Paul L. Caron
Dean


Wednesday, February 5, 2020

How To Stop Thinking About Work At 3 AM

Harvard Business Review, How to Stop Thinking About Work at 3 am:

Harvard Business Review LogoMany of us think about work outside of the office — that’s where some of our best ideas emerge. However, thinking about work often means stressing about work, which can keep us up at night or have us waking up feeling anxious, hours before the alarm clock sounds. According to a Korn Ferry study, stress caused sleep deprivation for 66% of American workers in 2018. Moreover, sleep deprivation can exacerbate our work stress, by negatively impacting cognitive functions such as judgment, critical thinking, problem solving, planning, and organization.

To avoid thinking about work in the middle of the night, try the following strategies:

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February 5, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

University Endowments Report 5.3% Average Return In FY19

NACUBO, U.S. Educational Endowments Report 5.3 Percent Average Return in FY19:

Data gathered from 774 U.S. colleges, universities, and affiliated foundations for the 2019 NACUBO-TIAA Study of Endowments® (NTSE) show that participating institutions’ endowments returned an average of 5.3 percent (net of fees) for the 2019 fiscal year (July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019).

NACUBO 3

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

Fostering Law Student Learning Through Office Hours

DeShun Harris (Memphis), Office Hours Are Not Obsolete: Fostering Learning Through One-on-One Student Meetings, 57 Duq. L. Rev. 43 (2019):

Office hours, whether it is the traditional notion of an office hour whereby the professor has designated times for students to visit, office hours by appointment, or an open-door policy, are a great learning opportunity for students. In the law school context, the American Bar Association (ABA) requires full-time faculty members to “[be] available for student consultation about those classes” they teach. In addition to office hours, students meet one-on-one with faculty in a variety of ways: mentoring, advocacy coaching, answering substantive questions, legal writing conferences, law review note advising, career/academic support counseling, and for so many other purposes. Indeed, law students reported on the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE), that most students have worked with faculty on activities other than coursework.

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February 4, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, February 3, 2020

Syracuse Illustrates The Many Possibilities For Online Legal Education

Following up on my previous posts:

Karen Sloan (Law.com), The Many Possibilities for Online Legal Education:

Back in December, I got an email from Syracuse University College of Law announcing the launch of a new hybrid J.D./MBA program. ...[T]he program was unveiled a mere year after Syracuse launched JDInteractive, the school’s online J.D. program. That struck me as a fairly rapid expansion of its online offerings.

Then this month, I heard from Syracuse again. It was touting the upcoming “Third Year Away” program, which will allow third-year law students in the traditional J.D. program to spend the year off-campus in externships, while taking online classes taught by regular faculty. ... Nina Kohn, the faculty director of online education at Syracuse, told me last week that the idea behind the new program is to allow third-year students to get some practical experience in the locations where they aspire to practice. (It will only become available to the new first-year students who start this fall.)

So each of these new offerings is leveraging the online course platform that Syracuse created for the core JDInteractive program, but for slightly different populations of students. That got me thinking about the idea of online JDs being, perhaps, more versatile than I had initially understood them to be. Once a school has invested the money necessary to develop online courses—and convinced faculty to teach those courses—it makes sense to figure out other ways to use that technology for all students.

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February 3, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Harvard Prof's Amnesty For Cheating Self-Reported Within 72 Hours May Enhance Student Honesty

Chronicle of Higher Education, Cheat on Your Homework? In This Harvard Class, Just Say You’re Sorry:

[I]n Harvard University’s wildly popular introductory computer-science course[,] Professor David J. Malan has incorporated a “regret clause” into his syllabus: If first-time offenders come forward and admit what they did within 72 hours, an instructor will give a failing grade on the assignment — but will not refer the case for disciplinary action.

Six years in, the clause — used by a tiny minority of students — has not pushed down the percentage of students in the class referred to the university’s honor council, according to a paper Malan released recently [Teaching Academic Honesty in CS50].

Chronicle 1

But he has learned some valuable lessons about why students cheat, and he believes conversations with regretful students may lead them to develop healthier work habits, like reaching out for help or attending office hours. He recommends that other instructors, even outside computer science, adopt the initiative for that reason.

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February 3, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ryan: Law Student Debt And Career Choices

CJ Ryan (Roger Williams), Paying for Law School: Law Student Loan Indebtedness and Career Choices:

Student loan debt has reached crisis levels, topping $1.64 trillion dollars this year and surpassing credit card debt to become the second largest source of debt held by Americans. When discussing student loan debt, it is easy to fixate on the aggregate impact of the burdens this debt places on taxpayers, the economy, and borrowers alike, such as the depressive effects that student loan debt has on marriage, homeownership, and entrepreneurship. Yet, a discussion of which graduates are saddled with the largest student loans and how their debt obligations impacts their career choices is often absent from conversations about student debt and has been understudied to date. This Article contributes to the discourse about student loan debt and its potentially negative externalities by investigating responses from an original survey administered at four law schools, revealing novel findings about law students’ expected debt loads, career choices, and intentions to participate in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

In Part I of this Article, the student loan crisis is more closely examined with particular emphasis on its salience for law school graduates. In addition, the first part of this Article provides credible descriptive evidence that rates and amounts of borrowing to attend law school impact law students differentially on the basis of their endowed characteristics, such as race and parental education.

Ryan 0

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February 3, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Oregon Law School Will Waive LSAT For Oregon Undergrads With 3.5 UGPA, 85th Percentile SAT (1290) / ACT (27)

Daily Emerald, UO School of Law Will Now Waive LSAT For Some UO Students:

Oregon Law School (2020)University of Oregon students with a 3.5 GPA upon graduation and an SAT or ACT score in the top 85th percentile will not be required to take the Law School Admissions Test to apply to the UO School of Law. 

Currently, 14% of UO law school students are“double ducks,” or UO undergraduate alums, according to Assistant Dean of Admissions Sarah Keiski, who spearheaded the policy change to increase the pipeline of UO undergraduates into the law school. ...

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February 2, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

LL.M. Students Are Not Mere Cash Cows — They Are An Integral Part Of Law School Communities

Desiree Jaeger-Fine (Brooklyn), Are LL.M. Students Mere Cash Cows?:

LLM 2I am writing this piece from the perspective of someone who is working at a law school as well as from the perspective of being a former LL.M. student myself.

Since my LL.M. in 2012, I have heard my fair share of conspiracy theories created by frustrated LL.M. students. “Law schools just want our money; they do not care either about our wellbeing or success, and they see LL.M. students as nothing more than a walking dollar sign.”

In business, a cash cow is a source that generates a steady return of profits that exceeds the cash required to start it. It is no secret that law schools are businesses and that businesses seek revenue.

The LL.M. program is such a source. But that does not mean that LL.M. students are just that. To the contrary, LL.M. students are integral to U.S. legal education and our law school communities. ...

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February 2, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Saturday, February 1, 2020

'Trump Bump' Continues To Drive Law School Applications

Following up on my previous posts (links below): The Politics-Driven Law School Application Increase Continues:

According to a just released Kaplan Test Prep survey of more than 100 law schools across the United States, 84 percent of admissions officers believe that the current political climate was a significant factor in this past admissions cycle’s increase of 3.3 percent in law school applications. This includes 26 percent who describe it as a “very significant” factor. In Kaplan’s 2018 law school admissions officers survey, a similar 87 percent said the political climate drove the cycle’s nearly nine percent increase in applications, the first significant increase after years of plummeting application volume after the Great Recession.

This application bump—driven by an interest in politics—may continue, according to a separate Kaplan survey of over 400 pre-law students. Forty-one percent say that the political climate impacted their decision to apply to law school, a decrease from 45 percent in 2019, but a marked increase from 32 percent in a Kaplan survey released in 2018.

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

Friday, January 31, 2020

UC-Berkeley Removes Racist John Boalt’s Name From Law School; John Yoo Decries 'Selectively Editing American History'

UC Berkeley Removes Racist John Boalt’s Name From Law School:

UC Berkeley Boalt DenameUC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall is no more, its name removed from the law school today (Thursday, Jan. 30), campus officials announced. The denaming — the outcome of a nearly three-year process launched after a Berkeley lecturer discovered the racist writings of John Henry Boalt, a 19th century Oakland attorney — is the first time a Berkeley facility’s name has been eliminated due to its namesake’s character or actions. ...

John Henry Boalt was instrumental in legitimizing anti-Chinese racism and in catalyzing support for passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 — the nation’s first immigration ban on a specific group of people solely on the basis of race or nationality. Yet, until 2017, his views weren’t well known on campus.

“His principal public legacy is … one of racism and bigotry … John Boalt’s positive contributions to the university do not appear to outweigh this legacy of harm,” concluded a 2018 report by a law school committee tasked by Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky to assess, in part, whether the name should be removed from use.

John Yoo (UC-Berkeley), Berkeley Bolts On Boalt:

I am saddened to see my great university following the herd of other colleges that are selectively editing American history. Answering for the moments of the past is not to remove people and events from our collective memory, but to remember them and learn from them. Shall we next re-sculpt Mount Rushmore because Washington and Jefferson owned slaves and because Roosevelt liked war, or remove the Washington and Jefferson monuments from the National Mall? Closer to home, shall we end the Jefferson lectures at Berkeley for the same reasons? Shall we edit out the names of chancellors and university leaders who worked on the nuclear bomb because the politically sensitive on campuses today reject that WWII ended with Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

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January 31, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Florida International Law School: An Unexpected Bar Passage Leader

Following up on my previous posts:

An Unexpected Leader, Nat'l Jurist, Vol. 29, No. 3, Winter 2020, at 6:

Florida International University is once again ranked No. 1 in the state for bar passage. What’s its secret? One hint: cognitive schema theory.

OK, this is getting ridiculous.

Florida International University College of Law once again topped all Florida law schools when it came to bar passage. Results from the July 2019 bar exam show that 95.7% of FIU Law grads taking the test for the first time passed, a rate nearly 22% above the state average. The Miami school has led all Florida law schools in bar passage for five consecutive July exams.

It makes no sense. It defies logical outcomes if you go by traditional measurements. The median Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score for students entering FIU Law is 157. The national median, in comparison, is 152.

On paper, University of Florida Levin College of Law has better students. Its median LSAT score for its entering class is 164. That’s top in the state.

Meanwhile, University of Florida’s July 2019 bar passage rate was 87.9%. That’s good, but not FIU Law good.

As we said, FIU’s showing is ridiculous. Preposterous. Absurd.

Or not.

“No, I was not surprised,” said Raul Ruiz, the school’s director of bar preparation, when asked about the most recent results. “Our students work very hard. And it’s the continuing evolution of our (bar prep) program. We’re constantly identifying what works and what works better.”

The American Bar Association (ABA) used to give schools five years to have 75% of students from a graduating class pass the bar. Now they get two. That recent change has sent some schools scrambling to improve bar prep and bring up their two-year tallies, which are known as their “ultimate” bar passage rates.

FIU Law’s ultimate bar passage rate for the Class of 2016 — at more than 95% — is among the top 15 in the nation.

There is no secret to this success, mind you. The brains behind it are Ruiz and Louis Schulze Jr., associate dean and professor of academic support. Schulze wrote an academic paper about their method two years ago [The Science of Learning Law: Academic Support Measures at Florida International University College of Law], so it’s out there for everyone to see and duplicate if they wish.

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January 31, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, January 30, 2020

California May Allow 100% Online State-Accredited Law Schools

Following up on my previous post, California’s New Frontier: Accreditation Of Online Law Schools:  ABA Journal, California May Offer More Opportunities For JDs Taught Entirely Online:

California Law SchoolsIf people are open to attending a non-ABA-accredited law school, they may soon have a lot more online choices in California—thanks to a recent rule change by the State Bar of California allowing state-accredited law schools to teach JD programs entirely over the internet.

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January 30, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Penn Gets Record Donation But Irks Students With Name Change

Penn Gets Record Donation But Irks Students With Name Change, Nat'l Jurist, Vol. 29, No. 3, Winter 2020, at 6:

Penn Law (2019-2022)University of Pennsylvania Law School received the largest donation to a law school on record in 2019. But the $125 million came with a name change that sparked immediate protests from students and alumni and led to another change.

The Ivy League institution is now called University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, after the W.P. Carey Foundation, which made the record donation.

Initially, the new abbreviated reference to the school was Carey Law — a move that led to the protests, including a petition drive that garnered more than 3,000 signatures. The name Penn Law holds greater stature, students and alumni behind the petition drive argued. ...

That backlash led the university to change course. It will continue to use Penn Law until the fall of 2022, when it becomes Penn Carey Law.

Penn Law was not the only school to be rebranded of late because of a large donation. Pepperdine University School of Law received $50 million from Los Angeles developer Rick J. Caruso and his wife, Tina. The Malibu, Calif., school, which is celebrating its 50th year, is now named Pepperdine Caruso School of Law. The Pepperdine name change did not see backlash, however.

“We made sure that Pepperdine’s name would come first,” said Dean Paul Caron. “That’s the more common way, and that’s the way we did it.”

Caron thinks that more donations and name changes will follow at other schools. “Law schools are facing issues of affordability for students,” he said.

Not only did Pepperdine Caruso Law get $50 million but the donor plans to work with the school to raise another $50 million, Caron said.

10 Biggest Donations

The 23 Law School Naming Gifts ($3 Million - $125 Million):

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January 30, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

The Real Problem With Grade Inflation

Following up on Monday's post, The Decline And Fall Of Grade Deflation At Princeton:  Chronicle of Higher Education, The Real Problem With Grade Inflation:

For about a decade, Princeton University took a controversial stand against grade inflation, asking academic departments to limit the number of A-range grades they awarded. The policy was meant to standardize grades across disciplines and give students a realistic picture of their performance. And at least to some extent, it worked: The fraction of A’s awarded dropped, though A’s and B’s remained the most frequently-used grades.

Even so, the university changed course in 2014, citing a host of negative side effects on athletes, members of ROTC, the mental health of students over all — and the university’s reputation.

Since the reversal, student grades have been rising again, according to an analysis published in The Daily Princetonian, a student newspaper, this week. ... It quotes Paul N. Courant, a professor of economics and public policy at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, who has studied grade inflation. ...

The Chronicle followed up with Courant — who has also served as Michigan’s provost — to hear what other colleges might learn from Princeton’s experience. He described the forces that drive grade inflation, why students care so much about their grades, and what colleges might do differently. ...

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January 30, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

WSJ: Johns Hopkins Reimagines The MBA

Wall Street Journal, Johns Hopkins University Reimagines the M.B.A.:

Johns Hopkins CareyJohns Hopkins University is blowing up its business-school curriculum.

Starting in the fall of 2020, the university’s traditional two-year master’s of business administration degree will take a hard turn toward health, with a particularly heavy focus on quant skills, from exposure to coding to data analysis, said Alexander Triantis, dean of the Carey Business School.

The move follows five straight years of declining applications to American M.B.A. programs, according to data from the nonprofit Graduate Management Admission Council, and a 14% drop in applications to Johns Hopkins over the same period.

Young professionals have questioned the wisdom of taking two years out of a hot job market to go back to graduate school, especially if it requires taking on a large debt load to do so. As a result, several U.S. business schools have opted to shut down their full-time M.B.A. programs in favor of shorter, specialized master’s and online degrees. Shutting down the Johns Hopkins M.B.A program wasn’t off the table, school officials said. ...

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January 29, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Fifty Hardest Law Schools To Get Into

24/7 Wall St., 50 Hardest Law Schools to Get Into:

Using data from the ABA, 24/7 Wall St. created an index of three measures of selectivity to identify the 50 hardest law schools to get into. The first index measure is the acceptance rate, or the number of offer letters a school sent in 2019 as a share of the number of applications. The second is the median LSAT score of newly enrolled students in fall 2019, and the third measure is the median undergraduate GPA of newly enrolled students. We also reviewed the share of students in the class of 2018 who took the bar exam and passed on their first attempt.

  1. Yale (#1 in U.S. News)
  2. Stanford (#2)
  3. Harvard(#3)
  4. Penn Carey (#7)
  5. Virginia (#8)
  6. Columbia (#5)
  7. Michigan (#9)
  8. Chicago (#4)
  9. Northwestern Pritzker (#10)
  10. USC Gould (#17)
  11. Duke (#10)
  12. Texas (#16)
  13. UC-Berkeley (#10)
  14. Georgetown (#14)
  15. NYU (#6)
  16. Cornell (#14)
  17. Florida Levin (#31)
  18. Vanderbilt (#18)
  19. UCLA (#15)
  20. George Mason Scalia (#45)
  21. Georgia (#27)
  22. Washington University (#18)
  23. Boston University (#23)
  24. UC-Irvine (#23)
  25. Notre Dame (#21)
  26. Arizona State O'Connor (#27)
  27. Arizona Rogers (#39)
  28. Fordham (#39)
  29. University of Washington (#44)
  30. Emory (#26)
  31. Alabama (#25)
  32. UNLV Boyd (#58)
  33. George Washington (#22)
  34. William & Mary (#39)
  35. Pepperdine Caruso (#51)
  36. UC-Davis (#31)
  37. Texas A&M (#83)
  38. Boston College (#27)
  39. Florida International (#91)
  40. Florida State (#48)
  41. Washington & Lee (#34)
  42. Georgia State (#67)
  43. North Carolina (#34)
  44. Colorado (#45)
  45. Loyola-L.A. (#62)
  46. Tennessee (#59)
  47. Indiana-Maurer (#34)
  48. Illinois (#39)
  49. Villanova Widger (#71)
  50. Minnesota (#20)

January 29, 2020 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Syracuse Is Second Law School To Launch 3L Away Option

Following up on my previous post,  Washburn Law School Launches Third Year Anywhere Enrollment Option:  Syracuse University College of Law Introduces "Third Year Away" Option for Residential J.D. Students:

Syracuse (2018)Starting with the Class of 2023, students in Syracuse University College of Law’s residential J.D. program will have the option of spending their third year entirely off-campus while still taking courses from College of Law faculty. Specifically, students in good standing will have the option to enroll in the “Third Year Away” program, which will allow them to satisfy their remaining requirements for graduation by completing a supervised externship in a legal practice setting and by taking up to 12 credits of interactive online courses.

“Syracuse prides itself on a robust and innovative curriculum,” says College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise. “The College is now adding a new option for incoming students that will enhance our ability to provide them with both the doctrinal knowledge and the practical and professional skills necessary for the 21st-century legal profession.” 

The Third Year Away Program builds on the College’s established Externship Program, which features placements and accompanying seminars in London, New York City, Philadelphia, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Washington, DC—with plans to add more locations throughout the United States and beyond. The Externship Program leverages the College's global alumni network to offer semester-long placements accompanied by faculty-led, substantive seminars focused on building professional skills.

The new option also capitalizes on the College of Law’s JDinteractive (JDi) program, the nation’s first ABA-accredited, fully interactive, online J.D. program. As part of the JDi program, the College of Law already offers an array of online courses in addition to intensive residential courses. Each online course consists of live class sessions and self-paced class sessions taught by the College of Law's faculty. The JDi infrastructure, which allows the College to teach and support JDi students around the world, will allow the College’s residential J.D. students enrolled in the Third Year Away Program to participate in the academic, intellectual, and social life of the College when off-campus.

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January 29, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

BYU To Host 2nd Annual National Storytelling Competition For Law Students

Following up on my previous post:  From Gordon Smith (Dean, BYU):

BYU Law (2020)I mentioned this time last year that my colleagues at BYU Law and I have been exploring the value and importance of story in our lives and the lives of our students. The deeper I delve into the study of story, the more I am convinced that it is a necessary part of legal education. That conviction has been borne out as our students have received clerkship interviews, job offers, fellowships, and other awards and rewards as a result of skilled storytelling.

I invite your students to participate again with ours in LawStories on the Mainstage, a national storytelling event hosted by BYU Law. We had excellent participation last year with law students from 29 schools submitting stories and 9 of the 10 finalists representing different law schools.

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January 28, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

How To Hit The 'No' Button (And Keep Your Law Job!)

Law.com, How to Hit the 'No' Button (And Keep Your Law Job!):

NoI have a large red button on my desk that reads, quite simply, “No!”

Push this said button—which is really more of a toy, inspired by the Staples “That was Easy” button—and you hear one of 10 different “No’s,” all of which make clear that you should really stop asking me for things. The button, a plastic novelty not well aligned with my general aesthetic, is also not well aligned with my general personality, and that’s because when pushed, it clearly and easily sets boundaries. ...

Like many people, I struggle with maintaining good boundaries. Not the physical kind, the boundaries I struggle with are knowing when to say no to more work, when to stop working each day, when to take time off, and when to accept that my best was good enough. In short, they are the prototypical boundary issues of many—if not most—people working in and around the legal profession.

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January 28, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Is Purdue Global's $43 Million Loss A Bumpy Start Or A Sign Of Deeper Trouble?

Chronicle of Higher Education, Purdue Global Has Had a Rocky Start. Is It Growing Pains or a Sign of Trouble?:

Purdue Global 2In April 2017, Mitch Daniels stunned academe with the announcement that Purdue University, where he is president, planned to acquire for-profit Kaplan University. With one stroke, the former Republican governor of Indiana drew market forces close to the heart of a public research university and, overnight, positioned Purdue to compete with established online “mega-universities” like Southern New Hampshire University.

Two and a half years later, the audacious deal is showing signs of trouble. Daniels, who had predicted that the deal would produce a “very substantial revenue stream,” has said that Purdue University Global, as the former Kaplan online programs are now known, is not “achieving the growth we thought we might.” The university’s annual financial report, released this month, shows that Purdue Global suffered a $43-million loss last year, following a $18-million loss during the year prior.

While Purdue Global is less than three years old, its course so far hints at the potential pitfalls of trying to rise to the mega-university level. But does its halting progress to date indicate a wrong turn on Daniels’s part, or just a bumpy start?

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January 28, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, January 27, 2020

Building A Better Bar Exam

ABA Journal, A Better Bar Exam? Law Profs Weigh In On Whether Test Accurately Measures Skills Required For Law Practice:

[S]ome lawyers say that little has changed with bar exams nationwide, and there are still concerns about whether the test accurately evaluates skills needed to practice law. Others have argued that today’s technology could handle many methods of bar exam testing than seemed impossible in 1980.

“It’s an excellent barrier to entry, and it’s also a superb hazing ritual. But neither of those things are tasks it’s supposed to fill. The practicing bar should be interested in having a licensing requirement that requires a competent lawyer, not one that keeps out the competition,” says Joan Howarth, the former dean at Michigan State University College of Law who’s now at University of Nevada Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law. ...

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January 27, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Decline And Fall Of Grade Deflation At Princeton

Following up on my previous post, Princeton and Wellesley May Re-inflate Grades:  The Princetonian, The Decline and Fall of Grade Deflation:

Princeton has little to show for its experiment in “grade deflation,” except inflating grades that continue to lag behind those of its peer institutions.  ...

[I]t's never been easier to get an A at Princeton. ... A- was the median grade in the 2018-2019 academic year. 55 percent of course grades were in the A-range. In 1998, they were 43 percent of course grade. ...

B-range grades comprised 34 percent, and the C-range comprised six percent. D’s were merely half a percent. A Princetonian’s chance of getting a F was one in a thousand. The remaining four percent went to “passes.” ...

As of last year, the college-wide GPA was 3.46. Yet using the average rate of inflation during 1985-2000, I projected that it would be approximately 3.63 today had deflation never occurred. That’s on par with Harvard’s 3.65 in 2016 and Yale’s 3.58 in 2012. Still, Princeton’s grades are inflating at roughly the same pace as they were in the late 1990s. ...

While deflation aimed to create “uniform grading standards” for academic departments, it didn’t affect them equally. 

PrincetonChronicle of Higher Education, The Real Problem With Grade Inflation:

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January 27, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Tenured University of Minnesota Law Prof Sentenced In Tax Fraud Case

Following up on my previous post, University of Minnesota Law Professor Charged In Multi-Million Dollar Corporate Fraud Scheme:  Minneapolis Star-Tribune, University of Minnesota Law Professor Sentenced to Probation For Lying to IRS:

AdamsA federal judge sentenced University of Minnesota financial law professor Ed Adams to two years of probation and $5,000 in fines Thursday for lying to the Internal Revenue Service.

Judge Donovan Frank said Adams deserved a harsher sentence than the one year of probation that prosecutors requested because of his role as a tenured professor who should be setting an example for up-and-coming lawyers.

“You clearly knew more than most that what you were doing was illegal and unethical,” said Frank.

Still, the punishment is much lighter than what Adams could have faced if he had been convicted on the original charges.

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January 25, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink | Comments (1)

Should Law Students Get Tattoos?

SmartLawyer, Should Lawyers Get Inked?:

TattooIt would be hard to call getting a tattoo a rebellious act or a thumbing of the nose at social norms or expectations. ...  36% of U.S. people between the ages of 18 and 29 have at least one tattoo.

But what of lawyers?

Should they risk getting a tattoo, given they work in one of the more conservative professions going? ...

Lawyers are not, say, lifeguards. They don’t expose a lot of skin. And just about all of the advice we saw on the internet said lawyers can definitely rock a tat — just make sure it’s not exposed.

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January 25, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (11)

Friday, January 24, 2020

Court Cites Student Loans As Reason To Deny Bar Admission To New Lawyer

Adam S. Minsky (Forbes), Court Cites Student Loans As Reason To Deny Bar Admission To New Lawyer:

For one recent graduate of law school [Cynthia Marie Rogers (J.D. 2019, Capital University Law School)], ... student loan debt played a major role in the Ohio Board of Bar Commissioners denying her admission to the Ohio bar to practice law as an attorney there.

According to the Ohio Supreme Court, Rogers graduated from law school with over $300,000 in student loan debt. Her husband also has significant student loan debt, and the Court noted that together, their combined balance is nearly $900,000.

The Board was concerned about the size of their debt, as well as testimony from Rogers where she stated that neither she nor her husband were repaying their loans because their income was too low to require making payments. ...

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January 24, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (9)

Forget Daddy Day Care. At This School, It's Law Dean Day Care.

Karen Sloan (Law.com), Forget Daddy Day Care. At This School, It's Law Dean Day Care.:

Fershee 2On Wednesday, three inches of slushy snow fell on Omaha, Nebraska—enough to close area schools and day cares across the city.

But Creighton University and its law school remained open, creating a conundrum for staff, faculty and students suddenly faced with the prospect of missing work and class to watch their kids.

That’s when Creighton law Dean Joshua Fershee stepped in. He messaged the law school community to offer his child care services.

“While I’m not a licensed provider, I’m generally good with kids and would be happy to watch some little ones, if it helps,” wrote Fershee, the father of 11-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old boy. “We’ll figure it out.” ...

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January 24, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Competition For Law Dean Jobs Heats Up

Karen Sloan (Law.com), Competition for Law Dean Jobs Heats Up:

Now that the legal education market is on the rebound, the competition for getting a deanship is stiffer, according to recruiters and sitting deans. At the same time, the appetite for law deans from nontraditional backgrounds—coming out of Big Law or the bench, for example—appears to have waned. ...

For a number of years, fewer people were vying for deanships because legal education’s fortunes were uncertain and the job was particularly difficult, said Werner Boel, a consultant with search firm WittKieffer who has helped to place many law deans at schools across the country. Boel noted that dean searches are getting a bit more competitive these days as law school enrollment numbers have stabilized and the job has become more attractive. ...

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

Muller: Despite Stable Enrollment, Law Schools Continue To Shed Full-Time Faculty

Derek Muller (Pepperdine), Despite Stable Enrollment, Law Schools Continue to Shed Full-Time Faculty:

Law schools dropped from 10,226 full-time faculty (this figure includes all full-time positions, regardless of faculty status) in 2017 to 9470 in 2019, a 7% decline in two years. Law schools are doing more with less. Indeed, they’re not being replaced with adjuncts or temporary faculty—non-full-time faculty also declined (albeit at a smaller rate) in this period, too (from about 17,000 to about 16,500). ... 44 law schools saw faculty declines of at least 15% in that time period. ...

19 law schools decreased their full-time faculty by least 20% (including William & Mary (-28.1%), SUNY-Buffalo (-26.2%), and UC-Berkeley (-22.3%)).

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January 23, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

University Of Washington Dean Responds To Law Students' Demand For Racial Justice

Following up on yesterday's post, University Of Washington Law Students Demand Racial Justice:  I reached out to Dean Mario Barnes on Monday, and he provided me this statement to share yesterday afternoon:

BarnesAt the beginning of the Winter quarter, I had the privilege of teaching the first session of our 1L Perspectives course. During that course, many students shared their concerns about diversity-related issues at UW Law. A few of the issues raised included diversity among our faculty and student body, the experience of people of color at our school, our curriculum, our ability to prepare students to correct a racist and oppressive justice system, and other crucial topics.

Embracing diversity in all forms has been central to my vision for UW Law since becoming dean in 2018 because I believe diverse experiences and perspectives improve legal education and practice.

My leadership team and I are working with the students who brought these concerns forward. We hear their concerns, and we are taking action. We identified a time at the end of January for an in-depth public dialogue about these extremely important topics. Some of our immediate changes include:

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

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

University Of Washington Law Students Demand Racial Justice

The Daily op-ed:  Law Students Demand Racial Justice, by Ashleen O'Brien (J.D. 2021, University of Washington):

University of Washington (2020)First-year students at the UW School of Law began Winter quarter by demanding that the school administration prioritize diversity. Before a lecture that was scheduled to be given by Dean Mario Barnes to the entire first-year class, a group of students of color and their allies stood up and began a demonstration.

Clad in all black clothing and standing together in front of the class, the demonstrators commanded the attention of the room. Some had covered their mouths with pieces of tape reading “silenced” to represent the erasure experienced by people of color, queer people, people with disabilities, and other marginalized individuals at UW Law.

In a series of questions addressed to the Dean and faculty, demonstrators demanded to know why there are so few professors of color at the school, why professors who have continuously displayed racism and transphobia are not held accountable, and why there are no native students in the first-year class.

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January 22, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

NALP: 2019 Report On Diversity In U.S. Law Firms

NALP, Representation of Black or African-American Associates Eclipses Pre-Recession Levels for the First Time Despite Slow Overall Progress:

NALP New LogoThe National Association for Law Placement (NALP) has released its 2019 Report on Diversity in U.S. Law Firms. The report, which is based on information from the recent 2019-2020 NALP Directory of Legal Employers (NDLE), shows that for the first time, Black or African-American representation among associates has finally topped the prerecession level reached in 2009 — although by a just a hair.

“While that is a positive sign, it is barely so, and it strikes me as somewhat of a tragedy that it has taken more than 10 years to achieve such a meager benchmark, and it is notable that the number remains well below five percent,” said James G. Leipold, NALP Executive Director. “The overall arc of the storyline for large law firm diversity remains the same — it is one of slow incremental gains for women and people of color in both the associate and partner ranks,” he added. After studying the data in the annual report for more than 15 years, Leipold is convinced that “despite steady gains, great structural and cultural hurdles remain that prevent law firms from being able to measure more rapid progress in increasing diversity, particularly among the partnership ranks.”

The data in the report confirmed these trends, as women and people of color are best represented among summer associates, and well-represented among associates, but then leave the lawyer ranks each year after at a higher rate than white men, culminating in dramatic underrepresentation among equity partners, with just one in five equity partners being women and only 7.6% of equity partners being people of color.

NALP 1

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

Board Of Regents To Vote Today On Big Tuition Hikes At California's Public Law Schools

Karen Sloan (Law.com), Big Tuition Hikes Loom at University of California's 4 Law Schools:

California Law SchoolsGoing to a public law school in California is poised to get significantly more expensive—especially for out-of-state students.

The University of California Board of Regents is set to vote Jan. 22 on proposed tuition increases at the four law schools within its system that, on average, would hike the amount of their so-called professional degree supplemental tuition by 17% between 2020 and 2023 and ultimately widen the gap between what California residents and nonresidents pay.

The increases would apply to students at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law; the University of California, Davis School of Law; the University of California, Irvine School of Law; and the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law. The University of California Hastings College of the Law is the state’s fifth public law school, but it operates independently of the University of California system and its tuition and budget is not set by the Board of Regents.

Under the proposal, tuition and fees at Berkeley Law, currently at $52,500 for California residents and $55,000 for nonresidents, according to university documents, will increase to $63,000 and $75,500, respectively, by 2023.

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January 22, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Women Hold Editor-In-Chief Positions At The Top 16 Law Reviews

Karen Sloan (Law.com), Women Hold Editor-In-Chief Positions at the 16 Most Elite Law Reviews:

For the first time ever, female law students sit atop of the mastheads of the flagship law reviews at each of the top 16 law schools in the country, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report [Yale, Stanford, Harvard, Chicago, Columbia, NYU, Penn, Virginia, Michigan, Berkeley, Duke, Northwestern, Cornell, Georgetown, UCLA, Texas].

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

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

UC-Berkeley 3L: Reflections On Equity, Inclusion, And Change In The Legal Profession

Daily Journal op-ed:  Solving the Inclusion Conundrum: Reflections on Equity, Inclusion and Making Change in the Legal Profession, by Noor-ul-ain Hasan (J.D. 2020 UC-Berkeley):

California Law Review 4Legal profession surveys consistently show a persistent, systematic inclusivity problem: at 70% male and 88% white it is one of the least racially and gender-diverse professions in the U.S. Over 80% of all federal judicial clerkships are secured by white applicants. At large U.S. law firms, women are only 20% of full equity partners and minorities are just 9% of full equity partners. Professor Meera Deo's "Unequal Profession" demonstrates how race and gender dynamics affect the legal academy. 

Through my experience as editor-in-chief of the "California Law Review," I have seen firsthand the power of inclusive and diverse teams. Our journal is about 50% people of color and 59% women. About 30% of our editors identify as LGBTQ+ and nearly a third are first generation professional students.

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

Online Enrollments Grow, But Pace Slows

Inside Higher Ed, Online Enrollments Grow, but Pace Slows:

The proportion of all enrolled college students who took at least one online class continues to rise, edging up to 34.7 percent in fall 2018 from 33.1 percent the previous year. The rate of increase appears to be slowing ever so slightly, although online education remains the main driver of growth in postsecondary enrollments.

These are among the conclusions one might glean from the latest federal data on distance education enrollments, drawn from the Education Department's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

The data generally show more students studying online, at virtually all types of institutions and at all levels of post-high school learning. The table below shows the basic trends:

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

The Academy Overweights Co-Authored Articles, To The Detriment Of Women, Faculty Of Color, And Faculty With Surnames That Fall Later In The Alphabet

Inside Higher Ed op-ed:  Bias in the Academy: Counting Co-Authors, by Linus Yamane (Pitzer College; "If your last name begins with the letter Z, he would like to co-author a paper with you"):

In light of the frequent campus climate issues of recent years, many of us in higher education have been thinking about inherent biases in our institutions’ appointment, promotion and tenure systems. How might faculty of color and women be systematically thwarted when they try to move up the academic labor market? One fundamental way such biases manifest themselves is how academe gives credit for single-author and multiple-author journal article publications.

In my field of economics, the number of authors per paper has increased monotonically over time. ...  [I]f departments do not distinguish between single-authored and co-authored journal articles, it is easier to increase the number of publications with co-authors.

When I talk with faculty members of color, they express a concern about this practice of co-authoring papers. They tell me that it is harder for faculty of color to find co-authors. In many ways, finding a co-author is like finding a spouse. We tend to marry people who look like ourselves. Tall people tend to marry other tall people. Educated people tend to marry other educated people. White people tend to marry other white people. There are similar patterns with co-authors. They tend to have ties to the same graduate schools. They have interests in the same subfields. And faculty members of color tend to write with other faculty of color. But with fewer faculty of color in academe, it is harder for those scholars to find appropriate co-authors.

Unfortunately, while the practice of co-authoring articles creates a bias against faculty of color, we can do little to change the situation immediately. If we can increase the number of faculty members of color in higher education, that will help, but it will take some time.

For today, we must focus on being careful about properly crediting the work in co-authored journal articles when we evaluate faculty members. While single-author papers send a clear signal about skills and abilities of the author, co-authored papers do not provide specific information about each author’s skills and abilities. That ambiguity can result in systematic biases. We must make sure that we recognize the work of co-authors in a fair and consistent way. ...

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January 21, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Muller: A Small But Rising Cohort Of GRE Law School Admissions

Following up on my previous post, ABA 509 Report Data: Non-LSAT (GRE) Applicants Up 20%: Derek Muller (Pepperdine), A Small But Rising Cohort of GRE Law School Admissions:

Muller GREIn 2019, no-LSAT admissions rose from 168 to 384—more than doubling from the previous year, which more than doubled the year before. Undoubtedly, on the rise.

Whoa, cowboy! That’s a data spike! But… not really. In fact, my first chart is probably pretty deceptive.

You see, 384 admissions among 37,873 matriculants represents just 1% of all law school admissions. Still a small number—but rising. ...

Even though GRE admissions still represent a very small percentage of overall admissions, only a few dozen law schools accept the GRE. That means GRE admissions are disproportionately concentrated at a few law schools. Last year, I noted that Arizona had about 15% of its class as GRE admissions, and Harvard and Georgetown around 2% or 3% of the class. Several classes are above 5% this year: Alabama (8 non-LSAT admissions), Arizona (17), BYU (16), Kent (12), Georgetown (48!), Georgia (19), Harvard (43!), Hawaii (12), Northwestern (27), St. John’s (13), and Buffalo (8).

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

Monday, January 20, 2020

Don't Mess With Law Profs

January 18, 2020 was Darren Bush Day in Houston Texas, in honor of the University of Houston law professor's third degree black belt in Northern  Shaolin/Northern Praying Mantis King Fu:

Bush Proclamation

January 20, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Why MBAs Are Thriving Everywhere But America

Bloomberg Businessweek, Why MBAs Are Thriving Everywhere but America:

At a glance the MBA might appear to be in trouble.

Applications worldwide to advanced business programs dropped 6.9% this year, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which administers the GMAT test, a key benchmark for prospective students. But the world outside America tells a very different story.

Two-thirds of European full-time MBA programs reported an increase in applications in 2019, with a similar number in Asia reporting growth, the GMAC data show. And more than half of Canadian business schools have seen an increase. Contrast that with the U.S., where a booming labor market and ballooning tuition fees have contributed to declines at three in four full-time MBA programs. 

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

Sunday, January 19, 2020

UCLA Law Prof: Why I Won’t Let My Classes Be Recorded

Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  Why I Won’t Let My Classes Be Recorded, by John Villasenor (UCLA):

In early January, I received an email message from an audio-visual coordinator at the UCLA School of Law asking whether I wanted my spring-semester class to be recorded. More specifically, the message informed me that all class sessions are recorded by default unless the instructor opts out. I responded, as I have to similar messages in previous years, with a request not to record my class.

It’s not that I don’t recognize the advantages of recording. For a student forced to miss class for a legitimate reason, such as illness, having access to a video can make it easier and more efficient to catch up. I also recognize that in large lecture-hall courses with hundreds of students, opportunities for substantive student participation are limited. ...

But for smaller, highly interactive classes — my forthcoming law-school class will have about 25 students and is designed to provide plenty of student engagement — there are also reasons that the growing practice of recording classes should give us pause. One is privacy: Not mine, which I’ve long since decided doesn’t exist when I’m standing at the front of a classroom, but that of the students. ...

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January 19, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Declining Participation In Football Threatens American Exceptionalism

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  The Leadership Case for Saving High-School Football, by Sam Walker (author, The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams (2018)):

Captain Class

For the first time in 30 years, high-school sports participation declined. ... The chief culprit wasn’t a lack of interest in sports. It’s the accelerating rejection of the biggest high-school sport of all: 11-player tackle football.

Last season, football suffered its steepest loss of players in 33 years, according to the NFHS, while its share of total sports participants fell below 13% for the first time on record. ...

[T]he sport lost 31,000 high school players last year, according to the NFHS; its fifth consecutive annual decline. Forty-two states reported net losses, including football hotbeds such as California, Florida and Ohio.

I can’t blame any parent, or child, for abandoning ship. Nobody needs to play football. But I sincerely believe that the sport is worth saving. Football will never be entirely safe. But if the sport’s overseers figure out the right adjustments to make (see an entirely separate column), I have no doubt that its positive influence on kids will continue to outweigh the risks. Football, in my view, is one of the best tools we have for teaching teamwork and leadership.

Consider this: The U.S. has maintained a consistent global edge in business, scientific research, military power and (recent events notwithstanding) functional government. We’ve shown that we’re pretty good at working together. And we’ve sustained this for decades even with schools that trail those in other nations by most measures of academic rigor.

Have you ever wondered why that is?

Most high schools don’t teach “team studies” or “applied leadership.” Traditional classes like social studies, history and civics may touch on those themes, but only in passing. My theory is that American schools haven’t bothered teaching teamwork in classrooms because they didn’t need to. That’s what organized sports are for.

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January 19, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Harvard Law Students Avoid Applying For Clerkships With Trump-Appointed Judges

Boston Globe, Some Harvard Law School Students Are Avoiding Applying to Clerkships With Trump-Appointed Judges:

Harvard Law School (2016)Used to be that the promise of earning a sterling line on a resume and connections to stars of the legal profession was enough to lure Harvard law students to federal clerkships.

But recently, when Harvard Law School was urging its students to apply to work for one of President Trump’s newly appointed judges, it felt the need to offer further incentives: “Next to Lake Tahoe and great skiing!” the job alert read.

But that apparently wasn’t enough. Two days later, in mid-December, the law school again nudged its students to apply for clerkships with federal judges, noting that some judges, including two Trump appointees, had received no Harvard applications — calling them “wasted opportunities.”

As Trump reshapes the federal judiciary with staunch conservatives and controversial picks, some Harvard Law School students appear to be thinking twice about applying for clerk jobs with them, and passing up what are generally considered plum positions. ...

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January 18, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (11)

Friday, January 17, 2020

Harvard Law Students Urge Boycott Of Paul Weiss To Force Law Firm To Drop ExxonMobil As A Client

Medium, Harvard Law Students Shutdown Reception For Law Firm Defending Exxon’s Role in the Climate Crisis:

Paul WeissStudents push partners at Paul, Weiss to #DropExxon: “We won’t work for you while you work for them.”

Harvard Crimson, Harvard Law School Students Campaign for Law Firm Paul Weiss to Drop Representation of ExxonMobil:

Dozens of Harvard Law School students disrupted a first-year student recruitment event held by corporate law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP Wednesday night, calling on the firm to stop representing the oil and gas company ExxonMobil in ongoing climate change litigation.

Harvard Corporation member Theodore V. Wells, who works as a partner at the firm, was a lead lawyer for ExxonMobil. The firm did not respond to multiple requests for comment about the protest.

Shortly after the firm’s speaker came on stage, a group of students revealed a banner reading #DropExxon, according to a press release about the protest. They also chanted over the speaker, “We, students of Harvard Law School, will not work for you as long as you work for ExxonMobil. Our future is on fire, and you are fanning the flames. If you want to recruit us, then drop Exxon and join us in fighting for a livable future.”

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January 17, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)

The Unbearable Virtue Mongering Of Academics

Chronicle of Higher Education, The Unbearable Virtue Mongering of Academics:

FishStanley Fish is skeptical of free speech, and dismayed by the ubiquity of Subarus.

Charming and pugnacious, the literary critic and legal theorist Stanley Fish, at 81, remains one of the besieged humanities’ most prominent voices. His new book, The First: How to Think About Hate Speech, Campus Speech, Religious Speech, Fake News, Post-Truth, and Donald Trump (2019), out last month from Simon & Schuster, brings his combination of theory and polemic to a host of topical controversies. Probably no one will agree with all of it, but, as ever with Fish, it’s impossible to come away from his arguments without feeling one’s own ideas become sharper.

Fish’s career, from Miltonist to university super-administrator to best-selling intellectual pundit, is difficult to imagine now, when the prestige of the humanities has plummeted, along with the funding. From the present vantage, the influence of figures like Fish — or Judith Butler, or Henry Louis Gates Jr., or any number of other scholars with primary appointments in departments of literary study — might seem idiosyncratic.

"Programs that I grew up with and assumed would always be a part of the educational landscape have disappeared," Fish told me. "That can’t be a good thing if you are interested at all in subjects like literature, history, philosophy."

In 1959, when Fish was finishing college, he faced a choice between graduate school in English and law school. He chose English, in part because Yale offered him a free ride. I asked whether he’d make the same decision today. "That wouldn’t be a choice at all," he said. "I would go for law."

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January 17, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Is Returning To The Faculty After Deaning An Honor? Or A Demotion?

Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  Does Pausing Your Administrative Career Mean It’s Over?, by Margaret Farrar (Former Dean, John Carroll University):

Last year I was given a career choice that was not, in fact, a choice. The particulars of my situation aren’t important, but here’s the upshot: Last March, I was sitting in a meeting with my university’s new president, discussing my reappointment as dean, and it wasn’t going well.

Ultimately the president offered me a graceful exit: He suggested I stay in the job for an additional year while I searched for a new deanship elsewhere. That way, I could write my own career narrative as one of continual ascent. I hadn’t been ousted — I had decided to "seek a new challenge," "apply my skills to a different kind of institution," or (in the words of LeBron James, when he left Cleveland the first time) "take my talents to South Beach."

I was grateful for the option, but of course the offer wasn’t purely altruistic. An additional year would give the president more time to find my successor. This was what used to be called "a gentleman’s agreement" — a polite, quiet arrangement that would ensure a smooth transition for everyone involved.

I took a weekend to think about it. I knew what I was supposed to do: Accept the one-year extension and start job-hunting; onward and upward. Instead, come Monday morning, I told the president I would stay but not as dean. I opted to take a pay cut and join the faculty. ...

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

Lawyers Are Leading U.S. Colleges And Universities More Than Ever Before. Is That Good Or Bad For Higher Education?

Washington Post, Lawyers Are Leading U.S. Colleges and Universities More Than Ever Before. Is That Good or Bad For Higher Education?:

In the following piece, Patricia E. Salkin, provost of the graduate and professional divisions of Touro College in New York, looks at another characteristic of college and university presidents: how many are attorneys, and what that means for higher education. This perspective is part of a multi-year study on lawyer presidents that the author is doing as part of a PhD in creativity at University of the Arts.

The trend over the last three decades indicates that in the 2020s, we can expect to see a record number of lawyers appointed as college and university presidents. With roughly 4,000 colleges and universities, more lawyers in the mix is a good thing in the constant evolution of higher education.

The number of lawyer president appointments has more than doubled each decade of the last three, with a staggering 158 lawyers appointed in the last half of the 2010s. If the trend continues, in the new decade lawyers may account for 300 to 400 presidents — more than 10 percent of all sitting campus presidents. This is astonishing considering that for 90 years, from 1900 to 1989, lawyer presidents made up less than 1 percent of all presidents during any given decade.

WaPo

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

Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig Sues The New York Times For Defamation

Harvard Crimson, Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig Sues the New York Times for Defamation:

Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig filed a lawsuit against the New York Times Monday after the newspaper published an article suggesting that Lessig was defending the practice of accepting secret donations from deceased sex offender Jeffrey E. Epstein.

In a lawsuit filed in Massachusetts federal court, Lessig accused the Times of publishing a “false and defamatory” story with a headline and lede that served as “clickbait.”

The New York Times story, titled “A Harvard Professor Doubles Down: If You Take Epstein’s Money, Do It in Secret,” was based on a Sept. 8 Medium post by Lessig in which he explained his decision to sign a petition in support of Joichi “Joi” Ito, who resigned as head of the MIT Media Lab in September after Ronan Farrow reported in the New Yorker that the lab had taken steps to cover up its relationship with Epstein. ...

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January 16, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

NY Times: In A Homecoming Video Meant To Unite The University Of Wisconsin, Almost Everyone Was White

Following up on my previous post, University Of Wisconsin Use Photoshop To Paint Faux Diversity: New York Times, In a Homecoming Video Meant to Unite Campus, Almost Everyone Was White:

WisconsinThe video was created to show off the University of Wisconsin. Instead, it set off a furor, and a reckoning over what it means to be a black student on campus.

The video was just two minutes long: a sunny montage of life at the University of Wisconsin’s flagship campus in Madison. Here were hundreds of young men and women cheering at a football game, dancing in unison, riding bicycles in a sleek line, “throwing the W” for the camera, singing a cappella, leaping into a lake.

“Home is where we grow together,” a voice-over said. “It’s where the hills are. It’s eating our favorite foods. It’s where we can all harmonize as one. Home is Wisconsin cheese curds. It’s welcoming everyone into our home.”

Days before Homecoming Week, the student homecoming committee, tasked with producing the video, posted it online. The outrage was almost instantaneous. Virtually every student in the video was white.

This is the story of a video that galvanized and divided a university plagued by a history of racist incidents, as told by the people who saw it happen. Black students in particular say the homecoming video crystallized a daily fact of life: They feel they are not wanted at the University of Wisconsin, where there are significantly fewer African-Americans per capita than in the state, which is mostly white. This fall, more than 30,000 undergraduates began the school year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Fewer than 1,000 of them are African-American.

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

Florida Bill Would Stop Adelson Family From Preventing Dan Markel's Parents’ Access To Their Grandchildren

Tallahassee Democrat, Jeff Brandes Bill, Citing Markel Murder Case, Could Allow Grandparents More Visitation Rights:

Friends of Dan Markel are hoping a bill filed by Florida Sen. Jeff Brandes could afford the slain Florida State law professor’s parents, and others like them, more access to their grandchildren.

Markel’s parents, Phil and Ruth Markel, have not seen their grandchildren since 2016 amid allegations that the family of their mother, Wendi Adelson, is being investigated in connection with a murder-for-hire plot.

The childrens’ names were changed to Adelson to shield them from intense media coverage of their father’s murder, Wendi Adelson said. The Markels have also been denied visitation. ...

Pointing to the case that has played out on a national stage, Brandes proposes changing a 2015 law that allows grandparents to petition for visitation if a living parent has been convicted of a felony. The 2020 revision, SB 1886, looks to expand the court remedy to lingering cases in which the living parent’s family is being investigated but is still active in the children’s lives.

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

Lessons Learned From Visits At Harvard, Stanford, And NYU Law Schools That Did Not Produce Offers

Tess Wilkinson-Ryan (Pennsylvania), On Visiting:

When I was a teenager there was this meme/prank where a boy would approach a girl and ask “Would you like to dance?” and no matter what her response, he would then announce loudly, “No, I said you look fat in those pants!” I did not have cause to think of this, which even then was usually deployed as a sort of meta-joke, until I tried to explain to a colleague how I felt about my lateral visiting stints. I think there is something about the mild humiliation of an appointments visit, particularly if there’s no permanent offer, that makes most people reluctant to talk about the experience at all. But that pluralistic ignorance is probably bad, because it distorts the cost-benefit calculus that law schools and candidates are employing for an already costly practice. So let’s talk about it.

In the early winter months of 2014, pre-tenure, I got really flattering phone calls from deans at Stanford, Harvard, and NYU, respectively. I agreed to a one-semester visit at Stanford, a three-week teaching visit at Harvard, and eventually to a two-week non-teaching visit at NYU. I was not looking to move, but you never know, and in any case visiting appeared to be the coin of the realm. ...

It’s sort of embarrassing to recount these stories, a real tour of my bad decisions and poor coping skills. But it occurred to me recently in hearing a not-dissimilar tale from a colleague that there is a widely-shared experience that doesn’t get talked about, because it sounds like sour grapes just to describe it. I agreed to all of this! I agreed to be judged and now I’m mad that the judgment was negative! Also it’s just regular embarrassing — I was publicly rejected. ...

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January 15, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)