Paul L. Caron

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Wash U Joins Chicago And Cornell In Refusing To Boycott U.S. News Law School Rankings, No. 16-Ranked Washington University Law Says It Will Not Bail on the US News Rankings:

Wash U (2022)On Tuesday, 16th-ranked Washington University in St. Louis School of Law joined 12th-ranked Cornell Law School and third-ranked University of Chicago Law School to continue providing information to U.S. News, amid a dozen law schools who have decided to pull out.

Russell K. Osgood, dean and professor of law at the law school, sent a statement to expressing his intentions to not withdraw from the rankings.

“Prospective law students should have multiple robust sources of information about law schools, and I am generally in favor of making information available,” Osgood said. “School websites can be incomplete, misleading or simply hard to compare.”

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December 1, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

More Commentary On The ABA's Push To Make The LSAT Optional In Law School Admissions

Yale Daily News, With LSAT in Limbo, Yale Law Students Divided on Test’s Merits:

Law schools across the country may soon stop requiring the LSAT for admissions, pending a decision by the American Bar Association.

The policy change, which would go into effect in the fall of 2025, would strike the requirement that law schools use the test to receive accreditation. Yale Law School has not indicated whether it would continue to require the LSAT in the absence of a mandate. ...

Yale Law School currently boasts the country’s highest median LSAT score in a three-way tie with Harvard and Columbia.

Some Yale students voiced concerns about axing the requirement, claiming that the LSAT was one of the most meritocratic aspects of the admissions process. Others heralded the decision.

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Yale Hosts Discussion Tonight On 'Is Free Speech Dead On Campus?' With Federal Judges Leading Boycott Of Yale Law School

Yale Daily News, Buckley Program to Host Judges Boycotting Yale Law School:

BuckleyFederal judges leading a boycott against Yale Law School will soon arrive on campus at the invitation of Yale’s primary conservative student organization.

The Nov. 30 discussion, titled “Is Free Speech Dead on Campuses?”, will be hosted by the William F. Buckley Jr. Program in William L. Harkness Hall. The speakers, Judges James C. Ho and Elizabeth Branch, announced their decision to bar future graduates of Law School from their clerkships over concerns about the institution’s culture around free speech in September. The event will be moderated by law professor Akhil Amar ’80 LAW ’84.

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

Eight Years After Splitting Law School Between Two Locations, Penn State President Proposes Reunification In Carlisle To Help Close Budget Deficit

Penn State News, President Bendapudi Recommends Reuniting Penn State’s Two Law Schools:

Penn State Law (2022)President Neeli Bendapudi is recommending that Penn State reunite its two separately accredited law schools, Penn State Dickinson Law in Carlisle and Penn State Law at University Park, into a single law school. The united school would be called Penn State Dickinson Law, have its primary location in Carlisle, and be led by Penn State Dickinson Law Dean Danielle M. Conway.

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

More Commentary On The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott

Nicholas Allard (Founding Dean, Jacksonville Law School), Law Schools Are Right To Steer Clear Of US News Rankings:

For many years my academic colleagues have tolerated the rankings while acknowledging their profound methodological flaws and describing their insidious effects. There is a mountainous record of critical commentary and analysis on the subject. Less substantively and perhaps too bluntly, I once said that "the rankings may be good for lining a parakeet cage, but as a roadmap for students they're not useful."

Bloomberg, Will Yale’s US News Exit Spur More Focus on Location?:


Chronicle of Higher Education, Can We Finally Topple The Tyranny of Rankings?:

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November 30, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

UC-Davis Is 12th Law School (5th In California) To Boycott U.S. News Rankings

Kevin R. Johnson (Dean, U.C. Davis), UC Davis Law Withdraws From U.S. News & World Report Rankings:

UC-Davis Logo (2022)Beginning today (Nov. 28), UC Davis School of Law will no longer provide data to U.S. News & World Report for use in compiling its law school rankings. This decision has been made after receiving guidance from the law faculty, campus leadership, students, alumni and others.

Major flaws with the U.S. News rankings are well-documented. Although law schools have in good faith worked with the magazine on improvements, U.S. News has failed to meaningfully change the rankings methodology. The survey techniques, accuracy and fairness of the rankings remain problematic, which produces a misleading ranking of law schools. Even small changes in one variable can lead to a dramatic shake-up of the rankings. The regular “corrections” of the rankings by U.S. News show their volatility and undermine their legitimacy.

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November 29, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

UC-Davis Dean Kevin Johnson Receives Inaugural AALS Michael Olivas Award

AALS, UC Davis Dean Kevin R. Johnson Awarded Inaugural Olivas Award from Five AALS Sections:

Johnson (2022)Kevin R. Johnson, Dean and Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o Studies at University of California, Davis School of Law, is the inaugural recipient of the Michael A. Olivas Award for Outstanding Leadership in Diversity and Mentoring in the Legal Academy, a joint recognition by five sections of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).

“I am incredibly honored to receive this award,” Johnson said. “I am especially touched because Michael was a friend, colleague, and an important mentor to me. He was a brilliant, prophetic scholar, and a risk-taking and pathbreaking advocate for underrepresented groups in the legal academy, and the world. I am extremely grateful to be the first recipient of the Michael A. Olivas Award.”

The annual award serves as a memorial to Michael A. Olivas, who died in April 2022 after an illustrious career in law, most recently as William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law Emeritus at the University of Houston Law Center and the Director of the University of Houston’s Institute for Higher Education Law & Governance. In 2018, Olivas was awarded the AALS Triennial Award for Lifetime Service to Legal Education and the Law, the association’s highest honor.

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

Monday, November 28, 2022

Legal Ed News Roundup

Call For Papers: 2023 Tax Notes Student Writing Competition

Tax Notes Student Writing Competition:

Student writing competition 2023The 2023 submission period for the Tax Notes Student Writing Competition is now open! Each year we recognize superior student writing on unsettled questions in tax law or policy. Learn more about the competition guidelines:

  • Eligibility: The competition is open to any student enrolled in a law, business, or public policy program during the 2022-2023 academic year. Each student may submit only one paper. Coauthored papers will be accepted. 
  • Format: Entries should be a minimum of 2,500 words and a maximum of 12,000 words, including footnotes. Citations should be formatted as footnotes in accordance with the latest edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. Bibliographies and reference lists are prohibited. Articles should be submitted as Microsoft Word documents.

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November 28, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax News, Teaching | Permalink

Yale Law School’s Revolt Of The Elites

The New Republic, Yale Law School’s Revolt of the Elites:

Yale Law Logo (2020)Yale University has the most elite law school in America, an institution so central to the production of future Supreme Court clerks and legal bigwigs that, in the space of a few months last year, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker all published lengthy features about whether one of its professors served drinks to students at a dinner party. So it made the news last week when Yale Law School Dean Heather K. Gerken issued a public statement declaring that the school would no longer willingly participate in the influential U.S. News & World Report law school rankings, setting off a mini-cascade of righteous quitting as Harvard, University of California, Berkeley, Stanford, Georgetown, and Columbia quickly followed suit.

But there was something strange about the spectacle of Dean Gerken denouncing as “profoundly flawed” a rankings system that identifies Yale itself as the #1 law school in the country—an evaluation with which, one would assume, she wholeheartedly agrees. The other quitters share rarefied air as well: All are in the U.S. News top 14 [except for UCLA and UC-Irvine].

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November 28, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Here’s Why Top Law Schools May Be Pulling Out Of The U.S. News Rankings

Following up on Saturday's post, Law School Admissions Without LSATs, Race, And Rankings:  The Daily Caller, ‘Writing On The Wall’: Here’s Why Top US Universities May Be Pulling Out Of High-Profile Ranking System:

U.S. News LogoTop law school[s] ... may be dropping out of the rankings ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action because they plan to deemphasize standardized tests in the admissions process and preserve diversity, but do not want to fall in the rankings process, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“If affirmative action falls, we can expect to see a lot of educational institutions drop objective standards from their admissions practices,” John Sailer, fellow at the National Association of Scholars, told the DCNF. “This allows them to continue race-conscious admissions by other means. Already, we see schools embracing this workaround. These top law schools probably have that in mind as they back out of the U.S. News & World Report rankings. Ranking requires clear, objective standards, and if law schools hope to go test-optional, the ranking system presents an obvious problem.” ...

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November 28, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Law School Admissions Without LSATs, Race, And Rankings

Wall Street Journal Editorial, Law Schools Without LSATs:

The American Bar Association’s move to discard objective tests won’t enhance diversity.

The flight from merit continues across America, and it’s spreading fast in the legal profession. An arm of the American Bar Association (ABA), which accredits law schools, voted on Nov. 18 to end the requirement that prospective law students take the Law School Admission Test. ...

The vote is pending approval from the ABA House of Delegates in February. If adopted, it would make standardized testing optional in preparation for a career that demands a lot of standardized knowledge.

The LSAT has long been a target of diversity advocates who argue that the use of the test has limited minority enrollment in law schools because the test questions are allegedly biased in favor of white test takers. Detractors also object to the LSAT because affluent students often pay thousands of dollars to prepare for the test that is supposed to predict their first-year law school performance.

The ABA decision is best understood as an attempt to get ahead of a possible Supreme Court decision against the use of racial preferences in school admissions. By making the LSAT optional, schools will be able to admit the students they want without lowering the average LSAT score that is one measure of elite status. But the schools need the ABA to move first.

The irony is that giving up the LSAT is likely to harm students from less privileged backgrounds. In September, 60 law school deans—including Berkeley Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, Loyola University Chicago Dean Michèle Alexandre and Boston University’s Angela Onwuachi-Willig—wrote the ABA to oppose making the admissions test optional on grounds that it would damage diversity. ...

Without an LSAT, untested law students will arrive at law school less prepared for the material, as well as less experienced with a rigorous testing format when they have to pass the bar exam in a few years. That is, if critics don’t next target the bar exam for elimination.

Bloomberg Law Op-Ed:  Ending Standardized Law School Tests Could Diminish Diversity, by Erwin Chemerinsky (Dean, UC-Berkeley) & Daniel Tokaji (Dean, Wisconsin):

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November 26, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Penn Evaluates Whether To Join Boycott Of U.S. News Rankings By Ten Of Top 15 Law Schools

Penn Logo (2022)Daily Pennsylvanian, Penn Carey Law Evaluating Participation in U.S. News & World Report Rankings After Harvard, Yale Pull Out:

Spokesperson Meredith Rovine wrote in a statement to The Daily Pennsylvanian that Penn Carey Law “applauds Yale Law and Harvard Law for their leadership in raising key questions for all law schools,” and agrees that the rankings are not holistic. ...

“Penn Carey Law has substantially increased financial aid and support for students seeking public interest careers to meet these important needs. We are evaluating this issue and assessing a process for our own decision-making,” Penn Carey Law's statement said.

“The U.S. News algorithm severely undercounts money spent on financial aid for students, while fully rewarding schools for every dollar spent on faculty and administrator salaries,” Penn Carey Law’s statement read.

Philadelphia Inquirer, Penn Will Evaluate U.S. News Rankings in Light of Harvard and Yale’s Decision to Withdraw:

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November 26, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, November 25, 2022

Is This The Beginning Of The End Of The U.S. News Rankings Dominance?

Chronicle of Higher Education, Is This the Beginning of the End of the 'U.S. News' Rankings Dominance:

U.S. News LogoLess than one week after the dean of Yale Law School announced she would no longer cooperate with U.S. News & World Report on its annual rankings, several of her peers have followed suit. As of Tuesday, deans at 10 of the 15 top-ranked law schools had said they would stop sending their data to U.S. News.

The collective revolt came quickly — and with barbs. In their announcements, the deans criticized the algorithm that U.S. News analysts use to produce the rankings. “The rankings rely on flawed survey techniques and opaque and arbitrary formulas, lacking the transparency needed to help applicants make truly informed decisions,” wrote Kerry Abrams, dean of Duke Law. The methodology creates “perverse incentives,” wrote Jenny Martinez, Stanford Law School’s dean. ...

If the law deans’ criticism sounds familiar, it’s because it echoes the complaints that have been leveled for decades against an even bigger project: the magazine’s ranking of undergraduate colleges and universities. There, too, critics have said the magazine’s metrics are flawed, opaque, and harm equity efforts.

But seldom have institutions acted on their concerns, as Yale and its peers have recently. And if elite colleges are willing to withdraw their support from one U.S. News ranking in the name of equity, why not another? In other words, is the undergraduate ranking the next venue for this kind of protest?

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November 25, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Chicago And Cornell Are First Elite Law Schools To Refuse To Join U.S. News Rankings Boycott

Thomas J. Miles (Dean, Chicago), Rankings:

Chicago (2022)Many of you are aware that in the past week some law schools have announced that they will no longer participate in the U.S. News rankings. After conferring with University leaders and with some members of our faculty, our administrative team, and our alumni community, I have decided that we will continue to furnish information to U.S. News

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November 24, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings | Permalink

UC-Irvine Is First Non-Elite Law School To Join U.S. News Rankings Boycott

Austen Parrish (Dean, UC-Irvine), University of California, Irvine School of Law Withdraws From Participating in U.S. News Annual Law School Rankings:

UCI Law (2022)I write to share our decision to withdraw from participating in the U.S. News & World Report annual law school rankings — a decision that we have not reached lightly. Over the last several days, faculty have met to discuss as a group, and I have had conversations and meetings with staff, student leaders, alumni, and others. With thoughtful feedback and strong encouragement within our community, we will not be submitting proprietary data this year to U.S. News for use in its law school rankings.

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November 24, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Pepperdine Caruso Law Is Thankful For Greg Ogden

After 44 years on the Pepperdine Caruso Law faculty, Greg Ogden taught his last class on Monday. We honored him with a clap-out:

On Monday evening, the faculty celebrated Greg with a dinner|roast at one of Pepperdine's beach houses:

Ogden Group

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November 24, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

NY Times: Tax Prof Cruciverbalist

New York Times Crosswords, Collision Courses:

NY TimesSamuel A. Donaldson is a law professor at Georgia State University, where he teaches courses on property, federal taxation and estate planning. He has been making crossword puzzles for The Times since 2008. His grids are typically filled with lively vocabulary, and this one is no different. “Solvers might not realize the theme until after they’re done,” Mr. Donaldson said of this puzzle, “so I wanted the process of getting to the finish line to be as enjoyable as possible.”, GSU Law Prof Goes Across and Down to Create NY Times Crosswords:

Getting a crossword puzzle published in The New York Times is "one of the few meritocracies left," says Georgia State law professor Samuel Donaldson.

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November 24, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Will Katherine Magbanua Get 'Unusual' Reduction In Life Sentence For Flipping On Charlie Adelson In Dan Markel Murder Case?

Following up on last week's post, The Dan Markel Murder Case: Katie Magbanua Flips On Charlie Adelson:  Tallahassee Democrat, Could Katherine Magbanua Get an 'Unusual' Deal in Dan Markel Murder Case? Attorneys Weigh In.:

Magbanua AdelsonKatherine Magbanua’s agreement to talk to prosecutors as a state witness after being convicted of Dan Markel’s murder has Tallahassee-area attorneys scratching their heads as to what bearing her cooperation could have on her life sentence.

Magbanua was ordered Wednesday to return to Tallahassee in late November to give a proffer statement during a closed-door meeting with prosecutors at the courthouse. She was found guilty of first-degree murder and other charges during her May trial and sentenced over the summer.

The move comes in the run-up to the murder trial early next year of Charlie Adelson, Markel's ex brother-in-law, Magbanua's one-time boyfriend and the alleged mastermind behind the murder-for-hire plot.

Exactly what she could divulge and whether she will testify against Adelson are just as unclear as whether her life sentence could be reduced for her cooperation.

“This is out there,” said appellate attorney and former 1st District Court of Appeal judge Philip Padovano. “I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it is unusual to say the least. I’ve never seen it.” ...

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

Bill Henderson: The Dollars And Math Behind Yale Law School's Withdrawal From U.S. News — 'Are Limits on Federal Student Loans The Best Way To End The Rankings Madness?'

Bill Henderson (Indiana), The Dollars and Math Behind Yale Law’s Withdrawn From USN Rankings:

Yale USNYale Law School’s $1.2 billion share of the Yale University endowment provides approximately $63 million in operating funds, which translates into $106,000 per student. ... To be clear, these are the funds available before Yale Law collects its first dollar of tuition. Nonetheless, as the top-ranked law school in the US News rankings for more than 30 years, Yale has a superabundance of highly credentialed students who would be willing to pay or borrow the current cost of attendance. For the 2021-22 admission cycle, Yale admitted only 5.6% of applicants; of those admitted, 81% enrolled, making Yale the most selective and elite law school in the nation.

Among elite law schools, Yale clearly has the strongest balance sheet. Its closest competitors are Stanford Law ($76,000 in endowment funding per student) and Harvard ($56,000), which typically rank #2 or #3 in any given year. Among the rest of the T-14, endowment funding generates approximately $20,000 per student, with a high of $33,000 and a low of $4,000, albeit these figures, similar to Yale, may go up due to improved endowment performances, as pandemic-related fiscal and monetary policies tended to make the rich richer.

The big news, of course, is that Yale recently announced its withdrawal from the US News rankings, at least as an active participant. This decision, and its likely second-order effects for other law schools, are nearly impossible to accurately grasp without also understanding (1) the technical intricacies of how the US News rankings work, as this creates the underlying incentive structure; and (2) the significant risk that Yale was running by continuing to play the US News game, making it a poor data point for generalizing to other law schools. ...

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November 23, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Dan Solove: Slaying The U.S. News Law School Rankings Dragon

Daniel Solove (George Washington; Google Scholar), Slaying the US News Law School Rankings Dragon:

US News (2023)The battle against the US News Law School Rankings has finally begun. After decades of groaning and grumbling about how bad the rankings are, many top law schools have said they are withdrawing from the rankings, including 7 out of the top 10. I applaud this move, but I fear that law schools might break out the champagne too early. The battle might be won, but the war might ultimately be lost unless law schools do more than just withdraw.

Law schools aren’t really dropping out of the rankings; they are just pledging to refuse to submit certain data that US News wants. US News issued a statement declaring that it will continue ranking whether law schools cooperate or not. The dragon hasn’t been slain; it’s just not going to get some of the food it wants. ...

Reductive as rankings are, people crave rankings, and there is money in ranking for US News. Thus, don’t expect US News to fold.  Rankers gonna rank.  US News will just use whatever data it can get their hands on. ...

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November 23, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

UCLA Is Tenth Top 15 Law School To Refuse To Participate In U.S. News Rankings

Russell Korobkin (Interim Dean, UCLA), UCLA Law Will Not Participate in U.S. News & World Report Rankings:

UCLA Law (2022)As many of you know, a number of our peer schools have announced that they will not submit proprietary data this year to U.S. News and World Report for use in its annual law school rankings. After substantial and deliberate consultation with a variety of stakeholders, I write to tell you that, in the absence of significant and meaningful changes to the methodology employed in these rankings, we will also decline to participate this year.

Faced with the choice of where to attend law school, one of the most significant decisions of their lives, students reasonably search for some method of comparing the overall quality of law schools. Third-party rankings can provide a useful service in this regard if their methodology is transparent, if they value features of the schools’ programs that are reasonable proxies for educational quality, and if they provide incentives for schools to compete in ways that improve educational quality and ultimately benefit the legal profession.

Although no rankings can provide a perfect measure of quality, the U.S. News rankings are particularly problematic for a number of reasons:

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November 22, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Colin Diver: Are The U.S. News Rankings Finally Going To Die?

New York Times Op-Ed:  Are the U.S. News College Rankings Finally Going to Die?, by Colin Diver (Former Dean, University of Pennsylvania Law School; Former President, Reed College; Author, Breaking Ranks: How the Rankings Industry Rules Higher Education and What to Do About It (Johns Hopkins University Press 2022) (more here):

Breaking Ranks 6Yale’s law school made the stunning announcement last week that it would no longer participate in the influential rankings published annually by U.S. News & World Report. Given the outsize importance attributed to the rankings by prospective applicants and alumni, Yale’s decision sent shock waves through the legal profession, and indeed all of higher education. Yet the law schools at Harvard, Berkeley, Georgetown, Columbia, Stanford and Michigan [and Duke and Northwestern] quickly followed suit. Will the universities of which they are a part join the boycott? Will other colleges and professional schools do the same? Could this be the beginning of the end for college rankings?

I sure hope so.

Since their emergence in 1983, the U.S. News college rankings have grown into a huge juggernaut. They have withstood decades of withering criticism — from journalistsuniversity presidents and the U.S. secretary of education — that the methodology ignores the distinctive character of individual schools and drives institutions to abandon priorities and principles in favor of whatever tweaks will bump them up a notch or two.

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November 22, 2022 in Book Club, Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

With Duke And Northwestern, Nine Of T14 Refuse To Participate In U.S. News Law School Rankings

Kerry Abrams (Dean, Duke), Withdrawal From U.S. News Rankings:

Duke Law (2022)For more than 30 years, Duke Law School has participated in the annual ranking of law schools published by U.S. News. Although Duke Law has been among the top cohort of institutions in every edition, we have long had serious concerns that the design and influence of these rankings create incentives that are not aligned with our mission and our values. At a time of critical focus on access to legal education and the legal profession, we think it’s important to recognize this unfortunate impact and push for change. Therefore, Duke Law will no longer participate in the U.S. News rankings.

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November 22, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

One-Third Of The Way Through The Fall 2023 Law School Admissions Season: Applicants Are Down -7.5%, With Biggest Decline (-21%) In The 165-169 LSAT Band

We are now 33% of the way through Fall 2023 law school admissions season. The number of law school applicants reported by LSAC is down -7.5% compared to last year at this time:


129 of the 198 law schools are experiencing a decrease in applications. Applications are down -20% or more at 26 law schools:


Applicants are down the most in the Northwest (-17.0%), Midsouth (-14.9%), and Northeast (-13.2%); and are up in Other (+22.2%):


Applicants' LSAT scores are down -8.5% in the 170-180 band, -13.8% in the 160-169 band, -8.8% in the 150-159 band, and -1.3% in the 120-149 band:

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

Cleveland State Removes John Marshall's Name, Rebrands As CSU College Of Law

Following up on my previous posts (links below): Lee Fisher (Dean, Cleveland State), Law School Name Change: Cleveland State University (CSU) College of Law:

CSU Law (2022) (White)Below is a message from Cleveland State University President Laura Bloomberg announcing that earlier today, the Cleveland State University Board of Trustees voted to remove the name “Cleveland-Marshall” from the College of Law. Our college will now be known as the CSU College of Law.

As President Bloomberg notes, the Board reached its decision following an extensive and comprehensive process that included review by a special University ad hoc committee of the Law School Name Committee Report that I submitted to the University earlier this year. The University ad hoc committee unanimously recommended the removal of the name “Marshall,” and in September President Bloomberg submitted that recommendation to the Board with her endorsement. I also voiced my support of the recommendation.

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

Monday, November 21, 2022

Legal Ed News Roundup

Antitrust Implications Of The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott

Daniel A. Crane (Michigan), Antitrust Concerns on Firing U.S. News & World Report:

Yale Notice & CommentMy view on the merits is that the USNWR rankings scheme is bad for legal education, for many of the reasons articulated by Deans Gerken, Manning, and Chemerinksy. It’s not that rankings are necessarily bad—giving students, employers, and others information on law schools is important. The problem is that USNWR places weight on arbitrary and manipulable factors, which in turn pressure schools to allocate resources in ways that are detrimental to legal education, equity, and ultimately society at large. So sign me up for the project of breaking USNWR’s spell.

Ever since yesterday’s announcements, folks have been asking me whether there is a potential antitrust problem with any of this. ...

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November 21, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Michigan Is Seventh T14 Law School To Refuse To Participate In The U.S. News Rankings

Mark D. West (Dean, Michigan), Michigan Law Will Not Participate in U.S. News Rankings:

Michigan Law Logo (2021)After talking with students, faculty, alumni, and staff, I have decided that it no longer makes sense for Michigan Law to participate in the U.S. News & World Report law school rankings process. As a public institution, serving the public interest has always been central to our mission. Over time, I increasingly have come to believe that the U.S. News law school rankings no longer serve the public interest. Although we have had sustained discussion for years within the Quad about parting ways with the rankings, it would have been difficult for us to take this step alone. I applaud Yale Law School (and Dean Heather Gerken, Michigan Law, ’94) for being first mover and share the concerns expressed by Yale and other schools that have withdrawn.

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November 21, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Why Law Schools Outside The T14 (Like UCLA, Wash U, George Mason, Boston University, Pepperdine) May Refuse To Join The U.S. News Rankings Boycott

David Lat (Original Jurisdiction), Yale And Harvard Law To U.S. News: Drop Dead:

US News (2023)In the world beyond YLS and HLS, some have criticized the schools’ withdrawal as threatening the rankings system, which these critics argue has utility for schools beyond the super-elite. The top-14, top-6, and top-3 schools barely change, so one could argue that the U.S. News rankings offered little informational value as to those schools. The entire so-called “T14” could secede, and not much would change; the old advice of “if you get into a T14 school, go” would still apply.

But beyond the T14, some schools have made dramatic jumps over the years, as reflected in their U.S. News rank—e.g., George Mason/Scalia Law or Pepperdine Law, former fourth-tier schools that are now #30 and #52, respectively. If YLS and HLS end up killing the law-school rankings, with U.S. News either leaving the space or making the ranks much more imprecise, how can these other schools demonstrate their progress? And how can law-school applicants make informed decisions when choosing between non-T14 schools?

New York Times, As More Top Law Schools Boycott Rankings, Others Say They Can’t Afford to Leave:

Some law schools — especially those just below the Top 14 — said that despite their qualms about the rankings and the tests, it could be hard to abandon them.

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November 21, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

U.S. News Law School Rankings, ABA Optional LSAT, And Harvard Affirmative Action Supreme Court Case

US News (2023)Wall Street Journal Editorial, Yale and Harvard Law Unrank Themselves:

Yale and Harvard law schools said this week they will no longer participate in the annual law-school rankings published by U.S. News & World Report. Readers may see no one to root for in a showdown between elite schools and the higher-ed ratings complex, but there’s a point to be made about what appears to be a flight from merit and transparency at these schools. ...

Dean Gerken gave away the game when she wrote: “Today, 20% of a law school’s overall ranking is median LSAT/GRE scores and GPAs. While academic scores are an important tool, they don’t always capture the full measure of an applicant. This heavily weighted metric imposes tremendous pressure on schools to overlook promising students, especially those who cannot afford expensive test preparation courses.”

This sounds like cover for a desire by Yale to be free to admit students with lower test scores in service to diversity, but without taking a hit to its exclusive reputation. Yale has long been No. 1 in the U.S. News rankings.

The LSAT isn’t perfect, but it is a good predictor of success in law school, particularly as grade inflation has rendered GPAs far less meaningful. The LSAT’s influence is also an equalizer. For the price of a prep book, a low- or middle-income applicant can use an excellent score to compete with thousands of affluent applicants with polished resumes or connections. Yet progressives have long hoped to kill the LSAT along with high-school standardized testing.

The timing here is notable given the Supreme Court may soon strike down the use of racial preferences in college admissions. The Yale and Harvard announcements look like attempts to adapt in advance. This is a reminder to the Justices that college administrators will find a way to skirt any three-pronged diversity test they might devise, or some other putative judicial compromise.

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November 21, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, November 19, 2022

ABA Legal Ed Council Votes 15-1 To Make LSAT Optional Beginning With Fall 2026 1L Class

ABA Press Release, ABA Panel Takes First Step to Revise the Requirement for Law School Admission Tests:

ABA Legal Ed (2022)Statement of Bill Adams, managing director of ABA accreditation and legal education:

Today, the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar approved a change in ABA standards affecting the language of requiring law schools to have a ‘valid and reliable’ test. The council amended the recommendation of its Strategic Review Committee and proposed a revised standard to eliminate the requirement for each applicant for the 2025-26 admissions cycle for the 2026-27 entering class. The proposed revision now goes to the ABA House of Delegates (HOD). Under ABA rules and procedures, the HOD, as the policy-making body is known, has a maximum of two opportunities to review a proposed change; it can concur, reject or return with recommendations. But final approval to change ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools rests with the council, which serves as an independent arm of the ABA for the accreditation of the nation’s law schools. The next HOD meeting is in February 2023 in New Orleans.

Wall Street Journal, Law School Accrediting Panel Votes to Make LSAT Optional:

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

The U.S. News Law School Rankings Are Like The Hotel California: You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Leave

Robert Morse (Chief Data Strategist, U.S. News), U.S. News Best Law Schools Rankings Will Continue to Inform Prospective Students:

US News (2023)U.S. News & World Report will continue to rank all fully accredited law schools, regardless of whether schools agree to submit their data.

A few law schools recently announced that they will no longer participate in the data collection process for the U.S. News Best Law Schools rankings. We respect each institution’s decision to choose whether or not to submit their data to U.S. News.

However, U.S. News has a responsibility to prospective students to provide comparative information that allows them to assess these institutions. U.S. News will therefore continue to rank the nearly 200 accredited law schools in the United States.

The U.S. News Best Law Schools rankings are designed for students seeking to make the best decision for their legal education. We will continue to pursue our journalistic mission of ensuring that students can rely on the best and most accurate information, using the rankings as one factor in their law school search.

Wall Street Journal, Georgetown, Columbia Join Schools Withdrawing From U.S. News & World Report Law School Rankings:

“We believe that that’s a vote against accountability, it’s a vote against transparency, it’s a vote against equity, it’s a vote against students,” Eric Gertler, executive chairman and CEO of U.S. News & World Report, said of schools pulling out of the rankings.

In an interview Friday, shortly before Columbia announced its plan to withdraw, he said U.S. News will continue to compile its rankings with or without the schools’ cooperation. Much of the information it uses comes from publicly available sources; a share of the score is also based on peer reviews by lawyers and school administrators.

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November 19, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

With Stanford, Columbia And Georgetown, 6 Of The T14 Refuse To Participate In The U.S. News Law School Rankings

Jenny S. Martinez (Dean, Stanford), Stanford Law School Will Not Participate in US News Law School Ranking:

Stanford Law (2022)Stanford Law School has made the decision to withdraw from the US News law school ranking. US News and other rankings have long been a topic of conversation and internal study by our faculty at SLS. We know that well-formulated rankings, along with other publicly available data, can provide a valuable service to prospective students. In the spirit of providing useful information to prospective students and improving the ability of law schools to do their best for students, we have been one of a number of law schools who have approached US News over time with concrete suggestions to improve its ranking methodology, to no avail.

Stanford Law has stood near the very top of the rankings for many years, and we are lucky to be in a position where the rankings do not significantly affect our decisions.  However, we agree with many of the points that other schools have presented about how the rankings methodology distorts incentives in ways that are harmful to legal education as a whole. For example, the US News ranking methodology inappropriately discourages public service by treating students whose schools provide fellowships to support such work much the same as it treats students who are unemployed. In a world where interdisciplinary expertise is increasingly important, it also treats students pursuing another advanced degree, such as an MBA or PhD, as unemployed. The ways in which it weights per-student expenditures and measures debt, including excluding schools’ public service loan repayment programs, further distorts incentives in ways that act against students’ interests. Stanford Law School is proud to be one of the few law schools that offers exclusively need-based financial aid, and believes more schools across all tiers of legal education would be able to emphasize need-based financial aid, admit students from all walks of life, and keep expenditures down if the rankings methodology were different.

By joining with the other schools that have chosen to withdraw from participation in the US News rankings this year, we hope to increase the chances that the methodology is seriously overhauled, not only to reduce perverse incentives but to provide clearer and more relevant information that prospective students would find genuinely useful in making decisions about which law schools best match their interests and needs. In the meantime, we will be compiling data that we hope will be considerably more transparent and usable than the information that US News provides and will better help applicants determine whether SLS meets their educational and career aspirations. 

Gillian Lester (Dean. Columbia), Columbia Law Will Not Participate in U.S. News Rankings:

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November 19, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, November 18, 2022

The Dan Markel Murder Case: Katie Magbanua Flips On Charlie Adelson

Tallahassee Democrat, Dan Markel Murder: Katherine Magbanua Turns State Witness As Charlie Adelson Nears Trial:

Magbanua AdelsonConvicted Dan Markel murderer Katherine Magbanua is being brought to Tallahassee from prison to give a statement to prosecutors who are seeking a conviction against Markel’s ex-brother-in-law next year. ...

An order signed by Circuit Judge Robert Wheeler says Magbanua is to be transported on or before Nov. 28-30 to the State Attorney's Office for a proffer. The order indicates Magbanua, who's serving a life sentence in Marion County, will be housed as a state witness in the Leon County Jail. ...

Details about what Magbanua could divulge about her involvement with Markel’s former brother-in-law Charlie Adelson and the suspected murder-for-hire plot that killed the acclaimed law professor are unknown. ...

[I]t could be a watershed moment for the prosecution in a case that has captivated Tallahassee for years.

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

Thursday, November 17, 2022

UC-Berkeley Is The Third Top 10 Law School To Refuse To Participate In The U.S. News Rankings

Erwin Chemerinsky (UC-Berkeley), Berkeley Law Will Not Participate in the US News Rankings:

UC Berkeley (2016)After careful consideration, Berkeley Law has decided not to continue to participate in the US News ranking of law schools. Although rankings are inevitable and inevitably have some arbitrary features, there are aspects of the US News rankings that are profoundly inconsistent with our values and public mission.

Berkeley Law is a public school, with a deep commitment to increasing access to justice, training attorneys who will work to improve society in a variety of ways, and to empowering the next generation of leaders and thinkers, many of whom will come from communities who historically were not part of the legal profession. We are also committed to excellence: in our programs, scholarship, financial support, research, and certainly among our students. We take pride in producing attorneys who are highly skilled, highly sought after, and dedicated to public service and pro bono. This is who we are.

Rankings have the meaning that we give them as a community. I do not want to pretend they do not. And rankings will exist with or without our participation. The question becomes, then, do we think that there is a benefit to participation in the US News process that outweighs the costs? The answer, we feel, is no.

We want to be specific about the basis for this assertion. It is not about railing against rankings or complaining that they “hurt” us in some way. However, there are specific issues that we have struggled with for years, and raised with leadership at US News to no avail. These are:

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November 17, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Harvard Joins Yale In No Longer Participating In The U.S. News Law School Rankings

John Manning (Dean, Harvard), Decision to Withdraw from the U.S. News & World Report Process:

Harvard Law School Logo (2021)I write today to share with you that Harvard Law School will no longer participate in the U.S. News & World Report rankings, effective this year. (Yale Law School announced a similar decision earlier today). We at HLS have made this decision because it has become impossible to reconcile our principles and commitments with the methodology and incentives the U.S. News rankings reflect. This decision was not made lightly and only after considerable deliberation over the past several months.

Done well, such rankings could convey accurate, relevant information about universities, colleges, and graduate and professional schools that may help students and families make informed choices about which schools best meet their needs. However, rankings can also emphasize characteristics that potentially mislead those who rely on them and can create perverse incentives that influence schools’ decisions in ways that undercut student choice and harm the interests of potential students.

Over several years now, a number of schools — including Harvard Law School — have brought to the attention of U.S. News, either directly or through the U.S. News Law Deans Advisory Board, the concerns that have motivated us to end our participation in the U.S. News process. In particular, we have raised concerns about aspects of the U.S. News ranking methodology (also highlighted by our colleagues at Yale) that work against law schools’ commitments to enhancing the socioeconomic diversity of our classes; to allocating financial aid to students based on need; and, through loan repayment and public interest fellowships, to supporting graduates interested in careers serving the public interest.

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November 16, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Yale Law School Will No Longer Participate In 'Profoundly Flawed' U.S. News Rankings

Yale Law Today, Dean Gerken: Why Yale Law School Is Leaving the U.S. News & World Report Rankings:

Yale Law Logo (2020)For three decades, U.S. News & World Report, a for-profit magazine, has ranked the educational quality of law schools across the country. Since the very beginning, Yale Law School has taken the top spot every year. Yet, that distinction is not one that we advertise or use as a lodestar to chart our course. In fact, in recent years, we have invested significant energy and capital in important initiatives that make our law school a better place but perversely work to lower our scores. That’s because the U.S. News rankings are profoundly flawed — they disincentivize programs that support public interest careers, champion need-based aid, and welcome working-class students into the profession. We have reached a point where the rankings process is undermining the core commitments of the legal profession. As a result, we will no longer participate.

It’s entirely understandable that many schools feel compelled to adhere to a commercial magazine’s preferences, as the rankings are taken seriously by applicants, employers, and alumni. But rankings are useful only when they follow sound methodology and confine their metrics to what the data can reasonably capture — factors I’ve described in my own research on election administration. Over the years, however, U.S. News has refused to meet those conditions despite repeated calls from law school deans to change. Instead, the magazine continues to take data — much of it supplied by the law schools solely to U.S. News — and applies a misguided formula that discourages law schools from doing what is best for legal education. While I sincerely believe that U.S. News operates with the best of intentions, it faces a nearly impossible task, ranking 192 law schools with a small set of one-size-fits-all metrics that cannot provide an accurate picture of such varied institutions. Its approach not only fails to advance the legal profession, but stands squarely in the way of progress.

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November 16, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Survey: Many Law Schools Won't Abandon LSAT If ABA Votes On Friday To Give Schools That Option

Reuters, Many Law Schools Won't Abandon LSAT Even If They Can, Test-Prep Survey Finds:

A new survey suggests that a significant number of law schools will continue to use the Law School Admission Test even if the American Bar Association, which accredits them, no longer requires it.

Half of the 82 law school admissions offices surveyed by test prep company Kaplan Inc this fall said they are either “very likely” or “somewhat” likely to continue requiring a standardized admissions exam even if the ABA drops its testing mandate, according to the survey released Tuesday. Kaplan provides LSAT prep courses and has a financial interest in schools continuing to require the test.

The ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is slated to vote on eliminating the admission test requirement Friday. ...

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

Elite Law School Bias In Judicial Clerkship Hiring

Sasha Volokh (Emory; Google Scholar), Some Thoughts on Elite-Law-School Bias in Clerkship Hiring:

Does the bias exist? Is it a good thing? What does it mean for law students at lower-ranked schools? What does [it] mean about me?

The Washington Post just had a big article on October 30 about racial and gender diversity among Supreme Court clerks, and followed it up with a smaller piece on November 1 about elite law-school hiring patterns for Supreme Court clerks.

When talking about clerk hiring, a few questions might be interesting: (1) Is there an elite-school hiring pattern for federal clerks at the highest level? (2) If yes, is that elite-school hiring pattern justifiable? (3) If the answer to (1) is yes, can law students at non-elite schools still get good clerkships? (4) If the answers to (1) and (2) are yes, and if I'm a professor at a non-elite school, am I a trustworthy law clerk advisor and recommender? Stay tuned for my four answers: yes, yes, yes, and yes!

Washington Post, Historically Diverse Supreme Court Hears Disproportionately From White Lawyers:

WaPo 1B

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

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Linda Mullenix Settles Second Equal Pay Lawsuit Against University Of Texas Law School

Law360, U. Of Texas Settles Second Gender Pay Suit With Law Prof:

MullenixA settlement has been reached between the University of Texas and a law professor who has twice sued the school over alleged sex-based pay disparities.

Linda Mullenix and the university filed a joint notice on Wednesday that the parties have resolved their dispute, and U.S. District Judge David A. Ezra formally dismissed the case on Thursday.

Bloomberg Law, University of Texas Settles Female Law Professor’s Pay Bias Suit:

Mullenix sued in December 2019, alleging she was being paid $134,000 less than fellow class action scholar Robert Bone, despite their comparable experience. Judge David Alan Ezra ruled June 10 that a trial was necessary on Mullenix’s claim under the Equal Pay Act but that a jury couldn’t find in Mullenix’s favor on her pay-based sex bias claim under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

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

Renaming UC-Hastings Law School Sparks $1.7 Billion Legal Fight That Shows How Hard It Is To Ditch Donors’ Names

Chronicle of Philanthropy, Renaming Calif.’s Hastings Law School Sparks $1.7 Billion Legal Fight That Shows How Hard It Is to Ditch Donors’ Names:

UC Hastings (2022)Six descendants of Serranus Clinton Hastings, California’s first chief justice, and a group that says it represents alumni are suing the state of California over its decision to rename a nearly 150-year-old law school. The University of California Hastings College of the Law will become U.C. College of the Law, San Francisco, in 2023 in accordance with a law state legislators passed and Gov. Gavin Newsom signed on September 23, 2022.

The lawsuit also targets David Faigman, the school’s dean and chancellor, along with all of its trustees — who voted for this change after learning about Serranus Hastings’s role in the slaughter of Native Americans in the mid-19th century. Rebranding is one way that the school is actively seeking reconciliation with the Yuki people, whose communities were harmed at that time. It filed a motion to dismiss the suit on November 2, 2022.

The lawsuit cites an 1878 agreement with the state of California to create and fund the law school, which promised Hastings’ heirs $100,000, plus interest, should the school ever “cease to exist.” One hundred forty-four years later, that would amount to $1.7 billion, the San Francisco Chronicle has reported. The lawsuit also disputes the evidence about Hastings’ ties to the slaughter of Indigenous people and says this change would waste tax dollars.

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

Monday, November 14, 2022

Legal Ed News Roundup

Pepperdine Caruso Law Fundraising After Our Naming Gift

30for30After receiving our $50 million naming gift three years ago, deans of schools that had received similar gifts warned me of the tendency for other alumni and friends to feel that their financial support may no longer be needed. During a road trip in Texas with Rebecca Malzahn, our Assistant Vice Chancellor and Senior Director of Development, we brainstormed ways to keep our alumni and friends energized about the law school. I had just watched one of the ESPN 30 for 30 sports documentaries, so we decided to do a 50 For 50 campaign to commemorate our $50 million naming gift and our 50-year anniversary. We hoped 50 alumni and friends would each donate $50,000 for student scholarships, raising a total of $2.5 million:

My wife Courtney and I were the first to contribute, and we exceeded our goal and raised $3.5 million from 55 donors. After several celebration events had to be postponed due to Covid-19, we were finally able to gather recently and thank our wonderful partners at a dedication event and unveiled a plaque with each donor's name to be displayed at the law school

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November 14, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Yeshiva University Announces New LGBTQ Club While Continuing Its Legal Battle With The Existing One

Inside Higher Ed, Yeshiva University Announces New LGBTQ Club While Continuing its Legal Battle With the Existing One:

Yeshiva Pride LogoA recent move by the Yeshiva University administration has revealed fractures among students, faculty and staff members regarding what LGBTQ inclusion on campus should look like and who has the right to decide. Administrators at the Modern Orthodox Jewish institution announced plans two weeks ago to create a new LGBTQ support club, sanctioned by the university and its rabbis. At the same time, the university continues to refuse to recognize the existing LGBTQ club formed by students, the YU Pride Alliance. The two have been mired in a messy and ongoing lawsuit for over a year.

The new club, which currently has no students and has yet to be formed, would be called Kol Yisrael Areivim, a Hebrew phrase meaning “all Jews are responsible for one another.” The announcement says the club will be a place for LGBTQ students to “gather, share their experiences, host events, and support one another while benefiting from the full resources of the Yeshiva community—all within the framework of Halacha [Jewish law]—as all other student clubs.”

“We are eager to support and facilitate the religious growth and personal life journeys of all of our students to lead authentic Torah lives, and we hope that this Torah-based initiative with a new student club tailored to Yeshiva’s undergraduate LGBTQ students will provide them with meaningful support to do so,” Rabbi Ari Berman, the university’s president, said in the announcement. ...

Reactions to the announcement ranged from celebration to outrage to head scratching.

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November 13, 2022 in Faith, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Leiter: The End Of The LSAT Is Coming — What Will U.S. News Do?

Brian Leiter (Chicago; Google Scholar), The End of the LSAT Is Coming:

It seems like the writing is on the wall. ... If [U.S. News] decide[s] to just increase the weight on GPA, then expect a boom in communications and education majors among prospective law students seeking the highest possible GPA!

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

November 12, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Lawyers Who Had to Pay Off Their Student Debt Think You Should, Too, Readers' Poll Results: Lawyers Who Had to Pay Off Their Student Debt Think You Should, Too:

When it comes to lawyers’ views on President Joe Biden’s (now-endangered) student loan forgiveness plan, the dividing line between supporters and detractors is clear: those who have already paid their dues are not keen on letting others off the hook.

On Thursday, the pendulum swung in their favor when a federal judge in the Northern District of Texas struck down the plan as unconstitutional. The Biden administration immediately appealed the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, where the matter is now pending, leaving the program’s fate in question for the time being.

In a recent readers’ poll, the percentage of respondents who said they have no remaining law school debt aligned very closely with the percentage of respondents who said they disagreed with Biden’s plan. ...

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

Friday, November 11, 2022

Veterans Day At Pepperdine

Light to Unite Illuminates Phillips Theme Tower in Purple:

Pepperdine Tower (Veterans Day)Join the Pepperdine community tonight, November 11, at sunset, to witness as the Phillips Theme Tower is illuminated in purple in commemoration of Veterans Day and the 240th anniversary of our nation’s Purple Heart award.

In an initiative led by the National Flag Foundation and the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Pepperdine University was identified as the sole California representative of Light to Unite, a nationwide effort to demonstrate support for our country’s military heroes. Across the United States, Light to Unite has planned displays at buildings such as One World Trade Center in New York City, the Willis Tower in Chicago, and the Koppers Building in Pittsburgh.

Attend the lighting in person as Pepperdine’s 125-foot landmark is lit up for one of the few times in its history.

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November 11, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

California Bar Exam Pass Rate For First-Time Takers From ABA-Accredited In-State Law Schools Falls 8 Percentage Points

California Bar (2021)The California Bar has released the results of the July 2022 bar exam. The overall pass rate was 52.4%, down 0.6 percentage point from last year's exam. For California ABA-accredited law schools, the pass rate for first time test-takers was 73%, down 8 percentage points from 2021.

School Type



California ABA



Out-of-State ABA



California Accredited (not ABA)



Unaccredited: Fixed-Facility



Unaccredited: Correspondence



Unaccredited Distance-Learning



All Others



All Applicants



The July 2022 pass rate on the General Bar Exam was slightly lower than the July 2021 pass rate of 53 percent.

Performance on the July 2022 bar exam varied nationally, with some states seeing a higher pass rate, and others experiencing a decline. Here are a few highlights:

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November 11, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Spencer: Making The Path To A Law Degree More Accessible For Everyone

Bloomberg Law Op-Ed:  Making the Path to a Law Degree More Accessible for Everyone, by A. Benjamin Spencer (Dean, William & Mary; Google Scholar):

Bloomberg Law (2021)As the cost of higher education—and associated student loan debt—continue to mount, consumers and observers rightly voice concern about its value.

Legal education is no exception. Indeed, Justice Neil Gorsuch recently wondered, “Does it really require seven years of collegiate education to become a competent lawyer?”

The answer to that question clearly is no.

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