Paul L. Caron

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Heritage Foundation: The ABA Is Stretching the Limits of Law With Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion Accreditation Standard

Sarah Parshall Perry (Heritage Foundation), The ABA Is Stretching the Limits of Law With Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Rule:

Heritage (2022)The [ABA's] updated race-conscious diversity standard is typical of the new equity-focused concept of antiracism in which skin color matters first and foremost. Its main result would be to make law schools more race-conscious, more politically correct, and less intellectually diverse.

A revised standard that requires law schools to diversify their faculty, staff, and student bodies removes from those law schools any academic judgments their administrators might exercise related to the “narrowly tailored” diversity efforts approved by the Supreme Court in Grutter v. Bollinger. In Grutter, the Court deferred to the academic freedom of universities seeking diversity for educational reasons. By requiring law schools to pursue diversity, however, the ABA substitutes its own judgment for theirs, and forces a reliance on the ABA rules simply to ensure accreditation.

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

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

7th Circuit Chides Students In Fee Dispute Against University For Online Classes During COVID-19, Appeals Court Chides Students in COVID-19 Fee Dispute Against University:

A federal appeals court, rejecting an attempt to revive a lawsuit against a university over fees charged during the COVID-19 pandemic, said the students are lucky opposing counsel did not seek sanctions for filing frivolous litigation [Thiele v. Board of Trustees of Illinois State University, No. 21-3017 (7th Cir. May 27, 2022)].

Students Jack Moylan and Bailey Thiele alleged Illinois State University violated the U.S. Constitution by continuing to collect part of a fee meant to cover the cost of on-campus facilities and programs, even though the school switched to remote learning due to the pandemic. They argued the purported breach of contract violated the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause and 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Judge Frank Easterbrook, joined by Judges Michael Scudder and Joel Flaum, said not only is that argument incorrect, but the students’ attempt to keep their lawsuit alive by naming a board of trustees member and the college’s former president in their individual capacities was not appropriate.

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

Sharing Law Firm (Or Law School) Leadership: NOT For The Faint Of Heart

Following up my previous posts on law school co-deans (see below):  Patrick McKenna (Legal Evolution), Sharing Law Firm Leadership: NOT for the Faint of Heart:

Many lawyers and law firms find co-leadership irresistible, as they evaluation only the "plus" side of the equation. Having witnessed many crash and burns, here are seven guidlines for making it work in practice. ...

Having examined a number of shared leadership arrangements, I believe one factor is paramount — those partners involved have to be prepared to work together as a team for the good of the entire firm.  This element, more than any other, allows you to work through any differences and collaborate effectively.  Each of you must be prepared to learn how to take a step back in the areas where the other is better equipped to take the lead.  There can be no competition between you for power or accolades.  A very specific problem arises when motives are suspect.  If either of you is perceived to be pursuing a personal agenda — it is a clear red flag.

TandemWhen one thinks of having co-leaders, the favored analogy is riding a tandem bicycle.  Riding a bike with two seats, two sets of pedals, and powered by two individuals who may at any second decide they would like to go in different directions, can be exceedingly difficult.  Attempting to steer any group of traditionally autonomous professionals in tandem requires a delicate balancing act.

The good news is that it can be accomplished, but only with some very deliberate and thoughtful preparation.

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Legal Ed News Roundup

More On Friday's Conviction In Dan Markel's Murder: Katie Magbanua's Disastrous Decision To Testify; Pressure Builds On Her To Finger Charlie, Other Adelsons

David Lat (Original Jurisdiction), Judicial Notice (05.28.22): Convictions:

Lawyers of the Week: Georgia Cappleman and Sarah Dugan. ...
The conviction of Katie Magbanua would not have been possible without the excellent advocacy and hard work of assistant state attorneys Georgia Cappleman and Sarah Dugan. Congratulations to them on this well-deserved win, which is another step forward in the long quest to bring all of Dan Markel’s killers to justice, and thanks to Judge Robert Wheeler for running a tight ship during the trial.

Tallahassee Democrat, Katherine Magbanua Conviction 'Progress Toward Justice' for Dan Markel's Family:

Katherine Magbanua’s past, one that she tried to gloss over when she denied having a role in Dan Markel’s murder, finally caught up with her.

Her decision to testify on her own behalf backfired during her second trial when jurors late Friday night convicted her of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation of murder.

The 37-year-old took the stand Thursday for nearly five hours. During that time, she denied being involved in the plot to kill Markel and told jurors that although the evidence against her looked bad, it wasn’t as it seemed. 

Her Miami attorneys told jurors she was the victim of a “wrongful prosecution.”

While on the stand, Magbanua tried to elicit sympathy by mentioning her son’s disability, contracting COVID while behind bars awaiting trial and recalling the death of her mother while in custody. 

But jurors weren’t swayed. After roughly eight hours of deliberation, they delivered a unanimous conviction. She potentially faces decades in prison. ...

Cappleman in 2019 put gunman Sigfredo Garcia in prison for life for shooting Markel and secured a 19-year sentence for his accomplice Luis Rivera and elicited his cooperation with the investigation. She said she hopes Friday’s verdict gives Markel's family comfort in seeing the people responsible for his murder brought to justice. 

Prosecutor’s Brilliant Response to Defense Attorney's Dumb Challenge:

Gibson Dunn (@gibsondunn):

Gibson Dunn has had the privilege of representing the family of slain law professor Dan Markel since 2014. The family’s statement on today’s conviction provided by Orin Snyder and Matt Benjamin:

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May 31, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Newsweek Op-Ed: In Defense Of The LSAT

Following up on Monday's post, ABA Council Votes 20-1 To Advance Proposal Permitting Law Schools To Go Test Optional. What Are The Implications Of Admitting Students Who Don't Take The LSAT Or GRE?:  

Newsweek Op-Ed:  In Defense of the LSAT, by Clayton Kozinski (J.D. 2017, Yale; Lehotsky Keller, Washington, D.C.):

Newsweek (2022)Standardized aptitude tests have once again come under fire, as last Friday the American Bar Association (ABA) took another step toward eliminating the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). LSAT antagonists claim they oppose the test because it is not an objective measure of aptitude. The truth is, they resist it for the exact opposite reason. They are not anti-LSAT so much as they are anti-objectivity. They would prefer to scrub all objective measures of aptitude from the law school application process so they can continue to balance school rosters according to their social and political preferences. ...

The LSAT is far from the final target. Next on the chopping block are grades and class rankings themselves. Many universities instituted some form of pass/fail grading during the pandemic, and the discussion about whether to preserve the practice indefinitely is already under way. Grades and rankings must go because objective measures of in-school performance do not bode well for students mismatched from their peers by unfair affirmative action-driven admissions programs. Ultimately, LSAT opposition only makes sense if social activists ultimately try to rig the entire system—which, of course, is the goal.

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

Jury Finds Katherine Magbanua Guilty Of First Degree Murder Of Dan Markel

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

Friday, May 27, 2022

UC-Hastings Law School To Change Its Name In July Due To Founder's Role In Native American Genocide

Following up on my previous posts (see links below): A Message from Chancellor and Dean David Faigman, Law School Name Change:

UC Hastings (2022)I write you regarding a matter of great institutional importance, the name of our law school. This issue may be well known to many in our community but perhaps new to some, so allow me to begin with some background. More details on the College’s efforts are available here.

Shortly after becoming chancellor and dean in 2017, the San Francisco Chronicle published a guest essay describing atrocities attributed to Serranus Hastings, the College’s namesake, in the late 1850s. This prompted my own research into this sordid chapter of California history when the crimes were committed against Native Americans often under color of law or, at times, orchestrated by the State of California itself. This historical review led to the conclusion that California’s first chief justice and attorney general, and the College’s founder, Serranus Hastings, bore responsibility for killings and brutalities against the native tribes of the Eden and Round Valleys, located in what today is known as Mendocino County, and most of all against the Yuki tribal people. It was with this information in hand that the moral imperative to act became evident. ...

During the last five years, the question as to whether to change the school’s name has repeatedly arisen, but no consensus was reached either within or between the College’s and the tribal members’ communities on this issue. However, in late October 2021, the New York Times published a front-page article that put the issue of the College’s name front and center and brought the matter to national prominence and to members of the California Legislature.

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May 27, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

The Retrial Of Katherine Magbanua In Dan Markel's Murder: The Defense Rests Its Case

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May 27, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, May 26, 2022

What Is The Legacy Of A Law Professor?

Legacy, what is a legacy?
It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.
Alexander Hamilton, in The World Was Wide Enough, in Hamilton

Following up on the previous post by Patricia Sun, widow of Law Prof Andy Taslitz (American), who died of cancer at age 57:  Thoughts on Law Prof Work-Life Imbalance From Those Left Behind:

Lawprofblawg (Anonymous Professor, Top 100 Law School), The Legacies Of Law Professors:

Death has been on my mind lately. I’ve had a few friends and family in the hospital. I’ve also seen several notices of prominent law professors across the country who have passed away.

Which makes me wonder: How will you be remembered, law professors? How do you want to be remembered? Because it won’t be about your scholarly impact or SSRN downloads.

Sure, I and a co-author have written about the law professor’s search for meaning, but this is not that question. That’s a question of why law professors seek to leave their mark. This blog is about how a law professor will be remembered versus how they wish to be remembered. ...

When a law professor talks about their legacy, they look to that which they leave behind. That could be articles, but I suspect (and I plan on researching this) that the shelf life of a law review article isn’t long. How many articles are still cited from the 1990s? What was the top SSRN download from 2010? In many disciplines, the wheel is being replicated because there is so much out there that no one has ever read. When law professors die, I would hope they are not pinning their legacy on their writing.

So when a law professor dies, articles are not the thing that typically gets remembered. It gets mentioned, but the things that really are remembered are how the professor helped others get jobs; how they mentored people; how their door was always open to students; lovable quirks in the classroom. ...

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

Pepperdine Caruso Law Welcomes New Faculty

New Faculty Pepperdine

Pepperdine Caruso Law Welcomes New Faculty Members in the 2022-23 Academic Year:

Pepperdine Caruso Law is pleased to welcome four new faculty members joining us in August,  whose teaching and research focus on areas of law including the Second Amendment, the treatment of marginalized populations, criminal law, and tax law. Included in this distinguished group are tenure-track faculty and our first Pepperdine Caruso Family Law Fellow.

Jake Charles, who writes and teaches on the Second Amendment and firearms law, comes to Pepperdine from Duke University School of Law where he served as the inaugural executive director of the Duke Center for Firearms Law and remains an affiliated scholar. Charles earned a B.A. in criminology, law and society, and psychology and social behavior from the University of California, Irvine; M.A. degrees in theology and philosophy from Biola University; and his J.D. from Duke Law School. His most recent article, Securing Gun Rights By Statute: The Right to Keep and Bear Arms Outside the Constitution, was published in 120 MIch. L. Rev. 581 (2022)

Mary Hoopes, whose research examines how legal and political institutions serve marginalized populations, joins us from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where she was the Director of Research at the Berkeley Judicial Institute. Hoopes earned a B.S. at the University of Notre Dame, her J.D. from Cornell Law School, and a Ph.D. from Berkeley Law. At Pepperdine, Hoopes will serve as the co-director of the Wm. Matthew Byrne, Jr. Judicial Clerkship Institute. Her most recent article, Regulating Marginalized Labor, was published in 73 Hastings L.J. 1041 (2022).

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May 26, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink

The Retrial Of Katherine Magbanua In Dan Markel's Murder: The State Rests Its Case

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Law360 Summer Associates Survey

Law360, Summer Associates Survey: The Annual Rite of Passage Evolves to Address Shifting Times (May 2022):

Law360 Pulse’s second annual Summer Associates Survey homes in on the process law students undergo when looking to pair with a firm for a summer associateship, examining their criteria for selecting firms, looking at which firms were the most popular and investigating the on-campus interview experience. We will be revisiting the students to assess their associateship experience in Part II of the survey later this year.

Law360 1

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

The Retrial Of Katherine Magbanua In Dan Markel's Murder: The Bump, Money Drops, Cash Deposits And Wiretaps

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The Retrial Of Katherine Magbanua In Dan Markel's Murder: Hit Man Sigfredo Garcia Mistakenly Left Nasty Voice Mail For Harvey Adelson, Charlie's Dad

Florida Politics, Markel Trial Day 6: Data Expert, Friend, Employer, Employees, and Ex-Girlfriend All Spill T:

Magbanua’s old friend spills some T

Yindra Velazquez Mascaro, a lifelong friend of Magbanua, took the stand next. She testified to Katherine’s employment history and their personal lives, including how Garcia was jealous of Charlie.

Nevertheless, Mascaro said the only exchange she knew of that occurred between the two men happened on the road — Garcia briefly blocked Charlie and Magbanua as they were leaving a parking lot on the way to a date.

One other communication was also attempted, Mascaro said, when Garcia found what he thought to be Charlie’s number in Magbanua’s phone. Garcia called and left a “very nasty voicemail,” only to later learn it was to the wrong man. He had actually called Charlie’s father, Harvey Adelson.

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May 24, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, May 23, 2022

Legal Ed News Roundup

Dan Markel's Murder: Will The Jury Convict Katie Magbanua? Why Did Charlie Adelson Change Lawyers?

David Lat (Original Jurisdiction), The Dan Markel Case: Opening Statements:

Magnauba (2021)I listened to the opening statements. And if you, like me, are hoping for a conviction of Katie Magbanua this time around, you should be worried—very worried.

The prosecution did a solid job. This time around, assistant state attorney Sarah Dugan delivered the opening statement, instead of chief assistant state attorney Georgia Cappleman (who has been the lead prosecutor on the case for years, and who delivered the opening in 2019). Dugan outlined the case against Magbanua methodically, thoroughly, and persuasively. Perhaps Dugan could have delivered her opening argument with more emotion, but I appreciated her sober delivery and focus on the evidence. She did well.

Tara Kawass, who along with co-counsel Christopher DeCoste represents Magbanua, gave a more animated opening—and a very strong one, I must admit. As her opening made clear, the defense is going to be more aggressive this time around—and it just might work. ...

This time around, Katie Magbanua’s lawyers have an alternative theory of the case. In her opening, Tara Kawass conceded two important points to the prosecution: yes, the two hitmen, Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera, actually committed the murder of Dan Markel, and yes, they were hired by Charlie Adelson. In fact, throughout her opening, Kawass attacked Charlie, blaming him for the murder and calling him a “master manipulator” who mistreated Katie during their relationship—like he mistreated so many other people in his life.

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

ABA Council Votes 20-1 To Advance Proposal Permitting Law Schools To Go Test Optional. What Are The Implications Of Admitting Students Who Don't Take The LSAT Or GRE?

Following up on my previous post, NY Times: ABA May Eliminate Standardized Tests For Law School Admissions:  Wall Street Journal, No LSAT Required? Law School Admissions Tests Could Be Optional Under New Proposal:

ABA Legal Ed (2021)For decades, budding law students have had to stare down the Law School Admission Test, or LSAT, a rigorous test of abilities in logic, analytical reasoning and reading comprehension.

Those days might be coming to an end.

An American Bar Association panel that accredits law schools issued a proposal Friday to make standardized tests optional for admission, a move that would follow a trend seen in undergraduate admissions offices and give schools more flexibility in how they select law students.

The accrediting council voted overwhelmingly to seek public comment on the proposal, which would eliminate the mandatory use of tests such as the LSAT or the GRE, which has been allowed at some schools in recent years.

Only one person on the 21-member body voted against advancing the proposal.

Any final approval of the policy change would likely be many months away—at the earliest, affecting students who enroll in the fall of 2023. ...

The vote followed a recommendation from an ABA committee last month that called for eliminating the mandate that every law school require applicants to take a “valid and reliable” exam.

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

Saturday, May 21, 2022

The Retrial Of Katherine Magbanua In Dan Markel's Murder: Luis Rivera Flips On Katie And Sigfredo Garcia

Friday, May 20, 2022

Private College Tuition Discount Rate Hits All-Time High Of 54.5%

NACUBO, Tuition Discount Rates at Private Colleges and Universities Hit All-Time Highs:

In the 2021 NACUBO Tuition Discounting Study, 359 private, nonprofit colleges and universities reported an estimated 54.5 percent average institutional tuition discount rate for first-time, full-time, first-year students in 2020-21 and 49 percent for all undergraduates—both record highs. By providing grants, fellowships, and scholarships, these institutions forgo about half the revenue they otherwise would collect if they charged all students the tuition and fee sticker price.


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

Wendi Adelson And Luis Rivera Take The Stand In The Retrial Of Katherine Magbanua In Dan Markel's Murder

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Stanford Law School Joins Yale In Going Tuition-Free For Students In Need

Reuters, Stanford Law Scraps All Tuition for Low-Income Students, Joining Yale:

Stanford Law (2022)Stanford Law School this week became the second elite U.S. law school to commit to fully eliminating tuition payments for low-income students.

In an email Wednesday to students, Dean Jenny Martinez announced a series of new financial aid measures, including full-tuition scholarships for current and incoming students whose family income is below 150% of the poverty line. That works out to $41,625 for a family of four, or $20,385 for an individual.

The school will cover tuition payments for those who qualify starting next year. Annual tuition at Stanford Law is currently $64,350.

Yale Law School announced a similar program in February, with full-tuition scholarships for students with family incomes below the poverty line and whose assets are below $150,000.

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

Are More Law Schools Needed In Areas Where InfiLaw Campuses Closed?

ABA Journal, Are More Law Schools Needed in Areas Where InfiLaw Campuses Closed?:

As the Florida Coastal School of Law prepares to close, Jacksonville University announced plans to open a new law school in the same city, with the first entering class starting in fall 2022.

The for-profit Florida Coastal had various accreditation problems, including a U.S. Department of Education flag for not meeting the gainful-employment standard. Administration at Jacksonville University, a not-for-profit school, claims the city of approximately 902,000 people needs a law school. ...

Plans are also in place for a new law school at North Carolina’s High Point University, which is about 78 miles from the now-shuttered Charlotte School of Law. Both Florida Coastal and CSL, as well as Arizona Summit Law School, another school that closed following accreditation issues, were operated by InfiLaw, which was owned by the private equity firm Sterling Capital Partners.

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

Day 3 Of The Retrial Of Katherine Magbanua In Dan Markel's Murder: Conflicting Portraits Emerge

Tallahassee Democrat, Dan Markel Murder 'Middleman'? Conflicting Portraits of Katherine Magbanua Emerge in Trial Opener:

Magnauba (2021)As Katherine Magbanua sat by her defense lawyers in a Leon County courtroom, prosecutors pointed to her as the person who set up the murder of Florida State University law professor Dan Markel nearly eight years ago, later delivering $100,000 to the two hired killers who carried out the hit in the garage of his Betton Hills home.

“The evidence in this case will prove to you the defendant was the link or the middleman between the people who wanted this murder done and the person who pulled the trigger,” said Assistant State Attorney Sarah Kathryn Dugan.

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

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Pepperdine Caruso Law Bibles For The Class Of 2022

One of my favorite things to do as dean: signing the Pepperdine-branded Bibles we will be giving to our graduates at tomorrow night's Baccalaureate Service for the Class of 2022 and their families. I write in each Bible the graduate's name and the five Bible verses I will be talking about in my message that have shaped my life (and that I hope will shape theirs).


May 18, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Leading Courageously With Data To Diversify The Legal Profession

Evan Parker (Founder, Parker Analytics), Leading Courageously With Data:


The graphic above tracks demographic representation across 12 law firms working for BASF Corporation, 2016 to 2021. On average, shares of BASF work grew +11% for diverse ethnicity partners and +46% for associates. For women, shares grew +24% for partners and +28% for associates. Additionally (not pictured), ethnicity and gender representation in firmwide leadership grew +10%.

What explains this blockbuster growth? To me, it’s the courageous leaders using data to achieve a shared mission.

Each year, BASF’s in-house leaders request diversity data from outside counsel. Parker Analytics (PA) then prepares individualized data scorecards and action items, which BASF shares with its firms. As the graphic clarifies, firm leaders responded, driving growth in diverse representation in BASF legal teams and the firm overall.

The most successful data projects I know include a shared mission—between clients and firms, firm leaders and analysts, etc. Achieving mission goals together enriches these professional relationships. So, in leading courageously with data you are powering a virtuous cycle.

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

Day 2 Of The Retrial Of Katherine Magbanua In Dan Markel's Murder: Jury Selected, Ex-Wife Wendi Adelson And Hitman Sigfredo Garcia To Testify

Magnauba (2021)Tallahassee Democrat, Dan Markel Murder: Jury Seated in Katherine Magbanua Murder Trial:

A 14-person jury has been selected to serve in the murder trial of Katherine Magbanua, who is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of FSU law professor Dan Markel. Seven women and seven men comprise the jury.

WTXL, Jury Selected in Magbanua's Retrial:

One witness the jury will hear from is Wendi Adelson.

That's Dan Markel's ex wife.

Adelson will testify with immunity as a state witness as early as Thursday.

Florida Politics, Markel Trial Day 2: Jury Seated, Witness List Clarified, Internet Chatter Ramps Up:

The Markel murder has been a hot topic for eight years in online circles, with engagement ramping up on Twitter with various hashtags, including #danmarkel and #justicefordanmarkel, and on WebSleuths, Facebook, and increasingly, on Reddit.

WCTV, Wendi Adelson’s Attorney Asks Judge to Quash Defense Subpoena:

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

After Roe Leak, Yale Law Students Call For Ostracizing Conservative Classmates

Aaron Sibarium (Washington Free Beacon), ‘Unrelenting Daily Confrontation’: After Roe Leak, Yale Law Students Call for Ostracizing Conservative Classmates and Tossing Out Constitution:

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for students at Yale Law School, who are responding to news that the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade with calls to accost their conservative classmates through "unrelenting daily confrontation" and toss the Constitution by the wayside.

Members of the law school’s conservative Federalist Society, first year law student Shyamala Ramakrishna said in an Instagram post, are "conspirators in the Christo-fascist political takeover we all seem to be posting frantically about." Why, she asked, are they still "coming to our parties" and "laughing in the library" without "unrelenting daily confrontation?"


Simple Justice, Short Take: Have Yale Law Students Suffered Enough?:

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May 17, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

McGinnis: Lawyers For Radical Change

John O. McGinnis (Northwestern), Lawyers for Radical Change:

City JournalThe transformation of the legal profession marks a fundamental change in American democracy. In the republic’s early days, lawyers provided ballast for stability and served as an anchor against excessive populism. The judiciary’s sober attachment to formal order was a primary reason for giving it the power to review the constitutionality of legislation. Law was the profession most likely to preserve the enduring framework of republican government against the mutable passions of the hour.

Nowadays, lawyers are a force for often-radical progressive change. Nothing symbolizes that shift better than the American Bar Association. Once an embodiment of conservatism, it has been captured by the Left. Its resolutions at its annual meeting constitute a wish list of Democratic Party proposals. It also deploys its influence in the accreditation process of law schools to make them even more monolithically left-wing than they already are.

The reasons for the shift lie, at least in part, in the reorientation of lawyers’ interests. Since the birth of the modern regulatory state, lawyers are no longer primarily the allies of commercial classes, as they were in the early republic, but instead the technocrats and enablers of regulation and redistribution. The more the nation intervenes in economic affairs to regulate and redistribute, the greater slice of compliance costs and transfer payments lawyers can expect to receive. Thus, they cannot be counted on as supporters of property rights or even of a stable rule of law. Their interest lies frequently in dynamic forms of legal transformation and the uncertainty they bring. Far from supporting a sound, established social order, they are likely to seek to undermine it. Only an ideological attachment to older forms of legal orders, like that which Federalist Society members manifest, can call lawyers back to the essential role they play in the civic life of our republic. ...

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May 17, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Day 1 Of The Retrial Of Katherine Magbanua In Dan Markel's Murder: Jury Selection

Tallahassee Democrat, 'Conspiracy to Murder': Jury Selection Goes Behind Closed Doors in Katherine Magbanua Retrial:

The second trial of Katherine Magbanua — the alleged conduit between the hired gunmen who killed Dan Markel and his in-laws who allegedly hired them — began Monday with jury selection.

Magbanua, whose first trial in 2019 ended with a hung jury, is on trial on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and solicitation of first-degree murder.

The court set aside two days to select a 12-person jury and four alternates. Because the case has gotten so much publicity, lawyers questioned potential jurors individually and behind closed doors at the Leon County Courthouse.

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May 17, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, May 16, 2022

Legal Ed News Roundup

Retrial Of Katherine Magbanua In Dan Markel's Murder Begins Today: 'Prosecutorial Desperation' Or 'Nefarious Nexus'?

Tallahassee Democrat, 'Prosecutorial Desperation' or a Nefarious Nexus: Two Takes on Katherine Magbanua's Retrial:

Magnauba (2021)For six years prosecutors have alleged that Katherine Magbanua was the link between Dan Markel’s estranged in-laws and the two killers who brutally murdered him in his Betton Hills garage.

They’ve said she helped hire the father of her two kids, convicted gunman Sigfredo Garcia and his childhood friend Luis Rivera, coordinated payment of $100,000 for the hit and helped further a conspiracy that has spiraled into one of Tallahassee’s most notorious murder cases.

On the eve of Magbanua’s second trial on May 16, her attorneys say she is the unwitting suspect in a spat between the man who shot Markel and the Florida State law professor’s former brother-in-law, Charlie Adelson.

Magbanua narrowly escaped being convicted in Dan Markel’s murder by a hung jury deadlocked in a 10-2 vote in favor of guilty, two sources with knowledge of the vote confirmed weeks after the trial.

For the do-over, a dozen jurors will be selected starting on Monday with trial expected to commence Thursday and end by May 27. Court administration issued 500 jury summonses and expects roughly 200 potential jurors to report.

The first person Garcia called when his phone was picked up on cellular towers in the Lake City area after the July 18, 2014 shooting was Magbanua. Throughout the day, Magabanua was in contact with him and Adelson, according to evidence presented at Magbanua's 2019 trial.

Police found between Markel’s killing in July 2014 and Nov. 2015, Magbanua deposited more than $56,000 in cash into her bank account. The deposits, according to arrest records, were made mostly through ATMs in increments of $300 to $2,000.

But her defense team has never waivered in their contention their client is innocent and have labeled their client's arrest as "prosecutorial desperation," to make other arrests in the case.

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

The Cost Of Academe’s Fixation On Productivity

Chronicle of Higher Education Op-Ed:  What Is the Real Cost of Academe’s Fixation on Productivity?, by Maria LaMonaca Wisdom (Duke):

A few months ago, I took part in a virtual conversation at my university about how to rebuild campus relationships fragmented by Covid. Faculty members and administrators asked the same sorts of late-pandemic questions vexing colleges across the country: What could we do to mitigate the isolation and disengagement that everyone — students, professors, staff members — seemed to be feeling? And how could we begin to rebuild the academic and intellectual fellowship lost since the pandemic?

In my role as a faculty coach at Duke University, I jumped in with some ideas, based on what I was seeing and hearing from academics during our coaching conversations. My recommendations — that small, incremental changes at the personal and local level could be more effective than top-down solutions — ended up as an advice post on our faculty-advancement website. ...

But the more I thought about it, the more I felt like I was proposing a dam to hold back a tsunami — one that started well before Covid and has been eroding social relationships for years both in higher education and in many other sectors of American life. Long before the pandemic, academics were finding it difficult to foster “intellectual community.” To attribute all of the problems we now face to the pandemic risks covering up a much larger, long-term issue. ...

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

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Law Schools Are Becoming The New Business Schools For Future Leaders

Inc., How Law Schools Are Becoming the New Business Schools for Future Leaders:

Inc.There's a revolution going on right now in top law schools across the country. They're starting to teach leadership — and trust me, it's not an easy task. Some, however, are succeeding beyond their wildest dreams. 

Law students aren't used to learning about how to develop leadership skills, and professors certainly aren't used to teaching it. Getting left-brained, analytic, hyper-competitive law students to genuinely embrace soft and squishy concepts like empathy and teamwork requires a different mindset. In fact, it requires a new way of educating altogether. Century-old Ivy League law schools, chock full of Socratic professors like the fictional and highly cantankerous Professor Kingsfield in the movie Paper Chase, simply won't suffice any longer. A new paradigm is needed. A fundamentally new approach is required. 

But it isn't easy to teach old dogs new tricks. That's why most come up short or avoid the challenge altogether. ...

Fortunately, some law schools aren't shying away from reinventing themselves. A handful of administrators are at the forefront, including Dean Heather Gerken and former assistant dean Anastasia Boyko at Yale Law School, Jennifer Leonard at the University of Pennsylvania, and Scott Westfahl at Harvard Law School.

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

A Year After Abruptly Ousting Tony Varona As Dean, Miami President Names David Yellen New Law School Dean

Miami Herald, UM Hires Cornell Law Grad as its Law School Dean, Following Tumult After Varona Demotion:

Miami Law (2021)About a year after abruptly ousting Anthony Varona as law school dean, University of Miami President Julio Frenk hired his replacement: David Yellen, a New Jersey native who has devoted most of his career to reforming the justice system and leading two other law schools.

Yellen, 64, who earned his bachelor’s in politics from Princeton University and his law degree from Cornell University, will start July 1, according to the Thursday posting from the Coral Gables-based private university.

“I’m very excited,” said Yellen. “The University of Miami School of Law, I’ve known and admired for decades, so I’m really excited to join them.”

Yellen will move to South Florida in June from Colorado, where he has served since last June as the CEO of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, a research organization at the University of Denver. ...

The turnover of UM’s law school deans began when Frenk announced last May that Varona, an openly gay man of Cuban heritage, would step down as dean. Frenk’s abrupt decision to demote the popular Varona — without prior consultation of the faculty, alumni or students — led to an outcry in the legal community, locally and nationally. ...

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

Friday, May 13, 2022

D.C. Court Of Appeals Increases Bar Exam Seating Capacity By 41% After Outcry From Deans Nationwide

Following up on Wednesday's post, Dispute Over Limited Seating, Preferential Treatment For DC Bar Exam Continues—But Court Isn't Budging:  D.C. Court of Appeals, The DC Court of Appeals Adds 450 Seats to the July 2022 DC Bar Exam:

DC Bar (2020)The DC Court of Appeals has continued to seek additional venues to administer the DC Bar Exam in July, and today we are happy to announce that we have increased our seating capacity to 1550 seats.

The University of the District of Columbia will provide 450 extra spots above the 1,100 seats available at the DC Armory.

The priority registration period opened today and will close May 17th at 11:59pm.

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

Thursday, May 12, 2022

University Pays $1.65 Million To Settle Tuition Refund Class Action Claiming Online Classes During Covid Were 'Subpar'; Students Get $185 Each; Lawyers Get $550,000

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Lindenwood U. to Pay $1.65 Million to Settle Claim Online Classes 'Subpar':

The nearly 6,000 Lindenwood University students who had spring 2020 classes move online during the COVID-19 pandemic soon will be getting some money back.

U.S. District Judge Ronnie L. White approved a $1.65 million settlement Wednesday between the St. Charles university and a class action group of students led by Dylan Martin, of Eldon, Missouri. Each student will receive roughly $185, and the students' attorneys will receive roughly $550,000. ...

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Dispute Over Limited Seating, Preferential Treatment For DC Bar Exam Continues—But Court Isn't Budging, 'Arbitrary and Unfair': Dispute Over Limited Seating, Preferential Treatment for DC Bar Exam Continues—But Court Isn't Budging:

DC Bar (2020)“I cannot understand the rationale for such favoritism and I think it is likely unconstitutional," wrote Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky in a follow-up letter to the D.C. Court of Appeals on Monday.

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

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

WaPo: How Merit Scholarships Perpetuate Racial Inequities

Washington Post, How Popular Merit College Scholarships Have Perpetuated Racial Inequities:

“The Bright Futures Scholarship Program offers opportunity and prosperity for all Florida families!” the Department of Education there tweeted this spring.

The message seems simple: Anyone can get most, or even all, of their tuition paid through the state’s signature program. Students just have to get the right grades and standardized test scores.

Bright Futures has loomed large, then, in the work of people like Sherry Paramore. As the president of Elevate Orlando, a nonprofit group, she helped Florida high school students get to college. Every September, Paramore would go over finances, walking through the types of aid. She’d work with tutors to help her students improve their grades. She connected them with mentors to plan their careers.

To Paramore, they’re exactly the kinds of students a state scholarship should help. They worked hard and got accepted to college. But when it came to Bright Futures, there was a mismatch.

Over three years, Paramore worked with nearly 200 students. Many were the first in their families to attend college; most were Black. But they struggled with the standardized tests. So in the end, how many qualified for a Bright Futures scholarship — the ticket Florida created to educational opportunity? Not a single one.

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

Monday, May 9, 2022

Legal Ed News Roundup

Following Charlie Adelson's Arrest, Attention Shifts To Katherine Magbanua's May 16 Trial In Dan Markel's Murder

Saturday, May 7, 2022

NY Times: ABA May Eliminate Standardized Tests For Law School Admissions

New York Times, American Bar Association May Eliminate Standardized Tests for Admissions:

ABA Legal Ed (2021)No more LSATs?

A committee within the American Bar Association recommended late last month that law schools eliminate the requirement of “a valid and reliable admission test” as part of their admission process.

Its memo added, however, “Law schools of course remain free to require a test if they wish.”

The recommendation was made on April 25 by the Strategic Review Committee, four years after another group, the A.B.A.’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, approved similar changes to its standards for rules and admissions. The council is made up of 21 people, including lawyers, professors, administrators and others. ...

Leaders in the bar association have said that they are less concerned about student performance on an entrance exam than how students do in law school — whether they remain enrolled and how soon they pass the bar exam after graduation.


Studies show test-optional policies often work against minoritized individuals, so we hope the ABA will consider these issues very carefully. We believe the LSAT will continue to be a vital tool for schools and applicants for years to come, as it is the most accurate predictor of law school success and a powerful tool for diversity when used properly as one factor in a holistic admission process.

For a thoughtful detailed analysis, see Derek Muller (Iowa), What Happens If the ABA Ends the Requirement That Law Schools Have an Admissions Test? Maybe Less Than You Think

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May 7, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

8th Annual Parris Awards At Pepperdine Caruso Law School

Congratulations to our student, staff, and faculty winners at the 8th Annual Parris Awards at Pepperdine Caruso Law:

ParrisStudent Awards

Evan T. Carthen 1L Inspirational Leadership Award
Section A: Phillip Allevato
Section B: Grace Ramsey
Section C: Mason Folse

Excellence in Service
Rebecca Voth

Excellence in Professionalism
Alina Ahmed

Excellence in Peacemaking
Tyler Clark

Excellence in Courage
Natalie Burkholder

Excellence in Leadership
Lindsey Kirchhoff

Excellence in Character
Thurgood Wynn

Pepperdine Award
Joseph Castro

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

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May 7, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Friday, May 6, 2022

D.C. Limits Seating For July Bar Exam, Sparking Outcry, 'Tremendously Disruptive': DC Court of Appeals Limits Seating for July Bar Exam, Sparking Outcry:

DC Bar (2020)Law school deans across the country have expressed outrage over the D.C. Court of Appeals’ May 2 announcement that seating for the July 2022 Uniform Bar Exam will be limited to 1,100 and that preference will be given to students from D.C.-area law schools.

The standard administration of the July 2022 Uniform Bar Exam will take place at the D.C. Armory on July 26 and 27 with the seating capacity for the exam set at 1,100, which includes all standard and accommodated seating with registration closing once the seating capacity is reached, according to an announcement on the D.C. Court of Appeals website.

This morning, a letter, signed by more than 100 law deans, was sent to Court of Appeals Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, expressing concern about the limited seating. ...

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

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

FedSoc Debate: Should The ABA Be Stripped Of Its Monopoly Law School Accrediting Power?

Federalist Society 10th Annual Executive Branch Review Conference, ABA Accreditation of Law Schools:

The U.S. Department of Education provides oversight of postsecondary institutions or program accreditation by reviewing federally recognized accrediting agencies. There is one such agency for accreditation of legal education institutions or programs: The American Bar Association's Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. The Secretary of Education, by law, is the official responsible for recognition of accreditation agencies based on her determination that the agency is a reliable authority as to the quality of education or training provided by the entities and programs the agencies review. The Secretary of Education has exercised that authority to recognize the ABA's Council as the single accreditation agency for legal education. The ABA has held this position since its adoption of comprehensive standards in 1973—nearly fifty years.

But the ABA writ large is an organization in decline as its substantial drop in membership—and resulting revenue—demonstrates. At the same time that ABA membership is declining, the ABA's public and official positions on cultural and divisive issues remain. And now those positions are taking root not just in the ABA's policy bodies but also within the Council itself. Most recently, the Council adopted new "anti-bias" educational requirements as part of its accreditation standards. 

  • Hon. W. Scott Bales, Former Chief Justice, Arizona Supreme Court
  • Prof. William Jacobson, Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Securities Law Clinic, Cornell Law School
  • Dr. Nicholas Lawson, Commissioner, ABA Commission on Disability Rights
  • Prof. Derek T. Muller, Professor of Law, University of Iowa College of Law
  • Moderator: Hon. Trevor N. McFadden, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia

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

A Tenured Professor Who Says He Contracted Long Covid In The Classroom Blames His R1 University, Laterals To New School

Chronicle of Higher Education:  This Is Life-Changing’: What It’s Like to be an Academic With Long Covid:

Gregory T. Cushman is an associate professor of international environmental history at the University of Kansas. He contracted Covid-19 in August 2020 and, since then, has coped with symptoms of long Covid. This is his account of his experience, as told to Megan Zahneis. (The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.)

The first week of classes at the University of Kansas in August 2020, I, beyond a reasonable doubt, contracted Covid in the classroom.

Covid has so many different symptoms associated with it. I especially had low oxygen levels, great difficulty breathing. The worst of all was just this soul-killing, unrelenting fatigue. ...

For academics, our jobs and our lives are premised on our ability to think clearly, to think quickly, to do so in a focused way, to be able to speak, to be able to write. Post-Covid disrupts our focus and our thoughts in ways that are extremely discouraging, because if you don’t have this capacity, you’re done, it’s over. You have to rethink what you’re doing with your life, and I had moments — many moments — when I was fearful that I would have to end my career if this didn’t go away. Then I would have a good day, and have the hope that maybe I’ll be turning the corner. It was always such a tease that way. ...

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

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

ABA Releases New Bar Pass Data By Race, Ethnicity, Gender

Press Release, ABA Releases New Report on Bar Pass Data by Race, Ethnicity, Gender:

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

The charts, which are incorporated into the section’s Legal Education Statistics, include aggregate data in nine different ethnicity categories for information collected in 2021 and 2022 broken down by gender. The data was reported to the ABA by the 196 law schools accepting new students in their ABA Standard 509 questionnaire, which covers about a dozen categories including employment and bar passage outcomes among other areas.

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

AccessLex Institute 2022 Legal Education Data Deck


AccessLex Institute, 2022 Legal Education Data Deck:

The 2022 Legal Education Data Deck utilizes datasets made publicly available by third parties to offer a snapshot of certain trends organized around the three guiding principles of AccessLex Institute’s research agenda: access, affordability and value in legal education. This is a living document that is updated periodically — AccessLex welcomes comments, criticisms and suggestions in order to make this as useful a tool as possible for all those we serve.


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

Monday, May 2, 2022

Legal Ed News Roundup

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Christian Legal Society Members Sue Law School For Punishing Them For Expressing Their Religious Beliefs

Alliance Defending Freedom, Idaho Law Students File Suit After University Punishes Them For Their Religious Beliefs:

Christian Legal Society (2022)Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing three Christian law students filed suit Monday against University of Idaho officials for violating the students’ First Amendment rights by punishing them because of the religious content and viewpoint of their speech.

“Students of all religious and ideological stripes must be free to discuss and debate the important issues of our day, especially law students who are preparing for a career that requires civil dialogue among differing viewpoints,” said ADF Legal Counsel Michael Ross. “Yet the University of Idaho is shutting down Peter, Mark, and Ryan because of their religious beliefs. This is illegal behavior from any government official, and we urge the university officials to right their discriminatory actions immediately.”

Peter Perlot, Mark Miller, and Ryan Alexander are members of the Christian Legal Society chapter at the University of Idaho. When Perlot and Miller joined most of the other members of CLS at a “moment of community” gathering to condemn a discriminatory slur written at another campus, a law student approached them to ask why CLS requires its officers to affirm the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. Miller respectfully explained that the chapter requires this because it is the only view of marriage and sexuality affirmed in the Bible.

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May 1, 2022 in Faith, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink