LSAT. Why? Schools will likely not be getting an influx of either new applicants from spring LSAT exams (although this is heavily stratified by score range, with top ranked schools generally having nearly their entire applicant pool already in and lower ranked schools having closer to 80 percent, 70 percent, or even 60 percent) nor a heavy supply of retakers hoping to increase their score. Put another way — look for significant waitlist movement below the top range of schools. While we expect almost all schools to have some waitlist movement, the effects of canceled LSAT
administrations will compound the lower a given school’s LSAT median. ...

[A] significant swath of what would normally be applicants in this cycle’s pool (or retakers) are now not in the pool. Many schools were counting on those folks. As the summer carries on, we expect this to mean considerably more admits — especially below the 165 LSAT score-band threshold where applicants were already down this cycle. ...

One final issue is that of the overall economic viability of law schools. Since the Great Recession, many law schools have been underwritten by central universities. This poses a problem because universities are currently facing a much greater financial threat than law schools. As a factual matter, Moody’s Investors Service just recently downgraded the outlook on higher education as a whole from “stable” to “negative,” driven primarily by the fact that many auxiliary sources of income for universities (housing, dining, parking, athletics, etc.) and enrollments are threatened.

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March 30, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Massachusetts Joins New York In Postponing July Bar Exam

Following up on Saturday's post, New York Postpones July Bar Exam To Fall; Students Demand Emergency Diploma Privilege To Practice Law:  Boston Globe, Mass. Bar Exam For Law School Grads Postponed Amid Coronavirus Pandemic:

CoronavirusThe Massachusetts bar exam for newly minted law school graduates will be postponed from July to the fall amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the state Supreme Judicial Court and Board of Bar Examiners.

The two entities confirmed the delay in a statement Monday. The two-day exam, which law school graduates must pass to practice in Massachusetts, was initially scheduled for July 28 and July 29. It’s been rescheduled for the fall on “dates to be determined,” the statement said. ...

“In the event that limitations on large gatherings continue to interfere with a fall administration of the Massachusetts bar examination, alternative means for testing of applicants for Massachusetts bar admission will be devised and announced,” the statement said.

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March 30, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

University Of Chicago Law School Sticks To ‘Status Quo’ Grading, Bucking Peers’ Move To Mandatory Pass-Fail

Following up on my previous posts on law school grading policies for the Spring 2020 semester in the wake of the coronavirus (links below):

Chicago Maroon, Law School Plans to Stick To ‘Status Quo’ Grading, Bucking Peers’ Move to Mandatory Pass-Fail:

Chicago (2016)The University of Chicago Law School plans to keep its “status quo” grading system for spring quarter, Dean Tom Miles told students in an email on Tuesday, despite a push by some students to move to a pass/fail system.

The choice contrasts with those of a number of other top law programs—including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Cornell—that have switched to blanket pass/fail or equivalent grading for the spring term, after the response to the coronavirus pandemic disrupted many students’ plans.

“Student opinion here, as at other schools, is sharply divided, and any path is sure to disappoint many students,” Miles wrote in Tuesday’s email:

Dear Students,
I hope you are doing well during this unusual time and that you are taking steps to remain healthy.

You may be aware that some law schools have adjusted their grading practices for spring semester. Many of you have contacted me and Dean of Students Charles Todd directly about this. Student opinion here, as at other schools, is sharply divided, and any path is sure to disappoint many students. Please know that Dean Todd and I have read every single one of your emails and petitions, and that your varied points of view have very much been a part of all conversations about grading. I have also been listening carefully to the faculty and administration, as well as the many employers who have contacted me in the past week. There is no answer that is right for everyone, and the considerations are many and complex.

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March 30, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Zatz: Crisis Grading Policy 2.0: Universality Over Carve-Outs

Following up on my previous posts on law school grading policies for the Spring 2020 semester in the wake of the coronavirus (links below):

Noah Zatz (UCLA), Crisis Grading Policy 2.0: Universality over Carve-outs:

Zatz 2As law schools continue to debate grading policy changes in response to the COVID-19 crisis, a new wrinkle has emerged. The first round largely focused on whether to move away from standard grading and, if so, whether to take an opt-in versus a mandatory pass/fail approach. I’ve previously explained my support for a mandatory over an opt-in approach, and law schools largely seem to be going in this direction. The wrinkle is whether to adopt some kind of hybrid, with a mandatory approach to some courses (especially larger, curved courses) and an opt-in approach to others (such as seminars and/or experiential courses). Most schools taking a mandatory approach have considered but rejected such carve-outs, as Cornell did when it adopted a mandatory pass/fail policy early on. My own institution (UCLA), however, recently included carve-outs for seminars and experiential courses, and so that approach is likely to receive additional interest. This post explains why I believe carve-outs are a mistake, and why a simple, universal approach is preferable.

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March 29, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Klein: Of Prisoner's Dilemmas And Straw Men — A Response To Blackman, Adler, And Krauss On Law School Grading

Following up on my previous posts on law school grading policies for the Spring 2020 semester in the wake of the coronavirus (links below):

Diane Klein (La Verne), Of Prisoner's Dilemmas and Straw Men: A Response to Blackman, Adler, and Krauss on Law School Grading:

CoronavirusDramatic (probably temporary) changes to grading policies are afoot in America's law schools, and in higher education more generally, in response to COVID-19, the all-online transition, and the seismic disruption taking place in education across the United States. ...

Fa lively debate has been taking place about whether law schools should adopt mandatory pass/fail grading for spring 2020, leave their grading systems alone, or do something in the middle.  A midsemester transition to all pass/fail recommends itself to many faculty members and administrations, based on a sense of compassion for students, and in acknowledgement of the extraordinary dislocation created by the circumstances we are all in.  Led by Dorf on Law's eponymous founder, Prof. Michael Dorf, Cornell Law was among the first to decide to adopt mandatory pass/fail, as they announced on March 16, 2020, and an informal survey suggests that other elite institutions have largely followed suit.

This has triggered a somewhat predictable backlash from some conservatives among the legal professoriate. Josh Blackman of South Texas College of Law [here, here, and here] and Prof. Jonathan Adler of Case Western both blogged about it at The Volokh Conspiracy, and Prof. Michael Krauss of George Mason University Law wrote in Forbes. All take something like a "tough love" approach; all, in my view, minimize the magnitude of what is unfolding; mistakenly fixate on grades as the sole way for professors to convey their assessment of students (to students themselves and to potential employers); and (perhaps most surprisingly!) miss some of the problematic game-theoretic dimensions of what is taking place, leading to their support for an even worse option than no change at all: individualized opt-in to pass/fail.

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March 29, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Krauss: Should Law Schools Grade Pass-Fail This Semester?

Following up on my previous posts on law school grading policies for the Spring 2020 semester in the wake of the coronavirus (links below):

Michael Krauss (George Mason), Should Law Schools Grade Pass-Fail This Semester?:

CoronavirusQuite a few top law schools have chosen to grade students on a pass-fail basis during this coronavirus-infected semester. ... I am extremely disappointed to have to teach the second half of this semester remotely. ... [O]ur class sessions are less rich when students only see each other as postage-stamp-size photos on the screen. For this I am truly sorry. But should this loss impact the type of grading that takes place? ...

Lawyers must confront many problems in their practice. Court dates conflict. Children are ill and must be cared for despite constant pressures of practice. Deadlines constantly loom, and witnesses occasionally vanish. Conflicts of interest counsel against taking cases, yet payrolls of assistants and paralegals must be met.

Yes, the coronavirus pandemic has imposed costs on law students, as it has on us all. No, throwing out the grading structure and denying excellent law students the opportunity to demonstrate their excellence is not the appropriate response to these costs. Law students should be allowed to demonstrate excellence, not merely pass. True, elite schools and median students will not be impacted by the change to a pass-fail structure, while excellent students at non-elite schools will be the biggest losers. Is that the redistribution we want to encourage?

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March 29, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Muller: Thoughts About (And Mostly Against) Pass-Fail Law School Grading During Covid-19

Following up on my previous posts on law school grading policies for the Spring 2020 semester in the wake of the coronavirus (links below):

Derek Muller (Pepperdine), Some Thoughts About (and Mostly Against) Pass-fail Law School Grading During Covid-19:

CoronavirusPass-fail is a luxurious advantage for the highest-ranking law schools. They can easily move to pass-fail and know that the vast majority of their students will experience little difference in likelihood of employment outcomes.

For many other students at the vast majority of law schools, however, I do think there will be disadvantages to moving to pass-fail.

Maybe I’m overstating it, and maybe there won’t be a significant change in judges’ or employers’ experience. Maybe the concerns of the students who I identified as potentially disadvantaged should be outweighed by the concerns of others. But I offer my own thoughts here and look forward to reading more of the robust debates in the days ahead—and to seeing how law schools react.

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March 29, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 28, 2020

New York Postpones July Bar Exam To Fall; Students Demand Emergency Diploma Privilege To Practice Law

New York State Bar Exam Rescheduled for Fall 2020:

CoronavirusThe Court of Appeals today announced that the New York State Bar Examination will not be administered on July 28-29, 2020 as previously scheduled.

The Bar Examination will be rescheduled for dates in the fall, to be determined.

Karen Sloan (New York Law Journal), New York Postpones July Bar Exam Amid COVID-19 Pandemic:

The Court of Appeals’ announcement came after the National Conference of Bar Examiners, which develops the nationwide test, said Friday that it will offer an alternate date for the all-important licensing exam for jurisdictions that cannot, or choose not to, move forward with the July administration due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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March 28, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Zatz: The Case For Mandatory Pass/Fail Grading In Spring 2020

Following up on my previous posts on law school grading policies for the Spring 2020 semester in the wake of the coronavirus (links below):

Noah Zatz (UCLA), Grading in a Time of Crisis:

Zatz 2I am of the firm and strong view that we should go mandatory P/NP. I have thought about it a lot over the past week, steadily moving in this direction after pausing to consider a variety of alternatives. This includes many conversations with my Section 3/4 1Ls, including after I solicited viewpoints opposing such a move to make sure I was not missing something.

These have been extremely illuminating, often heart-wrenching conversations. I have heard from students struggling with mental health difficulties exacerbated by stress, isolation, and worry. I have heard from students relocating across the country to be with family members who are extremely vulnerable, for whom they are terrified, and with whom they confess they will find it very difficult to live in close proximity, despite their love. I have heard from students in precarious economic circumstances whose ability to study has been seriously disrupted by loss of access to the library, both as a physical space in which to study relative to their marginal housing situation and as a way to access books, and who lack reliable internet access from home. I have also heard from other students sheepishly acknowledging that they have so far have suffered little direct effect, and in fact have benefited from additional time to study, as they live comfortably in LA and have their family nearby, and some of them have had the self-awareness to observe that this relative insulation actually confers additional and unfair advantage on them in any competitively structured process.

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March 28, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline For The Age Of The Coronavirus: 'Hands ... Washing Hands'

Showing my age (and cheesy musical tastes): here is Neil Diamond's adaptation of Sweet Caroline for the age of the coronavirus:

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March 28, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, March 27, 2020

NCBE To Decide By May 5 Whether It Will Provide MBE For July Bar Examinations

National Conference of Bar Examiners, NCBE COVID-19 Updates:

CoronavirusWill the July bar exam be administered as scheduled?
Each jurisdiction will make its own decision about whether it is able to administer the July bar exam, based on factors including ongoing office closures, state and local restrictions on gatherings, and test venue availability. On or about May 5, NCBE will make a decision about whether to make the MBE, MEE, and MPT available to those US jurisdictions that administer them, including all UBE jurisdictions, for the regularly scheduled July bar exam. This decision will be based on whether there would be a sufficient number of jurisdictions and examinees to support equating of scores and all the scoring support and grader training associated with the exam. NCBE will also offer another set of bar exam materials—MBE, MEE, and MPT—for an administration in the fall. Jurisdictions that cannot administer in July, or cannot administer at normal seating capacity, will have the fall administration date as an alternative or additional option. Scores earned in UBE jurisdictions in the fall administration would constitute UBE scores.

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March 27, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Law Students Share Anxiety, Support On Reddit Over Grading Policies In Wake Of Coronavirus

Karen Sloan (, 'I Feel Like Stress Crying': Law Students Share Anxiety, Support on Reddit:

CoronavirusWant to know how law students are handling life amid a pandemic?

The section of online forum Reddit that is dedicated to law schools—r/LawSchool—offers an unfiltered look at what is keeping future lawyers up at night. Hundreds of students are swapping information on their school’s grading policies and offering updates on how their online classes are working. They’re also sharing their concerns over jobs, internships and their ability to concentrate and study during an unprecedented period of upheaval in their lives. Because users are anonymous, their posts tend to be far more candid that what students share on their class list serves and social media.

“Today I just feel like stress crying,” wrote one poster—a sentiment echoed by many others on the site.

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March 27, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Law Professor, Law Student Diagnosed With COVID-19

National Law Journal, Sen. Klobuchar's Husband, a Baltimore Law Prof, Tests Positive for COVID-19:

BesslerU.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Monday her husband, John Bessler, a law professor at the University of Baltimore, is hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease tied to the novel coronavirus.

Klobuchar, D-Minnesota and a one-time U.S. presidential contender, said in a post Monday at Medium:

John started to feel sick when I was in Minnesota and he was in Washington D.C. and like so many others who have had the disease, he thought it was just a cold. Yet he immediately quarantined himself just in case and stopped going to his job teaching in Baltimore. He kept having a temperature and a bad, bad cough and when he started coughing up blood he got a test and a chest X-ray and they checked him into a hospital in Virginia because of a variety of things including very low oxygen levels which haven’t really improved. He now has pneumonia and is on oxygen but not a ventilator.

Klobuchar described Bessler as “exhausted and sick but a very strong and resilient person.”

Boston Herald, Boston College Law Student Shares Coronavirus Diagnosis: ‘Maybe I Had Something That Was Causing People to Die’:

MooreBoston College law student Sarah Moore spent the first week of March on spring break in Ireland, where coronavirus was barely on the map. But March 14, a week after the 24-year-old returned from her trip, she felt herself coming down with a fever. She shared her experience of getting sick with and testing positive for COVID-19, as told to Herald reporter Meghan Ottolini:

“I did not feel it coming on at all. I got back from Ireland, where I had been in airports and around a lot of people traveling, and I got back March 7. I didn’t show symptoms until the 14th. I was working out, I truly felt fine.

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March 26, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Status Of July Bar Exam, August MPRE Exam

National Conference of Bar Examiners, COVID-19 Updates:

Will the July bar exam be administered as scheduled?
The bar exam is administered by individual jurisdictions, not by NCBE. We are in close contact with jurisdiction bar admission agencies as they consider possible options for the July exam in the event that shutdowns and prohibitions against large gatherings remain in effect.

Will the August MPRE be administered as scheduled?
At this time, the MPRE scheduled for August 11 and 12 at Pearson VUE testing centers is scheduled to proceed as planned. Any changes will be communicated with candidates via email and posted on our website. Pearson VUE is posting related updates to its website.

Karen Sloan (, July Bar Exam Alternatives Under Consideration Amid COVID-19:

The July bar exam is still more than four months away, but a group of legal educators are imploring bar officials to make a decision now about alternatives to the licensing exam amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a working paper titled “The Bar Exam and COVID-19: The Need for Immediate Action,” the authors—11 law professors and education policy experts—lay out six options for how to deal with the law students who are graduating this year, arguing that it will be impossible to administer the bar exam in the traditional manner this year. ...

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March 26, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Blackman: Law Students Quietly Oppose Pass/Fail Grading

Josh Blackman (South Texas), Law Students Quietly Agree With My Post on Pass/Fail Grading:

CoronavirusYesterday, I blogged that professors quietly support my views on pass/fail grading. Since then, I have received several emails from students. They note there is quiet support for my view, but many students are afraid of being shamed by classmates on social media. I post here two such messages, with slight edits.


Thank you for sharing your platform with us. You have no idea how validating it is to know that professors also share the same views on the pass/fail grading system. I have taken the brunt of the attacks on social media. I have to admit that I am concerned about my reputation among my peers, but it is what it is. Here are my thoughts:

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March 26, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

The New Normal At Pepperdine Caruso Law Online

Yesterday was a great example of the new normal at Pepperdine Caruso Law, where we are shifting what we normally do in person to Zoom: meetings, 1L Moriarity Moot Court Competition (where we unfortunately experienced a Zoombombing), and Wednesday night dean's bible study:

Zoom Uniform

Moot Court

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March 26, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

'People Are Pissed': Pass/Fail Grading Controversy Roils Law Schools

Karen Sloan (, 'People Are Pissed': Pass/Fail Grading Controversy Roils Law Schools:

CoronavirusGrading has emerged as a flash point of discord at law schools amid the coronavirus pandemic, with students and faculty pushing administrators to choose between traditional grades and a pass/fail system.

The University of Chicago Law School on Tuesday became the first among the top 10 schools, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, to tell students that it plans to stick with its traditional grading scale for the spring semester, instead of moving to pass/fail grading. That decision comes in contrast to a growing number of elite schools that have already committed to pass/fail grades for the spring semester or winter quarters. ...

Meanwhile, law professors have taken to blogs and other outlets to debate the issue. Some are arguing that pass/fail grading is the most humane approach during this deeply unsettling time, while others say that students must learn to prevail amid adverse conditions.

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March 26, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Test-At-Home Option During Coronavirus May Be Attractive To Applicants At 50+ Law Schools That Accept The GRE

GRECWith the cancellation of the March LSAT and the uncertain fate of the April LSAT, the GRE may be increasingly attractive for applicants to any of the fifty-plus ABA-accredited law schools that accept the GRE for admissions (Akron, American, Arizona, Baltimore, Boston University, Brooklyn, Buffalo, BYU, California-Western, Cardozo, Chicago, Chicago-Kent, Columbia, Cornell, Dayton, Florida International, Florida State, George Mason, Georgetown, Harvard, Hawaii, John Marshall (Chicago), Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, Northwestern, Notre Dame, NYU, Pace, Pennsylvania, Penn State-Dickinson, Penn State-University Park, Pepperdine, Seattle, Seton Hall, SMU, South Carolina, St. John's, Suffolk, Texas, Texas A&M, UC-Irvine, UC-Davis, UC-Hastings, UCLA, USC, Virginia, Wake Forest, Washington University, and Yale.  Two law schools (Georgia and UC-Berkeley) allow students enrolled in another graduate program to submit the GRE.)

ETS has announced:

To meet the needs of students who are unable to take the GRE® General Test at a test center due to public health concerns, ETS is temporarily offering a GRE General Test at home option in selected areas. [As of March 23, 2020, the at home test is available in the United States, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Hong Kong (China) and Macau (China). The test is identical in content, format and on-screen experience to the GRE General Test taken at a test center. It is taken on your own computer at home and is monitored by a human proctor online through ProctorU®.

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March 25, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Assessment In Online Law School Classes

Emily Grant (Professor of Law & Co-Director, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, Washburn), Assessment in Online Classes:

CoronavirusAs assessment committee chair (and just a fan of the assessment Kool-Aid generally), I wanted to reach out (and was invited to do by colleagues) with some suggestions for assessment in the online version of your classes.

First, in terms of summative (end of the semester) assessment, I imagine that’s going to be a faculty-wide conversation. I do offer this link to Larry Cunningham’s blog, raising some questions to ponder as we decide how to move forward with finals.

Next, in terms of formative assessment, I’ve got some ideas (with apologies in advance for how long this is!).  And I’m sure others may have as well — please chime in!

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March 25, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

100% Of Higher Education Has Shifted Online Due To The Coronavirus

PhilOnEdTech, US Higher Ed Set to Go Fully Online in Just Four Weeks Due to COVID-19:

At this point it is clear that traditional face-to-face (f2f) instruction for higher education in the US has ended for the rest of the spring academic term. It appears that almost all institutions will be fully online by the week of April 6th, 1 which is just four weeks after the first announcements of emergency closures and moves online announced March 6th


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March 25, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Blackman: Law Professors Quietly Oppose Pass/Fail Grading

Following up on Monday's posts:

Josh Blackman (South Texas), Law Professors Quietly Agree With My Post on Pass/Fail Grading:

Blackman (2020)"I was just steamrolled by my faculty on this — almost everyone but me joined the copy HARVARD-STANFORD train."

Yesterday, I published a lengthy post about grading for the Spring 2020 semester. I knew the post would be unpopular in certain quarters. First, many professors have long opposed grading on a curve; I criticize a deeply-held position. Second, many students will oppose my position. The bulk of the class falls along the middle of the curve. They would stand to benefit from a pass/fail grading system. Students at either tail-end would be harmed from a pass/fail mandate. Third, some people may view my position as insufficiently compassionate. Fair enough. Empathy was never my strong suit.

But I knew that my post would resonate in other quarters. There are some professors who vigorously oppose the pass/fail movement. They are less likely to publicly state their views for the three reasons I mention above, and others: they do not wish to alienate their colleagues. But they privately messaged me.

One professor wrote, "Just saw your article on law school credit/no credit grading and wanted to let you know that you nailed it. I was just steamrolled by my faculty on this — almost everyone but me joined the copy HARVARD-STANFORD train." Another wrote, "Great stuff. We are trying to stick to our guns, but it is getting increasingly hard." A third wrote, "The University informed our law school that we could not have a pass/fail option. We can only do all standard grading or all pass/fail. Seems pretty stupid to force us into that choice, but there we are." And so on.

I am not optimistic my position will prevail at law schools nationwide. But I hope my post gave some voice to professors who can respectfully dissent.

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March 25, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (2)

2019 Summer Associate Offers (98%) Hit All-Time High, But Coronavirus Casts Shadow Over 2020 Summer Programs

NALP, Perspectives on 2019 Law Student Recruiting:

NALPThe report shows robust recruiting activity in 2019, with offer rates coming out of summer programs reaching historic highs. However, the data also suggests that the regrowth in summer program and entry-level recruiting since the Great Recession may be tapering off. The annual report details recruitment activity on campus and at job fairs in 2019; provides information on summer program characteristics; and provides information on the outcomes of 2019 summer programs and of fall 2019 recruiting for both second-year summer associates and entry-level associates not previously employed by that employer.

Perspectives Report Significant Findings:

  • The aggregate offer rate coming out of summer programs increased to nearly 98%, a historic high for a second year in a row.
  • The acceptance rate on these offers remained at 88%, a historical high in both 2018 and 2019, and significantly higher than the pre-recession norm of overall acceptance rates of about 73 to 77 percent. 


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March 25, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Hillary Clinton, 880,000 Others Have Viewed Arkansas Law Prof's Online Crim Pro Lecture

Karen Sloan (, With Law Students Jittery, Profs Try to Engage Them Online:

From amusing lecture videos to daily video chats with the dean, law schools are scrambling to provide student support and foster interaction amid the quick shift to online classes.

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March 24, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Symphony In The Age Of Coronavirus

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Beethoven's 9th Symphony

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March 24, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

The Bar Exam And The COVID-19 Pandemic: The Need For Immediate Action

Claudia Angelos (NYU), Sara Berman (AccessLex), Mary Lu Bilek (CUNY), Carol Chomsky (Minnesota), Andrea Anne Curcio (Georgia State), Marsha Griggs (Washburn), Joan Howarth (UNLV; Michigan State), Eileen Kaufman (Touro), Deborah Merritt (Ohio State), Patricia Salkin (Touro) & Judith Wegner (North Carolina), The Bar Exam and the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Need for Immediate Action:

CoronavirusThe novel coronavirus COVID-19 has profoundly disrupted life in the United States. Among other challenges, jurisdictions are unlikely to be able to administer the July 2020 bar exam in the usual manner. It is essential, however, to continue licensing new lawyers. Those lawyers are necessary to meet current needs in the legal system. Equally important, the demand for legal services will skyrocket during and after this pandemic. We cannot close doors to the profession at a time when client demand will reach an all-time high.

In this brief policy paper, we outline six licensing options for jurisdictions to consider for the Class of 2020. Circumstances will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but we hope that these options will help courts and regulators make this complex decision. These are unprecedented times: We must work together to ensure we do not leave the talented members of Class of 2020 on the sidelines when we need every qualified professional on the field to keep our justice system moving.

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March 24, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

NALP Cannot Compel Law Firms To Move OCI To January, But Urges Communication About COVID-Related Changes

NALP Urges Members to Communicate about COVID-Related Changes (Mar. 23, 2020):

CoronavirusDear Colleague,
Never have innovation, flexibility, fairness, and wellness been more important. As our law school and legal employer members are actively working through the impact of the current situation on summer programs and recruiting plans, we urge each member institution to consider how it can best innovate through this time of crisis in a way that is fair to all while keeping in mind the wellness of all the stakeholders involved. NALP's Principles for a Fair and Ethical Recruitment Process are more relevant than ever. We urge you to turn to them as you make decisions about how to proceed, and we encourage you to have frank and honest conversations with each other across the employer-school aisle as you work to make the best decisions you can under extraordinarily difficult and changing circumstances.

In recent days there have been calls for NALP to influence the upcoming recruiting process by moving it to January 2021. While it would certainly be reasonable to reevaluate the timing of recruiting during the COVID-19 pandemic, mandating a specific timeframe for when the recruitment season should take place is not something that NALP is able to do. NALP stands between the highly regulated world of higher education and the incredibly competitive free market of legal employment. NALP does not have authority to regulate the market. As the primary professional association for our members, however, we can embolden our members to maintain the highest ethical standards, and to strive for policies and procedures that are bound by reasonableness and that provide all members with the flexibility necessary to move forward in an incredibly uncertain marketplace.

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March 24, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, March 23, 2020

Free Online Content: Business Taxation/Subchapter K

CoronavirusIf you are looking for “plug and play” online content for your business taxation or partnership taxation course, Professor Cass Brewer, Georgia State University College of Law, is offering numerous videos that he created for his fall 2019 online Partnership & LLC Taxation course. See the table below for details. Brewer warns, “Caveat emptor: The videos are far from perfect because they were created for the first iteration of my online Partnership & LLC Taxation course. Some of the videos have technical glitches, and the closed captions for many of the videos contain typos and other errors. In a pinch, however, you may find the videos useful to finish out the semester.”

Quick Links to Online Materials Regarding Subchapter K (Partnership & LLC Taxation):


IRC Sections

Video Link

Definition of a Partnership and Choice of Entity

IRC §§ 761(a); 7701(a)(3); skim IRC § 199A

Video 1: Definition of Tax Partnership

Video 2: Types of State-Law Business Organizations

Video 3: Four Federal Income Tax Regimes

Video 4: Classification (a/k/a “Check-the-Box”) Rules

Video 5: Tax Hieroglyphics

Partnership Formation: Basics

IRC §§ 704(c)(1)(A) & (c)(3), 705(a), 721, 722, 723, 731(a)(1), 733

IRC §§ 1245(b)(3), 1223(1) & (2)

Video 1: Introduction

Video 2: AB, LLC Formation

Video 3: Formation/Conversion

Video 4: Formation/Conversion

Video 5: Formation/Conversion

Partnership Formation: Advanced (Special Rules, Liabilities, and Gain Recognized)

IRC §§ 704(c)(1)(A) & (c)(3), 724

IRC §§ 731(a)(1), 752(a)-(c)

Video 1: IRC §§ 704(c) and 724

Video 2: IRC §§ 704(c) and 724 Illustrated

Video 3: Formation and Liabilities Part One

Video 4: Formation and Liabilities Part Two

Video 5: Formation (Gain Recognized)

Partnership Operations: Taxable Years, Methods of Accounting, Allocations, Outside Basis Adjustments, Outside Basis Loss Limitation

IRC §§ 446(a)-(c), 701, 702(a)-(b), 703, 704(a) & (d)

IRC §§ 705(a)(1)-(2), 706(a)-(b)(1)(B)

Skim IRC §§ 448(a)-(c), 6031(a)-(b)

Video 1: Taxable Years and Methods of Accounting

Video 2: Allocations of Tax Items

Video 3: Outside Basis Adjustments and Loss Limitation

Substantial Economic Effect

IRC § 704(a) & (b)

Video 1: Introduction

Video 2: Analysis of Orrisch

Issuing Partnership Interests in Exchange for Services

IRC §§ 83(a)-(c), (h); 721; 1061

Video 1: Introduction

Video 2: Capital v. Profits Interests

Video 3: IRC § 1061 (“Carried Interests)

Built-In Gain (Loss), Revaluations, Tax/Book Depreciation (Traditional Method), and Anti-Character Conversion Rules

IRC § 704(c)(1)(A) & (3)

IRC § 704(b)

IRC § 724(a)-(c)

Video 1: Introduction

Video 2: Book/Tax Gain (Loss) Allocations

Video 3: Revaluations

Video 4: Reverse 704(c) Allocations

Video 5: Anti-Character Conversion (§ 724)

Partnership Liabilities: Recourse v. Nonrecourse

IRC §§ 704(c)(1)(A) & (3); 752(a)-(c)

Video 1: Recourse v. Nonrecourse Debt

Video 2: Nonrecourse Deductions

Video 3: Liability Sharing Rules of IRC 752

Video 4: Recap

Transfers of Interests

IRC §§ 705(a); 706(c); 741; 751(a), (c), (d), (f); 752(d)

Video 1: In General

Video 2: Seller’s Perspective

Video 3: Buyer’s Perspective

Current and Liquidating Distributions of Cash

IRC §§ 731-735

Video: In General

TaxProf Blog coronavirus coverage:

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March 23, 2020 in Coronavirus, Tax, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Blackman: Law Schools Should Not Abandon Standard Grading Policies For All Students Due To The Coronavirus

Josh Blackman (South Texas), Law Schools Should Not Abandon Standard Grading Policies For All Students:

CoronavirusCOVID-19 has presented academia with novel challenges. Virtually every institution of higher education has transitioned to online instruction, almost overnight. This rapid change occurred with little planning or preparation. Students who were accustomed to learning in one fashion are now being asked to learn in a completely different fashion. This new normal will likely last the rest of the semester, and could recur again in the future.

That much is largely beyond our control. But some issues are within our control. Specifically, universities are debating what to do with the Spring 2020 semester. Should schools maintain the regular grading curve? Should some students, with demonstrated hardships, be able to request a pass/fail grading option? Should all students be given the option to request a pass/fail grading option? Should all students be graded on a pass/fail basis? Should some exams be graded pass/fail (upper-level electives) but other exams be graded with the regular curve (1L mandatory courses)? My co-blogger Jon Adler offers several recommendations.

Here, I will make three broad points. First, there has been a long-simmering movement to abolish grades altogether. This approach may work at elite institutions where most students cluster together near the top. But at other law schools, grades perform an important signaling function: students at the bottom of the curve need intervention. Eliminating grades will deny those students the help they need. Second, we should not abolish normal law school policies simply because of our current circumstances. Attorneys have a duty to their clients during crises of all manners; law students should learn that lesson personally. Third, COVID-19 will not affect all students in the same fashion. Some students will be personally affected. Others will merely be inconvenienced. Any sort of grading relief should be tailored to address individual circumstances; law schools should not adopt a blanket policy. ...

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March 23, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)