Paul L. Caron

Monday, March 8, 2021

Call For Proposals: Legal Writing Institute Symposium On Artificial Intelligence And The Legal Profession

The Legal Writing Institute has issued a Call for Proposals:

GraphicThe Legal Writing Institute and The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute invite proposals for their virtual symposium on Artificial Intelligence and the Legal Profession, scheduled for Friday, September 24, and Saturday, September 25, 2021, and hosted by Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.

Symposium Topic
The symposium will bring together legal scholars, practicing lawyers, technology experts, and others to discuss how rapidly developing technologies are affecting legal research and writing processes, the practice of law generally, the ethics of practice, legal education, and access to justice. We anticipate a combination of single speaker presentations and panel presentations.

We invite proposals for a variety of presentations, including but not limited to

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March 8, 2021 in Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

John Carroll To Permit Firing Of Tenured Faculty If University Faces 'Financial Hardship' — 6% Budget Shortfall

Inside Higher Education, John Carroll U Dramatically Alters Tenure:

John CarrollCiting budget issues, John Carroll University fundamentally alters tenure — to the point that professors say it and academic freedom no longer exist.

Numerous institutions have laid off tenured faculty members for budgetary reasons in the last year without declaring financial exigency, as their internal policies would typically require. The temporary workaround is COVID-19 and the financial precarity it presents.

John Carroll University, a small Jesuit institution in Ohio, already delivered terminal contracts to two tenured professors of art history and eliminated the department without declaring financial exigency. Now it’s going further, permanently lowering the bar for what constitutes the kind of budget problems that allow for tenured faculty layoffs.

Whereas financial exigency means a budget crisis that threatens an institution’s survival, John Carroll now says it can fire individual tenured faculty members without cause in cases of “budgetary hardship.” This is defined as a projected — not final — annual budget deficit of 6 percent, plus two more years of foreseen challenges.

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March 8, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

New York Joins Eleven Other Jurisdictions (Thus Far) In Holding Online July 2021 Bar Exam, With 10,000 Applicant Cap

Bar Exam

New York State Board of Law Examiners Notices (Updated March 5, 2021) (FAQs):

July 2021 Bar Examination
On February 2, 2021, the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) announced that it will make a full set of Uniform Bar Exam materials available for a remote examination in July 2021. Although vaccinations are now available and the number of COVID-19 cases is decreasing, the COVID-19 pandemic has not abated sufficiently to permit the Board of Law Examiners to safely conduct in-person testing of large numbers of bar applicants in New York. Therefore, in order to provide sufficient notice to prospective bar exam applicants, the July 2021 New York Bar Examination will be administered remotely.

Application to the July 27-28, 2021 bar examination will be open to all eligible applicants. However, the Board will cap the number of applications at 10,000. The application filing period for the July 27-28, 2021 New York bar examination is April 1–30, 2021. The application will close on April 30, 2021 or when the 10,000 cap is reached. Applicants shall apply through their BOLE Account in the Applicant Services Portal.

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March 8, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Sunday, March 7, 2021

To Tackle Vaccine Hesitancy, Philanthropy Must Get Over Its Religion Hesitancy

Chronicle of Philanthropy, To Tackle Vaccine Hesitancy, Philanthropy Must Get Over Its Religion Hesitancy:

VaccineRepublicans, Black Americans, Latinos, and predominantly white rural residents have two surprising things in common: They are more distrustful of the Covid-19 vaccine than other Americans, and they are also more religious. At this critical moment for battling the coronavirus, we need to leverage the second attribute to help address the first.

Large philanthropic organizations have rarely taken full advantage of the nation’s vast network of religious institutions to meet their goals. Faith-based nonprofits receive just 2 percent of all grant dollars from the top 15 private foundations, according to a recent report by the Bridgespan Group. It’s time to break that pattern.

As vaccine supplies catch up with demand, the biggest threat to reaching herd immunity will be getting them off shelves and into willing arms. During this narrow window of opportunity, philanthropy needs to get over its hesitancy to support religious organizations and work with health care institutions, local congregations, and faith-based nonprofits to build trust in the vaccine and create safe spaces for the most hesitant to receive shots.

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March 7, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, March 6, 2021

College And Law Students Under Age 25 To Get 3 Stimulus Checks Totaling $3,200; Experts Advise Them To Invest In A Roth-IRA

Lynnley Browning (Financial Planning), College Students May Score 3 COVID Stimulus Checks. Here's How.:

The pandemic stimulus package that’s muscling towards the finish line contains a powerful financial boost that can jumpstart wealth-building for young adults.

Under the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill passed by the House on Feb. 27, checks of up to $1,400 would flow to middle- and modest-income taxpayers. And unlike previous rounds of stimulus checks, the bill would also provide money for dependents aged 17 to 24.

That means millions of college students and other young adults are on track to get a nice chunk of change.

It gets even better: Some college students and other young adults may also be able to claim up to an additional $1,800 from the two prior stimulus programs. Among the eligible: those who graduated last year and are now in the workforce (or not) and filing their own tax returns, or those who turned 24 last year, can retroactively claim the two prior stimulus payments ($1,200 and $600) when they file their taxes this year. ...

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March 6, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Katherine Magbanua May Be Retried In The Fall For Dan Markel's Murder

WCTV, Magbanua Retrial Likely This Fall:

Magnauba (2021)Katherine Magbanua, one of three people accused in the murder of FSU Law Professor Dan Markel, could stand trial this fall.

Magbanua was originally scheduled to be retried in April 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed her case and thousands more.

Circuit Judge Robert Wheeler said in a hearing Thursday that he wants to set a tentative trial date. He proposed a two-week trial in July, but the defense requested a trial after Labor Day due to health concerns. ...

Judge Wheeler is planning to check his calendar and is aiming for a trial date in September or October. He set another case management hearing for May 6 in hopes of setting a realistic date then.

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March 6, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, March 5, 2021

Pepperdine Caruso Law Hosts Inaugural Belonging Awards

Pepperdine Caruso Law Hosts Inaugural Belonging Awards:

Pepperdine Caruso Law hosted its inaugural "Belonging Awards" on February 25. The evening virtual ceremony celebrated the diversity of Caruso Law's alumni, students, faculty, and staff. In the first of its kind event, members of the Caruso Law community shared their inspiring stories and how they are taking action to make diversity and belonging a priority in their studies, workplace, and life. Among the award recipients, Caruso Law honored several alumni who have made a significant impact on diversity and belonging in the legal community.

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March 5, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, March 4, 2021

'A Year Like No Other': Top Law Schools Are Inundated With Strong Applicants

Following up on Monday's post, Two-Thirds Of The Way Through The Fall 2021 Law School Admissions Cycle: Applications Are Up At 97% Of Law Schools, With Biggest Increases Among The Highest LSAT Bands:  Karen Sloan (, 'A Year Like No Other': Top Law Schools Are Inundated With Strong Applicants:

A surge of applicants—particularly among those with high scores on the Law School Admission Test—has made this one of the most competitive admission cycles in decades, and law schools are scrambling to adjust to the influx of wannabe lawyers.

As of early March, 55,166 people had applied to law school for the 2021-22 academic year, which is an increase of more than 20% from this time a year ago. Should that increase hold steady through the remainder of the cycle, it would be the largest year-over-year growth in the past two decades.

The applicant increase this cycle is especially pronounced among high LSAT scorers. The number of applicants with LSAT scores of 165-169 was up nearly 27%; scores of 170-174 were up more than 53%; and the highest score band of 175-180 was up an astounding 99%. (LSAT scores range from a low of 120 to a high of 180.) The number of applicants is also up among every racial category tracked by the Law School Admission Council, noted the organization’s president Kellye Testy. Black applicants are up more than 24%, while Latinx applicants are up 20%. ...

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March 4, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

J. Goosby Smith Named Vice President For Community Belonging And Chief Diversity Officer At Pepperdine

J. Goosby Smith Named Vice President For Community Belonging And Chief Diversity Officer At Pepperdine University:

CDO 2Pepperdine University announced today its long-anticipated selection of the University’s inaugural vice president for community belonging and chief diversity officer, Dr. J. Goosby Smith.

Smith will join Pepperdine on June 1, 2021, from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, where she currently serves as associate professor of leadership; associate professor of management; assistant provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion; and director of the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Center.

Smith received her BS in computer science from Spelman College and her MBA and PhD in organizational behavior from Case Western Reserve University. She anticipates earning her master of divinity from Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, in December 2021.

“What an honor it is today to announce Dr. Smith is returning to the Pepperdine community,” said Pepperdine president Jim Gash. “I’m especially grateful to the Search Committee for identifying an amazing and experienced leader. I simply cannot wait to work alongside Dr. Smith as we chart a distinctively Pepperdine path forward addressing one of the great issues of our time. Our goal isn’t just to have a community of belonging but to train generations of graduates to create the same in their own communities.”

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March 4, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Academic Freedom Is Withering On College Campuses

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  Academic Freedom Is Withering, by Eric Kaufmann (Birkbeck College, University of London):

Academic freedom is in crisis on American campuses. Last year, the National Association of Scholars recorded 65 instances of professors being disciplined or fired for protected speech, a fivefold increase from the year before. Yet many of academia’s defenders brush aside worries about dismissal campaigns and the lack of ideological diversity as little more than a collection of anecdotes cherry-picked to feed a right-wing moral panic.

My new report for the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology gives the lie to these claims. Based on eight comprehensive surveys of academic and graduate-student opinion across the U.S., Canada and Britain, it buttresses the findings of numerous studies to provide hard data on the absence of viewpoint diversity and presence of discrimination against conservative and gender-critical scholars. ...

Some 75% of American and British conservative academics in social sciences and humanities say their departments offer a hostile climate for their beliefs. Nearly 4 in 10 American centrist faculty concur.


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March 4, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Higher Ed’s Misguided Purging Of Trump Supporters

Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  Higher Ed’s Misguided Purging of Trump Supporters, by Jonathan Zimmerman (Pennsylvania):

In 1948, President Edmund Ezra Day of Cornell explained why his institution would never hire a Communist on its faculty. “It is a part of the established technique of Communistic activity to resort to deceit and treachery,” Day wrote. “A man who belongs to the Communist Party and who follows the party line, is thereby disqualified from participating in a free, honest inquiry after truth, and from belonging on a university faculty devoted to the search for truth.”

Plug in “Trump supporter” for “Communist,” and you get a pretty good sense of what’s happening on our campuses right now. Students and faculty are demanding that universities sever ties with anyone who worked in the Trump administration or backed President Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. And the rationale is the same one that was used against Communists and so-called fellow travelers during the Cold War: They don’t believe in democracy, so they don’t belong at a university devoted to it.

But that perverts the democratic ideal, all in the guise of preserving it. The real threat isn’t a horde of evil Trumpers clamoring at our gates. It’s our quest to root out the enemies of democracy, which never ends well for the university. ...

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March 3, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

The Rise Of The Mega-University

Chronicle of Higher Education, The Rise of the Mega-University:

At a time when many colleges are struggling with shrinking enrollment and tighter budgets, Southern New Hampshire is thriving on a grand scale, and it’s not alone. Liberty, Grand Canyon, and Western Governors Universities, along with a few other nonprofit institutions, have built huge online enrollments and national brands in recent years by subverting many of traditional higher education’s hallmarks. Western Governors has 88,585 undergraduates, according to U.S. Education Department data, more than the top 14 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings combined.


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March 2, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Legislation Would Force Iowa Universities To Hold In-Person Graduation

The Gazette, Republican Bill Would Force Iowa Universities to Hold In-Person Graduation:

IowaAlthough the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa already announced their upcoming commencement ceremonies will be virtual — and are well into planning them — a Republican lawmaker is sponsoring a bill requiring Iowa’s public universities to hold in-person spring graduations.

House Study Bill 246, proposed this week by Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, would force the regent universities to hold traditional in-person spring commencement ceremonies during the regularly scheduled times in May and June — two and three months from now.

The bill requires the campuses allow at least two guests per graduate — which could mean many thousands at some of the larger ceremonies, like for undergraduates of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. ...

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March 2, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, March 1, 2021

The Bob Morse Milestone: 45 Years At U.S. News

U.S. News & World Report, The Bob Morse Milestone: 45 Years at U.S. News:

Morse (Robert)The average American high school student probably doesn't know who Bob Morse is, what he does or the outsize impact he has had on the lives of countless college-bound teenagers. On the flip side, Morse is a familiar figure to college and university leaders across the U.S., known for his work on the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings since 1987.

Morse joined U.S. News & World Report in 1976 as a member of the now-defunct economic unit. Morse, who remembers being the youngest member of his team then, conducted research that helped inform weekly features for the print magazine. In the years since, he experienced the company's shift online and has helmed various rankings franchises for decades.

Morse recently marked his 45th anniversary with U.S. News and spoke about his time at the company and the evolution of the rankings. Questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.

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March 1, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Two-Thirds Of The Way Through The Fall 2021 Law School Admissions Cycle: Applications Are Up At 97% Of Law Schools, With Biggest Increases Among The Highest LSAT Bands

We are now two-thirds of the way through Fall 2021 law school admissions season. The number of law school applicants reported by LSAC is up 20.9% compared to last year at this time.


193 of the 200 law schools are experiencing an increase in applications. Applications are up 50% or more at 23 law schools, and 30% or more at 89 law schools:


Applicants are up the most in New England (28.6%), Mountain West (24.2%), and Northwest (23.6%); and up the least in the Great Lakes (16.6%), South Central (18.3%), and Other (19.1%):


Applicants' LSAT scores are up 63.4% in the 170-180 band, 26.0% in the 160-169 band, 9.7% in the 150-159 band, and 4.7% in the 120-149 band:

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March 1, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

ABA: Four Law Schools Are Back In Compliance With 75% Bar Passage Accreditation Requirement

Sunday, February 28, 2021

BigLaw Eschews Recruiting At Lower Ranked HBCU Law Schools Despite Pledge To Hire More Black Associates

Law360, BigLaw Eyes HBCUs, But Rankings Mindset Still Prevails:

US News HCBULast year's widespread cries for racial justice in the U.S. resulted in an outpouring of commitment from law firms both to the advancement of racial justice and to their own, internal diversity and inclusion efforts.

That appears to have translated into more BigLaw recruiting activities at some of the nation's six law schools [District of Columbia, Florida A&M, Howard, North Carolina Central, Southern, Texas Southern] within historically Black colleges and universities, or HBCUs. But the interest appears to have been limited, and increased recruiting activity did not always translate into jobs.

Experts say most BigLaw firms are missing out as they eschew the HBCUs — with the exception of Howard University School of Law, the highest ranked among them — in favor of the handful of top-ranked law schools where they have historically recruited.

Jean Lee, president and CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, says she has long publicly lamented large law firms' preoccupation with recruiting at only a dozen or so top-ranked schools.

"All of the talented Black lawyers do not reside in the top 5% of law schools," Lee said. "It's a missed opportunity."

According to Carmia Caesar, Howard Law School assistant dean of career services, most large law firms, including 48 of the 50 largest in the U.S. by revenue, regularly recruit at her school.

Nonexhaustive law firm-reported data collected by the National Association for Law Placement, primarily capturing large firms, showed that 88 firms reported recruiting at Howard during the most recent on-campus season, while no more than four reported recruiting at each of the remaining five HBCU law schools. ...

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February 28, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

First Circuit Dismisses Former Miami Law Student's Libel Claim Against Above The Law For Unflattering Blog Post

ABove the LawThe U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on Friday affirmed a district court's dismissal [433 F.Supp.3d 102 (2020)] of former University of Miami law student's libel claim against Above the Law. See coverage by Eugene Volokh (UCLA):

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February 28, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, February 27, 2021

California Joins Seven Other Jurisdictions (Thus Far) In Holding Online July 2021 Bar Exam

NCBE July 2021 Bar Exam

Supreme Court of California, Administrative Order 2021-02-26 (En Banc Feb. 26, 2021):

The circumstances surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in California continue to severely limit the State Bar's ability to administer the General Bar Examination in the traditional mass, in-person format. Accordingly, the court hereby approves modifications to the standard schedule for the General Bar Examination as set out below.

The General Bar Examination will be administered online as a mostly remotely delivered exam over two consecutive days on Tuesday, July 27 and Wednesday, July 28, 2021. Utilizing reasonable pandemic-related precautions, the General Bar Examination will be administered in-person at the discretion of the State Bar to those applicants granted testing accommodations that cannot be effectively provided and securely administered in a remote environment, and for those with other extenuating circumstances that require them to take the test in-person rather than remotely.

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February 27, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

The Pandemic Threatens Summer Associate Programs—Again, Pandemic Puts Summer Associate Programs Into Question—Again:

Am Law 200 firm leaders say they’re capable of adapting their summer associates program to a virtual format in 2021, many for the second time, if too few people have received the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the summer to allow a safe return. But virtual is not their first choice.

Some large firms have committed to holding at least part of their program in the office. Others are still waiting to make a decision on format, and one large firm committed to holding no summer program at all. ...

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February 27, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Conflict Surrounds Charleston Law School Land Deal, With $13 Million At Stake

Post and Courier, Conflict Surrounds Charleston School of Law Land Deal, With Nearly $13M at Stake:

Charleston Logo (2017)When Charleston sold land to the for-profit Charleston School of Law 16 years ago, at a discount, the plan was for CSOL to build a school there, not flip the property to a hotel developer for a huge profit.

Now, with a $12,850,000 sale pending and a nine-story hotel planned on the property at Meeting and Woolfe streets, City Council has been delaying the sale. CSOL President Ed Bell calls it a “shakedown” and warns that the city could be sued.

“The city has lots of risks from being cute and smart about this,” said Bell, a Georgetown lawyer. “If you’re going to do a shakedown, you’d better be right.”

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February 25, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Why Would Iowa Want To Kill Tenure?

Chronicle of Higher Education, Why Would Iowa Want to Kill Tenure?:

IowaIowa’s Republican-controlled legislature is considering a bill to eliminate tenure at the state’s three public universities — Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa. The bill is nothing new; similar versions have been introduced for several years running, never to advance further than that. But this year, the bill passed a full committee vote for the first time.

The bill’s odds of passage are still slim. But it has put Iowa at the forefront of the decades-long battle against higher education by conservative legislators — an assault that may be supercharged by the cultural grievances of the Trump era. As in other states, Republican lawmakers argue that colleges are squelching views that don’t hew to progressive ideals of gender, racial, and economic equity.

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February 25, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Jennifer Lee Koh Joins Pepperdine Caruso Law Faculty

Pepperdine Caruso Law Welcomes Jennifer Lee Koh as an Associate Professor of Law:

Koh (2021)Pepperdine Caruso School of Law is pleased to welcome Jennifer Lee Koh as an Associate Professor of Law. Beginning this coming fall, Professor Koh will be teaching courses related to immigration law, criminal law, and ethics, as well as co-directing the Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics. She has previously taught at University of California, Irvine School of Law, University of Washington School of Law, Stanford Law School, and Western State College of Law.

Professor Koh's scholarship focuses on the convergence of the immigration enforcement and criminal legal systems. Her most recent article, Executive Defiance and the Deportation State, will be published in the Yale Law Journal. Her previous work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the Duke Law Journal OnlineFlorida Law ReviewNorth Carolina Law Review, Southern California Law Review, Stanford Law Review OnlineWashington University Law ReviewWisconsin Law Review, and Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, and has been cited by the United States Supreme Court.

Dean Paul Caron said "we're thrilled that Jennifer will be joining our faculty. She is an outstanding teacher, spectacular scholar, and wonderful colleague. When Jennifer visited campus as part of the recruiting process, she brought her husband, two young children, and parents -- we're delighted that they all will be part of our Pepperdine Caruso Law family."

Professor Koh was drawn to Pepperdine because of its Christian mission and commitment to integrating religious faith in legal education and the legal profession. She participated in three annual conferences hosted by the Nootbaar Institute and published an essay, Agape, Grace and Immigration Law: An Evangelical Perspective, in a book collection co-edited by Professor Bob Cochran.

"I'm honored to join the extraordinary community of faculty, staff, administrators and students at Pepperdine Caruso Law. I have long admired the law school's tradition of excellence in teaching and scholarship, commitment to global justice, and history of bringing faith-based perspectives to the law," said Professor Koh. "Pepperdine is the ideal place to pursue my calling to teach and write about law, which I aspire to do with the goal of seeking justice."

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February 24, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Are Social Justice And Tenure Compatible?

Chronicle of Higher Education, Are Social Justice and Tenure Compatible?:

As Harvard’s denial of tenure consideration for Cornel West shows, universities embrace activist rhetoric, but not activists.

With Cornel West’s recent request to be considered for tenure denied, the question academics should be asking themselves is not if they are tenurable, but if they even want to be. Last week West shared that he may leave Harvard because of the denial of his tenure-consideration request, and the academic (and nonacademic) world reacted with outrage, critique, and confusion (many assumed West already had tenure). Regardless of what you think of West’s politics and unsteady relationship with the academy, it’s clear that his body of work and legacy are worth tenure at any institution. The widespread assumption that West already had tenure was revealing: We intuitively believe obviously tenurable individuals would have tenure, a conviction that’s increasingly being challenged.

West’s case brings up recurring conversations on race, social justice, and tenure, and this discourse ranges from considerations of how to make tenure equitable to cases for the abolition of tenure.

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February 24, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

U.S. Tax Court's Tax Trailblazers: Loretta Collins Argrett

U.S. Tax Court's Diversity & Inclusion Series, Tax Trailblazers: Mentoring the Next Generation:

ArgrettPlease join the United States Tax Court in honoring Black History Month and kicking off the first in a series of monthly programs celebrating diversity and inclusion in tax law. Moderated by Chief Judge Maurice B. Foley, February’s webinar will focus on Loretta Collins Argrett and her path to—and success in—the field of tax law. Today at 7:00-8:15 PM EST (register here).

Loretta Collins Argrett graduated from Howard University with a B.S. degree in chemistry, with honors. Upon graduation, she received a Fellowship for summer study with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland whose Chief years later was awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry. When she returned to the States, she worked for several years as a research chemist at local U.S. government institutions and became the co-author, with senior researchers, of a few scientific publications. Then, she decided she wanted to become a lawyer and, with the support of her husband, applied to Harvard Law School where she was accepted. At the time, she was 35 years old and the mother of two children (13 and10 years), who also moved with her to new schools in the Boston area. She graduated in 1976, and the family moved back to their home in Maryland. She has had a trailblazing series of firsts in her tax law career:

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February 24, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

ABA Seeks Student Loan Debt Relief, Menstrual Equity On Bar Exam; Rejects CA, NY & NJ Deans' Request To Shift Final Jobs Reporting Date Due To COVID-19

Pepperdine Law Review Tribute To Professor Jim McGoldrick

Pepperdine Law Review (2021)

Following up on my previous posts (links below) on the tragic death of Jim McGoldrick, who died from COVID-19 in May 2020 after serving nearly fifty years on the Pepperdine Caruso Law faculty:  the Pepperdine Law Review dedicated its most recent issue, Vol. 48, No. 1 (Jan. 2021), to Jim with these tributes:

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February 23, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, February 22, 2021

LSAC Extends Online LSAT-Flex Through June 2022

LSAC, The LSAT — August 2021 & Beyond:

LSAC (2018)Given the expressed preferences of the substantial majority of test takers, LSAC is pleased to announce that we will continue to provide the LSAT in an online, live remote-proctored format through June 2022. Dates for the upcoming testing year are now available so that law school candidates may plan in advance for the timing that works best for them.

Registration for the August 2021-June 2022 LSAT administrations will open in mid-May 2021.

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February 22, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tulane Law Review's First Black Editor-In-Chief Has Big Plans For 105-Year-Old Journal

New Orleans Advocate, Tulane Law Review's First Black Editor-in-Chief Has Big Plans For 105-Year-Old Journal:

MiltonIn the nearly six decades since Tulane University admitted its first Black students, attempts to diversify the New Orleans campus have been glacially slow to reach one of its most revered programs: The 105-year-old Tulane Law Review.

Antonio Milton, a 22-year-old law student from Carencro, aims to change that, and in a big way he already has.

The second-year law student won election recently to become the first Black editor-in-chief of the prestigious, student-run legal journal. According to Milton, he’s only the 10th Black member in the law review’s history, and its only current Black member. ...

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February 22, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Sunday, February 21, 2021

California Won't Ditch Facial Recognition For February Bar Exam Despite Threatened Lawsuit

Karen Sloan (, California Won't Ditch Facial Recognition for February Bar Exam:

California State Bar (2019)The State Bar of California isn’t planning any last-minute changes to its Feb. 23 and 24 online bar exam. A civil rights group’s threat to sue over the use of facial recognition on the upcoming remote bar exam fails to make the case that the technology is discriminatory, according to a response letter from the bar association.

Moreover, moving to an open-book exam as suggested by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law would still require facial recognition in order to verify the identities of test takers, unless the bar eliminated identity verification altogether, the letter states.

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February 21, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, February 20, 2021

The Impact Of The Texas Winter Storm On Next Week's Bar Exam

Karen Sloan (, Texas Will Give Online Bar Exam Next Week, but Offers Alternatives For Those Without Power:

Texas Bar ExamTexas will move ahead with the online bar exam on Feb. 23 and 24, despite the fact that thousands in the state remain without power or water due to a frigid winter storm that has crippled key infrastructure.

The Texas Board of Law Examiners informed test takers Wednesday evening that the bar exam will proceed next week, though it announced a number of additional provisions, including plans to offer a make-up exam in the coming weeks. That make-up exam is subject to the board’s approval, however, and will not be a Uniform Bar Exam (UBE). That means scores earned on the make-up exam are not transferrable to any of the 37 other UBE jurisdictions. ...

The National Association for Equity in the Legal Profession, which was founded last year as United for Diploma Privilege, is circulating a petition to Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht, asking the state to postpone the exam until all examinees can take it.

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February 20, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

NY Times: Law School, NYU Tax LLM, Baked Goods, Wedding. In That Order.

New York Times, Law School, Baked Goods, Wedding. In That Order.:

WeddingFor Sarah Elizabeth Williams Gelfand and Scott David Schilson Jr. (wedding), the intense atmosphere and demanding coursework of the N.Y.U. masters of laws in taxation program — intended for lawyers who wish to deepen their knowledge in that particularly abstruse area of jurisprudence — weren’t impediments to falling in love. “It’s maybe not the most romantic place,” said Ms. Gelfand, 31, of the yearlong program. “But I realized I really liked spending time with Scott because he would make even this very dry subject matter really lighthearted and funny.”

Despite their heavy workload, being students afforded Ms. Gelfand and Mr. Schilson uncommon flexibility when they began dating during the winter of 2017. “We were able to compartmentalize the school stuff and then take advantage of a lot of the city,” said Mr. Schilson, 30. They spent much of their free time that spring sampling New York’s restaurants and bakeries. “I think we were like 50 percent study, 50 percent food,” he said.

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February 20, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Deans: Students Must Be Given Vaccine Priority So Colleges And Law Schools Can Reopen In The Fall

Los Angeles Times op-ed:  How the Vaccine Could Resurrect Higher Ed, by Jennifer Mnookin (Dean, UCLA School of Law) & Eileen Strempel (Dean, UCLA School of Music):

VaccineIn Los Angeles, you can once again dine outdoors at a restaurant. Stores are open and freeways are buzzing. Construction sites are crowded on weekdays as are the beaches on sunny weekends. But our region’s dozens of university campuses remain closed with plans for remote education at least through summer — and continued uncertainty about the shape of fall.

Nearly all university teaching throughout Southern California has been conducted remotely since March. This decision has promoted the safety of students, faculty, staff and the broader L.A. community, but it also comes at a cost. As we look ahead, the fall semester and higher education remain in jeopardy, despite the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Faculty, staff and students need to be given access to the vaccine sooner rather than later so that a full university life can resume in the fall. ...

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February 18, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Legislation Would Force Kansas Colleges To Give Students 50% Tuition Refunds For Classes Shifted Online Due To COVID-19

Kansas City Star, Kansas Lawmakers Want Tuition Refunds For College Classes Put Online Due to COVID:

Kansas (2021)Kansas lawmakers want to refund tuition to college students who lost class time or were forced into online courses as a result of the pandemic.

A House panel amended the state’s higher education budget Wednesday to require that colleges, community colleges and technical schools reimburse students for 50% of the tuition paid every day they spent online instead of in the classroom. The amendment would reimburse at 100% for days that students missed class entirely.

The move is the latest in a string of actions taken by lawmakers to show their disdain for online learning in colleges and k-12 schools. ...

[R]efunds would involve thousands of students. Though an exact cost is unknown, it would likely run into the millions, stretching a proposed budget that already assumes a 5.5% cut in higher education.

Some students are already asking for and receiving these refunds.

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February 18, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

New Podcast: Talking Legal Ed

Talking Legal EdMercer Law Profs Linda Jellum, Billie Jo Kaufman, and David Ritchie have started a new podcast, Talking Legal Ed:

We are a group of legal educators who enjoy learning about new and innovative teaching approaches. Join us as we discuss cutting edge topics in the law and explore how to incorporate them in to our classrooms.

Episode 1:  Trump's Populism with Charlton Copeland (Miami)

February 18, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

USC Prof: I Like Teaching On Zoom

New York Times op-ed:  I Actually Like Teaching on Zoom, by Viet Thanh Nguyen (USC):

Zoom 49 Participants (2020)Here’s an unpopular opinion: I like teaching on Zoom.

Many accounts of teaching on Zoom or other online platforms recount its horrors. And much is horrible: teachers and students without stable internet connections or adequate technology; too much intimacy, with overcrowded homes that teachers or students might find embarrassing for others to see; and not enough intimacy, with the human connection attenuated online.

As a college professor, I, too, miss some of the elements of teaching in a classroom, including the intellectual energy that can flow around a seminar table, the performative aspect of lecturing to a large audience and the little chats that take place by happenstance during breaks or after class with students.

What I don’t miss is my 10-mile drive to campus and back. I don’t miss pondering my wardrobe choices in the morning. The relative informality of the Zoom era means that I would feel overdressed if I wore a blazer to teach. And if I don’t wear a blazer, I don’t have to wear slacks. Or put on shoes. Why would I wear shoes inside my house, anyway?

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February 17, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Harvard, Stanford, Other Elite Business Schools Skip Some Rankings This Year Due To COVID-19, But Not The U.S. News Rankings To Be Released Next Month

Following up on my previous posts:

Wall Street Journal, What’s the Best Business School? For This Year’s M.B.A. Rankings, It’s Not Who You Think.:

B School Rankings LogosAs Harvard, Stanford, other elite schools skip some rankings this year, European universities top lists, lesser-known programs get a boost.

Several top U.S. business schools are skipping popular M.B.A. rankings this year, upending an annual rite for programs and prospective students.

Harvard Business School, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Columbia Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, among others, opted to skip the most recent rankings by the Economist and the Financial Times. Several schools said Covid-19 made it difficult to gather the data they must submit to be ranked. ... 

Overall, 62% of programs plan to participate in some rankings, while 10% don’t plan to cooperate for any lists this year, according to a survey of business-school admissions officials by Kaplan, the education subsidiary of the Graham Holdings Co.

Bloomberg Businessweek suspended its 2020 ranking, the only major list to do so. Dozens of notable schools were missing from the Economist’s list published last month. Nine schools that normally take part in the FT’s list chose not to participate, a spokeswoman said. ...

U.S. News & World Report will publish its popular ranking as usual in March, said its chief data strategist, Robert Morse. He declined to say whether any schools had opted out.

Harvard, Stanford and Columbia, which have frequently ranked in the top 10, said they are participating in the U.S. News ranking, in part, because it is less time-consuming.

Poets & Quants, B-School Rankings Boycott Begins To Collapse For Financial Times:

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February 16, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Journal Delays Print Publication Of Harvard Law Prof Mark Ramseyer’s Controversial ‘Comfort Women’ Article Amid Outcry

Harvard Crimson, Journal Delays Print Publication of Harvard Law Professor’s Controversial ‘Comfort Women’ Article Amid Outcry:

RamseyerThe International Review of Law and Economics will temporarily delay print publication of Harvard Law professor J. Mark Ramseyer’s controversial paper claiming sex slaves in Imperial Japan, known as “comfort women,” were voluntarily employed, the journal told The Crimson Friday.

The journal initially issued an “Expression of Concern” earlier this week in response to mounting backlash, announcing that concerns over the article’s “historical evidence” are currently under investigation.

“Comfort women” is a term used to refer to women and girls from Japan’s occupied territories, including Korea, who were forced into sex slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army before and during World War II.

Against the historical consensus, Ramseyer claims in his paper, entitled “Contracting for Sex in the Pacific War," that comfort women were not coerced and instead voluntarily entered into contracts with Japanese brothels. His article stoked public outcry across South Korea after his abstract was re-printed in late January in the nationalist Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun.

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February 16, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Christians And Lederman Start YouTube Series Break Into Tax (BiT)

Allison Christians (McGill) and Leandra Lederman (Indiana) have started a new YouTube series, Break Into Tax (BiT):

The idea behind BiT is that we’ll discuss and break down tax-related concepts, broadly defined. This includes issues that may be of interest to law students and others newer to tax or to particular issues. The topics we plan to cover include substantive tax law concepts, tax policy concerns, the study of taxation, and the pursuit of tax as a career. We also welcome suggestions for topics in the comments on our videos!

Introduction to Your Hosts & Break Into Tax (BiT):


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February 16, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Monday, February 15, 2021

Professor Realizes At End Of 2-Hour Zoom Lecture That He Was Muted

New York Post, Professor Realizes at End of 2-Hour Zoom Lecture That He Was on Mute:

A mathematics university professor discovered the hard way that silence isn’t always golden.

After delivering a Zoom lecture for two hours, Professor Dong Wang of National University of Singapore soon realized that none of his students heard a word because his mic had been muted, the local Independent news outlet reported.

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February 15, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

60% Through The Fall 2021 Law School Admissions Cycle: Applicants Are Up 21%, With Biggest Increases Among The Highest LSAT Bands

We are now 60% of the way through Fall 2021 law school admissions season. The number of law school applicants reported by LSAC is up 21.2% compared to last year at this time.


Applicants are up the most in New England (31.1%), Mountain West (24.6%), and Midwest (24.2%); and up the least in the Great Lakes (17.3%), Midsouth (17.9%), and Other (19.9%):


Applicants' LSAT scores are up 62.3% in the 170-180 band, 25.2% in the 160-169 band, 10.6% in the 150-159 band, and 5.7% in the 120-149 band:

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February 15, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Georgetown Law School Receives Two Gifts Totaling $34 Million, Funding 20 New Professorships And Center For Transformational Health Law

Press Release, Two Historic Gifts for Georgetown Law:

Georgetown (2016)Georgetown University Law Center has received transformational gifts from two of its most generous and dedicated alumni.

One, totaling nearly $24 million from the estate of Agnes N. Williams (L’54), will endow a new set of faculty professorships. The other, a $10 million gift from Timothy O’Neill (L’77) and Linda O’Neill (N’77), will establish the Center for Transformational Health Law at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University.

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February 13, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, February 12, 2021

Ariel Jurow Kleiman Leaves San Diego For Loyola-L.A.

Kleiman (2020)Ariel Jurow Kleiman (San Diego; Google Scholar) has accepted a lateral offer to join the Loyola-L.A. faculty. After graduating from Yale Law School (where she was Michael Graetz's research assistant) in 2014, she was a Skadden Fellow and Founding Director of Bet Tzedek Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic in Los Angeles (2014-16) and Acting Assistant Professor of Tax Law at NYU (2016-18) before joining the San Diego faculty in 2018. Her recent publications include:

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February 12, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink

33 New York, New Jersey, And California Law School Deans Ask ABA To Shift Final Jobs Reporting Date From March 15 To June 15 Due To Delayed Bar Exams Caused By Pandemic

I was happy to join this letter with 32 other New York, New Jersey, and California law school deans:

ABA Section On Legal Education (2016)February 10, 2021

Mr. William E. Adams, Jr.
Managing Director, Accreditation and Legal Education

Ms. Stephanie Giggetts
Deputy Managing Director, Accreditation and Legal Education

ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
321 N. Clark St.
Chicago IL 60654

Dear Bill and Stephanie,

We hope you are well. We, the undersigned Law Deans from the States of New York, New Jersey, and California, appreciate all that you do for American legal education. We are committed to and fully support all efforts by the ABA to ensure transparency in the job placement reporting process. We write to provide suggestions for improving the quality of consumer information regarding the Class of 2020’s placement statistics in light of the unique and profound disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 has radically impacted recent law school graduates’ ability to uniformly access state licensing exams and the job market.

  • First, many bar exams, particularly in the states with among the largest numbers of new law graduates, were rescheduled from late July to early October. Many of these states were among the hardest hit by COVID-19, and statewide operations were subject to severe limitations imposed by government. These states include New York, New Jersey, California, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, among others. Graduates who took the October bar exam did not find out if they passed the exam until mid- or late-December, or even January (e.g., NY 12/16; NJ 12/23; CA 1/8; GA 12/14; MA 12/8; IL 12/1; DC 12/11; PA 12/11; and DC 12/11). These delays in bar results were more than two months later than when bar takers and law schools typically rely on receiving them: by mid-to-late October. This means, in normal years, law schools can typically expect to have at least a four-month window from the time their graduates receive bar results (discounting December and early January because of the holidays) to meaningfully assist them before filing an employment report, as of March 15, with the ABA.
  • Second, states like New York, New Jersey, and California, experienced lengthy economic shut-downs and physical lockdowns - significantly reducing hiring, the accessibility of the courts, and the overall provision of legal services, beginning in early spring 2020 when many 3Ls in these jurisdictions would have typically secured opportunities prior to graduation. New York announced lockdown on March 22, New Jersey on March 21, and California announced lockdown on March 19.

We acknowledge that the circumstances informing this year’s reporting cycle are sui generis. These circumstances pose an array of threats and challenges to ensuring that the collection of uniform data is valid and reliable for public consumption. Presenting data that is not properly measured and contextualized can have an injurious effect on the consumer.

Our Request
In light of the delay in the administration of the bar exam, we request the ABA consider March 15 as an interim “as of” reporting date, and set a later date, such as “as of” June 15, for a final reporting date so as to capture those graduates employed during the period from March 15 to the final reporting date. This staggered approach leaves intact the March 15 data submission to the ABA, while also ensuring the reporting and publication of more complete and reliable statistics to the consumer. Until the final reports are published, consumers will be able to look at the interim data in relation to the three years of job placement data each law school currently makes available on their website. This data, which is “as of” March 15 has long served as a reliable indicator of how law schools fare generally, and comparatively to other schools, under more normal conditions.

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February 12, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Higher Ed Lost 650,000 Jobs Last Year — 13% Of The Workforce

Chronicle of Higher Education, A Brutal Tally: Higher Ed Lost 650,000 Jobs Last Year:

Colleges and universities closed out 2020 with continued job losses, resulting in a 13-percent drop since last February. It was a dispiriting coda to a truly brutal year for higher ed’s labor force.


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February 12, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Students And Alumni Ask Harvard Law School To Shun Anyone Who Worked For The Trump Administration

Karen Sloan (, Students Ask Harvard Law to Shun Trump Officials:

Harvard Law School (2021)A group of Harvard Law School students and alumni want the school to give the cold shoulder to senior officials in the Trump administration and lawmakers who furthered the former president’s agenda.

Nearly 200 of them have signed a letter to Dean John Manning asking the school to pledge not to hire the officials as faculty or hiring scholars. The school frequently brings on former government officials to fill such roles, the letter notes.

“We write because we firmly believe that Harvard Law School and Harvard University as a whole must refuse to serve as a tool to launder the reputations of those who crafted and enabled the Trump administration’s anti-democratic, anti-immigrant, racist, and morally reprehensible acts,” reads the letter, which was organized by the Harvard chapter of the People’s Parityftr Project and sent to Manning in late January. ...

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February 11, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Survey Of October California Bar Exam Takers Reveals Tech Support, Other Concerns

National Law Journal, Bar Survey of October Exam Takers Reveals Tech Support and Other Concerns:

California State Bar (2019)A majority of the individuals who took California’s October bar exam, the first general exam administered online, said they were satisfied with the experience, according to a state bar survey of more than 5,300 test-takers.

But test-takers still had plenty of complaints about the exam and the novel format, from late and frequently changing information from the state bar to challenges finding a good place to take the test. Respondents also said they experienced software problems. ...

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February 11, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Inmate Says Convicted Dan Markel Hit Man Claims Prosecutor Coerced Him To Lie On The Stand

Tallahassee Democrat, Cases Cross: Fellow Inmate Says Convicted Dan Markel Killer Claims He Was Coerced to Lie on Stand:

Garcia 2An inmate held on suspicion of a different murder in Leon County is claiming that Luis Rivera, one of three people charged in Dan Markel’s fatal shooting, repeatedly told him and other inmates that he was coerced into lying on the witness stand about his co-conspirators’ involvement.

In letters sent to the Miami legal team of Katherine Magbanua, the last Markel murder suspect still facing trial, Walter Rayborn, an inmate at Leon County Detention Facility, claims that Rivera told him and other Leon County Detention Facility inmates that he’d lied on the stand at the direction of Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman.

Rivera’s testimony in the case led to the arrest of Magbanua and the conviction and life sentence for trigger man Sigfredo Garcia for Markel’s 2014 shooting.

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February 11, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Former Law School Dean David Yellen Named CEO Of IAALS

IAALS Announces David Yellen as New CEO:

YellenIAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, announced today that it has named Professor David Yellen as its new chief executive officer. Yellen will take over leadership from IAALS’ interim executive director Sam Walker on June 1, 2021.

“While serving a combined 14 years as law school dean at Hofstra University and Loyola University Chicago—and as president of Marist College—David forged a reputation for innovation and creativity,” said Walker, who has led IAALS for the past six months, while continuing to serve on its executive committee and fulfilling his role as Executive in Residence at the Office of the Colorado Attorney General. “His candidacy emerged following a comprehensive search with international executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles. This was the most comprehensive search for a leader in IAALS’ fifteen-year history, involving contacts with nearly 400 potential candidates and stakeholders, befitting a pivotal time for the American legal system and the rule of law. There is no more important time than now to realize IAALS’ mission. David’s uncommon energy, passion, and leadership experiences empower him to lead IAALS in its next chapter.” ...

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February 10, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

The New Yorker: When Your Law-School Homework Is Stranger Than Fiction

The New Yorker, When Your Law-School Homework Is Stranger Than Fiction:

New Yorker (2014)Law professors love hypotheticals, the more specific the better. Legal niceties are often arcane (read: boring); enlivening the arcana with fictional scenarios can help students grasp the material (read: stay awake). If a tree falls in the forest and squashes the last living red panda, who’s liable? Under Article II of the Constitution, would Meghan Markle be eligible to run for President? “A good hypothetical is one that’s theoretically plausible but almost certainly would never happen,” RonNell Andersen Jones, a law professor at the University of Utah, said recently. For a decade and a half, Jones, a former clerk for Sandra Day O’Connor, has taught a seminar on the First Amendment, focusing on dilemmas that have been either created or exacerbated by new forms of media. Most years, she has prompted class discussions with one or both of the following hypotheticals: “Imagine that a major social network bans a powerful political speaker, such as a sitting President” and, to illustrate the thin line between free speech and incitement of violence, “Let’s say a crowd gathers outside the White House or the Capitol, riled up and maybe armed, and someone gets up in front of the crowd and shouts, ‘Let’s go in and hang ’em right now!’ ” She continued, “Among the many challenges of living through this era, one of the surreal challenges of being a legal educator is that you have to keep rewriting your lectures. Every time I turn on the news, almost, I have to go back to my notes and delete ‘Imagine, if you will. . . . ’ ”

The other day, Jones convened the inaugural meeting of this semester’s First Amendment seminar, over Zoom. ...

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February 10, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink