Paul L. Caron
Dean





Friday, November 11, 2022

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

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

School Type

First-Timers

Repeaters

California ABA

73%

26%

Out-of-State ABA

69%

23%

California Accredited (not ABA)

30%

12%

Unaccredited: Fixed-Facility

11%

5%

Unaccredited: Correspondence

25%

8%

Unaccredited Distance-Learning

12%

9%

All Others

0%

0%

All Applicants

62%

17%

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

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

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

Thursday, November 10, 2022

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

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

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

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

The answer to that question clearly is no.

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

Law Schools Will Face An Enrollment Cliff In 2029

Law.com, The Enrollment Cliff of 2025—What Will It Do to Law Schools?:

The enrollment cliff or demographic cliff of 2025 will effect the entering freshman classes at undergraduate institutions nationwide. In 2007 we had an economic downturn that resulted in low birth rates. It is predicted that this low birth rate combined with a trend away from college over trade schools will lead to a 15-20% smaller incoming freshman class in 2025. ...

The enrollment cliff will hit law schools in 2028-9 and will hit smaller and lower ranked law schools, particularly hard. Less students applying to law schools will result in less competition to get into law schools and a shift of demographics getting into some more elite schools. Therefore, some law schools will admit classes too small to sustain the school. This is great news for students. ...

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

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

NY Times: John Jay Osborn Jr., Author Of ‘The Paper Chase,’ Dies At 77

New York Times, John Jay Osborn Jr., Author of ‘The Paper Chase,’ Dies at 77:

Paper Chase 2John Jay Osborn Jr., who while attending Harvard Law School wrote “The Paper Chase,” a 1971 novel following the tense relationship between an earnest student and his imperious contract law professor that was made into a feature film and then a television series, died on Oct. 19 at his home in San Francisco. He was 77. ...

“The Paper Chase,” Mr. Osborn’s best-known book, tells the story of two antagonists: Kingsfield, an austere, curmudgeonly Harvard elder, and Hart, an industrious first-year student from the Midwest who is trying to survive the cutthroat intellectual world of an elite law school. ...

Although Mr. Osborn said that Kingsfield was a composite of several of his law professors, Martha Minow, a former dean of the law school, said in an email, “I do know that some now long-gone law professors here vied over who was the real model for Kingsfield.”

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November 9, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Obituaries | Permalink

Professors Will Stay On Twitter After Elon Musk's Purchase—At Least For Now

Inside Higher Ed, Professors Will Stay On Twitter After Elon Musk's Purchase—At Least For Now:

Elon Musk TwitterElon Musk took control of Twitter on Oct. 27, prompting many academics who tweet to ask whether the moment calls for choosing a different social media platform. The billionaire owner and self-described “free-speech absolutist” has, among other controversies, floated the idea of reversing the ban on former president Donald Trump. That has left many in academe concerned that toxic content and disinformation about social, medical and political issues could accelerate in the Twitterverse.

“Anything Twitter does which makes it a space where people are more likely to experience hate speech or threats of violence will erode its status as an essential gathering place” for higher ed, said Tanya Golash-Boza, a professor of sociology at the University of California, Merced, who has 15,800 followers. “I have long considered leaving Twitter—mostly because I go back and forth with regard to whether or not spending time on Twitter is fruitful or enjoyable.”

Few think that the 16-year-old Twitter will remain the same in the wake of recent changes. Many have already fled, and the platform’s political center of gravity has recently shifted right, according to an investigation by The Economist.

AcademicTwitter community members are now weighing the nontrivial opportunity costs of leaving. They are also making plans in case an ongoing affiliation with the company feels intolerable. But few are fleeing the digital gathering space in which they have invested so much—at least not yet. ...

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November 9, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Death Of Mitchell Engler (Cardozo)

Campus News, Cardozo Mourns the Loss of Professor Mitchell Engler:

EnglerWith deep sadness, I write to inform you of the death of Professor Mitchell L. Engler. Professor Engler was a highly regarded tax scholar and Professor at Cardozo for 23 years. He loved teaching and influenced generations of Cardozo students, who will remember him as passionate, extraordinarily kind and dedicated to them. He spent hours refining new approaches to teaching, and was relentlessly encouraging to students who were struggling.

Professor Engler was a quintessential tax academic. He combined his extraordinary skills as a tax lawyer with a serious interest in policy issues to create a substantial body of work. He wrote important and interesting articles on major subjects that speak to the core of how the federal government should fairly and effectively tax the public. He explored how we could change from an income tax to a consumption tax, and how that tax could be made progressive. He also considered ways of fundamentally reforming our corporate income tax. These are all big picture issues that are extremely complex, and Professor Engler leant his deep understanding of current law and his creative mind to advance proposals for reform.

Professor Engler will be deeply missed by the entire Cardozo community. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Professor Engler’s name to the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). ...

With sorrow,
Dean Melanie Leslie

Mitchell Lawrence Engler, age 58, of Hackensack, New Jersey passed away on Friday, November 4, 2022:

A graveside service for Mitchell will be held Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at 1:00 PM at Gates of Zion Cemetery, 670 Saddle River Road, Airmont, NY 10952.

Calvin Engler, age 92, of Spring Valley, New York passed away on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Calvin was born in Brooklyn, NY:

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November 9, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Obituaries, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Law Student Claims Professor Named HIV-Positive Character On Exam After Her Because She’s Conservative

New York Post, Law School Student Claims Professor Named HIV-Positive Character on Exam After Her Because She's Conservative

StudentA University of Sydney, Australia student claims she was unfairly targeted in a law exam that sees a character with her first name kill a man, infect another with HIV and get thrown out of a window.

Freya Leach, 19, said she and her second-year criminal law cohort were given a fictional scenario as part of an end-of-semester test in which a character — a uni student named “Freya” — murders one of her left-leaning peers.

The namesake character also deliberately infects a sexual partner with HIV.

Leach, who is a member of the Conservative club and the Young Liberals, has accused the faculty of mocking her political views in the essay question, the Daily Telegraph reported.

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November 9, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Ilya Shapiro: Should I Have Apologized For My 'Lesser Black Woman' Tweet?

Ilya Shapiro (Manhattan Institute), Should I Have Apologized?:

Georgetown (2016)I deleted my tweet, apologized for its "inartful" phrasing, and sent a longer apology to the Georgetown faculty. Should I have said more? Less?

I launched this newsletter in June after Substack approached me and suggested that I take advantage of the moment both to shine a light on the rot in academia and use my unique voice to expound on public affairs. I’ve since been doing both of those things, both in serializing my cancellation experience and posting on all sorts of other topics. But one aspect of the Shapiro’s Gavel origin story hasn’t yet been covered—and I get asked about it regularly.

Looking back on my Georgetown affair, should I have apologized? The question gets asked in terms of both type I and type II errors, meaning that, would anything have changed (in a positive way for me) had I either refrained from apologizing altogether or been more apologetic?

As I described in my very first post, I took down my “lesser black woman” tweet the morning after, saying that what I wrote was “inartful” and that I “regret my poor choice of words, which undermine my message that no one should be discriminated against for his or her gender or skin color.” Later that day—this is still day 1 of the “four days of hell”—I sent a statement to Dean Treanor and the Georgetown community on the faculty listserv (which appears below the paywall and which I summarized in my zoom with the dean three days later), again expressing regret for my communication failure. But should I not even have done that, because it showed weakness and fed the online mob? Or should I have done more, with greater contrition, perhaps responding directly to students who had expressed how hurt they were by my words?

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November 8, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

ABA Moves Closer To Ending LSAT Requirement For Law Schools

Reuters, ABA Moves Closer to Ending LSAT Requirement For Law Schools:

ABA Legal Ed (2021)Capping years of debate and a deluge of public comments, the American Bar Association is poised to do away with its longtime requirement that law schools use standardized admissions tests such as the Law School Admission Test.

The ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar is scheduled to vote Nov. 18 on a proposal that would eliminate the testing mandate from its law school accreditation standards. A key committee on Friday recommended it take that step. ...

The Law School Admission Council, which makes the LSAT, has repeatedly defended the testing requirement, saying it serves a consumer protection function for applicants who might not be ready to handle the rigors of law school, but could incur heavy debt attending.

Reached Monday, a spokesman for the Law School Admission Council cited a comment signed by 60 law deans that said ending the testing requirement could harm the goal of diversifying the legal profession.

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November 8, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

ABA: Lawyers Who 'Reply All' To Email Do Not Commit Ethics Violation

ABA News, ABA Issues Guidance for Lawyers on Email Protocols and ‘Reply All’ Use:

ABA (2022)The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility released a formal opinion today that provides practical guidance to lawyers operating in an email world, cautioning them to generally refrain from including their clients when sending emails to opposing lawyers.

Formal Opinion 503 explores communications and the scope of ABA Model Rule 4.2, which is commonly called the “no-contact” or “anticontact” rule and has been part of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct since its inception in 1983.

The new formal opinion would not tag opposing lawyers with a violation of Rule 4.2 if they respond to a group email or text sent by the opposing counsel with a “reply all” even if that communication includes the opposing counsel’s client.

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November 8, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, November 7, 2022

Legal Ed News Roundup

25% Through The Fall 2023 Law School Admissions Season: Applicants Are Down -11%, With Biggest Decline (-21%) In The 165-169 LSAT Band

We are now 25% of the way through Fall 2023 law school admissions season. The number of law school applicants reported by LSAC is down -11.3% compared to last year at this time:

LSAC 11

131 of the 198 law schools are experiencing a decrease in applications. Applications are down -20% or more at 49 law schools:

LSAC 2A

Applicants are down the most in the Northwest (-23.8%), Midsouth (-17.6%), and New England (-17.2%); and are up in Other (+7.5%):

LSAC 33

Applicants' LSAT scores are down -11.2% in the 170-180 band, -18.9% in the 160-169 band, -11.9% in the 150-159 band, and -3.8% in the 120-149 band:

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

A Stanford Conference Says Academic Freedom Is In Danger. Critics Say The Event Is Part Of The Problem.

Chronicle of Higher Education, A Conference Says Academic Freedom Is in Danger. Critics Say the Event Is Part of the Problem.:

Stanford (2016)Open inquiry is “under threat.” Scholars are being “canceled” for unorthodox views, and colleges are “ideological monocultures.” So says an academic-freedom conference that begins on Friday at Stanford University, one that bills itself as determined to “restore the open debate required for new knowledge to flourish.”

When the agenda circulated online last month, critics saw the invitation-only event as a contradiction of the free-speech principles it purports to champion. And to a swath of Stanford’s faculty, the event is yet another alarming piece of evidence that their elite institution is propping up figures who are threatening democracy and public health.

If you’ve ever read an article or tweet in which a professor declares that “wokeness” has taken over the Ivory Tower, there’s a good chance that person will be speaking at Stanford this weekend. There’s Scott W. Atlas, who lobbied former President Donald J. Trump to let the coronavirus spread unabated through most people; Amy Wax, who is facing disciplinary action at the University of Pennsylvania for her statements about racial minorities and gay people; and Jordan Peterson, whose insistence that universities are “indoctrination cults” has won him a loyal following. Oh, and Peter Thiel, the tech billionaire who has repeatedly dismissed college as a waste of time and money and is funding a cadre of hard-right congressional candidates, is giving a keynote about “the end of the future.” [Other speakers included Tyler Cowen (George Mason), Jonathan Haidt (NYU), Michael McConnell (Stanford), Ilya Shapiro (Manhattan Institute), and Eugene Volokh (UCLA).]

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

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Law Schools Expand Fundraising Ambitions As Tuitions Swell

Reuters, U.S. Law Schools Expand Fundraising Ambitions as Tuitions Swell:

ColumbiaColumbia Law School is the latest law school to wrap up a blockbuster fundraising campaign, with $325 million raised over five years. The school announced Tuesday that its Campaign for Columbia Law exceeded its $300 million goal with funds from more than 12,000 donors.

Law schools have grown increasingly ambitious in fundraising over the past decade as the cost of a law degree has climbed and schools have expanded their programming.

Columbia has the highest tuition and fees of all American Bar Association-accredited law schools, at $76,088 a year. The average among private law schools such as Columbia is $53,036, according to U.S. News & World Report. Average in-state tuition at public law schools is now $29,601.

Law school capital campaigns vary widely in their goals, depending on their length and the school’s size and alumni base. New York University School of School of Law in 2021 raised $540 million during an eight-year capital campaign, which it said was the largest by any law school in the country. Harvard Law School previously held that record, having raised more than $476 million in a campaign that ended in 2008.

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November 5, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Court Filings Reveal Contradictory Accounts Of Dean's Exit At Texas Southern Law School

Following up on my previous post, Former Texas Southern Dean Sues Law School Over Loss Of Tenure:  Houston Chronicle, Court Filings Reveal Contradicting Accounts of Texas Southern University Law Dean's Exit:

BullockTexas Southern University’s law school dean was fired this summer after a series of missteps that caused the faculty to cast a vote of no confidence, according to lawyers from the Texas Attorney General's Office.

Officials at the Historically Black University were tight-lipped about Joan R.M. Bullock’s dismissal in June, but recently filed court documents cast light on the turmoil within the Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Bullock is suing the university, its regents and other leaders, alleging that she was stripped of her position and tenure without cause.

The attorney general's office, which is representing the public university, outlined in a federal court filing some of the reasons for why they said the former dean was fired. They also argued a motion for the case’s dismissal Wednesday and denied that Bullock was ever granted tenure—a highly protected status that provides educators job security and safeguards the freedom to teach and conduct research as they choose. ...

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November 5, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, November 3, 2022

More Law Profs Debate Judge Ho's Boycott Of Yale Law School Grads For Judicial Clerkships

The Hill:  Yale’s Perplexing Invitation to Judicial Bullies, by Steven Lubet (Northwestern):

Yale Law Logo (2020)How is Yale Law School like the University of Alabama football team? The obvious response is that both are widely considered to be the best at what they do. But there is another answer. They are both apparently willing to do what it takes to stay at the top, even if that requires compromising essential principles. ...

Ho’s boycott constitutes judicial misconduct, dangling the prospect of clerkships before some students and withholding them from others to coerce Yale’s administrators into changing their practices. ...

You might think that Yale’s dean, Heather Gerkin, would loudly object to the victimization of her students through an unethical judicial boycott, but only if you don’t understand how law school rankings work. ...

Far from criticizing Ho and Branch for threatening to depress Yale’s applicant pool, and weaken the career prospects of future students, Gerken has rewarded them with a speaking invitation, presumably to demonstrate Yale’s compliance with their demands.

Ho and Branch were ungracious in return, using their acceptance letter to further condemn Yale’s culture as “among the worst when it comes to legal cancelation,” while adding that the law school’s recent reforms may be “nothing more than parchment promises.”

For the record, I agree with many of Ho and Branch’s criticisms of Yale, about which I have written in the past. But valid complaints must not be pursued through unethical means. ...

Ho and Branch should certainly be able to speak without disruption at Yale, or any law school, if invited by a student group, and Yale’s plan for an “ongoing lecture series that models engaging across divides” is a great idea. But it is disappointing to see the dean’s unqualified imprimatur on an event featuring Ho and Branch, which will be counted as a victory for judicial strong-arming.

Volokh Conspiracy:  Justice Kagan Asks About Racial Preferences For Law Clerk Hiring, by Josh Blackman (South Texas):

During oral arguments in SFFA v. Harvard, Justice Kagan tried to broaden the case beyond higher education. She explained that many "institutions" need to rely on racial preferences to achieve their diversity goals. (Notice how the word "institution" presumptively refers to an organization that pursues progressive goals, for an entity that leans conservative is no longer behaving like an "institution.") During a colloquy with Cam Norris, Justice Kagan asked about judges who hire law clerks based, at least in part of race:

JUSTICE KAGAN: Do you think that if you're a law firm or if you're a judge, if you're a judge and you want to have a diverse set of clerks, do you think a judge can't think about that in making clerkship decisions? ...

Kagan was asking if a judge could hire a minority law clerk as a way to signal to the broader public that minority attorneys can succeed as federal law clerk.

JUSTICE KAGAN: I'm using --let's say a judge says I want a diverse set of clerks. That's --you know, I want clerks who would -you know, great on any number of criteria, but I also want a diverse set of clerks. So, over the years, people will look at that and they'll say: There are Asian Americans there, there are Hispanics there, there are African Americans there, as well as there are whites there. Can a judge not do that?

The key phrase is "people will look at that." That is, the public will perceive that the judge is hiring minority law clerks. ...

[C]an a federal judge use his hiring of law clerks to promote some broader societal goal? Hello Judge Ho.

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

Leaders Were Warned In 2014 Dean Candidate Job Talk That Law School Would Fail. 7 Years Later, It Did.

News4JAX, Leaders Were Warned in 2014 that a Jacksonville Law School Would Fail. 7 Years Later, It Closed.:

Florida Coastal (2017)A 43,000-square-foot building on Jacksonville’s Southside now sits empty after Florida Coastal School of Law — once considered a respected, up-and-coming Jacksonville law school — closed its doors for good at the end of the 2021 spring semester.

The school had been declining in enrollment over the previous decade, and former students who spoke to News4JAX said their law careers took a hit because of it. ...

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

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

July 2022 Ohio Bar Exam Results: Ohio State #1

July Ohio Bar Exam Results Announced:

The Supreme Court of Ohio has released results from the July 2022 Ohio Bar Examination. Among the 847 first-time test takers, 80% earned passing scores. A total of 970 aspiring lawyers sat for the exam, and 703 – or 72% – passed.

Here are the results for first-time test-takers by law school:

Bar Pass

Rank (Rate)

 

School

US News Rank

OH (Overall)

1 (91.2%)

Ohio State

1 (30)

2 (85.5%)

Case Western

2 (78)

3 (80.8%)

Ohio Northern

6 (Tier 2)

4 (79.6%)

Dayton

4 (122)

5 (78.8%)

Cleveland State

5 (127)

6 (78.0%)

Cincinnati

3 (88)

7 (75.5%)

Capital

6 (Tier 2)

8 (75.3%)

Akron

6 (Tier 2)

9 (75.0%)

Toledo

6 (Tier 2)

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

LSSSE Survey: Students Are Very Satisfied With Online Legal Education

Report on Legal Education Reveals Benefits of Online Education:

Newly released data by the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) examines the law student experience with online education.  Data from this Report, Success with Online Education, drawn from the responses of over 13,000 law students at 70 law schools that participated in LSSSE in 2022.

The report shows widespread usage of a robust and satisfying form of online legal education.  According to data from the 2022 survey, 50% of LSSSE respondents took at least one course taught mostly or entirely online. The vast majority of law students (75% or more) are comfortable with nearly all features of online education, from interacting with faculty and classmates to taking final exams. This comfort leads to excellent learning outcomes, with almost 90% of both online and in-person students agreeing that they are learning to think critically and analytically.

“Our 2022 LSSSE Annual Report reveals that students are thrilled with the flexibility and accessibility of online education,” said Meera E. Deo, Director of LSSSE. “While we should fine-tune outreach and relationship building, students attending online are learning just as much, equally satisfied, and participating even more than those attending in-person.”

Noteworthy findings from the report include:

Law students are well-equipped for online learning

  • Law students are “mostly comfortable” or “very comfortable” with nearly all aspects of attending online classes, including taking online exams (80%), interacting with instructors (80%) and other students (77%), and participating in live online course discussions (75%).
  • 62% of students aged 23-25 are comfortable with participating in live online discussions compared to the vast majority (86%) of students over forty.

Satisfaction rates are high

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

Monday, October 31, 2022

Perspectives on Today's Supreme Court Oral Arguments In The Harvard And UNC Affirmative Action Cases

David French (The Dispatch; J.D. 1994, Harvard), Racial Discrimination Is Not the Path to Racial Justice: Why Harvard Is Wrong:

[Today] the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the most important case of this term, a case which is arguably among the most important of this new century. It will decide whether schools can continue to discriminate on the basis of race in college admissions.

The Supreme Court should say no. It should say no because the law should compel it to say no. We should cheer that outcome because morality and justice are in harmony with the law. Racial discrimination is in fundamental tension with racial justice, even when racial discrimination is purportedly designed to advance racial justice. ...

The moral necessity of ameliorating the effects of centuries of discrimination is clear; the method for doing so is not. But here’s one principle that should guide our nation’s response: The wounds caused by racial discrimination can’t be healed by racial discrimination.

Indeed, when it comes to American education, that is exactly what the plain letter of the law requires. Here’s the text of the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a law that applies to every educational institution in the United States that receives federal funding:

No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Clear enough, right? This is the legal mandate to end programs and practices that systematically disadvantaged Americans on the basis of nothing more than the color of their skin. And yet the Supreme Court has rejected that language. It has declared—in cases stretching from 1978’s University of California v. Bakke to 2003’s Grutter v. Bollinger to 2013’s Fisher v. Texas—that universities can take race into account in admissions decisions without violating the Civil Rights Act or the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

They can’t impose strict racial quotas, and they can’t (in theory) use race against any applicant, but they can consider race as one part of an allegedly “holistic” admissions review. The Court has held that there is a “compelling governmental interest” in academic diversity, and racial considerations are one way to advance that interest.

But how has that system worked in practice? As Richard Kahlenberg argued last week in The Atlantic, universities are keeping a “dirty secret.” Racial preferences “provide cover for an admissions system that mostly benefits the wealthy.” In other words, the universities preserve a longstanding status quo that privileges those individuals—legacy admittees and children of donors, for example—who preserve the university’s wealth and power while using race preferences as a blunt instrument to render universities “diverse” along racial lines only. ...

Harvard has a better story than many American institutions, but it wasn’t a perfect story then, and it’s not a perfect story now. It has an institutional responsibility to end racial discrimination, and if it won’t do it voluntarily, then it’s up to the Court to compel compliance with the clear commands of American law. We will never achieve racial justice so long as racial discrimination is still allowed in our land. 

Lee C. Bollinger (President, Columbia; Co-Author, A Legacy of Discrimination: The Essential Constitutionality of Affirmative Action (Oxford University Press 2023)) & Geoffrey R. Stone (Chicago; Co-Author, A Legacy of Discrimination: The Essential Constitutionality of Affirmative Action (Oxford University Press 2023)), The End of Affirmative Action Would be a Disaster:

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

Legal Ed News Roundup

Winston & Strawn Launches Free, Online Course To Help First-Gen And Diverse Students Succeed In Law School

Winston & Strawn Launches Free, Online Course to Help First-Generation and Diverse Law Students Succeed in Law School:

Winston & Strawn LLP today announced the launch of the Winston & Strawn Law School Experience, a free, virtual course created to help first-generation and diverse pre-law and law students enhance their academic performance in law school.

The Winston & Strawn Law School Experience addresses the fact that many first-generation and diverse law students confront inequitable access to resources (including tutoring, mentoring, and networking) that are key building blocks for success in law school and the legal profession. This program aims to correct that by providing a methodology for developing the aptitudes that law schools expect and require.

The program features instructional videos on topics such as:

  • Succeeding on law school exams;
  • Reading and analyzing case law; and
  • Writing a useful, thorough law school course outline.

The program is self-paced and takes approximately six to seven hours to finish. Upon completion, students earn a certificate that can be added to LinkedIn profiles and resumes.

"We are launching this program in an effort to tear down barriers that many first-generation and diverse law students face as they consider and enter law school in an effort to level the playing field and increase the pool of talented law students entering our profession," said Bill O'Neil, a litigation partner in Chicago, chair of Winston's Hiring Committee, and the primary driver behind this initiative.

Bill continued: "Law schools are fantastic at teaching students the law; in contrast, the Law School Experience teaches students how to succeed in law school. The program is designed to provide practical skills that we believe will boost students' grades and, ultimately, their employment prospects, which will, in turn, diversify and strengthen the legal profession."

"Nothing is more important to the future of legal education and law practice than providing equal opportunity for students to learn and excel," said Winston Chairman Tom Fitzgerald. "We encourage students to take advantage of this resource, and we look forward to engaging participants from diverse backgrounds as they pursue their legal education and their promising careers."

 

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

Sunday, October 30, 2022

‘Alternative’ or ‘Sham’? Yeshiva U. Created A New LGBTQ Club — But Won’t Recognize The One That Sued

Chronicle of Higher Education, ‘Alternative’ or ‘Sham’? Yeshiva U. Created a New LGBTQ Club — but Won’t Recognize the One That Sued:

Yeshiva Pride LogoYeshiva University on Monday announced the creation of a new undergraduate student club “for LGBTQ students striving to live authentic Torah lives” [FAQ]. Yeshiva’s move is the latest in an escalating legal battle between former students and the Modern Orthodox Jewish university, which reached the U.S. Supreme Court last month.

Members of the YU Pride Alliance took the university to court in April 2021 over its refusal to recognize the LGBTQ student group as a club. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the university to recognize the Pride Alliance while it appeals a June ruling by a New York court against Yeshiva in the case.

Then the university temporarily suspended all student activities, and the Pride Alliance agreed not to seek official recognition until the legal battle has concluded.

The university said in a statement on Monday that it would not recognize the Pride Alliance because of its association with other chapters nationally, and that forming a new, unassociated club was the only path the university would accept. The new club is positioned as “an Orthodox alternative” that upholds an uncompromising approach to Halakha, or traditional Jewish law.

“Pride Alliance is a recognized movement in colleges throughout the country that not only fights anti-LGBTQ discrimination, a cause which we fully support, but also promotes activities that conflict with Torah laws and values,” the university’s statement reads.

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October 30, 2022 in Faith, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Samford University Denies Student Application To Form Cumberland Law School LGBTQ Group

Update:  Law.com, Samford University Refuses to Recognize Cumberland Law School's LGBTQ+ Group as Official Organization

AL.com, Samford University Denies Student Application to Form LGBTQ Group:

When Angela Whitlock, a Cumberland Law student at Samford University, was looking for student groups to join last year, she noticed something was missing.

There were groups for Black, Hispanic and Native American law students, student athletes, women, and various political organizations. But none were for LGBTQ students.

So last fall, she and more than 50 students at Cumberland formed OUTLaw, an identity-based organization that aims to support and affirm LGBTQ students.

“We just tried,” she said, “Because why not? There’s nothing that we’re doing that is going to hurt anyone.”

OUTLaw chapters are currently present on other Alabama college campuses and across the country, but Samford, which houses the private, Christian law school, refuses to acknowledge the organization – and has denied others like it in the past.

“It’s not shocking because it’s more of the same of what we’ve seen, insofar as discriminatory practices,” said Brit Blalock, a 2008 graduate who leads Safe Samford, an unofficial group supporting LGBTQ students. “But what’s particularly strange about this is it’s happening inside the law school, which has not been bound to the same student organization process that the undergrads have.”

In a letter on Oct. 20, Samford President Beck Taylor informed Whitlock that the university had formally denied her application. ... "[E]xtending official university recognition to a student organization that advocates for beliefs and behaviors contrary to the religious values of Samford would be inconsistent with my responsibilities as president.”

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October 30, 2022 in Faith, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, October 29, 2022

University Of San Diego: A Law School 'Lacked And Lost'

James Allen (Garrick Professor of Law, University of Queensland), A Law School Lacked and Lost:

I fell in love with the place my first week there. I was a Visiting Professor at the University of San Diego School of Law, taking a sabbatical from my home institution, the University of Queensland in Australia. That was back in January of 2013. ...

What really made my sabbatical visit were the academics at the USD law school. They were smart and nice, and very hospitable. Perhaps that is not all that unusual at any law school, but what I had not really expected was the wide range of views I found across the faculty. Say this sotto voce, and outside the earshot of any present-day university administrator, but the USD law school even had a critical mass of what you might classify as “conservative legal thinkers.” As someone who had done his law degree in Canada, a Masters at the LSE in London, has taught around the anglosphere, and has seen first-hand the collapse of viewpoint diversity on campuses around the anglosphere, this was wholly unforeseen. In fact, with about a quarter of the then USD law faculty being right-of-centre types in all their various manifestations, I soon learned that the 2013 USD was probably the most conservative law school in the US (with the possible exception of George Mason, though there the iconoclasts are mostly libertarians). But everyone seemed to get along. Each Friday there was a staff seminar, and these crossed the gamut of topics and viewpoints and were excellent. ...

After seeing the intellectual community at USD, I readily understood why this small private Catholic university had a law school that Brian Leiter around that time had ranked in the top 25 for the quality of its research. A noticeable chunk of the credit for this had to go to Larry Alexander. ...

Fast forward now to the second half of 2019, just before the pandemic. I had another sabbatical owing and wanted to go back to USD. With help from my friends Maimon Schwarzschild, Steven Smith, and Larry Alexander I got another offer and grabbed it. ...

Things at USD law school this second time were not quite the same.

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

Friday, October 28, 2022

Chronicle Of Higher Education Debate: Is UC-Berkeley Law School Discriminating Against Jews?

Chronicle of Higher Education Op-Eds: 

UC Berkeley (2016)Mohammad Fadel (University of Toronto), No, Berkeley Isn’t Discriminating Against Jews:

Student groups have a right to impose a moral choice about Zionism.

The University of California at Berkeley School of Law has become the latest front in the continuing campus wars about Palestine, Israel, and what it means to be a progressive. After a student group, the Berkeley Law Students for Justice in Palestine (or BLS-P), announced that nine student groups at the law school had adopted a bylaw in which they agreed not to lend platforms to Zionist speakers, a group of Zionists made outrageous claims that Berkeley Law students were antisemitic and that they were attempting to establish “Jewish free” zones on campus.

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

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Justice Alito Takes Direct Aim At Law Schools For ‘Abysmal’ And ‘Dangerous’ Free Speech Climate As Conservative Judges Boycott His Alma Mater

Law & Crime, Justice Alito Takes Direct Aim at Law Schools for ‘Abysmal’ and ‘Dangerous’ Free Speech Climate as Conservative Judges Boycott His Alma Mater:

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, hosted the 2022 Joseph Story Distinguished Lecture and live-streamed the event on YouTube, as it has in previous years. Past speakers included Alito’s fellow Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas.

Justice Samuel Alito delivered remarks Tuesday evening in friendly territory — where attendees revere him as the author of the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade in what is arguably the crowning achievement of the conservative legal movement. ...

When asked about the status of free speech on college campuses and in law schools in particular, Alito called the status quo “pretty abysmal,” “disgraceful,” and “really dangerous for our future as a united, democratic country.”

“We depend on freedom of speech,” Alito said. “Colleges and universities should be setting the example, and law schools should be setting the example for the university because our adversary system is based on the principle that the best way to get at the truth is to have a strong presentation of opposing views. So, law schools should be free to speak their minds without worrying about the consequences, and they should have their ideas tested in rational debating.”

The justice said his opinions on the matter were being informed by various reports about controversies on law school campuses and conversations he has had with students. He did not name particular institutions.

He said some institutions — especially law schools — were “not carrying out their responsibility” toward protecting free speech in the manner he envisioned as appropriate and necessary given the societal interests at play.

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

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Hubbard: Building the Next Generation of Rule of Law Leaders

Following up on my previous post, A Call To Action On Rule Of Law In The United States:  TaxProf Blog op-ed:  Building the Next Generation of Rule of Law Leaders, by William C. Hubbard (Dean, South Carolina; Co-Founder and Chair of the Board, The World Justice Project): 

HubbardThe rule of law has been under considerable stress in the United States in recent years. Concerns range from rising gun violence and hate crimes to fraudulent diversion of COVID relief funds, eroding trust in the judiciary, and threats to electoral integrity. So, it is welcome news this week that the United States saw modest improvement in its score in the 2022 Rule of Law Index, published annually by the World Justice Project (WJP), the board of which I chair. It’s no time to rest on our laurels, however. There’s much more to be done to recover ground lost since 2016, the last year the United States’ Index score improved, not to mention to address long-standing systemic weaknesses. Law schools should be leading the way.

The WJP Rule of Law Index scores and ranks 140 countries, drawing on surveys of practitioners and everyday people about their experience and perceptions of the rule of law in each of eight areas: Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice, and Criminal Justice. Over the past year, the United States improved its score in each of these areas and increased its overall score by 1.8%. It is among the countries showing the greatest progress this year, but it still ranks a disappointing 26th and has just begun to recover the 6% its score declined since 2016. A closer look at the data highlights the challenge.

As I reported in a post to this group last year, between 2016 and 2021, the U.S. Index score declined most in the factor measuring “Constraints on Government Powers,” made up of separate indicators for checks on executive authority by the judiciary, legislature, independent audit agencies, and civil society, as well as for sanctions on official misconduct and lawful transitions of power.

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Demetri Martin Dropped Out Of NYU Before His 3L Year For Comedy

How Law School Led Demetri Martin to Comedy:

Some of what led Demetri Martin into comedy isn’t atypical of his profession.

“Having a funny dad who loved comedy probably started me on my way,” Martin observes of his Greek Orthodox priest father's role in raising a comic-to-be. And that early influence likely rubbed off on this son of a preacher man to the amusement of his peers. ...

“When I dropped out [of NYU law school], everybody was disappointed. But I found that disappointing people is a good thing, because disapproval is freedom. Before that, I never realized how much I sought other people's approval. Once I figured that out, I was free to move on and seek the approval of other people, in comedy clubs and showbiz meetings.”

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

Tax Prof Twitter Census (2022-23 Edition)

TwitterAccording to Bridget Crawford's latest census, there are 1,641 Law Profs on Twitter, including 96 Tax Profs (several with tax in their Twitter handles):

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October 25, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Inside Higher Ed: Free Speech Concerns Prompt Calls To Shun Yale Law Grads

Update: 

Inside Higher Ed, Free Speech Concerns Prompt Calls to Shun Yale Law Grads:

Yale Law Logo (2020)Recent issues at Yale Law School are back in the spotlight after a conservative judge called on his peers to abstain from hiring Yale Law graduates as clerks because of free speech concerns.

Judge James Ho, a Trump administration appointee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, urged the boycott last month when addressing a Federalist Society event in Kentucky. He argued that Yale Law students haven’t faced consequences for shutting down a speaker last year, meaning “Yale not only tolerates the cancellation of views—it practices it.”

Now other judges are slowly signing on to Ho’s boycott, an effort that has landed at the same time Yale Law announced new student disciplinary policies and efforts to protect free speech. ...

As Ho’s remarks gained traction online, the legal community responded with both praise and criticism. ...

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

Monday, October 24, 2022

Legal Ed News Roundup

Judge Ho's Boycott Of Yale Grads For Clerkships Violates The Code Of Judicial Conduct

Update: 

The Hill Op-Ed:  The Wrong Way to Combat Cancel Culture, by Steven Lubet (Northwestern):

Yale Law Logo (2020)Judge James Ho created quite a stir when he delivered the keynote address at a Federalist Society conference last month in Kentucky. His condemnation of “cancel culture” was standard fare for the conservative legal organization that supplied so many Trump administration judicial nominees — including Ho, for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. But the big moment came when he castigated Yale Law School for teaching students “that there are no consequences for their intolerance” of conservative speakers. Citing two notorious incidents in which Yale students faced no disciplinary action for disrupting presentations by conservatives, Ho announced that “starting today, I will no longer hire law clerks from Yale Law School. And I hope that other judges will join me as well.” That was an unprecedented public pledge from a federal judge. It was also seriously unethical. ...

Such a coercive boycott violates two provisions of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, adopted by the United States Judicial Conference and binding on all federal judges below the Supreme Court.

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

Wilmington University To Open A New Law School In Delaware

Wilmington LogoWilmington University has announced plans to open a new law school in New Castle. Tuition will be $24,000, far lower than the $57,376 tuition charged by Widener, Delaware's other law school. Founding Dean Phillip Closius previously served as Dean at Toledo (1999-2005) and Baltimore (2007-2011) and is Of Counsel at Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White (Baltimore).

Wilmington University is the third new law school launched in the past eight months, joining:

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

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Is Yale Law School Turning Over A New Leaf?

Update: 

Brian Leiter (Chicago), Judge Ho Heading to Yale, at Invitation of Dean Gerken:

Judge Ho's threatened boycott sure seems to have gotten Yale's attention!

David Lat (Original Jurisdiction), Is Yale Law School Turning Over A New Leaf?:

Yale Law Logo (2020)Judges James Ho and Lisa Branch are heading to YLS—at the invitation of Dean Heather Gerken!

In the wake of the announcement of Judge James Ho (5th Cir.) that he would no longer hire clerks from Yale Law School, a boycott joined so far by Judge Lisa Branch (11th Cir.) and a dozen other judges who wanted to remain nameless, Dean Heather Gerken has been quietly reaching out to prominent conservative jurists. Her message: YLS is deeply committed to free speech and intellectual diversity, it has taken concrete steps to support that commitment, and as dean, she welcomes hearing from judges about what else can be done to promote and protect academic freedom at Yale Law—including Judges Ho and Branch, the progenitors of the YLS boycott.

A week ago ..., Judges Ho and Branch responded to Dean Gerken’s outreach with a letter:

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

Thursday, October 20, 2022

The Nation's First ABA-Accredited Fully Online Law School Attracts 791 Applicants For Its Inaugural Class; 9% Acceptance Rate Yields 27 1Ls

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Reuters, First-of-Its-Kind Online Law School Draws Big Applicant Pool:

St. Mary's Logo (2022)A group of 27 aspiring lawyers beat long odds to land spots this fall in the first fully online Juris Doctor program to be accredited by the American Bar Association.

St. Mary’s University School of Law, which also offers a traditional J.D. program on its San Antonio campus, had 791 applicants for its first all-remote cohort. The online program offered admission to 71 applicants, a 9% acceptance rate that falls close to top-ranked Yale Law School.

The ABA in May 2021 granted St. Mary’s permission to offer its fully online part-time J.D. as a five-year pilot program. That approval came after law schools were quickly forced to switch to remote classes by the COVID-19 pandemic, giving them more experience with distance education. ...

About a dozen law schools also offer hybrid J.D. programs in which part-time students complete the bulk of their coursework online but come to campus several times a year for in-person instruction. Another three schools have pending applications with the ABA to launch hybrid J.D.s. ...

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

NALP: Disparities In Employment Outcomes By Race/Ethnicity Persist For The Class Of 2021

NALP, Disparities in Employment Outcomes by Race/Ethnicity Persist for the Class of 2021; Particularly for Black, Native American, and Native Hawaiian Graduates:

NALP New LogoNew employment findings from the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) show that Black and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander graduates were employed in bar passage required jobs at rates 15 and 23 percentage points, respectively, below that of white graduates. The employment rate for Native Hawaiian graduates was also 12 percentage points lower as compared to white graduates. Of employed graduates, Black, Native American, and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander graduates were the least likely to be employed in private practice. These findings are part of NALP’s Jobs & JDs, Employment and Salaries of New Graduates, Class of 2021

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

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

More On The Boycott Of Yale Grads For Judicial Clerkships

Update: 

Newsweek, Canceling the Cancelers at Yale Law School:

Newsweek (2022)Last month at the Sixth Annual Kentucky Chapters Conference of the Federalist Society, Judge James C. Ho of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (disclosure: my former boss) issued a call to arms. Ho, who earlier this year ruffled feathers at Georgetown University Law Center by using the occasion of his own talk at Georgetown to defend then-embattled Georgetown scholar Ilya Shapiro from the school's own pusillanimous dean, announced in the Bluegrass State that "starting today," he would not hire future law clerks who matriculate at Yale Law School. (Current Yale Law students and Yale Law alumni are unaffected.)

The reasons for the law clerk hiring moratorium are fairly straightforward: "Cancel culture" and, more specifically, a hostility to religious and conservative viewpoints and a demonstrated willingness to "shout down" such speakers, are disproportionately pervasive at Yale Law; Yale Law consistently ranks as, and holds itself as, the single preeminent institution of legal education in America; because of that perceived perch, Yale Law is more capable of influencing other legal institutions to denounce "cancel culture" and make itself genuinely open to "dissident" speech from the "deplorable" half of the American citizenry.

Ho's critics immediately swarmed from every possible direction. The Left was predictably apoplectic. On the Right, some, such as the purportedly right-of-center Dispatch podcaster Sarah Isgur, have complained that it is not clear what Yale could actually do to effectuate meaningful change. Such defeatism is unwarranted; one clear first step would be for Yale to embrace the Chicago Principles, a product of the University of Chicago, which would have the effect of protecting conservative students, conservative speech, and conservative programming. ...

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

Exploring Recent Law School Diversity Initiatives

Christine Charnosky (Law.com), Ahead of the Curve: Exploring Recent Law School Diversity Initiatives:

This week, we’re digging further into five unique law school diversity initiatives that I wrote about so far this month. ...

On Oct. 4, I wrote about Yale Law School launching a new initiative called the Launchpad Scholars Program, which is in partnership with Latham & Watkins. ...

Also on Oct. 4, I reported on Texas-based law firm Vela Wood partnering with Kaplan to offer free Law School Admission Test (LSAT) prep courses to Black aspiring lawyers. ...

On Oct. 10, I published a story about The Pepperdine University Rick J. Caruso School of Law signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Tuskegee University, one of the 104 accredited Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the United States, for a new accelerated 3+3 degree program.

This 3+3 degree program allows for Tuskegee students to attend their first year of law school after finishing their junior year at Tuskegee, thereby earning a bachelor’s degree, followed by a juris doctor in six years instead of seven, Paul L. Caron, the Duane and Kelly Roberts dean and professor of law at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law, wrote in his Oct. 10 Tax Prof Blog.

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Happiness And The Law: Lifelong Learning As A Path To Meaning And Purpose

Isaac Mamaysky (Albany), Happiness and the Law: Lifelong Learning as a Path to Meaning and Purpose, 62 Santa Clara L. Rev. __ (2022):

We begin with the premise that the happiest and most fulfilled attorneys are those who live a life of meaning and purpose. While many in the legal profession have achieved this goal, many others are unsatisfied with their career trajectories but feel, for a variety of reasons, that they aren’t empowered to make a change. The article argues that it’s not just possible—but, for many attorneys, should be the goal—to merge personal and professional interests to achieve a career filled with meaning and purpose.

The article goes on to argue that lifelong learning is the path to getting there. As every practitioner knows, law school taught us an analytical framework—how to "think like a lawyer"—which is reinforced in all aspects of legal practice. Relying on those analytical skills, it's entirely possible to learn new practice areas, write on new topics, and continually evolve one's legal career to align with personal goals.

The concept of a continuous evolution is important because meaning and purpose change over time, so even the most fulfilled attorneys need to make adjustments throughout their career to hit this mark. While these types of career adjustments certainly may entail significant transitions, they more commonly entail micro-adjustments to one's trajectory and current role that are minor in the moment but can have a significant impact over time.

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October 18, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Monday, October 17, 2022

Legal Ed News Roundup

More On The Free Speech Scandal At UC-Berkeley Law School

Following up on last week's post, UC-Berkeley Law Faculty Statement In Support Of Jewish Students:  Chronicle of Higher Education Op-Ed:  A Free-Speech Scandal at Berkeley Law, by Steven Lubet (Northwestern):

UC Berkeley (2022)The University of California’s Berkeley campus has been a hotbed of leftist politics since at least the early 1960s, so it is unsurprising that students at its prestigious law school have long embraced the cause of Palestinian rights. It was shocking, however, when the latest expression of anti-Israel sentiment veered into territory so extreme that even the law school’s progressive dean, Erwin Chemerinsky, observed that it could be seen as antisemitic. Although the students had not in any sense established “Jewish-free zones,” as some overheated commentaries called them, what they did was bad enough. Nine law-school affinity organizations, nominally representing a majority of the student body, adopted a bylaw providing that they will not “lend platforms to speakers” who “have professed or continue to hold” Zionist views.

Yes, you read that correctly. The bylaw does not simply prohibit pro-Israel presentations at the organizations’ events. It bans speakers on any topic who happen to support the existence of Israel — a category that encompasses more than 80 percent of the world’s Jews, and includes many Berkeley Law students and faculty. As Chemerinsky remarked in an email to students, “Indeed, taken literally, this would mean that I could not be invited to speak because I support the existence of Israel, though I condemn many of its policies.” For the same reason, I would also be unable to speak to the student groups about my research on 19th-century abolitionist lawyers, notwithstanding my decades of support for the anti-occupation movement within Israel. ...

The sweeping prohibition — enacted by the Muslim Student Association, Queer Caucus at Berkeley, Women of Berkeley Law, Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, Law Students of African Descent, and others — violates the basic values of free speech and open inquiry, which lie at the heart of law practice and legal education.

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

Law Prof Bemoans His Experience Publishing An Article In The Iowa Law Review

In The Author as Adversary at Iowa Law Review, University of Kentucky Law School Assistant Professor Ramsi Woodcock delivered a blistering critique of his experience in publishing The Efficient Queue and the Case Against Dynamic Pricing, 105 Iowa L. Rev. 1759 (2020). I won't attempt to summarize or excerpt his 3,000 word harangue, which begins:

Iowa Law Review 2 (2022)If there were a law professor named Frankenstein, what would his creation be?

Maybe Iowa Law Review.

Rather than treat me as a partner in publishing an article of mine that the journal accepted back in 2019, the journal treated me as an adversary.

Several Law Prof luminaries have weighed in on the saga:

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

Saturday, October 15, 2022

2022-23 Law School Admission Cycle Starts Out With A Whisper

Following up on Monday's post, 14% Of The Way Through The Fall 2023 Law School Admissions Cycle: Applicants Are Down -14%, With Biggest Decline (-25%) Among The Top 160-180 LSAT Band:  Law.com, 2022-23 Law School Admission Cycle Starts Out With a Whisper:

Last year’s law school admission cycle started out with a bang but petered out to a whimper by the end. So far, this cycle is starting with a whisper. ...

It’s approximately 15% into the fall 2023 admission cycle, so it’s a bit early to be making too many predictions.

It’s so early, in fact, that the LSAC posts a “warning” on its website: “It is too early in the 2023 admission cycle to reach conclusions about applicant volume. Early volumes can be highly volatile, and thus are not always reflective of application cycle trends.”

So far, numbers in most categories are down with 142 of the 197 law schools experiencing a decrease in applications with some being down 30% or more at 43 law schools, Paul Caron wrote in his Oct. 10 TaxProf blog.

There are 41,910 applications (a 17.5% decrease compared with a year ago and a 5.3% decrease compared with two years ago) submitted by 8,472 applicants (a 12.1% decrease from a year ago and a 3.2% decreased compared with two years ago), according to Oct. 12 LSAC’s U.S. volume comparison data. ...

Caron pointed out that the biggest declines are seen among the top 160-180 LSAT band, which is down 25%. ... 

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

Ruth Mason Named Director Of Virginia Center For Tax Law

School of Law News, New Directors Lead Academic Centers, Programs:

Mason (2019)Professor Ruth Mason, whose most recent work considers multilateral efforts to reform corporate taxation, leads the Virginia Center for Tax Law, following the directorship of Professor Andrew Hayashi. Mason is the Edwin S. Cohen Distinguished Professor of Law and Taxation, and the Class of 1941 Research Professor of Law. She is also a faculty adviser to student teams participating in the annual International and European Tax Moot Court competition.

She said in addition to hosting tax conferences at the Law School that attract leading scholars, the center will sponsor new webinars in the Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs online series with the University of Oxford Faculty of Law, with the next event planned for Oct. 21.

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October 15, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Law School Shredding Of Notes To Be Shared With Jury In Law Prof's Discrimination Lawsuit

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Bloomberg Law, Law School Shredding of Bias Probe Notes to be Shared With Jury:

SandersA federal jury will be told that the University of Idaho School of Law failed to preserve interview notes from an internal investigation of alleged race and sex discrimination against faculty and staff members and that it may presume the notes support a professor’s bias claims.

The jury will receive that instruction during the trial of Shaakirrah Sanders’ 2019 lawsuit, the US District Court for the District of Idaho said, granting her motion for sanctions. Sanders alleges that she was subjected to a pattern of disparate job terms and conditions because she is Black and a woman. The trial is set to begin Tuesday, according to the court docket.

The interview notes were destroyed approximately one week after being turned over to the university’s human resources director following the completion of a written investigative report, the court said. The “climate & culture review” had been ordered by the provost after multiple complaints were received about the negative impact bias—especially by law school dean Mark Adams—was having on female faculty and staff, the court said.

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

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Yale Law Dean Trumpets Free Speech Stance Amid Federal Judges' Clerk Boycott

Update: 

Brian Leiter (Chicago), Yale Law Dean Gerken Shares "Message to Alumni" on Free Expression at the Law School:

This seems a victory for Judge Ho, despite the controversy about his threatened boycott.

Heather Gerken (Dean, Yale), A Message to Our Alumni on Free Speech at Yale Law School:

Yale Law Logo (2020)Dear members of our alumni community:
Yale Law School is dedicated to building a vibrant intellectual environment where ideas flourish. To foster free speech and engagement, we emphasize the core values of professionalism, integrity, and respect. These foundational values guide everything we do.

Over the last six months, we have taken a number of concrete steps to reaffirm our enduring commitment to the free and unfettered exchange of ideas. These actions are well known to our faculty, students, and staff, but I want to share some of them with you as well.

  • Last March, the Law School made unequivocally clear that attempts to disrupt events on campus are unacceptable and violate the norms of the School, the profession, and our community.
  • The faculty revised our disciplinary code and adopted a policy prohibiting surreptitious recordings that mirrors policies that the University of Chicago and other peer institutions have put in place to encourage the free expression of ideas.
  • We developed an online resource outlining our free speech policies and redesigned Orientation to center around discussions of free expression and the importance of respectful engagement. Virtually every member of the faculty spoke to their students about these values on the first day of class.
  • We replaced our digital listserv with what alumni fondly remember as “the Wall” to encourage students to take time to reflect and resolve their differences face-to-face.
  • We welcomed a new Dean of Students who is focused on ensuring students learn to resolve disagreements among themselves whenever possible rather than reflexively looking to the institution to serve as a referee.

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

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Tweedy Law School Deans Break Out Calculator

Bloomberg Law, Tweedy Law School Deans Break Out Calculators:

Bloomberg

Law school dean once was a dream job for attorneys who prefer the ivory tower to the daily grind of billable hours. These days, the position is more like being chief executive of a sprawling business than a tweed-clad dispenser of constitutional wisdom.

“My job has radically changed,” said Marc Miller, who has served as the University of Arizona’s law school dean for nearly a decade.

The school—ranked in the top 50 by U.S. News—is among those that in recent years have expanded beyond the traditional juris doctor education program for college grads. It now also offers an undergraduate law degree, both on campus and online, as well dual JD/PhD and JD/MBA programs, legal training for foreign diplomats and education for alternative legal service providers.

The growing offerings from the University of Arizona and other law schools are aimed at bolstering bottom lines after a dip in enrollment and amid uncertainty posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Those factors have also changed the role of law school dean, increasingly to focus on making sure cash continues to flow in. ...

After he took over as Pepperdine University’s law dean, Paul Caron said his top job duty became finding ways to fill the enrollment gap. First-year enrollment at the school dropped in the mid-2000s from about 210 students to 160 students annually, he said.

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October 12, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

U.S. Tax Court's Tax Trailblazers: Alice Abreu

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

Abreu (2019)Please join the United States Tax Court as its Tax Trailblazers series continues for Hispanic Heritage Month and features Temple Professor Alice Abreu today at 7:00 - 8:15 PM EST (register here).

Alice G. Abreu is the Honorable Nelson A. Diaz Professor of Law at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, where she regularly teaches courses in Taxation, Corporate Taxation, International Taxation, and Low Income Taxpayer Policy/Practice; she is also the inaugural Director of Temple’s Center for Tax Law and Public Policy. Professor Abreu is a magna cum laude graduate of both Cornell University and its Law School, where she served as an editor of the Cornell Law Review. Before joining the Temple faculty in 1985, she clerked for Judge Edward N. Cahn (EDPA) and practiced tax law with Dechert, LLP, in Philadelphia.

Professor Abreu has published numerous articles in scholarly and professional journals, been an editor of a casebook on Taxation, is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences, and has appeared in various media discussing issues of taxation. She is a Regent of the American College of Tax Counsel, a Trustee of the American Tax Policy Institute, a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Taxpayer Rights founded by Nina Olson, a member of the American Law Institute, and an Associate Member of the European Association of Tax Law Professors.

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October 12, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Extreme Punishment: The Chilling True Story Of Dan Markel's Murder

Less than a month after the release of a book on Dan Markel's murder by his mother, Steve Epstein (a litigation partner at Poyner Spruill (Raleigh, North Carolina)) has published (last Sunday, on what would have been Dan's 50th birthday) Extreme Punishment: The Chilling True Story of Acclaimed Law Professor Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 9, 2022):

Extreme PunishmentA devoted father. One of the most accomplished criminal law scholars in the country. Someone wanted him dead. But why?

On the morning of July 18, 2014, 41-year-old Florida State law professor Dan Markel dropped his boys off at preschool, hit the gym, and headed home to his quiet, tree-canopied neighborhood. Within seconds of pulling into his garage, two .38-caliber bullets fired from point-blank range were lodged in his brain.

His brutal slaying defied explanation. The case went stone cold for nearly two years before dogged pursuit by the Tallahassee Police and the FBI resulted in the arrest of two life-long criminals who had driven 10 hours from Miami with one singular purpose: to murder the esteemed professor. Were his ex-wife Wendi Adelson and her South Florida family the masterminds behind this horrific crime?

EXTREME PUNISHMENT is the riveting story of a divorce between two law professors that spiraled out of control, wealthy in-laws hell-bent on revenge, an unlikely love triangle, and the relentless quest to bring Dan’s killers—all of them—to justice.

“EXTREME PUNISHMENT is the book those of us who have been mesmerized by the search for justice in Dan Markel’s murder have been waiting for. Steve Epstein takes the reader through all the twists and turns of this remarkable case and provides richly textured insights into the lives of the people involved in, and affected by, this American tragedy.”
—Paul Caron, Dean of Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law and Founder of TaxProf Blog, a leading source of information about Dan Markel’s murder

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October 12, 2022 in Book Club, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink