Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Racial Disparities Persist In Bar Exam Pass Rates: White: 88%, Asian: 80%, Hispanic: 76%, Black: 66%

Following up on my previous post:  Racial Disparities Persist In California Bar Exam Pass Rates: White: 72%, Asian: 66%, Hispanic: 61%, Black: 31%

Press Release, ABA Section of Legal Education Releases First-Time Report on Bar Passage Data:

The Managing Director’s Office of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar released today a new set of bar passage data outcomes for ABA-approved law schools that provides national “ultimate” and first-time pass rates based on race, ethnicity and gender. ...

Under 2019 revisions to the bar passage rule known as Standard 316, ABA-approved law schools must have 75% of their graduates who take the bar examination pass within two years of graduation or face the potential of being found out of compliance. The section maintains both percentage pass rates for first-time takers and the two-year aggregate figure, known as the “ultimate” pass rate.

“During discussions about the amendments to Standard 316, commenters expressed concern about the lack of national data on bar passage by members of different racial and ethnic groups,” said Bill Adams, ABA managing director of accreditation and legal education. “We promised to collect and publish such aggregate data and consider whether the requirements of the standard needed to be reconsidered in light of what we collected. This report is consistent with that promise and will be further evaluated in the months to come.”

ABA Section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar, Summary Bar Pass Data: Race Ethnicity, and Gender (2020 and 2021 Bar Passage Questionnaire):

The following charts present the performance of the various racial and ethnic groups based on data submitted in the 2020 and 2021 Bar Passage Questionnaire (the “BPQ”). The left column reports the Ultimate Pass Rate for the graduating classes after two years. The middle column reports the Ultimate Pass Rate for the graduating classes in that year after one year. The right column reports the First Time Pass Rate for that year’s graduating classes. The reported information does not depict differences in bar passage rates based on any other background variables.


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

Monday, June 21, 2021

The New Yorker: What Is Going On At Yale Law School?

Following up on my previous posts:

The New Yorker, What Is Going On at Yale Law School?:

New Yorker (2014)The prestigious institution has tied itself in knots over a dispute involving one of its most popular—and controversial—professors, Amy Chua.

A decade ago, back when we talked about things besides new coronavirus strains and vaccination rates, there was a weeks-long media frenzy over a parenting memoir called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. In that book, Amy Chua, an American daughter of Chinese immigrants, described her efforts to raise her children the “Chinese” way. For her, that meant dispensing with squishy Western conventions like “child-led learning” and participation trophies, and ruthlessly driving her two young daughters to master their classical instruments and maintain perfect grades. The book provoked a fierce backlash, much of which centered on Chua’s tactics, which ranged from threatening to burn her older daughter’s stuffed animals to rejecting a hand-scrawled birthday card that demonstrated insufficient effort. Chua’s younger daughter “rebelled” at the age of thirteen, choosing competitive tennis over concert-level violin, but, for the most part, Chua’s system worked. Her daughters became musical prodigies and successful athletes, who attended Harvard and Yale. The phrase “tiger mom” entered the cultural lexicon and spawned a Singaporean TV show, “Tiger Mum,” and a show in Hong Kong, “Tiger Mom Blues.”

That was the last time many of us heard about Amy Chua—unless you’ve been following the news out of Yale Law School, where Chua is a professor. If so, you know that the discussion kept going. Over the past few months, Chua has been at the center of a campus-wide fracas that, nominally, concerns the question of whether she hosted drunken dinner parties at her home this past winter. The controversy began in April, when the Yale Daily News reported that the law-school administration was punishing Chua for the alleged offense by removing her from the list of professors leading a special first-year law class called a “small group.”

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June 21, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Getting To Know 0Ls

My wife Courtney and I just completed hosting our fifth annual round of meetings with Pepperdine Caruso Law's incoming 1L students. Last year, due to the pandemic, we replaced our usual Dinner With The Dean in our home with a virtual Coffee With The Carons.  This year, as California emerges from the pandemic, we offered both formats and hosted eight outdoor dinners in our yard for vaccinated students and six virtual coffees for unvaccinated and out-of-state students. 

0L Dinner 8

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June 20, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Gender And Institutional Bias In The Publication Process

Fulya Y. Ersoy (Loyola Marymount) & Jennifer Pate (Loyola Marymount), Invisible Hurdles: Gender and Institutional Bias in the Publication Process in Economics:

Tenure decisions in economics are strongly tied to the quantity and quality of publications in peer-reviewed journals. We examine whether female economists and economists at lower- ranked institutions face discrimination in the publication process. To do so, we conduct an experiment with the editors of top 100 journals in economics. Editors were tasked with evaluating the quality of abstracts for various solo-authored papers. The papers vary along the dimensions of gender and institution rank of the author. The experimental variation is whether editors observe name and/or institution of the author. We find that there is positive institutional bias for economists in the top institutions. However, once the name of the author is visible in addition to the institution information, this positive institutional bias only applies to male authors. Hence, institution serves as a signal for quality of work for men, but not for women.

Inside Higher Ed, Gender, Institutions and Bias:

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

Friday, June 18, 2021

White Male Prof Sues Denver Law School For Gender Bias

Bloomberg Law, Male Law School Trial Advocacy Director Sues Alleging Bias:

SchottThe director of the Center for Advocacy at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law says in a new suit in federal court that, because of his gender, debunked allegations of sex discrimination were wrongly used against him to delay consideration of the renewal of his teaching contract.

David Schott says the sex discrimination ensued after Viva Moffat, the associate dean of Academic Affairs, told him in 2016 that she didn’t “want to see white men teaching anymore in the Center for Advocacy,” a comment he immediately reported to Bruce Smith, the dean of the law school.

Schott, who is White, says “he felt pressure not to hire white men to teach” at the center, even when they were the most qualified applicants.

He was also soon “the target of a steady barrage of adverse actions and false statements that have damaged his reputation and violated the terms of his employment contract” that were “largely orchestrated by Moffat, but with at least the tacit support of Smith,” the suit filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado alleges.

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

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Affirmative Action And The Leadership Pipeline

Joni Hersch (Vanderbilt), Affirmative Action and the Leadership Pipeline, 96 Tul. L. Rev. ___ (2021):

Race-conscious affirmative action in higher education admissions is currently permitted in order for universities to meet their compelling interest in pursuing the educational benefits of a diverse student body. But the legality of affirmative action, which plays a prominent role in creating a diverse student body at elite educational institutions, is under attack. I develop and provide an empirical basis for an expanded understanding of the educational benefits provided by affirmative action: namely, of fostering a pipeline of future societal leaders and professionals. Using data on nearly 500,000 college graduates, I demonstrate that the likelihood of earning a professional or graduate degree—an outcome that is closely linked to employment in influential positions—drops off dramatically in the universities attended by the majority of college graduates, as compared with elite universities that use affirmative action. Further, race is a relatively unimportant predictor of professional or graduate degree attainment among graduates of similarly elite schools. Curtailing race-conscious affirmative action would thereby exclude many students from underrepresented minority groups who would successfully earn professional and graduate degrees—and later, enter into influential positions that shape society.

Bloomberg Law, Why Big Law Has a Stake in the Harvard Admissions Case:

Economist Joni Hersch ... [argues] that affirmative action is critical to achieving diversity in the professions and society at large. Her thesis is that elite undergraduate schools feed elite professional schools, and that considering race in admission to undergraduate institutions is vital to sustaining a diverse pipeline. ...

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

Why I Stopped Hiring Ivy League Graduates

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  Why I Stopped Hiring Ivy League Graduates, by R.R. Reno (First Things):

I’m not inclined to hire a graduate from one of America’s elite universities. That marks a change. A decade ago I relished the opportunity to employ talented graduates of Princeton, Yale, Harvard and the rest. Today? Not so much.

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

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

AccessLex & Gallup: Law School In A Pandemic — Student Perspectives On Distance Learning And Lessons For The Future

AccessLex & Gallup, Law School in a Pandemic: Student Perspectives on Distance Learning and Lessons for the Future:

In spring 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced law schools across the U.S. to shift their programs completely online. Prior to the pandemic, no American Bar Association-accredited law school offered a fully online degree program, and fewer than ten offered hybrid programs. As a result, even if their universities had the infrastructure to support the migration of their courses to an online platform, faculty may not have had the experience needed to make such a rapid transition. Moreover, few students had any exposure to — let alone a preference for — an online legal education.

To quantify the impact of these challenges on law students' education, AccessLex partnered with Gallup to produce Law School in a Pandemic: Student Perspectives on Distance Learning and Lessons for the Future, a nationally representative study of currently-enrolled U.S. law students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research finds that while law students report a strong preference for in-person education, there are several indications that this unprecedented period of emergency remote teaching may provide a useful foundation for future distance learning J.D. programs.

Less Than Half of Online J.D. Students Say Program Was Good or Excellent
The format of the courses had a noticeable impact on how students viewed the quality of their program. Just under half (48%) of students who learned mostly or completely online in spring 2021 rated their J.D. program as "good" or "excellent." In contrast, 73% of students who were learning mostly or completely in person said the same.

Access Lex Gallup 1

While students attending primarily in person were more positive than online students about the quality of their program, the data suggest the pre-pandemic experiences of 2L and 3L students may have influenced their perceptions of the overall quality of their program.

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

NY Times: Law Schools Scramble To Get Incoming 1Ls To Defer; Columbia Offers $30k, Duke Offers $5K

New York Times, Law Schools Scramble for Deferrals:

In the most competitive year in recent memory, some schools are offering incentives to ease their over-enrolled classes. ...

Too many law students?
Law schools experienced a surge in applicants over the past year, driven by a mixture of factors, including the coronavirus pandemic, the presidential election and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Perhaps the biggest driver, however, was a spike in LSAT scores: Applicants took a shorter version of the admissions test, which was administered online, and had more time to study during pandemic lockdowns. ...

To ease the load, many schools have promised that scholarships will be in place for students if they choose to defer. A few are offering financial incentives. Duke promised $5,000 to students who accepted a “binding deferral” and promised to go next year.

Columbia University also dangled money in front of some students: $30,000 if they deferred. The school focused on recent graduates and also offered some career placement help, like two sessions with a career counselor and a list of open jobs. ...

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

Stanford Law Review Call For Tax Articles

Stanford Law ReviewDear Tax Law Scholars,
My name is Saraphin Dhanani, and I am the Senior Articles Editor for Volume 74 of the Stanford Law Review.

The Stanford Law Review will begin accepting submissions through Scholastica for the fall term on July 15, 2021. We currently have 6-7 slots to fill this volume, and we are particularly interested in publishing pieces that focus on tax law. We strongly encourage you to submit your manuscript for consideration through our Scholastica portal. You can find more details about our submission process on our website. As in 2020, you must follow the Scholastica links on our website to reach our submission portal.

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June 16, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

New York State Bar Association Calls For State To Withdraw From Uniform Bar Exam

New York State Bar Association Calls for State To Withdraw From the Uniform Bar Exam:

NYSBAThe (NYSBA) Task Force on the New York Bar Exam is recommending that the state withdraw from the Uniform Bar Exam and develop its own bar admissions test so that attorneys have a better understanding of state law before being admitted to practice.

The task force’s recommendations were approved June 12 at a meeting of the association’s governing body, the House of Delegates.

“This would ensure that New York’s legal system would continue to be a national leader,” said NYSBA President T. Andrew Brown. “The task force recommendations outline a smart and achievable strategy for how the bar exam can be transformed to make sure newly admitted lawyers have a comprehensive grounding in New York law.”

NYSBA is calling on the New York Court of Appeals to appoint a working group that would, in conjunction with the Board of Law Examiners, develop a New York Bar Examination that is fair and equitable and encourages the study of New York law.

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

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Attorneys Of Color Reveal Alarmingly Higher Instances Of Mental Health Struggles, Attorneys of Color Reveal Alarmingly Higher Instances of Mental Health Struggles:

ALM’s 2021 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Survey laid out the caustic damage the pandemic has had on overall attorney well-being as the more than 3,200 respondents revealed clear upticks in depression and anxiety.

But when the data is broken down by race, it is apparent that the last year and a half has not equally affected everyone: Minority attorneys reported higher rates of suicidal thoughts, depression and isolation than their white colleagues, aligning with a previous study by the ABA, which also tied race to mental health outcomes.

Perhaps the most stark data point lies in the response to suicidal tendencies. Roughly 31% of Black respondents said they have contemplated suicide throughout their legal career, the highest among the racial groups.

About 20% of Asian attorneys and 23% of Hispanic and Latino attorneys have also said the same. By comparison, almost 19.4% of white attorneys say they have contemplated suicide.

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

Over 500 U.S. Colleges Will Require Students And/Or Faculty/Staff To Be Vaccinated For The Fall Semester

Chronicle of Higher Education, Here’s a List of Colleges That Will Require Students or Employees to Be Vaccinated Against Covid-19:

As colleges look toward the fall semester, they’re grappling with whether to require — or just strongly encourage — students to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Below is a map showing the locations of colleges that are requiring vaccines of at least some students or employees. The states are color-coded based on how each voted in the 2020 presidential election. That’s followed by a graphic showing the pace at which campuses have made their announcements. Below that is a searchable list of those campuses. Institutions that have said their requirement hinges upon full approval of one or more vaccines by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are included in this list.


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

Death Of Richard Bird (University Of Toronto)

Richard M. Bird, Professor Emeritus of Economic Analysis and Policy at the University of Toronto, died suddenly on Wednesday June 9, 2021, at the age of 82:

BirdHe will be deeply missed by his loving wife Marcia, his family (Paul, Sandra, Marta, Abbey) and his grandchildren (Austin, Spenser, Jack, James, Rose). At his request, a private family service will be held. In lieu of flowers, donations to Doctors without Borders would be greatly appreciated. Sign the Guestbook.

From his Toronto faculty webpage:

Richard Bird is Professor Emeritus at Rotman; Senior Fellow of the Institute for Municipal Governance and Finance, Munk School of Global Affairs; Distinguished Visiting Professor, Andrew Young School of Public Policy in Atlanta; and Adjunct Professor, Australian School of Taxation and Business Law in Sydney. He has lectured and published extensively on tax and public finance issues in many countries. He currently chairs the Advisory Group of the International Centre for Tax and Development at the Institute for Development Studies (UK). 

Current research interests include tax policy, tax administration, local finance and intergovernmental fiscal relations particularly in developing countries.

His Google Scholar numbers are extraordinary:

Bird Citation Stats

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June 15, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Obituaries, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Monday, June 14, 2021

Washington & Lee University Board Votes 22-6 To Keep Lee’s Name (Faculty Had Voted 188-51 To Remove It)

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  New York Times, Board of Washington and Lee University Votes to Keep Lee’s Name:

W&L University LogoWashington and Lee University, the private liberal arts school in Virginia, will not change its name after a monthslong review over whether to remove its reference to the Confederate general Robert E. Lee, the school announced on Friday.

The school’s board of trustees voted 22-6 on Friday in favor of keeping its current name, which developed as an acknowledgment of a donation given by George Washington in the 18th century and Lee’s tenure as school president after the Civil War. The vote came after a nearly yearlong review of the school’s name and the symbols connected to its history and campus surroundings in Lexington, Va.

Press Release, The Future of Washington and Lee University

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

Miami Searches For Interim Dean After Controversial Firing Of Tony Varona, Who Sought To Reduce Overhead Tax Law School Pays To University

Ediberto Roman (Florida International), More on Miami Law's Dean Firing Fiasco...:

[A] faculty committee at Miami is hurriedly soliciting internal and external candidates from faculty contacts for a one or two year interim dean position. One of the candidates approached told me that would be akin to crossing a picket line and academia is no more sacred a place than a field of grapes--either way it didn't feel right to that candidate.

Miami Herald, The Firing of UM’s Popular Law Dean Baffled the Legal Community. There Could Be Backlash:

The controversial firing of popular University of Miami School of Law Dean Anthony Varona could backfire on UM President Julio Frenk in his efforts to attract a top-notch dean and meet ambitious fundraising goals, say outraged alumni and faculty. ...

“This was such an out-of-order action, so odd and so sad that many qualified people will not apply for that job,” said Marc-Tizoc González, University of New Mexico law professor and chair of the Association for American Law Schools’ Section on Minority Groups, which wrote a scathing letter calling for an investigation of Varona’s termination.

“The applicant pool could be very small, which makes you wonder if there’s already someone lined up,’’ he added. “How will a new dean interact with professors and students when you’ve had an awkward removal of a stellar, well-liked dean, and the faculty members who would typically drive such a decision were not even consulted? How can a new dean successfully fund-raise given the time that will be lost and the anger of potential donors?” ...

The UM School of Law Academic Review Committee warned in a June 1 letter to Frenk that a new dean would be doomed in achieving Frenk’s own goal “to make Miami Law as strong and successful as it can be.” The independent panel of deans from three U.S. law schools — University of Houston, American University and Boston University — was selected by Provost Jeffrey Duerk to monitor the performance of Varona.

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

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Rising 2L Sues Law School, Says Required COVID-19 Vaccination Violates His Full Ride 'Unconditional' Scholarship

Universal Hub, Law Student Who Doesn't Want to Get a Covid-19 Shot Sues His School, Which Says He Has To:

New England Law Logo (2013)A student at New England Law says the school's policy that his attendance this fall is conditional on his showing proof of Covid-19 vaccination violates the "unconditional" scholarship he says he was awarded, so he's suing.

In his suit against the school and its president, Scott Brown, George Artem says Covid-19 shots are "experimental" and dangerous and he's just not going to put up with it. The school also requires proof of vaccination against tetanus, diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella and hepatitis-B; Artem did not raise those in his complaint, which he filed himself yesterday in US District Court in Boston.

In the complaint, Artem asks a judge to either force the school to stop the alleged nonsense or, in the alternative, pay him the full value of the scholarship he won, the costs of his moving cross country to attend a school in Boston and the lost income he otherwise make with a JD from New England Law.

Artem v. New England Law | Boston, Scott Brown in his official capacity as President and Dean (June 11, 2021):

On or about January 15, 2020, New England Law | Boston Chief Enrollment Officer offered Mr. Artem the Sandra Day O'Connor Scholarship, covering full tuition worth more than $152,000 with a "no strings attached" policy. ...

In significant reliance on the offer and acceptance of the unconditional Sandra Day O'Connor scholarship, Mr. Artem moved across the country from Seattle, WA to Boston, MA in the Summer of 2020 to attend New England Law | Boston. ...

[O]n May 14, 2021, Mr. Artem requested ethical, philosophical, or religious exemptions to any Sars-CoV- 2, COVID-19 requirements that may be part of the defendant's return to campus policy. ...

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

Kim Kardashian Fails California Baby Bar Exam For A Second Time; Her Score Dropped From 474 To 463 (560 Is Passing)

Following up on my previous post, Kim Kardashian Failed California Baby Bar Exam; Her 474 Score Was 'Extremely Close' To 560 Passing Score:  New York Post Page Six, Kim Kardashian Failed the ‘Baby Bar’ For Second Time:

Will the third time be the charm?

Kim Kardashian revealed that she has again failed the “baby bar” exam, during Thursday night’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” finale.

“I failed! F–k! I failed,” the 40-year-old, who is going to law school online, told her lawyers on the phone about her second attempt at the test. “This is really annoying.”

The mom of four said her score was “pretty much the same thing … [but] a little bit worse” than the first time she took it and failed.

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

Saturday, June 12, 2021

BigLaw First Year Associate Pay Rises To $200,000 $205,000

Applications From International Students Are Up 43%

Following up on my previous post, New International College Enrollments Plummet 43% Due To COVID-19 (Nov. 18, 2020):  Institute of International Education, COVID-19 Snapshot Survey Series: Preparing for the Future: The Path Forward for International Educational Exchange:

Applications and Enrollment of New International Students in Fall 2021
U.S. higher education institutions are motivated to reinvigorate student mobility after significant declines in 2020. Approximately 43% of responding institutions indicated an increase in their application numbers from 2020. This is in stark contrast to this time last year, when only 22% indicated growth. As of May 2020, over half (52%) of the reporting colleges and universities noted decreases in application numbers, whereas only 38% indicated a decline as of 2021. The remaining institutions noted similar numbers compared to last year. There were some differences by institutional type. For example, more than half of reporting doctoral universities (59%) noted an expected increase in applications. Conversely, most associate’s colleges (58%) reported declining applications.

International Students

Chronicle of Higher Education, After Deep Drops, International Applications Rebound, Survey Finds:

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June 12, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Cravath 'On Tax' Podcast: Kiran Sheffrin

The latest Cravath 'On Tax' Podcast features senior tax attorney Kiran Sheffrin:

Cravath on TaxKiran Sheffrin is a senior attorney in Cravath’s Tax Department. In this episode of On Tax, she talks to Cravath partner and colleague Len Teti about how she has always wanted to be a lawyer; the opportunities she pursued while a student at Brooklyn Law School (and how Rebecca Kysar mentored her); and how she has embraced her role as a mentor, guiding junior associates much in the same way that she was brought up at the Firm.

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June 12, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Friday, June 11, 2021

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Undergraduate Enrollment Plummets 727,000 (4.9%); Graduate Enrollment Rises 124,000 (4.6%)

National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, Spring 2021 Enrollment Estimates:

Higher education enrollment fell to new lows this spring, showing the persistent impact of COVID-19 related disruptions. Overall spring enrollment fell to 16.9 million from 17.5 million, marking a one-year decline of 3.5 percent or 603,000 students, seven times worse than the decline a year earlier. Undergraduate students accounted for all of the decline, with a 4.9 percent drop or 727,000 students. In contrast, graduate enrollment jumped by 4.6 percent, adding more than 124,000 students.

Chronicle of Higher Education, Spring Enrollment’s Final Count Is In. Colleges Lost 600,000 Students.:

Chronicle Undergrad v Grad

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

Racial Disparities Persist In California Bar Exam Pass Rates: White: 72%, Asian: 66%, Hispanic: 61%, Black: 31%

The Recorder, In New Bar Exam Data, Racial and Ethnic Disparities Persist:

Black and Hispanic law school graduates saw marked year-over-year improvements in pass rates on California’s February 2021 bar exam, according to statistics released Wednesday by the state bar.

Thirty-five percent of African American test-takers who sat for the exam for the first time in February passed, up from 17.6% the previous year. The percentage of Hispanic test-takers who passed rose from 25.2% to 45.4%. The overall pass rate for first time test-takers was 53.1%

Despite the improved pass rates, a significant disparity still persists between white test-takers and applicants of color. Almost 69% of white test-takers who sat for the exam for the first time taking the test for the first time passed. [Pass rates for first-time test-takers from California ABA-accredited Law Schools were: White: 72.4%, Asian: 66.0%, Hispanic: 60.9%, and Black: 30.8%.]

CA Bar

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

Iowa Seeks To Hire Entry-Level Or Lateral Tax Prof

The University of Iowa College of Law Associate Professor or Professor:

Iowa (2021)Position Description:  The University of Iowa College of Law anticipates hiring multiple entry-level or lateral faculty members in areas including tax, constitutional law, and a variety of other specialties. Iowa Law provides the ideal setting for professional growth as a law teacher and legal scholar. As a small school within a Big Ten university, we offer an environment that values community and civility, maximizes collaboration, and encourages exploration across legal fields. As a result, Iowa Law produces graduates who are grounded, collegial, and effective leaders. Iowa Law students learn how to work together and communicate clearly with one another—crucial skills in the legal profession. And as part of a world-class research university, our students and faculty can partner with experts across campus in fields as varied as engineering, the liberal arts, health care, and more—a significant advantage in preparing for legal issues that cross fields of expertise and global borders. For questions, please contact Faculty Appointments Committee.

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June 10, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

ABA Approves Florida Coastal's Teach-Out Plan; Classes To End After Summer Term; Students Will Transfer To Or Attend Other Law Schools

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Notice of Executive Committee Decision: Florida Coastal School of Law Teach-Out Plan (June 2021):

Florida Coastal (2017)At a meeting on June 1, 2021, the Executive Committee of the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association (the “Executive Committee”) considered the Teach-Out Plan submitted by the Florida Coastal School of Law (the “Law School”). After careful review of the Law School’s submission, the Executive Committee approved the revised teach-out plan filed on May 28, 2021.

The Law School’s accreditation will continue until July 1, 2023, for the limited purpose of allowing the Law School to receive credits from currently enrolled students earned as transient students at other ABA-approved law schools and to issue the Law School’s J.D. degree to such students who meet the Law School’s graduation requirements. The Law School shall not admit any students. The Law School will not offer any credit-bearing courses beyond the summer 2021 term.

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

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Return To Campus Means Return To In-Person Faculty Meetings ... And That's A Good Thing

Chronicle of Higher Education, Come Back, Face-to-Face Faculty Meetings: All Is Forgiven!:

Before the pandemic, we used to laugh at the old saw that academic politics were so petty, and occasionally vicious, because comparatively little was at stake. Now we are not so sure. During the past year, some aspects of faculty life have been lost that — despite their admittedly comedic potential — are actually important. One of those things: the oft-maligned, face-to-face faculty meeting.

Academe relies on different sorts of faculty meetings. Most common is the departmental meeting, where faculty peers steer the direction of their field (“In what new area should we hire?”), decide governance matters (“Who should be the next chair?”), and make curricular decisions (“Should we redesign the capstone course?”). Some institutions hold meetings of their entire faculty — the town-hall model — to deal with governance issues or report on the state of the campus. Still others rely on an elected representative or faculty-senate model.

A year of remote connections — via Zoom or other digital substitutes — has forced us to admit that we miss all of the face-to-face versions of those gatherings. And here’s why:

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June 9, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Federal District Court Rejects Linda Mullenix's Retaliation Claim Against University Of Texas Law School; Sex Discrimination And Equal Pay Act Claims Remain

Following up on my previous posts:

Texas Lawyer, UT Law Professor Can Continue Sex-Discrimination Suit, But Loses on Retaliation Claims:

A female law professor can keep suing The University of Texas at Austin for sex discrimination and allegedly paying her less than male colleagues, but Linda Mullenix has for the second time lost her arguments that she faced unlawful retaliation.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel dismissed Mullenix’s claim that the university retaliated after the professor said it violated the Equal Pay Act. In an order on Monday, the judge ruled Mullenix did not show enough facts for the court to infer plausibly that the university retaliated against her under the EPA.

Mullenix v. University of Texas, No. 1:19-CV-1203 (W.D. TX June 7, 2021):

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June 9, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

8 Of 16 Standalone Law Schools Join National Association Of Standalone Graduate Schools

Karen Sloan (, 'Powerful, Collective Voice': Independent Law Schools, Standalone Graduate Schools Team Up to Build Lobbying Muscle:

NAGS STARThe new Association of Standalone Graduate Schools counts eight of the 16 independent American Bar Association-accredited law schools as inaugural members.

Law schools have faced no shortage of challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, but independent law campuses—those not attached to larger universities—have dealt with an additional hurdle: it has been more difficult for them to secure government relief funds.

That funding struggle lead to the formation of the first-ever coalition of independent graduate schools, unveiled this week. The National Association of Standalone Graduate Schools aims to improve federal funding for institutions that are not attached to undergraduate programs, streamline regulations at the state level, and serve as a hub of strategy and shared innovation across institutions.

The association was spearheaded by New York Law School Dean Anthony Crowell and counts eight law schools among the inaugural 11 members. The other law school members are the University of California Hastings College of the Law, Brooklyn Law School, South Texas College of Law Houston, California Western School of Law, Appalachian School of Law, New England Law Boston and Vermont Law School. The three non-law school members are the Bank Street Graduate School of Education, Relay Graduate School of Education and the Erikson Institute, a Chicago graduate program that focuses on early childhood education. Organizers said they expect the roster of member institutions to expand in the coming months. ...

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June 9, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

The Fall 2021 Admissions Cycle: The Best Of Times (For Law Schools), The Worst Of Times (For Applicants)

Following up on last week's post, 90% Of The Way Through The Fall 2021 Law School Admissions Cycle: Applications Are Up At 96% Of Law Schools, With Biggest Increases Among The Highest LSAT Bands:  Mike Spivey (Spivey Consulting), A Look Into The Most Difficult Law School Admissions Cycle We have Ever Seen:

This isn't a full post-mortem on the 2020-2021 application cycle, because it's not over yet. But we're at the point when we can start to get a feeling for what happened this year. Obviously the main story is the increase in applicants and applications, and the results of that increase.

More than any year in recent history, this cycle has seen a huge increase in applicants. As of June 4, 2021, there are 17.6% more applicants than there were on that same date last year, which comes out to an additional 10,205 applicants.

That increase is notable on its own, but what has made this cycle even more chaotic is the tremendous and disproportionate increase in applicants in higher-scoring LSAT ranges. ...

Spivey 1

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

NY Times: Gripped By ‘Dinner Party-gate,’ Yale Law School Confronts A Venomous Divide

New York Times, Gripped by ‘Dinner Party-gate,’ Yale Law Confronts a Venomous Divide:

Yale University LogoA dispute centering on the celebrity professor Amy Chua exposes a culture pitting student against student, professor against professor.

On March 26, a group of students at Yale Law School approached the dean’s office with an unusual accusation: Amy Chua, one of the school’s most popular but polarizing professors, had been hosting drunken dinner parties with students, and possibly federal judges, during the pandemic.

Ms. Chua, who rose to fame when she wrote “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” is known for mentoring students from marginalized communities and helping would-be lawyers get coveted judicial clerkships. But she also has a reputation for unfiltered, boundary-pushing behavior, and in 2019 agreed not to drink or socialize with students outside of class. Her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, also a law professor, is virtually persona non grata on campus, having been suspended from teaching for two years after an investigation into accusations that he had committed sexual misconduct.

The dinner parties, the students said, appeared to violate Ms. Chua’s no-socializing agreement, and were evidence that she was unfit to teach a “small group” — a class of 15 or so first-year students that is a hallmark of the Yale legal education, and to which she had recently been assigned — in the fall. “We believe that it is unsafe to give Professor Chua (and her husband) such access to and control over first-year students,” an officer of Yale Law Women, a student group, wrote to the dean, Heather K. Gerken.

The students provided what they said was proof of the dinners, in the form of a dossier featuring secretly screen-shotted text messages between a second-year student and two friends who had attended. That touched off a cascading series of events leading to Ms. Chua’s removal from the small-group roster.

Ms. Chua says she did nothing wrong, and it is unclear exactly what rule she actually broke. But after more than two dozen interviews with students, professors and administrators — including three students who say they went to her house to seek advice during a punishing semester — possibly the only sure thing in the murky saga is this: There is no hard proof that Ms. Chua is guilty of what she was originally accused of doing. According to three students involved, there were no dinner parties and no judges; instead, she had students over on a handful of afternoons, in groups of two or three, mostly so they could seek her advice. ...

It may appear to be a simple matter, one professor losing one course, but nothing is simple when it comes to Ms. Chua, who seems perpetually swathed in a cloud of controversy and confusion. “Dinner party-gate,” as Ms. Chua wryly calls it, has turned into a major headache for the school. ...

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

Monday, June 7, 2021

NY Times: ACLU Faces Identity Crisis As Progressive Causes Trump Historic Commitment To The First Amendment

New York Times, Once a Bastion of Free Speech, the A.C.L.U. Faces an Identity Crisis:

ACLU LogoAn organization that has defended the First Amendment rights of Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan is split by an internal debate over whether supporting progressive causes is more important.

It was supposed to be the celebration of a grand career, as the American Civil Liberties Union presented a prestigious award to the longtime lawyer David Goldberger. He had argued one of its most famous cases, defending the free speech rights of Nazis in the 1970s to march in Skokie, Ill., home to many Holocaust survivors.

Mr. Goldberger, now 79, adored the A.C.L.U. But at his celebratory luncheon in 2017, he listened to one speaker after another and felt a growing unease.

A law professor argued that the free speech rights of the far right were not worthy of defense by the A.C.L.U. and that Black people experienced offensive speech far more viscerally than white allies. In the hallway outside, an A.C.L.U. official argued it was perfectly legitimate for his lawyers to decline to defend hate speech.

Mr. Goldberger, a Jew who defended the free speech of those whose views he found repugnant, felt profoundly discouraged.

“I got the sense it was more important for A.C.L.U. staff to identify with clients and progressive causes than to stand on principle,” he said in a recent interview. “Liberals are leaving the First Amendment behind.”

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June 7, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

July 2021 Bar Exams Will Be Online in 29 Jurisdictions; NCBE To Remove Online Option Beginning With February 2022 Exam

NCBE Anticipates Return to In-Person Testing for February 2022 Bar Exam:

The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) announced today that February 2022 bar exam materials will be made available to jurisdictions for in-person testing only, unless restrictions by a public health authority prohibit a jurisdiction from administering the February exam in person.

NCBE is the not-for-profit corporation that develops the licensing tests used by most US jurisdictions for attorney admissions. In the second half of 2020 and throughout 2021, NCBE made bar exam materials available to jurisdictions for both in-person and remote exam administrations. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the bar exam had been administered by each jurisdiction in person, in a secure, proctored testing environment. The July 2021 bar exam is expected to be the last that includes a remote testing option; 29 jurisdictions plan to administer that exam remotely, while 24 will administer it in person.

NCBE, July 2021 Bar Exam Status by Jurisdiction:


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June 7, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

It's Year Two of Pandemic Law Firm Summer Associate Programs. Here's How Things Are Shaping Up.

Karen Sloan & Zack Needles (, It's Year Two of Pandemic Law Firm Summer Associate Programs. Here's How Things Are Shaping Up.:

This week’s Legal Speak features Legal Education Editor Karen Sloan’s conversation with Yih-Hsien Shen, Associate Director of J.D. Advising at Harvard Law School, about how law firms are adapting their summer associate programs during the pandemic and what lessons they learned from last summer.

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June 7, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Leiter Questions ABA's Proposed Accreditation Standards Relating To Racism, Bias Training

Following up on my previous posts:

Brian Leiter (Chicago), Call by ABA For Comments on Significant Proposed Changes to Standards Pertaining to "Non-discrimination and Equal Opportunity" and "Curriculum":

As a threshold matter, the ABA should have to explain why the existing standards were not more than adequate, especially since some of the proposed changes will impose substantial costs on schools and seem ill-supported by evidence.

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June 6, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Pepperdine Student Graduation Speakers Movingly Describe Life As A Law Student During COVID-19

Zachary Carstens (J.D. 2021, Pepperdine):

Luke Manzo (J.D. 2020, Pepperdine):

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June 6, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, June 5, 2021

University Of Miami President Doubles Down On Decision To Fire Tony Varona After Less Than Two Years As Dean

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Miami Herald, UM Dean’s Lawyer Says Firing Will Harm Law School; Frenk to Work With Faculty in Dean Search:

VaronaMeeting with tenured law school faculty after abruptly firing the law school dean last week, University of Miami President Julio Frenk doubled down on his decision to dismiss Anthony Varona after less than two years on the job, much of that time during the pandemic when schools have been struggling.

Frenk, who met with the professors Wednesday night, did not provide a detailed explanation for removing Varona, saying he didn’t find that appropriate, according to sources who attended the meeting over Zoom.

Rather, he told the group that the dean reports to him and he has the power to remove him, the sources said. ...

Frenk, who was named UM president in 2015, didn’t apologize for not consulting faculty regarding Varona’s termination, a procedure stipulated in the university’s faculty manual. He did say, however, he would stay in touch with the professors as he makes future decisions.

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June 5, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, June 4, 2021

Blank And Osofsky Selected By Administrative Conference Of The U.S. To Study Use Of Automated Legal Guidance By Federal Agencies

Blank OsofskyJoshua Blank (UC-Irvine) and Leigh Osofsky (North Carolina) have been selected by the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) to conduct a study of U.S. federal government agencies’ use of automated tools -- such as chatbots, virtual assistants, and artificial intelligence -- to explain the law to the public. 

“I am grateful to ACUS for the opportunity to study, along with my co-author, Professor Leigh Osofsky, how technology is changing the way federal agencies are communicating the law and to offer policy recommendations to federal government officials,” said Blank. 

“I am excited to have the opportunity to build on my prior work with my colleague, Josh Blank, to explore the government’s automation of legal guidance,” says Osofsky. “This is a fast-growing area with potential to fundamentally change how the public interacts with the government, and I believe this project will give us a great opportunity to set a good foundation for government practice.” 

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June 4, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Stanford 3L Who Mocked Federalist Society Will Be Allowed To Graduate

The Daily Beast, Stanford Reverses Hold on Student’s Law School Diploma After Federalist Society Satire:

Stanford Fed SocStanford University announced late Wednesday that it would release a hold put on a law student’s diploma during an investigation into a complaint against him for creating a fake flier parodying the conservative Federalist Society. A spokesman told Slate the school followed “normal procedures” in placing a hold on the diploma while it conducted an investigation into the email sent out by Nicholas Wallace. But the school concluded that “the email is protected speech... The university is not moving forward with the [Office of Community Standards] process and the graduation diploma hold has been released.”

Wallace had emailed a promotional flier for “The Originalist Case for Inciting Insurrection,” a fictional event purportedly sponsored by the Stanford chapter of the Federalist Society, to a law school email listserv in January. Wallace’s fake colloquium promised insights from both Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton from their work attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. The flier read, “Violent insurrection, also known as doing a coup, is a classical system of installing a government.” Wallace had planned an actual event in March featuring reporters dissecting the links between the Federalist Society and the Jan. 6 insurrection. The Stanford chapter of the Federalist Society filed an official complaint about the flier in the same month, saying Wallace “defamed” the group and prompting the university to investigate. Wallace said in an email to fellow law students notifying them the complaint had been dropped, “I hope to work with Stanford in the little time I have left to make sure no student is subjected to an abuse of power this way again... PS this email is not satire.” He thanked fellow students for their support.

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

Pepperdine Seeks To Hire Assistant Vice Chancellor And Senior Director Of Development

Pepperdine University Rick J. Caruso School of Law seeks to hire an Assistant Vice Chancellor and Senior Director of Development. This is a wonderful opportunity for the right person to help build on our success over the past four years in raising over $80 million in gifts and pledges (including our $50 million naming gift and five other gifts and pledges of $1 million or more). Rebecca Malzahn held the position before her recent promotion to Vice Chancellor for Development at Pepperdine University and will continue to assist the law school in our fundraising.

Assistant Vice Chancellor and Senior Director of Development, Caruso School of Law
Pepperdine Law (Ocean)The Assistant Vice Chancellor and Senior Director of Development will have primary responsibility for developing, organizing, leading, and implementing a comprehensive fundraising program and strategies for the Caruso School of Law and plays an important front-line fundraising role. As a major gift officer, this position will be expected to personally raise major gifts in support of the dean’s fundraising priorities, focusing on donors with a capacity of $100K to $1M+. In addition, the Assistant Vice Chancellor and Senior Director of Development will mentor and supervise the Director, Law Associates, the annual giving officer at the Caruso School of Law whose primary focus is on gifts of $1K to $25K. The success of our mission to strengthen lives for purpose, service, and leadership depends in a large part on strong financial support from donors who enable us to provide the facilities, programs, faculty, and opportunities necessary to provide stellar, mission driven programs for our students.


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June 3, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

How Many Black Women Have Tenure On Your Campus? Search Here

Chronicle of Higher Education, How Many Black Women Have Tenure on Your Campus? Search Here:

The push to get the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Board of Trustees to grant tenure to Nikole Hannah-Jones has shined a spotlight on a particular group of scholars: Black female professors with tenure.

Their numbers are few. At public and private nonprofit four-year colleges in the fall of 2019 — the most recent year for which federal data are available — there were 251,921 tenured associate and full professors. Of those, 5,221, or 2.1 percent, were Black women.

At Chapel Hill, where Hannah-Jones is slated to begin a five-year fixed-term appointment this fall, 3.1 percent — or 31 — of the institution’s 998 tenured professors in 2019 were Black women. ...

Below is a searchable, sortable table of colleges and the percent of faculty members who were at each institution in 2019.

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

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Pepperdine Men's Golf Team Wins NCAA Division I Championship

NCAA Pepperdine 3

This is Pepperdine's 14th national championship: 

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

Was This Law Dean Fired Because He's Gay? His Supporters Want Answers

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Karen Sloan (Daily Business Review), Was This Law Dean Fired Because He's Gay? His Supporters Want Answers:

VaronaLegal educators in South Florida and across the country have risen to the defense of ousted University of Miami law dean Anthony Varona, calling on campus leaders to reconsider their decision to push him out of the job and questioning whether his firing was motivated by bias.

Both the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) and the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on Minority Groups have issued letters in recent days condemning Varona’s firing and raising questions about the real reason he was dismissed. Meanwhile, the law school’s tenured faculty and the university’s faculty senate adopted resolutions saying that University President Julio Frenk’s unilateral decision to fire Varona without consulting the law professors ran afoul of shared governance principles.

“Dean Varona was UM’s first Latinx and openly gay dean,” reads the letter from SALT. “The appearance of an arbitrary dismissal raises particular concerns that the dismissal may have been motivated by bias. In this situation, it becomes important to clarify the motivation for his dismissal. To that end, SALT urges a review of the decision.” ...

Varona is openly gay and is active in the LGBTQ rights community. He teaches sexuality and gender law, alongside contracts, administrative law and media law.

The University of Miami Law Alumni Association also entered the fray with a May 28 letter condemning the decision to dismiss Varona as dean.

Miami Herald editorial, UM, the Wall of Silence Won’t Work. We Need More Transparency on Law School Dean Firing:

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

Pepperdine Seeks To Hire Two Visiting LRW Professors

Pepperdine University Rick J. Caruso School of Law seeks to hire two Visiting Assistant Professors of Legal Research and Writing. We will be conducting a national search in Fall 2021 for two Assistant Professors of Legal Research and Writing to begin in the 2022-23 academic year. Successful applicants for the Visiting Assistant Professor of Legal Research and Writing positions are encouraged to apply for these positions.

Pepperdine Campus (022521)Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law seeks two Visiting Assistant Professors of Legal Research and Writing to teach for the 2021-2022 academic year. Each Visiting Professor will teach two sections of our year-long, two-unit-per-semester LRW course, with approximately 45 total students per professor. We have a warm, collaborative LRW faculty team. The LRW faculty creates all course materials together and provides each other with significant support. The position comes with a market-competitive salary, employment benefits, and the title of Visiting Assistant Professor of Legal Research and Writing.

Applicants must have a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school, possess excellent academic credentials, be committed to teaching Legal Research and Writing, and support the goals and mission of the University. Applicants should have at least two years of post-J.D. experience in a position or positions requiring substantial legal writing.

The Caruso School of Law is an ABA accredited, AALS member law school located in Malibu, California. Pepperdine is a Christian university committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and Christian values, where students are strengthened for lives of purpose, service, and leadership. The Caruso School of Law welcomes applications from people of all faiths and is particularly interested in receiving applications from candidates who may bring greater racial, ethnic, and gender diversity to the faculty of the School of Law.

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June 2, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Alice Abreu Named Inaugural Honorable Nelson A. Diaz Professor Of Law At Temple

AL DÍA, Introducing the new “Nelson Diaz Professorship” at Temple University Law School:

Abreu (2019)As it celebrates its 125th year, Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law has created a new esteemed honor, the Nelson Diaz Professorship.

The title is named after the Honorable Judge Nelson A. Diaz, the first Latino to pass the Pennsylvania bar exam, the first Latino judge in the state, as well as an alumnus who earned his Doctor of Law Degree at Temple Law School.

“He is a trailblazer in many regards,” said Gregory Mandel, Dean and Peter J. Liacouras Professor of Law at Temple Law School. “Given his role in helping organize students at the Law school and then the tremendous career he went on to have, we wanted to find a way to honor his legacy.”

The title will go to faculty that exemplifies those efforts in the present day.

Temple Law Professor Alice Abreu is the first person to be appointed the newly-established Nelson A. Diaz Professor of Law.

“Being the inaugural holder of the Honorable Nelson A. Diaz Professorship in Law is the highest honor of my career,” Abreu told AL DÍA. ...

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June 1, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Blackman: The Risks When Law School Deans Go Woke

Josh Blackman (South Texas), The Risks When Law School Deans Go Woke:

Blackman (2020)Deans who go woke will alienate conservative donors. Deans who refuse to go woke will alienate progressive faculties and students.

Deans have a multifaceted job. They must simultaneously balance the interests of students, faculty, alumni, donors, and the University administration. Not a simple task. Unsurprisingly, the average tenure of law school deans is only about three years. Deans are rarely fired. When things aren't working out, they usually take a hint and leave early.

Historically, successful deans have had a singular focus: promoting the institution. And that focus demanded broad neutrality. With good reason. If a Dean adopted a position on some issue of public concern, faculty and students may fear opposing that position. Especially for untenured people, the threat of retaliation is real. Moreover, the Dean's position could alienate other components of the community, such as alumni and donors.

In recent years, the position of the Dean has evolved. Now, Deans criticize, and indeed try to punish faculty members for controversial scholarly pursuits. Deans also criticize, and indeed try to punish student groups that host controversial speakers. Deans routinely issue statements on controversial issues du jour, and even ask members of the community to join those statements. Many of these deans lack any scholarly expertise to opine on these issues. (I challenge every law school dean to write a law review note explaining what "systemic racism" is). Invariably, all of these actions come from a single political viewpoint: the progressive left. Conservative faculty members are criticized. Conservative student groups are criticized. And these official statements often accept as gospel precepts of critical racial theory and Anti-Racism.

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

90% Of The Way Through The Fall 2021 Law School Admissions Cycle: Applications Are Up At 96% Of Law Schools, With Biggest Increases Among The Highest LSAT Bands

We are now 90% of the way through Fall 2021 law school admissions season. The number of law school applicants reported by LSAC is up 19.9% compared to last year at this time.


192 of the 200 law schools are experiencing an increase in applications. Applications are up 50% or more at 18 law schools, and 30% or more at 83 law schools:


Applicants are up the most in Northwest (26.7%), New England (24.3%), and Midwest (21.7%); and up the least in the Great Lakes (14.2%), Other (14.8%), and Midsouth (17.7%):


Applicants' LSAT scores are up 65.0% in the 170-180 band, 28.2% in the 160-169 band, 12.0% in the 150-159 band, and 3.2% in the 120-149 band:

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

Monday, May 31, 2021

SALT Calls For Review Of Dismissal Of University Of Miami Law Dean Tony Varona, 'UM’s First Latinx And Openly Gay Dean'

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Society of American Law Teachers, SALT Calls for Review of Dismissal of University of Miami Law Dean Anthony Varona (May 28, 2021):

SALT (2020)SALT expresses grave concerns over the abrupt decision by University of Miami president Julio Frenck to terminate Anthony Varona as Dean, effective July 1, 2021, less than two years into his five-year contract and a mere two weeks after a positive annual review accompanied by a merit raise.

Dean Varona has been a leader among legal educators for many years. Prior to serving as the University of Miami Law School’s dean, Dean Varona served for 14 years as Vice-Dean and Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs at American University’s Washington College of Law. He is a well-regarded legal scholar and teacher, and has played a critical role in the organization of the periodic National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conferences. As UM’s Dean, Dean Varona has been widely praised for his leadership and stewardship of the UM Law School in the midst of a pandemic. His leadership among the Florida law school deans contributed immensely to ensuring that Florida bar-takers were provided fair and equitable testing conditions during the pandemic.

When a dean has engaged in malfeasance, a university may have to act unilaterally and without notice. That is not, however, the case here. There have been no allegations of malfeasance by Dean Varona. President Frenck’s public statement set forth a concern about whether Dean Varona had the “required vision and effectiveness of execution” needed for successful completion of UM’s capital campaign. Dean Varona’s success in fundraising during his first two years as UM’s Dean belies that explanation.

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May 31, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

'Bowdlerized Classroom Discussion Will Not Properly Prepare Law Students For The World As It Is'

Following up on my previous posts:

New Jersey Law Journal editorial, On the Rutgers Law Racial Slur Issue (May 30, 2021):

Bowdlerized classroom discussion will not properly prepare law students for the world as it is, however much they hope to make it a better place. ...

A furor has been raging at Rutgers Law School when a student in an online discussion quoted a racial slur that was reported in the Supreme Court decision in State v. Bridges, 133 N.J. 447 (1993). ... [T]he matter drew campus-wide attention early in April when some first-year law students circulated a petition calling for a school policy regarding racial slurs and for public apologies from both the student and the professor. The students demanding the petition and the apology had not attended the online session. ...

Once the petition was publicized, both the professor and the student who had cited the quote offered apologies. That did not seem to mollify those who were outraged. The entire campus, including the administration, has been affected by the controversy. There have been calls for prohibiting the very mention of racial epithets in classrooms, even if they appear in a written opinion. To its credit, the law school, in a letter from Co-Deans David Lopez and Kimberly Mutcherson to the Washington Post, stated that the school “embrace[s] the academic freedom that allows faculty to make individual decisions about the use of inflammatory language in their classrooms.”

Neither apologies nor a ban on discussing racial or ethnic slurs in the context of legal issues is warranted under these circumstances.

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May 31, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Kim Kardashian Failed California Baby Bar Exam; Her 474 Score Was 'Extremely Close' To 560 Passing Score

E! Online, Kim Kardashian Reveals She Did Not Pass First Year Law Student Exam:

In an exclusive sneak peek at Thursday's Keeping Up With the Kardashians episode on May 27, the mother of four makes a shocking announcement to sisters Kourtney Kardashian and Khloe Kardashian. "So you guys, I did not pass the baby bar," Kim states.

The SKIMS founder explains in a confessional that the structure of her journey to the bar exam looks a little different than that of an average law student. "If you are doing law school the way I'm doing it, it is a four-year program instead of your typical three-year program," Kim says. "And after year one, you have to take the baby bar. This would actually harder, I hear, than the official bar."

In a flashback, Kim's mentor, attorney Jessica Jackson, explains that Kim needs a score of 560 to pass the first year law student exam; she got a 474 on her first try taking the test. "That is extremely close on a test that most people are not taking in the middle of a pandemic," Jackson tells her.

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May 31, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink