Paul L. Caron
Dean




Saturday, August 13, 2022

Deans' Advice To The Law School Class Of 2025

Law.com, Self-Care, Time Management and Typing Skills: How (and How Not) to Prepare for Law School:

Class of 2025First-day-of-school jitters can happen no matter how old you are, but for those about to start law school, the anxiety can be particularly intense.

So how does one prepare to enter the unknown of law school? Turns out, there are several schools of thought on that topic.

Law.com gathered tips from interviews with law deans and from discussions on social media in an effort to help new law students prepare for the journey ahead. ...

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August 13, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Stanford Law Profs' Son — A 'Vegan Crypto Billionaire' Megadonor — Seeks To Change Washington, D.C.

Following up on my previous post, Stanford Law Profs' Son Is A 'Vegan Crypto Billionaire':  Los Angeles Times, A Young Crypto Billionaire’s Political Agenda Goes Well Beyond Pandemic Preparedness:

Joe Barbara SamIn May, an eccentric 30-year-old cryptocurrency billionaire named Sam Bankman-Fried made a startling proclamation. In a podcast interview, Bankman-Fried said he would spend as much as $1 billion of his estimated $12.8-billion fortune on American politics by the 2024 election, joining the ranks of megadonors such as George Soros and the Koch brothers.

At the time, Bankman-Fried, raised in the Bay Area by two Stanford law professors, was far from a household name. FTX, the crypto exchange he founded and runs, makes most of its money overseas, and was perhaps best known in America for buying the naming rights for the Miami Heat’s arena.

In Washington, though, Bankman-Fried — known as SBF online — has become a familiar sight on Capitol Hill, meeting with lawmakers, chatting with aides and testifying before congressional committees.

This week, an FTX ad featuring a giant image of the mop-topped billionaire graced a billboard in D.C.'s Union Station, towering over Hill staffers on their way to work. (Bankman-Fried’s famous hair, which makes him look even younger than his years, is available for purchase as an NFT.) And he has opened his pockets as promised, giving at least $34 million to political candidates and causes since January. ...

Bankman-Fried is the largest donor to Protect Our Future, a super PAC focused on advancing Democrats who “will be champions for pandemic prevention — candidates who, when elected, will have their eyes on the future,” according to its website. He has donated $27 million of POF’s $28 million total raised. His younger brother, Gabe, is the founder and director of the Guarding Against Pandemics, a super PAC which has raised $362,000. Bankman-Fried donated just $5,000, according to FEC records. ...

Bankman-Fried can afford to spend a lot more: The $34 million he’s handed out so far this year amounts to only 0.26% of his reported $12.8-billion net worth. “I think that there are, in some ways, surprisingly little money in politics,” he said in the podcast back in May.

Politico, How the Newest Megadonor Wants to Change Washington:

Sam Bankman-Fried has a big fortune and big plans for how to spend it — including an unusual political power-building strategy.

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August 13, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

Friday, August 12, 2022

Price Of Law School Hits New High At Columbia ($110,450), With Others Close Behind

Reuters, Price of Law School Hits New High at Columbia, With Others Close Behind:

Columbia (2017)A degree from Columbia Law School opens doors to lucrative law firm jobs, but attending the highly ranked law school in expensive New York City comes with a hefty price tag.

Columbia now pegs its cost of attendance at $110,450 for the current academic year, appearing to beat the estimate of any other law school. The figure includes the Manhattan law school’s $75,572 tuition, plus living expenses and various university fees.

That means a Columbia law student could spend more than $330,000 to complete their three-year degree.

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August 12, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

WSJ: Chinese Student Visas To U.S. Plunge 50% From Pre Pandemic Levels, Imperiling University Finances

Wall Street Journal, Chinese Student Visas to U.S. Tumble From Prepandemic Levels:

The number of U.S. student visas issued to Chinese nationals plunged by more than 50% in the first half of 2022 compared with pre-Covid levels, with the U.S. losing ground as the most-coveted place for Chinese students to pursue higher education abroad.

Even before the pandemic, Chinese students were shifting their study-abroad sights elsewhere, driven by doubts about whether they would feel welcome in the U.S. and the emergence of more domestic and international alternatives. Travel restrictions and heightened safety concerns during the pandemic accelerated that decline.

In the first six months of 2022, the U.S. issued 31,055 F-1 visas to Chinese nationals, down from 64,261 for the same period in 2019, according to data from the U.S. State Department. The drop has hit revenue at big and small colleges and universities around the country, including state flagships.

WSJ

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August 12, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

College Endowments Post 10.2% Loss, Biggest Decline Since 2009's 17.6% Loss

Bloomberg, College Endowments Post Biggest Losses Since Financial Crisis:

Investments in US college endowments declined the most since the global financial crisis, owing in part to double-digit losses in US equity markets.

Endowments lost a median 10.2% before fees for the 12 months through June, according to data to be published Tuesday by Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service.

Bloomberg

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August 10, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

WSJ: Recent Court Ruling In Covid-19 Tuition Refund Case Could Send Shock Waves To Universities Throughout The Country

Wall Street Journal, Colleges, Parents Fight in Court Over Tuition Charged During Pandemic Closures:

Colleges and universities faced a barrage of lawsuits in the peak pandemic days of 2020 after schools shut down their campuses and moved classes online while charging students their usual tuition rates.

Two years later, the Covid-19 tuition wars are building toward a decisive phase.

A number of courts have issued rulings that provided a boost to students and parents seeking refunds, including last week in a case against a small private university in California. That decision followed a recent federal appeals court ruling that allowed claims to proceed against Loyola University Chicago. But those rulings stand in tension with other decisions for schools that said students don’t have valid claims. Pending cases from higher-level courts could bring more clarity.

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August 9, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

ABA Loosens Distance Learning Accreditation Standard; Council Withdraws Diversity Proposal After Public Criticism

ABA Legal Ed (2021)Resolution 301: Amendments to Definitions (7) and (8) and Standards 306 and 311 of the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools.  Approved.

  • Definition (7): Distance Education Course
  • Definition (8): Distance Education J.D. Program
  • Standard 306: Distance Education
  • Standard 311: Academic Program and Academic Calendar
  • Resolution With Report
  • Final Resolution

Summary of the Resolution:

Definitions (7) and (8) and Standards 306 and 311 provide clarification on the Council’s current distance education limits, incorporate new information from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), provide guidance on remote participation by students as an ADA accommodation or in exceptional circumstances, and clarify credits included in the 20 percent limitation.

Law.com, ABA House of Delegates Votes to Loosen Restrictions on Distance Education for Law Students:

”Distance Education J.D. Program” means a program in which a law school grants a student more than one-third of the credit hours required for the J.D. degree for distance education courses or more than 10 credit hours during the first one-third of a student’s program of legal education.

The following language was added to Standard 306:  “Distance Education law school courses for which credit is given towards the J.D. degree must provide regular and substantive interaction between the students and faculty teaching the course. Distance education credits may not be counted towards the J.D. degree if they exceed the credit hour limitations in Standard 311(e).” ...

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August 9, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, August 8, 2022

Legal Ed News Roundup

Welcome, Pepperdine Caruso Law School Class Of 2025

Launch Week

Welcome to the members of the Pepperdine Caruso Law School Class of 2025 who begin their legal education today in a week-long introduction to law school and professional formation, as well as the over 400 students pursuing jointLL.M., and masters degrees and certificates, including our LL.M. and certificate programs in Entertainment, Media, and Sports and our online masters in Legal Studies and Dispute Resolution and our online LL.M. in Dispute Resolution.

We are thrilled that, despite the 12% nationwide decline in the number of law school applicants (and the 14% nationwide decline among applicants in the highest LSAT bands), we exceeded our enrollment target of 180 and enrolled a class with the highest credentials in the 54-year history of our law school (3.85 median UGPA and 164 median LSAT). 

This is my sixth year as Dean, and I am thrilled that you have decided to join our very special law school community. You will learn and study on our spectacularly beautiful campus in Malibu with easy access to Los Angeles, one of the world's most vibrant cities for young professionals. Beginning today you will experience the faculty and staff's faith-fueled commitment to you and to your success that manifests itself in various ways, large and small, in daily life at Pepperdine Caruso Law. My fervent wish is that you will love your time here as I have since joining the faculty in 2013, and that you will leave here with a deep sense of your professional and personal calling in law and in life.

August 8, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Katherine Magbanua Transported To Florida State Prison, Begins Serving Life Sentence In Dan Markel’s Murder

WCTV, Magbanua Transported to State Prison, Begins Serving Life Sentence in Dan Markel’s Murder:

Magnauba (2021)Florida Department of Corrections records show that Katherine Magbanua has now been booked into state prison to begin serving a life sentence in the murder of FSU professor Dan Markel.

Magbanua was picked up from the Leon County Jail at 3:03 a.m. Thursday, Leon County court records show, and has since arrived at the Florida Women’s Reception Center in Ocala.

Magbanua is the third person convicted and sent to prison in the murder for hire plot. She was arrested in October 2016 and accused of being the link between Markel’s ex-brother-in-law Charlie Adelson and the men who traveled to Tallahassee to kill Markel in the summer of 2014. Prosecutors contend the plot was fueled by a bitter custody battle between Markel and his ex-wife, Wendi Adelson, who is Charlie’s sister.

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August 8, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Penn State Orders Hiring Freeze, 3% Budget Rescission To Close $191 Million Deficit

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Penn State Implements Hiring Freeze Through at Least Summer 2023:

Penn State UniversityPennsylvania’s flagship public university has ordered a hiring freeze at least through next summer as it and other higher education institutions confront spiking inflation and public fallout over tuition hikes aimed at easing strain on campus budgets.

Penn State University confirmed the move late Monday, days after leaders announced a planned rescission in the school’s 2022-23 operating budget of 3%, or $46.2 million. The decision, like a tuition hike approved July 22, was aimed at helping the university narrow a growing operating deficit. ...

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August 6, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, August 5, 2022

Arizona Summit, Charlotte, And Florida Coastal Law Grads Have Their Student Loans Forgiven As Part Of $6 Billion Class-Action Settlement

The Washington Post reports that a federal court yesterday approved a $6 billion settlement for 200,000 federal student loan borrowers at more than 150 schools in a class-action lawsuit. Florida Times-Union, $6 Billion Loan Settlement Could Spare Grads of Florida Coastal School of Law, Business Schools:

InfiLaw (2017)Former Florida Coastal School of Law students have been hurrying to request forgiveness of sometimes staggering student loan debts ahead of a court order that could cancel $6 billion in obligations haunting people who attended for-profit schools nationwide.

“My time is now or never,” said Natacha Ciezki, who said that including interest she owes about $500,000 for the law degree she earned in Jacksonville in 2014. ...

Florida Coastal, which closed its doors last year, was among the schools where the Education Department agreed to “presumptive relief” for students who had filed borrower defense applications before the settlement was signed June 22.

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August 5, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

UCLA Law School Launches Project To Track Attacks On Critical Race Theory

UCLA Newsroom, UCLA Law Launches Project to Track Attacks on Critical Race Theory:

UCLA School of Law’s Critical Race Studies Program has created an innovative project to track and analyze legislative, regulatory and administrative efforts to block or undermine the teaching of a more complete history of the United States in schools across the country.

Critical race theory, or CRT, is the study of systemic racism in law, policy and society. It has come under fire from local school boards, state legislatures and even federal-level inquiry, all of which have discussed or adopted measures that would ban its teaching.

“The project was created to help people understand the breadth of the attacks on the ability to speak truthfully about race and racism through the campaigns against CRT,” said Taifha Natalee Alexander, project director of CRT Forward.

The law school’s CRT Forward Tracking Project is the first in the United States to precisely identify, catalog and contextualize all of these efforts at the local, state and federal levels.

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August 5, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Bloomberg Law Announces Inaugural Law School Innovation Program

Law School Innovation

Bloomberg Law Announces Inaugural Law School Innovation Program:

Bloomberg Law today announced a new program to recognize law schools and their faculty and staff that have implemented and led innovative programs into their curricula that advance new methodologies and approaches to student instruction, legal technology implementation and usage, experiential learning, and other facets of legal education.

"At Bloomberg Law, we are deeply committed to innovation," said Joe Breda, President, Bloomberg Law. "Through this new program, we are excited to encourage and raise awareness of the importance of innovation in legal education by recognizing the law school faculty, staff, and administrators who are pioneering educational innovations that benefit their students, their schools, and the legal field."

Applications will be evaluated on the criteria of innovation, impact on students, ability to advance the legal industry, and replicability. Submissions will be accepted through September 6, 2022.  More information and submission guidelines are available here.

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August 4, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

WSJ: Colleges (And Law Schools) Scale Back Covid Precautions For Fall Semester — Pandemic Phase Is Over

Wall Street Journal, Colleges Scale Back Covid Precautions for Fall, Saying Pandemic Phase Over:

Colleges this fall are no longer treating Covid-19 as an emergency upending their operations, shifting to eliminate mask requirements and mandatory coronavirus testing and letting students who contract the virus isolate in their dorms with their roommates.

With easy access to vaccinations and low hospitalization rates among college-aged adults—even during the latest surge in BA.5 subvariant cases—administrators said it is time to lift or at least rethink restrictions and redefine the virus as endemic, not a pandemic. That means scaling back mass testing, removing bans on large indoor gatherings and preparing for a fall term that more closely resembles life before Covid.

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August 4, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

A Response To Penn Dean Ruger’s Letter Calling For A Major Sanction Against Professor Amy Wax

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Seth Barrett Tillman (Maynooth University School of Law; Google Scholar), A Response to Dean Ruger’s Letter to Professor Gadsden, University of Pennsylvania Faculty Senate Chair, Calling for the Imposition of a Major Sanction Against Professor Wax:

Penn Logo (2022)This is a short statement responding to the misuse of contestable historical materials to achieve ideological ends in the guise of the discipline of an academic colleague. It is a reflection on the dangers of political correctness in today's academic environment.

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August 4, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

NY Times Op-Ed: Elite Universities Are Out of Touch. Blame The Campus.

Colorado

New York Times Op-Ed:  Elite Universities Are Out of Touch. Blame the Campus., by Nick Burns:

Looking out the window of a plane flying over Boulder, Colorado, recently, I was reminded how much American universities stick out from their surroundings.

I’d never been to Boulder, or visited the University of Colorado’s flagship campus there, but even from 30,000 feet, I could tell exactly where it started and ended. The red-tile roofs and quadrangles of the campus formed a little self-contained world, totally distinct from the grid of single-family homes that surrounded it.

In urban universities, the dividing line between the campus and the community can be even starker. At the University of Southern California, for example, students must check in with security officers when entering the gates of the university at night. At Yale, castle-like architecture makes the campus feel like a fortified enclave.

The elite American university today is a paradox: Even as concerns about social justice continue to preoccupy students and administrations, these universities often seem to be out of touch with the society they claim to care so much about. Many on the right and in the center believe universities have become ideological echo chambers. Some on the left see them as “sepulchers for radical thought.”

These critiques aren’t new — for generations people have thought of American universities as ivory towers, walled off from reality — but they’ve taken on new urgency as public debate over the state of higher education has intensified in recent years. Ideology and institutional culture get frequent attention, but a key factor is often ignored: geography.

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August 3, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

ABA Gaining Public Support In Proposal To Make Law School Admission Tests Optional

Following up on my previous post, So Far, Public Comments Largely Support ABA Proposal To Make Law School Admission Tests Optional:  Law.com, ABA Gaining Public Support in Proposal to Make Law School Admission Tests Optional:

ABA Legal Ed (2021)So far, support for doing away with the standardized testing requirement for American Bar Association-accredited law schools is outweighing those who want to see the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) remain as a requirement. ...

Since mid-June—when Law.com reported that eight comments that had been posted—that number has nearly doubled with less than a month left in the 90-day comment-and-notice period.

The proposed changes include making admission tests for law school, such as the LSAT, optional instead of mandatory. ...

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August 3, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Stephen Carter, Deborah Merritt, And The Bar Exam

Deborah J. Merritt (Ohio State; Google Scholar), Stephen Carter on the Bar Exam:

Eminent Yale Professor Stephen Carter has penned has penned a thoughtful critique of the bar exam [RIP to the LSAT? Let’s Kill the Bar Exam, Too]. Professor Carter notes the exam’s similarities to the LSAT, which some law schools have abandoned as an admissions requirement. In addition to their shared affection for multiple choice questions, the LSAT and bar exam both constrain the diversity of our profession. Despite the bar exam’s disproportionate racial impact, Professor Carter notes, the exam has never been properly validated. Here, he cites a column I wrote in 2017 for the AALS Newsletter.

As I wrote then, state bar examiners and NCBE designed the bar exam around a definition of minimum competence that they “felt in their bones.” NCBE did not conduct a practice analysis of the knowledge and skills that new lawyers need until 2012. That analysis supported some of the doctrinal subjects that NCBE was testing, but not the depth of memorization required by the exam. The analysis also confirmed that skills like researching the law, fact gathering, negotiating, and interviewing were essential for law practice–all skills conspicuously absent from the bar exam.

NCBE conducted another practice analysis in 2019, which once again exposed numerous flaws in the exam. My own research conducted with Logan Cornett and IAALS (the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System) [Building A Better Bar Exam: The Twelve Building Blocks Of Minimum Competence], reached a similar conclusion: the written bar exam tests both too much and too little. It restricts admission to the profession (especially of people of color) without adequately protecting the public. ...

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August 2, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Eliminating Tuition For Yale Law Students In Need Will Help Diversify The Legal Profession

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  ABC News, Why Yale Law’s Dean Says Eliminating Tuition for Students in Need Benefits the Legal Profession:

Yale Law Logo (2020)As students prepare to return to school in the fall, one Ivy League law school has a new scholarship aimed at broadening access to legal education by eliminating tuition for students with financial needs.

Yale Law School's Hurst Horizon Scholarships will erase tuition and pay for college fees and health care costs for law students with the greatest financial need. It's a first-of-its-kind scholarship that is creating new conversations about what law schools can do to diversify the legal profession.

Yale Law School dean Heather Gerken, the first woman to serve in the role, tells ABC News the scholarship was needed. "We have so many people from low-income backgrounds, who are not going to law school to pursue change because of the debt that waits on the other end for them," she said.

The scholarship will be given to any Juris Doctor student whose family income is below the federal poverty guidelines and whose assets are below $150,000. The law school tells ABC News that more than 45 students this fall will qualify to be awarded more than $70,000 per year to cover tuition, fees and health insurance. ...

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August 2, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, August 1, 2022

Legal Ed News Roundup

The Fall 2022 Law School Admissions Season: Applicants Are Down 12%, The Most Among Whites (-14%) And The Highest LSAT Bands (-14%)

We are now 100% of the way through Fall 2022 law school admissions season. The number of law school applicants reported by LSAC is down 11.6% compared to last year at this time.

LSAC 1

43 of the 199 law schools are experiencing an increase in applications. Applications are up 20 % or more at 4 law schools and 10% or more at 12 law schools:

LSAC 2

Applicants are up in only one region: Other (+5.3%); and are down the most in Northwest (-19.2%), Northeast (-18.1%), and Midwest (-15.3%):

LSAC 3

Applicants' LSAT scores are down -14.2% in the 170-180 band, -13.8% in the 160-169 band, -10.2% in the 150-159 band, and -10.6% in the 120-149 band:

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August 1, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Last Week's Bar Exam: Send In The Clowns

Bloomberg Op-Ed:  Oh, You've Got Tech Woes? Try Taking the Bar, by Stephen Carter (Yale):

Bloomberg OpinionBudding lawyers have run into technical issues with the big test’s software for the third year in a row. Can someone please send in the clowns?

[Last] week, tens of thousands of budding lawyers [sat] for the bar examination. For the second year in a row, the big news is about technology. Last July, Examplify — the software used for remote testing — crashed repeatedly. Just weeks before this year’s exam, test-takers who’d bought new Windows laptops were informed that their devices were incompatible with the test.

They were advised to find another to borrow.

I'm no fan of the bar exam, which I consider both pointless and exclusionary. But if it’s going to exist, those in charge shouldn’t be strewing unnecessary technological obstacles in the path of test-takers. Lately, if unintentionally, that’s exactly what’s happened. ...

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August 1, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Battle Over 'Wokeness' At Christian Colleges Isn't Just About Politics, It's About Dollars

Detroit Free Press, Battle Over 'Wokeness' at Christian Colleges Isn't Just About Politics, It's About Dollars:

Grove City HillsdaleThe latest battle in Christian higher education isn't centered on theological issues, but rather on politics.

For decades, Hillsdale College and Grove City College mirrored each other.

Fiercely independent, neither takes any federal dollars, including government-backed student loans, in order to be exempt from most federal rules.

Located in bucolic settings — Hillsdale in agricultural southern mid-Michigan and Grove City in the hills of western Pennsylvania — one feels smarter simply by stepping on the carefully groomed campuses with spectacular academic buildings, chapels and residence halls. Both have reputations as bastions of conservatism.

But the last two years have started to push the two apart, at least in the minds of their core markets.

Hillsdale, to the delight of conservatives and the consternation of liberals, has continued to burnish its conservative credentials. It has worked closely on education matters with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis  and Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee.

"The college's belief in genuine classical education and its deep admiration for the principles of the American Founding, as espoused in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, has made it a target for those who oppose such challenges to the status quo of what is now taught in most American institutions of higher education," Hillsdale spokeswoman Emily Davis told the Free Press, adding that Hillsdale wants all students, not just those in Michigan, to have a quality education. "Hillsdale College has been dedicated to pursuing truth and defending liberty since 1844 and has no plans of retreating from that noble effort."

And while Hillsdale alumni, students and faculty have been supportive of the college, alumni, students and faculty at Grove City have been engaged in all-out-war  over whether it is woke.

The two schools represent the newest battle in Christian higher education, one that isn't centered on theological issues such as creationism or who is God, but rather on whether Donald Trump won the last election or whether Black people are still targeted by systematic racism in America. It's about politics brought to campus, witnessed by students who arrive as self-styled culture warriors, armed with smartphones and social media.

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July 31, 2022 in Faith, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Katherine Magbanua Sentenced To Life In Prison, Plus Two 30-Year Sentences, In Dan Markel's Murder; Charlie Adelson Trial In Early 2023

Tallahassee Democrat, Magbanua Sentenced to Life, Plus Two 30-Year Sentences in Dan Markel Murder; Adelson Trial Possible For Early 2023:

Magbanua AdelsonCircuit Judge Robert Wheeler sentenced Katherine Magbanua to life in prison plus two additional 30-year sentences to run consecutively for her role in the murder of Florida State law professor Dan Markel. ...

Last week marked eight years since Markel was gunned down in his Betton Hills garage. 

Tara Kawass, Magabanua's attorney:  "One thing that I can say that Ms. Magbanua hopes and prays for is that justice is ongoing and has not been reached in this case and she wants each and every person who had a hand in this and knows something about this to be brought to justice." ...

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July 30, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, July 29, 2022

Law School Class Of 2021 Placement Outcomes: 'One Of The Strongest On Record'

Class of 2021

NALP, Job Market for Class of 2021 Law Graduates Was One of the Strongest on Record:

The National Association for Law Placement, Inc. (NALP) today released its Employment for the Class of 2021 — Selected Findings, a synopsis of key findings from the upcoming annual Jobs & JDs: Employment and Salaries of New Law School Graduates. The release of the full Jobs & JDs report is anticipated in October 2022. This year’s Selected Findings show that the employment outcomes for the Class of 2021 were some of the strongest that NALP has ever recorded, as the U.S. economy recovered from the COVID-19 related disruptions that impacted the Class of 2020

Highlights:

  • The overall employment rate for the Class of 2021 improved by 3.5 percentage points, to 91.9% of graduates for whom employment status was known, compared to 88.4% for the Class of 2020. This is the highest employment rate since the Class of 2007, when it was also 91.9%, and is a high-water mark for a period dating back more than 30 years to the Class of 1988.
  • The percentage of graduates taking jobs for which bar passage is required or anticipated grew by 3.6 percentage points, increasing from 74.6% for the Class of 2020 to 78.2% for the Class of 2021 — reaching a new all-time high for the period since 2001 when NALP began using the current job classifications.
  • Overall, 57.0% of employed graduates obtained a job in private practice, an increase of 0.2 percentage points over the previous year, and the highest this percentage has been since the Class of 2003.
  • The national median salary for the Class of 2021 grew to a record figure of $80,000, up 6.7% compared to the median of $75,000 for the Class of 2020. • The national median law firm salary for the Class of 2021 was $131,500, finally surpassing the previous all-time high median salary of $130,000 that was recorded for the Class of 2009 and that was matched by the Class of 2020 last year.
  • Of employed graduates from the Class of 2021, just 8.6% were seeking a different job, an historic low. Except for 2020, this percentage has been declining since reaching an all-time high of 24.6% for the Class of 2011.
  • The share of law firm jobs in the largest firms of more than 500 lawyers rose by 1.3 percentage points to 31.8%. The Class of 2021 was the first in which the percentage of jobs taken in the largest firms exceeded the percentage of jobs taken in the smallest firms of 1-10 lawyers (30.7% of all law firm jobs).

NALP 1

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July 29, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Katherine Magbanua To Be Sentenced Today For Dan Markel's Murder; Charlie Adelson To Appear In Court For His First Case Management Hearing

Tallahassee Democrat, Dan Markel Case: Katherine Magbanua to Face Sentencing as Charlie Adelson Makes Court Appearance:

Magbanua AdelsonCharlie Adelson and Katherine Magbanua haven’t seen each other in person for the past six years.

They may have their closest encounter since when they both appear in Leon County Circuit Court Friday – Magbanua to face sentencing for being convicted of the murder of Florida State Law Professor Dan Markel and Adelson for his first case management hearing since being charged in the murder-for-hire plot.

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July 29, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Turley: After Cancel Culture Came For Justice Thomas At George Washington, He Stepped Aside; Harvard Welcomes Justice Breyer With No Protests

Following up on my previous posts:

Jonathan Turley (George Washington), Cancel Culture Came for Clarence Thomas at George Washington Law. Now, He's Stepped Aside.:

After 11 years, students at George Washington University Law School will register for courses this fall with one notable difference: They will no longer be able to take a seminar with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

The removal of Justice Thomas from the list of lecturers followed a cancel campaign that demanded the university ban him from classrooms. At 74, and looking at an upcoming term of major decisions, Thomas hardly needs the aggravation of such protests. However, his departure (even if temporary) is a great loss to students, the law school and free speech. ...

While the university refused to terminate Thomas, the campaign continued and protests were expected in the fall. Now many are celebrating the departure as a triumph, but it is only the latest example of how dissenting viewpoints are being systematically eliminated in higher education.

Indeed, the contrast could not be greater as recently retired Justice Stephen Breyer has been welcomed on the Harvard Law faculty. No protests. No cancel campaign over his liberal decisions.

A new survey report, conducted by The Harvard Crimson, revealed that 82.46% of faculty surveyed identify as “liberal” or “very liberal.” Only 16.08% identified as “moderate” and a mere 1.46% identified as “conservative.” Not a single faculty member identified as “very conservative,” but the number of faculty identified as "very liberal" increased by nearly 8% in just one year. ...

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July 28, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

UC-Hastings Committee Unveils Proposal For New Name: 'College Of The Law, San Francisco'

UpdateChancellor & Dean David Faigman: Board of Directors Votes on New Name for the College

Today, the UC Hastings Board of Directors voted unanimously on a resolution to remove “Hastings” from our name in the California Education Code and replace it with San Francisco.  This recommendation now heads to the California State Legislature to revise Assembly Bill 1936, which will amend provisions of the California Education Code to conform to the new name. If the recommendation is approved by both houses of the legislature, it will be sent to Governor Newsom for his signature and will become effective in January 2023. If all that happens, beginning in 2023, our great school will be known as University of California College of the Law, San Francisco or, for short, UC College of the Law, San Francisco, or shorter still, UC Law SF.

Following up on my previous post, UC-Hastings Law School To Change Its Name In July Due To Founder's Role In Native American Genocide:  The Recorder, UC Hastings Committee Unveils Proposal for Renaming Law School:

UC Hastings (2022)UC Hastings College of the Law, the historic California school grappling with the legacy of its namesake, should be renamed College of the Law, San Francisco, a school committee charged with considering new monikers has recommended.

The school’s board of directors will weigh the recommendation at a meeting Wednesday in San Francisco. If approved, the new name will be forwarded to the Legislature for possible inclusion in legislation to strip the name of Serranus Hastings, California’s first chief justice who historians have linked to the killing of hundreds of Yuki Indians in Mendocino County’s Eden and Round valleys in the 1850s.

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July 28, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Calling All Lawyers: We Need You Back In Law School To Teach Our Students

Long Island Herald Op-Ed:  Attorneys, How About Teaching Law School?, by Sara J. Berman (Professor of Law and Assistant Dean of Academic Excellence and Bar Success, Touro):

Calling all lawyers: we need you back in law school, now. We need you in classrooms and clinics, in person and on Zoom. Law schools regularly post openings for full-time and adjunct positions. They also need volunteers to serve as role models and mentors, to help inspire students so they excel in doctrinal and experiential courses and pass the bar exam.

On that last point, we all know the bar exam isn’t easy. But did you know that on the last one, more than a dozen jurisdictions’ pass rates were under 50 percent? So if you’re seeking meaningful opportunities to influence our world, nothing could be more important. Law schools help shape society’s future counselors, advocates and legislators — we are responsible for the professional formation of tomorrow’s leaders. What we do, and what our graduates do, matters. The rule of law matters.

Work as a legal educator is particularly appealing (pun intended) because our students take their skills and knowledge to do well and do good. Our graduates work in private, public interest and government, handling a wide range of civil and criminal matters. ...

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July 26, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, July 25, 2022

Legal Ed News Roundup

WSJ Op-Ed: The LSAT And Other Standardized Tests Are Good For Diversity

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed:  The LSAT and Other Standardized Tests Are Good for Diversity, by Paul Sracic (Director, Rigelhaupt Pre-Law Center, Youngstown State University; Google Scholar):

LSAT 2Objective measures of ability give my working-class students a shot at going to a top law school. ...

I attended a conference a few years ago for undergraduate “prelaw advisers”—academics, usually professors or deans, who guide undergraduates through the law-school admissions process. An admissions official from a prestigious law school used a file from a past applicant (with identifying information removed) to illustrate the review process. She began by noting the student’s high grade point average from “a good school.” That bothered me, because I knew she’d never call my regional state institution a “good school.”

I thought: Thank goodness for the Law School Admissions Test. Only the LSAT gives the mostly working-class, first-generation college students I teach a shot at the top law schools.

The Journal reported in May that the American Bar Association, which accredits law schools, is considering a proposal to abandon its requirement that applicants take a “valid and reliable admissions test.”...

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July 25, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Amy Wax Raises Over $125,000 To Defend Against ‘Major Sanction’ By Penn; Academic Freedom Alliance Calls For 'Complete Exoneration'

Following up on last week's post, Penn Law Dean Requests Faculty Senate Impose ‘Major Sanction’ Against Amy Wax:

Penn Logo (2022)Reuters, Facing Sanctions, Penn Law Professor Amy Wax Is Crowdfunding Her Legal Defense:

University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax is seeking to crowdfund her legal defense against the university’s charges that she repeatedly violated its non-discrimination rules.

Wax this week launched a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of raising $300,000 and had raised more than [$125,000 as of this morning. Over 800] people have made donations ranging from $5 to $10,000 from an anonymous donor.

Change.org, Fire Racist Penn Law Professor, Amy Wax (over 85,000 signatures as of this morning)

Letter From Academic Freedom Alliance to Penn President Magill(July 18, 2022):

On January 16, 2022, in a letter to then-President Amy Gutmann, the Academic Freedom Alliance (AFA) called upon the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) to reaffirm and adhere to its free speech principles by making it clear to t e University of Pennsylvania (Penn) to reaffirm and adhere to its free speech principles by making it clear the public that Professor Amy Wax, Robert Mundheim Professor of Law, would not be sanctioned in any way for her exercise of academic freedom. It has come to our attention that Dean Theodore W. Ruger of the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, in a letter dated March 3, 2022, has asked Penn’s Faculty Senate to impose “a major sanction” on Professor Wax for dozens of her public statements and several teaching decisions. We regard this as a threat to Professor Wax’s tenure and her employment as a professor at the Law School, and a grave violation of her academic freedom.

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July 25, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

ExamSoft: New Windows Laptops Won't Work On This Week's Bar Exams

ABA Journal, Shortly Before July Bar Exam, ExamSoft Announces New Windows Laptops Likely Won't Run Testing Software:

Exam SoftIf you have a 2022 Windows laptop with a 12th-generation Intel Core processor, it probably won’t work for the July bar exam.

The in-person test begins July 26, and candidates were apprised of the situation the week of July 11, a spokesperson for the National Conference of Bar Examiners told the ABA Journal. 

Ars Technica, Why Can’t Intel’s 12th-Gen CPUs Pass the Bar Exam? Blame the E-cores:

Earlier this week, some people waiting to take the bar exam received a message from ExamSoft, the company that makes the Examplify software that many states use to administer the exam: PCs with Intel's latest 12th-generation Core processors are "not currently supported" because they were "triggering Examplify's automatic virtual machine check." The company's suggested solution was that people find another device to take the test with, a frustrating and unhelpful "workaround" for anyone with a new computer. ...

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July 25, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, July 23, 2022

ABA Survey: Law Students Prefer Online Classes Over In-Person Classes

Following up on yesterday's post, Hybrid JD Programs Are Gaining More Traction At Law Schools:  ABA Press Release, Distance Education Survey: 3L Student Quantitative Responses:

In February 2022, the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar’s Strategic Review Committee (SRC) gathered responses to a voluntary survey on Distance Education for 3L students. The survey was distributed via the ABA Associate Deans’ Listserv for users to voluntarily distribute to their 3L students.

A total of 1,394 3L students responded to the survey. While it was optional for respondents to provide the name of their law school on the survey, about 85% of the respondents provided the name of their law school. Approximately 60 law schools were named and represented in the survey results.

ABA 1

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July 23, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Jane Aiken Steps Down As Dean After Three Years; Wake Forest Names Notre Dame's Nell Newton Interim Dean

Wake Forest News, Jane Aiken Announces Plans to Step Away as WFU School of Law Dean; University of Notre Dame Law Professor Nell Jessup Newton Named Interim Dean:

Wake Forest Law School (2016)After three years of dedicated service to Wake Forest University, Jane Aiken will step away from her role as Dean of the School of Law on July 31.

Aiken will take a research leave to work on issues of the criminalization of the exercise of reproductive rights as consulting counsel with National Advocates for Pregnant Women. Following her research leave, Aiken plans to return to the faculty as a University Professor. ...

Nell Jessup Newton, Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame Law School, has been named interim dean and will begin August 1.

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July 23, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, July 22, 2022

Hybrid JD Programs Are Gaining More Traction At Law Schools

Law.com, Hybrid JD Programs Gaining More Traction at Law Schools:

Hybrid JDAfter Mitchell Hamline’s hybrid J.D. program was approved, Paul Caron wrote in his Dec. 19, 2013, blog: “It’s the first such program at a fully accredited law school. And depending on whom you ask, it’s a risky, or a long overdue, venture that could shake up the tradition-bound halls of legal education.”

The word “hybrid” has become a buzzword since the COVID-19 pandemic started, but some law schools have been approved to offer hybrid J.D. programs for nearly a decade. And that number is growing.

Cleveland–Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University and University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law submitted applications for substantive change to the American Bar Association this month for variances to establish part-time hybrid distance education J.D. programs. ...

According to the ABA website, ... 11 law schools [have] hybrid J.D. programs. The site lists these schools, along with the date the hybrid J.D. programs were approved:

  1. Mitchell Hamline College of Law—December 2013 (more here, here, and here)
  2. Syracuse University College of Law—February 2018 (more here, here, here, here, here, and here)
  3. University of Dayton School of Law—May 2018
  4. University of New Hampshire School of Law—February 2019
  5. Suffolk University Law School—August 2020
  6. Seattle University School of Law—February 2021
  7. St. Mary’s University School of Law—May 2021 (more here and here)
  8. South Texas College of Law-Houston—February 2022
  9. Vermont Law School—February 2022
  10. Loyola Law School (Los Angeles)—February 2022
  11. Northeastern University School of Law—May 2022

There are more law schools, however, offering hybrid J.D. programs, such as the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Touro University Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center and Southwestern Law School Los Angeles.

Paul L. Caron, Duane and Kelly Roberts dean and professor of law at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law, reported on his TaxProf Blog in March that South Texas College of Law-Houston and Vermont Law School became the 14th and 15th schools to offer hybrid online J.D.s.

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July 22, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Judge Dismisses Harvard Grad's Lawsuit Claiming Bar Examiners Derailed Her BigLaw Career When She Failed Bar Twice After Denial Of Disability Accommodation

Law360, Ex-Ropes & Gray Atty Loses Bar Exam Disability Bias Suit:

A New York federal judge dismissed a disability bias suit from a fired Ropes & Gray LLP attorney who sued the state agency that administers the bar exam after failing the test, ruling Tuesday that the agency is subject to sovereign immunity as an arm of the Empire State's government [T.W. v. New York State Board of Law Examiners, No. 16-cv-3029 (E.D.N.Y. July 19, 2022)].

U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearie dismissed with prejudice the suit from the Harvard Law School graduate identified in court papers by the initials T.W., who claims test administrators with the New York State Board of Law Examiners failed to accommodate her disability stemming from a brain injury and anxiety. The judge found that by most pertinent measures, the board is an arm of the state and therefore immune from the suit under the 11th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. ...

T.W. sued the board in June 2016, claiming she failed the bar exam twice after the board refused to accommodate her disabilities.

ABA Journal, Harvard Law Grad Loses Suit Claiming Lack of Bar Exam Axcommodations Nixed Her BigLaw Career:

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July 22, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Rising 3L Wins ABA Legal Short Fiction Award

ABA Journal, Law Student's First Fictional Work Wins ABA Journal's 2022 Ross Writing Contest:

ToubA law student planning to enter his third career is the winner of the 2022 ABA Journal/Ross Writing Contest for Legal Short Fiction.

The winning author is 31-year-old Frank Toub, who is entering his third year at the Belmont University College of Law in Nashville, Tennessee. His short story, “Dope Fiend,” is his first stab at fiction writing.

Toub is a former project engineer and Army veteran who decided to go to law school on the GI Bill. ...

This is the second year in a row that the winner of the writing contest is a law student at Belmont. The school holds a legal fiction workshop to help students hone their writing skills.

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July 21, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

This Year Is Still Different: An Outdated Bar Exam In Troubled Times

Deborah J. Merritt (Ohio State; Google Scholar), Sara J. Berman (Touro), Marsha Griggs (Washburn) & Carol Chomsky (Minnesota), This Year Is Still Different: An Outdated Bar Exam in Troubled Times:

Applicants for the July 2022 bar exam are buckling down for their final days of bar study. After two years of delays, remote testing, and other COVID-related changes, states have returned to traditional bar examination practices. For most applicants, this means two days of testing in large convention centers or hotel ballrooms. Following tradition, applicants will again answer questions from memory about a dozen or more doctrinal areas.

But this year’s examinees are different from those who preceded them. The pandemic overshadowed the entire law school career of 2022 graduates. Classes abruptly went online during their first year. Many received only pass/fail grades for their spring semester. That was essential relief for an upended semester, but the remedy deprived students of more nuanced information about their progress. ...

Now these graduates must prepare for a difficult exam that they know bears little relationship to their practice as fledgling lawyers.

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July 20, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Former Brooklyn Dean Nick Allard Named Founding Dean Of Jacksonville Law School

Following up on my previous post, After Closure Of Florida Coastal, Jacksonville University Launches New Law School, With 20-30 Students In Fall 2022 ($36,000 Tuition, $14,000 Merit Scholarships):

Allard

JU Selects Nick Allard Founding Dean and Announces Leadership Team for College of Law:

After a comprehensive national search that attracted distinguished candidates from all over the world, Jacksonville University today announced the selection of its College of Law founding Dean, Nicholas W. Allard, Esq., along with an administrative leadership team for the College.

A graduate of Princeton (1974), Oxford (1976), and Yale Law School (1979) and a prestigious Rhodes Scholar, Allard is currently senior counsel at Dentons, the largest law firm in the world with offices in more than 80 countries. He served as Joseph Crea Dean (2012-18) and concurrently as President (2014-18) at Brooklyn Law School (BLS) where he also has been a tenured professor. During his time there, he launched several noteworthy initiatives designed to make legal education more affordable, accessible, and valuable.

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July 20, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Will Remote Work Adversely Affect The Training, Productivity, And Retention Of Lawyers?

Tom Sharbaugh (Penn State), Will Remote Work Adversely Affect the Training, Productivity, and Retention of Lawyers?:

Legal Evolution Logo (2021)One bright sunny day, Jack, a junior lawyer, discovers what could be a problem—Great Idea Inc., the big-potential startup corporate client for which he is working, does not have any organizational records.  Jack’s job is to prepare Great Idea for a major venture capital investment.  He has the Certificate of Incorporation that was filed in Delaware three years earlier, but the officers of the company say that their only records consist of a cloud-stored spreadsheet that shows the equity ownership upon which the three owners have agreed.  Jack knows that the Delaware corporate statute requires an organizational meeting for the election of directors and then board action to issue shares and elect officers.

Jack calls out to Jill, another junior lawyer, at a nearby table in their open co-working space and asks if the failure of Great Idea to adhere to these formalities is a problem. If shares were never issued in accordance with the statute, how could there be any stockholders?  If directors were never elected, how could officers have been appointed?  If officers were never appointed, are all of their executive actions since formation void? Jill has not encountered this problem but recalls that Dottie, a more senior associate, had these issues with a startup company that the founders organized themselves through an online do-it-yourself commercial site.  Jill cautioned Jack that various corrective actions would be necessary before the venture capital deal could move forward.

Jack and Jill walked down the hall and asked Dottie for advice about whether these defects from several years ago could be fixed.  Dottie referred Jack and Jill to a set of documents with which Jack could ratify the previous actions by the de facto stockholders, directors, and officers.

This type of exchange happens every day within law firms, law departments, and other groups of lawyers.  There is little discussion, however, of the best way for this common knowledge-sharing practice to work in a totally remote or “hybrid” working arrangement.  This question deserves much more attention in the frequent discussions of the inevitability of new totally remote and partially remote (i.e., hybrid) working arrangements for lawyers.  There are many articles written about the opportunities to save rent and other occupancy costs if lawyers and other office workers are physically present in their offices for only part of the normal work week, if at all. ...

Unless legal employers find better ways to recreate the in-office experience for their WFH lawyers, there will be negative impacts on, among other things, the training of junior lawyers, the collaboration among members of lawyer working groups, and the personal relationships among lawyers in the workplace. ...

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July 19, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Why Weil Is Spending $1 Million/Year For Students To Delay Law School

Following up on my previous post (link below):  ABA Journal, Weil Takes a Different Tack By Funding 'Zero L' Public Service:

Weil Legal InnovatorsWeil, Gotshal & Manges is partnering with 10 top-ranked law schools to encourage incoming students to spend a year working at public service organizations before they begin their legal education.

Reuters, Why Weil Is Spending $1 Million a Year for Students to Delay Law School:

[T]he Weil Legal Innovators Program [is] an unusual fellowship that targets students before they enter law school.

Since the program launched in 2019, the firm has paid for an average of 10 "Zero L” students a year to delay law school in order to work at select public service organizations – not as lawyers of course, but to take on substantive projects nonetheless. ...

[W]hy is Weil shelling out $1 million a year on a program for students before they even start law school? In part, it seems, because no one else is doing it. Rather than be one more firm funding post-J.D., do-good fellowships, Weil is raising its profile among students at top law schools before their legal careers even begin. ...

The funding for the program is considered a charitable contribution and is part of the firm’s philanthropic giving. ...

Weil gives the nonprofits $50,000 to pay the participants’ salaries, plus another $40,000 to cover expenses like health insurance, with any leftover funds to be pocketed as a donation.

Weil, What Do Innovators Receive For Their Participation:

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July 19, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, July 18, 2022

Penn Law Dean Ted Ruger Requests Faculty Senate Impose ‘Major Sanction’ Against Tenured Professor Amy Wax

Update:  Brian Leiter has more here.

The Daily Pennsylvanian, Penn Law Dean Requests Faculty Senate Impose ‘Major Sanction’ Against Amy Wax:

Penn Logo (2022)Penn Law School Dean Ted Ruger requested that the Faculty Senate impose a “major sanction” against tenured Penn Law professor Amy Wax, an action that brings the University closer to potentially terminating the controversial academic.

In a 12-page report sent on June 23 to Faculty Senate Chair Vivian Gadsden, Ruger argued that Wax’s bigoted public statements and her behavior on campus and inside the classroom have violated multiple University standards for faculty, citing numerous student and faculty accounts of the conduct that he believes warrants disciplinary action. Ruger requested that the Faculty Senate convene a hearing board to conduct a full review of Wax’s conduct and ultimately impose a major sanction, in line with the University's policy for punishing tenured faculty members.

“Academic freedom for a tenured scholar is, and always has been, premised on a faculty member remaining fit to perform the minimal requirements of the job,” Ruger wrote in the letter. “However, Wax’s conduct demonstrates a ‘flagrant disregard of the standards, rules, or mission of the University.'”

University policy describes a major sanction as “termination; suspension; reduction in academic base salary; zero salary increases stipulated in advance for a period of four or more years.”

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July 18, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Legal Ed News Roundup

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Eric Talley's Commencement Address To The Columbia Law School Class Of 2022: Peerless

Eric L. Talley (Columbia), Peerless:

Columbia LogoCommencement Address to the Columbia Law School Class of 2022, on Receipt of the 2022 Willis L.M. Reese Award.

I want to thank — and express my profound admiration for — this amazing, resilient, and freakishly battle-tested Class of 2022. I have been a professor for over a quarter century, and I’d be hard pressed to recall any other class whose path has careened more unpredictably than yours, courtesy of several national and world events. And yet, here you are! For that reason, I feel especially humbled and honored to receive this recognition from this group. For everything you have gone through, Class of 2022, you stand alone.

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July 16, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, July 15, 2022

11% Of Law Students Had Suicidal Thoughts In 2021. What Can Law Schools Do?

Following up on last week's post, The 2021 Survey Of Law Student Well-Being:  ABA Journal, 11% of Law Students Had Suicidal Thoughts in the Past Year, Survey Finds; What Can Law Schools Do?:

More law students are reporting a need for help with emotional or mental health problems, and more are reporting a past diagnosis of depression or anxiety, according to a survey of law students in 39 law schools.

“What is clear is that our law students need help,” the professors who oversaw the 2021 survey write in an article to be published in the University of Louisville Law Review ['It Is Okay To Not Be Okay': The 2021 Survey Of Law Student Well-Being]. “This is a particularly propitious time for various administrators and faculty and staff at law schools to invest more energy and creativity and resources in supporting law student well-being.”

Perhaps most startling is this data point, the article says: Nearly 70% of the law students thought they needed help in the last year for emotional or mental health problems. That figure is a big jump from the last time the survey was administered in 2014, when 42% reported thinking they needed help. ...

Eleven percent of the law students had thought seriously about suicide in the past year, compared to 6% in 2014. Nearly 33% of the students reported they had thought about attempting suicide in their lifetime, up from 21% in 2014.

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July 15, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Michigan Law School Hires SIXTEEN New Faculty

Michigan Logo (2013)Entry-level hires:

Lateral hires:

  • Michelle Adams (civil rights, constitutional law, law & race) from Cardozo
  • Julian Arato (international law, international trade) from Brooklyn 
  • Karima Bennoune (international law, international human rights) from UC-Davis
  • Kristin Collins (immigration law, family law, federal courts, legal history) from Boston University
  • Sam Erman (legal history, constitutional law, citizenship & nationality) from USC
  • Matthew L.M. Fletcher (federal indian law) from Michigan State 
  • Alexandra Klass (energy law, environmental law) from Minnesota 
  • Sanjukta Paul (antitrust, labor law) from Wayne State 
  • Aaron Perzanowski (intellectual property) from Case Western 

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July 14, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Taylor: Law School Admissions Shouldn't Hinge On Test Scores

Law360 Op-Ed:  Law School Admissions Shouldn't Hinge On Test Scores, by Aaron Taylor (AccessLex):

Law360 3People of color comprise 40% of the country's population, but 33% of law students. The two largest underrepresented groups — Black students and Latino students — comprise 32% of the population and just 21% of law students.

Racial and ethnic disparities in admissions rates foster these enrollment disparities. In 2019, I found that it took 1,960 Black law school applicants to yield 1,000 offers of admission, compared to only 1,204 among white applicants and 1,333 overall.

These trends can be attributed in large part to how racial and ethnic LSAT score disparities interact with the outsized weight that law schools place on the test. Black applicants have the lowest average LSAT score and the lowest law school admission rate. Latino applicants have the second-lowest average score and the second-lowest admission rate.

Average scores are highest among white and Asian American applicants, and they enjoy the highest admission rates. These trends are not random, and they extend to scholarships as well. Higher LSAT scores are tied to both higher chances of receiving a scholarship and higher award amounts. ...

The ABA is the only professional school accreditor that imposes an admissions test requirement on schools. Moreover, a review of standards for the six regional agencies that accredit entire universities found no encouragement of the use of admissions tests or any other specific tools for evaluating applicants.

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July 13, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Carter: Let's Kill The LSAT And The Bar Exam

Bloomberg Opinion:  RIP to the LSAT? Let’s Kill the Bar Exam, Too, by Stephen L. Carter (Yale):

Bloomberg OpinionShould law school applicants still have to take the LSAT? A proposal by a committee of the American Bar Association would eliminate the longstanding rule that accredited law schools must require prospective students to take a “valid and reliable test” as part of the application process. If the LSAT is axed, maybe the bar exam should be next.

The recommendation to eliminate the admissions testing requirement comes amidst cascading charges that reliance on the Law School Admission Test hurts minority applicants. The proposition is sharply contested by many friends of diversity.  Some find it stigmatizing to be told they can’t do as well on the test as White applicants. But given that the case against the test appears to have persuaded the wordily named Council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, let’s assume for the sake of argument that the LSAT does indeed represent an unfair barrier to entry to the legal profession.

Why doesn’t the same argument apply to the bar examination?

I’m serious.

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July 12, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink