Paul L. Caron

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Madison: Legal Education's Waterloo — Urgency, The Fire Swamp, And The End Game

Following up on my previous post, Legal Education Faces Its Waterloo As Wile E. Coyote:

Mike Madison (Pittsburgh), Legal Education’s Waterloo: Urgency:

Just about every provost in the US, just about every law dean, just about every former law dean, just about every would-be law dean, and a growing number of “regular” law professors know that the financial jig is up. At most law schools, student tuition dollars total nowhere near the amount needed to pay the school’s operating expenses. At a few law schools, endowments and real estate portfolios help a lot. At many, parent universities cover some and even much of the budget. University piggy banks and patience may be running thin. Legal education is far from the only part of the university that struggles to pay its bills. It’s often a smallish part, and in research universities, it rarely brings in many research dollars. ...

Mike Madison (Pittsburgh), Legal Education’s Waterloo: The Fire Swamp:

TL/DR [Too Long/Didn't Read] version: Strap in. Change is going to be messy, maybe ugly, and no one has a game plan for it or for you – practitioners, judges, academics, students and new graduates, entrepreneurs. Least of all me. It’s like the fire swamp, from The Princess Bride. Survive it? You’re only skeptical because no one ever has. ...

The challenge now is that there are at least three stories competing for the future of law. Pick the right story, and you may do better. Pick the wrong story, and you may do worse. Which is which? Welcome to the awkward, messy, and ugly middle space.

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September 24, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Protecting Privacy And Security In Online Instruction: A Guide For Students And Faculty

Mary Anne Franks (Miami), Protecting Privacy and Security in Online Instruction: A Guide for Students and Faculty:

COVID-19 forced educational institutions all over the globe to shift abruptly to online instruction. Online instruction presents many challenges to both faculty and students accustomed to in-person learning. Among those challenges are serious equity concerns, including wide variation among students and faculty in terms of technological literacy, access to reliable Internet service and related “digital divide” issues, time zones, caretaking responsibilities, and personal situations that may make remote learning difficult or impossible (e.g. unsafe home conditions). Another serious category of concern are privacy and security issues, which are the subject of this memo.

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September 19, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 18, 2020

The Changing Law School Curriculum: More Courses, Less Rigor?

National Jurist, More Course Offerings, But Less Rigor?:

William Carney, a retired University of Emory School of Law professor who spent nearly 40 years in legal education, wanted to know just how law school curriculum has evolved over the decades. ...

The result was a recently published paper aptly called, “Curriculum Change in Legal Education,” which tracks changes from 1973 to 2018. Through his research, he noticed a shift from a number of bedrock law offerings to less traditional ones. ...

Why is this a big deal? Students are still taught core subjects, such as torts and Constitutional law, right? Why can’t they have a little spice?

Well, Carney argues that the changes he discovered may indeed be affecting student success. In 1973, the national average bar passage rate for first-time takers was 82%. By 2017 the passage rate had fallen to 72%. ... Many of these new courses are not covered on the bar exam, so students could jeopardize their chances if they are too reliant on them, he said. ...

He found some new courses that left him confounded. He wrote that they “defy my attempts to rationalize their existence, either because of my ignorance of their content or suspicions about their usefulness in the practice of the profession. In some cases, they appear to represent approaches that are more political and polemic than legal.”

Such courses include animal law and feminist legal theory, he wrote.

That did not sit well with professors who teach feminist legal theory.

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September 18, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Why Law Firms Collapse

John Morley (Yale), Why Law Firms Collapse, 75 Bus. Law. 1399 (2020):

Law firms don’t just go bankrupt—they collapse. Like Dewey & LeBoeuf, Heller Ehrman, and Bingham McCutchen, law firms often go from apparent health to liquidation in a matter of months or even days. Almost no large law firm has ever managed to reorganize its debts in bankruptcy and survive. This pattern is puzzling because it has no parallel among ordinary businesses. Many businesses go through long periods of financial distress and many even file for bankruptcy. But almost none collapse with the extraordinary force and finality of law firms. Why?

I argue that law firms are fragile in part because they are owned by their partners rather than by investors.

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September 18, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Requiring Security Of Position For All Skills Faculty Under ABA Accreditation Standard 405(c) (And Eliminating Standard 405(d))

J. Lyn Entrikin (Arkansas-Little Rock), Lucy Jewel (Tennessee), Susie Salmon (Arizona), Craig T. Smith (North Carolina), Kristen K. Tiscione (Georgetown) & Melissa H. Weresh (Drake), Treating Professionals Professionally: Requiring Security of Position for All Skills-Focused Faculty under ABA Accreditation Standard 405(c) and Eliminating 405(d), 98 Or. L. Rev. 1 (2020):

Standard 405 is imperfect at best. In theory, it began as a way to ensure competent law faculties by affording security of position and academic freedom. But its later permutations, Standards 405(c) and (d), create and perpetuate a hierarchy that favors mostly male, doctrine-focused faculty and discriminates against mostly female, skills-focused faculty, even though both groups teach the same students.

All law faculty should be eligible for tenure and the protections it affords. At this juncture, we recognize that advocating for tenure opportunities for all faculty likely represents too large a leap. Thus, this paper calls on the ABA to both (1) require that all professional skillsfocused faculty—both clinical and legal writing faculty—be afforded protection under Standard 405(c) at minimum, and (2) eliminate Standard 405(d).

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September 16, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Vischer: How Distinctive Should Catholic Law Schools Be?

Robert K. Vischer (University of St. Thomas), How Distinctive Should Catholic Law Schools Be?, 59 J. Cath. Legal Stud. ___ (2020):

Light UnseenIn what ways should a Catholic law school be distinctive? To what extent should Catholic and non-Catholic law schools share similar criteria for judging institutional success? Are there circumstances under which a preoccupation with distinctiveness might distract a Catholic law school from focusing on its mission? While Catholic law schools will approach these questions from a diversity of perspectives, we should be careful neither to ignore the importance of distinctiveness nor to equate worthy manifestations of Catholic identity with only those qualities that are not also exhibited by non-Catholic law schools. This essay was presented as part of a symposium convened to explore the themes of a new book by John Breen and Lee Strang, A Light Unseen: A History of Catholic Legal Education in the United States.

September 13, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 11, 2020

Law School Exams During A Pandemic: One Law School’s Experience

Beth Parker (Nova), Law School Exams During a Pandemic — One Law School’s Experience:

CoronavirusIn 2020, toward the end of the Winter semester, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted life across the globe. Institutions, including law schools, felt the widespread effects of this public health crisis. Law schools were forced to move entire curriculums online in record time and consider how they were going to administer final exams. There is no precedent or manual for how to do this successfully. The pressure of the high stakes law school final exam that the law student’s entire grade and ranking rest upon is stressful, to say the least. Law students are on edge during final exams during normal times, but as the United States became overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, universities sent students, faculty, and staff home to finish the semester online and were left with a myriad of issues to address. One issue that arose was how to deliver final exams in a completely online format while maintaining the integrity of the law school exam. This article discusses the pivot to flexibility that one law school had to make, under emergency conditions, and with limited resources.

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September 11, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 10, 2020

The Relationship Between Bar Passage Rates And Attorney Discipline

Following up on my previous posts:

William Patton (USC Law & UCLA Medicine), A Rebuttal to Kinsler's and to Anderson and Muller's Studies on the Purported Relationship between Bar Passage Rates and Attorney Discipline, 93 St. John's L. Rev. 43 (2019):

I applaud Professors Kinsler, Anderson, and Muller for investigating whether the bar examination is relevant to patterns of attorney discipline. However, their research failed to prove that: (1) students from low rated law schools engage in significantly more unethical behavior; (2) there is a causal relationship or correlation between students who attend low ranked schools, their bar exam scores, and their disciplinary patterns; or (3) students from low ranked schools who scored lower on the bar exam are either not minimally competent to practice law or are a significantly greater danger to the public than students who attended elite law schools.

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September 10, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Letterhead Bias And The Demographics Of Elite Law Review Publications

Harvard Law School Letterhead

Stephen Thomson (City University of Hong Kong), Letterhead Bias and the Demographics of Elite Journal Publications, 33 Harv. J. L. & Tech. 203 (2019):

This article is the result of the most extensive audit of U.S. law review articles ever undertaken. It presents and discusses the findings of an audit of articles published in the top fifty U.S. law reviews from 2014–2018 inclusive. Analyzing over 4,500 articles and the demographics of almost 6,000 authors, it demonstrates through hard data that: (i) letterhead bias is a real phenomenon; (ii) some journals have high rates of publishing their own faculty’s work, a phenomenon that tends to be worse in higher-ranked journals; (iii) overseas authors stand a very low probability of being published in a top fifty U.S. law review; (iv) there is no real correlation between a journal’s ranking and the extent to which it publishes practitioner-authored work; and (v) articles in more highly ranked journals have a greater tendency toward being co-authored.

These findings reveal some hard truths about the elite U.S. law review market, grounded in hard data, both for aspiring authors and editorial boards across the U.S.

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September 10, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Are Universities (And Law Schools) Legally Obligated To Exempt High-Risk Faculty From In-Person Teaching During COVID-19?

Mark L. Jones (Mercer), Cathren Koehlert-Page (Barry), Suzianne D. Painter-Thorne (Mercer) & Gary J. Simson (Mercer), It’s Alright, Ma, It’s Life and Life Only: Are Colleges and Universities Legally Obligated during the Coronavirus Pandemic to Exempt High-Risk Faculty from In-Person Teaching Requirements?:

CoronavirusAfter hurriedly transitioning to online learning when the coronavirus pandemic burst onto the scene during spring semester 2020, colleges and universities across the U.S. spent much of the spring and summer deciding how to proceed in the fall. Should all courses continue to be taught entirely online? Should all return to in person? Is the best answer instead some sort of hybrid curriculum? Because the pandemic has defied prediction at every turn, colleges and universities not going entirely online can’t help but know that at any point during the semester they may suddenly be forced to revisit and revise their decision. Furthermore, after a summer in which the virus continued to infect U.S. residents at an alarming rate, colleges and universities are surely on notice that the pandemic should figure front and center in their planning as they think about in-person vs. online instruction for spring semester 2021.

We believe that, for the duration of this pandemic, a college or university planning to offer any in-person classes has a moral obligation not to require any faculty members to teach in person who, out of concern for their own physical or emotional well-being or for that of another member of their household, ask to teach online instead. For now, however, we leave it to others to discuss more fully colleges’ and universities’ moral obligations. Our topic is colleges’ and universities’ legal obligations to allow faculty to opt for online, rather than in-person, teaching during this pandemic, and within that topic, we limit our focus to the group of faculty whom we believe colleges and universities have the clearest legal obligation to protect — those who, according to the criteria identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, appear to be most vulnerable to getting seriously ill or even dying if they contract the coronavirus. In the language of the CDC, our focus is faculty members “at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19” — a group that we call “CDC high-risk faculty.” According to the CDC, anyone is high risk who has reached age 65 or who has one of various specific medical conditions, including cancer, chronic kidney disease, pregnancy, hypertension, and more.

We outline various arguments that colleges and universities are legally obligated during this pandemic to exempt CDC high-risk faculty from any in-person teaching requirement.

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September 8, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, September 7, 2020

Allowing Law School Graduates To Practice Law Without Taking A Bar Exam Through A Diploma Privilege Does Not Put The Public At Greater Risk Of Attorney Misconduct

William Patton (USC Law & UCLA Medicine), Admitting Law Graduates By Bar Examination Versus By a Diploma Privilege: A Comparison of Consumer Protection:

State bar associations for decades have justified increasing the rigorousness of their bar examinations as a necessary measure for assuring consumer protection. However, no state has provided data based empirical evidence that increasing the difficulty of a bar examination has a direct correlation with increasing consumer protection (decreasing attorney discipline based upon incompetency and/or ethical violations). This study of the Wisconsin State Bar disciplinary system demonstrates that there is little difference in the protection of the public between admitting law students to the practice of law by a diploma privilege versus requiring passage of a bar examination.


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September 7, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, September 4, 2020

Ongoing Challenges In Researching Affirmative Action In Legal Education

Robert Steinbuch (Arkansas-Little Rock) & Richard J. Peltz-Steele (UMass), Ongoing Challenges in Researching Affirmative Action in Legal Education: Maximizing Public Welfare Through Transparency, 26 Tex. Hisp. J.L. & Pol'y 57 (2020):

The public good often depends on social science research that employs personal data. Volumes of scientific breakthroughs based on data accumulated through access to public information demonstrate the importance and feasibility of enabling research in the public interest while still respecting data privacy. For decades, reliable and routine technical methods have ensured protection for personal privacy by de-identifying personal data. Social science research into legal education and admission to the bar is presently a matter of urgent public interest and importance, requiring solid empirical analysis of anonymized personal data that government authorities possess. Social science research into the effects of affirmative action represents standard, indeed commonplace, research practice furthering the public interest, while employing established methods that minimize the risk to privacy. Yet, when seeking information regarding admissions standards and success metrics, researchers have faced remarkable headwinds from government officials. In this article, we continue to discuss a topic that we have devoted significant professional energy: the proper balance of privacy, transparency, and accountability in researching legal education.

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September 4, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The Underdog Effect: Low Expectations Increase Performance

Samir Nurmohamed (University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School), The Underdog Effect: When Low Expectations Increase Performance:

UnderdogExisting theory and research has documented the benefits of facing high expectations and the perils of encountering low expectations. This paper examines the performance effects of underdog expectations, defined as individuals’ perceptions that others view them as unlikely to succeed. Integrating theory and research on self-enhancement with psychological reactance, I predict that underdog expectations have the potential to boost performance through the desire to prove others wrong when others’ credibility is in question.

Studies 1 and 2 provide support for the positive relationship between underdog expectations and performance. Study 3 reveals support for the positive effect of underdog expectations on performance through the desire to prove others wrong. Study 4 demonstrates that these effects depend on the perceived credibility of observers: when observers’ expectations are seen as more credible, underdog expectations undermine performance (consistent with the Golem effect and self-fulfilling prophecy), but when observers’ expectations are viewed as less credible, underdog expectations boost performance (demonstrating the underdog effect).

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September 2, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Emory Law Journal Call For Submissions: Systemic Racism In The Law & Anti-Racist Solutions

Emory Law Journal: Call for Submissions:

Emory Law JournalDear Scholars:
We write to you in troubling times, yet we are hopeful for a brighter future ahead. First, we hope that you are taking care of yourselves and your loved ones. Second, we want to announce that the Emory Law Journal is calling for essay submissions for our forthcoming Special Issue: Systemic Racism in the Law & Anti-Racist Solutions. The Issue will be published in May 2021, with an accompanying remote symposium in March 2021.

In the wake of numerous police shootings of unarmed Black men and women, the murder of protesters, and the lack of justice for many of the perpetrators, a statement from ELJ will no longer suffice; to be an anti-racist Journal, we must act. Therefore, this spring, we will use our platform to elevate scholarship that seeks to facilitate racial justice and dismantle white supremacy by publishing a Special Issue and holding a remote symposium.

ELJ is looking for essays from 7,500 to 15,000 words that expose systemic racism in the law or propose anti-racist solutions to make the law more just. Emory’s Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law Dorothy A. Brown will be writing the introduction to the Special Issue. We will accept abstracts as submissions, and if your essay is selected, you are not required to participate in the Symposium, but you will have a standing invitation to do so. We will accept essay submissions on a rolling basis. The deadlines for submission and publication are below:

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September 1, 2020 in Conferences, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (9)

Monday, August 31, 2020

Bahadur: High 1L Attrition And 2L Transfer Rates Contribute To Florida International's Over Performance On The Bar Exam

Following up on my previous posts about Florida International Law School's over performance on the bar exam (links below):  Rory D. Bahadur (Washburn), Blinded by Science? A Reexamination of the Bar Ninja and Silver Bullet Bar Program Cryptids, 49 J.L. & Educ. ___ (2020):

FIU LogoClaims being made by Florida International University (FIU) Law School’s academic support program that the school’s radically improved bar exam passage rates are due solely to the implementation of a “Scientific Academic Support Program” are gaining ground. Such assertions however fail to account for several confounding variables that could have contributed to the improved scores.

A detailed review of the oft-overlooked but publicly available data provided by FIU in its annual ABA Standard Information Reports reveals two such variables: (1) significantly higher than average 1L attrition rates and (2) extensive incoming high GPA 2L transfer rates accounting for a substantial percentage of the class cohort. FIU’s geographic proximity to more expensive private law schools in combination with the State of Florida’s mere 1-year residency requirement for in-state tuition make transferring to FIU as a 2L uniquely appealing.

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

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

McIntyre & Simkovic: The Value Of A Law Degree By College Major: $45,000 Humanities/$29,000 STEM Per Year For Life

Frank McIntyre (Rutgers) & Michael Simkovic (USC), Value of a Law Degree by College Major, 68 J. Legal Educ. 585 (2019):

We estimate the increase in earnings from a law degree relative to a bachelor’s degree for graduates who majored in different fields in college. Students with humanities and social sciences majors comprise approximately 47 percent of law degree holders compared to 23 percent of terminal bachelor’s. Law degree earnings premiums are highest for humanities and social sciences majors and lowest for STEM majors. On the other hand, among those with law degrees, overall earnings are highest for STEM and Business Majors. This effect is fairly small at the low end of the earnings distribution, but quite large at the top end. The median annual law degree earnings premium ranges from approximately $29,000 for STEM majors to $45,000 for humanities majors.


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August 26, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Laughter, Learning And Well-Being In The Law School Classroom

Diana Simon (Arizona), Laughing Your Way to Academic Success: Can Laughter Impact Learning and Well-Being in the Law School Classroom and are there Cross-Cultural Differences?:

Unfortunately, the truth is that law students are unhappy and can suffer from anxiety and depression at unusually high rates. Is there anything we, as professors, can do to help with that? While what transpires in the classroom is only a small piece of the puzzle that forms a student’s psychological well-being, the answer is we can do our part in the classroom to not only relieve student anxiety but improve learning in the process.

After briefly examining the findings about the mental health of law students, this article reviews: (1) research on whether humor in the classroom can improve learning; (2) research on whether humor in the classroom can decrease student anxiety; (3) research on whether there are gender differences associated with the use of humor; and (4) research on whether there are cross-cultural differences in the perception and effectiveness of humor with a special focus on China. ...

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August 25, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 24, 2020

Race, Class, Power, And Resistance Of Women In Academia

Carmen G. Gonzalez (Loyola-Chicago), Presumed Incompetent II: Race, Class, Power, and Resistance of Women in Academia (Utah State University Press 2020):

Presumed IncompetentThe courageous and inspiring personal narratives and empirical studies in Presumed Incompetent II: Race, Class, Power, and Resistance of Women in Academia name formidable obstacles and systemic biases that all women faculty—from diverse intersectional and transnational identities and from tenure track, terminal contract, and administrative positions—encounter in their higher education careers. They provide practical, specific, and insightful guidance to fight back, prevail, and thrive in challenging work environments. This new volume comes at a crucial historical moment as the United States grapples with a resurgence of white supremacy and misogyny at the forefront of our social and political dialogues that continue to permeate the academic world.

August 24, 2020 in Book Club, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Lawyers Are Not Uniquely Unhappy, But They Abuse Alcohol At Very High Rates

Yair Listokin (Yale) & Ray Noonan (J.D. 2021, Yale), Measuring Lawyer Well-Being Systematically: Evidence from the National Health Interview Survey, 18 J. Empirical Legal Stu. ___ (2020):

Conventional wisdom says that lawyers are uniquely unhappy. Unfortunately, this conventional wisdom rests on a weak empirical foundation. The “unhappy lawyers” narrative relies on nonrandom survey data collected from volunteer respondents. Instead of depending on such data, researchers should study lawyer mental health by relying on large microdata sets of public health data, such as the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) administered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The NHIS includes data from 100-200 lawyers per year. By aggregating years, an adequate sample size of lawyers can readily be obtained, with much greater confidence that the lawyers in the sample resemble the true population of U.S. lawyers. When we examine the NHIS data, we find that, contrary to the conventional wisdom, lawyers are not particularly unhappy. Indeed, they suffer rates of mental illness much lower than the general population. Lawyer mental health is not significantly different than the mental health of similarly-educated professionals, such as doctors and dentists. 

Yair 1

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August 19, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Boozang: A Vision Of A Distinctive Catholic Law School

Following up on my previous post, Saints, Sinners, and Scoundrels: A History Of Catholic Legal Education:  Kathleen Boozang (Dean, Seton Hall), A Light Unseen?, 94 St. John's L. Rev. ___ (2020):

Light UnseenThis essay responds to Professors Breen and Strang's forthcoming book, A Light Unseen: A History of Catholic Legal Education in the United States, in which they present their ideal vision of a Catholic law school. The Essay, A Light Unseen?, suggests that Breen and Strang's vision potentially interferes with academic freedom and does not present a sustainable business model in today's law school market. The Essay presents an alternative vision of how a Catholic law school can be distinctively Catholic, beyond these schools' commitment to social justice. ...

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August 16, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Why I Wrote Think Like A Lawyer

I have recently issued a new edition of my book How to Think Like A Lawyer: Legal Reasoning for Law Students and Business Professionals. In this post, I will present why I wrote this book, and how this book can help law students become better legal thinkers.

Think LIke a LawyerMy book helps law students and lawyers develop their cognitive legal-thinking skills in depth through self-correcting exercises. This book prepares law students for the practice of law by providing them with a firm foundation in legal reasoning, showing them how to apply legal reasoning skills to facts, and teaching them legal problem solving. It does this by focusing explicitly on the five types of legal reasoning (rule-based reasoning, analogical reasoning, distinguishing cases and arguments, synthesis, and policy-cased reasoning), the types of miniskills needed to develop the different types of legal reasoning, and how to use these miniskills in combination.

Why is this important? Becoming an expert in any field requires many hours of detailed practice. This applies to chess masters, musicians, athletes, and lawyers. A pianist spends hours a week practicing musical fundamentals, such as fingering, scales, arpeggios, and phrasing. Aspiring lawyers need the same thing, but they don’t get it from traditional legal education. Traditional law school pedagogy deals with exercising the mind of one student at a time, while the other students sit and listen. What students need are self-correcting exercises that give them the constant practice they need. This type of self-guided active learning is especially important now when so much of the fall semester will be taught online.

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August 13, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Integration Of UNC-Chapel Hill — Law School First

Donna L. Nixon (North Carolina), The Integration of UNC-Chapel Hill — Law School First, 97 N.C. L. Rev. 1741 (2019):

UNC Logo (2020)In June 1951, five African Americans, Harvey E. Beech, James L. Lassiter, J. Kenneth Lee, Floyd B. McKissick, and James R. Walker enrolled in classes at the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill (“Carolina Law”). Their enrollment and attendance at Carolina Law was the result of years of effort to desegregate higher education in the United States. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (“NAACP”) litigated case after case, building precedent for United States Supreme Court challenges to racial segregation in education and in all areas of society. McKissick v. Carmichael, the 1951 case that removed the legal barrier to African American admission to Carolina Law, was one of those cases. The goal of this Essay is to fill a space in the scholarship by telling the story of how these men came to be the first, how their case fit into the context of a broader civil rights campaign, and how that experience impacted the young men’s lives and the lives of many others.

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August 13, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 10, 2020

The Professional Responsibility Case For Valid And Nondiscriminatory Bar Exams

Joan W. Howarth (UNLV), The Professional Responsibility Case for Valid and Nondiscriminatory Bar Exams, 33 Geo. J. Legal Ethics ___ (2020):

Title VII protects against workplace discrimination in part through the scrutiny of employment tests whose results differ based on race, gender, or ethnicity. Such tests are said to have a disparate impact, and their use is illegal unless their validity can be established. Validity means that the test is job-related and measures what it purports to measure. Further, under Title VII, even a valid employment test with a disparate impact could be struck down if less discriminatory alternatives exist.

Licensing tests, including bar exams, have been found to be outside these Title VII protections. But the nondiscrimination values that animate Title VII disparate impact analysis for employers apply just as fundamentally to attorney licensing through principles of professional responsibility and legal ethics.

This Article examines the civil rights cases from the 1970s that established bar examiners’ immunity from Title VII.

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August 10, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 7, 2020

Women’s Experiences At The University Of Chicago Law School

Mallika Balachandran (J.D. 2018, Chicago; Sidley, New York), Roisin Duffy-Gideon (J.D. 2018, Chicago; Law Clerk, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois) & Hannah Gelbort (J.D. 2018, Chicago; Law Clerk, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia), Speak Now: Results of a One-Year Study of Women’s Experiences at the University of Chicago Law School,  2019 U. Chi. Legal F. 647:

The Women’s Advocacy Project (WAP) was a research project designed and run by law students at the University of Chicago Law School (“the Law School” or “UChicago Law”) during the 2017–2018 academic year—the first study of its kind to be conducted there. WAP collected data in an attempt to accumulate a rich and detailed set of information about women’s experiences at the Law School. WAP had four primary research components: classroom observations, achievement data collection, a student survey, and professor interviews. The project represents the efforts of over seventy law students. This article, written in the fall and winter of 2018, is a condensed version of WAP’s initial report. Readers interested in more detailed information about WAP’s methodology, findings, and recommendations should access the report here.

WAP found significant differences between men’s and women’s experiences at the Law School, many suggesting that women still face considerable roadblocks and hurdles in legal education there. For example, women graduate with honors proportionately less frequently,

Table 3

participate voluntarily in class less,

Graph 1

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August 7, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (16)

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Teaching Law Online: A Guide For Faculty

Nina A. Kohn (Syracuse), Teaching Law Online: A Guide for Faculty, 69 J. Legal Educ. ___ (2020):

As law school classes move online, it is imperative that law faculty understand not only how to teach online, but how to teach well online. This article therefore is designed to help law faculty do their best teaching online. It walks faculty through key choices they must make when designing online courses, and concrete ways that they can prepare themselves and their students to succeed. The article explains why live online teaching should be the default option for most faculty, but also shows how faculty can enhance student learning by incorporating asynchronous lessons into their online classes. It then shows how faculty can set up their virtual teaching space and employ diverse teaching techniques to foster an engaging and rigorous online learning environment. The article concludes by discussing how the move to online education in response to COVID-19 could improve the overall quality of law school teaching.

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August 6, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

W&L Law Prof: University Must Drop Both Robert E. Lee And George Washington From Its Name

Brandon Hasbrouck (Washington & Lee), White Saviors, 77 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. Online 47 (2020):

W&L Logo (2020) (3)It is time for Washington and Lee University to drop both George Washington and Robert E. Lee from the University name. The predominantly White faculty at Washington and Lee recently announced that it will petition the Board of Trustees to remove Lee from the University name. This is the first time in Washington and Lee’s history that the faculty has drafted such a petition. It is worth exploring why the faculty has decided to make a collective statement on Lee now and why the faculty has not included a demand to drop Washington in their petition. The answer is simple—it is no longer acceptable, profitable, or convenient to be associated with Lee but it is for Washington. At least for now. ...

Truth and reconciliation require moremore everything. At Washington and Lee University, it starts with the following:

1. The removal of both namesakes;

2. Acknowledgement from this predominantly White faculty that you all have profited and benefitted from Black pain—through promotion, tenure, competition, and other ways;

3. Acknowledgment from the predominantly White faculty that you all have been deaf or unresponsive to Black suffering—and that the difference is immaterial;

4. Acknowledgment from the predominantly White faculty that each year you have remained silent, neutral, or worse, harm was committed against Black people;

5. Acknowledgment from the predominantly White faculty that your (at best) neutrality perpetuated racist thinking and policy decisionmaking;

6. Acknowledgment from the predominantly White faculty that it has been students, particularly law students and students of color, who have demonstrated leadership, courage, and advocacy on issues of race and racial justice and equality;

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August 6, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (9)

Political Discrimination And Law Professor Hiring

James C. Phillips (Chapman), Political Discrimination and Law Professor Hiring, 12 N.Y.U. J.L. & Liberty 560 (2019):

There are comparatively few conservative and libertarian law professors on U.S. law school faculties. Why is this? One possible explanation is discrimination based on political orientation. This paper tests this using a model of discrimination based on the work of Nobel Prize-winning economists Gary Becker and Kenneth Arrow in order to measure the “rank gap”—the difference in the ranking of a hiring law school based on one’s political orientation after controlling for other predictors of that ranking (clerkships, publications, the law school one graduated from, etc.).

The paper, using matching statistical methods, finds that upon comparing conservative/libertarian law professors hired from 2001- 2010 with equally-credentialed liberal law professors, conservatives/libertarians end up, on average, at a law school ranked 12-13 spots lower (i.e., less prestigious). (See pages 36-37.) This rank gap is not uniform, being more moderate with the top 75 schools, non-existent with schools 76-100, and the largest with the lowest-ranked schools. (See page 40.) The paper finds a similar “rank gap” for law professors whose political orientation was unknown or moderate compared to their liberal peers. Thus, while there may be other mechanisms causing the dearth of conservative/libertarian law professors in the legal academy, those who do make it in the door appear to experience discrimination based on political orientation.

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August 6, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Miami And AALS Host Free Virtual Symposium Today On Power, Privilege, and Transformation: Lessons From The Pandemic For Online Legal Education

Miami JLE Symposium

The University of Miami School of Law, in partnership with the AALS Journal of Legal Education, hosts a free virtual symposium today (noon - 6:00 pm ET) on Power, Privilege, and Transformation: Lessons from the Pandemic for Online Legal Education (registration):

Keynote AddressCass R. Sunstein (Harvard)

Panel #1: Power, Race, Gender, Class, Disability and Family Status

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August 5, 2020 in Conferences, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Common Mistakes In Online Teaching

Margaret Ryznar (Indiana-Indianapolis), Common Mistakes in Online Teaching:

This article explains five common mistakes in online teaching and how to fix them. To do so, this article draws on student comments coming from mid-semester surveys in an Online Trusts & Estates course, as well as focus groups on online law courses.

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August 5, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, July 27, 2020

Online Legal Education Is The Only Way To Put Health, Safety And Equity First During COVID-19

Catherine Sandoval, Patricia Cain, Jean Love, Stephen Diamond, Stephen Smith & Allen Hammond (Santa Clara), Legal Education in the Era of COVID-19: Putting Health, Safety and Equity First:

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the traditional academic model of gathering people into physical classes into a high-risk activity. Legal education is a Critical Infrastructure sector that supports democratic access to the legal system and trains students to become ethical members of the legal profession and society. Debates about whether legal education should be delivered in person, online, or through a hybrid model highlight the safety culture gap in American legal education. This Article proposes an ethical framework that values safety, recognizes the inherent worth and dignity of every human being, and centers diversity and inclusion as the foundation for effective educational dialogue, to recommend online legal education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This Article’s interdisciplinary team analyzes scientific studies on COVID-19 available to date, the virus’s mutation which promotes infection, and the limits of mitigation measures in indoor classrooms where people gather for more than an hour at a time to discuss educational material and develop legal skills. It examines the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on African-Americans, Native Americans, Latinx Americans, older Americans, and those with certain underlying health conditions that would foreseeably lead members of those groups to participate in class online. Those participating in person in a hybrid educational model are likely to be younger and less diverse. The hybrid classroom model cleaves students and faculty by race, ethnicity, tribe, age, and health, undermining commitments to diversity and inclusion that support educational dialogue and first amendment values. In person classes may drive viral mutation and endanger health and safety as people under 45, the largest age cohort for American law students, lead the surge in COVID-19 infection. The Internet’s development creates the opportunity to deliver effective, synchronous, inclusive, ethical legal education. This Article concludes that legal education should be conducted online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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July 27, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fall 2020 Law Review Article Submission Guide And Angsting Forum

SubmissionsNancy Levit (UMKC) & Allen Rostron (UMKC) have updated their incredibly useful document, which contains two charts for the Fall 2020 submission season covering 199 law reviews.

The first chart (pp. 1-49) contains information gathered from the journals’ websites on:

  • Methods for submitting an article (such as by e-mail, ExpressO, regular mail, Scholastica, or Twitter)
  • Any special formatting requirements
  • How to request an expedited review
  • How to withdraw an article after it has been accepted for publication elsewhere

The second chart (pp. 50-58) contains the ranking of the law reviews and their schools under six measures:

  • U.S. News: Overall Rank
  • U.S. News: Peer Reputation Rating
  • U.S. News: Judge/Lawyer Reputation Rating
  • Washington & Lee Citation Ranking
  • Washington & Lee Impact Factor
  • Washington & Lee Combined Rating

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July 27, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Epic Fail: How Bar Examiners Screwed The Law School Class 2020

Marsha Griggs (Washburn), An Epic Fail, 64 Howard L.J. ___ (2020):

All at once, the U.S. found itself embattled with the threat of COVID-19, the new normal of social distancing, and the perennial scourge of racial injustice. While simultaneously battling those ills, the class of 2020 law graduates found themselves also contending with inflexible bar licensing policies that placed at risk their health, safety, and careers. During a global health pandemic, bar licensing authorities made the bar exam a moving target riddled with uncertainty and last-minute cancellations. This costly and unsettling uncertainty surrounding the bar exam administration was unnecessary because multiple alternatives were available to safely license new attorneys. A ball was dropped, and bar examiners at the state and national levels failed epically at an opportunity to be adaptive, decisive, and transparent, to the detriment of a class new lawyers and the public they will serve. The dogged insistence on status quo that led to the bar exam chaos of 2020, has placed the method and purpose of bar examination under national scrutiny. This Article offers a critical analysis of the systemic failure of bar licensure authorities to respond adaptively to crisis; explores alternative processes to measure minimal competency; and offers insight about the institutional mindset that has dominated our perception of the bar exam. An entire class of bar takers was held captive to conventional thinking at a time that called for compassion and innovation. Any failures on this bar exam are ours, not theirs.

The aim of this Article has been to analyze the reactive handling of the pandemic crisis as it relates to bar exam administration and to discuss the institutional influence that may have contributed to such resistance to short-term change. And while this is not intended as a critique of any particular jurisdiction, court, or body of examiners, the outcome and devastating impact on the class of 2020 bar takers shows that the measures taken, were largely ineffective, and in some cases more detrimental than helpful. While viable solutions were and remain available, decision makers were dogmatic and resolute in their refusal to break ties, even temporarily, with the established method of testing. The 2020 bar takers will be indelibly traumatized by the circumstances surrounding their quest for licensure.

We will expect our future lawyers to champion justice as they join the fight to compassionately protect the rights of those impacted by COVID and/or those taking a stand against racial injustice. The newest members of our profession will not soon forget the perceived insensitivity and spared justice they received in response to their plight. Our profession has entrusted law examiners with an important responsibility and in 2020 many failed, epically, to maintain that trust.

Taking and passing a bar exam is the end goal, or finish line, of journey that is three years or more in the making. The limited and emergency situation, wrought by the pandemic and civil unrest, provided an opportunity to simply move up the finish line by a few yards. Whether the exam alternative takes the form of diploma privilege or supervised practice should be a matter left entirely to the states to decide. But, deciding against any reasonable alternative should not have been on the table for discussion. In a country with Constitutional protections that would embrace the risk of letting a guilty party go unpunished before wrongly punishing an innocent party, we must ask why we are willing to keep the 90% of bar takers who would pass a bar exam from practice, to keep out the 10% that might not. Duquesne School of Law Professor Ashley London best summed up our obligation to the class of 2020 and beyond: “We owe the newest members of our profession the most protection, not the least. Our privilege and protectionism [are] showing and it is not a good look.”

July 26, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Saints, Sinners, and Scoundrels: A History Of Catholic Legal Education

Teresa Stanton Collett (St. Thomas), Saints, Sinners, and Scoundrels: Catholic Law Faculty and A Light Unseen: A History of Catholic Legal Education in the United States, 94 St. John's L. Rev. ___ (2020):

Light UnseenAs a faculty member at a Catholic law school for the past seventeen years, I have often been frustrated with the inability of many professors and administrators at Catholic law schools to describe what makes a law school “Catholic.” As Professors Breen and Strang report in A Light Unseen: A History of Catholic Legal Education in the United States, too often the description is limited to something like “a commitment to social justice,” or “inculcating a strong sense of professional ethics.” Yet as the authors observe, “Catholic law schools do not have a monopoly on or even a special claim to caring for the poor or promoting professional virtue.” Breen and Strang trace how we got to this place and propose an ambitious path to the “Light Unseen.”

Breen and Strang propose to create a jurisprudence grounded in Catholic social thought and human anthropology, and thus imbue Catholic law schools with a strong Catholic identity. As the co-editor of a collection of essays seeking to incorporate Catholic anthropology into American law, I fully support the authors’ proposal. I also appreciate the care with which they have built their case that such a project is necessary to avoid the continuing secularization of most Catholic law schools—secularization that both scandalizes and discourages many faithful Catholics.

My focus, however, is not to reargue the case for the creation of such jurisprudence, but to explore the capacity to initiate such a project within existing Catholic law schools given the current state of the American legal professoriate.

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July 26, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Graduate Level Distance Learning: Enhanced Student Experience, Significant Scalability Challenges

Karen Thornton, Steven L. Schooner & Markus Speidel (all of George Washington), Graduate Level Distance Learning: Enhanced Student Experience, Significant Scalability Challenges: A Multiyear Case Study, 69 J. Legal Educ. ___ (2020):

This article describes our experiences and "lessons learned" providing degree-based distance (online) education to graduate students (studying business, law, and policy related to government contracts or public procurement). Temporal note: our pilot, and the five years of experience described in this case study, predate the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic emergency distance teaching transition.

Among other things, we discuss our experiences with regard to fundamentally rethinking our pedagogical approach, "flipping the classroom," chunking, and scaffolded learning. We extol the benefits of working with, and being open to, advice from experienced instructional designers.

We conclude that embracing distance education, at least in a hybrid form, offers exciting opportunities for more effective teaching and student learning.

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July 23, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lawyer Well-Being, Discrimination, And Discretionary Systems Of Discipline

Nicholas D. Lawson (Georgetown), “To Be a Good Lawyer, One Has to Be a Healthy Lawyer”: Lawyer Well-Being, Discrimination, and Discretionary Systems of Discipline, 34 Geo. J. Legal Ethics ___ (2020):

Well BeingIn 2017, a National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being comprised mostly of representatives from lawyer assistance programs (LAPs) issued a report recommending “modify[ing] the rules of professional conduct to endorse well-being as part of a lawyer’s duty of competence.” In this Article, I evaluate one of the premises underlying the report’s recommendations: “[t]o be a good lawyer, one has to be a healthy lawyer.” Review of medical studies and evidence offered by LAPs and others in support of these claims indicates that they do not provide empirical evidence that substance use and other mental health disorders “are leading causes of malpractice suits and ethical disciplinary actions against attorneys.” Further, medical evidence strongly suggests that many lawyer well-being interventions currently being proposed offer little to no mental health benefits and are more likely to prevent than encourage treatment engagement.

I then turn to an evaluation of professional well-being (aka wellness) policies, communications, and ideology as discrimination, focusing specifically on discrimination on the basis of mental health disorders and disabilities. I contend that lawyer well-being policies and communications are likely to result in biased appraisals under the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.16(a)(2), and 8.3(a), and act as a subterfuge for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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July 23, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Curricular Change In Legal Education: Number Of Tax Faculty Is Down 46% Since 1973

William J. Carney (Emory), Curricular Change in Legal Education:

This article surveys basic changes in legal education from 1973 to 2017-2018, using a comparison of the sizes of the student body with the professoriate, and changes in the allocation of faculty resources over this period.

The paper documents law school enrollments over this period. In summary, student enrollments have been on a roller coaster, and now have declined to 1973 levels after a 40% increase. At the same time, faculty numbers have increased by 70%. While this has resulted in more favorable faculty-student ratios, bar passage rates nationally have declined from 82% to 72%. This is a classic picture of a failing industry, with high fixed costs due to tenure and cyclical revenues, forced to raise tuition to support what has become a bloated faculty. It also raises questions of whether declining bar passage rates are caused by the declining academic credentials of law school applicants, or modern failures in teaching.

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July 23, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Tax, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Can You Truly Be Happy In Law School? An Analysis Of Law School Advice

Michael Conklin (Angelo State University), Can You Truly Be Happy in Law School? An Analysis of Law School Advice, 53 U. Rich. L. Rev. Online 63 (2019):

HappyThere are many books available to help students navigate the more concrete aspects of law school, such as studying, exam strategies, how to brief a case, making law review, and on campus interviews. Kathryne M. Young, in her 2018 book, How to Be Sort of Happy in Law School [Stanford University Press, 2018] primarily focuses on the more intangible side. The 300-page book dedicates only forty-three pages to the topics of studying and exam strategies. Young’s format frees up space to cover the more amorphous aspects of law school. This review will analyze the book’s coverage of critiques of the law school structure, indoctrination attempts, and how to maintain a healthy perspective. ...

The tone of the book is refreshingly pleasant given the heavy subject matter it covers. Young utilizes a very conversational approach, and there is humor throughout (such as comically pointing out that if you stole the money to pay for law school you would likely be let out of prison before your classmates paid off their loans). Overall, Young does an excellent job preparing the reader to navigate the unique emotional challenges law school presents.

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July 22, 2020 in Book Club, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Affordable Content In Legal Education

Connie Lenz (Minnesota), Affordable Content in Legal Education, 112 Law Library J. ___ (2020):

Law schools can assist their students by adopting more affordable content in courses while continuing to meet pedagogical goals. Part II of this article provides a summary of the affordable content movement that is taking place at colleges and universities across the country. Given that many options for affordable content rely on digital resources, Part III provides a brief summary of recent research on the impact of material format — print vs. digital — on student performance and learning. Recognizing that law school learning outcomes are heavily dependent upon critical legal reading skills, Part IV explores the distinctive nature of law school reading and the complex critical reading skills required for success in legal education. Part V discusses affordable content options for law schools, and Part VI addresses ways in which law librarians can promote and support the implementation of these options.

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July 21, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 20, 2020

2020 Meta-Ranking Of Flagship U.S. Law Reviews

Bryce Clayton Newell (Oregon), 2020 Meta-Ranking of Flagship US Law Reviews:

This is an updated ranking of the top flagship law reviews at US law schools (updated as of July 15, 2020). ... The ranking table below includes 191 flagship law reviews from ABA accredited law schools. Even if you ignore the “MetaRank,” the table provides access to the updated rankings from US News (peer reputation and overall rankings, averaged over the 10-year period from 2012 through the 2021 edition) and the current W&L (2015-2019; released on June 1, 2020) and Google Scholar (July 2020) rankings.. ...

prRank = Average 10-year US News Peer Reputation score ranking;
usnRank = Average 10-year overall US News school ranking; 
wluRank = Washington & Lee Law Journal Ranking; 
gRank = Google Scholar Metrics ranking; 
wlu(IF)Rank = Washington & Lee Law Journal Impact Factor Ranking (NOT included in meta-rank).

Journal MetaRank prRank usnRank wluRank gRank wlu(IF)Rank
Yale Law Journal 1 2 1 1 1 2
Harvard Law Review 2 1 3 2 2 20
Stanford Law Review 3 3 2 3 3 1
Columbia Law Review 4 4 5 4 4 19
University of Chicago Law Review 5 5 4 9 6 15
Univ. of Pennsylvania Law Rev. 6 9 7 5 7 4
California Law Review 7 7 9 7 10 6
New York University Law Review 8 6 6 10 12 14
Georgetown Law Journal 9 14 14 6 5 10
Virginia Law Review 10 9 8 16 12 17
Michigan Law Review 11 8 9 15 16 8
Texas Law Review 12 15 15 14 8 20
UCLA Law Review 13 16 16 12 9 3
Duke Law Journal 13 11 11 17 14 5
Vanderbilt Law Review 15 17 17 19 15 13
Notre Dame Law Review 16 24 21 8 16 6
Cornell Law Review 17 12 13 23 22 12
Minnesota Law Review 18 20 20 13 18 15
Iowa Law Review 19 28 25 11 10 23
Northwestern Univ. Law Review 20 13 12 24 26 27
Washington Univ. Law Review 21 18 18 26 28 18
Boston University Law Review 22 25 24 22 20 22
Southern California Law Review 23 19 19 27 30 11
George Washington Law Review 24 23 22 29 22 42
Emory Law Journal 24 21 23 30 22 29
Boston College Law Review 26 29 30 21 19 27
William & Mary Law Review 27 33 35 18 21 8
UC Davis Law Review 28 26 36 28 22 26
Fordham Law Review 29 34 38 20 27 46
Indiana Law Journal 30 32 29 35 34 33
Washington Law Review 30 35 31 34 30 32
Wisconsin Law Review 32 26 34 39 37 38
Ohio State Law Journal 33 31 37 33 36 25
Univ. of Illinois Law Review 34 36 41 32 29 39
North Carolina Law Review 35 22 39 36 45 37
Florida Law Review 36 38 44 31 30 34
Washington & Lee Law Review 37 39 33 43 40 43
Alabama Law Review 38 40 27 40 52 35
Arizona Law Review 39 43 43 42 34 36
Hastings Law Journal 40 41 53 37 37 40
Arizona State Law Journal 41 44 28 55 42 61
UC Irvine Law Review 42 30 26 66 51 58
Cardozo Law Review 43 53 59 25 37 24
Wake Forest Law Review 44 45 40 47 47 49
Maryland Law Review 45 47 48 44 42 43
American Univ. Law Review 46 49 71 38 30 40
Colorado Law Review 47 42 45 50 55 52
Georgia Law Review 48 37 32 58 66 52
BYU Law Review 49 50 42 60 49 66
Utah Law Review 50 51 47 53 52 54
Houston Law Review 51 64 56 46 48 43
Connecticut Law Review 52 52 57 41 66 29
George Mason Law Review 53 56 46 49 66 51
Case Western Reserve Law Rev. 54 63 64 52 42 66
Univ. of Richmond Law Review 55 73 55 54 52 49
Tulane Law Review 56 46 51 69 85 83
Univ. of Miami Law Review 57 54 67 68 63 62
Temple Law Review 57 58 54 61 79 47
Brooklyn Law Review 59 70 82 48 58 66
SMU Law Review 59 66 49 64 79 77
Pepperdine Law Review 61 67 58 71 63 66
Lewis & Clark Law Review 61 81 87 51 40 56
Florida State Univ. Law Review 63 48 50 89 75 74
Seton Hall Law Review 64 85 62 62 55 58
Missouri Law Review 64 68 73 65 58 65
Nevada Law Journal 66 84 68 45 75 48
Chicago-Kent Law Review 67 72 80 63 58 74
San Diego Law Review 68 58 77 80 61 72
Michigan State Law Review 69 95 90 59 45 63
Univ. of Kansas Law Review 70 62 74 85 70 88
Nebraska Law Review 71 80 70 83 61 80
Loyola Univ. Chicago Law Journal 72 75 76 72 72 66
Oklahoma Law Review 73 78 69 76 75 87
Denver University Law Review 74 57 72 88 85 88
Penn State Law Review 75 93 66 57 90 31
Tennessee Law Review 76 61 61 96 94 110
Seattle University Law Review 77 91 108 56 63 71
Indiana Law Review 78 76 98 77 79 83
Georgia State Univ. Law Review 78 69 60 109 92 147
Univ. of Cincinnati Law Review 80 83 75 82 96 81
Villanova Law Review 80 86 85 86 79 88
South Carolina Law Review 82 89 95 87 70 83
DePaul Law Review 83 98 112 67 66 56
Kentucky Law Journal 84 71 63 108 107 125
Hofstra Law Review 85 99 109 74 72 81
West Virginia Law Review 86 109 99 70 79 58
Buffalo Law Review 87 100 96 84 79 74
Saint Louis Univ. Law Journal 88 97 92 102 72 114
Marquette Law Review 89 92 100 78 94 79
Rutgers Univ. Law Review 90 74 83 123 85 142
Baylor Law Review 90 87 52 113 1000 103
Albany Law Review 92 127 119 73 49 83
Arkansas Law Review 93 96 84 105 85 129
Santa Clara Law Review 94 77 106 99 96 77
UMKC Law Review 95 106 118 81 75 108
Louisiana Law Review 96 102 89 98 96 125
St. John’s Law Review 97 104 86 112 99 136
Howard Law Journal 98 90 116 100 99 103
Catholic Univ. Law Review 99 101 100 107 102 114
Loyola of L.A. Law Review 100 64 65 150 133 150
Oregon Law Review 101 55 88 136 1000 142
Texas A&M Law Review 101 123 115 75 102 63
Syracuse Law Review 103 94 96 101 126 99
Drake Law Review 103 132 110 90 85 91
Idaho Law Review 105 117 129 119 55 106
Univ. of Pittsburgh Law Review 106 60 81 141 112 136
New Mexico Law Review 107 88 79 131 1000 119
Chapman Law Review 108 141 131 79 1000 54
Texas Tech Law Review 109 135 113 91 92 99
Mississippi Law Journal 110 103 107 110 119 114
Cleveland State Law Review 111 140 117 94 90 91
Vermont Law Review 112 112 133 95 102 103
Univ. of Louisville Law Review 113 108 93 122 1000 97
Univ. of San Francisco Law Rev. 114 119 142 93 1000 73
Washburn Law Journal 115 136 128 97 1000 96
Northeastern Univ. Law Journal 116 82 77 150 1000 150
Maine Law Review 117 105 124 130 102 110
Mercer Law Review 118 121 121 111 115 136
Akron Law Review 119 144 135 92 102 91
Univ. of Hawai'i Law Review 119 79 94 150 1000 150
CUNY Law Review 121 114 120 121 1000 112
Tulsa Law Review 122 125 91 150 112 150
Montana Law Review 122 120 126 116 1000 95
Creighton Law Review 124 134 122 106 119 119
Stetson Law Review 125 110 104 134 1000 149
Quinnipiac Law Review 126 131 130 114 1000 99
Wayne Law Review 127 116 100 150 131 150
Univ. of Memphis Law Review 128 143 147 103 107 133
Univ. of St. Thomas Law Journal 129 139 125 139 99 125
Pace Law Review 130 132 136 128 109 136
Wyoming Law Review 131 118 126 132 1000 122
Duquesne Law Review 132 148 134 115 1000 99
Drexel Law Review 132 115 111 143 1000 130
Univ. of Baltimore Law Review 134 122 123 134 1000 112
Loyola Law Review 135 113 140 137 126 128
Suffolk Univ. Law Review 135 130 151 120 115 136
FIU Law Review 137 147 105 146 119 136
Gonzaga Law Review 138 111 114 147 1000 148
New York Law School Law Rev. 139 129 132 142 119 130
Southwestern Law Review 140 138 150 129 109 114
Univ. of Toledo Law Review 141 142 141 125 119 142
Univ. of Arkansas LR Law Rev. 142 107 137 150 134 150
Univ. of the Pacific Law Review 143 128 139 150 112 150
Univ. of New Hampshire Law Rev. 143 126 103 150 1000 150
Ohio Northern Univ. Law Review 145 169 153 104 1000 122
St. Mary's Law Journal 146 157 158 117 119 119
Mitchell Hamline Law Review 147 145 144 150 115 150
South Dakota Law Review 147 146 147 133 128 133
Capital University Law Review 149 170 161 117 109 107
Willamette Law Review 150 124 138 150 1000 150
Touro Law Review 151 167 161 127 115 130
Northern Kentucky Law Review 152 162 161 124 1000 91
Campbell Law Review 153 170 146 140 119 122
John Marshall Law Review 154 149 152 149 131 145
North Dakota Law Review 155 137 149 150 1000 150
Univ. of Detroit Mercy Law Rev. 155 173 161 126 1000 97
South Texas Law Review 157 157 156 148 128 145
Roger Williams Univ. Law Rev. 158 155 161 150 128 150
Southern Illinois Univ. L.J. 159 154 156 150 135 150
Cumberland Law Review 160 153 145 150 1000 150
Widener Law Review 161 150 161 144 1000 114
Univ. of Dayton Law Review 162 151 154 150 1000 150
Northern Illinois Univ. Law Rev. 163 156 155 150 1000 150
Widener Commonwealth Law Rev. 163 152 159 150 1000 150
New England Law Review 165 168 161 145 1000 133
Nova Law Review 166 159 161 150 1000 150
Regent Univ. Law Review 167 184 161 138 1000 108
Elon Law Review 167 160 161 150 1000 150
Golden Gate Univ. Law Review 169 161 161 150 1000 150
California Western Law Review 170 163 161 150 1000 150
Belmont Law Review 170 181 143 150 1000 150
Oklahoma City Univ. Law Review 170 165 159 150 1000 150
Mississippi College Law Review 173 164 161 150 1000 150
University of Mass. Law Review 174 166 161 150 1000 150
N. Carolina Central Law Review 175 172 161 150 1000 150
Univ. of the D.C. Law Review 176 174 161 150 1000 150
Florida A&M Univ. Law Review 177 175 161 150 1000 150
W. New England Law Review 178 176 161 150 1000 150
St. Thomas Law Review 179 177 161 150 1000 150
Thurgood Marshall Law Review 179 177 161 150 1000 150
John Marshall Law Journal 181 179 161 150 1000 150
Southern Univ. Law Review 182 180 161 150 1000 150
Charleston Law Review 183 182 161 150 1000 150
Faulkner Law Review 184 183 161 150 1000 150
Florida Coastal Law Review 185 184 161 150 1000 150
Appalachian Journal of Law 186 186 161 150 1000 150
Liberty University Law Review 187 187 161 150 1000 150
Barry Law Review 188 188 161 150 1000 150
Western State Univ. Law Review 189 189 161 150 1000 150
Thomas M. Cooley Law Review 189 189 161 150 1000 150
Ave Maria Law Review 191 191 161 150 1000 150

July 20, 2020 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Really Basic Rules For Writing Good Papers In Law School

Allison Christians (McGill), Really Basic Rules for Writing Good Papers in Law School, 23 Green Bag 2d 181 (2020):

Green BagThis extremely brief guide is intended to help students write good papers in law school. It covers paper structure, substance, and style.

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July 16, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Unsafe At Any Campus: Don’t Let Colleges Become The Next Cruise Ships, Nursing Homes, And Food Processing Plants

Peter H. Huang (Colorado) & Debra S. Austin (Denver), Unsafe at Any Campus: Don’t Let Colleges Become the Next Cruise Ships, Nursing Homes, and Food Processing Plants:, 95 Ind. L..J. Supp. ___ (2020):

The decision to educate our students via in-person or online learning environments while COVID-19 is unrestrained is a false choice, when the clear path to achieve our chief objective safely, the education of our students, can be done online. Our decision-making should be guided by the overriding principle that people matter more than money. We recognize that lost tuition revenue if students delay or defer education is an institutional concern, but we posit that many students and parents would prefer a safer online alternative to riskier in-person options, especially as we get closer to fall, and American death tolls rise. This Essay argues the extra stress of trying to maintain safety from infection with a return to campus will make teaching and learning less effective. While high density classrooms promote virus transmission and potentially super-spreader events, we can take the lessons we learned during the spring, and provide courses without the stressors of spreading the virus. We argue the socially responsible decision is to deliver compassionate, healthy, and first-rate online pedagogy, and we offer a vision of how to move forward into this brave new world. ...

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July 14, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Gatekeeping The Profession

Christopher Williams (Chicago), Gatekeeping The Profession, 26 Cardozo J. Equal Rts. 171 (2020):

This article critically examines the structure of U.S. legal education and reveals how the structure of U.S. legal education serves as a racial gatekeeper that prevents black students from entering the legal profession in the United States. In addition, this article also reveals how the exportation of U.S. legal education to India resulted in a similar process, one in which legal education serves as a caste based gatekeeper that prevents dalit students from entering the legal profession in India. This connection is made by introducing and characterizing the model of U.S. legal education as an adaptive prejudice model whereby the model adapts and reproduces the prejudices of the society in which it is situated in. This article is consistent with scholarship that critiques prejudice inherent in U.S. legal education and legal education in India but adds to this body by situating black and dalit students experiences together instead of in isolation.

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July 14, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Journal Of Legal Education Publishes New Issue

Journal of Legal Education (2018)The Journal of Legal Education has published Vol. 68, No. 3 (Spring 2019):

From The Editors

  • Jeremy Paul (Northeastern), Margaret Y.K. Woo (Northeastern) & Hemanth Gundavaram (Northeastern), From the Editors, 68 J. Legal Educ. 505 (2019)


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July 8, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (10)

Rozema: Does The Bar Exam Protect The Public?

Kyle Rozema (Washington University), Does the Bar Exam Protect the Public?:

I study the effects of requiring lawyers to pass the bar exam on whether they are later publicly disciplined for misconduct. In the 1980s, four states began to require graduates from all law schools to pass the bar exam by abolishing what is known as a diploma privilege. My research design exploits these events to estimate the effect of the diploma privilege on the share of lawyers who receive public sanctions by state discipline bodies. Lawyers admitted on diploma privilege receive public sanctions at similar rates to lawyers admitted after passing a bar exam for the first decade of their careers, but small differences begin to emerge after a decade, and larger differences emerge after two decades. The estimates suggest that the diploma privilege increased the share of lawyers who received a public sanction within 25 years after bar admission from 4.5 percent to between 4.6 and 6.5 percent.

Rozema 1

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July 8, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, July 6, 2020

Cultivating Grit In Law Students

Denitsa Mavrova Heinrich (North Dakota), Cultivating Grit in Law Students: Grit, Deliberate Practice, and the First-Year Law School Curriculum, 47 Cap. U. L. Rev. 341 (2019):

GritWhat characteristics reliably predict success? Why is it that some individuals accomplish more than others of equal intelligence? Why do some make the most of their abilities while others barely tap into their potential? In examining these questions, psychologist Angela Duckworth discovered that grit was the one characteristic all highly successful individuals had in common.

Grit, defined as “passion and perseverance for the long-term goal,” has proven to reliably predict success in a variety of domains. In the educational setting, specifically, grit has emerged as a strong predictor for student success at both the secondary and undergraduate levels. Yet, despite the research showing a positive relationship between grit and academic achievement, grit remains virtually unexamined in the context of legal education.

This Article illustrates why grit is a concept worth examining in legal education. In particular, the Article argues that cultivating grit in law students is a pedagogical goal worth pursuing in legal education in order to improve student learning and promote student success.

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July 6, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Women Law Professors: The First Century (1896-1996)

Catherine J. Lanctot (Villanova), Women Law Professors: The First Century, 65 Vill L. Rev. ___ (2020):

This article addresses the history of women as law professors from 1896 to 1996. It discusses the discrimination faced by women in legal academia over time, and also illustrates the contributions women have made to legal education.

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June 25, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lawyer Health And Adverse Childhood Experiences

Karen Oehme (Florida State) & Nat Stern (Florida State), Improving Lawyers' Health By Addressing the Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences, 53 U. Rich. L. Rev. 1311 (2019):

The legal community has recently acknowledged that many in the profession suffer from the effects of poor mental health and has called for steps to improve lawyers’ well-being. Though well intentioned, this movement has largely ignored what the Centers for Disease Control calls a “basis for much of adult physical and emotional health problems”: adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs. Research by neuroscientists and others has concluded that much of adult physical and mental illness has its roots in the unresolved trauma of childhood adversity. At the same time, research also indicates that understanding the impact of these early experiences can alleviate such illness and its attendant maladaptive coping behaviors. Thus, efforts to help lawyers improve their mental health without addressing adverse childhood experiences will inevitably fall short. This Article recommends that bar associations and law schools take measures to educate attorneys and future attorneys about the potentially far-reaching consequences of these experiences and means to overcome them.

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June 25, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 18, 2020

The Power Of A Positive Tweet By A Dean

Patricia Grande Montana (St. John's), The Power of a Positive Tweet, 24 J. Legal Writing 77 (2020):

This essay explores how a simple act, such as positive tweet by a law school dean about the value of legal writing scholarship, can increase legal writing professors' growing visibility and reputation in the law school community. These types of acts are a positive development toward legal writing faculty achieving not only the status but respect they have earned and deserve within that community.

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June 18, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Integrated Learning, Integrated Faculty

Rachel S. Arnow-Richman (Florida), Integrated Learning, Integrated Faculty, 92 Temple L. Rev. ___ (2020):

A fundamental obstacle to the success of legal education’s practice readiness movement is the “bifurcated faculty.” Most law schools continue to operate a two tiered system in which a group of elite credentialed “doctrinal” faculty enjoy the generous compensation, security, and privileges associated with tenure, while an underclass of contract faculty teach work intensive “skills” courses for lower pay and lesser status. This Essay analyzes the bifurcated faculty as a personnel practice, leveraging insights from management theory and employment discrimination scholarship to evaluate law schools as employers. It considers, first, the rise of new economy management practices that eschew static job classifications in favor of greater flexibility and integration and, second, the role of structural discrimination in stymying institutional efforts to eliminate workplace disparities tied to race, gender, and other protected characteristics. These bodies of research suggest that law schools aspiring to graduate practice ready lawyers must not only integrate their curricula but also their faculty. Doing so means eliminating structural obstacles that isolate skills faculty from doctrinal faculty and dislodging embedded assumptions about their relative worth.

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June 17, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Organ: What The Revealed-Preferences Ranking Fails to Reveal

Jerome M. Organ (St. Thomas), What the Revealed-Preferences Ranking Fails to Reveal, 7 Belmont L. Rev. 114 (2019) (reviewing CJ Ryan (Roger Williams) & Brian L. Frye (Kentucky), The 2019 Revealed-Preferences Ranking of Law Schools, 7 Belmont L. Rev. 86 (2019)):

The Revealed-Preferences Ranking methodology developed by Professors Christopher J. Ryan, Jr. and Brian L. Frye purports to be an “objective ranking” because it identifies the claimed preferences of first-year law students by looking at and comparing the “quality” of the first-year students who chose to attend each law school based on the LSAT and UGPA indicators for the entering class at each law school. For The 2019 Revealed-Preferences Ranking of Law Schools, the authors incorporate the preferences of those who chose to transfer out from a given law school as a further indication of how the preferences of transfer students inform the “quality” of a given law school.

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June 16, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)