Paul L. Caron
Dean



Friday, September 25, 2020

Suffolk Is Twelfth Law School To Offer Hybrid Online J.D.

Suffolk Law Launches Innovative Hybrid JD Program:

Hybrid JDA new approach
Suffolk University Law School has launched a pioneering new Hybrid JD Program (HJD). The program is the first to offer full- and part-time students a traditional in-person first-year classroom experience, followed by the option of taking all remaining classes online. By enrolling in the same first-year courses as all other students, HJD students will have an opportunity to develop close connections with classmates and faculty, while gaining a new level of flexibility to live and work where they want during the remainder of law school. Applications are available now to enroll beginning fall 2021.

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

Faculty Struggle With Burnout During COVID-19

Inside Higher Ed, Faculty Struggle With Burnout:

"Faculty burnout -- exacerbated by pandemic-related stressors, absent childcare and school, and unrelenting or even accelerating work expectations from colleagues -- poses real and serious risk for mental health challenges of unprecedented scope," said June Gruber, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Gruber co-wrote a column for Science last month saying that academe needs a "reality check" regarding expectations for faculty this semester. ...

Lisa Jaremka, assistant professor of social-health psychology at the University of Delaware, and co-author of a recent paper on "common academic experiences no one talks about" -- including burnout -- also said that the main consequences of burnout include mental health issues. Disillusionment with work is another danger.

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

How Philanthropy Benefits The Super-Rich

The Guardian, How Philanthropy Benefits the Super-Rich:

Philanthropy, it is popularly supposed, transfers money from the rich to the poor. This is not the case. In the US, which statistics show to be the most philanthropic of nations, barely a fifth of the money donated by big givers goes to the poor. A lot goes to the arts, sports teams and other cultural pursuits, and half goes to education and healthcare. At first glance that seems to fit the popular profile of “giving to good causes”. But dig down a little. 

The biggest donations in education in 2019 went to the elite universities and schools that the rich themselves had attended. In the UK, in the 10-year period to 2017, more than two-thirds of all millionaire donations — £4.79bn — went to higher education, and half of these went to just two universities: Oxford and Cambridge. When the rich and the middle classes give to schools, they give more to those attended by their own children than to those of the poor. British millionaires in that same decade gave £1.04bn to the arts, and just £222m to alleviating poverty.

The common assumption that philanthropy automatically results in a redistribution of money is wrong. A lot of elite philanthropy is about elite causes. Rather than making the world a better place, it largely reinforces the world as it is. Philanthropy very often favours the rich — and no one holds philanthropists to account for it.

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September 25, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 24, 2020

D.C. Is Fifth Jurisdiction To Adopt Diploma Privilege During COVID-19

Karen Sloan (Law.com), District of Columbia Adopts Diploma Privilege in Bar Exam's 11th Hour:

DC Bar (2020)The District of Columbia Court of Appeals on Thursday adopted a diploma privilege program that will allow recent law graduates to be admitted to practice without taking the bar exam, provided they practice under the supervision of a local attorney for three years.

That makes Washington, D.C., the fifth jurisdiction to create a pathway into the profession that bypasses the bar exam amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Utah, Washington, Oregon, and Louisiana have already taken similar measures.

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

Seattle Is Eleventh Law School To Offer Hybrid Online J.D.

Seattle University School of Law, Flex JD Program: The Best of Both Worlds:

Hybrid JDSeattle U Law’s new part-time hybrid-online JD program, starting fall 2021*, will prepare you to become a practicing attorney
*Pending ABA acquiescence

Why choose Flex JD?

A flexible format that fits your busy life

Complete most coursework online through an innovative hybrid online format, providing maximum schedule flexibility for students with work and family commitments.

Connect with classmates during limited campus visits

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

California Supreme Court Rejects Emergency Diploma Privilege For Law School Graduates During COVID-19

In Re Temporary Waiver of the Bar Exam Requirement For Admission to the State Bar of California and Provision of Emergency Diploma Privilege, No S264358 (Cal. Sept. 23, 2020):

California Bar ExamThe court has considered petitioners' request for an emergency order waiving the California bar examination requirement for admission to the practice of law and granting immediate diploma privilege admission to applicants who have graduated from law school with either a J.D. or an LL.M degree; who are currently registered for the October 2020 California Bar Examination; and who otherwise meet all qualifications for admission to the State Bar of California. The request is denied.

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

Tax Prof Twitter Census (2020-21 Edition)

TwitterAccording to Bridget Crawford's latest census, there are 1,368 Law Profs on Twitter (55.4% male/44.5% female), including 85 Tax Profs (several with tax in their Twitter handles):

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September 24, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Welcome To The ‘Turbulent Twenties’

Jack A. Goldstone (George Mason) & Peter Turchin (Connecticut), Welcome To The ‘Turbulent Twenties’:

Almost three decades ago, one of us, Jack Goldstone, published a simple model to determine a country’s vulnerability to political crisis. The model was based on how population changes shifted state, elite and popular behavior. Goldstone argued that, according to this Demographic-Structural Theory, in the 21st century, America was likely to get a populist, America-first leader who would sow a whirlwind of conflict.

Then ten years ago, the other of us, Peter Turchin, applied Goldstone’s model to U.S. history, using current data. What emerged was alarming: The U.S. was heading toward the highest level of vulnerability to political crisis seen in this country in over a hundred years. Even before Trump was elected, Turchin published his prediction that the U.S. was headed for the “Turbulent Twenties,” forecasting a period of growing instability in the United States and western Europe.

Given the Black Lives Matter protests and cascading clashes between competing armed factions in cities across the United States, from Portland, Oregon to Kenosha, Wisconsin, we are already well on our way there. But worse likely lies ahead.

Our model is based on the fact that across history, what creates the risk of political instability is the behavior of elites, who all too often react to long-term increases in population by committing three cardinal sins.

First, faced with a surge of labor that dampens growth in wages and productivity, elites seek to take a larger portion of economic gains for themselves, driving up inequality.

Second, facing greater competition for elite wealth and status, they tighten up the path to mobility to favor themselves and their progeny. For example, in an increasingly meritocratic society, elites could keep places at top universities limited and raise the entry requirements and costs in ways that favor the children of those who had already succeeded.

Third, anxious to hold on to their rising fortunes, they do all they can to resist taxation of their wealth and profits, even if that means starving the government of needed revenues, leading to decaying infrastructure, declining public services and fast-rising government debts.

Such selfish elites lead the way to revolutions. They create simmering conditions of greater inequality and declining effectiveness of, and respect for, government. But their actions alone are not sufficient. Urbanization and greater education are needed to create concentrations of aware and organized groups in the populace who can mobilize and act for change. ...

In applying our model to the U.S., we tracked a number of indicators of popular well-being, inequality and political polarization, all the way from 1800 to the present. These included the ratio of median workers’ wages to GDP per capita, life expectancy, the number of new millionaires and their influence on politics, the degree of strict party-line voting in Congress, and the incidence of deadly riots, terrorism and political assassinations. We found that all of these indicators pointed to two broad cycles in U.S. history. ...

Writing in the journal Nature in 2010, we pointed out that such trends were a reliable indicator of looming political instability and that they “look set to peak in the years around 2020.” In Ages of Discord, published early in 2016, we showed that America’s “political stress indicator” had turned up sharply in recent years and was on track to send us into the “Turbulent Twenties.”

2020s

The Political Stress Index (PSI) combines the three crisis indicators in the Goldstone-Turchin theory: declining living standards, increasing intra-elite competition/conflict and a weakening state. Growing PSI indicates increased likelihood of political violence. The Well-Being Index indicates greater equality, greater elite consensus and a more legitimate state.

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

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

92% Of Law Schools Weigh Shorter (105 Minutes) Online LSAT The Same As Longer (175 Minutes) On-ground LSAT In Admissions Decisions

Kaplan Survey, Law Schools Say Applicants Who Take At-Home Version of LSAT® Amid COVID-19 Not at Admissions Disadvantage:

LSAT-FlexThere’s good news for law school applicants amid the most unpredictable admissions cycle in recent history. According to a new Kaplan survey of nearly 100 law schools across the United States, taking the shorter, one-hour and 45 minutes, at-home version of the usual LSAT exam—called the LSAT-Flex—will not put aspiring attorneys at an admissions disadvantage compared to those who submit scores from the regular exam*. According to the survey, 92 percent say they will evaluate applicants equally regardless of which LSAT version they take.

Another survey result finds that 60 percent agree that an at-home version of the LSAT “would produce a fair, reliable score for test-takers that I would have confidence in as an admissions officer evaluating applicants”; 13 percent disagree, while the remaining 27 percent didn’t offer a definitive opinion. ...

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September 23, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Schizer: The Conservative Legacy Of RBG

David M. Schizer (Former Dean, Columbia), The Conservative Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

RBGWith the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we have lost one of our nation's greatest legal minds. While she obviously was much beloved on the political left, we should not forget key aspects of her legacy that also resonated powerfully on the other side of the aisle, including her commitment to meritocracy, family, incremental change and the rule of law. I speak from personal experience, as a conservative who served as her law clerk during the October 1994 term—her second year on the Supreme Court—and stayed in close touch with her ever since.

RBG's friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the court's great conservative thinkers (who passed away in 2016), was perplexing to some commentators but made perfect sense to both justices. In part, their friendship sprang from the admiration each felt for the other's considerable talents, as well as from their shared love of opera. But their friendship was grounded also in common values. ...

[I]f you had asked me who exemplified the value of meritocracy—of letting people compete and show what they can do—RBG ... would have been my pick. As a champion for women's rights, she showed that everyone deserved to be judged on their merits. The Declaration of Independence promised us all the right to "the pursuit of happiness"—to develop our talents and pursue our dreams. RBG urged the nation to honor this commitment to women, as well as to men. Success should be based on ability, not biology.

RBG knew firsthand the frustration of not being judged on merit. Even though she was at the top of her law school class, no one would hire her after graduation in 1959. She would joke that as a woman, a mother and a Jew, she was a triple threat.

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September 23, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

NY Times: Law Firms Pay Supreme Court Clerks $400,000 Bonuses; New Study Confirms Their Influence With Their Justice

New York Times, Law Firms Pay Supreme Court Clerks $400,000 Bonuses. What Are They Buying?:

Supreme Court justices make $265,600 a year. The chief justice gets $277,700.

Their law clerks do a lot better. After a year of service at the court, they are routinely offered signing bonuses of $400,000 from law firms, on top of healthy salaries of more than $200,000.

What are the firms paying for? In a profession obsessed with shiny credentials, a Supreme Court clerkship glitters. Hiring former clerks burnishes the firms’ prestige, making them more attractive to clients.

Still, the former clerks are typically young lawyers just a couple of years out of law school, and the bonuses have a second and more problematic element, said Stephen Gillers, an expert on legal ethics at New York University. “They’re buying something else: a kind of inside information about how the court is thinking and how individual justices might be thinking,” he said.

The Supreme Court appears to recognize that this is a problem. Its rules impose a two-year ban barring former clerks from working on “any case pending before this court or in any case being considered for filing in this court.” (The rules also impose a permanent ban on working on “any case that was pending in this court during the employee’s tenure.”) ...

A new study in Political Research Quarterly suggests that the ban has not been completely successful [Ryan Black (Michigan State) & Ryan Owens (Wisconsin), The Influence of Personalized Knowledge at the Supreme Court: How (Some) Former Law Clerks Have the Inside Track.].

It examined about 3,600 Supreme Court arguments over two decades, controlling for many factors, and found that former clerks making arguments before the court were no more likely to persuade most justices than other lawyers. Another study last year came to a similar conclusion [Michael Nelson (Penn State) & Lee Epstein (Washington University), Lawyers With More Experience Obtain Better Outcomes].

But the new study identified one striking exception. Former clerks were 16 percentage points more likely to attract the votes of the justice for whom they had worked. The relationship increased their chances of obtaining their former boss’s vote to about 73 percent, from about 57 percent.

Court 1

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September 23, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

USC Professors Are 'Scared To Death To Teach' After Colleague 'Thrown Under The Bus' By Dean For Using Mandarin Word 'Nèige' In Class

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Chronicle of Higher Education, ‘Scared to Death to Teach’: Internal Report Cites ‘Chilling Effect’:

USC Marshall (2020)An anonymous survey of 105 professors at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business suggests that many of them have lost confidence in the dean, and that they feel “livid,” “betrayed,” and “scared of students” after a fellow faculty member was “thrown under the bus,” as several of them described it, following a controversy over his use of a Chinese word [see 29-page report here].

The faculty member, Greg Patton, a professor of clinical business communication, used the word nèige (那个), which literally means “that” in Mandarin, but is also commonly used as a filler word like “um” or “er.” It was part of an example during a Zoom class last month on how such words can prove distracting during presentations. The word is pronounced “nay-ga,” and some Black students in the class complained in an email to administrators that it sounded like the n-word.

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September 22, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Yet Another Generous Dean: Laura Rosenbury

Karen Sloan (Law.com), Yet Another Generous Dean:

Rosenbury (2020)I’m checking in on this welcome trend of law deans cutting big checks to their schools. The latest entrant is the University of Florida’s Laura Rosenbury. ...

I’ve been keep track of law deans making major donations to their schools during these crazy pandemic times, and I’m happy to add another one to the list. University of Florida law dean Laura Rosenbury has donated a total of $100,000 to various student support and scholarship programs. She joins Penn State Dickinson law dean Danielle Conway, Pepperdine law dean Paul Caron, and Florida International University law dean Antony Page in making six-figure gifts to their law schools in recent weeks.

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September 22, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

California Bar Applicants Confront Pandemic, Fires, And Dubious Online Test

San Francisco Chronicle, California State Bar Exam, Delayed Amid Pandemic, Becomes Contentious:

California Bar ExamSamuel Humy graduated from Cornell Law School this year and moved to California.

With a job lined up with the Santa Clara County Public Defender Office, he planned to take the California State Bar exam over the summer and start work in early August as a full-fledged lawyer.

Then the coronavirus happened. And the fires.

The State Bar pushed the test normally scheduled in July back to September, then to October as it figured out the software and security issues around a new online format for the hours-long exam, which normally involves test takers crammed into conference rooms.

Humy and his partner, who is also taking the bar, found a place in Santa Cruz to study, but the CZU Lightning Complex fires forced them to evacuate.

“The bar is a stressful test,” without having to worry about a pandemic, fires and an untested online format, Humy said.

Plenty of other would-be lawyers around California are also unsettled. ...

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September 22, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

U.S. Department Of Education Launches Civil Rights Investigation Following President's Admission Of Racism At Princeton

Chronicle of Higher Education, Princeton Acknowledged ‘Embedded’ Racism. The Education Dept. Says That’s Grounds for an Investigation:

PrincetonThe U.S. Education Department is investigating Princeton University for a possible violation of federal civil-rights law after the university’s president made public comments acknowledging systemic and embedded racism at the institution.

Department officials expressed concern in a letter to the university, dated September 16, that Princeton, “based on its admitted racism,” was not compliant with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits institutions that practice racial discrimination from receiving federal funds. Noting that Princeton had received “well over $75 million” in federal support since 2013, the letter stated that the university’s prior nondiscrimination and equal-opportunity assurances “may have been false.”

In this case, the “admitted racism” was an open letter that Princeton’s president, Christopher L. Eisgruber, sent to the Princeton community earlier this month. In the message, Eisgruber outlined steps his administration planned to take “to address systemic racism at Princeton and beyond.”

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September 22, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

NY Times: How Climate Migration Will Reshape America

New York Times Magazine, How Climate Migration Will Reshape America:

In recent years, summer has brought a season of fear to California, with ever-worsening wildfires closing in. But this year felt different. The hopelessness of the pattern was now clear, and the pandemic had already uprooted so many Americans. Relocation no longer seemed like such a distant prospect. Like the subjects of my reporting, climate change had found me, its indiscriminate forces erasing all semblance of normalcy. Suddenly I had to ask myself the very question I’d been asking others: Was it time to move?

I am far from the only American facing such questions. This summer has seen more fires, more heat, more storms — all of it making life increasingly untenable in larger areas of the nation. Already, droughts regularly threaten food crops across the West, while destructive floods inundate towns and fields from the Dakotas to Maryland, collapsing dams in Michigan and raising the shorelines of the Great Lakes. Rising seas and increasingly violent hurricanes are making thousands of miles of American shoreline nearly uninhabitable. As California burned, Hurricane Laura pounded the Louisiana coast with 150-mile-an-hour winds, killing at least 25 people; it was the 12th named storm to form by that point in 2020, another record. Phoenix, meanwhile, endured 53 days of 110-degree heat — 20 more days than the previous record.

For years, Americans have avoided confronting these changes in their own backyards. The decisions we make about where to live are distorted not just by politics that play down climate risks, but also by expensive subsidies and incentives aimed at defying nature. In much of the developing world, vulnerable people will attempt to flee the emerging perils of global warming, seeking cooler temperatures, more fresh water and safety. But here in the United States, people have largely gravitated toward environmental danger, building along coastlines from New Jersey to Florida and settling across the cloudless deserts of the Southwest.

I wanted to know if this was beginning to change. Might Americans finally be waking up to how climate is about to transform their lives? And if so — if a great domestic relocation might be in the offing — was it possible to project where we might go? To answer these questions, I interviewed more than four dozen experts: economists and demographers, climate scientists and insurance executives, architects and urban planners, and I mapped out the danger zones that will close in on Americans over the next 30 years. The maps for the first time combined exclusive climate data from the Rhodium Group, an independent data-analytics firm; wildfire projections modeled by United States Forest Service researchers and others; and data about America’s shifting climate niches, an evolution of work first published by The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last spring. (See a detailed analysis of the maps.)

Map

What I found was a nation on the cusp of a great transformation

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September 22, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 21, 2020

Bar Exam Update

2019-20 Survey of Applied Legal Education

The Center for the Study of Applied Legal Education (CSALE) has released Robert R. Kuehn (Washington University), Margaret Reuter (UMKC) & David A. Santacroce (Michigan), 2019-20 Survey of Applied Legal Education:

CSALEThe report summarizes the collective survey responses from 95% of law schools and over 1,300 law clinic and field placement instructors. The 2019-20 survey, CSALE’s fifth tri-annual survey, provides the most comprehensive, accurate picture to date of clinical legal education programs, courses, and faculty.

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September 21, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Cost Of The University Of Florida's Ascent Up The U.S. News Rankings, From #52 (#17 Among Public Universities) To #30 (#6)

Following up on my previous post, 2021 U.S. News College Rankings:  Chronicle of Higher Education, The Rules of the Game:

Florida US NewsHow the U.S. News rankings helped reshape one state’s public colleges.

For Bernie Machen, it started before he’d been hired. The University of Florida’s Board of Trustees was looking for a president who would commit to moving the institution up the U.S. News and World Report’s college rankings.

“The thing that would bring us all together was to be able to bring the university, that we all went to and loved, to the top 10,” said Manny Fernandez, a tech-company executive who chaired the 2003 presidential search. At the time, the University of Florida ranked No. 52 over all and No. 17 among public universities. The board wanted to see the Gators among the top 10 public institutions.

Fernandez was tired of the reactions he would get when he divulged his alma mater at parties. Either people wouldn’t have really heard of the University of Florida — “or somebody would say, ‘Wasn’t that voted No. 1 party school by Playboy?’” Fernandez was offended. “I believe I am who I am today because I went to this school,” he said. “We needed to change the external perception of the University of Florida.” U.S. News was one very effective way to do that.

Machen, too, believed in the goal. While many people inside and outside of higher education today argue that a high ranking doesn’t necessarily translate to quality, Machen believed in many of U.S. News’s metrics. “I feel that many of them are relevant and worth shooting for,” he said, “and I think improving on those variables made us a better institution.”

He became the president of the University of Florida in January 2004. He would not see the Gators reach his goal; he retired in 2014, when UF was No. 14 among public universities. But he set the ball for the next administration’s spike. The Gators would break into the top 10 in 2017. On Monday, in U.S. News’ latest rankings, they ranked sixth — on the verge of reaching their latest goal: top five.

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September 21, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Did USC Professor Get What He Deserved For Using Mandarin Word 'Nèige' In Class?

Following up on my previous post, USC Professor Removed From Class After Using Mandarin Word That Sounds Like English N***** Racial Slur:  Chronicle of Higher Education, How One Word Led to an Uproar:

USC Marshall (2020)Greg Patton was accused of using a racial slur in class. Did the business professor get what he deserved — or is he a convenient scapegoat?

Greg Patton said the word near the end of class. He was explaining how, when you make a presentation, it’s helpful to pause sometimes to let your audience absorb the information. Nervous speakers tend to fill the gaps with ums and ers when silence is preferable. It’s the kind of nuts-and-bolts advice that Patton, a professor of clinical business communication, has dispensed to M.B.A. students at the University of Southern California for a couple of decades now. He thought nothing of it at the time.

Many of his students aren’t from the United States. A typical M.B.A. class at Southern Cal’s Marshall School of Business is about one-third international, though that proportion is lower this year — around 12 percent — because of the pandemic. Patton tells students who aren’t native English speakers that he’s not a stickler on word choice or pronunciation; he cares more about their ideas. He also tries to mix in culturally diverse examples. When he talks about the importance of pausing, for instance, he notes that other languages have equivalent filler words. Because he taught in the university’s Shanghai program for years, his go-to example is taken from Mandarin: nèige (那个). It literally means “that,” but it’s also widely used in the same way as um.

And it sounds a bit like the n-word. The resemblance isn’t exact: The first vowel is a long “a” rather than a short “i,” and there’s no “r” sound at the end. It’s more like “nay-ga.” But it’s similar enough that, when it’s said rapidly and repeatedly, and heard out of context, an English speaker could mistake it for the racist slur. That is how several of Patton’s students apparently heard it in a class on August 20, and they complained to the administration. The complaint led to Patton’s removal from the course.

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September 21, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Sunday, September 20, 2020

State Auditor Tries To Fire Tenured Professor Who Participated In #ScholarStrike

Following up on my previous post, #ScholarStrike: Professors Plan Strike For Racial Justice:  Clarion Ledger, State Auditor Investigating Ole Miss Professor Who Participated in Strike:

#ScholarStrikeState Auditor Shad White is pushing Ole Miss to fire one of its professors, James Thomas (@Insurgent_Prof), saying Thomas illegally participated in a two-day strike last week.

White sent a letter to Ole Miss Chancellor Glenn Boyce on Monday describing a "work stoppage" the sociology professor participated in on Sept. 8 and 9. The nationwide event was called "Scholar Strike," and involved professors and others in academia halting their classes and other duties to protest racism, police brutality and other racial injustice issues.

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September 20, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Reynolds: A Simple 3-Camera TV Studio Classroom For Lively Online Teaching

Glenn Reynolds (Tennessee), Tired of Looking Gray and Boring Online? A Simple 3-Camera TV Studio Classroom For Lively Online Teaching:

Tired of the dreary webcam-look in my online classroom, I created a fairly simple and reasonably inexpensive three-camera studio using real video cameras for online teaching. This paper outlines how it was done, and provides suggestions for simpler, cheaper alternatives that are still far superior to traditional webcam approaches.

Reynolds 1

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September 20, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Call For Papers: Yale Law Journal

Yale Law Journal (2020)

The Yale Law Journal asked me to post the following:

Submissions for Vol. 130 will close on Sept. 23rd. We encourage authors with Articles and Essays to submit their pieces well before the close of submissions. We are no longer accepting submissions of Features, Book Reviews, and Forum.

Yale Law Journal, Submissions:

To submit, please use our online submissions system

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

The Journal’s Style Guide is available here.

The Journal’s Empirical Work Policy is available here.

ARTICLES AND ESSAYS

The division between these two forms of professional scholarship serves not merely to separate longer pieces from shorter ones, but also to encourage two distinct and complementary approaches to legal analysis.

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September 20, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 19, 2020

California Public Universities To Be Online In Spring 2021

Los Angeles Times, Cal State Universities Will Stay Online All Year Amid COVID-19 Pandemic:

CSUThe nation’s largest public university system will continue with primarily online instruction for the remainder of the academic year amid the state’s ongoing coronavirus crisis, California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White announced Thursday in a letter to students, faculty and staff.

White said he had consulted extensively with campus presidents and considered the state of the pandemic in California as well as university operations.

“The disease continues to spread,” he said. “While the current mitigation factors do make a difference, in the absence of a vaccine and of sufficient, cost-effective, timely testing and contact-tracing infrastructure, we are not able to return to a normal, principally in-person schedule in January 2021.”

There will be some limited exceptions for classes that cannot be delivered remotely. On-campus housing will also be reduced. ...

Across the Cal State system, less than 7% of classes will be offered in person this term, with significant variability by campus. White said that he expects similar variations in the spring and that in some cases it may be possible to increase the amount of in-person instruction, whereas in others it may be necessary to pull back.

Los Angeles Times, UC Should Prepare For Online Classes, Limited Dorms Beyond Fall, UC Health Chief Says:

University of California (2020)The University of California’s top health executive has told UC officials to prepare to continue online learning and limited access to campus beyond the fall as the COVID-19 pandemic will probably cause at least another year of disruption to university operations.

“This is not something that will go away quickly,” Dr. Carrie L. Byington, who heads UC Health, told regents during their two-day online meeting this week. The university’s $13-billion health enterprise includes 19 health professional schools and six health systems, five of them academic medical centers.

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September 19, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, September 18, 2020

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Tech Vendor Backs California Law School Deans: Online Bar Exam Proctoring Is A Chimera

Following up on my previous posts:

Extegrity Statement (Sept. 14, 2020):

EE 2Re California law school deans letter (14 September 2020) advocating an unproctored remote exam in October.

Extegrity is relieved to see so many California law school deans reach the same conclusion we did back in July. While it is too late to spare applicants the dramatic uncertainty of the past six weeks, it is not too late to reconsider the undue risk of remote proctored exams.

Remote proctoring was not envisioned — nor has it been proven ready — for large-scale, high-stakes, simultaneous-start "event" exams like the bar exam. But we are not saying all remote exams carry undue risk. The obvious low risk example is what the deans are suggesting: “takehome” exams, exactly as we have helped law schools nationwide administer by the many-tens-of-thousands, semester after semester, for two decades.

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September 18, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Changing Law School Curriculum: More Courses, Less Rigor?

National Jurist, More Course Offerings, But Less Rigor?:

William Carney, a retired University of Emory School of Law professor who spent nearly 40 years in legal education, wanted to know just how law school curriculum has evolved over the decades. ...

The result was a recently published paper aptly called, “Curriculum Change in Legal Education,” which tracks changes from 1973 to 2018. Through his research, he noticed a shift from a number of bedrock law offerings to less traditional ones. ...

Why is this a big deal? Students are still taught core subjects, such as torts and Constitutional law, right? Why can’t they have a little spice?

Well, Carney argues that the changes he discovered may indeed be affecting student success. In 1973, the national average bar passage rate for first-time takers was 82%. By 2017 the passage rate had fallen to 72%. ... Many of these new courses are not covered on the bar exam, so students could jeopardize their chances if they are too reliant on them, he said. ...

He found some new courses that left him confounded. He wrote that they “defy my attempts to rationalize their existence, either because of my ignorance of their content or suspicions about their usefulness in the practice of the profession. In some cases, they appear to represent approaches that are more political and polemic than legal.”

Such courses include animal law and feminist legal theory, he wrote.

That did not sit well with professors who teach feminist legal theory.

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September 18, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Why Law Firms Collapse

John Morley (Yale), Why Law Firms Collapse, 75 Bus. Law. 1399 (2020):

Law firms don’t just go bankrupt—they collapse. Like Dewey & LeBoeuf, Heller Ehrman, and Bingham McCutchen, law firms often go from apparent health to liquidation in a matter of months or even days. Almost no large law firm has ever managed to reorganize its debts in bankruptcy and survive. This pattern is puzzling because it has no parallel among ordinary businesses. Many businesses go through long periods of financial distress and many even file for bankruptcy. But almost none collapse with the extraordinary force and finality of law firms. Why?

I argue that law firms are fragile in part because they are owned by their partners rather than by investors.

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September 18, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Professors Have Given Seven Times As Much To Biden Than To Trump

Inside Higher Ed, Higher Ed Gave Five Times As Much To Biden Than Trump:

IHEThough the nation finds itself deeply divided, it’s clear whom employees at the nation’s higher education institutions are supporting financially in the presidential race.

According to federal elections records, those who listed their employer as a college or university have given Democratic candidate Joe Biden about $4.9 million in contributions, more than five times as much as the $890,000, including donations from for-profit college executives, that they have given President Trump.

The contributions to Biden have come widely, from about 8,800 donors, compared to the 2,800 higher education employees who want to see another four years of a Trump administration.

Even more pronounced are whom those college or university employees, who listed their occupation either as professor, instructor or teacher, are giving to. The educators have given about $2.7 million to Biden, according to Federal Election Commission records in the election cycle beginning in January 2019 -- or seven times as much as the $353,00 they have to Trump. ...

The list of institutions whose employees have given the most to Biden’s campaign is topped by major universities. Employees of the University of California system have given Biden $186,000, followed by the $152,000 donated by employees at Stanford University and the $135,000 donated by Georgetown University workers.

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September 17, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

More NALP Salary Data For The Law School Class Of 2019

House Of Cards: Can The American University Be Saved?

The Nation:  House of Cards: Can the American University Be Saved?, by Daniel Bessner University of Washington):

The Nation (2020)The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the glaring contradictions in American higher education. State research universities are preparing to decrease services in light of anticipated budget shortfalls as small liberal arts colleges teeter on the brink of financial ruin. Meanwhile, Ivy League and other rich universities have refused to dip into their massive endowments and have instead chosen to pursue austerity while increasing tuition—and increasing debt—for their students.

Across the country, universities are canceling classes and furloughing workers, leaving thousands stranded without income. Though some schools have lengthened the tenure timelines of assistant professors, the majority have refused to extend a similar courtesy to graduate students. Staff members and adjuncts have likewise been abandoned—forced to work fewer hours or unceremoniously let go. The situation is likely to get worse as students refuse to shell out tens of thousands of dollars to take subpar online courses while sitting in their living rooms. Without exaggeration, American higher education may be on the verge of a total breakdown.

To those who labor in universities, the precarious condition in which academia finds itself is no surprise. For years, the university system has been operating on borrowed time. Beginning in the 1980s, college administrators, often employing high-fee consultants, hollowed out the academic workforce, replacing full-time jobs with contingent positions that were poorly paid and benefited. At the same time, exploding tuition costs obliged students to take out enormous loans that compelled them to view higher education primarily as a precursor to employment—employment that, as the economy worsened, was rarely guaranteed. This house of cards, built on exploitation, anti-intellectualism, and massive debt, was doomed to collapse.

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September 17, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

History Is Happening Tonight At 6:00 PM PT On Zoom

At the Pepperdine Caruso Law Christian Legal Society weekly bible study:  "What I Wish I Knew About Justice When I Was a Law Student"

CLS

September 16, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (0)

WSJ: MBA Hiring Is Down 60% This Year

Wall Street Journal, M.B.A.s Are Usually Swimming in Job Offers by Now. Not This Year.:

WSJBusiness school students are bracing for an uncertain job market this coming school year as many traditional corporate recruiters shelve their usual fall hiring plans.

At a time of year when many business school students are polishing their networking skills and getting their business haircuts, a number of big companies, including consulting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers, say there will be no jobs on offer to second-year M.B.A. candidates, beyond those who interned this summer, looking to lock down a position before they graduate.

The murky job market has both students and schools worried. M.B.A. students can pay $200,000 or more to attend some of the most elite programs, once two years of living costs are factored in, for the promise of an accelerated career and higher salary. Schools market strong job-placement rates to prospective students; those rates ranged between 80% to 90% for many highly ranked programs before the pandemic hit.

PwC said it has no plans to hire up to 100 second-year M.B.A. students as it usually does each fall. ...

Other companies [Bain and EY] say they are taking a wait-and-see approach. ... Kevin Stacia, an M.B.A. career coach and corporate-relations manager at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business, said students and employers are stuck in limbo for now. “Nobody is making commitments yet,” he said. ...

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September 16, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Amidst 75% Enrollment Decline, Thomas Cooley Abandons Naming Rights To Minor League Baseball Stadium

Cooley 2

Karen Sloan (Law.com), Struggling Cooley Law School Relinquishes Minor League Ballpark Naming Rights:

It’s the end of an—admittedly strange—era in law school advertising.

The minor league baseball stadium in Lansing, Michigan, will no longer bear the name of Cooley Law School, the Lansing Lugnuts announced this week. The law school opted not to renew its naming rights for the ballpark, which it acquired in 2010 for $1.5 million over 11 years. That presumably leaves no professional sport venues in the country named for a law school. (The stadium deal was believed to be a first and no law school has followed suit in the subsequent decade.)

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September 16, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Stetson Competition Generates Tax Solutions To Address Climate Change

New Competition Generates Tax Solutions to Address Climate Change:

Stetson Logo (2020)Stetson University College of Law launched a new competition to galvanize students to develop innovative tax law policies that could fund solutions for sea level rise.

Though tax policy might not be the first discipline to come to mind in which to seek tools to combat climate change, attorney and author Richard O. “Dick” Jacobs felt confident Stetson students, if given the challenge, could mine it to great effect. Rising sea levels are a pressing issue for Florida’s future, and Jacobs thought funding a competition would jump start a conversation by focusing on tax policy solutions to help address the problem.

And so The Stetson Environmental Tax Policy Writing Competition: Tax Policy Solutions to Address Sea Level Rise was born. Students submitted their ideas in late spring, and a committee of tax and environmental lawyers judged the competition using the following criteria: (1) breadth and depth of analysis and sources, (2) creativity and originality, (3) objectivity and legal accuracy, (4) effectiveness of writing style, (5) practicality for addressing the issue, and (6) compliance with the contest rules.

Submissions could include proposed changes to the Florida Constitution and to Florida tax and regulatory law. The first and second place winners split a $1,000 cash prize. The winners of the inaugural competition were:

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September 15, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Location In Red Or Blue States Influences Whether Colleges Are Teaching On-Ground (Red) Or Online (Blue) This Fall

Map

Inside Higher Ed, Political Influence on Fall Plans:

Colleges and universities looked at several factors when determining whether to reopen their campuses to students for the fall, including local COVID-19 case numbers, campuses' ability to physically distance students and what students said they wanted in surveys.

But another factor seems to have played a major role in the decision-making process, one that is not being touted in news releases or letters to the community: colleges' decisions appear to be closely tied to whether the state they are in is red or blue.

Data from the College Crisis Initiative at Davidson College was able to predict the likelihood of whether an institution planned to be in-person or predominantly in-person for the fall term based on the political leanings of the state.

"In an ideal world, perhaps it shouldn’t matter whether there’s a D or an R after your governor’s name," said John Barnshaw, vice president of research and data at Ad Astra, which provides scheduling software and consulting services to institutions of higher education. The company also partnered with Davidson College for its data project by sending out surveys to its members. "But it seems to matter, for better or for worse." ...

If the state was carried by President Trump in the 2016 election, colleges in that state are significantly more likely to have planned more in-person instruction in the fall. This is also true for states with Republican governors and Republican control of legislatures. Colleges in states with a trifecta of a governor, state senate and house all under control of the Republican Party are even more likely to be in person.

The inverse also is true — colleges in states with Democratic governors or legislative control are more likely to offer remote instruction. ...

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September 15, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Today’s College Classroom Is A Therapy Session

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  Today’s College Classroom Is a Therapy Session, by Joseph Epstein (Northwestern):

TherapyReading about ... award-winning teachers makes one wonder if teaching has become the pedagogical equivalent of psychotherapy. Ought teaching to be primarily about building self-esteem in students, “nurturing” and above all making them feel “safe?” And what do you suppose an “inclusive and anti-racist learning space” looks like?

The two biggest lies about teaching are that one learns so much from one’s students and, so gratifying is it, one would do it for nothing. I had a number of bright and winning students, but if I learned anything from them, I seem long ago to have forgotten it. I always felt I was slightly overpaid as a teacher, but I wouldn’t have accepted a penny less. The one certain thing I learned about teaching is that you must never say or even think you are a good teacher. If you believe you are, like believing you are charming, you probably aren’t. ...

Teaching ... is less about making students feel welcome, supported and safe than it is about making them mildly ashamed of their ignorance and slightly fearful of exposing it. Shame and fear (also of failure) may not be central to classroom learning, but are indubitably part of it. They certainly were of my own.

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September 15, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Ropes & Gray Offers One-Year Deferral Program For Incoming And Current Associates; Will Other Big Law Firms Follow?

American Lawyer, Ropes & Gray Launches Voluntary Associate Deferral Program:

Ropes & GrayRopes & Gray has kicked off a voluntary one-year deferral program for its incoming first-years, who are due to start in January, and its current associates.

While many big firms delayed the start of their 2020 first-year associate classes to early 2021, Ropes’ option of a full deferral year may be the first in the Am Law 100 this year  — and it could pave the way for others to offer similar recession-era programs.

Ropes has made clear that this decision was not a result of financial stress, and first-years can still choose to start at the firm in January. Ropes was also among the first firms to make its summer associate program virtual and shortened.

The firm will pay participants an $80,000 stipend to work at a public interest group or nonprofit. They may also take a $38,800 stipend—20% of first-year starting pay—to take a personal sabbatical doing whatever they wish, except for practicing law at a law firm. Above the Law first reported on the new offering Thursday.

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September 15, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Arizona State Law Faculty And Staff Have Given $5 Million For Students Over Past Decade

Press Release, ASU Law Faculty, Staff, Community Raise Over $2.5 Million, Provide Employment Opportunities For Students During Pandemic:

DownloadIn a world that is changing every day, the faculty of Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University stepped up to support its students in multiple ways while providing the most exceptional legal education possible.

ASU Law’s generous donors, including faculty members, have contributed over $2.5 million in financial support during the pandemic. These donations have provided ASU Law students with public interest fellowships, first-generation and diversity scholarships, externship stipends, experiential learning opportunities and support for essential needs.

And over the summer when student employment opportunities were canceled or cut short due to COVID-19, ASU Law Dean Douglas Sylvester called on faculty to create innovative, paid internship and externship opportunities for students. Quickly stepping in, faculty launched a highly successful program, with 81 students participating in these special summer work opportunities while earning more than $220,000 in paid stipends from ASU Law.

ASU Law also awarded nearly $13 million in scholarships to incoming JD students for fall 2020, and the college gave more than $50,000 to students needing extra support due to COVID-19.

This support is part of ASU Law’s continuing spirit of generosity with more than $80 million in donor gifts, close to $5 million coming from faculty and staff, raised in the last decade.

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September 15, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

2020 IFA International Tax Student Writing Competition (Sept. 30 Deadline)

IFA Logo (2015)The deadline in the International Fiscal Association's 2020 International Tax Student Writing Competition is September 30:

2020 IFA International Tax Student Writing Competition:
Subject: Any topic relating to U.S. taxation of income from international activities, including taxation under U.S. tax treaties.
Open to: All students during the 2019-20 academic year (including independent study and summer 2020 school courses) pursuing a graduate degree (J.D., L.L.M., S.J.D., M.S.T., MTA, Masters of Taxation, or similar program). Any appropriate papers written in fall 2019 or spring and summer 2020.
Publication: The winning author will be entitled to publish his/her article in the Tax Management International Journal, which is produced by Bloomberg BNA.
Submission DeadlineSeptember 30, 2020.
Prize:  $2,000 cash, plus expenses-paid invitation to the IFA USA Branch Annual Meeting in Chicago on April 22-23, 2021.

Here are the recent winners:

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September 15, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 14, 2020

California Law School Deans Request Supreme Court To Make Oct. 5-6 Online Bar Exam Open Book With No Proctoring

Letter to Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the California Supreme Court:

California Bar ExamWe write as deans of the ABA-accredited law schools in California.  We express our appreciation for all of your efforts to deal with the many issues concerning the bar exam at this unprecedented and difficult time.

We write now to urge that California administer the bar exam on October 5-6 without remote proctoring and without limits on what materials the student may consult during the exam.  Indiana and Nevada took this approach in July for their bar exams.

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September 14, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (4)

Bahadur: Attrition And Bar Performance

TaxProf Blog op-ed:  Attrition and Bar Performance, by Rory Bahadur (Washburn):

Recently I was made aware of an incredibly well researched article by Jeffrey Kinsler [The Best Law Schools for Passing the Bar Exam].  The article predicted bar outcomes based on incoming credentials and listed the 15 schools that overperformed their incoming credentials the most and the fifteen schools that underperformed the most on the bar based on incoming credentials. 

The article identified the 15 top overperforming schools as

Rank

The Top 15 Law Schools for Bar Passage

1

Belmont

2

Florida International

3

Liberty

4

Campbell

5

Texas A&M

6

Duquesne

7

LSU

8

Georgia State

9

Texas Tech

10

New Hampshire

11

Regent

12

South Carolina

13

Seton Hall

14

Cleveland State

15

Oklahoma

And it identified the 15 most underperforming schools as

Rank

The Bottom 15 Law Schools for Bar Passage

173

Touro

174

Minnesota

175

Northwestern

176

John Marshall (Atlanta)

177

New York Law School

178

UC-Hastings

179

Emory

180

Thomas Cooley

181

SUNY-Buffalo

182

American

183

Hofstra

184

Southwestern

185

Golden Gate

186

District of Columbia

187

San Francisco

The article suggests reasons for why these schools fall where they do but I thought it would be interesting based on my current research in this area to compare 1L attrition rates for these schools.  I very quickly used two on-line sources for the comparison.  I used this site to ascertain 1L attrition rates for law schools and this site to ascertain the seven-year average national 1L attrition rates for schools in different LSAT ranges.  The findings are laid out in the following tables that are modified from the article by Kinsler.

For the top 15 schools the data looks like this and it indicates the average 1L attrition rate for these schools is almost twice as high as the national average rate of 1L attrition for schools with similar LSAT entering credentials.

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September 14, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Sunday, September 13, 2020

The Use And Abuse Of Critical Race Theory In American Christianity

Following up on yesterday's post, Deans Of All Five University Of California Law Schools Defend Critical Race Theory Against Trump's Attacks:  David French, On the Use and Abuse of Critical Race Theory in American Christianity:

Three months ago I published a Sunday newsletter in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing called “American Racism: We’ve Got So Very Far to Go.” As best I can tell, it went more viral than anything else I’ve ever written, and it spawned a flood of follow-up questions. Among the most common? “David, as a Christian, what do you think of critical race theory and intersectionality?”

My answer is complicated, but the bottom line is relatively clear—it’s more useful and interesting than many of its critics contend, but it ultimately fails as both a totalizing theory of American life and as a philosophy truly compatible with the Christian gospel.

I was first exposed to critical race theory (CRT) almost 30 years ago, during my first year at Harvard Law School. During my entire 1-L year, only one of my professors wasn’t a so-called “crit,” an advocate for CRT. In fact, more than half of all my law school classes were taught from a critical legal theory perspective, and I’ve encountered (and debated) crit-informed legal arguments virtually my entire career. ...

A critical legal theorist will often deconstruct any given story or narrative to look for hidden ways that power, privilege, and assumptions about language color our decisions and our discourse. I’ll get to the problems of this framing later, but let me first show how it can help illuminate important truths. ...

CRT-infused analysis helps me not only understand the reason for persistent disparities, it should also build empathy and motivate action. What can we do to ameliorate the effects of this disparate power and privilege?

So does this mean that critical race theory is entirely good, useful, and worthy of Christian embrace? Not so fast.

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September 13, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Survey Finds Many College Students Lack Knowledge Of Religious Traditions

Ideals 2

Inside Higher Ed, Survey Finds Many College Students Lack Knowledge of Religious Traditions:

Many college students are not gaining the skill sets and knowledge they need to navigate a religiously diverse country, according to a new longitudinal study based on surveys of students across 122 campuses.

Less than a third (32 percent) of college students said they developed better skills to interact with people of diverse beliefs while in college, and nearly three-quarters of fourth-year students earned a grade of C or below on a short, standardized quiz testing their knowledge of eight different religious worldviews, the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS) found. The survey was led by researchers at North Carolina State and Ohio State Universities and Interfaith Youth Corps, a nonprofit organization.

IHE Faith

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September 13, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Deans Of All Five University Of California Law Schools Defend Critical Race Theory Against Trump's Attacks

Joint Statement of the Deans of the University of California Law Schools About the Value of Critical Race Theory:

UC (All Five)Dear UC law school community and friends,
As the Deans of the five University of California law schools, we write with one voice to defend Critical Race Theory and to speak against the attacks upon it by the President of the United States and the Office of Management and Budget. The faculties of the UC law schools include many of the leading scholars in Critical Race Theory (CRT) and our law schools engage in a good deal of important scholarship, teaching and policy work about how race and racial oppression shape law and society. We are enormously proud of our CRT colleagues and the important work they do, and we are deeply distressed to see the federal government attack this important intellectual tradition, caricature it in an unjustified and divisive manner, and ban federal employees from learning about it through trainings.

On September 4th, the Director of the Office Management and Budget, at the direction of the President, banned any training within the federal government related to Critical Race Theory, calling it “anti-American propaganda.” The OMB memorandum equates Critical Race Theory to two inaccurate and wildly oversimplified tenets: (1) that the United States is “an inherently racist or evil country” and (2) that white people are “inherently racist or evil.” This characterization reduces a sophisticated, dynamic field, interdisciplinary and global in scope, to two simplistic absurdities.  In fact, a central principle of Critical Race Theory is that there is nothing “inherent” about race.  Rather, CRT invites us to confront with unflinching honesty how race has operated in our history and our present, and to recognize the deep and ongoing operation of “structural racism,” through which racial inequality is reproduced within our economic, political, and educational systems even without individual racist intent.

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September 12, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (13)

Friday, September 11, 2020

September 11th At Pepperdine

This is a very special day at Pepperdine, as we honored the 2,887 victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks with our 13th Annual Waves of Flags Display:

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September 11, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (2)

Black Lawyers On Why Big Law Can't Keep Them Around

American Lawyer, Why They Left: Black Lawyers on Why Big Law Can't Keep Them Around:

American Lawyer LogoBig Law is failing Black lawyers. The stories of those who have left can help explain why.

Black attorneys are—and have always been—significantly underrepresented in the legal profession, more so than Latino and Asian American lawyers. Despite comprising more than 13% of the U.S. population, less than 2% of Big Law partners are Black, according to ALM data.

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September 11, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Will October's Online Bar Exams Implode For The 30,000 Takers? Why Aren't More States Offering Software 'Stress Tests'?

Karen Sloan (Law.com), Will October's Online Bar Exams Implode? Takers Request 'Stress Tests' to Find Out:

Upwards of 30,000 people are slated to take online bar exams in October, but virtually no jurisdiction is planning to hold so-called “stress tests” to see if the software platform delivering the test will hold up under the strain.

That’s a concern for law graduates like Melanie Blair, who is planning to take Illinois’ online exam Oct. 5 and 6. Blair is among the 11 examinees who filed a petition Sept. 1 asking the Illinois Supreme Court to compel the Illinois Board of Bar Admissions to conduct two live mock exams in the weeks before the exam to test the platform provided by ExamSoft—the outside vendor that every jurisdiction offering an online exam has contracted with. The court denied the petition two days later in a terse opinion that offered no reasoning for the decision. ...

Illinois test takers are not alone in their worries that the absence of wide-scale, simultaneous mock testing will conceal potential technical issues with the ExamSoft platform and result in a faulty exam come October. New Jersey currently appears to be the only jurisdiction planning anything akin to a stress test—it has asked test takers to take a mock exam at 11 a.m. Sept. 8, or as close as possible to that time.

But most other jurisdictions—including New York, California, Pennsylvania and Illinois, are requiring test takers to complete short two mock exams using the ExamSoft system at their own convenience. That will help examinees ensure that testing software is installed correctly on their laptops and will help them get familiar with the format of the online exam. But it won’t reveal potential problems with the capacity of ExamSoft’s system, the Illinois petitioners argued.

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September 10, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

California Supreme Court Urged to Ditch Online Bar Exam

Bloomberg Law, California Supreme Court Urged to Ditch Online Bar Exam:

California Bar ExamLeaders of the group United for Diploma Privilege have filed an emergency petition to the California Supreme Court, urging justices to waive the state’s bar exam requirement and instead allow law school grads to become licensed without taking the test.

Advocates have asked the California court to consider diploma privilege before, but their suggestions were rebuffed in mid-July, when the court ordered a two-day online test in October, and authorized a provisional licensing plan that allows some law school graduates to practice temporarily before passing the test.

But circumstances have changed, wrote Pilar Escontrias and Donna Saadati-Soto, leaders of the national diploma privilege group and recent law school grads who plan to practice in California. For one thing, they note in their exhaustive 275-page brief posted on the court’s website Wednesday afternoon that several states in recent months have adopted forms of emergency diploma privilege, including Utah, Washington State, and Louisiana.

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September 10, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Blame Pollyanna Presidents When Covid-19 Plans Fail

Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  Blame Pollyanna Presidents When Covid-19 Plans Fail, by Gregg Gonsalves (Assistant Professor of Epidemiology & Co-director of Global Health Justice Partnership, Yale):

CoronavirusAs the pandemic rages in many states, some college presidents are engaging in wishful thinking and hubris, believing they can keep the coronavirus at bay by relying on piecemeal responses. Sadly, we’re already experiencing outbreaks on campuses and retreats to remote learning: the University of Notre Dame, Michigan State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are the first major institutions that have seen the virus outwit their best plans. There will be many more over the coming weeks. ...

As we see more and more outbreaks on campuses, university presidents and trustees will run for cover, and these kinds of rationalizations for what they did and did not do are going to come in a torrent. They’ll blame students first and foremost for breaking campus codes of conduct, and bring the hammer down on them. ...

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September 9, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)