Paul L. Caron
Dean


Thursday, August 8, 2019

Fellowships For Aspiring Law Professors (2019-20 Edition)

For practitioners and others contemplating joining the law professor ranks, many law schools offer wonderful opportunities to transition into the legal academy with one- or two-year fellowships which allow you to enter the AALS Faculty Recruitment Conference (the "meat market") and the new SEALS Faculty Recruitment Conference with published scholarship (and in many cases teaching experience) under your belt. Here is an updated list of the law schools with fellowship and VAP programs (thanks to AALS President Judith Areen for allowing me to include in this listing positions in the AALS' new directory):

General Programs:

Law School Program Name
Arizona State Visiting Assistant Professor Program
Boston University Visiting Assistant Professor Program
Chicago Harry A. Bigelow Teaching Fellowships
Columbia Associates in Law Program
Columbia Academic Fellows Program
Connecticut Visiting Scholars Program
Cornell Visiting Assistant Professorships
Duke Visiting Assistant Professor Program
Georgetown Graduate Teaching Fellowships
Georgetown Georgetown Law Research Fellowship
Georgetown Visiting Researcher Program
Harvard Climenko Fellowship
Harvard Reginald F. Lewis Fellowship for Law Teaching
Illinois Illinois Academic Fellowship Program
Loyola-New Orleans Westerfield Fellows Program
Michigan Michigan Faculty Fellows Program (VAP)
Michigan Michigan Society of Fellows Program
NYU Acting Assistant Professors
NYU Furman Academic Fellowship Program
Northwestern Visiting Scholars Program
Pennsylvania The George Sharswood Fellowship
Stetson Bruce R. Jacob Visiting Assistant Professor Program
Wake Forest Visiting Assistant Professor Program
Washington Visiting Scholars Program
Wisconsin The Hastie Fellowship Program
Yale Fellowship Home Page (for Yale grads)

Subject Specific Programs:

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August 8, 2019 in Fellowships & VAPs, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Symposium: Uncomfortable Conversations About Legal Education — Student Debt, Diversity, And More

Blue Sky

The ABA Young Lawyers Division and Law School Transparency are hosting a symposium on Uncomfortable Conversations About Legal Education: Student Debt, Diversity, and More today at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco:

Introduction
Kyle McEntee, Abhay Nadipuram, Tommy Preston Jr.
Law schools face an unrelenting system of incentives that make lowering prices, equitable access, and curricular innovation extremely difficult. This half-day program examines how to cause positive change in legal education.

Law School Deans Panel: Obstacles to Lowering Costs
Ben Barros (Toledo), Camille Nelson (American), Carla Pratt (Washburn)
Three current law school deans will discuss barriers to more accessible and affordable legal education. The discussion will cover U.S. News & World Report rankings, accreditation, university culture, and more.

Lightning Talks
Introduction to the Blue Sky Initiative (more here and here)
Maggie White, an Iowa attorney and member of Law School Transparency’s board of directors, will describe a wide-ranging initiative from Law School Transparency and other partners to address the cost of legal education.

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August 8, 2019 in Conferences, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed News | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Do You Have To Be A Jerk To Be Great?

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Do You Have to Be a Jerk to Be Great?: Navigating the Tension Between Work and Relationships, by David Brooks:

The JerkDo you have to be so obsessively focused to be great? The traditional masculine answer is yes. But probably the right answer is no.

In the first place, being monomaniacal may not even be good for your work. Another book on my summer reading list was “Range,” by David Epstein. It’s a powerful argument that generalists perform better than specialists. ...

He shows the same pattern in domain after domain: People who specialize in one thing succeed early, but then they slide back to mediocrity as their minds rigidify. ...

Furthermore, living a great life is more important than producing great work. A life devoted to one thing is a stunted life, while a pluralistic life is an abundant one. This is a truth feminism has brought into the culture. Women have rarely been able to live as monads. They were generally compelled to switch, hour by hour, between different domains and roles: home, work, market, the neighborhood.

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August 7, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Too Noxious For Tenure?

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  Too Noxious for Tenure?, by Musa al-Gharbi  (Columbia):

Academic freedom was invented to protect scholars with reprehensible views. ...

A few weeks ago, at a National Conservativism conference in Washington D.C., one of the speakers, the University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax, argued that the United States would be "better off if our country is dominated numerically, demographically, politically, at least in fact if not formally, by people from the First World, from the West, than by people from countries that had failed to advance." ... Her comments echoed previous remarks that have, in fact, led many to brand Wax herself as a racist. ...

Each of these statements was met with challenges to the accuracy of her claims, public condemnations from her dean and colleagues, and widespread calls for her dismissal.

Many have described Wax’s case as a difficult test of academic freedom and its limitations. It’s not. Tenure and academic freedom, as we currently understand them, were literally created in response to another prominent scholar’s getting canned for making inflammatory statements on race and immigration. ...

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August 7, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

California’s New Frontier: Accreditation Of Online Law Schools

Martin Pritikin (Dean, Concord Law School), California’s New Frontier: Accreditation of Distance Learning Law Schools:

California is one of the few states to accredit law schools independently of the American Bar Association (ABA). Recently, the State Bar of California took the next big step by opening up a path to accreditation for fully online law schools. This move has the potential to dramatically impact the landscape of legal education.

The ABA, the national accreditor for law schools, has been cautious about allowing law school classes to be delivered by distance learning technology. For a number of years, the ABA limited law schools to offering 15 credits online, about one sixth of the total. In 2018, the ABA relaxed the limit to one third, but schools must still be primarily campus-based. A handful of ABA law schools have obtained variances to offer hybrid online programs, but all of them still contain a ground-based component. There has never been a fully online ABA-accredited J.D. program. ...

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August 7, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

More On Malcolm Gladwell And The LSAT

Following up on my previous posts:

Michael Dorf (Cornell), Malcolm Gladwell Mangles Casuistry:

The fourth season of Malcolm Gladwell's podcast Revisionist History includes a great deal of material of relevance to lawyers. Episodes 1 and 2 critique the LSAT and time-pressured law school exams on the ground that they reward quick thinkers at the expense of slower-but-deeper thinkers. There's much in those episodes with which I agree. For just about all of my 27 years in law teaching I have given either 24-hour or 8-hour take-home exams rather than 3-hour in-class exams for exactly the reason that these episodes underscore: The real-life practice of law often puts time pressure on attorneys, but (except perhaps during a trial when an attorney must make split-second decisions whether to object to proffered evidence) rarely does actual legal practice involve the kind of time pressure that the LSAT and in-class exams place on test-takers.

That said, these episodes overclaim. For example, Gladwell contrasts chess grandmasters who are the best speed players with those who are the best players at a normal pace. Fair enough, but Gladwell fails to recognize that even those he calls tortoises are better at speed chess than nearly everyone else in the world, while even those he calls hares are better at normal-pace chess than nearly everyone else in the world. And likewise in law. Time pressure is a source of variation in performance, but it's not the only source and rarely the most important. Time pressure will affect the performance of various excellent lawyers differently. Some excellent lawyers are truly outstanding under time pressure; others are excellent; some are merely very good. By contrast, incompetent lawyers will be incompetent at any speed.

In the balance of this post, I want to focus on another set of flaws in Season 4 of Revisionist History. Episode 5 begins a three-part mini-series on casuistry--a method of moral reasoning closely associated with the Jesuits. The word casuistry is sometimes used as a synonym for sophistry or fallacious reasoning, but Gladwell uses it in its original and literal sense, as case-by-case reasoning rather than deductive reasoning from general principles. (Casuistry derives from the Latin casus, meaning case). I share some of Gladwell's appreciation for this form of reasoning, but I think his key illustrations misfire badly.

Howard Wasserman (Florida International), More on Malcolm Gladwell:

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August 7, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

More On A Dean's Perspective On Diversity, Socioeconomics, The LSAT, And The U.S. News Law School Rankings

My talk last week at SEALS on A Dean's Perspective On Diversity, Socioeconomics, The LSAT, And The U.S. News Law School Rankings focused on the tension faced by deans and faculty as they try to increase the diversity of their student bodies in the light of the great weight U.S. News places on median LSATs and UGPAs in its law school rankings methodology — 22.5% of the total ranking. Several folks asked for copies of this chart of the racial and ethnic composition of the 2017-2018 law school applicant pool from LSAC data:

2017-18 Applicants  LSAT  Race

The chart shows that Caucasian and Asian applicants are over-represented (compared to their share of the applicant pool) in the top 160-180 LSAT band (Caucasians comprise 57% of total applicants, and 68% of the top LSAT band; Asians: 10%, 15%), and African-Americans and Hispanic/Latinos are under-represented in the top LSAT band (African-Americans: 13%, 3%; Hispanic/Latinos: 12%, 7%). In terms of raw numbers, only 590 African-Americans in the applicant pool scored at least 160 on the LSAT. African-Americans and Hispanic/Latinos are over-represented in the bottom 120-149 LSAT band (African-American: 13%, 27%; Hispanic/Latinos: 12%, 17%).

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August 6, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (0)

Barry Currier To Step Down; Search Begins For New Managing Director Of ABA Legal Ed Section

Barry Currier, Managing Director of Accreditation and Legal Education for the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, is stepping down at the end of the 2019-20 year after eight years in the position:

CurrierThe regular work of the Council in recent years has been driven by the impact of the recession on legal education and profound changes in both the legal profession and higher education sectors. The changes continue. Indeed, we are closer to the beginning, not the end, of the change cycle. We might prefer to catch our breath, digest what has been done, and assess next steps; but the need for change persists and there is no time to waste – we will be multi-tasking for the foreseeable future.

Among the big picture, long-term matters to be tackled is how the ABA law school accreditation process can be improved to better assure, indeed advance, the quality of the education that law schools deliver to their students while, at the same time, broadening access to legal education and taking steps to assure that we are producing graduates who will help build a more inclusive, fair, and just legal system. The process must intentionally shift its focus to more clearly place students, the quality of learning, and meaningful access as the core of what we do and how we do it.

Search for Next Managing Director of Accreditation and Legal Education Begins:

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August 6, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, August 5, 2019

Testy: Building The Future Of Justice: Law School Applicants 2019

Building the Future of Justice: Law School Applicants 2019
Kellye Y. Testy (President & CEO, Law School Admissions Council)

Testy (2019)Last year on this blog, I was happy to report an 8.1 percent increase in U.S. law school applicants and an 8.7 percent increase in law school applications for the 2018-2019 admission cycle. These increases were the largest since 2010 when a steep downturn began, the effects of which are still reverberating in American legal education. For this year — the 2019-2020 admission cycle — applicants have again increased, but more modestly, and there are important trend lines to watch as the next cycle begins.

With nearly all our 2019-2020 applicant and application data accounted for, as of July 31, 2019 we’re seeing 62,427 applicants to U.S. law schools which represents a 3.3 percent increase over last year and an 11.6 percent increase over a two-year period. Note that you can follow this and other data by checking our data library, which is updated daily. We’re also seeing an increase of 7.3 percent in the number of LSATs administered (26.7 percent when looking at a two-year period), and a 3.2 percent increase in new test takers. Because almost all applicants begin their enrollment journey by taking the LSAT, national trends in test takers help preview the coming cycles.

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August 5, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, August 4, 2019

NY Times: Need Extra Time On Tests? It Helps To Have Cash

New York Times, Need Extra Time on Tests? It Helps to Have Cash:

From Weston, Conn., to Mercer Island, Wash., word has spread on parenting message boards and in the stands at home games: A federal disability designation known as a 504 plan can help struggling students improve their grades and test scores. But the plans are not doled out equitably across the United States.

In the country’s richest enclaves, where students already have greater access to private tutors and admissions coaches, the share of high school students with the designation is double the national average. In some communities, more than one in 10 students have one — up to seven times the rate nationwide, according to a New York Times analysis of federal data. ...

Students in every ZIP code are dealing with anxiety, stress and depression as academic competition grows ever more cutthroat. But the sharp disparity in accommodations raises the question of whether families in moneyed communities are taking advantage of the system, or whether they simply have the means to address a problem that less affluent families cannot. ...

While experts say that known cases of outright fraud are rare, and that most disability diagnoses are obtained legitimately, there is little doubt that the process is vulnerable to abuse. Some of the learning differences exist in diagnostic gray areas that can make it difficult to determine whether a teenager is struggling because of parental and school pressure or because of a psychological impairment. And private mental health practitioners operate with limited oversight, either from school systems or from within their own professions. ...

In an analysis of Department of Education data, The Times looked at students with 504 designations at more than 11,000 high schools across the country. It did not include students who are served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, a further-reaching program that can also offer extra testing time, but is generally meant for students more severely affected by disabilities.

The Times found a glaring wealth gap in 504 designations. At high schools in the richest school districts — the top 1 percent as measured by census income data — 5.8 percent of students held a 504 plan, more than double the national average of 2.7 percent. Some wealthy districts had 504 rates of up to 18 percent.

NYT

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August 4, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, August 3, 2019

College Financial-Aid Loophole: Wealthy Parents Transfer Guardianship Of Their Teens To Get Aid

Wall Street Journal, College Financial-Aid Loophole: Wealthy Parents Transfer Guardianship of Their Teens to Get Aid:

Amid an intense national furor over the fairness of college admissions, the Education Department is looking into a tactic that has been used in some suburbs here, in which wealthy parents transfer legal guardianship of their college-bound children to relatives or friends so the teens can claim financial aid, say people familiar with the matter.

The strategy caught the department’s attention amid a spate of guardianship transfers here. It means that only the children’s earnings were considered in their financial-aid applications, not the family income or savings. That has led to awards of scholarships and access to federal financial aid designed for the poor, these people said.

Several universities in Illinois say they are looking into the practice, which is legal. ...

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August 3, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

How Two Law Schools Use Virtual Reality In The Classroom

Legal Tech News, Curriculum Comes Alive: How Two Law Schools Use Virtual Reality in the Classroom:

In recent years, law schools have injected a host of technologically-savvy initiatives into their curriculum, ranging from start-up incubators to online-centric coursework and beyond. But some law schools are looking to move their curriculum into a new dimension: the third dimension, to be specific.

The educational tracks at the 2019 American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) conference opened with “Virtual Reality in the Law Classroom,” a presentation of what two law schools have done with 360 video and 3-D modeling technologies to increase their students’ learning. Kenton Brice, director of technology innovation at University of Oklahoma College of Law, and Jenny Wondracek, director of legal educational technology at UNT Dallas College of Law, demonstrated that while the technology may seem futuristic, adopting it is feasible now.

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August 3, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 2, 2019

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

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August 2, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Scott Fruehwald, Weekly Legal Ed Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Implementing ABA Standard 314 by Incorporating Effective Formative Assessment Techniques Across The Law School Curriculum

Diana R. Donahoe (Georgetown) & Julie Ross (Georgetown), Lighting the Fires of Learning in Law School: Implementing ABA Standard 314 by Incorporating Effective Formative Assessment Techniques Across the Curriculum:

The American Bar Association now requires law schools to incorporate formative assessment into the law school curriculum by providing feedback to students relating to course-specific learning goals before the end-of-semester exam. Peer reviews and self-evaluations are two powerful formative assessment techniques that faculty can use to meet the new ABA standards to assess the students’ learning outcomes while courses are ongoing, creating more effective learning environments within the classroom.

This article argues that peer reviews and self-evaluations can be successfully used across the law school curriculum to deepen student understanding, encourage student cooperation, and develop students’ abilities to be self-regulated learners in law school.

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August 2, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 1, 2019

60% Of Law Firms, Companies Plan To Increase Legal Hiring Over Next Six Months, Especially In Litigation

Press Release, 6 In 10 Law Firms, Companies Plan To Add New Legal Jobs In Next Six Months:

The legal field is expected to see an increase in hiring in the months ahead, with litigation driving the greatest job growth. According to Robert Half Legal's State of Legal Hiring research, nearly 6 in 10 U.S.-based lawyers (59%) said their law firm or company plans to expand their legal teams in the second half of 2019, up 12 percentage points from the last time the survey was conducted. More than one-third of lawyers (36%) anticipate staffing only vacated positions, while 2% said they would neither staff vacated positions nor create new ones. Only 1% expect staffing reductions.

More than one-quarter of lawyers (27%) predict litigation will generate the most employment opportunities during the next six months, followed by general business/commercial law, which received 21% of the response, and privacy, data security and information law (15%).

Robert Hall

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August 1, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Incorporating Mandatory Mentoring Programs For Junior Lawyers And Law Students Nationwide

Katerina P. Lewinbuk (South Texas), Kindling the Fire: The Call for Incorporating Mandatory Mentoring Programs for Junior Lawyers and Law Students Nationwide, 63 St. Louis U. L.J. 211 (2019):

With mentoring, the legal community can guide, mold, and aid those entering the legal field. Mentoring should begin in law school, just as 110 schools are currently doing, so that students can begin building important professional relationships. Mentoring will help students and attorneys avoid making rookie mistakes, give them the confidence and skills they need to grow, and teach them how to "practice law in accordance with the highest ideals of the profession."

As cases dealing with attorney discipline demonstrate, attorneys that have mentors will likely be more successful than those that never sought guidance in their profession. For instance, the case of Christman v. People demonstrated the negative outcomes attorneys face when they never had a chance to obtain mentorships. As the court indicated in that case, it is critical for newly admitted attorneys to have guidance early on in their professional careers. As such, many law schools now strongly encourage mentorships for students.

Currently, the implementation of mentorship programs is being determined by each individual state. Six states currently require mentorship programs for newly admitted attorneys, others are joining the movement by implementing voluntary programs.' A number of law schools are also encouraging and creating programs for students entering law school by connecting them with alumni, student organizations, and practicing attorneys. Not only are mentorship programs beneficial for learning purposes, but they also serve as a means for rehabilitation when attorneys have gone astray.

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August 1, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

In A Life-Or-Death Crisis, Humility Is Everything

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  In a Life-or-Death Crisis, Humility Is Everything, by Sam Walker (author, The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams (2018)):

Captain ClassMany of history’s most-celebrated leaders displayed a remarkable mix of courage and humility. But on the short list of leaders who’ve saved lives in the face of overwhelming odds [GM CEO Mary Barra, Johnson & Johnson CEO James Burke, United pilot Alfred Haynes, US Air pilot Chesley Sullenberger, Chilean miner Luis Urzúa], those two traits are nearly universal.

The reason, I suspect, is that they’re inextricably linked.

Few business leaders ever find themselves in the kind of fix where many lives hang in the balance. When they do, however, history suggests that a little humility can go a long way. ...

Humility isn’t a byproduct of heroism, it’s a precondition. Modest people achieve miracles under pressure because they’re far more likely to possess four major qualities that pay dividends in a crisis.

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August 1, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Survey: Nearly Half Of All Students Are Distracted By Technology

Inside Higher Ed, Survey: Nearly Half of Students Distracted by Technology:

A recent survey found the use of technology in class, such as laptops or phones, for noneducational purposes was distracting to almost half of students, while others surveyed believe technology in the classroom is unavoidable.

The study was published in the Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and surveyed 478 students and 36 instructors at the University of Waterloo [A Mixed Blessing? Students’ and Instructors’ Perspectives about Off-Task Technology Use in the Academic Classroom].

Of the undergraduate students surveyed, 49 percent said the use of technology for reasons not related to class, or “off-task” use, was distracting to them. However, students generally said they’ve used technology for off-task purposes regardless.

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August 1, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Masters Programs And The Public Educational Mission Of Law Schools

Mark Edwin Burge (Texas A&M), Access to Law or Access to Lawyers? Masters Programs in the Public Educational Mission of Law Schools, 74 U. Miami L. Rev. __ (2019):

The general decline in J.D. law school applicants and enrollment over the last decade has coincided with the rise of a new breed of law degree. Whether known as a master of jurisprudence, juris master, or master of legal studies, these graduate degrees all have a target audience in common: adult professionals who neither are nor seek to become practicing attorneys. Inside legal academia and among the practicing bar, these degrees have been accompanied by expressed concerns that they detract from the traditional core public mission of law schools — educating lawyers. This article argues that non-lawyer masters programs are not a distraction from the public mission of law schools, nor are they a necessary evil foisted upon legal education by economic trends. Rather, such degrees reflect a paradigm shift that law schools and attorneys should embrace rather than resist: a move away from law being largely accessed primarily through a licensed elite and toward a greater role for autonomy in public engagement with the legal system.

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July 31, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Caron Presents A Dean's Perspective On Diversity, Socioeconomics, The LSAT, And The U.S. News Law School Rankings Today At SEALS

One of the Legal Ed panels today at the 2019 SEALS Annual Conference in Boca Raton, Florida:

SEALs Logo (2013)Building Bridges: Socioeconomics, the LSAT and U.S. News and World Report Rankings
This panel explores methodologies and programs that will help students from low income and diverse backgrounds have opportunities available to them to attend law school. AALS President Wendy Perdue of the University of Richmond has said: “As our society struggles with this problem of deep polarization, lawyers and law schools have an important role to play. Lawyers, are, after all, in the dispute resolution business. Resolving conflict is central to what we do. And today, perhaps more than ever before, the skills that we as lawyers have, and we as law professors teach, are of critical importance.” In order to resolve these conflicts, we need to make sure that all communities have access to engage in these important conversations. The Before the J.D. Study shows that African American and Hispanic students think about going to law school before going to high school and college. In addition, the study highlights that over 60% of students report the most important advice about going to graduate or professional school comes from a family member or relative. Many students from low-income backgrounds do not have family members who are lawyers and are at a disadvantage in getting advice about going to law school because they may not be encouraged by these close family members or friends. There is still a small percentage of African American and Latino/a attorneys Nationwide 5% of lawyers are African American and 5% are of Hispanic origin. These percentages have remained consistent for almost the past ten years. So many students from these racial and ethnic backgrounds also can’t readily turn to family members or friends for inspiration and advice about going to law school. The ABA reports that the entering class for 2017 has an aggregate African American enrollment of 8.6% and 13.2% for Hispanics. Meanwhile, African Americans consist of approximately 13% and Hispanics approximately 18% of the overall U.S. population. These two racial groups, along with Asian Americans, are on target to be a majority of the U.S. population in the next 30 years. Given the growth trends in these demographic groups, there will be an insufficient percent of lawyers from these groups to meet their (and society’s) legal needs in the next few years. Moreover, some scholars have argued that there is a strong tie between socioeconomics and law schools admissions. There has recently been a very passionate Twitter discussion of this issue on Lawprofblawg. Some believe that the LSAT and U.S. News privileges those from middle- and upper middle-class backgrounds. Others point out the LSAT’s strength in providing an accurate assessment of core skills required for success in law school and that an admission process that correctly uses the LSAT as one factor in a multi-factor holistic admission process is fairest to applicants. Recently, U.S. News attempted to reduce economic privilege in its rankings of undergraduate schools by injecting socio economic factors. The formula now includes indicators meant to measure "social mobility" and drops an acceptance rate measure that benefited schools that turned the most students away. A recent Politico article reported that U.S. News will change its methodology at the college level. This panel consists of experts who examine these issues in terms of the LSAT, U.S. News & World Report law school rankings, and socioeconomic and diversity issues.

  • Leonard Baynes (Dean, Houston), Pre-Law Pipeline Program: We’ve Got The Power
  • Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), A Dean's Perspective on Diversity, Socioeconomics, the LSAT, and the U.S. News Law School Rankings
  • Victor Quintanilla (Professor & Co-Director, Center for Law, Society & Culture, Indiana), Initial Results on Relationship Between the LSAT, USNWR, SES, and Demographics From the Productive Mindset Intervention Study
  • Robert Morse (Chief Data Strategist, U.S. News), Building Bridges: Socioeconomics, the LSAT and U.S. News and World Report Rankings  
  • Kellye Testy (President & CEO, LSAC; former Dean, University of Washington), Adversity and Admission: Tackling “Opportunity to Learn”

July 31, 2019 in Conferences, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (1)

NALP: Law School Graduates' Employment Outcomes Continue To Improve

NALP 3

Class of 2018 Employment Outcomes Approach Pre-Recession Levels (July 31, 2019):

This year’s Selected Findings show an employment rate that has improved for the third year in a row, increasing to 89.4% of graduates for whom employment status was known, compared with 88.6% for the Class of 2017. Despite the rise in the overall employment rate, the number of jobs found by graduates declined again this year, by about 150 compared with the Class of 2017.

“The employment outcomes findings for members of the Class of 2018 are strong and, along with the findings for members of the Class of 2017, clearly mark the beginning of a new post-recession cohort. The employment outcomes for this class more closely resemble employment outcomes measured in the years before the recession than they do the classes that graduated between 2009 and 2013 in the immediate aftermath of the recession,” noted James G. Leipold, NALP’s executive director. “Certainly, the overall employment rate has improved because of two intertwined factors. First, and most importantly, the smaller graduating class has meant that there is less competition for the jobs that exist. Second, large law firm hiring has increased steadily since 2011, adding more than 1,900 jobs in seven years.”

Employment for the Class of 2018 — Selected Findings (July 30, 2019):

Undergirding the strength of these employment outcomes in part, however, is a smaller class rather than more jobs. For the fifth year in a row the employment rate has been shaped by a smaller number of jobs and a smaller graduating class size. The employment rate has risen not only because of an expanding economy and a strong large law firm market, but also because of the fall in the size of the graduating class. The size of the 2018 grad­uating class was almost 27% smaller than the historically large Class of 2013. During the same period the number of jobs secured by the graduating class has dropped by nearly 21% from the high measured for the Class of 2013. In very simple terms, the rise in the employment rate can be explained by the fact that the size of the graduating class has fallen faster than the number of jobs secured.

NALP 1

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July 31, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Law Profs' Professional Decline Comes (Much) Sooner Than You Think: Age 50 In Scholarship, 70s In Teaching

The Atlantic, Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think; Here’s How To Make the Most Of It.:

AtlanticIt was the summer of 2015, shortly after my 51st birthday. ... [M]y professional life was going very well. I was the president of a flourishing Washington think tank, the American Enterprise Institute. I had written some best-selling books. People came to my speeches. My columns were published in The New York Times.

But I had started to wonder: Can I really keep this going? I work like a maniac. But even if I stayed at it 12 hours a day, seven days a week, at some point my career would slow and stop. And when it did, what then? Would I one day be looking back wistfully and wishing I were dead? Was there anything I could do, starting now, to give myself a shot at avoiding misery—and maybe even achieve happiness—when the music inevitably stops?

Though these questions were personal, I decided to approach them as the social scientist I am, treating them as a research project. It felt unnatural—like a surgeon taking out his own appendix. But I plunged ahead, and for the past four years, I have been on a quest to figure out how to turn my eventual professional decline from a matter of dread into an opportunity for progress.

Here’s what I’ve found.

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July 30, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Monday, July 29, 2019

University Of Alaska Declares Financial Exigency, Paving The Way For Program Cuts, Tenured Faculty Layoffs

Chronicle of Higher Education, University of Alaska Regents Vote to Declare Financial Exigency:

AlaskaThe University of Alaska’s Board of Regents declared financial exigency on Monday, calling it a sad but necessary step given the budget crisis created by a 41-percent cut in the university’s budget from the state.

The vote was 10 to 1 in favor of the declaration, which system leaders said was needed to allow the system to downsize rapidly. That could include closing programs and laying off tenured faculty members.

“It’s hard for me to contemplate the path we may have to go down,” said John Davies, the board’s chairman. “But we do have a fiduciary responsibility to be sure the institution survives. Unfortunately, I think we’re grappling with survival.” ...

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July 29, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Harvard Law Professor Bruce Hay: 'The Most Gullible Man In Cambridge'

Check out this bizarre, fascinating New York Magazine piece on Bruce Hay, a Harvard Law Professor: The Most Gullible Man in Cambridge.

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July 29, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Five Days Before The Bar Exam, California Bar Inadvertently Released The Topics Covered On The Exam

Ca Bar 2

State Bar Email

State Bar 5

State Bar of California, Bar Exam Topics Release FAQs:

  • What happened? ...
  • Does this impact the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) as well? ...
  • Was this a systems or human error? ...
  • Why did only 16 deans get the memo? ...
  • Which deans got the memo? ...
  • What led to the decision to release the topics to all applicants? ...
  • Did the State Bar consider changing the topics for the exam? ...
  • Did the State Bar consider postponing the exam? ...
  • How will this event affect the scoring of the exam? ...
  • What measures is the State Bar taking in the aftermath of this error? ...

Derek Muller (Pepperdine), California's Leak of Bar Exam Topics Should Have Little If Any Impact on Likelihood of Passing:

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July 28, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Receiver Seeks Court Approval Of Sale Of Western State Law School

Lyle Moran, Rapid Approval Of Western State College Of Law Sale Is Sought:

Western State LogoA receiver has filed an emergency motion seeking approval for the sale of Western State College of Law to Westcliff University, both of which are in Orange County.

The future of the law school in Irvine, Calif., has been uncertain for months as a result of its parent company’s financial woes that led to the receivership currently playing out in Ohio federal court.

Receiver Mark Dottore said his July 24 motion was filed on an emergency basis because there are deadlines quickly approaching that must be met for Western State to keep operating.

“The school cannot continue as an educational institution for even a short time without financial assistance, and there is no one to provide it,” Dottore’s motion states. “Thus, time is of the essence for the court’s approval of the sale.

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July 28, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 27, 2019

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Amy Wax Controversy Drags Penn Law Into Free-Speech Dilemma

Law.com, Amy Wax Controversy Drags Penn Law Into Free-Speech Dilemma:

WaxFew people seem satisfied with Penn Law's latest response to the professor's comments, highlighting the fraught nature of free-speech issues for deans and other administrators who must balance competing pressures.

University of Pennsylvania Law School Dean Ted Ruger found himself in a familiar spot last week—caught between outraged students demanding sanctions against Amy Wax for what they view as her racist public comments and free-speech advocates who believe that the controversial professor has a right to air her views, however offensive.

Ruger had been in a similar position at least twice in the past two years when Wax published op-eds and gave interviews that were widely perceived as denigrating immigrants and black students at the law school.

The dean has taken a middle-of-the-road approach with Wax, and in the latest incident issued a statement condemning her comments as racist. He also said that they do not reflect the law school’s position, but did not take formal action against her. Penn Law said Wax will be taking a previously planned sabbatical during the upcoming school year, however.

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July 27, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

41 Law Schools Now Accept The GRE For Admissions (The Latest Are Seattle And Yale)

GRESeattle and Yale are the latest law school to accept the GRE (joining American, Arizona, Boston University, Brooklyn, Buffalo, BYU, Cardozo, Chicago, Chicago-Kent, Columbia, Cornell, Dayton, Florida International, Florida State, George Mason, Georgetown, Harvard, Hawaii, John Marshall (Chicago), Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Northwestern, Notre Dame, NYU, Pace, Pennsylvania, Pepperdine, South Carolina, St. John's, Suffolk, Texas, Texas A&M, UC-Irvine, UC-Davis, UCLA, USC, Virginia, Wake Forest, and Washington University).

Georgia and Penn State (University Park) allow students enrolled in a dual degree program at the university to submit the GRE. (George Washington has rescinded its use of the GRE because it has not done a school-specific validation study.)  A non-U.S. law school — Hamd Bin Khalifa University Law School (Qatar), in partnership with Northwestern — also accepts the GRE.

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July 27, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Friday, July 26, 2019

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Hyphens In Paper Titles Harm Citation Counts

IHE 2American Association for the Advancement of Science, Hyphens in Paper Titles Harm Citation Counts and Journal Impact Factors:

According to the latest research results, the presence of simple hyphens in the titles of academic papers adversely affects the citation statistics, regardless of the quality of the articles. The phenomenon applies to all major subject areas. Thus, citation counts and journal impact factors, commonly used for professorial evaluations in universities worldwide, are unreliable.

This breakthrough finding poses a fundamental challenge to the rule of the game in determining the contributions of papers, journals, and professors. It is unveiled in a paper titled Metamorphic Robustness Testing: Exposing Hidden Defects in Citation Statistics and Journal Impact Factors by Zhi Quan Zhou, T.H. Tse, and Matt Witheridge, recently published in IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, the top journal in the field. ...

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July 26, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

The Seven Leadership Secrets Of Great Team Captains

Wall Street Journal op-ed: The Seven Leadership Secrets of Great Team Captains, by Sam Walker (author, The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams (2018)):

Captain ClassLet’s imagine that Dr. Frankenstein gave you the keys to his laboratory and that it was your mission to build the perfect captain for a sports team. Maybe you would start with the donor body of a freak talent—a superstar with transcendent skills and abundant charisma. You’d then probably want to inject qualities such as eloquence, diplomacy, institutional fealty and dedication to the highest principles of sportsmanship.

Conventional wisdom suggests that these are the key traits of a superior captain. But are they really?

Some years ago, I set out to identify the greatest teams in sports history across the world, from the National Basketball Association to international field hockey, and to see what, if anything, they had in common. In the end, only 16 unambiguously outstanding teams made the cut. The list included several teams that were familiar to me and some that weren’t.

They all had just one shared characteristic: Their long streaks of dominance either began or ended—and in many cases overlapped precisely—with the tenure of one player. And in every case, this player was, or eventually became, the captain.

The men and women who led these teams were surprisingly similar to one another, but their skills, personalities and leadership styles were not at all what I expected. The qualities they shared were not the ones I would have installed in Frankenstein’s laboratory. Some, in fact, were traits I would have rejected.

It occurred to me that in sports—and perhaps in other fields where teamwork matters, from business, politics and the military to science and the arts—we’ve been choosing the wrong people to lead us. The captains whom I identified had seven traits in common:

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July 26, 2019 in Book Club, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Let Professors Rather Than Administrators Run Universities

Inside Higher Ed op-ed:  Let the Professors Run the University, by Samuel J. Abrams (Sarah Lawrence):

When the past academic year began, I warned that professors have ceded ground to a growing and powerful class of student-facing administrators who not only shape considerable academic discourse at colleges and universities but also are dangerous to the promotion of deliberative dialogue. Those administrators -- in offices such as student life and residential education -- are overwhelmingly liberal and have fostered the creation of a progressive and activist monoculture among students on many campuses with their extracurricular agenda-setting power.

Now that the academic year has come to a close, my warning appears to have rung true as a week would hardly go by without protests over institutional policies, activist demands to force curricular and faculty changesregular threats and incidents of violence, and the disinviting of speakers. While some colleges and universities like Johns Hopkins University took a stand against activism run amok, many -- such as Harvard University and my own, Sarah Lawrence College -- have capitulated more to student demands and ignorant mob rule.

So the question now is what can be done to improve the chances of having students in higher education genuinely embrace viewpoint diversity and debate ideas? My answer is quite simple: faculty members need to reassert themselves as the ones who direct discourse on college and university campuses both inside and outside the classroom. The bloated administrative bureaucracy must be checked.

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July 24, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

More On Mental Health In Big Law

Following up on my previous posts:

Above the Law, Sidley Still Thinks They Handled Partner’s Suicide Correctly. His Widow Disagrees.:

SidleyThe death by suicide of Sidley Austin partner Gabe MacConaill continues to rock the world of Biglaw. Not only did he die in a dramatic fashion — his body was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the firm’s parking garage — but after his death, his widow, Joanna Litt, wrote a provocative op-ed titled Big Law Killed My Husband. That one-two punch put a lot of attention on the stresses of Biglaw and the mental health and services available in the industry.

Now MacConaill’s death has become part of a larger conversation. Financial Times has written an article about mental health issues in the workplace, and MacConaill is featured in the story. ... [I]n the FT article, Litt doubles down on holding the firm to account for the events that led up to her husband’s death, and is angry at the firm’s lack of a robust response since MacConaill died.

American Lawyer, What Happened After This Big Law Attorney Told the World About His Depression:

Reed SmithLet’s rewind for a moment to February 12, 2019. Around 2:30 pm that day, The American Lawyer published an article chronicling my journey with mental health disabilities (more particularly, severe depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety.) I ruminated on the panoply of possible responses. Would I be labeled “that crazy Reed Smith lawyer” or perhaps “the attorney who spewed almost 2,000 words on his ‘mental breakdown’”? How would clients and colleagues perceive me? Would anyone even read the article?

Almost five months later, however, it would not be an exaggeration to say that “going public” with my story has changed my life—for the better—and hopefully the lives, or mindsets, of others as well (even if only incrementally).

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July 24, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Pepperdine Law School Seeks To Hire Development Director

PEPPERDINE CAMPUS WITH LOGO (2019)Pepperdine Law recently hired Rebecca Malzahn as our new Assistant Vice Chancellor and Senior Director of Development. We are seeking to round out our law school development team by hiring a Director of our Law Associates Program, with responsibility for raising gifts in the $1,000 to $25,000 range. This is an exciting time to join Pepperdine Law and help build on our success over the past two years in raising over $20 million in new endowment gifts (the most in any two-year period in our law school's 50-year history) as we continue our rise:

Director, Law Associates:

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July 24, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Robert Morse Of U.S. News Receives Lifetime Ranker Achievement Award

Robert Morse Honored with Lifetime Ranker Achievement Award:

Morse (Robert)Robert Morse Received the “Lifetime Ranker Achievement Award” from the IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence at their 2019 conference in May in Bologna, Italy. Morse has been at the helm of the U.S. News & World Report Education rankings since 1987. Over the last three decades, Morse led the expansion of U.S. News’ flagship Best Colleges rankings from a reputation survey to a data-driven evaluation of 1,800 schools across the country.

Additionally, U.S. News Education rankings now span from high school to graduate programs. These include the Best High Schools rankings, Best Graduate Schools, Best Online Programs and Best Global Universities. U.S. News also offers its millions of users year-round editorial content and advice on topics such as finding the right collegeapplying to graduate degree programs and paying for online education.

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July 24, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

U.S. News Requests University Of Oklahoma President And Board Chair To Certify Accuracy Of Its Rankings Data For Next Three Years

U.S. News Generic RankingsFollowing up on my previous posts:

Robert Morse (Director of Data Research, U.S. News & World Report), U.S. News Requests Data Certification From University of Oklahoma Chairman and President:

U.S. News has asked both of the university’s top officials to certify the data submitted for the next three years of Best Colleges rankings.

U.S. News & World Report was told by the University of Oklahoma that it submitted inflated alumni giving data to U.S. News for many years. Oklahoma University also disclosed to U.S. News that, for many years, Oklahoma University’s Health Sciences Center’s data was incorrectly included with Oklahoma University's data reported to U.S. News for our Best Colleges rankings.

In light of both these misreporting issues, U.S. News has asked Oklahoma University's Chairman of the Board of Regents Leslie Rainbolt and Oklahoma University's president, Joseph Harroz Jr. to provide a letter certifying the accuracy of Oklahoma University's data in its data submissions to U.S. News for the next three Best Colleges rankings.

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July 23, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

How To Make Bar Exams Great Again: Require State Bar Officials To Take And Pass It Each Year

Ilya Somin (George Mason), How to Make Bar Exams Great Again:

MBEThis month, many of my former students will be going through the painful drudgery of studying for and taking the bar exam, as will many other recent law school graduates. Last year, my co-blogger  Orin Kerr, wrote a post recounting his experience the California bar exam at the age of 46. The whole thing is worth reading. But I wish to highlight this part:

I know it's crazy stressful now. But it will be over soon, and when it is over you can forget everything you just learned.

The reason why you can "forget everything" immediately after the exam is that very little of  the material on it actually needed to practice law. It's a massive memorization test that functions as a barrier to entry, not a genuine test of professional competence. That strengthens the case for my  view that the bar exam should simply be abolished. But if that isn't feasible, there is also my "modest proposal" for bar exam reform. I first wrote it up ten years ago. But I believe it remains just as relevant today:

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July 23, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Adjuncts At California Colleges May Be Required To Use Time-Cards Absent A Legislative Fix

Inside Higher Ed, Time Cards for Adjuncts?:

Punch InCalifornia's private colleges and universities could all be forced to move to time-card system for adjuncts — unless a legislative fix is successful.

It’s not every day that colleges and universities and their adjuncts wholeheartedly agree on something. But legislation in California regarding the exempt status of adjunct workers has the backing of both the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities and the Service Employees International Union.

If successful, the legislation will prevent a number of private institutions from asking adjuncts to fill out time cards to avoid violating labor law on overtime.

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July 23, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 22, 2019

How The Recession Forced Law Schools To Reimagine Their Role In Students' Careers

American Lawyer LogoAmerican Lawyer, How the Recession Forced Law Schools to Reimagine Their Role in Students' Careers:

The number of entry-level legal jobs fell more than 23% between 2007 and 2018. Entry-level associate hiring by law firms plunged 40% in 2009 alone and has yet to return to its prerecession level. Big Law—and the elite schools that send graduates to those large firms—were hit the hardest. But the recession created a trickle-down phenomenon that touched regional, mid-tier and lower-tier schools as well. ...

Law schools had weathered economic downturns before, but the scope of the 2008 recession presented new challenges. More law students and graduates than ever were seeking work, and the speed at which law firms shed jobs and rolled back hiring was staggering.

The impact of the recession was keenly felt for at least three years. Many members of the classes that graduated in 2008 and 2009 saw their permanent associate job offers deferred or rescinded, meaning they could not start their firm jobs for a year or more after expected, if at all. Meanwhile, the class of 2010 was in the middle of the 2008 summer associate on-campus recruiting process when the bottom fell out of the economy. Schools on the tail end of the interview season were left out in the cold.

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July 22, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

As Whittier Law School Prepares To Close, Dean Tries To Soften Blow For Students

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  ABA Journal, Closing Time: As Whittier Law School Prepares to Close, its Dean Tries to Soften the Blow for Students:

WhittierWhen Rudy Hasl became interim dean at Whittier Law School several months after the April 2017 announcement the school would be gradually closing, he said many students were still consumed with anger and grief about the unsettling news.

The longtime legal educator responded by arranging for a psychologist to come to the law school’s Orange County campus once a week to meet with students, and the free counseling that began in fall 2017 has continued since.

The initiative is one example of how Hasl has worked to carry out the closure of the American Bar Association-accredited law school in the least painful manner for students, while also providing a mix of new educational opportunities for the aspiring lawyers who remained at Whittier. ...

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

July 22, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Jerk Partners Beget Jerk Partners: Ending Big Law's Cycle Of Dysfunction

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Law.com, Jerk Partners Beget Jerk Partners: Ending Big Law's Cycle of Dysfunction:

The JerkAre you a jerk partner? If so, we’re betting there’s a supervising attorney in your past whom you’re channeling.

In today’s episode, we talk about the cycle of dysfunction in which terrible-boss behavior is passed down from generation to generation inside law firms. It goes something like this: Because it was difficult for you, you’re going to make it difficult for those below you.

To talk about the phenomenon are Kathleen Pearson, chief human resources officer at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, and Patrick Krill, founder of Krill Strategies, a consultancy that works with law firms on mental health and substance abuse issues.

We explore how being on the receiving end of toxic behavior has an impact on attorney mental health, including problems with depression, anxiety and substance abuse. We also consider how such behavior can indicate a mental health challenge experienced by the partner behaving poorly.

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July 21, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Report Recommends Sweeping Changes At Maine Law School

Following up on my previous post, Maine’s Only Law School Enters A Period of Transition: Portland Press-Herald, Report Recommends Sweeping Changes at UMaine Law School:

Maine LogoA report released Friday calls for sweeping changes at the University of Maine School of Law, including the addition of new faculty and administrative positions, expansion of course offerings and an overhaul of governance and operational practices [Committee to Advise on the Future Direction of the Law School, Report to the Board of Trustees of the University of Maine System (July 15, 2019)].

The report, commissioned by the University of Maine System and board of trustees in February, recommends that the law school enter a three-year transition period during which the changes could take place and that it do so quickly.

“Maine (School of Law) has already begun to cannibalize core functions in order to balance budget priorities,” the report says. “If Maine is to have a law school, then it must be repositioned within three years, funded and led by a skilled team as soon as possible.”

University officials Friday did not have an exact figure on how much it would cost to implement the wide-ranging recommendations of the report, but James Erwin, chairman of the UMaine System Board of Trustees, estimated it would require “millions of dollars at least.” ...

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July 21, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Saturday, July 20, 2019

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Friday, July 19, 2019

Teaching With Feminist Judgments: A Global Conversation

Bridget Crawford (Pace), Kathryn Stanchi (UNLV), Linda Berger (UNLV), Gabrielle Appleby (New South Wales), Susan Appleton (Washington University), Ross Astoria (Wisconsin), Sharon Cowan (Edinburgh), Rosalind Dixon (New South Wales), Troy Lavers (Leicester), Andrea McArdle (CUNY), Elisabeth McDonald (Canterbury), Teri McMurtry-Chubb (Mercer), Vanessa Munro & Pam Wilkins (Detroit Mercy), Teaching with Feminist Judgments: A Global Conversation, 38 Law & Ineq. ___ (2020):

Feminist JudgmentsThis conversational-style essay is an exchange among fourteen professors—representing thirteen universities across five countries—with experience teaching with feminist judgments. Feminist judgments are “shadow” court decisions rewritten from a feminist perspective, using only the precedent in effect and the facts known at the time of the original decision. Scholars in Canada, England, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland, India and Mexico have published (or are currently producing) written collections of feminist judgments that demonstrate how feminist perspectives could have changed the legal reasoning or outcome (or both) in important legal cases.

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July 19, 2019 in Book Club, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Burk: The State Of The Entry-Level Law-Jobs Market And Its Implications For The Future Of Legal Education

Following up on my previous post, Bernard A. Burk (formerly North Carolina), The New Normal Ten Years In: The Job Market For New Lawyers Today And What It Means For The Legal Academy Tomorrow, 12 FIU L. Rev. 341 (2019):

Bernard A. Burk (formerly North Carolina), New Study on the State of the Entry-Level Law-Jobs Market and its Implications:

Part I: Where the Job Market for New Law Graduates is Today:

After a lengthy and precipitous drop that began after 2007, the number of strongly law-grounded entry-level jobs obtained by new law graduates within ten months of graduation finally appears to have levelled out. ... Why, then, you may well ask, is there persistent talk of the entry-level job market’s purported improvement, and even suggestions that it is “hot”?  (NALP, to its credit, has been more nuanced than the industry press.)  Well, the percentage of new graduates obtaining a Law Job has risen steadily since 2011.  And how can the portion of the graduating class getting a Law Job increase while the number of Law Jobs falls?  Easy:  The number of students graduating law school has been falling faster than the number of Law Jobs.  Here’s a picture:

Burke 1

Part II: What the Market is, and What the ABA is Not, Telling Us about “JD Advantage” Placements:

As Bar Passage Required jobs become more available (not because they increase in number, but because the number of graduates seeking them starts falling faster than the number of Law Jobs is falling), the number of JD Advantage placements begins to fall again. Here’s a picture:

Burk 2

Part III: The Future of the Entry-Level Law-Jobs Market:

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July 18, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Five Years After Dan Markel's Murder, Journey To Justice Continues

Tallahassee Democrat, Murder Milestone: 5 Years After Dan Markel Was Gunned Down, Journey to Justice Continues:

Markel 3The last conversation Dan Markel had was about his two boys.

Five years ago today, the Florida State law professor — at 41, already a renown legal scholar — was on his cellphone with a friend and teacher at the School of Arts and Science talking about where the preschoolers should start kindergarten.

Where the boys would go to school was yet another point of contention between Markel and his ex-wife Wendi Adelson, also a lawyer and FSU professor. Even after they were divorced, their acrimony continued to play out in vicious legal battles over the boys' parenting.

That Friday morning, at about 11 a.m., Markel was returning to his single-story brick home on Trescott Drive in Betton Hills. He'd started the day a little before 9 a.m., dropping Ben and Lincoln off at Creative Preschool on Tharpe Street. He then hit Premier Fitness in Market Square, where he worked out for about 90 minutes.

He drove home south down Thomasville Road, and was still talking on the phone when he pulled his black Honda Accord into the garage. He remained behind the wheel for a few minutes continuing the conversation about Wendi trying to enroll the boys at the school without his knowledge.

“Hold on a second," Markel told his friend. "There is someone in my driveway that is unfamiliar to me."

Those were his last words.

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July 18, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Blog Must Go On For This Law Dean

Law.com, The Blog Must Go On for This Law Dean:

Caron Headshot Cropped (2019)Pepperdine University Law Dean Paul Caron reflects on his two years of running a law school while also publishing his widely read TaxProf Blog, which chronicles legal education's biggest stories.

Paul Caron—legal education’s so-called Blog Emperor—took the reins at Pepperdine University School of Law in 2017, and his two years as dean have been a remarkable ride.

Things got off to a rough start in the spring of 2018 when the school was removed from the U.S. News & World Report rankings after Pepperdine discovered a mistake in the data it submitted that artificially increased its ranking and reported it to the publication. (Pepperdine returned to the ranking this year, moving up from its previous No. 72 to No. 51).

The challenges didn’t end there. In November, a Pepperdine law student was present at a nearby music venue when an armed man opened fire, killing 12. The law student was unharmed but the massacre, in which a Pepperdine undergraduate died, shook the Malibu, California, campus. A day later, the so-called Woolsey Fire tore through the area and came close to leveling the campus. The law school was spared, but closed for more than two weeks in the aftermath.

Through it all, Caron maintained his role as the town crier of legal education with his TaxProf Blog, which aggregates news about tax law and law schools. The 15-year-old blog is a must-read for legal educators and has become an important tool to raise Pepperdine’s profile and stature in the academy. Caron posts stories about events and initiatives at Pepperdine, not to mention plenty of photos of its seaside campus. Law.com caught up with Caron this week to discuss juggling the blog with his dean duties and why he hasn’t given TaxProf Blog up. His answers have been edited for length and clarity.

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July 18, 2019 in About This Blog, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Pepperdine Tax, Tax, Tax News | Permalink | Comments (6)