Paul L. Caron
Dean





Saturday, April 10, 2021

Jones Day Nabs NINE U.S. Supreme Court Law Clerks From October Term 2019-20 With $400,000 Bonuses

Jones Day

Jones Day Adds Nine U.S. Supreme Court Clerks From October Term 2019:

The global law firm Jones Day has announced that nine former U.S. Supreme Court clerks from October Term 2019 have joined the Firm as associates in the Firm's Issues & Appeals Practice. Jones Day has recruited 64 U.S. Supreme Court clerks since October Term 2011.

"As we continue to be a leading destination for lawyers who want to work on important, cutting-edge legal issues from the earliest stages of litigation through appeal, we welcome this year's class of clerks, who join five different Jones Day offices," said Traci L. Lovitt, leader of Jones Day's Issues & Appeals Practice. "These talented lawyers have a terrific understanding of case law, and their analytical skills and deep insights into the latest legal developments will be of great value to clients."

The new arrivals, office locations, the Justices for whom they clerked, their law schools [Chicago (2), Duke, Harvard (3), Michigan, Notre Dame, Yale], and prior clerkships are as follows: ...

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

7th Annual Parris Awards At Pepperdine Caruso Law

Congratulations to our student, staff, and faculty winners at THursday's 7th Annual Parris Awards at Pepperdine Caruso Law:

Parris 1Student Awards

Evan T. Carthen 1L Award
Section A: Tyler Lisea
Section B: Tyra Jenkins
Section C: Susan Posluszny

Excellence in Service
Brynn Barton

Excellence in Professionalism
Gage Eller

Excellence in Peacemaking
Zino Osehobo

Excellence in Courage
Roxanne Swedelson
Sophie Sarchet

Excellence in Leadership
Zachary Carstens
Amy Jicha

Excellence in Character
Alexandra Boutelle

Pepperdine Award
Kelly Shea Delvac

Preceptor Award
Awards are also presented to alumni preceptors, who are paired with first-year students as mentors during their first year of law school

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

U.S. Department Of Education Terminates Florida Coastal Law School's Eligibility For Federal Student Loans; ABA Demands Teach-Out Plan

Statement of William E. Adams, Jr., Managing Director, ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar Regarding Florida Coastal School of Law:

Florida Coastal (2017)On April 2, 2021, the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar was informed of the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to end access to federal student financial aid for Florida Coastal School of Law effective April 1, 2021. While the Department of Education's action could have a bearing on the law school's ability to operate in compliance with the ABA Standards, Florida Coastal School of Law remains an ABA-approved law school. Under the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools, formal Council action is required to withdraw a law school’s approval. The process for the law school to qualify for and maintain its access to federal student financial aid is a U.S. Department of Education process.

In the wake of the Department of Education’s decision, the ABA has directed Florida Coastal School of Law to file a teach-out plan.

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

Friday, April 9, 2021

LSAC: Law School Policies And Practices — Justice-Impacted Individuals

Elizabeth Bodamer & Debra Langer (LSAC), Justice-Impacted Individuals in the Pipeline: A National Exploration of Law School Policies and Practices:

Approximately one in three adults in the United States has some form of criminal record—similar to the ratio of adults with 4-year college degrees in the U.S. (Friedman, 2015). The wide reach of the criminal justice system, including police contacts, arrests, and incarcerations, is heavily concentrated in poor communities and communities of color. Therefore, it is important to examine barriers specific to justice-impacted individuals throughout the application, enrollment, and educational experience in order to ensure that policies and practices do not unintentionally serve as mechanisms of exclusion that disproportionally impact applicants of color and low-income applicants.

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC), in collaboration with the National Justice Impact Bar Association (NJIBA), developed and administered the 2020 Justice Impact Law School Survey to explore policies and procedures that specifically affect law schools' justice-impacted applicants and students, focusing on policies, practices, and services during the 2019-2020 academic year. Eighty-five schools from across all geographic regions of the U.S. completed some or all of the survey. The results from the survey provide an overview of current law school practices related to (a) recruitment and admission; (b) applicants, admission, and enrollment; (c) application review procedures; (d) student information and services, (e) employees and training; and (f) policies. The purpose of this report is to initiate a conversation about justice-impacted individuals as part of LSAC’s mission to promote equity in access to legal education and to support diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

Key Survey Results

  • Only 2 of 85 responding schools reported intentionally recruiting students who were justice-impacted.
  • The majority of schools indicated that they require applicants to disclose felony convictions, misdemeanor convictions, felony charges, misdemeanor charges, arrests, juvenile convictions, juvenile charges, and juvenile arrests.mm

LSAC

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

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Legal Education Needs A Wellness Reckoning

Bloomberg Law op-ed:  Legal Education Needs a Wellness Reckoning, by Janet Thompson Jackson (Washburn):

No one goes to law school with the expectation that their mental health and overall well-being will be significantly compromised during those three years. But, for a substantial number of law students, it is. It does not have to be this way.

Bloomberg Law

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

A ‘Bank Run’ At Notre Dame Law School

Update:  Karen Sloan (Law.com), A 'Thunderdome' Competition? Admitted Students Got Shut Out at This Law School Amid Deposit Frenzy

Inside Higher Ed, A ‘Bank Run’ at Notre Dame Law:

Notre Dame Law (2020)It was a banner year for law school applications. The number of applicants this year was up about 21 percent compared to last year, according to the Law School Admissions Council. Total applications were up 32 percent.

An increase that big can be tricky for an admissions department. Now, at least one law school has overadmitted its incoming class.

Admitted applicants to University of Notre Dame Law School were told upon acceptance that there were no reserved spaces for students. The deadline was April 15, but if the university received its maximum number of $600 deposits, the rest of the admitted students would be waitlisted.

On Tuesday, a few minutes before 11 a.m. Eastern time, Notre Dame sent those admitted students an email. Two-thirds of the seats had been claimed by deposits, a benchmark usually reached two to three days before the deadline. The email said Notre Dame would send another note when 80 percent of seats were reserved, and two more emails when 90 and 100 percent of seats were claimed.

Five hours later, 80 percent of spots were taken, Notre Dame told admits. One hour after that, at 5 p.m., Notre Dame told applicants there was no more time.

“We have now reached our target number of deposits,” the email said. “We have turned off our deposit forms to ensure that we do not overenroll.”

The incident, first reported in Above the Law, a website for legal news, has shaken prospective law students. Applicants who were waiting on offers from other schools, who weren’t checking their email or who couldn’t come up with $600 quickly saw their chance to attend Notre Dame Law School vanish, despite the fact that they were admitted. ...

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

COVID-19 Blew Up The Bar Exam. Even Bigger Changes Are Coming.

Karen Sloan (National Law Journal), COVID-19 Blew Up the Bar Exam. Even Bigger Changes Are Coming.:

The first indication that COVID-19 would upend the bar exam status quo arrived March 22, 2020, in the form of a working paper penned by 11 legal academics and educational policy experts [The Bar Exam And The COVID-19 Pandemic: The Need For Immediate Action].

The paper argued that it would be unsafe—if not impossible—to administer the upcoming July bar exam in convention halls with hundreds of law graduates packed together. Instead, the academics urged bar exam authorities to rethink the exam and paths to attorney licensure and swiftly announce alternatives.

Their words proved prescient. One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the bar exam looks wildly different in most of the country. Examinees log into the exam from their bedrooms, kitchens or wherever they can find some peace and quiet and a strong Internet connection. Facial recognition technology scans their pictures to ensure they are who they claim to be. And their computer cameras and microphones track and record them to ward off cheating.

The sudden shift to online bar exams—more than 30,000 people took the first-ever national remote bar exam in October—is the single biggest shakeup in the history of the attorney licensing test. But it won’t be the last. As bar examiners struggled over the past year to find safe ways to test law graduates, the national organization that designs the test was also finalizing a long-gestating overhaul of the exam’s content and format. If all goes according to plan, the National Conference of Bar Examiners will roll out a vastly different test in 2025 that better integrates the evaluation of legal knowledge with the skills new lawyers need to succeed.

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

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Law Student Climate Change Activists Target Gibson Dunn Law Firm

Karen Sloan (Law.com), Law Student Climate Change Activists Target Gibson Dunn:

Gibson DunnLaw Students for Climate Accountability on Wednesday launched its #DoneWithDunn campaign, sending a letter to the firm denouncing its representation of clients in the fossil fuel industry and demanding that it adopt standards governing what cases and clients it will forgo.

“We call on Gibson Dunn to commit to a publicly available ethical standard that articulates its protocol for representation of the fossil fuel industry,” the letter reads. “Diversity programs, pro bono, and in-office sustainability are all welcome but are insufficient as long as Gibson Dunn continues to perpetrate immense harm through its work for paying clients. There must be a line that Gibson Dunn will not cross.”

Gibson Dunn is now the second major law firm to be targeted by law students concerned with the role the legal industry plays in climate change. In late 2019 and early 2020, law students at Harvard, Yale, New York University and several other law campuses staged protests at recruiting receptions held by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind & Wharton, demanding that the firm stop representing ExxonMobil in a series of climate change lawsuits. Hundreds of law students signed a pledge that they would not work for the firm as long as ExxonMobil remains on its client roster. (At the time, Paul Weiss chairman Brad Karp stood by the firm’s work for the oil and gas giant, saying it’s “committed to the principle that we represent our clients and safeguard the rule of law zealously and to the best of our abilities.”)

The #DropExxon campaign galvanized law students across the country and led to the formation of Law Students for Climate Accountability, which now boasts members from more than 50 law schools. That group made a splash in October, when it unveiled the first-ever Law Firm Climate Change Scorecard.

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

Bar Exams May Soon Be Easier To Pass, As States Eye Changes

Bloomberg Law, Bar Exams May Soon Be Easier to Pass, as States Eye Changes:

Several states say they could make their bar exams easier to pass as a way to address racial diversity problems and access-to-justice issues entrenched in the legal profession.

Their statements coincide with the first data from California, which permanently lowered its “cut score” last summer just incrementally—but saw significant changes in the racial make-up of those passing the test to become its newest lawyers.

Last week, Rhode Island became the first to follow suit in lowering the state’s cut score. Several others say they’ll soon be weighing similar reforms. ... Court officials from Texas, Arizona, and Michigan said they’re also monitoring efforts from a national testing group to modify the bar exam, with an eye toward eventual changes in their own states. ...

Several other states—including New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, North Carolina, and Utah—said they could consider lowering cut scores based on their own reviews and after studying how the moves play out elsewhere. Their answers came in response to questions from Bloomberg Law to bar exam authorities and top courts in the 50 states and Washington, D.C.

What California Found
Lowering exam passing scores even slightly could boost the ranks of Black and Hispanic attorneys, according to the data from the State Bar of California released on March 5.

The state found that lowering the cut score from by about 3.5%—from a score of 1,440 to 1,390—led to about a 15% higher passage rate than would have been the case had the cut score not been lowered, said California state bar spokeswoman Teresa Ruano.

Comparing results specifically for first-time test takers from the October 2020 exam—with California’s lower passing score—to the July 2019 test showed that 28.5% more Hispanics, 25.8% more Asians, 23.9% more Blacks, and 20.8% more Whites passed.

Bloomberg

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

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Public Defender Gets $275,000 In Law School Loans Forgiven

Karen Sloan (Law.com), This Public Defender Just Got $275,000 in Law School Loans Forgiven. Here's How.:

Jessica Buck got some welcome news when she logged into her federal student loan account March 30: Her $275,000 loan balance had officially been wiped out four days earlier under the federal government’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

Buck, a 2010 graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law, has been working as a public defender in Danville, Kentucky, for the past decade and making payments on the $179,000 in loans she took out for law school. (The amount increased over time due to interest, though she paid nearly $26,000 toward them.) Under PSLF, which was created in 2007 to encourage people to pursue public service careers, federal loan borrowers who work in qualifying jobs and make qualifying payments on their loans for 10 years will have their remaining balance forgiven. (Monthly payments are capped at a percentage of the borrower’s income.) But actually obtaining that forgiveness has proven difficult for the earliest participants in the program. According to the most recent information available from the U.S. Department of Education, fewer than 3% of those who have applied for PSLF have been approved.

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

Monday, April 5, 2021

University Of Missouri Faculty Upset About Use Of Data In Promotion And Tenure

Columbia Daily Tribune, University of Missouri Faculty Members Upset About Use of Data in Promotion and Tenure:

Academic AnalyticsSome University of Missouri faculty members on Wednesday complained about the use of data and information from Academic Analytics in decisions on promotion and tenure of faculty.

Mun Choi, MU chancellor and UM System president, and MU Provost Latha Ramchand were the targets of the criticism.

The venue was the Spring General Faculty Meeting on Zoom. There were 225 participants at one point during the meeting.

Academic Analytics is a company that compiles information about journal articles, citations and other data for universities.

"I have concerns about using Academic Analytics data for promotion and tenure decisions," said faculty member Stephen Karian. "This is a radical break with previous practice."

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

Sunday, April 4, 2021

U.S. Church Membership Falls Below 50% For First Time In Nearly A Century ... But Easter Teaches Us Not To Fear Religion's Decline

Gallup, U.S. Church Membership Falls Below Majority for First Time:

Americans' membership in houses of worship continued to decline last year, dropping below 50% for the first time in Gallup's eight-decade trend. In 2020, 47% of Americans said they belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque, down from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999.

Gallup

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

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Why It Matters That More Law Reviews Are Electing Black Editors

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Karen Sloan (Law.com), 'A More Diverse Conversation': Why It Matters That More Law Journals Are Electing Black Editors:

[There are] at least nine first-ever Black editors-in-chief to be elected to lead flagship law journals during the 2021-22 academic year. Data compiled by several law professors show that’s the single-largest cohort of inaugural Black editors on record, and that a trend of Black students ascending to the role that began around 2013 has accelerated. Experts attribute that rise to multiple factors, including a greater awareness among law students of systemic racism and internal bias, and the greater visibility of non-white students assuming leadership roles on campus.

Regardless of the reason behind the shift, professors and students alike agree that the rise of Black editors-in-chief and, more broadly, top editors from diverse backgrounds, is an important development for legal education and the profession. First, having that position on their resume opens career opportunities for diverse students, giving them a leg up in snagging competitive and desirable positions such as federal clerkships. (Recall that Barack Obama was the first Black editor-in-chief of the Harvard Law Review.) But the ascension of diverse law review editors also has implications beyond individual students. Seeing a diverse top editor will likely prompt other students from underrepresented groups to pursue law journal and leadership positions on campus, students and professors say. ...

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

Friday, April 2, 2021

Update On San Diego Law School's Investigation Of Tenured Professor's Blog Post

Following up on my previous post, San Diego Law School Launches Investigation Of Tenured Professor's Blog Post; Student Petition Calls For Professor's Termination:

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

Dan Markel's Parents Are Unable To Convince Florida Lawmakers To Give Grandparents Visitation Rights As Other States Do

News4Jax, Florida Grandparent Visitation Rights on Hold:

Markel & ParentsAfter an hour-long workshop on grandparents’ rights, the message from Florida lawmakers to grandparents in jail being denied access to their grandchildren is “we sympathize”.

But lawmakers say grandparents will have to wait at least another year for legislation that could allow some to see their grandchildren.

FSU Law Professor Dan Markel was murdered in his garage seven years ago this July. For Ruth Markel, Dan’s mother, one tragedy sparked another.

“Our son’s ex-wife cut off contact between us and his two children,” said Markel.

In video testimony before a Senate committee, Ruth called the separation painful.

“But unlike in most other states, Florida law doesn’t allow us to petition the courts for visitation,” said Markel.

Florida law says grandparents have a right to see their grandchildren only if both parents are dead or if one parent is dead and the other has been convicted of a felony.

Neither is the case for Phil and Ruth Markel.

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

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Will Law Schools Require Students To Be Vaccinated In The Fall?

Josh Blackman (South Texas), Will Law Schools Require Students to be Vaccinated?:

I can see a world where in-person instruction is limited to vaccinated students, and those who refuse to be vaccinated will stay on Zoom.

Last week, Rutgers University announced that returning students must be vaccinated against COVID-19. The policy states that "Students may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons." The scope of those exemptions, however, is unclear.

As we speak, law schools are no doubt holding discussions about whether they can impose vaccine mandates.

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

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

U.S. Tax Court's Tax Trailblazers: Sam Thompson

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

Thompson 2021Please join the United States Tax Court for the second in a series of monthly programs celebrating diversity and inclusion in tax law. Moderated by Chief Judge Maurice B. Foley, March’s webinar will focus on Samuel C. Thompson, Jr., Director of the Center for the Study of Mergers and Acquisitions at Penn State Law. Today at 7:00-8:15 PM EST (register here).

Samuel C. Thompson, Jr. directs Penn State’s Center for the Study of Mergers and Acquisitions. He is also a Professor of Law and the Arthur Weiss Distinguished Faculty Scholar. He teaches mergers and acquisitions, focusing on corporate, securities, tax, accounting, and antitrust aspects of these very complex transactions. He also teaches several tax courses. Beginning with the Spring semester 2021, he is teaching a course entitled: The Lawyer’s Role in Helping Close the Minority-White Gap in Business Ownership.

Professor Thompson has served in two governmental tax policy positions, one in the U.S. Treasury’s Tax Legislative Counsel’s Office and one as the tax policy advisor, on behalf of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Tax Assistance Office, to the South African Ministry of Finance in Pretoria, South Africa. In that second role he assisted with the revision of South Africa’s income tax system.

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March 31, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

GWU And NYU Beat Student COVID-19 Tuition Refund Lawsuits

GWU NYU (2021)Law360, GWU Beats Students' COVID-19 Tuition Refund Suit:

A D.C. federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a consolidated proposed class action demanding tuition refunds from George Washington University for transitioning to online learning during the pandemic, ruling the institution never promised students in-person classes.

In an eight-page order, U.S. Judge Richard J. Leon agreed with the university that the students who brought the cases last May did not adequately plead their breach of contract claim.

"Plaintiffs point to broad descriptions of GW's campus and common student experiences, as well as customary practice," the judge found. They did argue the differences between GW's in-person and online degree programs, "but these general descriptions and distinctions do not create enforceable obligations on the part of GW."

"Moreover, plaintiffs do not identify any language or other evidence in … university documents or elsewhere indicating GW's intent to be bound to provide in-person instruction," the judge added.

Law360, NYU Beats COVID-19 Student Tuition Refund Suit:

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

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

2022 U.S. News Tax Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2022 U.S. News Tax Rankings include the tax programs at 186 law schools (the faculty survey had a 58% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.8 NYU
2 4.4 Florida
3 4.3 Georgetown
4 4.2 Northwestern
4 4.2 Virginia
6 4.0 Chicago
6 4.0 UC-Irvine
8 3.9 Harvard
8 3.9 Michigan
8 3.9 UCLA
11 3.8 Columbia
11 3.8 Loyola-L.A.
11 3.8 Stanford
14 3.7 Boston College
14 3.7 Yale
16 3.6 Boston Univ.
16 3.6 Duke
16 3.6 Indiana (Maurer)
16 3.6 Texas
16 3.6 UC-Hastings
21 3.5 Penn
21 3.5 San Diego
23 3.4 UC-Berkeley
23 3.4 USC
25 3.3 Minnesota
25 3.3 North Carolina
27 3.2 UC-Davis
28 3.1 Arizona State
28 3.1 Cornell
28 3.1 Florida State
28 3.1 George Washington
28 3.1 Miami
28 3.1 Washington Univ.
34 3.0 Emory
34 3.0 Ohio State
34 3.0 Villanova
34 3.0 Univ. of Washington
34 3.0 Washington & Lee
39 2.9 Alabama
39 2.9 Colorado
39 2.9 Fordham
39 2.9 Georgia
39 2.9 Georgia State
39 2.9 Pepperdine Caruso
39 2.9 Temple
39 2.9 Vanderbilt
47 2.8 BYU
47 2.8 Iowa
47 2.8 Loyola-Chicago
47 2.8 Notre Dame
47 2.8 Pittsburgh
47 2.8 Tulane

Among the law schools in the tax rankings last year, here are the biggest upward moves:

  • +24: Colorado (#39)
  • +21: Iowa (#47)
  • +16: Tulane (#47), Georgia State (#39)
  • +14: Cornell (#28), George Washington (#28), Emory (#34)
  • +9: Arizona State (#28), Florida State (#28), Vanderbilt (#39)

Here are the biggest downward moves:

  • -21: Pittsburgh (#47)
  • -15: BYU (#47)
  • -8: USC (#23)
  • -7: Alabama (#39), Fordham (#39)
  • -6: Pennsylvania (#21)

Here are the rankings of law schools with graduate tax programs:

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March 30, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Rankings | Permalink

Josh Blackman Defends CUNY Dean Mary Lu Bilek

Following up on my previous posts:

Josh Blackman (South Texas), In Defense of CUNY Law Dean Mary Lu Bilek:

In 2018, students at CUNY Law School tried to shut down my lecture on free speech. Prior to the event, Dean Mary Lu Bilek refused to cancel the event. But after my event, she said the "non-violent, limited protest was a reasonable exercise of protected free speech, and it did not violate any university policy."

Dean Bilek never reached out to me. Indeed, not a single faculty member CUNY ever said a word to me. ...

Dean Bilek's self-cancellation has made national headlines. I encourage you to read the summary in the New York Times. I won't even try to summarize the surreal circumstances. I'll admit it. I had a brief moment of schadenfreude, but then my libertarian wheels started spinning, and I rallied to her cause.

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

2022 U.S. News Law School Peer Reputation Rankings (And Overall Rankings)

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiContinuing a TaxProf Blog tradition (see links below for 2009-2021), here is the full list of the 193 law schools ranked by academic peer reputation, as well as their overall rank, in the new 2022 U.S. News Law School Rankings (methodology here):

Peer Rank Peer Score School Overall Rank
1 4.8 Harvard 3
1 4.8 Stanford 2
1 4.8 Yale 1
4 4.7 Columbia 4
5 4.6 Chicago 4
5 4.6 NYU 6
7 4.5 UC-Berkeley 9
8 4.4 Michigan 10
8 4.4 Penn 6
8 4.4 Virginia 8
11 4.3 Cornell 13
12 4.2 Duke 10
12 4.2 Georgetown 15
12 4.2 Northwestern 12
15 4.1 Texas 16
15 4.1 UCLA 14
17 4.0 Vanderbilt 16
18 3.7 Washington Univ. 16
19 3.6 Emory 29
19 3.6 Minnesota 22
19 3.6 UC-Irvine 35
19 3.6 USC 19
23 3.5 Boston Univ. 20
23 3.5 George Washington 27
23 3.5 North Carolina 24
23 3.5 Notre Dame 22
23 3.5 UC-Davis 35
28 3.4 Boston College 29
28 3.4 Fordham 35
28 3.4 William & Mary 35
28 3.4 Wisconsin 29
32 3.3 Alabama 25
32 3.3 Arizona State 25
32 3.3 Florida 21
32 3.3 Georgia 27
32 3.3 Indiana (Maurer) 43
32 3.3 Iowa 29
32 3.3 Ohio State 40
32 3.3 Univ. of Washington 45
40 3.2 Arizona 46
40 3.2 Colorado 48
40 3.2 Illinois 29
40 3.2 Tulane 60
40 3.2 UC-Hastings 50
45 3.1 Florida State 48
45 3.1 Wake Forest 41
45 3.1 Washington & Lee 35
48 3.0 American 81
48 3.0 Howard 91
48 3.0 Maryland 50
48 3.0 Utah 43
52 2.9 BYU 29
52 2.9 Cardozo 53
52 2.9 Connecticut 58
52 2.9 Miami 72
56 2.8 Denver 78
56 2.8 Georgia State 78
56 2.8 Houston 60
56 2.8 Loyola-L.A. 72
56 2.8 Oregon 72
56 2.8 Richmond 53
56 2.8 San Diego 86
56 2.8 Temple 53
64 2.7 Brooklyn 81
64 2.7 George Mason 41
64 2.7 Kansas 70
64 2.7 Pepperdine Caruso 46
64 2.7 Pittsburgh 67
64 2.7 Rutgers 91
64 2.7 SMU 52
64 2.7 Texas A&M 53
64 2.7 UNLV 60
73 2.6 Case Western 72
73 2.6 Chicago-Kent 91
73 2.6 Hawaii 98
73 2.6 Loyola-Chicago 78
73 2.6 Northeastern 67
73 2.6 Oklahoma 67
73 2.6 Penn State-University Park 60
73 2.6 Santa Clara 126
73 2.6 Tennessee 60
73 2.6 Villanova 53
83 2.5 Baylor 58
83 2.5 Indiana (McKinney) 111
83 2.5 Kentucky 81
83 2.5 Lewis & Clark 88
83 2.5 Michigan State 91
83 2.5 Missouri (Columbia) 60
83 2.5 Nebraska 87
83 2.5 New Mexico 102
83 2.5 Penn State-Dickinson 60
83 2.5 Seattle 126
83 2.5 Seton Hall 70
83 2.5 South Carolina 96
95 2.4 Arkansas-Fayetteville 96
95 2.4 Cincinnati 81
95 2.4 CUNY 102
95 2.4 Drexel 81
95 2.4 St. John's 72
95 2.4 St. Louis 91
95 2.4 Syracuse 102
102 2.3 DePaul 111
102 2.3 Marquette 102
102 2.3 Mississippi 98
102 2.3 SUNY-Buffalo 98
102 2.3 Wayne State 72
107 2.2 Baltimore 129
107 2.2 Catholic 102
107 2.2 Gonzaga 129
107 2.2 Hofstra 119
107 2.2 Louisiana State 109
107 2.2 Louisville 98
107 2.2 Loyola-New Orleans 144
107 2.2 Maine 124
107 2.2 Missouri-Kansas City 111
107 2.2 Stetson 111
107 2.2 UIC-John Marshall Tier 2
107 2.2 West Virginia 116
119 2.1 Albany 116
119 2.1 Arkansas-Little Rock 141
119 2.1 Florida Int'l 88
119 2.1 Idaho 139
119 2.1 Montana 134
119 2.1 New Hampshire 88
119 2.1 Suffolk 129
119 2.1 Willamette Tier 2
127 2.0 Creighton 141
127 2.0 Drake 102
127 2.0 Memphis 144
127 2.0 Mercer 124
127 2.0 New York Law School 119
127 2.0 Pace 139
127 2.0 Pacific 141
127 2.0 Quinnipiac 129
127 2.0 San Francisco Tier 2
127 2.0 Texas Tech 102
127 2.0 Tulsa 111
127 2.0 Vermont Tier 2
127 2.0 Washburn 109
127 2.0 Wyoming 119
141 1.9 Akron 134
141 1.9 Chapman 134
141 1.9 Cleveland-Marshall 116
141 1.9 Dayton 119
141 1.9 Duquesne 119
141 1.9 Mitchell-Hamline Tier 2
141 1.9 Southwestern Tier 2
141 1.9 St. Thomas (MN) 126
141 1.9 Toledo 129
150 1.8 Florida A&M Tier 2
150 1.8 North Dakota Tier 2
150 1.8 South Dakota 134
150 1.8 St. Mary's Tier 2
150 1.8 Widener (DE) Tier 2
155 1.7 Detroit Mercy Tier 2
155 1.7 District of Columbia Tier 2
155 1.7 Elon Tier 2
155 1.7 Northern Illinois Tier 2
155 1.7 Roger Williams Tier 2
155 1.7 South Texas Tier 2
155 1.7 Southern Tier 2
155 1.7 Southern Illinois Tier 2
155 1.7 Widener (PA) Tier 2
164 1.6 Cal-Western Tier 2
164 1.6 Campbell Tier 2
164 1.6 Massachusetts Tier 2
164 1.6 Mississippi College Tier 2
164 1.6 New England Tier 2
164 1.6 North Carolina Central Tier 2
164 1.6 Northern Kentucky Tier 2
164 1.6 Nova SE Tier 2
164 1.6 Ohio Northern Tier 2
164 1.6 Samford 144
164 1.6 St. Thomas (FL) Tier 2
164 1.6 Texas Southern Tier 2
164 1.6 Touro Tier 2
177 1.5 Belmont 134
177 1.5 Golden Gate Tier 2
177 1.5 Oklahoma City Tier 2
177 1.5 Western New England Tier 2
181 1.4 Capital Tier 2
181 1.4 John Marshall (GA) Tier 2
181 1.4 Regent Tier 2
184 1.3 Appalachian Tier 2
184 1.3 Charleston Tier 2
186 1.2 Ave Maria Tier 2
186 1.2 Barry Tier 2
186 1.2 Faulkner Tier 2
186 1.2 Florida Coastal Tier 2
186 1.2 Liberty Tier 2
186 1.2 Lincoln Memorial Tier 2
186 1.2 Western Michigan Tier 2
186 1.2 Western Tier 2

Prior Years' U.S. News Peer Reputation And Overall Rankings:

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March 30, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

12 Private College Presidents Earned Over $2 Million In 2018

The Chronicle of Higher Education has released its annual survey of executive compensation packages for more than 600 presidents of private colleges and universities. The total compensation for these 12 presidents exceeded $2,000,000 in 2018:

Chronicle

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

Monday, March 29, 2021

I Received My Second COVID Vaccine Today: I Didn't Throw Away My Shot

Shot

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

Sunday, March 28, 2021

A Christian Vision of Social Justice: Social Change Pursued With Mercy And Hope

New York Times op-ed:  A Christian Vision of Social Justice: Social Change Can Be Pursued With Mercy and Hope, by David Brooks:

Like a lot of people, I’ve tried to envision a way to promote social change that doesn’t involve destroying people’s careers over a bad tweet, that doesn’t reduce people to simplistic labels, that is more about a positive agenda to redistribute power to the marginalized than it is about simply blotting out the unworthy. I’m groping for a social justice movement, in other words, that would be anti-oppression and without the dehumanizing cruelty we’ve seen of late. ...

[T]his week I interviewed Esau McCaulley, a New Testament professor at Wheaton College and a contributing writer for New York Times Opinion. He described a distinctly Christian vision of social justice I found riveting and a little strange (in a good way) and important for everybody to hear, Christian and non-Christian, believer and nonbeliever.

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

Saturday, March 27, 2021

NY Times: Why Did The Dean Of The Most Diverse Law School In America Cancel Herself?

Following up on Tuesday's post, CUNY Law School Dean Resigns After Referring To Herself As A 'Slaveholder' At Faculty Meeting; She Pleads With University To Immediately Appoint An Interim Dean:

New York Times, Why Did the Dean of the Most Diverse Law School in the Country Cancel Herself?:

BilekOn the afternoon of Saturday, March 20, Mary Lu Bilek, who has spent 32 years at the law school at the City University of New York, the past five of them as dean, sent an email to students and faculty with the subject line: “Apology.” Ms. Bilek, who is 65, was explaining why she had cryptically announced her retirement two months earlier and why she expected now to leave even sooner. Discussing a contentious issue of race and tenure in a committee meeting last fall, she had likened herself to a “slaveholder.”

It was a strange, deeply jarring thing to say, but she had been trying to make the point that her position left her responsible for whatever racial inequities might exist institutionally. What the dean might have regarded as an admission of culpability, some of her colleagues viewed as an expression of the buried prejudices well-intentioned liberals never think they have.

Entrusted with making the call, the personnel committee decided against Ms. Bilek’s request in June. Still, she continued to advocate for rushing the clock. There was a logic to her reasoning. But committee members believed that Professor Robbins should wait her turn. Other well-qualified colleagues of color, further along on the tenure track, were not up for immediate consideration. And wasn’t this precisely how structural racism endured — with no one meaning any harm but with white people somehow always ending up buttressed by those on top?

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

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Baylor Retains Name And Statue Honoring Founder, Acknowledges His 'Sinful And Abhorrent' Slaveholding; University To Erect Statue Honoring First Two Black Graduates

Baylor University Releases Independent Report of Commission on Historic Campus Representations:

BaylorBaylor University today released the full independent and unedited report of the 26-member Commission on Historic Campus Representations, which was charged by the Baylor Board of Regents with independently reviewing and evaluating the historical record and context of the University and its early leaders solely related to slavery and the Confederacy. The Commission's report outlines recommendations for consideration by the Board regarding communicating the complete history of the University and its evaluation of all statues, monuments, buildings and other aspects of the campus within this historical context.

The institution will continue to be known as Baylor University, while the statue of namesake Judge R.E.B. Baylor will maintain its current location on Founders Mall.

Baylor also announced plans today to erect statues in recognition of trailblazing graduates Rev. Robert Gilbert, B.A. ’67, and Mrs. Barbara Walker, B.A. ’67, in front of Tidwell Bible Building, commemorating the two friends’ mutual standing as Baylor’s first Black graduates who helped integrate the University.

Historical Findings, Recommendations of the Commission on Historic Campus Representations

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March 25, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Bust Out Those Caps and Gowns. In-Person Commencement Is Back At Some Law Schools

Karen Sloan (Law.com), Bust Out Those Caps and Gowns. In-Person Commencement Is Back at Some Law Schools:

In-person law school graduation ceremonies are back … sort of.

Law schools are unveiling their graduation plans for the Class of 2021, and the results are a mixed bag. A significant cohort of schools have said they intend to hold in-person events in large venues with a limited number of guests. Others are sticking with virtual graduations—which were the norm last year when the COVID-19 pandemic was on the rise and campuses were shuttered. Some schools are opting to split the difference this year, with virtual ceremonies supplemented by smaller, in-person events where groups of graduates can gather on campus in their regalia and pose for photos. Still other law schools have yet to announce their commencement plans—a byproduct of the fluid nature of pandemic conditions.

“This past year has been an extraordinarily challenging time,” wrote Yale Law Dean Heather Gerken in a March 15 announcement to students that the school is aiming for an in-person May commencement. ...

Other law schools with in-person graduations include:

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

Quinnipiac's Jennifer Brown Is Ninth Law School Dean To Give At Least $100,000 To Students

Quinnipiac Today, Dean Jennifer Brown Donates $100,000 to School of Law:

BrownMoved by their collective generosity, Dean Jennifer Gerarda Brown was inspired to make the largest donation of her life as well. She and her husband, Yale Law School Professor Ian Ayres, recently donated $100,000 to the law school.

“My colleagues’ powerful words conveyed to me how deeply they care about students’ well-being and success, and how much they are willing to put on the line to demonstrate this care,” she said. Brown characterizes her gift as both for today and tomorrow. “It recognizes the darkness we’re experiencing right now, but it is also hopeful for a brighter future,” she said.

A portion of Brown’s gift will be combined with the money raised by faculty and staff to support student needs today.

“I continue to be amazed by the courage and tenacity students have shown as they keep doing the work that needs to be done, even in the face of such challenges,” Brown added.

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

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

CUNY Law School Dean Resigns After Referring To Herself As A 'Slaveholder' At Faculty Meeting; She Pleads With University To Immediately Appoint An Interim Dean

Karen Sloan (Law.com), 'Slaveholder' Comment Prompts CUNY Law Dean's Departure:

BilekThe dean of the City University of New York School of Law has revealed that her decision to retire was precipitated by a racially offensive comment she made during a faculty meeting in November.

In a March 20 email to the law school community, Mary Lu Bilek explained that she referred to herself as a “slaveholder” during a committee meeting in which members were discussing the appointment of an associate dean. Bilek, who is white, earlier this year announced her intention to step down as dean and retire at the end of the academic year, but had not explained the reason for her departure. She also urged the university to move quickly to appoint an interim dean so she could leave the school before June.

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

Monday, March 22, 2021

San Diego Law School Launches Investigation Of Tenured Professor's Blog Post; Student Petition Calls For Professor's Termination

The University of San Diego Law School has launched an investigation of tenured professor Tom Smith for this March 10 blog post quoting and commenting on an article in the Wall Street Journal, Wuhan Lab Theory a Dark Cloud on China. The Asian Pacific American Law Students Association has sent this letter to Professor Smith, and students are circulating this petition demanding that Professor Smith be terminated.

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

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Skeel: God, Puerto Rico And Bankruptcy Law

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  God, Puerto Rico and Bankruptcy Law, by David Skeel (Pennsylvania):

I see restoring fiscal responsibility on the island as a deeply Christian activity.

On Monday Puerto Rico’s oversight board filed a proposal for restructuring the island’s $35 billion of debt and $50 billion of unfunded pension obligations. As chairman of the board, created by Congress in 2016 to help restore fiscal responsibility to the island, I’ve been immersed in the technical details from the beginning. This process wouldn’t make many Christians think of Christianity, but it should.

The Bible recognizes that debt can be beneficial but is dangerous if misused. In the ancient world, delinquent borrowers were often forced into slavery. The Old Testament curbed these risks by forbidding God’s people from charging interest on loans to one another and by barring creditors from taking a debtor’s grinding stone—that is, his livelihood—as collateral for a loan. It also provided relief from financial distress. Slave owners were required to release Jewish slaves and their debts after the debtor had served for seven years. Every 49 years brought an even more sweeping release, the Jubilee. In Leviticus 25, the Israelites are instructed to blow a trumpet and “proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all of its inhabitants,” which included the release of slaves and debt relief.

Although many Christians don’t view these Old Testament rules as binding, the general principles remain relevant. And they are echoed in Jesus’ teaching. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught his disciples to ask God to “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Several of his best-known parables also emphasize the importance of debt forgiveness. ...

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

Zimmerman: We Can’t Address Systemic Racism If We Can’t Discuss It Without Backlash

Following up on last week's post, Georgetown Law School Fires Professor For ‘Abhorrent’ Remarks About Black Students Captured On Zoom:  

Baltimore Sun op-ed:  We Can’t Address Systemic Racism If We Can’t Discuss It Without Backlash, by Jonathan Zimmerman (Pennsylvania):

Do Black students receive lower grades in law school? If so, why?

It has now become dangerous to ask those questions. And that’s very bad news for anyone who cares about systemic racism — or freedom of speech — in the United States. We’ll never solve America’s glaring racial inequities unless we can also talk about them.

That’s the real take-away of last week’s imbroglio at Georgetown Law School, where adjunct professor Sandra A. Sellers was fired for saying that her Black students often underachieve academically. “I hate to say this,” Ms. Sellers told fellow adjunct David C. Batson, apparently unaware that she was still being recorded after a virtual class. “I end up having this angst every semester that a lot of my lower [students] are Blacks … You get some really good ones. But there are also usually some that are just plain at the bottom. It drives me crazy.” ...

What, precisely, was inappropriate about Ms. Sellers’ remarks? Some viewers objected to her jocular tone and to her use of the term “Blacks,” as opposed to Black students. But her statement reflected an important social fact: On the average, Black Americans get lower grades in law school than other racial groups do. They’re also less likely to pass the bar exam on the first try.

And there’s only one plausible explanation for that: systemic racism. ... [E]ven when you compare them to non-Black students with similar college grades and standardized test scores, African Americans still get worse grades in law school. It isn’t just that our broader society discriminates against them, although of course it does. Something happens in law school itself that inhibits Black achievement. ...

[I]t’s so much easier — and, let’s face it, a lot more fun — to blame a hapless adjunct faculty member who was captured on a 40-second video clip. Ms. Sellers did not invoke any of the hateful, racist tropes that infect our culture. All she said was that Black students received lower grades in her classes, and — several times — she decried that fact. ...

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

Friday, March 19, 2021

Tax Prof Diane Ring Named Interim Dean At Boston College

BC Law, Diane Ring Named Interim Dean:

Ring (2021)Diane Ring, the Associate Dean of Faculty at BC Law, will step into the role of Interim Dean of Boston College Law School on July 1, upon the departure of Vincent Rougeau, who is leaving after ten years at the helm of the Law School to assume the presidency of the College of the Holy Cross.

“Diane has been a valued member of our community for over fifteen years, as well as a member of my associate dean leadership team for the past three years,” said Dean Rougeau. “She also served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2010-2012, and in that role she was invaluable to me in my own transition when I was hired as dean in 2011.”

Ring will work closely with BC Law’s senior leadership over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition. “She is talented and accomplished,” Rougeau continued, “and I know this school will be in extremely capable hands as the Provost proceeds with the search process for a permanent replacement.”

In addition to her academic administration skills, Ring is a respected leader and scholar in the field of international taxation, corporate taxation, and ethical issues in tax practice at BC Law. Her recent work addresses issues including information exchange, tax leaks, international tax relations, sharing economy and human equity transactions, and ethics in international tax.

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March 19, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink

Record Number Of Black Students Named Editor-In-Chief Of Top Law Reviews

Karen Sloan (Law.com), Record Number of Black Students Take the Reins at Top Law Journals:

It’s turning out to be a banner year for Black law students trailblazing to the top of the masthead at flagship law reviews.

At least eight such law journals have elected their first-ever Black editors-in-chief this cycle, in what could be a sign that legal education’s renewed diversity efforts are yielding results and that law students are taking steps to combat their own internal biases. It looks to be the single-largest cohort of groundbreaking Black law review leaders on record, according to research compiled by Wake Forest University law professor Gregory Parks. Notably, seven of the eight incoming Black editors are women.

“One thing that has hindered Black people in the past from becoming [editor-in-chief] is other members of the journal who can’t check their biases at the door or who are not aware of them,” said Parks, who has been working to develop a list of Black editors-in-chief at the flagship journals of the top-ranked 100 law schools.

This cycle represents the acceleration of a trend that began in 2013, when the fairly dismal record of flagship law journals promoting Black students to the top editor post began to improve slightly. Of the 60 Black editors-in-chief Parks identified at top 100 law schools, more than half were appointed in 2013 or later.  [Pepperdine Caruso Law is proud to have had two Black editors-in-chief of our law review prior to 2013: Jason Marsili and Jack White].

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

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Eliminate The Bar Exam For Lawyers

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  Eliminate the Bar Exam for Lawyers: The Disadvantaged Pay the Price For an Elitist Legal System., by Clifford Winston (Brookings Institution; Co-author, Trouble at the Bar: An Economics Perspective on the Legal Profession and the Case for Fundamental Reform (2021)):

TroubleThe legal profession regulates itself—which explains how lawyers get away with practices that pad their own earnings and block nonlawyers from selling competing services at lower prices.

Congress may soon strengthen the antitrust enforcement powers of the Biden administration’s Justice Department. The department should use those powers to eliminate the American Bar Association’s monopoly in determining what constitutes an acceptable legal education and state licensing requirements, which restrict the supply of lawyers. ...

Eliminating both the ABA’s monopoly control of legal education and states’ licensing requirement would allow alternative legal education programs to flourish, including vocational and online courses that could be completed in less than a year and college programs that offer a bachelor’s degree in law. Graduates of those programs could expand the availability of effective, low-cost civil legal services. Three-year law schools would be forced by the new competition to reduce tuition and the time to graduate. More J.D.s would be free to pursue a career in public-interest law if they were less encumbered by law school debt. ...

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

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

9th Circuit Revives Tenured University Of Oregon Professor's Equal Pay Claim That She Makes $14,000-$42,000 Less Than Her Male Counterparts

Following up on my previous post, Federal Judge Cites Retention Bonuses Paid To Male University Of Oregon Faculty As Justification For Female Professor's Lower Pay:  The Recorder, Trump Judge’s Dissent Would ‘Gut’ Equal Pay Act, 9th Circuit Maj. Ruling Says:

Oregon LogoA dissent from a Trump-appointed circuit judge in a pay discrimination case would effectively “gut” the Equal Pay Act if applied, according to a majority opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

In a 61-page opinion Monday, the California appeals court revived in part a psychology professor’s claims that the University of Oregon had discriminated against her by paying her between $14,000 and $42,000 less than some of her male counterparts. [Freyd v. University of Oregon, No. 19-35428 (9th Cir. Mar. 15, 2021)]

Jennifer Joy Freyd alleged that the university violated several state and federal civil rights laws including the Equal Pay Act by offering her significantly less compensation than male members of her department. She asserted that the university’s practice of offering retention raises to some professors without also increasing the salaries of their peers of comparable merit and seniority contributed to the alleged inequity.

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane of the District of Oregon granted summary judgement on all claims in favor of the university on the grounds that Freyd’s Equal Pay Act claims failed to raise a genuine issue of fact. The judge found that she did not show that she performed substantially equal or comparable work to her male colleagues.

In the majority opinion, the Ninth Circuit panel determined that the case ought to be decided by a jury. ...

In a dissent, Judge Lawrence VanDyke of the Ninth Circuit, nominated to the court by President Donald Trump, noted that Freyd is “in the big leagues of her profession,” and the market-driven practice of pay disparities based on retention raises does not violate federal and state laws.

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

Monday, March 15, 2021

Big Law Firms Prepare For A Second Year Of Virtual Summer Associate Programs

Law.com, Big Firms Prepare for Another Year of Virtual Summer Programs:

Following months of uncertainty over their summer associate programs, several large law firms have decided to make their 2021 programs virtual for a second year in a row, though some are leaving the door open for potential in-person events.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Goodwin Procter and Ropes & Gray will have completely virtual programs, with the first two opting for a full 10-week summer associate schedule.

Summer programs at Latham & Watkins; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton; and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati will be virtual and full-length as well, though the firms have said that there may be in-person events toward the end of the program.

Most firms made their announcements in the last week, breaking with many firms that told Law.com in late February that they are holding out in hopes that they can have an in-person program—an experience that partners often feel is crucial to integrating prospective associates with a firm’s culture. ...

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

75% 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 three-quarters of the way through Fall 2021 law school admissions season. The number of law school applicants reported by LSAC is up 20.3% compared to last year at this time.

LSAC 1A

192 of the 200 law schools are experiencing an increase in applications. Applications are up 50% or more at 23 law schools, and 30% or more at 89 law schools:

LSAC 5

Applicants are up the most in Northwest (25.4%), New England (25.0%), and Midwest (24.3%); and up the least in the Great Lakes (17.2%), Other (18.1%), and Midsouth (19.1%):

LSAC 3

Applicants' LSAT scores are up 64.2% in the 170-180 band, 28.4% in the 160-169 band, 10.1% in the 150-159 band, and 3.3% in the 120-149 band:

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

Black Law Students Are Thriving At Places Like Georgetown, But There Still Aren’t Enough Of Them

Following up on Saturday's Post, Georgetown Law School Fires Professor For ‘Abhorrent’ Remarks About Black Students Captured On Zoom:  Washington Post op-ed:  Black Law Students Are Thriving At Places Like Georgetown, But There Still Aren’t Enough Of Them, by Tahir Duckett (Relman Colfax, Washington, D.C.):

Duckett 2In 2013, just over a month after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the killing of Trayvon Martin, I walked into my first day at Georgetown Law. I was the only Black student in my section of more than 70 students.

Both my undergraduate GPA and my LSAT score were well below Georgetown Law’s median. I almost certainly benefited from affirmative action in my admission. Critics of affirmative action would have labeled me “unqualified” and unlikely to thrive at Georgetown — and left my first-year section completely devoid of Black students.

But I did thrive, graduating magna cum laude, clerking for a federal judge, and — much more important — building a successful public interest career. And I’m not alone. Every Black student I knew at Georgetown navigated the challenges of studying in a predominantly White institution and, regardless of their final GPA, went on to do important work.

That’s the critical broader context to a racist incident that thrust the Georgetown Law community into the public eye last week. ...

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

Sunday, March 14, 2021

There Is No 'Priesthood Of Professors' At Religious Colleges: Professor Of Social Work Is Not A 'Ministerial Employee'

Inside Higher Ed, Court: Gordon Is Religious, but Professor of Social Work Is Not ‘Ministerial Employee’:

Gordon CollegeThe Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled Friday that Gordon College is a religious college, but that an associate professor of social work is "not a ministerial employee." If she were a ministerial employee, Gordon could not be sued for various forms of alleged wrongdoing. In this case, Margaret DeWeese-Boyd is suing Gordon, charging that she was not promoted to a full professor, despite backing from the Faculty Senate, because of her opposition to Gordon's policies opposing gay rights.

DeWeese-Boyd v. Gordon College, No. 12988 (Mass. Mar. 5, 2021):

We conclude that Gordon College (Gordon) is a religious institution, but that the plaintiff, Margaret DeWeese-Boyd, is not a ministerial employee. Her duties as an associate professor of social work differ significantly from cases where the ministerial exception has been applied, as she did not teach religion or religious texts, lead her students in prayer, take students to chapel services or other religious services, deliver sermons at chapel services, or select liturgy, all of which have been important, albeit not dispositive, factors in the Supreme Court's functional analysis. The most difficult issue for us is how to evaluate her responsibility to integrate her Christian faith into her teaching and scholarship as a professor of social work.

The Supreme Court has not specifically addressed the significance of the responsibility to integrate religious faith into instruction and scholarship that would otherwise not be considered ministerial.

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

Preaching The Gospel After Giving Up My Confederate Flag

TaxProf Blog op-ed:  Big Tent Revival: Preaching The Gospel After Giving Up My Confederate Flag, by Jeffrey R. Baker (Pepperdine) (reprinted with permission from the Mississippi Free Press):

BakerBefore I confessed and repented, the last fun night I had with my Confederate Battle Flag was in my college dorm room at Harding University in the spring of 1996. I had borrowed my girlfriend’s video camera for a project, and later my roommates and I fell into one of those spontaneous, manic, completely sober dance parties that sometimes beset college students studying late at night. It was rock and boogie, air guitars and my Confederate Battle Flag hanging over my bed.

It was hilarious, and I’m afraid that video is around here somewhere. It’s the kind of video from the last century that could get a liberal canceled in the 2020s.

But I can’t deny it was there and won’t deny it was mine. Then, I would have said it was for southern pride. That was the truth when I was 19, but not for much longer. When I moved in as a freshman, I hung it proudly like many other southern white boys going off to college. And why not? I was among the last-ever students to attend S.D. Lee High School in Columbus where the assistant principal would dress up in a Confederate uniform at homecoming pep rallies.

That flag flew from the monument in front of the Lowndes County Courthouse. It flew literally everywhere over Mississippi. It was defiant. It was state pride, team spirit and religious icon. When a people are as defeated, impoverished and humiliated as the white South thought they were, they cling to the things that give a sense of meaning to the losses and a hope of future glory.

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

Saturday, March 13, 2021

The Writing Is On The Wall For Vermont Law School's Underground Railroad Murals After Federal Judge’s Ruling

Vermont Mural

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Valley News, Writing Is on the Wall for VLS Murals After Judge’s Ruling:

A federal judge has ruled that Vermont Law School can put up a wall to obscure a pair of murals, so long as the murals are unharmed.

The ruling, issued Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford, deals a blow to artist Sam Kerson, who painted the murals, which depict scenes of slavery and the Underground Railroad, in 1993 and 1994. Crawford rejected Kerson’s request for a preliminary injunction preventing the law school from destroying or modifying the works.

Kerson had argued that the federal Visual Artists Rights Act, or VARA, protects the murals from even being covered. Law school officials, who last summer announced plans to paint over the murals, have covered them with dropcloths, but they intend to cover it with acoustic tiles placed 2 inches in front of the murals, each of which measures 8-by-24 feet. ...

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

Georgetown Law School Fires Professor For ‘Abhorrent’ Remarks About Black Students Captured On Zoom

Friday, March 12, 2021

Article About Lawyers Shunned In BigLaw Raises Eyebrows

ABA Journal, Legal Recruiter's Article About Lawyers Shunned in BigLaw Raises Eyebrows:

Prestigious law firms avoid hiring 23 types of lawyers, according to Harrison Barnes, the managing director and founder of BCG Attorney Search, a legal recruiting firm.

The shunned job candidates include government lawyers, lawyers who went to third- and fourth-tier law schools, and lawyers who don’t connect well with interviewers, according to Barnes’ online article, which is making the rounds on social media.

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

Thursday, March 11, 2021

The Death Of A Lawyer: A Journey From Law School To BigLaw Partner To Retirement

ABA Journal:  The Death of a Lawyer: A Journey From Law School to BigLaw Partner to Retirement, by Douglas Halpert (Senior Counsel, Hammond Neal Moore, Cincinnati):

HalpertI found myself on a Greyhound bus headed to Buffalo, New York, to join the law firm Cohen Swados, where I quickly learned that I did not want to be an estate lawyer. Fortunately, an opportunity almost immediately arose to be the firm’s sole immigration lawyer. I had found my professional passion. ...

I successfully learned the trade and flourished in Buffalo and then was knighted partner at Frost & Jacobs in Cincinnati in 1998 after migrating with my wife to relatively warmer climes. But these successes did not inspire me to want to spend my entire life practicing law.

It was not that I was dreadfully or even moderately unhappy being a lawyer. After all, I had indeed found something I was equipped to do and was able to earn a living. ...

[M]ost lawyers I encountered were unhappy: gloomily sitting at their desks; griping about the pressure of producing at their law firm; miserable at the constant demands of their clients; and weary from being browbeaten by their spouses about their long hours.

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

Enormous Endowment Fund Management Fees Contribute To Higher Ed's Financial Woes

American Prospect, Are Endowments Damaging Colleges and Universities?:

Endowments are supposed to help institutions weather periods of financial difficulty. Instead, they’ve become a source of it.

These are perilous times for private, nonprofit, independent higher education, and not just because of changing demographics, ever-climbing tuitions, and pandemic shutdowns. For years, education researchers have charged that institutions are unable to control costs effectively, especially their operating costs. In public discourse, colleges and universities are often characterized as reckless spenders. So when they slash academic budgets or cut staff, nearly everyone shrugs. Higher education has gradually accommodated itself to austerity thinking. But as any critic of neoliberalism can tell you, austerity is really just another way that money and resources are redistributed upward, and outward.

It is rarely, if ever, discussed how endowment fund management is an integral part of the budget problem. As the tax filings of virtually every private college or university show, enormous investment management fees are pouring out of nearly every substantial endowment and into the pockets of fund managers. Most of these fund managers are not university employees, but rather work for industries such as private equity, hedge funds, and other so-called “alternative” investments. According to its tax filings, Oberlin College (my alma mater) paid out a total of $14,872,522 in investment management fees between 2013 and 2017, averaging around $3 million per year. During that same period, Amherst College paid out $186,601,258. At both colleges, investment management fees actually exceeded reported profits from investments several times. Excluding Harvard (which manages its roughly $41 billion endowment internally and has also faced criticism for immensely high overheads), the remaining Ivy League colleges reported paying out $241,653,279 in fees in 2017 alone. That same year, Stanford University paid out $47,901,005, and Johns Hopkins $28,112,000. The list goes on and on. ...

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

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Faculty Members Are Suffering Burnout. These Strategies Could Help.

Chronicle of Higher Education, Faculty Members Are Suffering Burnout. These Strategies Could Help.:

Burned OutFaculty members are anxious and burned out. Juggling work and disrupted personal lives in the midst of a pandemic, they need help if they are going to remain — and flourish — in academe. The Chronicle recently released a special report, Burned Out and Overburdened, that explores how colleges can provide support. Here is a condensed excerpt from the report.

A frantic spring. A grueling fall and winter. The past year has not been kind to the faculty. In a survey this past October, conducted by The Chronicle and underwritten by Fidelity Investments, more than 75 percent of the 1,122 faculty respondents said their workload had increased since the start of the year. The majority said their work-life balance had deteriorated. And with the global pandemic still not under control, the next months are uncertain.

Experts worry that without proper intervention, faculty careers could be destabilized for years to come, especially those of women and people of color. In normal times, women were already more likely to perform service work for their departments and rank lower in the academic hierarchy. Faculty of color generally spend more time mentoring students of color and performing other forms of “invisible labor,” or work that isn’t recognized in the typical faculty-reward structure. With the most recent rise of the racial-justice movement, demands on those scholars have only increased.

Those disparities, baked into the system, have been amplified by the pandemic, says Cassidy R. Sugimoto, a professor of informatics at Indiana University at Bloomington who is studying women’s article submissions in the wake of Covid-19.

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

Women And Non-White Professors Of Lower Rank Are More Likely To Teach In Riskier Classrooms During COVID-19 Than Men And White Professors Of Higher Rank

Chronicle of Higher Education, Lower Pay. Less Job Security. More Covid-19 Risk?:

Lower-ranked instructors bear a disproportionate share of the risk of Covid-19 exposure while teaching at Auburn University, where only about half of the classrooms have the capacity to achieve physical distancing in accordance with public-health guidelines, a preliminary study has found.

The unpublished paper, written by two Auburn economics professors and a graduate student, suggests that inequities in the academic labor force have been exacerbated by a hard push for in-person instruction that places contingent faculty members and graduate students in the riskiest teaching environments.

The Distribution of Occupational Risk During the COVID-19 Pandemic:

We study the distribution of the risk of COVID-19 infection across instructors following the resumption of on-campus instruction at Auburn University during the 2020-2021 academic year. Although Auburn University did not implement a social distancing policy in the classroom, it did enforce an enrollment limit of 50% of normal classroom capacity. Our risk measure is constructed by comparing the actual enrollment in classes to the maximum number of students a classroom can hold and still maintain (CDC recommended) six feet of social distance. We find that approximately half of the face-to-face classes have enrollments that exceed the CDC social distancing capacity. In about one in five face-to-face classes, there are more students than twice the CDC capacity. Women and non-white instructors are more likely to teach in risky classrooms compared to their male and white colleagues, respectively.

COVID Teaching

Instructors who hold higher ranks within the University hierarchy, such as the administrators, tenured and tenure-track professors, and staff, deliver their courses in safer classrooms relative to the contract instructors, graduate student instructors, and lecturers.

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March 10, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

WSJ: Law Prof Gets Tenure, Then Takes Buy-Out To Switch To Stand-Up Comedy

Wall Street Journal, A Law Professor Switches to Stand-Up Comedy:

Liz 2“It wasn’t like I was Doogie Howser,” Liz Glazer said of her precocious success, but she wasn’t far off. She picked up a master’s degree in philosophy during her four years as an undergraduate, then shot through law school and landed a job at a Wall Street firm before becoming a full-time law professor at age 27. And then, shortly after attaining hard-won tenure, she quit to pursue a life in stand-up comedy. ...

At the University of Pennsylvania, she studied philosophy, writing her master’s thesis on Kantian aesthetics. Ms. Glazer’s mentor, Heidi Hurd, who taught both philosophy and law, gave her a piece of advice: Become a law professor. “The jobs are relatively easier to get than philosophy professorships, and you can teach law and write about philosophy,” Ms. Glazer said. ...

Ms. Glazer joined Hofstra by the following year and came to be known as one of the school’s more entertaining professors. “One of my colleagues said, ‘Whenever I walk by your classroom, laughter is spilling out,’ and I remember thinking, ‘I hope the school doesn’t think that’s a bad thing.’ ” Four years into teaching, in 2009, while on a visiting professorship at Loyola University Chicago, she enrolled in an improv comedy class, a move she likened to signing up for a tennis lesson. “I wanted to do something that was not connected to a goal,” she said. ...

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

New Academic Freedom Alliance To Protect Professors' Free Speech

Chronicle of Higher Education, A New Group Promises to Protect Professors’ Free Speech:

Academic Freedom AllianceFaculty members should have less to fear from antsy administrators and Twitter mobs.

When I spoke to the Princeton University legal scholar and political philosopher Robert P. George in August, he offered a vivid zoological metaphor to describe what happens when outrage mobs attack academics. When hunted by lions, herds of zebras “fly off in a million directions, and the targeted member is easily taken down and destroyed and eaten.” A herd of elephants, by contrast, will “circle around the vulnerable elephant.”

“Academics behave like zebras,” George said. “And so people get isolated, they get targeted, they get destroyed, they get forgotten. Why don’t we act like elephants? Why don’t we circle around the victim?”

George was then recruiting the founding members of an organization designed to fix the collective-action problem that causes academics to scatter like zebras. What had begun as a group of 20 Princeton professors organized to defend academic freedom at one college was rapidly scaling up its ambitions and capacity: It would become a nationwide organization. George had already hired an executive director and secured millions in funding.

In the summer, George emphasized that the organization must be a cross-ideological coalition of conservatives, liberals, and progressives who would be willing to exert themselves on behalf of controversial speakers no matter which constituency they had offended. Though the funding for the organization came from a primary conservative donor, and many of those who feel most besieged in today’s academic environment are on the right, the threats to academic freedom were myriad — and did not threaten only those on the right. A principled defense of core values would require scrupulous neutrality in application and significant participation from across the ideological spectrum. “If we were asked to defend Amy Wax, we would,” he said. “If we were asked to defend Marc Lamont Hill, we would.”

Today, that organization, the Academic Freedom Alliance, formally issued a manifesto declaring that “an attack on academic freedom anywhere is an attack on academic freedom everywhere,” and committing its nearly 200 members to providing aid and support in defense of “freedom of thought and expression in their work as researchers and writers or in their lives as citizens,” “freedom to design courses and conduct classes using reasonable pedagogical judgment,” and “freedom from ideological tests, affirmations, and oaths.”

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