Paul L. Caron
Dean




Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Law School Applicants Are Down, Breaking Five-Year Streak

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

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

Is legal education’s pandemic boom beginning to fade?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 29, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LSAC 1

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

LSAC 2

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

LSAC 3

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

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

Koppelman On The Yale And UIC Law School Controversies

Following up on my previous posts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Morse Tan Named Dean Of Liberty University School of Law

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 27, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

International College Enrollments Begin to Recover

Open Doors 2

Inside Higher Ed, International Enrollments Begin to Recover:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Texas A&M Law School To Be Centerpiece Of New $250+ Million Fort Worth Campus Housing A National Law Firm

Texas A&M

Texas A&M Press Release, New Texas A&M System Center Eyed for Downtown Fort Worth:

Hub for collaboration with industry would rise alongside new law school building.

Fort Worth government and business leaders and Texas A&M University System officials are working together on plans to build a new downtown research campus to spur innovation and business development. ... 

“The A&M System is making a Texas-sized commitment to Fort Worth,” Chancellor John Sharp said. “Welcome to Aggieland North.” ...

A new Law School would serve as the front door and academic anchor of the urban campus.

The current law school is housed in the former Southwestern Bell call switching facility that was converted for office use. The school also uses leased space in a nearby building. The plan envisions renovating or rebuilding the law school to accommodate growth and provide a state-of-the art educational environment.

Since the A&M System acquired the law school eight years ago, it has experienced the largest jump to its reputational score of any law school in the United States. It recently passed its Texas counterparts at Baylor University and the University of Houston in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings.

Law.com, 'A Texas-Sized Commitment to Fort Worth': Texas A&M Law School Plans Massive New Campus:

The specific cost of the project is not yet known since so many of the pieces are still in the conceptual stage, but the numbers are somewhere between $250 million to $350 million total, according to the law school spokesman.

Reuters, Roommate Wanted: Texas A&M in Talks to Host National Law Firm on New Campus:

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November 23, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Only 57% Of White Students At Harvard Are Admitted On Merit

The Guardian, Turns Out, Harvard Students Aren’t That Smart After All:

A whopping 43% of white students weren’t admitted on merit. One might call it affirmative action for the rich and privileged.

Ever wondered what it takes to get into Harvard? Stellar grades, impressive extracurriculars and based on a recently published study, having deep pockets and a parent who either works or went there. Those last two are pretty important for Harvard’s white students because only about 57% of them were admitted to the school based on merit.

In reality, 43% of Harvard’s white students are either recruited athletes, legacy students, on the dean’s interest list (meaning their parents have donated to the school) or children of faculty and staff (students admitted based on these criteria are referred to as ‘ALDCs’, which stands for ‘athletes’, ‘legacies’, ‘dean’s interest list’ and ‘children’ of Harvard employees). The kicker? Roughly three-quarters of these applicants would have been rejected if it weren’t for having rich or Harvard-connected parents or being an athlete. ...

This kind of systemic favoritism of the white, wealthy and connected is not new when it comes to elite academic institutions. It’s always been a bit of a rigged game, one that overwhelmingly favors rich white people.

Peter Arcidiacono (Duke; Google Scholar), Josh Kinsler (Georgia; Google Scholar) & Tyler Ransom (Oklahoma; Google Scholar), Legacy and Athlete Preferences at Harvard, 40 J. Labor Econ. ___ (2022):

The lawsuit Students For Fair Admissions v. Harvard University provided an unprecedented look at how an elite school makes admissions decisions. Using publicly released reports, we examine the preferences Harvard gives for recruited athletes, legacies, those on the dean’s interest list, and children of faculty and staff (ALDCs). Among white admits, over 43% are ALDC.

Among admits who are African American, Asian American, and Hispanic, the share is less than 16% each. Our model of admissions shows that roughly three quarters of white ALDC admits would have been rejected if they had been treated as white non-ALDCs. Removing preferences for athletes and legacies would significantly alter the racial distribution of admitted students, with the share of white admits falling and all other groups rising or remaining unchanged.

Harvard 1

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November 23, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

In Response To Criticism, ABA Releases Revised Proposed Diversity Accreditation Standard For Notice And Comment

Following criticism (here, here, here, and here) of the ABA's proposed new diversity accreditation standard, the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar on Friday sent a revised version out for notice and comment:

ABA Legal Ed (2021)Standard 206. DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION
(a) A law school shall ensure the effective educational use of diversity by providing:
(1) Full access to the study of law and admission to the profession to all persons, particularly members of underrepresented groups related to race and ethnicity;
(2) A faculty and staff that includes members of underrepresented groups, particularly those related to race and ethnicity; and
(3) An inclusive and equitable environment for students, faculty, and staff with respect to race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, and military status.
(b) A law school shall report in the Annual Questionnaire and publish in accordance with Standard 509(b) data that reflects the law school's performance in satisfying Standard 206(a)(1)-(2).
(c) A law school shall annually assess the extent to which it has created an educational environment that is inclusive and equitable under Standard 206(a)< br />(3). The law school shall provide the results of such annual assessment to the faculty. Upon request of the Council, a law school shall provide the results of such assessment and the concrete actions the school is taking to address any deficiencies in the educational environment as well as the actions taken to maintain an inclusive and equitable educational environment.

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November 23, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, November 22, 2021

Ohio State Plans To Make Degree Debt-Free For Its 50,000 Undergraduates; The First Cohort Is 125 Students In Fall 2022

Scarlet & Gray Advantage:

Ohio State Scarlet & GrayThe Ohio State University is creating the Scarlet & Gray Advantage program with a bold goal: to offer undergraduate students the opportunity to earn their bachelor’s degree, debt-free. This program, which will be brought to scale over the next decade, will empower Buckeyes to control their own financial futures and prepare for success after graduation. To achieve this ambitious and meaningful goal for our Buckeyes, we welcome support from generous donors and friends who will help turn students’ dreams into realities and inspire others to do the same.

A matching program like no other
Ohio State will raise at least $800 million over the next decade to expand undergraduate scholarships.

To kick off this effort, the university and lead donors have created a matching program that will double up to $50 million in private donations (of $100,000 or more) that establish new endowments or support existing ones for scholarships. The university will also provide grant assistance.

Chronicle of Higher Education, Ohio State U. Unveils a Plan for All Students to Graduate Debt-Free:

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November 22, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tenured Fordham Professor Challenges Termination For Masturbating During Zoom Lecture

New York Post, Ex-professor Fired For Allegedly Masturbating During Zoom Lecture Sues Fordham:

Fordham University LogoA professor fired from Fordham University after he was accused of masturbating during a Zoom lecture is suing the Bronx school, claiming his erectile dysfunction made the allegation “virtually impossible.”

The student who filmed the video is also suing Fordham, claiming she faced retaliation after she turned over the awkward 2020 video.

Howard Robinson, 68, was a tenured professor at the university’s Graduate School of Social Service when graduate student Andrea Morin filmed a video of the teacher appearing to masturbate during a Sept. 10, 2020 class, the lawsuits state.

But Robinson said in a Sept. 16 petition in Bronx Superior Court that his erectile dysfunction and low testosterone levels make it “virtually impossible for him to get an erection or masturbate,” which he had told school officials in the subsequent inquiry.

Morin alleged in her lawsuit she saw Morin “from above his waist, and observed him for a period of 1.5 minutes, during which time he was shaking, breathing hard, and saying ..oh f*** yeah.” This happened as students had broken out into separate “breakout rooms,” and she had her camera turned off due to illness, court records allege.

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November 22, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Law Professor Investigated Presidential Search At His University. It Said He Was Out of Line.

Chronicle of Higher Education, This Professor Investigated a Presidential Search at His University. It Said He Was Out of Line.:

Indiana University LogoSteve Sanders knows a lot of people. He’s been around Indiana University at Bloomington for decades, first as a student, then as an assistant to a series of senior administrators, finally as a law professor. He is involved in faculty governance and is active in the alumni network. As he has put it, “I am not exactly on the fringes of the university.”

When you’re in the mix, people tell you things. Immediately after IU announced Pamela Whitten last spring as its next president, rumors “started flying” that the search process had contained some “oddities,” Sanders told The Chronicle in an interview. He was interested. So he dug deeper.

Eventually he published an article on Medium about what he’d learned [‘You have no idea how strange this process has been’: The long, difficult search for IU’s 19th president]. He described a “tortuous” search that demonstrated “the problems of secrecy, and a Board of Trustees unaccustomed to working in a shared-governance process.” He pointed to documents showing the board had agreed to new compensation for the departing president behind closed doors.

He acknowledged that he was friends with an internal candidate [Provost and former Law Dean Lauren Robel], who had not been chosen, but made the case that his investigation had a legitimate public interest: “Critically examining the workings of an important public institution, so that the members of its community can then discuss and draw lessons, is valuable in its own right.”

Publicly, IU said little. In correspondence, its general counsel expressed irritation at Sanders’s conduct, saying that the professor had violated university policy by publishing what he did, and wasn’t “the crusader for public transparency that he hails himself to be.” And someone filed a public-records request to see Sanders’s emails, presumably to figure out how he knew what he knew [I’ve been looking into IU’s presidential search. Now a law firm is demanding to snoop through my email.].

The case reveals a wide gap between a faculty member’s notion of what he can probe and publicize, and the university’s much narrower idea. Administrators may want criticisms and unflattering information to be kept in house. But that’s miles away from how professors conceive their rights, and their purpose, under the principles of academic freedom.

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November 22, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

U.S. Tax Court's Tax Trailblazers: Justice Shawna Baker

U.S. Tax Court's Diversity & Inclusion Series, Tax Trailblazers: Mentoring the Next Generation:

Baker 2Please join the United States Tax Court for the next in its Tax Trailblazers series. November’s webinar will honor Native American Heritage Month and focus on Justice Shawna S. Baker of the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court. Today at 7:00-8:15 PM EST (register here).

Shawna S. Baker is a Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Justice and managing attorney of Family Legacy and Wealth Counsel, PLLC. She is the first member of the LGBT community and only the third woman ever confirmed to the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court.

Before being appointed, Justice Baker served as a litigation associate, an attorney and a managing partner at various law firms, a trustee of a charitable organization, and an assistant professor at the Florida Coastal School of Law.

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November 22, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Florida State Law School Associate Dean Dies From COVID-19 At Age 48

WCTV, FSU Law Associate Dean Dies From COVID-19:

KessingerFlorida State University College of Law’s associate dean for admissions died Wednesday, Nov. 17, after battling coronavirus, according to a letter from the dean to alumni obtained by WCTV.

Jennifer Kessinger had been at the law school since 2008.

Obituary, Mrs. Jennifer Lynne Kessinger (Jan. 20, 1973 – Nov. 17, 2021):

Hearts are broken today as we announce our loss of beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend.

Jennifer passed quietly after a hard-fought and courageous battle with COVID-19. She was surrounded by her most cherished loved ones and lifelong besties, who will continue to honor her legacy of strength, loyalty, inspiration, humor, and kindness.

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November 20, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Obituaries | Permalink

WaPo: The Country’s Most Popular Law School Got An Unexpected Jolt

Following up on my previous post, Law Schools Report 'Eye-Popping' LSAT Scores In Their 1L Classes:  Washington Post, The Country’s Most Popular Law School Got an Unexpected Jolt:

Georgetown (2016)Year in and year out, the Georgetown University Law Center in D.C. gets more applications than any other law school in the country (and yes, that includes law schools at Harvard and Yale and Stanford). But what happened for the 2021-22 academic year was historic.

Collectively, U.S. law schools this year saw an increase of at least 12 percent in applicants for classes that started this fall and a 26 percent jump in applications — the largest in nearly 20 years, according to the nonprofit Law School Admission Council.

At Georgetown University Law Center, the increase was so high that it shocked Georgetown law officials, who have become accustomed to being the country’s most popular law school. The school saw a 41 percent increase in applicants — for a total of 14,052. Of all law school applicants nationwide, 1 in 5 applied to Georgetown. It is the largest law school in the country with some 2,000 students in juris doctor degree (JD) programs, with Harvard second at some 1,750 JD students. ...

Why ... did Georgetown University Law Center have such a huge rise in applicants?

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November 20, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, November 19, 2021

Alums Debate The State Of Yale Law School

Following up on yesterday's post, Yale Law School Dean Heather Gerken Admits Error, Stops Short Of Apologizing To Targeted Students; Law Prof Calls For Conservative Yale 1Ls To Transfer:

New York Post op-ed:  Students Suing Yale Law Show America’s Elites Have a Low Opinion of Minorities, by Glenn Reynolds (Tennessee; J.D. 1985, Yale):

Yale Law School is failing. ...

In the eyes of the Yale Law School administration, apparently only “cis/het white men” have any agency, and minority men are just putty in their hands.

But leaving aside this bit of straight-up racism, the administration also threatened the students that a failure to play ball and apologize would put their chance of taking the bar at risk, presumably because of a negative reference from Yale Law School, just as it threatened the future employment of the two students who refused to lie about Professor Chua.

Dean Gerken has just announced unconvincingly that Yale Law’s internal investigation found that the school did nothing wrong and complained that recording conversations violates norms.

Not as much as blackmail.

What can you say about an institution that is willing to break faith with its members and engage in blackmail and the subornation of false statements to wage a political vendetta?

Sadly, you’d have to say that it’s pretty typical these days.

David Lat (Original Jurisdiction; J.D. 1999, Yale), The Yale Law School Scandals: Dean Heather Gerken Speaks:

Dean Gerken has taken lots of flak for her school-wide email—but I believe it's not as bad as some people think. ...

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November 19, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Clinics In The Age Of Covid And Beyond

A Message From Jeffrey R. Baker (Assistant Dean of Clinical Education and Global Programs, Pepperdine):

BakerIn Fall 2021, our faculty, students, and clients continue to grapple with the pandemic and its far-reaching effects. With innovative flexibility, we continue to pursue our missions of fruitful education, professional formation, and access to justice. Law practice is never static; we are never immune from disruption. In this age of crisis and transition, our clinical faculty approaches every challenge, detour, mistake, and experiment as an opportunity to teach and learn. Our students and faculty serve clients from Skid Row to the Ninth Circuit, from state courts to the IRS, from the US to four other continents, through litigation, mediation, transactions and every step of client-centered advice, counsel, and advocacy. Emerging from the pandemic, we have learned lessons that will serve our students and clients for years to come.

And we continue to grow. In Spring 2022, the Caruso School of Law is launching the new Religious Liberty Clinic with a creative civil rights practice under the direction of Eric Rassbach and in collaboration with Jones Day. It will be the tenth clinic at the School of Law, adding important new dimensions to our mission and practice, with outstanding collaborations and a national practice.

Michael Martinez joined our team as Clinical Program Manager in the summer. His work has been indispensable as we navigate emerging challenges and evolution of the programs and practice.

I invite you to read stories from the Legal Aid Clinic, Mediation Clinic, Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Clinic, Community Justice Clinic, Restoration and Justice Clinic, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, Disaster Relief Clinic, Faith and Family Mediation Clinic, and Startup Law Clinic. You can also learn more about our Practicum Program: the Public Interest Law Practicum with Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, the Veterans Law Practicum with the Ventura County Public Defender, and our expansive Externship Program with hundreds of field placements each year at home and around the world.

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November 19, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Call For Student Tax Papers: 2022 Chris Bergin Award For Excellence In Writing

Christopher E. Bergin Award for Excellence in Writing:

Tax NotesThe 2022 submission period for the Christopher E. Bergin Award for Excellence in Writing is now open! This annual award recognizes superior student writing on unsettled questions in tax law or policy. Learn more about the competition guidelines:

  • Eligibility: Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited undergraduate or graduate program during the academic year. Each student may submit only one paper.
  • Format: Entries should be a minimum of 2,500 words and a maximum of 12,000 words, including footnotes. Citations should be formatted as footnotes in accordance with the current version of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. Bibliographies and reference lists are prohibited. Articles should be submitted as Microsoft Word documents.

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November 19, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax News | Permalink

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Yale Law School Dean Heather Gerken Admits Error, Stops Short Of Apologizing To Targeted Students; Law Prof Calls For Conservative Yale 1Ls To Transfer

Washington Free Beacon, Yale Law Dean Admits Error, Stops Short of Apologizing to Targeted Students:

Under fire, Dean Heather Gerken issues muted mea culpa.

The dean of Yale Law School expressed "regret" Wednesday for her administration's role in the now-infamous "trap house" incident but stopped short of apologizing to second-year law student Trent Colbert or the Federalist Society for their treatment at the hands of university administrators. ...

Gerken's email came less than 24 hours after the legal commentator David Lat reported that Gerken's renewal as dean had been postponed several weeks in the wake of an unrelated lawsuit filed on Monday against Gerken, Cosgrove, and Eldik. According to the lawsuit, Gerken and Cosgrove retaliated against two students for refusing to make false statements about Amy Chua, whom Gerken in April removed from a teaching post after the Yale Law professor allegedly violated an agreement not to host students in her home.

Yale Email

To the Members of the Community:
Recent events at the Law School have been the subject of controversy both on campus and in the national media. While the past several weeks have been difficult, they present an important opportunity for us to reflect on our values and renew the commitments necessary to maintain a vibrant intellectual environment.

Let me start with first principles. Free speech is the touchstone of every academic community. It is essential that we can all speak on — and disagree about — the most challenging issues of the day. The long-standing “Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression at Yale” emphasizes “the need for unfettered freedom, the right to think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable.” A thriving learning community depends on wide-ranging conversation that includes people with very different points of view and from all parts of our society.

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November 18, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Koppelman: This Is A Witch-Hunt Against A Tenured Law Professor

Update:  Brian Leiter (Chicago), UIC's John Marshall Law School Should Lose Its Accreditation If It Continues With This "Witch Hunt" Against a Faculty Member

Following up on last Thursday's post, When Suspending A Law Professor Isn't Enough:  Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  Yes, This Is a Witch-Hunt, by Andrew Koppelman (Northwestern):

KilbornIn January the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Law disgraced itself with its foolish persecution of Jason Kilborn, a professor who was accused of racism for asking students to address an ordinary hypothetical, of a kind they are likely to encounter in normal legal practice. That episode has now ballooned into calls for his firing, with an ill-informed Rev. Jesse Jackson leading protests against him. And the university, while it refuses to fire Kilborn, is continuing to punish him for things it knows he didn’t do.

The trouble started when, in a “Civil Procedure” exam, Kilborn asked whether a hypothetical company, sued for discrimination, must disclose evidence to the plaintiff. In the test’s scenario, a former employee told the company’s lawyer “that she quit her job at Employer after she attended a meeting in which other managers expressed their anger at Plaintiff, calling her a ‘n____’ and ‘b____’ (profane expressions for African Americans and women) and vowed to get rid of her.” The exam did not spell out those words, which appeared exactly as you just read them. (This was just one of the test’s 50 questions.)

Lawyers face such situations all the time. The question was entirely appropriate. One student, however, declared that, on seeing the sentence, she became “incredibly upset” and experienced “heart palpitations.” The Black Law Students Association demanded that Kilborn be stripped of his committee assignments, denounced him on social media, and filed a complaint with the university’s OAE (Office for Access and Equity). ...

On February 17 the OAE sent Kilborn a notice of “investigation into allegations of race-based discrimination and harassment.” Evidently someone had been collecting such allegations, because there were many new ones. They included the exam question, the comment to the student (which the notice mischaracterized as “a comment that you would ‘become homicidal’ if you read the petition”), and — this claim appeared for the first time — “referring to racial minorities as ‘cockroaches.’” Because the notice said nothing about when he was alleged to have said that, it was impossible to respond.

The “cockroaches” claim has since become the central grievance against Kilborn. It is provably false. ...

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November 18, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

More On The Two Yale Law School Controversies

UpdateYale Law School Dean Heather Gerken Admits Error, Stops Short Of Apologizing To Targeted Students; Law Prof Calls For Conservative Yale 1Ls To Transfer (Nov. 18, 2021)

Following up on yesterday's Yale Law School posts on the Trap House Email Controversy and  the Student Law Suit For Retaliation In Amy Chua Case:

Yale Law Logo (2020)David Lat, Doe v. Gerken: A Lawsuit Against Yale Law:

And additional news: the decision on renewing Heather Gerken as dean has been postponed to early December.

Eugene Volokh (UCLA), The Allegations in the New Lawsuit Against Yale Law School:

I reviewed them again, and thought I'd post just the factual allegations (which start below at item 3). ... As I read them, I found myself comparing them to the tone of the alleged conduct by two of the same administrators (Cosgrove and Eldik) in their interaction with Yale law student Trent Colbert (from TrapHouseGate), so I thought I'd include them alongside; let me know whether you too see a common thread in the tone.

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November 17, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Yale's Akhil Amar Calls Law School Administration's Handling Of 'Trap House' Email Controversy 'Dishonest, Duplicitous, And Downright Deplorable'

Update

Washington Free Beacon, ‘Deplorable’: Top Yale Law Professor Rips Administration Over Handling of ‘Trap House’ Incident:

Yale Law Logo (2020)A prominent Yale Law School professor on Friday blasted the administration’s treatment of law student Trent Colbert and the Federalist Society, calling it "dishonest, duplicitous, and downright deplorable."

Akhil Amar, one of the most frequently cited legal scholars in the country, called on the administration to apologize for its actions toward Colbert, the Yale Law student who invited classmates to his "trap house."

"I am not and have never been a member of the Federalist Society," Amar said, adding that he is a life-long liberal Democrat. But "ideological diversity" is important for challenging "implicit bias"—not just against members of other races, but those of other political persuasions, he said.

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November 16, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Two Students Sue Yale Law School For Retaliation In Amy Chua Case

Update

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Yale Daily News, Two Students Sue Yale Law Administrators For Alleged Retaliation in Amy Chua Case:

Yale Law Logo (2020)Two unnamed Yale Law School students filed a complaint Monday against three Law School administrators and the University for allegedly “blackball[ing]” them from job opportunities after they refused to endorse a statement in the ongoing investigation against Law Professor Amy Chua.

The students, referred to as Jane and John Doe throughout the lawsuit, sued the University and Yale Law School Dean Heather Gerken, Law School Associate Dean Ellen Cosgrove and Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Yaseen Eldik on the grounds of breach of contract, intentional interference with prospective business relationships and defamation, among others. The complaint — a copy of which was obtained by the News — was filed in the United States District Court of Connecticut, and requests damages of at least $150,000.

“Two Yale Law School deans, along with Yale Law School’s Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, worked together in an attempt to blackball two students of color from job opportunities as retaliation for refusing to lie to support the University’s investigation into a professor of color,” the complaint reads.

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November 16, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, November 15, 2021

25% Of The Way Through The Fall 2022 Law School Admissions Cycle: Applicants Are Up 2.3%, But Down In All LSAT Bands (Especially 170-180 (-11.2%)), Except 150-159 (+11.4%)

We are now 25% of the way through Fall 2022 law school admissions season. The number of law school applicants reported by LSAC is up 2.3% compared to last year at this time.

LSAC 1

153 of the 199 law schools are experiencing an increase in applications. Applications are up 50% or more at 18 law schools, and 30% or more at 53 law schools:

LSAC 2B

Applicants are up the most in Other (+28.4%), Northwest (+9.3%), and South Central (+5.7%); and are down the most in Midwest (-12.6%), Northeast (-4.8%), and Far West (-1.7%) :

LSAC 3

Applicants' LSAT scores are down -11.2% in the 170-180 band, -1.4% in the 160-169 band, and -1.6% 120-149 band; and up +11.4% in the 150-159 band:

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November 15, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Yale Law School And The Federalist Society: Caught In A Bad Romance?

Update

Following up on my previous coverage (links below):  David Lat, Yale Law School And the Federalist Society: Caught In A Bad Romance?:

Yale Federalist Society[T]here’s no love lost between YLS and FedSoc right now—and, in fact, relations are even worse than we thought.

Trent Colbert, the 2L who sent the allegedly offensive email, wasn’t the only law student summoned to meet with YLS administrators and urged to issue an apology. The current president of the Yale Federalist Society, Zachary Austin, was also pressured to apologize—even though Austin and FedSoc were not involved in sending the email, sent by Colbert to fellow members of the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), not the Federalist Society. (The invitation that Colbert sent to FedSoc members was much more matter-of-fact and said nothing about a “trap house.”)

Zach Austin recounted the whole sordid affair yesterday at the 2021 Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention, when he delivered customary “state of the chapter” remarks at a breakfast for YLS alumni. As a Yale Law alum myself, I happened to be in attendance, and this post is based upon Austin’s remarks (which I tried my best to take down; luckily I had my laptop with me).

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November 15, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Association Of Jewish Lawyers And Jurists Backs Jewish Law Prof's Discrimination Claim Over Religious Accommodation In Teaching During Jewish Holy Days

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Lawyerly Letter:

AAJLJThe leader of the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (AAJLJ) recently sent a letter to Theresa Beiner, dean of the Bowen School of Law at UALR, addressing what his organization interprets as unfair treatment of Jewish professor Robert Steinbuch.

Beiner has dismissed the criticism, saying Steinbuch hasn't been treated differently than any faculty member over his faith.

Robert Garson, president of the organization, said Beiner had been brought to AAJLJ's attention by a member of the Bar saying she'd singled out Steinbuch in a discriminatory fashion because of his out-of-class observance of Jewish holy days, despite his having previously been able to do so for nearly 20 years. ...

Steinbuch's current problems appear to have started after he challenged the renaming of an endowed professorship after Bill Clinton without faculty or university input. ...

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November 14, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Where Yale Law School Has Gone Off The Rails, And What Is Needed To Get Back On Track

Update

Following up on my coverage of the email controversy at Yale Law School (links below): 

Yale Law Logo (2020)Brian Leiter shared a 5-page memo, Where YLS Has Gone Off The Rails, And What Is Needed To Get Back On Track, by Simon Lazarus (J.D. 1967, Yale; Former Associate Director, President Jimmy Carter’s White House Domestic Policy Staff):

Like many other Yale Law School alumni, I have been profoundly saddened by the controversy surrounding the Trap House Affair. In particular, I’ve become increasingly disappointed by the YLS administration’s persistent mishandling of the matter — which is largely responsible for escalating a small, apparently manageable misunderstanding between elements of the student body, into a focus for withering national and international criticism of YLS, by prominent journalists and academics. At this point, it seems worthwhile to step back, identify what the issues are, and what they are not, and suggest what it will take, short-term and long-term, tor the administration to right its ship.

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November 13, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Tenured, Trapped, And Miserable

Following up on my previous post, Why I Am Leaving My Tenured Faculty Position At Age 53:  Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  Tenured, Trapped, and Miserable in the Humanities, by William Pannapacker (Hope College):

Why are so many tenured professors unhappy with their jobs yet unable to change careers?

Is the chronic morale problem in the humanities — and many allied fields — attributable to tenured professors feeling trapped in positions they no longer want?

Earlier this fall, I wrote about my decision to go on leave (from my tenured post at a midwestern liberal-arts college where I’ve worked for 21 years) in order to write, retrain, and look for new career opportunities in Chicago. The many responses that column received emphasized two themes: how unhappy many professors are (even the lucky ones with tenure), and how those professors feel unable to change their circumstances.

I raised this issue in a recent survey on Twitter: “What makes it so hard to leave academe?” Nearly 200 responses from a self-selected group are not solid data, of course, but they are suggestive and worth reflecting upon:

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November 11, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

When Suspending A Law Professor Isn't Enough

Following up on my previous posts:

Inside Higher Ed, When Suspending a Professor Isn't Enough:

Students at the University of Illinois at Chicago are escalating their calls for a law professor accused of racism to be fired, now that he’s scheduled to return to the classroom. The professor says he’s caught up in something that isn’t really about him.

In a case that began with an exam question, the University of Illinois at Chicago canceled a law professor’s classes last spring and found that he’d violated the campus nondiscrimination policy. The professor, who apologized for the exam question but denied other allegations against him, would have been back in the classroom this fall, were it not for a long-planned sabbatical.

Now that he’s back on the teaching schedule for this spring, some students say he shouldn’t be allowed back at all. The Black Law Students Association, in particular, is demanding that the professor, Jason Kilborn, be fired. The group has staged a series of protests, including a rally on campus last week that featured the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson. ...

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November 11, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Arizona State Law Grad Seeks Law License, Says Software Crash Caused Him To Fail Bar Exam

Bloomberg Law, Arizona Law Grad Who Failed Bar Seeks License, Cites Faulty Test:

A former law student in Arizona who failed an online bar exam is asking the state supreme court to license him anyway, claiming software flaws kept him from passing the test.

The Oct. 26 petition by Jordan Evan Greenman said his screen going blank, and mouse and keyboard becoming disabled, during the July exam cost him time and content, contributing to a score that was five points below passing.

The software flaws led to a lost opportunity for Greenman, the petition said, “after three years of hard work at a top-25 law school, obtaining clerkships and externships, starting his own small business to pay for law school, and three months studying for the biggest exam of his life.”

The petition may prompt similar challenges from others among a small percentage of students who experienced serious software flaws while taking online exams across the U.S. during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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

Monday, November 8, 2021

Rick Cupp Receives Pepperdine University's Highest Teaching Honor

Congratulations to my friend and colleague Rick Cupp, John W. Wade Professor of Law, recipient of Pepperdine University's highest teaching honor, the Howard A. White Award for Teaching Excellence:

CuppThis annual award honors the legacy of Pepperdine University's fifth president, Howard A. White, who was a gifted teacher, history scholar, and a faithful steward of the University throughout his 30 years of service to Pepperdine. The highest distinction given at Pepperdine for teaching, the Howard A. White Award recognizes outstanding educators who embody the institution's commitment to excellence. This award highlights the work of educators who inspire and challenge students to think critically and creatively as well as those who instill in their students a lifetime love of learning. ...

Richard L. Cupp, Jr., John W. Wade Professor of Law, Caruso School of LawProfessor Cupp is an exceptional teacher. He makes learning fun, holds interesting class discussions, and is dedicated to helping students outside the classroom. I have never had a professor take such a personal interest in me and my academic success.

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November 8, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Mirkay Named Associate Dean For Academic Affairs At Hawaii

New Associate Dean at Richardson Law Looks To Help Guide School Through Strategic Plan:

MirkayAs the William S. Richardson School of Law wrapped up one of the most challenging years of its existence, it has headed into a new year with a new Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, major plans in motion to reevaluate and strengthen the curriculum, and begin remaking the school in a dynamic growth image to enhance its national stature.

“There is always more you can do, and more impact you can have,” said Professor Nicholas Mirkay, who was named June 1 as the new Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and is helping guide a strategic planning process started by Dean Camille Nelson at Richardson Law. ...

In welcoming Associate Dean Mirkay into his new role, Nelson thanked him for serving as the Law School’s Director of Faculty Research, and continued, “In this role he has worked tirelessly to enhance our recognition of, and support for, faculty research and writing. He has organized numerous book events, panels, and presentations furthering our intellectual life. Additionally, he has supported the external recognition of faculty scholarly excellence through his work on launching Kaukehakeha (at the highest level), our new e-blast celebrating our faculty scholars whose legal expertise, scholarship, and contributions are recognized both locally and nationally. Before joining the Richardson Law faculty in August 2017, Nick Mirkay was Senior Associate Dean for Administration and Planning and Professor of Law at Creighton University School of Law. He began his career in legal academia at the Delaware Law School of Widener University. Professor Mirkay has primarily taught tax and business law courses in his 18 years in legal academia, including Federal Income Tax, Trusts and Estates, Nonprofit Organizations, Business Associations, and State and Local Taxation. He has received outstanding faculty awards at all three law schools at which he has served! In addition to being an exceptional teacher, Nick is also a prolific scholar and dedicated institutional citizen.”

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November 8, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink

Testy & Henderson: LSAC Acquisition Of IFLP Explained

Kellye Testy (LSAC) & Bill Henderson (Indiana), LSAC Acquisition of IFLP Explained:

IFLP LSACLast week, the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) acquired the Institute for the Future of Law Practice (IFLP).  From far away, many lawyers, law professors, and law students are bound to ask, “Why is the maker of the LSAT, which has been part of the legal education landscape for 70+ years, acquiring a fledging nonprofit start-up focused future of law practice?”

The answer is that LSAC and IFLP saw a clear pathway to benefit future generations of legal professionals in their work with clients and broader society.  Although some readers may question such a lofty purpose, we believe that as a self-regulated legal profession, it is our obligation to foster and maintain a legal system that works for all citizens and upholds the rule of law.  Only then is lasting prosperity possible, both for lawyers and broader society, and the promise of equal justice more within reach.

Our organizations have been in dialogue since the summer of 2018, when Bill Henderson reached out to Kellye Testy to discuss a possible strategic alliance. From the very beginning, we both recognized the challenges spanning our profession including the large and widening access-to-justice gap, the substantial investment of attending law school, the desire of law schools to develop new programs and expand existing ones while faced with real budget and capacity pressures, and sophisticated corporate legal departments struggling to manage the relentless complexity of running a global business.

IFLP focuses on building skills like legal operations, business, design, and data analytics to expand the value that legal professionals can bring to their employers. The huge academic and career successes of the students in its programs was plenty motivation to seek more reach and scale. As LSAC sought to do even more to serve its long-standing mission of encouraging and supporting diverse, talented individuals to study law, it broadened its focus to a more holistic view of the prelaw to practice pipeline. After all, what most attracts a candidate to study law is having rewarding and diverse pathways to pursue with their educations.

Reviewing these factors, the synergy with IFLP’s mission became crystal clear: together, we could create better, and more cost-effective solutions along the entire legal education journey to serve the needs of students, schools, employers and, ultimately, clients.  Moreover, as the non-profit hub for law schools and law candidates, LSAC is experienced at working alongside its member schools to augment their considerable strength for the collective good. ...

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

Thursday, November 4, 2021

California Law Firms Turn Down Work Amid Associate Shortage; Six-Figure Signing Bonuses Reported

ABA Journal, Some California Law Firms Turn Down Work Amid Associate Shortage; Six-figure Signing Bonuses Reported:

California Lawyer (2021)A shortage of associates in California’s Bay Area is leading some law firms to turn down work and others to strain available lawyers with the workload, according to a report by the Recorder.

Some firms continue to take on work because they want to preserve client relationships Some, however, think they have no choice other than to turn down opportunities, according to the article.

The Recorder, Calif. Firms Risk Losing Out on Revenue and Client Relationships Amid the Talent Shortage:

“There is an associate war all over, but nowhere like here,” one recruiter said, about the West Coast. ...

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

UC-Hastings To Seek Legislation To Change Its Name Due To Founder's Role In Native American Massacres

Following up on last week's post, New York Times, Should UC-Hastings Law School Change Its Name Due To Founder's Role In Native American Genocide?:  

UC-Hastings Logo 3UC Hastings Board Directs Chancellor & Dean to Pursue Name Change:

The University of California Hastings College of the Law Board of Directors voted today to authorize UC Hastings leadership to work with state legislators and other stakeholders to change the College’s name. UC Hastings was founded in 1878 by Serranus Hastings, who perpetrated genocidal acts against Native Californians in the 1850s in the Round and Eden valleys.

“UC Hastings has collaborated with the Yuki People and members of other affected tribes for the last four years in pursuit of restorative justice. The goal of our collaborations with the tribes is to bring the educational resources of the College to help address the generational trauma inflicted by Serranus Hastings,” said Carl W. “Chip” Robertson (’98), Chair of the Board of Directors. “That work has raised our awareness of the wrongs committed by the College’s namesake and the ongoing pain they cause, and our decision is that we can no longer associate our great institution with his name. With this vote, we authorize UC Hastings leadership to work in good faith with legislators and other stakeholders to change our school’s name. We know that some members of our community are attached to the school’s name because of the College’s wonderful 143-year history, unrelated to Serranus Hastings. But this change is a critical step in addressing our founder’s role in Native Californian genocide.”

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

More On The Yale Law School Email Controversy

Update

Following up on my coverage of the email controversy at Yale Law School (links below):

Yale Law Logo (2020)David Lat, The Newest Insanity Out Of Yale Law School

These controversies could be wake-up calls—for the YLS community, legal academia, and society at large. ...

[W]e’re not bad people. We are simply people—intelligent, thoughtful, good-hearted people, who wouldn’t be caught dead in MAGA hats—who think things have gotten a little out of hand. And we want the great institutions of our country, including but not limited to Yale Law School, to preserve the gains already made in terms of diversity and inclusion while combining them with a modicum of reasonableness, moderation, and common sense.

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

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Reinvestment Brings Charleston Law School Back From the Brink

Following up on my previous posts (link below):  Charleston Regional Business Journal, Reinvestment Brings Charleston School of Law Back From the Brink:

Charleston LogoDean Larry Cunningham was full of apologies after running a few minutes late to a meeting. A group of Charleston School of Law students had surprised him last-minute by dropping off a handful of handwritten thank you notes, expressing their appreciation to him for volunteering at a recent event.

The bubbly moment was a far cry from where the law school was nearly eight years earlier, on the brink of disaster and on its way to permanently shuttering. Back then, school administrators were far more likely to receive correspondence related to lawsuits than sentimental cards.

The hiccup in the school’s history began in 2013 when owners Robert Carr and George Kosko called an impromptu gathering of faculty to inform them that that the school would either have to close or be sold to InfiLaw, a Florida-based for-profit company that owned three law schools considered so-called “diploma mills,” including Charlotte School of Law.

The Charleston law school was only 10 years old at that time.

Devastated but determined students, alumni, and faculty pushed back — with two faculty members filing lawsuits — fearing that the sale would mar the school’s reputation and lower the standards of a Charleston School of Law education.

The turning point came in October 2015 when Ed Bell, a Georgetown trial lawyer, stepped in as president and bought into the school, alongside Carr and Kosko, to save it from the sale to InFiLaw. Bell’s agreed to manage the school, while Carr and Kosko serve as members of the board, until the school goes nonprofit and the former owners are bought out.

Since then, InfiLaw has gone out of business and all of its law schools are now closed, while Charleston School of Law years has clawed its way back from that brink of dissolution to record enrollments this fall.

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November 3, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Law School Clinics + Senior Lawyers = Practical Training For Students, Legal Services For Clients, And Purpose For Retired Partners

Tom Sharbaugh (Penn State), Could a Purpose Deficit Fill Unmet Legal Need?:

This essay considers two problems that may have a common solution. First, many senior lawyers are searching for a purpose in their post-retirement lives. Second, although law-school clinics could make substantial contributions to satisfying the unmet needs for legal services while also providing meaningful practical training to their students, many law schools have hesitated to expand their clinical-education programs, at least in part, because they are more expensive than traditional doctrinal-lecture courses. ...

Since leaving Big Law, a number of my former partners, as well as partners at other firms, have reached out to me to discuss what they could do in retirement. Many of my colleagues were aware that I landed a law-school teaching job (and I remind some when I solicit them for donations to support my pro bono legal clinic). ...

It is apparent from my personal experience that many retiring or retired partners no longer have a sense of purpose, i.e., they do not have a future direction and they do not know what is next.  Perhaps the practice of law was enough to get most of us through [the] ... malaise of our youth, yet apparently we never really escape the underlying question of “what’s the point?” — it only returns with a vengeance later in life. ...

Using unmet legal needs to fill a purpose deficit
Now, let’s consider my proposal for using the talents of the many retired law partners who are not already fully engaged in leisure, structured volunteerism, family roles, or other activities.

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November 2, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, November 1, 2021

College Tuition Increases Are At Historic Low For Second Year In A Row

Inside Higher Ed, College Tuition Increases Are At Historic Low For Second Year in a Row:

College tuition increased at historically low rates for the second year in a row, a new report from the College Board shows. In fact, after adjusting for inflation, average college tuition actually decreased during the 2021-22 academic year as colleges scrambled to attract and retain students amid steep enrollment declines.

Average tuition increased by 1.6 percent, to $10,740 for in-state students at public, four-year institutions, according to the report. At private, nonprofit four-year institutions, average tuition increased by 2.1 percent to $38,070. Average tuition at public two-year institutions rose by 1.3 percent to $3,800 for in-district students. These averages are not adjusted for inflation.

Tuition 1A

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

Artist To Appeal Federal District Court's Decision Allowing Vermont Law School To Cover Underground Railroad Murals

Vermont Mural

Following up on my previous post, Federal Judge Rules That Vermont Law School Can Cover Underground Railroad Murals Despite Artist's Objection

Marc James Léger, Sam Kerson Lawyers Will Appeal Court Decision:

The World Socialist Web Site today published an article I wrote for them to help raise public awareness of a court decision that would allow the Vermont Law School to effectively destroy two murals by Sam Kerson that commemorate the Underground Railroad. Even if at this stage the immediate decision only allows the school to cover the works, it sets a dangerous precedent under VARA that allows a group of race representatives and their supporters to destroy art that represents the history of slavery and abolition because it was not made by a black artist.

World Socialist Web Site:  Artist Sam Kerson Will Continue to Fight Vermont Law School Effort to Cover Up Murals Commemorating Abolition of Slavery, by Marc James Léger:

On October 20, a judge with the U.S. District Court for the State of Vermont ruled that the Vermont Law School can go forward with its plan to conceal two murals painted by the artist Sam Kerson in 1993-94. Titled The Underground Railroad, Vermont and the Fugitive Slave, the work is comprised of two 8 x 24’ panels. The first depicts the enslavement of Africans, a slave market, forced toil and a raucous scene of slave rebellion. The second mural depicts the abolitionists Frederick Douglass, John Brown, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Tubman, as well as South Royalton residents sheltering refugees as they make their way to the Canadian border. Some people, possibly Quakers, help escaped slaves mount a white horse, a symbol of peace, in front of the Vermont legislature. The murals commemorate the efforts of black and white Americans in the United States and Vermont to achieve freedom and justice.

Located in the Chase Community Center of the Vermont Law School in South Royalton, the works have been the target of student complaints over the years. Criticisms that have taken place in the context of the George Floyd protests, however, and after national debates over the fate of the Victor Arnautoff murals in the George Washington High School in San Francisco, have caused the school administration to seek to hide the murals permanently. Although black as well as white students have objected to the removal of the murals, the school has joined the wave of woke iconoclasm that has overtaken the country, from the Chicago Monuments Project, where statues of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are being considered for removal, to the recent decision to remove a statue of Thomas Jefferson from New York City Hall.

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

Survey: 34% Of White College Students Lied About Their Race To Improve Their Chance Of Admission, Financial Aid

Intelligent, 34% of White College White College Students Lied About Their Race to Improve Chances of Admissions, Financial Aid Benefits:

Intelligent.com asked 1,250 white college applicants ages 16 and older if they lied on their application by indicating they were a racial minority. The survey found that 34% of white Americans who’ve applied to college falsely claimed on their applications they’re a racial minority. 

Intelligent 1

The number one reason why applicants faked minority status is to improve their chances of getting accepted (81%). Fifty percent also lied to benefit from minority-focused financial aid.

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

An Open Letter To Yale Law School Dean Heather Gerken

Update

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Peter Berkowitz (J.D. 1990, Yale; Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution), An Open Letter to Yale Law School Dean Heather Gerken:

Yale Law Logo (2020)Dear Dean Gerken,
Many years ago, when I was a student at Yale Law School, the institution prided itself on providing a continuation of liberal education. I greatly valued the opportunity to supplement the standard legal studies curriculum with forays into the classics of English jurisprudence; explorations of different bodies of religious law and the interpretative traditions to which they gave rise; philosophical reflections on the limits of reason, legal and otherwise; and, in the effort to understand the intricacies of American constitutional law, readings in history, literature, political thought, and sociology. By going beyond the teaching of technical expertise in black-letter law, Yale enabled students to gain an appreciation of the place of law and the courts in a free and democratic society.

At the same time, worrying signs back then cast doubt on the strength of Yale Law School’s commitment to maintaining an atmosphere of free and open inquiry, a vital prerequisite of liberal as well as legal education. A progressive orthodoxy reigned at the law school. The majority — among students as well as faculty — seemed to regard the conservative viewpoint as an aberration to be frowned upon but which in small doses could be tolerated. Particularly in constitutional law classes, probing analysis of both sides of the argument tended to give way to advocacy for progressive outcomes. Some of my classmates were disposed to define race partly in terms of political opinions. According to their calculations, if a faculty member could not be counted on to affirm prescribed beliefs — on, say, abortion or affirmative action — then, for the purpose of measuring law-school-faculty diversity, that professor should not be classified as belonging to a historically disadvantaged group, regardless of the professor’s skin color, ethnicity, or sex.

Judging by the Trent Colbert affair, the worrying tendencies visible during my days at Yale have worsened considerably. Because of the school’s disproportionate role in training the nation’s law professors and judges, restoration on campus of the understanding and practice of liberty of thought and discussion is particularly urgent. ...

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

Saturday, October 30, 2021

20% Of Corporate Lawyers Are 'Highly Exhausted'; 68% Of Them Are Looking To Change Jobs

Gartner Survey Shows Corporate Lawyers Exhausted Since the Pandemic:

Exhausted Lawyers Frequently Experience Psychological Distress, Seek to Leave the Organization, and Slow Down Business Processes

The pandemic has taken a toll on many lawyers, as a survey of 202 corporate lawyers in July 2021 showed that 54% are exhausted to some degree, with 20% scoring as highly exhausted, according to Gartner, Inc.

“The fact that many corporate lawyers are exhausted is probably not that surprising to legal leaders after the pressures of the pandemic,” said James Crocker, senior principal, research in the Gartner Legal & Compliance practice. “But what stands out is the degree to which even moderate levels of exhaustion lead to severely negative outcomes for the individuals themselves, the legal department, and the overall business.”

Gartner evaluated exhaustion levels in 202 corporate lawyers by using a modified Bergen burnout inventory, which is a set of questions commonly used to quantify exhaustion. Of the 20% of corporate lawyers who scored as highly exhausted, 41% of them showed signs of psychological distress, 68% were looking to leave the organization, and 61% frequently delayed or killed projects in which they were involved.

The biggest changes, however, are between those who are not exhausted and those who are even moderately exhausted (see Table 1).

Table 1. Key Impacts of Lawyer Exhaustion

 

Not Exhausted (46%)

Moderately Exhausted (34%)

Highly Exhausted
(20%)

Psychologically Distressed

3%

28%

41%

Looking to Leave

17%

18%

68%

Frequently Delays, Scopes Down or Kills projects

9%

34%

61%

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

U.S. Department of Education Renews Recognition Of ABA As Law School Accreditor For Five Years

U.S. Department of Education Announces Recognition Status of Nine Accrediting Agencies:

Department of Education LogoToday, the U.S. Department of Education’s Senior Department Official (SDO) informed nine accreditors about the status of their recognition. The following agencies were approved for renewal of recognition for five years:

  • Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
  • American Bar Association (ABA).
  • Association of Theological Schools (ATS).
  • American Osteopathic Association (AOACOCA).
  • American Psychological Association (APACOA).  

ABA Journal, US Renews ABA Status As Law School Accreditor 

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

Friday, October 29, 2021

NY Times: Should UC-Hastings Law School Change Its Name Due To Founder's Role In Native American Genocide?

Following up on my previous post, Hastings Law School To Keep Name Despite Founder's Role In Genocide, But Will Partner With Indian Tribe To Redress Past Injustices:  New York Times, He Unleashed a California Massacre. Should This School Be Named for Him?:

UC-Hastings Logo 3The founder of the Hastings College of the Law masterminded the killings of hundreds of Native Americans. The school, tribal members and alumni disagree about what should be done now. ...

For the past four years, the University of California, Hastings College of the Law has been investigating the role of its founder, Serranus Hastings, in one of the darkest, yet least discussed, chapters of the state’s history. Mr. Hastings, one of the wealthiest men in California in that era and the state’s first chief justice, masterminded one set of massacres.

For those involved, including a descendant of Mr. Hastings who sits on the school’s board, the journey into the past has revealed a very different version of the early years of the state than the one taught in classrooms and etched into the popular imagination of intrepid pioneers trekking into the hills to strike it rich.

Across Northern California — north of Napa’s vineyards, along the banks of the Russian River and in numerous other places from deserts to redwood groves — as many as 5,617 Native people, and perhaps more whose deaths were not recorded, were massacred by officially sanctioned militias and U.S. troops from the 1840s to the 1870s, campaigns often initiated by white settlers like Mr. Hastings who wanted to use the land for their own purposes.

Thousands more Indians were killed by vigilantes during the same period. But what sets apart the organized campaigns is that the killers’ travel and ammunition expenses were reimbursed by the state of California and the federal government.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say that California state legislators established a state-sponsored killing machine,” Benjamin Madley, a history professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, said.

By Dr. Madley’s calculation, expeditions carried out at Mr. Hastings’s behest killed at least 283 men, women and children, the most deadly of 24 known California state militia campaigns.

In 1878, Mr. Hastings donated $100,000 in gold coins to found the school that carries his name, California’s first law school. It was “to be forever known and designated as ‘Hastings’ College of the Law,” according to the school’s enactment.

Now, both the law school and its critics agree that Mr. Hastings “bears significant responsibility” for the massacres, in the words of the Hastings inquiry, but they disagree on what to do about it, including the question of whether the school should retain its name.

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

LSSSE: The COVID Crisis In Legal Education

Report on Legal Education Reveals Heightened Student Struggles Due to COVID:

LSSSEBLOOMINGTON, Ind.—Newly-released data by the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) examines the impact of the COVID disruption on law students and legal education.  Data from this Report, The COVID Crisis in Legal Educationdraw from the responses of over 13,000 law students at 61 law schools that participated in LSSSE in 2021.  The Report also features results from two new LSSSE Modules: The Coping with COVID module, which gathered responses from 1,521 law students and the Experiences with Online Learning module, which highlights responses from 3,450 law students.

The report shows that though the core of legal education remained relatively stable and overall satisfaction remained remarkably high, law students were more likely than in years past to be lonely, emotionally exhausted, and to struggle with anxiety and depression.  Furthermore, COVID also deepened ongoing disparities and inequities in legal education.  Vulnerable student populations faced even greater challenges over the past year.

“Our students have been struggling due to COVID. The LSSSE findings show that the pandemic exacerbated existing challenges, including food insecurity, financial burdens, eviction worries, and anxiety and depression,” said Meera E. Deo, Director of LSSSE. “Armed with this data, law schools now have a responsibility to act, to support students with the time, energy, and resources they need to not only survive, but thrive in law school and beyond.”

The Foreword highlights the voices of law students taken from the open-ended student comment section of the survey.  The comments reflect the struggle and toll of the pandemic: “We are exhausted, and we need more financial assistance/resources for mental health,” said one student.  Another student reported, “It is extremely difficult to form meaningful relationships with other students when we are all remote.”

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